........._-—-- famespo'ttmg Tomorrow's stars today
San Francrscan comrc Harmon Leon rs the frrst to pomt out hrs more than passrng resemblance to Henrrk Larsson because, lrke all good stand-ups, he has a healthy sense of hrs own rrdrculousness where hrs ego should be The rrdrculousness of hrs natrve culture doesn't escape hrm, erther,
‘There are a lot of thrngs to make fun of rn Amerrca,’ he says of hrs Frrnge show Yank Me! A trawl through the lurrd frrnges of ‘\ Amerrcana, rt Incorporates Leon's own brand of ’comedrc monologue', rn whrch he adopts a persona, trres out a lrfestyle and reports back It's a format he rnvented for a column rn Sky magaZrne, and he looks on rt as a means ’to rnfrltrate Subsets of socrety’ Leon rs on the way to maxrmum rnfrltratron, already a frxture on the comedy crrcurt and a prolrfrc wrrter, he'll soon star rn hrs own anrmated TV show (Hannah McGrll)
Yank Mel (Fringe) Harmon Leon, The Stand Comedy C/ub (Venue 5) 558 7272, untr/29 Aug, 5pm, E5 (E4)
In 1996, Damren O’Donnell's short frlm, Thrrty Frve Asrde played to great acclarm at the Edrnburgh Internatronal Frlm Festrval Afterwards he landed hrs feature drrectrng debut, East Is East, a hrlarrous tale set rn the multr-raCIal Northern England rn the early 70s. It's a real crowd-pleaser, gurte lrkely to scoop thrs year’s Audrence Award. Oh, and O'Donnell has a second frlnr, Chrono Perambu/ator — a short starrrng Charles Dance and Brll Paterson —- also playrng at the Festrval.
'We always knew rt was gorng to be a frlrn for an audrence,’ says O'Donnell of East Is East, 'A lot of Asran frlms seemed to have been consrgned to the bargarn brn of Brrtrsh crnema. East /5 East rs about a family and we wanted to tell therr story rn as entertarnrng a way as possrble '
O'Donnell already has one eye on the future: he’s currently developrng a new scrrpt rn Ireland based on a Flann O’Brren story, (Mrles Frelder)
East Is East (Fr/m Fest/val) Cameo l, 22 Aug, 70pm, UCl, 24 Aug, 8pm, Fr/mhouse l, 27 Aug, 4.30pm, E7 (E4 50)
'I always lrstened excluswely to Brrtrsh bands when l was growrng up,’ says Muffrn Spencer, frontwoman of Brassy, srster of rndre lovegod Jon Spencer, and holder of the Current Werrdest Name In Rock award. ‘The Fall, The Smrths, Felt ~— werrd, depressrng bands" At seventeen, lvluffrn upped strcks from the States to Manchester and has been there ever srnce, amassmg the drverse punk, rndre and hrp hop rnfluences that make up the Brassy sound, New srngle 'I Can’t Wart’ rs a gorgeous, stroppy, sassy slrce of scratchy hrp hop funk, rn the honourable tradrtron of the Beastre Boys and the other Spencer’s Blues Explosron ls rt a burden followrng rn the snakeskrn cowboy bootsteps of such an rllustrrous Srblrng? ’You’d have to ask my theraprst,’ she replres And about that name 'lt rs real You know how rt rs you get to the last krd, you run out of Ideas ’ (Hannah McGrll) Brassy (Planet Pop) The Att/c, Dyers C/ose, Cowgate, 225 8382, 23 Aug, 8,30pm, E4 (E3). ’/ Can’t Wart’ comes out the same day.
16 merrsr l9—26 Aug 1999