+3 Interview: Juan Vesuvius: I am Your Deejay

“The story is autobiographical and it does what it says on the tin. I have been telling these anecdotes in the pub for years.”

WHO: Barnie Duncan, Creator/Performer

WHAT: “Superstar disc jokey Juan Vesuvius brings his turntables back to Edinburgh to deliver the greatest and strangest DJ set you’ve ever experienced. But why does he need so much towelling? And what really happened between him and David Guetta?”

WHERE: Assembly George Square Theatre (Venue 8)

WHEN: 23:00 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!

Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

No this is my fourth Fringe in Edinburgh. The first time I cam was in 2012 I think.. or 2011… with my best friend Trygve Wakenshaw. We made a show called Constantinople, and performed it at a venue that has since closed called The Electric Circus. In their karaoke room. It really taught us a lot and we were fresh non-jaded by flyering, toga wearing fun guys. Then I started bringing the Juan Vesuvius character over, and I am proud to be here with the third chapter in the trilogy.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’16?

I wasn’t here for Fringe last year, I instead went to South Korea and Helsinki and China with Juan and calypso’d those places heads off. It was pretty full on. It was so full on I got a Calypso tattoo to commemorate the tour.

Tell us about your show.

This show is the third instalment of the Juan Vesuvius story – a DJ from the Caribbean who loves Calypso and maracas, but in this show delves into the history of House Music. It is an educational and surreal and physical and Turntabelist I wrote it in Melbourne and previewed it in Berlin before bringing it to Edinburgh, and I am produced by the suave and tall Nick James Clark.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

OK great question. They should see my show with Trygve called Different Party, and they should see John Kearns, and Peter and Bambi Heaven, and Paul Currie and also Laid by Natalie Palamides.



Calypso Nights: Juan, Two? (Assembly Roxy: 5 – 30 Aug : 21:30 : 1hr)


As entertaining as he is inventive”

Editorial Rating: 4 Stars Nae Bad

It’s very hard to tell the flavours in a good condiment apart. It’s that phenomenon when two different kinds of thing come together to form something completely new, and often indescribable. Somewhat ironically to the themes of Barnie Duncan’s riotous show, “Calypso Nights: Juan, Two?” very much contributes to that phenomenon. It’s dance, music, laughter and ridiculousness all rolled up into something which resembles a surprisingly entertaining, cuba-libre flavoured fever dream.

Presented by high-powered DJ Juan Vesuvius (Duncan), Calypso Nights is a spicy blend of music, comedy and Caribbean-tinged factoids, tied together by his considerable powers as a mix DJ and seemingly never-ending cultural knowledge.

And the Caribbean couldn’t ask for a better ambassador, fictional or otherwise: with a pair of turntables and expertly used dry ice, Duncan dominated the small stage with such confidence that he managed to pull off the bizarro-world Elvis look.  And it was that very bravado that served to underscore the blurring between audience member and participant; it requires a special type of performer to turn an at first reticent audience into a flag-waving dance party – but DJ Juan Vesuvius has the knack.

The message of the benefit of mixtures was wholeheartedly present throughout the act: his DJ’ing skills had a surprising substance and quality quite unheralded by his pidgin english-spouting exterior. Mixing between seemingly dissonant bands and musical styles, Duncan creates something new and interesting nearly every time – although, his high energy weirdness threatens to send the unstable show into meltdown towards the end, where the comedy content is eaten up somewhat by a fusion cascade of sheer strangeness.

If you’re looking for a night of nigh-indescribable fun, Juan Vesuvius is your man. As entertaining as he is inventive, it’s hard to top this dose of musical chutney.

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Reviewer: Jacob Close (Seen 26 August)

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