Edinburgh Fringe 2014

Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Reviews Part 2

Time for some more tedious text to read through, rather than posting pretty pictures. Continuing my Fringe 2014 adventure I thought I better post up some more ‘reviews’ (or did we decide on thoughts?) for some shows I’ve seen this year. Helpfully in the last week of the Fringe, giving people not much time to make up their minds whether to see a show or not. Anyhow, if you get as far as my previous Fringe post you will see that I have advised not to use my reviews as gospel as to whether a show is good or not…everyone has different taste.

Enough waffle. Here are some more thoughts on shows…

Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum

Both very talented guys who come together to make a formidable team What makes it unique is that Jamie, effectively, sings and play the guitar (a crude summary as he does supply more than that) and Tom provides any additional musical instruments/backing vocals by beatboxing. This creates a rather unique thing – what sounds like a full band but in fact has an intimate, stripped back and acoustic feel. A very laid back performance but with enough funk and energy thrown in to keep the buzz going. I recommend them highly. On top of their skills, they are very nice, approachable guys with a great stage presence and good interaction with the audience. 4.3 out of 5.

Voca People

Fantastic – the kind of show I can recommend to anyone I know, regardless of their age and interests. I don’t want to give too much of the game away but would describe them as acapella, harmonic oddities with an out of this world twist that gives them the edge over similar groups. Think toe-tapping, cheesy tunes mixed in with outstanding vocal tricks, occasional beat-boxing and some audience participation for good measure. They will have you immersed in their energy, go see it. 4.8 out of 5 (ooh, close). 

Musical Bingo

What a hoot – I hope they bring a permanent night to Edinburgh. Ok, so I was pretty drunk but I am sure I would enjoy it just as much if I were sober. What’s not to love –  cheesy music, bingo, dancing on the stage, trashy prizes, general debauchery and  fun presenters. Great vibes and atmosphere. We were also treated to an extra special guest appearance that night in the striking figure of Jonny Woo – whose long, lithe legs in that white leotard I shall never quite forget. If you’re getting a bit sick of the likes of Late’n’Live I would recommend musical Bingo as a brilliant late night Fringe show alternative. 4.5 out of 5 (I marked them down 0.5 because I didn’t win a prize, although it’s not really their fault that I’m a spoilt brat).

Umbilical Brothers: KiDSHoW (not for kids)

These…energetic…guys are back to the Edinburgh fringe after a 9 year hiatus. As an Umbilical Brothers virgin I appreciated the ‘show within a show’ approach that their offering took, it was well rehearsed and slick. I can’t deny their excellent physical skills, voice throwing and somewhat twisted and silly sense of humour – the show has a lot of potential but at times fazed out. However, there was one underwater scene that showed off what this eccentric duo are really capable off and left me gasping in disbelief – more of that please, gents! Most definitely talented and although I didn’t enjoy the show throughout I will keep them on my shortlist for future years as an alternative to the usual comedy format. Brady Bunch and Disney fans, beware. 3.6 out of 5. 

Eric Lampaert, Testiculating (Waving Your Arms Talking B*ll*cks)

I was really looking forward to this show – his show last year was phenomenal. This year, the show didn’t appeal to me as much – obviously you don’t expect a show to be the same year to year (that would be awful) but the main problem was that not much of the comedy style that was so endearing last year seemed to remain this time. The show title does contain a disclaimer in that Eric will be mainly testiculating b*llocks – and I guess that nicely sums up what happened. Compared to the punchy, well delivered structured show of last year this one fails to really come to any kind of conclusion…  chaotic rambling drip feeding small nuggets of comedy that hint at something better but never quite get there. There were a couple of hilarious moments (neurotica, fantastic!) and recurring themes throughout but I really felt the lack of structure didn’t pay off. I like Eric a lot and will go see him again if he returns to the Fringe (show title permitting) as I just feel that maybe his head – or heart – wasn’t quite in it this time. 2.9 out of 5. 

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