Gary Flockhart: Five stars for Piaf tribute? Non, je ne regrette rien

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THE Edinburgh Fringe, it’s fair to say, isn’t the first place most people would look for their fix of live music – at least not since T on the Fringe, and its later incarnation, The Edge Festival, sadly became defunct.

But that’s not to say the world’s biggest arts jamboree is without its live music events. Far from it.

Have a squiz at this year’s packed programme and, alongside the myriad of theatre and comedy productions, you’ll find plenty of great gigs to whet the appetite.

The Assembly Rooms Fringe and The Famous Spiegelterrace have set out their stall as this year’s go-to venue for live music – bringing a host of top Scottish and international acts this way during August.

After the resounding success of last year’s debut music programme, they look to build on this in 2013 with a diverse line-up of talent.

Coming this way are Motown legends Martha Reeves And The Vandellas, Glaswegian cosmic post-rockers Mogwai and that much-loved Scottish pop duo, Hue & Cry.

Other highlights include Mercury-nominated jazz/electronic band Portico Quartet, and Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey, who has toured with the likes of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and U2.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Capercaillie, and the hugely influential Celtic music collective return with a full line-up.

Elsewhere, Scottish musical treasure Dougie Maclean, fresh from winning a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio Folk Awards, will be performing an acoustic set, as will Idlewild main man Roddy Woomble.

In a packed programme – for full details visit www.arfringe.com – Christine Bovill’s musical tribute to legendary French songbird Edith Piaf is an instant stand-out.

I said in this space last summer that if I was giving out my own Fringe award, then it would have gone to Bovill, who got a five-star review in the Evening News.

That said, she will have her work cut out to better her last visit here, during which Charles Dumont, the man who composed Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, joined her on stage at the final show.