Experiments in country

Anything can influence a singer songwriter, but what better muse is there than the great outdoors? Such is the thinking of quirky American songstress Laura Veirs, whose recent album, Carbon Glacier, is oozing with a fresh air vibe.

‘I love nature and I go out in it for weeks at a time,‘ she says. ‘I don‘t notice that I‘m absorbing the details of the environment, but when I come back I realise they’ve sunk in somehow and they come out through the music.‘

And such beautiful and haunting music it is. Influenced by American country as well as the folk music of the States and across Europe, Veirs is one of a handful of artists taking folk music into the new millennium. Carbon Glacier is rooted in a country music ethic but experiments with sound and structure beautifully. Veirs is currently more popular in Europe than in her home country, but that’s about to change now she’s signed to Nonesuch Records over there. Don‘t expect that to change her outlook though.

‘I tend to jump around genres and I certainly don’t want to repeat the past,’ she says. ‘I want to push things forward and I want to mess around with things, make it interesting.‘

(Doug Johnstone)

I lhe Venue, (LLB/(l lot) (ll/)0, loAi/g. 8pm, 57, as part of l on the l-r'rnge: see our Offers Page for your 2

for l prnt voucher.

and show off in front of their mates. lhe closest they lllt.\’ll£ll)l\’ get to the promised 'rnusic hi/ insider' in attendance is when the bloke from the record shop up the road pops in for a post work swally.

Not so l Break. however: i or everyone who gets a hit of stage time throughout the year. the rewards are orin too real. A place in the qualifying showcase stage during Spring at one of Scotland's inaior music venues. A coveted spot on the 'l Break Stage at l in the Park. And for the very finest entrants. a place at this “Best Of . .' roundup at l on the l ringe.

Claims that l Break is iust a io|l\ for the regular (‘ircuit hands of the Scots music scene are wa\ Writ) of the mark usually peddled h\ disgruntled rand possihlx reiectedl entrants. For. unlike most other events of its ilk. l—Break rewards only the truly talented. rather than rust the annoyingly keen, This \ear is no exception. with Edinburgh's bufarrely place-centric hip hoppers FB Collectixe tlI stands for Fountainbridgei. r'auCOLis Samba-techno outfit Weird Attr'actOrs. higth regarded accustic Glaswegians Unkle Bob. and the duality indie rock


of Poor Old Ben and the CIITCIIIEIIICS. All Winners. and all here to pick up their reward.

il)avid Pollock)

I Lrgurd Room, 225 2564, 75 Aug, 7pm, F5. as part of 7‘ on the Fringe: see our Offers Page for your 2 for l prrit voucher;


There‘s a new fest in town, hallelujah!

Something new to the Fringe this year Is the first American Gospel Music Festival. Over the space of four day s. 12 performances will be giteh h\ gospel chon‘s and famous contemporary Christian professmnal groups from the US. Top of the bill are Avalon, four Singers who in (‘Oll‘ll‘Oli with the Beatles. Mariah Carey and Elvis have been able to compile an entire album of No 1 radio hits. Michael, Janna. Jody and Melissa come to Edinburgh with favourites like ‘Adonai'. ‘Give it Up'. "The Glory and Testify to Lexe'. Also appearing lS Abe Lab0riel. world- renowned Jazz bass player and composition graduate from Boston's

Berklee School of Musrc. who. With some friends. presents his gospel music band. Add Rick Muchow and the Saddleback Gospel (Show from Southern California. Gary Anglin and the Voices of CCC from Brooklyn, and there will be lialleluiahs ringing loud enough to be heard over the whole of Festival City. (Carol Main)

I St Cuthhert's Church. 226 0000, 73— 76 Aug. times vary, fl 7 (€70).


Guitarist's foursome amaze O...

In a truly international quartet. the ever spectacular acoustic talents of Antonio Foreione are embellished this year with Nigerian cello. RLrSSian accordion and Brazilian percussion. All are bedazzling mLiSiCIans Willi personality. expressmg the same gentle humOur and Joy in performance as the tender Italian centrepiece.

Delicate. dynamic and controlled. the compositions and arrangements are inspired. showcasing a

mind-boggling variety of styles and form. The innovative guitarist exerCIses flowuig precrsion, his hands drifting deftly around his instrument as he duels wrth his ensemble.

He's an all plucking, all strumming, all clicking. tapping, slapping Virtuoso of world ia/x and comes highly recommended.

(Mark EdmundSOrii

I Assemb/y (a) St. George '8 West, 226 2428, until 30 Aug (not 76, 23). 90m, £‘l2—l3 (El 7—12).

CAMUT BAND - LIFE IS RHYTHM The rhythm method 0...

Halfway through Camut Band's stunning showcase of muSsc and movement. a performer offers us the chance to particrpate. All we have to do is clap our hands in time wrth the drum. Simple really. but it takes us ten attempts to get it right. Which is proof, were it needed. that Camut have mLJSical talent running through their veins they just make it /ool< easy. Be they tap dancing in sand or On huge drums. or using their vocal chords as instruments. these guys can Create rhythm and s0und out of thin air. (Kelly Apteri

I Asserrih/y Roe/ifs. 226 2428. uritr/ 22 Aug. 70.25pm, l‘l2— l3

(E‘l 7— l2).


Charming, peculiar

pop poetry 00.

Archetypal Fringe fodder here. as string bass and nylon guitar accompany accomplished harmonies and performance poetry in the pyjama clad Quartet. Aoute COLich.

Imparting a vaudewlle stream of consciousness where clever and quirky folk/pop inventions merge With tWisted interpretations of popular ClaSSICS. the reSuIIing effect is somewhat like falling asleep at a party.

This odyssey is full of slap-dash, off-kilter charm that occasionally threatens to derail altogether. only to be Jovially iolted back on track. the runaway train of thought careering round another bend.

Shrewd. strange and inSightful, Victoria Wooo this is not. ilvlark Edmundsoni I P/easance Dome, 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 77;, 4.45pm. {7.50—8.50 lib—7).

forf" “7‘7 l non-festival magazrne i 12—‘9A

Five lyrical reasons to go see Ballboy

MUSically, Edinburgh foursome ballboy veer between massive epic noiseouts and fleeting acoustic numbers. They're also instantly recognisable. thanks to the band's signature the lyrics ofhead‘boy Gordon MaCintyre .. 1 . Avant Garde Music ‘The girl who works in the record shop/She says that I am not avant garde enough/Well so what . . ./She only works in a record shop/ And I don't give a fuck what she says or she thinks about me' 2. ‘Donald In the Bushes . . . ‘The last time I saw you. you were hiding in the bushes with a bag of glue/Now you bake cakes for middle- aged ladies and you're married too.‘ 3. Swim For Health ‘Everything I have ever learned/l learned at the funerals of good men/and everything I have ever learned/I've forgotten again“ 4. Public Park ‘You have dogs instead of children/ You take long walks instead of spending time with your husband/But if I had a husband like you/l would take long walks too.‘ 5. The Sash My Father Wore 'Page 3 girls get you excited/ You support Rangers and Man United' (Stuart McHugh)

' The Venue, 557 3073, 72 Aug, 7.30pm, £6.