An introduction to Leith, and why it’s the epicentre of creativity in Edinburgh

Uncover a different side to Edinburgh’s much-loved port

Image credit: alljengi

by Max Meres

London, circa 1969. John Lennon puts down his pen after writing the final words of what would soon be known as ‘Come Together’. He sighs, looking out as the sun sets over London. In a dusty rehearsal room across the city, Jimmy Page lays down the finishing touches to ‘The Lemon Song’, unaware that he has, in effect, rewritten the rules for contemporary guitar music.

1969 will always be remembered as an iconic year for music, but more so for London. After all, the city gave birth to ‘Abbey Road’, ‘Led Zeppelin II’ and The Who’s ‘Tommy’, all within 12 months. Perhaps someone slipped something potent into the Thames that January, triggering a spell of creativity that would reshape rock music forever. Whatever it was, there’s plenty of it circulating the waterpipes of Leith, and has been for decades.

Where on earth is Leith?

Setting foot here, you can’t help but draw inspiration from the assortment of second hand record and book stores, sat alongside galleries of both contemporary and traditional art. Is it any wonder, then, that some of Scotland’s best loved fictional characters — think Begbie, Renton, and Inspector John Rebus — all cut their teeth in Leith and her surrounding areas? The short answer is no, or as the locals would say, “naw.”

And just what happens in this Leith place, anyway?

Where does Caliber fit into the equation?

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