Song Noir - The Director's Cut

It should be a speakeasy with small round tables and lowballs of stiff drinks on the rocks – but it ain’t. It’s an old lecture hall, downstairs, practically subterranean and it’s dark as you lean forward on the wooden desk that has seen many elbows before yours. You lean in to watch her, face spotlit in profile as she rests her cheek against the black wall. You’re transfixed by her as she moves forward and the light comes with her and she sings. It’s Misty, that old Errol Garner tune and she sings it beautifully and already in those first few minutes you think that if she came to you with a gun and a plea for help you wouldn’t be able to refuse. Because she sings with such dangerous, velvety, seductive power and her low notes give Shirley Bassey a run for her money. More than that, her mesmerising eyes seem always to be searching for something, for hidden meaning she can’t find. But you can see it, can’t you? The multimedia projected behind her has all the images of dark dreams, secrets, abandoned places.

It’s a different way to experience music.

You barely notice him because he bleeds into the shadows. His music – live guitar and recorded sections he mixes live – is precise and evocative. You fleetingly think you want him to be in a suit and hat, not a t-shirt and trainers, but there are so many other things here for your eyes to feast on and you are soon taken away again, following images into other places, following the voice of the chanteuse. Her name is Pinkie Maclure and his is John Wills. Together they are Pumajaw and in 14 years they have recorded 7 albums. They know what they’re doing and you better believe they do it well. They offer up to you a score of dark, atmospheric original songs with some classics, backed by visuals that are as crisp as a fresh bank note and as sharp as a diamond ring (only one multimedia clip is less than magical - a backdrop of red curtain and digital cigarette smoke with disco lights that fade in).

This is more than just music, you think to yourself as you step out into the still night air and turn the collar of your trench coat up against the cold, noticing it’s finally stopped raining. It’s a different way to experience music. Something that takes you on a journey into dark places, something you can’t quite leave behind as you walk the cobbled streets with the soundtrack still there in your weary head. You feel like you’ve been let into a dangerous world and maybe you can’t escape it now… maybe it will lure you back.

Reviews by Emma Gibson

theSpace @ Venue45

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

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The Blurb

Following 2013's critically acclaimed Song Noir, Pumajaw continue their unique musical journey into the twilight zone of cult TV and film noir, with spine tingling vocals, evocative, electronic soundscapes and retro-futuristic films. Featuring songs from Twin Peaks, Kill Bill and Kiss Me Deadly alongside originals from the duo's repertoire of seven albums, Song Noir – the Director's Cut leads you through a seductive, mind bending, audio-visual maze. 'Bewitching' **** (The Scotsman). 'Seduces the audience into a weird and even scary world.' **** (The Herald). 'Rather wonderful' (Jarvis Cocker, BBC6 Music).'Ve-e-ry nice' (Late Junction). www.madeinscotlandshowcase.com.

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