Thanks to my usual two-years-on-one-year-0ff rule, I haven't been to an Edinburgh show since August 27th 2011. I think the break is a good thing, generally: it's easy for the festival to become predictable when you go every single year, and a gap helps you appreciate the rest of it more. But now I'm back, heralded by the twin auguries of fire and pandas. I'm just a little concerned that this time round, I'm not quite as prepared as I have been in previous years - will I be able to cope?
Well, as usual, I've got the support mechanism that is Spank's Pals joining me up here. Anne, The Belated Birthday Girl, Charmian, Dave, Diane, Eve, Jon, Kate, Nick, Pam, Rhian, Stephen, Teresa, Tim and Tomas are all going to be around for various subsets of the next seven days. Over the coming week I'll be providing daily reviews of all the stuff I see in the International, Fringe and Book Festivals, and the others may chip in now and again when they've got something to say.
In my review page for August 27th 2011, I finished off with the words "I think I'll need to investigate bringing BrewDog on board as a sponsor for 2013," having fallen for their beer heavily during that year's festival. Little did I know that two years later, they'd be close to being the sponsor for my whole bloody site. Will we make similarly important discoveries in Edinburgh this year, be they alcoholic, culinary or even - God forbid - artistic? Watch this space.
- Saturday August 10th - "Fame is like a ghetto, but with less typhoid and more canapes" (David Baddiel)
- Sunday August 11th - "All the best things are unrehearsed, like football and kissing and Home & Away" (Alex Horne)
- Monday August 12th - "You see a mousetrap, I see free cheese and a fucking challenge" (Scroobius Pip)
- Tuesday August 13th - "Betting is a tax on bullshit" (Nate Silver)
- Wednesday August 14th - "Ze latecomers hide at ze back in ze dark, like rapists" (Marcel Lucont)
- Thursday August 15th - "At weekends, Mr Chrome sells fridges out of the back of his van." "Yeah, I'm a fridge magnate." (The Rubberbandits)
- Friday August 16th - “I am to Simone de Beauvoir what Horrible Histories is to Simon Schama” (Bridget Christie)
- Saturday August 17th - " " ( )
- Spank's Pals' Postscript - one last round-up from the Pals and myself