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MUSIC PREVIEW Women On The Verge


Three women on the verge to be exact and a couple of them have the potential to be on the verge of something big. Polly Phillips, Woodstock Taylor and Holly Tomas are three stalwarts of the Edinburgh singer/songwriter scene. Between them

they produce a couple of hours of

mainly acoustic material, ranging from ballads to protest songs. Phillips has a beguiling voice and when she emotes her way through the bone-rattling ’Five Fishes’, you could close your eyes and imagine that she was a less gravelly PJ Harvey while Tomas’ full, rounded vocals bring Joan Osborne to mind. It’s not hard to Imagine either of these two becoming a lot more Widely known With a bit of maior label record company backing. Taylor has a more idiosyncratic style which is less easy to see in commercial terms although that’s probably not the main concern of any of them. (Jonathan Trew)

3 Women On The Verge (Fringe) Spiege/marquee at Spiege/tent (venue 87) 558 8070, 25, 26 Aug, 9pm, £6 (£4)

JAZZ PREVIEW Eric Alexander

Check out your Fringe brochure under Absolute Jazz New York Style, and a little mystery is revealed. The rubric is the usual one for a gig which has become something of a Fringe mainstay, featuring the Robert Mazurek Band. This year, though, the question mark after the name begs an explanation, and here it is the trumpeter fully intended to make his usual transatlantic trip to Edinburgh, but received a (financial) offer he couldn’t refuse to tour with a band stateside Instead.

With the gig booked, however, saxophonist Eric Alexander has opted to fulfil the engagement with a rhythm trio featuring bassist John Webber, ever-present since 1993 on Mazurek’s tours, and two new recruits, Peter Zak (piano) and Joe Farnsworth (drums). The fast-rising tenorman is budding an enVIable reputation in New York, while his previous visits With Ma2urek

Eric Alexander can't make it but his friends will please

POP PREVIEW Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson: having it all ways and still coming out on top

When Tom Robinson. Fringe veteran since the early 805, last played at the Festival in 1996. his residency at the Pleasance provided the fineotuning for what became the album Having It Both Ways . The musician who made his name singing 'Glad To Re Gay' but now has two children with his long-term female partner, returns to Edinburgh for two shows carrying the same name. in order to publicise the National Bisexual Conference which takes place in September 1999 in Edinburgh. His latest album Live At Abbey Road is the result of a digital webcast featuring hits, oldies and some new material. Although. as he explains. prior knowledge of his material is of no consequence at the Festival. ‘Everywhere else l play there‘s this measurement against past history,‘ he says. ‘but a Fringe audience only cares that if they pay £8. it's going to be worth it. it's a joy to be evaluated for what you do on the stage that night rather than any past reputation. The last time l played the Assembly Rooms, a guy came up to me at the end of the show and said “that last song you played was absolutely brilliant. You should do it as a single." it was "246-8

Motorway”! (Fiona Shepherd)

a Having It Both Ways (Fringe) Tom Robinson, The Observer Assembly ( Venue 3)

226 2428, 27 & 22 Aug, 8. 70pm, £9 (£8).

revealed an imaginative Improviser with a rich, sensuous, turbulent sound that Will help compensate for the missing trumpeter. (Kenny Mathieson) as Absolute Jazz And Blues (Fringe) Tron Ceilidh House (Venue 9) 226 0937, 27—30 Aug (not 24) 70pm, £7 (£5); 22 8 23, 26, 29 8 30 Aug, 3pm, £5 ([4).

Edinburgh Songwriters Showcase

air. air

Any show which offers open floor spots to would-be musical stars contains an element of risk and a miserable time one night could be the time of your life the next. Bearing this In mind, this showcase is possibly as close to that mythical beast 'the spirit of the Fringe' as it Is pos5ible to get On the night The List attended, there was a gutsy performance from a fourteen-year-old, an accident-prone set from the hosts, a polished performance from a band called Dollstoy and an unintentionally hilarious set from an electrogoth outfit called Moondance The next night could uncover a genius in waiting. Do you feel lucky? (Jonathan Trew)

% Edinburgh Songwriters New Music Club (Fringe) Spieg/marquee at Spiege/tent (venue 87) 558 8070, until 37 Aug, 70.45pm, £3.50 (£2.50).


Lynn Hazelton And Desert Child

A show of two halves but in the nicest posSible way adding up to a toothsome double helping of acoustic music at its most fresh. First, we had forty minutes or so of guitar duo Guy Ghouse and Damian Watkiss, whose warm easy-going grooves were richly overlaid with incredibly fancy fingerwork, in a seamless and colourfully melodic blend of folk, clasSical and Jazz styles. Joining them for the second half, Hazelton herself sang With a soft, unforced lyricism reminiscent of early Suzanne Vega, her poignant folky ballads and gentle but ardent phrasing lent extra resonance by the expansive three-goitar backing. (Sue Wilson)

Lynn Haze/ton And Desert Chi/d (Fringe) The Famous Spiege/tent (Venue 87) 558 8070, 23—37 Aug, 6pm, £6 (£4).

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