Through the little lane opposite the Lyceum you'll find Edinburgh's only sushi bar, part of the Japan Experience. This programme of dance, poetry, drama and music features two of the great instrumental traditions of the Japanese Islands - the thunderous, disciplined ritual performance of taiko drummers Mugenkyo. and the passionate, challenging virtuosity of singer Chikuzan and her three- stringed shamisen.

The Artistic Director of the event is Japanese/Indian dancer Shakti, whose powerfully unique, stylistically eclectic and often erotic solo shows have been a remarkable feature of the Fringe for some years. The two women share a determined ability to move far beyond the perceived boundaries of their art, and are currently working towards the Tokyo premiere of their first collaborative show.

Shakti talks about her friend: ‘She's been playing and studying the instrument all her life, for about

Stringing the changes: Chikuzan

30 years, and is incorporating new influences - elements of jazz and blues, modern Western music. But in Japan, the traditionalists really don’t like that. It's a very male-dominated society. So two years ago when her teacher, the great master, was dying, and he gave his name, ‘Chikuzan’, to her, knowing that she was the only one to take the instrument and the music forward. it caused a big scandal.’ (Norman Chalmers)

I Chikuzan (Fringe) The Japan Experience, Garage Theatre (Venue 87) 227 9009,

until 30 Aug, 9pm. £6 (£5).

DF Concerts Presents

Lyle Lovett


Tickets available from: SECC Box Ollioe 0141-287-7777, Ticket Centre (Cendbfioos). Virgin Records ( lasgow & EWM). Grouchos (Dundee). Sleeves Records (Falklrk & Kirkcaldy) & Way Ahead 0141-3398383 (2%) www.tickets-online.co.uk.


With a wealth of musical knowledge, influences and ability behind them, Bag O'Cats are set to blow your hats off with their gig at the Famous Grouse House. Their combined work experience has seen the members play with jazz groups, folk groups and chamber orchestras. Originally a trio, they have upgraded themselves to a quintet and intend to play a set of 'original and traditional music' with what seems like an unending variety of musical instruments.

Piper Nigel Richard was unhappy with the restrictions on notes available to him, so he set about inventing a few more instruments. He can now play notes other people can't, on his ‘Chromatic Border Pipe’, and is also the inventor of the hybrid instrument known as the ’Manditar'. What other weird and wonderful musical experiments lie in store remains t . are seen, as they pack th *ir trunk full of the unexpected and prepare ' blow us away! (Jennifer Alford)

I Bag O'Cats (Fringe) The Famous Grouse House (Venue 34) 220 5606, 23 Aug, 9.30pm, £7.50 (£5.50).


Tam White is Scotland's leading blues singer, but he has more than a 12-bar

in his locker. His baptism as a pop and rock singer back in the 605 eventually led - via an alcohol-induced spell in the doldrums - to the jazz-tinged blues of The Dexters, a direction he took further after disbanding that popular unit in the late 805.

His subsequent work has ranged from acoustic duo and trio through a quintet to the rhythm-plus-horns of his Big Band. Tam is at home in all of them, but loves the power of the big unit around him. He opts for it at any possible opportunity and his residence at the Spiegeltent has provided exactly that.

Much of his material is self-composed these days, another area in which the singer has blossomed. The expanded line-up and more complex, jazz- influenced arrangements undoubtedly add an extra dimension to the songs, but also allows greater scope for White's increasingly subtle use of vocal tone and colour.

(Kenny Mathieson)

I Tam White's Big Band (Fringe) Beck’s Famous Spiegeltent (Venue 87) 558 8070, 24-28 Aug, 7.30pm, £8 (£6).

Continued over page

STAR RATINGS *iiii llnmismt) e *tti Very good

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DF Concerts Presents


plus special guests

GLASGOW SECC Thursday 9th December


Tickets available from: SECC Box Office 0141-287-7777. Ticket Centre (Candler: 5). VI in Records (Glasgow 8 Edinburgh), Gr‘ouchos (Dundee). Goldrush (Perth) 8 Sleeves Records elkirk Kirkceldy). TICKET HOTLINE: WAY AHEAD 0141-3398383 (adhm) wmrvxicketseonlinocoxk.

O m MUSIC presents

Paul Brady

Glasgow concert Hall, 2nd Ilclulier ileum lam - the East at Paul Iii-any out sentemner '99 on llylrndisc



Glasgow Concert Hall 24th November

19-26 Aug 1999 THE usr 71