The things filling my bandwidth

This blog has taken quite the hit recently. Its author recently logged in and was more than a little shocked to realise that there were no posts at all uploaded during February. That has been the result of two things. The first is that I currently have two jobs, one of which is copy-writing. So basically, I more or less blog for the better part of my living now, hence reluctance to also do it as a hobby. I suppose I must get used to the new configuration of my work/life balance and find a space in there to do what I love.

The second reason is I’ve been seeing a lot less art, reading a lot less, and watching a lot more of this type of thing:

Unearthing the Bethonged Bond

Wow!  The Scotsman has a treat for us today.  For those of you out there who don’t read it, I can’t possibly pass up the opportunity to share this raunchy ne’er before displayed portrait of a be-thonged, pre-Bond Sean Connery, painted by Rab Webster in the 1950s.  During this period, Connery was a struggling actor who apparently posed to help pay the bills.  Webster, who died last month, was an art teacher at Selkirk High School, where Connery was an occasional life model for students.  If you don’t mind me saying so, that must have been one exciting high school!

It’s interesting to notice (to say the least) Connery’s fine musculature, and it’s striking from this that even by today’s personal-trainer-induced Daniel Craig-ish chunky standards, this Connery would evidently still breeze into the role of Bond.  I wonder how long it took Craig to work his body up to the standard set by Connery for the role.

The impressive physique is apparently due to Connery’s taking up body building as a hobby around the time when he was posing for this portrait.

Needless to say, Robert Fairbairn’s piece on the painting in today’s Scotsman is littered with hilarious Bond-themed double entendre.  Allow me to add my own honest contribution:

The Thong is not Enough!

(Please insert your own Bond/Thong response below)

Life of Si, or Si-ing to get a job in TV

Life of Si, Si Harder at the GRV, Edinburgh Fringe

This review was first published on The Skinny’s website.  There are lots more reviews of comedy from the Edinburgh Fringe there, and other stuff besides.

Ever wondered what it would feel like to be in a live studio audience? Well, you may just find out with this comic double-act who have been wowing audiences with their combination of live performance and pre-recorded material with some clever interface between the two thrown in.

The show is a collaboration between Simon Feilder and Sy Thomas, a pair of talented, emo-inclined media enthusiasts with bundles of charm and an elusive yellow teapot named Alan. The venue’s comfortable couches and warm atmosphere are skilfully exploited to recreate the pair’s shared flat, lending a sitcom feel to proceedings.

The alternating live and pre-recorded pattern becomes a little repetitive and at times the transition between the two feels awkward. But the duo’s live interaction with the multimedia element of the show evidences potential comic genius and maybe even a TV career or two.

You can’t help wanting to see a little more of the live show and less of the pre-recorded material, but with a quirky take on traditional performer-audience banter and possibly the funniest a cappella impression of contemporary indie music you’re likely to hear, this show is well worth an hour of your time.

Edinburgh Festival Time – The Comely Banking Crisis Reviews

Summer reviewing in Edinburgh

Not noticing that it’s festival season in Edinburgh is like not noticing a punch to the face, but if you haven’t, well, consider yourself told.  The Comely Banking Crisis will be doing the odd review for The Skinny here and there, posted up here.  But before I go and inundate myself with plans, any suggestions for things to see for the rest of the fest would be much appreciated.  I’ll be posting my reviews here, but you can also find them plus many more on The Skinny’s website.

Here’s a review of Sarah Campbell’s show 27 Up.  Honestly, it’s a great show.  Four stars!

27 Up may be a free show but you can’t help but feel genuinely privileged to be in the room with Sarah Campbell as she takes the audience through one charming autobiographical anecdote after another.  What begins as deceptively simple banter with the audience ends upcareering through everything from family to 1980s politics to sexuality, and not without a significant amount of uproarious laughter on the audience’s part.

The concept, based on the Up television series, is a reflection on Campbell’s life at regular intervals, this show being the first in her 27 years.  Needless to say, a second instalment is planned for 2037.  This future perspective is central to the show: expect to be asked to communicate with the future audience (which may just include you, considering the show closes with each audience member receiving a free ticket for the sequel).  Campbell’s sharp, conversational style and story-telling bring an atmosphere of intimacy and camaraderie to the venue.  At 30 minutes, the show is a little short, but has abundant freshness and charm. You won’t get many more chances to see Sarah for free.  Don’t let this one pass.

How many times can I get drunk in the same suit?

I haven’t blogged for ages, I know.  If you want to know what I’ve been up to: weddings, weddings, and more weddings!  Two of them conincided with holidays, so I suppose I’ve been on holidays as well.

Apart from that I went to see the Glasgow Boys exhibition in the National Gallery on the Mound in Edinburgh.  I love the Glasgow Boys but I have to be brutally honest: this is a mediocre exhibition.  Nothing wrong with the works on display here, but they could have done a lot better with curation.  The soporific dungeon below the gallery is challenging at the best of times and when an exhibition is added to this space with minimal expense or effort, it’s not going to be good.  And despite the fact that they are attempting to show us an almost ‘behind the scenes’ picture of the movement in question, it’s amazing how poor an assemblage of works this is for a Scottish Gallery doing an exhibition on Scottish artists.

But it’s the explanation that I find completely perplexing: the fact this is running concurrently with a far superior Glasgow Boys exhibition in the Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow!  Why two?!  Well, the Edinburgh one would seem to claim that it’s complementary, showing us the Boys’ inspiration and the cultural and artistic context in which they worked, but I have to say I am only aware of this from subsequent research, not from the exhibition itself, and one could fairly easily walk in and out of the Edinburgh exhibition and remain unaware of the main event in Glasgow (and feeling a little short-changed, despite the fact that this is FREE!).

If you like the contemporary painting then check out John Squire’s Nefertiti exhibition in Edinburgh’s Henderson Gallery.  Several paintings generally around the same concept are for sale here.  The idea is Miles Davis translated to canvas by a Stone Rose. It’s free – do it!

PS – pictured: Spring, by Thomas Millie Dow (a Glasgow Boy).

Let’s put this into perspective

Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — comelybankingcrisis @ 8:21 pm

The Comely Banking Crisis has been a stressful working crisis for the last two weeks and as a result my blog has been hit by its first dry patch.  But there’s been plenty of election-related action to follow on every medium available so why would I spend time blogging when I could be playing with the BBC’s absorbing, interactive election map.  And more to the point, why would YOU be reading this? With all that excitment?

Anyway, to finish this spate of election related blogging, now that the sorry affair is over, I’m kicking back and putting things into perspective.  Pleased by the current winds of change?  Fancy a younger, handsomer PM?  Let’s not get carried away by such indulgences and contemplate who’s running the UK now.  And by the way, did you see that smile on the Queen’s face?  A Tory at last!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeLSNzEorbI

Good Call!

Main Posts — Tags: — comelybankingcrisis @ 11:55 am

Congratulations!  What a great idea it was for you to have a look at this blog – the site of many semi-relevant, sort-of witty observations to come. 

Thanks for your interest, but apparently I have a good deal of writing to get on with. 

If this little introductory ramble is leaving you feeling less than satisfied, then check out some of the links over to the right – these people have worked harder than me to date, but they’d better get scared  – plenty more to come here!

Thanks for visiting – come again soon!

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