Fringe: Axis Of Awesome **** Still on top of their game

Axis of Awesome, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 (PIc: Cath Ruane)
Axis of Awesome, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 (PIc: Cath Ruane)
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There’s been a big change in musical comedy band Axis of Awesome - but it’s not quite what you imagined.

Axis Of Awesome

Axis of Awesome, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 (PIc: Cath Ruane)

Axis of Awesome, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 (PIc: Cath Ruane)

Won’t Ever Not Stop Giving Up

Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

Rating: ****

It’s ten years since Axis of Awesome first hit the Fringe - and they’re still at the top of their game.

The festival was a major launch pad for the Australian trio, and now, millions and millions of Youtube hits later, they are back … with a difference.

Since their last visit, singer Jordan has revealed she is now a transgender woman, and they deal with ‘the elephant in the room’ quite brilliantly at the start of this show - and, in doing so, set the bar pretty high for the rest of the night.

The show is a mix of old and new material.

Long-standing Axis fans - Axissians? Axisons? - will recognise them immediately, and still enjoy hearing them one more time from a band that is slick, sharp and completely at home on stage.

They pack a lot into an hour of comedy and music.

Benny has a Will Smith obsession going on, breaking into raps every now and then which he says he has co-written for the great man’s movies, while Lee’s Johnny Cash routine is simply off the wall.

Add in a bonkers song about KFC - it’ll make you laugh rather than make you hungry for some finger-lickin’ chicken - and one about an octopus, and then bring it altogether with a smashing update on ‘Four Chords’ in which they nail 36 hit songs with the same chord structure and they wrap it up on the highest possible note; the perfect bookend to a slick, sharp opening number.

Long standing fans will love it, and newbies will soon get into the swing of the Axis style.