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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…

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…

Another Name for Thesaurus

4 Aug 20143 stars

Charming New Zealand folk music with a comedy edge at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This show is billed as comedy but would be better described as folk music performed by a charismatic New Zealander. Rather charmingly Fraser Ross collects his own tickets and performs his own tech before taking to the stage. Ross is both an accomplished…

Peter Straker: Black Magic

4 Aug 20143 stars

Showtune singer thrills but picks wrong songs at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Hair in the late 1960s and partly through a hard-working career which has continued to stretch on over the decades. Following on from his recent Fringe appearances performing Jacques Brel, this latest show is the Straker rock 'n' roll…

Dandy Darkly’s Pussy Panic

4 Aug 20144 stars

Gential-fixated horror songs from the New York storyteller at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Unsettling, hilarious and political, Dandy Darkly's Pussy Panic is a searing critique of queer culture, celebrity obsession and misogyny. In white facepaint and a suit to reference the co-opting of black culture by gay men, New York raconteur Darkly…

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Black Is The Color Of My Voice

3 Aug 20143 stars

Nina Simone biography with music

A black woman who bears a disconcerting resemblance to Nina Simone is having what we would now call a detox. No booze, fags or phone, just her, an imaginary piano and a handy suitcase full of props from her life. Via a conversation with her father…

Baba Brinkman - The Rap Guide to Religion

3 Aug 20143 stars

Religion get rapped

Don’t show up hungover, or even a bit tired or glaikit to Baba Brinkman’s Rap Guide to Religion. His cerebral hip hop, complete with Venn diagrams and home-made infographics, requests your full attention please, as he takes his audience on a geeky…

Scottish Dance Theatre and The One Ensemble collaborate on Miann

2 Aug 2014

New dance and music piece debuts at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Creative friendship lies at the heart of Scottish Dance Theatre’s new show, Miann. Kelly Apter talks to artistic director, Fleur Darkin about her collaborative choices. The Edinburgh Fringe may be the largest arts festival in the world, but it’s still a…

Edinburgh Festival regular John Otway returns for 2014 Free Fringe run

2 Aug 2014

’Rock’s greatest failure’ wins audiences over

John Otway is one of British music's great eccentrics. His half talking/half singing style has made him one of the country's most enduring live performers despite a distinct lack of record sales. 'When I was about nine years old I decided I wanted to be…

Siddhartha: The Musical

2 Aug 20144 stars

Incredibly enjoyable take on Hesse novel is both mesmerising and ridiculous

A Buddhist musical about spiritual enlightenment, with lasers, fireball projections, porn heels and pounding Euro beats? And it all began as a rehabilitation programme in a maximum security prison in Milan? It’s unlikely you’d imagine any of that, when…

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Musical Mornings With Mil’s Trills

2 Aug 20144 stars

Gentle introduction to the world of music

As adults going to live music shows, we have countless opportunities to hear strong vocals, consummate musicianship and original material. Younger audiences, however, seem destined to be fed an endless diet of recorded music and age-old rhymes. But not…

Interview: horror prog legend Claudio Simonetti of Goblin

1 Aug 2014

The regular Dario Argento collaborator talks to us ahead of his live soundtrack gig at FrightFest

The Italian giallo films have a particular hold over horror fans. Their garish use of gore, overtly sexualised themes, bold use of colour and fantastic scores make them a unique cinematic experience. Dario Argento and Goblin were a perfect match, the…

Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings - Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Sun 27 Jul 2014

1 Aug 20143 stars

The former Rolling Stone heads up what might be the best covers band on the circuit

The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival brings another big name to the city to finish off the fest in style. But before Bill Wyman takes to the stage Glasgow blues belter Maggie Bell warms up the crowd with her deep and earthy vocals. Mixing Etta James…

Five reasons to go to Museum After Hours at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

1 Aug 2014

Experience the National Museum of Scotland as never before with some late night entertainment

Indulge in adult entertainment This sounds distinctly saucier than it is, but leave the kids at home so you can enjoy an array of live comedy, cabaret, music and theatre performers specifically aimed at over 18s. For three nights, the traditional…

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…

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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…

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…

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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…

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…

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…

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…