{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"whatson","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/lorraine-kelly-to-host-stv-s-hogmanay-party-1-4309124","id":"1.4309124","articleHeadline": "Lorraine Kelly to host STV's Hogmanay party","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480938455268 ,"articleLead": "Lorraine Kelly, Judy Murray and the Bay City Rollers are to head STV's Hogmanay coverage, it was announced today." ,"articleBody": "

Kelly is hosting a specially-recorded party on board HMS Unicorn, a wooden warship dating back to 1824, which is berthed permanently in her home city of Dundee.

One of the city's best-known musicians, Deacon Blue frontman Ricky Rossn and Steve McCrorie, winner of the BBC series The Voice last year, will be among the other special guests.

Also appearing will be the actress and comic Elaine C Smith, who presented last year's controversial STV Hogmanay show, which featured First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, her mother Joan and her sister Gillian.

Kelly will be joined by fellow broadcaster Jenni Falconer, River City star Eileen McCallum, the current "Mr Scotland" Tristan Harper and Sean Dillon, captain of Dundee United, the host's favourite football team.

Joyce Falconer, who starred in the recent stage production which brought the famous Glebe Street family The Broons to life, will revive her character Maw Broon on the show.

The Bay City Rollers, who will be appearing at the Hydro arena in Glasgow later this month, will get their own STV special on Hogmanay, which will be going out on the broadcaster's city channels.

Kelly said: “I’m so excited to host STV’s Hogmanay show in my hometown Dundee, aboard the HM Frigate Unicorn which is a fantastic setting for a party.

"It’s a real honour to be part of viewers’ festivities up and down the country and I look forward to welcoming some brilliant guests to join me in the celebrations.”

Elizabeth Partyka, deputy director of channels at STV, said: “We look forward to what promises to be a fantastic evening celebrating the end of one year and the start of another.

"Lorraine is one of Scotland’s most cherished TV personalities and with a line-up of brilliant guests, great music and entertaining celebrity interviews, I think our viewers will really enjoy welcoming 2017 with this intimate Hogmanay party.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/still-game-creators-to-limit-live-shows-to-avoid-becoming-panto-1-4309538","id":"1.4309538","articleHeadline": "Still Game creators to limit live shows to avoid becoming ‘panto’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480964100000 ,"articleLead": "

Still Game fans have been promised a bigger and better stage spectacular when Jack and Victor return to the Hydro - but have been warned it will not become an annual fixture to avoid being seen as a pantomime.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309537.1480964026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

Greg Hemphill said he and Ford Kiernan saw themselves as “Barnum & Bailey” in trying to outdo the 2014 show which sold out 21 performances at the Glasgow arena.

The pair revealed they have spent two months planning a “unique theatrical experience” for the sitcom’s army of fans who are expected to fill the Hydro for 15 performances in February.

But they also revealed they would be banning cameras from the new show, Bon Voyage, after being unhappy with how the previous production looked on screen.

And they say they are not keen on staging a live show every year to avoid it being seen as a regular occurrence like a panto or X Factor.

However they disclosed that they have already started discussing storylines for an eighth series of Still Game.

Hemphill said: “One of things we’ve learned is that they’re such different animals. The live show is a completely different experience from watching the TV series.

• READ MORE: Still Game returns to BBC with record audience

“It’s a big space in the Hydro and it takes a lot of imagination to fill it. It’s not enough to say ‘let’s just do the Craiglang world on the stage.’

“We’re getting to do something we can’t do on the TV with the live show. We want to do something that’s on a large scale. It is going to be a uniquely theatrical experience.

“It’s not going to be Jack and Victor and the rest of the cast huddled around a three-bar fire. We feel like we’re Barnum and Bailey going into a space that size.”

Kiernan said: “The last show was a reunion, this new one is a proper entertainment night out that we think is better. In fact we’re sure it is better.”

The original Still Game live show broke all box office records at the Hydro and extra shows have already been added to next year’s run. However Kiernan and Hemphill say they want to limit its live outings.

Kiernan said: “I wouldn’t think we would do a show at the Hydro every year. It will be nearly three years by the time we do this show. It’s not the kind of thing you do every year or every couple of years.

“You’ve got to have the story. You can’t just pop them out. It’s a different machine altogether, the yearly thing. You’re going into the realms of returning pantomimes and stuff like that. It’s too formulaic.

“The story is everything for us. It needs to be right or we would not venture back.”

Hemphill added: “It’s got to be like an event and you want to make sure there’s a story idea to fill that space. But we don’t want it to become like the X Factor, where it is on every year.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BRIAN FERGUSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309537.1480964026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309537.1480964026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309537.1480964026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/under-the-radar-dancing-on-tables-1-4309121","id":"1.4309121","articleHeadline": "Under the Radar: Dancing on Tables","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480937657000 ,"articleLead": "

Hailing from Dunfermline, young five-piece outfit Dancing On Tables have picked up plenty of praise across the blogosphere and recently completed an unusual tour of shopping centres to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309120.1480937577!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dancing on Tables"} ,"articleBody": "

Their latest EP, a brilliant collection of bright, vibrant indie-pop songs which is officially self-released on Friday, was produced by George Shilling, whose credits include artists such as Primal Scream, Steve Winwood and Ocean Colour Scene.

The band play a free-entry gig at the Electric Circus in Edinburgh on Tuesday with support from Lost In Vancouver and Akrobat. They perform at home in Dunfermline on 6 January at PJ Molloys.

Watch the video for lead single Don’t Stop at https://youtu.be/zloHICj_9T8 or for more information see https://www.facebook.com/dancingontablesmusic/

Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run the Born To Be Wide music industry events and seminars


Musicians Union – Behind Every Musician. To find out more about the benefits of joining visit www.musiciansunion.org.uk/Join

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309120.1480937577!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309120.1480937577!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dancing on Tables","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dancing on Tables","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309120.1480937577!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-bbc-sso-and-cedric-tiberghien-1-4309058","id":"1.4309058","articleHeadline": "Music review: BBC SSO and Cdric Tiberghien","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480935663000 ,"articleLead": "

Matthias Pintscher chose a monumental symphonic programme for his BBC SSO appearance – the equivalent of a carb-heavy sandwich made of hefty outsiders with a light, crispy filling. First, the awesome soundscape Rachmaninov created in response to Arnold Böchlin’s symbolist painting, the Isle of the Dead. Rachmaninov’s symphonic poem is a triumph of dark, sustained intensity, its repetitive earworm of an opening – the insistent, ominous five-beat motif – fuelling a series of stomach-churning climaxes.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309057.1480935590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Matthias Pintscher PIC: Monika Schulz-Fieguth"} ,"articleBody": "


City Halls, Glasgow

There were plentiful moments where Pintscher’s reading had us in thrall, sonorous images as pungent as Böchlin’s Gothic vision; but too often, between these, the temperature dipped to present a fragmented experience. Balance was an issue, the City Halls acoustics struggling to contain brass players who were given free rein.

Similar issues left the closing work, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, short of complete fulfilment. It was clear Pintscher had a very personalised view of the music – an almost clinical dissection, teetering on the pedantic, of the rich melodic contours in the opening two movements – that seemed to unnerve the orchestral unanimity and create curious instrumental imbalances. Ecstatic moments were let down by unconvincing ones.

Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 12, K414, provided a degree of recompense. The crispness of Cédric Tiberghien’s solo was spirit-lifting, and the SSO strings latched on to that. But again, there were some uneven moments – even from Tiberghien – that robbed the final movement, especially, of its sparkle. None of this was Pintscher at his typical best.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ken Walton"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309057.1480935590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309057.1480935590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Matthias Pintscher PIC: Monika Schulz-Fieguth","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Matthias Pintscher PIC: Monika Schulz-Fieguth","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309057.1480935590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews-alice-s-adventures-in-wonderland-five-guys-named-moe-jack-and-the-beanstalk-1-4309056","id":"1.4309056","articleHeadline": "Theatre reviews: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland | Five Guys Named Moe | Jack and the Beanstalk","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480935553000 ,"articleLead": "

When I was a child, I never could make head nor tail of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. It seemed strange and frightening and not really a story; it wasn’t until I was 12, and saw Jonathan Miller’s wonderful TV version, that I suddenly understood the magnificent, surreal quality of Carroll’s perfect English absurdism. And the problem with Anthony Neilson’s memorable new version of Alice for the Lyceum is that it captures this strange, ambiguous quality to perfection; so perfectly that grown-ups will probably adore it, older children may well be fascinated, and younger children are quite likely to be bored, puzzled or frightened. The Lyceum auditorium has been turned into a gorgeous Victorian box of delights, with little antique hot-air balloons floating everywhere. And in Francis O’Connor’s lush design, everything looks ravishing and just as it should, as Jess Peet’s calm, logical little Alice twirls down the rabbit hole into a richly-coloured hallucinatory underworld peopled by rushing rabbits and weeping mock turtles.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309055.1480935480!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"} ,"articleBody": "

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ****

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

Five Guys Named Moe ****

Festival Square Theatre,


Jack and the Beanstalk ***

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

In style, Neilson’s production concedes very little to the idea that children’s Christmas shows should be short, brisk and legible. This one is leisurely in approach, and given to startling skiffle-like bursts of communal song by composer Nick Powell, based on Carroll’s great nonsense lyrics; its pace sags towards the end, and no-one in the impressive cast seems quite sure how much audience participation they should seek or expect.

Yet the spectacle is so rich, glorious and strange that I found it irresistible; a Christmas gift for Carroll fans and absurdists, if not necessarily for kids.

This is a memorably busy Christmas theatre season in Edinburgh, with five major shows opening this week; and just across the road from the Lyceum, the Edinburgh’s Christmas team have created a new temporary theatre, a big-top space with a generous cabaret atmosphere that makes a perfect setting for Clarke Peters’s hugely successful West End hit Five Guys Named Moe. First seen in London in 1990, the show is a juke-box musical inspired by the music of the great bandleader Louis Jordan, who wrote classic boogie hits like Choo Choo Ch’Boogie and Saturday Night Fish Fry; it tells the story of an ordinary guy with woman trouble whose miserable room is suddenly invaded by five guys named Moe – all smart shoes and flashy clothes – advising him on how to get his life back on track.

It’s not a show for women who can’t take an evening of being relentlessly referred to in the third person; the gender politics are irredeemably old-fashioned. Yet the singing and dancing is terrific, the lighting spectacular, the six-piece swing-band superb; and the generous male energy of the whole show an absolute joy, for anyone in search of an evening of pure festive fun.

There’s also plenty of fun on stage at the King’s, where the regular team of Allan Stewart (Dame Trot), Andy Gray (daft Hector) and Grant Stott (evil henchman Fleshcreep) line up to deliver this year’s panto, a jolly but perfunctory version of Jack And The Beanstalk. At less than two hours there’s almost no time for the story, or for Stewart and Gray to luxuriate in their fine comic partnership; and the show’s unsatisfying design, courtesy of panto-makers Q-dos, seems more interested in pointless hydraulic special effects than in telling the wonderful beanstalk story in a vivid, magical style.

The finest performance comes from Stott, who is now a prime panto villain, taking the time to relish his relationship with the Edinburgh audience; there’s also terrific work from the tiny dancers of the Edinburgh Dance Academy. It speaks volumes about the style of recent King’s pantos, though, that when Gray and Stewart try to encourage some end-of-show song-sheet singing, the audience seem to have forgotten how to do it. Perhaps it’s time to ditch the all-purpose bought-in pantos, paint up a backdrop with a few familiar Edinburgh landmarks and start making these all-important Christmas shows from scratch again, as the King’s in Edinburgh used to do, in brilliant style.

*Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland until 31 December; Five Guys Named Moe until 7 January; Jack And The Beanstalk until 15 January.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309055.1480935480!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309055.1480935480!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309055.1480935480!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/opera-review-billy-budd-1-4309032","id":"1.4309032","articleHeadline": "Opera review: Billy Budd","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480934602000 ,"articleLead": "

With designer Leslie Travers’s shabby-chic set, all curling floorboards and distressed paintwork, director Orpha Phelan’s fine production of Britten’s great nautical tragedy for Opera North placed us firmly inside the mind and regretful memories of the aloof Captain Vere. Which felt only right, given Alan Oke’s quietly commanding performance in the role, the still point around which everything orbited – detached at times, yes, but also tracing a brilliantly believable arc from duty to despair to redemption.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309031.1480934529!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Opera North's Billy Budd PIC: CLIVE BARDA/ ArenaPAL"} ,"articleBody": "

Billy Budd ****

Edinburgh Festival Theatre

There were equally fine performances from Roderick Williams in wonderfully rich voice as a surprisingly sturdy, thoroughly likeable Billy, and Alastair Miles, gratifyingly balanced as the sinister Claggart, deeply unsettling in his manipulations of the young and vulnerable, but far from a panto villain in his struggles with his own deep damage.

Indeed, Phelan’s honest, intelligent production achieves a fine sense of balance with Britten and librettist EM Forster’s homoerotic subtext, never concealing it, but never overplaying it either – instead leaving it to fester under the surface, and to inform both the opera’s warm, seafaring camaraderie and its darker moments.

Two elements really stood out: first, Opera North’s superb chorus, wonderfully roof-raising in the opera’s aborted battle scene but equally eloquent in its ominous opening; and second, Opera North’s equally superb orchestra, which delivered a brilliantly vivid, sharply etched account under conductor Garry Walker, full of surging drama and also moments of exquisite contemplation. This is a glorious, thoughtful production, as strong on technical accomplishment as it is on insight.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Kettle"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309031.1480934529!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309031.1480934529!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Opera North's Billy Budd PIC: CLIVE BARDA/ ArenaPAL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Opera North's Billy Budd PIC: CLIVE BARDA/ ArenaPAL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309031.1480934529!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-spoken-word-review-kate-tempest-1-4309030","id":"1.4309030","articleHeadline": "Music / Spoken Word review: Kate Tempest","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480934419000 ,"articleLead": "

Even though she moved only a little onstage, there was as much performance as poetry about Kate Tempest’s idiosyncratic spoken word show. It was there in the infectious passion of her delivery, which had the audience whooping along and Tempest taken aback by the welcome she received. It was implicit in the way she used incisive observation to paint the virtual scenery for her hour-long drama, lifted wholesale from her current concept album, Let Them Eat Chaos. And it was atmospherically soundtracked by her three-piece backing band who cherrypicked the best of electronic music – claustrophobic trip-hop, euphoric rave, itchy, skittering rhythms, industrial electro funk – from the past few decades to produce the most evocative backdrop to her story.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309029.1480934344!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kate Tempest PIC: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Kate Tempest ****

Glasgow School of Art

Let Them Eat Chaos is a portmanteau tale of “seven perfect strangers” who all live in the same set of inner city flats and all find themselves awake, for different reasons, at 4:18am one night. This is Tempest’s snapshot of broken Britain and it was all the more powerful because of her empathy and her eye for detail, which was further enhanced by the music. The woozy dreamscape which accompanied her account of the superficially sorted Bradley underlined his dislocated state (“life’s just a thing that he does”). But in the end Tempest rejected “the myth of the individual” and drew her characters out of doors for a communal experience of a cleansing rainstorm and a happy – or at least hopeful – ending to her moving, intelligent, angry ode.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309029.1480934344!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309029.1480934344!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kate Tempest PIC: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kate Tempest PIC: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309029.1480934344!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/robbie-shepherd-honoured-at-scots-trad-music-awards-1-4308375","id":"1.4308375","articleHeadline": "Robbie Shepherd honoured at Scots Trad Music Awards","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480881543737 ,"articleLead": "Robbie Shepherd, one of the most distinctive voices in Scottish broadcasting for more than three decades, was given a special honour at the nation’s annual “trad music” Oscars.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308374.1480804944!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Broadcaster Robbie Shepherd stood down from presenting 'Take The Floor' on Radio Scotland in September."} ,"articleBody": "

Robbie Shepherd, one of the most distinctive voices in Scottish broadcasting for more than three decades, was given a special honour at the nation’s annual “trad music” Oscars.

The host of Radio Scotland’s Scottish dance show Take The Floor for 35 years was honoured months after announcing he was hanging up his microphone.

A video tribute to was broadcast during the Scots Trad Music Awards at Dundee’s Caird Hall before the 80-year-old took to the stage to introduce a specially-formed “Robbie Shepherd Tribute Band”, which performed some of his favourite tunes.

Take The Floor, BBC Radio Scotland’s longest-running programme, which dates back to the 1930s, was also honoured at the event, which was shown live on BBC Alba and streamed worldwide.

Shepherd, a passionate champion of the Doric dialect and Scottish traditional music, was described First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was a “broadcasting legend” when he announced he was handing over the reins of the show to musician and former Scottish shinty star Gary Innes.

Shepherd, born in Dunecht, Aberdeenshire, in 1936, worked in the theatre world initially, and compered and produced shows for musical figures like Calum Kennedy and Andy Stewart before branching out into broadcasting. He was tried out for Take The Floor, along with a number of dance band leaders, when the show’s then host, David Findlay, died in 1981.

Shepherd said: “I was no competition to any of the musicians, as there was no hope of me leading a band on the programme, but I was enthusiastic and they let me try it. And here I am.

"This award would not have been possible without the various folks that have made up the small team going back to my very first producer Radio Scotland."

Referring to his successor, Shepherd joked: "Gary, here's to you standing here in 2050."

Simon Thoumire, founder of the awards, said: “Anyone who has grown up listening to anything to do with Scottish music knows Robbie Shepherd. He really has done so much for Scottish music and culture, he has increased confidence in our native languages, and his knowledge of the Scottish dance band scene is second to none. He has always shared all that knowledge with everyone. He’s never kept to himself and he has kept history alive in many ways.”

Speaking in the video tribute, fiddler Aly Bain said: “Robbie is very distinctive. You can walk into a pub with him and as soon as he opens his mouth everyone turns around and says ‘hello Robbie.’ He is so well known, he is a character, he is part of our lives and over the years he has just become part of Scotland.”

Gaelic singer Fiona Kennedy said: “Robbie could never be anything other than an Aberdeenshire loon. He has the lingo in his DNA. He writes in it, he speaks in it and he communicates in it. That’s Robbie.”

The ceremony also saw Lewis-born singer, actress and storytelling Dolina Maclennan - one of the original performers in theb play The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil - honoured for services to Gaelic music.

Riding star Ellen MacDonald, who performs with the bands Daimh and Niteworks and also stars in the BBC Alba drama Bannan, was named Gaelic singer of the year, while Lori Watson took the Scots singer of the year title.

Hebridean outfit Skerryvore, who launched the Tiree Music Festival and Oban Live events in recent years, were named best live act, with Glasgow’s Piping Live festival named event of the year.

There was double glory for five-piece group Breabach, one of the most successful exports from the Scottish folk scene in recent years, when they won both the best album and best folk band honours.

Fiddler Ryan Young, one of the finalists in the 2016 BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition, was named best up and coming artist.

Full list of 2016 Scots Trad Music Awards winners

Album of the Year: Astar by Breabach

Club of the Year: Stonehaven Folk Club

Composer of the Year: Kris Drever

Community Project of the Year: Feis Rois Life Long Learning Project

Event of the Year: Piping Live

Gaelic Singer of the Year: Ellen MacDonald

Instrumentalist of the Year: Rachel Newton

Live Act of the Year: Skerryvore

Scots Singer of the Year: Lori Watson

Scottish Dance Band of the Year: Trail West

Folk Band of the Year: Breabach

Scottish Pipe Band of the Year: North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band

Trad Music in the Media: BBC Radio Scotland’s Take the Floor

Music Tutor of the Year: Jim Hunter

Up and Coming Artist of the Year: Ryan Young

Venue of the Year: The Glad Café, Glasgow

Serices to Gaelic Music Award: Dolina MacLennan

Hamish Henderson Services to Traditional Music Award: Fiona Ritchie

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308374.1480804944!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308374.1480804944!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Broadcaster Robbie Shepherd stood down from presenting 'Take The Floor' on Radio Scotland in September.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Broadcaster Robbie Shepherd stood down from presenting 'Take The Floor' on Radio Scotland in September.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308374.1480804944!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/theresa-may-reveals-her-favourite-tv-shows-for-christmas-1-4308791","id":"1.4308791","articleHeadline": "Theresa May reveals her favourite TV shows for Christmas","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480886296000 ,"articleLead": "

Theresa May has said she is looking forward to spending Christmas Day night curled up in front of the television watching Doctor Who and a “nice Agatha Christie”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308790.1480886225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May says she will be watching Doctor Who. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The Prime Minister revealed that while she is a fan of “Scandi dramas” such as Borgen and The Bridge, at Christmas she likes to watch something more traditionally British.

“I always like to see Doctor Who on Christmas night, if possible, and a nice Agatha Christie to curl up with. David Suchet was a great Poirot – he got him to a T,” she said in an interview with the Christmas issue of Radio Times.

Mrs May said she also enjoyed Strictly Come Dancing, although she admitted she had not seen much of former shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RUSSELL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308790.1480886225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308790.1480886225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May says she will be watching Doctor Who. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May says she will be watching Doctor Who. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308790.1480886225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/art/let-there-be-lights-and-lasers-at-hogmanay-tribute-to-70th-festival-1-4308227","id":"1.4308227","articleHeadline": "Let there be lights – and lasers – at Hogmanay tribute to 70th Festival","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480880350000 ,"articleLead": "

The 70th birthday celebrations of the Edinburgh Festival are to be heralded at the climax of the capital’s Hogmanay festivities, organisers revealed today.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308226.1480856771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Government is ploughing an extra �90,000 to provide the curtain-raiser to the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival and Festival Fringe in 2017. Photograph: Steven Scott Taylor"} ,"articleBody": "

Special effects designers are being brought in to create a one-off laser and light show which will coincide with the traditional fireworks display above Edinburgh Castle.

Organisers say the city’s most spectacular “midnight moment” in the 24-year history of the festivities will be staged above the historic landmark as 75,000 revellers throng the city centre.

An extra £90,000 is being ploughed into the capital’s celebrations from the Scottish Government to provide the curtain-raiser to the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe and the film festival in 2017.

The three-day Hogmanay event will include one-off collaborations with a host of the city’s other festivals. Designers and technicians who worked on the recent Botanic Lights show in Edinburgh are joining forces with Titanium, the firm behind the Hogmanay fireworks, and festival producers Unique Events to create effects expected to be visible up to 30 miles away.

The aim is to create a “showcase of the drama of Edinburgh’s historic cityscape,” which will be broadcast to a global audience of more than a billion people.

It is expected to reflect the origins of the city’s annual cultural events in 1947 when an arts festival was instigated to provide “a platform for the flowering of the human spirit” in the wake of the Second World War.

Organisers of the Hogmanay festival say they aim to recall when “a beacon of enlightenment and creativity was lit, based on a profound belief in the power of culture to build international trust and understanding”.

The Hogmanay display will be the first in a series of special celebrations to mark the 70th birthday of festivals which attract a global audience of 4.5 million each year.

Unique Events director Al Thomson said: “As the final festival of 2016 and the first of 2017, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will bring in the New Year with an extra special midnight moment to launch the 70th anniversary year of Edinburgh as the world’s leading festival city.”

Collaborations with the city’s other major events include a jazz festival stage at the street party, a book festival talk with Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess ahead of his band’s street party appearance, a series of classic screenings at the Filmhouse, the home of the film festival, and a performance by Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Highland dancers before the annual torchlight procession, which opens the festival, heads off through the Old Town to Calton Hill.

A new three-day event for youngsters, Sprogmanay, will see workshops and activities staged by the art, science, storytelling and children’s festivals at the National Museum of Scotland.

Stephen Duncan, tourism director at Historic Environment Scotland, which runs the castle, said: “It has been the backdrop for some of the most memorable moments in Scottish history and this is equally true of its contemporary role – providing the stage for year round, world-class events and celebrations. It’s exciting that the castle, the most iconic of Scottish landmarks, will again help signal the start of the new year - a role made doubly special as we mark the 70th anniversary year of Edinburgh as a leading festival city.”

Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland is the world-renowned home of Hogmanay and while there is a wide variety of exciting local Hogmanay celebrations up and down the country, the spectacular of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has the special addition of marking the start of Edinburgh Festival’s 70th anniversary in 2017.

“Edinburgh’s festivals contribute £313 million a year to the Scottish economy as a whole and their 70th anniversary is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate their valuable cultural influence.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BRIAN FERGUSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308226.1480856771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308226.1480856771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Scottish Government is ploughing an extra �90,000 to provide the curtain-raiser to the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival and Festival Fringe in 2017. Photograph: Steven Scott Taylor","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Government is ploughing an extra �90,000 to provide the curtain-raiser to the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival and Festival Fringe in 2017. Photograph: Steven Scott Taylor","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308226.1480856771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/british-actor-tony-gardner-contracts-zika-virus-1-4308726","id":"1.4308726","articleHeadline": "British actor Tony Gardner contracts Zika virus","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480878449000 ,"articleLead": "

Actor Tony Gardner has told how he contracted the Zika virus while filming in the Caribbean.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308722.1480878375!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tony Gardner contracted Zika filming in Guadeloupe. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The 52-year-old said he felt “pretty rough” for a week after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the disease .

Gardner was filming the hit BBC crime series Death In Paradise on the island of Guadeloupe when he became infected.

“At the time there was about 100 cases in the country that had come into our country from outside ... There are now about 200 Brits who have had Zika, but quite a lot of them, possibly, come from the group of people that go out to Guadeloupe for six months a year to film,” he said on comedian Sean Hughes’s podcast.

“About a couple of hours before I flew out I got a rash. And then for a week I wasn’t particularly well with joint pain and swelling and a bit of sort of ... didn’t like the light ... I just felt pretty rough actually for about a week.”

But the father and qualified doctor said that the virus was not a “problem” for him because he has no plans to have more children.

The production company behind the drama, Red Planet Pictures, SAID : “We take the safety of all of our cast and crew seriously and made all actors aware of the potential medical issues that may arise when filming in the Caribbean, including the risk of the Zika virus.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "HARRIET LINE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308722.1480878375!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308722.1480878375!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tony Gardner contracted Zika filming in Guadeloupe. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tony Gardner contracted Zika filming in Guadeloupe. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308722.1480878375!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/film-company-search-for-lothians-talent-for-new-ken-loach-film-1-4308018","id":"1.4308018","articleHeadline": "Film company search for Lothians talent for new Ken Loach film","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480776918000 ,"articleLead": "

Could you be the next big Scottish film star?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308017.1480776848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Could you be the next Paul Brannigan? Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

A film company is on the look out for young men from the Lothians to star in the next film by acclaimed director Ken Loach which is due to start production next spring.

The film is looking for “sparky lads” who could pass themselves off as 16 years old by the time filming begins in February 2017.

They are specifically looking for men in Livingston, Falkirk, Linlithgow, Edinburgh and West Lothian who will be 16 years old by the time filming starts.

Previous Scottish stars of Loach’s films include Martin Compston, who appeared in Sweet Sixteen, and Paul Brannigan, the protagonist of The Angel’s Share.

Neither had acting experience before they starred in Loach’s much-lauded films, becoming their first foray in front of the camera.

Two rounds of casting are being held; today between 11 and 4pm at Bathgate Regal Theatre and Sunday at Summerhall in Edinburgh.

The casting call stresses no acting experience is necessary and the roles on offer are paid.

It adds: “If you can’t make it along to one of our two dates please email contact details, age, DOB, and some info about you, plus a recent photo to Caroline at beats@kahleencrawford.com.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308017.1480776848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308017.1480776848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Could you be the next Paul Brannigan? Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Could you be the next Paul Brannigan? Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308017.1480776848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/jane-bradley-don-t-give-in-to-the-christmas-hype-1-4307687","id":"1.4307687","articleHeadline": "Jane Bradley: Don’t give in to the Christmas hype","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480757288000 ,"articleLead": "

If the festive season is causing you too much stress, it’s time to stop spending and start enjoying yourself says Jane Bradley

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307686.1480750180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The average British household expects to spend �753 on Christmas festivities this year according to a survey."} ,"articleBody": "

It is that time of year again.

Tesco has been selling mince pies for weeks, the Pogues are assaulting my ears every time I enter a shop and my email inbox is filled with press releases about how much Christmas is going to cost.

“The average British household expects to spend £753 on Christmas festivities this year!” screams one survey, from GoCompare.com.

“UK adults are budgeting an average of £463 each for the festive shop!” proclaims a “survey” from money lender Sunny, perhaps, one might cynically believe, rubbing its hands with glee.

Short-term recruitment company Coople is also cashing in on the population’s potential financial woes, pointing out helpfully that by working in a temporary job at the average wage for three Sundays in the run up to Christmas, people who are planning to spend the typical £200 or so on their children’s presents could fund the excess.

House of Fraser has helpfully filled me in on the nation’s “decorating habits”, revealing that 11 per cent of women admit to purchasing new Christmas decorations as early as January, while more than a quarter of men apparently “strive for their decorations to be more impressive than friends and neighbours”.

But all of this spending does not happy festive elves make.

On Mumsnet, that bastion of all things middle class and first world-problemesque, the discussion boards are already rife with chat about whether tree lights should be coloured (“shudder”, says one Mumsnet user) or white and queries as to how to wangle it so that the in-laws are uninvited for Christmas Day. People are already spoiling for fist fights over who cooks the Christmas turkey, where the children should sleep at relatives’ homes and if they’ll agree to cook chips instead of roast tatties for picky visiting relatives.

My own Facebook newsfeed is filled with posts from panicked parents unable to get their hands on furry robot toys which breathe mist or like being tickled, hatch from an egg or have glowing antennae to tell the under tens that they should be looking at their iPads - and which will be inevitably forgotten at the bottom of the toy box by Boxing Day.

Stop. Just stop.

It has become ridiculous.

A few years ago, we all did our Christmas shopping in a fun but panicked rush on Christmas Eve. We only bought presents that we could carry home in one go on the bus, in our own hands, rather than amassing so much stuff that there would be no way to transport it home, if it weren’t for the capable hands of the Amazon delivery chap.

Meanwhile, this Christmas madness and debt nonsense was saved for a select few who just had a thing about the festive season. Everyone had someone like this in their family - perhaps an aunt who would stash hundreds of presents into a giant Santa sack for every family member, adults included - containing such gems such as foldable plastic scissors and an eyebrow shaping kit or reindeer slippers for your 89-year-old grandmother. They were regarded as well-meaning, but slightly eccentric. Now we’re all at it with the growing piles of junk, our souls drowning under mounds of wrapping paper.

Black Friday marks the start of the festive cash splashing, with the British public racking up sales of £200 million at department store John Lewis alone in one day.

The event, nicked from America, where they do Christmas as if their lives depended on it, is just the beginning of a frenzy of Christmas shopping which now lasts a month.

The irony is that we do not even need to rack up debts to enjoy a festive time.

A report out from Good Housekeeping magazine showed that the eleven ingredients deemed necessary for a typical Christmas meal are now 10.8 per cent cheaper than they were in 2009 - thanks mainly, to discount supermarkets such as Aldi, which, according to the GH index, boasts the cheapest Christmas dinner in the UK.

Christmas does not have to be expensive. The GH survey aside, why not just buy a big chicken (£4.80 at a leading supermarket) and cook a couple of sausages (£1.60 for 12) wrapped in bacon (a couple of quid for six rashers) with a few pence worth of veg. Put the carols on Spotify (free) and stick an orange (20p for your typical satsuma) and a Lego minifigure (£2.49 from Argos) in the kids’ stockings.

Or go off-piste: make a huge vegetarian chilli and stick it in the middle of the table with a pile of holly pilfered from the bush in the park around the corner.

Of course, if you want to spend more and have the money to do so, then feel free. Just don’t get yourself into debt for one day - and think about why you are spending and what on.

Christmas is not a competition. Whether we see it as a celebration of the birth of Jesus or a chance to catch up with friends and family, enjoy some magical traditions and fall asleep in front of the TV after a glass of sherry, it should, for most people, be a pleasant experience.

For the majority, building it up into a time of stress and commercial excess makes us miserable, not happier. Don’t waste your time trying to buy bigger and better fairy lights than next door, or adding up, Scrooge-style, whether the scarf you bought for Great Uncle Seamus, who has a gigantic house and three holidays a year in the Maldives, is worth more or less than the dusty looking bath salts he put under your tree.

Frantic shoppers fighting to get the best toys, the biggest Christmas decorations and the fanciest turkey need to remember the people who are spending Christmas on their own - or those who are spending the end of the year, religion aside, watching their homes being blown apart, or freezing in tents in a refugee camp.

Those of us lucky enough to be in a more fortunate position need to stop spending, stop moaning and start enjoying ourselves.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JANE BRADLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4307686.1480750180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307686.1480750180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The average British household expects to spend �753 on Christmas festivities this year according to a survey.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The average British household expects to spend �753 on Christmas festivities this year according to a survey.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4307686.1480750180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/game-of-thrones-high-sparrow-gives-edinburgh-napier-talk-1-4307030","id":"1.4307030","articleHeadline": "Game of Thrones ‘High Sparrow’ gives Edinburgh Napier talk","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480675572000 ,"articleLead": "

Game of Thrones star Jonathan Pryce has shared his experiences of working on the stage and screen with Edinburgh Napier students at a special Q&A event.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307028.1480675497!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jonathan Pryce. Picture: submitted"} ,"articleBody": "

The award-winning actor, who most recently played The High Sparrow in the hit HBO series, visited Edinburgh Napier’s Craiglockhart campus on Thursday and delighted his audience of acting, film and television students with tales from his career so far.

Hosted by acclaimed screenwriter, film producer and honorary professor of film at Edinburgh Napier Allan Shiach, the Q&A covered a wide range of topics as he recounted his roles in blockbusters Tomorrow Never Dies, the Pirates of the Caribbean series and Evita to name but a few as well as his extensive theatre work.

The actor, who is currently in Scotland shooting scenes for upcoming film The Wife with Glenn Close and Christian Slater, also looked back on his role in Regeneration; the 1997 film which was adapted by host Allan Shiach from the novel of the same name by Pat Barker.

Starring Jonathan as Dr Rivers, the film follows the stories of a number of officers during the First World War, including Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, who are brought together in Craiglockhart War Hospital while being treated for shell shock.

Today, the original war hospital building houses part of Edinburgh Napier’s Business School as well as being home to its extensive War Poets Collection; a permanent exhibition of words, memories, voices and objects that were left behind by visiting officers, medical staff and relatives. The collection was recently relaunched to recognise 100 years since the building’s first official use as a military hospital.

As part of his visit, Jonathan received a tour of the collection and saw first-hand the building that was the inspiration behind the film Regeneration.

He said: “Craiglockhart was the total inspiration behind the film. The building we filmed in suggests Craiglockhart and having spent a little time here, I think it’s lucky we filmed in a smaller location as I think we’d get the feeling that this is a very grand building and the other one was a bit more intense, I think.

“It’s an obvious thing to say but we can only develop and grow if we learn from the past and it is very important that World War One especially, the memory, what happened and the people involved, is still kept alive as it is way, way past history for young people.”

Dr Alistair Scott, director of Screen Academy Scotland and associate professor of film and television at Edinburgh Napier, said: “It’s fantastic for our students to hear about Jonathan’s varied and acclaimed career and be inspired by the breadth of his experience and successes across film, theatre and television.”

Gory Edinburgh killing inspired Game of Thrones ‘Red Wedding’

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4307028.1480675497!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307028.1480675497!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jonathan Pryce. Picture: submitted","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jonathan Pryce. Picture: submitted","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4307028.1480675497!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4307029.1480675502!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307029.1480675502!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jonathan Pryce. Picture: submitted","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jonathan Pryce. Picture: submitted","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4307029.1480675502!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/film/film-reviews-bleed-for-this-sully-chi-raq-the-edge-of-seventeen-the-unknown-girl-1-4306955","id":"1.4306955","articleHeadline": "Film reviews: Bleed For This | Sully | Chi-Raq | The Edge of Seventeen | The Unknown Girl","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480673644000 ,"articleLead": "

Miles Teller proves he’s a contender in the intriguing true-life story told in Bleed For This, Spike Lee makes a welcome return, and teen drama Edge of Seventeen is a sweetly old-fashioned rites of passage tale

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306954.1480673573!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bleed for This"} ,"articleBody": "

Bleed For This (15) ****

Sully (12A) ***

Chi-Raq (15) ****

The Edge of Seventeen (15) ***

The Unknown Girl (15) **

Boxing movies trade in clichés, but the great ones – Raging Bull, The Fighter, even the first Rocky – understand that the human element surrounding the sport is what makes it compelling on screen. Bleed For This (which counts Martin Scorsese as a producer) isn’t quite in that league, but it’s certainly got some moves of its own and does have a fascinating tale to tell. Based on the true story of world boxing champion Vinny Pazienza, its most brazen move initially is to pack an entire boxing movie into its first 40 minutes. Picking up the story of this cocky, Italian-American working class hero (winningly played here by Whiplash star Miles Teller), the film starts with Vinny being written off by his coach live on TV after suffering his third defeat in a row. Refusing to hang up his gloves, he teams up instead with Mike Tyson’s washed-up former trainer Kevin Rooney (an unrecognisably paunchy and bald-headed Aaron Eckhart), who realises Vinny has literally been punching below his weight all these years, so moves him up a couple of classes so he can fight at a more natural weight for his body type.

Winning his first title fight before the film is even a third of the way through, what would be a fitting endpoint for many an underdog sports movie turns out to be the prologue for a much more interesting comeback story after a car accident leaves Vinny with a broken neck. Thenceforth writer/director Ben Younger zeroes in not so much on boxing, but on how Vinny’s absolute love of the sport enables him to endure all manner of suffering for the chance to fight again. It’s this that makes the film so engrossing, especially when it becomes clear Vinny is willing to risk paralysis by declining an operation to fuse his spine in order to let it heal naturally – a recovery that requires him to wear a metal halo and neck brace for six months. Although a lot of Bleed for This – including a supporting cast of characters with outsized personalities that naturally lean towards caricature – can’t help but feel preposterous, Younger takes care to keep things rooted in the real and he’s aided by Teller and Eckhart, who give it their all in a movie that ultimately celebrates the simple power of living for the thing you love most.

Aaron Eckart also pops up as co-pilot to Tom Hanks in Sully, Clint Eastwood’s film about American Airlines pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s heroic emergency landing of a passenger jet on the Hudson river shortly after take-off in January of 2009. The entire flight lasted 208 seconds and all 155 passengers and crew members were saved, which presents something of a dramatic problem for 90-minute movie, especially one in which the hero’s self-effacing modesty makes him seem like the product of an algorithm designed to create the most Tom Hanks-friendly role ever. Eastwood, however, manages to find ways to ratchet up the drama: not only does he repeatedly evoke memories of 9/11 by including post-traumatic-stress-induced dream sequences of planes flying into buildings, he turns the post-crash investigation into a Flight-style witch hunt in which Sully becomes a target for desk-bound bureaucrats intent on punishing him for drawing on his extensive real-world experience instead of following computer-simulated procedure. Such things feel a little hokey, but where the film succeeds in a big way – aside from casting Hanks and Eckhart – is the recreation of the emergency landing itself and its immediate aftermath: it’s thrilling, heart-in-mouth stuff.

Spike Lee gets back to something like his provocative best with Chi-Raq, a brash piece of agitprop about the need for gun control in America. Taking its inspiration from Aristophanes’ anti-war satire Lysistrata, Lee transposes its plot – about a group of women who withhold sex to bring about an end to violence – to modern day Chicago, where gun-related fatalities in the last 15 years have outnumbered American losses in Afghanistan and Iraq, hence the city’s titular compounded nickname. Presented in the style of a hip-hop musical – with Samuel L Jackson serving as a one-man Greek chorus – Chi-Raq doesn’t all work, but it’s simultaneously righteous and bawdy enough to gets its message across in entertaining fashion and features a great performance from up-and-coming actress Teyonah Parris in the lead.

In the age of The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars, there’s something almost quaint about the low-stakes dilemmas in teen comedy/drama The Edge of Seventeen. Echoing John Hughes’s belief that teenage life is melodramatic enough in its own right, it casts Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine, a somewhat solipsistic teen whose already tempestuous relationship with her widowed mother (Kyra Sedgwick) and popular older brother (played by Everybody Wants Some!! star Blake Jenner) intensifies when the latter starts dating her only friend (Haley Lu Richardson). Though the film isn’t exactly deep, Steinfeld makes it watchable and there’s amusing support from Woody Harrelson as her wry teacher.

The Unknown Girl sees the Dardenne brothers’ normally fluid storytelling lurch into clunky Ken Loach territory with this tale of a doctor (Adèle Haenel) attempting to track down the identity of a young girl found dead near her surgery. Her own guilt at not helping the victim when she had the chance is the catalyst for her detective efforts, but too often the Dardennes rely on their ultra-naturalistic style and socially aware themes to excuse some pretty contrived and unconvincing plotting. A rare misfire. ■

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Alistair Harkness"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306954.1480673573!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306954.1480673573!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bleed for This","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bleed for This","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306954.1480673573!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/andrew-sachs-who-played-manuel-in-fawlty-towers-dies-at-86-1-4306853","id":"1.4306853","articleHeadline": "Andrew Sachs, who played Manuel in Fawlty Towers, dies at 86","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480668066000 ,"articleLead": "

John Cleese has led tributes to Andrew Sachs, the actor best known for starring as Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306886.1480667997!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andrew Sachs portraying Manuel in Fawlty Towers. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Sachs was buried on Thursday at 86 after battling vascular dementia for four years, according to reports.

The German-born performer reportedly died at a care home on November 23.

Cleese, 77, the co-creator of the 1970s sitcom, paid tribute to the “gentle and kind” actor, who he said perfectly portrayed the hapless Manuel.

Cleese wrote on Twitter: “Just heard about Andy Sachs. Very sad ... I knew he was having problems with his memory as his wife Melody told me a couple of years ago.

“A very sweet gentle and kind man and a truly great farceur. I first saw him in Habeas Corpus on stage in 1973. I could not have found a better Manuel. Inspired.”

Cleese said he was aware the actor had been admitted to a care home “but I had no idea that his life was in danger”.

Sachs had been a resident at Denville Hall a private care home in Northwood, west London. Staff said on Thursday night they were unable to talk about his death.

His wife of 57 years, Melody Sachs, told the Daily Mail: “It wasn’t all doom and gloom, he still worked for two years (after his diagnosis in 2012). We were happy, we were always laughing, we never had a dull moment.

“He had dementia for four years and it wasn’t very pleasant. We didn’t really notice it at first until the memory started going.

“It didn’t get really bad until quite near the end. I nursed Andrew, I was there for every moment of it.”

She said the father-of-three, a native German speaker whose parents fled the Nazis in 1938, refused to complain about his deteriorating health.

Mrs Sachs, also 86, told the Mail her husband lost his ability to speak and write during his final few weeks and he was unable to feed himself or eat during his final days.

After Fawlty Towers, Mr Sachs would go on to play Ramsay Clegg in Coronation Street in 2009 - a year after the Sachsgate scandal in which Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made a prank call to the actor on the radio about his granddaughter. But he slipped from public life as his illness took hold.

Blackadder actor and comedian Sir Tony Robinson paid tribute to his “true friend”.

He said on Twitter: “So sad that Andrew Sachs has died. A true friend and a kindred spirit.

“I still have the wonderful baby pictures he took of my children. RIP.”

Samuel West, whose mother Prunella Scales starred alongside Sachs in Fawlty Towers, added: “Creator of one of our most beloved EU migrants. Such warmth and wit; impossible to think of him without smiling.”

Comedy writer Edgar Wright said Sachs “spun comic gold as Manuel in Fawlty Towers”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Chris Moncrieff"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306886.1480667997!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306886.1480667997!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Andrew Sachs portraying Manuel in Fawlty Towers. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andrew Sachs portraying Manuel in Fawlty Towers. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306886.1480667997!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-deacon-blue-1-4306326","id":"1.4306326","articleHeadline": "Music review: Deacon Blue","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480603722000 ,"articleLead": "

With the stage in darkness and hometown anticipation suitably high, Deacon Blue provided their own live intro tape - an acoustic rendition of that song for the ages, People Get Ready. It was an early sign that this show would not be entirely business as usual, with the band offering up little twists on their best loved material - nothing radical enough to challenge the obvious affections of the audience, just more of a reworking of the atmosphere on certain tracks, embellished by some sonorous vocal interplay between Ricky Ross and an unfettered Lorraine McIntosh and the rumbling drums of Dougie Vipond.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4269497.1480611212!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Deacon Blue Picture: Andrew MacColl/REX"} ,"articleBody": "

Deacon Blue ****

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

They were playful with their standards, always with a view to entertain, never to alienate. There were wry ad libs from Ross about the band’s early gigs in Glasgow and the changing face of the city he has called home for more than thirty years, and some spoken word extrapolation on Chocolate Girl’s bewildered protagonist Alan, including a tender diversion into The Human League’s Human, a track he imagined to be on the mixtape of his life.

Deacon Blue succeed as both party band and lyrical social commentators with a spiritual connection but, as Ross was to discover when handling the room, there is a tricky balance to be struck between teasing fans about their vociferous enthusiasm and then firmly requesting their respect during the more intimate moments of the set. These included reflective newer songs Birds and Orphans, the latter being Ross’s non-anthemic attempt to write a new Scottish anthem. It is St Andrew’s Night after all, and it turns out you can get a Saltire lighting effect for that.

Their trio of comeback albums were given their due but this was also a generous greatest hits package, ranging from the blushing romanticism of Your Swaying Arms via the euphoric testifying of Fergus Sings the Blues to arrive at an epic Raintown and the inevitable Dignity.

This felt like the conventional close of proceedings but, led by the rock’n’roll spirit, the group returned with a somewhat cheesy covers medley. By that point they had earned the right to indulge themselves a bit and when they returned to the stage one last time, their closing campfire rendition of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young, with different band members taking a line here and there, hit all the right notes.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4269497.1480611212!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4269497.1480611212!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Deacon Blue Picture: Andrew MacColl/REX","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Deacon Blue Picture: Andrew MacColl/REX","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4269497.1480611212!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-biffy-clyro-1-4306270","id":"1.4306270","articleHeadline": "Music review: Biffy Clyro","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480602512000 ,"articleLead": "

There is no mistaking Biffy Clyro for anything other than arena rock gods with their caveman bare chests, imposing terraced stage, eye-watering lightshow and a jumbo rig built for all the pummelling power you could want.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306331.1480603797!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro PIC: Danny Lawson/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Biffy Clyro

Hydro, Glasgow ****

But there is also a softness and empathy in their aesthetic which serves to make them one of the most dynamic rock bands out there, contrasting ferocious flaying with soaring pop tunes, and the most piledriving noise with acoustic ballads to silence a room. They use but don’t abuse the trappings of their status, frontman Simon Neil and bassist James Johnson occasionally posing on podia, flanked by additional muscle on guitar and keyboards in the wings.

The booming Hydro acoustics occasionally did them a disservice. Up in the gods, their most unfettered moments translated as an indistinct din through which something resembling a vocal hookline would push, though there was no messing with the chunky riff on Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave.

The innocuously titled Bubbles, a pop song in convincing rock robes, satisfied the hunger for a full throttle singalong but, beyond the undulating throng in front of the stage, eagerly throwing themselves into moshpit etiquette, it felt as if the crowd were waiting for permission to party.

It took one of their ballads, Many Of Horror, to really bring the room to lusty life but there were other robust highlights such as the cathartic holler of Mountains and impish anthem The Captain which never fail to catch fire.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306331.1480603797!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306331.1480603797!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro PIC: Danny Lawson/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro PIC: Danny Lawson/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306331.1480603797!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/hometown-heroes-twin-atlantic-and-frightened-rabbit-prepare-for-festive-dates-at-barrowland-1-4306177","id":"1.4306177","articleHeadline": "Hometown heroes Twin Atlantic and Frightened Rabbit prepare for festive dates at Barrowland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480597658000 ,"articleLead": "

Ever since the Sensational Alex Harvey Band took over the Glasgow Apollo for three now-legendary gigs in December 1975 – urging fans to “wish the stewards a happy Christmas, don’t pish in the water supply and have a stoating New Year” – there has existed a healthy tradition of festive rock’n’roll shindigs in the city for culture vultures who don’t fancy the panto.

You can always set your watches by December tour dates from the likes of Jools Holland and Status Quo but there is also plenty of scope for homegrown hoedowns this year with Teenage Fanclub, Deacon Blue and The Fratellis all squeezing in one night at the city’s beloved Barrowland ballroom among a brace of other dates.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306176.1480597589!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Twin Atlantic PIC: Lisa Ferguson"} ,"articleBody": "

However, these established names are left wheezing to catch up with two Glasgow bands – both more recent products of the city’s thriving grassroots live scene, yet musically distinct – who will embark on consecutive Christmas mini-residencies of three sold out shows at Barrowland. From 13 December, Twin Atlantic will cap a watershed year with a three-night stand in their favourite venue, before handing the baton to Frightened Rabbit who may well be relieved to round off a relatively rollercoaster year intact.

Both acts are prime examples of the hearty, emotional sonic fare which Glasgow is famed for producing, and are already no strangers to the iconic ballroom in the city’s East End. Frightened Rabbit first headlined Barrowland in December 2010; Twin Atlantic hit that same landmark five months later, though still a couple of years before the rest of the country cottoned on to their commercial rock sound.

Until this year, Twin Atlantic had been perennially dogged by comparisons with Biffy Clyro, against whom they were always going to come off second best. With the release of their third full-length album, GLA, they are now sounding like a group with real prospects and somewhat liberated from traditional rock notions of what constitutes progress.

Like Biffy, Twin Atlantic have worked their way up through the ranks with conventional hard graft, beginning their journey in the late 2000s on King Tut’s Recordings, the label run by the legendary Glasgow venue where many bands first get their foot on the monitor. By the time they released the “people-pleasing” 2014 album The Great Divide, they were firmly in Radio 1 territory, as much pop as rock and still exhibiting clear ambitions about their upward trajectory.

The commercial success of their singles Heart and Soul and Brothers and Sisters propelled them to headline slots at the Hydro in May 2015 and the second stage at T in the Park a couple of months later. But where next when you have headlined the biggest venue in your hometown? (Hampden Park, of course, but that’s a whole other ballgame, as it were)

They could have simply returned to the city’s biggest venue but instead they have let heart overrule head and plumped for Barrowland, a venue they have already sold out on five previous occasions, a decision which says something about their relaxed attitude to their new album.

GLA was written in Glasgow, named after the city’s airport code and recorded there around Christmas last year, when they could have jetted off to foreign climes, in accordance with the up-and-coming bands manual.

“You leave to escape home but talk about it 90 per cent of the time you are away,” frontman Sam McTrusty has noted. “Then sitting in your house, working on a track, there was a dawning realisation it was all about being where we are from.”

The group have never sounded so unfettered as they do on this healthily diverse rock collection. Ironically it is when they sound least like Biffy Clyro that they most resemble them for confidence and commercial appeal without resorting to bland radio rock fodder.

Like Twin Atlantic, Frightened Rabbit have long been able to count on home support, since first emerging over a decade ago on a gentle wave of folk-flavoured indie bands, including fellow Barrowland stalwarts Twilight Sad and Admiral Fallow.

FRabbit, to use the fan shorthand, started out as a solo project for Scott Hutchison, who freely admitted it was all about him and (usually) his romantic travails, but swiftly added brother Grant and other members to the ranks. While still mainly a vehicle for his songwriting, they are now so established as a band that Hutchison has, in recent years, embarked on a new solo project Owl John.

The group’s fifth album, Painting of a Panic Attack, was released earlier this year and, in contrast to the more celebratory GLA, has sprung from a certain homesickness, following Hutchison’s move to Los Angeles in 2014, while the rest of the band remain based over here. It’s a sentiment celebrated in Scottish pop song from Caledonia to Killermont Street but Hutchison’s concerns are of a darker hue. On the track I Wish I Was Sober he feels for the lack of supportive friends around him to hold him up when he is tired and emotional.

That apprehension came home to roost in the summer when the singer posted some worrying “what’s the point of it all?” tweets urging fans not to buy his records and describing Frightened Rabbit as “me boring people with lies and making creative currency out of other people’s hurt”.

Thanks to this unfortunate confluence of alcohol, depression and social media, Hutchison’s trademark miserabilism became self-indulgence, but it is mercifully tempered with self-awareness – only a few months earlier, Frightened Rabbit had played a couple of secret gigs as The Footshooters. It is also part of what makes them a sympathetic band, and gives their anthemic music an extra layer of emotional resonance. Expect to find the fans at Barrowland simultaneously beating their chest and punching the air like true contrary Scots.

And, in a to-be-continued postcript, the home invasion doesn’t end there. Former FRabbit and Twin Atlantic support act Fatherson come snapping at their heels, marking their biggest hometown show to date with a Barrowland headline on the eve of Christmas Eve. And so this festive rite-of-passage endures.

*Twin Atlantic play Barrowland, Glasgow, 13-15 December, followed by Frightened Rabbit, 16-18 December and Fatherson, 23 December

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306176.1480597589!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306176.1480597589!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Twin Atlantic PIC: Lisa Ferguson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Twin Atlantic PIC: Lisa Ferguson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306176.1480597589!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/interview-scots-conductor-garry-walker-on-his-production-of-billy-budd-for-opera-north-1-4306150","id":"1.4306150","articleHeadline": "Interview: Scots conductor Garry Walker on his production of Billy Budd for Opera North","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480596781000 ,"articleLead": "

Gay subtexts ain’t what they used to be. In an age when even Trump seems OK with two men or two women getting hitched, looking back to a time when the love that dare not speak its name could only be suggested, never openly discussed, might seem – well, a bit old-fashioned. But that’s probably being unfairly reductive about one of the masterpieces of 20th-century opera – Britten’s nautical drama Billy Budd, which Leeds-based Opera North bring to the Edinburgh Festival Theatre next week. It’s one of two shows in their four-night run, sharing the stage with a double-bill of one-acters Il tabarro and Suor Angelica, two tales of similarly forbidden desire by Puccini.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306149.1480596713!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Opera North's Billy Budd PIC: Clive Barda"} ,"articleBody": "

But there’s no getting away from the fact that Billy Budd – based on a short novel by Herman Melville, of Moby-Dick fame – deals with suggestion, repression and intense emotion, all seething away on board the confined, all-male environment of the HMS Indomitable at the end of the 18th century. At its heart are a trio of enigmatic characters: the dark, malevolent Master-at-Arms Claggart, who takes an unaccountable dislike to the young, beautiful, rather saintly Billy, with the erudite Captain Vere looking on but seemingly incapable of doing anything to prevent the developing tragedy.

“A lot of Britten’s operas are essentially about dysfunctional, claustrophobic situations, and outsiders who come into them,” explains Garry Walker, the production’s conductor. “In Billy Budd, it’s Claggart who’s the outsider, on a boat full of men.”

And for Walker, the opera’s enigmas are part of its appeal. “Melville doesn’t seek to answer some of the mysteries that he creates. It’s never clear why Claggart hates Billy so much – there’s a bit in the libretto that suggests that it may be Billy’s goodness, or his beauty, or simply because he’s different to Claggart.” Or maybe – to get back to the idea of a gay subtext – because Claggart detests the desire he feels towards Billy. EM Forster, who put together the opera’s libretto with Eric Crozier, was more straightforward on what it’s all about, calling it a tragedy of “sexual discharge gone evil”.

With spoiler warnings, Walker continues: “It’s not actually in the book, but one dramatic turn that Britten makes in the opera is the whole redemptive element. There’s almost a Christian halo around it all, as though Vere is saved by Billy’s death. What I find most comforting is the opera’s message of trying to live one’s life as positively as possible – if you continue to burn brightly, even in the darkness, at times some of that light might brighten other people’s lives too.”

Billy Budd is famously – and very unusually – an all-male opera: “So instead of a soprano against a bass, for example, you’ll have a tenor against a baritone against a bass, all singing in the same kind of area. But Britten’s very clever at differentiating, and with the singers we have in this production, you just kind of sit back and marvel.”

It’s true that the production’s central trio of singers – Roderick Williams in the title role, Alan Oke as Vere and Alastair Miles as Claggart – are some of the UK’s most eminent vocal names, and they’ve understandably drawn adulation in the touring production’s stop-offs so far. “I couldn’t have asked for better shipmates,” says Walker, “and a show like this also really shows you the strength of having a chorus that’s always together, works well together and have a real bond with each other – it’s absolutely crucial.”

Walker himself, a former pupil of St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, is increasingly in demand internationally, but keeps a foot firmly on Scottish soil. “I’ve just been appointed principal conductor of the Rhine Philharmonic in Koblenz, and I’m also artistic director of conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. I’m delighted to be working in Germany – it’s a real cultural powerhouse – but I do have a firm commitment to Scotland too. As a Scot, I want to be part of the scene here, and I like to feel I can make a difference with my role at the RCS.” It’s down to happy coincidence rather than any Caledonian arm-twisting that Walker is bringing Billy Budd north of the Border, but it’s a production that looks set to both entertain and provoke – however overt or covert its subtexts. ■

*Opera North’s Billy Budd is at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on 1 and 3 December, with Il tabarro/Suor Angelica on 30 November and 2 December, www.operanorth.co.uk.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Kettle"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306149.1480596713!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306149.1480596713!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Opera North's Billy Budd PIC: Clive Barda","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Opera North's Billy Budd PIC: Clive Barda","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306149.1480596713!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/heritage/people-places/video-folk-hero-paul-robeson-entertains-miners-in-edinburgh-1-4305447","id":"1.4305447","articleHeadline": "Video: Folk hero Paul Robeson entertains miners in Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480533281000 ,"articleLead": "

He was an American singer, movie star and political activist whose advocacy of anti-imperialism caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305445.1480525099!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Robeson was prevented from travelling abroad by the US Government, but eventually returned to Scotland in 1958, where he met the press at the Caledonian Hotel. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

Paul Robeson was a famous name on both sides of the Atlantic in the pre and post war era. He starred in Hollywood blockbusters and was a critical smash on Broadway, his distinctive baritone voice capable of mesmerising audiences.

But as a prominent black man working before the dawn of civil rights, Robeson encountered racism on an almost daily basis.

Rather than accept it, he chose to speak out. He was a passionate believer in equality and workers’ rights at a time when expressing such viewpoints was enough to end careers in the US.

He became a hero to trade unionists and miners in particular after starring in The Proud Valley, a 1940 Ealing production filmed on location in the South Wales coal fields.

Now the life and work of Robeson is being celebrated as part of the British Film Institute’s Black Star season.

The BFI has shared with The Scotsman rare newsreel footage of Robeson’s visit to Edinburgh in May 1949.

He performed a special concert for miners at the Usher Hall, as well as touring a Midlothian colliery.

The visit was arranged by the Scottish Area of the National Union of Mineworkers, and the concert attracted thousands of pit workers from across the country.

“All Scottish coalfields arranged parties to the capital that evening, by rail and by road they arrived in their hundreds,” the film’s narrator says.

“That evening, the miners came to see Robeson. But the same afternoon, Robeson had been to see the miners.”

The film follows Robeson as he visits Woolmet colliery near Danderhall, a short distance from Edinburgh.

As well as meeting with pit officials and union members, Robeson performed the folk standard ‘I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night’ for miners in the canteen - a song about an American trade unionist who was allegedly framed on a murder charge and executed in 1915.

READ MORE: In pictures: Scotland’s lost coal mining industry

It was far from the star’s first visit to a working pit.

“Paul Robeson felt a strong affinity with Wales and the Welsh miners,” said Nathalie Morris, a senior curator at the BFI National Archive.

“In the late 1920s he joined in their hunger marches and performed in Wales many times from the late 20s onwards.

“When Robeson’s passport was revoked by the American authorities in 1950, the South Wales miners were among the protestors who lobbied the US government for its return.”

Robeson’s communist sympathies and criticism of the US Government eventually brought him to the attention of the FBI.

Unable to travel abroad, his income was severely reduced.

His passport was reissued in 1958 and he again returned to Scotland as part of a tour of the UK.

Robeson died in 1976 from a stroke at home in Philadelphia at the age of 77.

Woolmet colliery, which employed 960 miners at its peak, was closed in 1966.

The Mining Review newsreel is part of the BFI’s Black Britain on Film, a major new collection of over 150 film and TV titles that uncovers the heritage of black Britain and is available to view on the BFI’s VOD platform, BFI Player.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4305445.1480525099!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305445.1480525099!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul Robeson was prevented from travelling abroad by the US Government, but eventually returned to Scotland in 1958, where he met the press at the Caledonian Hotel. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Robeson was prevented from travelling abroad by the US Government, but eventually returned to Scotland in 1958, where he met the press at the Caledonian Hotel. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4305445.1480525099!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1480522159945"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/regions/glasgow-strathclyde/begbie-pint-glass-trainspotting-pub-to-officially-reopen-1-4305168","id":"1.4305168","articleHeadline": "Begbie ‘pint glass’ Trainspotting pub to officially reopen","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480527400000 ,"articleLead": "

A pub that featured in Trainspotting is set to reopen after a £500,000 revamp.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305187.1480527333!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The pub featured in the original Trainspotting. Picture; Google Maps"} ,"articleBody": "

The pub, formerly known as Crosslands. in the west end of Glasgow, features a balcony made famous in the cult Irvine Welsh film.

In a scene, which was shot in the Glasgow establishment, Begbie threw a pint glass from the balcony before a mass brawl.

Now, ahead of the highly-anticipated sequel, the pub is to relaunch as the Kelbourne Saint, with around £500,000 invested into the project.

Managing director, Graham Suttle, said: “Drinking and dining at the Kelbourne Saint will be a change in style from our other restaurants but with the same commitment to ethically-sourced, sustainable produce.

“Our aim is to bring people together and enjoy our new menu, family style. Our chickens have had time to grow slowly and roam free on Scottish farms, meaning they have the time to develop the finest flavour and texture.”

He added: “Months of consultation went into everything from the food and drink, right down to the decor and service. First and foremost, we look to create venues that we would want to visit.

“We think this is exactly what the surrounding community on Great Western Road is looking for and we’ve already been really well received.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4305187.1480527333!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305187.1480527333!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The pub featured in the original Trainspotting. Picture; Google Maps","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The pub featured in the original Trainspotting. Picture; Google Maps","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4305187.1480527333!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/charity-single-in-memory-of-mp-jo-cox-to-be-released-1-4305314","id":"1.4305314","articleHeadline": "Charity single in memory of MP Jo Cox to be released","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480520419000 ,"articleLead": "

A “protest” charity single recorded in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox - which features politicians and stars from the world of music - is set to be released.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305313.1480520349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in June. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson, singer-songwriter KT Tunstall, Cockney Rebel’s Steve Harley and pop star David Gray all appear on a recording of the Rolling Stones hit You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

A group of 16 MPs from across the political spectrum, members of parliamentary rock group MP4 and the Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus also feature on the track.

The single, which honours the legacy and work of Mrs Cox, will be released on December 16 and aims to raise funds for the launch of the foundation established in her name after her death.

Producer Robin Millar said organisers wanted to create something to show that Mrs Cox’s “hugely selfless and energetic campaigning must live on through greater unity”.

“This is essentially a protest record as we believe a piece of music can still make a statement,” he added of the track which will be released on Chrysalis Records.

• READ MORE: Neo-Nazi found guilty of murdering MP Jo Cox

Mrs Cox, a mother-of-two, was killed outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, in front of staff and residents on June 16.

Kevin Brennan, the project organiser, MP4 member and Labour MP for Cardiff West, said: “The fact that so many people have given up their time for this project to support the causes she cared about shows that she leaves us all a legacy of hope for a better world.”

Gray said Mrs Cox was “someone you could believe in” during an “era of public disenchantment that has seen politics discredited by corruption scandals and characterised by political campaigns driven by hateful and divisive language”.

KT Tunstall said Mrs Cox was “obviously an incredibly bright light” and that the track was about “doing something very celebratory”.

Steve Harley added: “I am not really a political animal. But Jo Cox was a cut above and her legacy should be celebrated. Mrs Cox was a truly special person, and the more I learn about her life and work, the more deeply I admire her.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4305313.1480520349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305313.1480520349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in June. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in June. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4305313.1480520349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/joyce-mcmillan-the-gift-festival-in-tbilisi-is-a-triumph-of-the-creative-spirit-1-4304918","id":"1.4304918","articleHeadline": "Joyce McMillan: The GIFT Festival in Tbilisi is a triumph of the creative spirit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480503440000 ,"articleLead": "

The first time I ever caught a glimpse of Georgian theatre, the year was 1979, and I was in the upper circle of Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre, squeezed in with a capacity audience to watch Robert Sturua’s legendary Rustaveli Theatre production of Shakespeare’s Richard III. The show was the runaway success of that year’s Edinburgh Festival, and went on to take London by storm, with its unforgettable map-like design, and thrilling central performance from the legendary Georgian actor Ramaz Chkhikvadze.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4304917.1480513973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Puppet show Ramona by at the Tbilisi Puppet Theatre"} ,"articleBody": "

Then, in the 1980s and 90s, William Burdett-Coutts of Assembly, at the Edinburgh Fringe, began his long creative relationship with the Georgian Film Actors’ Studio at the Tumanishvili Theatre, and with the inspirational Keti Dolidze, its artistic director since 1996. Together, they brought to Edinburgh superb productions of classics including Don Juan, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear and Antigone; and in 1997, they decided to launch the Georgian International Festival of Theatre, known as GIFT not only after its English acronym, but because – as Dolidze always insists – it was a gift from all the friends of Georgian theatre, in the UK and elsewhere.

It wasn’t that 1997 was an easy year in Georgian history. When I travelled to see two early GIFT festivals, in the late 90s, the city centre was still bullet-marked from the conflicts that flared during the break-up of the Soviet Union, and most of the hotels were full of refugees from the Russian border regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; we festival visitors stayed in people’s homes, since hotel rooms were so scarce.

Like the Edinburgh Festival, though, GIFT was born out of a determination to build a new peace, after a period of war; and over the past 19 years – through good times and bad, including a four-year period when the festival was suspended by one post-Soviet Georgian government – GIFT has gradually grown into the one-month celebration of international arts it is today, with world-class companies from Spain, Russia, Georgia, the USA and Germany taking part this year, alongside an Italian season produced with the support of the Italian Embassy.

So today, from the window of my high-rise hotel, I can see the traces of all the tides of history that have swept across this ancient city, with its magical hot sulphur spring in the heart of the old town, its wonderful churches and mosques, its sweeping 19th century avenues, its share of functional Soviet-era architecture, and – since 1997 – a whole new wave of spectacular 21st century development, glittering commercial towers that now dominate the modern city centre. Yet despite this recent wave of modernisation, Georgia’s troubled history of stubborn survival in the face of invasion and occupation from all directions is far from over. Today, the nation – with a population smaller than Scotland’s – finds itself sandwiched between Putin’s Russia and Erdogan’s increasingly assertive Turkey, and increasingly alarmed by destabilising events like Brexit, and the rise of a new, inward-looking nationalism across the West.

Over at the Tumanishvili Theatre, though, Dolidze and the GIFT festival are rising to the challenge of these latest troubled times with their usual flair, helping to put Georgian theatre on the international map, and introducing Georgian audiences to an impressive range of international work. In four days in Tbilisi, I saw a superb production of Heiner Muller’s controversial Medea Material by Italian company Proxima Res, featuring a stunning solo performance from Mariangela Granelli; and a thrilling, emotional King Lear from the Tumanishvili company itself, full of a profound Georgian sense of how family feeling remains an irresistible driving force, even at times when the generations are torn apart by history. Outside the festival, I spent a magical evening at Gabriadze’s beautiful Tbilisi puppet theatre, watching a show called Ramona, about two railway engines, that mysteriously combines a gorgeously simple romantic story – and some wonderful, hand-made object theatre – with a sweeping sense of 20th century Soviet history, and the role in it both of heavy industry, and of touring circuses.

And finally, there was a chance to glimpse an open rehearsal of the great Russian director Dmitry Krymov’s version of Lermontov’s The Demon, a story set in Tbilisi about a dark demon of death who falls in love with a maiden so good and beautiful that her influence transforms him, and the world. Krymov’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream won huge plaudits at the Edinburgh International Festival of 2012; and here, using his unique method of working with a team of design students and young performers, Krymov uses the story of The Demon to create an unforgettable series of reflections on the recent history of Russian and Georgian culture, with one hugely powerful sequence showing a Stalin-era KGB man stamping out and destroying as much of Georgia’s glorious cultural heritage as he can reach.

It’s difficult to overstate the emotional impact of watching this show in Tbilisi’s old town, in the beautiful galleried space of the old Caravanserai museum there; of seeing a Russian company come to Georgia, and use the power of theatre to acknowledge so much of the pain of the last 100 years of history. “It was a gift to humanity,” said one Italian company member, after the show. And like all great festivals –including Edinburgh, at its magnificent best – GIFT is about these mutual acts of giving; allowing the great tradition of Georgian theatre to give itself to the world, and demonstrating to this great and beautiful city that the world does not always arrive to invade and conquer, but sometimes comes to sing, laugh, weep and celebrate, to heal the wounds of history, and to face the future together. ■

*The GIFT Festival takes place in Tbilisi, Georgia, every October and November, www.giftfestival.ge

*Joyce McMillan’s visit to Tbilisi was supported by the Georgian National Tourism Administration

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4304917.1480513973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4304917.1480513973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Puppet show Ramona by at the Tbilisi Puppet Theatre","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Puppet show Ramona by at the Tbilisi Puppet Theatre","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4304917.1480513973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/album-reviews-kate-bush-lomond-campbell-roddy-hart-1-4304822","id":"1.4304822","articleHeadline": "Album reviews: Kate Bush | Lomond Campbell | Roddy Hart","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480501214000 ,"articleLead": "

Kate Bush’s live album could only be improved by visuals, while Lomond Campbell dials up the atmosphere

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4304821.1480501146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo, London, 24 August 2014"} ,"articleBody": "


Kate Bush and the K Fellowship: Before the Dawn ****

Fish People

Lomond Campbell: Black River Promise ****

Triassic Tusk

Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire: Swithering ***

Middle of Nowhere Recordings

Given that the peerless Kate Bush has only ever toured once in 40 years, she has managed a healthy couple of live releases – one box set and one EP culled from her 1979 Tour of Life and now a progtastic triple CD/quadruple vinyl recording of her high-concept 2014 Before the Dawn residency at Hammersmith Apollo which must, at least for now, serve in lieu of a mooted DVD release.

The concerts were filmed, documenting the sheer theatricality of the three-act event – and it was an event – so Bush only knows why she has elected to capture the extravaganza as a purely listening experience. What is clear is what a fine live album Before the Dawn makes. It is as precision produced as you would expect from a Kate Bush recording, but never to the detriment of the live atmosphere.

For the lucky attendees at the time and the ticketless acolytes now, there is trepidation around how Bush’s singular voice would hold up after so many years out of the live limelight. The answer, happily, is that she sounds exquisite, by turns mighty and vulnerable, ravishing and demented, mustering great, gravelly passion from the opening Lily, through Hounds of Love – with bonus barking backing singers – and the enigmatic tribal incantation of Running Up That Hill to the epic King of the Mountain. Act One also features a live rendition of Never Be Mine which was dropped from the residency at the time but is reinstated in its intended slot here.

Bush has likened her live rendering of The Ninth Wave to a radio play. For many fans, this audacious suite from side two of The Hounds of Love is the pinnacle of her craft. You can hear how she inhabits the central character on the gorgeous And Dream of Sheep, but can only imagine what is unfolding on stage during the proggy gothic weirdness of Waking the Witch.

Act Three is a soothing pastoral pop opera, comprising the Sky of Honey suite from Aerial, which traces the passing of a summer’s day from dawn to dawn. Her son Bertie gives a slightly nasal performance of Tawny Moon, a new song written to add to the narrative, while Bush bathes in the rapture of Somewhere In Between.

Heady as it sounds, this recording is only part of the story. But the straight solo piano rendition of Among Angels and the joyous, emotional and cathartic Cloudbusting which closes the show require no visual embellishment.

Lomond Campbell, aka Ziggy Campbell of Edinburgh art poppers FOUND, has long demonstrated a facility for producing atmospheric music, first using analogue synthesizers and now sumptuous, romantic strings, arranged by Pete Harvey, recorded by a ten-piece ensemble in a castle and threaded through Black River Promise like a noble, mournful chorus behind Campbell’s yearning voice.

The rest of this beguiling album was recorded in Campbell’s Highland hideaway and often recalls the graceful symphonic folk of Tims Hardin and Buckley.

Roddy Hart is not a sonic stylist on Campbell’s level but Swithering is still a handsome-sounding collection with commercial aspirations which

is carried off by the Lonesome Fire with greater grace and flair than many far better-known chart bands, betraying shades of U2 in their early pomp and The Killers in their attempts to emulate the masters of arena pop.

Hart has an ear for a nagging melodic hook, but the brooding indie Americana of I Thought I Could Change Your Mind is the best song here by some stretch.


EST Symphony ****

ACT Records

Hardly a symphony but inarguably a suitably glorious tribute to the bold music of the late Esbjörn Svensson, whose trio, EST, captivated cross-genre audiences. Defunct since pianist Svensson’s death in a diving accident, the trio’s music is splendidly celebrated as its bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Öström join other Scandinavian jazzers along with the Royal Stockholm Symphony Orchestra under conductor Hans Ek.

Berglund and Öström fly the EST flag with spirit, and guests pianist Iiro Rantala, saxophonist Marius Neset and trumpeter Verneri Pohjola are suitably empathetic, as in the alternating exuberance and meditation of the Wonderland Suite, joined by the melancholy whine of Johan Lindström’s steel guitar, plus a succinct but exhilarating drum break from Öström. Berglund’s bass is resplendently melancholy in Serenade for the Renegade, while Dodge the Dodo preserves the heady drive of the original.

Jim Gilchrist


Tchaikovsky: String Quartets No 1 & No 3 ****

Harmonia Mundi

Tolstoy apparently burst into tears – for the right reasons – when he first heard the Andante of Tchaikovsky’s First Quartet. Its material springs from a deliciously sultry Ukrainian melody, and the Heath Quartet address it with subdued affection in this endearing recording – the first in a new partnership with Harmonia Mundi – of the First and Third Tchaikovsky Quartets.

There are many other similarly heart-rending moments in these fresh, warm performances, such as the sombre yearning that opens the later work, and the imploring melody of its pensive Andante. But joyous moments also abound. The Scherzo of the First Quartet is buoyant, with rhythms as light as air. The Heaths unleash a healthy exuberance in its Finale, and again in the Third’s puckish Allegretto. They sign off the later quartet with a radiant topping of optimism underpinned by bristling rhythmic energy.

Ken Walton

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4304821.1480501146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4304821.1480501146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo, London, 24 August 2014","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo, London, 24 August 2014","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4304821.1480501146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}