Telephone Booking Fringe 0131 226 0000 International Festival 0131 473 2000 Book Festival 0845 373 5888 Art Festival 0777 169 3470 REVIEW PATTI PLINKO AND HER BOY Husky vocals from an endearing songstress ●●●●●
What strikes hardest about Patti Plinko as she unravels herself from the snakelike coil in the centre of the stage is the profound huskiness and charm in her voice as she seductively cackles and howls her way through opening track ‘Sway’. Her band, known professionally as ‘The Boy’, consists of a mysterious barefooted man in a dark jumpsuit playing guitar and a slightly less conspicuous lady who drops in and out with her finely tuned violin.
The music is a mixture. Some is of a foot stomping Moroccan wedding- esque nature, with Patti banging on her tambourine and stomping her Doc Martins, an unorthodox choice of percussion that unfortunately overpowers her voice at times. Others are far more subdued, with dark lyrical content accompanied by the clatter of a Sailor Jerry bottle and a saucepan. The show has a rather art house feel to it, with Patti emerging dressed as Sophia Loren at one point, which suits an intimate venue such as this, also allowing her coy, endearing personality to shine through. (Mark Petrie) ■ Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 31 Aug (not 17), 10.05pm, £11–12 (£7–8).
REVIEW STEVEN SEVERIN: THE TRIALS OF DR CALIGARI Classic gets new score ●●●●●
Erstwhile driving force behind Siouxsie and the Banshees, Severin’s presentation of this German expressionist classic with his own recorded score is perfect material for Bang Bang Club’s festival residency in
PREVIEW MUSIC FROM THE PENGUIN CAFE Revisiting a musical phenomenon
The death of Simon Jeffes in 1997 seemed to bring an end to the intriguing story of the Penguin Café Orchestra. Jeffes had founded the group in the early 70s as a vehicle for his musical concept, which – as he told me when I interviewed him in 1994 – had no obvious outlet at the time.
‘I didn’t really have a context for the kind of work I
did. I was just beginning to write music, and I participated in a lot of different areas, like the avant- garde, the experimental end of rock music, more commercial music, ethnic music – but I didn’t really fit into any of them. ‘Given a free hand, I thought I would try to integrate all these different things into one work that would be my work, and that is where the idea for the Penguin Café Orchestra came from.’
The resulting hybrid became a popular phenomenon, and the band’s essentially acoustic instrumentation and mix of classical, folk, jazz and rock musicians found an audience untroubled by genre distinctions. Jeffes led the band until 1996, when he withdrew to
Somerset and began to focus on solo piano work, only to die from a brain tumour the following year. Penguin Café Orchestra’s music continued to be heard in television and film soundtracks and through the adoption of compositions by other musicians, notably the ubiquitous ‘Music For a Found Harmonium’, but the band ceased to exist.
Then in 2007 his son, Arthur Jeffes, staged a tenth anniversary celebration of his father’s music. This year, he leads a new group under the banner Music From The Penguin Café, playing both music from the original Orchestra repertoire and his own compositions. (Kenny Mathieson) ■ Queen’s Hall, 668 2019, 13–15 Aug, 10pm, £15 (£13).
the basement of Teviot House. In a club with an art rock playlist
(Eno, Iggy, Bowie, Kraftwerk) distilling the spirit of the music-meets-art hinterland, this iconic, pioneering and influential film – which incorporates so many of what have now become gothic noir genre clichés (fairgrounds, mental asylums, mad scientists, sleepwalking) that it seems familiar from the outset – fits the mood perfectly. As with much early silent cinema,
(Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera) many others have had a go a writing a score for this. Severin’s first of the four variations he’s presenting during his Friday night residency, incorporates subtle electronics, jagged rhythms and moody strings indicative of his post- Banshees TV and Film work, and curiously enough, is close in sound to the instrumental work of fellow post-
NEXT ISSUE OUT WEDNESDAY 19 AUGUST
punk lynchpins Barry Adamson and David Byrne. (Hamish Brown) ■ Bang Bang Club, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 14, 21, 28 Aug, 12.30am, (£10).
REVIEW TOM TOM CREW Hip hop acrobatics and human beatboxing ●●●●●
Australia’s Tom Tom Crew make a welcome return to the Edinburgh Fringe with their high-energy hip hop inspired show. Having been described as a 21st century circus, this show is in an incredible spectacle of young talent and infectious enthusiasm. Break dancing and back flipping are combined with acrobatics to the accompaniment of a live DJ, a human beatboxer and a drum-banging MC. Each member of the crew has a unique specialisation in one area, which gives the show a non-stop energetic structure and allows each individual talent the opportunity to shine. Amongst the skills being showcased to the baying audience are summersaults on stilts, mid-air trapezium and a humorous piece of
music on the obscure omnichord that gets everyone joining in. Most impressive is the human beat boxer, who unbelievably manages to challenge himself to a hip hop vs drum & bass showdown, recreates a jazz trumpet performance and gives an ode to Michael Jackson with an unforgettable mega mix of his biggest tunes. A genuinely unique 60 minutes indeed. (Mark Petrie) ■ Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, until 31 Aug (not 18, 25), 7pm, £12.50–16.50 (£10.50–15). for GLASGOW MUSIC see non-Festival magazine
58 THE LIST FESTIVAL MAGAZINE 13–20 Aug 2009