The Scotsman Sessions #134: Amelia Bayler

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, Glasgow-based comedian Amelia Bayler, winner of best newcomer at this year’s Scottish Comedy Awards, performs an ode to Patisserie Valerie and explains why “A Twirl is like a Flake Burrito”

The stereotypical portrait of a comedian presents them standing more-or-less static behind a microphone, their stage outfit unremarkable. But that's not Amelia Bayler's style. Winner of best newcomer at the recent Scottish Comedy Awards, the liberally tattooed musical comic favours brightly popping colours, with an assortment of wigs and outfits.

A sometime radio DJ and fish and chip shop blogger, formerly in a punk band, and influenced by the Day-glo visuals of rave culture and snack food marketing, in lockdown Bayler has channelled her peppy enthusiasm into her Twitch channel. In The Vibe Show, which streams six days a week, she invites her followers to collaborate with her on her songwriting.

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“Everyone has an opinion on snacks” the Glasgow-based act laughs. “And I'm good at talking about food, it just flows naturally. I'm obsessed with a bright aesthetic, rave and noughties nu-rave. Club culture is a very Glaswegian thing. And it has a sense of humour, taking all those big brands, editing them and making pastiches. Raving and pizza inform my work. If that doesn't sound too wanky.”

Amelia Bayler

Having experimented with a “minimal look, getting my tattoos out and dressing quite punky”, the self-declared “weirdly accented” comic from Wimbledon, who has Scots-Kiwi heritage, has “now settled on the bright colours”. She enjoys the double-existence of being manically animated on stage, “then sticking on subdued colours and going out for a milkshake to relax”.

Bayler had been looking forward to performing her first Edinburgh Fringe at a big venue, The Monkey Barrel, before coronavirus intervened. Undeterred, she started experimenting with all kinds of online platforms before committing to Twitch, the streamer that Scottish comedians in particular have embraced in a big way.

“You know nineties breakfast TV?” she enthuses. “That's the vibe – high energy. It's completely transformed my whole lockdown outlook, just because there's been such a community and it's been so collaborative. People are helping me to write in the moment and it's completely transformed my creative process. Before, it felt like I was shouting into the void for six months.”

For more on Amelia Bayler visit http://ameliabayler.com/comedy/

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