Our erstwhile columnist has been let out to play. He’s treading the boards at the Edinburgh Fringe. Brace yourselves because he’s fretting. And when he frets, there’s generally Windowlene involved
It’s 3.02am and I’m sitting in three-day-old pants jabbing my food-encrusted laptop as if I’m expecting it to squeak. The words flutter onto the page like Alphabetti Spaghetti out of a bazooka. Above my computer, I’ve pinned photos of great writers: William Shakespeare, that Austen woman, my neighbour’s dog, who once did a poo in the shape of a letter E. I wipe a bit of bolognese off the screen. I’ve no idea what semi-colons do, so I write 15 in a row for good measure.
I’m penning a show for the Edinburgh Fringe. The theme is electronic music. I’m going to waffle about techno for an hour and hope I don’t get bottled. This seemed like a good idea when I pitched the show to the promoters. “It’ll be like the Goon Show for the ecstasy generation,” I slurred while downing another cocktail made from Windowlene and cheese. “If we give you a show, will you come down from our roof?” they said. And that was it. The deal was done.
There are many things about Scotland I love. There used to be a phenomenon in British record shops where the further north you travelled, the fewer drum ’n’ bass records you’d notice. The music of gritty London tower blocks faded away as you approached the English-Scottish border to be replaced by the anthems of happy hardcore: the sound of pilled-up Glaswegian bedsits, record covers all yellow smileys and block capitals. And if you think about it, half of The KLF grew up in Dumfries and Galloway, which pretty much makes Scotland the spiritual home of techno. So Edinburgh, here I come.
My show is called ‘Kraftwerk Badger Spaceship’. You can google it if you want. If you do come along and you get to meet me, make sure you offer the secret Electronic Sound handshake. You know, the one that involves several winks, a pirouette, and half a pound of lard.
Meanwhile, it’s 3.05am, William Shakespeare’s glaring down at me, and I look again at my laptop screen. It just says the word “trousers”. In bold italics. About 70 times. I try to think of a second word. Come on brain, where are the words? What’s that long one with all the vowels? As it happens, writing a Fringe show is difficult. Which means I’m going to be bottled off by a gang of ketamine-faced happy hardcore kids, aren’t I?
I swig my cocktail of delicious cleaning fluid, then bash in a load more semi-colons. Sorted.
Fat Roland performs ‘Kraftwerk Badger Spaceship’ (yes, it really is called that) at Laughing Horse at The Cellar Monkey, 15 Argyle Place, Edinburgh EH9, from 6 to 19 August. The shows start at 5pm are are described by the Official Fringe Bumph as “one idiot’s battle with electronic music”