Fredy Clue

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
May 2nd, 2023

Up at the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh this year’s Tradfest folk music festival was now well underway. Stepping onto the stage of this smaller venue, it was with great glee that the invited Swedish musician, with the stage name Fredy Clue, had been asked to perform. His actual name is Fredy Samuel Lundh, all would be explained as his show began with a spoken introduction to his life of travelling.

Fredy’s appearance was something of interest and worth a little digging into, it looked in decoration, cut, sleeve and accessory like a very ancient dress but with his tunic reaching his knees we discovered his distinctive taste and style. He had found a completeness and vibrancy for himself as he chose to wear female clothing with panache.

His presence as a tall man presented in itself a formula for captivating the room as something large and really somewhat mythical or sacred. The songs that hailed from this traditional Swedish origin were a stunning exercise on his instrument known there as Nyckel Harpa, an absolutely fabulous instrument that can also be called Keyed Fiddle that you play waist high.

A sense of atmosphere was also so ably created as he lit up with great notes vocally and music, just following with music was like some kind of butterfly in the state of transformation. And that was an overriding focus for his content as someone in need of sharing some kind of aura of sincerity.

Accomplishment was found in my introduction to this instrument that can play in duel forms as a centre for composition, an old Keyed Fiddle played with the gods. It is a 16 string instrument and I was mesmerised and fascinated by it in its entirety. It seemed to enjoy the great space of this small room. We were wholly absorbed in the stage action of a craft in a charmed state that he invited us to simply enjoy.

His uniqueness of style and commanding classical persona where effective in an alternate in the joy of moving in mime like celebrating a rich musical tradition at the heart and head of the culture we have had both old and new.

Bravely bringing together a vocal, instrument relationship (small keyboard included) harmonising to a degree of very clear tunefulness, having come from a clean and keen spirit. As the inner journey continued his journeying revealed to him the persona he took up Fredy Clue, preserving his first name perhaps a exploration of biographical text!

He was magically involved describing not only in word but in sound and movement too. He had a way of pouring emotive life through in a measured glass, and out popped a creativity to deeply reverberate an inclusiveness of embracing it wherever it may be.

We listened to his voice with particular vigour leaning forward to strain for the next line. And found ourselves in the throes of capable vocals of luxury and remittent beauty finding gracious impermanence. Constantly washing the human fabric and vitalising it with the aim of putting great music to the fire.

He effectively confronted ways out of anxiety soothing it with waves that felt like looking at a calm sea. Formally underlying a truth we found just behind this small bond of joy and he made a platform for it, eventually daring to live.

Comfort levels were in evidence and encouraged from the sultry tones of his vocals to the 16 string instrument and spontaneous and covetous motif with flexible fingers installing a unique sound.

His very act was as toned as breathing, encouraged by a perfect vagueness of the harmonious weapon in the hands of a master at work. Presence played a part not to be ignored in this thoughtful, gentle and importantly passionate concert which held in precision every moment.

Daniel Donnelly

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