PREVIEW – Musical Ray of Sunshine Ensures there’ll be no Orkestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

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Deadline News reviews and reports from Edinburgh Festival FringeSHOW TITLE: Orkestra Del Sol

VENUE: Summerhall August 12,  7.30pm.

By JEAN WEST
Orkestra Del Sol at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017
Photo by STEPHAN TALNEAU

 

 

If Orkestra Del Sol could measure their musical worth in smiles they might already be resident in their own Trump Tower.

Maverick mayhem has long proved a winning currency with them and through creativity, circus and theatrical genius, they have a knack for locating the funny bone in even the dourest listener.

The energy expended by their collective lungs over 14 years in Balkan-style bonhomie is surely enough by now to wind power a small town.

Orkestra Del Sol at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017
Photo by STEPHAN TALNEAU

And yet still they manage to deliver a freshness and vibrancy as they urge us to scratch our dancing itch with polka, waltz, tango, and just about any unorthodox movement their tunes lend themselves to.

Their latest album Gross National Happiness, the feverish conclusion of a crowd-funding surge, will be partly showcased at Summerhall for their very final Fringe show on Saturday night.

Once again their giddy signature brass is set to romp us ever forward to frenzied heights with a unique silliness honed to perfection after so many years roaming the globe.

Clever artistry still weaves mesmeric lyrics about such like as the land of Dingo Mando, where you can ‘drink green tea by an Emerald Sea’ and enjoy a ‘honkstep stance,’ whose, ‘natural state is ‘free from stress and hate.’ What’s not to like about that in this world of political toil?

The recent album further lifts us, like the whirling skirt of a gypsy dancer to fever pitch, and only gently sets us down in short intervals to catch our breath with more stylised pieces.

Orkestra Del Sol at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017
Photo by STEPHAN TALNEA

Hypnotic and compelling, the red and black clad outfit make playing often complicated instruments seem child’s play. From sousaphone to squeezebox, they juggle, sometimes literally, their instruments with great dexterity and charisma.

As these guys commit to their swansong, it is clear they remain as deft, skilled and professional as when they started.

Taking to the high-wire for the last few dates to conclude a whirlwind career, content that they have reached the aural canals of some of the finest music doyens in the world, including Cerys Matthews, they reach once more for a final fling.

Life will be just that bit more painful not just at the Fringe but all-year-round without these gutsy players breezing through.

The limited edition CD, Gross National Happiness, with a stunning front cover by John Felix, is available now alongside a digital version through their Bandcamp page.

 

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