Fills Monkey: We Will Drum You

Pleasance Courtyard Grand
Venue 33 (16:00)
Till 29th August (Tuesdays excepted and strikes permitting)
Strobe lighting
Possible Brouhaha

An hour long drum solo performed by two French hippies/mime artists and featuring a kazoo trombone fashioned from the plumbing aisle at B&Q is a hard sell. and would have me reaching for my gun. On hearing this pitch the temptation is to roll the eyes and stride off indignantly muttering ‘festival bollox.. grumble grumble…’

There is no doubt the festival has its share of ‘Macbeth on a bouncy castle‘ codswallop, and long may it reign, but these things are not everyones cup of tea. So you’d be forgiven for dismissing this show out of hand. and flicking the safety off*

You would however be missing a cracking percussive hour of virtuoso drumming visuals and music that thrums along as tight as a paradiddle.

First and foremost these guys are world class drummers.

They employ a surreal quiver of instruments, from drills with which to torture their instruments and each other. From the aforementioned kazoobone (ed.?) to chainsaws and their skulls, and more. They belt out the classics from Queen to AC/DC via Pantera and Grease with brioche (ed. I think you’ll find you mean brio) Of course being French you get a bit of Jean-Michel Jarre and Daft Punk. (Mais qui, d’accord, bien sûr, pôt pourri).

As they are the only two French recording artists since Edith Piaf that anybody takes seriously. MC Solar doesn’t count.*

The dynamic between the pair is played upon but not dwelt upon. Excellently conceived vignettes are conjured. Morricone’s Wild West, Bruce Lee style Martial arts movies and Star Wars. There is crowd participation, but this involves a bit of whooping and stomping and not the the dreaded dragged up on stage variety.

The audience loved it from kiddie winks to ‘aul grumpy punters (like me). The lighting sound musicianship choreography and timing are all as tight John Bonham’s trousers and everyone left with a smile on their face and a slight ringing in the ears. Excellent.

Adam McCully

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