' HiKUYO AKAHASH
THE EARTH); SENSUAI MUSIC OF TSUGARU SHAMISEN- THE 3-STRINGED GUITAR.
I H 7 AUGUST
3.30pm (4.15 pm) £5.00 (£4.50)
2.15pm (3pm) £5.00 (£4.50)
THE RANDOLPH STUDIOS
(VENUE 55) 13 RANDOLPH CRESCENT, EDINBURGH
013] 225 5366
Out loose and Singing The Blues
‘l’m still cool. Ain’t walkin’ round in a wheelchair. YEEADIlllAW-HAW-HA-HA- "Alli! People say, "lie’s a legend? I thought he was DEAD!” llEEEAGllAllAWllAWllAWllAAAGllll’
For many, their introduction to Geno Washington, the man with the most iearsome laugh in showbiz, came with Dexy’s Midnight Bunners’ ‘Oeno’, a tribute to the ieverish 60s soul nights he played around the clubs at the UK.
’When I heard it,’ says Washington, ‘I said, "Damn. Those boys know what they’re talking about.” YEEAABGllGllllAWllAWllAWllAAGll! liaw, naw. I’m joking.’
At the time ot the Dexy’s song, Washington himseli was living in los Angeles, studying hypnotherapy at ucu. llavlng arrived in the Oil in 1961 with the US Airiorce, Geno turned singer tour years later, remaining in the country till the early 70s. He relocated to the States, ‘to develop my spirituality’, and worked brieily with the Beach Boys. ‘But, by the time I got
Keno Washington: likes a laugh apparently
over, they all hated each other. llllAllllAll! Sueing each other, travelling in separate limousines, Brian Wilson eating the carpet . . . but it was ok.’
Having used his hypnotherapy to increase his seli-coniidence, Geno is living in london, and back in action. llis blues show sees him putting the soul on the back burner. As he says, ’lt’s the Beeaal Thing, not watered down bullshit. lt’s GOOD TIME Blues. Dancin’, Shoutin’, Screamin’ — and a lot at big-legged women. YyyaaAAGllOilAllAWllAW-ilAW-llAW- HAWWWAGllllllll!!!!’ (Damien love) But loose and Singing The Blues (Fringe) Geno Washington, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 12—15, 19—22, 26—29 Aug, midnight, £6 (£4).
It’s customary during the Festival tor music tans to be treated to the very best in classical, tolk, blues and jazz but it’s rare to come across anything that might make it into the Indie chart top twenty. For three weeks it’s diiiicult to catch a ileeting glimpse oi a guitar outtit within Edinburgh city boundaries.
All that is set to change this year as Scotland’s alternative music scene rears irom the underground and puts on twenty night’s worth oi tinger- lickin’, guitar-pickin’, crazed kids musical mayhem at the Gas Bock. Fresher than a virgin bottle at poppers and lust as rush-inducing, the line-up
gallops from the authentic retro oi The Thanes via the hardcore Chicane to Teen C revolutionaries Bis and the lo- ii delights oi Urusei Yatsura. All at Scotland’s new independent record labels are represented and will be on hand to demonstrate just why the navel-gazing london music biz is looking a bit sheepish at the moment.
‘There’s never been a modern music iestival in Edinburgh,’ says Katrina Dixon, one oi the events organisers and Policecat/Sally Skull drummer. ’We wanted to balance things up and oiier an alternative to the regular iestival for visitors and locals.’
Oops, nearly torgot, Teenage Fanclub are pencilled in to play Saturday 31, the tinal night. Careless me. (Jonathan Trew)
Planet Pop, Bas Bock, West Port, 229 4349, 12-31 Aug. Call for times and prices.
‘ Teenage Fanclub: Scottish big stars playing with Scottish little stars
Japan Experience: ancient meets modern as East meets West
Returning to the Fringe tor the third time in as many years, The Japan Experience brings together music, dance, poetry, performance, photography, painting and even kimono design all under one root. The music programme in particular brings together ancient and modern, and typiiies the search tor a new language to sit alongside traditional forms.
A writer and periormer on today’s electronic keyboards, Shiho also uses elements oi voice and dancework to bring to lite the 10th century courtesan’s stories that constitute the Tales of Benji. Springing irom the iolk roots oi Northern Japan and making her tirst solo appearance on ioreign soil, Chikuyo Takahashi oiiers a virtuosity on the shamisen (a sort oi three-stringed guitar) that encapsulates both the instrument’s earthy peasant origins as well as a modern experimental edge.
As it to prove that it’s not just native musicians who can master these instruments, Swiss-born Silvain llyokusai Guignard displays his dexterity on the biwa, a Japanese lute which, like its European counterpart, has a central place in the ballad styles oi roving troubadours and complements the telling oi wild tales in song. It such sounds seem inescapany ioreign at iirst, listen turther and delve deeper, tor emotional expression is, at best, an international language. (Trevor Johnston)
The Japan Experience (Fringe) Randolph Studio (Venue 55) 225 5356. Chlkuyo Takahashi, 1 1-17 Aug, 3.30pm; 18-24 Aug, 2.15pm, £5
(£4. 50); Silvain liyokusai Buignard,
1 1-17 Aug, 4.30pm, £5 (£4. 50); Shiho, 15-21 Aug, noon, £5 (£4.50).
82 The List 9-I5 Aug l996