August saw my return to Edinburgh, the tenancy of my flat was drawing to a close and Flash had booked a load of stuff for me to go and see at the Fringe. Saw some pretty big names in the world of comedy, Jimmy Carr, John Bishop, A famous Scot etc, it was all pretty good, however, I'm not really convinced that someone standing on a stage and spewing out a routine written by someone else is intrinsically funny. The format of them all was pretty puerile too, lots of swearing, comments on the audience etc, seems like there is a checklist of stuff to do. I'm pretty convinced that with the help of a few good lads, the odd pint of ale, Hamilton's steak sandwich and parsnip chips (with mayonnaise for dipping) and a spare week or two I could write something of a similar standard.
Having said this, there were some performers who rose above this arch-mediocrity, Reginald D Hunter was very solid and I enjoyed his show despite coughing all the way through and sitting in an auditorium akin to an oven. Paul Merton and his improv chums are the type of act that I would class as genuinely funny, off the cuff humour combined with banter amongst themselves made for a memorable afternoon. Jimmy Carr did have some good material, his delivery was also pretty sharp, however, there was still some "filler" within the hour which means whilst he gets a mention on the blog he's not top echelon.
I saw two magicians, Paul Zennon and a chap whose name T.G will have to remind me of. Both turned in good, solid performances and their shows rated as the best value for money available at the festival, running the £6.50 steak baguette into a close second. Zennon's wit was particularly sharp, I thought it was a shame that there were not more people there, incidentally David Lu, if you read this, you still have my copy of Paul Zennon's "100 ways to win a tenner!" The magic stuff may not be everyones cup of tea, but there was a fair bit of comedy involved, AN Other did some great pun based gags that were suitably awful to be pretty hilarious.
The highlight of the fringe was something a little bit different. It took the form of "Ivan Brackenbury" a mock hospital radio DJ with an unfortunate talent for sticking his foot in his mouth and playing the most inappropriate of tracks. I'm not sure youtube really does him justice, so keep reading the blog, he's sure to be making an appearance at my next flat party!
I also went and saw Ardal O'Hanlan as the Irish contingent had a spare ticket. As an aside, I had a plate of chilli and rice before this, seemed like a rare enough occurence to make it into the blog. Suffice to say Ardal was "grand" and I'd rate his comedy as amongst some of the best I saw.
The worst, well...Anything Australian was totally dire, absolutely atrocious, one particular perpetrator was "Brendan Burns" I put his name in inverted commas as despite being an Ozzie I doubt anyone would be brazen enough to put their real name to this farcical debacle. It was £15 or so too, which was a total rip-off, I wanted to walk out after 3 minutes, but Rupert had tied my shoelaces together and challenged me to enter a Tommy Angelo state of trance. I saw a couple of Australians so actually am in a privileged position to advice that Australians are categorically not funny, as well as having no manners. Cheers to TG for booking all the tickets and organising everything.
There were some other big names in Edinburgh during August, namely Keith "The Camel" Hawkins and Neil Channing, for those unaware of why Keith was dubbed the Camel, sometimes he can go days without a drink. The boys all came up too, Sam and Laurie, George, James, Rupert, Rick and Kev a Scottish guy I battle with on Ipoker. The tournament was resoundingly unsuccessful, I did manage to turn in a good bowling perfomance though, so got the lot in side action.
I'd taken the liberty of booking a few tables at Opal. The night went pretty swimmingly with Rick introducing us all to an absolutely fantastic pun based game, which was absolutely marvellous.
Tommo is on the G&T with 23823
James is on the B52s with 26352
James posts: Do you have a business
Tommo posts: Yes I have a business
James probes: What business?
Tommo: I own a blowjob bar in Bangkok
James: How's business
Tommo: On it's knees.
Game 31232342 is won by Rick Beech.
This made for great entertainment, plenty of options, from the obviously booming explosive business to the more tangential ones (Anything Kev suggested!)
I flew back to Devon on Wednesday which meant an end to my time in 2F2 Clarence St. Had a great time whilst I was there, which probably wasn't frequently enough, but being on own all day did suck more than I'd imagined it would. Got on well with all the housemates and enjoyed living with people who had proper jobs and were responsible enough never to take sick days despite me constantly telling them that 12 days a year is average!
I was up early on Thursday as I was off to Lords for a few days. Day 1 is pissed down and there was only 12 overs of play. Alarmingly there was no bitter on tap in some of the pubs surrounding St Johns wood, after being served cold, bottled beer I had to move onto the G&Ts. Day 2 was great, not only did KP get a golden duck, but true lads Stuart Broad and Trotty made hundreds, showed some guts, applied themselves and dug England out of a pretty big hole. Lily Allen was in attendance, sadly our paths did not collide, however, our opening bowler and skipper did nearly knock her over whilst carrying his pizza express slices at her head level, F**k you very,very much. The train back was packed, luckily our treasurer had secured us table seats, the annual chase the ace game stakes were eventually bumped up to £2,having started at 10p, notes were in danger of being broken into!