SHAMANIC: This event was advertised as a collision of alternative rock, art and architecture. The setting was the Robert Adam designed Old Quad in Edinburgh. A beautiful building and setting. The Quad is encircled by the historic buildings of Old College and provides a large playing area surrounded by a raised balcony offering excellent sight lines for large scale outdoor performances.
SHAMANIC was part inspired by Rip it Up by The National Museum of Scotland which celebrates Scottish popular music, giving The Rezillos and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band some of the top billing and space. SHAMANIC is the fruit of a creative friendship between Fay Fife and Maria Rud.
It was a cold, chilly evening in Edinburgh – but the rain held off and as the venue got darker the crowds gathered, Maria Rudd worked on a painting live. She painted onto a screen projecting onto the walls of this historic building and was to serve as her canvas.
Maria Rud, Rula Lenska, Fay Fife, Kid Congo Powers, Martin Metcalfe, Mike Baillie, Chris Agnew, DJ Dolphin Boy.
Proceedings got well underway by the sounds and rhythms coming from DJ Dolphin Boy. Maria started creating. It was fascinating as you saw her hand and brushes projected up onto the wall creating an ever changing wall paper. Paint drops were flying off her fast moving hands as she got down to work. You didn’t want to stand too close!
Rula Lenska, from the classic Rock Follies TV Series, and more, shrouded in a cloak and scarves took her position up high, looking down on the crowd. Her fine skills put to great use use as she read the dark Edgar Allan Poe poem, The Raven.
Whilst the poem was read aloud to the crowd, Maria was busy producing a suitable dark image – matching the tone of the poem being performed by Rula perfectly.
As the poem closed the super-group formed especially for this event took to the stage.
Fay Fife, The Rezillos, was on vocals and keyboards and theremin. Kid Congo Powers, The Cramps, was on guitar and vocals.
Martin Metcalfe dressed in black with a huge black hat and glasses, The Filthy Tongues and Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, on guitars and vocals. Mike Baillie, The Skids, was on the percussion kit at the back of the stage.
Chris Agnew, The Rezillos, astride the stage pouring out some bass thunder and also some serious double bass. Mr Metcalfe and Kid Congo Powers working in perfect unison, switching tempos and producing some just brilliant fretwork. Mike at the back, sometimes lost in the dark, was spot on with his skills and with Chris gave a solid sounding section to the sound. Fay, she gave a truly spellbinding performance from a slower song and then matching the tempo changes and styles perfectly. She owned the stage as she moved around and at one point mixed it up with Maria.
The assembled band had spent some time rehearsing and nailing things down for this show. And what a show! It really was such an atmospheric selection of songs as the band switched around with guitars, vocal duties and keyboards. Producing a whirling sound that filled the venue as they moved through their set. I have seen Fay Fife many times, but tonight her performance opened up a new chapter for me. Her vocal tones and ranges are really breathtaking. At one point the mic had switched off during the soundcheck, it didn’t stop Fay as she filled the auditorium with her voice and tones. At one point I felt the hairs on the back of my neck tingle.
Then every so often Fay would hit it at full tilt and if the Quad had a roof, I am sure she would have lifted it off! Rula Lenska appeared from time to time reading out more verses and lines, all the while Maria was changing the massive canvas in front of our eyes. The music set that was built and created for SHAMANIC is a real collision of sounds, Psychedelic Garage/Punk and involving contemporary electronic sounds, all tied up with that punk spirit we associate with the assembled musicians and artists. The art – it was there for everyone to digest and then it was gone, with a wipe we were onto another landscape or creature in perfect unison with the band. These works of art existed only for a few minutes, and unless you photographed them you would not see the artwork again.
A slide selection:
The sounds grabbed you, the visuals stunned you. You forgot about the cold. It was a stunning, enthralling and a totally captivating event. I couldnt tell you how long it all lasted, I lost track of time itself. Congratulations to all involved. Brilliant.
A small montage – which gives you just a small taste.
The band finished their astonishing set and left the stage. All that remained was for the wonderful Maria to come forward and thank everyone who had taken part, and with ink and paint still dripping from her hands she thanked the crowd and waved everyone farewell.
After the show…
After the show had finished selected guests and invited VIPs were invited to step inside the building for a chance to meet the artists and have a look at some of Maria Ruds artwork. It was a valuable chance to see her work close up, mingle and warm up! A really friendly vibrant crowd. The perfect ending…. until next time.
You can find out more about SHAMANIC on Facebook
Please note all images are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists would like copies of the images – or more if available – please get in touch.
All pictures – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ Scene Sussex/ Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2018.