Skip to main content


Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
4 stars
There’s a big green plant at the front of the stage and a ladder on the side. Holding court in the centre is a curly-haired woman sporting hooped ear-rings and a PVC pinny with a kilt printed on. Welcome to the multi-coloured world of Cibelle (pronounced See-Bel-Eee), a Brazilian chanteuse currently residing in Dalston, who’s been tipped, alongside Portishead and Bjork, as one of the three most important live acts to catch this year.

Cibelle may not have the pulling power of such contemporaries, but she’s certainly got the edge. Building up each song via an array of live loops, one minute she’s swaying gently with Stylophone-led tales of coconuts and cocktails, the next she’s moved onto the altogether kookier new single and anti-Botox ode, White Hair. Inbetween a Portuguese number, she’s clutching onto the plant as she coos Kermit The Frog’s identity-crisis lament, It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green. Given the Animal-like appearance of the drummer bashing out crisp funk accompaniment (with and without the ladder) alongside a cherub-faced guitarist, this is oddly appropriate.

If anyone was expecting something more middle-brow, this may have something to do with 2007 album, The Shine Of Dead Electric Leaves, which featured hirsute new folk guru Devendra Banhart, and was co-produced by Air’s Yann Arnaud. In truth, Cibelle could probably earn a crust crooning wine bar standards and coffee-table soundtracks. Beyond the cartoonish demeanour, however, there’s a serious, more interesting artist at play, with shades of Ludus at their rawest or the trippier end of One Dove. By rights the entire room should be dancing like it’s 1981. Once the world catches up with Cibelle, it will be.

The Herald, September 23rd 2008



Popular posts from this blog

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

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…