ED2011 Columns ED2011 Surveys ED2011 Week2 Edition

ThreeWeeks Survey: You have the words, what about the music?

By | Published on Friday 19 August 2011

ThreeWeeks Survey

So, you’ve thought of a theme, you’ve written the script, you’ve tested the jokes, you’ve shot the publicity pictures, but one big decision remains. What music do you walk on to? We asked a stack of Fringe performers what tracks open or close their shows this year, and why they chose them.

Steve Pretty: “I have a track called ‘Monkey’s Dance’ by the virtuoso Norwegian folk-jazz accordionist Stian Carstensen as my play-on music. It’s from a mixtape that I made when I was a teenager and it helps me get in the mood for the show as I jump around backstage giving myself a pep talk. It’s got a really weird mix of instruments, melodic non-sequiturs and frenzied energy, all bound together by a shared love of nordic free improvisation. Which, come to think of it, is a pretty accurate description of my show”.
Steve Pretty’s Perfect Mixtape, Underbelly, ffp155.

Laurence Clark: “I come on stage to the song ‘Dem Bones’ as my show is about healthcare reform in the UK and USA, although I worry audiences may get the wrong end of the stick and think they’re at some sort of evangelical religious meeting. However they’ll soon discover otherwise!”
Laurence Clark: Health Hazard!, Underbelly’s Pasture, fpp108.

Jim Smallman: “I walk on to ‘This Fire Burns’ by Killswitch Engage. I chose it as it’s the music WWE wrestler CM Punk walks out to, and I like to pretend that I’m oiled up and ready to grapple”.
Jim Smallman: Tattooligan, Gilded Balloon Teviot, fpp98.

4 Poofs And A Piano: “We open our set with the Dolly Parton Classic ‘Nine To Five’ . Not surprising as our show is called ‘Business As Usual’, and we wanted something along the working theme.  We are dressed, well almost, in suits so it seemed to fit in nicely. We close with the Sylvester Disco classic ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’, it’s a nod to thank our audience and say, we want to be nowhere else than right here right now”.
4 Poofs And A Piano – Business As Usual, Pleasance Courtyard, fpp77.

Matt Forde: “D:Ream ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. I still get goosebumps when I hear the opening bars and remember Labour sweeping to power in 1997. My show charts my love of politics, sport and drink from that era until now”.
Matt Forde – Dishonourable Member, Underbelly’s Pasture, fpp115.

Iain Stirling: “Hundred Reasons – ‘Silver’. Because I came second in every new act competition I entered!”
Iain Stirling And Sean McLoughlin, Just The Tonic at The Store, fpp90.

Steve Hall: “‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ by The Andrews Sisters. It’s an old walk-in music favourite going back to the Klang days.  Hearing the same tune every single day of a festival usually makes me want to track down the songwriters and devastate their faces. This is one of the few songs not to elicit that psychotic Pavlovian response”.
Steve Hall’s Very Still Life, Pleasance Courtyard, fpp155.

Ahir Shah: “My entrance music is a section of the ‘Raag Ahir Bhairav’, the piece of music after which I was named, played by Ravi Shankar. My exit music is the same piece played from the beginning (usefully, it is 13 minutes long)”.
Ahir Shah: Astrology, Udderbelly’s Pasture, fpp35.

Delete The Banjax: “‘Janglin’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It’s surreal without being weird and it’s positive and upbeat without being annoying –everything we want our show to be …hopefully!  Some of the lyrics are pretty hard to make out but there’s definitely something about castles, jesters and kings – well that’s just Edinburgh Fringe isn’t it?!”
Delete the Banjax: Pigs & Ponies, Pleasance Courtyard, fpp66.

Deborah Frances White: “‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ by Joe Cocker because my show is called ‘How to Get Almost Anyone To Want To Sleep With You’  and one of the things I recommend is to wear a hat. I walk down the street in a bowler and at least five times a day a man will say to me “Nice hat” for which I read “Nice tits” which is something he can’t say, unless I’m wearing the hat”.
Deborah Frances White – How To Get Almost Anyone You Want To Sleep With You, Assembly Hall.

Pistol & Jack: “We’re a mash-up act and open with our biggest number. It’s got bits from about 34 songs in it featuring anthems from Dolly Parton to The Smiths to Chumbawumba. It’s an introduction to what we do: Rock vs Pop. It’s also a call to arms for the audience to say let’s smash it up and have some fun for an hour (‘let’s get retarded’), but also features an ominous warning of the dark side of the show to come with the Radiohead lyrics: ‘This is what you’ll get if you mess with us'”.
Pistol & Jack – Smash.Glam.Sex., Assembly George Square, fpp134.

Howard Read: “I actually come on stage to no music at all, accompanied, of course, by deafening applause. Instead I draw the audience on the projection screen as they come in to the theatre. It’s a great way of warming them up and working out what sort of crowd they are”.
Little Howard’s Big Show, Assembly George Square, fpp109.

Lloyd Langford: “I come on to ‘The Theme From Truck Turner’ by Isaac Hayes. Possibly the most bad-ass piece of music of all time. Also, I like to misdirect the audience into thinking I’m really a black pimp-killing bounty hunter rather than a pale and slightly awkward Welshman”.
Lloyd Langford: The Cold Hard Facts Of Life, The Stand Comedy Club V, fpp109.

Lorraine Sutherland, director of ‘Emergence’: “Unbelievably, we use the sounds that ‘Jupiter’, the actual planet, makes. The sounds are recorded in space – I’m not sure what with! We love it because it sets the other-worldly feeling that’s in ‘Emergence’. At the end of our show we blare out Abba’s ‘Chiquitita’ – a special song in many ways! We use it in Emergence as part of a childhood memory of a mum and daughter’s living room dance routines. It leaves the audience hopeful and probably a bit embarrassed if they enjoy it too much!”
Emergence, Underbelly, fpp259.

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