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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

30 August 2003
"Is this all right, should we keep going? We've got another verse..."
"Does it get any worse than this?"
"Oh, no, it gets nice now."
"Oh good, go ahead then."

An Australian radio station makes the mistake of allowing GUD to sing the Jeans song.

28 August 2003
We've finally fixed a date for the great move back to Dublin - my parents will be travelling over, either with a van or with a car and trailer, on the Hallowe'en weekend, because there's an Irish bank holiday on the Monday. So that's that decided. I'll be moving in to my sister's old room, because my room is now officially the guest room, and my brother's old room is now officially the office. It didn't take my parents long to ensure that they can now only keep one child on the premises at any one time.

I now feel like I've come to the end of my stint in Edinburgh, and even though I've been threatening to move back to Ireland for about two years, it finally feels like the time is right - I'll be sorry to be leaving this really great city and the friends that I've made here, but there's quite a few things I'll be happy to see the back of - not least the eternal darkness that seems to settle over the city from November to March, when the daylight deprevation really gets to me.

So I'm looking forward to that. Over the last week of the Festival, myself and Susan were making lists of pros and cons for leaving Edinburgh and returning to Dublin, and I'm looking forward to it a lot now, not least because the day after I walk through the door I'm going down to the dog kennels to pick up a dog for myself. I'll be spending the next two months saving money and trying to make some kind of imprint on the huge debt I've racked up on my visa bill. I'll also be finishing off the OU course I've been doing - I had a tutorial tonight, but decided to bunk off it, because I have got absolutely no concentration span and also because I'm very lazy.

I've spent the best part of today dozing off every time I sit down, and doing a massive clean up of the flat. I've also managed to make a large collection of spiders around the flat, as I quite brightly opened all the windows to air the house mere moments before a massive downpour, and all the little critters came in for shelter. I'm not pleased at all, but I think I've got rid of all the ones from my bedroom, and that's enough for now. I'm getting heeby geebies just typing about them.

Finally got the letter of confirmation from my new employers that I'll be starting with on Monday, which is now quite a happy prospect, since I know for a fact that I'll not be there longer than two months. I'll have to check my contract carefully to see how much notice I have to give, and then just keep my head down and work through it. It's all quite exciting, really.

And finally, I've made the massive mistake of looking on the Australian eBay site for DAAS memorabilia now that Paul McDermott has reawakened my old obsession. It's not good. When something looks like a ton of money in ozzie dollars, but then when converted looks like a lot less, it's very very tempting. I'll try to be good. But I'm not making any promises.

For anyone still obsessing about the last song they sang at the GUD gigs, here are the lyrics, as posted by someone who was apparently sitting beside me and Susan at the last gig. The song is either called 'Stripped' or 'Centre of Things', depending on what Paul decides to call it on the night.

I have been stripped of a layer of meaning I
Fell through the floor watched you fly through the ceiling
She's so high, higher than thought can think
A mere sprite, like one of the nubilate
So hold tight, she radiates light from her jokes
It's what men prefer, they need the centre of things
The centre of things

I watched them packing up all Sunday morning the
Day of the fourth and they fled without warning
It's so bright, the sun almost burns your eyes
A cruel fight, I feel I can sympathise
Famine, pours over boiling words
It's more than we deserve love is a beautiful curse
A beautiful curse

La di da di da da da x4

She says I'm stained like a girl from the bourie
I pay my respects to her hourly
I'm clumsy I'm circumspect
Never knew what it meant
Perhaps it was heaven sent
So high, this kitten on gasoline
Codine fueled by her medicine
She lies back, handsom she says again
You've always been my friend, Lord it's the loveliest day
The loveliest day

I have been stripped of a layer of meaning I
Fell through the floor watched you fly through the ceiling
And I'm fine, finer than porcelain
Bromide on silver geletine
Blue skies, she's carried by seraphins
Aptly named valium
Into the arms of the night
The arms of the night

La di da di da da da x4

27 August 2003
Festival has gone. Am very glad and quite relieved and a bit sad. No longer able to sleep for any reasonable amount of time, and have felt the urge to start drinking at about 11pm which I still can't shake off. Difficult to face sunlight. Got bus home this morning with people on their way to work. I rightfully laughed in their faces. Next Monday should be interesting, when I am expected to join the human race again.

These are the shows I saw at the Festival, in roughly the order I saw them. The really good ones are marked in bold, and if you get the chance to see them, do. The ones in italics should be avoided at all costs. Anything else is entirely up to you. (Any repeat entries mean I saw them more than once. Obviously):

Alfie Joey - Mini Cabaret
Live Ghost Hunt
Bad Play
James Dowdeswell - Dowdsworld
Alan Carr
Soft Toys
Cambridge Footlights - Non-sexual Kissing
Dara O'Briain - I Am Not An Animal
Gary Le Strange - Polaroid Suitcase
John Moynes - How I Became A Real Boy
Simon Munnery - Onwards and Upwards
Black Sheep - Luxury Assortment
GUD
Dan Clark - 57 Minutes
12 Angry Men
Laurence & Gus
Mental
GUD
Miles Jupp - Gentlemen Prefer Brogues
BBC Stand Up Show Live
Macpherson's Lament
Best Of Irish
Steve Furst - Canvas 2003
Andy Zaltzman Reveals The Great Conspiracy
The Upsettables
Nice Mum Are Chocolate Benders
Tom McCrae & Bell X1
Kings Of The Road
The Consultants - Boss
Late N Live
Tittle Tattle
Fascinating Aida
Alex Horne - Making Fish Laugh
Peepolykus - Mind Bender
Cream of Irish
Tony Hawks
After Hours
Wicker Woman
Bradley Walsh - From the Beginning to the End
Owen O'Neill - Stanza Up Comedy
GUD
Gavin Webster
Alex Horne - Making Fish Laugh
The Establishment
Millenium Prayer
The Trap
Rob Rouse
The Dinks
David Gray
Priorite A Gauche Unplugged
Jeremy Lion
Bill Shakespeare's The Italian Job
GUD
Gary Le Strange - Polaroid Suitcase
12 Angry Men by Galton & Simpson
John Oliver
Glen Wool - Things That Occured To Me Last Year
Daniel Kitson - A Made Up Story
Just A Minute
A Very Naughty Boy
The Wingnut Tapes
Jongleurs New Act Final
12 Angry Men
GUD
Phil Nichol
Three Men and a Giant
Alex Horne - Making Fish Laugh
Demetri Martin - If I...
Late N Live
Rob Newman - From the Caliban to the Taliban
Gary Le Strange - Polaroid Suitcase
GUD
Flight of the Concords

Late N Live

That's 74 shows. Without repeated viewings, that's 65 different shows. Not too bad, but not my record.

21 August 2003
Tonight, I spoke to Paul McDermott. More than that, I touched Paul McDermott on his Paul McDermott hand and I held his Paul McDermott (mayfair) cigarette. And we had a minor conversation about the Festival and shows. And all of that without falling over or dribbling. Although I did do that mental shaking thing last seen when I met Richard Herring and Stewart Lee over 10 years ago.

It's been a mad night.

I've stopped shaking now.

17 August 2003
I've taken another day off from the Fringe. I thought this might happen, particularly given that I came a cropper in a battle to the front of the stage with a particularly horrible David Gray fan last night, who elbowed me in the head when she noticed that a different door had been opened before the one we were queuing in front of, and I appeared to be blocking her ungainly, ugly, elderly way. Thankfully, Susan, Olivia and myself had been discussing tactics for the hours preceeding the gig, and we managed to secure ourselves positions slightly right-of-centre (prime spots at DG gigs) in the front row, and that bitch only managed a measly place slightly left-of-centre in the second row. And therefore we won and she lost. And she'll be dead before us. Double the victory.

Thanks partially to her rugby tackle, and partially to my enthusiasm during Late Night Radio, I'm having a little bit of trouble walking today, so I thought I'd save everyone the sight of me hobbling about the cobbles with my walking stick. Hopefully I'll be back on top form tomorrow.

I have instead taken the time to watch the last episode of 24 - which was a bit disappointing, in keeping therefore with the rest of this series - and writing four reviews for Comedy Lounge, which takes our current festival total to four reviews. Not bad for 17 days in to the Festival, I think you'll find, if you consider our past record.

I've also been picking through my woeful number of published reviews in the paper to try and pick out the two best reviews to enter in to an award that is run every year for best review written by someone aged less than 30. Since I am still aged less than 30 - and anyone that says I am not is a big fat liar - and since I haven't got much to choose from (I've only had 7 reviews published out of the admittedly paltry 19 I have written) I've chosen these two - Bradley Walsh and Gary Le Strange. Neither of which are particularly great, but both run the full gauntlet of praise and downright fury on my part. I think a couple of the other ones that I've written are better, but they've not been published, and the deadline is midday on Monday, too late for the new issue of the Evening News. So I've settled on these. I'm holding out absolutely no hope, but it would help to pay my rent and multiple debts come September, so nothing ventured...

13 August 2003
I've been getting quite lazy in the last few days, since my review schedule has seriously lightened, mainly thanks to the fact that I can no longer be arsed to write any more words after the horror that was Bradley Walsh. He has destroyed my will to review.

However yesterday, in an attempt to get back on track with my show viewings, I popped out early in the day - that's 3.30pm for those of you keeping track - and went to see Owen O'Neill's afternoon show, Stanza Up Comedy.

After the show, I had to run to the toilets, and proceeded to cry for about half an hour. I'll be the first person to admit in conversation that I will deliberately watch sad films to make myself cry - in college, me and my flatmate Jane used to watch Truly Madly Deeply on a regular basis, and would usually start crying at the opening sequence, even though that's not particularly sad. But my reaction to this show took me completely by surprise. I think it was a mixture of homesickness, over-tiredness, too much excitement and too little sleep, as well as the incredibly raw emotions and imagry that O'Neill manages to capture and convey with his brilliantly personal poetry. That show, for me at least, was an incredibly powerful and emotional experience, which I'd recommend to everyone coming to the Fringe.

12 August 2003
Bit of a shitty day today, truth be told. The first blow came when the agency rang me this morning to tell me that I have officially got a job, starting the 1st of September. The girl breaking the new sounded incredibly cheery, and seemed a bit surprised and slightly miffed that I wasn't joining in with the celebrations. A bit of stupid thing to be actually pissed off about, but it's put me on a right downer - just the thought of sitting in some soulless office at the end of summer and endlessly shuffling paper around the desk makes me actually develop an ulcer. If I don't have internet access, I may well be forced to give up living completely and offer myself up for a labotomy.

The second blow came about ten minutes in to Bradley Walsh's show at the Assembly Rooms when it dawned on me that I had made a very grave mistake ever volunteering to go to review this show. Reviewing, you see, means that you can't up and leave in the middle of a show, regardless of how horrific it is, as complaints and eyebrows will be raised, and the trouble that ensues really isn't worth it. Even so, I was greatly tempted as he trotted out every tired cliche known to man and comedian, and the entire audience lapped it up like the slavering idiots that they obviously were. If you have respect for yourself, then don't go along. Although if you are the Comedy Terrorist, please go and hijack this show. I'd love to see Walsh's smugly complacent face then.

The show is bound to sell out, and my review (which should be published on Thursday) will do nothing to stop Walsh's evil regime.

So instead of being at a party tonight, I'm sitting in my front room writing this crap and listening to David Gray, as if I wasn't depressed enough. I've done nothing to deserve this, I tells ya.

10 August 2003
It's been a really weird few days - the Festival has been here for a week and a half, and while it feels like it's gone by in a flash, it also feels like we've been doing this nonsense forever, and a few days besides. On Thursday and Friday I had some weird interruptions of real life break through the Festival haze, when I had to go to an Open University class and also had a job interview for some lame office job come September time when the visa bill lands on the door step, and I'm forced to consider selling some kidneys.

On Thursday night, in preparation for the interview Friday morning, we stayed in the performers bar at the Gilded Balloon until they called last orders. At that point, we sensibly got up and went home. Unfortunately, time is called there at 5am. We got home for 6am. I got up again, went for the interview, and actually got the job. They're even raising their original wage offer to try to tempt me into their evil office dwelling ways.

But other than that it's been a typical untypical week and a half at the Fringe. Tonight, for example, we were told that actresses will be playing the part of us in an improvised film currently being filmed in Edinburgh, starring a very well known comedian, and being directed by another well known comedian. Ideally, the director explained, he wanted us to play ourselves (and there would have been a shiny £20 note in it for us) but he didn't have our phone numbers on him, and so the parts have now been filmed with actresses. We are obviously both completely relieved and totally gutted.

05 August 2003
Sorry. Updates coming soon. In the last six days I've seen twenty four shows. I've only written eight reviews. I've only had three pints of beer. If you're round and about go see the following -

GUD
12 Angry Men
Dan Clark - 57 Minutes
Mental
Andy Zaltzman
Alfie Joey
Live Ghost Hunt
Bad Play
Gary Le Strange
Simon Munnery

Got to get back to hacking out reviews. Somebody kill me.