Innocence and Humour on Musical Fringe
Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 (5)
The Horne Section: Underbelly, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, 20.8.2014
Alex Horne – Monsieur Butterfly: Pleasance. Edinburgh, 20.8.2014 (SRT)
The Horne Section are one of my favourite regular acts on the Fringe. Not only are they brilliant musicians, but they have a perfect line on silly, slightly innocent comedy which is nonetheless extremely well observed. Their musical style is mostly swing and free jazz, but they can turn themselves to anything, such as a bizarre group ceilidh dance which ends in a joke about Kylie Minogue.
Horne himself has a relaxed, comfortable way with the audience which allows him, for example, to make jokes comparing the band to One Direction, while also performing a hilarious but impressive slow-motion-blindfolded-Macarena. Musically, they show their ability to change key, time and just about everything else in their song about a faulty record player, and I loved the way they manage to integrate the saxophone solo from Baker Street into a number of other songs. They get different guests every night, most of whom contribute to the music in their own way. On my night we got the tragic clown Puddles’ Pity Party and the razor-sharp David O’Doherty who, as well as telling some very witty jokes, shows himself a dab hand with a 1980s Yamaha keyboard. Brilliant.
I also got to see Alex Horne’s solo show which, while less musical, does make some very clever use of music, such as Enigma’s Return to Innocence at his wedding, or a big moment for Jolene, as well as playing off different genre types. For all his construction work on stage, Horne’s show has a heart-warming central message about life and relationships and, yes, the title is a pun on Madama Butterfly, but to find out why you’ll need to see the show. Both shows come highly recommended.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe continues until 25th August at a range of venues across the city. For full details click here.