Review: Mogwai, EIF 2018

The Mogwai influence on the Scottish music scene is all-pervasive, and as a restless, eager audience gather in the foyer of Leith Theatre, we’re certain we’re here for a stellar night of sound. It’s an impressive setting, previously used for Edinburgh International Festival events between 1961 and 1968, so its reuse as a festival venue is both welcomed and apt. However, in the 1920s of its inception, amplified music was not the acoustic architects would have had in mind, and on previous visits I have noticed it can be a tricky task to locate the elusive sonic sweet spot, while still seeing musicians up-close. I was hopeful that perhaps these issues wouldn’t trouble EIF.

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Review: The One Ensemble & Nerea Bello, Celtic Connections 2018

Running late to The One Ensemble’s performance for Celtic Connections (due to snow-struck train delays) I realised taxi would be the only way I’d get to The Glad Cafe on time. As fortune had it, my taxi driver was from Rome, so our talk turned to the evocative peals of the differing strains of Italian folk songs from Sardinia, Calabria, Puglia and Sicily, known to modern ears through Alan Lomax and Diego Carpitella’s 1950s field recording trips. Much of this music is dying out, and few seem keen to continue the oral traditions.

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Review: Our Fathers

As piped organ music sets a reverential scene, writer-performer Rob Drummond circles the audience, asking “Can you remember any of the 10 Commandments?” One woman shouts out, “Adultery!” Drummond shoots back, sharp-as-a-tack, “Not now, I’m working”.

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