Rose Room

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Gyspy swing quartet kick off Falkirk Live!
With a barnstorming gig five out of five

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As the CEO of Tesco said to his disgruntled counterpart at Unilever earlier in the week: I don’t do labels. The terms “gypsy”, “swing” and “jazz” have been used many a time and oft to describe the Glasgow-based quartet which opened the three-day Falkirk Live! music festival at The Faw Kirk aka The Trinity Church in the heart of the town. But as lead guitarist Tom “flight of the bumble bee” Watson said of Chinatown, My Chinatown by Tin Pan Alley songwriters Jean Schwartz and William Jerome, the year in which it was written is up for debate, but “all that matters is that it was written”. Continue reading

Ali Affleck and The Copper Cats

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Alison Affleck and The Copper Cats
Raised the roof with Louis, Billie and Fats

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After Rose Room’s barnstorming performance at The Faw Kirk on the opening night of the inaugural three-day Falkirk Live! music festival by Jazz Scotland and Falkirk Cultural Trust, Dundonian exponent of vintage jazz with a well-travelled drawl Ali Affleck and her quintet of distinguished musicians The Copper Cats featuring the terrific trumpet player Colin Steele raised the roof of Behind The Wall and then some with a blistering gig which would have prompted Andy Scott’s iconic Kelpies to unhinge their steel-fixed heads from their towering necks, shake their impressive manes and stomp their thunderous if unseen hooves to a beat which suggested that the spirit of Alberta Hunter (one of Affleck’s all-time favourite singers and greatest influences) is alive and well and still earning royalties from beyond the grave on the track made famous by the late, great Bessie Smith: Downhearted Blues. Continue reading

Death of a Salesman

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Riding high on a smile and a shoeshine
Salesman falls victim to the bottom line

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Brooks Atkinson, the legendary American critic who it was said for 31 years on the drama desk of The New York Times had the power to make or break a Broadway opening, described the original 1949 production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman as an “elegy in a Brooklyn sidestreet” which “looked with compassion into the hearts of some ordinary Americans and quietly transferred their hope and anguish to the theatre”. Continue reading