Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox
Assembly George Square Gardens, 6-31 Aug (not 18), 6:00pm
Aussie cabaret singer Michael Griffiths returns to the Fringe fresh from bagging a Best Cabaret Award on home territory at the Adelaide Fringe. Previous Edinburgh appearances have seen him performing stripped down—no accents, no elaborate costumes—versions of Madonna songs, and this year it’s Annie Lennox in the spotlight.
Forest Fringe, 24-28 Aug, 3:30pm & 4.15pm
A gig with a difference, this interactive musical experience by performance artist Verity Standen involves being blindfolded and hugged by a singer. HUG was at last year’s Fringe too but so brief was its appearance, and so wonderful the show, that it’s making it into this year’s picks too. So sue us.
The Church of Malcolm
Assembly George Square Studios, 5-23 Aug, 8:00pm
Malcolm Doherty formed this energetic rock gospel project after facing down death and living to tell the tale. An hour in the company of Malcolm and his disciples and you’ll see the world with new eyes.
Silver Darlings: Alexander McCall Smith and James Ross
The Famous Spiegeltent, 20, 23-24 Aug, 7:30pm
New song cycle about Scotland’s relationship with the sea, created by the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novelist, and leading Scottish composer James Ross, and performed by a company of singers and musicians.
Iestyn Davies & Ensemble Guadagni
The Queen's Hall, 19 Aug, 11:00am
Undoubtedly one of the world's best-known countertenors (that's men singing high, FYI), Iestyn Davies seems hell-bent on snatching early music from the clutches of dry academics. Davies brings Purcell to life, invigorating it with sass, longing, humour and tenderness. 300-year-old songs that speak across the ages.
Camille O’Sullivan – Brel
The Queen’s Hall, 11-16 Aug, 10.30pm
The French/Irish singer has been reciting Jacques Brel for the entirety of her stage life, so in a sense, this isn’t anything new. Except that, to hear Camille inhabit these miniature emotional epics is to hear them as if for the first time, straight off the ships in the Port of Amsterdam.
The Sun Ra Arkestra
Summerhall, 20 Aug, 8:30pm
If you’ve never before seen a 91 year-old blasting out free jazz blowouts while sporting Egyptian-inspired robes, then you’re in for an intergalactic, avant garde adventure. 22 years after Sun Ra’s death, the space age tomfoolery is a bit dated, but bandleader Marshall Allen’s angular musical gestures remain thoroughly future-proof.
theSpace @ Venue45, 13-15 Aug, 6:30pm
Prabhat Rao arrives in Edinburgh as one of the leading young Indian classical vocalists working in the UK today. Accompanied by Pulkit Sharma (tabla) and Drupad Mistry (sarod), it’s a perfect opportunity to get to grips with the mesmerising raagas of a form which fits none of our European critical categories.