Interviewed in Edinburgh on the day after the General Election Richard Thompson was saddened that the divide between North and South was even more apparent. but nevertheless. 'hadn’t voted himself. ‘There's no one I would vote for. I'm an anarchist essentially. . .butI might vote for the government that would partially dismantle itself.‘ Considering the North/South divide in terms of audiences he was a little more concrete. preferring Scottish audiences to those ofthe South East. ‘They are witty. and not shy.In Aberdeen they are not so witty. butlouder.’

At his concerts in the Assembly Rooms this Festival. the former Fairport Convention guitarist. whose albums recorded with his wife Linda were acclaimed as masterpieces and whose band (including several former Fairports) can knock spots offjust about anyone going. will be performing solo. and finds it easier to do these days.‘ I think Elvis (Costello) helped a lot.Seeing someone go on without a band doesn’t mean they‘ve gone all folky and floppy. It‘s not a restriction.’

Fittineg for an artist who is equally respected in the rock and folk camps alike. Thompson‘s earliest influences were Buddy

Holly and The Shadows. ‘Then. after The Byrds and electric Dylan. we felt we could go out and create a British or English rock style out of

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folk music. our folk music. But there are enough people around preserving traditional music. It's important to experiment with it. to any degree


A long-awaited songbook is due out next year. hopefully giving a fair idea of the man‘s songwriting talent and versatility. ‘Writing.’ he says. ‘is like at the office. It helps to say “This month is writing month" and do it every day. Anything can be a starting point - reading the

telephone directory. . .’

Thompson’s ambition to pay his band decent wages may lead to him spending more time in America. where his biggest audience can be found. ‘I‘m probably less pigeonholed there than over here. They sort ofsee me as a new wave


Tongue in cheek. I suggest that ifhe was a New Age artist he could sell thousands of records and pay the band as much as he wanted. He gleefully agreed. ‘Yes. I just need one riffand change a note every ten minutes and I’ve got a New Ageguitar album!‘ (Norman Chalmers)


.- Balkana Three

astonishing female harmony singers in companywith the cream of Bulgarian traditonal instrumentalists. male singers and bagpipers. Ravishing. Assembly Rooms. George Street. 23.27 Aug. 1pm; 25.26. 29 Aug. 3.45pm. £4.50 (£3.50)

0 Radical Folk Dick Gaughan is Scotland's Red troubadour. voted

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top singer in the UK polls. Attaco Decente are the new wave post-Bragg folk band with a purpose. Dick Gaughan. Queen's Hall. Clerk Street. 8pm. £3.50 (£1.50). Attaco Decente. Assembly Rooms. 23—29 Aug. Midnight. £4 (£3). 0 Boys of the Lough Irish flavoured traditional music ofthe British Isles. virtuoso fiddling and two decades of a track record. Queen‘s Hall. Clerk Street. 21 22 Aug. 7.30pm. £4.50 (£3.50).

0 Capercaillie Beautiful singer Karen Mathieson leads ever rising Gaelic folk band. Reid Concert Hall. Bristo Square. 22 Aug. 8pm. £3.50(£2.50). 0 Shockbum Two generations of singer/songwriters are personified by Bruce Cockburn who wages a pacifist‘s war on Reagan‘s Central American policies. and has evolved from the folkie late Sixties to a superb guitarist in a rock context; and their refreshing. ironic song stories ofthe young Michelle-Shocked. whose walkman-recorded Texas Camfire Tapes album was the surprise hit oflast year. Bruce Cockburn. Assembly Rooms. George Street. 10pm. £5 (£4.50). Michelle-Shocked. Assembly Rooms. 26—29 Aug. 11.45pm.£5(£4.50) 0 Andrew Cronshaw Electric zither meets electric violin. Andrew Cronshaw gets together again with Fairport‘s fiddler Ric Sanders. in the last of his delightful concerts at the West End. Imaginative treatments of traditonal themes. Andrew Cronshaw. St John's Church. West End. Princes Street. lpm.£2.50 (£1.50).

0 Ossian Scottish songs. celtic harp. great highland bagpipes. forceful


l l l

rhythmic undertow on guitar.

Ossian. St John‘s Church. West End. Princes Street. 27-29 Aug. 6.30pm. £2.50 (£1.50)

0 Bolivia Paja Brava are enjoying playing at the Festival. and found a ceilidh on their first night. Five enthusiastic singers and the necessary pan pipes. charango etc. they are a well-known recording group based in La Paz. Rumillajta are on their fifth visit tothe Fringe and play a more stylised

multi-instrumental music.

Both compelling. Paja Brava. Festival Club. Chambers Street. 21—29 Aug. 3pm. £3.50(£3). Rumillajta. St John's Church. West End. Princes Street. 20—22 Aug. 6.30pm. £2.50 (£1.50); Reid Concert Hall. 23 Aug. With slides from Bolivia by Julio Etchart. 2pm. £4 (£3).

0 Harp Nouveau The traditional small harp of Scotland in a rock/funk context. Savourna Stevenson lets her fingers do the talking in the company of bass. keyboards and percussion and the electrified clarsach. Harp Nouveau. Assembly Rooms. George Street. 23 Aug. 8pm; 27. 28 Aug-1pm. £3.50 (£3).

0 Ceilidh 0n Down'l'he classic two accordion-led ceilidh hand full steam ahead in a big hall that's the annual Wallochmor bash at Teviot Row - one ofthe country's best dancing bands. Dance music that won‘t sit still long enough to be tagged. slipping into American country songs or bagpiping comes with Ben Wyvis And The Last Resort. Mr Wyvis is a big fella from up beyond Inverness. Leave your brain behind. Wallochmor Ceilidh Band Late Night Celidih. Bristo Street Student Centre. Bristo Square. 28 Aug. llprn. £3. Ben Wyvis And The Last Resort. Fringe Club. Teviot Row. 22 Aug. midnight.

0 Swamped Music from the wetlands of Louisiana was the starting point of two Scottish bands who throw accordions in with the rock guitars and deal out Cajun. blues. zydeco and even some good old Scots/Irish jigs. Listen while capering around the floor. DeafHeights Cajun Aces. Fringe Club. Bristo Square. 27 Aug; Zydeco Ceilidh Band. Fringe Club. 29 Aug.

0 Sweet Honey They sold out a few months ago in the same venue. Protest songs. work songs feminist hymns. songs

from the black American experience all performed

r arrestingly a cappella. and

not in the slightest way dull. With the Bulgarians. what a week forfemale harmony singing. Sweet Honey In The Rock. Assembly Rooms 278—29 Aug. 9.30pm. £6.50 (£5.50). 0 Clarsach Society The Scottish Harp Society are hosting a series ofconcerts at the West End. The Highlands and Islands in words and music is the theme of The Call OfThe West. voice. harp and mandoline. Anne Macdearmid. voice and clarsach. performs a mixture of music and song with Alistair Marshall. whistle and Northumbrian pipes in Minstrels And Makars. A Festival Ceilidh is held in the historic Signet Library when a ticket will include with the pipes. fiddle and song. some wine and savouries. Call OfThe West. 23 Aug; Minstrels and Makars 22 Aug. both £2.50. Roxburgh Hotel. Charlotte Square. Festival Ceilidh. Signet Library.


Street. 21 Aug.7.30pm.


0 Acoustic Music Centre The Centre. beside the Festival Club in Chambers Street. operates as a

concert centre and folk

club cum session venue for

the duration ofthe

Festival. Food and drink available all day. and

admissionis charged only

in the evenings. Bartill

late. The full list ofevents is in the Fringe Programme. here is a choice. Rod Paterson has a unique voice and an

intelligentchoiceofsong. be it 18th centurv Scots or ..

(ole Porter. Sileas are a

{ duo who play the metal

and gut strung Scottish harps. singing in Gaelicor Scots/English and will

, bringtheirelectroharp.

The McCalmans are one

% of Scotland‘s longest-lived bands. specialising in a

: tight vocal harmony. and a quirky sense ofhumour.

Chorda and Seannachie regularly play to full

houses and play

instrumental Scots music and song in a line-up of

I fiddles. guitars. bodhrans. f whistlesandmore.

' Synge‘s play The Playboy

ofthe Western World stops on tour for one night. McCalmans. 21—23 Aug. 10.30pm. £3; Seannachie. 26. 27 Aug 8.30pm. 28. 29 Aug 10.30pm. £2.50; Rod Paterson 25 Aug. 8.30pm. 26 Aug 10.30pm. £2.50: Sileas 23. 24 Aug. 8.30pm. £2.50; Chorda 21. 22.28.

i 29Aug.8.30pm.£2.50.

30 The List 21 Aug 3 Sept