_ Minutes to go
Since 1 .6 million copies at her first album, ‘Stop’, have changed sides oi the counter, you’d think that Sam Brown’s position would be lairly secure. Not so, for she's currently without a recording contract and has an album in the can, ‘43 Minutes’, which is unlikely to see the light of day.
“My mum died of cancer,’ she explains, ‘and when she was really illl started working on my third album. The second was considered a failure by the
record company because it only did live or six hundred thousand -which i don’t consider a failure. So they were pushing me to do this and that, and I didn’t want to co-write any more and l didn’twant to do covers. What i really wanted to do was to write all the songs mysell. I basically did what I wanted to do, the record company said, “We can’t sell this-we love it, but we can’t sell it,” and we’ve heard the same story lrom everyone else. They said I could shelve it and do another album, but I said no. The idea lor Edinburgh is
that we play the whole album, and see I
how it goes down.’
Having settled this year in an old schoolhouse near Perth, and enjoying its ‘remoteness’, she’s shooting oil alter her Fringe stint to play solo in Red Square, then joining In an odd-sounding tour around Eastern Europe supplying vocals for old friend Jon Lord (from Deep Purple) and a lull orchestra. ‘It appeals to me a bit more than trying to get a hit record and being on “Top Ol The Pops". i don’t want to ponce around the world in high heels talking to people I don’t know ior nine months at the year.’ (Alastair Mabbott)
Forty-Three Minutes Plus With Sam Brown (Fringe) Sam Brown, Marco's (Venue 98) 228 2141, 22—29 Aug (not 24, 27), 12.30am.
Where there’s muck
' ~ :‘s' .
Blues on acoustic guitar and bass? Nothing out oi the ordinary, you might think, until you see the instrument. Jon Sass plays the bass and an amazing amount oi other things on the tuba.
Bands like the Barely Works and The Cauld Blast Orchestra have been integrating the big instrument’s warm, useful sonorlties - once only heard in occasional wacky ensembles- in all sorts of ieit-lield music.
Harlem-bum Sass is a virtuoso oi the instrument, classically-trained but with experience at top-ilight contemporary jazz in David Murray’s Big Band, and mainstream serious music in the Boston Symphony
‘)-v‘ "wry- no:
‘ N" "was ' Orchestra. A few years ago he met up with the Dutch-born bluesman Hans Theesink and the combination oi tuba and resonator steel guitar was an instant success.
Theesink is a tremendous player, a line authentic singer, welcome at the major American lestivals and well known in Scotland. Although the duo’s music is essentially blues, their compelling musicianship and inventiveness has a universal appeal. (Norman Chalmers)
Hans Theesink and John Sass (Fringe) Acoustic Music Centre (Venue 25) 220 2452, 22, 23 Aug, 10.30pm, £4 (£3).
NEW LIFE FOR THE ORGAN
it‘s okay if you play the flute, violin, or even the double bass: have instrument, will travel. But what if your talents just happen to lie with the king of instruments, the organ? Performances are restricted to where the particular organ you want to play happens to be, which usually means in a church or a cathedral. This is not the case, however, for Swiss organist Hannes Meyer. in fact, it’s not even one case, but eight, for the travelling pipe organ he brings to Edinburgh for performances at the Reid Concert Hall (which, does, incidentally, boast a fine organ of its own) ﬁts neatly into no less than eight suitcases.
Although Meyer has already scored great success with a copy of an early Baroque table organ, the instrument he brings to Edinburgh is a , new one, built by Orgelbau Thomas Walti oqumligen in Switzerland, and will be making its first appearance in public at the Fringe. Determined to j popularise the organ with the man in the street, Meyer presents two recitals in addition to workshops for children in the mornings of the same days. Repertoire forthe first concert is for organ and strings and the second is entitled Music Around The World. (Carol Main) I New Lite For The Organ (Fringe) Hannes Meyer, I Reid Concert Hall (Venue l 68) 226 5138, 25 Aug, 8pm and 26 Aug, 12.30pm, £5 (£4).
THE PASSIOUN 0’ SANCT ANDRAA
Somehow, the largest arts festival in the world gets bigger every year and somehow Edinburgh still manages to provide new spaces for it to happen in. On one hand, indicating that saturation point has been reached, The St
3 through plainsong and the
Aug, 10pm,£7 (£5).
5 mm. .- welI-worn concert ' workhorses. Even a casual
: several Fringe venues . overthe next weekis
i after his first single, the
Andrews Singers of Luxembourg open their contribution to the MacDiarmid centenary celebrations not in Edinburgh, but across the Forth in Dunfermline Abbey (which. incidentally, is not anything new, as the first Fringe included a theatre production there). On the other hand, the Singers, under director Jamie Reid Baxter, also show that Edinburgh, with its proliferation of churches, can still come up trumps
and they are using St 5 Michael and All Saints
Church in Tollcross for the first time in the Fringe‘s history. in both venues they present The Passioun 0’ Sanct Andraa, described by Reid Baxter as ‘an imaginary recreation of the medieval mystery play
: about the cruciﬁxion of St
Andrew and how he came to be patron saint of Scotland — and one of the very, very few operas to use Scots vernacular.‘ Presented under the auspices of The Saltire Society, the opera moves
mass Pater Creator Omnium by Robert Carver to, says Reid Baxter ‘finally explode in Gaelic psalm-singing and a terrifying prophesy of Scotland‘s future.‘ (Carol
I The Passioun O’ Sanct Andras (Fringe) Saltire Society, Dunfermline Abbey (Venue 112), 23 Aug, 7.30pm, £7 (£5); St Michael and All Saints Church (Venue 76), 24—28
ANDY WHITE/NAN VERNON
Not part ofthe Fringe, but somehow appearing in
Andy White, still going strong a full seven years
pointed ’Religious Persuasion‘.
His recently-released Out There LP found him in ; infectiously sprightly form — even when iambasting Our Leader’s Citizen’s Charter - his backing band taking leaves out of Bob Dylan‘s book (no samples or programmed beats here) and White himself, consciously or not, displaying the inﬂuence of Lou Reed on ‘The Colour Of Love‘. He doesn’t mind admitting being gobsmacked by the New World, while using it as an excuse to meditate on man’s inhumanity to
man, but he loves lreland. particularly its propensity for turning out great wordsmiths.
White is joined on this tour by new discovery Nan Vernon, whose songs — as heard on the forthcoming E? No More Lullabies— might be a little precious for some tastes, but which nevertheless endeared her to Eurythmic Dave Stewart, who signed her to his Anxious label. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Andy White and Nan Vernon The Dream Tent. 23 Aug, 8pm. £6 (£5);The Dream Tent 25 Aug, 6pm. £6 (£5); Edinburgh Suite, Assembly Rooms. 26 Aug. 6pm, £6 (£5); Wileman Room. Assembly Rooms. 27 Aug, 8pm, £6 (£5).
V CLASSICAL N.A.Y.O.
The fact that this isthe
. 13th Edinburgh Festival ofBritish Youth Orchestras is itself
evidence that it has become a well-established part ofthe Edinburgh festivities, but it actually goes one better by duplicating itself at the RSAMD in Glasgow as well. This festival within the Festival is already underway. and visitors this year have included orchestras from Ilolland and Canada alongside their British counterparts.
Anyone familiar with the youth orchestra scene in this country will know the high standards which are regularly achieved in that sphere, and they have the considerable extra bonus of not being under commercial pressure to limit repertoire to
glance through the programme reveals names like Alfred Schnittke. David Bedford, Robert Simpson. Elizabeth Maconchy. and Aulis Sallinen. as well as much imaginative — and ambitious— programme planning.
There are over twenty orchestras (including various specialist
ensembles) to choose
from, and ticket prices are pegged at a sensible level (£2 at lunchtime. £5 at night, with CAP discounts. and free entry for children, students. unemployed. and the disabled). A free programme ofevents is available at the venue. (Kenny Mathieson)
I Edinburgh Festival oi British Youth Orchestras Central Hall, Tollcross, 12.30pm or 7.30pm, until 5 Sept (not Suns).
56 The List 21 - 27 August 1992