September 06, 2006

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.

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