Antonio Forcione is such an established and adored Fringe regular it almost seems redundant reviewing him because, just as day follows night, a five star review follows Foricone's show. Forcione still has the skill, talent and dexterity that has to be seen to believed.
There is no denying Antonio Forcione's unparalleled talents on the acoustic guitar and long may his reign as an Edinburgh staple continue.
Starting with an impressive tribute to the late Paco De Lucia, Forcione launches into an interesting blend of original compositions and rearrangements of favourite tracks from the 60's, 70's and 80's. After a stunning arrangement of Heard Through the Grapevine, Forcione does his own spin on Come Together with each finger on his right hand performing the role of a different Beatle. Sounds gimmicky, I admit, but it is an overwhelming display if his inimitable skill. The variation of sound and tone he can produce from six strings is astounding. It is a full bodied sound that he creates and even in the quieter moments his skilful mix of techniques bring the tracks hurtling out of his guitar. Guitarists around the globe must watch Forcione and only be able to repeat Eric Clapton’s famous quote after being asked what he thought the first time he saw Jimi Hendrix - “I’m going to go home and practice”.
As a performer, Forcione has a swaggering arrogance to him that is entertaining and he has every right to be that way. Between his performances, all of which are entirely instrumental and require no other musicians, Forcione reels off anecdotes and he fills some of the more upbeat numbers with amusing visual gags and unnecessary flourishes that always raise a smile. A terrific impression of a double bass, both in playing stance and sound, makes you wonder if there is any stringed instrument Forcione can’t play. Or any instrument at all for that matter.“I started as a musician playing the drums until the neighbour downstairs complained”, he explains. He still does drum and, if his guitar playing is anything to go by, it must be an amazing spectacle to see him play.
Even if some of his songs do, occasionally, come across as complicated for the sake of it, the fact he pulls it off time after time allows him to do a bit of showing off every now and again. There is no denying Antonio Forcione's unparalleled talents on the acoustic guitar and long may his reign as an Edinburgh staple continue.