Free beer! Great musicianship! Brilliant singing! What better way to spend an evening than in The Jungle at London Wonderground? The boys invite us into an old-fashioned pub, where everybody knows your name… Yes, they do play a bit of that music. With lyrical links from Ben, the nine performers spin a heart-warming web of nostalgia – where else would you get Queen with The Pretenders, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and The Pina Colada Song with The Parting Glass? It really is a glorious mix-up.
Each performer gets a party piece and the audience is invited to join in – except if you want to walk 500 miles before you get permission. There is wit and erudition blended in here, a variety of instruments and dancing all delivered at pace with pauses to deliver more free beer. With inventive exploitation of their multi-layered set, there is plenty of variety as they dance on table, bar, steps and even the floor. The audience gets into the act a few times too. When they referred to one audience member as being capable of drinking a pint of whisky in 10 seconds, the women in the spotlight stood up and downed her pint in one. A well-deserved ovation for her! That condenses the feel of the show: good humour, gentle ragging and a lot of love for everyone.
The final song really did bring a lump to my throat. Am I such an old softie, or was it the beer? No, it was the shared delight in the performances and enjoying the uplifting sense of community the company conjured up.