Friday 12th February
The Spiegeltent in The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
Walking out to a packed Spiegeltent dressed like the Dr. Who that fashion forgot, CW Stoneking is an interesting figure before he even opens his mouth and when he does, he will hold you captivated. Stoneking’s music may take you back to 1930’s New Orleans, but there is something modern which brings you back and makes his performance both unique and accessible to a wide range of people.
Eavesdropping on the conversations in the line before the show it was clear that there were people who had never heard of him before, but once the show began the audience was enthralled, sitting in captivated silence for the first song.
Supported by a three-man horn section, as well as a double bass and drums the music gains a strength that is less clear on his studio albums, especially his debut which suffered from a sense of sameness. Songs like ‘Don’t go dancing down the Darktown Strutters Ball’ and ‘Jungle Blues’ are powerful tales, made better by the stories Stoneking tells which sound so far-fetched that they must be true.
CW Stoneking was the first of what will be hopefully many highlights of the Fringe season and must be seen, because there’s no one alive like him.
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