I (lol) had a very appreciated day off last Friday. And in a naïve attempt to get away from advertising for a few days, I joined some friends on a jaunt to Edinburgh for a little artistic nourishment.
How wrong I was. There is no such thing as escaping advertising. First off, I was travelling only a carriage down from the whole BBH creative department on their summer jolly. So I got a quick update on Bill’s postcard collection which has taken a turn for the vintage. I managed to resist joining them in their 11 A.M. boozing. And I caught up on the news since we left black sheep towers in March.
Then later we crossed paths at the brilliant Idiots of Ants. A sketch group formed by some guys we went to university with, they’ve just been shortlisted for the Comedy Awards, rightly so. They had some really clever material. The opening sketch was a plaful dabble in post-modernism, where Nazi soldiers suddenly realise they are actors. ‘I think we’re in a play. I think these are just costumes!’ Again, I couldn’t get away from advertising even then – I kept thinking how much it reminded me of the recent ‘mini – I think we’re in a viral’ viral.
As ever, an essential part of one’s edinburgh experience involves tempering your outbreaks of FOMO (fear of missing out), as you walk round and see that all the things you weren’t OCD enough to book back in January 2007 are now sold out. The Faulty Towers Dining Experience being one of them. Just round the corner from the Pleasance courtyard, it’s a restaurant where they hire actors to perform as Basil, Manuel and Polly while you eat. From the little show we caught through the window, it looked amazing. Complete with sound effects of smashing glass and Manuel being hurt in the back room.
The flip-side of not being too anal about booking stuff up is that you find yourself with spare time for spontaneous hidden treasures. One such gem was Matt Harvey and his stand-up poetry show ‘Wondermentalist’ on the Sunday afternoon. From the moment he started, this understated master of wordsmithery had me in uncontrollable hysterics. He’s not just mind-blowingly insightful and lyrical, his delivery is hilarious too. Check him out at Mattharvey.co.uk
Then came his his anecdote about being paid copywriter rates to write Ode to a Spud. As it turns out he was recently hired by Archibald Ingall Stretton… to write a poem for their Love Food Hate Waste campaign. There really is no escaping ‘adland’! But then I guess you never do when you’re a creative. And that’s the fun of it. Being inspired by all sorts of stuff you see, making a note of it and then forgetting all about it.
Anyway, have run out of time and space, so more on Matt Harvey and other highlights in a second blog.