So, with his World Record numbers rapidly mounting towards the current record number (169!) Dave shot out the door at about 9am to sort out some tickets and get himself a decent breakfast next door to Bob’s Bookshop, then he got himself along the Cowgate to the Free Sisters for the Dead Pony Society, a three man sketch troupe which was “variable but the highlight was “Mustard or Custard”.
Meanwhile I had another hour in bed (I’d been typing up the blog till after 3am, whereas he’d been snoring since just after 2am), then into my running gear and ran over to Holyrood Park via the Commonwealth Pool and Pollock Hall and down to Meadowbank Stadium, making sure I had the lay of the land scouted out for the ERN (Edinburgh Running Network) LP run there on the 24th. The HM training schedule I am following said 45 mins easy – I ran 4.62 miles and none of it felt “easy”.
Anyway, showered and changed, I was lagging behind as usual and had to leg it quick smart down to the Caves off the Cowgate (Just The Tonic) via Piemaker on South Bridge for another of their delicious vegan pies (this time a Thai Veg) and something carniverous for Dave. Oh, also a rhubarb sponge thingy – well I had run and hadn’t eaten all day and it was lunchtime!
To prove it our first show together was the 12.40 show The Lunchtime Ferret, featuring Paul Wogan MC, Stuart Turner comedy magician, the lovely Welsh “sex therapist” Kate , and Sophie Hagan. Dave was dragged up onto stage for some pelvic thrusts and grunty noises.
Next, a short stroll over the cobbles down the hill, across the Cowgate and up Niddry Street to the Banshee Labyrinth for two Free Fringe shows. Firstly Stuart Laws with his deliciously surreal When’s This Gonna Stop? A nicely crazy hour with Stuart using the multimedia board to good effect, I especially loved the ginger biscuits and out free map! Recommended!
Then, in the same space, still Free Fring remember, we had Chris Coltrane with There’s No Heroes Left Except All of Us. Chris puts us straight about his political leanings and the message he wants to get across within the first few minutes and as he announced himself to be a socialist (leftie) activist and feminist I knew I’d found my new comedy hero. He holds no love for the Tories or UKIP and he actively campaigns against corrupt tax dodging companies such as Apple and Amazon and was one of the activists who campaigned at the Curzon Cinema for a living wage for the workers there. His show was absolutely packed out with people sitting on the stage space, up the aisle and standing in the doorway. A great show with a great message. Go and see it!
To the Gilded Balloon, Bristo Square, then for the start of six show there.
Firstly, hailing originally from Essex, we had Gordon Southern, a very experienced stand-up act who gave us comedic story telling incorporating previous jobs (wine-waiter!), love, loss and then finding the love of his life in a foreign country. A very good start to a busy evening.
Then we were into the excellent Milo McCabe, playing one of his alter egos, matinee idol, Troy Hawke. Clutching a large (ostrich?) feather in one extravagant hand, Troy gives us his views on the world from a man with a cravat, advantages, and an abdominal shimmy better than most belly dancers. Recounting a conversation with a loud Glaswegian, his Weegie accent was almost perfect; then we had some ironic attacking of racism and sexism using the Mr Men books as material. There’s so much more to Troy than a few lines can cover so you’d best go and see Mr McCabe for yourself. Go online and book your tickets right now!
Our next show was just off the Dining Room, the exuberant Pat Monahan. Pat didn’t spend too long on his usual audience banter – perhaps mindful of being on time for once! We had Jim up for some zumba dancing and lots of questions around what Jim did for a living – I don’t think we ever did find out. Pat had a repeating item about trying to get into a party using various names as “entry codes” – and showed us his own dancing moves, he’s very agile!
Off up to the Turret for Tiff Stephenson: Optimist. Featuring body dysmorphia, the NHS, inner critics, depression, suicide attempts, politics, flirting and feminism, you would think the show is wrongly titled, but Tiff puts her points across clearly and is funny to boot.
At this point in the evening we Dave and I parted company – him changing his orginal plan by taking Ennio Marchetto off his list to go and see the very excellent Cornish rappers Hedluv and Passman (still in the Gilded Balloon) and myself shooting out of Tiff’s show (she was running just a couple of minutes late and I had NO TIME between her and my next one even though they were both in the same building – because my next show was Jonny Awsum and he was in a different room). I dashed over, apologised to the venue staff, and was given a name tag before I could enter.
Jonny’s is a musical comedy show, this year named Sexy Noises. He plays guitar and performs his own songs, some being completely his own composition, some being known tunes with his own, much funnier lyrics. There is always audience interaction, but definitely no cruelty involved so don’t be scared! We had freebies in the shape of Jonny branded fans (much appreciated in Edinburgh gig rooms which can be stiflingly hot). There were also cds and tshirts at the end. He’s well worth a viewing so go and get your tickets now!
Our last show of the evening was Comedy Countdown. As a keen fan (and ex-contestant on the orginal Countdown!) Dave was very much looking forward to this one. He watches the Eight Out of Ten Cats version and I have to just put up with his almost unbearable smugness when he invariably comes out on top of the show contestants. The room was pretty full and for once the late night crowd weren’t too rowdy. This show was starting at 11.59pm and due to finish at 1.30 am so I knew it wasn’t going to be an early finish for me (although earlier than usual for Dave)
Our contestants for the night were Jen Brister (already seen by us several times this Fringe) and Eric Lampaert (a speaker of three languages). Dan Atkinson was chairing, Marcel Lucont was in Dictionary Corner (alongside another comedian whose name we didn’t catch), Morgan (from Morgan and West) was being Carol and David Morgan was being the Clock (with some great dancing moves!)
I’m not going to blog the whole show, suffice to say that Dave has still “got it”- whatever “it” is, and Jen won. We even had free chocolate biscuits!
THIS WAS ALSO THE SHOW THAT EQUALLED THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 169, SO THE FIRST SHOW FOR DAVE THE NEXT MORNING WAS GOING TO BREAK IT.
We made it outside, intending to get off home, but got slightly waylaid in the form of Cerys Nelmes, Tom Glover, and Adam Money in the Gilded Balloon’s courtyard – then various others outside The Counting House.
By the time we got back to Minto St it was well after 2am and I sat up till 4am partly drafting the blog while Dave got his head down for his record breaking show in the morning.