Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Embra 2007

Last year I was at the Edinburgh Festival so much I started a separate blog. Not this year. Although I have all the time in the world I have nae money. But yesterday I went over anyway. I started off my day at The Stand with Devlin’s Daily. This is a good start for two reasons. One. It’s free. Two. There are a handful of acts on so it’s a good taster.

The highlights of the show were Tommy Sheridan, who seemed quite keen to talk about his recent court case. God’s Pottery were the funniest act on. A parody of a Christian folk group they played a couple of songs and went down really well with the crowd.

Michelle McManus finished the show off. Really she was pretty boring, talking about how successful she was. “My ma and da have got a guid hoose noo. My mammy says it’s Bailleston, but it’s Easterhoose really.” Aye hooray for your ma and da. “I’ve goat nothing tae say against Simon Cowell. If it wisnae for Pop Idol…I’m working wi the BBC noo and the new album’s comin oot an this show I’m in‘s transferring tae the west end. So I’m really happy”. However she was quite amusing when she got onto the subject of Gillian McKeith, who was apparently appalled by how much she eats.

Come 4.05pm I joined a sell-out crowd to see
Limmy’s Show. It’s easily one of the most inventive shows you’ll see at the Festival. Mixing videos and character comedy it’s packed with laughs and there’s always something happening. He never lets it go stale as he moves from one off the wall topic to the next.

There’s probably too many highlights to list, but I’ll give it a go anyway. The sketch ‘Double Take’ seemed to be the big hit of his show at Blackfriars in March, but it doesn’t even make my top 5 for this one.

Of the video sketches simply banging his head on a door was hilarious, a parody of Cillia Black’s Surprise Surprise was a big laugh, ‘Swings’ a sketch about growing up was great and there was a clever 5 minute piece on Reporting Scotland, and no it’s not what you would think. There’s no one else who would watch Reporting Scotland and come up with this.

Of the live stuff he had some good sketches about a money lender, what kitchen implements are the hardest and a ‘guy on a permo’. The best bit for me though was Jacqueline McCafferty’s Big Brother audition tape. I literally had tears running down my face as her audition turns into a rant against Davina McCall.

If we’re handing out stars it would get five. Aye there’s probably some stuff that could be tightened but you’ll struggle to find a show that you’ll laugh harder at this festival.

After that I went for a vanilla latte with the man himself as he waved his bundles of bank notes in my unemployed face.

The rain pished down in the evening as I headed up to the book festival. I don’t think I went near the book festival last year, but I enjoyed hanging about it yesterday. I went to see Iain Banks read from and discuss his new book, The Steep Approach to Garbadale.

I’ve always liked Banks when I’ve seen him do interviews on the telly. He seems to have a childlike enthusiasm about him when he discusses his work. He took questions from the crowd for a while as the rain battered down on the tent roof.

In the queue I spoke to a woman who had been to see Norman Mailer there. He even signed her book. Not really that remarkable until you realise he was in America at the time. His appearance at the book festival, where he also took questions from the Edinburgh audience, was via a video link up and he signed books using Long Pen.

Long Pen was invented by Margaret Atwood. ‘The world’s first long distance, real-time, real pen and ink autographing service.’ The woman’s friend asked her, “Does that really count as an autograph?” The woman seemed unsure. I’d go for no. It’s an odd concept, but the woman’s friend speculated on whether or not that would make the book more valuable or less so.


Jason said...

I'm paying a fleeting visit over to the festival as Lindsay is working over in Edinburgh this week.

Will be going to see Craig Nicol's Hiro Worship at the Stand 1 after seeing him perform at the NO2ID gig with the glue though I might check out a whole show.

Tom said...

Good call Jase. Though you meant Phil Nichol eh? He was awesome that night.

Jason said...

Yes I am a dobber he kind of looks like a craig tho.

Jason said...

Phil was just as awesome as he was at the NO2ID gig 1 hr of pure gold as he tells the story of Hiro a Japanese fan that came to stay with him in London.

Really enjoyed the show and would recommend it to anyone.