Friday, July 25, 2008

Last Minute

I had a phone call a couple of days ago from the bastard apartment agency in Edinburgh who gave us the wrong (77 steps up) apartment last year when we went to the Festival. Perhaps I was being stupid to think that it might be ok this time round: they did eventually, after some heated negotiation, offer compensation in the form of a reduction in price when we booked another apartment for this year. It was where I needed to be, in the centre of things so I could come and go with relative ease. They went one better this time round and, with two weeks to go, told us that some “corporate” people had decided they needed the apartment and we could have alternative accommodation somewhere at the other end of town, or almost out of it. We’ve taken our money back and, amazingly (through the Scottish Tourist Board), found somewhere else – nicer and half the price, without the sleazy “luxury” element that is supposed to be what we all want, in fact when we booked in January we couldn’t actually find anything that didn’t look as though it was hijacked from the set of Startrek, but with polished wooden floors. I used to like wooden floors, but I am beginning to associate them with “luxury” apartments. So all is well, except that we never did get our compensation from the agency, and they are carrying on their nasty business as usual because no-one has the time or energy to do anything about it.

Daughter of Signs is up there already with thirteen others, creating the space in which they are going to perform what I think will be an extraordinary show which she has written, is co-directing and performing in. I can’t wait to see it.

Son is in France on a small tour with a youth orchestra, playing cello. But he will be on the telly tomorrow in Last Choir Standing. His group is called Last Minute (he's the one accompanying the soloist on "If I ain't got you"), and they’ll be singing two songs. Son is the second soloist in “It’s My Life”. Can’t tell you if they got through or not because that would be telling. But I can reveal that spending a day in the BBC studio was – how can I describe it? After we had all (hundreds of us) been security checked, colour-coded with wristbands and herded into the foyer to wait, it felt like an airport lounge when the plane has been delayed. Then when we were finally got into the studio itself it felt like a kids party that went on and on but you weren’t allowed to go to the loo when you wanted and the only sustenance was a two-bar Kitkat and a small carton of orange juice. And there was some kind of all-purpose entertainer/comedian there to get us all in the mood for the hooting and clapping that we had to do. Not meaning to sound like a miserable git, but it was very hard work. On the other hand, it was lovely to see the boy do his stuff and lovely to see the singers who gave the whole thing their best shot. The studio looks very glitzy on the screen, but it’s all very sweetly makeshift and a bit wobbly.


Kahless said...

One proud Signs, I can tell.


Reading the Signs said...

Kahless, does it show? :)

cusp said...

I hate some of those holiday letting agencies: proper rip off merchants. It was only two years ago we arrived at a place and promptly walked out again and went straightway to the agency to demand alternative accom --- the one we'd booked being too grubby and shabby and nothing like the photos and description.

Your offsprings' achievemenst know no bounds: daughter's looks rather saucy though I cannot get past the first image to the jiucy stuff ;0( and tonight I shall make the Cusp ranks settle down on the sofa to watch Son sing and we shall all be waving flags and cheer and there shall be bunting strewn around the room and fizzy pop and spam sandwiches for the kiddies as we all point at a flickering image in the corner and declare 'That's him, that's him !!!'

Hurrah !

The reality of much drama, theatrical or televisual is very often shabby beyond belief when close up.

Reading the Signs said...

Cusp, you should be able to press the little link at the bottom to get through to the facebook site that says a little more. There's a lot more to it than sauce, I promise you! I remember when she first had the idea - it's bold and challenging.

Wish I could have spam sandwiches and fizzy pop too.

cusp said...

Yep -- got the link now. Couldn't see it before. (Only being naughtily flippant about the sauce).

Looks really intersting stuff. Wish I could get to Edinburgh and see it. Maybe they'll do a DVD or an excerpt on the facebook site ?

Right, must go quickly now. Only 30 minutes til your son is on and there are still another 2 plates of sandwiches to make, a green jelly to turn out and we've decided to push the boat out as it's a special occasion and have lashings of ginger beer too.

tpe said...

No. Way.

That was tense as all hell, Signs, and Revelation were v. good, it has to be said. But now we must wait till tomorrow to find out whether your son gets through to the next round? How is that fair? Surely we, your loyal fans, deserve a hint, at least?

Anyway, your son is beautiful - that was always likely, though - and I feel sure that if there is any justice in this wretched world then his group, with their impressively complex arrangements, will sail through to the final.

I was scanning the crowd frantically for a glimpse of you, Signs, searching for the unknown face of somebody I've never met. How corrupt is that? Strange days.

Happy Saturday, (deservedly) proud parent.


Reading the Signs said...

TPE, I too was scanning the crowd - looking for myself, but could not find me. Saw some of Son's mates, though, waving a banner.

The funny thing is that it was all filmed at the same time, today's and tomorrow's programmes. So all was revealed to those of us in the hallowed space of Studio One but we had to sit there pretending that it was tomorrow, and knowing that "tomorrow" was a week and a day away.

It's good to share the beauty around, McTeepee. I've given him and his sister a generous helping :)

Kahless said...

Had a flood at chez Kahless and I missed it.
(out in garden and Mrs K let the hot tap on in the sink and ended up flooding several rooms!)


I will try and catch on iplayer tomorrow.

Reading the Signs said...

Kahless, my sympathies to you! But you can see it at your leisure on the Last Choir website if you like.

Reading the Signs said...

oh - and Cusp - what I'd really like is for the daughter's show to get a transfer to London!

cusp said...

Well what a handsome chap and what wonderful singing. There's real flare in TLM's arrangements and the way the work's presented. Great stuff. Makes me miss my days when I sang in choirs at school.

Surely your daughter's production will be transferred to London, dear. I can see you swanning into the thee-atre in your furs and purple shell suit tru's on opening night already

Do you think you should be hinting to Mr S that it may be time to start thinking about putting up some shelves for all the awards that'll be coming your way...or is it a little too soon ?

Reading the Signs said...

Cusp, I'm so glad that you think my purple shell-suits deserving of awards! I have secretly thought so myself, I must admit.

I think what's impressive about TLM is that they all come from different groups and had no actual repertoire to draw on, really had to do everything last minute. Thanx for the comments.

nmj said...

Signs, Sorry about the fuck up with the letting people, but what can you really expect from an agency that gave you 77 steps last time...! I hope the new place is a hundred times better and look forward to seeing you up here.

Having managed to miss your son last night, I have trawled through the BBC website - I am so bad at navigating these sites and always end up with the wrong links, but I think I have found him, I love 'If I Ain't Got You'. I will be sure to watch tonight.

Strippers & Gentlemen looks v interesting too.

What a talented family!


That's So Pants said...

Hi Signs

Best of luck to Son of for tonight and daughter of for Edinburgh.



That's So Pants said...

Oh Sorry Signs

I looked up the website but wasn't all that clear. I will follow the link you gave NMJ. Internet... bahh!



Reading the Signs said...

Pants, the song I meant was "It's My Life". Brain getting addled by it all.

Not sure if you can get through to the site from abroad!

Reading the Signs said...

(re-posting this comment, with correct information).

NMJ, if you go here you will find all the songs Last Minute did. Hold mouse over the small pictures and you'll be able to find "It's My Life", which I felt came over really well - and son also has second solo in this.

Looking forward to meeting up again too :)

Pants, I have time-travelled back to last week and delivered your good wish. Apropos of which, there was a Tardis in the courtyard of the BBC studios - and a Dalek in the Foyer.