Sean Shibe is a young guitarist with angels at his fingertips

While the Fringo's reputation as a hotbed of new talent gonoially leans toy-rards its hundreds of budding thespians. young musicians make an important contribution too. Ono such is 16 year old classical guitarist Sean Shibe. ‘.'.1ho tll‘JOf‘) the first performance of a revised version of Icelandic composer HéiflKll llallgiiinsson's Jt'i‘cob's Ladder.

taking the painting of tho samo n; me by Marc Chagall as its starting point. tho fivemovement pioce. described by the composer as “very difficult to play'. is about tho ()ld lostainent story of Jacob's dioaiit. In it. a ladder stretches up from earth to heaven. “In the piece." says Shibe. “tho laddm :5; represented b1. the frets on tho guitar and my fingers are tho angois going up and down :t.'

With a place at tho HSAMD under his

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bolt and a performing career in mind. it seems that Shibe is already climbing a musical ladder of his own. (Carol Main) I St Mark is artSpaco. 228 I 1:35, 7. 8 and Iii/lug. :‘j. ISpm, 5‘8 (5‘6).

MESSIAEN 1 00 Centenary swansong from the moreish birdman

ivon over half way through tho 100th anniversary year of tho birth of OliVior Messiaen v- numerous concerts. recordings and broadcasts; of his music at every turn ~ tho urgo s still to hear more. not less. Regarding himself as much an ornithologist as a composer.

Messiaon's music is uniquely influenced

by birdsong, which he notatod from throughout tho world and used in all of his music.

he International Festival's celebration

of one of France's greatest composers is two-fold. Followuig in Messiaon's footsteps as organist and composer is Nair Hakim. an extraordinary virtuoso

Open until 33m VENUE 270

Rumba Magica 10.15pm-11.15pm

Sensational live latin band with Flamenco Dancers

Latin Club 11.30pm-3am A latin fiesta with live band and DJ's

’1 7.30pm Skyiess + The Terrapin Empire " ' 7.30pm Blues night with Missing Cat + Doc Rodent +late night lam session T " " 7pm-10pm The Beep Seals + support .' 'T' 1" 11pm-3am The Soul Foundation

la' l‘ii ;'\.. . it'll-c ’-.(‘C>i. TllE ARK 5-7 Waterloo Place Edinburgh Elli 336

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Tickets: Fringe Box Office, Ticket Scotland, Tlcketweb, Ripping Records

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who gives two late-night recitals on St Giles' Cathedral. pairing Messiaen with his own compositions and improvisation. On the evening in between, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra swells its ranks to over 120 players for Ec/ai'rs Stir lair—Dela —- translated as illuminations of the hereafter which was the final work of the deeply religious Messiaen before he died in 1992. (Carol Main)

I St Giles Cathedral, 473 2000. S) (8’. l I Aug. 10.30pm, 5‘17; Usher Hall, 473 2000, /()Aug, 8pm. 5‘10—17.


Scottish outsider brings home his extensive back catalogue


Carrying the jazz message

Reminders of the legaCy of the great Art Blakey and the hard bOp academy that was his Jazz Messengers show no signs of abating. Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson headlined a show at the Glasgow Jazz Festival last month, his first in Scotland since 1994. and now trumpeter Valery Ponomarev returns for what has become an annual visit to the Fringe.

It’s the stuff on your doorstep that always goes unnoticed. While we heap plaudits on underground legends from across the pond, Scotland’s own talented outsider Jackie Leven remains unheralded.

‘I can’t get arrested in this country,’ Leven laughs, ‘but my last single and album both charted in Germany, and I do well right across northern Europe.’

It’s to Leven’s credit that he discusses his lack of homegrown success without bitterness. The 58-year-old Fifer will spend the next six months touring the world, taking in China, Australia and Canada, almost always to

larger audiences than in Britain.

It’s a strange state of affairs. In a career spanning 35 years, Leven has created an extensive and varied back catalogue, somewhere between the wilful artistry of Tom Waits and the curmudgeonly literate folk of Bob Dylan, all imbued with a quintessentially Scottish sense of self-deprecation.

Having produced everything from psych—rock to punk, he’s recently settled on a consummate bluesy-folk, his songwriting and guitar playing, as evinced on latest album Lovers at the Gun Club, stronger than ever.

In the past he’s not had to seek out problems, with a biography including losing his voice for two years after a near-death strangulation, and subsequent heroin addiction, but 2008 finds Leven in cheery mood.

‘I’ve reached an age where you say, “Wait a fucking minute, am I going to trudge around the world being in a sulk?” You’ve got to have fun and believe in your own songs, it’s as simple as that.’

With over two dozen albums under his belt, Leven is certainly prolific but nothing in the studio or on stage is ever carefully planned.

‘You’ve got to leave yourself open to new things,’ he says, ‘I like the permanent sense of not quite knowing what’s going to happen.’

And he remains enthusiastic about the new music he sees around him at festivals and gigs. ‘There’s more effort being made now than for a while,’ he says. ‘After punk, people were all about attitude, but attitude is not very nutritious and in the end people want to be fed by their music. I know I do.’

(Doug Johnstone)

I Cabaret l/o/t.'r//o, (18.11 495) 9990, 8 Aug. 5‘8.