Horse and Louis – Edinburgh Festival review

An unrefined in both taste and style, but Horse and Louis are just fine how they are, says Sarah Sharp


They’re not Flight of the Concords. They’re really not. Even though Louis looks strangely similar to Brett and Horse has glasses. But still, no. They even wrote a song to explain as much.

This is for the best, since as Horse & Louis they’re pretty delightful. They too come bearing gifts of guitar song and awkward banter, with some terrible jokes about estate agents and the odd puerile sketch thrown in for good measure. The loose (very loose) theme of the show is the mysterious curse that’s been haunting them – a curse that seems to manifest itself predominantly in the form of technical hitches, bad lighting effects, and Louis hiding in terror behind one or several members of the audience.

As an act they are far from refined – in either taste or style. But they are more than aware of the fact and embrace it. For their audience, there is something adorably awful about the half-apologetic tone with which they tackle their own material. Some of it cuts close to the bone and even they don’t seem to know whether they’re comfortable doing it. Some of it’s just shoddy. No matter – in a strange way, they almost carry it off.

As for the songs – well, musical comedy is almost the lowest rung on the comedy ladder, as they announce at the start (one up from improv). Their songs don’t always quite pack the hardest punchlines, but there’s some non-sequitur gems scattered throughout. The deconstruction of every folk song is both entertaining and educational. Sinister Things To Hear on a Picni’ is, a propos of nothing, amazing. Sketches to look out for are: holy relics as the iPhones of their day and possessed Spaniards as flatshare opportunities.

All in all, they are an enjoyable pair to watch. And in the end, with a good old singalong, and in typical tasteless fashion, the curse is lifted – but the bad punchlines are, apparently, irrevocable.

3.5 stars
• Horse and Louis are on at 12.55 at the Underbelly
Review written by Sarah Sharp

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