Making Music Happen


At the latest press conference for the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Councillor Lesley Hinds said something along the lines of the arts being important because of their ability to amaze. It is totally appropriate. then. that among the first performances in the theatre will be Scottish Opera‘s Tristan um! Isolde. It is not only amazing, but. as with the very best of art. transforming.

A co-production with Welsh National Opera. the performance and interpretation clearly benefit from the wealth of Wagnerian experience garnered by conductor Richard Armstrong and the three main singers. Anne Evans. Jeffrey Lawton and Kathryn Harries. Evans more than confirmed the reputation she has earned as one of the world’s t0p Wagnerian sopranos. Hear her now and you probably hear her at the height of her career it is difficult to think of anyone who can sing the incredibly demanding role of Isolde better. A similar depth of intensity of expression and conviction came from Kathryn Harries as Brangaene. with Jeffrey Lawton‘s Tristan coming into its own particularly in Act III as he nears death. With smaller parts being taken by singers of the calibre of James Johnson as Kurwenal and Kenneth Cox as King Mark. this Tristan is that rare occurrence a production without one weak link.

Yannis Kokkos‘s set looks very simple. making use of light and shadow rather than elaborate design. But it is somehow its very simplicity which in a quite masterly way serves to heighten the complexity of the drama. Under Annstrong. the orchestra is paced. arched and sensual, with some beautifully poised wind solos and gutsy, full tone from the lower strings.

It’s long be prepared for about six hours in the theatre and the Edinburgh Festival Theatre seats, at £lO—£l50. are expensive. But if you were to go to this and nothing else all year. it would still be money well spent. (Carol Main)

There is one further performance in Glasgow on 21 May and one performance only (with this cast) at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre on 25 June.




Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh, 13 May. ,

East 17 are cheeky Lahndon barrow boys mucking about in their big brothers’ clothes, trying to impress their big brothers' girlfriends.

Alternatively, East 17 are the antidote

to Take That: raunchy, rude and with more than a hint of danger. The screaming hordes at the Playhouse clearly adhere to the latter definition. Each clumsy and over-zealous pelvic thrust is greeted hysterically; each exposure of singer Tony Mortimer’s midriff floods another row of finely upholstered seats. East 17, you see, are sex gods. Which is more than a little ridiculous when you witness Mortimer stripping down to a nasty pair of boxer short and, rather than looking like a new recruit for The Ghippendales, looks more like the actor in the Mr Muscle TV ad. Such

. are the wondrous idiosyncracies of

teen stardom. Ignore the fluff, though, and East 17 are a great pop band. Their 80-minute

set is crammed with fine singles -

from the opening ‘llouse Of Love’ to

their latest, ‘Around The World’. (Best

just to forget their tragic cover of

‘West End Girls’ and the appalling

‘Kingston Town’.) Of course, their best

! moment, ‘Deep’ - as sexy and sensual

i a song as you are likely to hear from a

- group of lads barely out of their teens

? is kept for the encore and

f accompanied by ever increasing

3 crotch-grabbing and hip-thrusting.

Climactically, the construction site

stage set explodes as Mortimer humps

the floor a la Prince. Well, sort of.

Truly, East 17 are what pop music is

all about. The fans have been dreaming of this concert for months and arguments about the various attributes of the lads will dominate playground conversations for, oh, at least a couple of days.

East 17 recognise the disposability of pop and all its accompanying cliches. They exploit and manipulate

the raging hormones of the fans that

have given them an unbroken run of

? chart hits. And they’re not Take That or Bad Boys Inc. What more could you

ask for? (James Haliburton)


King Tut’s, Glasgow, 7 May.

‘Can I have more vocal on my monitor, please? My voice. Can’t imagine why I’d want to hear more of it. I hear it

' every day.’

The bar at the end of the world. Strangers are shoehorned together in a red-lit sweatbox, laces turned up to the stage in the hope of forgetting that time’s just about up. But almost every song the singer plays is about this very fact and, unbearably, those which aren’t are about beauty that’s lost forever.

Woah, sorry, but this is the kind of stuff you find yourself thinking when Townes Van Zandt loses you in one of his ballads - and it’s largely due to that voice. It’s shocking to hear how much it has changed; from the strong, plaintive keening of yore, Van Zandt now almost talks his way through the songs in a restrained, resigned whisper, nearly regal in its weariness. It’s as if the voice has finally evolved to fully fit the laments it has housed for so long.

, On his first time in Glasgow, Van

3 Zandt is welcomed by a crammed King Tut’s like a prodigal son, the air thick with anticipation which, soon after the

opening, hope-filled ‘White Freight Liner’, gives way to warm affection, shouts, laughter and groans - the latter due to the legendary awfulness of Townesian humour. Over the next one-and-a-half-hours, a ioumey unfolds, veering from pathos through

slapstick (‘Talkin’ Thunderbird’) via

1 Lightnin’ Hopkins, Janis Joplin, dead men’s pawn tickets and answerphone suicides, ultimately to the aching regret of ‘Flyin’ Shoes’, which tonight sounds like the last groans of the earth.

Always avoiding the well-travelled road, and thus forsaking the commercial success, cliche and concert-hall plushness of many of his peers, Van Zandt will continue to ramble and emerge unannounced in

upstairs rooms of bars like this, and continue to thank the sound men at l the end of the night. (Damien Love)

1 v BOOK now

Concerts listed are those at major venues, for which tickets are on public sale at time of going to press.


I GLASGOW BARROWLAIIO (226 4679) Galliano. 19 Jun; Chaka Demus and Pliers. 10 Jul; lilvis Costello. 14 Jul.

I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 551 1) Julia Fordham. 3 Jun; Bonnie Raitt. 6 Jun; Kris Kristofl‘erson. 9 Jun; Sinitta and Jermaine Stewart. 2 Jul; BB. King. 4 Jul; Al Green. 7 Jul; Dwight Yoakam. 14 Jul; Judy Collins. 6 Sep; The Hollies. 21 Oct; Hank Marvin and Brian Bennett. 30 Oct.

I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) Indigo Girls. 1 Jun.

I GLASGOW SECC (248 9999) Diana Ross. 6 Jul; Cliff Richard. 4—6 Dec; Dina Carroll, 10 Dec.

I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) Horse. 9 Aug; The Hollies. 23 Oct; Penguin Cafe Orchestra, 6 Nov; Sixties Show. 13 Nov; Rocky Horror Show. 22—26 Nov.

I EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE (557 2590) Village People, 16 Jun; Huey Lewis, 20 Jun; Jackson Browne. 25 Jun. I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Blues Band. 5 Jun.


Magnum. 8 Jun.

I STIRLING CASTLE ESPLANADE (031 557 6969) UB 40. 18 Aug;

} Runrig. 19 Aug.


i I EDINBURGH resnvru

( THEATRE (529 6000)

1 Pasadena Roof Orchestra. 7 26 Jun; Ted Heath Orchestra. 8 Aug; George Shearing. 10 Aug.

I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) New Orleans Mardi Gras. 20 Jun; Herbie Hancock. 1 Jul; BB. King. 4 Jul; Al

Orch. 24 Nov.

I GLASGOW OLD FRUITMARNET (227 5511) Martin Taylor, 2 Jul; Bobby Watson. 2 Jul; Annie Ross. 2 Jul; Thomas Chapin. 3 Jul; Ahmad Jamal. 3 Jul; Gateway. 3 Jul; Watson and SYJO, 4 Jul; Carol Kidd. 5 Jul; Horace Silver. 6 Jul; Deuchar Tribute. 7 Jul; Joe Henderson. 8 Jul; Roy Ayers. 8 Jul; Nigel Clark. 9 Jul; Steve Grossman. 9 Jul; Max Roach. 9 Jul;

Suzanne Bonnar. 10 Jul; Zawinul-Gurtu. 10 Jul; Robben Ford. 10 Jul.



Tennents Live! Making Music Happen

Green. 7 Jul; Glenn Miller

THEATRE (529 6000) Sydney Devine. 12 Nov. I GLASGOW CONCERT

. HALL (227 5511) Entertainers at War. 4 Jun; Bob Hope. 13 Jun; Patsy Cline Tribute. 26 Jun; Guy Mitchell. 18 Sept; Shirley Bassey. 19 Sept; Val Doonican. 18 Oct; Tom Jones. 15 Nov; Dominic Kirwan. 20 Nov. I GLASGOW PAVILION (332 1846) Sydney Devine. 16—19 Nov.


I GLASGOW CONCERT HALL (227 5511) Choral Spectacular. 5 Jun; RSNO Proms. 10—25 Jun; Midsummer Rhapsody Gala. 29 Jun; Jessye Norman. 6 Jul; Montserrat Caballe, 19 Aug; The Flying Dutchman. 26 3 Aug; GIGS. 3-11 Sept; . Galway and Robles. 12 Sept; Tokyo Philharmonic. 19 Oct; Gothenberg SO. 3 Nov; Bernard D’Ascoli, 14 Nov; Borromeo On. 18 Nov; Emma Johnson. 6 Dec; John Williams. 24 Jan; Novosibirsk Philharmonic. 12 Feb; l-eif()ve Andsnes. 22 Feb; Stuttgart Philharmonic. 28 Mar; Joshua Bell. 2 Apr; Melos Ensemble. 4 May; lvo Pogorelich. 2 Jun; Cecilia Bartoli. 7 Jun; Jessye I Norman, 6 Jul. { I GLASGOW RSAMD (332 g 5057) Junior Concert. 4 :Jun; GCO. 5 Jun; Glasgow Sinfonia, 12 Jun; Scottish Voices. 12 Jun; St Mary’s Concert. 19 Jun; ; Junior Concert. 25 Jun; Semele. 27—30 Jun. I EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE (529 6000) ! Tristan und Isolde. 25 Jun; 2 RSNO. 27 Jun; E Montserrat Caballe, 28 3 Jun; The Sixteen, 3 Jul; ; Amsterdam Baroque. 17 1 Jul; Evelyn Glennie. 19 Jul; English Bach Festival : ()pera. 21—22 Jul; Kronos Quartet. 23 Jul; Labeque Sisters. 27 Jul; Michael ' Nyman Band. 6 Aug; Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, 7 Aug; Fidelio. 15. 17 Aug; Ute Lemper. i 22 Aug; Australian Opera. I 25-27 Aug; British Youth Opera. 7-10 Sept; Misa Flamenca. 18 Sept; King's College Choir. 25 Sept; Israel in Egypt. 2 Oct; Lithuanian NPO, 30 Oct; I EDINBURGH OUEEN’S HALL (668 2019) Tea Concert. 8 Jun; ELO. 11 Jun; Lothian Schools Concerts. 18—21 Jun; St Mary’s School. 22 Jun; George Heriot’s, 24 Jun; Verdi Requiem. 25 Jun. I SUBSCRIPTION SEASONS Programme details and tickets for Scottish Opera from Theatre Royal. Glasgow (332 9000); King’s Theatre. Edinburgh (229 1201); Festival Theatre. Edinburgh (529 6000).

38 The List 20 May-2 June 1994