Nitin Sawhney & Natty

Queens Hall Edinburgh

Nitin Sawhney first came to me at the end of the 90’s. when I purchased Beyond Skin, A masterpiece from this young composer deep in Asian mystery and ethnic flavours and spiritual raptures. the perfect blend of world flavours and historical importance that is a thoroughly rewarding journey from start to finish. Divine was hooked. Then when I emigrated to Adelaide in 2000, I found Nitin Sawhney;s first Album “Migration” In a 2nd hand Music shop It was so relevant and the title track and intro. Migration itself. Became a staple in the Divine Chill Cannon. (Have always got 2 copies just in case).

Fast forward a few years and I am going through the throws of a relationship breakdown. Stuck in a cycle of forgiving and self-healing. I bought Nitin Sawhney’s new Album “Human” Baby it was my life story and spoke directly to my soul. Human became my fave music as therapy long-player, Nitin Sawhney got me through a very difficult period of life. Just like Beyond Skin, Human is all killer tunes and melody.

In 2005, I was walking the shadows of marriage end and had returned to Auld Reekie to journey the process. Had seen that Nitin Sawhney was headlining The Big Chill Festival so booked a space in The Big Chills Healing Village. Minky was reading the I Ching and I was on Tarot, Clairvoyance and Reiki. We had a brilliant time The Weather was lovely. It was there I saw The Beat for the first time too. Good Time.

And so for the reason that I visited this lovely festival. Nitin Sawhney’s Closing performance and my first time of seeing this musical master live. One has to remember the political climate at the time, the aftershock of an illegal war and justifiable outrage of what we had just lived through, it was the year of the Tube and bus bombings in London. Tony Blair was losing the plot, paranoid over the mistakes that he had made.

So let me set the scene, it was a beautiful August summer evening, The sun was just setting, lots and lots of happy smiling faces gathered in anticipation of a calling to witness and indeed for Divine it was his first time, to relish this musical mastery. It was because I loved the source material so much. And to hear it performed live for the first time was pure spiritual and musical ecstasy. It was the closing number, a song called The Conference. A Sufi Hymn a voice and tabla passion piece. Performed with big projections of TB on his anti-Muslim tirade, it was such a powerful musical statement, Angels poured into the Auditorium, It was a really important Rock N Roll moment. One where one had to pinch oneself to make sure it wasn’t a dream. After the performance, I looked at a guy and we both just said wow, did that really just happen.

I bought Nitin Sawhney’s new release “Immigrants” last week so am just getting into its musical mysteries. From Migration to Immigrants its been a long musical journey. Its why reviewing Nitin Sawhney on Sunday at Queens Hall is so important to me. His work is always vital and relevant to my life ❤

The Last few years have seen an unprecedented level of political confusion and negative representation of immigrants across western countries. These representations are entirely at odds with the historical benefit of migration to Europe, North America and Australasia. As an artist, I have always avoided politics as much as possible. In music, didactic messages very rarely wield the same power as emotional expression. However, I do have one strong belief, that every newborn child is of equal value regardless of who they are and where they come from. It is only the turbulent worlds of politics creed, economics, race, nationality and social disparity that people continue to be devalued and dehumanised.

In 1999, I released an album called Beyond Skin. which was a sonic polemical reflection on nationality, race, religion and identity. I have released many albums since but none of them were as personal nor cathartic as “Beyond Skin” was to create and also to subsequently perform.

This new album, entitled “IMMIGRANTS” was always intended to be a sequel to “Beyond Skin” It is a musical celebration-of Immigrants all over the world and it showcases and features work inspired and contributed to by artists who themselves identify as, are from immigrant heritage or wish to express support of those international immigrants who have found themselves judged or disadvantaged by pure accident of birth “IMMIGRANTS” is an album of unique collaborations with an aim to redifine our perception of identity and the universal language of music.

Nitin Sawhney. (From the Immigrants sleeve notes.)



The audience of tonight’s performance was hugely supportive and appreciative of tonight’s opener. Natty, real name Alexander Akiloe Philip Modiano. A one-man reggae explosion who moved from San Fransico as a child at the age of one-year-old with his parents to live in London. Having started writing songs at an early age, he eventually found himself working in a London recording studio as a tea boy before working his way up to become a sound engineer, working mainly with indie rock acts. He decided to put a 4-piece band together and began playing at open mic nights before launching his own eclectic club night Vibes and Pressure.

With songs drawn from his first two albums “Man Like I” and “Man Like I & I” With a wealth of performance experience including an American tour in support of Ziggy Marley. One could feel and hear the spirit of the great Bob Marley being channelled for the performance. Indeed some of tonight’s audience had come to see and receive the gifts that Natty had to offer. Not so much warming the crowd but indeed, melting them. Just perfect. 5 Stars. ❤


Nitin Sawhney. Composer, Guitars, Keyboards and Vocals.
YVA. Vocals.
Natty. Vocals.
Shapla Salique. Vocals
Ashwin Srinivasan. Flute.
Eos Counsell Violin.
The amazing Aref Durvesh on Tabla’s

After Natty’s brilliant warm-up. Nitin Sawhney took to the stage with his band of accompanying musicians, with Queens Hall being a relatively small venue it was easy to be upfront with an intimate appreciation of proceedings. Nitin Sawhney gave his supporting band members front of stage limelight and each of tonight’s performers beautifully brought a selection of tunes, on the whole from his 1999 epic album “Beyond Skin” and its follow up and most recent release “Immigrant’s” To life.

YVA and Shapla Salique performed beautifully the songs taken from Beyond Skin. songs that were crafted 20 years ago, songs that hold as much relevance now in today’s Brexit Britain as they did pre 9/11. Broken Skin, Homelands and Nadia To a masterclass in Tabla and voice for a perfect rendition of The Conference, with a lesson in how to count to 5 in Hindi. perfectly complimented the new material. Movement 1/Variation 1 with Eos Counsell taking the lead with her beautiful violin. (Divines fave from the new album) and Sawubona featuring Natty on lead vocal. Immigrants is as near perfect as a long-player can be, captivating and relevant. with lyrical dexterity and musical ecstasy. Indeed the jewels contained within are working their way onto my subconscious with repeated joyful plays. Immigrants is becoming as much of a loyal friend as Migration, Beyond Skin and Human. Immigrants live was as near perfect as the recorded source material. But then I didn’t expect anything less.

Words: Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Photography: Raymond Speedie

Tangerine Dream

Assembly Halls, Edinburgh

Tangerine Dream have been a constant musical companion throughout my life, right back to being a nipper when electronic music first fascinated me, My siblings are a decade older than me, so was brought up on a diet of Pink Floyd, T Rex, David Bowie and Tangerine Dream, my big sister’s fella was a big Tangerine Dream fan. He taped me all the early albums, I became an avid collector of Tangerine Dream albums, My fave I think, is Logos (Live Dominion 1982.)

The only time I have seen them Live was at Bradford St Georges’s Hall back in 1986. Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Paul Haslinger brought the music of Tangerine Dream Alive that night and it was awesome. So am deeply versed in the classic Retro music of Tangerine Dream The likes of Stratosphere, Rubycon, Phaedra, Live Miles, Tyger and Exit and of course my favourite Logos. The Music of Tangerine Dream has been a constant life companion. Then when Edgar Froese ascended and Klaus Schultz, retired, I thought that was it for Tangerine Dream live.

So when I got wind that a new incarnation of Tangerine Dream had evolved from the Electronic Ambient grandmasters, whose music had been passed on to a new generation to be reproduced in a contemporary style.

The new incarnation of Tangerine Dream are Thorsten Quaeschning, a young synth wizard and musical prodigy who began his Tangerine Dream Journey as part of the road crew for tours and the live Tangerine Dream Experience. becoming part of the band in 2005, Thorsten is the longest-serving member of TD and was gifted with the mantle of creative and musical director by The tangerine Dream Grandmaster Edgar Froese in 2013. just 2 years before Edgar would ascend to the Heavens leaving this Electronic Legacy in safe hands to be gifted to future generations of Synth lovers everywhere.

Hoshiko Yamane, is a Japanese Berlin-based classically trained violinist and composer. She has been a member of Tangerine Dream since 2011. The only lady musical genius to become a touring band member and musical collaborator in the bands long history of metamorphosis.

Ulrich Schnauss has been replaced by Paul Frick, & with such sterling musical influences, I think one could agree that it is the fresh young musical talent breathing new life into the classics that brought me here. Indeed keeping the (Tangerine) Dream Alive.

Having been getting more and more excited for tonight’s performance as the weekend progressed, I hadnae seen Ginga for ages, my poetic sparing wizard brother up from the Galloway to join me on tonight’s Tangerine Dream Mission. After a heartwarming dinner and catch up, We headed for the 26 bus into town on a cold and frosty March evening where we caught up with Raymond Speedie who was on photograph duties.

The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh I have always loved, my first time was March 1996 when I was working a Mind Body and Spirit event as a Clairvoyant and Spiritual Healer. I had some deep spiritual experiences and fell in love with marble pillars, sweeping staircases and diamante chandeliers. a building that is steeped in history and always filled with Angels. A venue just perfect for Tangerine Dream. I did think for a minute about how they would fit the full production into the Assembly Rooms. But the creative genius behind the show did a sterling job.

We found our seats and settled in for the experience that was unfolding, On a backdrop screen a rainstorm was being projected and a quadraphonic Soundsystem the sounds of the rainstorm (Enough to make anyone feel wet) As the venue began to fill up, I couldn’t help noticing that the audience were all old school Tangerine Dream fans. Brought up with the classic albums from the 70’s. It was a funny thing that the audience were older than the band members on stage and old enough to be their grandparents. How would they like the new psychedelic techno-infused take on The Grandmaster’s vast body of work released over a 51 year period?

I snapped up the new Tangerine Dream album. Raum at the merchandise table, & its playing as I write this (its awesome). Have a listen !

This new incarnation of Tangerine Dream took to a stage filled with analogue and digital synthesizers, as a large projection of the Stratosphere LP cover and an indication of the opening piece, the lightshow was fantastic and an excitement filled the Assembly Rooms. Our seats were had perfect stereo separation and The tangerine Dream Experience came into full effect. The Young Masters had their audience, in the palms of their hands.

I was particularly interested in how the Violin prodigy Hoshiko Yamane would fit in with what had previously been, before her arrival, an all-male band. Her electric violin and effects bound the musical chemistry together perfectly. Oh yes the Electro Synth Prodigy’s have made Tangerine Dream accessible to new generation of this amazing cannon of groundbreaking music.

There is an interesting moment of serendipity. As Tangerine Dream had been performing for about 20 minutes, I couldn’t help thinking how much The Electronic Ozrics and Silas And Saki were like the new incarnation of Tangerine Dream and how much they have in common, Just as I was thinking this, the Electronic Ozrics and Silas and Saki who had been the last band that I reviewed at Bannerman’s in Aulde Reekie a few weeks ago. came and sat in the empty seats next to me. Good Time Divine. A creative penny dropped and I could see how The Ozric Tentacles and Tangerine Dream were coming together for future collaborations. Oh yes a moment of Rock N Roll History taking place in the seats next to me.

The whole performance was wonderful visiting past lives and current incarnation edging closer to a dance enthused psi leanings. to enthuse a new generation with the ever-evolving Electronic Genius that is Tangerine Dream

After the gig I said to the Ozrics Leader, You Guys have a lot in common. then Silus Neptune smiled at me, Ozrics leader said indeed yes thats why we are here. I smiled a beaming smile. Another Divine Scoop. I cannae wait to see Tangerine Dream, The Ozrics, Silas and saki on the same festival lineup, Dancing free in a field, grass under my feet Oh yes I have a good feeling about this. Its coming ❤

Five Well Deserved Stars For A life-changing Performance.
Ladies And gentlemen, Tangerine Dream. Awesome Stuff.

Words: Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Photography: Raymond Speedie