• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Fringe 2023: When Judas Met John – Songs of Dylan and Lennon

ByJemima Hawkins

Aug 14, 2023
Tom and Hugh Adams - the two members of Brothers Broke - stand instruments in hand on a darkened stage

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This 45-minute introduction to the intertwined influences of Bob Dylan and John Lennon was the perfect blend of an informative music lesson and a peaceful folk festival. The performers, twin brothers Tom and Hugh Adams, make up Brothers Broke, with Tom on guitar and vocals, and Hugh on bass, harmonica and vocals. To call it a tribute act would be underselling the raw talent on display from this unsuspecting pair.

When Judas Met John tells the story of the pair who revolved around each other in circles of envy and respect, producing songs based on both simple influence and dangerous parody. The tunes performed varied back and forth between the artists, cleverly intertwined to illustrate the tangible link between Dylan and Lennon’s music styles.

Brothers Broke are in equal parts likeable and capable, with some light mockery and competition between the talented pair instantly endearing them to the audience. Performing both the well-known classics of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ and ‘Dig it’, as well as some undiscovered gems such as Dylan’s touching tribute to the Beatles singer ‘Roll on, John’, the show strummed along easily. On announcing their last song, Brothers Broke drew an audible sigh of dismay from the audience.

The charisma between the pair and the precise, intricately woven harmonies added to the endearing character of the show, with new and interesting interpretations of many of the songs adding to the overall intrigue of the performance. Technical ability shone too – in one particularly impressive song, Tom and Hugh combined all of the instruments on stage.

Alongside expert performances, the brothers offered informative snippets between songs, tracking the lives of the singers as their careers grew and their music contained simultaneous themes of nonsensical verse and political statements.

Despite the elderly clientele – those under fifty could be counted on one hand – the intimacy of the venue and talent on display rendered this show subtly charming, with a low-level chorus of Beatles classic ‘I am the Walrus’ closing the performance.

When Judas Met John – Songs of Dylan and Lennon is on at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall – Theatre 1 at 7:40pm on 12 August only. Tickets are available here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/when-judas-met-john-songs-of-dylan-and-lennon.

Image provided to The Student as press material.