Zehetmair Quartet


Queen’s Hall

27th August

Thomas Zehetmair Quartet
Thomas Zehetmair Quartet

Joseph Haydn (att.) – String Quartet in F Major Op 3 No 5

Paul Hindemith – String Quartet No 5 in E Flat Major Op 32

Joseph Haydn – String Quartet in C Major Op 76 No 3

What a joy is to walk through Edinburgh on a warm sunny morning in August, the bustling with festivity & cappuccino in hand. My destination was the Queen’s Hall to witness one of the most brilliant String foursomes in Europe, Zehetmair Quartet. Founded in 1994 by Austrian violinist & conductor Thomas Zehetmair,  he led his group onto the Queen’s Hall stage in a uniform of black. For our pleasure they had drawn three interesting pieces from a diverse repertory which had been played all over Europe, a mix of classical & contemporary, being two Haydns & a Hindemith. The latter choice was an in-group nod of appreciation to their recent winning of 10,000 euros from the city of Hanau for the ‘Hindemith Prize.’

The first piece, String Quartet in F Major Op 3 No 5, is nominally attributed to Hadyn, Zehetmair’s fellow Austrian (1732-1809), whose prominent and prolific compositons helped to usher in the Romantic Era. Predominantly the court musician for the wealthy Esterházy family , his remoteness forced him to become original, & at the time of his death, aged 77, he was one of the most celebrated composers in Europe. Until 1964 his Op 3 No 5 was said to be his, but in that year the name of the Benedictine Monk & Haydn fan ‘Signor Hofstetter name hidden under 2 quartets of the series of 6. Since then, the dispute has raged as to just who composed the series – my instinct is that it was a joint affair, Op 3 No 5, you can just sense Hadyn’s hand in certain parts. The rendition afforded us by the Zehetmair Quartet was full of lively bow-sawing & a certain sincerity that comes with a musician playing a native air. A moving & exciting way to start the program.

Thomas Zehetmair
Thomas Zehetmair

The second piece, String Quartet No 5 in E Flat Major Op 32 by German composer & violinist,   Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) is a riotous celebration of the modernism that swept across Europe in the early 20th century. Premiered in 1923 & dedicated to Beatrice Sutter-Kottlar, a leading soprano & teacher at the Goch university in Frankfurt, Guy Rickards writes that Hindemith keeps, ‘the irreverence & iconoclasm of his early tears & his reward for the traditions of the medium in perfect balance.’ Despite their unusual configuration, the Zehetmair gang pulled off wonderfully the dramatic gargoyle screeches, wild strings & dystopian visions of Hindemith’s surreal epic,  & the brilliant frenetic ending was a joy to hear.

The final act of this wonderful trilogy was String Quartet in C Major Op 76 No 3 – also known as the Emperor – which contains the music from which the German national anthem was born. There is a jollity of life to the Emperor which invokes the world of 1797 which was tettering on the brink of the Napoleonic slaughters. Again , the Zehetmair played this to perfection, even gusto, & moved about their seats like dancers at a sunny rave. An excellent performance all round

As I watched & listened to the Zehetmair, my poetical fibres began to tingle, & I found myself etching the following sonnet throughout.


Before Zehetmair

There is a way to make a poor man rich

Bedazzle him with beauties, to distill

Life’s quintessential essence, without which

Drouth drains the inkwell, uncouth cracks the quill!

Yes, set him free, some large & open hall

Where from the soft & guileless rise of strings

Both passing urchins & the wealth-set stall

Rais’d on adagionic angels’ wings

Then let him listen synasthesean

Turning to worderie these mimesi

Which bubble from the orb’d empyrean

Wall’d-workshop of a makar’s primal eye.

Where listening to some lush-string’d Quartet,

The Mousai bless him with ae fond bousette!

Max Richter: Recomposed / Memoryhouse


The Playhouse

August 24th



I ❤ Max Richter – have done since first hearing The Blue Notebooks about ten years ago. His music is like a soundtrack for everyday life, making commonplace actions, such as walking in the street, or driving, seem as if they are taking place in a film. Many labels have been applied to Richter’s music – postclassical, neoclassical, indie classical, postminimal – but none of these do the composer justice. He is a genuine renaissance man, the master of fusing almost all of the history of music, from classical via the avant-garde to electronica, into something completely new and contemporary. This concert, performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conducted by André de Ridder, was a double bill of two Richter solo albums: Recomposed: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons and Memoryhouse, his debut.

It began with Richter’s brave take on Vivaldi, where he seemingly discarded 75% of the original music, but kept the main themes and leitmotifs. The retained music was then remixed with loops, clever repetitions and phasing, to mix the best of Vivaldi with minimalism and Richter’s signature lushness and depth of texture. Daniel Hope was outstanding as solo violinist, his fingers faster than any guitarist and the energy and passion he brought to the piece was immense.  The bass created by the cellists was another highlight, deep and rhythmical, and could easily have featured on a dance track from Richter’s early work with the likes of Future Sound of London. Enough Vivaldi was present for purists and the performance ended with the first of two standing ovations and pain inducing applause.

A massive changeover took place during the interval to set the stage for Memoryhouse, from a fairly intimate chamber orchestra to a full symphony orchestra, impressively done by technicians in half an hour. Richter’s debut solo-work tells a story of modern European wars and horrors and could soundtrack events happening now. It’s a beautifully melancholic and moving synthesis of ambient sonics, field recordings, poetry, strings, voice, piano and static. Cementing everything was Richter, centre-stage, hopping from laptop to piano to keyboard and back again – he clearly loved being surrounded by his own music. The sound of the entire concert was sublime, all elements audible among others, not one overpowering, leading your ear from layer to another. The female vocalist’s haunting melodies, in ‘Sarajevo’ in particular, captured the essence of the whole work: tragic and otherworldly, but grounded in brutal reality. Memoryhouse was only performed live for the first time last year and it works supremely well as a live performance, no doubt down to Richter’s mastery of arrangement. Judging by the longer standing ovation that followed, it looks set to become a staple of concert halls, and beyond, for the future.



Reviewer : Nicky Melville

Martina Cannon And The Mean Reds

The Pear Tree
The Mean Reds are a band that have shared the bill with Divine on numerous occasions over the years. We performed at the beginning of the year together at Granny Radge’s Hogmany Bash. I also filled in percussion duties last Wednesday afternoon at a gig in the Cowshed. It was between Mumble review missions. Prior to the gig it was Australian Lesbian Porn, Post Gig it was an Edinburgh International Festival. Lecture and presentation about a Glaswegian Hooligan that nearly got famous. So the filling in between was the dish of the day. Having seen them play so often. It was nice to accompany the band. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Martina Cannon, is a local unsung musical hero. She has worked tirelessly for the arts in Edinburgh. Hosting successful open mike nights in the city. She also has a distinctive and beautiful voice and is lead singer of The Mean Reds her voice is reminiscent of Amy Winehouse and she is just as beautiful.She also plays a mean guitar.
11026150_10200737787963676_642698012984505715_oSo today I arrived at the Pear Tree in Good Time, I arrived while a cute pixie, sounding and looking very much like Marc Bolan was playing and singing his heart out. He was very good. I didnae catch his name,
My reason for attendance at The pear Tree hadnae arrived yet. Marc Bolan Pixie Man, finished his set as the band started arriving. Dougie Mathieson, the Bass Player with his good lady and press photographer of the afternoon. Closely followed by Cleetus Hicks a very talented classical guitar player and Blackwolf Blues taking percussion duties today.
11017494_10200737787763671_2841738978152054572_oMartina is the kind of star that arrives bang on time, we were all getting excited for her arrival. The band started setting up for sound check and Martina entered the courtyard with such style, her beauty glowing with guitar in hand. A ripple of excitement rippled through the audience as Martina took to the stage.
The band performed with great chemistry, a selection of classic covers. A Eurthymics Vs The White Stripes mash up Sweet Dreams (are Made Of This) and 7 Nation Army being one of my favorite’s It was the tune that got me up dancing and once I started I couldnae stop. Dolly Parton’s Joleyne. Was interpreted in such a way, that for the first time i truly understood its meaning.Wonderful stuff. All of The Mean Reds set was dance orientated. I danced like no one was watching, bopping away to some good old fashioned Rock N Roll. It was when Martina sang her original numbers that her voice revealed its true beauty.
It was a brilliant Performance. FIVE STARS
Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

Jack Lukeman : Late Night Phantasmagoria

Aug 24-29, 31
£15.00 (£8.00)


The flamboyant singer and ( comedian) Jack Lukeman has very kindly brought his extravagant show to the Edinburgh Fringe.  Playing at the famous and beautiful Spiegeltent situated in St. Andrews Square, the party began when Jack appeared from the back of the audience singing the  blues and wearing a top hat with feather in toe. With a four piece band consisting of keyboards, double bass, drums and guitar  acutely complementing Jack’s charismatic voice, he announced himself as the king of blues. As he progressed, you could feel… note-by-note… his playful sense of humour seep through in the first few songs. By the time we got to the song The Port of Amsterdam, the audience were encouraged to get to their feet, which everyone did, quickly surrounding the outward jutting stage… Jack could easily take this show to Las Vegas and compete with the best.

As Jack sings these wonderfully quirky songs, his band delivers a cacophony of electrifying tunes, which all adds up to be a well-crafted show. Its always good to see something different and Luke’s show was designed to do exactly that… I mentioned comedy dwelt within Jack’s act, but the guy is also a classic musician, producer and songwriter in his own right, as was made richly evident by his song Rooftop Lullaby

jack1Delivering some solo songs he paraded around the audience serenading with the greatest of ease. Jack’s show was absolutely perfect for the Spiegeltent luxurious surroundings, where the Jack’s costume & the chill-inducing tingling blues music this made this a night to remember.  Jack is a true Irish gem and will no doubt be around for a long time to come. FOUR STARS



Reviewer : Spud

BE United

Just Festival @ Central hall Edinburgh


BE United is an art project that bridges the artistic diversity of culture. Founded and run by the very wonderful Emma Presland. Tonights showcase featured The Indigenous African bands. Tam Tam 2000, Mellow Chants and an acapella troupe called. “Simply Soweto Encha”. Divine has been involved with BE United for some time and has performed at the same gigs as Tam Tam 2000. I loaned my percussion skills to Mellow Chants at Audio Soup earlier this year. So I knew this entertainment was going to be nothing less than brilliant. The first slice of entertainment, Tam Tam 2000 immediately had us up on our feet skanking to the tribal rhythm’s expertly delivered by the first of tonight’s masterful artists.
Mellow Chants followed with a new expanded band, featuring Keyboards and Drum Kit. The venue certainly brought the voices of Einstein Hakutambwi and Zelio into their own and Mellow Chants delivered to a star studded audience of local celebrities. The audience were hanging on every word, with bodies grooving to this perfect example of a good time.
For the next act on this bill of exotic delights, hot and sweaty. We took to our seats for a troupe of African a cappela singers called, Simply Soweto Encha. Handsome, talented and very sexy. The perfect harmony of soul and dance that had us all enthralled and suitably entertained. The Climax of this 90 minute showcase was an orchestra of all the artists that had performed. Conducted and arranged by Einstien Hakutambwi. This was a fantastic end to a thoroughly entertaining evening of world class entertainment. Simply Soweto are performing everyday till the 29th Aug with a final performance on the 31st. At Central Hall (Divines Review Coming Soon!)
Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

Mad Women In The Attic

St Johns Church
Aug 16-19, 21-26, 28-29, 31
My first Mumble Mission of the day was at 5.30pm, The rain had been falling heavily from the sky since the early hours, So I had spent the day catching up on writing the reviews for the previous 48 hours of artistic diversity. Spirit told me the rain would stop by 4.30pm. I was more than a little concerned that I was going to have to wear a waterproof jacket. Magik Rainbow Umbrella had gone walkabout on Monday, so without it, my sartorial elegance would have been compromised.
True to word, the rain it stopped. So I made haste to my appointment with the dark side of human psyche.
Saint Johns Episcopal Church is on the west end of Princes St Gardens, it is a beautiful ornate church offering more than just a touch of peace to the mayhem of The Fringe. The performance itself was held on the alter and the audience in the pews. By far this was the most elaborate and dramatic of venues. Of course its a local haunt of Divines for reasons other than musical psychotherapy. Like Saint Giles on The Royal mile. My healing prayers are always amplified here. Its because of the way the lay-lines cross, it always has brought a great sense of lasting peace in times of trouble. When inner conflict was rabid and the darkness of my soul all consuming. The sanctuary of St Johns would prove to be a lasting friend.
The Fringe has always offered artistic diversity and Edinburgh becomes saturated with talent. So that means the bar has to be pushed higher Monica Salvi’s presentation has reached the Alter of St Johns. From a spiritual perspective and from an artistic perspective it doesn’t get much Higher. Monica Salvi has a voice that would melt even the hardest of Shadows, her vocal range is enough to guarantee this performance a Five Star review. Her powerful and heart melting beauty perfectly compliments this professionally trained singing voice. Monica Salvi could sing a phone book and make it sound beautiful. This is what I loved about this performance. Ms Salvi could have played it safe, her voice would have been enough to ensure a financial success. The muse and the gift do not come easily and there is a fine line between madness and genius.
For people who have a touch of madness and are fearful of challenging their inner demons, the subject matter of this performance couldnae be anymore confrontational. All the aspects of a disturbed personality are represented and the bits that people normally shy away from apart from when undergoing extensive psychotherapy or electric shock treatment are celebrated. It is a performance of dark, entertaining beauty and is guaranteed to disturb and delight in equal measure..
So Five Stars for the courage to have done this in the first place!
Five stars for the brilliance of song that made such a dark subject matter so appealing.
Divine is waiting with eager anticipation to obtain some of Monica Salvis recorded works. Because she is a star and with a confidence of voice that will always be her saving Grace.
Divine is smitten!
Swoon! 5 Stars!
Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

The Tshwane Gospel Choir

 Assembly Studio 3.

When one doesnae live in a climate that is warm and sunny most of the time, the rare days when the Sun does make an appearance are relished with much more vigor. Ross came and called for me at mid day and we headed into town. I had left my drums in The Jazz Bar, earlier on that morning. So that was our next port of call. After I had retrieved my kit, I headed to the Assembly press office to arrange my review for The Tshwane Gospal Choir at 5.30pm. We then Headed to The Meadows for a bit of sunbathing, handstands, drumming and gong playing with a selection of friends of a healing persuasion. It was a delightful afternoon. Setting the tone perfectly for my 5,30pm Mumble review mission.

It was the night before at The Anti Poet Gig that this troupe of lovely, lovely artists walked into the Divine heart. So I already knew what a treat for the senses this was going to be.

I took my seat in the theater as the very handsome backing band wove beautiful ambient music before show time. This is a performance that is a joy from start to finish. The Choir serenaded us with beautiful South African Indigenous folk songs, that spoke of the troubled years of apartheid. The tears were welling up inside me, I was holding them back because my mascara wasnae waterproof. I call this my Soul Gage. Whenever I hear perfect examples of Gospel music that comes from a genuine place of Holy Divinity. The power of the muse always reaches into my soul. Everything about this performance is excellent, captivating and thoroughly entertaining.

The Tshwane Gospel Choir are Angels on a mission and have traveled a long long way to bring this Holy experience to our attention and delight. Everyone was wanting to dance too and by the last number, the whole of the Audience joined the troupe on stage to cut a rug.

This is another of the performances that I cannae rate more highly (Coz we The Mumble have a Maximum of Five Stars)

This is a deserved 5 Star performance.
This show will enrich your life!
Bravo 5 Stars!
Love Divinexx    


Christina Bianco – Party of One

Assembly George Square Gardens
7th-16th Aug
Christina Bianco is a cabaret show impersonator and comic. Supported by a three piece band, she delivers renditions of famous singers from past to present. Moving through the alphabet, Christina can reproduce the sounds of many classical and pop artists, delivering them all with an element of ridiculousness and hilarity; as she take you through each step of her career as the coolest copy cat in town!
If you like Glee, this will set you on fire! Her natural voice is stunning, but she can spit out anything from Jessy J to Billie Holiday. Even if you didn’t know the name of who she was singing, you’d likely recognise it once she begins; she even starts to look like her muses, her mannerisms are so mirror perfect. Christina is highly intelligent, witty, animated and naturally agile in the business of entertaining. From baritone to soprano, there is not a note this woman is shy from, she has the best pipes I have ever heard live.
From Disney to 007, she can even sing in native sounding Spanish too. She is someone you wish you knew, because you wouldn’t be able to even imagine a dull moment with this NYC broad in town. I would love to see her version of Julie Andrews do a duet with Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer. I think they could be a massive hit! FIVE STARS
Reviewer : Bobbi Mckenzie

King Creosote.


Queen’s Hall


I had just been mesmerized and disturbed in equal measure, By the rather wonderful Monica Salvi and her performance of  Mad Woman In The Attic at St Johns. I was heading up through the Grassmarket to review a self mutilation show called Nail It. When the Mumble phoned me and asked me to review King Creosote at the Hub. King Creosote is an artist that has been brought to my intention quite a lot recently, so felt quite a thrill at the prospect of my first Mumble International Festival Review. I had been writing all day on Friday. Catching up with the backlog of performances that I had seen Weds and Thursday. After the tight crush at Summerhall for Stanly Odd. The lush splendor of The Hub was very welcoming indeed.This was the first performance that I had seen at the Hub and although I had read a lot about King Creosote I had, up until last night never heard any of his music. I knew that this was going to be a special concert but I had absolutely no idea what was waiting for me. Being a reviewer can be a lonely business, So I relished the opportunity to make friends with the people that I was sitting with. Luckily they were long seasoned fans of the artist so they were able to give me the background. It made for a very tranquil excitement and felt far from the maddening crowd of the Tattoo exploding. The Hub is positioned at the top of the Royal Mile at the entrance of the Castle, so hundreds and hundreds of people file past. The staff of the Hub were ever so welcoming and friendly.

The musicians that formed King Creosotes contemporary orchestra entered the stage and a film began to play on the large screen above the stage. Hmmm I thought this is going to be good. I dinnae have a TV and seldom go to the Movies. So seeing a film makes it that bit more special. The performance was called With Love From Scotland and was an archive of Scotlands History over the last hundred years or so. Entertaining and very informative images of a by gone world and the shifting styles of working class generations having fun. King Creosote and his contemporary orchestra played a set of original compositions that were perfectly in sync with the film. Both King Creosote and The Film were begging my attention. I wanted to watch the Master at work. But the film was just too fascinating to divert my attention away from it. The whole thing was fantastic and very very moving.
King Creosote gained a new fan tonight.

With entertainment this good one can understand how such events sell out well before the performance dates. And with Divine in Fields at festivals employing his other skills. When the opportunity to review this wonderful arts festival comes up all opportunities are taken by the time that I land back into the city and Internet land. So this was a real treat and the climax of the first week of exemplary art. Amazing experiences. Edinburgh International Festival. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart. That was amazing.

Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

Sweet dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox

Assembly George Square Gardens. Venue 3

Aug 8-9, 12-15, 17, 19-20, 24-27-31

18:00 (1h)

£ 10


Michael Griffith glided on stage as Annie and connected to his synthesiser launching straight in with a song. His voice was an affront of perfect tone and pitch and his acting was intensely engaging. Mucking about with Lennox’s backlog  and fluidly dipping in between his work and hers is projected well to the audience. It is cleverly structured.

He now became a diva before my eyes. His quick reactions were as swift as darts. He commanded the audience with his facial expressions drawing them in. Sexual innuendo was present but not prevalent. His looks and mannerisms portray a very confident person singing about his idol. Merging music and dialogue eclectically the dance off between the two was awesome. I looked around the audience and could see responses of both emotions : howling laughter and amused sympathy.

Capacity for this venue is 180.The stage can’t be more than 30 foot across.A stark set for a one man show – no need to glamorise this act with feather plumes and sequins that cabaret is renowned for. His office garb works a treat. A great hour well worth the ticket price. This guy was good. FOUR STARS



Reviewer:  Daniel Donnelly