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Sing Zimbabwe/Tumbuka dance their hearts out at the Assembly
Sing Zimbabwe/Tumbuka dance their hearts out at the Assembly.
Photo copyright maxblinkhorn@hotmail.com

(A) 2 out of 49
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Rating Guide
None = Unmissable

= Unwatchable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme

Acoustic Edinburgh Festival (page 86)

Drams None
Date 2 August 2005
Venue Medina (Venue 205)
Address 45 – 47 Lothian Street
Reviewer Shona Brodie

Entering the laid back and mellow Moroccan-themed basement you are instantly pulled into an evening that promises five original unplugged acts and a DJ selection. Not intimidating or pretentious, it doesn’t disappoint by providing talented performers both locally and from around the world. The crowd is mixed - local musos, Festival visitors and those just out to enjoy a few drinks. The venue helps to generate the night's relaxed and welcoming atmosphere; low ceilings, cavernous alcoves with cushions and couches for more intimate groups to sit and chat inbetween songs, or huddle together, crossed legged, on the main floor intently listening.

There was a great feeling of musical respect, people happily appreciating the passionate performances - particularly from Rich Davies who was almost (actually literally) jumping out of his seat he was so up for it. Styles ranged from jazz and folk to country and rock while inbetween acts DJ Si played tracks from local artists and other unsigned talent adding to the ethos of the night about promoting exciting new acoustic music.


Acoustic Edinburgh.

Gecko, the opening night’s headline band, summed up the eclectic mix of music on offer with a style that is hard to categorise and unbelievably difficult to describe without feeling like you’re not doing them justice. To put it simply: groove music. Billed as ‘lyrical wizardry and acoustic grooves’ this local trio started with a laid back jazz feel which quickly develops into a full jazz fusion - funk, hip-hop, swing, bebop, Southern-American influences all working there way through. Marty Philip’s lighting speed vocals are magnificently suited to an undefinable sound, phrasing uniquely his own and with a distinctive dry lyrical wit. Paul Gilbody had great attack on the double bass with satisfying sustain and a rich warm groove and the rhythmic percussive force of Hugh Martin’s emotive but amazingly controlled movements proved that these guys are all highly talented musicians in their own right. With an intense creativity, this is a band that clearly enjoys each others company. Engaged and focussed, like nothing else anyone out there is doing just now. Their raw unpretentious and generally fun attitude to playing wins over the crowd immediately. Fellow musicians in the room must have been left thinking that they must go home and practice more.

Acoustic Edinburgh evolved from a number of ‘Acoustic Extravaganza’ evenings hosted by KT Tunstall in 2001 before her move to London. With a lovely living room feel, as if some of your mates had just popped round to say hello and play a few songs that they thought you’d enjoy or would surprise you, a lot of Acoustic Edinburgh’s character is probably the fact that the evening is still relatively undiscovered. But it shouldn’t be. Make sure you check it out for yourself, from 8.30pm every Tuesday in the Festival and all year round on the first Tuesday of the month.

© Shona Brodie. 2 August 2005. Published on www.edinburghguide.com
Tuesday 9, 16 an 23 August at 8.30 (£5/£4)

www.acousticedinburgh.com and www.geckomusic.co.uk



Alabama 3 (page 86)
T on The Fringe Gig.

Drams None
Band Larry, Sir Real, The Spirit, The Rev D.Wayne Love, LB Dope, The mountain of Love, Rock Freebase, Segs.
Date 9 August 2005
Venue Liquid Rooms.
Address 9c Victoria Terrace
Reviewer Bruce and Mhairi Darby.

Alabama 3
© Jason Kelvin

Tumble weed blew past the Corn Exchange as someone shouted "You looking for Alabama 3? They've gone and moved it". A young man was jumping up and down in the road squealing excitedly "Gilbert, Gilbert they’re coming." And sure enough a long line of sleek silver trailers came round the corner; a grisly looking man stuck his head out the window and drawled "You've missed the last train to Nashville".

But it turned out to be a wise move, an intimate, lawless atmosphere reigns at the Liquid Rooms and this lends itself very well to the informal preachin' hollerin, smokin' and drinkin' of the bunch of misfit outlaws that make up Alabama 3.

Larry at the
Wickerman Festival July 2005

Crammed onto the tiny stage, just inches away from the audience, clouds of smoke billowed out over the faithful masses. Not created by a machine but the combined effect of the band's cigarillos (What's going to happen when they ban smoking in venues?). This was the only special effects going on. No fancy stage set or flashing lights to hide behind. We were ‘witnessing’ at the church of Elvis and if this is evangelism, let’s all go back to church. It’s raw and naked in that surreal land, somewhere between Brixton, Nashville and Oklahoma.

The songs are catchy, witty and poignant to everyone, but especially those over 30 who have retired from the drink, drugs and hell raisin’ of their youth. And oh my God! What's that? A subtle vein of Socialism running below the surface of that Country, acid house, Gospel, dance, blues. Yes, it really is a unique and original sound.

The audience love them and they are everyone’s best friend, even passing the mic to a member of the audience at one point and teasing them by saying "I've got his P45 in my pocket. You've got yourself a new job".

Please don’t mention the Sopranos anymore. There’s no need. They are an entity all by themselves.

Next Performances:
Wednesday 28th September 2005,
Concert Hall, Perth, Scotland
Contact : 01738 477732.

Thursday 29th September 2005
Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, Scotland
Contact : 01224 642230

© Bruce Darby 23/08/2005. Published on www.edinburghguide.com
See also www.alabama3.co.uk/ and www.tonthefringe.com/

(A) 2 out of 49
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