The world of Celtic music supplies the major folk music concerts of the Festival. The groups have different approaches to the music of Scotland and in the case of the Boys oi the Lough a large helping of poteen is stirred in with a Shetland fiddle. The Boys have plenty of singing subtlety and muscular musicianship and, in the new line-up, the potential to unleash a full-blooded ceilidh band.
The Whistlebinkies have achieved distinction over the years for their artfulness in creating rich and evocative arrangements of old Scottish compositions and traditional airs. They are a six-person line-up and incorporate songs in both Gaelic and Scots with the lowland pipes, harp, fiddle, concertina, ﬂute and drum.
Ossian are five strong and have evolved a style that redeploys the elements of Gaeldom and the Lowlands in a lyrical fluency. The use of an open strung guitar drives the aewmpaniment along in the reels and marches with the Highland bagpipes and counterpoints the harp in the slower airs.
The Battlefield Band are at the more commercial end of the spectrum with a show biz sense of presentation, refined fiddle playing and piping, and a traditional sythesiser and occasional drum machine. Their’s is a popular approach to the re-invention of Scottish music. If one person has to be picked out as the ultimately silly choice of Best Scottish Folk Musician, it would have to be Dick Gaughan. His ability to still a crammed hall, with a few sung words and a phrase on the guitar, is uncanny and if some find his mix of poesy and politics hard to take, there
will be many more glad of tickets on the night. Battleﬁeld Band, Queen ’3 Hall, South Clerk Street (venue 72) Tickets: 668 201 9. 20 A ug, 7. 30pm. £4 (£3); Dick Gaughan, Queen’s Hall, South Clerk Street, 21 —23 Aug. Tickets: 668 2019, 21 A ug, 8.30pm, £3.50 (£1.50); Ossian, StJohn’s Centre, Princes Street, 21 —23 A ug. Tickets: 226 5138, 6.30pm, £2.50 (£1.50); Whistlebinkies, The Dome, Pilrig Park. Tickets: 226 4001 , 24 Aug, 11pm, £3 (£2.25); Boys ofthe Lough, Queen ’3 Hall, South Clerk Street (venue 72 ) Tickets: 668 2019. 30Aug, 7pm and 10pm, £4.50 (£3.50).
South of Hadrian’s Wall there are legions of lost souls who wander from folk festival'to folk festival with beer tankards hooked to their belts and fingers stuck in their ears to prevent anything entering to fill the void. In spite of this, occasional good performers emerge from the folk scene and The Dome, Pilrig Park, is the venue for some of the best. The KipperFamily on the 17th are a hilarious debunking of the ‘discovered’ rustic singers, poking fun in a deadpan way at the hand that feeds them.
Three Mustaphas Three on the 26th are another not too serious but terribly talented bunch, six in all, who wear the fez and droll expressions while doling out on instruments from all over the near east the sort of mania-inducing dance music that started all the trouble back in Sarajevo.
The Oyster Band on the 15th and 16th are consistently voted top dance band in England and they mix squeeze boxes with electric guitar and sax to produce a driving, traditional-based sound. Dave Swarbrlck on the 25th, not content with the limitations of traditional fiddle, has expanded to jazz/rock, classical/folk fusion in his new band Whippersnapper and he still plays too
fast, but in the company of musicians who are more than equal to the task. Ifyou can only take in one performance in this corner of a foreign field , let it be June Tabor and Martin Simpson on the 19th or 20th. Simpson’s guitar is clean, intricate, tasteful and confident and he has a passionate intensity that can stop the breath of the audience. The Dome,
7., «1,: ~.. M» 4.1. . ,
Pilrig Park, off Leith Walk. Tickets: -
225 5756. All concerts 11pm, £3 (£2.25) (except 16 Aug; £3.50 (£2.50) For further information contact The International Festival Office, 21 Market Street.
The epicentre of the small folkquake occurring in August is deep in the cellar ofthe Folk Cellar ofthe AAL Centre, 16 Chambers Street. All who sing or play traditional or folk music in Edinburgh will arrive there over the Festival period. There are late bars and food, ceilidhs on some nights, sessions every night and concerts every evening and some afternoons upstairs in the centre. The full long list of performers is in the Fringe Programme but here is a representative sample.
John James is a guitar pyrotechnician, a superb bluesy string puller. There are some lovely
women singers including Cilia Fisher, .
the contrasting styles and beautiful voices of the girl singers in (Scots)
Seannachie and (Gaelic) Capercaillie i
and the arresting harmonies of Christine Kydd and Janet Russell. The fiddle, in the hands of Ian Hardle, who has a new tune book and solo album on the shelves, can be heard in Chortle who have a relaxed way with Scottish music and song, born of years of experience in concerts and clubs at home and abroad. Fiddle with an American accent is one of the sounds of Hadden, Bothileld and Can. Sprangeen, Scotland’s all women folk band, are in concert with their unique mix of music, song and
instruments including the clarsach or
Scottish harp which is also featured, in its metal and gut strung varieties, by the duo Sileas. With solo entertainers, family concerts, groups like the McCalmans or Alba, folk theatre and Celtic music from California. there is something there
every night from the 8th to the 30th. I
AAL Centre, Chambers Street Centre, 16 Chambers Street (venue 25) Tickets: 226 5138.
Chorda, 8 and 9Aug, 8.30pm. £2. 50. 22 and23 Aug, 10.30pm. £2.50; Cilla
Fisher, 10Aug, 2.30pm. £2.50 (£1.50
children), 1 7A ug, 6.30 and 8.30pm. £2.50; John James, 11—13 A ug, 10.30pm. £2; Janet Russell and Christine Kidd, 13 Aug, 8.30pm. £2 (£1.25); Sileas, 18 and 19Aug. £2.50 (£1.50); Capercaillie, 20Aug, 10.30pm, £2. 26 Aug, 8.30pm, £2; Seannachie, 20—23 Aug, 8.30pm (except22 Aug, 6.30pm and 29 Aug, 10.30pm) £2 (£1.50); Hadden, Rothﬁeld and Carr, 22 and 29 A ug, 8.30pm, £2 (£1.50); Sprangeen, 24 Aug, 6.30pm. £2.50 (£1.50).
McEWAN’S EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
The McEwan‘s Edinburgh International Jazz Festival is a huge event. the logistical problems horrible to contemplate. and you
must purchase the fat. cheap Official ;
Programme to grasp the sheer amount of New Orleans. Trad. Dixieland, Mainstream. Latin. Swing and some Bop that will fill the city 17—23 Aug.
The fun festival starts on Sunday afternoon with a Grand Parade of over 30 bands. some marching but most on a cavalcade of ﬂoats. interspersed with majorettes. old cars etc, proceeding along Princes Street. The Grand International Opening Jazz Band Ball commences that evening at 9pm and runs through till 4am.
From Monday there is a series of concerts in the Cotton Club. Beck‘s Spiegeltent. The Royal Overseas League. The Riverside Suite. Platform One and Meadowbank Stadium as well as free jazz all over town, with at least two bands per afternoon or evening session. The Bar venues are Basin Street, Haymarket; DooCot Roadhouse, Pilton; Drones, Grassmarket; Fairmile Inn. Fairmilehead; Granary Bar, Belford Road; Navaar House Hotel, Mayfigld Gardens; Peartree House. West Nicolson Street; Preservation Hall, Victoria Street; Rutland Hotel. Shandwick Place; Sighthill Hotel, Sighthill; The Merlin, Morningside Road; Waterloo Bar, East End Princes Street; and Ye Olde Highwayman. in St Andrews Square Bus Station.
A Gala Farewell Ball till 4am on Saturday morning rounds off the week and ambulances will be available to ferry exhausted cases to
the sanatorium. (Norman Chalmers)
Jazz parade, Princes Street - Grassmarket, 17Aug, 2pm; Grand International Opening Jazz Band Ball, The Jazz Pavilion, Meadowbank Stadium, 17A ug. 9pm—4am. £8; Gala Farewell Ball, TheJazz Pavilion, Meadowbank Stadium, 22 Aug, 9pm—4am. £10. Tickets and Information from Jazz Festival Office, 116 Canongate; Jazz Festival HQ, Royal Overseas League, Princes Street (from 11 Aug).
McEWAN’S JAZZ CONCERTS
The Harlem Stampede with Buddy Tate and Al Gray and the formidable Harry Edison. Milt Hinton and Gus Johnson, are the authentic sound of Black American Jazz and their years
of experience in the top Stateside
Fiﬁ—ails} 8 — 21 August 37