FESTIVAL MUSIC | Previews
KING CREOSOTE Fringe regular brings his band to Edinburgh for one night
‘If it’s shunky at the Fringe, it’s cos it’s my fault.’ Kenny Anderson, aka indie folk heartbreaker King Creosote, has pulled together a bunch of pals for a show on 25 Aug. The eight-piece band, featuring the musicians he worked with on upcoming album Astronaut Meets Appleman, will take up residence in the Queen’s Hall – Anderson’s regular Fringe shack-up. ‘We never rehearse,’ he says. ‘We only play live shows. The songs I like with this band are the ones that don’t have fixed arrangements and they just go off in the distance and play.’ As such, even the songs from the new album have already wandered off in new directions. Anderson is open to improvisation, welcoming the band’s sonic experimentation. ‘I step out of it most of the time. I’m the worst musician in the band, so I tend to not ruin it for everybody.’
This self-deprecation is typical of Anderson, but undeserved. Last year’s From Scotland with Love soundtrack ticked all the critical boxes and Anderson himself is a gentle juggernaut, always moving forwards, always working on some wee adventure. His Fringe show, he thinks, is a by-product of the lack of label support afforded to bands, meaning touring has changed, for him at least.
‘People know they’re going to get a show that never travels to their town,’ he says, ‘I do tour, but it’s me on my own or me with one or two others. To see KC at the Fringe, I’m going to have my own band cos my band all live nearby. But to see KC in, say, Norwich, you’re not going to get that eight-piece band. ‘It’ll be a brand new set of songs from the new record and quite light on the From Scotland with Love front. Between that and this record. I’ve actually put out a couple of sneaky little things on Fence, so there’ll be songs from those too.’ (Kirstyn Smith) ■ The Queen's Hall, 668 2019, 25 Aug, 8pm, £20.
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EDINBURGH METAL PARTY 2016 Japanese metallers Crossfaith headline YOUSSOU N’DOUR Senegalese superstar makes his EIF debut
COSI FAN TUTTE Updated version of Mozart's opera
Edinburgh in August is overflowing with music these days, but there’s one genre that's overlooked. Edinburgh Metal Party are back to stand up and represent the heaviest riffs on the Fringe. An 11- hour celebration of hard rock, starting with a gig from 6–11pm, followed by comedy, DJs and music until 5am, this year's lineup features djent / metal / hip hop hybrid Hacktivist, thrashers Certain Death and melodic hardcore from Dead Lies.
Taking the headline slot are ‘five ninjas mashing up metal and electronic sounds with high energy’: aka Crossfaith (pictured), a Japanese five-piece fusing metal and hardcore electronics. They started as a nu metal tribute act covering tracks by Limp Bizkit, Slipknot and Linkin Park before piling on the beats and developing their own distinct sound. ‘We always share music when we’re hanging out,’ explains bassist Hiroki Ikegawa, ‘so we listen to [everything from] jazz to psychedelic, rock to hip hop, and so many others.’
Crossfaith are connecting with the British metal scene with high profile slots at Reading and Leeds before they hit Edinburgh. ‘They just loved how we put the energy on the stage. It cross[ed] the border of language.’ (Henry Northmore) ■ Studio 24, 558 3758, 29 Aug, 6pm, £17.50.
68 THE LIST FESTIVAL 18–29 Aug 2016
To the vast majority of western audiences, Youssou N’Dour is recognised for one thing alone: his smooth, soulful duet with Neneh Cherry on the huge 1994 hit single ‘7 Seconds’. Yet to many more in his native Senegal and with a wider appreciation of world music, the towering influence of his wider life and career is more well known. Active since the late 1970s in his home city of Dakar with the afro- Latin group Etoile de Dakar (now the Super Etoile), he first came to the attention of the west with an appearance on Peter Gabriel’s So album in 1986. Since then, both his rich and resonantly skilled tenor voice and his status as one of the African continent’s most recognisable singers has brought N’Dour wide attention. From an upbringing in Dakar’s tough Medina district, he has collaborated with Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed and Ryuichi Sakamoto; written Africa Opera for the Paris Opera in 1993; appeared in Michael Apted’s 2006 drama about slavery Amazing Grace; and won the Polar Music Prize in 2013. An active participant in Senegal’s political as well as cultural scene, he has also held posts as the country’s Minister of Culture and Tourism since 2012. (David Pollock) ■ Usher Hall, 473 2000, 24 Aug, 8pm, £15–£34 (£7.50–£17).
Hot from the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in the south of France is this brand new production of Mozart’s greatly loved comic opera Cosi Fan Tutte at the EIF. With much of the usual operatic antics of disguise and deception, love and lovers, this Cosi is, however, not so usual in that the small print advises it contains ‘adult themes and nudity’. The director is the oft-controversial Christophe Honoré, who takes the opera and ‘unflinchingly examines the power relationships between the opera’s characters’. That’s one way of putting it. Often referred to in its rough translation of the title, ‘Women are like that’, about the supposed fickleness of women, this production is far removed from librettist Lorenzo da Ponte’s intended setting of 18th-century Naples. Instead, Honoré takes it to 1930s Eritrea, at that time an Italian colony, and the sexual tensions of the piece add a new layer of dark and violent racial tension. The two engaged couples at its centre, with each of the men trying to seduce the other’s partner, become so much more sinister as the two young army officers disguise themselves as African mercenaries and the two sisters enter the taboo world of inter-racial sex. (Carol Main) ■ Festival Theatre, 473 2000, 25 & 28 Aug, 7.15pm, 27 Aug, 5pm, £20–£95 (£10–£47.50).