A week into their UK tour, Harry and Chris took over The Loft at Nottingham Trent’s Student Union for a night of songs, smiles and socially-relevant jokes in a pretty solid attempt to save the world. The comedy-jazz-rap duo showcased their undeniable friendship and built a strong rapport with the audience, sharply delivering their spoken word, musical comedy act and successfully saving the audience from at least a night devoid of laughter and positivity.
The Loft was the perfect space for Harry & Chris as it was very warm and inviting with leather sofas, low lighting and fake candles (gross couple cuddling on the sofa included). The seating was arranged so that it felt homely and inclusive, with Harry & Chris seeming as though they were part of the crowd and able to run into the audience if they wanted to – which Harry did, giving high fives to everyone. The only downside was that you had to arrive early to get a good seat as the view of the stage wasn’t as good further back or off to the side, but this wasn’t that big a problem with a performance so engaging.
Their relaxed and good-humoured personalities were clear from the start, as they accidentally entered the room via the brightly lit lift and had to walk through the crowd in order to go out the side doors before their intended entrance, with Harry introducing their own act and joking about this mistake before they’d even started the show. Harry & Chris had no fancy lighting or special effects and no support act or compère, so took on the difficult job of warming up the crowd by just launching into their introductory song with only two microphones and a guitar.
“They were two best friends having an amazing time messing about on stage”
The show was split into two halves – the first full of their old songs and the second the performance of their 2018 Edinburgh Festival show. From the first half I already had the impression that they were two best friends having an amazing time messing about on stage while singing an array of extremely clever and witty songs. Covering big topics and phenomena such as panda extinction, Trump, the world ending, the World Cup and apocalypse as well as trivial topics such as monopoly, the Teletubbies and gravy, they created a brilliant combination of serious and light-hearted material.
“Everyone was singing along, creating an almost bonfire-like, peaceful atmosphere”
Many songs emphasised the importance of a positive outlook and of spreading love at times when the world needs it the most, but one that really stood out to me was ‘Simple Times’. Infused with funny moments, it was a very uplifting song which made me reflect on how I deal with problems and my own outlook on life (not something I was expecting from a comedy show) and, before long, everyone was singing along, creating an almost bonfire-like, peaceful atmosphere. On top of giving the audience a wholesome night of puns and laughs, they ensured that everybody left the room feeling even just a little bit more positive about the post-brexit, global warming-affected and terrorist-fearing world we live in.
Although the audience started out with quite quiet and polite laughter, myself included, their outgoing nature, honesty, and tendency to break off into uncontrollable laughter meant that people felt comfortable enough to enthusiastically join in with the interactive sections, sing along without being prompted and heartily show their appreciation for the duo. Chris’ lovely smooth singing voice and guitar skills matched Harry’s slick spoken word and together they created a truly unique act. If you’re looking for a flawless performance with no deviations or moments of genuine silliness, then Harry & Chris might not be for you, but their casual and heartwarming show with catchy songs and wonderfully impressive wordplay – both rehearsed and improvised – was something special.
“Encouraged everyone to spread self-love and enjoy the small things in life”
With moments that are hard to forget, such as a mime of a gynaecologist-stripper (you had to be there), and with an unexpected on-going feel-good feeling, Harry & Chris’ mish-mash of talents and bridging of different genres created an act that hit all the right spots. Although not as funny as some comedians I’ve seen, it made me think about the world’s problems while still making me laugh, and encouraged everyone to spread self-love and enjoy the small things in life. All that on a tiny stage in a relatively small venue – they may only be a duo but they must have some kind of superpower. I would definitely be up for seeing them again as it was a very enjoyable evening.
Image from Harry & Chris’s Facebook page.