Music review: Scots Fiddle Festival 2019, The Pleasance, Edinburgh

Now in its 24th year, Edinburgh’s annual weekend celebration of the fiddler’s art rarely fails to provide a heartening showcase of talent, not least of the emerging young-generation players, and Saturday’s programme proved no exception, with many of the afternoon recital artists having come from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, while the evening saw the festival’s admirable Youth Engagement Project take the stage.
 Recital guests included the trio Farrland, led by Glasgow-based German fiddler Bernadette Kellermann, with guitarist Calum Morrison and David Shedden on whistles, matching a mellifluous sound with some thoughtful arrangements.

The KT Bush Band

Music review: KT Bush Band, Summerhall, Edinburgh

Kate Bush only ever embarked on one tour in 1979, effectively retiring from playing live before undertaking her 2014 residency at the Hammersmith Apollo. But before the release of her debut album The Kick Inside, she gigged regularly in pubs and clubs around London with musicians Brian Bath, Vic King and Del Palmer, performing covers and originals.

Kate Tempest

Music review: Kate Tempest, Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow

Kate Tempest wants us to shut up and listen. A reasonable request at a gig, and an underrated quality in life, when there are so many channels through which to express thoughts and views. There is a lot of listening to be done at a Tempest show, such is the relentless, eloquent flow of her words which she delivers as part performance poetry, with some of the momentum of rap and even a hint of melodic structure at points – Tempest’s words sing, even if she doesn’t.

Liam Gallagher in concert In Glasgow as part of his UK tour in support of new album, Why Me? Why Not, 15 November 2019.

Music review: Liam Gallagher, Glasgow Hydro

Even during this solo gig, the spectre of the combustible family rivalry that has boiled away since Oasis emerged 25 years ago wasn’t far from Liam Gallagher’s mind. “I want to take this opportunity to apologise for my little brother and the shit he said about your country,” he said to a very onside crowd, referencing his elder brother and former Oasis compatriot Noel’s jokey, Lewis Capaldi-baiting description of Scotland as a “third world country”. “Scotland’s the bollocks and so are her people.”


Under the Radar: Gravelle

Livingston duo Gravelle, comprising Monique Maurel and Kyle MacNaughton-Wright, announced their arrival on the Scottish music scene with the release of Liquid Skin late last year. The meaty EP was an impressive debut, drawing on 80s synth sounds, punchy beats, a splash of techno and an unashamedly goth aesthetic.

Aidan O'Rourke and Kit Downes joined the Scottish Ensemble to fascinating effect

Music review: The Scottish Ensemble with Aidan O’Rourke and Kit Downes, Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

SELDOM a group to play it safe with a conventional classical gig, the Scottish Ensemble collaborated for its short Elemental tour with trad violinist and composer Aidan O’Rourke and jazz keyboardist Kit Downes, in programmes that collided together uncompromising, somewhat monumental modernism with far more tender, thoughtful contributions from the two guest musicians. It made for a fascinating, if sometimes slightly jarring, combination of styles – and, it has to be said, quite a lot of stage-shifting between pieces.

A rewarding concert by the Brodsky Quartet and pianist Martin Roscoe

Music review: The Brodsky Quartet and Martin Roscoe, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

IF NOTHING else, it was a heavy evening for Gina McCormack. The Brodsky Quartet’s recently appointed new first violinist – a chamber musician of no little experience – played a prominent role in all three of the meaty Elgar chamber works that made up the foursome’s deeply rewarding evening with pianist Martin Roscoe, the first of the new season of New Town Concerts at the Queen’s Hall.

Ilan Volkov

Music review: BBC SSO, City Halls, Glasgow

Never having experienced an LSD trip, I can only imagine it as something similar to hearing Richard Strauss’ madcap tone poem Don Quixote. It is, in every sense, the set of “fantastic variations on a knightly theme” described in the full title: the wild extremes of the hero’s imagined exploits – their horror, whimsy and sheer lunatic visionary distortion – expressed through music so aberrant, at times so agonisingly discordant, that fantasy and reality become impossible to distinguish.

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