Isn’t ‘Scot’ a great word? You can put it in front of anything.
Scotrail, ScotVec, Scot… er… land. If only those of us from the South were the Engls, we could similarly tag everything that strays into our demsne. So ScotsGay and it’s festival freebie, SGFringe, occupies the niche of supporting anything that is both Scottish and gay, and it serves this niche very well.
If you are Scott Agnew or Susan Calman, you will wonder what the fucking hell you have done to upset ScotsGay if they don’t send someone to watch your show in the opening ten minutes of your Fringe run.
This is all as it should be, but after this the editorship is forced to push its fences out into not-so-Scottish and ‘gay friendly’. This sometimes means anything that is not gay-hostile, but with ScotsGay it invariably means anything particularly flamboyant, anything intended to offend the ‘establishment’ (whatever that is these days) or anything loud and leftie – up to and including paeans to Stalin. So Kate Smurthwaite gets a good writeup and also writes an ‘opinion’ piece; her opinion being that she agrees wholeheartedly with her nice ScotsGay review. The whole magazine groans under the weight of cabaret.
ScotsGay is a nice-looking magazine, as is SGFringe, but Fringe reviews end up on a rather boring (though easily navigable) website – improved for 2014, but still boring. The downside of getting stars from ScotsGay is that some punters will assume you are gay, your act touches on the issues of being gay, or that you are ‘gay friendly’ in a way defined by the apparatchiks of ScotsGay when none of these may be true.
Thus five stars from ScotsGay look great attached to Craig Hill’s poster, but will make you wonder if the End Times are approaching if you ever see them plastered across Jim Jefferies’ mug.
Becky Walker’s Panda