Got the bus into Edinburgh last night to have a wander through the Festival and see some friends playing at the Forest Cafe. Watched a street performer juggling machetes while standing on the shoulders of an audience member. As well as the skill, he had the patter – to a large couple who left just after he’d encouraged people to put money in the hat, he shouted ‘Excuse me, sir, but you’re being followed by a strange lesbian!’ Another couple were sat behind him as he began his finale: ‘I know this couple. When they go home at night, they switch on their TV, then sit down for the evening behind it!’
At the Forest Cafe, I saw a set by Lindsay Sugden, with Karen Austin harmonising, which showcased her fascinating and elusive guitar style, and the strength of her songs, which are no longer the frail things they used to be. Lindsay then switched to bass for a set with Flowers for Algernon, who also surpassed my expectations with a batch of new songs – I particularly liked ‘Inge’s Eyes’ by which time the sound guy had really got his act together, no mean feat given the number of players crammed on stage. For an unexpected cover of the Kinks’ ‘Apeman’ I had to restrain myself from jumping on stage to join in (they’ll be grateful for my restraint). I love covers that take me by surprise, and Jim obviously loves ‘Apeman’! I had to leave early to get the last bus home, but it was a pleasure to be an audient to such a creative bunch of people, all thoroughly diamond geezers (and geezerettes) too.
Good luck Lindsay with your exam!