That was the sound of FuseLit laying down its baggage and flopping into bed after an exhausting but brilliant trip to Edinburgh.
Firstly, two observations: Having spent this past year in the grime and cram of London, Edinburgh itself is non-stop beautiful. If you've never been, I recommend it heartily. Set into a hillside with stunning old buildings and really friendly people, it also has a thriving art scene, which is where Observation 2 comes in.
The people of the Forest Cafe, an almost completely voluntary organisation run to support the arts and provide a free venue for performers and people to run workshops and hold events, are amazing. The venue itself is a lovely, roomy, bohemian space with a chilled out atmosphere, loyal patrons and delicious vegan food (and this is an omnivore speaking), and the people themselves are dedicated, welcoming and passionate about art of every flavour.
The night itself was great fun, beginning with stripped down percussive joy from top musical improviser Juan, before the aural delights of Tintin-meets-Flynn jubilante Jon Stone, lion-maned surreal poet Cliff Hammett and Italian firebrand Andrea Tallarita.
Sadly the divine Bek "Tron" Galloway couldn't come, but in her absence, we read "Night Rates", one of her rather excellent recent FuseLit contributions. As compere (of sorts), I read out work by FuseLiteers past and present to show our appreciation and to represent them in absentia. These included the short story "Babel's Tower" by Caroline Robinson, "Both of Us In Baseball Caps" by long-termer John Osbourne and from the pages of BATTERY, "The Practical Advantages of Kung Fu over Karate" by Gerard McKeown.
The night ended with a set by FuseLit CD contributors Damn Yer Eyes and the Forest Reggae Collective, to great aplomb.
Special shout-out to Shannon, who gave us a roof over our head, put up with our 2am entrance following flooding-delayed train troubles, a grand old night out afterwards and rather lovely tea.
Also thank you to Ryan Van Winkle for inviting us down in the first place and everybody at the Cafe who helped us set up and prepared THAT chocolate cake for which I am curently jonesing.
What a grand old time, eh?
In other news, check out the new website, from which at last you can order the sexy miracle that is NUDE in its lingerie-esque format! We do like to give you guys something special. Contributor copies are currently winging their way to eager hands with our thanks and we hope you enjoy the issue. It's been fun to make.
Lots of FuseLove,
Thursday, 26 July 2007