The Horne Section (2 stars)

This article is from 2013

The Horne Section

Disappointing off night for the usually on-form Horne and his comedy-music hybrid

At one point early in tonight’s show, special guest James Walmsley (formerly of muso-comedy group Dead Cat Bounce) declares that ‘this hasn’t been rehearsed’. Unfortunately, this is more than obvious. Although there’s a certain sense of tightness amongst the resident Section members, they’re able to form no connection with either Walmsley nor follow-up guest Sara Pascoe. Both deliver poorly conceived ‘improv’ songs that raise mild titters at best; you could argue that Pascoe, at least, has a chatty enthusiasm on her side, but it’s not enough.

During these guest segments, bandleader Alex Horne retires to an on-stage lifeguard’s chair. For all the spark he brings to his role, he may as well have stayed there for the duration. Maybe it’s the strain of doing two shows a night; maybe he’s realised that he’s only just at the halfway point of the Fringe; maybe he’s as uninspired by his guests as the audience. Whatever it is, he manages to inject few moments of hilarity into the set, and even these are performed with rote weariness.

Both Horne and the Section are capable of delivering great, energetic shows, fuelled by the right mix of whimsy, energy and off-the-cuff inspiration. Tonight’s show is a disappointing reminder that even the sharpest of performers have off-days.

Alex Horne Presents The Horne Section - Liane Carroll and the ping pong ball

The Horne Section

The sextet fronted by the inimitable Alex Horne performs a medley of retro jazz-swing and big band music plus stand-up, performance and musical comedy.