Well-Strung – 3 Stars



Crazy Coqs, Live At Zédel

Reviewed – 8th October 2018


“the mash-ups, although technically brilliant, follow what seemed a strict pattern”


For classical music aficionados seeking the music they love with a tasty pop twist, this is the perfect show.

Edmund, Daniel, Chris and Trevor are ‘Well-Strung’, a New York based string quartet with an impressive track record and number of celebrity endorsements under their belt. Their set, a mixture of classical-pop ‘mash-ups’ and their own take on a range of well-known pop greats, is at least entertaining, allowing the audience to marvel at the collective’s skill on strings, and, at times, the players themselves. It was a simple set-up at The Crazy Coqs, an intimate cabaret bar complete with luscious red curtain and mirrored ceiling. Despite an early set back (Ed’s D-string broke!), the group powered through admirably.

There were obviously classical music fans in the audience. Many gasped and sighed with happy recognition as certain numbers were mentioned, and bemused laughter was to be heard as the audience began to recognise some of the pop hits being played. Highlights include an energetic take on Do-Re-Mi (yes, from the Sound of Music) and Britney Spears’ Toxic.

The novelty of the enterprise however soon wears thin. Song choices are a little too easy at times, and the mash-ups, although technically brilliant, follow what seemed a strict pattern (classical piece begins – interrupted by pop song – back to classical piece) and failed to convincingly recontextualise the songs enough to make hearing them seem more than just an exercise in seeing how we can have fun with a string quartet. Perhaps this is enough for some, but this reviewer felt discomforted by the earnestness of the whole show and wished for a dash more irony (or at least, a stronger recognition of the audience, and slightly less awkward ‘banter’).

But the skill of this group is impossible to ignore. Adept string instrumentalists and (mostly) strong singers make this a fun evening out, and a taste of something new for those well-accustomed to BBC Radio 3.


Reviewed by Joseph Prestwich

Photography by Santiago Felipe



Crazy Coqs, Live At Zédel



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