Biding Time (Remix)
Fame examined with mesmerising video art and audience headphones at 2014 Edinburgh Fringe
This article is from 2014.
A Band Called Quinn's multimedia meditation on fame, Biding Time (Remix), is best experienced live (rather than in its recorded format). The audience wear silent-disco wraparound headphones, before lead singer, Glasgow’s Louise Quinn, is lowered out of a bin bag by a life-sized furry Rabbit (Lewis Sherlock). She joins the band and they begin to play their synth-pop soundtrack, ranging from fuzzy lo-fi (‘You Know the Right People’) to torch songs (‘Snowing in Paris’) and glam-tinged showtunes (‘Forget About It’).
Evocative imagery by Uisdean Murray and Tim Reid flashes on two large screens, featuring Lynchian nightmares and sun-dappled surrealism with an angelic choir. Quinn's character, Thyme, is wrestling with the notion of compromise (represented by the evil Rabbit, who cooks up more than mischief) and becoming a sex kitten to shift units. Mr Big, the record company boss played with impish glee by Diane Torr, wants the band to sell out.
Thyme's alcoholic mother (Quinn again, this time in a greasy black wig) wonders why she can't just be a ‘normal’ girl like she was, and lower her expectations. Elsewhere, Martin McCormick portrays various oddballs, tempting the band with grand promises which prove elusive. Questions remain; of nature versus artifice, art versus slop. Eventually, Thyme swaps her powder blue cardigan for a skin-tight black bustier, straddling the Rabbit's back, and the whole band succumb to the big bucks, blindfolded, during ‘Drive With Your Eyes Closed’.
Quinn's creamy voice, augmented by Robert Henderson's elegiac trumpet solos, has a warmth that suits the intimacy of this theatrical setting. The concept album is reinvented for a new generation, as wry satire. Just don't let the Rabbit do the catering.
Summerhall, 0845 874 3001, until 23 Aug (not 10 &11, 14–16, 18, 22) 10.20pm, £12 (£9).