Fringe Q&A: Felix and the Scootermen

They’re granting you, the audience, access all areas! A-list, pop-star celebrities Felix Scoot and Lee Delamere, a.k.a Alan Sharland and Irwin Sparkes of The Hoosiers, welcome you behind the velvet rope to a self-help masterclass on how to become as famous as they are! Drawing on their sizeable years in the music biz with chart-topping band Felix and the Scootermen, they’ll teach you how to write the hits and play the fame game… and win… big! Are you prepared to find out if you can make it in the Fame Game?

AAA caught up with Alan Sharland.

Is this your first time at the Fringe?

It is our first time performing – although I believe Irwin once got cajoled into doing light and sound for a show… but that, im certain, doesn’t count. I also wrote the music for a kids musical ‘AnimAlphabet’ which has been at the festival for the last 2 years – but I guess that also doesn’t count. So, in conclusion, this will be our debut. A huge tick on the ‘brave new things I did in my life’ spreadsheet.

Tell us a bit about the show you’re in this year?

The show is called ‘Self Help Yourself Famous’ and it is a comedy musical about two ageing band-mates who are desperately trying to sell fame to unwitting audience. As the show unfolds it becomes apparent that the man-boys have a dark history bubbling over from their metaphorical cauldron of secrets. There is a serious edge to the show as we deal with our own connection to fame and its trappings. It’s a crazy, and at times, cold industry with a shed load of pressures that no one warns you about, and so we wanted to talk about how a glamorous industry can be quite unglamorous at times.

How much work has gone into getting it ready for Edinburgh?

Loads and loads – and also, probably, not enough. It feels like we could work on this forever. In that regard it feels like recording an album. There’s always a new idea floating in the ether and, for that reason I’m looking forward to getting it to the Fringe – I’m sick of thinking and tinkering about with it. “Thinkering”, if you will.

Are you nervous ahead of your opening night?

Hell yeah – this is an entirely new venture for me. Irwin has done a little bit of acting and singing – but this will be my first time treading the boards.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

Well that sounds like bad planning to me. Thousands? Don’t these people have jobs? I should probably therefore spend even more time selling our show, but I’m just too angry to help myself at this moment. It’s bad enough when you get a festival slot that competes with The Abbariginals (that well know Aboriginal Abba tribute act) – but to compete with thousands. Madness. What are we even thinking!? Oh, I remember what we were thinking: we’ve drawn on our experiences of being a band that hit a high we didn’t sustain and look to reveal life behind the candelabra of showbiz. Despite some surreal moments, there’s a ring of truth to what we’re saying, from what is, I suppose, a reasonably unique vantage point. Now I feel cheap because you made me sell the show that sells itself!

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

Why on earth would we recommend anyone else now – you’ve just told us that there are thousands of other shows competing with us. It would be mad to promote anyone else, surely. That said – go and see anything Phil Nichol is involved in (including our show – which he has directed) the man has funny bones. And an amusing liver.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

Alfie Brown, Josh Weller, Spencer Jones, Phil Nichol and anything by Les Enfants Terrible.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

Apparently we only get one day off. So I will probably waste it wishing I had two.

Felix and the Scootermen’s debut comedy show ‘Self Help Yourself Famous’ will be at the Underbelly Friesian on Bristo Square from 31st July – 26th August. For tickets go to www.edfringe.com

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