Edinburgh 2006 Review

Evening Telegraph: Features: Grapevine
The Twilight Singers featuring Mark Lanegan
Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh

the organisers of T on the Fringe scored another coup this year by bringing two of the best voices in rock to the capital, writes Stefan Morkis.

The Twilight Singers, led by former Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli, would be a pretty strong draw on their own, but adding Mark Lanegan into the mix only adds to the occasion.

Of course, the novelty factor of seeing two of rock’s most chemically-battered characters on stage would mean nothing without the music to back it up and fortunately they don’t disappoint.

Although they only share the stage for a handful of songs — this was mostly Twilight Singers show, and a very good one too with Teenage Wristband particularly good — it’s pretty devastating when it happens.

The Twilight Singers themselves are a phenomenal live proposition, with Dulli using all his showmanship to get the crowd on side and their soul influences beefed up for live performances.

Conversely, when Lanegan lumbers on stage for his first number, a cover of Leadbelly’s Where Did You Sleep Last Night? he doesn’t even acknowledge the crowd and in fact, barely opens his eyes.

He doesn’t need to, though — as soon as he opens his mouth all eyes and ears are fixed on the singer. To put it simply, he makes Tom Waits sound like a little girl.

Since leaving the Screaming Trees, he’s spent time with Queens of the Stone Age, recorded a Mercury Music Prize nominated album with Isobel Campbell and released a series of excellent solo albums, so he’s not exactly been hiding his light under a bushel, but neither he nor The Twilight Singers have become anything approaching household names.

Perhaps it’s because they’re both still tarred with the grunge brush, despite having long since left the Seattle scene behind them, but they’re both deserving of greater recognition. Of course, being a couple of contrary gents, maybe that’s exactly how they like it.

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