Posts Tagged ‘ Kate Bush ’


The_Trama_Dolls_LogoJust An Observation Thursday August 28th

Ahhh, relax and breathe!
That is the Fringe over –the Festival proper continues until the weekend but no-one really pays that much attention anymore- and I can honestly say that I have felt it this year to be particularly strenuous whilst finding it hard to recall when I felt more disengaged with the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong I saw some excellent shows, ‘Silk Road’, ‘Travesti’, ‘Boxman’ and Bianco: No Fit State Circus were obvious highlights, but for some reason I found the whole thing quite insufferable and on occasions thoroughly irritating.
It would seem for Edinburgh residents-of which I am one- there is little consideration at this time of year when profit margins and late night licences are all that matter in what has become a profit making enterprise where the artistic endeavours of its founding principles are forgotten. Of course the Fringe is good business but I fear that Edinburgh Council have little or no regard for its residents who are subjected to having their town invaded and taken over for the best part of a month.
Fair play to the Gilded Balloon however who at least offer some recompense to the city’s inhabitants by offering them discount prices to shows two days a week as a means of encouraging them to feel part of the events surrounding them as opposed to merely finding it an inconvenience; try getting served in your usual local bars and eateries never mind getting a seat in them if you don’t believe the Fringe is an irritant. As for the nightly fireworks well I can only say that whilst I disagree with the Ice Bucket Challenge there were several nights when trying to get some peace at home I would quite happily have doused those fireworks in several balloon loads of iced water to dampen the noise, if not the spirits.
It would also seem that the Fringe seems to be spreading geographically and areas which previously provided a bolthole from the madness are now also getting involved. Therefore Leith and the New Town which in the past provided a safe haven for those who needed to escape the madness after a hard day’s work are now also getting involved and the success of these ventures means that next year many more will attempt to replicate their success.
Unfortunately this is not always a good thing as there seems to be little in the way of a filter system in place and more doesn’t always mean more when it comes to quality. Unfortunately I feel this will only serve to disconnect the Edinburgh people even further with the Fringe when in reality something to make them connect with it as more than an inconvenience would be preferable.
Back to my other gripe of the week then: The Ice Bucket Challenge! Right let me start by saying that charity is important and the fact that people want to contribute is heartening. What isn’t so heartening is that some don’t seem to consider their actions and it becomes closer to coercion and bullying which in my mind is not charitable no matter how you look at it.
Many of the same people who took part in this also took place in many of the marches and demonstrations for Palestine only several weeks ago. The irony that the cause they were marching for was for a population who have very little fresh water at their disposal due to it being deliberately contaminated. How these same people are able to console throwing buckets of water away needlessly then is beyond me. It would seem it is now a matter of charity of the week and even then only if it is a spectator sport.
I was nominated twice for the Ice Bucket challenge and twice I refused not because I disagree with the motives behind it- I am playing a charity gig with The Trama Dolls tonight in the Safari Lounge and have volunteered to work in a charity shop so I give my time as well as money- but because those who nominated me were doing it as a means of ritual humiliation. Yes, very charitable!
Elsewhere it would seem that Kate Bush’s return to the stage after thirty five years has been met with predictably rapturous reviews. I was pleased to note that her set list dispenses with much of her early work –apart form a few notable exceptions, mainly the singles, I found her early repertoire hard to swallow- and concentrates almost exclusively on her later work. For me personally ‘Hounds of Love’ is where her interesting work truly begins-‘The Dreaming’ started her experimental phase but ultimately falls short- and where she started to make sense to me. Very brave of her to adapt the second half of that album, the conceptual piece ‘The Ninth Wave’, and put it in a live setting. I am sure that the start studded audience on the opening night including Grace Jones, Madonna and Bjork, were all taking notes for future reference so expect to see them all upping their game.
Anyway the first weekend after the Fringe is nearly upon us and as I mentioned earlier The Trama Dolls are making an appearance at a benefit gig tonight at The Safari Lounge at 7.45. It is not however a gig proper and they will merely be debuting their own new material as well as a couple of other more familiar tunes. It is worth noting however that the bad weather which plagued the city during tourist season seems to have departed with them, as it arrived with them also it must be said, and apart from the final round of Fireworks this Sunday- Ice Bucket Challenge anybody?- it is all nearly over for a few weeks and Edinburgh belongs to its residents for a few weeks. Well at least until the next round of students arrive.


cutting_off_kate_bushCutting Off Kate Bush

‘Cutting Off Kate Bush’ is that weird anomaly, a show wherein its greatest strengths are also its greatest weaknesses. Built on the flimsiest of premises involving an obsession with Kate Bush-insert your own icon of choice here if Bush is too much for you to bear- which the lone protagonist of the piece Cathy, after her musical and counterpart in ‘Wuthering heights’ of course, relates the Bush experience with the highs and lows of her life.
Written and performed with undeniable verve and gusto by Lucy Benson-Brown the musical pieces rely generally on Bush’s recorded output – therefore ‘Running Up That Hill’, ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Red Shoes’ and ‘The Man With The Child in His eyes’ are some of the impressive canon offered up- and this is no bad thing. At first Benson-Brown’s whirling arms and flailing limbs routine seems based on parody but as she carries it through to its logical conclusion it becomes clear that her performance and study of the moves is extremely competent, bordering on reverential.
The narrative darts around the fact that it is Cathy’s 27th birthday and as a dreamer, who has suffered the heartbreaking loss of her mother a few years before, feels it is time to put her life into perspective and order. Outside influences are encouraging her in this path also but Cathy seems as fixated on following the guiding light of her heroine’s music as a means of living her life.
This fixation on celebrity as spiritual guru is basically the play’s central premise and it is indeed an interesting one where we are surrounded by celebrity and faux-celebrity everywhere we look. Bush though is an entity all her own and has waged her own way through life on her own terms and in her own fashion seemingly untroubled by outside influence. Perhaps, by choosing someone as iconic and independent as Bush this is no bad thing after all in Cathy’s mind.
Another great thing about this play is that although the central idea is quite flimsy it seems to recognise this and doesn’t hang around long enough for you to notice this. It finishes without trying to resolve the issues at hand and this works in its favour considerably. Oh, and the music was fabulous. Of course!
Cutting Off Kate Bush is showing daily at Gilded Balloon at 1.30pm


Just an Observation

So spring seems to have sprung back into the winter as gusting winds, drenching rains and biting chills overtook any hopes of a smooth transition of the seasons. Hopefully this is a temporary blip and by this time next week we will be revelling in more suitable temperatures and weather conditions suited to this time of year. Mind you with this being Scotland there is little predictable about our weather other than unpredictability so best be prepared for all options.
Something which did put a bit of sunshine into this morning was the news that Kate Bush is doing a series of live shows from August 26th through to September 19th at London’s Eventim Apollo. Having only ever done one major tour before-these shows take place in one venue so it can hardly be termed a tour- 35 years ago in 1979 this is major news for her fans and admirers. Knowing Bush’s love for the theatrical it is bound to be something spectacular drawing on all aspects of her full and varied career and certainly it will go down as a highlight of 2014’s musical calendar. Tickets go on sale next week.
Elsewhere this week things seem to be going through a temporary lull with nothing particularly exciting happening this weekend. There is a vintage pop up fair at the Parlour in Duke Street tomorrow night-Saturday the 22nd- which I will probably head along to as it looks like being a worthwhile event with fashion, DJ sets and a good crowd.
Talking of fashion one of the great masters in this sphere, Yves Saint Laurent, is held up for measure in a biopic about his life and career in a new film out today. Definitely one of the guiding lights of twentieth century fashion-he is up there with Coco Chanel and Christian Dior- his mannish tuxedoes and cigarette pants will go down as his signature outfits but there are many others, such as the Mondrian dresses, which are just as iconic. His life should make an interesting story and if nothing else at least the clothes will be good. A review will be on these pages over the weekend.
As said before this weekend is relative quiet on the social front but this is merely the lull before the storm as next week sees things hotting up with several events on consecutive nights; sometimes even on the same nights.
Things kick off on the Thursday with a ‘Born to be Wide’ photo exhibition followed immediately after by a Neu Reekie event which sees the boys back from their New York adventures at Camera Obscura. Friday sees the opening night of the Hidden Door Festival in the Market Street Vaults Saturday sees a great gig at the Leith Franklin Cricket Club featuring The Bonnevilles and Geek maggot Bingo whilst Sunday sees a Rebel Inc. evening at Summerhall whilst the Amazing Snakeheads rock it up at Sneaky Pete’s. Phew! Barely pausing for breath there is also a sneaky week night out on the form of an Underground American cinema evening-Kinoclub- at the Hidden Door Vault. It might be an idea to stock up on sleep and finances before then and take advantage of this weekend’s lack of activity before next week’s surfeit.