Indie As F*ck

Aug 18 2017 | By More

★★★★☆    Authentic humour

C Venues – C Royale (Venue 9): Wed 2 – Mon 28 Aug 2017
Review by Hugh Simpson

Indie As F*ck, Pinched! Theatre’s comic play with songs about teenage aspirations and disappointments, remains an engaging night out.

Writer-director Kirsten McPake and composer Peter Stewart’s piece, a cross between a gig and a show, had a short run at the 2015 Fringe, where it was thoroughly impressive. The story of no-hoper, smalltown central Scotland indie band Cold Light, and their rise all the way to bickering obscurity, is still a fun and attractive one.

Faye Ryden. Pic: Pinched!

What is interesting is how a couple of changes in personnel can make for a show with a completely different feel. Guitarists Felix Adamson still overuses his effects pedals in fine style, and Euan Kirkpatrick remains as the over-eager master of a whole four chords who dreams of being an accountant.

The other three band members have changed, and all bring something new to the party. Singer Faye Ryden has a genuine comic sensibility, as well as providing some committed vocals.

Andrew Stears is so convincingly rockstarish in his moves that he is utterly right as the one member of the group who really dreams of fame, excess and dubious practices.

Eilidh McLaughlin’s drummer brings a completely new intra-band dynamic, with her ‘spooky’, pining persona being very effective. That she can then convince so utterly as a deluded student wannabe promoter speaks volumes of her talent.


Similarly, Adamson and Kirkpatrick have an accomplished turn as door staff in one of the comic vignettes that pepper the narrative. These are what makes this such an accessible piece; it is not just about being in a band. Anyone who has ever been to a gig, got drunk, gone to school or been a teenager will be able to relate to this.

The songs have the ring of truth to them – even the deliberately cliched, by numbers parody of ‘landfill indie’ seems born out of love. There is an authenticity to it all, from the Cold Light wristbands on entry to the cramped basement setting. The Royal Society may not be a scuzzy enough venue, but it is certainly suitably sweaty – having the heating on is either a nice touch or cruel and unusual punishment depending on your point of view.

This remains an appealing experience. What was good about it – the sincerity, the drive, the comic writing – remains good, and it is a tighter production than previously.

The drawbacks are still there. It remains a little predictable, while that attention-seeking title is still misleading – still, I suppose it is too late to change it now. Overall, this remains a warm-hearted, enjoyable portrayal of teenage rites of passage.

Running time 1 hour (no interval)
C Venues – C Royale (Venue 9), Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22 George Street, EH2 2PQ
Wednesday 2 – Monday 28 August 2017
Daily (not Tues 15) at 10.25 pm
Book tickets on the Fringe website:
Company website:
Facebook: @PinchedTheatre
Twitter: @PinchedTheatre

Hugh’s 2015 review is here:


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