I John Pearson From Dover via Liverpool — not the route you’d expect to ﬁnd an acoustic blues guitarist taking, but John Pearson is an accomplished six and twelve-string ﬁngerpicker, keeping alive the songs of Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi John Hurt and Robert Johnson.
John Pearson (Fringe) Acoustic Music Centre (Venue 25) 2202462, 29—31 Aug, 10.30pm, £3.50 (£2.50). I The Scottish Virtuoso What better contender for a hit-list than a percussion concerto? Evelyn Glennie does the honours in James MacMillan‘s Veni, veni Emmanuel, premiered at the Proms just a few weeks ago and receiving its second performance with the SCO and
J ukka-Pekka Saraste in the ﬁnal concert of this year’s Festival.
The Scottish Virtuoso (Festival), RSO, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, 225 5756, 5 Sept, 8pm, £8—£22.
I Edward Tudorpole and Julie Ballou Fresh from reprising his Great
Rock ’n ’Roll Swindle role with The Scottish Sex Pistols last Tuesday, the great Tenpole Tudor sings some of his greatest choons interspersed with some comedic tales. He’s supported by Julie Ballou, who returns to Fringe stand-up after two years of playwriting and acting.
Edward Tudorpole and Julie Ballou (Fringe) Stepping Stones (Old Traverse Theatre) 226 4412, until 5 Sept (not Tues), 8pm, £5.
I Indian Flute and Tabla Hands up who’s never seen or heard a raga performed. Well, this year there are several opportunities under three slightly different names. Binay Krishna Baral and Amp Kanti Das travel internationally, playing the traditional Gandharva-Ved, with the intention of uplifting their listeners and creating balance in nature. They’ve been having more tangible results in their recent music workshops with the mentally and physically handicapped in Glasgow. Indian Classical Flute and Tabla (Fringe) Acoustic Music Centre
( Venue 25 ) 220 2462, 29Aug, 12.30pm, £4, £3; 1 Sept, 6.30pm, £4 (£3).
Classical Flute and Tabla of A ncient India (Fringe) Acoustic Music Centre (Venue 25) 220 2462, 30Aug, 1 pm, £4 (£3).
Classical Music of A ncient India (Fringe) Doc’s Place (Venue 36) 650 2395, 31 Aug, 2,3,5 Sept, 9.30pm, £4 (£3).
Jabber- ing Hutt
As Hank Wangford tunes up his geetar for another Fringe run, he speaks to Alastair Mabbott from his occasional home on the coast of Ireland.
‘Sitting on the edge of the Atlantic, as I am, is very gorgeous,‘ declares Dr Sam Hutt, aka Hank Wangford. as he enjoys a breakfast cuppa. gazing out of the Connemara house in which he sometimes manages to snatch a few days’ break. ‘It‘s my substitute West of Scotland. A lot of Connemara is like Skye. and I’ve always felt happy in my soul when I get past Rannoch Moor and Glencoe.’
Connemara has the same effect on him, and he loves the crack as much as the scenery, going down to sing in
some of the pubs where the licensing laws are never allowed to interfere with the local perception of time. ‘Sometimes, in Claire for instance, they’re very serious about it and they just want traditional music all the time. I can’t be doing with that. I need a voice for a start.’
Two Festivals ago, the most famous gynaecologist in the history
of country music was approached to go out to Romania and do his bit by training doctors there. He agreed, and enough money was raised from queues outside the Assembly Rooms to finance his first trip to Brasov in the Carpathian Mountains. accompanied by sixteen packing cases ofmedical supplies. Contraceptive advice was long overdue in Romania since it was illegal under Ceaucescu.
‘The reason the orphanages are full is because women were forced to have babies. You couldn‘t even breathe the word contraception until you’d had five children. Women would be periodically examined by state doctors to see that they were pregnant. If they were. they were registered pregnant and they‘d better not suddenly get un-pregnant.‘
He‘s now been over six times, opening that number ofclinics in
Brasov and its environs and training
GPs to carry out procedures that only gynaecologists have been allowed to do until now.
‘There‘s still a backlog of corruption and feathering your own nest. and that depresses me. But the people I‘ve met in Brasov are really nice people and good gynaecologists.‘ The snail‘s pace at which things are moving gets him down as well. but. he points out. there are signs ofimprovement.
‘Up until July of last year. they were still doing 500 abortions a week in one room with two beds side by side. and that‘s gone down to 22(). Whether you can claim that that‘s all entirely due to the clinic. or to some kind of heightened awareness. or whether somebody else is doing the abortions, it certainly is a sign that things are getting better.’
Wangford's globe-trotting continued when be researched a forthcoming Radio 2 series called Wangford's Ride in South America. recording songs. stories and myths of the original cowboys of the Americas - ‘the Latin cowboys. the ones who started it all.’
As his Fringe run starts. he will be entertaining the inmates at Saughton Prison on Mon 31 , the kind of gig he’s done occasionally in the past. in places like Strangeways and Barlinnie.
‘Barlinnie was odd. actually. a bit dour. lwas surprised by that. I think maybe we made a mistake in playing “Green Green Grass ()f llome“.‘
I Hank Wangford And The Lost Cowboys (Fringe) Marco‘s (Venue 98) 2284141 . 31 Aug—5 Sept. 10pm. £7.50. £6.50.
um- Dawn Upshaw
As might be expected under a new director whose primary speciality is music tor the voice, the recital programme in this year’s Festival is a particularly strong one. included in that line-up is the superb American soprano Dawn Upshaw, and it is as a recitalist rather than on the operatic stage that she has made the greatest impact so far.
Her two recital discs lor Eielrtra Nonesuch, ‘Knoxvllle, 1919’ and ‘The Girl With Orange Lips’ revealed not only a lovely, ilexible voice and immaculately sensitive response to the text, but also an eclectic and imaginative choice of repertoire, in a period where the catalogue groans with disc alter disc at the standard lavourites.
Upshaw was born in Nashville and
raised in llllnois, and started out intending to be a popular singer with an eye on a Broadway career, but when voice training took her from alto to soprano, she concentrated instead on a classical repertoire.
As to material, she has a retreshingly
honest awareness oi her limitations,
and the areas in which she is strongest and weakest, and tailors her work accordingly, ratherthan take on inappropriate material as a ‘necessary' career move. That freedom comes, she says, lrorn the fact that she has never been driven by the kind ol burning ambition for success which iuels many other young singers.
Her Edinburgh recital will ieature rather more traditional material than the discs, with songs (although not the most obvious ones) by Walt, Schumann and Schubert, alongside Mussorgslty’s piquant ‘Songs From the Nursery’ and a line selection of Charles Ives. It is given additional fascination, too, but her accompanist, the highly regarded American pianist Richard Goode (who has his own recital on 4 Sept). (Kenny Mathieson)
Dawn Upshaw and Richard Goode (lntematlonai Festival), Queen’s Hall (Venue 72) 668 2019,31 Aug, 11am, lit—£10.
45 The List 28 August — 10 September 1992