Comedy review: Idiot Bastard Band - Picture House, Edinburgh

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SELF-INDULGENT, dufferishly shambolic and hastily wrapping up after running over their allotted time, the Idiot Bastard Band brought a middle-aged punk sensibility to an eclectic set-list.

Idiot Bastard Band

Picture House, Edinburgh

* * *

Last night, Phill Jupitus observed, was “less of a gig and more of a mid-life crisis”.

Switching instruments on virtually every song, former Young One Ade Edmondson’s punk-folk inclinations, absorbed from his Bad Shepherds outfit, and the surreal, comic rock of Neil Innes’s Bonzo Dog Band and his subsequent career, were the cornerstones of a show that featured everything from Flanagan and Allen to Flight of the Conchords covers, plus Ian Dury, Jake Thackeray and the peerless verse of John Hegley.

In short, a musical celebration of cult eccentricity from four comedians with tremendous affection for each other, deploying kazoo, duck puppet and occasional sombreros.

On drums, Rowland Rivron enjoyed greater vocal responsibilities than your normal stickman, pleading with his supposed girlfriend to the bittersweet similes of Hegley’s I Need You, before supplying the obligatory car crash impressions for Nervous Norvus’ pop curio Transfusion.

An understated presence amidst his relatively youthful bandmates, Innes offered the highlight of the night with the unlikely blues of Surly In The Morning, all upbeat, lusty 
lyrics and hilariously sampled doo-wop.

Invariably entertaining themselves more than the audience, you can’t dismiss the Idiot Bastards as a mere vanity project, however, as there are fleeting instances when they really capture the lost, lamented mischief of music hall.