Kevin Buckle: Stellar line-up pays tribute to stand-up comic Barry at benefit show

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Robin Ince, a man who it appears can never be too busy, not only has two shows on at the Festival this month but is also instrumental in organising a benefit gig in memory of Barry Crimmins, with all proceeds going to his wife.

Barry, who among many other things was a popular stand-up comedian, made a successful debut at the Fringe just last year but sadly died earlier this year from cancer just months after his wife was also found to be ill.

A fantastic array of fellow comedians are turning out in his honour and the latest addition to the line-up is the singer Amanda Palmer. His full CV on Wikipedia is stand-up comedian, political satirist, activist, author, Air America Radio writer and correspondent, and comedy club owner so he had many strings to his bow.

Born in New York, his comedy clubs were in Boston and his influence spread wide on both sides of the pond while possibly being better known in the UK by other comedians than the public.

A 90-minute show of such quality for only £10 is a rarity during the Festival and as well as Robin and Amanda, Reginald D Hunter, Sofie Hagen, Janey Godley, Mark Thomas, Angela Barnes, Mark Watson, Alistair Barrie and Chris Stokes are all scheduled to appear.

This is sadly the first Festival since we also lost Sean Hughes who along with Stewart Lee and Robin Ince were big supporters both of Avalanche and Scottish music and it was common to have other comedians just starting out in Edinburgh to be sent in by one of them to “buy some good music”.

All ticket proceeds are being donated to Barry’s widow Helen to cover the costs of her cancer treatment. Barry Crimmins – A Celebration is on Thursday, 16 August at 10.50pm in the New Town Theatre. Tickets £10. Book at

Robin Ince’s shows – The Satanic Rites of Robin Ince at The Stand and Chaos of Delight at the National Museum – start on August 14 and 15 respectively.

Independent thinking might be refreshing

I never thought I would miss all those cynical record company folk and yet I now realise that intentionally or not their striving to make as much money as possible and endless bullshit was often good for the bands on their books. Now really good bands on not-for-profit labels sell out of very small runs of releases and play in sold-out small venues, never getting any further and reaching the wider audience they deserve. Record company hype has been replaced by meaningless recommendations on social media.

When you vote for your local councillor these days you have no idea if they will represent the party you also voted for or not. Maybe they will switch parties based on some personal principle or maybe they will fall out with their party and become independent. Most parties are a bit “Green”.

Unlike those cynical record company executives I wouldn’t want to bring back dogmatic politicians but often these days it is hard to tell from a councillor’s views what party they represent. Given the large number of changes in the current administration it might make more sense in future to vote just for people and not for people and their associated parties – but then that is really what standing as an independent is all about.