Technically supreme renditions of hits
This article is from 2013.
Benny Davis asks how many people in the crowd have seen him as one third of Axis of Awesome, announcing ‘if you haven’t heard “Four Chords” where’ve you been?!’ Now going out on his own to display some fiercely virtuosic piano skills, the technically supreme The Human Jukebox, still feels a little bare.
Davis travels through the ages of pop, rock and dance, identifying tunes from Snap! to Alice Deejay and Spice Girls. Mixing in slight comedy about busking in Sydney, Davis’ years of studying music have clearly paid dividends in a show that’s hard not to smile at. Some classic rock hits are mashed with themes tunes and TV adverts, while he asks the audience to throw up requests: ‘if I’ve heard it, I can play it’, he assures.
Not without its flaws and limitations, Davis’ hour of definitive recitals from across the decades is plenty of fun and promises a blissful rekindling of deconstructed music. The comedy and narrative that Davis tries to force just aren’t there, however, and it’s better when he simply sticks to playing.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 25 Aug (not 12), 10.45pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).