Airnadette (3 stars)

This article is from 2013


Singing into a hairbrush goes Gallic-galactic, French lip-sync sextet go wild in Edinburgh

Imagine Woody Woodpecker, Samantha Fox and Celine Dion are thrown in a dressing-up trunk of glitter, then doused in vodka that’s been pinched from a backstage tour rider. Bill and Ted, Eminem and Britney Spears are chucked in there too, and the lid is left locked for a few hours. Airnadette is that moment when the lid is lifted and the Spandexed stars pop out: adrenal, multi-coloured, high-kicking and screaming silently at the crowd, through the magic of lip-sync.

The French sextet call themselves ‘the biggest airband in the galaxy’ and take turns air drumming, air guitaring and flawlessly mouthing lyrics in time to a frantic soundtrack of fused snippets from TV shows, films and pop songs. The pace is greased-breakneck, with the booming voiceover sometimes skilfully switching to fast forward or skipping, without any of the singer / dancers missing a single shimmy or side-slide along the way.

As expert as they are at pulling cartoon grimaces, and morphing between rock, hip hop and saccharine-ballad music styles, the daftness, mock fist-fights and constant out-looning of one another becomes hard to stomach at times. Although it’s fun to spot lines from classic movies like Spinal Tap, Monty Python and the Holy Grail or Pretty Woman, the fart gags, Carly Rae Jepsen clips and Disney romance plot seem to be targeting an audience growing up in what the group describe as ‘a time of zapping’.

Airnadette’s gold body-socked character Gunther Love is a highlight as the Freddie Mercury-obsessed, circus gymnast of the bunch. The band’s mission statement is ‘we will dub you’, but if you have a cheese intolerance, there’s a danger they might just end up bugging you.

Underbelly, Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 26 Aug (not 13, 19), 8.50pm, £15.50–£16.50 (£14.50–£15.50).

Teaser edimburgh 3min59


  • 3 stars

Underbelly Productions. After over 182 (and a half) shows presented throughout the world, from New York City to Paris via your sister's basement, Airnadette, the biggest air band in the galaxy, is ready to storm Edinburgh. This is an hour of unbelievable pop culture entertainment, where six unstoppable musicians dub the…