All entries for Wednesday 06 September 2006

September 06, 2006

Edinburgh Blog – Day 19 – August 19th

“Nail bombs under every seat…”

At 1pm today I’m supposed to be going down the road to the cinema again to see a full 90 minute Q&A with Kevin Smith as part of the film festival. I have a ticket and everything (got it just before it sold out, they’re pretty rare). But I wake up at midday and despite 8 hours sleep feel like I haven’t slept. Uh-oh. See, you stay up for 40 hours and it messes up your body, but you also get that delayed effect – the previous few days I’m fine but 4 days after the event and ‘boom’ now you’re going to be exhausted. So I weigh up my options, and decide to forgo the Q&A as have very early starts scheduled for the next two days and this will be the last chance for a lie in. I put my head back down and the next thing I know it’s 5pm and I actually feel like I’ve slept.

After this I go off to see Amateur Transplants (Medina & Negociants, 19:00 & 21:00) – they’re the ones who did the London Underground song that anyone with the internet has probably heard by now – they’re mean to have my name on the door as a reviewer but don’t, but I blag my way in anyways. It’s a weird venue, everyone sits on cushions on the floor. It’s also a bit weird as it’s the first show I’ve asked to review, rather than been assigned. It’s very good though.

From here I go to see Political Animal (BabyBelly, 10:15pm), Andy Zaltzmann’s politics themed gig, with Pops and his mum. Richard Herring is on, along with Danny Bhoy and someone else whom I forget. Herring continues to deconstruct his performance during his act by pulling apart a played out conversation between two different aspects of his personality, testing the audiences’ patience. It’s not laugh out loud funny buy it sure is interesting to see a comic that doesn’t care about the audience response just fucking with us.

Then I meet up with Henry’s flatmate and his friends, who I first met at the WoW guild meet-up a few weeks back. We go for a few drinks and they want some hints on what’s good and what isn’t. They also want to go and see Cowards, since I gave it a bad review and all the other critics loved it, so they want to know who’s right!

The last few days have been fairly uneventful as I’ve been recovering somewhat from the Mark Watson gig, but things should get busier and more show-packed over the next week or so, and these entries should get longer and more interesting!

Edinburgh Blog – Day 18 – August 18th

“This is a bit weird, but the gig has to stop now”

The weather hasn’t got any better, and while my next lot of reviews don’t start until tomorrow I promised Owen and Jem I’d go see The Adventures of Bitter and Twisted again and write them a review. I finally figure out how to turn the heater on ten minutes before I’m due to leave, which doesn’t make my still damp jacket anymore comfortable to put on. Switching to a long sleeve top helps but it’s still icky. Am soaking wet by the time I get there so it doesn’t really matter anyway. They’ve tightened up the show a bit and it flows a lot better now which is good, alas they’ve only got one more day then they’re back of home.

After this I go back home and dry the jacket some more. On the plus side it’s stop raining now and I’m off to the UK premiere of Clerks 2 (part of the film festival), which is at the cinema literally just down the road (5 mins walk) so I leave it to dry and just wear a jumper. The film is ace, although my comedy critic neurons start firing at one bit as they take the gross-factor a little too far a little too unnecessarily. I won’t spoil it since it’s not even out here yet but where Clerks was a lot more about clever writing and understated grossness (“You fucked a dead guy?” “It was dark!”). Clerks 2 shows a lot more. It’s just one bit but it’s not necessary and seems to be just there for shock value – the joke itself is over after 2 minutes when you get the gag, the rest is just milking it. Still I really enjoyed it and it’s a nice continuation of the franchise. Kevin also does a nice little Q&A after the film which is pretty entertaining, though he doesn’t seem to be on as good a form as usual.

After this I pop back home, get my jacket and hop on the bus into town to meet with Andy and the avalon folks to go to Late ‘n’ Live (Gilded Balloon, 1am). Here it gets a bit weird. First it’s close to sold out so we have to wait ages to get in, till after the gig has started, and end up sitting in random seats around the hall. Now here’s the thing. I never went to Late ‘n’ Live last year, last time I went was 4 years ago when it was still in the old Cowgate venue that burnt down. The new rooms sucks. There’s fuck all atmosphere, there’s a few tables (10 maybe) at the front with table service, it’s probably fun if you’re sat there, then there’s just rows of seats, fuck all leg room to cram in as many people as possible. Since there’s no intervals and not enough room to get past people sat down, everyone in the row has to stand up if someone wants to go get a drink…. basically it’s shit. And of a weekend it’s even worse as it’s packed the brim and full of drunken hecklers and just becomes a bear-pit of the worse kind. The only reason it’s still selling out is that it’s trading on it’s name as back at the old venue it used to be the best and one of the few late night gigs. Now there’s tons of them (the Underbelly has 2, plus another one in the Caves!) and people are still going to Late ‘n’ Live as it was the ‘place to be’ five years ago and so still has brand recognition, despite being a totally different gig in a totally different venue.

But that’s not the weird part.

Before we went in we discovered there was a water problem and the toilets were out of use. After Rhod Gilbert’s set Russell Howard, the new regular compere, comes back on and tells us that a water main has burst and there’s no water supply to here, the Udderbelly or the Pleasance Dome. So they have to stop the gig and will give us refunds. As I say, bizarre. So that was it for the night – all the late night drinkeries in the surrounding area are closed for the same reason so there’s not much else to do but head back home.

Edinburgh Blog – Day 17 – August 17th

“Oh, you’ve already seen it”

Nothing to review today, picking back up the schedule in the next few days, so another long lie in. Went to see Ed Byrne (Pleasance Grand, 21:50) (you know, the cheeky Irish chappy that did the Carphone Warehouse ads… who the hell calls them car-phones anymore anyways). His show was fairly middling – funny jokes but nothing special. He did have a great idea though, that while the set-up for a joke, was pretty clever in and of itself. The idea was that people should go out and buy headphone splitters, then when on public transport, listening to their iPods, they wave the splitter at another likewise occupied passenger. If they get the nod, they put the splitter into their iPod and play you a song. Then you put it into yours and play them a song. You don’t talk to the other person, but you connect through the music. I’ve had similar thoughts myself before so I really liked this, am writing it here to do my bit for spreading the idea around.

I also had two rather interesting flyering experiences, one from a cute girl flyering Jarred Christmas’ show, which meant for the first time this festival I was able to use the ‘I’ve already seen the show’ line and genuinely mean it. The second was some girl coming up to me and serenading me with a song about me, as I apparently looked a little miserable (actually: tired) – can’t even remember what the show was but I have to commend the effort.

Also spoke briefly to Pops (Adam) who is up for a few days, though he was just headed into a show as I caught him. After this went for a few drinks with Andy and three American people he’d got talking to – students, two men, one girl. Apparently he’d accidently kicked her in the head the previous night then rejected her advances or something. I think she’s very pretty but in that 5ft-tall-and-I-have-a-thing-for-short-women sort of way so the reactions of more normal people will be less predictable. First we went to the Hollyrood, then the Underbelly and then they went off to find a club to go to. I didn’t, as had left my earplugs at home and didn’t fancy having tinitus for the rest of the festival. She was hot, but not risk-my-hearing-hot.

During this time the rain had finally broken well and truly and it was a cold and miserable walk back home, being soaked by the end of it. On reflection, I should have got a taxi. Plus I can’t figure out how to make the heaters in the flat work.

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