Sotho Sounds: Junk Funk Gilded Balloon

Creating musical instruments from whatever items of scrap you can find is not unique these days, particularly from bands who have come from local fame in Africa to the international stage. It’s what sounds you produce from the tin cans, odd bits of wood and strands of wire that counts when you’re on stage, and these four shepherds from Lesotho produce some very fine sounds indeed. In addition, they seem to be natural showmen, with an easy style of interaction with the audience (prepare to be coaxed into joining them onstage for a dance) and who, if their collection of daft wigs is anything to judge by, don’t take themselves too seriously.

The one problem with the homemade instruments is that they don’t lend themselves to a wide range of sounds, and occasionally this leads to one song sounding not too dissimilar to the last. However, the energy and enthusiasm of the band along with their commitment to ensuring everyone has a good time keeps the performance on track.

This is a lunchtime show, and if you’re looking for a pick-me-up to get your day of Fringe-going off to a good start, this hits the spot.

Jim Welsh