Superb. With a Cumulative tonal range and a truly astounding beatboxer aSSuring their uncanny aural resemblance to a full band.

Some of the set-pieces are a bit cheesy. mind you. including a reenactment of Top Gun during 'Take My Breath Away' and a sombre reimagining of Joy Division's ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart'. Yet it's the more populist numbers Maroon 5's 'This Love'. for example which set them up as a fun evening out for anyone who wants to hear the hits and marvel at such vocal skill. (David Pollock)

I St George's West. 226 2428, until 29 Aug, 9pm, £72.50 (27 7.50).


New ideas from Scotland’s big band

A stone's throw from the Pleasance. the Roxy is a year-round venue. an Edinburgh alternative arts centre presenting a series of world musical events that might have slipped under yOur radar. including the GypSy Dancers. Moishe's Bagel and the Cauld Blast 7.

Saxman with the Cauld Blast (and Salsa Celtica). Steve Kettley thinks it's an ideal setting for the band's freewheeling. eclectic and passionate musical ethos.

"The bigger space is really atmospheric and it really suns the Cauld Blast's genre-defying mix of jazz. theatre. classical and folk.‘ he says Past Fringe Critics' Award Winners. the band have slimmed a bit for this year. ‘Yes. Ian and Ann couldn't make it. so we decided to temporarily downsize to seven. write some new tunes and re-investigate some old fav0urites.

We've got jaw harp from Vietnam. old Scots dance pieces on the cello and squeeze box. a tune that moves from Brecht to Ornette Coleman. tin whistle duets with bass clarinet. heavily- structured composition and free improvisation Our usual unusualness.' (Terry Hurletl I Roxy Art House. 0877 750 0077. 78—27 Aug. ll. 75pm. £8 (£6).


Family adventures make for a sweet show 00.

Some people's lives seem like the script to a sit-com. People like the Trachtenburg Family for example. They travel the US buying up junk shop collections of slides and write songs about the photographs they find. be it excitable ladies from the 50s or chubby McDonalds executives.

With 1 1-year-old daughter Rachael on drums. Dad Jason on guitar and vocals and Mum Tina on slideshow and vocals. this is as weird as it sounds. Akin to intruding into the middle of a singalong at the family dinner table. a View into the

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a couple of years ago, Barb Jungr follows up with a tribute to Elvis Presley. Her jazz-tinged adaptations bring a fresh perspective to the King’s familiar classics, and have been well received so far. Who knows, maybe Elvis will show up to check out what she is doing to his legacy. (Kenny Mathieson) Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, 20-29 Aug, 5.30pm, $850—$950 (£7428).

Trachtenburg's alternative universe shows us a really sweet bunch of people taking a novel little idea and making a living out of it. The music Jad Fair meets the White Stripes on helium might play a poor second fiddle to the slides and gags

themselves but that's OK. this is sugary. precocious pop entertainment. It's unlikely to change the world but might make it feel a bit better for a little while. (Mark Robertson)

I Pleasance. 556 6550. until 29 Aug. 7.20pm, Clo-£7 t (£8.50—2960).


Controversial but catchy look at the mysteries of life 00.

Chutzpah will take you further than any other asset. a case lan Willis fights to the death tonight with his Ian Dury- style poetry blended with fiery blues. films projected behind him and his band who on this occasion virtually outnumber the audience. The highly


Name Kate Royal

Occupation Soprano

Who? There are hundreds of music competitions each year, the winners of which might go on to become successful orchestral players or operatic chorus members. And then there are some who shine so brightly that they can do nothing other than become superstars. SOprano Kate Royal is one such case.

Royal's star has been in the ascendant ever since the winning the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Competition in 2004 and thus far looks as though it may not stOp. Her warm lyric voice has been praised for its rich timbre and she has been in great demand for her impressive dramatic command in challenging roles.

The London-born soprano studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she won numerous awards befOre attending the Ravinia Festival Young Artists programme in 2002. She made her Wigmore Hall debut in March 2003 and has performed at Glyndebourne Festival and understudy for Glyndebourne Touring Opera. This year she debuts at the Teatro Real. Madrid, the Aix-en-Provence Festival and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

She made her Festival debut earlier this week. accompanied by pianist Graham Johnson and appears again as the title role in George Benda's Za/‘de with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at Usher Hall. (Hazel Davis)

Usher Hall, 4 73 2000, 23 Aug. 8pm, 2750—835.

Having scored a success with her album of Bob Dylan songs

personal and politicised lyrics. and Io-fi sheen a sleeping bag in a cardboard box and an armchair facing a TV are there to symbolise rich and poor. apparently are at times harrowing. grating and in short. an acquired taste. But his rollercoaster life histOry and infectious enthusiasm certainly deserve some attention.

(Emma Newlands)

I C, 0870 707 5705. until 29 Aug. 10.25pm, £8.50 (£7.50).

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