Just a quick one to wish my readers a Happy New Year and all the best for 2023. Unfortunately I have succumbed to the lurgy that was hovering, at least I managed to dodge it until the 2nd of January, so I made it up to Arthur’s Seat, yay. No rain just extremely low clouds, but hey, I know what the view looks like.
I went up mid morning when not many were there, and my long-held belief seems to bear out – earlier birds are much more convivial, new year’s greetings with other walkers were plentiful and with smiles attached! I did well to be up so early considering I didn’t leave Whistlebinkies ’til sometime after two. The Moanin Bones were on fine form, as were Three Wise Monkeys who played up to and just past the bells (some real throwback tunes from Citrus Club nights).
Maybe sitting atop the rather damp trig point didn’t help! By midday yesterday I knew I was going down rapidly; no seeing Potts and Smit at Binkies tonight, damn. Can I pick up in time for the Scat Rats late tomorrow in Binkies?
I’ll leave you now, head off to bed. Normal service will hopefully resume very soon with my best bits from 2022. I may even get round to putting a clip or two from Hogmanay on Instagram. Oo yeah, do check out AccordionRyan‘s clip of Auld Lang Syne!
…. And everywhere was sodden. Well, I’m back in Edinburgh and it’s very wet here, as wet as Yorkshireland was for the last week. Remember that reservoir I visited in the summer? In October the water level was barely any higher, then I went again this time, a tad higher, finally….
As I went past on my journey north I noticed that just in five days the level had risen about another couple of metres or so up the dam wall. It barely stopped raining, here in Edinburgh, at all today, luckily for tomorrow night’s revellers it looks like it should be drier for plenty of the evening. I’ll probably be in Whistlebinkies for a good part of the night, well, it is the Moanin Bones playing after the bells, sounds a fine way to start the year to me!
Unfortunately the forecast is for rain on New Year’s Day – not good for heading up Arthur’s Seat. Not just because I hate getting wet, but the ground will be very soggy and within the first hour of people walking up, the slopes will be a quagmire, a mud bath. Slippery ice is one thing, but mud can be worse – the fact that you’ve fallen over will be very visible to all! The way back down could be very precarious.
I’m hoping for a brief window of dry early on, that is, hoping I can be up early after a night at Binkies. Of course, if it were raining hard then the climb would be postponed til the next day. There is the extra remit that I don’t succumb to illness within the next thirty three hours; half the family came down with things over Christmas, I escaped, or did I? Is it just still incubating inside me – my throat has been tad sore today. Where’s the tcp? Time to gargle, then head to bed.
I’ll leave you with a couple more pics from Yorkshireland ….
That’s the reservoir on the left there. Just one little reminder that many years ago this house was a pub – the Blue Ball.
It’s finally here!! Logan’s Close are back in Sneaky Pete’s tonight! Yay! And what a build-up to it over the weekend, couldn’t move without bumping into good music! Friday was the Scat Rats in Binkies, plenty folk were in after office parties, so plenty dancing, myself included.
Saturday evening was back to Binkies for The Moanin Bones on excellent form. After their first set I headed down to Stramash for Black Cat Bone, they were fine but I just wasn’t feeling it so back to Whistlebinkies I headed to catch more of the Bones. As if that wasn’t enough of the talented Mr Buckley, I caught his second set in Stramash the following evening, solo this time. There’s a clip of a rather fine bit of California Dreamin’ on Instagram.
After he was done I nipped over the road to Bannermans for Jed Potts and Nicole Smit playing in the front bar. Yay, another pub with Stewart’s ales and they had Kilted Kiwi on, sweet! (much preferable to Stewart’s festive offering this year). Bannermans is not a place I go in much, I’ve seen the odd band there and if you like your’s metal it’s definitely worth a visit. It was quite a cosy setting on Sunday evening, not metal instead blues and honky tonk, marvellous.
Sometime after ten I trotted back over to Stramash for The Buccaneers, see it pays to keep a watchful eye on social media for who’s playing where. I noted Mr Marah had a new shirt on, apparently he found it in Armstrong’s an emporium of vintage clothing, well-known in Edinburgh for the place to look for something with style.
Well, it’s time to have a nibble or two before I head along to Sneaky’s. Do check out my Instagram @bruceonthefringe for clips of my favourite Edinburgh bands. I’ll leave you with the lovely Nicole and Jed….
…. the goose is getting fat, but this moose is keeping trim. After lapsing somewhat from my daily walks, I’m getting back in the swing, after all it’s just three weeks to my annual NYD hike up to Arthur’s Seat. Well, that and the smattering of snow we had yesterday morning enticed me out, so two days on the trot I’ve been up in Arthur’s foothills. There is more snow forecast over the next week, yay. I do hope there’ll be enough for sledging. One time recently when I was down in Yorkshireland, I snaffled the old tray sled from the garden shed, well, no-one else uses it; bought years ago it was, in Aviemore when I was but a wee calf.
Christmas plans seem to be going well, cards all sent, presents mostly bought, the date is set for heading to the mothership. I’ve decided not to make a christmas cake this year – shock, horror! I know! Instead I’ll make plenty of parkin, it’ll be good sustenance when I’m freezing in the bleak midwinter! And, a cake is in the process down Yorkshire way, so I will get some of that (yeah, it won’t be a patch on mine, but I applaud the effort).
At the cinema they’ve reissued Elf, you know I’ve never actually sat down and watched it all the way through. I must have seen all of it over the years, bits here and there when it’s on telly, so I reckon this maybe I should take the opportunity to see it – I was going to add with no distractions, but, have you been to the cinema recently?! I went to see The Menu last week, a brilliant, dark film but the amount of noises from rustling various food packaging, folk unwrapping sweets, aargh, atmosphere flattened time and time again!! They obviously not really into it that their attention was on putting something it their mouth, rather than was what about to happen next. And breathe, rant over.
I’m almost tempted to see The Menu again, hope for a better crowd. I do fancy seeing Matilda at the flicks too, I wasn’t bothered about it but then I went to see Tim Minchin: Back when it was in cinemas last month – wow, he’s so good, and he wrote the songs for Matilda, I’m going! Back is bloody excellent, the man is so sickeningly talented and brilliant. I got home after seeing it, wondering what I put in my Fringe diary when I saw him, I had the feeling it wasn’t an outstanding review….
Ah, yeah. Thinking back that may well have been more about other stuff than Mr Minchin. Bud and I had just seen Aeneas Faversham Forever by our favourites the Penny Dreadfuls earlier that evening, the night before included Dead Cat Bounce … Late Night Radio. Our Fringe starter had been Sammy J‘s brilliant first Edinburgh Fringe appearance; the bar was set very high, our fourteenth and last show of the opening week, I was probably pooped out at that point (oh, it was 2008).
There’s also Violent Night in cinemas, I’ve enjoyed the preview clips and it is a christmas movie. I’m one of the few who quite enjoyed the other Hellboy film starring David Harbour and not Ron Perlman, I recognised him immediately, even under the Santa garb. Yeah, it looks like fun, switch your brain off time. I probably won’t be making it to the cinema until next midweek, mind.
There’s way too much good music around this weekend to go to the pictures! Tonight The Scat Rats are at Whistlebinkies at seven (well, the website says that, time enough to go see something if not, I suppose). The late afternoon slot at Whistlebinkies tomorrow is Jed Potts with Jon Mackenzie, followed by The Moanin Bones at seven. Annoyingly, Black Cat Bone are playing Stramash at eight, what to do?!
On Sunday Chris Buckleyis back at Stramash doing a solo set at seven, then just a minute down the road, Jed & Nicole will be at Bannermans from eight thirty. Another slight overlap with The Buccaneers in Stramash from ten. So many good sounds, a great build-up to Monday and Tuesday when Logan’s Close finally play again in Edinburgh at Sneaky Pete’s. Sooo looking forward to that!
I’ll leave you with a pic I took this morning in Holyrood Park, adieu!
…. And very nice it was too! That’s the Salted Caramel chocolate from the Co Co Co. Festive Selection, a packet of six different christmassy chocolates. No, I’m not starting my christmas this early, its purely research for presents, honest, but I did hold back from trying them since last Saturday when I bought them at the Edinburgh Farmer’s Market at Castle Terrace.
Co Co Co. are usually at the Farmer’s Market fortnightly, selling an amazing array of sumptuous chocolates all made by Rob, naturally at this time of year he’s turned his hand to a few Christmas treats. Edinburgh is just one of a number of markets he goes to around the South of Scotland, and this weekend he’s back in Edinburgh at the 3D2D Christmas Art, Craft and Design Fair in the Assembly Rooms. Stalls with amazing stuff from all over the UK, it’s always worth a visit, maybe find a Christmas present or two!
Stramash had their Christmas decorations up when I went along on Sunday evening, it looks very nice, nothing too much, just right. It was Chris Buckley from Moanin Bones with the Handsome House Band, a shame that I only caught the last few numbers; mind, the Handsome House Jams are filmed so I can watch it on Facebook (Carl Marah‘s night will be on there too, if you’re interested!)
Stramash was nicely busy by the time the Scat Rats came on. Plenty of the seats around the balcony were taken and on the ground level any vacated tables, with a view of the lads, were immediately swooped on by eagle-eyed drinkers. Luckily I had a lovely Spanish couple next to me, who were happy to guard my seat for me whenever I got up (that’s one snag of solo drinking – keeping a good seat!) A stand-out for me was the Rats Norwegian Wood especially the intro; they like playing around with long intros and this time Carl threw in a snippet of a Scottish melody, nice! Not as good as his intro to Runaway, that’s very special.
A recent addition (at least to me) is Willie Nelson’s On The Road Again a jaunty country number. I was singing it as I wandered down home afterwards and just had to google the chords to have a bash at it when I got in. Not sure what the neighbours must have thought!? Well, they never banged on the wall – I’m counting that as approval!
It’s rather late, so I’ll leave you with pics from a recent walk up in the Park. Oh yeah, and exciting news – the video for Heart-shaped Jacuzzi comes out tomorrow! Yay! ❤
It’s been a week since Logan’s Close released Heart-shaped Jacuzzi, today I realised I’d been whistling it as I headed home from the Farmers Market (just a couple of bits from it over and over and over again). Oh, I inadvertently hum and whistle a lot, only realising I’m doing it when someone gives me a look. People don’t whistle so much anymore, at least not around here, hardly at all I’d say, which is a shame, well, I think it is.
This week saw more new Edinburgh music splash into the streams, yesterday Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters released a new album Swashbucklin’ (also available in solid form, CD and vinyl). Their gig next week that’s part of the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival Autumn Series is now the official album launch show, coincidental timing I gather, at least it saves on organising another show for it (it does seem that the album release date is possibly a tad earlier than expected?) The show is at Leith Dockers Club on Thursday 3rd November; I have no idea where Leith Dockers Club is, presumably in Leith, but am definitely considering getting a ticket.
Mr Potts will be playing at Stramash this evening as part of Nicole & The Backup Crew, unusually they’re playing the seven o’clock slot, yes, I shall be trotting along. I’ll be back there on Sunday evening too for the Handsome House Jam; the Handsome House Band play on the first and last Sundays of the month and invite a guest musician to jam with them – on Sunday it’s Carl Marah, yay! So glad I wondered who the guest was this week, I often don’t think to check.
And as if that wasn’t enough fun for one weekend, Monday night Stramash have the Moanin’ Bones on at ten o’clock at their Hallowe’en Haunted House Party. It’s been a wee while since I last saw them, well looking forward to that! I may even get spookified for the occasion.
Meanwhile back at the Close …… their December show at Sneaky Pete’s sold out a few days ago, but our lads aren’t going to have anyone miss out on their juicy goodness – Logan’s Close will be back in Sneaky’s the following evening (so thats Tuesday 13th) to do it all again!
Friday morning I popped round to Mums for brunch – no, not all the way to Yorkshire, to Mums on Forrest Road, I’d noticed they do Eggs Benedict. Their full title is Mums Great Comfort Food, and it surely is. Like Luscious it was a no nonsense, no fancy twiddles, proper Eggs Benedict; perfect poached eggs on plenty of streaky bacon, atop a muffin and generous amounts of hollandaise sauce. It never looks like a big amount on a plate but, by God, it fills me up! I was all set to nip round to a PBH’s Free Fringe show at noon.
The venue was the Natural Food Kafe on Clerk Street, the show Van Gogh Find Yourself. Folk were already sat around various table sketching whilst waiting for the show to start (art materials supplied around the tables). Besides the people in the cafe, there was also an online audience, Vincent had two cameras set up so that he was seen and also the picture he was drawing as he spoke to us about his life. We were also encouraged to draw as we listened but it was very easy to become engrossed in his words and just sit back awhile. We started with a quick sketch each to kinda free ourselves up from our selfconciousness before he properly settled into telling his story. A fascinating and relaxing hour, well somewhere over it actually. It felt like we’d been in the actual presence of Van Gogh, I’m so, so glad I went – what did I create? See below.
As it was a gorgeous warm day I wandered up into the Park and dozed a bit. There were a couple of free shows that I could have made it to, but once I was settled in a wee sun spot I really couldn’t be bothered moving! Finally my tummy was rumbling so I headed to a large slice of lasagne for tea (made with hoggat mince from Annanwater at the Farmer’s Market, it works really well).
Last night I toddled back to Stramash to see a band called Moanin Bones, they were rather good, a rocky set and a tight sound. The crowd were well up for it, especially a large bunch of squawking hens; two rather drunk guys were highly entertaining, it looked like there could be murder on the dancefloor at one point. Had something previously happened before I arrived on the sidelines, or was it an ex who’d just come in with her friends? Whatever, the tension was palpable, eyes were throwing daggers at machine gun speed, thankfully (I think?!) he did the gracious thing and left, dignity drunken but not dented. People watching can be such a fun sport!