Festival and Fringe shows for me so I thought I'd give you a quick round up of what I've been getting up to. Prior to the previously mentioned Great Escape gig headlined by Nouvelle Vague at the Corn Exchange last Thursday I attended the Vic Reeves talk on Wednesday night at the Theatre Royal where he read excerpts from his book Me: Moir and took questions from the audience. A very funny man (he walked on with a funnel and a paintbrush which he'd found backstage) it was just a shame that he wasn't allowed to talk for longer. Then on Sunday evening I was lucky enough to catch the final performance of C-90 by Daniel Kitson, his one man show about a chap's last day of work in a basement full of discarded cassette tapes. Different from his usual rambling stand up show, this was a tightly scripted piece which was full of warmth, hope and laughter and demonstrated that Kitson really has flair with the English language. My final main festival show was yesterday evening at the Corn Exchange where legendary actor Leslie Phillips was in conversation with broadcaster Simon Fanshawe. As sharp as a tack, and full of affectionate anecdotes, Phillips proved himself to be the perfect gentleman. Click here to see more of Matthew Andrews' festival photographs.
Moving on to some music shows which all featured in the Fringe programme, on Monday night Dave and I went to the Komedia to see Tina Dico. Sadly without her full band it was just a solo set, so was very similar to the gig we attended last October, but was an accomplished performance nevertheless. There was a very quiet, respectful atmosphere inside the venue which was very welcome after some of the noisy audiences I've had to suffer recently, and Tina seemed very relaxed, experimenting with some of her songs and taking requests. Once again she came out to meet her fans at the end and we managed to get her A Beginning tour EP signed. I was back in the Komedia with Andy the following night to see Catherine Anne Davies who I'd helped book to support Scout Niblett. A highly impressive debut, inviting comparisons to Regina Spektor, we both agreed that she has a very powerful voice and plenty of potential. And anyone who throws in a Bowie cover (Wild Is The Wind) gets extra brownie points from me! Definitely a name to watch. Then it was a mad dash across Brighton to the Joogleberry just in time to see The Mummers. Again, their set was similar to that of their last gig at Sussex Arts Club but again it was different class, Raissa's soaring vocals and those lush orchestrations casting a spell over the audience. Newcomers Justin and Dave were equally impressed. A band that deserves - and demands - your attention.