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(T) 2 out of 66
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Page number refers to the Fringe programme



Tam White's Shoestring Band (page 98)

Drams No drams at all
Venue Bridge Jazz Bar(Venue 90)
Address 82 South Bridge
Reviewer Neil Ingram

At an age when most people are thinking of taking it easy, Tam White is still performing at his peak. In this return to his childhood haunts- he went to school just across the road from the Bridge Jazz Bar- his laid-back style is perfectly complemented by the other members of the Shoestring Band, Fraser Speirs on harmonica and Neil Warden on guitar.

The band gave a full house audience a riveting set of acoustic blues, ranging from Born Under a Bad Sign to a stunning verion of Shake, Rattle and Roll (a tribute to the King 25 years on). There are also several of Tam's own songs, based on his working life in Edinburgh, notably Stonemason's Blues and Man Dancing. Tam does all the singing, though he gets the audience to help at times, and Fraser and Neil supply some brilliant solos, and when the three play together they fill the room with a glorious swelling sound.

With Edinburgh full of acts from all over the world, it's good to see a local band that can equal anything in the Fringe. Don't miss them! They're on every night except Thursday until next Sunday, but this is an intimate venue, so get there early if you want a seat!
© Neil Ingram, 18 August 2002- published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs till 25 August (not 22) at 19.30
   

Tea with Chopin: Week Two (page 98)
Drams full glass
Music Schumann: Papillons; Chopin: Polonaise in F sharp minor; Nocturne in F sharp minor, opus 48 no.2. Nocturne no.2 in D flat; Ravel: Miroirs - Alborado del graciozo
Performer Stéphan Sylvestre (piano)
Venue Royal Overseas League (Venue 19)
Address Overseas House, 100 Princes Street
Reviewer David Stanners

If you want afternoon tea with Chopin, then you'll have to share it with Robert Schumann and Maurice Ravel. Not a bad compromise though.

Stéphan Sylvestre
Stéphan Sylvestre
The musical part of the afternoon was brought to us courtesy of Canadian pianist Stephan Sylvestre, a celebrated soloist, recitalist and chamber music player. Having won prestigious awards such as the Prix D'Europe, and the du Maurier Grand Prize on home soil, it's not hard to appreciate the kudos this young man has built up on the international circuit.

With Schumann's Papillons as an entrée, the audience's appetite was whetted for the remains of the afternoon's celestial journey with the romantics. Chopin's Polonaise in F sharp minor followed on, played with audacity, pungency and in the true spirit of the dance's Polish origins.

As an unconditional lover of Chopin's nocturnes, the following two pieces were an absolute treat. Both works demonstrated the full range of Chopin's decorative style and poetic license as a romantic composer. The latter of the two the Nocturne no.2 in D flat is in my opinion one of the most beautiful pieces of romantic music composed by anyone. Listening to Sylvestre cradle the keyboard with such effortless simplicity is a joy. The quiet emotional content was also present in his performance, heightening the ethereal senses that bit further, before finishing up with an excerpt from Ravel's Miroirs, the Alborado del graciozo.

After all this, one was more than ready to reflect on the performer's breathtaking pedigree, and partake of some afternoon tea and homemade shortbread, glancing at Princes Street from a safe distance above.
© David Stanners. 21 August 2002. Published on EdinburghGuide.com

Run: until August 22 at 14.30 (Varying daily programme)

(T) 2 out of 66
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