Just an Observation
Well it is that time of year again when festival season hovers into view and wakes a seemingly endless collection of rhythm and talent free bongo players from their hibernation. Seriously, has there ever been a bigger waste of human energy than playing the bongos? My gripe is purely personal, I must stress, as living in a part of the city close to where these miscreants all gather the ongoing rhythm-less noise is as relentless as it is annoying. It seems to start about midday and continues until midnight and often beyond and their persistence is admirable if hugely irritating as even the likelihood or actuality of rain does little to diminish their fervour and on and on they go.
This matter will be exacerbated this very weekend when the Meadows Festival takes place. Far from being a curmudgeon who hates to think of people enjoying themselves I think festivals are a great opportunity for people to gather, socialise and spend time which does not involve, the great Scottish pastime, sitting in a pub. If they could do it without the unnecessary pounding of bongos I would probably appreciate it more but it seems to those who favour tie-dye-another personal hate– bongos are a crucial element of tuneless expression. I will never be able to work this one out and there is always the option of fastening my windows tight shut to block out the excrutiating noise.
Next week sees the return of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and although 2013 was a relatively disappointing year with few stand-out films emerging my hopes are high for this years programme which I will reveal more of next week. It is also very unlikely that this event will attract too many bongo players as filmgoers are a far more sophisticated bunch. Instead they favour geek chic; with horn rimmed glasses, facial hair and check shirts de rigueur as a mark of their supposed individuality. This uniform seems to be incorporated by both genders so at least there is a sense of equality in the lack of imagination.
Summerhall had a press launch the other night to introduce their fringe programme and, for me at least, the very exciting news that they will be featuring Genesis P-Orridge as one of their exhibiting artists during this time. The exhibition by P-Orridge and his late partner Lady Jaye entitled ‘Life as a Cheap Suitcase’ is their first show in Britain since 2003 and is part of their Pandrogyne Project wherein they decided to transform themselves into each other. Unfortunately after a series of surgeries Lady Jaye has since passed away but P-Orridge continues on his quest in his own indefatigable and unpredictable way.
Other big players at this relatively new venue include Mark Ravenhill, Steven Berkoff, Alison Jackson and Faile & Bast. This venue has come a long way in a very short time and the fact they are again first to announce their festival line up which shows an amazing amount of diversity and is very encouraging regarding its future as a a major player.
Next weekend also sees two great musical events on the opposing coastlines of Scotland. The east coast is holding the launch party for the Teen Canteen single ‘You’re Still Mine’ Henry’s Cellar Bar on Saturday 14th and should be a great night. A full review of the single will be on these pages early next week.
Over on the west coast however, the mighty Television are playing their legendary ‘Marquee Moon’ in its entirety on the very same night. My tickets for the latter were organised by a very dear friend a few months ago so I will be making the trek west for the night. If however you are languishing in the capital and still want a musical experience then I suggest you make your way to Henry’s Cellar Bar.
Unfortunately a gig I was looking forward to this weekend has been cancelled. Originally scheduled for Rammed at The Voodoo Rooms-which has unfortunately also been cancelled- the gig was then moved to The Safari Lounge but has since been postponed.
Despite this disappointment there is still The Valves on Sunday at the Meadows Festival and then after –or instead of if it is raining- Heavy Nova in Woodland Creatures where your missing Rammed fix can be administered, in the late afternoon through to evening shift, by The Baron and his trusty and glamorous companion Rachel. Exhibitions at Summerhall and the ECA Degree Show are also worthwhile ventures so really there is no excuse to be staying in at all. Just leave the bongos at home! Please!