The Flop: A Band of Idiots | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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The Flop: A Band of Idiots

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

A three-piece band without any songs and an eclectic selection of instruments, The Flop jam away, riffing in reaction to what’s going on in the room – and it’s great fun.

Dressed in vivid suits, the trio start by playing that which gives their act its name: flip-flops, which make surprisingly adept percussion tools. Later they’ll play a squeaky toy pig and a novelty chattering T-rex head – as well as emerging with metronomes strapped to their heads by way of cycle helmets. There are traditional instruments, too, but these are the images you’ll remember.

The show is an affectionate parody of all the trappings of a real gig, riffing away without getting to the actual set list – a super-extended joke in the vein of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band’s The Intro And The Outro.

So they’ll fiddle with the microphone stands, making it far too tall to sing into, or mock the traditional call-and-response. ‘Sing it like you mean it,’ we’re ordered. Then, ‘sing it like you don’t mean it.’ Brilliant.

From one visit, I couldn’t tell you how much of this is in the show every night and how much is improvised, but it certainly has an enjoyably loose feel that suggests any set pieces they have prepared are entirely optional.

After all, all three of them are professional clowns, well used to playing with the shifting energy of an audience. Ringleader Dan Lees, on guitar most of the time, is one half of physical comedy duo The Establishment. Percussion comes from Cammy Sinclair, who emanates bonhomie with constant gentle smile, and Tom Penn, the cheekiest of all these Naughty children. 

For even though they are solid musicians, there is something childlike in the way they get pleasure out of making music from simple items, their eyes light up in surprise when they find their groove.

That spirit’s very infectious, making the whole hour a joy, sure to send you out into the Edinburgh night with a jaunty smile on your face.

• The Flop: A Band of Idiots are on at PBH’s Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth at 10.10pm until August 20

Review date: 16 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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