These are – surprise surprise – notes from my notebook which I haven written up yet. Get used to it (actually, I’m nearly done with this kind of thing). The order in which things were done may not be correct – I have had to piece together my memories of that time with the help of K and her addled neurons. The order is as I remember. Time and age has eroded my body and mind, so don’t expect tocal recall.
I went to the Edinburgh Festival last August with a few friends and acquaintances. It was a nice ride up on the train, because the tickets had been booked, and we had reserved seats. Interesting to see Seahouses and Berwick from a different angle than I’d seen in 2006.
We had a “suite” reserved in what was called a “Eurohostel” which was actually student halls of residence flats let out to festival-goers for a minimal fee. Spartan, but nice enough and very convenient for the centre of things. As soon as we were sorted out in the flat, we headed out.
A strange start, but we wanted to get going with a light piece of fluff. This was in the downstairs pub/club area of some hotel. It was a man with a microphone, a laptop and projector, playing bad MIDI files, and displaying an MSWord doc of the lyrics on the screen. A person or group would then sing along, just like regular karaoke. But with a twist! At least a bit of one! The MC (such as he was, fumbling and muttering – but a nice chap) apologised that the ‘Pro’ bit of the title was inaccurate. Normally he would have various Edinburgh Fringe stars along to croon for the mob, but not today. Luckily I’m a fan of Karaoke, and I like to stand up and show off. Others were up for it too, and it was quite a fun time. One of the highlights was that old chestnut, One Song To The Tune Of Another. This was done ad hoc without preparation, and it was amazing how well some songs just slotted together.
Then we went to the pub.
After a couple of swift ones, it was along to see comedy legend Barry Cryer, doing a stand-up set sitting in a throne. The gags came think and fast, not all belters, but it was clear why he is still in the credits for so many TV and Radio shows. Nice to see a genius in the flesh. Look at his credits!
The next thing on the list was one American guy performing the entire original Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV, V and VI). He did all the moves, voices, and sound effects. Most impressive, although he did ruin it a bit by adding in asides and comments. I nearly didn’t get in, because I had bought the wrong ticket in the weeks leading up to the trip, despite (or perhaps because of) the hundreds of emails bouncing around discussing who was going to book what. So I had to sneak in. As the others were strolling past holding out their tickets to the overworked volunteers, I managed to creep past in front of them. It was like I was able to wave my hand and say, “You don’t need to see my ticket…”.
Daniel Kitson – The Fireworks Talking
Basic standup, but very good. Lots of emotional family stuff, good storytelling. A bit mawkish at times, but heartwarming and genuinely funny.