If you were drunk, adventurous or just plain lost at this year’s T in the Park, you might have stumbled into the PRS tent. Low on bluster and hype but high on intriguing leftfield acts, highlights included Dawn of the Replicants, El Hombre Trajeado and a revelatory set by the-young- lrish-guitar-band-that-aren’t-Ash, Snow Patrol.
’We were a bit upset at the lack of coverage,’ grumbles Gary Lightbody, guitarist and lead singer. ’We'd gone to a lot of trouble with our new suits and all the make-up and stuff.’
Certainly The Kids appreciated the effort; Snow Patrol’s Molotov cocktail of balls-out rifferama and dynamic twitch-punk poses caused a near-riot.
’T he problem was there was no security, so all these mental crowd surfers would be rolling towards us and then just falling under the stage. And then they'd have to escort themselves out.’
Their catalytic and near-cataclysmic live show (featuring stripped-down, pumped up tracks from their well-received debut album Songs For Polar Bears) has been honed by months of touring, most recently
Blizzard kings: Snow Patrol
supporting cheeky local boys Travis. But later this month, they play their own headline show as part of Planet Pop, the mini-music festival somehow shoehorned into a heaving Edinburgh. What can punters expect?
‘We try and be a lot more inventive with what we've actually got,’ explains bassist Mark McLelland. ’I think the songs sound a lot rawer; they sound more true to how we wrote them.’ Their sound is bolstered and re- upholstered by the addition of decks and keyboard; but at their best, Snow Patrol still sound like a band on the verge of losing control.
‘If things start to go wrong, I get nervous,’ puts in Mark. ’And then I start to get angry and that's where the live show kicks off. You play a few wrong notes and then suddenly you’re smashing the guitar off the amp.‘
And surely everyone enjoys a bit of guitar catharsis?
’lf everyone’s having fun, it's perfect,’ says Mark, eyes gleaming. ’It’s a beautiful thing, not to get too romantic or flowery about it. We come off the stage and we’re punching each other.’
Go and see Snow Patrol come out swinging.
(Graeme Virtue) a Snow Patrol (Planet Pop) The Attic, 225 8382, 74 Aug, 8.30pm, E5 (E4).
Turandot and Macbeth
The Festival began with a programme of discussions entitled ’Cultural Reflections’, but the questions of
Chinese cracker: Turandot
Even before the days of non-stop travel whizzing people all over the world, composers of one nationality had no problem writing operas about the culture of another. Italy’s Puccini set Turandot in an exotic Chinese court, while his fellow countryman Verdi — a master at converting Shakespearean drama for the operatic stage - gave the meaty chunk of Scottish culture that is Macbeth that distinctive Italian treatment.
Coincidentally, both these works form part of the Edinburgh International Festival's opera programme, and both are performed by companies from (or near to) the lands the operas are about. Scottish Opera, albeit with an international line-up of artists, takes on the mighty Macbeth while - more unusually — Turandot is sung by an all-Asian cast
cultural identity raised there could well find their answers in opera. Why? Well, the objective eye of a great composer will undoubtedly see something of a nation's identity that those living as part of it may not notice.
Most importantly, however, these particular operas reveal the universality of what really matters to us all. Unconditional love, needless death, selfish desire, strength and bravery, weakness and betrayal - these perennial grand themes of opera will surely bind nations together more than they will set them apart. (Carol Main) . Turandot (International Festival) Edinburgh Playhouse, 473 2000, 76, 78, 20, 22 Aug, 7pm, £5-£50. Macbeth (International Festival) Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 473 2000, 29 Aug, 7, 4 Sep, 7.15pm, £5-£50.
\ This issue’s best gigs DANCE Orbital Expect the spectacular from one of the best electronic acts in the business. See feature. Orbital (Flux) Princes
Square Gardens, 220 4349, Fri 73 Aug, 8.30pm.
Snow Patrol See preview, left. Snow Patrol (Planet Pop) The Attic, 225 8382, Sat 74 Aug, 8.30pm, £5 (£4).
Eliza Carthy She's the critically lauded doyenne of fiddly pop- folk, and she’s landing on Planet Pop along with sad- faced indie folk experimenters Appendix Out. Eliza Carthy. Appendix Out (Planet Pop) The Attic, 225 8382, Wed 78 Aug, 8.30pm, £4.50 (£3.50).
Vocal Sampling Dance the roof off the Spiegeltent with Cuba's hottest salsa sensations, who have attracted global praise for their stunning vocal harmonies and flamboyant musical flair. Vocal Sampling (Fringe) Beck ’5 Spiegeltent, 225 9999, 73 Aug, 77pm, 74 Aug, 7.30pm, £70 (£8).
Honky Trash Lively Australian crew (pictured) who deal in brash, sexy street-party music with a heavy dose of drums and bass. Great value for no money. Honky Trash (Fringe) Beck '5 Spiegeltent, 225 9999. 74-79 Aug (not 78) 5pm, free. CABARE‘I’
Caroline Nin: Lush Life A stunning late-night set of seedy torch songs from the formidably elegant '98 Herald Angel winner. See review. Caroline Nin: Lush Life (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 27 Aug. 7am, £3 (£2).
12—19 Aug 19991": usr no