Weill at Heart: Bremner sings the cabaret songs of Kurt Weill

Aug 8-22, 17:30
The Jazz Bar
1a Chambers Street, EH1 1HR
Tickets: £8.00, concession £6.00
tickets at www.edfringe.com

bremnerRight from the get go you can tell that Bremner is passionate about the songs of Kurt Weill. The programme I was handed on entry says that Bremner:

“became aware of Kurt Weill’s music around the time I was sticking safety pins in my leather jacket and leaping into the mosh pit to dance to bands like the Dead Kennedys and the Subhumans. I knew nothing about Germany between the wars, or the social turmoil that produced artists like Weill, Brecht, Otto Dix or Max Beckmann. Something in his music resonated with me. Since then, I’ve been entranced by the music of Kurt Weill throughout my adult life. I’ve sung his songs in lovely concert halls and in dark dilapidated saloons. I’ve sung his music with rock bands and with classical string quartets. I’ve never grown tired of these marvellous songs.”

Bremner’s performance encompasses music written by Weill in both Germany and the United States. I was more familar with his German work so it was fascinating to be introduced to songs like Lonely House, Stranger Here Myself and Moon Faced Starry Eyed written in the US. Bremner switched from light to dark in a heartbeat. I loved Stranger Here Myself which Bremner performed walking amidst the audience.

Bremner brought out in his short commentaries between songs how positive Weill was in many of his songs (like One Life to Live) despite having faced dark times. He told us that the music and a quote from Weill had inspired and motivated him in his own adversities.

When he sang Mack the Knife and Pirate Jenny the audience lit-up to these old favourites.

David Patrick on Piano and the Sax player were extremely accomplished and worth listening to in their own right.

Reviewed by Patrick Harrington

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