Bridge Over Troubled Lager (Volume 2)

Bridge Over Troubled Lager (Volume 2) from Rory McGrath and Philip Pope is an evening of easy listening funny tunes and mild jokes. The singing and musicianship is solid and there are some funny moments but the pair tend to bore just as much as they amuse.

It’s all good fun and there’s no denying the musical talents of the pair.

McGrath and Pope emulate specific rock and folk styles well; there’s a good Leonard Cohen style song called And I Wake Up and Philip Pope does a pretty good Dylan impersonation although at times he sounds more Kermit the Frog than Dylan. A highlight includes the referendum ripping Better Together Better Apart. Some metal performed in the style of Schubert is particularly inventive and fun. Another highlight for the audience is the I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here themed song, Get me to the Jungle.

It’ fun but tends to drag and then quite a few times, songs that are enjoyable get interrupted with a joke that nearly always has a hugely telegraphed punchline. It’s old school, old man humour that’s not aged particularly well. For younger audiences it’s a bit like listening to your dad and his mate make typical dad jokes and then being surprisingly good at singing songs. What’s more, the problem with doing silly funny songs in the style of great folk songs is that you tend to crave the smart lyrics that the folk sounds deserve and unfortunately the humour rarely delivers in that department. But then what else can you expect from a show that’s called Bridge Over Troubled Lager?

For some audiences, more the older ones than the younger, it’s all good fun and there’s no denying the musical talents of the pair. Just don’t expect anything particularly refreshing, that lager’s probably a Fosters.

Reviews by Dave House

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The Blurb

After their hit dad-rock album Dark Side of the Moob, Rory and Philip return to Edinburgh with an hour of sophisticated comedy and song. Expect wit, elegance and clever musical pastiche (but don't worry, there's also silliness and filth). This is the show where music and comedy meet, have a few drinks, fight, then stagger home singing hits from the 60s. Something to offend everybody. ‘One of the cleverest shows at the Fringe in years’ (Edinburgh Reporter).

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