Elsa Jean McTaggart returns to The Edinburgh Fringe at thespaceUK bringing back her always popular Sounds of Scotland show. Yes, I know some people reading this review will be saying…oh no, not another one just for the tourists, but Elsa Jean McTaggart is someone very special and you only need to listen to a few notes sung from Elsa’s amazing voice and a few seconds of her fiddle playing to know that someone very special has taken to the stage and lifted this show far above the rest of the “for the tourist” shows. If you are a tourist though, make sure you come along to this show as Elsa Jean McTaggart has a voice that is everything you imagine a clear toned Scottish singing voice to be…somehow Elsa captures the essence of not only the music but Scotland itself.
Tonight’s show had an enthusiastic international audience, who were loving Elsa and her music from the moment she appeared from the wings playing her fiddle, joining in throughout with clapping and cheering.
From classic songs like Robert Burns’ “Birks of Aberfeldy” to her own compositions, Elsa was completely in her comfort zone with this show and it was obvious she was enjoying every minute as much as the audience was.
In a departure from her fiddle playing, and Mr Lister’s accompaniment on keyboards and accordion, there was a bothy ballad, The Band of Shearers, which was sung unaccompanied by Elsa.
The show included “Coming Home”, a beautiful heart-felt song written by Elsa on her return to her homeland of Scotland after living abroad for many years, which definitely deserves to be up there with other Scottish anthems such as Dougie McLean’s Caledonia.
This show was definitely Elsa Jean McTaggart at her very best, and is a must-see if you love fiddle music or Scottish songs, or just simply want 50 minutes of entertainment from a great Scottish singer and musician.
As always, Elsa is very busy at this year's Edinburgh Fringe and there are two other shows this year from her -Elsa Jean McTaggart: "Sings, Strings and Other Things" and "Eva Cassidy the Story" – both showing completely different sounds from Elsa and her music.
Review by Lisa Sibbald