Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Edinburgh...and all that could have been (v.02)

Hello,

So me and Gary went to Edinburgh over the weekend for the second Zine-O-Rama comics/poetry/performance/gallery/zine fair, at the Forest Cafe. We got a stall for free and had lots of wares and a kick-ass display to entice the customers. We stayed with Gary's friend Dan, a splendid fellow who lives in a big lovely flat, where we were fed some delicious traditional Scottish porridge for breakfast two mornings in a row.

Despite all of this, the weekend was pretty disappointing. When we arrived we were asked by the organiser to help lug tables about for the stalls, before even really saying hello or introducing ourselves. Thankfully we only needed to move about four of them because nobody turned up except us, the Mallard crew and a Canadian guy called Hamish (who, incidentally, went off somewhere mid-way through the Saturday to teach people how to make books, and didn't come back until just before we gave up for the day). The Mallard crew sensibly decided to go home before the Saturday had even ended. Kudos, betrayers.

Now it's not that everyone wasn't perfectly civil, or that we didn't meet some really nice, cool people or didn't sell anything, because they were, and we did. But sitting in a cafe for two days straight while you watch a bunch of people way cooler than you dressed in clothes that they've made themselves, hair that they've cut themselves, with slogans spray painted on like Boycott Israeli Goods and World Trade Is A Death Machine - and you're sitting there with your colourful robot postcards and copies of the Gentleman Ghost, wearing a shirt that was ironed by your girlfriend and glasses that you bought from Specsavers, you start to feel A) Extremely unhip and B) Like you're ever so slightly out of your element.

Besides anything, mostly these hipsters only turned up for a vegan wrap and a bizarre Argentinean "herbal tea" (incidentally, I had a warm cashew and salad wrap and a vegetarian coconut curry, both of which were unbelievably delicious). Our sales were pretty much to people who just wandered over with vague curiosity, because apparently NOBODY besides us knew the thing was on. It's a shame because, had it been better promoted, it could've been killer. There was a bit of DIY hot-desking as the weekend went on, and we met some new faces, which was refreshing, because looking at Gary Bainbridge for any extended period of time has been known to give you vertigo.

The man himself assures me that last year's was better organised, with more people, in a different (bigger) room, and that our turning up should be validated by this bar that was so deceptively set to rise as time went by. But this reassurance was outweighed by the pain of a wisdom tooth growing in, an ulcer on my tongue, the muscle ache from sleeping anywhere besides my bed at home, and the waking up with a nosebleed when my sinuses exploded in the wee hours. I felt, and still feel, like my entire soul has been ripped out through my nostrils, been kicked in by a thousand angry Doc Martens, spat on and stuffed back inside through my rectum.

Oh well, where's the next fair?

4 comments:

Ian Mayor said...

Crikey

andy said...

I'm so glad I held off e-mailing you to ask how it went!

We're just going to have to do one in Newcastle and do it properly.

Gary said...

I don't know what this is all about. I had a lovely time.

No, seriously, it was horrific. We're seriously considering a small press fair in Newcastle in order to redress the balance.

CJ said...

Sad to hear that the Edinburgh event has regressed -damn hippies.

Everyone's had enough good/soul-destroying experiences at these things to put on our own good/soul-destroying event.

P.s. Dan Prior is a 'splendid fellow' and makes the world's greatest chicken soup.