We’ve played music together in one form or another since we were in secondary school over 10 years ago, so it feels strange that this year is our debut in the comedy section of the fringe, even more so that it is with ‘The Harry And Chris Show 2’. After cutting our teeth in the notoriously funny worlds of poetry and jazz, it was only in the last two years or so that we actively began writing songs as ‘Harry and Chris’ as opposed to ‘Harry’ and ‘Chris’, and it feels like we’ve finally hit our stride.
Whilst the individual songs cover all manner of topics from pandas in population crisis, to lonely house robots on Robot Wars, to how going vegetarian affects a lifelong friendship between meat-eaters, the overall feel of the show is very much a positive uplifting one. This came about very naturally, and reflects our outlook on the world (and our friendship), but in these days of media fear-mongering and polarising politics, it feels slightly more radical a standpoint than perhaps it should. One of the phrases that came out when planning the shows was ‘reckless joy’, so we loved it when we had a review last year that described it as ‘unapologetically feel-good’. There’s so many shows covering so many themes at the fringe which is part of what makes it so brilliant to be a part of, but our key thing we wanted was to leave people feeling better about themselves and the world when they left the show than when they started.
We’ve always loved writing together, but the big difference between this show and when we first started is that we’ve let our friendship come to the forefront. We share a flat in London, so most songs tend to start with ideas that we think will make each other laugh - the feedback we have got is on stage it’s the feel of watching two best mates in their living room (in a good way!) so we’ve tried to let that come out naturally rather than scripting jokes between songs and forcing it the other way.
It’s still hard to describe what it is exactly that we do so it’s helped having videos shared around online, because while we’ve taken the plunge to move over from the ‘Spoken Word’ to Comedy section, Comedy-Rap-Jazz-Duo only goes some way to explaining it. The most common comparison we get is to Flight of the Conchords who are big inspirations, but we equally draw from JD and Turk’s bromance in scrubs or the music and lyricism in some of our favourite artists in the music world. It’s easy to feel disheartened, apathetic, or simply overwhelmed when you look at the state of the world in some places, but by trying to channel that into some kind of reckless joy, we ended up creating a show as much about friendship and hope as pandas and robots - we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Harry & Chris perform The Harry & Chris Show 2 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Just The Tonic, The Cask Room from 3rd -27th Aug at 2:20pm ahead of a nationwide tour from 25th October – 30th December. More info and tickets are available at www.harryandchris.com