The Sorries are talented, kilt clad, musical maestros Douglas Kay and Martin Philip. In their tribute act to Scottish folk group ‘The Corries’ (1960’s-1990), the dynamic duo play stirring war marches, uplifting ballads and playful covers that bring The Quaker House to life.
Kay and Philip start their set with a roaring bang of bodhrans (a small, traditional Scottish drum) as The Sorries tunefully play their first song of the afternoon ‘100 pipers’. Armed with acoustic guitars, a mandolin and tambourines, The Sorries rouse their audience with impressive vocal range and abundant instrumental talents. Kay and Philip play through a number of old traditional songs, some taken from the most famous Scottish poets and others seemingly crowd favourites. Their audience’s ability to participate in many of the songs was very refreshing – an interaction well nurtured by the duo.
To add sustenance to proceedings, Kay and Philip are able to explain the roots of and stories behind every song they play. Whether it be a Burns inspired ballad or a witty jig, pasted to a tavern wall two hundred years ago, their detailed knowledge is not only inspiring, but adds a layer of charm and warmth to their set. Their knowledge of the traditional music they play makes it seem all the more atmospheric.
It’s obvious Kay and Philip love what they do. A medley of rock and roll songs, including Queen and Led Zepplin covers, attracts great applause from their audience, while clever rhymes such as ‘like an Edinburgh Zoo Panda craving anchovy bamboo’ show that the pair can tackle comedy as well as ballads.
The Sorries’ set list has great range, extending from sobering songs such as ‘O My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose’, featuring the striking line ‘I shall love thee thy dear till all the seas can dry’, to the fast-paced ‘Jonny Lad’. The duo's diversity is another sign of their immense talent. The Sorries keep the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the performance with fan favourites ‘Marie’s Wedding’ and the ‘Wild Rover’ (which it turns out has not always been a drinking song).
The Sorries are a hidden delight of the Edinburgh Fringe. With a set list and act that is accessible to all ages, Kay and Philip are consummate professionals, who need a larger venue to cater for their demand. The duo bring to light the magic of traditional Scottish music, something that all tourists should discover.