All posts by yodamo

Aquapella

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C Venue 16
9 – 11th Aug (18.30)


Outstanding and Astonishing! Aquapella was created many moons ago and consists purely of 13 Edinburgh students all studying various subjects. Gifted with a natural singing voice, each member has crafted the art of sonic control and physical movement, bringing “Aquapella” to Edinburgh Fringe for our enjoyment. As the auditorium fills up there is barely a seat left to occupy. The excitment in the atmosphere sticks to you like the clammy, muggy Scottish weather. As the lights dim, the room goes quie,t the sound of angelic voices echo through the silent air. Like a chorus of tropical birds singing in harmony you are elevated to a musical level like no other. The power and purity of the human voice is evident to see when these 13 soulful singers come together.

With continuous changes and rotation of members with every semester, this must bring a different challenge each year – but looking at the craftmanship and dedication it appears to work. Aquapella has dicovered the secret of togetherness. This show is well-chiseled and synchronised, not just through voice and dance but also through unity. With time going quicker than Usain Bolt running from a lion, Aquapella slides into classic songs such as Lovely Day, Kool and the Gang’s ‘Get Down On It’ and Like a Prayer by Madonna. Asking the audience what they may wish to hear, Another One Bites the Dust by Queen is soon circling the room. Aquapella appeals to all ages, from heart-warming Celtic folk sounds, to a church choir you are pleasantly entertained. Lavishing the audience with Hip Hop, Funk & Soul, Rock and Pop the energy is intoxicating. A jaw-dropping preformance with an endearing approach to music. Beautiful, comforting and moving this is the creative result of music at its best. No instruments, no backing tracks , just the voice. Magnificent, well choreographed and executed with precision Aquapella is a must see.

Raymondo Speedie

five-stars

Two Guys, Three Drams

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“Let’s boogie!” Two new boys have arrived on the Edinburgh August scene, bringing a fresh way to worship the Fringe experience: bangin’ blues & a whisky tasting – they are like the perfect bedfellows, right? The Rhythm and Booze Project are London based; a Scotsman (Paul) & an American (Felipe), so they will know their whisky, & they clearly know their blues, such was the assorted selection of numbers brought to life with foot-stomping vigour by Paul’s passionate, blissed-out percussion & Felipe’s sublime slide guitar burnis’d by his feverish voice.

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Inbetween songs, three different drams were brought out on trays out by a smiling team, alongside water in pipettes to ease the throatburners. The setting was Venue 45, a converted church which seemed apt, as Felipe so ably told us, for it was Irish monks who first brought the art of distillery to Scotland. This was just one of a series of erudite nuggets from the soft-spoken, hard-singing, Felipe, for one of the main aspects of their show is to teach is enough pretentious ‘bullshit’ to blag our way through highbrow whiskey, aroma detecting, vapour sniffing circles.

After a couple drams I get better, after a few more I get worse but I think I get better Paul Read the full interview…

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As the whisky kicked in – one was 65 percent –  things just got better & better, the whoops got louder & the playing got slicker – Paul’s silver string’d flingers sliding up a washboard is a phenomenon! As we heard tunes like the Chicago classic ‘Spoonful’ & John Lee Hooker’s ‘Boom Boom,’ I loved watching a group of gawping middle-aged men sat like teenage groupies nearest our musicians, completely awe-struck by the show. This, by the way, provided the most euphoric experience I have ever had at the Fringe. I am a musician myself, & I’m currently having a fallow period, but seeing The Rhythm and Booze Project strut their stuff is a sheer inspiration… now where’s mah gee-tah?

five-stars


Two Guys Three Drams

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Aug 8-17 (21:25)

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www.therhythmandboozeproject.com

Elizabethan

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theSpace @ Surgeons Hall
July 31- Aug 25 (18:05)


David William Hughes is currently performing the part of Tobias for Edinburgh. In 2018, his Elizabethan played to packed houses and critical acclaim here in Edinburgh, and also London, Boston, New York, It has been selected for historical preservation by the National Library of Scotland, which is quite a wonder, although not a surprise. In 2019, Elizabethan received its Australian premiere at the Adelaide Fringe, and has also been performed at the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe, So with his piece more than well-rehearsed, the experience unfolded before us early Fringe goers.

It was a close balmy evening, warm and sticky. I had been looking forward to this period piece for a few days. I was feeling right in the mood for a bit of romantic renaissance art and performance. Tobias took to the stage wearing the most lovely of outfits. He reminded me of (the late) Steve Strange from Visage in his classic 80’s pomp. A black and red number and wearing red satin shoes. Visually Tobias was upping his star rating in fine style, and boy could he play that lute.

Performing 16th-century love songs, with lots of warm audience participation, Tobias switched between the wooed and the wooer, with the very clever use of three different wigs and a hat. As he brought a wonderful selection of sonnets & songs back to life, the love-story that Hughes presented with them completely satisfied The New Romantic within me.

Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

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AJ Holmes: Yeah, But Not Right Now

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Underbelly, Cowgate
Aug 8-11, 13-25 (16.30)


I shall preface this review with a quick bio of AJ Holmes as he is someone who is very famous in very specific circles, but largely unidentifiable to anyone without very astute musical theatre knowledge. Holmes was cast in the Broadway production of The Book of Mormon when he was 22, he has a bloody incredible pair of lungs on him, and he can play multiple instruments with admirable precision and pizazz. He is also a composer and performer for StarKid Productions who produced A Very Potter Musical, a comedic Harry Potter pastiche which you may remember accompanying just about everything you did in 2009.

Now 29, with a few ‘Fringeable’ experiences under his belt, Holmes commands the stage for just over an hour of imaginative showtunes peppered with bouts of ego-driven stand up. Yeah, but Not Right Now is essentially a one-man stripped back musical about Holmes’ life. He put great effort into making us gush sympathy on him (for his upbringing, his career, his love life), all the while bellowing showtunes about his annoyingly cushty life – and I think that is the joke. Holmes displayed a very precise self-awareness, but there were some members of the audience who were rather lacking in this trait. Holmes has the kind of face that is utterly irresistible to Madison, 23, from suburban New-Hampshire.

Type his name in on YouTube and the first hit is a playlist entitled “AJ Holmes being just generally adorable”. About twenty percent of the seats were occupied by these adoring fans, and they supplied about ninety percent of the cheers. They made it kind of difficult to decipher the moments which were intending to hit a darker note, as each pause was filled with the same devoted laughter. I didn’t mind it though, it contributed to understanding his tale of the life of a young Broadway star and gave poignancy to his song about dealing with sudden attention from adoring female fans.

Holmes is clearly a bright guy and pulls off some genuinely funny songs, there were moments of Flight of the Conchords style absurd humour dotted in there. Conversely, there was an entire showtune Facebook joke which would have been passé a decade ago, but as the kind of guy who could get people queuing up to lick his boots, why the heck not?

Eilidh Sawyers

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Joe Jacobs: Grimefulness

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Just the Tonic at The Caves
Aug 5-11, 13-25 (16:00)


I must admit I’m a fan of Joe Jacobs & his film-star beard. Two years ago while reviewing the Fringe I saw him in action, & invited him to headline a comedy showcase in a rammed Corn Exchange, Haddington. The whole thing cost me a fortune, but it was worth it, especially when Joe smashed it at the end. Two years later he was standing before me once more, at the Caves this time, with his new show, Grimefulness. Its all in the name really, for Joe Jacobs seems to be growing up, a self-confessed ‘rapper in retirement,’ & in 2019 we see ourselves on the true bridge of his art.

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Joe’s show is a gryphon of meticulously penned raps, & razoredge comedy. When he’s rapping, its all a bit of a rave really, whipping me back to the bedrooms & warehouses of London & it’s squat parties in my own mispent youth. Joe is still chopping the lines out, but pardon the metaphor, I mean his spitting & his wisecracks. He’s a funny, smart, lyrical geezer, who has the good fortune & talents of being a cut above most comedians – a pinpoint performer. This is easily measured by his ability to wrench a guffaw out of the stoniest of guts, & rip it yelping through our walls of social introversion.

The overall experience of Grimefulness is something like this. He’s like a lion on a tight little island & the audience are skittles which Joe bowls over with his gags, then stands us up again with his raps as we sit in stunned appreciation of his class wordsmithery. Personally I prefer his comedy – the speed of his observations to the beat leave my information receptors a bit dazed, tho’ his garage rap & his crikeeeeey catchphrase is cosmically funny! All-in-all, everyone should buzz of Joe, from the pensioner-age toffs in the Haddington Corn Exchange to the budding teenage Grime MCs down Vauxhall.

Damian Beeson Bullen

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Roosevelt Collier

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Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
July 2019


Roosevelt Collier is a smiling, heavyweight musical genius. A pedal and lap steel guitar player from Miami, Florida, he is sometimes simply referred to as The Dr. Though known for many acclaimed collaborations, he only released his debut solo album, Exit 16, in 2018. He tours with his own band, which changes on a regular basis. This time it was a young trio, also from Florida and each musician impressively proficient on their instruments of bass guitar (Rodrigo Zambrano), drums (Armando Lopez) and keyboards (Jason Matthews). They were each given turns to bring to life the beauty of their instrument, with Collier looking on encouragingly. They are also, in the tradition of Jazz, well tuned into each others’ musical style and wavelength, and had a cool and relaxed manner as if they were jamming together in the bandroom. Collier connected with us right away as an audience, joking about how driving on the left on British roads had led to some close calls on the way to perform in Edinburgh, and seemed genuinely overjoyed to receive such a warm welcome from the festival audience. The Piccolo tent is just as it sounds, a cosy and intimate setting to enjoy a performance from a small band. It’s a temporary structure; friendly and comfortable, but with mystifyingly great acoustics.

Collier began the show on his lap steel guitar, with Roosevelt the Dr. printed on the front. He’s named Doctor for mastery of this unusual instrument; a guitar with pedals and levers that can allow for a great deal of complexity. He gave us the eponymous track from his album that’s on the GroundUP Music label founded by Grammy award-winning Snarky Puppy’s manager (bassist and composer) Michael League. He has produced and contributed to some beautiful tracks for Collier; Exit 16 track itself is expansive as it steadily builds in intensity with a few Hendrix-worthy rock guitar moments.

Zambrano’s guitar strap broke half way through the set, leaving him temporarily disconcerted. Encouraged by Collier to sit down and keep it going, he sat on his speaker and did just that. It didn’t seem to matter a bit, because even without vocals, and playing just four instruments, the band was able to masterfully weave in a myriad of influences into the sound. Trippy, psychedelic tinges melded into a Detroit House vibe, then veered over into disco territory and some heavy funk, with the legacy of Collier’s gospel background and early years of playing in church with his cousins shining through all these layers of genres. Pedal steel guitar is associated with sacred music around the world, though it originated in Hawaii, and is popular in country music.

Supernatural Encounters was possibly my favourite number with its insistent beat and extravaganza of rock guitar spread over a deliciously indulgent five minutes. Their slow, swingy cover of Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel lets you experience the roots of the song structure differently from the original and feel the ancestral connections Black music has across genres. Happy Feet is fast and funky, a fun tune that had everyone moving. h

Make it Alright is a tune where Collier encourages some audience participation, and the crowd readily clapped along to this long, cheerful track. Satisfying and uplifting; this one took us on a comforting journey reminiscent of the waves of an early morning chanting session in an ashram.

Collier took his time deciding on what tune they should leave us with. “I’m from the South, so I’m gonna play some blues for y’all”, Collier beamed at us, before launching their last heavy blues number and encouraging us all to come up front and dance. An elderly man with a hearing aid was ecstatically swaying in his seat, a shy teenager behind him clapping along with the tune, an auburn American woman in a leather jacket rushed to the stage to rally to Collier’s dance call. As the audience continued standing for an enthusiastic ovation, the young French musician next to me exclaimed “That was the very best concert I ever saw in my life!” I think most of the crowd would probably agree. Quincy Jones has not dubbed him “the best there is” without reason.

Reviewer: Lisa Williams

An Interview with Andy Gunn

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One of Scotland’s finest Blues connoisseurs is doubling up this Fringe…


Hello Andy, first things first, where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
I was born near Glasgow, lived most of my life in the Highlands and currently reside in Portugal.

Where does your love of music come from?
My mum used to say I wouldn’t go anywhere in my pram without a radio, or wireless as my Grannie used to call it. My mum loved rock ’n’ roll music and my Dad played the same country and western compilation tape about 8 thousand times up and down the A9, the main trunk road connecting the north and south of Scotland.

What instruments do you play?
I play different types of guitar, acoustic, 12 string, electric, cigar box, National Steel, the Portuguese guitar and Ukulele, all in the same night as it happens. I’m doing a show at the Fringe this year called Fingers and Thumbs, all about various stringed instruments, come along it’ll be muito bem!

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Which singers & styles have influenced your own voice?
I love all types of singers, as long as it’s got soul behind it. I like people who improvise and really connect with the music in an honest and authentic way every time they play the song. I was just thinking about John Lee Hooker today. He was illiterate but I’d say he turned this to his advantage because his vocals and guitar playing were always fresh and alive, never sounding tired like he was just re-performing the same song. Blues and jazz are the most vibrant forms of music to me, it’s all open to interpretation, how you feel on the day, so I love all the greats of those genres.

You’ve got three famous Bluesmen from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starters, mains & dessert?
Well Hendrix would have to be there for the psychedelic craic about UFO’s n that, Muddy H20 to tell us how he invented electricity, giving birth to electric blues and rock ’n’ roll as we know it today and of course EC ‘Slow Hand’ to pay for the garlic bread, pizza and ice cream!

What is it about the Blues that makes you tick?
I’ve always related to the blues somehow, even as a white kid in the Highlands while everyone else was listening to Kylie and Jason or Simple Minds, I was listening to Lightnin’ Hopkins because he made me feel better, the sound healed me in a way I didn’t really understand then, turning the recognition of pain and suffering into hope and resilience.

Have you made any pilgrimages to the great sites of Blues?
I went to Beale Street in Memphis a couple of times, went to Chicago and sat in on the jam nights at Buddy Guy’s club Legends and made my way south to New Orleans, to eat some gumbo and see how the Cajon folk do it. All of which were amazing experiences, Clint Eastwood said the most valuable contribution that the US made to the world was jazz, I’d say the blues even more so.

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You’ve played all over the world, from Nashville to Kinlochbervie, but which is the best audience you’ve ever performed in front of?
I like it when people listen to the music but in a relaxed way, not shouting over the top of it, but not feeling inhibited to go to the bar etc, some kind of happy medium. It’s nice when people maybe have an understanding of the influences I’ve tried to assimilate into my playing, trying to find my own voice, but it’s also nice when there’s people who don’t know much about the music but just enjoy it for what it is. The gig in Kinlochbervie was just at my pal’s house playing for the kids and the neighbours having a laugh, but yeah that was probably one of my favourite nights, just what life is all about, hanging out in a nurturing, happy environment, being creative.

You have just released ‘Rainbow Bird.’ Can you tell us about the recording process?
We recorded this live in one take in Castlesound studios near Edinburgh, though we did add the strings later, late last year. I recorded it with a jazz trio and three female local singers, the full line up is;

Andy Gunn – Guitar and Vocals
Amy Hawthorn – Second Vocal and spoken word
Marissa Keltie – Backing Vocal
Caroline Gilmour – Backing vocal
David Carnegie – Drums
Tom Lyne – Double Bass
Chick Lyall – Piano
Mr McFall’s Chamber – Strings

Why has it taken the best part of a year to release it?
I wrote this song two years ago but only just got around to recording it, that’s nothing it took me ten years to record ‘Going Home Again’ a song about the people of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.

You are doing two shows at the Edinburgh Fringe; why double up & can you tell us a bit about each one?
I created From T-Bone To Trucks last year after living in Edinburgh and talking to some of the local musicians there. I thought I’d like to be part of the Festival, so I thought well what am I good at, what do I know about and the answer hit me like a ton of bricks, blues guitar! It was a big jo but we got there and in fact it was a resounding success, a sell-out run. So I decided to return for another series of shows, only three but in a great venue. Fingers and Thumbs was another one of my bright ideas, thinking well if I’m in Edinburgh at the Fringe I might as well make the most of it and so I came up with this idea of how I could translate the skills I have in my hands onto different instruments. That show is a lot more eclectic, taking in blues, country, folk, Portuguese Fado and African music.

T-Bone To Trucks was a sell-out last year, have you tweaked it in the interim?
Yes it is an expanded show this year, running time will be about an hour and a half. We’ve added five new acts this year, John Lee Hooker, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Cray and Doyle Bramhall II, it’s gonna be awesome, I’d highly recommend it.

Having established a fan-base with T-bone, how do you think they’ll take the change of pace & style with Fingers and Thumbs?
Well, I like all different styles of music and listen to a wide range of stuff depending on my mood and what medicine I require, music can lift you up or settle you down or anything in between, so I suppose the show is a reflection of that. I always liked how Led Zeppelin could do everything from Bert Jansch tunes to thunderous stadium rock all in the one set and it not be out of place. I like dynamics, think it’s a good thing and I’m hoping the audiences will enjoy it, but yes it is a slower paced set certainly.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell each of your shows in the streets of Edinburgh…
T-Bone! Wanna know where rock ’n’ roll came from? Or why blues is the most vital music you’ll ever hear? Then get yo bad self down to Stramash on Sunday afternoons at 1pm, there’ll be an 8 piece rocking band, specially created videos projected and Livingston legend Amy Hawthorn filling you in on the stories of all these amazing blues legends, we’ll be belting out the blues to make your big toe shoot up in your boot! Fingers! would you like some respite from the Fringe madness on a Saturday night? Hear some soulful sounds by a great lost Scottish talent in a beautiful tranquil church? Come, listen and learn about what joins the blues, folk, jazz and Celtic music, Portuguese Fado and Saharan African music, we’re more alike than disalike as Maya Angelou said, music the universal language.. or everybody gets the blues sometime! Come hear it translated by the minstrels fingers!


From T-Bone To Trucks

Stramash

Sunday 4th, 11th and 18th (13:00)

Fingers & Thumbs

artSpace@StMarks,

 Saturday 3rd, 10th and 17th August (20:20)

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www.andygunn.net

The Poetry of Louise Connell

Music & poetry have always been easy bedfellows, teasing each other with magic to create something wholly cosmic, wholly beautiful. Singers like Bob Dylan & Jim Morrison were choral bards whose words meant as much as the melody – to hypnotise with the tune, to penetrate the soul with the vision. Alas, in recent years, across the music scene, the lyrics of songs have been slowly descending into a sewer of indifference, with A&R folk more interested in social media stats than talent. How sparklingly wonderful is the appearance, then, of a young singer-songwriter who really cares about what she is singing.

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Louise & her band in Edinburgh

A few weeks ago I quite randomly found myself in the Voodoo Rooms one Tuesday evening listening to a young lady & her band. The lady has a name, Louise Connell, a quite bonnie & thickly-accented lassie from Airdrie. A shy performer, Louise has an ethereal voice which soothes the listener’s receptability, fooling us into mentally relaxing as she tosses her songs of spinning shuriken into our psyche. Louise, you see, is a poet. It took me a while to realise – the aforementioned thick accent is difficult to penetrate sometimes – but as the gig went on, & the words & phrases Louise chooses became steadily more transparent, I began to screw down, transfixed, into my seat, resting chin betwyx finger & thumb. It was as if the spirit of John Keats had manifested itself into this gentle & honey-tongued goddess from the Central Belt; but with an edge, for Keats could never have sung the opening lyrics of Connell’s self-penned Maria;

The wine glass slithers down the wall
The cooker’s on but the room is cold
Maria, where’s the girl who swallows lies,
And coughs them up as smiles?

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Louise has just released an album, a collection of three EPs called Squall Echo Rale. The songs vary in style & entertainment, but it is in the lyrics that I have found the most pleasure. Louise writes from the other side, presenting us with the flawless dichotomy of silken-sheeted songcraft & spine-raking wordplay. The album consists of 18 set-piece songs, the second of which, Rope, reveals the true genius of Connell’s craft. Less song, more an abstract play, it begins with an impressive cynghanned-laden couplet which reads, ‘I’m forging quite a career in suppression / Whether passive agression or a spineless silence.’ Let us also examine the opening to the fourth song, Ilo, is a love paean delivered with calm lucidity, a majestic capsule of poetic insight & phraseology.

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Spending my day’s trying to claim
No one was seeing any of me
Like I was total, embryonic potential
And zero kinesis
I’d feel my hand at the switch
With my mouth forming, “I lo…”

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Wandering through the rest of the lyrics for Squall Echo Rale, we have several songs of introspective romance-odes – there seems to be a broken relationship in the mix somewhere. A little of Baudelaire’s desperate Paris pops up from time to time; in Fruit, for example, we learn ‘There’s no garden, There’s no orchard, Fruit is trampled,’ while No Visitors contains the cooly observed, ‘She may be sunken treasure but no one’s ever / been holding their breath.‘ In Crossed the Line, my favorite tune on the album, we see Connell complying with the convention of the sonnet-turn, or something quite akin to it at least. Compare the standard chorus with a one-off later version & observe how Connell digs deeper into her muse-cave.
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I could have been a genius
But I crushed the brains out of my skull
I could have been a lover
But soft love would make my skin crawl
I could have been a monster
But the screams would fester in my mind
I could have been a good friend
But I always crossed the line
I always crossed the line

And I could have been a genius
If you’d tested me in my native tongue
I could’ve loved you gently, if it ever seemed much fun
I could have been a monster;
sure, I could have the person for you
But friends was just another game
that I was meant to lose
Like life’s a game I’m bound to lose

In ‘Get to Know Me,’ Connell takes on the gratuitous role of a male suitor, who ‘didn’t realise her father was a man of your stature / you intimidate me, sir.’ I mean, who in the music world actually does that? We also have track 17, Viscous Fear, a moody masterpiece which contains this a capella chorus, sang enchantingly;
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A nursery rhyme for the other side
A microcosm of my life
Coats a hundred glass slides
I creied eyelashes with my tears
My viscous fear
An eyelash tear
My viscous tear
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Louise Connell is a shiny jewel on the UK music scene, one to restore faith in songwriting’s ability to constantly reinvent itself & also remain true to itself. She also possesses a keen ear for melody, which she infuses into her lyrics with the ease of a summer’s walk. I wonder whether Connell will one day separate the words from her music, but one expects the extrication to be too bloody, too painful. For now, let us see her craft as a composite whole; the music coaxes the words to life, & the words invigorate the music. To listen to Connell sing her songs is a highly reccommended & sublime joy.

An Interview with Aylin Eleonora

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When Flamenco touches your soul, all you can do is dance…


Hello Aylin, first things first, where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
I consider myself a global citizen, I have Finnish and Turkish in me. I have lived in Finland, Australia, in the UK, was schooled in France and have been living in Spain for the last 16 years. I am located in the centre of Madrid, downtown, in La Latina.

When did you first realise you could dance?
I started with ballet and contemporary at 4, but I really got hooked when a friend told me about a Flamenco class in Seville. I had no knowledge of Flamenco whatsoever, and the level was too high for me, but somehow I felt I was getting it. That this is a language in which I could express myself and be understood.

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How did you get into Flamenco?
My flatmate at university took me to a Flamenco concert at the Komedia in Brighton. From that moment I was enamoured. Although my approach, attitude and personality have changed, I am still on that path.

What is it about being performing in front of other people that makes you tick?
Before finding Flamenco I dreaded performing in public, but there is something honest, universal and captivating about Flamenco that gives me power and energy to dance in front of a public. Beautiful movement is also something that elevates me and I enjoy a lot watching ballet.

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Can you tell us about your training with the Flamenco masters?
I started my training in Andalusia, continued in Madrid where most of the professional Flamenco dancers have been training for decades, and completed my Masters at the Institute of the Arts Barcelona/Liverpool John Moores University, that offers a dance education with both UK and US influence. At the IAB I got to explore my creative practice got to explore my creative practice more in depth and got used to think through my dancing and dance my way out of troubles. Generally speaking I struggled finding a teacher that would guide me in a foreign land and culture and help me grow as a person, not just a dancer. However, I have taken classes with some excellent professionals and learnt from talented dancers. In Flamenco you also learn from musicians, and from having to perform with very little or no previous rehearsals with the group. When I traveled to Cuba and was invited to ballet events I learnt a lot about dance discipline and guts.

What does your perfect Sunday afternoon look like?
I often work on Sundays as well, but I enjoy winding down by listening to jazz and relaxing by the pool whenever possible.

You were in Edinburgh last year, with the Dance-forms 75th International Choreograper’s showcase, how did it go?
It was a very special experience participating in Susana B. Williams´showcase. I was lucky to get an excellent review from TheWeereview and get to work with some great professionals in the dance field. I am participating this year as well.

You’re performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe; what are you bringing to the table?
We try to create a moment on stage that is pure and elegant. You will see shapes, energy, forms and also feel the power and poetry of dance expression. You will also discover Raul´s musical universe that is very profound.

Where, when & how did the idea for VIVIR originate, & is the reality fulfilling your vision?
Originally it was a need for me to simplify, try to do a Flamenco performance with minimum elements. This show has been developing in the studios of Madrid, also inspired by the Mediterranean landscape, during the last 5 years. Singing, that is a central element of Flamenco, helps the dancer to grow on stage, and gives dramatic power to a performance – is not present in this show. Filling that void has been a challenge, but satisfying both personally and professionally.

You premiered VIVIR in Australia earlier this year, have you tweaked the show since?
After returning from Australia, I have taken ENSUEÑO FLAMENCO, another show in our repertoire, on tour to Finland, an ensemble featuring some of the top artists of the Madrid Flamenco scene. I have also given workshops in Ukraine, and been busy with pre-production. We performed excerpts of both shows at the Madrid Conservatory, and I´m taking VIVIR to Avignon for the month of July.

Can you tell us more about the non-traditional musical styles instruments Raul Mannola will be utilising?
In this show Raul plays the traditional nylon-string flamenco guitar, as well as steel-string acoustic guitar to provide a wider variety of sounds. He also uses the electronic tampura to get the Indian drone for some oriental flavoured improvisations. Come and get a taste!

What are your dreams or plans for the future?
I would love to work with a choreographer. Although ballet specialists might not like this, I want to include a number with pointe shoes in my repertoire, to give voice to the more fragile and lyrical side of me as a dancer.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
I would dance a “llamada” or a “pataíta”. If you are not sure what it means, come and find out!


VIVIR: Flamenco Guitar & Dance 

C venues – C Aquila

Aug 10-18 (18:25)

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www.aylineleonora.com

 

Interview: The Rhythm and Booze Project

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For those who like a wee dram with their live music, The Rhythm and Booze Project is only choice this Fringe. The Mumble grabbed a wee chat with the duo’s Felipe Schrieberg & Paul Archibald…


Hello Paul, first things first, where are you both from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Paul: I’ve been living in Bristol these past few years. Felipe, originally from California, is based on London now — but we were both based in Edinburgh for years before that.

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Paul

Paul: I’ve been living in Bristol these past few years. Felipe, originally from California, is based on London now — but we were both based in Edinburgh for years before that.

When did you & Paul first meet each other?
Felipe: We met 10 years ago when we were both students at St. Andrews. The blues band I was (and still am) playing in needed a drummer at the last moment for a birthday party. A mutual friend recommended Paul, and here we are!

Paul: I’ve been living in Bristol these past few years. Felipe, originally from California, is based on London now — but we were both based in Edinburgh for years before that.

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When did you & Paul first meet each other?
Felipe: We met 10 years ago when we were both students at St. Andrews. The blues band I was (and still am) playing in needed a drummer at the last moment for a birthday party. A mutual friend recommended Paul, and here we are!

How did the band begin?
Paul: We decided to make a two-piece band to visit Islay in 2012, so we could play our way through the hotels and distilleries there. We got paid in whisky and a bed for the night (though we were sometimes camping). We made our way through some great whisky and saw some amazing parts of the island. The idea for this band, which we started last year, came out of that trip. We wanted to emphasise our love of whisky and music—we still go back to Islay, every year, and come back with as much whisky as we can carry.

The Rhythm and Booze Project has taken you all over the world, what have been your coolest experiences on the road?
Felipe: For us, going to play at the Feis Ile Islay whisky festival every year is always special. It’s over a week of distilleries hosting parties across 9 days in a beautiful corner of the world, and we get to be in the middle of it. We love it. Some highlights include providing the music for George Crawford’s last masterclass as Lagavulin distillery manager, getting 1000+ people going nuts to our music in the courtyard of the Bruichladdich distillery, and doing a special blues and whisky tasting in the cooperage at Caol Ila.

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How do you choose the songs for your set?
Paul: We find that early blues songs work best for our two-piece set-up better than more recent songs — we still adapt things, though. We’re working on originals too, and the material for those is usually influenced by experiments we try out at live shows. The best things from us come from experiments at gigs rather than pre-planned things in a practice room.

What for you makes a good blues song?
Felipe: It starts with good dynamic drumming. There’s too many blues tunes that have mediocre drumming with needless twiddly widdly guitar over the top. I’m much more interested in the dynamic changes and small moments of magic that can take place all the time in great blues tunes than in chops and mediocre tasteless cowboy playing which unfortunately is the norm these days. I’m also a sucker for good grooves. The Chicago bluesmen do this well, and there are some unbelievable rhythms that came out of the Mississippi Hill Country, though there’s a wonderfully wide world to discover.

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Felipe

You’re washed up on a desert island with a solar powered CD player & three albums, what would they be?
Felipe: A cruel question. I’ll go with these.
1. Moanin’ in the Midnight – Howlin’ Wolf, one of the best blues records ever made.
2. Sleep Beneath The Willow – Daniel Romano, a superb country music record.
3. Aretha Now – Aretha Franklin, maybe my favourite album from the Queen of Soul

Can you name your top three drams?
Felipe: I can’t name a top three! But these are a few of my favourites which are relatively easy to find.
1. Lagavulin 16, one of the great peated whiskies.
2. Balvenie 17 Year Old Doublewood, Rich, fruity, and regal.
3. Bruichladdich Islay Barley, a punchy drink that tastes like a bourbon cream cookie.

You’ll be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this August, can you tell us about the show?
Felipe: This is the first show at the Edinburgh Fringe that combines live music and tasting to our knowledge. We’re aiming to entertain and enlighten while playing great music. We’ve got three phenomenal drams that the audience will get to enjoy in the show, showcasing the incredible variety of flavour in Scotch whisky. We’ll also be playing our style of raucous blues throughout while also passing along some knowledge about whisky itself that the audience will be able to use whenever ordering a whisky at a bar or buying a bottle.

How does the whisky effect your playing?
Paul: After a couple drams I get better, after a few more I get worse but I think I get better, and a few more after that someone should probably take over my job!

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show in the streets of Edinburgh?
Felipe: Scotch whisky and live blues. What more could you want from a show at the Edinburgh Fringe?

What does the rest of 2019 have in store for you & your band?
Paul: We have some exciting events ongoing in London: we host blues nights featuring an open whisky bar, and we also have our first American whiskey and cigar evening coming up. We basically create events that we’d like to go to ourselves. We’re off to tour Germany in September and Poland in November too, so it’s a busy few months ahead!


Two Guys Three Drams

theSpace@Venue 45

Aug 8-17 (21:25)

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