Music, Miles Fielder

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Madness frontman Suggs tells life story at 2012 Edinburgh Fringe

11 Jul 2012

20 fascinating facts about the 80s superstar

1 His real name is Graham McPherson. 2 He was born on 13 January 1961 in Hastings (‘on a stormy night’, according to the man himself), the only child of William Rutherford McPherson, who left home shortly after his son was born and was never heard…

Josh T Pearson - Last of the Country Gentlemen

1 Mar 20113 stars

Lift to Experience frontman's sparse, pared-down solo effort

(Mute) Aside from a handful of low-key, off-the-map gigs, this Texas troubadour hasn’t been heard since releasing his one and only album as frontman to Lift to Experience ten years ago. The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads has since been elevated to cult…

Interview: Christian Scott on his signature blend of styles ahead of 2014 Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

15 Jul 2014

Grammy-nominated musician on customising his own instruments to get the perfect sound

‘I don’t know what it’s not like to be from here,’ Christian Scott says in response to a query about what it means to be a musician from New Orleans. ‘I will say that being born and raised here, I benefitted from the wisdom of a lot of really great…

Norman Silver and the Gold - War Memoirs

20 May 20144 stars

A suitably retro combination of white American traditional music and rough and ready British punk

According to the band, their debut album started out as a gang of old punks having a go at playing what was once memorably described as both kinds of music, country and western. Assembled from members of Edinburgh punk outfits Oi Polloi, Newtown Grunts…

Hot 100 2013: 79-70

11 Dec 2013

Peggy Hughes, Freya Mavor and Dominic Hill among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

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The Tiger Lillies

21 Aug 20134 stars

The 'Brechtian punk cabaret' godfathers show no signs of slowing or losing their wild creative edge

Despite the exploding popularity of cabaret at the Fringe (and beyond), this London trio remains the high watermark below which all others will inevitably sink and drown. Now in their 14th year, and widely considered as godfathers of the genre known as…

Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model

21 Aug 20133 stars

Bryony Kimmings and her neice Taylor set out to create worthwhile popstar Catherine Bennett

Self-professed self-obsessed performance artist Bryony Kimmings set herself a tricky task when, while looking after her nine-year-old niece, she decided to design a show around her. Actually, what Kimmings and her niece, Taylor, did was create a…

The Les Clöchards: The Boys are Back in Town

9 Aug 20133 stars

Scrappy Corsican covers band

The hobo-styled five-piece from a small island off the coast of Corsica make a return trip to the Fringe with another energetically performed set of upbeat acoustic rock. There’s a touch of The Pogues in Les Clochards’ punk posturing and folk styling…

Saxophonist Tia Fuller set for date at 2013 Edinburgh Jazz Festival

15 Jul 2013

Jazz sax warrior on roots, discipline and touring with Beyoncé,

On the opening night of the 35th Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Tia Fuller aims to blow the roof off the Queen’s Hall. Best known outside jazz circles for touring the world with Beyoncé Knowles’ troupe, the young American has made a name for herself…

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Meat and Bone

20 Sep 20124 stars

First album in eight years is more of the same down-and-dirty punk-blues

It’s been eight years since the Blues Explosion’s last studio album. In that time the band members have pursued solo projects, with frontman Jon Spencer focusing on his boppin’ rockabilly venture Heavy Trash. Now they’re back 21 years after they first…

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Theatre, dance and opera highlights in Scotland for autumn & winter 2012

31 Aug 2012

2012 and 2013 programmes from Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera and National Theatre of Scotland

The National Theatre of Scotland is nowhere and everywhere. Envisioned as an institution with no bricks and mortar headquarters, the NTS has used its resources to support playwrights and performers and to work with a wide range of collaborators to bring…

Cécile McLorin Salvant leads Duke Ellington tribute at 2012 Edinburgh Jazz Festival

11 Jul 2012

Showcase of legendary composer, bandleader and pianist's songbook

One of the absolute highlights of the 34th Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is a performance of legendary jazz composer, bandleader and pianist Duke Ellington’s music. A selection from Ellington’s songbook, including his 1943 symphony ‘Black, Brown…

Lambchop - Mr M

23 Jan 20124 stars

Reassembled band present lovely low-key set recalling Sinatra, Bacharach and crooners

(City Slang) Having taken a break from the long-lasting alt.country outfit (to collaborate with singer Cortney Tidwell on 2010’s KORT project), Lambchop founder and frontman Kurt Wagner has reassembled the Nashville-based band to make its 11th…

Rodrigo y Gabriela - Area 52

6 Jan 20123 stars

Orchestral backing and lots of special guests leads to a fun if over-wrought latin-funk-rock record

(Rubyworks) For their fifth studio album the Mexican acoustic rock duo have teamed up with 13-piece orchestra C.U.B.A. to rework nine previous compositions. The radically increased personnel (which is also augmented by several guests including Cuban…

Trailer Trash Tracys - Ester

5 Jan 20122 stars

Dreamily insubstantial album that's very, very Lynch

(Double Six) Rightly or wrongly, a lot of bands find themselves being likened to the soundtrack of a David Lynch film. In the case of Trailer Trash Tracys’ debut the comparison is, in fact, justified. Mixing dark and disturbing soundscapes…

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Dan Sartain – Too Tough To Live

5 Jan 20124 stars

Old School punk album from the raw rock'n'roller

(One Little Indian) The handsome Alabama rocker’s throwback blues and rockabilly sound has always been fuelled by a raw power reminiscent of punk. For his sixth album, the greasy-quiffed one has embraced the punk rock style as well as its spirit with…

The Hot 100 2011: 100-50

16 Dec 2011

The definitive list of Scottish creative talent

100: Gordon Ferris. Kilmarnock crime author makes good. The already packed Scottish crime writing field has finally found a bit of elbow room for another burgeoning talent. Joining the likes of Rankin, Brookmyre, McDermid and co is this Ayrshire-born…

Hot 100 2011 - No. 49 to 1

16 Dec 2011

The definitive list of Scottish creative talent

The Hot 100 is the definitive list of Scottish creative talent. From fashion designers to performance artists, everyone who has made a sizeable splash in 2011 has a place in this countdown. It’s for people who’ve created a buzz, but it’s also about…

Wilko Johnson - The Caves, Edinburgh, Thu 15 Sep 2011

22 Sep 20114 stars

A winner set from the ex Blockheads guitarist turned bluesman

Canvey Island rocking bluesman Wilko Johnson kicked off his nationwide tour from the other end of the UK with a stonking set that compared favourably to the Essex man’s glory days as lead guitarist for Dr Feelgood in the 1970s and Ian Dury and the…

Trombone Shorty profile - Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2011

8 Jul 2011

Youthful jazz pioneer and composer set for Edinburgh date

'Oooooh! Trombone Shorty! My man!' This is how the 25-year-old jazz musician from New Orleans is greeted by fellow (and fictitious) horn player Antoine Batiste in David Simon's new HBO television show, Treme. Simon's follow-up to his hard-hitting cop…

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White Denim - D

20 May 20114 stars

Further wildly adventurous tracks held together by old school psychedelic country vibe

(Downtown) The Austin, Texas outfit’s previous album, the fittingly titled Fits, was a brilliantly balmy rock-out that proved to be even more dazzlingly unpredictable than their debut. And when they played material from it on tour in Scotland, they…

EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints

25 Apr 20113 stars

Slow-burning alt.rock from the former Gowns and Amps for Christ noise-folker

(Souterrain Transmissions) Erika M Anderson (EMA), formerly of the folk-noise outfits Amps for Christ and Gowns, makes her solo debut with this ethereal collection of lo-fi grunge ballads. Hushed vocals set to low-key guitar strumming that builds to…

Comanechi and Divorce

6 Oct 20104 stars

Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Thu 23 Sep 2010

Glasgow all-girl (bar one bloke) punk outfit Divorce and London boy-girl garage duo Comanechi (pictured) are calling their musical ménage-a-deux a ‘marriage of filth’. That’s not a bad tag line for these increasingly inseparable bands that boast…

Kort - Invariable Heartache

6 Oct 20104 stars

(City Slang) Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner has made a career out of perfecting an alternative to his hometown Nashville’s commercial mainstream country sound. With this album of duets with Cortney Tidwell (the daughter of a Nashville dynasty)…

Frances Ruffelle: Beneath the Dress

23 Aug 20103 stars

Cheeky, sexy and surprising cabaret-esque show

Given Ruffelle’s showbiz background – she’s the daughter of London theatre school founder Sylvia Young and a Tony Award-winning star of West End and Broadway musicals such as Les Misérables and Chicago – it’s unsurprising that her cabaret-esque Fringe…