Are we not men who love Devo like Tim Vine? - Kevin Buckle

We recently installed a great looking Butcher Billy display opposite the shop and in these days of public sensitivities I was asked if it would be possible to remove the cigarette from Johnny Cash’s mouth.

It was agreed the image was strong enough to withstand the alteration and in fact it has led to the most sales from those inspired to buy by the display.

I was explaining to a customer that the image we were selling was slightly different when he commented that he was surprised Edinburgh Council were not more vigilant.

When I asked what he meant he explained he had been amazed to see a huge poster for Shit-Faced Shakespeare at the West End outside The Caledonian Hotel. I knew exactly where he meant as I had had a Butcher Billy image of Siouxsie as Wonder Woman displayed there a couple of years ago.

Street clutter at the West End - complete with giraffe

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I also knew because I had noticed that in these days of signage being called street clutter even when it is a board advertising a local business the entire area outside the hotel was awash with obstacles, including a giraffe!

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Hats off to I-Soul-Nation - Kevin Buckle

As I have mentioned before with so much accommodation available in Edinburgh now there are many visitors who are completely unaware of the Festivals that are taking place.

Certainly I had to explain many times in the last month to bemused customers that Edinburgh was well known for its International and Fringe Festivals in August.

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The Billy Butcher Devo bag which Tim Vine loved

To be honest I’m so used to seeing all the posters going up I don’t actually read any of them and having seen myself the advert for Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s Macbeth had not thought that maybe this was not what visitors wanted to see.

Another regular customer and Festival-goer had said to me that the long line of adverts for shows along Princes Street’s railings harked back to the non-PC seventies with the constant play on words and innuendo.

Again I hadn’t noticed but having then looked while walking along Princes Street to the shop at the end of a long line of mostly not very funny posters I spotted another one for a Shakespeare play – Hamlet Prince of Skidmark.

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Many of the posters relied on sexual innuendo in a far from subtle way and given that Edinburgh is receiving so many more families in August it really has to be questioned whether this is appropriate material to have displayed on the streets.

My highlight of the Festival was to have the comedian Tim Vine come in the shop and of all things ask if I had anything by the band Devo. He went away very happy with a Butcher Billy Devo bag and indeed returned to see if I had more he could give to friends but sadly he had bought the last one. He later posted a pic on Twitter, leading to several fans requesting one too.

I did eventually try to find out exactly what a shit-faced Macbeth entailed but all I could see was lots of warnings about possible nudity, violence, strong language and distressing themes with no explanation of the actual content.

I can only guess that all the characters deliver their lines while acting drunk.