In case you weren’t aware it’s August. And in Edinburgh that means that people in fancy dress are the norm, it takes five times as long to get anywhere, there’s an inflatable upside down cow that’s the size of a football pitch in a square and you can set your watch to the fireworks which end the Tattoo (Royal Military variety) at ten thirty sharp each evening. In other words, it’s the time of festivals and the Fringe.
As I mentioned in last weekend’s Instagrammers Anonymous, I share with many Edinburgh residents a love/hate relationship with the city during August, but this year I’ve perfected my “I live here, don’t bother trying to hand me that flyer for a show I’ll never see” face and I’m determined to enjoy myself. So food blogging will partially go on hold for the next little while whilst I spend far too many nights seeing varying degrees of comedy and many a morning struggling to get into the office on time.
To celebrate the start of the Fringe I thought I’d share with you the things that Mel (yes, she of Sharky Oven Gloves fame who is usually in NZ) and I learnt when we spent Monday night going around shows which were sold out, several bars and a couple of gigs that were so awkward we walked out of.
First off, this man is – on the off-chance you hadn’t guessed – ‘superhero snail boy’. Obviously. I encountered him approximately at the same time as I saw a man with luminous yellow hair almost get run over because he walked out into the road to take a photo of Grayfriar’s Bobby. All this seems perfectly normal.
Next we discovered that people give out flyers for shows which have sold out and that the one there was probably going to be returns for didn’t have to any returns. The pop A Capella will have to wait another time, but we’ve booked tickets for Carl Hutchinson for this evening (since they are on 2-for-1 and we didn’t want to miss the boat).
After discovering that eating in a busy Italian place in the Grassmarket was an excellent spot for people watching – think a man standing on one leg on a bollard playing something akin to a Viennese waltz on the violin and a man attempting (unsuccessfully) to unicycle on cobbles – we went to Brewdog Edinburgh. Here we found that they keep their door propped open with a spoon. I kid you not. They also do fantastic beer and I love it a bit too much.
Following this we discovered that there is a venue called the Yurt Locker, which is next to a multi coloured bus which was rocking suspiciously (we entered neither, but agreed that the Yurt had a fantastic name). Also that some shows are free because they are so unfunny you feel justified walking out of them in under five minutes – the sympathy laugh is not a pleasant thing to behold. But on the plus side there’s an empty space on the Cowgate which has been converted into a new bar, The Cowshed. It has hay bales, Kentucky sour mash cider (called Jeremiah Weed and surprisingly tasty), singers butchering/doing surprisingly good covers of Oasis and Green Day, respectively. Oh, they also had a wheelbarrow you could sit on and this pig on the wall. Again, since it’s August this all seems perfectly reasonable and thus socially acceptable to go out on a Monday night.
Finally – now suitably inebriated, we decided that we should probably be vaguely responsible and go home. But instead of doing that we went to see a pair of Cornish rappers, Hedluv & Passman. It was a show in which we learnt what ‘doin’ it dreckly’ meant (and promptly forgot). It also featured lots of I’m Blue Da Ba Dee Da Ba Die (yes that) and Scatman John (yup, that one – how many other Scatman Johns do you know?). I’m still not sure whether to laugh or cry about that show, but we did learn that other comedians going to see a show can improve it immensely. Mock the Week’s Gary Delaney has an incredibly loud and infectious laugh – handy in an audience of 25 people – and Radio 4’s Henning Wehn (they appear to be friends) is a fantastically funny dancer, although I’m unsure how intentional that comedy was.
So writing this now I know that tomorrow morning will require much coffee, potentially on an IV drip, but it’s all totally worth it. The blog might be a touch on the quiet side this month, but at least you now you have a taste of what I’m up to instead. If you want more mildly ridiculous Fringe chat, follow me on Twitter there will be many photos, I’ve no doubt.
See you on the other side, my friends.