Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (theatre): KlangHaus at Summerhall (Venue 26). Reviewed by Fiona Shepherd
Claustrophobes beware – KlangHaus is probably not for you. Everyone else roll on up for this intriguing promenade music performance by art rock outfit The Neutrinos through the rooms of Summerhall’s Small Animal Hospital.
Patrons are deposited from a lift, told to walk towards the light and invited to explore the nooks, crannies, corridors and shadowy recesses of the space while the rest of the audience converges. Lighting is either low or blinding. As your eyes adapt to the murk, there are suggestions of sinister presences in cages and abrupt banging on walls, all unsettling preamble to the performance itself which, by turns, lulls, terrorises and invigorates the audience.
As the music shifts from lo-fi industrial rhythmic workout to noir torch song, so the musicians glide around the building with the audience shuffling around them. Just follow the man with the big bass drum, or the one with the big bass voice, as the group start to play with space, sound and dynamics. Band members occupy different rooms but play as one. Singer Karen Reilly, first glimpsed through gauze, croons like a David Lynch diva while her voice is amplified in a separate space. The effect is disorientating but alluring.
The audience are led a circular dance through the interconnected rooms but all roads lead to the largest space where much of the performance takes place. A musician is stationed in every corner, while Reilly works the centre of the room and the group bang out an eerie but magnetic rock’n’roll mantra; noisy, rhythmic rockabilly with tribal ululation, crashing drums, rumbling fuzz bass and a cathartic duet between Reilly and guitarist Mark Howe which peaks and then ebbs into a mordant acoustic ode to the small animals which once occupied this space before they take their enigmatic leave.
Until 24 August. Today noon, 4pm, 6pm, more info
Originally published in The Scotsman
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