Last Podcast on the Left is your dream podcast for all things spooky, true crime-y, and weird. They’re taking their podcast show on the road, and today’s subject is their recent stop in Edinburgh at the Queen’s Hall. Queen’s Hall is a fancy looking old building, nestled in Edinburgh’s Old Town amongst haunted pubs and estate agents alike. New meets old, weird meets normal. Kind of like the Last Podcast.
The Last Podcast on the Left live show has a simple set up, the three hosts (Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski and Ben Kissel) stand and talk with a few slides on the screen behind them to illustrate their points and also provide a bit of humour. It’s a lot like their weekly live streams (on hold for now). The night starts with a “support act” – a pre-recording of the guys narrating a spooky silent movie about a creepy love potion. I think this clip was from a previous year, but with an added introduction recorded in a hotel somewhere this on tour. It was amusing, amusing enough to warm the room up a little but a lot of people did choose this time to hit the bar. [Now, the bar queues were horrendous, and I ended up in the worst one, taking me 40 minutes to buy some pints. So because of this, I was making my time count and got a little boozy (just a buzz), as did lots of others in attendance. This helpfully added to the chilled atmosphere of the night.]
Following the ‘support act’, the Last Podcast guys took to the stage to massive applause and wooting (the Scots really know how to ‘woot’). All it needed was a tonne of dry ice to be the ghostly cherry on top. The show covered about 4 main topics, the first of which being “the dogman“, a humanoid cryptid. I’m sure all the cryptozoology fanatics out there will point out that this is indeed not a werewolf, but a man shaped dog. Other subjects included a long conspiracy around the CIA, Mama Cass and Sharon Tate, next was a wrestling death conspiracy (unfortunately I have no interest in wrestling so I couldn’t follow the events for this section) and the consistently craziest of all: UFOs. Henry Zebrowski had to change into his official MUFON polo shirt for this section, to educate us civilians on UFOs (a shirt that reportedly cost him $600 following a forgotten monthly subscription). We were treated to a weird ritual/dance from Zebrowski (“the truth is in…here!”) followed by a very blurry video of what appeared to by lights in the night sky. Or, a UFO if you’re that way inclined. Although very funny, the Last Podcast on the Left’s performance didn’t do much to persuade me that UFOlogy is a 100% serious subject. I still think that maybe this is all an elaborate ruse, a big inside joke that all UFO believers are in on.
The show overall felt somewhat wooden and scripted – I realise that it was scripted but it could have been presented more naturally. Maybe talking in front of an audience is something they’re still getting used to, as it is quite different to hosting a podcast or a live stream. Their Edinburgh show also didn’t fully encapsulate the feel of the podcast, as it seemed to focus entirely on the silly side of things rather than the nitty gritty that a lot of the episodes cover. You can argue that a live show is a different animal to a recorded episode of a podcast, but it would be good to see more cohesion between the two in sense of mood, delivery and performance. I just left wanting to see and hear more, dammit!
Also, as a side note, there was a meet and greet after the show, and after that the Last Podcast guys were free to explore Edinburgh. If this happened the other way around (meet and greet/explore time before the show), there may have been more chance to change up the act to relate more to Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a cool, amazing and haunted city, it would have been a great opportunity for the Last Podcast to get more spooky-cred into their act and maybe personalise it for each city they’re in.
Listen to Last Podcast on the Left’s “relaxed fit” episode about Burke and Hare here: