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The Islanders – Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh

Writer: Amy Mason

Music: Eddie Argos

Additional Music: Jim Moray

Reviewer: Hannah Rowlands

[Rating:4.5]

The Islanders

The Islanders

If you were a teenager in the nineties, the world of The Islanders will be familiar to you. A time when digital watches were cutting edge, making mixtapes was the meaning of true love and you shopped at second hand shops, not vintage stores. It’s this era that the adult Amy Mason and Eddie Argos bring us back to in their gorgeously lo-fi musical tale of messy, clueless, sweetPez-scented love.

As Amy recollects the details of their romance, Eddie sings his own version in return. They never speak to each other; Eddie sometimes shares a goofy smile and looks up at her under his wonderfully expressive fuzzy felt eyebrows, but largely the tale is told as if sending postcards to each other; Eddie’s place is sunny, and Amy’s is sunny with showers. If you’re familiar with the band Art Brut, then you will already know that Argos has a knack for creating lyrics that find beauty in the simplest of places, B&B Anxiety was one of my favourite titles. The same is true for Mason, who tells her story with simplicity and honesty; bringing to life the adolescent anxiety and desire to retreat that occurs when you realise what being an adult means.

The performance is accompanied by projections, but is largely told directly to the audience, letting the lovingly crafted words and lyrics speak for themselves. Together they evoke a simpler, sweeter time; we certainly wouldn’t go back there, but we are very glad they let us visit.

Runs until Sun, 25th Aug

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