Review: Laura Jurd Trio

Laura Jurd is a London-based, award-winning trumpet player, composer and band-leader, who impressed greatly in the Miles Davis role as the special guest of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra in their epic performance of Sketches Of Spain in Edinburgh earlier this year. It was therefore a real treat to catch the Laura Jurd Trio when they played in Glasgow’s cool and atmospheric Blue Arrow Jazz Club on 15th November as part of a UK tour to promote their new EP of covers, called simply Trio.

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Review: Scotia Extremis, Poems from the Extremes of Scotland’s Psyche Edited by Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone

Edited by poets Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone, Scotia Extremis is a poetry anthology, which seeks to explore the ‘soul of Scotland’ through a selection of poems specially commissioned from poets from all around the country. The anthology’s title is inspired, in part, by the following line from Hugh MacDiarmid’s great early poem, A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle:

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Review: Humbird – Pharmakon

Named after a small dot of a town in central Wisconsin, Humbird is the creative guise of Siri Undlin, a singer-songwriter from Minneapolis. After a series of well-received EPs and extensive touring (either solo, as part of a duo or with a full band), Humbird has now released her first full-length album, Pharmakon (the concept that something can either be a poison or a cure, depending on how much is consumed).

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Review: This Is The Kit, EIF 2019

This Is The Kit is the musical project led by singer-songwriter Kate Stables (vocals, guitar and banjo). The band performs in various configurations, usually involving the other core players Rozi Plain (bass and vocals), Neil Smith (guitar), Jamie Whitby-Coles (drums) and Jesse D Vernon (various instruments and vocals). This Is The Kit’s fourth album, 2017’s Moonshine Freeze, met with great critical acclaim and the band’s extensive Summer tour schedule included a televised performance at Glastonbury, which earned rave reviews. The schedule also included a prestigious gig at Leith Theatre on 13th August, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, and this grand old venue looked particularly resplendent for the occasion.

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Review: Sarah Jane Morris – Sweet Little Mystery, Fringe 2019

Sarah Jane Morris may be best known to some as a member of The Communards, with whom she toured extensively in 1986 in the wake of their worldwide Number One hit Don’t Leave Me This Way. Her rich, smoky baritone vocals provided a captivating counterpoint to Jimmy Somerville’s falsetto and became an integral part of the band’s sound. Since then, Morris has enjoyed a remarkable thirty-year career, performing in a number of bands and as a solo artist. Audiences have been enthusiastic about Morris’s inclusion of her take on the music of the much-loved, late singer-songwriter John Martyn in her shows in recent years. So it was no surprise when she decided to record a full album of her fresh interpretations of Martyn’s songs, with renowned guitarist and composer Tony Remy on board as co-arranger and co-producer. That album is Sweet Little Mystery, released earlier in 2019 and currently being promoted throughout the UK and Europe in a special show directed by comedian/activist Mark Thomas, which arrived on the Edinburgh Fringe during the first half of August.

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