Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Review: S!nk and Kate in the Kettle at the Pianodrome at the Pitt

Review: S!nk and Kate in the Kettle at the Pianodrome at the Pitt

The Pianodrome is one of those incredibly rare things; a passion project that has been successfully executed. The space is a kind of amphitheatre made up of old pianos that were destined for a life of sad decay. In their new incarnation, the pianos make up seating and playing areas for a small audience. On the day of this gig, they were packed to the rafters, to the extent that an elaborate mime had to be constructed to remove an audience member from a piano stool needed for the performance. 

Fortunately, S!nk, the band that masterminded the structure are gifted mimes and musicians with a sense of fun that is infectious. Whilst the influx of visitors means that we run out of cushions, everything is greeted with good humour and flexibility. The combination of saxophone, accordion, violin, double bass, drums and piano are in constant conversation with each other, creating melodies that ebb and flow across the space. The band twirl around the circular arena, at one point taking to their bikes in order to create three dimensional sound effects for a particularly haunting song. It is wonderful to see a space being used to its full potential; every nook and cranny is mined in this performance. 

Kate in the Kettle delivers sonorous sounds with the help of a Patsy Reid and Sua Lee on viola and cello. Despite the numbers packed into the venue, it is at times so hushed that it becomes like a church. 

Pianodrome is a ‘radical re-imagining of what the piano is and can be in today’s throw-away culture’ and every element attests to how clever design and creativity can break away from a wasteful society. The ceiling is adorned with pieces of string that hang down and are projected onto creating some of the most beautiful, yet simple lighting effects I’ve seen all fringe. Come for the concept, stay for the incredible music that’s being performed every day and night. A truly special space.

Pianodrome concerts are on every day until the 25th. Free and unticketed until 3 pm.