It’s only rock’n’roll but I like it!

So last night was a bit of alright! I was in the Voodoo Rooms (Venue 68 come August, very nice but rather warm, real ale in the bar) for the launch of Logan’s Close new EP “Fried Bangers.” Sold out so it was very packed and very warm. I got there shortly after the second band came on (sorry to Shredd, I’m sure you were awesome too), Ayakara who were pretty fine. There was a good contingent of their fans in the crowd (they knew the words!)  After procuring myself a pint of Joker IPA I found a good spot to see the band and be faintly wafted by what air-con there was from time to time, unfortunately as usual some beanpoles took up their strategic positions to block at least half the band from sight at any given moment.

Pardon me a little rant here. So okay, I am quite a shortarse but even average-sized humans can’t compete with those guys and they do like to go centre towards the front. Beanpole may not have been the correct word, that suggests tall and thin, these guys are pretty often quite broad, not easy to see around! There should be a line three-quarters of the way back that anyone over six foot has to stand behind – it’s not like they wouldn’t be able to see over our heads!!    And breathe.

Where was I? Being gently wafted before getting another pint of Jokers and wading back in to find a spot to watch the Close. This time I was at the side, a better view than I would have had in the now packed out centre, but no wafts to cool me down. Oh, the lads were on top form! Just, just, bloody marvellous, shit hot, astoundingly awesome! These are the guys I’ve been waiting for, finally a band worthy of the rock’n’roll crown hung up since the demise of Nick Johnson and Bluefinger!

I first saw Bluefinger in 1988 in the then Preservation Hall and followed all incarnations of the band until Nick left Edinburgh for Spain permanently  (he had been semi-regularly coming back over to play but had decided it was time to stop) and was sadly killed in an motorcycling accident about a year or so later in 2010. Bluefinger were a force of nature, even when it was only Nick on guitar and Ed on flamenco box drum, they rocked up a storm in Whiski on the Royal Mile during the Fringe in 2007. Bud and I would wander in late after a show, sit at the bar and soak up the vibes, and when Ed would do his box solo in Not Fade Away, wow, people would get up from their seats, crane their necks, a mass movement towards the band to see how one guy’s hands could create such a sound. Ed was always good but some nights he was totally “in the zone”, man, I will never forget how great those nights were.

Aaand, back to Logan’s Close again. Indeed, I get the same feeling of blissed-out happy watching them; Big Nick would approve of them inheriting his crown. But will they be playing Edinburgh during the Fringe – you may wonder, oh yes!! If you’ve read my early posts you may have spotted that I must have broken my self-imposed Fringe Code if I am aware of this fact. Okay, so I get emails from the Fringe whenever a new batch of shows are up online; I just had to check if the Ukulele Death Squad were coming back (yippee, they are), at the same time I noticed the Close were playing, and at a venue I’ve never been to before, ooo.

I also spotted Bon the Musical, yes, a musical about Bon Scott!! I’m not sure how I feel about it, if they don’t get it right it could be terribly wrong! Maybe I’ll check reviews before I commit to it, at £12 a ticket that could be a big mistake. Mind there’s always the chance they may put some tickets for sale at the Half Price Hut. There’s also the fact I am still a Friend of the Fringe which brings the benefit of 2for1 tickets for a long list of shows which this year includes all three shows mentioned above 😊. I could purchase pairs of tickets, then offer the pleasure of my company and a half price ticket on Facebook, I could, it might be quite fun.

Toodle pip!

 

 

I 💛 Susan Calman

2016-08-21 09.03.28Some may call it a guilty pleasure, but I have no such feelings about Strictly Come Dancing. I feel no guilt or shame about declaring my allegiance to this wonderful, feel-good show.

And, hey, I’ve finally managed to put a pic up and downsize it, moving it about is tricky but then I’m a moose not a sheepdog.

So, to bring my international readers up to speed. The brilliantly funny comedienne Susan Calman is in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing on the telly, she’s also the first openly gay female celebrity on the show. Oh, there’s been a number of openly gay male celebrities on the show, never a fuss about why they weren’t paired up with another man, but as usual it’s another matter for a woman and apparently some on social media have criticized her for dancing with a male partner. WHAAAT!!!! Get over yourselves people! How narrow-minded that a gay woman should have to dance with a female partner, and (from what I’ve read on the BBC News website) it’s the gay community doing the criticising! Huh?! Can’t you just share the joy emanating from Susan? The obvious glee on being partnered with Kevin was pouring through my telly, there was even an emotional wee tear. She’s even admitted to having a picture of him – on her fridge I think she said.

Well, I did say last week there was a rant coming up, I just didn’t realise this one would jump the queue, but it just really irked me.

I wonder if they’d ever consider having a moose on the show? I take it I’d have a lady partner, oo, Karen Clifton or Janette Manrara please, both seem like really good laughs. Mind, who knows? Kevin Clifton would be my top choice (yes, I too have a Kevin-thing going on) or Pasha, we could make a dashing duo!

 

 

 

What’s Monday without a little drama?

That’s all I heard of a conversation as I meandered to the Pleasance Courtyard on my way home this evening. With so many wannabe thespians in such close proximity there’s bound to be some tears, or at least dramatic flouncing before bedtime.

I decided to pop in as it had dawned on me that I hadn’t been in so far this Fringe! This is a very strange occurrence, how could I have not seen a single show at preview time at the Pleasance Courtyard?! The last time this happened was 2008, and then I saw four shows there the first weekend, ah the preview prices may have continued to the Saturday for some shows and back then the 2for1 days were the first Sunday and Monday. The Pleasance Courtyard has always been good for comedy acts, but at higher prices, and they never appeared on the Friends of the Fringe 2for1 list, hence early on cheaper shows were a must.

Another shocker, I’m not seeing anything in Pleasance Two this year, I’ve seen the list of shows there and not one appeals to me, which is a shame because as venues go, it’s a pretty good one. The seating is well tiered, only someone freakishly elongated could block the view of the fellow behind. It’s been sometime since I haven’t seen a least one show there.

So I wandered around having a nosy at all the little and not so little changes. I noticed the inside bar looked different through the window so popped in for a look, ye gods, it’s bloody awful now! Even worse than what’s been done to the Peartree, a few streets away, which has just recently been reopened after extensive work at the expense of losing the Blind Poet next door, becoming just another part of the Peartree. From two great old pubs, they’ve made a modern dull, could be anywhere, lounge bar. Bloody vandals!!

Well, that’s quite enough drama for one night. Toodle pip.

 

Another wee rant

Booking fees!! Finally they’ve nabbed me, the blighters! As a local I’ve always just trotted along to the Box Office in person, thus avoiding what had been a 90p booking charge per ticket (on phone, online or app bookings up to £5.40), so imagine my horror when I discovered that this year they’re including counter sales too!! How very dare they!

At least they’ve had the good gracious to reduce it a bit to 80p a ticket  (to a max of £4.80), but still!!?*##%*!! Yes, I know, its only 80p, but it’s the principle of the thing. Oo, and a sudden thought (I do have them occasionally) – what about shows that are Free Ticketed? Huh? Not quite free anymore, that’ll be 80p, sir? Another thought occurs ( I’m on a roll today!), is this booking fee right across all tickets or is it just at Fringe Box Offices? i.e., not charged at the venues themselves? Hmmm.

Now if the Fringe had just decided to add an extra 50p on to every ticket instead of an additional booking fee added on afterwards, everyone would have just thought, yeah just another wee price rise. And the phone/online/app bookers may primarily twig on, but they would have been delighted too. No extra booking fee always sounds better, even though most of us realise its only because its just been put into the ticket price.

Jeez, three thoughts in a day! The new way of “Buy a ticket in advance to guarantee entry or Pay What You Want at the venue” for some shows may find fewer advance tickets being sold, the paying public can be a very principled lot especially when parting with cash – that 80p will be needed to pay the extra hike-up in beer prices!