Thomas Trotter‘s late- night recitals promise to be one of the highlights of this year‘s Festival. The rich diversity of Olivier Messiaen‘s inspiration leaves him unparalleled among composers of organ music this century. while Trotter's technical brilliance and musicianship win him rave reviews wherever he sets foot. Messiaen‘s ecstatic vision incorporates a system of colour-coded rhythmic devices derived from Indian raga and ancient Greek poetry. and melody transcribed from birdsong both exotic and mundane. But all elements serve his unique brand of Catholic mysticism. which is nowhere more eloquently voiced than in his organ works. (Peter Cudmore) I Thomas Trotter Plays Messiaen (International Festival) St Giles Cathedral. 225 5756. I9. 26 Aug. 2 Sept. 10.30pm. £10.


The Comedians ‘Thanks very much. Especially the dancers!‘ Lively Edinburgh band The Comedians jam and laugh the night away. getting almost everybody on their feet and grooving. The Comedians and the mysterious Odd Bodhran are two of the bands playing at Kaya Records‘ Festival ‘Gig Factory‘ in Moray House. The Comedians‘ active dance is complemented by Macumba‘s tribal bagpipe music and The Tartan Amoebas ceilidh fixation by Odd Bodhran‘s didjeridu and trancey rhythms. Kaya‘s Dave Robertson says that the reason behind the showcase is purely selfish ‘I'mjust putting on bands I like‘ although he hopes to promote local bands after the Festival too. After The Comedians‘ ‘up' music.


llte lemper is a difficult singer to slot into ready categories. The 30-year-old German chanteuse is classically trained, but prefers to work for the most part in the less formally


| interpretations, but I believe that

when you sing Weill, you have to use your own personality and the way you I see the world. I found out pretty quickly that my voice and my

demarcated musical world mapped out temperament were too savage for

by jazz, cabaret and musical theatre, where she feels both her dark, sultry voice and her artistic philosophy are more readin accommodated. iler attachment to the music of Kurt

Weill springs not only from a love for the composer’s work, but also from an acute awareness of the relevance of its social messages to the present day, and nowhere more evidently than in her native Germany. She has

7 performed in Weill’s operas as well, but her unconventional treatments led to a ban on her performing his full

stage works by the Kurt Weill

Foundation last year.

‘They did not like to hear me breaking the rules and finding new i

opera - my musical roots were in jazz,

where notes are not projected in a high, ranting way, but are whispered, and can crack once in a while.’

The music she will sing in Edinburgh will draw on the repertoire of her ‘Illusions’ project, a direct but highly individual nod to the sophisticated

popular song traditions explored by Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich. ller style in this material crosses back and forward from jazz to pop to cabaret, but it is one which she makes very firmly her own. (Kenny Mathieson)

Ute lemper (International Festival) Festival Theatre, 529 6000, 21-22 Aug, 10.30pm, 27.504216.

being encircled in a tribal dance by bagpipers is a surreal experience. but something not to be missed. If you like a good

_ dance. none of these bands will let you down.

I The Comedians

(Fringe) Moray House.

556 5184. 23. 30 Aug.

9pm. £4.50 (£4).

I 0dd Bodhran (Fringe)

Moray House. 556 5184.

22 Aug. 9pm. £4.50 (£4).

I The Tartan Amoebas

(Fringe) Moray House.

556 5l84. 29 Aug. 9pm. £4.50 (£4).


Pianist and composer I from The Cauld Blast

Orchestra. Ian Johnstone presents a show based round a number of Burns songs he‘s set to original melodies. With Easy Club acoustic guitarist Rod Paterson in charge of the vocals and you can‘t get a better singer for that sort of thing occasional fiddle from Cast person Mairi Campbell and classy saxophone from jazzer Steve Kettley. they present a very varied. entertaining and often beautiful soundscape. the lyrics of Robert Burns and some other contemporary and later Scots songsmiths standing up very well to being swung. rocked. reggaed and bluesed. There are plans afoot to get this down in the studio. but it will be ages before a CD will be in the

shops. so catch the last performance at the Festival. (Norman Chalmers)

I Ian Johnstone and Rod Paterson (Fringe) Acoustic Music Centre

(Venue 25) 220 2462. 25

Aug. 10.30pm. £5 (£3).



The endlessly world- toun'ng Battlefield Band have a birthday present

from their parent Temple

Records. All the early

recordings have been

digitally re-mastered and the up-to-date collected works is in the shops in a


presentation set which

looks uncannily like a whisky box. Titled 25 Years Of Smuggling Scottish Tradition. it includes a scrapbook of photographs of the well- loved folk band in previous incarnations. John McCusker. their current fiddler and talented multi- instrumentalist. had yet to draw his first breath when the band first struck up.

The album set : complements the newly-

released concert video. recorded mainly in Aberdeen. but includes some tracks from a New Zealand festival appearance by the four lads. (Norman Chalmers) I The Battlefield Band (Fringe) Queen's Hall (Venue 72) 668 2019. 20. 21 Aug. 10.30pm. £7 (£5.50).


Robin Williamson and Mike Heron always draw an appreciative crowd in Edinburgh. and fans of theirs should make a point of checking out their erstwhile accomplice in

the Incredible String

Band. Malcolm Le Maistre. An Incredible String from 1971—74. Le Maistre contributed some of the most memorable

songs from that era. and he is featured prominently in the ISB home movie Be

Glad F or The Song Has No Ending. which came out on video earlier this

.e' ‘égg .


Since those days. he has worked with The Enid and Mike Heron (again). performed in several Edinburgh Festivals. spent two years on a multi- media children‘s project and released his first solo album. Nat/ting Strange. Asjust one of the acts appearing nightly in the Cafe Graffiti cabaret. Le Maistre won‘t exhaust his repertoire; but he is in the process of putting together a band to gig again later in the year.

j (Alastair Mabbott)

I Cafe Graffiti (Fringe) Cafe Graffiti (Venue 90) 557 8330. until 4 Sept.

9.30pm. £5.


There‘s a family feel to this fun-packed five- piece. with all the members contributing something to their raw. melodic funk. Unlike many other funksters their tracks are song-based with real lyrics which catch an instrumental groove anti

ride it to funk nirvana.

Their guitarist. Ian MacKechnie (ex-Space Monkey Mafia and leggro) reckons that Edinburgh's music venues are silted up with blues and covers bands making it difficult to get decent gigs. Still. ever optimistic in the face of adversity. they‘ve got an eponymously-titled six-

i track cassette ready to be

i unleashed on the public

and besides. as vocalist

f Cassie points out. ‘lt‘s

better being in something. than on the outside

looking in.‘ (Jonathan


) I Combo! Combo! (Fringe) Waverley Market. I4 Aug. 4.30—6.30pm. 20. 27 Aug and 3 Sept. 2—3pm; Fringe

'Club (Venue 2) 226 5257/9 (eves: 650 4673). 28 Aug. midnight. free with Fringe Club

membership; Craigrnillar

i Arts Centre. 2 Sept. lem.