Sunday, August 19, 2018

No particular order

Most buildings and back streets remain blank and indifferent. It's just another festival.

Out on the town in Edinburgh for a day, saw four shows and ate three sandwiches/bagels/buns or whatever. Eating in Edinburgh is both perilous, annoying and costly. We don't do food well in the streets of the capitol. No staff, big crowds, no experience, imported and transplanted oddities, no chairs, nobody cares. It's just a festival. Here's what we saw in no proper order of time or merit.

In the old town "That's what she says" was a vigorous, foul mouthed, angry femme-fest of shouty woman's poetry. It was actually bloody good (blood came up a lot) despite my early reservations and the prospect of a two hour show I didn't think I'd stomach. It was an open mike kind of format which allowed a dynamic edge for performers and nobody slammed on for too long or beyond the good humoured audience's capacity for endurance. There was also no ritual removal of penises though the vagina was warmly (?) celebrated throuhout. All as you might have expected.

Victoria McNulty, Glasgow born poet, mean girl and slammer.
Meanwhile Yanis Varoufakis the uncrowned king of European politics was holding court at the Book Festival. There was adulation, awe and friendly questions. He has all the right answers despite a very short spell of actual real world experience. The anti Brexit audience were supportive throughout, they like how he talks, straight and true-ish, like proper politicians used to do, back in the glory days of fake history.  Now he's forging ahead with a new party and a new European model. Will his charisma carry him through? It might do if he sticks to gigs like this. Not so sure the big boys will like it.

Yannis, unafraid and on a lucrative book tour.
Darren McGarvey aka Loki is now firmly on everybody's radar. He's the poor lad from the scheme having to deal with rapid success and adjusting to actual acceptance. It's a fairy story and he knows it but I'm not sure he's controlling it. His home grown Weegie rapping is quick and clever, there's a story-line even, it's not untargeted or unguided rage, there's also a plot and (spoiler) we're all found equally guilty at the end. Is that good enough? Maybe, it's all mutated out of Poverty Safari like a planning department Topsi, a better book than this is a listen but he delivers it well, just not always my cup of double-decaf latte with soya milk. Whatever you do don't mention gentrification or social mobility and don't expect slick lighting and video backgrounds, you're in a sweaty cellar for an hour but at least it passes quickly.

Loki, I'd ditch the cap if I were him.
Joni Mitchell is still alive (at the time I write this) but it's not obvious in this show. The author of this short but polished concert plus photo album homage seems to think she bottomed out or dropped out in 1971 and hardly wrote another song after the release of "Blue". It's kind of a lazy piece of story telling but maybe there are time constraints and large chunks of the current audience (all well into their 50s/60s) gave up on Joni about then. It's likely they dumped her then and so they just want to hear stuff from the golden years when they absorbed her songs in safe bedsits from scratchy LPs on their primitive student hi-fis and Dansette record players. I recall a bit more of her back catalogue and it seems I see the golden years as lasting a little longer.

Charlotte Brereton sings Joni's early hits  but pretty much in her own voice which is a good voice and no bad thing.

It was a nice, damp and blustery day out. The city at this time is like some magnificent failure of town planning, traffic control, litter, flyers and people management. Every business is scurrying to chew as much as they can from the tourist's temporary spending hysteria while the panicked and wide eyed workers try to stay afloat as they learn the job on the job. It's not pretty, don't come if you don't want culture stuffed in your face, regardless of content or genre. It's a strange and intense feast and for me one day is quite enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment