August 10, 2010

One More Blast at the EFF

This marks my fourth consecutive visit to Edinburgh for the annual laugh known as the Edinburgh Fringe Fest!

This was the last order of business for the Ireland Invasion. I thought it'd be a great way to end things. Better still, I was here for six days, which had me at a metric tonne of shows! Good times!

First, bad times: things were set to rock with my good friend, the A-train, who's welcomed me in Edinburgh the last two years. However, he was stuck in London ahead of RBS H1 results, and was going on a week away with his gf the wknd I was there, so no Adrian this time around. Too bad, too, as sessions with him are always a good laugh.

There is a silver lining to this, however. Two actually: one was Adrian offering me his gaff for the time I was there, even though he wasn't there with me. Massive props to him for that. Second, the day I arrived capped a manic day and a half, my departure from Ireland. I was knackered, and that's understating my state of being at that time. Honestly, I wasn't in the mood for much that evening I arrived. And that's exactly what happened. I got some food and beer at the Spar, and watched telly for the night.

I wasn't entirely alone, though. One of the Dub friends moved up here a few months back, so I was more than entertained, and had someone to see all the shows with.

And all the shows... holy hell! We rammed in heaps of shows over the six available days.

  • Craig Hill: some gay Scot I never heard of, but the ticket was bought for me, so what the heck. Meh.
  • Circus Burlesque: a burlesque show with gymnasts and contortionists, hosted by some local bird that was pretty decent and funny. Good MC. The ladies in the show were quite fine. Quite! Good show.
  • Reginald D. Hunter: My man! The guy I've made a point to see every year didn't disappoint! An hour of laughs and new material. Only hindrance were the heaps of ppl walking out. Not because it was bad (IMHO), but to either go to another show or pee.
  • Jason Chong: Shows you see late a night when you're just standing around. Good show. New comedian from down under. Very funny, and personally relevant, with the Transformer references and whatnot. Good show.
  • Celebrity Autobiography: the surprise hit of the Fringe, I reckon! The constant sell-outs attested to it. It was a series of actors, famous and not, reading excerts of celebrities' autobios, mostly to highlight how absurd some of them are. I went to see George Wendt (who read some bits from David Hasselhoff's book), but my fave were the two brits reading bits from Peter Andre's book and Katie Price's/Jordan's book, comparing and contrasting how... different both are. The Essex girl who read Jordan's book was perfect!
  • Confessions of a Smart Wrestling Fan: this one spoke to me, but it was a free show, and... well, you get what you pay for. Some guy talking about life philosophies by way of pro wrestling. This was clearly his first time, and he wasn't that good. A few moments made me chuckle. And it was a misleading name. You could tell some on hand wanted to see something about more wrestling -- the kids looked bored. Not much charisma, and weak links to life from wrestling. And a bad beard.
  • Nina Conti: someone I've wanted to see for some time, and only seen on the telly. Good show, but would've like to see more of Monkey.
  • The Axis of Awesome: "The Axis of Awesome and Friends sing Songs... And Friends". Two hours (or so) of variety, as my new faves sang songs and interacted with the crowd on hand, and had other comedians perform briefly inbetween their sets. Highlights included the AoA themselves, and Tom Allen. Better still, before the show started, we were getting in and starting, so the AoA came out and played requests on some wind-powered hand piano.
  • The Unexpected Items: an hour of sketches by some troop. Good sketches, pretty funny and well acted.

And those were the shows I wanted to see that I could. There were heaps, lots and lots, that I wanted to see but didn't: Greg Davies, Seymore Mace... well, lots. I won't spell out the list.

I had a few celebrity encounters, even! Well, more like... just passing them on the street. I didn't lose my mind around them -- too old to play fanboy -- but just sent a nod and smile. John Bishop, Kevin Bridges, Carl Donnelly (not as famous, but has a quite distinctive appearance), and a few others I recognise, but don't know a name.

Plenty of bubblies were downed. We revisted the Spiegletent, where they had some swing music band play in one of the tents, which was a nice surprise and welcome change of pace. The Udderbelly's just awesome. And the Assembly pulled a nice pint of Duchard's IPA, and had some cool Fringe glasses.

I bought a kilt. Just some basic black one, no clan affiliation. Still passively (ie: not really) looking for my clan.

Pix were taken liberally, as I reacquainted myself with that fine city.

Some decent shirts being sold this year by the Fringe office, for once. Previous years sported some awful designs.

And I finally climbed up Arthur's Seat. Good time, and good climb. Easy enough, and a decent day to do it, with only a light sprinkle of rain (as Edin's wont).

It was a great time here, to be sure, to be sure; one more blast at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! Would've been better had the A-train not left the station, but it was ultra good of him to offer his gaff to myself for my time there, and it was a huge help. Michele was plenty fun in his stead. Saw lotsa shows, and saw some of the comics I wanted to. Finally went up Arthur's Seat, which was a change of pace. And the kilt. I had to make this trip to Edin. a good one, seeing as I won't be here for a while (I don't think). It was good. It was great. It was a great way to leave, to leave on a high, to leave with one more fond memory!

On the train to Glasgow now. Flight departs from Glasgow direct to YYZ.

It's hard to leave. It's very hard to leave.

Posted by tyler at August 10, 2010 9:41 AM