WE ARE IAN – TESKEY BROTHERS – CARLA LIPPIS- GYPSY FIRE
Just occasionally you see something beyond imagining- a show that challenges your expectations and prejudices.
We are Ian was that show. An interpretive dance show based on the late 1970’s Manchester rave scene where the only spoken dialogue is by a light bulb dangling over the stage didn’t inspire me before I saw it. During and after, it was totally inspiring. Set against the backdrop of Thatcher’s austerity three girls dance their way to oblivion, helped along the way with “brown biscuits”- generously shared with the audience. Gradually the club scene loses its appeal as the light bulb urges them to grow up and challenges them to do something with their lives. They do. They get dancing again and entice almost the entire audience onto the stage to join them. It may sound banal, but it was so evocative- possibly the last generation of hedonistic innocence.
Sometimes you encounter a reality that seems more real than reality
Equally good but for different reasons, the Teskey Brothers. There’s been a buzz around this band since I first heard them on Triple J’s Roots and All radio show. Genuine but original 1960s style soul. With a voice, equal measures gravel and gold, Josh and lead guitarist brother Sam made me feel I was in Muscle Shoals listening to Wilson Pickett jamming with Duane Allman. That is mega-praise. The band, augmented by trumpet and trombone, knew instinctively how to go through all the gears of emotion and performance, bringing the rapturous audience to their feet. Sometimes you encounter a reality that seems more real than reality. In musical terms, this was that.
Scary is the new sexy
Adelaide born, but returning singer Carla Lippis also delved into the cannon of retro sounds. Complete with a full band she explored the musical lost lands of mid 20th century Euro-pop and (shh! Don’t tell) country music. With the stage persona to match her voice, she powered her way through a set, principally lamenting male weaknesses and failings, but with some surprisingly tender moments. Declaring “scary is the new sexy,” she’s not wrong.
Finally, a show more gentle on the emotions. Gypsy Fire is a collaboration between ten string guitar hero Matthew Fagan (of the Lord of the Strings fame) and Czech violinist Romana Geermans. After a dramatic start featuring some gypsy jazz, I feel the duo lost energy during the popular music section of their show. For example, Romana did not seem overly comfortable playing Bohemian Rhapsody (ironic?) and the level of the performers appeared mismatched. A return to her actual Bohemian folk roots restored the energy for an excellent finale.
But what a week, and there’s more to come. Honestly there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
Fringe frolics: week 2 part 2 A NIGHT OF CREAM – ADELAIDE SONGS THE DIRECTOR’S CUT – BELLY OF A DRUNKEN PIANO -ROCK ORCHESTRA UNDER THE STARS
Fringe frolics: week 2 – part 1 ALBERT EINSTEIN: RELATIVITIVELY SPEAKING-A HISTORY OF EARLY BLUES-BEST OF EDINBURGH CABARET
Fringe frolics: week 1 INDIGO’S PIANOLYMPICS – CHOIR OF MAN – DAVE AND MIKE DO CASH AND DYLAN – LORD OF THE STRINGS! RETURNS