Subscribe RSS
Edinburgh: Day 21 Aug 25

My voice was screwed.

The combination of a low-level Fringe cold and shouting on stage most days had taken its toll and I was starting to lose the ability to speak. It’s an ability I took thoughtlessly for granted. Turns out it’s a pretty key skill when it comes to doing stand-up in Edinburgh.

Although I was croaky, the show went well and I was able to catch up with a number of friends from the audience over a pint afterwards. In an attempt to add tuberculosis to my vocal problems, I then headed down to the dankness of the Caves to see Danny Pensive. Not that I’d have got tuberculosis as I demonstrated immunity when tested at school. Take that, BCG losers.

I had three reasons for seeing Danny Pensive’s Map of Britain: he was a scream at Comedy Countdown; a friend recommended his show; and he’s a Doctor Who fan.

There are quite a few fanboys (it’s a non-gender-specific term) performing in Edinburgh. I’ve been trying to make a list – obviously, because that’s what fanboys do. And here I don’t mean people who like Doctor Who a bit; I mean people who like Doctor Who a lot. People who have the DVDs and actually watch the DVD extras. People who subscribe to Doctor Who Magazine. People who know their Sagacity from their City of Death.

So far I’ve got me and Dan from Three Man Roast (of course); John Cooper (aka Danny Pensive); Michael Legge; Tom Neenan from off of the Gentleman of Leisure (the old GOL); Andrew O’Neill; John Henry Falle from the Beta Males; Marc Burrows (from The 90s in Half an Hour); and Mitch Benn. Stuart Goldsmith and John-Luke Roberts from The Behemoth have question marks next to their names. Do grab them in the street and check. (Update: Luke Roberts – I don’t know why I doubted it. But I foolishly overlooked Colin Hoult and Tom Bell.)

Any more for any more? That list is, surprise surprise, uniformly male so far.

I’m not going to round these people up or anything. Although the Nazis probably said that too to begin with.

The evening’s entertainment was the middle show in the three-day run of the glorious Karaoke Circus. Nathan the Trombonist let me put my name down for all of the songs, as is my foolish way. It was particularly foolish on this occasion with my fading voice managing a workable singing range of around half an octave. I knocked back some Covonia and hoped for the best.

It was another marvellous night. Highlights included Robin Ince’s Two Little Boys (not a euphemism); Tim Vine’s disturbing one-piece PVC jumpsuit as Plastic Elvis; and Nadia Kamil and Joe Lycett performing Cee Lo Green’s uncensored big hit that may not be named (this is a family blog, we don’t say “fuck” here). I landed the last audience open spot.

Some of the songs would have been OK. Some of the songs didn’t have two many notes. Unfortunately, I was summoned to sing Come on Eileen. This, it turns out, has all of the notes and if your voice is a bit weak, it has the potential to sound the laryngal death knell.

I fear Eileen will have been less spurred on and more scared off.

Still, I got to show off my new Karaoke Circus t-shirt, as snapped by Isabelle:

KC Ed11 #2: Come On Eileen

What I learnt today: When you have a weak voice, rest it, you idiot.

Recommended show: Danny Pensive’s Map of Britain

Obligatory plug: I’m in Three Man Roast (★★★★ –, 2.35pm weekdays at Finnegan’s Wake on Victoria Street – free entry.

One Response

  1. 1
    Mark Pack 

    Woo! I have Doctor Who DVDs and watch the extras too, so I meet you criteria. From you, that’s flattering. Or exposes a flaw in your definition that fails to weed out amateur half-baked fans with OCD.