Gig review: Tinderbox Orchestra, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
WITH around 80 musicians crammed onstage at any one time, the triumphant culmination of the Tinderbox Frontiers Project, bringing together young musicians and singers from across Edinburgh, was likely to be loud. It would need to be to compete with the buzz from this enthusiastic audience.
Sure enough, the Tinderbox Orchestra in full flow were a formidable proposition, propelled along by a rocking rhythm section, energised by brass and string sections who really dug into their performance and coloured by the massed voices of the Tinderbox Choir and James Gillespie’s High School Choir, whose blend of pure, unearthly and bassy tones carried their repertoire into the stratosphere.
The centrepiece of the concert was an original work, Colour of Conflict, which burst from foreboding rumblings into an invigorating battleground for funky rhythms, jazzy woodwind, meaty vocals and momentous MCing.
Also joining the party for a few numbers apiece were two of Edinburgh’s most sonically creative bands. The heady electro hymns of the aptly named North Atlantic Oscillation almost sounded like an orchestra in their own right, while Broken Records combined the urgent and the anthemic to produce their beefy Caledonian rock sound.
Highlights of the second half included an apocalyptic chamber pop cover of Sufjan Stevens’s epic Age Of Adz and the soulful singers and rappers of local hip-hop collective G-Code leading the orchestra on their composition Troubled, before bands and orchestra came together for two final collaborations which harnessed the celebratory spirit of the occasion.