The stage at The Grand, Pleasance Courtyard, is densely occupied by two dimly lit drum kits. As the house lights go down, two men walk on to stage, and a furious flurry of beats and frenzied rhythms follows. The crowd is stunned into silence, struck with awe at the talent on display. The strobe lights emphasise each beat as the drummers thrash out solo after solo, taking turns trying to outdo one another.
This was our introduction to Sébastien Rambaud and Yann Coste, known as Fills Monkey; an explosive drumming duo whose new show We Will Drum You would only get better from there.
The pair slow the tempo and allow the comedic elements of the show to shine through. The back and forth solos evolve into a drumstick arms race, with brushes, hammers, tennis racquets, and power drills to name but a few. They get the audience involved, splitting us into teams and having us compete against each other in drumming battles of our own. There’s a suit made of bells, dubstep breaks, allusions to drumming greats, and a near constant rotation of instruments as the two jump from one act of percussive gymnastics to another.
Throughout the show they effortlessly flow between competition to collaboration, with the collaborative moments coming through particularly sweetly as each of the two tempt one another into laughter, looking for a break in character. They’re constantly poking fun at each other and the audience, and the light heartedness of it all makes the audience feel as though we’re a part of the show too.
There’s big moments and mellowing interludes, world class musicianship, and physical comedy. It’s such a gleeful performance from start to finish, and had me clapping and toe tapping my way through the rest of my day. It’s an incredible blend of music and comedy wrapped in a non-verbal performance, it’s really made for everyone.