Andy and the Prostitutes
The Institute, Edinburgh Fringe Festival
19 August 2012
Dancing in the streets and snapping G Strings – David Marren finds Andy and the Prostitutes capture the Fringe vibe perfectly.
To be honest, at the beginning, the signs for what lay ahead this evening did not bode well.
Turning the corner into Roseneath Street I was met by five simultaneous cries of ”ËI’ve seen your cock’ ”âin reference to the ”ËNaked Touch’ exhibition in the Institute which I am a participant in- and smiling as sweetly as I could-not much then, really- made my way into the venue which, aside from those working there, was empty.
Not too worried as I was uncharacteristically early I got a drink and waited on a friend joining me which they did about ten minutes later. After about half an hour the band arrived and started setting up and there were still no customers, bar us two. Tuning up commenced and when the band announced their first number we looked up from our conversation and noticed that a few other people had arrived. Quite a few in fact, as the place was packed out right through to the back with little room left for anyone else.
Launching into their first number the Star Wars based ”ËJedi Knights’ the brilliance of this band was apparent to everyone in the place and an atmosphere unlike any I have encountered on a night out in Edinburgh in quite some time started to take hold captivating anyone in its remotest vicinity. Quite literally in fact, as crowds started to form in the street, with dancing firmly on their minds, whilst across the road people were leaving the comfort of the local pub to try and capture some of the vibe.
The amazing thing about this band is not only the music but the comedy dynamic that exists between the members-especially lead singer Andy and violin genius Richard Moore- which takes the act to a whole new infectious level. Thus to hear a roomful of people singing along to a song they have never heard before is really quite something. However this happened during several numbers, especially ”ËI’m too Pretty for Prison’ and the darkly twisted ”ËUncle Walt’s a Paedophile’, which has a chorus so disturbingly catchy it is still lodged in my consciousness this morning. Things really exploded though, with a cover version of Talking Heads ”ËPsycho Killer’ which saw Moore snap his G-string-on his violin- in all the excitement. Not that this held him back in anyway and things continued at a frantic pace.
This show is really what the Fringe is all about and the spontaneity of the evening contained the crucial element lacking from most of the other shows I have seen this year which- apart from a few exceptional dramas- if I am honest has left me pretty unimpressed and with only an overwhelming sense of ennui.
Last night however is one of those nights that everyone there will remember and so many others will claim to remember. It is a night which would have appeased the most virulent of Fringe haters as the infectiousness of the proceedings and atmosphere were impossible to resist. The band is playing next Saturday at the same venue at 9pm and also at the Phoenix bar in Broughton Street at 7pm nightly. I can’t guarantee there will be dancing in the street but that is up to you.
Andy and The Prostitutes ”âThe Phoenix Bar , Broughton Street 7pm.ÃÂ Also next Saturday 25 August at the Institute, 14 Roseneath Street 9pm.
All words by David Marren. You can read more from David on LTW here.