Truly Medley Deeply

Fri 5th – Sat 20th August 2011

reviews

Natalya Din-Kariuki

at 10:38 on 13th Aug 2011

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This musical trio hailing from Cambridge is well worth the watch, with an impressive instrumental arsenal including a mandolin, guitar, violin, synth and djembe as well as three fantastic voices. Their musical repertoire includes rap, techno, country and pop among others; indeed, the group revel in their ability to shatter generic categories, conflating chords, beats and harmonies normally kept far apart. The trio powered through a series of zanily themed medleys, ranging from "seduction songs" to 90s punk/rock performed in country style to 80s female power ballads (complete with enthusiastic hip thrusts). The group evidently possess an admirable closeness with and respect for each other, playfully smirking during solos (which included Charlie Cotton performing a rap from Dizzee Rascal's "Holiday"). They come together almost seamlessly during the improvised request medley - in which they create a medley based on suggestions from the audience - effectively anticipating each other's keys and bursts into song. As one would expect from an improvised medley, this was the least polished section of the show, but one which only made the group's abilities and audience appeal even more evident.

They are, indeed, endearingly attentive to the needs and desires of their audience, frequently checking their sound levels and peering into faces. At the end of the show they performed "Happy Birthday" for two audience members sitting in the front row, to their obvious delight. The trio is evidently comfortable on stage - Dominic Johnpillai plays the djembe while casually holding a violin under his chin and Nick Goodwin (on guitar) decisively calls out key changes during improvised sections.

They are talented, eclectic, hilarious, and don't take themselves (or anyone else) too seriously; they combine musical aptitude and creativity with wit and stage presence. I would definitely see them again, and am going to pay them a visit on the Royal Mile because I want their CD - besides, I could never resist musically gifted men wearing those satisfyingly tight Y-fronts.

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Bethany Knibb

at 11:25 on 13th Aug 2011

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This was quite honestly my favourite show, possibly ever. “Truly, Medley, Deeply” have put together a simply show-stopping medley of… medleys… and aside from the fact their musical talent is off the charts, they complete the show by being pretty good entertainers, too.

With medleys like “Women’s Power Ballads from the ‘80s”, you might be forgiven for thinking that this trio have ventured a bit out of their depth, but they pull it off remarkably well.

Just to prove their musical prowess, the boys do an improvised medley, as it were. This part of the show involves the boys asking for song suggestions from the audience – however diverse – in order to roll them into one big super-medley right in front of your eyes. Sadly, the day I went to see it, the selected songs were such that it was much more difficult to pull off the transitions between songs (like they do in so well in all of their other pieces). The friend I went with, who has seen them on their own turf a couple of times and was back for more – commented (persuaded me) that this was the only time she’d seen them do this gag less than perfectly. This, and the slightly under-rehearsed breaks between each of their medleys knocked the 5th star from my rating – but let’s just say I’d be more than willing to go back (as many times as necessary) to see them get the audience-suggested medley right.

I should probably mention that the boys themselves (Charlie Cotton, Dominic Johnpillai and Nick Goodwin) ARE the show. When they first walk onstage it’s difficult to know where to look – each in a shiny lycra bodysuit, it’s difficult not to let the eyes stray. Is that intentional? I didn’t mind. Their suits slowly begin to seem normal after the first two minutes, and it’s only at the end that you think to yourself – were they really wearing those suits the whole time?

They are a real pleasure to watch (entertaining, I mean, completely costume-unrelated) and their talent is, at times, unbelievable. I was sure at one point that Johnpillai was playing the drum, violin, keys AND singing all at the same time.

Barely humanly possible, “Truly, Medley, Deeply” is an absolute pleasure. Drop anything else you had planned, and make sure you book a ticket to see these boys work their musical magic.

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