A week on the Fringe

It's been a quiet week at work (the boss was away), but a rather busier one the rest of the time. After leaving here last Monday I went to Waverley to meet nisaba off the London train, following which she took up residence in our living room. batswing already had a couple of guests in, so the place was quite swinging (no, not in thast way) last week.

Monday evening was just taken with chatting, eating, and Peta recovering from her trip up. On Tuesday she went to see a show during the day and I tagged along later to see Jo Caulfield (very sharp and funny indeed, in spite of an entirely regrettable pair of lime-green flares - talked to the crowd a lot. A lot) in a little room way way back beyond anywhere anyone knew was still part of the Pleasance, and then to the 'Row to see a (Paramount-organised?) set of four comics, two of them called Russell. They were all pretty good, although the first one (one of the Russells) was having to work harder than the rest. The second was from Leeds and wasn't, in spite of his presentation, a very traditional flat-cap-and-whippet caricature Yorkshireman. Lastly was a Reginald D something, who's American and very good indeed. Quite laid back. The compere was the other Russell, and was very funny also (so it was a good value show) in spite of his run-in with "Larry" from the audience, who had his heckling down beautifully.

On Wednesday I stayed in quietly while Peta went out on the town, and then trogged along to see Jason Byrne at the Assembly Rooms. The show allegedly had something to do with a goat, and had dancers. Plural. Although it pretended not to, at both ends. He spent quite a while talking to folk in the audience, many of whom were also Irish. And running over parts of the show again, which was very odd. Good, though.

Thursday? What did we do on Thursday? Was that New College Assembly Hall the Durex Comedy Pipette someplace on the Mound for the Zimbabwe benefit? If so, it was excellent, with a rather good choir starting, and then Bill Bailey (great), Dara O'Briain (or however you spell it - very sharp and energetic, must see him again), Lucy Porter (qv), and . . . one or two others.

Actually, it can't have been, I don't think, because I've a feeling we saw Lucy Porter on Thursday, so the Zimbabwe show must have been earlier in the week (serves me right for not writing up immediately). Porter was startlingly innocent, fresh-faced and perky in her presentation which she managed to keep up even wile discussing bukkake videos and the other uses of washing machines. A bloke further along our row got given vodka and sweeties for not being happy, which was lovely of her. He didn't share them around much, I noticed.

On Friday, I met Peta again and we went to see the inestimable Rob Newman down at Moray House Union Holyrood Union the Bongo Club on Holyrood Road. And marvellous he was, too, mixing some very excellent stand-up with ramblings about historical dissent, the geopolitical underpinnings of the war in Iraq and the economics of the petrodollar. A must-see, in my view, and I only regret not catching more of his recent work. Later there was a comedy gala at the Festival theatre in aid of the Waverley trust, which had the wonderful Dara O'Briain compering a host of people, including Sadowitz (hampered by unclear sound), Boothby Graffoe (liked the comedy, didn't see the point of the song), the Caesar Twins (bizarrely excellent slow balancing acrobatics) and loads of others whose names I could probably dig up if I had to and who were generally very good.

Saturday was fairly quiet until about six when I went to see Ian Kendall's magic show at the Café Royal. He's an old friend of Glen's, and does put on an excellent show. Make me tell you about the wooden disks and the spike at some point. I bumped into Eireann and Sharon in the bar beforehand, and thanked them for mentioning on Skye that he had a show on - I'd had no idea. Ian's website's at, and I haven't looked at it yet so I don't know how good it is. He also did a card trick so ridiculously impressive that I can't imagine how it's possible without a stooge. Maybe some of you know, in which case don't tell me. Not yet, anyway. I want to be astonished for a little bit longer.

Later I met Peta for Sadowitz' show at the Queen's Hall Queen's Hall. He was very very angry indeed, and I should have guessed, given that three months ago he had jokes about the tsunami, that he'd have a couple about the tube bombings. If only all things in life were as reliable.

Yesterday was pretty quiet apart from seeing "Tao - martial art of the drum" back at the Comedy Pipette. Now, they don't seem to have recordings or videos immediately available (although their website mentions such things) so you'll just have to take my word (and that of every single other person who's seen them, as far as I can tell) that this is the future of music, all other forms of audio entertainment are irrelevant and outmoded, and that we must all become drummers forthwith.

After that, a quiet evening in, despite the siren song of pints with CJ down at Neon. I chatted to Peta while she packed, until she got an early night to be awake for the morning train. I checked my mail again, then did likewise (except for work instead, boo hiss).

  • Current Mood: pleased
tao were flogging dvds and cds the last coupla times we've seen 'em...

They didn't have any left last night, and as they're off now I doubt there's any easy way of getting them retail around here. Having said that, though, did you get anything and can I steal borrow it?
yes, when we went, Andy immediately said "Can I cancel everythung else and have a drum for my birthday? NOW?"
I'm told that drums are popular presents from grandparents, as revenge upon the intermediate generation.
If a person had just discovered that their carpenter is going to demolish part of their bedroom wall and needs them to sleep somewhere else for a week, might your sofa be available next month? (Just in case the local hotel is fully booked but I haven't checked that yet. They have a spa but you have good music..)
Well, let me know if it falls through. I'd be perfectly happy with it, but it'd be polite to ask April what she thinks. I didn't see her to ask her yesterday, which is why I hadn't answered yet.
Later there was a comedy gala at the Festival theatre in aid of the Waverley trust

Hooray! Money for paddle steamers is always a good thing.
Good point. Actually it was Waverley Care, although paddle steamers are also worth supporting.

I used to go on the Waverley most summers, because Ayr, where I grew up, is one of its regular summer haunts. We used to go over to Arran or around Bute and the Cumbraes. This was lovely if the weather was good, but . . . well, it's the west coast of Scotland we're talking about.
Zimbabwe thingy was Wednesday night, after Jason Byrne. The excellent big black American comedian was Reginald D Hunter, and him and Rob Newman were my two favourite shows of the entire week. Otherwise I think you've got everything right.

Thanks again for putting up with me for a week - it sure beat fighting with street performers for space to sleep on the Royal Mile.
Ah. Cheers. I was going to - well, still am going to - go back and put the names in from the flyer I have in the flat.

Thanks for coming up. It's nice to have guests. Come anytime. And tell other people to visit too.