Ginger and Black

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Eminem’s Stan appears to be the template not just for one or two of Ginger and Black’s songs, but their whole debut show. Generally the formula is that Black (Daniel Taylor) raps in a stylised, conversational way over Ginger’s (Eri Jackson’s) melodic, folksy guitar strumming, telling stories that are either comically mundane or darkly bleak.

The uncool duo have dry, miserable personas, grumpily singing of having no hopes, dreams or interpersonal skills. They depict themselves as selfish and desolate, making self-serving trips to Africa, sneering at the homeless or penning begging letters to TV companies, desperate to land the shittiest runner’s job.

The gloomy mood is set well, but is unrelenting, and it becomes oppressive over a full show, even one that only runs about 50 minutes. Even in that time, there’s a sense that these newcomers haven’t enough ideas to go round. The old comic’s line about being ‘available for children’s parties’ despite their unsuitable material is elevated into a running subplot, with a couple of rather pedestrian songs to illustrate the point. And the story of them splitting up and reforming feels like mere padding.

In short doses, however, their despondent, misanthropic vibe works well, providing a distinctive framework for their wry gags. The presentation is professional, and their best songs build up to enjoyable, surprise punchlines at the end of each verse.

In a 20-minute club set, they shine, but they’ve tried to expand that much decent material into a so-so 50-minute show. Maybe they should have shared their Edinburgh debut with another act.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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