THEATRE i’M sTill HERE … Pleasance ghillie dhu (Venue 236) HHHHH
IF yOu want to see how cabaret is done, go to see peter Straker. the man could be busking on the royal Mile and he would turn it into a classy cabaret bar, by sheer force of personality and performance. luckily for Straker, the Ghillie Dhu is already classy. Straker makes a typically showbiz, spotlit entrance through the audience, in the vaulted spaces, under the gorgeous chandeliers and over the stone-flagged floors. loose white jacket, slicked jet hair – lounge and lizard in equal parts.
He belts out a personalised version of Sondheim’s anthem to survival, I’m Still Here, and we are off into Straker’s World. He is, more than any artist I can think of in this genre, his “own special creation”. Songs Straker sings become Straker songs: Queen’s The Show Must
Go On, Simon and Garfunkel’s Keep The Customer Satisfied,
even MacArthur Park and The Banana Boat Song wipe richard Harris and Harry Belafonte from our minds. the voice is still a formidable instrument. Hold on to your wineglass when Straker goes for it. Having said which, when he croons you hear a whole life lived to the full in his voice.
And the band … oh, the band. Bryony Muir on violin and vocals, paul Gregory (drums) and louis van der Westhuizen on bass (guitar and double) are all fresh from music studies and sounding good. MD Warren Wills on piano (and the occasional pointed remark) is brilliant, as always, and Graeme taylor on lead guitar is breath-stoppingly, spinetinglingly rock’n’roll. Brian May … Graeme does. Go get a little sophistication, Straker-style.
Until 30 August. Today 6pm.