Gig review: Chilly Gonzales & Kaiser Quartett - The Hub, Edinburgh

Hot stuff from an all-round virtuoso

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Chilly Gonzales, formerly the electroclash producer known simply as Gonzales, is funny, musical, talented, and confident without being overbearing – and the more prestigious surroundings of the Edinburgh International Festival have taken note. Here, he played songs from his more conventional new album, Chambers, with its co-composers, Hamburg’s string-based Kaiser Quartett, and drummer Joe Flory.

He appears, bedraggled and in a crumbled silk dressing gown, and plays a suite of piano-only vignettes in virtuosic style (one of them, “Never Stop”, may be recognisable from its past life in an Apple advert). Then the rest of his group emerge and he begins to talk, charming, instructing and haranguing us in equal measure.

He demonstrates the use of major and minor chords by turning “Happy Birthday” (aimed at the Quartett’s viola player) into a dirge and demonstrates the sampling potential of an orchestra with excerpts of “Eleanor Rigby” and “The Rite of Spring”. “The Grudge” and its spat-out rap, he says, illuminates his own narcissism, while the breezy classical funk of “Knight Moves” and “Take Me to Broadway” might fairly be described as “the hits”.