Q&A Aftersow Credit Julian Bukitsuk
Metcalfe. Fife, Rud, & Baillie

SHAMANIC: Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh – live review

Traverse Theatre
8th March 2020

SHAMANIC provides the most vivid colours you will ever hear, and the brightest sounds you will ever see!

SHAMANIC – is a powerful multi-modal performance, bringing together the music and vocals of Fay Fife from the punk archetypes, The Rezillos, Martin Metcalfe from post-punkers Goodbye Mr McKenzie, Angelfish feat Shirley Manson, and The Filthy Tongues, and Mike Baillie,  from The Skids. Last but certainly not least, Russian visual, fine artist, Maria Rud is the central plank that bridges the various domains together.

Maria paints Live on a light board (AniMotion – copyright) which is then projected onto a backdrop, tabla rasa, which can and has included canvas such as Durham Cathedral and George Herriot’s School in Edinburgh. The concept was launched at The National Museum of Scotland with percussionist, Evelyn Glennie, and has toured as far as all over the USA, Europe and China.  https://www.shamaniclive.com/the-show

On this night, however, a screen is being used in the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the show was originally intended as a Kickstarter campaign for SXSW Festival/Trade Fare in Austin, Texas. Tragically for Austin, Texas SXSW was cancelled as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic one night before the Edinburgh show. Loss of revenue abounds in what is already being seen to be a global economic calamity for the global liberal arts/creative industries. However, this was and still an active KICKSTARTER Campaign and can be found here should you recognise the merit and significance of supporting this exciting and evolving work:

Maria Rud was born in Moscow and studied fine art since the precocious age of seven years old at Surikov School of Art in Moscow, and later at the Academy of Culture, in St Petersburg. In a move away from past excursions with more classically trained musicians, recent excursions have become a little more rock n Roll, and daring. including Kid Congo Powers (The Bad Seeds), at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019, Congo was to have joined this seemingly synaesthetic Masterpiece in Austin.

The pedigree and collective experience of Metcalfe,and Fife – Post Punk stalwarts all, make for a heady brew when linked enforce with the powerhouse that is Maria Rud – possibly one of the greatest living artiste’s of our time. What is conjured up by Rud, live, are breathtaking images which she asserts arrive fully formed in her mind, giving the impression o when she is performing with these other Artistes who perform in the modality of sound.

At the Traverse Theatre, Shamanic is dark, sometimes scary, and garish, and most definitely counter-intuitive to the shallow post-modern immediacy in art, of, for example, Tracy Emin’s ‘My Bed’! Indeed, as a creative entity, SHAMANIC tacitly pays homage to the primitive history and anthropology of humanity, while juxtaposing that imagery with the angelic and sometimes eerily ecclesiastic and liturgical soarings of Fay Fifes majestic vocal. At the same time, Metcalfe’s own love of the older macabre historicity of Edinburgh’s past. not to mention his slightly animated presence on stage, is completely congruent with his peers onstage and make for an exciting, always riveting always novel performance.

Metcalfe, Fife, Rud and Baillie participate in a no holds barred Q&A with their audience after the show. If the opportunity ever arrives to experience SHAMANIC, do not miss it. This is one of the most incredible cultural events to come out of Scotland in a long time.

Please check out links here: Mariarudart Countess of Fife and Filthy Tongues here.

Words by Harry Mulligan, you can find his Author’s profile here.

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Intrepid gonzo-music-Journo who is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of contemporary music indigenous to both the USA, Britain & Ireland.


  1. Was at this show, the second time seeing them after the Edinburgh Arts Fayre a few months earlier.
    It was an amazing thing to behold with an added edge due to the news of the cancelled SXSW,
    The Q&A at the end was an amazing experience too. I will definately go see them again.
    One of the track from the night here ;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrEDDH6iLXg


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