Review: Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin Perform Their Greatest Hits, Fringe 2018

There’s a palpable feeling of excitement in Summerhall’s Dissection Room. This gig is something of a coup, with Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin playing four of their six 2018 UK shows (the other two are in London) during the Edinburgh Festival, and the crowd is filled with giallo aficionados and zombiephiles eager to witness this legendary soundtrack composer live. The band enter the stage one by one, the applause gradually increasing, until Simonetti himself appears to roars of approval, smiling graciously. Simonetti perhaps doesn’t look quite how you might expect a composer of cult horror soundtracks to look, a little more like your cool, eccentric uncle, in colourful suit jacket and red-framed glasses. The rest of the band more than pick up the gothic slack however, with drummer Titta Tani and guitarist Bruno Previtali both dressed smart (metal) casual in all black, and bassist Cecilia Nappo, who presents a statuesque centre stage presence throughout, looking 100% rock in black crop top, hot pants and a wide studded belt. Simonetti positions himself amongst his huge bank of synthesizers at the left of the stage, obligatory devil-horn hand signs are flashed, and we’re ready to roll.

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Review: Jupiter Artland’s Romanti-Crash

I arrive at Jupiter Artland, the slightly otherworldly sculpture gardens and gallery a short ride outside of Edinburgh, having already missed four hours of the day’s programme. Romanti-Crash is a wedding-themed “sleepover” event of art, music, performance and workshops, with stages nestled around and about the immaculately-kept sculpted hills, mounds, pathways and pools of Charles Jencks’ landscape work Cells Of Life. I’ve never been here before, and walking down the long winding tree-lined road to the site (the sculpture gardens are part of a large private estate, owned by art philanthropists Nicky and Robert Wilson, who bought it in 1999, with the sculpture garden currently celebrating its tenth year as a public gallery), the sky is beginning to darken and a temporary deluge of rain and wind has replaced the earlier sunshine.

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Review: Matias Aguayo & The Desdemonas – Sofarnopolis

It’s the 14th of September 2016, an unwelcoming Wednesday night in Edinburgh, and I’ve forced myself up from the comfort of my sofa to go and see Berlin’s Matias Aguayo and The Desdemonas at Sneaky Pete’s. “Is this how you dreamt it would be?” asks Aguayo, between songs, three quarters of the way through their set. It turns out to be the central lyric of the next number, in which he’s seemingly talking about the dystopian future-present our childhood selves would find themselves living in today, but the question could equally apply to our expectations of the gig.

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