Gruff Rhys: American Interior, Soho Theatre, review - 'An idiosyncratic outing'

 

Holly Williams
Thursday 08 May 2014 11:45
Comments

In the 12th century, a Welsh prince called Madoc discovered America - or so legend has it.In the 18th century, John Evans walked thousands of miles in search of ‘white Welsh Indians’.

And two years ago, Gruff Rhys followed his ancestor’s journey, with a felt puppet of Evans, a camera and guitar in tow. The result has been turned into an album, book, film, app - and tonight’s show, as much an illustrated lecture as gig. With his dry, lilting, vague delivery, Rhys is an amusing guide - although he clearly admires Evans’ pluck.

The evening is ramshackle - Rhys’s iPad nearly runs out of battery; a note on his mouth organ is blocked… but somehow, it all adds to the charm. Plus, the new songs are some of the strongest he’s ever penned.

And just as Rhys lightly brings together historical events with a modern quest, so analogue meets digital onstage: he uses a metronome, an acoustic guitar, vinyl records and electronic effects boxes, while an iPad and a projector show photographs of the puppet, styled look like grainy archive slides.

It all adds up to another idiosyncratic outing from a true musical pioneer.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in