Apart from the very first day of getting my bearings, this was my first full day where I had nothing pre-booked. 2 for 1 day meant lots of things were sold out already, so I knew I had to be eclectic. I’d seen that Baba Brinkman and the Your Days Are Numbered team were doing the day’s Devil’s Advocate quiz show, so thought I could bookmark my day with Baba and his free show, and see some other things in the middle. Given I was around the Caves area, I picked Goring+Stokes and Oompah Brass, and a couple of other free fringe events in the gaps.
On my arrival in town, what actually happened was I obtained a ticket to Helen Arney, which then naturally led to tickets to Loretta Maine, on immediately before, and a now very musical theme to the day. Incidentally, 2 for 1 tickets (today and yesterday) and free ticket pairs (from the Scotsman earlier) have been great for getting me, a lone festival goer, chatting to random people, trying to sell/ give away my spare tickets – I’ve never not succeeded yet (actually, I don’t know about Goring&Stokes, I gave that ticket to the box office in the end but then heard someone asking for one ticket, so presume/hope they got it), and I’ve met people from Chicago to Chorlton.
Anyway, on to the shows, and we’ll rattle through them as I’m starting to get watery eyes and should probably get more sleep than I have been doing so far. Devil’s Advocate was a skeptic-themed quiz show, with rounds such as odd one out of ghosts, a Tarot reading, and at the end, as loser, Baba Brinkman gave a lovely and entirely accurate 60 second defence of young earth Creationism. Goring & Stokes, Nerds of a Feather was two stand-up acts, Stokes and then Goring. Both were amusing, though I preferred Stokes’ more optimistic view of nerds.
Oompah Brass were amazing, even if I think they might have permanently deafened the children sat two rows in front. They performed the best version of Sweet Child O’ Mine I’ve ever heard, and covered everything from Bach to Bohemian Rhapsody (as a Bavarian waltz, obviously) with alacrity, speed, and most of all, volume.
I enjoyed Loretta Maine: I’m not drunk, I just need to talk to you, though had to leave early due to it starting late. Any show with Toto’s Africa will be a winner in my book. I’m glad I left, though, rather than be late to the next act, as Helen Arney’s Songs for Modern Loving was even better. I’m obviously a philistine, as I’d never seen a loop pedal in use before – isn’t it great? I’ve never gone out of my way to find ukelele players, but any who can sing one song about wanting to be Justine Frischmann, Ben Folds, and Neil Hannon, and then one about Choco Leibniz referring to the mathematician (and seriously consider using the tuner to work out the different pitches of London and Edinburgh contingents of the audience) will definitely be one I keep up with.
Lastly, back to Baba Brinkman and Cabaret Voltaire for his brilliant Rapconteur, in which he performs hip-hop versions of Gilgamesh, Chaucer, Beowulf, and more. Apologies to the person next to me who wondered what I was doing furtively with my phone – I was ringing up my old friend who studied Old English at university so he could have a quick listen 🙂
So that’s one week at the Fringe. I’ve seen 36 shows so far, and I’d happily recommend over 30 of them. I don’t think I’m actually exaggerating that much when I say this might be one of the most fun weeks I have ever had. Let’s see what the next week holds.