On The Fringe Of Sanity: Harperfringe 2002
Paula writes: It was that time of year again... tourists as far as the eye can see, bagpipers even further than that, half-naked Latvian fire-eating motorcycle-riding jugglers up and down the High Street handing out flyers for performance art showcases, Edinburgh city councillors getting all hot under the collar about the Puppetry of the Penis show, me getting asked if I'm an American tourist an average of 8 times a day... you get the general picture... oh yeah, and Nick at the Fringe, which is the best part. ;) Sadly, the whole circus is over now, so we'll be winding down the diary soon, but here's a bit of the flavour of the Fringe.
Almost all the gigs sold out, which was fantastic and meant that we got an extra show (see below). The daytime shows were a bit Harpic Lite - an hour never seems like enough for Nick to really get going - but he wooed the crowds in fine style. Over the course of the festival, he a) nearly sat in a patron's lap playing Like Punk Never Happened, b) humped the speaker trying to get feedback out of his Lowden, c) played a duet with his mobile phone (see the Glasgow Herald review below for more), d) forgotten to turn on the tape recorder (see below) three times when he was starting gigs, e) remembered the name of the chancellor Gordon Brown by singing it to the tune of the Stranglers' Golden Brown, f) ridden a giant inflatable hammer across the stage (you had to be there, I suppose!), g) persevered nobly through at least one major hangover, h) handed out cough sweets to members of the audience, i) displayed his full arsenal of funky shirts (see above for an example) - hubba hubba ;), and j) played the most blinding version of Headless we may ever have heard. And that's all just what we saw!
Since we had Nick virtually at our back door for almost a whole month (it's a hard life, but someone's gotta live it... hey you're just lucky we gave him back, he brought the good weather with him!), we felt it was our civic duty to keep you all informed of what happened up here. So here's the latest news, schmooze and utter randomness that is Harperfringe 2002 - watch this space for the last few updates
The latest as of Wednesday 28th:
- The biggest bestest news first: due to overwhelming popular demand and near-sellouts for the last week of gigs already, Nick played one extra gig at Southside on Friday night the 23rd at 12:15am. Here's what we said about it: "...so he can stay on for an hour and a half, swear, play Titties And Beer, you know the drill. ;) This is going to be a biggie - it's in the large theatre there rather than in the studio where he has been playing and thus is 4 times the capacity. It's not up on the official Fringe site yet but it's definitely happening and Nick is really psyched for it. The organisers of Southside were dubious that midnight was a good time - "But will anyone show up?" they said. Let's show 'em... all of you who can be there should please come along, bring friends and sacrificial Harpervirgins, drink loads of beer and cheer Nick on - c'mon, that's all fun and not a chore at all! Tell your family, friends, enemies - hell, tell everyone cos a week isn't a long time to promote a show and loads of friendly faces through the doors would be FAB." It was fab, amazingly so, and the crowd was large and enthusiastic - thanks for coming along, we'll try to have more on this soon.
- Yet more proof that Nick is a hot Fringe commodity: he played Pick Of The Fringe for the second year running - twice! He played the newie Lily's Song (name?) and the Headless medley at Mervyn Stutter's Pick Of The Fringe Wednesday 21st at the Gilded Balloon Teviot. And then Mervyn asked him back on Friday. Yay!
- He played two songs (including Radio Silence) with Carol Laula at her T on the Fringe gig at the Liquid Rooms on Thursday 22nd. We'd highly recommend Carol on her own, so this was doubly good!
- He played VERY late (try about 2:30am!) Thursday night the 22nd at the Bongo Club Late Night Cabaret. He already played there once for about half an hour at about 2am on Thursday 8th (or Friday 9th, depending on how you look at it). The HOH asks: Does this man never SLEEP? All we can say is, if you went to see him in Hull this past weekend: you're lucky he was awake. ;)
- Nick's appearance on Festival 02 went ahead the night of Friday 16th, though apologies if you missed it - the news ran late due to arrests in the Soham kidnapping case, and the show came on at 11:10pm rather than the advertised 10:30pm. We've seen it now, and it's a good version of Aeroplane (if a bit 10am rough) and it looks very trippy - and we're not just talking about the shirt he was wearing (see illustration on this page). We at the HOH will do our damndest to get the video up on our site... real soon now. :)
- The first national newspaper review of Nick's shows was printed in the Glasgow Herald on Tuesday 13th, written by the always-lovely Rob Adams - you can see it here.
- On the last day of Nick's run, the Scotsman printed their review - he earned 4 stars but you can never really tell from the review why, maybe for drinking! Ah well, she liked it anyway, shame they didn't print it before the evening show... see it here.
- The Guardian's daily Edinburgh Festivals Guide asked for text message reviews of Fringe shows. We tried it out... and got printed. See, you can be famous too haha.
- Don't know if this appeared on the radio as well but Edinburgh radio station Forth One FM gave Nick's show a glowing review on their website.
HOW YOU CAN STILL HELP
- He recorded most of his Fringe gigs for another possible live album... when he remembered to turn the deck on haha.
- He was not, contrary to photo evidence, trying to grow a mullet. ;) The longer hair looked fab on him - but he got a cut near the end. Oh well haha.
- On Tuesday 13th, he played Is This Really Me? for the first time in what he guessed was about 4 years (I liked it better than the recorded version, and he only needed to be reminded of one line), then went on to play the theme from Rainbow... I guess in case things got too heavy. ;)
- If got to any of the shows, be sure to log in to the Fringe site, go to Nick's show page and leave a star rating and review. You can find the reviews page here and Nick's reviews page here (and yes we've done our part - oh the shame haha). So far, our man's got 5 stars on average and 4 5-star reviews. And we're not the only ones who mentioned the shirts. ;) There should still be time to add your review - any good publicity helps!
- Please don't make up reviews if you haven't been. Tempting though it may be!
Updated 28 August 2002
© PLC 2002