I had this article published in The Scotsman newspaper 17th August 2010
The Tour-Guide From Hell (Edinburgh Music Venues)
As a teenager my Aberdonian husband used to hitchhike down to Auld Reekie from The Granite City to watch bands. Yesterday he took me on a tour of venues from his youth.
We started at the old Odeon Cinema (7 Clerk Street). With tears in his eyes he whispered, “This is where I saw The Clash, supported by Joseph K. The tickets were only £3.00. What do you think of that?”
“Wow!” I though, “I wonder how quickly we can get a divorce?” But said nothing.
5 minutes later we’re at West Tollcross, off Lothian Road, standing outside Lava nightclub. If you think there’s nothing more depressing than looking at a nightclub in bright daylight you’re wrong - try looking at a nightclub in bright daylight while the man you sleep with is telling you, “This used to called Clouds. Siouxsie and the Banshees played here. The dance floor was made of rubber so everyone would bounce up and down, even the people standing at the bar”.
I wrote down his words very carefully in case I have to read them out in court.
The Astoria was over in Abbeymount. He paid £1.75 to see The Human League there. We didn’t bother going over because as I told him, “They’ll be long gone, you’ll never get your money back.”
Stockbridge for lunch. Ah, lovely twee Stockbridge with its lovely twee tearooms. Apparently there was a venue down here where Iggy Pop played. Read that again: Iggy Pop in Stockridge! Never thought I’d see those words in the same sentence.
Next we were off to see Coasters at 5 West Tollcross, off Lothian Road. It’s now called Lava nightclub. “Hold on” I said, “haven’t we already been here? Didn’t this used to be Clouds?” “Yes but I saw Nick Lowe here and he sings Cruel To Be Kind” my husband mumbled as though that would explain everything.
Then a quick jaunt round Bruce’s Records (Rose Street), The Wig & Pen (Cockburn Street), Valentino’s (East Fountainbridge) and Eric Brown’s (Dalry Road) with a running commentary about The Valves, The Zones, The Skids and The Rezillos.
Last stop The Royal Mile – my other half is convinced there used to be a record shop down by John Knox’s house. He swears he bought his first Alex Harvey album there.
We hunted up and down The Royal Mile for a good half hour. Finally I took him over to the World’s End Pub to calm him down with several pints.
I told him, “Just remember these two things (1) the memory plays tricks on the mind and (2) I don’t care about your boring stories.”
If you would like to talk to my husband about Punk Rock or music in general (no Genesis fans, sorry) he’ll be at the bar after my show every night throughout the Festival.
“Jo Caulfield – Cruel To Be Kind” – 7.50pm @ The Stand Comedy Club, York Place.
PS Nick Lowe wrote “Cruel To Be Kind” and played Coasters on 3rd May 1982