I’m With the Band
Traverse Theatre –
2nd to 25th August
£6 to £20
Times vary
    As a musician I was looking forward to seeing how this play might explore the familiar but dysfunctional four-way marriage of a rock and roll band. As a voter I was curious to see how politics would be brought into it. As it happened they performed an impeccable job in synergizing the two, the parody of band life melding so well into political satire it’s hard to mention one without the other.
The basic premise was that a rock band, subtly called The Union, had had some success as a middle of the road indie outfit but due to a tax-dodging manager they now found themselves in massive debt and the guitarist, who just happens to be Scottish, wants to go solo. I found it particularly brilliant how the English singer/songwriter could only express this troubling news through song. As much a political statement as a keen observation on how many songwriters find that this is the only way they can express the more heavy dilemmas life throws at them.
The other members of the band are an alcoholic, testosterone fuelled Northern Irish drummer and, my personal favourite, a self effacing Welsh bassist with a crisis of confidence. Who at one point chooses to hide in a box rather than face the reality of Scotland’s impending independence. And this independence is clearly something the writers of the play are against (I guess the clue’s in the title). With Scotland out the band dissolve back into their own individual madness’s. Northern Ireland drinking and fighting with his Mrs again, Wales giving in to his cripplingly low self esteem and England disappearing rapidly up his own backside with some nightmarish prog-rock. As someone on the border of the argument I found myself by the end of the play almost hysterically in favour of the union. And I believe anyone in my position and certainly the Scottish Nationalists, should all come to see this play to get their views challenged. Get Alex Salmond a front row seat this instant! And for the rest of you there’s always Braveheart. FOUR STARS
four stars
Reviewer –  Steven Vickers

Posted on August 12, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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