Jonny and the Baptists: The End is Nigh

Jonny and the Baptists

Roundabout @ Summerhall

From 07 August 2015 to 30 August 2015

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

The spirit of Billy Bragg c. 1980s lives on in the form of Jonny and the Baptists. They are ostensibly a two-piece English folk band comprising Jonny and Paddy, both guitarists and vocalists.

That brief description misses the nature of their performance, which comprises good old-fashioned agitprop designed to lampoon those in power and, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, maybe even save the planet.

It should be explained that Jonny is Mr Donahoe, the star of Every Brilliant Thing, one of the best Edinburgh shows last year and returning for a reprise in 2015.

That is the guarantee of good-natured repartee but also committed views on a number of society’s ills, especially with regard to climate change, which Mr D believes will mean that his 4-year-old niece might not have the chance to grow old.

The message is delivered in song and tirade, amusing but also informing the audience about issues in which this pair clearly believe with a passion.