FESTIVAL MUSIC PREVIEWS
WITHERED HAND Home town gig for local troubadour INDEPENDENT LABEL FAIR Like a farmers’ market but for music
Withered Hand, alias thrash-pop heartbreaker Dan Willson, is amped for his forthcoming indie spectacular. ‘Two of my songwriting heroes are playing special sets: Darren Hayman [Hefner and local legend Gordon McIntyre [ballboy]. A grand piano has been mentioned. I’m hoping they’ll be wearing tuxedos. I had a dream they were,’ explains the rock’n’roll wordsmith. ‘All this will be compered by the cutest person on earth, Josie Long.’ Willson’s set will also feature tracks from his
forthcoming ‘Inbetweens’ EP, due in September, recorded with indie godhead Hayman. ‘That’ll be my last release before deciding how to make a long- awaited second album over the winter.’ His band will comprise ‘some familiar faces, a reunion with a very old friend, and maybe some brass’. We presume he means trumpets rather than cops, but you never can tell with Withered Hand. (Nicola Meighan) ■ Queen’s Hall, Sat Aug 4
Local, lovingly reared, carefully selected, pack- aged with care. Nope, it won’t be organic food laid out across the stalls in Summerhall’s Dissection Hall. Just quality produce of the musical kind. Stuart Thomas from the Scottish Music Industry Association is organising it again this year, after their first go proved a hit. ‘The feedback last year was overwhelmingly positive. People really enjoyed it, it was busy all day long,’ says Thomas. ‘It became a place to meet some of the faces behind Scotland’s labels, meet musicians, grab a beer, hang out and hear and buy great music. It became an event.’ Among the stalls selling music and merch this year are Chemikal Underground, Fence, De-Fence, Rock Action, Song, By Toad and Gerry Loves Records (with more TBC), plus there will be DJ sets and live music performed by Withered Hand and others.
‘The aim of the label fair is to highlight the wealth of great music getting made and released in Scotland; to support the labels and artists in provid- ing a platform for them to sell their music; to try and reintroduce some of the pleasant personal connec- tion to consuming and enjoying music. We’ll have more stalls available this year so we’re hopeful it will be bigger and better than last year’s.’ (Claire Sawers) ■ Dissection Room, Summerhall, Sat 4 Aug, noon- 4pm. See the SMIA’s Facebook page for updates.
CHILLY GONZALES Solo piano raconteur
‘The world that the Fringe represents is a world I’ve always been conscious of,’ says omnitalented raconteur, pianist and friend to Canada’s finest alternative musicians, Chilly Gonzales. ‘But to be honest, I’ve always chosen consciously not to go there.’ Interesting. After all, anyone who has seen Chilly (real name Jason Beck; Canadian, now lives between Paris and Berlin; collaborators include Peaches, Feist, Jamie Lidell and Boys Noize) perform will know his hilarious but deftly-performed show is perfect for Edinburgh.
‘I’ve firmly defined myself as an underground musician releasing records in a fast moving, trend- based world,’ he says. ‘To be part of that is a decision I’ve made, rather than just becoming a live performer, even though it’s what I feel I’m best at. But at the same time I’m jealous of the Tim Minchins of this world who can play the same city ten nights in a row, whereas my career is all about gaining just enough press to maybe play to five hundred people just one night.’ He denies this two- date foray into Edinburgh is a potentially career-changing move, but it’s one he’s clearly thought hard about. ‘I want to see which of the clichés about Edinburgh are true,’ he says. Self-described as a ‘piano talk show’, a typical Chilly Gonzales set involves skilled playing from his music-only albums Solo Piano and this month’s Solo Piano II, sharply comedic vocal tracks from his albums, the latest of which was last year’s The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales, and plenty of amusing, near-knuckle chatter. ‘It’s a chance to transgress and redeem and a chance to explore what a musical genius is supposed to act like on stage. Are they even supposed to call themselves that?’ Whether that last point’s in character or not, we’ll leave you to figure out for yourselves. (David Pollock) ■ Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 3 & Sun 26 Aug, 9.45-11pm, £14 (£10). Solo Piano II is released on Mon 27 Aug.
FIVE REASONS TO GO AND SEE . . . HENRY ROLLINS 1. He’s a walking punk rock legend The bratty ex-frontman for Washington DC upstarts State of Alert, Rollins became the physical embodiment of 80s punk rock after joining Black Flag. A tattooed hulk of a man, his turbulent tenure with the band dictated the shape of punk to come. 2. He’s funny Although hardly ‘stand-up’, the two or three over-excited and over-caffeinated hours the man in grey spends howling at the audience split sides as much as they break hearts. 3. He’s got brains Listening to a man in his fifties rant at you for hours would be bad if he didn’t actually have something useful to say. Thankfully Rollins has more pertinent opinions than tattoos. 4. He gets around Rollins’ travels and encounters form the backbone of his shows, ranging from hilarious cultural clashes to heart-wrenching takes on the human condition. 5. He’s a man of many talents Author, actor, broadcaster, musician . . . Rollins’ work ethic is exceptional, and gets tougher with age. His no-bullshit, attack approach to life is an inspiration for the lazy and lacklustre among us. (Ryan Drever) ■ Queen’s Hall, 668 2019, 8–10 Aug, 7pm, £15. 58 THE LIST 2–9 Aug 2012