Tuesday, 17 May 2005

Saturday Night

As you will have noticed from previous posts I was in a show in Saturday night. The Space You’re Not In @ Oran Mor in memory of my pal Gail. It was a really great night. I was part of The Bluebird Theatre Group and we performed 20 minutes worth of Gail’s poems. Well done to us all cos we all nailed our lines. I’m glad we didn’t just read off the page as we could have done cos it helped the poetry come alive that little bit more.

It was a great venue to be in, although some people up the back struggled to hear certain performers, I thought it looked great and the green room was much more like what I think I could get used to as a performer. A sell out 500 crowd enjoyed performers such as Janice Galloway, Alasdair Gray, Liz Lochhead, James Kelman and John Byrne.

It was quite odd sitting around backstage beside Liz Lochhead and Tom Leonard as they discussed various folk on the literature scene while Alasdair Gray and James Kelman chatted on the other side of me.

There was a live auction too, which was probably the highlight of the night for me. Anita Manning of Great Western Auctions was a tremendous auctioneer very entertaining. I was sitting next to John Byrne as his paintings were sold for just over 2 grand, however he seemed much more interested in his next rollie.

The night closed with music from Eddi Reader, Arab Strap, Eugene Kelly and Belle and Sebastian who played 4 songs from their new album. I came off somewhat of an ignoramus when talking to one of them afterwards cos I was oblivious as to whether they were new songs or not.

I downed plenty of free booze, smoked salmon vol-a-vonts and prawn sandwiches. I chatted to Lewis MacLeod voice of Sebulba in the Phantom Menace and star of a Super Noodles advert, which he didn’t seem to like me mentioning. And ended the night at a party at Eugene Kelly’s house. A nice guy who I only bored briefly by chatting to him about Teenage Fanclub and never mentioned Kurt Cobain to him once.

I took loads of photos which I will post as soon as I can get them in to be developed.

Here is a review of the show from the Sunday Herald and below from yesterday’s Scotsman. Plus a piece about Gail here.


of the life and work of Gail Wylie, this evening could scarcely fail to entertain with the wealth of talent participating. The unpublished poet and actress, who died of leukaemia in September, was a keen supporter of the arts, and this benefit for leukaemia research welcomed some of Scotland’s foremost artists, musicians and writers.

As master of ceremonies, comedian Sandy Nelson kept the night bounding along nicely, suitably humbled to introduce Alisdair Gray, Janice Galloway and James Kelman for a series of short readings, with Bluebird Theatre Group performing some of Wylie’s own poetry and Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat surprised to find the Anglo-Saxonisms of his own verse pre-empted by Kelman.

Tom Leonard, likewise, was keeping no lid on his expletitives, receiving a huge cheer from a lubricated crowd who lapped up the merciless characterisations of Liz Lochead and wry tales of sexual misadventure from Zoe Strachan. Playwright John Byrne poignantly related his relationship with Wylie, who became his biographer, and saw his artwork Alive sell for £2,600 in a tremendously fun auction.

To cap a marvellous evening, Eddi Reader sang a cappella, Moffat reappeared for a shambling Arab Strap set, and Belle and Sebastian rattled through some stonking new material.


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