Festival review: Rock; Institut Francais d’Ecosse (venue 134)

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IF THERE was a prize given for Most Beatnik Fringe Show, this would win it.

Actor Pierre Baux, alternating heavily-accented English and supertitled French, recounts anecdotes and memories from the New York punk scene, as collected in the book Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. Baux prowls the stage, like Iggy in a trenchcoat, smoking and perching on amplifiers. Cellist Vincent Courtois mauls, hauls and wails upon his instrument to produce an extraordinary cacophony of sounds. It’s intense and self-indulgent, of course, but fascinating.

There’s no real narrative here, with the accounts taken from various sources. Some are pretty funny, if you find the idea of a story which begins “When I first met Sid Vicious, I was on my way to collect a vacuum cleaner” funny, that is. One is a Ginsbergian rant which culminates in a hypnotic beat poem and there’s a recitation of Velvet Underground’s The Gift.

An air of ruefully recollected excess, trips and creative energy imbues them all, accompanied by that driving music, making for a very unusual experience that carries within it a sense of danger and the unexpected.

Rating; ***

• Until 18 August. Tomorrow 10pm.