:: Monday, August 11, 2003 ::

Edinburgh People's Festival Opening Night

Tom Freeman, compere of the festival

You can see pictures of the opening night now.

Here is a review that I have submitted to a couple of publications.

Edinburgh People's Festival Opening Night
Jack Kane Centre, Craigmillar
Sunday 10th August 2003

Set the phasers to stun

The Jack Kane centre was packed for a highly successful opening night of the EPF 2003. Dozens of local residents joined musicians, activists and local MSP's Colin Fox and Susan Deacon to enjoy the nights entertainment. There were messages of support from Irvine Welsh, Paul Laverty and Hamish Henderson's widow. Additionally Tony Benn expressed his support for the event and kindly signed an EPF poster which was raffled. We were also delighted that the family of the late Jack Kane, a Labour councillor who was one of the founders of the original festival, were able to come along.

As the audience arrived there was a reception with free Indian food, two amazing exhibitions from photographer Jackie Morton and acclaimed artist Mark I'anson with classical string quartet Capriccio providing the music.

As the night kicked off Tom Freeman was in full star fleet regalia as he introduced the stars of the night. The brilliant Craigmillar Youth Theatre were first up with songs from 'Grease Ya Radge'. Yes, it was Grease Niddrie style bursting with enthusiasm and with some really fine voices. Don't miss their show which is on during the fringe. Local singer Carla Bernardi brought the audience to their feet with her superb vocals. The wealth of talent in the working class communities of Edinburgh was evident and these performances alone justified the work of the EPF.

There were laughs from comedians Benny Moohan and John Scott. John faced the particular challenge of delivering an "all ages" set (with no sweary words), and he nearly succeeded!

Roots music from around the world was well represented. 'Voces del Sur' a group of Scottish and Latin American performers gave us songs from Chile and Cuba...the Buena Vista Social Club came to the Jack Kane! US artist Lynne Samsill's 'bar band with vision' gave us bluesy sounds with some tremendous jazz drumming.

From Scotland we had Dave Anderson of Wildcat Theatre, making a return to the Jack Kane after a few years absence. Clova gave us protest songs for the 21st century. Tony Mitchell and Allan Johnstone showed us their superb guitar skills and Fozzie took us back to the original festival with songs from Ewan Macoll. John Grieg delivered a stunning short set of roots music, which was my personal favourite act of the night.

There was no shortage of cutting edge material either. John Johnstone's gritty song "Scotland Boo Hoo" was a stand out. Duncan Sloan's physical dance theatre was an exhilarating rush and there was challenging performance poetry from Nicky Melville.

The night ended with Gilly Hewitt leading the crowd in rousing versions of Burns' 'A Man's A Man' and Hamish Hendersons 'Freedom Come All Ye'.

This is the second year of the EPF. This year the event has been extended to a whole week. We will have a diverse range of attractions including comedy (with John Scott who has just won the Spike Milligan comedy award), rock bands, a night focusing on Scotland's asian community, a womens night, debates and even a tea dance.

Something for everyone. Warp factor five, set the coordinates for Wester Hailes.

:: Alister | 12:50 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


Post a Comment

This is an archived story. See current posts here!