Music review: The Black Sorrows
Music review: The Black Sorrows

Edinburgh Festival Fringe music review: The Black Sorrows, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jim Gilchrist. ★★★ Feeling all cultured out? What you need is a good, late-night dose of the Black Sorrows, a bunch of unreconstructed ­Antipodean rock-and-rollers led by Australian music legend Joe Camilleri. Switching between guitar and sax, Camilleri hollers out “songs by my …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe music review: The Black Sorrows, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jim Gilchrist.

★★★

Feeling all cultured out? What you need is a good, late-night dose of the Black Sorrows, a bunch of unreconstructed ­Antipodean rock-and-rollers led by Australian music legend Joe Camilleri.

Switching between guitar and sax, Camilleri hollers out “songs by my favourite dead people”, not least the title track from their current album, the old 1950s hit by Jody Reynolds, Endless Sleep – a number I personally recall hearing in Bearsden Town Hall circa 1965.

Quaking with guitar reverb, it made me feel my age, but also put smiles on the faces of the (mostly similarly aged) audience in numbers such as Hit and Run, with its sax and guitar riffing, the hammering 12-bar of The Return of the Voodoo Sheiks and a juddering rendition of J J Cale’s Devil In Disguise.

This is raw but very tightly rendered old-fashioned rock and roll, with pork-pie-hatted lead guitarist Claude Carranza generating forceful licks and darkly gurgling wah-wah phrases, while keyboard player John McCall looks slightly bemused to be there – not unlike Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, at other times channelling Jerry Lee Lewis as Camilleri delivers the unabashed rock ’n’ roll melodramatics of the soul ballad Certified Blue.

The Famous Spiegeltent (Venue 87) until 16 August / listings

Published in The Scotsman on 14 August 2015

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