John Gibson: Porter all the way on Hogmanay

Kenny Herbert
Kenny Herbert
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It has to be an obsession. Philip Contini, whose real job is running Valvona & Crolla in Elm Row, was in his daughter’s VinCaffe in Multrees Walk on Monday singing Cole Porter songs with his Be Happy Band. A one-off Italian-American dinner show.

He’ll be back at Multrees with the band on Hogmanay, fronting the event and singing, you’ve guessed, Cole Porter. “So many classic songs,” Contini says, “and since we sold out with the show at the Fringe we’ve no qualms about putting it on at Hogmanay. Am I obsessed with Porter? If you say so.”

Free night out

So, it’s not true. Song-writing and guitar-playing duo Kenny Herbert and Rab Howat packed historic Canongate pub the White Horse last Thursday, performing a mix of their own material and well-known covers admission free.

They’ll do a return gig on December 22 and, again, no charge. Says Kenny: “The pub has a lot of history. The Corries and Billy Connolly played there. And we anticipate another capacity night.”

Rumours of 20 quid admission this time have been denied. Vigorously.

Afterwords . . .

. . . Anjelica Huston, still hurting after the death of her sculptor husband: “I’m not in a romance yet but I’m feeling better than I was. I’m not looking to break hearts, I’m looking to mend hearts. I think that’s what happens when you get past your fifties.”