LIVE fast. Die young. Leave a beautiful corpse. It’s rock’s most celebrated maxim and one that’s often followed with mention of The 27 Club.
It had been a while since the last wave of interest in the so-called “curse of 27” – that followed Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994 – but it was stoked up again after Amy Winehouse was found dead at her North London home last year.
Why? Because by passing away three years shy of 30, the beehive singer joined Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, all whom died at the same age. Some say it’s sheer coincidence that so many rock stars died at the age of 27. Others insist there’s a sinister force behind the trend.
But if, like me, you know it’s all fantasy and yet still relish every slice of 27- related trivia, there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had from this Fringe show.
It begins with a narrator rattling off the supernatural properties of the number 27. “It’s the cube of three . . . three being the original magic number. The moon orbits the earth every 27 days. The sun revolves on its axis every 27 days. There are 27 bones in the human hand. Human outer skin cells are shed and regrown every 27 days. It’s the number of books in the New Testament.” Blah, blah, blah.
Tedious links out of the way, we move to the story of bluesman Johnson. After we hear about his rumoured deal with the devil, it’s suggested that Hendrix and Cobain may have been murdered. As for the Lizard King, well, he may not even be dead. You get the drift?
To be fair, there’s nothing here you can’t read on the internet, just stuff the conspiracy theorists have been saying for years. But what makes The 27 Club so entertaining is the music itself.
Interspersed with the stories are some of popular music’s best songs, including Joplin’s Piece Of My Heart and Winehouse’s Back To Black, delivered by a fantastic live band boasting two female singers with voices to die for.
• Until August 27 (yes, that’s right)