Those of you who know me will be fully aware that I am a HUGE fan of Casual Violence. The tight knit group all work together to tug on your heartstrings and choke you with them as you laugh all your internal organs up, and your morality. Their signature dark sketches have seen the popularity of this “troupe” swell over the last year, with their name being synonymous with high quality, morally dubious humour. On March 18th, this brand was put in the hands of often underrated member, Adam D. Felman, the provider of all backing music to the sketches.
While the group may have joked about the sensibility of this decision, I feel it worked very much in their favour. It showed the group in a new light, demonstrating that creative talents expand beyond the tyranny of Hamilton’s wicked writing, into something reasonably light hearted. Most of the time.
The deviation into a musical night ran by the member with the least stage presence highlighted something else. The reason Casual Violence is so successful, and the group click so well is because they are all alike. To elaborate on that, it turns out that the assumed mild mannered Felman is in fact just as twisted and capable of creating socially awkward situations as the actors, just using music instead.
One particular song comes to mind instantly when writing this. A song so awkward Felman was visibly embarrassed playing it, although that could be due to the fact his Dad was in the audience. I can’t even tell you the title it was that bad. It can be found on Adam’s personal Bandcamp page though, if you want to try and guess what it was… http://sanityvalve.bandcamp.com/
Sharing the bill was Jonny and the Baptist, a duo I had personally never heard of but have since scoured the internet for as much of their content as possible. Equally musical, their songs touched on racism, inherent Britishness and eagles. They were appropriate for the night.
Some new sketches for Casual Violence’s upcoming show, House of Nostril were also showcased, but I’ll save a review until Edinburgh Festival in August, where they will be running two shows throughout.
When we entered the venue, I saw something that amazed me, and I instantly wrote down “Casual Violence have finally grown up, they have candles on the table!” At the end of the show, I looked at the candles and realised they were actually electric. That pretty much epitomises Songs in the Key… It offered an illusion of maturity, but when you peel back the layers you realize it was exactly that – an illusion.
Ultimately, the show was a departure from the normal Casual Violence setup, but remained true to the random, funny and awkward style we expect and love.
Give Adam more stage time!