Thursday, 9 June 2016

Dramaturgy Blues: Felipe Schrieber @ Edfringe 2016

Edinburgh band The Blueswater presents 7 
unique shows at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh band The Blueswater present the most ambitious blues music programme ever seen at the Edinburgh Fringe, featuring seven unique shows and 126 performances. The shows will be taking place in venues run by theSpace, the Laughing Horse Free Fringe, and local music club The Jazz Bar.

‘We like to call ourselves the hardest working band at the Edinburgh Fringe and we’re proud to defend our title every August’ says Blueswater frontman Felipe Schrieberg. ‘Our goal is to educate, entertain, and to perform amazing music that we are passionate about. Our shows break apart the typical ideas that people might have about the genre.’

All seven shows are featured under the label ‘Blueswater Presents’ and showcase a unique aspect of blues music. The programming includes Blueswater Presents: Blues!, the band’s flagship show, featuring a 12- piece band playing through a 100-year history of blues music. 

Blueswater Presents: Queens of the Blues’ is a celebration of female blues artists who were fundamental to the development of the genre. ‘Blueswater Presents: Storyville’ is an intimate late night show featuring the raunchiest blues songs ever written.

‘We’re always excited by what The Blueswater bring to our venues’ says theSpace director Charles Pamment ‘This is our sixth year working with them, and we’re thrilled to be hosting so many of their performances’.

What was the inspiration for this performance?
Six years ago, I was in costume as the Cowardly Lion, about to go flyering to promote a student production of the Wizard of Oz. As I made may way over to the Mile, I was suddenly struck by the idea that I should take my student blues band, The Blueswater, to the Fringe and do a show about the history of blues music. 

It was a pretty sudden, fully formed inspiration. So I did! In 2011, we did our first Fringe run where I put in all my savings (which were supposed to go towards my masters degree) to make it happen. Fortunately, the run did well and I was able to study. Since then, the band has become a professional outfit, and we're still performing at the Fringe every August. 

We're putting together loads of different shows about blues music for the Fringe this year, including the original history of the blues show which has become our flagship show (and we do a different set of songs for this show every year). 

How did you go about gathering the team for it?
The band already existed, but we decided to expand to a 12 piece for the run, incorporating horns, keys, and backing singers. We recruited friends and friends of friends to pad out the lineup, and brought in my cousin Santiago to tech the show and help manage the project, which he is still involved in. It's now a pretty professional show after 5 years of doing it, and as we're a professional band now as opposed to an amateur student outfit we bring in musicians that we know can handle the show when we need them. 

Normally the band is a 6-piece, but we're always a 12-piece band for BLUES!. This year, some of our other shows feature 8-piece (Queens of the Blues), 6 piece (Storyville!) and 3-piece (The Blueswater Porch Band) incarnations of the band. 

How did you become interested in making performance?
From starting the band, really. Over time, you realize how important performance is as well as doing a good job learning, crafting, and playing the music for an audience. We knew when we wanted to do a blues theatre show that we would need to emphasize the performance aspect further. 

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
We rehearse much more for the Fringe than we do for any other project. We study extensively the songs that we select to play for our shows, and require everyone in the band to be clued up to the material ahead of rehearsal. Usually, we're much more relaxed about how we do things the rest of the year and leave a lot of scope for creative interpretation and development, but for the Fringe we know we need to be much more exact due to the nature of our shows and the performance. 

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
That they'll learn how varied and rich the blues genre is, and to be blown away by a local band that has worked extremely hard in creating a high level musical performance. The purpose of our shows to entertain and to educate, to show how blues music influenced popular music as we know it, and that it is an incredibly fun genre of music to listen to. 

What strategies did you consider towards
shaping this audience experience?
We knew that we had to think hard about shifting what we normally do to fit a theatre. As a result, our shows tend to have more narrative and storytelling than our typical gigs. However, we still aim to make the shows all about the music that we play.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
The tradition of blues music!

Endorsed by Glasgow-based boutique amp designers Flynn Amps, The Blueswater’s Fringe run includes collaborations with Glasgow cabaret singer Cat Loud and Toby Mottershead, lead singer of acclaimed Edinburgh roots band The Black Diamond Express.

This year’s Fringe run will be the peak of a busy year for the band. 2016 has seen the release of the EP ‘Around Here’, multiple UK tours, and shows are planned in Switzerland, the United States, Colombia, and Sweden during the summer.

Listings: Blueswater Presents
Blueswater Presents: Blues! 5-27 August; 20:15 (1 hour), theSpace@Surgeons Hall (v53), £10.00 (£9.00)
Blueswater Presents: Queens of the Blues 5-14, 21-27 August; 22:30 (50 minutes) 15-20 August; 22:40 (50 minutes) SpaceTriplex Big (v38), £9.50 (£8.50)
Blueswater Presents: Toby Mottershead 5-27 August; 19:05 (50 minutes) theSpace@Surgeons Hall (v53), £9.00 (£8.00)
Blueswater Presents: Cat Loud’s Wayward Girls 5-27 August; 18:05 (50 minutes) theSpace@Surgeons Hall (v53), £9.00 (£8.00)
The Blueswater Porch Band 4-27 August; 14:30 (1 hour) Laughing Horse @The Crags Bar (v441), Free (Ticketed)
Blueswater Presents: Storyville August 12-13, 18-19, 26; 23:45 (50 minutes) theSpace@Surgeons Hall (v53), £9.00 (£8.00)
Blueswater Presents: The Jazz Bar Party August 9, 14, 17, 21, 23; 00:00 (1h30) The Jazz Bar (v57), £9.00 (£8.00)

No comments :

Post a Comment