Sunday, 25 September 2011

Josie Long - The Future Is Another Place

Dee Dee (my wee wifey), Becky (my wee sister) and I faced various handicaps to enjoying Josie Long's Edinburgh show The Future Is Another Place last month. It took place in the Potterrow student union, which is haunted by the ghost of me as a catastrophically drunk 17-year-old student, weeping and vomiting in the toilet.  I appalled Becky with the fact that I had once been barred from the union for stealing an armful of drinks, which I dropped on the stairs as I ran away from a barman. The building had seen me in the worst psychological condition of my life, so Josie Long's comedy had to dispel some heavy juju.

Becky and Dee hadn't heard of Josie Long before, and we'd had a long day traipsing around Edinburgh with a flight case that Dee had bought to ship her guitar back home to Sydney. The storage of this object necessitated that we sit in the front row, which is ordinarily the place to be embarrassingly drawn into a comedy performance, but "don't worry," said the guy at the door, "she's nice."

Josie Long

"What a cool thing to bring to a show," Josie Long said to us as we took our seats and stowed the guitar case. Her tone was not sarcastic. She was standing by the curtain with a microphone held to her iPhone, which she was using to provide pre-show music (Paul Simon's Gracelands). She started by removing a cardigan  - it was very hot - and explaining that if her t-shirt rode up it was not, "a slow and awkward burlesque." I think her t-shirt had a Vic Reeves drawing on it.

Josie Long began by explaining that her political anger might pass over the edge of decorum (I'm paraphrasing), and asked Dee to indicate if this was happening. So instantly we were drawn into the show, but the door guy was right - it was nice. The whole thing was charming and funny, and clever (there was an Ezra pound reference!).

Josie Long spoke to us for a moment when her show finished, and she was dead nice. She said she might look up Dee's band Dusker but I don't think she did (BITCH) and I'm sure that I looked quite the fool 'cause I was bursting to engage with her on about 30 different things she'd raised (ohmygod I was in a car crash too, isn't swimming in the sea grand, i'm gonna swim off the island of Iona next week, and yeah Scottish islands are just the thing, and hey I got the Ezra Pound reference, and is that a Vic Reeves t-shirt...). It log-jammed somewhere between my brain and my mouth and I didn't say much at all.

Dee, Becky and I talked about the show for the remainder of the evening, so I suppose it was provocative, although the main sentiment that it provoked was warmth towards Josie Long. We wish to be her friends.

Josie Long's radio show is good too, and so is Dodgem Logic magazine, to which she contributes. There was also a BBC Radio 4 play she wrote and performed in, that was set on the cusp of an apocalyptic event. I really loved that.

Han Solo's dog was also frozen in carbonite. The dog's name was Bum. They cut him out the film 'cause Chewy got jealous. He's in Edinburgh now.

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