Based solely on a few of my blog posts or my tweets, some people think I’m a morbid bastard. A few of the activists I’d spoken to on Edinburgh Uncut protests actually thought I was an undercover reporter for the Daily Mail. But the reality is, I just have a very dark sense of humour. And that’s how I like my comedians.
So while the girlfriend went to have her haircut I popped down to The Globe Bar on Niddry St to see Chris Coltrane do a Free Fringe show. I had seen him do some political stand up on Westminster bridge during the UKUncut ‘Block the Bill’ demo for the NHS. I’d also been following his Twitter feed, with tweets that often showed that dark sense of humour which I love so much. So getting to see him do some stand up for free couldn’t be passed up.
Now, being a very political comedian most of his tweets were purely about how much a bunch of bastards the Tories are. Couldn’t agree more. But there were also a number that were overtly sexual, making the reader curious as to which way he dressed. Well thanks to going to see him do his stand up show Activism is Fun, (and to Josie Long’s directional advice that he should share things about himself) we now know he is bi-sexual, or as he puts it, a pervert. By his own statement he is 80% straight, 20% gay. Although from my observations I’d say he’s about 80% straight, 80% gay, as there was certainly more talk of big dicks spunking in Rick Santorum’s face than there was about eating Theresa May’s mindge. Or maybe I just filtered out the image of anyone eating out Theresa May.
And you’ve got to admire the balls it takes to tell a crowd over a sound system that you like sucking cock, whilst just the other side of a curtain is a bar filled with Aberdeen and Celtic fans.
He had me in tears. It got so bad at one point, just as he started in on Dave Hartnett to be precise, that one of my contacts fell out. After that I couldn’t tell how far away he was. But even without depth perception I still found him hilarious and as Mark Thomas described him, he is definitely the next generation of political comedians. And it came with a message. Being politically active is not only fun, it’s the only way we’ll stand a chance of defending our public services from the Tories and any other greedy fuckers that want to steal from the Public Purse. And as he says near the end of his set, even if you can’t get out and join a protest, anyone can help smash the Tories just by making some home-made porn and sending it to him.
After the show ended, Chris was followed by another small show, and since my girlfriend still hadn’t emerged from the hairdressers, I decided to check it out. Atomic Horse Explosion did sound a bit daft, but what the hell.
Fronted by Red Redmond, a skinny ginger (no I’m not being nasty, this is his own description of himself), it’s another Free Fringe hour long show that is well worth it. Red is young, but confident with his banter and engages with the audience well, cracking jokes about where his watchers are from and what they do for a living without being offensive to anyone. If I were to point out just one example of his comic genius, it would be Falkirk. Only a good comic could fill 5mins of his slot just discussing with the audience how Falkirk should be pronounced. Add to that some of his throw away one liners that almost had me spitting beer all over the place, and you know that if he sticks with it he could be one of the next top stand ups.
The next 2thirds of Atomic Horse Explosion was a hairy chap named Tom O’Dare. Very much like Tim Vine with play on words jokes, but he seemed to be lacking the same confidence shown by Red. Not that I can really criticize, cos he still stood up in front of strangers and made them laugh. Which is 100% more than I’m prepared to do.
And the final part of the trio is a young lass named Jayne Edwards. Here’s another young comic that shows promise and just a touch of genius. She too had an element of the dark in her with a gag about sending a hat made out of a cat to a childrens TV show, which had me struggling to breathe. A joke set up and delivered like a seasoned pro. And I’m not going to give away any more than that, cos she finishes her set with a skit that is so simple in nature, but fucking hilarious in execution.
So that was my Saturday afternoon in Edinburgh on what is really the 1st and last day of the Festival. Well it is for me. I’m dog-sitting next weekend and away camping on Mull the weekend after. In the meantime, me and the girlfriend are off to make some home-made porn for Chris to use against the Tories!
Activism is Fun & Atomic Horse Explosion are on every day from 14:15 at the Globe, Niddry St until the 26th of August, part of the PBH’s Free Fringe.