The Secret Festival Diary Of lily Savage Aged 22ish
Get up at 2pm. Cough for half an hour and then have a full Birkenhead Breakfast; twenty ciggies and a pot of tea. Read the papers to see which act is being slagged off by some mealy- mouthed ‘critic’ today. Quick wash and it’s off to the City Cafe to scrounge a bit of dinner off Douglas. After two slices of cheese on toast I decide that a little light shoplifting is in order. Get thrown out of Jenners after l’m discovered with a bar of Bluebell Soap and one of those wooden things that makes an impression of a thistle on butter. up my cardie. Head off to the Disney Store and rob a statue of Maleﬁcent. i don’t really need one, it’s just to keep my hand in.
Around 6.30pm I take a cab to the Pleasance to do a guest spot in Bob Downe’s show. Bob is sharing his tiny dressing room with a troupe of French mime artists. They gesticulate loudly, drink a lot of Polish spirit and fart. Bob is trying to calm down his two dancers. One is an ex-show girl from Miami, the other is a petite Australian. Both have tempers like a bear with a sore arse. Offer Bob a Valium — he says he’d rather have a cup of camomile tea, and goes off in search of a tea bag.
Tell the French to piss off out of it, pacify Baby Jane and Blanche, and apply make-up to hide the bags and spots - a legacy of late nights and a diet of chips. Do show with Bob. We sing our big number ‘Something Stupid’ (we sing it every year, it’s the only duet we know). Four Finnish tourists in the front row stare at us like they’ve just had an encounter with two Triffrds.
Fight our way through the packed courtyard of the Pleasance. It’s starting to rain and we’re burdened with suitcases and make-up boxes and we haven’t got any spare hands for a brolly. Curse my absent dresser who is still in bed after consuming a bottle of Thunderbird from my personal cellar. (He’s not in bed with a hangover. I hit him with the empty bottle. That’ll teach him to keep his hands off my ale.)
Arrive in a cab at the Assembly Rooms. All the shows are just letting out and people spill out on to the pavement. I am wearing an enormous fake le0pard-skin coat and thigh-length patent boots. Bob is in a lovat-green polyester safari suit. Nobody looks twice, we look like your average Momingside couple. Do the show. me and Bob sing ‘Something Stupid’ again. 1 could sing that fuckin’ song on
O The List 20—26 August 1993
a life support machine. A critic is sitting right in the front row blatantly making notes in his exercise book. Sit on critic’s chest and gently persuade him that the words he is looking for are ‘Stunning’ and ‘Best thing since sliced bread’. Towards the ﬁnale. when I am clad in a skin-tight rubber Catwoman outfit, I accidently catch the critic with my 20-foot bull whip. Critic comes backstage after the show and asks if l
give Corrective Therapy. 1 tell him I do.
(for 50 quid) and get a good review in The People’s Friend to boot.
Get changed and hit the bars. First stop the Assembly Room Bar. It’s wall- to-wall shark in there: you can cut the atmosphere with a knife. Thea Vidale arrives and tells me what she thinks of the present company in a voice so loud that they can hear her on Barra. A well- known. and much-despised. cheesy comic appears from under the lino and oozes over Thea. She’d told me only yesterday that she would like to dig his heart out with a spoon. so i manoeuvre Thea out of harm’s way and into Rose Street. We visit a few chums in the Licensed Trade and then make our way to the ‘Laughing Boiling Fowl'. It‘s Karaoke Night and the place is jumpin’. A member ofthe audience looking for all the world like Judy in the last throws of TB is belting out ‘Blanket On The Ground’. We get very drunk but leave before I get the urge to do ‘Stormy Weather’ and make a show of myself. Thea goes off to the Gilded Balloon to ‘Kick Ass’ and l weave my way to Chapps, a little bar by the Playhouse.
Bob is sat at the bar swigging Babycham with Julian Clary. Julian has
developed a taste for Newcastle Brown and is singing a rugby song. My manager appears. his yellowish polo coat is soiled and the long belt on it is dragging on the floor behind him. A dark stubble on his face is partly concealed with talcum powder and a wet cigar is clamped between his teeth. Addison Creswell is with him. They dump their violin cases behind the bar and proceed to abuse the barman for not selling their brand of bath-tub gin. Julian, Bob and I leave as the cheesy comic has just breezed through the door dispensing ‘Darlings’ and kissy-kissy noises to anyone who remembers him.
‘The dart I’m throwlng actually goes In the opposite dlrectlon to the dart board and nearly malms an old fella at the bar.
We have been invited to a party in a flat outside the Meadows. it is now 3am. I have to be up at the crack of dawn to do a radio interview for a station you can only receive if you have a Bakelite radio and as l’ve been smoking Embassy Regal all night, l’ll probably sound like Madge from Neighbours.
Drink lots of Tallisker whisky at the party. A handsome young local is showing me his suntanned stomach muscles (it was in the middle of a discussion about The Canary lsles). I leave before 1 end up having a shag on top of the coats.
I get the cab to drop me off in Broughton Street as I know that I’m staying in a rented ﬂat somewhere by a
Lily Savage has a night on the Fringe
chip shop. A hippy is sitting on the edge ofthe pavement playing ‘St Louis Woman’ on a saxophone. Thank God I’m wearing a pencil skirt and a beret. I lean against a larnpost and exhale the smoke from my Gauloisc; ‘Adieu la vie. Adieu l’amour.‘ l eroak huskily and l’mjust about to do an Apache dance with the hippy when a woman in a nearby window asks us ifwe've ‘nae hame tae fuckin’ go tae’ and breaks the spell.
Meet Stomp! in the street. They twist I my arm so I go in the pub with them for I a bit of breakfast. Poltergeist activity occurs when the dart l’m throwing i actually goes in the opposite direction to the dart board and nearly rnaims an old fella at the bar. Tell landlord I’m doing a Strongbow Commercial. Get thrown out.
Ricochet home via the Sandwich Shop. Apparently I go there quite regularly ofa morning. I didn’t know this until the proprietor greeted me like a long-lost sister outside Littlewoods. Deﬁnitely ‘Going On The Wagon’. I
Get to bed around 7.30am. Somebody is staying the night again and is in my bed. Tell him to hutch up and get in alongside them but leave my drawers on for modesty’s sake. I must have a word with them about people using my bed. I hog the duvet and tell him he’s got a bloody nerve.
Wake up in the downstairs ﬂat next to a Christian Brother who’s come up for a seminar on Mary Magdalene. Tell him the Bishop is a personal pal of mine and make a dignified exit. I’m not going out tonight.
Lin Savage is (1! Usher Hall on Sat 21 and Sun 22 Aug, 10.30pm.