Paul Vickers & The Leg (4 stars)

Limbo at The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Thu 9 Apr

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Paul Vickers & The Leg

INDIE/POST-PUNK OPERA

It’s not at every pre-weekend indie night you witness the premiere of a 20-minute post-punk opera performed by a supergroup quartet of men in animal costumes. Yet that’s exactly what’s on offer in the debut of Itchy Grumble, a tale of everyday heroism concerning one man’s life-long dream to revolve a lighthouse on the Firth of Forth. With a libretto by former Dawn of the Replicants vocalist Vickers, here clad in a stripy convict’s jump-suit and lion-hat, married to The Leg’s manic garage-band cabaret, the result is both urgent and essential, even if some of the plot’s subtler nuances do get lost in the runaway crunch.

It is vital now that Itchy Grumble isn’t allowed to disappear. With an inventive young arts producer at the helm, it could be developed into something on a par (though not necessarily scale) with The Fall’s 1988 collaboration with dancer Michael Clark in I Am Curious Orange. Bring on the dancing boys and girls and a designer who can bring that lighthouse to life, and Itchy Grumble might turn the world upside down yet.

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