Orkestra del Sol are a nine piece brass band with a difference. The most energetic performance, and possibly the most mad, that I have seen at the fringe, they will leave you exhausted from all the dancing, theatre and amazing musical talent which they pack out Queen’s Hall with. Sometimes sounding like street music, but also including tangos, waltzes, a calypso and a super-fast polka, every one of their songs ends in rapturous applause and rightly so. If you want to have a good time, they are an absolute must-see.
Their entrance is grand, great showmanship is present from the very beginning. Announcing their show as the ‘Return of the Comeback’ in a crazy and eccentric video complete with dissonant harmonies and a jazzy feel, it is clear that they are going to every effort to make their instruments come alive. I really did not expect a violin to be summoned through the air however and I have great respect for the man who managed to dance and jump around with a sousaphone for the entire gig. There was an on-stage burglar running around and occasionally stealing instruments and a pause for the ‘News Headlines’ – information on band members provided mainly by the ‘local trumpet correspondent’. The best performer still has to be the sousaphonist, however, and watching him have a mock battle with the violinist is a definite highlight for me.
Musically, Orkestra del Sol are also exceptional. Some players are stronger than others, and the saxophonist definitely shines above some sometimes scrappy harmonics from the violin, but they are still all brilliant performers. Impressively, a number of them are able to switch instruments, and they keep a party atmosphere and tempo going for the entire tonight. Though they make their way through so many different genres, they make everything sound like their own. The audience demand an encore and are delighted with an extra half an hour, dancing until the very end. Bizarre but truly amazing, this is surely what the Fringe is all about.