City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Ali McGregor's Jazzamatazz Review

By Justine Blundell - Posted on 12 August 2013

Ali McGregor with children
Show details
Running time: 
Ali McGregor (vocals), Chris (drums), Sam (double bass), Sam (piano)

A heavily pregnant Ali McGregor is wowing the kids every weekend in the Famous Spiegeltent. Perhaps best known for her adult, late-night, comedy, burlesque and cabaret show, jazz singer Ms McGregor has created an afternoon concert for children that doesn’t exclude the grown-ups.

The Spiegeltent is a venue that creates its own atmosphere and is perfect for a show of this kind, where parents can lounge at the bar, or get cosy in the booths, while keeping an eye on the kids moving and shaking on the dance floor – always supposing they don’t fancy throwing a few shapes themselves.

On the stage, playing some cool swing while the audience clamber in, is the ‘house’ band: Chris on drums provides the jazz ‘floor’; Sam on the double bass constitutes the walls and another Sam on piano (or ‘keys’ if you’re a cool jazz cat) lays down the roof. McGregor failed to suggest a construction metaphor for her role, but plumes of glitter bursting out of a very sparkly chimney seems kind of appropriate.

In a scarlet dress with matching shoes - and lipstick – McGregor bubbled and fizzed through an eclectic range of songs. Britney, Beyonce, Bjork and Baa Baa Black Sheep were made to sit easily within the jazz style alongside real jazz classics such as, What a Wonderful World and Ain’t Misbehavin’. Miss Ginny and Mr. Monkey (don’t ask!) were gainfully employed: strutting about the dance floor they kept grooving toddlers entertained, if slightly bemusing the parents.

McGregor’s vocal range and quality of sound is extraordinary, as is the energy she exudes - particularly given her present condition. The show is perfectly pitched for the 0-10years target group, but the flashes of the more risqué Ali McGregor that are occasionally glimpsed may tempt the older audience to dump the kids and seek her out later at night. I’ll let you know!

Runs 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th Aug, 4pm