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Shamanic

University of Edinburgh Old College Quad, Edinburgh
Four stars

A horned creature is projected in mid-leap across the full back wall of The Robert Adam designed Old Quad at the opening of this Friday night multi-media spectacular, which set live paintings by Russian artist Maria Rud against a psychedelic soundtrack by a Scots-American supergroup. Created by Rud and Rezillos singer Fay Fife under the banner of The AniMotion Show, the night is ushered in by the tribal rhythms of DJ Dolphin Boy. Rud stands to one side leaning busily over her instant creations, wiping away the image of the beast as she conjures a gothic looking backdrop into being. Her hand and head bob into view on the wall as if she’s manipulating the creepiest of doll’s houses.

Into the darkness below steps majestic-looking former Rock Follies star Rula Lenska, who lends her fruity cut-glass tones to a reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s epic poem, The Raven.
As she departs, extravagantly caped former Cramp and Bad Seed Kid Congo Powers is joined by Fife and a black-clad Martin Metcalfe of The Filthy Tongues and Goodbye Mr Mackenzie. The rhythm section of Rezillos bassist Chris Agnew and Skids drummer Mike Baillie completes the line-up of what could be a Hammer horror house-band let out from some Haight-Ashbury crypt for the night to whip up an unholy musical storm.

Fife plays trippy organ and theremin, snarling her dervish-like way across the Old Quad steps, her voice erupting with hitherto undiscovered Grace Slick style dimensions. With the band raising their hands to meet their maker, Lenska appears for another recitation. As diabolical iconography appears behind, jungle drums ramp up the Juju, with Powers incanting lasciviously like a defrocked hellfire preacher. Garage-band wig-outs rumble, bump and grind behind him to conclude a monumental after-hours experience.

The Herald, October 1st 2018

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