XUXU'S REVOLT.

This video will be free to watch until the 19th July

Due to the Covid 19, this year Buxton Fringe is not offering a live option, however the Fringe Committee are encouraging performers to submit virtual shows.

Pieter Egriega has been working on this show off and on since 2017 so has prepared Xuxu's Revolt as an online production available free to watch from 1st July to the 19th July 2020....

Xuxu's Revolt is the story of a forgotten Fado singer or Fadista Xuxu Carvalho, active in the Carnation Revolution of 1974. After the overthrow of the dictatorship, she had problems singing, as Fado music fell out of favour for about 10 years, due to its previous close association with the Portuguese Estada Nuvo dictatorship. As a result, by the time of the mid1980's Fado music returned to popularity with a new crop of singers, Xuxu was overlooked. She found it hard to get regular spots and was forced to join the impromptu amateur singers. Finding very few accompanists who remembered her, she realised that her time had past,  she grew bitter and rarely worked at her music.

She died in 2003 leaving a daughter and a grandson. Her daughter left Portugal  and moved to England to seek now opportunities. Xuxu's grandson Daniel was born in the NW of England.

This is her story.
REVIEW BY STEPH BILLEN

Multi-award winning Fringe regular Pieter Egriega is back with a new show originally planned for live performance but successfully reinvented as an online production.

Inventively filmed with atmospheric footage and photographs of Portugal past and present, the show is inspired by the story of forgotten Fado singer Xuxu Carvalho, charting her experiences before, during and after the 1974 Carnation Revolution and showing how she was a victim of repression both in terms of sexual politics and politically as part of Portugal’s working poor.

Xuxu comes across as far from pathetic though. In recently discovered archive recordings, she describes her contempt for ‘pig-like men’ with their ‘smells and curly tails’. From the inside of a tiny TV set (a little like something out of Monty Python), Egriega feels he should point out that translation is a difficult art and that the origins of her songs are complicated, the melodies deriving from other musicians…

The air of mystery enhances rather than detracts from Egriega’s soulful musical performances. His impassioned singing is well suited to the Fado genre with its jangly Portuguese guitar sounds augmented by double bass and Charles Ormrod’s piano. The performer’s backdrops are always interesting whether we are looking up at him against an impossibly blue sky, watching him come and go from a white chair against a white wall, or finding his face in a fuggy room as warm and deeply orange as the Fringe itself.

Settle back and lose yourself in this beautiful, immersive experience, each Portuguese poster, mural or filmed bar scene hinting at stories within stories. A glass of chilled white Port can only help. As Xuxu says: 'You can do the bossa nova even if you’re falling over…'

Stephanie Billen


11 REASONS

11 REASONS - Egriega

This is Pieter Egriega’s fourth show for the Buxton Fringe and each one has been completely different - both in terms of concept and the collection of original songs.

11 Reasons is his most accessible and complete show yet. Combining jazz trio (piano/tenor sax/bass) with a brief spoken word soundtrack and accompanying black and white images made in Buxton specifically the whole show is much tighter than previous Egriega events.

The story is essentially about young love and the consequence of choices made when it comes to partners and commitment. A further layer is introduced in that each song is related to one the Major Arcana cards in the tarot deck (the Lovers, The Chariot, The Hermit etc). I know nothing about tarot and will leave observation about that aspect to others. Just to note that the philosophical aspects of the spoken word soundtrack which includes reflections on the nature of life and inevitable death might be rooted in the cards.

Egriega’s songs have always had a wit and immediacy about them and this is true of 11 Reasons. There is a directness and warmth about this set largely attributable to the playing of Alex Clarke (tenor saxophone) and Charles Ormrod (electric piano). In their playing they don’t stray far from the conventions of mainstream jazz established 60 years ago but it fits perfectly here.

Alex is a young player but she has a full tone and suitably breathy touches. Charles is a nimble and fluent pianist and the arrangements are tight. 11 Reasons is a song cycle and should be taken as a set but Our Town - pretty and tender - was especially appreciated.

I looked forward to seeing 11 Reasons and some times anticipation leads to disappointment - but not this time. There is a rare audio and visual warmth and harmony that sits well in the Rotunda late on a summer night.

Keith Savage

11 Reasons review from Digital Fix Noel Megahey

One thing I've noticed in the eight years I've been coming to Buxton is that there's a strong sense of identity and community here. Looking at the incredible local art works in the Buxton Museum perhaps that applies the Peak District in general, or maybe it's because I only usually see the best of Buxton during the festival season but I don't think so.

Pieter Egriega's 11 Reasons show confirmed that impression for me and in a way what the show does - through music, singing, narration and photographs - is try to understand where that sense of identity comes from and what are the essential things that define it. It's a huge undertaking for a one-hour show and it requires that range and combination of art forms that Egriega applies, but he also unexpectedly adds another layer to his song-cycle, aligning its central love story to the 11 cards of a Tarot deck.

The story is that of a young man finding his place in the world, growing up, experiencing life and coming to better understand himself though the love of another. Unfortunately life is not that simple and there are challenges to be faced that cause doubts and questions and some soul searching. Egriega uses photographs taken on location around Buxton during the narrative interludes to 11 songs played by a jazz trio with Egriega on double bass. The songs start appropriately with a short instrumental, the start of a journey from knowing nothing or nothing that can be formed in words. The other 10 songs bring out impressions of the journey the young man undertakes as he grapples with that growing sense of self, a sense of others and a sense of the world he is living in.

The songs are concise little classic cool jazz trio numbers that have a marvellous looseness and fluidity, reminiscent of Tom Waits or Bill Evans. Accompanied by Charles Omrod on piano and Alex Clarke on saxophone, Pieter Egriega plays double bass and sings with heartfelt sincerity and expressiveness. No more so than in My Town, when struggling to find a sense of what he wants and who he is, he finds some sense of grounding and foothold in the familiarity of the place he lives in.

Egriega has won numerous festival awards over the years and if there's any justice, 11 Reasons will add to the tally. It's an ambitious project, intimate and yet expansive, simple and yet it deals with issues that everyone can identify with and recognise the complexity of the feelings that this journey through life engenders. And it's not the end of a journey, but very much a cycle that continues, turning the cards over and starting again.

Review of Frank Sinistra by Stephen Walker

 Creative Arts Winner - Stroke Association 2014
Extraordinary People Ordinary Lives -  Best small group/ensemble Winner  -  Buxton Fringe  2016
Mr Different -  Best small group/ensemble Nomination - Buxton Fringe 2017
Frank Sinistra - Premiere 7th July 2018 Hydro Cafe Bar Buxton
Currently appearing at Open Mics around the UK in support of his ridiculous ambitions...

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