Friday, 17 October 2008

The Peasants' Revolt

Catherine Jebson visits the Ringside Pub on Beverley Road to savour some burlesque.

The Peasants Revolt
The Ringside Revue at the Ringside

Being asked to provide the warm up entertainment for an evening centred on stunning women taking their clothes off is no easy task. Despite their admission that they don’t know what burlesque is, and have never played to a strip-hungry audience before, The Peasants Revolt manage just fine. It becomes apparent from the moment they stumble on stage that they have decided to get into the spirit of the show and not take themselves at all seriously. Far from this seeming sloppy and disastrous however their friendly interaction with the crowd suits the candlelit, chatty proceedings surprisingly well. Their opening banter is relaxed and though much could be said for their attempts at stand up, they settle into their first cover effortlessly.

Musically the band is tight, giving us suitably bare back-to-basics strings and vocals that get even the highest heeled foot tapping. The feeling that they’d be out of place anywhere but at a function or local gig is inescapable, but the intimate atmosphere tonight allows them to have fun with their set. Everything from Duran Duran’s Rio to, worryingly, Britney Spear’s back catalogue are certainly originally done. Anyone who can take Hit Me Baby…and add a wonderfully done mandolin solo deserves at least some credit.

The transitions between songs are chaotic and the covers themselves are occasionally punctuated by mock arguments between the band. Luckily for them this hilarious dialogue is excusable because, after all, few of us are there for the music! The Peasants Revolt held up well and kept heads nodding along to their poppy acoustics tonight, but the question on everyone’s lipstick was whether this spontaneous routine was something the band would unleash again the night after, and the night after that, and the night after that…

Catherine Jebson.


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