2014 Gig One Hundred and Thirty Eight: Edinburgh Fringe. Gig One Hundred and Thirty Nine: Best of the Fest

Out the front of my flat the construction continues unabated bang on 7am.  I took a photo of the site only because my favourite writer is Scottish legend Grant Morrison and here in Edinburgh this firm has been the bane of my existence:  

Thanks lads!


The lack of sleep has hit an all time low where I'm certain that in the few hours I believe I'm asleep I have actually been producing my own Fight Club.  I'd give you the details of this (obviously Free Fringe) show but as we all know the rules prohibit me.  Yesterday I was determined to stay in bed longer than normal regardless of the Trent Reznor production taking place outside.  I slipped in and out of consciousness until my stomach grumbled that it was hungry and with that I re-entered the world.

On my way across the meadows I noticed that behind me the blue sky reigned supreme but ahead the sky was a charcoal grey.   The distinction was amazing and I had to take a photo of it for you because any description could be misconstrued as a typical comedian attempting to fancy up the mundane "you'll never guess what happened to me on the way to the gig?" type of comedy the alternatives shanked decades ago.


God's ragged colouring in was going to see him score another "incomplete" on his test.


So after a little water dancing I made my way to the show and once again it was rock solid.  A good crowd was waiting for me and the audience was surprisingly vocal.  The set list was as always:


Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994


There were some older people in the audience (and when I say older I mean older than 62...I'll explain in a second) who were quite chatty with me throughout the show. They were very playful and would ask questions or chastise me for calling the character of Chook old school at 62.  When I pointed out he was more "old skool" than "school" they laughed heartily at his and were quite invested in the show.  It made for a very funny show as I never knew when they were going to ask questions or pipe in with a comment. The younger people in the audience were quite clearly enjoying it too and it made for a unique show.

After my gig I had to head down to host the "Best of the Fest" that had an amazing line up that included Angela Barnes, Andrew Bird, Damien Clark, Stephen K. Amos and musical duo Frisky and Mannish.  There were a few hundred there for a midnight show on a Thursday night and they were invested right from the beginning. As the host I kicked off the show and my set list was the following:


Partying During the Week

The Kid at the Movies

"I Don't Give A Hoot!"

Hushed Angry Conversations

Turning 40

Invite To Parties

Fix Your Flaws


Amidst this there was a fair bit of ad libbing and that is always a sign that I'm having a good time.  I hadn't met the majority of acts before but they were good fun backstage. The crew that work at the "Best of the Fest" are some of the most professional yet laid back crew I've worked with anywhere and they were a lot of fun.  It was also great to see my old pal Damien Clark tearing it up.  I've loved Damo from when he was just a young whipper snapper starting out in the Melbourne scene and it is great to see he hasn't lost that energy or positivity that he's always exhibited.


Damien Clark nailing it at the Best of the Fest.


After my gig I was offered a ride home with a few of the acts but I needed to walk off the energy I was feeling.  Sometimes you get your buzz on and you have to find ways to burn it off before you go to sleep.  The walk was about 15 minutes but by the time I arrived home I had tired myself out enough that when the construction started in the morning it had felt like I'd managed to squeeze in a slightly longer sleep than normal. For once I felt like I'd beaten the construction workers.  Either that or I was still buzzing after a great night of fun performances.


Justin Hamilton

22nd of August, 2014