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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



Fringe Sunday…

August 15th, 2005 | No Comments | Categories: Uncategorized |

Fringe Sunday began looking like it was going to be a total disaster – it was tipping it down with rain til gone 12, and given that they usually have almost a quarter of a million people out during the day to see all the Fringe festival-related stuff going on at (a secret location known only as) The Meadows, rain puts a bit of a downer on the day.

Fortunately it had stopped by 1pm, and by 2 it was drying up nicely.

I was booked to play in the Cabaret tent (how the hell did I morph from serious musician to cabaret performer??? Edinburgh seems to do this to you…), but had had a major brain freeze the night before and forgotten to bring my Echoplex pedal with me out of the box backstage, so was left with two Echoplexes and a bass, and no way to start the loops. A brain-wave just before I went on lead to me asking the wonderful Amy Kohn to come and be my footpedal. Not that I was going to tread on her or anything – we just planned it so that I’d count her in and out of hitting the record button on the Echoplex while I played ‘Amo Amatis Amare’. And as she was there on stage, it would seem mad not to get her to play some lovely accordion over the top. Which she did, beautifully.

So that went well. I had a couple of minutes left at the end of the set, so opted (rather unwisely, really) to playing ‘What A Wonderful World’ – I played it OK, but it is a struggle on the fretless, and doing it without decent monitoring, and more importantly with NO REVERB (!!!!), it didn’t sound great from where I was. Still, it was well received.

What I did realise was that being lumbered with armfulls of bass-techie equipment at Fringe Sunday is an f-ing liability, and I’d actually have had much better exposure if I’d not bothered playing and had just spent the day flyering near the music venues. As it was, it went OK, but me and one EDP with no reverb or processing is hardly a fair representation of the show. Thankfully the duet with Amy made it worth doing. She was fab.

So after that I took the Echoplex travel-rack home, picked up TSP and headed back into town. The best thing about weekends in Edinburgh isn’t, as most people will tell you, the larger crowds. Oh no, it’s the FREE PARKING!! We were able to park on the North Bridge, less than 50 yards from the front of my venue. Very nice.

Then it was back to the usual flyering mode, which I’ve been perfecting over the week. Flyering your own show definitely gives you an edge of the disinterested students trying to make some money to pay off their beer deficit for the year, and it does get people to stop and chat if you introduce the fact that it’s you on the flyer in an amusing way. By yesterday my patter for flyering had become (roughly) ‘One Man Music Show, four star review in Three Weeks (pause while they take the flyer) He’s a legend! He’s a genius! He’s MEEEEE!’ – cue much hilarity and a conversation with person being flyered about what the hell the show is… seems to be working well, as I had another audience of around 40 last night (didn’t get the official figure, but that’s the report from the venue manager).

The show itself went well – there were a lot of late-comers, walking in after the first song, so I hope the caught the explaination, or they’ll be going home telling their friends to give the Karaoke bass-monkey a miss, he just mimes to a mini-disc! Still, sold a bunch of CDs and tshirts, so all is good.

The Rev G (where did I get the abreviation Rvd from? I just made that up, and it’s not like I don’t know enough vicars so I have an excuse) was back in the house last night and performed very well in the role as ‘vicar with tourettes’ in the MMFSOG story – it’s odd, I just decided on the first night to explain the tune (not something I’ve ever bothered with at gigs before) and it’s become a bit of a favourite in the show). And the lovely Amy also came to show and was involved in the audience participation number, making a very odd sound which worked surprisingly well! That’s another spur of the moment addition to the set that has worked remarkably well. Might have to expand it to two tunes next year if I can come up with another angle that works…

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