The A Band

The A Band

Broken toys make music in a back garden

In the front room of a rough and not very ready shop-front, a man is reading the classic cut-ups of William Burroughs Nova Express by way of that day’s Metro into a microphone while two or three people manipulate a chaos of kids toys and old radios on the floor. This is a version of the Edinburgh wing of The A Band, the UK’s longest serving free improv collective, who make a virtue out of their lack of conventional musical ability as well as a random approach to who turns up at a show to clatter out their gleeful child-like racket as pure nave expressionist fun.

The pop-up guerrilla gallery Komachi in Fountainbridge is spending August creating an ever-mutating Change X strand for Edinburgh Art Festival. ‘Change X’ has already featured an appearance by electronic pop princess Her Royal Highness (formerly Heatherette) and a trip in a rowing boat along the canal with The Leg’s Dan Mutch and Alun Thomas in full panda regalia, like some post-punk Edward Lear creation (pictured). The A Band’s (non) appearance takes place over several hours, primarily in a tent in the gallery’s back garden, where broken xylophones and plastic Fisher Price pianos are bashed and battered with abandon. All summer camps should be like this.

The A Band, Change X, Komachi Gallery, 19 Aug, free. Change X exhibition and events, until 3 Sep, noon–6pm, free. See for news of more events.

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