EDINBLOG 2017

After a one year absence, I was back at the Edinburgh Festival.

I didn’t go last year as I went to the European Championship in France instead.

Not going to lie, August 2016 was unbearable, as I follow a lot of performers and venues on Social Media and all they did was post about Edinburgh. It was like hearing about a party you weren’t at.

I decided to go over for the opening weekend. There’s no bad time to go, it’s brilliant all month. From experience, the festival is at it’s best in the middle as you can find them just getting warmed up at the start and winding down at the end.

As I say, there is no bad time to go, and I began to count down from the moment I had the trip booked.

Part of the countdown is getting the programme and circling through it. Lots and lots of circling.

It’s not essential, but it does help if you plan what you want to see in advance. So, I created a database (stop laughing) and plotted my schedule of what I wanted to see.

However, I got lazy and forgot to book them in advance, so I would be gambling on purchasing them on my first day.

Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad. I got all I wanted, albeit having to rearrange the days I saw them to what was planned.

There was a mildly amusing (I’m downgrading it in order to manage expectations) moment when I asked the woman at the counter if Grainne Maguire’s free lunchtime show was ticketed and she replied “Grainne with a fada?”.

I thought her computer was case sensitive but it turned out she was asking if I was wanting to see Grainne Maguire’s other show she was doing.

I went to see What Has The News Ever Done For Me? hosted by Grainne Maguire, where a panel of comedians put forward a case as to why their light hearted news story of choice is the most important story in the world.

The show was ok, but I imagine it will get better throughout the month. What we did learn is that Maguire’s knowledge of Scottish politics is that Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale has a new girlfriend, with Maguire revealing that she once bought a dress because Dugdale wore it.

We also had people loitering outside, unsure if they wanted to see the show. They disappeared before the end of the show.

Despite a year away, I still hadn’t lost the knack of politely declining flyers and apologetically replying “I’m fine thanks”, a phrase I would say quite a lot over the weekend.

On my first day there, the weather didn’t disappoint. When I say it didn’t disappoint, I mean, I expected rain and got lots of it.

I went for a walk to Potterow where building work meant that the BBC’s location had been moved to nearby George Heriot’s School.

I only applied for one show, Steve Wright In The Afternoon on my first day there, and was unsuccessful.

While heading back from Potterow, The Scotsman were selling copies where you get a free goody bag. This include free sun cream …… as the rain continued to fall. Even the Newspaper Sellers in Edinburgh think they’re comedians.

As I headed into Edinburgh from the Airport, I browsed through the listings in Metro and saw an event which caught my eye called Fringe By The Sea, a counter event in North Berwick, a 30 minute train journey away.

KT Tunstall was playing on the Monday while I was there, but it was sold out.

Another concert I was unaware of until I arrived was Madness performing at Falkirk Stadium on the first day I arrived. Falkirk is only 30 minutes from Edinburgh by train.

No point crying over what I missed out on.

On the Friday teatime I went to see What Bowie Did Next looking at what David Bowie did when he entered heaven.

It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t something i’d preach about to others. There were some fluffed lines, but they weren’t disastrous due to some quick thinking and audience interaction, and we did get to see Jimi Hendrix as portrayed by Jim Broadbent.

Friday accidentally became a themed day of dead people as my next show starred Margaret Thatcher. Well, probably someone in costume as her.

Thatcher Queen Of Game Shows is the follow-up to Thatcher Queen Of Sho, where Maggie now hosts a Game Show where plebs battle it out for benefits.

As I queued outside, Thatcher came out to inform the crowd that the show was delayed due to technical issues, blaming them on Theresa May.

She even apologised for the delay. That was very uncharacteristic for her. She didn’t apologise for the rain though.

The show pitted Skivers against Strivers. I was sat in the Skivers section, as we were treated to Angela Merkel rapping and Nicola Sturgeon in puppet form. Seriously, go see it.

Saturday morning was spent visiting Grassmarket and walking around the general Princes Street area, before catching some football as Edinburgh City took on Montrose,

By Saturday teatime, Edinburgh was now bathed in sunshine and that free sun cream was coming in handy, as I headed to Pleasance to see Matt Forde with a show titled that it was hastily rewritten.

He covers Politics and, i’m not sure if you’ve noticed recently, but Politics is fucked up these days.

You don’t have to be into Politics to enjoy the show, as he talks about loving the way Paul Nuttall says “Fisheries” and not much else about him.

Sunday morning was spent looking for bargains in the charity shops near Potterow and visiting Royal Mile Market as Edinburgh got treated to more rain.

By this point, The Scotsman were now giving out ponchos to anyone who bought it.

I’d left a gap on Monday for KT Tunstall, but i’d resigned myself to not going, so I set about getting tickets for Monday.

I purchased one for The Damned United. I’d hoped to see James Acaster but he was sold out, so Monday night was still free.

On Sunday teatime I went to see a show called Ringo starring Alexander Fox, about his obsession with Ringo Starr.

His accent when impersonating Starr sounded a bit Yorkshire, but a quick audio montage during the show revealed that Ringo’s accent goes all over the place.

Fox stated that he couldn’t afford an agent of flyers as he spent all his budget on a drum kit to perform on stage during the show.

However, I saw Flyerers for his show on the Monday, so he must have had a good weekend.

On the Sunday evening, I went to see Whose Line Is It Anyway? which was worth it to see Phill Jupitus do Bollywood.

I toyed with the idea of getting up early on Monday to walk Arthur’s Seat, but slept in. Try again in 2018.

I walked around Edinburgh on Monday morning, really realising how much I miss going to MacAulay and Co on weekday mornings, with the show having been cancelled by BBC Scotland in 2015.

So, what to do on Monday night?

Monday lunchtime was a free show called Circled In the Radio Times by John Osborne about inheriting his Grandad’s old editions of Radio Times and being able to pinpoint the exact moment he stopped watching Eastenders. It involved a Mitchell family feud.

Monday teatime was spent watching a stage version of The Damned United.

We even got a programme. Well, a sheet listing the cast, but i’m counting it as a programme.

It was very sweary, with some of Brian Clough’s mannerisms being spot on.

I wouldn’t say it’s the best play about Brian Cough at this year’s Fringe, but it’s in the top one.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t run for 44 days.

Warning, it’s very sweary.

Monday night was spent seeing Fred MacAulay at The Stand.

I’ve been a fan for a while but never got round to seeing as I usually went to his BBC show for free so didn’t feel the need to.

He observed his level of fame as being people know his name but don’t know his name and shared his fear that he might be related to Donald Trump.

So, that was it, my Edinburgh was over for another year and I flew back to Belfast on Tuesday morning.

One downside is that when you go, there will be some acts you miss. Here are some i’d suggest if you are heading over that I would have loved to have seen but they weren’t on when I was there :

Fred MacAulay In Conversation

Iain Connell

Limmy

Live At The Pleasance

Mark Watson

In Conversation With Amy MacDonald

Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy

So that is me, until August 2018 when it will be uphill walks, apologising to flyerers, rain, and most importantly, a good time.

Edinblog 2015

Edinblog 2014

Edinblog 2013

Edinblog 2012

Edinblog 2011

Edinblog 2010

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 4.10.1986

Mark Hughes, in the early months of his first season at Barcelona, is the cover star of this week’s edition of Shoot.

His fellow cover star Kerry Dixon is fighting back at critics who criticised his performance in England’s recent friendly defeat against Sweden.

Dixon will be on your TV screens at the weekend as his Chelsea team take on Manchester United, with United goalkeeper wanting revenge for the previous season’s defeat to Chelsea at Old Trafford during the title run-in. The previous season’s meeting was between two teams at the top, this time around it’s between teams in the bottom half.

In news, John Wark is wanted by Hearts, Aberdeen and Norwich, while Mickey Thomas is wanted by Wichita Wings in North America.

One man who did move was Kevin Richardson, who moved from Everton to Watford, and got a phone call from Elton John welcoming him to the club, and believed it was a wind-up from his former Everton team-mates.

Everton supporters with a tenner spare could join their Fan Club, advertised in this edition.

There were plans for a testimonial for Pat Jennings before the end of 1986 at Windsor Park between an All-Star British XI to take on a European XI.

In the editor’s column, editor Peter Stewart rubbishes the idea of a proposed “Super League”, pointing to the success of smaller clubs such as Wimbledon, Oxford and Charlton.

The same column also praises Luton Town for their ban on away supporters at Kenilworth Road, as they aim to combat hooliganism.

Brian Clough tells Shoot that he doesn’t want Forest star Franz Carr to get an England call-up, because his former club Blackburn will be due a payment as part of the transfer arrangement.

Talking of England, they’ve been invited to a tournament of former World Cup winners in Brazil in 1989 to commemorate 75 years of football in Brazil. England were paired in the same group as Brazil and Uruguay.

It was a tournament that Enzo Bearzot, Italy’s 1982 World Cup winning manager, won’t be taking part in, having just resigned from his role as national team manager.

Mark Wright is on the comeback trail after an injury during Southampton’s FA Cup Semi-Final against Liverpool which ruled him out of the World Cup in Mexico. He talks to Shoot about his experiences coming back from injury.

In Glasgow, it is young players that are the talk of the town, with Shoot doing a feature on breakthrough stars Tony Shepherd (Celtic), Ian Durrant and Derek Ferguson (Rangers)

Another (relative) youngster making a mark was 32 year old Wolves manager Brian Little, who gets a double page spread in what Shoot describe as “Football’s hardest job”

Cover star Mark Hughes gets a double page feature, where he lists his favourite things. Since you ask, his favourite bands are The Jam and U2.

Also getting a double page profile are Derby County, who Shoot describe as “on the march”, and so it proved as they got promoted to Division One in 1987.

The magazine ends with Charlie Nicholas uses his column to urge Scotland fans to stand by newly appointed manager Andy Roxburgh after a disappointing start to their Euro 88 Qualifying campaign.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 12.10.1985

Norman Whiteside, still only twenty years old, is this week’s cover star, as Shoot reveals what he is really like.

As you open the magazine, there is a double page article called Tottenham Scotspur, focusing on the lack of Scottish talent at White Hart Lane, with only youngster Ally Dick being on the books.

Dick is described as a name for tomorrow, but his tomorrow would be outside the UK, most notably at Ajax, where he was a substitute in the 1988 European Cup Winners Cup Final.

Shoot suggests Scottish talent who Spurs should sign, such as Paul McStay, Maurice Malpas, Jim Leighton (who would end up across North London at Arsenal for a short loan spell in 1991) and Richard Gough, who would sign for Spurs the following summer.

In news, Kevin Keegan has quit England to live in Spain so he can play Golf all year round.

Ian Rush uses his column to reveal that new Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is much tougher than his predecessors Joe Fagin and Bob Paisley.

The FAI invoked a UEFA rule to stop RTE showing live coverage of top flight games in England on a Saturday afternoon, to stop viewers in Northern Ireland watching it instead of attending games at Irish League clubs. Their own domestic league, League Of Ireland, would have been unaffected due to playing on Sundays.

Having suggested possible signings for Spurs earlier, Shoot report that Spurs are looking at signing either Alvin Martin or Steve Bruce.

Bryan Robson uses his column to appeal to referees to stop allowing goalkeepers to move before a penalty kick is taken.

Charlie Nicholas recent goal against Coventry gets a double page photo collage.

Cover star Norman Whiteside gets a double page spread, where he is described as a tough guy with a soft centre, and reveals that he misses Gordon McQueen in the dressing room, who he describes as almost as funny as Jimmy Cricket.

Shoot goes behind the scenes at Aberdeen, where manager Alex Ferguson says the basis of their success (prophetically, considering his future success at Manchester United) is young players brought through the club. He also describes cook Belle Morrison as his bets signing.

When this magazine went to print, there was no coverage of English football on TV (contradicting the earlier story about RTE) meaning no games were filmed. The impact was felt abroad, as Scandinavian fans were now deserting English clubs for Italian and West German sides, with both league now being broadcast there instead.

Brian Clough uses his column to reveal that he’ll miss recently departed Southampton manager Lawrie McMenemy supplying him with strawberries whenever his side visits The Dell, and expresses his opposition to the idea of groundsharing in England.

Lee Chapman of Sheffield Wednesday has a simple ambition for this season, to get more goals than stitches.

Tommy Cannon, described as “The suave half of Cannon and Ball”, gets a full page feature having just joined the board at Rochdale. The story is accompanied by a picture of him posing in a Rochdale kit.

Frank McGarvey, enjoying a successful second spell at St Mirren, tells Shoot he regrets not staying at Liverpool longer.

Steve Hodge, a recent Aston Villa signing, tells Shoot he has joined “A team of the future”. Aston Villa were relegated in 1987, by which point Hodge had left to sign for Tottenham Hotspur.

Charlton Athletic get a feature, as they are forced to moved out of The Valley due to it not being considered safe, and are playing their first match at Selhurst Park. Charlton wouldn’t play at The Valley again until 1992.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 28.12.1985

Nothing says Christmas quite like Charlie Nicholas holding a crown, and that’s what Shoot readers were treated to as they tucked into their turkey in 1985.

As you open the magazine, Ian Rush writes that he hopes 1986 will be a better year for him than 1985, and saying that Wales players failed Mike England in 1985, while also criticising the FAW for playing their vital World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Cardiff rather than Wrexham.

Shoot columnist Jimmy Greaves gets a double page interview, but it’s not football he’s discussing, it’s his predictions for other sports in 1986.

Cover star Charlie Nicholas writes that he is lacking in Christmas Spirit for the fixture computer as Arsenal face Liverpool and Manchester United over the festive period, with Nicholas pointing out that he has been on the losing side in his five games against United for Arsenal.

Nicholas is also pictured visiting Selfridges.

Another top flight player is pictured dressed as Santa. The clues are that he is 25, plays for a club in the North of England and has less than ten international caps. It is revealed later in the magazine that it is Gary Lineker.

In world news, Brazilian star Eder is linked with a move to Spurs, Gerard Houllier is praised for PSGs unbeaten start in France, and Holland have been offered lucrative friendlies in the summer of 1986 which will earn them more money than if they had reached Mexico.

In Uruguay, legendary manager Luis Cubilla has been jailed for attacking a referee who gave a penalty against his team.

Brian Clough is the subject of a “Focus On ….” feature, where he reveals his favourite musician is Frank Sinatra.

Shoot does a double page feature on transfers that almost happened, such as Jim Bett to Southampton, Bryan Robson to Everton and Charlie Nicholas to Manchester United.

Nicholas decided against signing for Untied after meeting Ron Atkinson, who he says talks about himself too much.

There is a double page spread featuring all the results in the qualifiers for the 1986 World Cup.

Shoot does a full page profile of Oxford United manager Maurice Evans, who has been given Robert Maxwell’s seal of approval after being predicted to be the first manager sacked at the start of the season.

Led by European Cup winner Peter Withe, Sheffield United get a feature and a team poster as they aim for promotion to the top flight.

Glenn Hoddle has been making the most of his spare time by spending it in the recording studio, where Shoot joined him, stating that he is determined to become good at Guitar. He would have a Top 20 hit in 1987 as part of Glenn and Chris, alongside Chris Waddle.

Peter Shilton gets a full page profile, with quotes of what other football personalities say about him. Bobby Robson describes him as the greatest goalkeeper of all time.

Alex Ferguson of Scotland and Aberdeen gets a double page profile looking at what makes him tick. He had recently turned down a move to Inter Milan.

John Bailey gets a profile, having left Everton for Newcastle. Bailey was seen as a joker at Goodison where he arranged for a Kissogram for manager Howard Kendall.

Bryan Robson’s column discusses United’s signing of John Sivebeak, having got glowing reports from Frank Stapleton and Kevin Moran, who faced him in a recent international.

Also writing about a new signing is Paul McStay, who is delighted that Mark McGee has signed for Celtic.

Manchester United’s explosive start to the season brought back memories of Leeds going 29 games unbeaten at the start of 1973-1974, and Leeds stars of that era share their memories.

Alan McDonald is interviewed, where he reveals that he turned down Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton to join QPR, hits back at England fans who suggested that their draw with Northern Ireland was a fix, and reveals that he feels he is far from guaranteed a place in Northern Ireland’s World Cup squad.

West Ham’s forward duo of Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie are profiled, where it is revealed that their partnership only came together due to injury.

Scotland fans got a double page photo collage from their side’s World Cup Play-Off win against Australia, with Graeme Souness being interviewed over the page, stating that it was Scotland’s best chance to get past the group stages for the first time.

Ian Greaves gets interviewed, having recently turned down the chance to manage West Brom in order to stay at Mansfield.

Chelsea and Manchester United are keeping an eye on Brian McClair, who has just handed in a transfer request at Celtic after being dropped to make way for Mark McGhee, while Colin Gibson hopes his recent move to Manchester United will get him a place in England’s World Cup squad.

Seamus McDonagh was £900 out of pocket when he played for Republic of Ireland in a recent match against Denmark, after flying in from America (where he plays his club football) at his own expense, and his match fee not covering it.

The magazine ends with a profile of Steve McMahon. His favourite singers are Rod Stewart and Bruce Springsteen.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 14.7.1979

Match action from England’s recent visit to Sweden is the cover of Shoot, as they try to fill in the gap during the pre-season of 1979.

In news, Brian Clough has drawn praise from pundits in the Soviet Union after Nottingham Forest’s European Cup win, and Northern Ireland have announced a tour of Australia for the summer of 1980.

Pierce O’Leary of Shamrock Rovers was linked with a move to Coventry City, potentially, the first League Of Ireland player to move to an English club for a six figure fee. Staying in Dublin, Pele was a surprise visitor to Dublin for the friendly between Republic of Ireland and Argentina.

Distillery were facing expulsion from the Irish League if they couldn’t have a new ground by the start of the 1980-1981 season.

And finally, Coventry City became the first Football League team to visit the Faroe Islands, beating a local team 6-0.

The volume of British players in the US meant the NASL got a page of coverage, the lead story being that George Best had went missing for a week.

Gordon McQueen, writing a column, expresses his concern that the games between England and Scotland could be banned due to crowd violence, expressing his anger at a Scottish fan who invaded the pitch with his side 1-0 up, causing a delay. England went on to win the game 3-1.

McQueen also spoke about an 18 year old called Diego Maradona, who faced Scotland and was described by McQueen as “Another Pele in the making”, but was disappointed at the lack of TV coverage of the game, due to a dispute with the BBC.

In letters, a Shrewsbury Town fan complains about the lack of acknowledgement given to boss Graham Turner for his success at the club. A reader from Perth wrote in to complain about the BBC being biased towards Rangers.

A young manager starting out in the game is 32 year old Howard Kendall, and his appointment at Blackburn Rovers gets 2/3 of a page coverage.

RC Strasbourg get a full page profile, with a team poster on the other side.

To fill up space with no football, we get a full page of footballers on holiday, including a picture of Phil Neal throwing Phil Thompson into a swimming pool.

Part 8 of Shoot’s review of the 1978-1979 season reveals that Barcelona want Bobby Robson to be their manager. It only took 17 years for them to get him.

Derek Johnstone’s Scottish football column is accompanied by a picture of him playing video games with his wife.

Wigan Athletic, having just completed their first season as a league club, feature in an article asking if they will “Do a Wimbledon” – Wimbledon (promoted to the Football League in 1977) got promoted in their second season.

Wigan did indeed “Do a Wimbledon” in terms that they reached the top flight (in 27 years compared to Wimbledon’s 9) and won the FA Cup (took them 35 years compared to Wimbledon’s 11)

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 22nd MAY 1993

This edition focuses on Shoot’s 1993 FA Cup Final review edition, which unfortunately for them, required a replay to be played on the date of publishing.

The cover stars are Paul Warhurst and Ian Wright battling for possession in the original game.

A report of the FA Cup Final gets a double page spread.

In rumours which look silly now : Barnsley want Gordon Strachan to be their manager, and Manchester United are going to sign David Platt, Stuart Pearce, David Hirst and Roy Keane.

Aston Villa apparantly want to sign Stan Collymore. They did, four years later, after he had spells at Nottingham Forest and Liverpool.

Brian Clough marks his retirement with an exclusive interview, which gets a page dedicated to it.

Aldershot Town get a page dedicated to them. Founded in 1992 from the ashes of Aldershot FC, they were started again in the bottom tier of English football.

Manager Steve Wignall said the club have a realistic ambition of being a Football League club again by 2003. They did make it back to the Football League, but not until 2008.

Jimmy Greaves letters page is as crazy as ever.

Ashley Ballhatchet from Farnham Common cheerleads for Julian Dicks getting into the England squad.

John Richards from Sunderland is unimpressed by the idea of Sunderland leaving Roker Park to a new 40,000 all seater stadium.

Meanwhile, with qualification for the 1994 World Cup looking unlikely, the plight of Scottish football gets a double page spread.

Scotland ended up qualifying for Euro 96 and France 98, but nothing since.

With Manchester United winning their first title in 26 years, long serving captain Bryan Robson gets a double page spread about his delight at this.

It was a good year for Welsh football. With the national team making a serious bid for World Cup qualification (they eventually lost out in the final game), Cardiff City and Wrexham were promoted from Division and Swansea City reached the Division Two play-offs.

In Division Two in 1992/1993 were current Premier League clubs Stoke City, Bolton, West Bromwich Albion (all three promoted), Fulham, Wigan Athletic

YOOCHOOB

Football lovers on Twitter will have noticed in recent weeks, a new account by the name of RetroMBM.

It’s to launch a new football website showcasing videos from “The good ole days”, from the writers of the excellent ‘Joy Of Six‘ on The Guardian website.

I love Youtube, and what I love most is viewing old stuff, such as videos to songs i’ve only ever heard but never seen the video to, news reports of major events in the past, random idents and football matches from yesteryear.

Seeing as this site is setting up, thought i’d share some of my favourite old football videos currently on Youtube, in no specific order.

Trailer for the BBC’s coverage of the 1986 World Cup. They went to a lot of effort building a set which sort of looks like Mexico and hiring Mexican-looking actors to star in it.

ITV’s coverage of the 1982 World Cup, presented by Brian Moore with comedy from Eric Morecambe. In 2010, it was presented by Adrian Chiles with comedy (If you can call it that) from James Corden.

What the fuck went wrong with ITV in the intervening 28 years?

(You may notice Eamonn Holmes in the clip. Didn’t he look like Dimitar Berbatov when he was younger?)

A mundane friendly game from 1998, but worth watching simply for Brian Clough not taking too kindly to Nick Owen correcting him for calling Gary Pallister “McAllister”.

Now, if only someone could write a comedy show about a TV presenter and model it on Nick Owen, possibly presenting a graveyard show on Radio Norwich?

(Also, ever watch a live match from Eastern Europe these days wishing it was in the middle of the afternoon as the ground had no floodlights and with poor sound quality on the commentary? Ain’t modern technological advances shit?)

Amazing Luton Town kit, watch the reaction of the crowd behind the goal when the ball goes in.

Geekgasm alert, amazing ident. One word – GOOOOOALLLLLLACCCCHHHIIOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Bryan Robson makming Diego Maradona look like a little boy. This is why the big European nights at Old Trafford are great occasions.

THIS, is what the new Match of the Day opening credits should have looked like.

English football allowed off UEFA’s naughty step.

UK TV World Cup coverage opening credits. Bet you can remember most of them too. It’s amazing the evolution of them too.

What’s wrong with cutting together a few clips of teams involved in the tournament?

Football advertising in a more innocent age.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

RETROMBM

West Germany v Holland, Italia 90

Italia 90 ITV End Montage

Oh Pavarotti

Oh ITV4, why won’t you repeat ‘The Big Match’ anymore?

Oh David Icke

Cup Final Build-Up 1983

Cloughie, The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Oh ITV, why can’t you do football coverage like this anymore?

YOUTUBE CHANNELS

Homesdale35

Mattyredman