Monday, 23 August 2010

Just a normal Edinburgh day.

The problem with going to bed early is that you wake up early. On Saturday night I was in bed by 2am. On Sunday morning I woke up at 5.46am, which was obviously a major error of judgement. Admittedly I had a lot to do but nevertheless - It was foolhardy, plain foolhardy.

I finished off "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and lazed around until about seven when I dragged myself out of my pit for breakfast. I spoilt myself actually. I had a glass of orange juice, glass of diet coke, cappuccino, coco pops with milk (They do actually work - it did go all chocolatey), a banana, a plum and scrambled eggs topped with grated cheese on brown toast. Well I had a feeling it would be a while before I ate again. I listened to a couple of back episodes of "Punky! Radio" and got about some admin and then walked up to Cowgate for 12.45pm to meet my now sole flyer, Chris (The lovely Lucy had departed on Saturday night). He popped off up Grassmarket to no doubt hand out flyers exclusively to the old, infirm and penniless so as to make my life harder and I stood there flyering myself for about two minutes before Jimmy Carr walked up and said "Hi - finally doing your bit for the festival, then?".

We are acquaintances rather than friends and there was a slightly awkward silence as we reviewed our positions relative to each other and then he hopped off up to The Pleasance to be famous and stuff. He's a really nice guy and I don't particularly envy him his life. I think he likes Edinburgh. During the festival he can walk about without being mobbed/asked to sign autographs/pose for snapshots. It was a grim couple of hours  - drizzly, overcast, not particularly warm but there were quite a lot of people about and I actually put more chairs out (45) than normal (30). What a mistake that was!

Exactly the same number of people came along as every day, regardless of flyering, posters, weather, traffic, population, how well I've done the day before, how well I've done at other people's shows etc. etc. Between twenty and thirty only this time they sat at the back on the extra chairs so I had to move them forward This is the 2.30pm audience for Paul B. Edwards at the festival. Between twenty and thirty and a little bit older than I would like. My good friend Tim Shoesmith was in the audience. Tim is a very good magician but I think his heart lies in comedy. Whether he will successfully cross over remains to be seen but he is a nice bloke.The show (For once) went without a hitch and the biscuits (Maryland Cookies) were exceptionally well received. After the show Tim took me for a couple of pints in Bobby's bar round the corner. I left him just before five to nip down to Espionage (Which I walked past twice) where I had a gig on the rival Free Fringe, run by Alex Petty. There was nothing to plug my guitar into, the compere wasn't very good, the crowd were awfully quiet and it was all a bit excruciating, really. I am of course doing another one for him at 9.30pm tonight.

Next stop? The White Horse on Canongate. I love doing gigs in there and this one was no exception. Ben Van Der Velde compered and did a perfectly good job, I unleashed a bit of "Hung Parliament" on them and it was all fine. Oh and I had a pint of IPA as well, of course. I shuffled off down the road (Having recovered my lead which I had left there the other day - minor result) to meet up with Bennett Arron and even did a bit of flyering for him which resulted in him getting SEVEN EXTRA PEOPLE. I know because I recognised them as people I had definitely handed flyers to. I then watched his show and it's good. It's funny and interesting and I recommend it. It's also free.

At just after half past eight I met up with my agent Joss and we had a Turkish mezze in a restaurant over the road from Canon's Gait. I've hardly seen her while I've been here so I think she paid out of guilt (We also had a rather nice bottle of red to wash it down with). It turns out she's promoting that woman who is "Stifflers Mom" in American Pie. Apparently she's late every day and is winding up her crew but her show is really good so that's all right. These little titbits of information always amuse me. There's a very matter-of-factness about Bedlamburgh that leaves a student techie furious with a Hollywood Film Star because he's already got her intro music on and she's outside having a fag.

Joss departed to do something important but I can't remember what and said she'd meet me in the Loft Bar of the Gilded Balloon, having furnished me with a pass! Good agent... I went down to Dragongfly to meet up with Alex Marion and persuaded him, the other guy in his show, his wife and another random to carry on up to The Blue Blazer. Alex had been sold on the rum, exclaiming "I'm from Mauritius - It's a spice island! I LOVE rum". Then he thought about it and said he would only go if they had Mauritian rum. I bet him they would without having the faintest idea. They did.

Of course they did.

Alex bought the drinks and I enjoyed a pint of Orkney-brewed "Dark Island" and a chaser of the same rum that nearly finished me off the day before. I had a really good laugh with them all actually but I couldn't persuade Alex's beautiful Polish wife to leave him which was a shame because, certainly, at that point, I did think she would have been much better off with me.

She wouldn't, off course.

They headed off back in the direction of The Pleasance and I took a walk round to the Beehive where I was a "Special guest" at Gareth Morinan's "New Day" show which was frankly big on idea but small on both audience and execution. Actually it was a fucking mess, we were all pissed (I'd had another pint of IPA by then) and this conceptual chat show descended into abject farce as the audience of eight people heckled each other, tried to get off with each other (Actually, she was a very sweet young thing - I'd probably have done the same half my life ago) and were generally disruptive. I was also rather disruptive as it goes and heckled Gareth himself at one point. I think we can blame that on the rum. Yes let's do that. Naughty rum. He got a bucket of £12 which was impressive, considering, and offered me four of it, which I refused to accept. I really am no businessman. It was now 1am and my working day was over. Time to go for a pint.

I can't remember who I walked up to the Gilded Balloon with but I think they were nice. I also very much enjoyed using brashness and confidence to get past security into the Loft Bar, despite the fact I had a pass. It was more fun pretending I hadn't to myself and subversively slipping by them. The next three hours are something of a blur but involved a whiskey with David Whitney, a good long chat about someone else's kids with someone else who was in her fifties, could best be described as "MILF" in the most flattering way possible (She was a very fit older woman) and was friends with Geoff Whiting's wife Marnie, who was thrilled to discuss the last time we had met - around a decade ago, in surprising detail.

In amongst all that I was ignored by Phil Kay but had Jim Jefferies bizarrely come up to me and start singing "I Love Ross On Wye" to me. The fact that one or two other people began singing along with him was even more bizarre. Handing out all those CDs to comedians was clearly not entirely in vain. I saw Mr.Whiting himself very briefly but had missed Joss by about twenty minutes. No matter though - her daughter Georgia was up there with her mate. Their discovery became a minor mission for me after a very welcome conversation with Phill Jupitus, who, again, I haven't seen for several years but we picked up where we had left off. He's a really nice man but on hearing Georgia was around became slightly desperate to see her. He and my agent have always been good friends and there was something to do with some connection surrounding Phil and Georgia's birth (Not like that). By this point guinness was also flowing and my legs were getting a bit wobbly. I'd saved enough cash for a taxi so got one and the next thing I remembered was waking up at midday today saying "Fuck!" a lot. I'll leave it there for now - this blog's turning into "War And Peace".

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