‘1 find conversation almost impossible. let alone interviews.‘ confides Rob Newman. ‘lt‘s a parody ofa disciple's conversation because usually when somebody pumps you with questions it's ‘cos they really love you. whereas in an interview it could well be the reverse and that completely throws me into a gravitational storm. That‘s why I‘ve been inarticulate and megalomaniac-sounding in all my other interviews.‘

This strikes me as bizarre in the extreme. We’re all aware ofthc cliched dichotomy between onstage persona and offstage reality. but for Newman. quick-witth acerbic observer of everyday foibles and confrontational improviser. to transmute into the walking personification of neurosis requires a sizeable leap of the imagination.

‘There‘s some things in my set which are lifted whole from suicide notes which get really big laughs. So the comedian in me is gratified but the human being thinks “well that just shows what a ridiculous figure I cut because that was my big moment of monumental seriousness.“

‘I think I‘m naturally stupid so I can make use of having got the wrong end of the stick. l‘ve got ideas

all the time so having things to say is the least of my problems. The problem is that I‘ll grow up before I get a chance to say them all.‘ (Fiona Shepherd)

I Bob Newman (Fringe). George Square Theatre (Venue 38) 667 3704. 9—25 Aug. 11.45pm. £7 (£6).



‘The great thing about country music is that it takes in so many different styles. People talk about it as if it‘s just maudlin steel guitar playing but it's also swampy southern stuff. cowboy music and bluegrass.‘

As Rory McGrath is one halfofthe team which has created a show called At Last the Death ofCountry. such enthusiasm for his target is a little bemusing. ‘This started off being a real fun idea and nowit‘s become a real pain in the . . . it‘s become a lot of hard work. I‘ve done nothing for the last four months except listen to every possible

compilation.‘ explains

McGrath. ‘lt drives me insane and lend up hating it then I grow to love it. then I hate it again.‘

With long-time collaborator. Philip Pope. McGrath has written over thirty country and western songs which will be sung primarily by Linda Smith. ‘She‘s about the best there is and she‘s from Baton Rouge. Louisiana. so

she‘s authentic.‘ says

McGrath. ‘She's a session singer and does this kind ofthing for real soit‘s really funny this idea of tier singing songs which are piss-takes. She sings a song called ‘l've Never Been Killed In A Car Crash' about the fact that. she‘s never made it to being a country singer. Ever since she sat on her mummy‘s knee she‘s wanted to be a country

Frank Sldehottorn - possibly the only penormerwiththe distinction at having covered both Bohemian Rhapsody and Anarchy In The Ult- brings his ‘unlque' sense of humourto Edinburgh tor a one-off show. Frank Sidehoitom and Lee Evans (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 220 4349,13 Aug, 11 .1 5pm. £6.50 (£5.50).

The Doug Anthony Allstars, noted revivalists oi neglected classics like Billy Don't Be A Hero and Never Been To Me, pick out the hot discs to which they’ll be relaxing in their luxury caravanette alter their nightly Easy Listening sessions at George Square


1. Kaiagoogoo: My Ding-A-Llng. Eurovision Song Contest Winner. 2. Whakoo: Shoop Shoop Diddy Wup l Cumma Cumma Wang Dang. Eurovision Song Contest Winner.

3. Agadoo: Agadoo. Eurovision Song


4. Luci Anopa Varotl: Nessun Dorma. Eurovlsion Song Contest Loser.

5. Plasthue Bertrand: Ca Plane Pour Moi. Eurovision Song Contest Winner. 6. Womack and Womack: Stupid and Stupid. Stupid Song Contest Winner. 7. Duran Duran Duran: One Duran Too Many. Eurovlsion Song Contest


8. Roxette: We Are Stupid Arseholes. Eurovision Song Contest Loser. 9. Cher: Shoop Shoop Song. Eurovision

Song Contest Sex Hound.


dances 981’


c {emu CAOARET DIANA ROSS larcer


-' -. _ . IockCOn '. ‘by' nighf in. a

10. ABBA: Ava Haagen Dazs Bjorn. Eurovision Song Contest Owner.

Good and Evil (Fringe) The Doug Anthony Allstars, George Square Theatre (Venue 37) 667 3704, 9—31 Aug (not13, 18, 29), 10.15pm, £7 (£6).

singer. but there are some things that she should have done like been killed in a car crash. choked on her own vomit. been made pregnant by a cowboy. snorted coke with Waylon Jennings. And she‘sjust never done them so she‘s never going to make it.‘ (Philip Parr)

I At Last The Death 01 Country (Fringe) Rory McGrath and Philip Pope. The Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151 . 9—25 Aug. 10.45pm. £6.5()(£5).


lfin doubt. consult the official Fringe programme. That august journal has Etceteru listed as ‘Cabaret‘ and who am I to disagree? However. such limiting classification. alongside the university revues and the dodgy old farts singing Cole Porter songs and cracking a fewjokes. hardly does this ensemble from Adelaide justice. For five years. the four men and two women were street entertainers. polishing their act outside arts festivals in Australia. They moved indoors with For Example and have


stage show. Etcetera Incorporated. for the past twelve months. The personnel of the group hints at the eclecticism of the performance. One member is a classically trained ballet dancer. another is a consen'atory-trained musician who moved towards rock before

joining the company and a third is a highly rated illusionist.

But their shows defy convention even more than the company CVs would suggest. All six performers appear on stage in dull grey suits carrying briefcases and wearing thick-rimmed glasses and trilbies. Aside from an occasional disrobing. the uniforms remain intact throughout. but there is nothing conventional about the show. Film and TV images mingle with mime and comedy. which in turn give way to music and magic. They cram all of the styles and all ofthc routines into an hour. For that alone they are a company worth seeing. (Philip Parr)

I Etcetera incorporated (Fringe) Etcetera. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 2204349. 9—31 Aug (not 20. 27). 1 1.45pm. £6/£7 (£5/£6).




‘You can always tell when somebody's writing. because their houses are

spotless. They do

> everything rather than actually do the writing—

1 iron the curtainsor anything just to get away from it.‘

Craig Ferguson‘s shot is culled from bitter experience. Doing an interview wouldn‘t come top of his list of pleasurable recreational pursuits. but next to slaving over a hot script it looks a mighty attractive proposition. Only a matter of a fortnight before his Fringe appearance and he‘s ‘way behind‘ in concocting his set. But procrastination remains the order ofthc day.

‘The material itself ~ comes fairly easy.‘ he ; admits. ‘but 1 usually set 3 out with something in i mind and then go in a I completelydifferent |

direction. [start off thinking “right. I‘m going ; to write this really nasty thing about British Rail“

i and then I go on to octopusses or something.‘ Ferguson freely casts 3 himself in the tradition of

: serpentine storytellers.

i taking one idea asa

I starting point and coiling a thousand disparate laughs around it. but his forte has always been role-playing. This is his first stand-up set in a year and for once he is attemptinga straightforward. gimmick- free act. Well. as straightforward as stand-up can be.

‘lt‘s not natural. No matter how you do stand-up it's still a character of some sort .' he maintains. ‘You have to


assume a certain type of

talk. a certain way of doing it. so it's always an actingjob.‘ (Fiona Shepherd)

I Craig Ferguson (Fringe). The Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 22043-19342 Aug. 11.15pm. £6.50 (£5.50).



The major Festival venue for folk-related and acoustic music is the AMC. set up each year in Chambers Street. Three bars. food all day. ceilidh dances. sessions and a couple of hundred concerts are on tap from the 9th till the end ofthc month. A full illustrated programme is on sale at the Centre

Some of the major

attractions over the first week include the finest songwriter in Scotland. pianist Michael Marra. whose touching. painful and hilariously surreal songs are finding a wider audience through their performance by the likes of Deacon Blue and llue and Cry.

MUsic with a jazzy feel. though hardly extemporised. is expertly performed by the Savourna Stevenson Trio featuring small harp with bass and percussion. and the Dick Lee'ilamish Moore Quartet which sets pipes against sax and clarinet.

Loreena McKennitt isa pure-voiced American singer in the Scots’lrish idiom who appears with a contemporary Celtic acoustic electric band. Lack of space means hardly a mention for the scores of others including singers Dougie MacLean. Dave Robb. Matt Armour. Davey Steele and Allan Johnston. and the all-female talent of Blo Na Gael. (Norman Chalmers)

I Acoustic Music Centre

(Venue 25) 22H2462:

Michael Marra. 13.20

Aug. 10.30pm; Savourna

Stevenson Trio. 14 Aug. 10.30pm and 1‘) Aug.

7.30pm; Moore Lee

Quartet. 15 Aug. 7.30pm

and 22 Aug. lt).3t)pm:


18 Aug; 10.30pm.

The List 9; 15 August 1991.53