Skip to main content

Lilly Allen, Soul II Soul, Young Fathers - Concert in the Gardens

Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
Four stars

Lily Allen wasn't the obvious choice to headline this year's
Edinburgh's Hogmanay, even with her third album, Sheezuz, coming after
five years out of the musical loop. From the moment this most
gloriously contrary pop star bounds onstage sporting a sparkly hooded
baseball top with a giant A on the back on a stage set of oversize
illuminated babies bottles against a pink and purple backdrop, however,
Edinburgh is hers.

Prior to that, on the Waverley Stage, Scottish Album of the Year and
Mercury Music Prize winners Young Fathers kick the night off with a
manifesto-like cacophony of synthesised sirens, projected slogans and
martial drums that ushers in a darkly intense set of righteously angry
twenty-first century hip hop.

Joined by chanteuse and kindred spirit Law, the band's frontline trio
of Kayus Bankole, 'G' Hastings and Alloysious Massaquoi let loose a
fitting antidote to the City's archaic rules on live music provision
which they've spoken out against. Only when an abrupt halt is called
after Massaquoi spots his family in the audience apparently being asked
to move do things turn awkward. Young Fathers take the city by storm,
anyway.

At the Ross Bandstand, things are infinitely mellower as Soul II Soul
remind audiences where the roots of British hip hop come from in a
manner so chilled you almost want to call out for a cappuccino. With
twelve people onstage, the core duo of Jazzie B and Caron Wheeler drum
up a well-choreographed feelgood vibe that goes beyond 1990s nostalgia.

Allen is the final link in the chain of multi-cultural Britain's
musical joys, as she applies her estuarised slang queen couplets to
ska, calypso, cajun and African highlife, so rich is her pick and mix
tray of musical confections.

Allen's growing up in public is plain, be it on the candid country
hoe-down of  It's Not Fair, several homages to her husband or else a
paean to her ex's undersize manhood.

After the bells comes Smile, which also makes for the first well-placed
cuss of the year. Finally, Allen gets a young man called Kevin up from
the audience to sing a duet on what might be the most joyously sweary
pop song ever. Both Kevin and the thousands of revellers before him
rise to the occasion, seeing in the new year with a four-letter
singalong of devil-may-care joy.

The Herald, January 2nd 2015




ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…