FRINGE REVIEW – The Sorries, Douglas Kay and Martin Philip

*****

By Susanna Mulvihill

The Sorries are Douglas Kay and Martin Philip, two of the finest musicians and songwriters who frequent the local scene playing some of their favourite Scots songs. With guitars, bodhrans and a mandolin and dressed in kilts with faded t-shirts, (Kay’s found earlier that day in his parents’ attic) the pair entertain with an hour of familiar, and less familiar, tunes that have the auditorium seats vibrating to the instinctive foot-stamping of the crowd.

To begin they enter accompanying themselves with the bodhrans, singing unamplified, coming into the aisle of the raked seating of the theatre. Then they take up their positions behind their microphones to start their set in earnest, from “Tae the Begging I Will Go” right through to “The Rattling Bog”. Audience participation is welcome and intermittent voices can be heard amidst the gig-goers. There are some less familiar arrangements of well-loved songs too, with a sweetly melodic version of Auld Lang Syne (which Burns himself for some reason apparently referred to as ‘a tad mediocre’) and a beautiful rendition of “Jock O’ Hazeldean”. Both Kay and Philip display a natural, unpretentious wit as they tell wee stories about the songs and quick-fire banter bounces back and forth between the two. Even plugs for a new album are delivered tongue-in-cheek and are entertaining.

The worry for singers during the Fringe is that with so many people about in the city there are more colds and illnesses flying about, and the pair seem today like they might be suffering slightly from some lergy. However this does not impair the overall performance – a sore throat doesn’t affect your sense of humour and they are never off-pitch. Together they are charming and their dry wit perfectly placed. Definitely a must for lovers of Scots songs.

Quaker Meeting House, until 25th (not 12th,19th) 16.30 (1hr)
23-25th 20.30(1hr)

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