Andy Balcon and Dave Crowe (AKA Heymoonshaker) make up the self-captioned “first ever beatbox-blues band”. They take the stage as an anxious crowd sit on awkward round tables which circle the edges of the room, like a Christmas themed Goth wedding. As they open their set, the audience glance gawkily between themselves as the duo fix up intense owl-like stares and proceed to rasp out their woody blues vocals, layered with torrents of deep beats and jarring body movements. It doesn’t take long, as within the first song, not only have the tables been abandoned but the audience is pushed up to the edge of the stage in a trance-like state of dance.
Any apprehension of the coherence of juxtaposed beats and blues vanishes immediately, as the fusion is so deep and fluid it feels like it should have always been that way. The pair realign the boundaries of endurance, Crowe’s ruthless beats pushing his body to such limits his shirt sticks to his torso, revealing every lung push and muscle tension involved. Balcon also gives a straining effort, his hair clumping like spaghetti as his heavy, rare vocals pack the room. This is consistent for what seems an impossibly long yet alluring set. So full of physical exertion, the two are forced to split to opposite sides of the stage to take a seat and a towel, as if it were break in a fight.
As the show continues, Crowe takes the front of the stage, orchestrating the audience with his violent jerks, and invites Edinburgh street performer Wojtek Gasiorowski to join them; creating an all new depth of slap-bass groove. The performance is a testosterone fueled display of steep passion, and the most striking part is the genuine chemistry and gratitude between the two, both musically and personally. Overall they give a gripping performance, an absolute must-see.