Fringe Review: – Ukulele Death Squad – SQUADFATHER
Regal Theatre – Saturday 14 March 2020
Words – Geoff Jenke
This season’s Fringe performance of The Squadfather is a dedication to Bruce Riley, the man who single-handedly was responsible for their meteoric rise to fame. Using the big screen in the Regal Theatre, the show started with a film clip of Bruce singing “Motherless Child” and as the film ended, the members of the band wandered on stage, one by one.
The Ukulele Death Squad are here to entertain, and entertain they do. The four members in Eamonn on bass Uke, Julian on baritone, Benjamin on lead and “new member” Reuben on sax and percussion were joined by Matt Barker on vocals.
Toilet paper humour ensured in these here crazy times and the songs flowed for 90 minutes. Their first single in I’m Not Afraid came early as did a Beyoncé rendition. Mostly original songs, such is the talent of the band, but they are always happy to throw a few interpretations of classics into the mix. Bruce Springsteen’s, Streets of Philadelphia was a high light of the show with Julian playing a violin for the song.
Reuben was “officially” inducted into the band and given the chance to play a ukulele on a song. Daddy’s got a New Body had the audience in stitches, although we were to come back for the later show for the uncut version. The set closed with a wild version of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive with vocalist Matt throwing himself around the stage (and off the stage).
Encore started with Eamonn singing an Irish number, a cappella. What an amazing voice this man has. The band returned for a medley of classic hits all rolled into one. Roxanne, Fever, Superfreak, It’s Raining Men and Miss You (on the sax) were just some that were rolled out.
A high energy show that will have you clapping and stamping your feet. The Fringe season has closed naturally, but look out for The Ukulele Death Squad at a venue near you during the rest of the year.
You won’t be disappointed.