Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Edwyn Collins, A thieving Varmint, and the Cut Off Your Hands

Edwyn Collins and his Troupe, Oran Mor, 22 April 2008

Cut Off Your Hands (You Theiving Varmints!) Oran Mor, 22 April 2008

Wow, what a night. Was hoping Edwyn's gig would be upstairs in Oran Mor so that I could finally check out Alasdair Grey's mural/ceiling paintings, so was greatly pleased and impressed!! Apparently they're 20 years away from getting finished and Alasdair reckon's he'll never see the day. I met a lass called Joni the other night in the Rio Cafe who know's Alasdair and told me how he got a bunch of art students to do a lot of it - 'well, he's an old chappie, and climbing up that scaffolding with his asthma!!'

Anyhoo, Ben (my bro) was doing a very good job PR ing for EMI and got some free tickets for Edwyn's gig. I will admit, I was very excited to know that Edwyn was playing and felt he's one of the Scottish heroes of contemporary music that I should definitely draw. I love the music of his that I've heard, and I once heard an interview about him a wee while ago, stating how their music was so raw and unslick and that was the beauty of it. And tonight was no exception. He might have some paralysis down one side, but he's a damn fine trouper and got into it with the best of them. Some jiving tunes and Roddy Frame of Aztec Camera fame on the base was pure dead braw. The keyboardist Sean was a jolly nice chap who I found plays with other bands too like the Manics and Beth Orton (Woohoo! She's a star!) Anyway, straying from the story here.

The lighting was great; a lovely clash of electric blue and 'district' Red, though don't know which was the building itself or the lighting engineers magic. Great atmosphere though. It's 2.54 in the morning just now, and I've just cycled back from Partick after walking there from the Oran Mor. But again, that's another story.

Most adrenalin induced part of the night thought - people kept asking if I was selling my pictures, and I said I'd sell prints. Then some guy actually stole one of my pics, went away with it, sort of shuffled back to see what else he could take and shuffled away again - I'd made some friends in the audience and one of them came up to me to see if I knew what he'd done, and I claimed I'd no idea what he was thinking by taking it and buggering off. He clearly had no intention of returning it so the nice girl went off to try and get it back, me following.

He wasn't giving it back. 'Please give me my drawing back' 'Haw, Ayyyyyeee.' 'No really, please, give me my drawing' 'Naw way, ther's a hole bunch on the stage go and get yer ain''But their my drawings! Please, give it back!' I'm shaking at this point and have stopped trying to get my drawing out of his sweaty grip as it's just going to rip (cue Edwyn's song 'Rip it Up and Start Again....)- Ben goes to get security who manage (I don't know how) to get the picture off him. I say I'll give him a print - ah, that's how I got it from him! and he reluctantly loosens his grip, but then get's angry again and says 'Aye, I don't believe you'.

At this point the security shuffle him out claiming he's had too much to drink. The man was about 50/60 odd, a little overweight, sweaty, and well, desperate to have my drawing! But it was my best one and if I'm not keeping it, (I actually want to keep it for exhibition purposes) then I was flipping well going to sell it - I need to support myself somehow!!! I really was shaking like a leaf afterwards, more from the fact I thought my picture was going to end up in tatters - thankfully, gessoed Saunders Waterford paper is hardy stuff!!

I've had one of my pictures nicked before - one of my favourite one's from the Dunstaffnage Music Festival - the Vivians. Ben thinks he knows who took it. I'll find her eventually! You'd think, if there's people out there willing to steal my pictures, then they must be good huh? There must be people out there who'd pay appropriate coinage for them? I guess my unwillingness to sell things on the night might kind of scupper the ease of sales...Roll on Triptych!!

Incidentally, I met a lot of lovely people tonight, but one of them Bobby Bluebell, I kept getting his name wrong and called him Blueberry. Ah well.

Going to be drawing the dress rehearsal of Liz Lochhead's 'Educating Agnes' at the Citz tomorrow (later today). Looking forward to that.

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