Joel Soetendorp

Edinburgh Fringe review: Jonny And The Baptists, The Satiric Verses

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Jonny and the Baptists join a noble tradition of satirical singers.

Cave man probably grunted snarky references to his chief’s big head and ineffective club millennia before speech or even obscene cave paintings.

Now via Flanders and Swan, and The Barron Knights, we reach Jonny and the Baptists.  Jonny is short, chubby, and cherubic. He smilingly resembles a Botticelli cupid with a hangover and child support payments, in cut off shorts. Near silent, The Baptist(s) is a tall, bearded rock god with an endearing mumble.

These guys are the interesting enigma of people who made it from infamy all the way to fame.  They have been on the News at 10 for having their tour about overthrowing UKIP. That lead to some of UKIP’s more puce members trying to get them banned.

Unsuccessfully. UKIP had to console itself with a near clean sweep of MEP posts.  A song about the meaning of the word Farage is a highlight, as is them reading some of their hate mail.

They gamely joke about this and, perhaps with a little anger, at Mark Thomas who apparently talked them into it. The show is great fun. The songs are banged out with energy and verve, and with some excellent comedic bits in between. Their songs might have some lightly cumbersome rhymes, but their power whips it through.

It is a very enjoyable evening. The audience clearly did, as they hooted along. An angry song comparing independence to an intemperate divorce brought the house down.

The final song is a barnstormer reminiscent of Tenacious D at their mock operatic best.  There are a few niggles. Apart from McGonagal-esque rhymes, a pretend getting drunk on stage routine seems a needless explanation for their clowning around. They never quite pull off a gag about cum buckets, and the ironic racism bits are a bit flat.

But over all this show finishes with a song called Boom, starts with a boom and is boom almost all the way through.


Date of live review: 20 August 2014 @ Pleasance Courtyard

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