Nicko and Joe: Sell Out
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2005
After sharking their unique brand of music and comedy to sell-out audiences around the world, Nicko and Joe have set their sights on Edinburgh. Wonderfully silly songs, some of which are only mildly offensive.
Nicko and Joe write and perform comedy songs with the emphasis on song, rather than comedy, as well as being genuine masters of ad-libbing and audience participation. Take these two characteristics together, and you have a classy, distinctive double-act offering an enjoyable and often exciting late-night adventure.
Despite their slightly renegade exteriors (they will not even pay a licensing fee for introductory music), this year Nicko and Joe have decided to sell their souls to The Man and receive corporate sponsorship. They say the main effect this has had is to remove any sense of motivation, so they stay in bed watching disaster movies rather than go flyering.
The sponsorship was most probably Nicko’s idea as, on stage, she is the powerful one, dominating Joe’s weedy and nervous character. She screams, bullies and cajoles with wild eyes, while he appears far more harmless and insular, as evidenced by the huge laughter aroused every time he pops up with a comment or joke. Together, they make a wonderful double act, constantly playing off against each other.
The songs themselves are interesting in that – antithetical to common comedy song structure – the lyrics are actually made subservient to the music. Listen carefully and you will find that there are witticisms both explicit and implicit buried inside the lyrics, but more likely you will be too caught along by the fantastic toe-tapping music to bother.
The real comic beauty of Nicko and Joe’s show is in their spontaneity. Whether they are choosing sides and playing them off against each other, getting involved in genuine banter and arguments with members of the audience or just simply chatting out loud between themselves, the pair are always quick-witted and hilarious.
There are also some well-constructed sketches between the songs, forged very much in the style of their ad-libs, but generally there is not much that can compete with their spontaneous comic impulses.
Nicko and Joe are thoroughly recommended as an energetic alternative to the plethora of late-night showcases.