Mab sizes up rock on the Festival and Fringe this year.

You won‘t find any rock in the Festival at all. It must be true that Rock Is Dead. after all. As I remember. there wasn‘t any last year either. Oh. hold on. here‘s Ryodogumi. a Japanese variant with heavy reliance on the Odaiko drum. we‘re told. And it‘s on the official programme too (details below). alongside dancer Michael Clark’s collaboration with The Fall. ‘I Am Curious. Orange‘. So that‘s what happened to rock‘n‘roll: it didn't die. it just got patronised by the Edinburgh Festival. Is there a difference?

Elsewhere. as always. The Fringe is bubbling with a healthy. eclectic brew. musicians from all over the world rubbing shoulders. pounding drums and stroking guitars.

The Venue on Calton Road is providing a varied programme for its second year. commencing with Fatala. dancers and musicians from Guinea. before being taken over in week two by Andy White. Belfast‘s chirpy retort to Bob Dylan. On White‘s last tour he was backed by The Classan literally his old school chums but this time around he has assembled a formidable group ofScots. with members of Swamp Trash. We Free Kings and Deaf Heights Cajun Aces (not to forget the rhythm section from Elvis Costello‘s Attractions) both as support and backing group. Three storming gigs. and plenty ofsurprises. are guaranteed. Except for White‘s appearances. The Venue will be

tempting chaos by dividing the evening into three

FATALA l Playing at the busy Venue in Calton Road in week one ( 15—17 August at 8pm. plus a warm-up show the previous Friday) is Fatala. the pride of Guinea. West Africa. Founded by Yacouba

reviews wherever they have played. When they finish their short run in lidinburgh. they head down to play the WOMA D festival at St Austell.

The WOMAD (World ()f Music. Arts and

‘Bruno‘ (‘amara in l98l. Fatala is a group of drummers and dancers who perform the music. songs and dances of Guinea as they were performed before the country's independence in 1958. and is named after the river which flows through Camara‘s birthplace. Rio Pomgo.

Despite the country‘s rich musical heritage. Camara's decision to become a musician was forbidden by his strictly religious family. so he left Guinea and spent the early 60‘s travelling through Africa and Europe. eventually settling in Paris. where he became established as an expert in African percussion.

After many years of recording and playing experience. Camara formed Fatala. a troupe of the finest musicians and dancers from his home country. who have been the recipients of rave

Dance) connection has been a fortunate one for

Fatala. Not only have they ' benefited fromthelive showcases it has provided.

separate time slots. with different acts in each. bringing us such delights as the excellent Tex-Mex star Flaco Jiminez. Ghanaian master drummer Ben Badoo. the Life Reggae Package from Birmingham and Hank Wangford. who will be making his only Festival appearances there. Scheduled for three appearances (25-27 August) is the ever-popular. brain-pummelling Tackhead Sound System. The Tackhead personnel being so fluid and interchangeable. events are unpredictable and often unclassifiable. but Maffia man Mark Stewart and NYC drum and electronics legend Keith Le Blane are scheduled to show up. One welcome date at the close of the period is a show by former Associate Alan Rankine. currently producing a band in Frisco. but he‘ll be back in time for I September.

As they did last year. Dundee‘s Dance Factory provide a number ofthe highlights ofthe Fringe‘s perennially-sparse rock side. under the banner ‘Rock‘in The Fringe‘. and judging from his riveting set at Fife Aid. John Martyn‘s solo performances will be a run not to be missed. Even Martyn. though. would probably be drowned out by the roar for homecoming heroes Blues‘n‘Trouble. who in the last year have established themselves as the most indispensible rhythm‘n‘blues group in Britain. and. let‘s face it. any white group who can draw praise from B . B. King need no further assurance that they‘re on the right road. The blues theme continues with the grizzled boardwalking bluesman Ted Hawkins (Queen‘s Hall. 28 and 29 August). and it‘s rumoured that up-and-coming singer-songwriter Tanita Tikaram. who plays in her own right at the Assembly Rooms on 29 August. may be supporting Hawkins on at least one ofhis two dates.

A regular visitor to Edinburgh. and not just for the Festival. is Martin Stephenson. also roped in by Dance Factory to rock the Fringe. The

but their strong. rhythmically-based LP. entitled simply ‘liatala‘. is one of the first releaseson WOMAD records. The recording took place at Peter Gabriel‘s custom-built studio near Bath. which has already

them live. if you can. (Mab)

I Fatala Venue. (‘alton Road. 557 3073. 15—17 Aug. 8pm. “(8).


After his brilliant. but all

provided many groups from around the world the chance to record in state-of-the-art surroundings. But catch

too short. appearance at Fife Aid. there‘s no doubt that John Martyn‘s series of solo concerts will be obligatory for Festival-going music lovers. Armed with only a guitar. Martyn can turn a set from beautifully poignant love songs to intense exorcisms and back again. drifting off into realms ofscat-singing until his voice becomes as much an instrument asthe guitar he plays so adeptly. It must be frustrating for the 42 year-old Glaswegian that he is still thought of by many people as a ‘folkie‘. considering that even on his second album. ‘The Tumbler‘. he was pushing forward the boundaries of what was acceptable in the folk world by playing with jazz saxophonist Harold McNair. on 1972‘s ‘Solid Air‘ made extensive use of electric guitar and in 1976 even worked with the legendary reggae producer Lee ‘Scratch‘

i l

with real stars. What a guy! (Mab)

Newcastle-based singer. famed for his sensitive and intelligent songwriting. found his profile i growing with the release ofthe 1986 LP ‘Boat To I Bolivia‘ and has spent most of his time since then j playing live. either solo or with his band The i Daintees. who accompany him to the Queen‘s 1 Hall fortwoshows on 3()and 31 August. Earlier ' this year. Stephenson and The Daintees released another LP. (Iladsome. Humour and Blue. ! cementing their eclectic and soul-searching reputation. =

At least one trip to the Fringe Club is mandatory. though the real Fringe in-crowd have gravitated elsewhere in the last few years. Their 3 loss. ifit means missing out on such fine local 5 groups as The Critter Hill Varmints ( 12 August). l Swamp Trash ( 1‘) August). Deaf Heights Cajun ' Aces (2 September) and Makossa (3 September. l also playing Platform ()ne 27—29 August). for whom no further recommendation should be i needed.

And what Edinburgh Festival would be complete without those old troupe rs Tom Robinson and John Otway joining in'.’ They‘re back. all right. Robinson for a truncated run of only three nights this year (see below) and Otway flitting between The Venue and The Gilded Balloon Theatre in a manner befitting one of the last great British eccentrics. Also celebrating their success in Fringes past. Atnampondo. who hail from the South African ‘homeland‘ of Transkei. have extended their original week-long run by another ten days. such is the demand for their brand ofpercussive rhythms .

Finally. although it might be plugged as a jazz gig. it‘s worth taking up a little more space to recommend the irrepressible Jools l lolland (see below). who brings his big hand up to help him show off how good he is at that old boogie woogie and New Orleans jazz. when not hobnobbing

Perry on a soundtrack. an experience which influenced the rhythms of his following LP ‘One World‘.

The formation of a

tickets. which are limited to 2le a night). Doors open at llpm. (Mab)


,. .. -. . . lRyodogumi.Playhouse ilii‘llih'iifilfiili‘fii Theatre.2Sememner. ' 7.30pm.£3.

hmugh‘ Mart-V" “""cr m Martin Stephenson and The

to the rock mainstream. despite occasional complaints from the music press that live shows were laid-back enough to be an efficient insomnia cure. Such grumblings didn‘t bother Phil Collins. who

Daintees. Queen's Hall, 30-31 August, 9.30pm. £5.50.

lTackhead. Venue. 25-27 August.1am.

ITom Robinson. Assembly Rooms.1—3 Sept. 11.45pm.

P‘rod‘uce)dthe‘Glorious I ‘fg:é:3‘),'1,mume‘ Fool. Ll (the title traek. a : Queen.sHa"‘1Sememben satiricalattack on Ronald E 9 30 m £5 Rea yan was an earlvstab ? ' p ° '

E. .‘ V, j " l lJoolsHolland, at political statement). or Amphitheatre. 22_27 Eric ( lapton. who August, 29 Angus” mc'u‘jcd {he Mm)" September. Times vary. £5 standard May You (£4) Never‘on ‘Slowhand‘. llis ' band‘s scts show upthc most keenly all the diverse influences Martyn has I Michael Clark with The

Fall. King's Theatre. 15-20 August. 7.30pm. £8. £5.50.

picked up and rearranged. and the move to the

electric guitar did nothing 5. £3.

but enhance his reputation I John Martyn. Heriot Watt as a creative and original Thealfe. 15-20 AUGUST. musician. 11.15pm. 26.

His solo concerts. .Amampondov Assembly running from 15—20 Roomsv13—30AUWST. August are part ofI)ance 11-45mm 25-

Factory‘s ‘Rock‘in The ' Famav venue. 12 3M

Fringe‘ package. and take place at the Heriot Watt Theatre. Grindlay Street (phone 229 3574 for

15—17Aupust. 8pm. £4 (

I Avalon. Queen's Hall. 17 August. 9pm. £3.

The List 12— lSAugust 1988 45