Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh
August, 2002

**** Bizarre, ramshackle, gloriously enjoyable tribute band

As with their originals, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, the Gonzos teeter on the brink of chaos before going horribly right at the last minute.

The original Bonzos were a product of late-1960s musical insanity, boasting both the late great Vivian Stanshall and the still alive but also great Neil Innes in their ranks. They alternated music-hall novelty numbers like "Jollity Farm" with utterly off-the-wall offerings such as "My Pink Half Of The Drainpipe" and their Paul McCartney-produced hit single "I'm The Urban Spaceman". The Gonzos, brainchild of Matthew Perret and Jeremy Limb, cultivate the same atmosphere of raucous unpredictability: a cheerleader careers across the stage, a bloke in a toy Viking helmet sprawls into the audience, guests come and go, the guitarist discards his kilt in favour of a floral housecoat.

They've been playing their trade for a couple of years now, and this year received the ultimate accolade as Innes, appearing in his own show elsewhere on the Fringe, came along to be cajoled into joining them for a couple of numbers. He paid them the telling tribute, "You're as awful as we were!" It's the perfect late-night knees-up for a festival where anything goes.

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Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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