The label says not
She’s appearing at Glasgay! but don’t call her a lesbian comic. Donna McPhail puts Eddie Gibb straight.
There's no reason why anyone should discuss their sexuality with someone they don't know. but in Donna McPhail‘s case there are a couple of valid reasons for asking. Firstly. during her Perrier-nominated run in Edinburgh this year. at least one press ofﬁcer was dangling the idea ofa feature on lesbian comedians. ‘There‘s Lea De Laria, Donna MePhail and I'm pretty sure you can count Rhona Cameron in,’ was the thrust ofthe pitch. And secondly. MePhail is appearing next month during the Glasgay! festival.
So let‘s get one thing straight. ‘l'm not a lesbian stand-up.‘ she says. ‘That gets up my nose because I‘m a stand-up who happens to be a lesbian. it’s bad enough being a comic who is a woman because then they call you a female comic but if you happen to be a dyke you‘re called a lesbian comic and you‘re not even a woman anymore.’
. ‘come out‘ during the Edinburgh
: Festival but this is not strictly the case. With her first one-woman show,
: MePhail simply felt she had the time to
: sexual orientation as a marketing hook
; festival she had been lined up for in Glasgow until after the booking was
down necessarily, but she might have ' 3' had second thoughts. ;
it was put about that MePhail had
bring the subject up in a way that was
likely to raise a laugh. ‘There‘s really
no opportunity to talk about sexuality in a twenty-minute set. which is how I
normally work in London.‘ she . explains. ‘You don’t go on at 2am and
say, “Hello. I’m a lesbian".‘ McPhail has strenuously avoided
and wasn’t aware that it was a gay
made. Not that she would have turned it
‘1 don‘t want to not go to those things as long as the audience. who will
obviously be mostly lesbian and gay,
- are prepared to listen to me talking
; about all kinds ofthings, not going on about being a lesbian for an hour,‘ she
says. McPhail’s next project is Windbug. a
5 Radio 1 chatshow which she co-hosts
with sister stand-up Jo Brand and will
; feature an all-women line-up of guests.
l venture it will be a opportunity to have a laugh at men‘s expense. ‘That's
? a typical male response,’ she retons. ‘Women have got a lot more to talk
about than just putting down men. Men aren‘t the be-all and end-all of women‘s
Dmma MePhail is a! the Tron Theatre.
Fri 5 and Sat 6 November:
A medley of ‘I Belong to Glasgow’ and ‘Sing If You’re Glad to be Gay’ should be the theme tune for this week-long celebration of homosexuality; ‘there’s nowt as queer as folk’ would be its motto.
In the face of Section 28, which prohibits local authorities ‘promoting’ homosexuality, the organisers of Glasgay! have put together an impressive programme of music, drama and art which will attract gay men and lesbians from all over Scotland. For a few days, two women walking hand-ln-hand down Sauchiehall Street should be about as remarkable as a soccer fan in a shell- suit. Well that’s the dream, anyway.
It’s the first time anything like this has been attempted in Scotland. Hobody wants to tempt fate by promising a repeat performance next year, but then the Sydney Mardi Gras probany started out small too. Whoop it up, camp it up, keep it up. Be proud, because from 30 October to 6 November Glasgay! belongs to you.
t _ God’s own
‘We’re absolutely frustrated because i we know that when people have access to what we do, they love it . . .’ Frustrated, but evembullient. Horse ' have had more than their fair share of confidence-denting trauma. ; Management, record company, charts 3 - all have promised lots and delivered i little. How’s this for a tale of ill- ; fortune: at the tall-end of 1990, ‘g Horse’s ‘Careful’, an orchestrally
majestic ballad, was padding patieme § :
towards the Top 40. After a dogged push, the parent album, ‘The Same Sky’, was ringing up the sales, too. The smell of a hit was in the air. And then, ‘while ‘Careful’ came out here, in Germany ‘Sweet Thing’ was swimming nicely up the charts,’
recalls singer Horse MacDonald. EMI l I
in Germany wanted them to stay there
I everything came to a terrible halt . . .’
and push the single; EMI in America i wanted them to work the States. The . Americans won. But lo, ‘we were
; literally practically on a plane when
the Gulf War broke out and the Americans said, “Forget it.” And
Hey ho. Cue limbo as their record company was riven by political in-
fighting. Horse iust wanted to get out, and finally managed to sign last
' October with new label Oxygen, via a
trusted AGH man who had previously been involved in the band’s
management. But the past is passed, and a year on comes ‘God’s Home Movie’, a plush album that showcases the singer’s ability to tilt between soulful whisper amd soaring belt at nary the drop of a note. Their legendary all-or-nothing live incarnation artfully trapped for posterity.
And finally, here’s a funny tale Horse recalls from their stint at Edinburgh Castle with Hanci Griffith in August, where she honoured the occasion by getting traditional: ‘l’ve never worn a kilt; in fact I hardly ever wear a l skirt . . . well I’ve never worn a skirt I basically since I was teeny. But I stood up on the stage and it was at least ten ! feet off the ground, and I suddenly realised there was people beneath me 3 and I thought, “Aaaargh, I’ll need to 5 go and change my underwea . . .”.’ 1 Horse, the singer, appears at Appetites ; at The Arches, Thurs 4. Horse, the band, play Oueen’s Hall, Edinburgh on Sat 23 and Pavilion, Glasgow on Sun 24. ‘God’s Home Movie’ is released on Mon 1.
The List 22 October—4 November 1993 15