Back to Bowie’s

Despite the best intentions of some, the referendum is going to be the all consuming backdrop to this years Edinburgh Festival. But as well as infiltrating every bar room conversation and every stand up show, and even having managed to break through the Charlie and Lola vibe of the Book Festival, there are a load of indyref dedicated shows and venues. Be-straddling these like a giant beast is All Back to Bowie’s, the cabaret-meets-constitutional-culture-zone that runs from 1-24 August every lunch time at the Stand in the Square. This is a giant Yes Yurt that will be the epicentre for all Yesness after the valiant Yestival crew have collapsed in a post-coital heap.

When Bowie used his surrogate at the Brits to plead: “Scotland … stay with us” reactions varied. The most common, and perhaps unkind one was: “What a fanny”. Other etiquette pedants questioned the lack of “please” in the sentence. Still others thought, let’s set up a fringe cabaret show around the idea.

The evil masterminds behind it all are David Greig, Swimmer One, Cora Bissett, Karine Polwart, Peter Arnott and more, to be joined each day by a gaggle of creative genius including poets, musicians, ranters and more considered commentators of all ilks: “Different guests every day make for an hour of gentle thought and hard day-dreaming. If you’re obsessed with indy, undecided, federalist curious, or polymorphously politically perverse you are welcome.”

Each day is themed around a Bowie song or lyric. So, as a random flavour (full programme will be posted soon):

Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed The Yes Campaign is on Tuesday 12th includes guests such as Jenny Lindsay, Stephen Noon, Brian Cox, Kate Higgins, Kirstin Innes and poet Sam Small.

Hazy Cosmic JiveMetaphors of Indyref is on Friday 1st August including polemic from Davey Anderson with guests: Janice Galloway, Hannah McGill, and Zoe Strachan.

Lady StardustIn The Eye of The Storm on Monday 4th August features polemic from John Carnochan and special guest – Nicola Sturgeon.
The epic roster goes on like a roll call of creativity and curmudgeonly genius, including: Neil Ascherson, James Robertson, Isobel Lindsay, Andrew Tickell (that’s Tickell!), Elaine C. Smith, Zara Kitson, Carolyn Leckie, Alex Massie, Stephen Greenhorn, Ewan Morrison and many more.

As a very special offer for Bella readers we are offering £4 tickets for every All Back To Bowie’s show if you quote offer code Bowie1. Call The Stand box office, book at The Stand website, or come along to St Andrews Sq box office in person to take advantage of this deal.

That’s half-price dear reader (!)


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  1. Illy says:

    Dear god I hope the organisers know about this one:

    “Beware the savage draw, of 1984”

  2. I was never keen on Bowie,indifferent probably the best I could be.I never did understand all those who “raved” about him,then again I was never one for mind altering drugs,and that I think is the key.

  3. When he said “Scotland, stay with us”, I assumed he and Iman were inviting us to Manhattan. I was a bit disappointed to discover my mistake. 🙁

    See you in St Andrews Square! 🙂

    1. Aye me too but I never booked a flight so was a bit lucky.

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