Review: Dance Base Festival – The Humours of Bandon, LEVIATHAN, The North, 038, Together Alone, Fringe 2017

Mention to people that you are setting off for a day of previews at Dance Base, and you find yourself receiving a somewhat uniform response: won’t that be an awful lot of dance for one day?  Yet, even if I weren’t the sort of person who had yet to experience such a thing as ‘too much dance’, it wouldn’t hold true.  For, of all the self-contained festivals within the Fringe, for my money, Dance Base Festival provides the greatest amount of variety across even the smallest selection of its shows.

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Review: Lilith – The Jungle Girl, Fringe 2017

There are few balances harder to maintain than the balance between goofy humour and sharp-edged social critique.  Cloak the mixture in allegory, and the combination shifts from difficult to nigh-overambitious.  This is exactly what The Sisters Grimm have sought to achieve with Lilith: The Jungle Girl, a play designed to be as broadly hilarious as it is pungently political.  The result is undoubtedly entertaining, but whether they’ve managed the perfect mix is up for debate.

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Shona Thomson: Bringing films home

As we sit down on the terrace just off the food court of Ocean Terminal, the first thing that comes to Shona Thomson’s mind is to check her MarineTraffic app.  I haven’t heard of it, and she pulls out her phone to show me as it checks her location, then proceeds to provide information on the ships we can see moored in the Leith docks in front of us: a Bahamas-registered cruise ship bound for Kirkwall, and a buoy-laying vessel built in 2000.  Shona’s Twitter handle is @urbantwitcher and, whether or not the Leith docks count as urban, there is a sense that these boats are in contention for becoming this moment’s rare birds.

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Review: Siobhan Wilson – There Are No Saints

How many times can you listen to an album before you finally hear it?  In real life, there’s plenty of music I’ve been initially indifferent or even antagonistic to, only to warm to it over time – and far more examples where things which once set my world alight can now barely summon a spark.  So, with reviewing, when do you say you’re certain that you’ve separated the earth-shakers and ground-swellers from the folk merely good at first impressions?

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Review: Passion Pusher – Aquarium

If you look at any item on the Bandcamp page for James Gage’s Passion Pusher project, you’ll find an option to purchase his complete back catalogue.  For many artists, the £60+ price tag would represent fair value for money.  With Gage, it’s an absolute steal.  For, next to the offer, you’ll notice an innocuous button reading ‘225 releases’, clicking on which prompts Bandcamp to roll out a full cover art gallery.

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