Victor and Barry returned to the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh for a few shows during the 1990 Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. Forbes and I hadn't been working together very much for a while so it was a bit of a reunion. We called the show Clean Ripe Gentlemen.
Victor and Barry had dabbled in radio several times, most notably in their series for BBC Radio Scotland, Scones and tea with V and B.
Now, here they were doing a live show from the Paris Studios in London with special guests Bonnie Langford and Barbara Windsor. The whole conceit of the show was that Bonnie and Babs were former members of Victor and Barry's Kelvinside Young People's Amateur Dramatic Art Society, and Victor and Barry had taught them everything they knew.
The show was broadcast on Radio 2 and produced by Sioned Wiliam.
At the end of 1988, Forbes Masson and I flew to Sydney, Australia to start rehearsals and in early January 1989 we opened at the Playhouse of the Sydney Opera House in See Victor and Barry and Faint, a version of the show we had performed the previous year at the Edinburgh Festival, on tour in Scotland and at the Donmar Warehouse in London as part fo the Perrier Pick of the Fringe season.
After a month in Sydney we toured to Adelaide, Alice Springs, Cairns and Rockhampton.
I remember that the hole in the ozone layer had recently been discovered above Australia and there was a huge PR campaign going on to encourage people to protect themselves from the sun. We were both incredibly pale and people would literally scream 'skin cancer' at us in the street, and ask us what factor we were using.
Here we are in a short clip from a hilarious TV show in Adelaide called A Touch of Elegance and from the Rockhampton local news show.
It had to happen. I flew up to Glasgow to hold a press conference with Forbes to announce the release of Hear Victor and Barry and Faint, the latest installment of their plan to rule the world.
You can hear the full album on theseYoutube clips.
At the 1988 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Victor and Barry's sell-out show Victor and Barry Say Goodbye was chosen to be part of the Perrier Pick of the Fringe Season at the Donmar Warehouse in London's Covent Garden.
This was Victor and Barry's first sojourn south of the border (though they would be soon appearing south of the equator when they toured Australia) and it caused quite a storm amongst the Scottish media. It's hard to describe now, but in the eighties it was still a big deal to 'make it' in London if you lived in Scotland. And as Victor and Barry had become really succesful in a relatively short time there was much anticipation about their London debut and how they would be received (indeed even if the would be understood.)
So when Scottish TV asked to film us and our preparations for the Donmar debut we decided it would be fun to make it a sort of mockumentary in Victor and Barry's rather surreal style. Our friend Hazel Eadie, who had been in our panto the previous year at the Tron Theatre, made an appearance as a mysterious beauty, and our au pair was played by the actual room-mate we inherited when we rented a half-renovated flat in Stoke Newington from a set designer I had been working with. It is a bizarre little show culminating in some footage from the actual first perfomance. Look out for actor Richard Griffiths who was in the audience for some reason!
I took part in a demonstration against the Poll tax, which was about to be introduced into Scotland the following year. Aside from it being a horribly unfair tax (the poorest people were taxed more because they tended to be living with more people in one home, and the richer taxed less as this tax was per person and did not take into account how many or how valuable homes were) we were also furious that Scotland was being used as a guniea pig to try it out before it was introduced into the rest of the UK in 1990. There were eventually street riots in London and many believe the failure of the poll tax was the death knell of Margaret Thatcher's premiership.
I also joined a thing called the Scottish 100, a list of 100 prominent Scottish artists, politicians, clergy and all sorts who just refused to pay the poll tax. I eventually paid the equivalent once it had been abolished.
Victor and Barry took their new show Victor and Barry Say Goodbye to the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh for the festival, and later in the year to the Donmar Warehouse in London where we were invited to take part in the Perrier Pick of the Fringe season. The shows at the Donmar were my West End debut.
We'd previously opened Glasgow's Mayfest with a huge sell-out show at the Theatre Royal. Here we are premiering our anthem for Vic and Baz's hometown, Glasgow, on the STV Mayfest TV show.
Victor and Barry were co-hosts of the Scottish part of the ITV Telethon in 1988. We had to stay up all night and constantly greet members of the public who got progressively more drunk and carried larger and larger checks. It was very surreal, especially the Vitcotr and Barry Search for a Star parts, where people did things like singing with their heads inside a washing machine!
It was great fun, and actually my first time ever doing live television with people talking to me in my ear whilst trying to be witty and effervescent. No mean feat. I also remember that when day broke we had a couple of drinks and some prawn cocktail and then went on live TV again, a bit pished.
Hogmanay, aka New Year's Eve, is a huge deal in Scotland and so is the TV show that rings in the bells each year.
In 1987, Victor and Barry took part in the Scottish Television spectacular. It was pretty terrifying. We had never done live television before and there was a lot to go wrong, as well as an audience of drunken Glaswegians to entertain.
Actually looking back on it now, that was the strangest part of the whole thing: finishing the show at about 1.30am on New Year's Day and everyone being so drunk and Forbes and I being totally sober.
We performed a few skits and sang a song medley that included a duet, or rather a quartet, with Moray Hunter and Jack Docherty as Don and George.
Forbes Masson and I took our latest Victor and Barry show to the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh for the duration of the festival. We had previously performed it at Glasgow's Mayfest and Cumbernauld Theatre.
Here we are singing our Edinburgh Festival Song on Scottish television's show Acropolis Now
STV also helped us with the production of an album (on cassette), also entitled Are We Too Loud?
This video was made for BSkyB and directed by our friend Ashtar Alkhirsan.