I’ve spent today so far hanging out at my accommodation because yesterday I slipped on the cobbled streets of Edinburgh and hurt my right foot. This is my fourth day at the Fringe. I’m pretty devastated.
Since arriving I’ve seen so many amazing things. I’ve been filling my brain with all sorts of art and I don’t really how, or if, I’m going to be able to keep it all straight in my memory. I feel like there will be things that be pushed out when I try to fit something new in. That being said the idea of having an immersive experience where everything sort of blurs together into one abstract blob sounds kind of amazing too.
Maybe I’ll start last night and work backwards. I saw Beardyman, who is a sort of musical improviser. I have seen a bit of his stuff on YouTube and he was one of the few people who wa on my list even before I got to Scotland. The show, One Album Per Hour, is made up of song titles suggested by the audience before the show and he sort of makes up a genre and song based on those titles. My suggestions wee “Vampires on Speed” and “Watermelon Floyd”. I was really excited when he read out the first one and proceeded to make up a song which started with organ like massive chords and a dodgey Transylvanian accent through a dancey rave party high section, coming back to the organ chords at the end. It was pretty cheesy but I don’t know what else I was expecting from a suggestion like that.
I wanted to show off a bit about that last one, but I’ve seen too many shows so far to give them all a review. I’m also quite tired as I didn’t sleep very well, my foot kept hurting, so I’ll make a list and of the ones, so far, that are worth seeing:
- Burning Books, Jess Green and the Mischeif Theives, spoken word with music.
- The Sensible Dresser, Elsie Diamond, cabaret.
- Transformer, cabaret/Lou Reed tribute.
- Imaginary Porno Charades, game/panel show.
- Good Music Cave Party, Tomás Ford, extreme cabaret (top pick).
- Aart with Mikey, comedy? It was excellent but defies classification.
- One album per hour, Beardyman, music.
Unfortunately some of these have already finished. Three plus weeks is a pretty long time to do a show. Apparently this is the point at which people start to go a bit insane which should be interesting. I’m hoping that I’ll be up for a short trip into the centre tonight for a show or two. It seems like a waste not to go out at all with so many things to see and so little time.
I’m feeling a bizarre combination of inspiration and brain fart. I feel like I really want to be able to produce something as great and mind blowing as some of the shows I’ve seen here, but I also feel this crippling sense of intimidation. I guess it’s that thing of comparing oneself to others; sometimes you come out well sometimes not, but usually the comparison is not worth drawing and is completely unhelpful. As much as I know it is unhelpful, I none-the-less am compelled to do it.
Perhaps this experience is a bit like being in India; you realise it’s true scope and effect on your mind only much later when you’re at home and have had time to assimilate the information properly.
I am learning, however, that I really struggle to respect someone if I don’t like their art. Strike that, I don’t have to like it, nor do I have to completely comprehend it, but I must respect the art if I am to respect the artist. Comedians who are dismissive or insulting to groups of people fall into this category. That isn’t art, it’s being a jerk.
So I have more than a week more here to drink in all the things, and hopefully venture to a couple of the other parts of nearby Scotland. I hope my foot will be more up for walking soon too!