Guest blogger: Barry Church-Woods

Between Murdoch Snr getting a plate of foam in his face and wife Wendi bitch slapping the assailant in front of a panel of MPs, the need for a regular comedy gala is all but removed!

Thankfully, The Big C’s Big Comedy Gala is no regular comedy gala, but an extraordinary one, as all involved are giving their time and talent for free to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support – and give guests an amazing evening of top notch entertainment!

With only three and a half weeks till the big night, it’s time for another guest blogger. This week, the turn has come to Barry Church-Woods, one of the project founders, who offers an insight into his reasons for initiating The Big C along with a selection of his favoure music to mince around Edinburgh to.

Name: Barry Church-Woods
Occupation: Board Member, The Big C
Lives in: Edinburgh
Favourite comedy act:  Sarah Silverman

Hi, I’m Barry Church-Woods. I’m one of the board of the Big C. Last year my sister Julie died from lymphoma at 40. The Big Comedy Gala is the first event to be staged by the Big C. You can read more of my experience in my personal blog.

I also work for the Festival Fringe Society and love going to work on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Living on Easter Road, I often walk to work over Regent Terrace, enjoying the spectacular vistas that Edinburgh has to offer while listening to music.

Here are the 5 albums on my iPod that I’m currently playing to death:

#1 Camille O’Sullivan Sings Jacques Brel

This is a guilty pleasure from the Irish/French chanteuse who sells out her Fringe show any year she comes. There’s something brilliantly tangible about having seen her perform some of these songs live. This album often makes me smile like a moron because of the sheer beauty of her version on Ne Me Quitte Pas and the memory of her totally a cappella version of Amsterdam at Fringe Select a couple of years ago.

#2 Born This Way, Lady Gaga

Unbridled pop brilliance. I love how upbeat this album is. Most of the music is sampled and many of the melodies are heavily influenced* by other songs. Sheisse sounds suspiciously like Ladies Night and of course there’s the brilliant refrain in the title track that comes from Princes Money Don’t Matter Tonight and the Express Yourself chord progressions. Who cares? Not me. I lap this shit up. I’m sure this album makes me mince.


#3  Craig Armstrong Film Works

I think he’s one of the best composers of film soundtracks in the world and this is essentially a greatest hits, from his beautiful This Love to his realisation of Clare De Lune for the Baz Lurman Chanel Advert……….I’m a daaaahncer. Love it.

#4  Madonna, Madonna

My pop fascination began in the living room of a council house in Livingston, learning all the routines from Madonna’s Virgin Tour with my friend Mark. I go back to this album again and again. Pure pop brilliance from a time when pop music didn’t really exist. She may have borrowed from Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynd, but without this album, there would be no Gaga, Britney or Beyonce as we know them. And little David Banda would still be in Malawi using 2 ply bog roll.

#5  Dummy, Portishead

This reminds me of college. Of doing bad things that were good at the time. This album is a genuine masterpiece. Beth Givens vocals can still make me weep if I’m feeling sorry for myself.

You can still support The Big C and help raise more funds for Macmillan – even if you are not going to the event itself – by donating what you can spare here.

Many thanks and keep laughing!


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