Monday, 17th August -- from 7.30. Mono, Glasgow. Launch party for Andrew Raymond Drennan's first novel, Cancer Party. Not sure when I'll be on, or for how long, but there'll be other readings -- like Andrew obviously -- and there'll be DJs! Besides, it's Mono, so you know if you're not there you're square.
Friday, 21st August -- 7.50 to 8.40. Fingers Piano Bar, Edinburgh. Word Dogs at the Underword spoken word night, as part of the Fringe. Mine'll be a pretty short set, but I'll do my best to pack a punch into it. And it's free, so there's no excuse for not coming if yer in the area.
Sunday, 23rd August -- 7.50 to 8.40. Fingers Piano Bar, Edinburgh. Underword again, but a double-header with myself and Richard Mosses, so there'll be more for your money's worth, infinitely more given that this too is free. (I think that's how the maths works out.) Expect a couple of short sets rather than one big one, in the interests of not causing listener fatigue.
Talking of the tartan tourist-trap, over the weekend, while all the cool kids were off at Worldcon, I managed to fill my time with some proper partaying through in Edinburgh, where my mates A & J were having a wee flatwarming, and one of those immensely fun ones which take place before the redecorating and therefore involve crayons and felt tip pens and the complete liberty to draw whatever the fuck you want on the soon-to-be-stripped wallpaper and soon-to-be-painted walls. All partays should be like that, I think, though apparently there was some worry beforehand.
A: You can't let them draw on the walls. You know [the Glasgow crowd] will just draw pictures of cocks everywhere.
J: Don't be silly. Our friends are nice. They won't do that.
Needless to say, by the end of the night there were a fair amount of pictures of cocks -- largely concentrated in the room set aside for the guitar lessons A gives, in order to maximise embrassment factor. In my defense, I'll say that I was not the ringleader in this matter, and for most of the night, in fact, contributed no more than the minimal spurtage that I felt was lacking in the key artwork with the highest visibility (the giant cock on the wall above the computer.) I was far too busy developing my -- "tag", I believe the youngsters call it, and ensuring its presence in every room. So it was only much later, after a substantial amount of alcohol had been consumed, that I felt the somewhat naive and primitivist cartoon cocks perpetrated by Mister O failed to capture the true glory of the male member, and so snuck into the adjacent storage room in order to make my own contribution in more of a realistic idiom, something with foreskin and veins, thick veins. Although "ithyphallic" may be a better descriptor than "realistic" given the somewhat exaggerated size.
Anyway, a good time was had by all, and those of us who slept over were even rewarded for our decorative endeavours with bacon rolls the next morning. So hurrah for A & J!
After a wee jaunt to Portobello beach, we made it back to Glasgow in time for me to dauner down to the Halt Bar Hijack of DOOM, which I seem to be becoming a regular contributor to, on the invitation of James "Beard" MacKay of The Radiation Line. I'm certainly happy to get up on stage and spout some spoken word whenever I'm asked, especially if it means free beer and good chat with other performers. Actually, on the way in I bumped into James with another of the evening's spoken word contributors, Andrew Raymond Drennan, which is how the whole gig at his launch party came about.
So, yeah, Andrew turns out to be a damn nice guy, and a wild drummer to boot. James had roped him and the sound guy (whose name I embarassingly didn't catch) into opening up the evening of experimental mayhem, you see. So with the sound guy adding synth weirdness and James going mental on guitar, we were treated to the sight of one of the newer members of Scotland's literary fraternity pounding the fuck out of the skins, sending drumsticks and bits of drumsticks flying, and eventually smearing his face with the blood from a hand gashed by the broken stick. The warpaint did add an extra edge to the reading he had to follow this... ten? fifteen? twenty? minute blitzkrieg with. Not that he needed it. It's always difficult to read a novel excerpt, I think, to hold the audience's attention with prose paced, more often than not, for a reflective reader rather than a possibly inattentive audience, but the sections Andrew read from his first novel, Cancer Party, had more than enough bite to keep people listening intently. I'll certainly be scoring a copy at the launch on Monday coming.
Which brings us back to where we came in. Which seems a good place to leave off. If ye can make it along to Mono, I'll be glad to see you there. And if yer in Edinburgh for some festivaling, feel free to drop into Fingers.