Arts: Edinburgh: Take my tears...
MARC ALMOND QUEEN'S HALL
Thursday 02 September 1999
Almond describes the show as "a journey through my nightworld" and prowls around the stage like an imperious ringmaster. "This isn't an audience- participation show, you know," he snaps at a heckler, "now shut up and listen." No one opens their mouth again.
Almond claims that age has mellowed him, but his songs would indicate that he is not ready for the pipe and slippers just yet. Prostitutes, gangsters, pimps, rent-boys and transexuals are just a few of the characters that flit in and out of Almond's songs and, although such preoccupations smack of sixth-form poetry, he delivers them with the kind of infectious swagger that makes you want to rush home and burn your sensible shoes.
There is an appealing drollness in his songwriting: "There is a bed/To lay my head/When I am dead." And his chatter between songs brims with self-deprecating humour. He muses over his "chequered" career with a mix of melancholy and mirth. Where most would recall parties, the groupies and, God forbid, the music, Almond's enduring memory is of being thrown into a vat of sludge on TV's Tiswas and baking mince-pies on cookery shows.
There is a note of horror in his voice as he recalls the Soft Cell years, but he seems ready to embrace the numerous humiliations that lie ahead. "It's amazing how, despite everything, you suddenly become `available' again. It's like `OK, I'll do GMTV'."
Beneath the bravura, there is an element of anxiety which informs Almond's work, particularly in the stream of references to past misfortunes. But the overall feeling is one of a seasoned cabaret artist having the time of his life. With evenings like these you get the feeling that, in Almond's case, the show has only just begun.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 3 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
- 4 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: it's just gravity — not a Mexican demon being summoned
Royal Academy of Arts' Tim Marlow: Bronze statue of lovers embracing at St Pancras station is a lesson in 'how not to do' public art
Britain's Hardest Grafter: Petition set up as Twitter reacts to BBC 'poverty porn' series pitting low-paid workers against each other
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
Big Brother contestant Aaron Frew removed from house for 'inappropriate behaviour' after flashing fellow contestants
ASAP Rocky gives nauseating response to explicit Rita Ora rap: 'I'm not saying she's a terrible person'
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'