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Fringe reviews: Music & cabaret

Miss Fletcher Sings the Blues

Miss Fletcher Sings the Blues

Just the Tonic at the Caves

✶ ✶ ✶

Miss Fletcher doesn't sing the blues at all but she might help you to drive your own blues away to some extent, especially if the angst of puberty is a recent or strong memory.

What Miss Fleetchah, to use her Antipodean pronunciation, is about is showing her class of teenage boys not to be afraid of what's happening to their bodies and how to reach their true potential in the big wide world beyond the classroom to which she's been mistakenly assigned.

You see, Miss Fleetchah doesn't do geography. She's a music teacher and fortunately there is in this geography class a piano, on which Miss proves no slouch.

Her well observed take on the earnestly well-meaning educator is matched by some craftily witty songs and a mirthful demonstration of how anyone can sing like a dozen or so overwrought pop stars.

In the end, Miss tries just a bit too hard. Her skit on the bullying of the Indian boy in the class doesn't quite work and although she's entertained us - her audience involvement percussion orchestra is an endearingly charming shambles - by the time she's summoned to the head's office for a severe talking to, there's a temptation to form an escape committee while she's out of the room. Close but could do better.

Run ends August 24.

Simon Kempston

Royal Oak

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Simon Kempston is one of the younger brood of singer-songwriters emerging who draw from the folk tradition to differing degrees.

With his able, fingerstyle guitar work, he uses an idiosyncratic vocal delivery and a persona somewhere between a plausible barrow boy and an earnest thespian to impart and introduce songs inspired by incidents that have befallen him on his travels or helped in some other way to shape his personality. Thus we find a song dedicated to Kempston's fellow Dundonian, fellow Harris Academy FP and inspiration, George Galloway and another written after he was waylaid by a drunk seeking the Nairn bus out of Inverness who was more inclined to partake of even more whisky. A pleasant hour.

Run ends August 25

Hall of Fame

Voodoo Rooms

✶ ✶

SOME Fringe shows are best approached on a group night out with a drink or three on board - and this is one of them. Rayguns Look Real Enough have been passed over by the rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame, possibly because it doesn't have a dedicated section for a perfectly capable guitarist in a duo with a bloke in a tiger suit, and while they get through an impressively varied selection of rock and pop songs in the ensuing mash-ups, their propensity towards pantomime exploits as they play the "death as the ultimate career move" card quickly grates and Tiger Man's talent for irritation is off the scale.

Run ends August 24

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Arts and Entertainment

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