Bang on!

This article is from 2007.

Unconventional percussion hits the spot

Saucepans and wooden spoons may form the backbone of the average kitchen, but for Katie Stephenson and Dave Smith, they’re musical instruments. For the past five years, the duo have been wowing the crowds on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile with their unusual percussion show. Both trained musicians, they found kitchen and garden utensils had far more impact than conventional instruments.

‘If you turn up as a four-piece band with guitars, everyone’s seen it before and it’s not such a spectacle,’ says Stephenson. ‘Whereas if we turn up, we set up the rig and people stop to look at it before we’ve even done anything.’ Laden with watering cans, buckets, frying pans and rakes, the Bang On! rig is a sight to behold. And this year, for the first time, Stephenson and Smith are moving their Fringe show into a venue.

‘We got to the point where we’d perfected the show and it was time to take the next step,’ explains Stephenson. ‘And we had lots of ideas that wouldn’t work on the street, either because they’re too quiet or we physically couldn’t use the props.’ As well as the show, the duo will be running fun percussion workshops, where you can take along an object of your choice and bang the hell out of it. ‘You can bring anything that makes a noise by hitting, scraping or shaking it,’ says Stephenson. ‘We just want people to realise that anyone can make music from anything.’

Sweet ECA, Edinburgh College of Art, 0870 241 0136, 3–27 Aug (not 7, 13, 20), 2pm, £7 (£6). Preview 2 Aug, £5 (£4); Workshop 4–27 Aug (not 7, 13, 14, 20 & 21), 11am, £6 (£5).

Bang On!

Bang On! create captivating rhythms from plastic bags, junk and other household goods. Their unconventional percussion really hits the spot. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'.

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