Things to love and share … and beheadings

Week One has now begun, the past of week zero is forgotten.
None of it happened.
Do not allot any to your memory.
I started Monday well.
Date scone and coffee by 9.
Waiting for the clock to chime and be allowed into the Museum of Modern Art by 9.57.
Enjoyed some British realist art.
I particularly took to this work by John Luke.

And this by James McIntosh Patrick.


Walking towards the Grassmarket, I stopped in a secondhand bookshop to hear a man try to haggle with the proprietor over a £3 book. He then proceeded to tell her the ins and outs of the Bed and Breakfast he is staying in – they’ve stopped doing full cooked – and of all the people in the area who have been felled by strokes. The owner was jovial, but disappointed that she had only made £4 today. So I bought a book about Man Ray and one on how women artists have tackled Pandora’s Box. She was up to £14 now.

First gig – poetry with Porky the Poet . I read my “I am 48 and alive” poem, one about the 1980s and one about no longer having to stop to buy fudge when on holiday as my mother has died.

The Fudge in the window
was spur for a memory.
Cut Cubes behind glass
Wasps dipping & licking.
No need to go in now
I can leave the shop be.

Last time we bought some,
They slumped in that paper bag
to the left of your chair
lumping back to single candy mass
in the sunlight.
Never Forgetful over sweet treats
You barely touched them now,
Still there when you were gone.

No purchase needed
I’ll browse a while anyway
Maybe a quarter of clotted cream
Shame to leave empty-handed

What window will remind anyone of me
If all the bookshops are gone by then?
Oxfam? Iced buns?
Or maybe just a skip with a cardigan in.

Then, off to my art show. I love doing this. I feel spent by the end of it as you should when attempting to concentrate on every detail and do stupid voices too.
I was a little slack with the time between shows, planning my trip to PJ Harvey with Michael Legge.
On the way to my show, I bought a new shirt, remembering that I am sweat drips and smell after the hour of confined caterwauling. I keep moving things around in the show, cutting more out of it and still overrunning. I am looking forward to touring it around the UK in its full form.

PJ Harvey and band were magnificent.
Another act of shamanism.
A vast encore.
Most of the audience were so enraptured they didn’t keep taking photos and instagramming them, they actually watched the fucking gig.
Michael went to the after show, but I had already agreed to see big, stupid, sweary burlesque magic act Peter and Bambi. Proper silly, proper magic, sometimes a bit rude.


Today, not up early enough for art, but up early enough to remember there is life outside the fringe and Brian Cox and I have to deliver a Monkey cage book by the end of the month.
I wrote something about space.
Jupitus poetry again, then art show, then watched John Luke Roberts, then ran to watch Nick Revell, then went to check Elvis Shakespeare is still open on Leith Walk, my other show, and then Laura Davis.
Now wine and coleslaw, then back to town for ACMS.
I was in the row by Tim and Paul from Doug Anthony AllStars . I talked to them a bit (before the show, not during.). I probably made a dick of myself.
I am taking Michael to Doug Anthony Allstars tomorrow for his birthday treat.

I would recommend everything I have seen.
Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette has left a mark upon me. A man came up to me in a pub in Cowgate.
“Sorry to bother you, I am a comedy fan.”
(oh good, he wants to talk about ME).
But no, he just wants to talk about Nanette, and he is right to do so. He is still trying to figure it all out. His wife was so affected by it, she started to cry in another show she was watching some hours later.

Gavin Webster is one of the most underrated acts in the UK. He is like Viz. Not because he is from Newcastle, but because behind the big stupid voices and daftness is a stiletto sharp examination of class and culture in Britain. It can go unnoticed, but he is far cleverer than many people seem to realise. Alexei Sayle agrees.

Mae Martin tells her story with a deceptive simplicity, a naturalism that is hard to find and some dreams of Bette Midler that should be adapted by David Lynch.

Caroline Mabey is properly silly, filled with wide-eyed chutzpah and the best sort of nonsense. If you are lucky, you will get cake too.

John Luke Roberts has changed so much since he went to the Great Big School of Clowning in Calais. He plays Geoffrey Chaucer with an inventiveness of preposterous language that made Stanley Unwin such a treat. He plays many other things too. Possibly the most gags per minute so far.

Nick Revell’s storytelling is dense with ideas, a tale of cats and AI, it is witty with lightly worn Wittgenstein too.

Laura Davis covers compulsive suicidal ideation, tram fingers, misogyny and curses and much else in a laid-back style which almost masks the energy of her intentions. Some brilliant lines that would be mined for shock value by comedians seeking the “dark and edgy” moniker, but she is much smarter than that, so her ideas play in the mind for longer.

Peter and Bambi, Asher Treleaven (book club alumni) and Gypsy Wood, is a very good show to end the day, great clumsy spectacle, silly dancing and veiled antagonism.

Five more days to see as much as I can, perform as much as I can and write that darn book.


all done now – on top of those shows, I have seen Doug Anthony Allstars who you must see too. This is Not Culturally Significant was one of the most remarkable theatrical performances I have ever seen. Blues! was a wonderful history of the Blues and Ensonglopedia is a great kids show with an alphabetical guide to scientific ideas performed by a multi-instrumentalist. I finished the Fringe with The Elvis Dead. If you are an Elvis fan or a fan of Evil Dead 2 you should love this, if you are a fan of both you will adore it.

Michael Legge has had 4 star reviews across the board, too.

I am taking a break now then off on UK tour. Dates HERE.







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1 Response to Things to love and share … and beheadings

  1. That’s a lovely poem. I find the last line fabulously precise. I can imagine if someone had previously read me just the last line and asked “who wrote this” that I’d have to answer “sounds the sort of thing Robin Ince would say”.

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