In a similar way to eating your mum’s homemade soup, sometimes the charm of a show can outweigh the actual content. This group of young performers from Pinched Theatre Co. can only be described as unquestionably charming and easy to watch. The show’s structure and premise is sweet and relatable, however, sadly, the show itself simply doesn’t quite live up to expectation.
Neither polished nor professional but it is full of heart
Katy Perry wasn’t the only one of us with a teenage dream, many people can remember that time before life became limited and we secretly thought we might one day be a rock star. Indie as Fuck tells the story of a too-cool-for-high-school Scottish band from their early days with dodgy lyrics and underage booze to slowly fizzling out as clashing life schedules and adulthood hit. It’s a fun, upbeat show told through live original music and short, comical, sketch-like structuring.
Possibly the most apparent let down of the show was its awkward scripted dialogue. For the most part the jokes were obvious, and the worst among them were repetitive and cliché. For many performances this should have been a killing blow, but the company’s clear enthusiasm and camaraderie somehow negated many of the scripts flaws. In a play where the crux of the story hangs on the friendships the band members share this chemistry is vital, and fortunately chemistry is something the cast had in bucket loads. Their own off-stage relationships felt palpable; this is not an easy thing to achieve and an even harder thing to fake. This allowed the company to form instant rapport with the audience and create the chilled-out gig atmosphere.
As this show is half-theatre and half-gig, the music itself requires discussion. It was alright. Nothing all that special but catchy and charming in the exact way you expect from a local unsigned band. Although the singer did come across slightly too musical theatre-style in their delivery to really be considered Indie as Fuck, she delivers the strong vocals necessary to carry the storyline with ease and confidence. It’s unfortunate that due to the limitations of the performing space the group were unable to deliver fully on the band-night atmosphere. The show would really have been more suited to a bar with a raised stage, some big speakers, and a standing space rather than a small room under George Street. But the fact that this did not fully stunt the show’s overall vibe is a true credit to the company and of course mismatched venues are part and parcel of the fringe experience.
If you have ever been involved in a local music scene, particularly in Scotland, then you will enjoy this piece. Indie as Fuck is neither polished nor professional but it is full of heart – just like the bands in the small room of the Glasgow O2. It’s by no mean life-changing theatre, but you’ll have a good night and a bit of fun. Sometimes that’s all that matters.