BARELY a week into the Fringe and already I’m exhausted. How can this be? Well, because I’ve been out seeing show after show after show. Some of them finishing at stupid o’clock. All of them requiring the patience to wait in a queue, which is something I don’t have.
Still, I shouldn’t complain. So far, the majority of what I’ve seen has been good.
Highlights include Andrew Lawrence’s hilarious new stand-up show, and an eerily atmospheric theatre adaptation of Albert Camus’ The Stranger.
That’s plenty of laughs and a whole lot of existentialist gloom – but, alas, no music.
No matter, there are some big gigs heading this way that I plan to attend.
Among them is the visit of The Charlatans to the HMV Picture House on August 25. I caught them last year, and it was singer Tim Burgess’ ability to whip the crowd into a frenzy that stood out most. This time, they’re playing classic album Tellin’ Stories in its entirety.
The following week, at the same venue, there’s another two gigs worth checking out.
First up, on August 29, is Mark Lanegan, best known for his years as the vocalist for the Screaming Trees. Last time I saw the grunge hero, he was with ex-Belle & Sebastian singer Isobel Campbell, performing from their Mercury Prize-nominated collaboration Ballad Of The Broken Seas. The gravelly-voiced singer returns with Blues Funeral, his first solo record since 2004.
Finally, on August 31, Dundee tykes The View play the Lothian Road venue.
Debut Hats Off To The Buskers was impressive for ones so young, but many wrote them off after they failed to reach those heights on their second and third albums.
To their credit, the lads have matured a lot, and most critics agree that fourth album Cheeky For A Reason is their best work yet.