Leith Festval & A Few Tips From Us

Posted by in June's Magazine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Last night your correspondent found himself at the ever-excellent (mine’s a Brandy & Babycham Tam) Dockers Club for Leith Festival’s 2016 launch. Not quite sure why it was a ‘launch’ as the festival itself doesn’t heave onto the horizon for a week or so yet. Indeed I’m pretty sure I didn’t witness Queen Mary of Moriarty cracking a ceremonial bottle of Crabbies Green Ginger over anyone’s bows.

Rather let’s say it was a way for all the volunteers, committee members, and sponsors etc. to give themselves a well-deserved pat on the back before the organization of festivities and attendant arduous hours commences. Copious quantities of Belhaven Best (mine’s a Pernod and Irn Bru Tam) were consumed by all, with what amounted to unseemly haste. The exceptions were Mses. Moriarty and Deidre Brock, the former favouring a Crème De Menthe Frappé whilst the latter appeared to be necking a stubby of Castlemaine XXXX.


On arrival guests had been greeted with glasses of Prosecco – thus, as Gordon Munro pointed out, “explaining in an instant the current world shortage of the famed sparkling wine.” We talked of this and that and then, after a short pause for food, of that and this. We agreed that the absence of ‘mock’ Lord Provost of Leith, William Barr on
a ‘previous engagement’ was a major plus. Peace reigned and we left with some money in our pockets, a bonus. The conversation was necessarily cut short as Mr. Munro had made a ‘good knife and fork’ at the buffet and “needed to sit down.”

The Dockers had indeed done us proud (mine’s an Advocaat and Red Bull Tam) and I was about to join him when a voice piped up, “Did you know this is the 109th Gala?” Mr. Robert ‘Bob’ Cuddihy, who until now had been ‘becalmed’, was back under sail – albeit without his rudder. Soon regaling me with tales of his time reporting on the 1966 Gala for The Leith Telegraph and Argus.

Mr. Phil ‘None More Scottish’ Attridge birled into view looking nicely irrigated. “We are Scotland’s biggest community festival and did I tell you we’ve got live music back on Gala day? You remember Boots for Dancing? I saw them at Leith Community Centre way back. They’ll be showcasing the recent album Athens of the North.” (Their front man is one Dave Carson no doubt known to many of you.) Now the bold Phil was frowning: “Incidentally, I did tell you that come the revolution you are the first one I will shoot? One bullet. To the head. Colt 45.” The Gala incidentally runs from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

The commendable Citadel Youth Centre will present a double bill of Leith based dramas about a 19th Century pioneer and the Story of Leith audio walking tour. Tales from the Hanging Captain – set in a fictional Leith pub – promises ‘moments in Leith history, from 1600 to the present’. There is a family day at the impressive DOK Artist Space by Ocean Terminal: a belly dancing disco; the alarmingly ubiquitous Tony Singh: Theatre Imperative bring The Wee One and, ahem, Mary Moriarty hosts her celebrated Tea Dance where, and I quote, “alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.”

Picture: Callum Alden

Note: You can take all the above with a pinch of salt, apart from the stuff which is true of course.

Info: If you can’t find a programme of events, there is a downloadable PDF version available at www.leithfestival.com

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  2. The Dockers had indeed done us proud (mine’s an Advocaat and Red Bull Tam) and I was about to join him when a voice piped up.

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