Review: Noise Boys ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Theatre (tap, a cappella)

Noise Boys

Assembly George Square 18:00

Aug 8-12, 14-25

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)

Noise Boys opens on a group of friends taking a break from their jobs in a packing warehouse, chatting amongst themselves, bored of a lifestyle that allows little room for creative expression. As they begin to tap dance, beat-box, play their instruments and rap, slickly blending their various talents to breathtaking musical effect, you start to understand the sheer magnitude of this group’s ability. These performers have metronomes for brains.

The music itself is always tonally bang-on, be it heartfelt and heartbreaking, energetic and explosive, or taunting and irreverent. It’s catchy, upbeat, infectious and exhilarating, punctuated with glorious rhythmic flourishes and fun personal touches from each of the performers. Group musical performance is interspersed with superbly synchronised tap-dance routines and numbers from the troupe’s two absurdly skilled beat-boxers, Hobbit and Joel Fishel (of X-Factor fame). Roxxxan’s smooth rapping makes for some chill interludes, and George Fowler’s vocals are excellent. We’re even treated to a shirtless dance routine reminiscent of Magic Mike, topped-off by some crowd-pleasing pop songs. From romantic ballads to explosive rhythm fights, these are performers at the top of their game who know exactly how good they are, and don’t shy away from it.

Our cast of renegades is really having fun here, and if the music itself isn’t enough to keep your mouth firmly open with mild disbelief, their undeniable group chemistry and friendly banter imbues the show with an unshakeable sense of cool. The performance, though clearly rehearsed and choreographed, felt organic and casual. That is likely due to the low-key industrial set comprised of crates and cardboard boxes, and to the friendly conversations that the resting performers have as their friends are doing their thing, lounging on sofas or stood around water coolers as if nothing remarkable was happening. This genuine, relaxed side to the show only amplifies each cast member’s varied skillset, although certain lyrics about never getting a big break ring false when performed on an Assembly stage.

This show is as well-served by its EdFringe bio as it is by a detailed review. “Noise Boys is a high octane and exhilarating show combining outstanding physical skills with incredible musicianship and rhythm” – what more is there to say? The Noise Boys bowed to a well-deserved standing ovation, and for good reason; they’re an absolute spectacle.

Solal Bauer