Captain’s Bar

4 South College Street, Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland

Seven comments

Newest Edinburgh session bar

One of the more unaltered traditional Edinburgh bars. This place went into decline over a number of years but has recently changed hands, had a well deserved clean up, and has been re-opened as an acoustic music venue, with traditional music on a number of days a week. It is a great place to play, with great acoustics and being tucked away tends to escape notice by most tourists. I have listed the sessions that are tune rather than singing sessions; the Wednesday and Fridays starting at roughly 8 pm, the Sunday one being at 4 pm. The sessions are not suited for beginners.

The Wednesday session is led by the flute player Nuala Kennedy; the Friday and Sunday sessions by Tom Oakes (flute + guitar) and Kathryn Nicoll (fiddle)

Song & Tune Sessions

The Friday night and Sunday afternoon sessions are still going strong. The Wednesday session is no longer led by Nuala Kennedy but there are sessions most nights with some more about songs than tunes. I lead a Saturday afternoon 4-7pm session and I’m pleased to say it includes both songs and tunes with the balance completely dependent on who comes along. I usually share the hosting of the session with either Mike Slessor (fiddler) or Tom Napper (tenor banjo, mandolin, octave mandolin and singer). The pub’s excellent acoustics make it easier to be heard and therefore a pleasant place to be for singers and musicians both. Another musical booking arrives around 9pm on Saturdays. Sometimes this is another session but not always.

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Lots going on

I think it’s safe to say there’s something on pretty well every night of the week now as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons, between instrumental sessions, singers, and mixed sessions. Occasional special or themed events, and some shows during the last Edinburgh Fringe. Really nice venue and good range of drinks! They have their own website or check the Gig Guide for what’s on - available online or paper copies in most of the Edinburgh pubs.

Re: Captain’s Bar

Captain’s Bar recently celebrated its 7th anniversary in its current life, and goes from strength to strength (although if course it is a very old and historic building!) Different people playing/singing afternoons and evenings (though a rotation of regular hosts), opportunities for visitors to join in. Other info as above, and also on Facebook.

Re: Captain’s Bar

Still having sessions on Friday nights? Open sessions?

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Re: Captain’s Bar

Captain’s is now 11 years old (though the building is much older) and has weathered the trials of Covid: open again after periods of having to close, or hold sessions outside. Back indoors now with a full programme of sessions most days and nights of the week. (check Mondays - maybe not - info as at Dec 2021).
Sessions are hosted, but with opportunities to join in.