NOTE - No " review star system" used here - see reason why at end of review.
Dave Milligan Trio and Love Music Choirs at The Usher Hall in Edinburgh tonight was a truly community musical event combining the jazz talents of the Dave Milligan Trio, rapper and spoken word artist DizraeliA, Su-a-Lee on Cello and musical saw, and of course the community choirs – Love Music Community Choir and Love Music Junior Choir.
If you are not familiar with “Love Music” as a community project then here are a few basic details. Love Music is a large adult community choir with a realtively new (only formed a few years ago) large Junior Choir. The charity behind both projects receives substantial support from The Usher Hall and City Of Edinburgh Council. Other sponsors and donations, large and small, play an important part in making all of this community work possible. Like any community project, the culmination of an event like tonight’s is only the publicly visible part of a lot of work on many people’s parts, and although the music and songs tonight from the choir were impressive, the project is about far more than just this end project. It is called a “Community Choir” for a reason! Keeping everything running, as always with inspirational leadership, is director Stephen Deazley.
This show was split into two halves. First up, Love Music Junior Choir, opening with “Fast Car” by Jonathan Dove. Being on stage and performing at The Usher Hall is something that these children will remember for the rest of their lives, and the involvement of the Dave Milligan Trio may one day inspire a few to venture into that strange musical world known as jazz . Also inspiration to the children, DizraeliA who has spent time with the choir to write a rap over his song “Take me Dancing”. Rap is always a very delicate area for any artist, let alone a choir, to venture into as to be honest, most people use it badly (it is such an ill-used musical genre at times) and make a mess of it. This time however, it worked. I hope people were listening to the words of the song too – a very inspirational lyric.
Our adult choir performed a set that you would not expect from community choirs. An opening “mash up” of “Dr Who Theme” (cue Su-a-Lee on musical saw) and “Call Me” by Blondie should not have worked, but it did. Some other interesting work too with a tale of immortals meeting once again in “Snowed In At Wheeler Street” from the Kate Bush album “50 Words For Snow”, and a finale that tied in the car theme once again with “Cars” by Gary Numan. Not forgetting of course the very individual adaption of “Desert Roads” by DizraeliA and choir.
Nice too to hear the Dave Milligan Trio – Dave Milligan (Piano), Tom Bancroft (drums) and Tom Lyne (Bass) performing on The Usher Hall Stage. Two Toms and one Dave in a band…surely there is a song in there somewhere? If you were at the show, you know the anser to this question.
As I said at the start, this evening is the finale of a lot of work by a lot of people, and along the way not only new music has been made, but many new friendships. For these reasons I am not using our usual star rating system for this show as you should not value the work of a community project like this in such simplistic terms. Everyone involved at every stage with Love Music gains something along the way, and if you want to be involved, or just get more information, then visit their website at
Review by Tom King
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