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No hype, no gimmicks, no celebrity girlfriends or gossip page bad boy antics. lust seriously good music. Must be THE DIRTY THREE.

The Dirty Three's sold-out Fringe appearance alongside Nick Cave marks a slight return for Warren Ellis, the violinist and sometime Bad Seed at the centre of the threesome. A few years ago, you could see him every day in the city, easily and for free.

'I spent some time in Scotland on a whisky distillery,’ he recalls. 'I was learning tunes Scottish and Irish fiddle tunes - and I stayed in Edinburgh for a while, just sort of busking around in that really fucking cold station just off the Royal Mile there.‘

When it comes to the Dirty Three, writers have a tendency to go off on one. A glance over the notices the Australian trio have garnered since forming illustrates this more than amply: ’. . . this is the soundtrack to a barstool yarn, a hangover of music that reeks of enough pain, anger, hope and grace . . .'; 'emotion and pain. emotion and pain and gambling,


The Dirty Three: nine short of a dirty dozen

boozing, drugs and losing. . .'; 'this is a story of a mustang running wild through the plains, the story of a work horse pulling a plough from dawn ’til dusk . . .' We could go on.

'It seems like people think it's time to really express themselves,’ Ellis agrees. 'It's good. As long as they express themselves honestly and have some sort of emotional relationship with the music. I think that's music's whole point: to garner some response. If it affects people, then that's fine; I'd rather read that than someone who's opinionated without actually feeling anything.’

Part of what's happening is that any ink spilled over this group is swirling around an abstract. 3 pure music the impact of which is extremely difficult to describe without recourse to the purple thesaurus. It's easy to note that in their sound can be heard echoes of ancient fiddle tunes and reels, the drone of the early Velvet Underground and a jazz-aware sense of space and time. But this is akin to saying that Van Gogh painted a picture of some sunflowers in a jar, using oils. Still. Any chance of a bit of busking this visit? 'Well, I’ll see if I've got my rent together by the time we get there.’ (Damien Love)

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never an entertainer,' he says. ‘I had to have a meaning and I had to be connected to an impulse. And now today, I hear a renewed acceptance of acoustic music with a consciousness of

What with his celebrity offspring and their celebrity partners a Beastie Boy. a supermodel and a glittering pop star (well, Sean Ryder, actually) garnering the limelight, you'd be forgiven for thinking that 605 hippy folkster Donovan had decided to blend into the background as some benevolent patriarch. However, this year the Glasgow-born musician plays the Fringe for the first time. It seems that the green attitudes he espoused in his heyday have come home to roost. 'Whenever I'm asked where I’ve been all these years, my answer is that I was

Donovan: blooming again

the environment, the very things I've tried to incorporate into my lyrics from the beginning.’

Inspired by the current musical climate, the creator of hits like 'Hurdy Gurdy Man’, 'Mellow Yellow‘ and ‘Sunshine Superman’ has gone back into the studio to work with Rick Rubin, a manassociated with heavier sounds but who also produced Johnny Cash's comeback album. It remains to be seen what effect he will have on the original mellow fellow.

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lluun Huur Tu In'Credible vocal acrobatics from this quartet who have whistled in on the wind from Siberia. See review Huun Huur Tu (Fringe) Graffiti (Venue 90) 557 8330, until 37 Aug (not 25 Aug), [8.50 (U. 50).

The Dirty Three Supporting Nick Cave. See preview, left, Dirty Three (supporting Nick Cave) (Fringe) Queen’s Hall (venue 72) 668 2019, 27, 22 Aug, 8pm, [7250,

Donovan See prewew, left. Donovan (Fringe) Calder’s Gilded Balloon at Palladium (Venue 26) 226 275 7, until 23 Aug, 77 30pm, [70 ([8).

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Claudio Abbado conducts an all star cast that includes baritone Bryn Terfel and soprano Soile Isokoski in Beethoven's Symphony No 9. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (International Festival) Usher Hall, 4 73 2000, 25 Aug, 8pm, {550—85.

Asian Dub Foundation This ferocious mix of dub, rap and rock should clear any cobwebs and prompt some moshpit action. Asian Dub Foundation (Fringe) Flux, laffa Cake (Venue 7) 668 2079, 27 Aug, 8pm, [8.

PJ. Harvey The media-shy singer plays her first date in three years and hopefully reveals material from her new album Is This Desire. Visceral vocals guaranteed. See feature, page 78. PJ. Harvey (Fringe) Flux, Jaffa Cake (Venue 7) 668 2079, 25 Aug, 8pm, f 7 0.

Ruby Fruit Jungle Having stormed the Fringe last year, Ruby Fruit Jungle have returned with their high energy take on popular grooves. Music to party hearty to. Ruby Fruit Jungle (Fringe) Spiegeltent (Venue 87) 558 8070, unti737 Aug, 5pm, I 7 (£6). Lisa Milne The Scottish 50prano hooks up with baritone Bryn Terfel for Wolf's Alte Weisen and Goethe Lieder. Edinburgh-born Malcolm Martineau accompanies the singers. See Festival FamespOtting, page

12 .Lisa Milne (International Festival) Usher Hall, 473 2000, 26 Aug, 5.45pm, 13' 72.50.

20—27Aug i998 rucusrn