Lynn Ruth Miller

View from across the Pond

Belly of a Drunken Piano

Stewart D’Arrietta at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Assembly Rooms Ballroom Venue 20
6:15 August 2-26
If you want to get lost in marvelous music performed with the kind of energy and verve rare even on the most vibrant music scene, get over to the Assembly Room ballroom and get a ticket for BELLY OF A DRUNKEN PIANO. You will not be disappointed. Stewart D’Arrietta does far more than sing the hits we all loved by Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Ian Dury, Joe Cocker and Bruce Springsteen. He actually inhabits each song he sings and the words take on a new strength that threatens to tear you apart. D’Arrietta has a unique magnetic style and a way of drawing his audience into his world with such songs as his own Belly Of a Drunken Piano or Down in the Hole by Tom Watts. His band is nothing less than magnificent: Willy Molleson on Drums, David ‘Demus’ Donnelly on Bass and Marty Hailey on Guitar. They make a each superb rendition even better.
The theme of this drum beating, pounding piano hour is the devil in us all and it is epitomized when D’Arrietta sings his own There’s A Little Bit Of Satan In Us All. “I promise there won’t be any mention of Brexit in this show,” he says. “No naked ladies, no drag queens on stilts….”
There is no need for that kind of attention grabber in this concert. It has its own power driven by D’Arrietta’s powerful delivery and a voice that combines his gravel tones with a surprising virtuosity. He casts his own magic spell on us and it grows more and more hypnotizing as the hour progresses. You will hate to see it end.
There is something for everybody in this program of 15 fabulous melodies including Kentucky Avenue and Big in Japan by Tom Waits, who is represented by no less than 9 arrangements including the rousing finale Waltzing Matilda.
My favorite in the program was D’Arrietta’s singing Leonard Cohen’s classic Dance me to the End of Life. The pulsating rhythm and disturbing words will haunt you far after you have left the Assembly Rooms Ballroom. The vision of Holocaust victims marching to their death is as horrifying as it is unforgettable.
And so is this program of songs we all know transformed into something brand new by the very talented Stewart D’Arrietta……not to be missed.

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