Music review: Tinderbox Orchestra

Another evening, another gig which perfectly demonstrated the capabilities of the gorgeous old Leith Theatre as a living, breathing concert venue; yet this will be the last one for a while, as it was the closing event of the inspiring and successful Hidden Door festival, which restored this derelict venue to life for ten days.

tinderbox orchestra
tinderbox orchestra

Leith Theatre, Edinburgh


The Tinderbox Orchestra is a young concert orchestra from Edinburgh whose dozens of members had plenty of room to play on the spacious stage. It was also a launch show for the group’s debut album Tinderbox, the result of working with young musicians in workshops and recorded environments, and with special guest stars. Contributing a delicate support set to the band, 2015’s Scottish album of the Year Award winner Kathryn Joseph appeared onstage with the group as well, playing piano and adding her gorgeous, trembling vocal to her own track The Weary. At the other end of the experience scale, 14-year-old Dumfriesshire workshop attendee Kate Kyle brought a brilliant, mature folk singing style, alongside fellow young contributors Taagan and the Maidens of Music Community Choir. Amid appearances from members of Black Diamond Express on Live Free or Die and Song Yuzhe of DaWangGang on the strikingly loud orchestral experimentation of Talking About Birds, the players cycled through a range of vibrant styles and influences. These ranged from imposing, Stravinsky-influenced classical to light hip-hop rhythms, and the inevitable gangshow mateyness of the endeavour was balanced by the serious skill of all involved.