JUST AN OBSERVATION

Friday  July 27th

 

After much hoo-hah-seven years worth and counting- today sees the official opening of the Olympics. It will be interesting to see how the opening ceremony compares with the fantastical and extremely well executed Chinese effort of 2008 which surprised even me with its amazing choreography alongside a clashing and blending of colour adapting many different influences juxtaposed alongside each other. Not heard much about the British effort but if reports about David Beckham leading a squad based on the English 1966 World Cup winning team-I am almost in a coma already- are to be believed it may well fall short, in comparison, to its immediate predecessor simply as there is little they could have done to compete with such a flamboyant and artistic endeavour.

Already somewhat blighted by the whole G4S security debacle all dose not bode well for these games taking place in an already unstable financial climate. At least there is the promise of an Underworld assisted soundtrack –in conjunction with director Danny Boyle- to look forward to.

Unfortunately I will miss the screening of the opening ceremony as I have something far more important to attend, as tonight also hosts the first part of the Neu! Reekie record label launch.  Always a great night at the best of times tonight looks like being the hottest ticket in town as it features the debut airing of the Jesus Baby single  The Caterpillar Tango-give or take a few plays on radio 6- as well as performances by Kevin Williamson, Malcolm Middleton and Alan Bissett amongst others. This is only the beginning however as the action continues tomorrow afternoon at 2pm at Avalanche records in the Grassmarket before making its way through to Glasgow for further festivities at the Mono bar before rounding the night off with a DJ set. Definitely worth catching and if, like me, you can’t attend all three then make sure you attempt to catch at least one. Details about the night can be found here and a review of the Edinburgh leg will be posted over the weekend.

In the cinemas the Dark Knight Rises still reigns supreme and for anyone who has not managed to see it yet and wonders what all the fuss is about a review can be found here. Also out this week is a documentary film Searching for Sugarman about Rodriguez, a seventies rock icon who never was. Telling the tale of a singer who was poised to become a huge star but following the failure of his debut was surrounded in mythology and conspiracy theories culminating in unconfirmed reports of his suicide. Unfounded as these stories were it turns out he is very much alive and this film documents his rise and fall and subsequent reincarnation.

The Fringe-or the rainy season as it is less fondly referred to- is also hovering on the horizon and some promoters are already predicting the first week, when usually a large proportion of London’s inhabitants decamp to the Scottish capital, as being quieter than usual due to the corporate juggernaut that is the Olympics. The line up, so far, has not revealed anything totally outstanding as far as new talent or new directions are concerned with many old stalwart veterans returning alongside a few young hopefuls.

There is a definite Morrissey theme to this years proceedings with two plays –‘Half a Person’ at Zoo Venues and ‘Unhappy Birthday’ at Assembly focussing on the iconic singers music with the Smiths and all the meaning it imparts on obsessive teens with an unhealthy obsession for quiffs. No doubt this will gather apace with the singers own performance on the 30th July at the Usher Hall.

Other standouts look like being Frisky and Mannish-for the last ten days only at Assembly- as well as the trailer-trash Courtney Love-as if you could get any trailer trashier than the genuine article – Loretta Maine in her new show ‘Bipolar’. ‘The Boom Boom Club’ at the Underbelly also looks like a good bet, being a three and a half hour experience recommended to me by a venue manager whose opinion I value and sold to me  as an experience like no other.

More details about the Fringe and other worthwhile shows will appear over the next week as I get a clearer idea-throwing away the actual Fringe programme due to its incomprehensible density will be a start- and the worthwhile and the dross start to inevitably separate themselves from each other. Off now to claim my seat at the first of the Neu! Reekie extravaganzas so let the weekend- and in some ways the Fringe- begin here.

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