Tuesday, 31 August 2010

It wasn't even like I was ever there

The last day of the show started early as I had to move rooms. Successfully checked-out, I went and sat in the car for a bit and checked my emails. Nothing of any import and I headed down to Cowgate in time to get there before mid day. Flyering had a slow start made even remotely interesting by a short conversation with Daniel Kitson as I was giving out leaflets. He's lost weight since I last saw him and was quite charming considering the earliness of the day.

Then lovely Heather showed up to offer some help. She had mentioned in the comments on one of the blogs below that she would do her bit and she certainly did. I had my best turn out of the festival (35) and the show featured the return of Alex Marion. Despite me warning the audience that four of them would walk out during his act, they were still surprised when inevitably four did, laughing as they left. I screamed "I know you're working for the government!" at them and it got the desired response from the remaining audience. I packed up my guitar and amp and said goodbye to Count Chavula. I can't really knock the staff at Base nightclub but the venue just wasn't right for my show, which was burdened by problems throughout its run. Despite everything it's been worthwhile and I'm already looking forward to next year.

One thing that was burdened however was me. The amp (a Marshall) is surprisingly heavy and I was quickly ruing my decision to walk it up to my number one Subway. A six-inch "Ham" sub of the day was made extra entertaining by a group of local kids who decided I was cool because I was English, told me they had already met an American today who was a bit cooler than I was but said I would be cool if I did an Australian accent.  I obliged them and it made the Australian couple (who were also in line) chuckle. We all decided to eat in, the Aussies remaining unusually quiet as I berated the nippers and generally wound them up. When I'd had enough (And finished) the kids said "Do one more Australian accent, Mr. Englishman". I refused but said simply "That couple in the corner are really good at Australian accents" and left them to deal with the little tykes themselves.

I got myself a cab back to the University hotel and checked in to my new room. it was much nicer and I decided not to nick any towels out of it (I'd accidentally removed a couple from my previous room).I semi-unpacked, took things easy and then went back up to The Pleasance to see Matthew Hardy's Willy Wonka show for a second time. It was even better than I remembered it. Then I just drank my way round a bit before bumping in to Heather. I suggested a drink in "Three Sisters" by way of a thank you. Big mistake. It was a right Chav's wedding and we went our separate ways after a single pint.

This just meant an earlier-than-usual appearance in The Loft Bar which led to a huge amount of hob-nobbing and I'll try and list the protagonists as best I can. In no particular order:

Andy Linden (Who insisted on buying me a drink)
David Whitney (Who insisted on buying me a drink)
Sean something (Who bought me a Jager Bomb)
Ian Franklin (Who again gave me grief about not playing his show in Chelmsford).
Both the blokes from the Ian Dury show up here (One of which was a founder member of The Rubber Bishops, and still best mates with both Bill Bailey and the other "Bishop", Martin), (We bought each other a drink)
Gareth Morinan (Who I made buy me a drink)
Don Ward (Who bumped into me for the first time in about eight years, said Hi, Paul" and then went off to buy himself a drink).
Roy Walker (Who looked like he'd had a drink)
Sean Hughes (Who had definitely had a drink)
Paul Ricketts and Verity Welch (Who had just got a drink as I was leaving)
Mike Manera (Who probably owes me a drink)
Marnie Whiting (Who was thinking of giving up drink)
Josh Howie's missus (Nursing a drink).
Louis Schaeffer (Had had enough to drink to scare the horses)

...and some other people who I can't remember, probably due to the drink.

I left there too late for The Newington Traditional Fish Bar (To give it it's full title) and got home about 3am. I had one gig left - at in The Pleasance Courtyard) at 1pm.

I slept fitfully despite the improved surroundings and missed breakfast. No matter - I was in a cab at just gone twelve to get me there way before my 12.45pm arrival time. Had a cup of tea with Andy Linden (Well we're not getting any younger) and sound checked. The bill was John Robbins (MC), myself, Stephen Carlin, Ivo Graham and Andrew Bird. It was a lovely show and I probably had my best gig of the whole festival. My agent saw all and we'll see if it transfers into more work.

I went home feeling broken (like a great weight had been lumped on my shoulders) and fell soundly asleep. I woke up at 5pm, checked my watch, convinced myself it was 12.25pm (Well anyone could mix up the big hand a the little hand) and spent a few seconds in wild panic before I realised I had already done the gig at 1pm and it was now tea time.

I took stock of just what a twat I had been and had a shower before getting down for a second viewing of "Music Club". Their last show was frankly a damp squib, sparsely attended and not nearly as good as the first time I had seen them. This was a shame because they were clearly enjoying it again but there just wasn't sufficient audience to get a response. The result of the day was the Music Club" chaps dragging me to a show by a duo called "The Rayguns".

I can't explain them. They were on at 9.45pm, played to a packed crowd and over-ran. They're a music act who do incredibly clever live mash ups of songs that shouldn't go together and were quite excellent. The gig was only marred by Manera's seeming obsession with them. Belgrave had made a load of inflatables (Well, balloon models) which were underwhelming during their song but afterwards when the lead singer was talkingto the crowd they resurfaced and annoyed him enough to tell the audience to stop it.

That is the least accurate review of any gig ever and I recommend you see them. I buggered off up The Loft Bar but had to wait because there was a private party in there. I had one in The Library, decided not to bother and headed out. As I left, I bumped into David Whitney. he was wobbling by the Crepe stall, was clearly back to enjoying the life of a bon viveur but in parting suddenly made clear to me with a succession of gestures who he really reminded me of.

Oliver Reed. A latter-day Oliver Reed - slightly more controlled but clearly in the "Zone". I was home early and packed a little to save time in the morning before I left. One more breakfast, then one hell of a drive.

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