Music and comedy can be difficult bedfellows – getting one right is tricky enough, let alone perfecting the two together.
Alex Horne and his band definitely have a good handle on the instrumental side, with his five-piece backing accomplished musicians switching easily between difficult musical styles. Following up on audience suggestions they jumped from Ride of the Valkyries to Eye of the Tiger without hesitation.
The comedy was a bit more variable. Often the jokes were little more than bad puns, but the lightness and enthusiasm of Horne’s delivery means that often didn’t really matter: indeed the sheer daftness of proceedings is part of the attraction.
The same can’t be said for guest performers Max and Ivan, whose two-handed sketches dragged funny one liners out into tiresome routines.
What worked best was the audience participation: partly due to the people picked, but mostly down to Horne’s quick-witted and warm-hearted handling of them and his band’s improvisation.
When one victim was called out by a friend for using a false name, Horne quickly pivoted to an ‘Our Tunes’ section exploring the deception; it was at times like that that the ensemble’s talent really shone through.