Just an Observation

So the streets are filled with Winter Wonderlands and tacky markets reminding us all that we have to spend money that most of us don’t have. I must admit though as I was walking home last night the fact that so many people were out and the streets were alive-usually after 6pm even Princes Street is pretty much deserted- was an encouraging sight that made me think if a few overpriced burgers and fairground rides can tempt folk away from the television, in the role of one eyed lodger, in their living rooms why is it so hard the rest of the year round?
Co-incidentally I had just attended a media event at the Voodoo Rooms which touched on this very subject as Olaf Furniss, who puts on the live music events Born to be Wide, and representatives of the Confusion is Sex clubnight discussed just how difficult it is to get Edinburgh residents to do anything remotely out of the ordinary or even more worryingly away from that scary place often referred to as a ‘comfort zone’.
Never having been able to locate the latter and fearing predictability in my nights out I have often found myself out on a limb and had to make the journey into the unknown alone as an Edinburgh characteristic seems to favour following the herd like sheep whilst levelling great distrust, hesitancy and disdain for anything new. There is also the matter of laziness and waiting for others to find things for them before they will make the leap themselves and it is a trait which, I hate to say, is particularly attributable to Edinburgh nightlife.
This was confirmed for me last weekend when it seemed the whole city seemed geared up for Joy’s reunion night at Studio 24. In the end event I never bothered attending- I had never really considered it as I personally do not favour revisiting my past- but even people too young to remember the club’s heyday were frothing at the mouth with anticipation about a night apparently ‘not to be missed’. Herein lies the problem with Edinburgh’s clubscene at the moment-believe me there is a big problem with it- in that there is sheep mentality only too willing to follow the crowd with a fear of missing out on something when in reality the only thing they are really missing is the point.
Exactly why so many young people were genuinely excited makes more sense when you consider they haven’t even managed to create a night of that calibre of their own and as in music and fashion they just attempt to follow what has gone before. This makes even more sense just walking the streets when you see so many of them with their heads buried in their phones with headphones on in their own self obsessed worlds, taking no interest and seeking no inspiration from the city, with its own particular vibrancy and rhythms, which actually surrounds them.
Last nights Voodoo Rooms event was essentially a night promoting the welcome return of former Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie star turned visual artist Martin Metcalfe. The artwork itself which features portraits of icons such as Bowie and Siouxsie as well as others of more personal acquaintance will be showing at Whitespace from December 14th. After a surprise appearance with former bandmate Shirley Manson of Garbage last week he is also performing live at Glasgow’s Bar and Fly on December 6th. As a taster of what to expect Metcalfe performed two songs last night rounding off with a rousing version of Jacques Brel’s ‘Amsterdam’ which left the room spellbound.
Elsewhere this weekend there is the 2014 Social Club at the Roxy in support of next years ‘Yes’ campaign for independence. Bands include the wondrous Teen Canteen and the equally wonderful The Merrylees as well as an appearance by Neu Reekie’s Michael Pedersen.
Generally steering away from politics in this column I will make an exception in this instance as the longer I have to suffer the ignominy of a Tory government- most of my adult life I recently calculated and yet in that time the Tories have always had minimal support in Scotland- and suffering the blindsided greedy politics of Lord Snooty and his band of old Etonians then the more in favour I am of breaking away.
It would seem that we are all on a countdown until Christmas now whether we like it or not. As I have never embraced it until the last minute and then usually under force I will carry on regardless until that moment overwhelms me. It is not actually Christmas which bothers me per se –I can take or leave it but still always enjoy the day- but the pressure to spend money coming at you from every conceivable angle is what wears me down. It all just feels so pressurised and I really don’t see a lot of enjoyment on peoples faces as they hand over their credit cards and realise they are going to be paying for presents for months to come simply because the media and big business dictate it this way. It all just rings hollow and false to me and this is not what the true spirit of Christmas is really all about. Therefore I shall hold back on the Christmas spirit- aside from the Amaretto in my coffee or Kahlua in my hot chocolate- until at least the 24th.

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