• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Review: Fife Jazz Festival

Joe Stilgoe

Joe Stilgoe

Byre Theatre, St Andrews

Rob Adams

He's a charmer, is Joe Stilgoe, and while the singer-pianist might not be everyone's idea of a jazz festival headlining artist, he certainly knows how to entertain an audience.

There are aspects of jazz in Stilgoe's work - his voice at its highest and lightest is reminiscent of Chet Baker and his trio can hit a purposeful swinging rhythm - but the main business of his appearance at the Byre Theatre, which made a welcome return to action specially to host Fife Jazz Festival events, was to showcase his latest project, Songs On Film.

Stilgoe is, by his own admission, a movie nerd and his enthusiasm for the genre is conspicuous in his introductions of songs and their filmic origins. Opening with an instrumental jump-cut medley of cartoon themes, he went on to insert his own songs, including the catchy Popcorn with its images of what made a cinema visit special for the young Stilgoe, alongside numbers that achieved starring roles in their own right - Blue Skies and Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head - and other less prominent ones that deserved higher billing, such as That's The Way It Crumbles Cookie-Wise from The Apartment.

Dream A Little Dream Of Me found Stilgoe in a relaxed duet with double bassist Tom Farmer and if his segue from S'Wonderful into What a Wonderful World was a little cheesy, his staccato updating of The Way You Look Tonight brought newfound energy to a well-worn standard before his stitching of audience requests into an impressively seamless Jurassic Park-Chariots of Fire-Last Of The Mohicans et al theme song scored high on the mirthful improvisation register.

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.