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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Review: Anoushka Lucas – Dark Soul

Anoushka Lucas is a London-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer, whose eagerly-anticipated debut album, Dark Soul, delivers an intensely personal collection of timeless, soul-jazz songs, which evoke the joy, confusion and pain of falling in and out of love. The production by the renowned Martin Terefe (at his Kensaltown Studios) is crisp and clear, creating an intimacy which allows the listener to luxuriate in the directness and warmth of Anoushka Lucas’s warm, honey-toned vocals.

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Review: Sketches of Spain

As one of the highlights of the 2019 Edinburgh International Film Festival’s Spanish theme, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra presented a special one-off performance of Miles Davis’s moody and magnificent orchestral masterpiece, Sketches Of Spain, at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh, with special guest, award-winning trumpet player and composer Laura Jurd, taking centre stage in the Miles Davis role. Released in 1960, the iconic Sketches Of Spain album is one of the finest examples of Miles Davis’s collaborations with arranger and composer Gil Evans and derives from the pair’s deep interest in Spanish classical and folk music.

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Review: Honeyblood

oneyblood, formed originally as a duo in 2012, is now the solo project of Edinburgh-born and Glasgow-based indie-rock singer, guitarist and songwriter Stina Tweeddale. Honeyblood’s recently-released third album, In Plain Sight, has already attracted a fair few highly favourable reviews, and the UK tour to promote the album included a sold-out gig at Edinburgh’s Summerhall on 3rd June. For this tour, the self-styled High Priestess of Scottish witchy-rock, Stina Tweeddale, assembled a live band consisting of herself and two other feisty characters in drummer Debbie Knox-Hewson and bassist Anna Donigan. “Edinburgh…it’s been too long!” exclaimed Stina Tweeddale, as she took to the stage for this home town gig, informing us that her Mum and Dad were among the packed audience.

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