James Grant

James Grant

Singer-songwriters such as James Grant are tasked with the difficult job of keeping an audience entertained with merely a voice and a guitar, but James Grant proves in this hour-plus-double-encore long show that he should be regarded among the best, as he rattles through a smattering of his original music, swinging from mood to mood with consummate ease and interspersing it all with some wonderful tales from his illustrious career... 

Cat Stevens Reconstructed

Cat Stevens Reconstructed

The Jess Abrams Quartet - or on this particular evening, trio - are a glorified Cat Stevens tribute band: they spend an hour covering Cat Stevens’ most prominent hits, while putting a fresh, original spin on the numbers... 

Nick Keir

Nick Keir

One man and his guitar: it’s a classic combination that, when done well, reaps its rewards. On this occasion, Nick Keir delighted a receptive audience with several catchy numbers and effortless guitar playing... 

Simon Donald’s School of Swearing

Simon Donald’s School of Swearing

“This show is family friendly, apart from your grandma, so she can f*ck off!”Thus opens the foul-mouthed Simon Donald, donning typical private school headmaster robes and mortarboard, and gliding into the auditorium like a slightly more ginger and slightly less creepy Professor Snape... 

Blossom Street: A Capella @ the Kirk

Blossom Street: A Capella @ the Kirk

The London based ex-York University graduates that make up the Blossom Street choir form a refreshingly different type of a cappella group that takes the genre back to its roots and perform a marvellous set of classical and jazz-based music within the unbeatable acoustics of the Canongate Kirk... 

In the Pink - Fantastic Female a Cappella!

In the Pink - Fantastic Female a Cappella!

Patience is a virtue: this proverb was particularly fitting during this afternoon of a cappella hosted by all-female a cappella group In The Pink from the University of Oxford. Everything about this set improved from start to finish: the beat-boxing, the choreography, the blend, the soloists - the list goes on... 

The Template for Lack of Conversation

The Template for Lack of Conversation

Alison Trower would be an excellent date – never running out of topics of conversation, skipping from theme to theme with probing intriguing questions that make you think, and not afraid to talk about sex... 

Rob Deering's Beat This

Rob Deering's Beat This

When an audience member throws up on stage five minutes into this particular evening of Rob Deering’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks-esque quiz show, it’s difficult to consider how the evening would have panned out on a normal, vomit-free night... 

All the King's Men - It's Reigning Men!

All the King's Men - It's Reigning Men!

In three short years, All the King’s Men have gone from a little-known university a cappella group to the third best collegiate group in the world, and from the simply phenomenal set that they flaunt in their afternoon show, it is not hard to see why... 

Bil&Cyn Bizarre Guitar and Terse Verse

Bil&Cyn Bizarre Guitar and Terse Verse

Bil Fulton and Cynthia Stephens, or Bil&Cyn as they like to be called, represent two different sides of the same coin. While they are both artists, Bil is a musician, guitarist and singer/songwriter, and Cyn is a poet, wordsmith and occasional lyricist... 

Blues

Blues

There is a huge difference between having obvious musical talent and putting on an entertaining, engaging show. The Dana Dixon Blues Band definitely has the former: that is undeniable... 

Bob Graham Work Ethic

Bob Graham Work Ethic

Some comedy shows can be slow burners – they introduce a few seemingly unrelated jokes before linking everything together towards the climax of the show, ending on the ultimate punch line... 

Silky: Nut Allegory

Silky: Nut Allegory

The Fringe for many comedians is a testing ground for new material admits Silky. His set does show some problems, but they are contained within otherwise solid material that drew chuckles and the occasional hearty laugh throughout... 

Never Too Late to Learn

Never Too Late to Learn

To base a show around the theme of evening classes is an interesting concept and one which has not been trialled very extensively anywhere, let alone at the Edinburgh Festival. Upon arrival at the Royal Overseas League, I was in a minority: the rest of the audience were all involved in the aforementioned evening classes and were a lot more clued in than your Average Joe... 

Cheese-Badger presents... Midge (a Two-Man Musical) - Free

Cheese-Badger presents... Midge (a Two-Man Musical) - Free

Budding musical thespians aim to be what is called a ‘triple-threat’, developing extreme talent in the three areas of musical theatre - acting, singing and dancing. Generally individuals have a particular strength in one of these three key areas... 

The Blondettes: Three Blondes And A Mic

The Blondettes: Three Blondes And A Mic

When three ex-Oxford Gargoyles return to the Fringe as part of a three-piece girl band, it’s expected of them to present a predominantly jazz-filled set and to be almost musically flawless... 

Conor Drum - A Sense of Humour

Conor Drum - A Sense of Humour

Conor Drum, the 30-year-old Irish actor cum comedian battled through the adversity of a small audience and actually put on an entertaining and amusing show with some very shrewd observational humour... 

Alternotive A Cappella

Alternotive A Cappella

Student a cappella groups are not exactly a rarity at the Fringe, so often it can be difficult to decide which of the varied assortment of groups is actually worth going to see. For groups themselves, it is necessary to have something unique and original that sets them apart from the rest... 

Ghillie Gigs

Ghillie Gigs

Going alone to a review a concert that promises a complimentary three-course meal with your ticket can go one of two ways: either finding yourself thoroughly stranded and friendless, or biting the bullet and talking to as many people as possible... 

Lights! Camera! Improvise!

Lights! Camera! Improvise!

What do you get when you combine sci-fi with time travel with the Vatican City and the movie title “Bad Popes Gone Wild”? The answer – a hilarious improvised movie containing a blurry burlesque dance sequence , gap years to Thailand and an insane final plot twist that somehow actually seemed to make a lot of sense... 

Malones Live Music

Malones Live Music

There are certain criteria that a Free Fringe Show should fulfil when performed in a public bar. For starters, acts should remember that several people in the bar may not necessarily be there to specifically listen in, and as such should be entertaining and watchable without being too intrusive... 

Nick Pynn with Kate Daisy Grant

Nick Pynn with Kate Daisy Grant

An array of instruments welcomes audience members as they take their seats in this tiny, intimate venue just off Princes Street, from strings through percussion to a homemade Theremin, and one can’t help but wondering whether Mr... 

Palmstar Poppy: Songs in Search of Love Lost at Sea

Palmstar Poppy: Songs in Search of Love Lost at Sea

Dim, dingy lighting barely illuminates this musty Edinburgh bar, its vague seafaring theme embodied by scale wooden models of old sailing boats, naval pencil sketches suspended from the walls and fishing nets draped over ancient partitions... 

John McNamara Acoustic Soul / Blues Singer - Free

John McNamara Acoustic Soul / Blues Singer - Free

The Edinburgh Festival has some unusual venues – that is a well-known fact amongst regular Fringe-goers, as avid audience members hop from university building to converted warehouse to local pub and back again... 

Art for Lunch - Free Concerts at St Giles'

Art for Lunch - Free Concerts at St Giles'

Churches are great: not only is a marvellous acoustic found within those imposing stone walls, but visitors also feel an inherently peaceful atmosphere upon entry. Both of these qualities enhanced the informal concert at St Giles’ Cathedral, leaving the audience with far lower stress levels than the typical Fringe schedule allows...