Reviews & features: Music

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Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 interview: Zoë Howe on the Slits and the Jesus and Mary Chain

31 Jul 2014

The music journalist and Slits guitarist Viv Albertine are both visiting the EIBF this year

As guitarist and co-songwriter for the the Slits, Viv Albertine blazed a trail for feminist punk. Her riveting memoir Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys, which she discusses at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with…

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014: 5 musicians at the book fest

31 Jul 2014

Featuring Aidan Moffat, Julian Cope, Willy Vlautin, Gruff Rhys and James Yorkston

Aidan Moffat In contrast to the abject despair / binge drinking / furtive groping often covered in his songwriting, the spoken word artist and ex-Arab Strap member presents his latest offering with not even a PG but a U rating. The Lavender Blue Dress…

This is Ceilidh and Ready, Steady, Ceilidh! bring a touch of trad to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

31 Jul 2014

Both shows celebrate the high energy roots of traditional Scottish country song and dance

Why should cabaret acts and comedy clubs supply all the after-hours Fringe fun? This Is Ceilidh is an all-fiddling, all-piping, all-dancing hoolie from the producers of former Fringe crowdpleasers Eurobeat and Jerry Springer: The Opera which is poised…

All Back To Bowie’s set to tackle Scottish referendum debate at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Unique take on the Scottish referendum debate through Bowie-themed musical and political salon

February 2014: David Bowie wins a Brit Award and uses the occasion to appeal – via a proxy, who just happens to be Kate Moss – ‘Scotland, stay with us’. Some idiots threaten to bin their Bowie collections but playwright David Greig, who describes his…

Interview: Glen Matlock bring I Was a Teenage Sex Pistol show to 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Musician thrown out of band for 'liking The Beatles' talks us through his one-man music show

Glen Matlock was allegedly thrown out of The Sex Pistols for the crime of ‘liking The Beatles’. He busts this and other myths in his one-man words-and-music show I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol. What did music mean to a teenage Sex Pistol? It was an exit…

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Unique variety show Bacchanalia lined up for 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Cabaret, magic, burlesque, comedy and circus line-up successfully peddling comedy and smut

‘As cliché as it sounds, with all the unrest in the country on so many fronts, people need escapism. They need the wonder.’ Boo Dwyer of Titty Bar Ha Ha explains that elusive attraction cabaret enjoys. ‘It is the comedy equivalent of when TV went into…

Dean Friedman set to bring four shows to 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

1970s pop icon who’s down with the kids returns with new series of musical sing-along performances

‘I'm pretty sure every songwriter with kids finds themselves humming silly melodies to distract themselves – and keep their kids from wiggling off the table – while changing nappies. That's how my first kids’ songs came about,’ says Dean Friedman.

Asian Dub Foundation to play one-off DJ set at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

London punk, ragga and bhangra band play at Summerhall venue with support from Soom T and LSK

’The word ‘political’, it’s been a bit of a millstone,’ says Steve ‘Chandrasonic’ Savale of the Hackney-formed Asian Dub Foundation, for twenty years a group who have fused a social consciousness to a melting pot of Great British street sounds, from…

John Maxwell Geddes work If It Wasn’t for Their Wellies performed at 2014 Edinburgh Free Fringe and Museum Lates

30 Jul 2014

Old Edinburgh rubber factory and 103-year-old worker inspire WW1 songs

’When I got this commission I didn’t think it was the most exciting idea to write about welly boots,’ says the composer John Maxwell Geddes, ‘because it’s hardly writing about romance. Or about the start of the First World War, because I don’t celebrate…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Lucy Benson-Brow discusses Cutting off Kate Bush

30 Jul 2014

'I vividly remember "Wuthering Heights" ... Her music lends itself so well to dramatisation'

With Kate Bush touring for the first time in 35 years, Cutting off Kate Bush arrives at the right time. Lucy Benson-Brown channels the Gothic undertones of Bush’s music to create a new take on family politics. Young Kathy has had to return home and is…

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A Tranny On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown visits 2014 Edinburgh Free Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Detroit showgirl talks boy troubles in a stripped down storytelling music show

After last year’s hit show A Tranny is Born, Mzz Kimberly knows she has a lot to live up to. ‘I’m scared as hell,’ admits the Detroit singer. ‘Last year I had rollerskates and videos showing – this year it’s just me.’ A Tranny on the Verge of a…

Avant garde record store The Living Mountain set for 2014 Edinburgh Art Festival

30 Jul 2014

Shop will sell vast array of records both new and second-hand at Summerhall venue

The Living Mountain, a specially designed and curated record shop offering a host of the best avant garde releases in a suitably innovative environment, will be running throughout August as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. The project is the…

Pale Imitation festival curates series of gigs by local bands during Edinburgh Festivals

29 Jul 2014

2014 line-up features PAWS, Halfrican, LAW and last ever show by Meursault

Pale Imitation has a pretty simple mission statement. To celebrate the best independently-minded Scottish bands and musicians by bringing them together for a month-long festival in Edinburgh throughout August. But, wait. Put ‘festival’, ‘Edinburgh…

Edinburgh Art Festival 2014: Art Late, offering contemporary art after dark at venues across the city

29 Jul 2014

The evening gallery parties will feature live music from Woven Tents and The Little Kicks

Bringing together a unique conglomerate of specially programmed exhibitions, artists talks, live music and performance, Art Late is back to guide and indulge audiences after opening hours. Sorcha Carey, director of the Edinburgh Art Festival remarks…

Edinburgh Art Festival 2014: experience music and poetry in arty environments with Festival Detours

28 Jul 2014

Luke Wright, Meursault, Eilidh MacAskill and John Osborne prepare to perform in gallery settings

Detours is a series of live shows by music, poetry and theatre artists taking place in galleries across the city. As part of Edinburgh Art Festival, it aims to bring a new audience to visual art by transforming the traditional gallery space. This…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: Poland's Song of the Goat immerses itself in Scotland's vocal music traditions

24 Jul 2014

Theatrical choral performance Return to the Voice will be performed in St Giles Cathedral

The great Indian cultural theorist Homi Bhabha writes of ‘hybridity’, a cultural phenomenon in which artists bring together aesthetic influences from different times and different places to create new art forms. It is an idea that could almost have been…

Longlist announced for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award 2014

23 Jul 2014

The award recognises Fringe shows that encourage audiences to consider their environmental impact

The shortlist for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award, which celebrates the greenest and most sustainable shows of the fringe that encourage audiences to take responsibility for their own environmental impact, has been announced, with 22…

Interview: Cora Bissett and Peter Arnott discuss Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Janis Joplin: Full Tilt

22 Jul 2014

The play stars Angie Darcy as the iconic 60s singer-songwriter and member of the infamous 27 Club

The way in which this part-concert part-play came together is fitting tribute to both the free and easy spirit of the age it remembers, and the wonderfully no-nonsense manner in which the late David MacLennan ran Òran Mór’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint…

Edinburgh International Festival 2014: 10 unmissable programme highlights

22 Jul 2014

Featuring Kronos Quartet, Helen Lawrence and Ganesh Versus the Third Reich

Czech Philharmonic Two concerts from the orchestra conducted by Jiri Belohlavek. The first features Nicola Benedetti as they tackle Janácek, Korngold and Martinu together, while the second has mezzo soprano Bernarda Fink singing the powerful ‘Biblical…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 10 strange, site-specific venues

22 Jul 2014

Featuring phone shops, police boxes, rickshaws, caravans and a boxing gym

A boxing gym An amateur boxing club becomes the set for this verbatim theatre piece based on interviews with Muslim female boxers, using a cast of 16–18-year-olds. No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, Sandy’s Boxing Gym, Craigmillar, 226 0000, 18–25 Aug…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 music highlights

22 Jul 2014

Featuring Withered Hand, Niki King, Asian Dub Foundation and RM Hubbert with Emma Pollock

Withered Hand The self-deprecating Dan Willson (he slagged his own voice off at an Usher Hall anniversary bash earlier this year and says his kids are the band’s toughest critics) gets set to receive the acclaim of others with tunes from breezy latest…

The 20 best shows at the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals

15 Jul 2014

Stuck to know what you must see this festival? Here's 20 suggestions from across the festivals

The James Plays. Edinburgh International Festival. Sofie Gråbøl, Blythe Duff and Jamie Sives are among the actors appearing in Rona Munro’s highly anticipated historical trilogy.

Interview: Julian Cope reveals unorthodox writing methods and musical influences ahead of 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival date

15 Jul 2014

Rockstar-turned-writer on debut novel, writing under the influence and his Aberdeenshire obsession

‘Write what you know’, goes the Mark Twain mantra for budding authors. So Julian Cope has written a debut novel about 80s and 90s rock stars, football tribalism and Neolithic portals in Sardinia. ‘If you’re going to be an author, people have really got…

Interview: Andy Bell of Erasure on bringing Torsten the Bareback Saint to 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

15 Jul 2014

Erasure vocalist makes Fringe debut with a song cycle about a Dorian Gray-type character

Andy Bell’s Twitter account declares that he is ‘loving 2014 so far’. It’s a productive time for the flamboyant singing half of Erasure, with collaborations aplenty. But he can explain all that. ‘It’s the year of the horse,’ he says. ‘I looked it up and…

Five world-class sopranos appearing at the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2014

Featuring Susan Bullock, Claire Booth, Erin Wall, Anna Prohaska and Ute Lemper

Susan Bullock. It takes a rare kind of mental and physical stamina to tour the globe singing Ring Cycle after Ring Cycle. Maybe it’s pure survival tactics that make Wagnerians some of the most down-to-earth singers in the business and Susan Bullock is…