Dick Gaughan

Dick Gaughan

‘The songs I write are love songs and their love’s a different kind,’ Dick Gaughan sings to us. A self-professed ‘grumpy old bastard’, he insists that even his saddest, angriest, most discontented pieces are meant to make people happy... 

Mike Whellans

Mike Whellans

Clad in a collarless shirt and black leather waistcoat, Mike Whellans strode on stage and opened his set with ‘Cornbread, Peas and Black Molasses’, proceeding into a John Lee Hooker medley and homage to Memphis Slim... 

Alistair McGowan: Damn Labels!

Alistair McGowan: Damn Labels!

Back in the day, Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression was a firm family favourite in our house. Impressions have a universal appeal that had us all hooting in unison at McGowan and Ronni Ancona’s sketches of the Beckhams’ day-to-day life and domestics of Sven-Goran Eriksson and Nancy Dell’Olio... 

Sadie and The Hot Heads

Sadie and The Hot Heads

‘I haven’t been up this late for thirty years,’ Elizabeth McGovern of Sadie and the Hotheads smiled at us, having danced her way onstage. Underneath a glitzy lightshow and with plumes of dry ice around the band, the beautiful leading lady proceeded into a charming set, but one that was unlikely to keep us up all night... 

Faure Requiem by Candlelight

Faure Requiem by Candlelight

St Andrew Camerata opened this enchanting programme of music with Faure’s ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’. Though a beautiful start, it is by no means Faure’s strongest work. Composed when he was just nineteen, the piece is famed for its simplicity and arpeggiated harmonies... 

Nuala Kennedy Band with A. J. Roach

Nuala Kennedy Band with A. J. Roach

Nuala Kennedy has a beautiful lilting voice that suits her ‘cheerful-sounding murder ballad’ songs perfectly. It is when she picked up her whistles and flutes that I enjoyed her performance most, however... 

Stuart Maconie - The People’s Songs

Stuart Maconie - The People’s Songs

‘Extraordinary how potent cheap music is.’ Stuart Maconie opened his show with a dissection of this typically Noel Coward quote from ‘Private Lives’. His new book, The People’s Songs is about the potency of pop music through history... 

Brahms at Teatime

Brahms at Teatime

Communication is key in ensemble playing. The musicians at this delightful recital had it in spades. Duo Y-squared began proceedings with Brahms’ Sonata for cello in F. Whilst a fellow audience member protested that this is ‘not a very Brahms-ish piece’, there can be no doubt that he wrote it and Yelian He and Yasmin Roe’s rendition was executed with vigour and flair... 

Scottish Saxophone Ensemble and Guests

Scottish Saxophone Ensemble and Guests

‘We’re very lucky,’ alto and soprano saxophonist Sue Mckenzie explained in her introduction to ‘Catching Sunlight’, a collection of pieces by jazz pianist/composer Dave Stapleton... 

Famous Taste of Scotland Dinner Show at Prestonfield

Famous Taste of Scotland Dinner Show at Prestonfield

My journey up the driveway of Prestonfield House involved admiring highland cattle and dodging coaches. At the foot of Arthur’s Seat, this beautiful house is a five star hotel and, as we were directed into the Stables venue, it became clear that we were to be looked after very well indeed... 

Chopin After Lunch

Chopin After Lunch

I’m not sure what Chopin had for lunch, but it would appear it was full of beans. Sophia Dee’s lively recital thundered through a programme of Chopin, Schumann and Liszt with plenty of flourishes and little room for a digestive pause... 

Portico Quartet

Portico Quartet

At its core, music is maths. Jazz typifies this, with rhythms and harmonies needing more than ever to add up in improvised playing. However, within minutes of Portico Quartet’s gig, two plus two no longer equalled four and I was not going to receive marks for my working out, either... 

Inherit the Wind

Inherit the Wind

The intense concentration with which Katalin La Favre begins this performance of percussion and spoken word is to continue throughout the show. Despite being alone on stage, flanked by her instruments and an orb of light, La Favre adopts multiple roles and personas in what is an intriguing exploration of the relationship between science and belief... 

Carnatic Nomad

Carnatic Nomad

Jyotsna Srikanth is a South Indian Carnatic violinist. Her show is made up of a selection of compositions, ranging from classical to contemporary to folk. Together with a mridangam drummer, she leads us through a magnificent part-improvised performance that beautifully showcases the music and culture of her native Bangalore... 

Secret Opera Society

Secret Opera Society

Centotre’s Italian food is delicious. On the Secret Opera Society set menu, a starter of fresh, simple antipasta was followed by either orecchiette pasta with sausage or fillet of hake... 

Hot Chocolate at 10

Hot Chocolate at 10

Hot Chocolate at 10 is an opportunity to see ‘late night classical music in the heart of the Old Town’. Across the course of the festival, one can hear everything from Baroque chamber music to Britten’s choral works, all in a beautifully candlelit and undeniably atmospheric setting... 

Blues!

Blues!

The age old question whether a white man can sing the blues was answered fairly conclusively at the Space on Niddry Street last night. As the audience flocked in, we were met by The Blueswater band’s frontman and vocalist Felipe Schrieberg, a steel string guitar flat on his lap, softly picking a delta blues tune... 

Lach: Anticdotes

Lach: Anticdotes

‘I know what she’s going to write,’ Lach drawled in my general direction from the corner of his mouth, ‘it was all going well until the vagina bit.’ I wouldn’t be so sure... 

Hot Dub Time Machine. Best. Party. Ever.

Hot Dub Time Machine. Best. Party. Ever.

"In Da Club came out in 2003, not 2005!" I found myself shouting across the dance floor at around half past two this morning. Having been aboard the Hot Dub Time Machine since 1971, I thought I had finally found its downfall in the form of a hip hop inaccuracy, but did I stop dancing? Certainly not... 

King Creosote

King Creosote

King Creosote is no stranger to Queen’s Hall. This gig was not his first Fringe appearance there either. ‘I know there’s a lot of competition out there, but nothing’s as good as this!’ he declared... 

Beguiled by Betjeman

Beguiled by Betjeman

John Betjeman, the much loved household name, wrote works steeped in British heritage and humour, taking place in landmarks from Margate to Westminster Abbey. A wealth of boaters, suitcases and varsity scarves provided costume, scenery and a certain charm for Some Six or Seven Performers’ production of Beguiled by Betjeman...