FRINGE REVIEW – I’m With The Band

*****

Guitar-based band The Union have been together for ages. Then, struck by financial crisis, relationships start to break down. When Scottish guitarist Barry decides to go his own way, can The Union survive with only the self-obssessed English frontman, indecisive Welsh bassist and volatile Irish drummer? Maybe songs like The Referendum and We’re All In This Together will help.

Or maybe they won’t.

The trouble with Tim Price’s I’m With The Band is that its metaphors are turned all the way up to eleven. Although the acting (and musicianship) from the four leads is strong and the rehearsal room staging original, things are so blatantly signposted that any possible refrain of subtlety or political message is drowned out.

There are moments of humour and some pretty good songs in there, but with the characters forced to wear such one-dimensional facades, there is little in the way of development: indeed, the personalities of the four band members stray too close to stereotype, almost offensively so in some cases.

Handled a little differently, I’m With The Band could have been a smash hit, storming to the top of the topical hit parade. As it stands however, with its predictable choruses and obvious lyrics, it merely dents the charts.

I’m With The Band is at the Traverse until Aug 25, various times.

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