laura Kelman: it's an 'Ellava story


laura Kelman

An Ella Fitzgerald tribute Is not a new idea, but actress and singer Laura Kelman hopes to find a route of her own into a daunting undertaking. In what will be a new departure for her, she will front a thirteen-piece big band, while a narrator will tell Ella’s may (from a script by screenwriter Paul Smith) between songs,

‘I trained as a music teacher in Aberdeen, but I've always wanted to be on stage,’ says Kelman. ’I’ve done a lot of musicals, but this is the first time I have done anything this jazz- orientated, and also the first time I‘ve

been out there in front of the band, doing nothing but singing.

'I’ve been listening to Ella a lot, and while I obviously don’t have her fantastic voice, I would like to try to incorporate some of her phrasing. I'm not going to try to imitate her, though that would a recipe for disaster!’ (Kenny Mathieson)

I Ella Fitzgerald A Tribute (Fringe) Laura Kelman and Band, Famous Grouse House (Venue 34) 220 5606, until 30 Aug (not Mon & Tue) 12.lSam, £7 (£5).


Sonora La Calle

A big hit at last year’s Festival, Sonora La Calle are riding the current enthusiasm for Latin dance music that packs out the regular Dl's-and-Iive- band late nights at the capital's Club Latino. For the duration of the Fringe the club moves to the Assembly Rooms where the high octane octet from Cuba blasts off at midnight. Comprising congas, bongos, bass, piano, tres (small three-course guitar) and two trumpets, and Widely regarded as the finest ’son' group from that intensely mu5ical island, the band is led by Leonel Duany percussionist, composer, arranger, dancer, choreographer and, most importantly, the lead vocalist. Accepted as 'EI

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} 2.2. 1 Flora MacNeill: keeping traditional voices vital


After the success of the Scots Song series and last year's focus on the Scottish Fiddle, the International Festival this year presents the hidden world of Gaelic music. Hidden, that is to most Scots, never mind the huge international audience that flocks to Edinburgh. The problem is that the heart and core of Gaelic culture is the unaccompanied song, and it does not easily fit on the concert stage.

However, you will be able to hear the likes of Mary Smith in the good company of another Lewis singer Margaret Stewart, Donnie M MacLeod and others in Guth ar Sinnsre - Ancestral Voices, the opening concert of the series at Reid Hall. There are also two concerts at the Queen's Hall, the first of which is a family affair, with the magisterial Flora MacNeilI and another Glasgow-resident gael Kenna Campbell. Both are accompanied by their harp playing and singing daughters. Then there's Glenfinnan's Charlie and Iain MacFarlane on fiddle, Glenuig brothers Dr Angus and Iain MacDonald on the pipes, and a great many more of the same high quality. Probably the most fun to be had will be at the other Queen's Hall event with the likes of Machair stars Dolina MacLennan and Simon Mackenzie, superb singers like lshbel MacAskill, Christine Primrose and Murdo MacDonald, and characters like Acharacle accordionist Fergie MacDonald. (Norman Chalmers)

I Song Of The Gael (International Festival) Reid Concert Hall (Venue 8) 473 2000, 72, 74, 78, 20, 26 Aug, 70.30pm; Queen’s Hall (Venue 72) 668 2019, 76 Aug, 7.30pm; 23 Aug, 7pm, Greyfriars Kirk (Venue 737) 225 7900, 24 Aug, 1 lam. f4—f 77.50.

birth to a nightmare

Neal Smart, lead Singer With five- piece The Unsophisticates, disagrees “Yeah, our iriusic's kinda dark but there's an underlying humour there which sorrietimes people get,’ he explains

Hmrn let's take a look at those song titles shall we? ’MaXI's Dead' doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, and 'Pervert' is unlikely to cause outbreaks of rib-splitting. Maxrs Dead” is about a car and " Pervert” is a song about being obsessed wrth a piece of kitchen flooring. ldon't want to say any more,’ cOunters Neal.

Fair enough, the music speaks for itself and it says, ‘Come and listen If you think you’re hard enough ' Square up to The Unsophisticates, you'll have a ball (Jonathan Trew)

I The Unsophisticates (Planet Pop) Cas Rock, 229 4341, Thu 74, 9pm, £3.

PflnClDG del Son', he is the c(_)LiIitry’s I leading 'sonero', havmg learned not Iust from the traditzonal singing masters but, In common \‘JIII‘. every ' member of the hand, he graduated from rrtuSic academy. But, for all their Skill, they know how to party! iNorrnan Chalmers)

I Sonora La Calle (Fringe) Club Latino, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 22128, 8, 9, 75—28 Aug, midnight, [5 f9 (EA—f7).


The Unsophisticates

Something dark is stirring in the basement. Something malevolent and downright scary. It sounds like a dangerous breed of messed-up Jazz, spliced With an experimental percussion gr0up, all muttered intensity and sharp angles. It sounds like psychosis givmg