Antonio Forcione: No Strings Attached

Assembly George Square Studios

From 07 August 2014 to 17 August 2014

Rating: *****

Review by David Chadderton

Antonio Forcione has been performing at the Fringe, he told us, since 1991, but it's a while since I've have seen a solo show from him in Edinburgh in an intimate space such as this one.

And on the final night of this short run, he is more relaxed and chatty than I have seen him before for this show of tributes to his favourite songs, artists and people.

His version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" has been in his repertoire for some time, but he also gives us The Beatles' "Come Together", Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and his own tributes to Nelson Mandela with "Mandiba's Jive" and to Henry Mancini with his "Pink Panther" style "The Cool Cat".

All are given the Forcione treatment as he produces an amazing range of sounds from just one instrument, sounding like guitar, bass and percussion all in one.

He has plenty of fun with his audience too, and not just in his chat between the numbers. One track is played in only ultraviolent light with Forcione wearing white gloves. Being the last night, the audience demanded both of his encore numbers, and he gave us the ones where he really shows off and makes us laugh: "Touch Wood" and "Acoustic Revenge".

But if I could do anything half as well as Forcione played guitar, I'd be showing off about it all the time as well.

It's a great show that brings out this great musician's personality as well as his talent and it deserved the standing ovation.