Fringe Music & Cabaret

Andre Krengel & Roland Krause, Acoustic Music Centre, four stars.

The Hummingbird Effect, C Too, two stars

If you don’t know anything about guitar duo Andre Krengel & Roland Krause when you arrive, you’ll know quite a lot by the time you leave.

Although their professional partnership is relatively new, Krengel and Krause go back a long way and the subtext of their show, travels, details where they’ve been, why they went there and how the music came to be written.

Krengel is the garrulous one and takes the greater share of the improvisation spotlight on tunes mostly written by Krause and spanning a stylistic range that encompasses plaintive bossa nova, rollicking hot club-style swing, percussive Iberian dance metres and a piece written in Thailand but bearing all the hallmarks of a Philly soul ballad.

They have a fine understanding and Krengel particularly plays with conspicuous fluency, switching easily between nylon-strung fingerstyle pyrotechnics and economical, bluesy phrasing as the music shifts gears and explores myriad moods and modes of expression. Ends Sunday.

The Hummingbird Effect is the prequel to a Joni Mitchell tribute show that Australian Deborah Brennan brought to the Fringe a year or two ago and tells, with small props and illustrations, how meeting a stranger at a folk festival and singing Joni’s A Case of You during a support slot led to that show.

As a self-help morality tale charting redundancy, depression and eventual redemption it achieves its aim but it’s all a bit cloying and the musical stepping stones – including voice and piano covers of Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight and David Bowie’s Heroes – aren’t strong enough to relieve a long-winded narrative. Ends August 27.