There is only 25 mins between What I Learned From Johnny Bevan finishing and Stay-at-Home Dandy beginning. The walk between venues takes 15 minutes, even with my long shanks. Is this the stupidest Edinburgh schedule yet?
When the gigs were booked I checked it on Google Maps and realised it was possible and then thought no more about it. But as the festival drew ever closer I began to panic. Was it even possible? What if JB over ran? Could I even manage to do two shows one after the other?
But it’s fine. I get to The Underbelly with ten minutes to spare, change my clothes, apply make-up, back comb my hair and voila – from disaffected middle-aged music journo to flamboyant dandified poet in seconds.
I was equally worries about my decision to even bring Dandy up here at all. I did so because I’m really proud of it and I believe it my best show of poems to date, but then I started to think maybe it won’t sell, and as I concentrated more and more on Johnny Bevan it just felt like it was an extra stress I did not need.
But again, I should have trusted my first instinct. It’s lovely having an hour to unwind after the intensity of Johnny Bevan. I know Dandy inside out. It’s really playful and I feel very at ease with my audience.
Performing JB is strange for me because I can’t break the verse and talk to the audience. I’ve been doing that on stage for 16 years so there is a strong compulsion to say “Hi!” So getting to chat and add parentheses to the poems in Dandy is a well-needed antidote.
JB went very well yesterday. Paul, my excellent producer pulled out all the stops and we had a good house. Almost full. Double good as we had press in. In fact I had press for both of my shows yesterday. So now the great review wait begins.
The mood right now is hopeful. Time, predictably, will tell.