This is a Made in Scotland showcase production, which at this time of year could mean dancing midges. But no - we get a big white rabbit tending potted plants. The Glasgow artpop group A Band Called Quinn play in Louise Quinn’s own story of how she almost lost her soul to a record business that is red in tooth and claw. There is plot, montage, and a great sound.
You know it will be a creative show, ‘theatricalised’ by multimedia, when you are given over-ear headphones with running lights and there’s a smoke machine at work. Look at the two screens in the large space. You need not sit down; in fact, it’s best not to. Walk around. You see a highland track and it’s a Caledonia moment, but then you see the giant rabbit with a body bag.
I personally see the rabbit kindly, as whispering counsellor, alter ego, playfellow and intimate. It’s nice when he hugs Thyme (Quinn) but he’s also a murderous double-agent with an unhealthy appetite. Follow that one down the rabbit hole and it’s a vengeful twist on the bunny boiling scene in Fatal Attraction. Fortunately, this rabbit stays on the level walkway: at one end his burrow, complete with gas burner and pinny; and at the other, the band.
And, for me, the singer and musicians make the piece. It is, after all, the story of what happens when the Big Time offers your group a deal. Off with the flats and pastel knitwear, on with the heels and the slashed black/red waspie. It is ugly and exploitative and it’s all in the song titles: ‘From the Gutter’ to ‘You Know the Right People’ to ‘Loathsome Road’.
Film of the smarmy Connector and foul mouthed Mr Big tell it from their side of the desk, while Mum natters on ignorantly, and unknown punters declare it’s all pish and that you love it really, wee bitch, that kind of thing. “Shame that you’re going back to the cheese counter at Morrisons” … are you not, hen?
Did director Ben Harrison consider projecting the lyrics? Too obvious, too karaoke, maybe; but having selected phrases like “cast the first stone” move across the (dance) floor might have been effective. As it is, you can buy the CD with lyrics and images for £5 from the Summerhall foyer, which I’ll be doing.
I should have got closer to the action. Over there, up near Hannibal Rabbit and mellow Thyme, it would have been different; more tuned-in performance than ace gig.