{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"whatson","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/assembly-rooms-to-return-to-its-fringe-roots-as-digital-experiment-is-ditched-1-4372002","id":"1.4372002","articleHeadline": "Assembly Rooms to return to its Fringe roots as digital experiment is ditched","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487629809251 ,"articleLead": "

One of the longest-running Edinburgh Festival Fringe venues is to go back to its roots after ditching a controversial digital event derided as “somewhere between pointless and insulting.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4372000.1487629907!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival will not be returning to the Assembly Rooms this year."} ,"articleBody": "

The founders of the Assembly Rooms will be back staging traditional shows there for the first time since 2010 in August after attempting to run it as a venue without any live performers last year.

Theatre, opera and dance productions from around the world were screened in the venue, where the latest virtual reality experiences were also showcased during the Fringe, but only a few dozen people were said to be in the building at peak times.

However the fledgling Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival was branded a flop by rival promoters who had previously staged shows in the venue amid claims it was killing business for other venues in the New Town.

William Burdett-Coutts, the impresario who first staged Fringe shows at the venue in 1981, was also behind the digital festival, which he admitted would not be returning.

However he insisted the digital concept would be taken forward in special events which were planned outside the venue, in a section of George Street expected to be closed to traffic.

Promoters Salt ‘n’ Sauce were handed a contract to run the Assembly Rooms as a Fringe venue when it reopened after a £10 million makeover which Mr Burdett-Coutts had opposed.

However he won back the right to use the venue last year after the city council, which owns the building, decided to open it up to other operators.

In an open letter published during last year’s Fringe, director Kenny O’Brien told Mr Burdett-Coutts: “Encouraging people to come to Edinburgh during the world’s biggest arts festival just so they can watch theatre from London and Stratford or operas from Glyndebourne on a cinema screen is certainly not adding to the Fringe, and may in fact be quite the opposite: why bother coming here to see live arts when you could just sit at home and watch it on your phone? It is heart-warming the public have rejected it so completely.”

Mr Burdett-Coutts said: “We’re looking at changing the nature and direction of the digital event. We’ll be running traditional live shows in the Assembly Rooms this year and we’ll be doing digital stuff outside.

\"We’ll be trying to activate the whole area outside the venue on George Street. We’re looking at another title for the digital event, which I’m not ready to announce just yet.

“The Stand were the only people I am aware of that criticised us last year. What we’re going to be doing this year is nothing at all to do with that. I thought that we did a very good job with the digital work we did last year, but there wasn’t enough connection with the live work that was going on.

\"It is quite appropriate that we’re putting live shows back in for the Fringe’s 70th anniversary. We obviously ran live programmes there for 30 years and we’ll try to make a success of it again this year.”

Mr O’Brien said yesterday: “I don’t particularly mind what the Assembly Rooms is used for during the Fringe. Our concern is that whatever is going on should be good enough and interesting enough to draw people into this part of the city.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4372000.1487629907!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4372000.1487629907!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival will not be returning to the Assembly Rooms this year.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival will not be returning to the Assembly Rooms this year.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4372000.1487629907!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4372001.1487629909!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4372001.1487629909!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fringe shows were first staged in the Assembly Rooms in 1981.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fringe shows were first staged in the Assembly Rooms in 1981.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4372001.1487629909!/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/news/interview-paul-mckenna-on-taking-control-of-sugar-now-1-4367819","id":"1.4367819","articleHeadline": "Interview: Paul McKenna on taking control of sugar now","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487592845000 ,"articleLead": "

Paul McKenna confesses to being “very tired”. The launch of the hypnotist and self-help guru’s new book Get Control of Sugar Now! has expanded from a fortnight to a month so far and he’s still at it, motormouthing away. There was a time when McKenna would have reached for a coffee laced with sugar to kick his fatigue into touch but not now because he’s on a mission to tell us that too much sugar is killing us. He’s positively evangelical about it, with his latest book taking on the sugar industry, as well as promising to help us reduce our intake, with techniques and a mind-programming CD.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370302.1487592818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Mckenna is waging war on sugar. Picture: Debra Hurford Brown"} ,"articleBody": "

Tired? You could have fooled me. He talks 90 to the dozen down the phone, his voice persuasive and reassuring. OK, OK, I’ll never eat sugar again, (and this is before I’ve used his Craving Buster technique to link chocolate to chopped liver, hair from the floor of a hairdresser and a bucket of spit).

“No! It’s not about banning it completely,” he says. “It’s about reducing it, getting control and being able to take it or leave it.”

OK, whatever you say. I’ve read the book and I’m convinced. Now, make me rich and happy.

But McKenna has only just got started on sugar, and is warming to his theme.

“This isn’t a quit sugar book, it’s a control it book. Because I like a glass of wine, my wife likes the occasional bit of chocolate, and sugar is around all of us. It’s about using techniques to reduce our consumption.

“This is a very different book from what I normally do. It’s not just self-help, it’s also a bit of an exposé of the sugar industry and why we’re in this mess where obesity, diabetes, liver disease and heart disease have all skyrocketed.”

According to McKenna, sugar is linked to these four of the top five causes of premature death, as well as being connected to depression, sleep problems and hypertension.

It’s highly addictive, tastes nice and many of us are hooked, using it to control our emotions.

“There are plenty of people who use chocolate or sugar in their tea to control their stress,” says McKenna.

“Everyone in the world controls their feelings by some external means – drinking, drug taking, gambling, shopping, sex, television, and the world’s drug of choice right now is sugar.

“I’m trying not to be too activist and sound like a radical, because it’s difficult not to have sugar in your diet and a certain amount is good for you, if you take it in fruit for example.

“But too much has long term health consequences.”

With one quarter of adults and a quarter of children in the UK overweight or obese, McKenna is not alone in blaming sugar, but it’s the sugar industry he really has it in for, not the weak-willed consumer.

“We should be mad at the industry who deliberately try and hide how much they’re putting in things, calling it 50 different names.

“They kept pointing in the direction of fat, and did a brilliant job muddying the waters, and it’s only because of the work of scientists who have stuck their necks out, and brilliant people like Jamie Oliver and Davina McCall, that we’re more aware.”

Now McKenna has joined the fray, so has he felt a backlash to his campaign?

“No. I’m waiting for them to take me on. Where is the sugar industry when you want a fight?” he says, sounding disappointed.

“I’ve been as contentious as I can and tried to provoke them.”

McKenna’s personal realisation that he was consuming far too much sugar came when he was working at the home of neuroscientist Dr Ronald Ruden, going through academic papers and starting to flag.

“I said ‘have you got any coffee Ronnie’, and he said ‘sure’, and I said, ‘oh and some sugar, and he said ‘We don’t have sugar in this apartment’ and gave me chapter and verse. I went away and looked at all kinds of academic research.

“It’s taken years to get to this stage.”

These days McKenna drinks his coffee without any sweetener and when his wife Kate buys smoked salmon, she reads the label.

“Why does smoked salmon contain sugar?” says McKenna. “People need to know.”

If anyone can push a message it’s McKenna, the multi-millionaire persuader from Enfield in London, who started out as a DJ.

After interviewing a hypnotist he taught himself the techniques and proceeded to make it big on TV.

His 1993 show The Hypnotic World of Paul McKenna was viewed in 42 countries by an audience of 200 million.

“There were lots of things I was rubbish at, but this was something I seemed to have an aptitude for,” he says.

“I had the most watched entertainment programme on television in 1993, but there came a point where I wasn’t enjoying it as much.

“I was doing little seminars for motivation and enjoyed that more.

“Also at the time, stage hypnotists came under criticism with people saying they’d been turned into a ballerina and still were, nonsense like that. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with hypnotising somebody to be a kangaroo or dance like a ballerina, it’s no different to karaoke, and compared to I’m a Celebrity, what I was doing was pretty tame, but I realised I wouldn’t be taken seriously in behavioural science or self-help, or as an author if I continued doing those shows.

“My friend Simon Cowell made the observation that I could have a career in entertainment or move more into what I do now.”

So McKenna left TV hypnosis for self-help and behavioural science, using his techniques to help millions overcome phobias and compulsions with his Sky One show, I Can Change Your Life and I Can Make You Thin in 2005/6.

The book, I Can Make You Thin went on to become the biggest selling self-help book in British history and McKenna penned others to help us with everything from finding confidence and charisma, to quitting smoking, getting rich and being happy.

He even offered to make us a Tiger Woods on the golf course and help fix our broken hearts.

So successful are these titles, that McKenna is the country’s biggest-selling non-fiction author with 16 chart-topping self-help books.

Over the years celebrities have beaten a path to his door, from David Beckham to Courtney Love, Robbie Williams to Russell Brand. He helped Ellen deGeneres quit smoking and David Walliams in his bid to swim the English Channel.

The only time he admits to feeling starstruck was when he was contacted by David Bowie.

“That’s the only time I was overwhelmed. It was early on and I messed up the session.

“That wouldn’t happen now. Andybody could sit in front of me now.”

What did Bowie want?

“Well, it was over 20 years ago and Hanif Kureishi rang me and said David would like to meet you and I said David Bowie?

“That’s fantastic, let’s get together. He said what are you doing now and I said I’ll be there in 20 minutes.

“Bowie just oozed cool. It was surreal, like being in a movie. He was really polite, mannered, very intelligent and we had a nice rapport, but my mind wasn’t entirely focused and I didn’t have the psychological techniques that I have now to be able to shift him to what he wanted, unfortunately.”

What did he want?

“I can’t… do you know, even though he’s dead he was quite a private person so I haven’t really talked about it very much.

“I think it’s best, just out of respect to keep it private. But I will say he wasn’t like anyone else I’ve ever met. He didn’t think like anyone else.

“You know people joke about him being an alien, well there was something otherworldly about him.”

It’s not all slaying celebrities’ demons for McKenna, he treats war veterans for PTSD, runs corporate seminars, does radio and TV appearances and manages his own company too, Paul McKenna Training, founded in the mid 1990s with Richard Bandler, the co-founder of Neuro Linguistic Programming.

The appealing thing about McKenna, apart from his relentless enthusiasm, is his admission of his own fallibility.

He understands why people need a little help.

“Life’s overwhelming sometimes, you know. When my father died in 2011, I probably drank too much for a few weeks, because I was so sad.

“Other people take anti-depressants.

Personally I would recommend that people who are depressed or in an emotionally challenging place see a modern therapist: there’s hypnosis, NLP, and a bunch of psychosensory therapies like Havening, which we’ve just been working on with King’s College, London.”

Havening involves stroking the sides of your arms and moving eyes laterally from left to right to boost levels of the mood-stabilising brain chemical serotonin, to help banish trauma.

“Originally it was just war veterans, then we widened it to bereavement cases and rape victims. It works on seven in ten people, and it looks like a magic trick it works so fast.

“People go from feeling utterly traumatised to feeling fine,” he says.

At this point in the conversation a dog barks in the background of the London home he shares with his wife Kate Davey, formerly his PA of 20 years. It’s Misty, the two-year old Great Dane. Is having a dog one of McKenna’s ways of coping?

“Aw, Misty’s lovely. She’s quite a handful. Actually I‘ve got several ways of coping.

“When I’m feeling anxious I sit down and think where is that anxiety coming from? It’s usually trying to tell me something, say I’ve had an argument with a friend or need to prepare for something. Uncomfortable feelings have a purpose.

“Listen to that emotion, what’s it trying to tell me? Depression is actually an umbrella name for unacknowledged emotions that result from feeling overwhelmed.”

McKenna is also now happily married, which has contributed to his current peace of mind.

“A friend of mine said you date a lot of beautiful women but you don’t like them, and I said, well, they’re hot. And he said if you want a relationship ask yourself who do you love to be with and who do you feel connected to?

“That was Kate but to do anything about it would have been unprofessional. Then one night we were sharing a bottle of wine and I said ‘tell me something about you I don’t know’. And she said ‘I love you’. And I went ‘wow! I feel the same’. Now we’ve been together three and a half years and got married last year in Barbados.”

So where does McKenna’s desire to help people come from? At 53 he’s a multi-millionaire and it’s not like he needs the money. What’s his motivation?

“My primary objective was not to make money – I like doing it.

“I want every day to count. If you find something you love to do you never work again. I get interested in people’s problems, for my research, or a book and like solving them. It’s not entirely because I’m a nice person.

“I’m a bit of an ego maniac and I like being the best at something,” he says.

“What originally drew me to it was I went to a Catholic school where I saw a lot of cruelty that made me, I suppose, appreciate compassion. There’s that Chinese saying:

“If you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap, if you want to be happy for a week, take a holiday, if you want to be happy for a year, win the lottery, if you want to be happy for the rest of your life, help other people.”

When McKenna refers to his schooldays, he really lets rip for the first time in our conversation.

Sure he’s disgusted with the fat cats in the sugar business playing fast and loose with our health, but when he talks about the Jesuit college near his home in Enfield, his anger comes crackling down the line and he swears for the only time in our conversation.

“I can honestly say at school I learnt f***ing nothing! Nothing of worth!

“Everyone was beaten up by the teachers. The teachers were just vile bullies who wouldn’t survive in the real world.

“I wasn’t sexually abused but my best friend was. He confided in me and I didn’t know what to say.

“In the end they got the teacher and locked him up.

“You had to fend for yourself. My mum went and complained a few times, ‘I don’t think you should punch my son in the face like that’, or whatever the hell they did. But it was too late to move schools.

“Going to a Catholic school made me an atheist. I thought the last thing God would want to do would be to have anything to do with these paedophiles in the black dresses that kept beating the kids up.

“I’m still a recovering Catholic,” he says. Today he leans towards Zen Buddhism, and is a big fan of the Dalai Lama. “He says, kindness is my religion,“ says McKenna. “I live by that. I believe in good and evil, that there’s an intelligence and an organisation in our universe, a higher power if you like, but I don’t believe in the magic man in the sky. I pray each day, but I’m also an atheist.”

After 25 years of hypnotherapy, McKenna is in demand by corporations keen to motivate their employees, and has come across most problem behaviours.

“I don’t think there’s any psychological problem I can’t fix now,” he says. “That doesn’t mean I have a 100 per cent success rate. Someone might stop smoking, but six months on have a crisis and start again.

Does he never think oh just get on with yourselves, it’s too hard, you’ve worn me out?

“Oh God yes,” he says. “Sometimes disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder or eating disorders are 
hard. Someone with OCD will 
drive you crazy if you don’t protect yourself or you buy into their compulsive way of thinking. And 
if you’re really run down and you work with sick people who are depressed, you can get infected 
with their mindset. That happened to me a few years ago, so now I only work with people when I’m feeling strong.”

Staying strong means recovery periods, building in time with Kate and friends like Simon Cowell. McKenna recently decided to sell his LA mansion and the couple are planning to move out of London to somewhere more rural.

“Now I’m married and I’m liking the quieter life. I’m probably going to retire in about three years. I like the idea of a log fire, a comfy couch.... somewhere in the country with a bit of land.” His voice has become dreamy, hypnotic. “More dogs, horses...”

Then with a snap, we’re back in the present. “Got to go! Time for the photoshoot, bye, thank you, bye, bye,” and he’s gone. Off to battle the sugar industry and help the sweet-toothed masses beat their bad habits and neuroses. It’s time to Get Control of Sugar. Now!


Get Control of Sugar Now! by Paul McKenna is published by Penguin, £12.99. www.penguin.co.uk, www.paul mckenna books.co.uk; www.havening.org

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Janet Christie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370302.1487592818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370302.1487592818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul Mckenna is waging war on sugar. Picture: Debra Hurford Brown","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Mckenna is waging war on sugar. Picture: Debra Hurford Brown","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370302.1487592818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367818.1487432654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367818.1487432654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul McKenna and his wife Kate Davey Picture: Keith Hewitt/GC Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul McKenna and his wife Kate Davey Picture: Keith Hewitt/GC Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367818.1487432654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370303.1487592824!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370303.1487592824!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Paul McKenna speaks on stage as he joins BUILD for a live interview at their London studio on February 8, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Paul McKenna speaks on stage as he joins BUILD for a live interview at their London studio on February 8, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370303.1487592824!/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/heritage/paul-mccartney-s-monarch-of-the-glen-painting-could-go-on-display-alongside-original-masterpiece-1-4370442","id":"1.4370442","articleHeadline": "Paul McCartney’s Monarch of the Glen painting could go on display alongside original masterpiece","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487595434000 ,"articleLead": "

It was a commission for Paul McCartney’s Kintyre hideaway that led to the Beatles’ most memorable album cover.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370438.1487501396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Edwin Landseer's The Monarch Of The Glen. Picture: National Museum of Scotland"} ,"articleBody": "

Now Sir Peter Blake’s version of The Monarch Of The Glen, made in the Swinging Sixties, could go on display alongside the 19th-century original if the latter is secured for the nation.

National Galleries of Scotland chiefs have revealed the idea after pop artist Blake, who painted his take on the masterpiece for McCartney’s dining room, recorded a message backing a £4 million fundraising drive to buy Sir Edwin Landseer’s picture.

The National Galleries said it had four weeks to raise the final £750,000 to buy the painting from whisky giant Diageo, which had been poised to auction it off last November until it was asked to consider a “part-purchase, part-deal” gift.

It would have to borrow the Blake painting directly from the former Beatle. It has been hanging for years in his McCartney Productions offices in London.

The work was completed in 1966, shortly before the artist worked on the famous cover of the Beatles’ eighth album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album cover depicted dozens of famous figures, including Bob Dylan, Mae West, Edgar Allan Poe, and Marilyn Monroe.

Blake, who became known as the Godfather of British Pop Art, later worked on album covers with the likes of Paul Weller and The Who, and designed the sleeve for the Band Aid single Do They Know It’s Christmas?

He said: “I met Paul McCartney in 1963 and in 1964 he asked if he could buy or commission a painting from me. He had just got the Mull of Kintyre [property] and had bought a painting of Highland cattle in a stream.

“I said: ‘Let’s do a picture to match that and I’ll draw a nice stag for you.’ The best stag ever is the Landseer painting The Monarch Of The Glen. I did it in acrylic, which is incredibly stupid, because to get all that mistiness in a paint which dries very quickly is very difficult. It would’ve been much easier to do it in oil paint.”

Referring to the Landseer original, Blake said: “For many years, it was too beautiful, too corny and wasn’t considered to be a great picture, but it has grown to be one. It has earned its right to be a great picture. I very much hope it will stay in Scotland. It’s a national icon.”

Sir John Leighton, National Galleries director-general, said the Pop Art version of the painting had helped revive interest in the 1851 original.

“It’s really nice that the friendship and the artistic connection between Paul McCartney and Peter Blake goes through The Monarch Of The Glen,” he said. “It’s a really unlikely jump from The Monarch Of The Glen to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

“I know Paul McCartney still has the painting. We’d like to be able to get it on loan. We weren’t able to do it in the time that we have at the moment, but we’d like to do that at some point in the future. It would be nice to put them on display together.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370438.1487501396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370438.1487501396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sir Edwin Landseer's The Monarch Of The Glen. Picture: National Museum of Scotland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Edwin Landseer's The Monarch Of The Glen. Picture: National Museum of Scotland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370438.1487501396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370441.1487501400!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370441.1487501400!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sir Paul McCartney with artist Sir Peter Blake. Picture: Richard Young/Rex/Shutterstock","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Paul McCartney with artist Sir Peter Blake. Picture: Richard Young/Rex/Shutterstock","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370441.1487501400!/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/theatre/theatre-reviews-cuttin-a-rug-made-in-india-1-4371380","id":"1.4371380","articleHeadline": "Theatre reviews: Cuttin’ A Rug | Made in India","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487591915000 ,"articleLead": "

The front of house staff are in swirling Fifties dresses with petticoats, and there’s a rock’n’roll band playing up a storm in the foyer; yup, it must be time for the second instalment of the Citizens’ slow-burning revival of John Byrne’s great Slab Boys trilogy. And things look good, as Caroline Paterson opens her production of Cuttin’ A Rug – set at Stobo’s annual Christmas dance in Paisley Town Hall – with an atmospheric glimpse of old newsreels and movies.

The year is 1957, the affluent society is on the horizon, and Bernadette, the dispatch-room lovely, will not have to rely on parcels from America for much longer, when it comes to glamorous clothes.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371379.1487591896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The cast of Cuttin A Rug"} ,"articleBody": "

Cuttin’ A Rug ****

Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow

Made In India ****

Tron Theatre, Glasgow,

Yet materialism isn’t providing a complete answer to the yearning discontent that drives the show’s aspiring artist hero, Phil McCann; which is why John Byrne writes not in prose but in poetry, developing and stylising Paisley working-class banter into a wonderful, baroque pattern of jest and allusion, longing, bathos and hilarity.

And still, 38 years on from this play’s Traverse premiere, it’s this leap from prose into poetry that fails to materialise in too many productions, partly including this one. Here, the short first half struggles to find any rhythm at all, as characters rush to and fro in front of the imaginary mirrors in the Town Hall toilets, often gabbling away priceless lines in a pseudo-naturalistic rush.

Things improve after the interval, in the more spacious surroundings of the Town Hall balcony; Louise McCarthy, as Bernadette, hits the right note from the start, relishing every line like a Causewayside Street diva. None of three leading characters, though - Ryan Fletcher’s Phil, Paul-James Corrigan’s Spanky, or Helen Mallon’s Lucille - seem quite so comfortable with the mighty roll and punch of Byrne’s dialogue; not, at least, until those final magic moments when Phil and Spanky begin to look out from the balcony towards their possible futures. “You’re 19 years old with a wardrobe full of clothes,’ says Phil. “You’ve got everything to live for.” His voice, though, is full of irony; in a production that ends by offering us a tantalising glimpse of greatness, still just beyond its reach. There’s also a huge, unfulfilled yearning at the core of Tamasha Theatre’s new touring production, Made In India. The play tells the story of Eva, a British woman who is desperate to find a surrogate who will bear a biological child for herself and her late husband, and meets her match at the Calcutta clinic of Dr. Gupta.

Satinder Chohan’s play is perhaps trying to tackle a vastly complex situation in slightly too short a format; it lasts barely 80 minutes, and also features some powerful, driving dance sequences, on Lydia Denno’s rich red-and-gold set. Yet Katie Posner’s production makes a bold and memorable effort to set out the fundamental issues raised by the surrogate business; and it’s perhaps revealing that while we are used to the commodification of women’s bodies by men, the sight of a woman attempting the same thing, to meet her own needs, seem to throw the whole subject into such painful high relief.

*Cuttin’ A Rug at the Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, until 4 March, and at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, 7-11 March. Made In India, run ended

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4371379.1487591896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371379.1487591896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The cast of Cuttin A Rug","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The cast of Cuttin A Rug","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4371379.1487591896!/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/dance-review-scottish-dance-theatre-dreamers-and-tutumucky-1-4371308","id":"1.4371308","articleHeadline": "Dance review: Scottish Dance Theatre: Dreamers and TuTuMucky","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487588073000 ,"articleLead": "

It was as if somebody had fired a starter pistol. Nine dancers standing in a neat line, facing the audience in complete stillness and silence - and then suddenly, they were off. Abandoning their colleagues one by one, to scurry around the stage at high speed, creating shapes that had the audience chuckling within seconds. Each returning to their original position to pass on the movement, like a relay baton, with a single jerk of their body.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371307.1487588051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Dance Theatre new season : Dreamers"} ,"articleBody": "

Scottish Dance Theatre: Dreamers and TuTuMucky ****

Dundee Rep

It’s not the first time we’ve seen Scottish Dance Theatre perform Anton Lachky’s Dreamers, the company premiered the work in February 2015. Back then, as now, it felt inextricably linked to the people performing it. The dancers were not simply vessels carrying out Lachky’s choreography, but idiosyncratic beings.

Which makes the work’s second outing all the more interesting, because recent changes in personnel means all but three of the original cast has left. A new crop of dancers equals a new way of looking at Lachky’s piece, and it’s every bit as witty, quirky and dynamic as it was two years ago – just different.

The notion of individuality continued with Botis Seva’s TuTuMucky, a world premiere for Scottish Dance Theatre. An emerging, bold young face on the choreographic scene, Seva started his career with London-based hip-hop company, Avant Garde Dance – but has since forged his own distinct path.

For TuTuMucky, Seva wanted to “deconstruct everything we have been told as dancers and makers” and the ‘TuTu’ of the title does indeed refer to the garb of traditional ballet dancers. Only this time, pristine white has been replaced with brown-black mesh, which all the performers – male and female – wear.

For a while, the dark and dusty atmosphere (dramatically lit by talented designer Emma Jones) leaves us unsure of who or what we’re looking at. Slowly, an order emerges from the chaos – poised dancers with feet and arms in first position, endlessly repeating the exercises that build the classical technique. But Seva’s mission for the piece was to “break the everyday cycles” of the “regimented daily life people have become consumed to lead - both in the dance world and the wider world” so TuTuMucky resides far from the beauty of the classical stage. Bodies move robotically, or stretch to reveal muscle tone, an industrial soundtrack blends with spoken fragments from ballet class, and the whole thing has a strange, desolate beauty all of its own.

*Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 3-4 March

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Kelly Apter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4371307.1487588051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371307.1487588051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Dance Theatre new season : Dreamers","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Dance Theatre new season : Dreamers","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4371307.1487588051!/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/brian-wilson-crunch-time-now-for-bbc-alba-a-scottish-success-story-1-4371151","id":"1.4371151","articleHeadline": "Brian Wilson: Crunch time now for BBC Alba, a Scottish success story","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487579204000 ,"articleLead": "

The Gaelic TV channel reaches far beyond those who speak the language, and can get even better if it is given proper support says Brian Wilson

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371150.1487579178!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "BBC Alba presenter Fiona Mackenzie. The channel has ten times more weekly viewers than there are Gaelic speakers, but needs to increase its original content if it is to grow."} ,"articleBody": "

Issues surrounding the BBC Charter and its implications for broadcasting are likely to gain a high profile in the coming weeks. It would be a pity if, in the political melee, a quiet Scottish success story was overlooked – BBC Alba.

Although its raison d’etre is as a Gaelic broadcaster, BBC Alba reaches 700,000 viewers each week. It accounts for half the commissions in Scotland from independent production companies. It offers a steady stream of quality programmes which would not otherwise be made, mainly on Scottish subjects.

By any standard of media accounting, BBC Alba has achieved all this on a shoestring budget. It broadcasts for seven hours daily but only 1.9 are filled with original content, including news and live sport. The rest consists of repeats, delving deep not only into BBC Alba’s own modest archive but the entire previous output of Gaelic television.

Some of these, it must be said, are very good. The BBC Gaelic department has a history of producing current affairs programmes in particular where quality was in inverse proportion to quantity. However, there are limits to how often viewers in any language should be asked to endure fascinating throw-backs to the 1970s and 1980s.

The current funding review is a crunch point for BBC Alba. It will either survive at its present level or extend its repertoire and role. There is a particular need, from a language perspective, for more children’s programmes and also a more consistent standard of popular entertainment. The channel’s supporters are sensibly realistic in their demands, which may give them a better chance of being listened to.

In the late 1990s, as Minister with responsibility for Gaelic, I commissioned Neil Fraser, a distinguished broadcaster and Gael, to chart a course for establishing a Gaelic television channel. At that time, the objective was to have the new channel broadcasting within five years. In fact, it took until 2008 for BBC Alba to see the light of day.

The major sticking point had been Treasury resistance to funding it. The channel had initially been conceived of as a freestanding entity with direct government grant, following the S4C model in Wales. However, it was the S4C model which frightened the bean-counters since the cost had risen steadily to around £100 million a year.

Nobody was talking about anything like that for a Gaelic channel but the precedent created resistance which was difficult to overcome. Eventually, the BBC helped break the impasse and that was to their great credit.

Funding responsibility was devolved to Holyrood with £10 million added to the block grant as dowry. The balance (initially £4 million) came (in kind) from the BBC who formed a partnership with the Gaelic broadcasting agency – Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gaidhlig (MG ALBA)– the first joint venture the BBC had entered into.

It was a formula which got the channel going but subsequently proved difficult to improve upon. Both UK and Scottish Governments have chipped in the odd additional million over the past few years so currently, BBC Alba’s budget stands at £20.6 million - £12.8 million from the Scottish Government and £7.8 million from the BBC, all coming “in kind” – i.e. mainly programmes which Pacific Quay makes for Alba.

Meanwhile, the Treasury finally prevailed and the UK Government neatly passed funding S4C to the BBC - £110 million this year, which was effectively a cut to the BBC’s own budget. Of this, £35 million is “in kind”, mainly content. BBC Alba does not see much prospect of closing the cash chasm between itself and S4C from any source. Instead, it hopes to persuade the BBC to close the “content” gap by contributing to more programmes for Alba.

The BBC’s “content” contribution to S4C equates to ten hours programming a week, compared to 4.2 for the Gaelic channel. If parity was achieved, this would mean three hours a day of original content on BBC Alba. Given that much of BBC Scotland’s expertise lies in programmes for children and young people, an extension of this emphasis into Gaelic television would fit closely with BBC Alba’s own priorities. It’s not a huge ask.

From its inception, BBC Alba has been set audience targets to justify its existence. There are ten times more weekly viewers than Gaelic speakers. The main mechanism for achieving this has been sport with both Scottish Rugby and the SPFL heavily featured. This creates a Scotland-wide “win-win” – viewers receive coverage they would not otherwise be offered, and can turn the sound down if they like, while the Gaelic audience gets live broadcasting in their own language.

Other devices for widening the audience have proved more controversial, including use of sub-titles. To maximize benefit for the language, particularly among learners, it should not be impossible to make sub-titles optional rather than obligatory. I hope when it enters its second decade, hopefully with more secure funding, BBC Alba will address these issues creatively, once freed from pressure to justify its existence.

The inescapable fact is that the channel’s reason for existing is to provide vital support to the Gaelic language and specifically to meet obligations which the Labour government entered into in 1998 when the UK became a signatory to the European Declaration on Minority Languages. That should never be lost sight of.

It has long been Gaelic’s good fortune to enjoy cross-party political support. The Tories do not get credit for much between 1979 and 1997 but it was they who created and expanded the Gaelic Broadcasting Fund as precursor of the full channel. All parties currently support the case for an increase in the BBC’s contribution, through content.

Gaelic will live or die within Scotland alone. No minority language can survive in the 21st century with all odds stacked against it and broadcasting is one of the critical factors. The BBC has acquired that responsibility which has perhaps ended up as a good thing, for it is uniquely capable of recognising the cultural diversity which should command respect in every constituent part of the United Kingdom.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BRIAN WILSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4371150.1487579178!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371150.1487579178!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "BBC Alba presenter Fiona Mackenzie. The channel has ten times more weekly viewers than there are Gaelic speakers, but needs to increase its original content if it is to grow.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "BBC Alba presenter Fiona Mackenzie. The channel has ten times more weekly viewers than there are Gaelic speakers, but needs to increase its original content if it is to grow.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4371150.1487579178!/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/tributes-paid-after-death-of-edinburgh-folk-music-stalwart-paddy-bort-1-4370784","id":"1.4370784","articleHeadline": "Tributes paid after death of Edinburgh folk music stalwart Paddy Bort","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487527748000 ,"articleLead": "

Tributes have been paid to a long-standing member of Edinburgh’s folk music scene after he passed away on Friday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370783.1487513795!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tributes have been paid to Mr Bort, pictured, following his death on Friday. Picture: Allan McMillan - Edinburgh Folk Club."} ,"articleBody": "

Eberhard “Paddy” Bort, chairman of Edinburgh Folk Club, is reported to have passed away in the Capital on February 17 aged 62.


The news emerged after a message was posted on the Edinburgh Folk Club (EFC) website, saying he would be a “hard act to follow”.

It read: “EFC thanks everyone for the many, many kind and very warmly worded emails which have quite literally flooded in since the sad news began to circulate.

“Many folk have described Paddy’s passing as the end of an era which, in the circumstances, is probably quite correct.

“The unexpected news came, to put it mildly, as an enormous shock to everyone and particularly to those who worked with him on various projects, both academic and cultural.”

Mr Bort, who came to Edinburgh from Germany, also ran the Wee Folk Club The Royal Oak pub every Sunday night. Tonight’s gig (February 19) has been cancelled.

Edinburgh musician Steve Byrne, who said he had known Mr Bort since the age of 18, described his death as leaving a “hole the size of Arthur’s Seat” in the Capital’s folk scene.

He wrote on Facebook: “Paddy and I came to Edinburgh within a year of each other in the mid-1990s.

“As such he was very much part of my own personal landscape musically and socially and today I am in total shock at the loss of someone who had such an influence in my early days as a young musician, starting up the ladder and beginning to travel across Europe.

“Paddy was in a sense the archetypal ‘welcome stranger’ who came to Scotland from his native Germany to shine a bright light on our cultural riches that we have often been backwards in coming forwards about.

“A confirmed Hibernophile and Scotophile, hundreds of us in the folk scene have had floor spots and gigs at all stages of our careers from Paddy, benefitting from his drive and enthusiasm.”

Mr Byrne also paid tribute Mr Bort’s role as a “renowned academic” at Edinburgh University and his commitment to local democracy, calling him the “ultimate European”.

He went on: “There’s plenty I’ve missed out - as he has done so much for so many of us, and for Scotland, und für Europa.

“The saddest part is not having been able to tell him just how grateful we are. Auf wiedersehen, und herzlichen Dank, mein Freund.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "FLORENCE SNEAD"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370783.1487513795!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370783.1487513795!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tributes have been paid to Mr Bort, pictured, following his death on Friday. Picture: Allan McMillan - Edinburgh Folk Club.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tributes have been paid to Mr Bort, pictured, following his death on Friday. Picture: Allan McMillan - Edinburgh Folk Club.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370783.1487513795!/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/tv-radio/fans-back-outlander-horse-to-be-a-hit-at-cheltenham-1-4370774","id":"1.4370774","articleHeadline": "Fans back Outlander horse to be a hit at Cheltenham","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487511614000 ,"articleLead": "

Fans of the popular TV drama Outlander have begun indulging in a spot of betting after discovering that there is a horse of the same name running at the Cheltenham festival.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370773.1487511594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fans of Outlander are excited to see a horse of the same name at Cheltenham. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

The Irish horse, trained by Gordon Elliot, is scheduled to run in the Gold Cup on 17 March.

Outlander has won nine of its last 20 races and goes into the festival with tempting outsider odds of around 10/1.

Fans of the series, which stars Sam Heughan, have got in on the action by placing wagers on the horse.

Heughan tweeted asking fans “did we win?” only to be told by fans the horse wouldn’t be running again until next month.

Outlander (the series) is set and filmed in Scotland with season three due for release in September.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370773.1487511594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370773.1487511594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fans of Outlander are excited to see a horse of the same name at Cheltenham. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fans of Outlander are excited to see a horse of the same name at Cheltenham. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370773.1487511594!/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-review-dirt-under-the-carpet-1-4369772","id":"1.4369772","articleHeadline": "Theatre review: Dirt Under The Carpet","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487376354000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s a world hidden from most of us, as we snooze our way through the night. Yet in Britain today, hundreds of thousands of people, most of them women, scrape a living as part of the army of cleaners who start work as early as 3am, in the office blocks, hotels and malls that dominate our cities.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369771.1487349023!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Joyce Falconer and Karen Fishwick in Dirt Under The Carpet"} ,"articleBody": "

Oran Mor, Glasgow ****

In Rona Munro’s fine 40-minute play for A Play, A Pie And A Pint, Muriel and Lorraine are two of those women, working in Aberdeen. Muriel is middle-aged and lifeworn, but has learned how to “make her own job satisfaction” out of cleaning work; Lorraine is a young aspiring singer-songwriter who fell foul of the law after decking an abusive boyfriend, and has to take whatever job she can get.

And when Lorraine arrives at work one day to find the bullying boss of a dodgy oil contracting company lying dead near his desk, she can’t pretend she’s sorry – although she is increasingly suspicious that Muriel is not entirely uninvolved in his death.

And that’s pretty much that, so far as the plot is concerned; but as Joyce Falconer and Karen Fishwick banter their way through the possibilities, Munro creates a memorably rich landscape of past, present, and possible future for her two characters and their city. Their lives are encircled by the idea that things are always better elsewhere, and by the sense of being trapped in an economy that couldn’t care less.

But if that story comes to us, this time, with an Aberdeen accent, its resonances seem much wider, in what emerges as a powerful miniature play for today.

Final performance today.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369771.1487349023!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369771.1487349023!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Joyce Falconer and Karen Fishwick in Dirt Under The Carpet","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Joyce Falconer and Karen Fishwick in Dirt Under The Carpet","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369771.1487349023!/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-chuck-prophet-the-mission-express-1-4369627","id":"1.4369627","articleHeadline": "Music Review: Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487376349000 ,"articleLead": "

Chuck Prophet, one-time guitarist with cult country rockers Green On Red, knows and loves his rock’n’roll. Whether he is covering his namesake Chuck Berry’s Ramona Says Yes with contrasting embellishment from his wife Stephanie Finch on sighing backing vocals and a lean, mean lead guitar display from James DePrato, or taking a left turn into the bittersweet Byrdsian jangle of Lonely Desolation, playful new wave rocker Jesus Was a Social Drinker or existential roots ballad Barely Exist, he and his righteous band the Mission Express were simultaneously in thrall to and command of their tradition.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369626.1487342418!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chuck Prophet"} ,"articleBody": "

ABC2, Glasgow ****

So when Prophet declared in freewheeling song that it’s been a Bad Year for Rock and Roll, you had better believe him. He paid tribute to the fallen heroes of 2016, covering Leonard Cohen’s Iodine and stealing brazenly and lovingly from the late Alan Vega’s band Suicide for the heatseeking rhythmic riff of In The Mausoleum.

But Prophet and chums were also the revivifying tonic, celebrating the low-slung drawling joys of their great American songbook with the rollicking call-and-response of Temple Beautiful or the brooding, stormy (though not quite as heavy as promised) You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp).

There were a few too many meandering jams in the second half of the set, for all their strung-out place in rock’n’roll, but at least when Prophet indulged, he did so with a sense of humour, delivering an entertaining geek sermon on Wish Me Luck. Not that this charmed and charming performer needs it.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369626.1487342418!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369626.1487342418!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chuck Prophet","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chuck Prophet","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369626.1487342418!/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-review-a-judgement-in-stone-1-4369785","id":"1.4369785","articleHeadline": "Theatre review: A Judgement In Stone","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487376343000 ,"articleLead": "

Ruth Rendell’s fine novel, A Judgement In Stone, begins with a sentence in which she tells us who committed the murder at the heart at the story, and the reason why. The rest of the book is the tense working-out of a tale of class hatred and unspoken pain gradually distilling into a ferocious act of violence that destroys the lives of four people.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369784.1487349400!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The cast of A Judgement In Stone"} ,"articleBody": "

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh ***

It’s not surprising that this troubling story has had an interesting dramatic history since the book’s publication in 1977, including film versions by Ousama Rawi and Claude Chabrol, and a 1996 musical stage version by Neil Bartlett, which won acclaim and awards for Sheila Hancock, in the key role of the almost silent housekeeper, Eunice Parchman.

It’s therefore slightly surprising to see Bill Kenwright’s Classic Thriller Theatre Company try to transform this unconventional, almost Genet-like novel into something like an Agatha Christie whodunnit, complete with a Victorian drawing-room set, a pair of confused police officers and a fistful of suspects.

The result is to pitch the story in a broadly comic direction, particularly when Shirley Anne Field appears as the wisecracking old daily; and to leave Sophie Ward’s central performance as Eunice Parchman stranded somewhere between the chilling and the ridiculous. It’s all good old-fashioned theatrical fun, though, and it has its powerful moments, particularly when Eunice’s hatred, fear and contempt briefly break the surface.
Final performances today.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369784.1487349400!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369784.1487349400!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The cast of A Judgement In Stone","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The cast of A Judgement In Stone","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369784.1487349400!/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/film/love-actually-set-for-tv-sequel-1-4368026","id":"1.4368026","articleHeadline": "Love Actually ‘set for TV sequel’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487235848000 ,"articleLead": "

Love Actually, the popular Christmas film, is to get a television sequel of sorts, it has announced.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368024.1487235830!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andrew Lincoln, left, and Keira Knightley are expected to appear in the charity short film. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The BBC and Comic Relief, co-founded by director Richard Curtis, announced on Wednesday that a new short film will offer a look at where the characters are now - 14 years after the film was released.

Curtis, who was also involved in Four Weddings and a Funeral and Bridget Jones’ Diary as a writer, said he would ‘never have dreamt of writing a sequel to Love Actually,’ but added: “I thought it might be fun to do 10 minutes to see what everyone is now up to.

“Who has aged best? I guess that’s the big question - or is it so obviously Liam [Neeson]?”

Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley and Martine McCutcheon will all appear while Andrew Lincoln, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson and Neeson are set to feature as well.

Curtis added: “We’ve been delighted and grateful that so many of the cast are able to take part - and it’ll certainly be a nostalgic moment getting back together and recreating the characters 14 years later.

“We hope to make something that’ll be fun - very much in the spirit of the original film and of Red Nose Day - and which we hope will help bring lots of viewers and cash to the Red Nose Day shows.”

The short film will be shown as part of the Red Nose Day television show on March 24 in the UK, and again as part of the American equivalent on May 25.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368024.1487235830!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368024.1487235830!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Andrew Lincoln, left, and Keira Knightley are expected to appear in the charity short film. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andrew Lincoln, left, and Keira Knightley are expected to appear in the charity short film. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368024.1487235830!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368025.1487235832!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368025.1487235832!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hugh Grant, left, and Martine McCutcheon are set to reprise their roles as Prime Minister David, and Natalie. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hugh Grant, left, and Martine McCutcheon are set to reprise their roles as Prime Minister David, and Natalie. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368025.1487235832!/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/news/video-outlander-stars-bid-farewell-to-scotland-1-4367810","id":"1.4367810","articleHeadline": "Video: Outlander stars bid farewell to Scotland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487197824000 ,"articleLead": "

Outlander stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe have bid farewell to Scotland as filming for next series moves to South Africa.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367808.1487191863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe film scenes for Outlander on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Picture: SWNS"} ,"articleBody": "

US network Starz has announced that season three of the hit show will return to screens in September.

It had been slated to air in April but the scale of production has been cited as the reason for delays by the show’s bosses.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

In a video posted on the Outlander Facebook page, Heughan and Balfe, who play on-screen husband and wife Jamie and Claire Fraser, thanked the Scottish people, the show’s Scottish crew, fans and heritage sites in Scotland that welcomed them during recent filming.

The duo also joked that they will see sunshine for a change, with Balfe suggesting they would be able to ditch some layers as production moves to Cape Town.

Waving goodbye to fans and the country, Balfe signs off in Gaelic, ‘slán’ but vows the team will be back in Scotland in the future.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367808.1487191863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367808.1487191863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe film scenes for Outlander on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe film scenes for Outlander on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367808.1487191863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1487189811661"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/film/irish-comedy-drama-opens-13th-glasgow-film-festival-1-4367834","id":"1.4367834","articleHeadline": "Irish comedy-drama opens 13th Glasgow Film Festival","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487194757896 ,"articleLead": "

The European premiere of an acclaimed Irish high-school drama has raised the curtain on the 13th annual Glasgow Film Festival.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367833.1487194846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Handsome Devil's director John Butler and star Fionn O'Shea launched the 13th Glasgow Film Festival tonight."} ,"articleBody": "

The red carpet was rolled for out for director John Butler and Fionn O’Shea, the 21-year-old star of Handsome Devil, a coming-of-age comedy drama set at an all-boys boarding school.

The GFF secured Handsome Devil for its opening gala despite the event going head-to-head with the Dublin International Film Festival, which will instead screen it on its closing night at the end of this month.

Butler’s film, which was snapped up by GFF after its world premiere in Toronto in September, leads a clutch of sold out events reported by organisers ahead of the 12-day event.

They include a special gala screening Lost In France, which saw another Irish filmmaker, Niall McCann, relive the mid-1990s heyday of the Glasgow indie music scene.

Also sold out are special screenings of the teen vampire drama The Lost Boys at a mystery location on the outskirts of the city and the chance to see cult horror The Thing at Scotland’s only indoor ski slope.

Doctor Who and Broadchurch star David Tennant, who leads the list of star guests due in the city for the event, will be unveiling his portrayal of the Glasgow-born psychiatrist RD Laing when the world premiere of biopic Mad To Be Normal closes the festival.

Speaking ahead of the opening gala at the Glasgow Film Theatre, Butler said he hoped the Handsome Devil - which looks at the difficulties of coming to terms with sexuality at an all-boys school - would be shown to teenagers across the UK and Ireland.

Set in modern-day Ireland, Handsome Devil focus on the unlikely friendship forged between an awkward teenager, played by O’Shea, and the star player in the school rugby team when they have to share a room together.

Butler said: “The film really came from my own days at an all-boys boarding school, but also from realising that so little has changed in the in Ireland, where single-sex education is still very common.

“You still have a very conservative mindset dominating the education system, which creates the environment that you seen in the film.

In a single-sex school, in a rugby school or in a conservative Catholic school of any sort in Ireland it is very hard if you are gay. There’s still isn’t an ‘out’ premiership football or rugby union player. I refuse to accept the idea that gay people don’t play sport.

“I’m 50 per cent of the two main characters. It’s emotional, autobiographical stuff which would’ve happened around me when I was young - being gay and being into sport, and thinking that those were two different things that couldn’t be resolved in the same person.

Butler said he had drawn inspiration from classic 1980s films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty In Pink, Dead Poets Society, but was keen to ensure

He added: “The films that I loved growing up were American high-school films. This one really sprang from wanting to work in that tradition. But I also really wanted to update the genre.

“They traditionally weren’t known for sexual enlightenment or equality. The idea that the kids have something to teach the adults is a very important part of this film. I totally believe that. There is a certain emotional intelligence that young people have that they have as they move through life. When you’re young you’re at your most open in terms of being receptive to ideas and difference. It’s nice to do a film where the teaching goes upwards.

“It’s so vital that the film has contemporary resonance. It’s very much a film for now. I’d love it if it were shown in schools in the UK and Ireland.

“I already know fourth year teachers in Ireland are trying to organise visits to the cinema to see it. You absorb a lot of the messages on film a lot more than if someone is standing in a classroom and telling you about it. It’s easier to suspend your judgement.

“The most important thing about the film is a question of identity of truth to yourself, rather than aligning yourself to any particular side. The labelling is less important than the sense of authenticity.”

O’Shea, who was 19 when he filmed his 16-year-old character, said: “John and I went to very similar schools. All the different themes in the film feel very relevant to now.

“If you’re 16 when you’re playing a 16-year-old character you are experiencing all that stuff then, but when you’re 19 you can look back and go: ‘These are all the things that were going on.’ In a reflective way, it’s easier to go back to that. I’ve always played younger characters because I look so young. I’m still playing schoolboys.”

The Glasgow Film Festival runs until 26 February.

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367833.1487194846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367833.1487194846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Handsome Devil's director John Butler and star Fionn O'Shea launched the 13th Glasgow Film Festival tonight.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Handsome Devil's director John Butler and star Fionn O'Shea launched the 13th Glasgow Film Festival tonight.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367833.1487194846!/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/who-will-take-on-the-new-dr-who-role-1-4367680","id":"1.4367680","articleHeadline": "Who will take on the new Dr Who role?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487180241000 ,"articleLead": "

It was the fantasy fan’s TV dream – Outlander star Sam Heughan linked with taking a trip through time and space as the new face of Doctor Who.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4353367.1487180224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Peter Capaldi is stepping down as the Doctor"} ,"articleBody": "

Over the weekend, speculation built that the BBC might go for two Scots in a row and replace the retiring Peter Capaldi with 36-year-old Heughan.

Heughan is still a betting outsider to take over the Tardis from Thick of It star Capaldi, but most previous incarnations of the Doctor found themselves in similar situations.

But with Capaldi playing the Doctor as a full-throated Scot, and David Tennant forced to change his accent, could the BBC be ready to give Scotland two Doctors in a row?

Heughan isn’t the only potential Caledonian sci-fi star. There are a number of other homegrown talents in the frame.

Richard Madden

From King in the North to Prince Charming to Timelord, Richard Madden certainly hasn’t shied away from playing roles with titles attached.

The Elderslie born actor was made famous after his starring role as the ill-fated rebel Robb Stark in HBO smash hit Game of Thrones.

He went on to play the Prince in 2015’s live action remake of Disney classic Cinderella, and is currently the third favourite with bookmakers to take over the Tardis.

He would certainly add a much younger feel than his compatriot Capaldi, and is well known to Who devotees after a relationship with former Tardis assistant Jenna Coleman.

Robert Carlyle

Fresh from another turn as psychopathic antagonist Begbie in this year’s follow up to Trainspotting, what better role for ‘Bobby’ to convince us he’s not all bad?

Producers might not want another Scot at the helm, but Carlyle’s versatility as an actor is well known.

He’s played a Yorkshireman in the Full Monty, and a villainous turn as a Russian in James Bond film The World is Not Enough proves he could give BBC producers any accent they wanted.

He’s currently starring in fairytale update Once Upon a Time as legendary trickster Rumplestiltskin, so is no stranger to the fantasy genre.

Tilda Swinton

For the past two series, the clamour has been growing and growing for Doctor Who to finally have a female lead.

The current hot tips for being the first woman Doctor are British TV mainstays Olivia Colman and Maxine Peake.

However both might be reluctant to be typecast in the fantasy role, and could also fear it may distract from some of their other work.

Swinton, who has never been typecast, and relishes in always offering something different, might be the best choice if the Doctor is to embrace the fairer sex.

Oscar-winner Swinton, who comes from a long line of Lowland Scots aristocratic stock, might just be a left-field enough choice to work.

Michelle Gomez

Speaking of left-field, we end on Michelle Gomez, who has been lauded for her guest roles on the show battling Peter Capaldi’s Doctor as an incarnation of his nemesis The Master.

“Missy,” as Gomez’s character was called, was last seen in a tight spot in a room full of Daleks, but it is expected she will eventually return.

Many fans haven’t ruled out that by some clever writing, the talented Gomez could be worked into the show’s title role.

Could the Master and Doctor finally merge, after spending their multiple lives as two opposites keeping the universe in balance? It could be done, and would give fans their first female Doctor.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ross McCafferty"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4353367.1487180224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4353367.1487180224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Peter Capaldi is stepping down as the Doctor","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Peter Capaldi is stepping down as the Doctor","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4353367.1487180224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4347198.1486729969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4347198.1486729969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Will Sam Heughan be taking a spin in the Tardis? Picture: John Devlin / TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Will Sam Heughan be taking a spin in the Tardis? Picture: John Devlin / TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4347198.1486729969!/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/news/politics/in-full/the-who-s-pete-townshend-backs-tannoy-workers-1-4366557","id":"1.4366557","articleHeadline": "The Who’s Pete Townshend backs Tannoy workers","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487147464000 ,"articleLead": "

Pete Townshend, lead guitarist of The Who, has sent a letter supporting workers at the Tannoy speaker firm in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, who could face losing their jobs next month.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366556.1487147449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Musician Pete Townshend has praised work of Tannoy workers PICTURE: Kevin Winter/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Townshend, whose songwriting hits include the band’s ‘Who Are You’ and ‘My Generation’, said the threatened closure of the factory which makes world-class speakers he uses for his recordings, “concerns me greatly” and that “the quality of the product will inevitably suffer without the skill and experience of the local workers.”

He says in the letter, dated 7 February, “I have used Tannoy speakers all my life in the recording studio...,Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Clash - we all used Tannoys to make our records that 50 years later still generate income and kudos for the UK.”

He also says, in the letter to Richard Leonard, Labour MSP for Coatbridge: “I am happy to support the workforce...in the campaign to keep the Tannoy tradition of long-established excellence alive. We need to retain production and development in the hands of the experienced and proven Coatbridge workforce.”

The company’s Scottish production plant which manufactures high-end speakers costing from £60,000 upwards used in the world’s leading music studios, is run by parent company Music Group.

However, Ude Adigwe, GMB Scotland organiser, said: “The workforce faces an uncertain future because its owners have failed to clarify if the plant will close or if production is being moved elsewhere in Scotland, or overseas.

“We have had very little communication from Music Group about their plans for the future. Staff are at a loss. The company talks about ‘potential’ but not intentions.

“The plant closure is scheduled for 31 March but we don’t know if that will happen.”

Mr Leonard said: “Pete Townshend knows it is the quality of the workmanship, the experience that comes with applying those skills, and the constant innovation built on tradition and know-how which makes the speakers made in Coatbridge so successful. It is a real boost in our campaign to retain these jobs to have Pete’s support.”

Music Group was contacted for comment but did not respond.

" ,"byline": {"email": "sross@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SHN ROSS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4366556.1487147449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366556.1487147449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Musician Pete Townshend has praised work of Tannoy workers PICTURE: Kevin Winter/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Musician Pete Townshend has praised work of Tannoy workers PICTURE: Kevin Winter/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4366556.1487147449!/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/rachel-newton-why-is-live-scottish-traditional-music-dominated-by-men-1-4366607","id":"1.4366607","articleHeadline": "Rachel Newton: Why is live Scottish traditional music dominated by men?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487138400000 ,"articleLead": "

At the Celtic Connections festival last month I organised and hosted a discussion on “Exploring Music and Gender.” This came about after I took to Facebook last year to ask some questions after voting in the Scots Trad Music Awards. I had been struck by the lack of women represented in the Live Act of the Year category (three females out of 39 band members) and wanted to express concern that live Scottish traditional music seemed to be dominated by men - and particularly a fairly masculine type of music that is popular just now within the scene in Scotland.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366606.1487100564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Bevvy Sisters, who played at Celtic Connections in Glasgow last month, are one of the few Scottish traditional music acts not dominated by men."} ,"articleBody": "

And I wanted to know why the woman’s role in a headlining festival act is so often the lead singer of a band full of male instrumentalists.

This wasn’t the first time I’d used social media to talk about women in folk music. I did the same thing a couple of years ago when one of my bands, The Shee, was told we weren’t getting booked to play a festival because they already had their ‘girl band’ for that year.

The response to both posts was overwhelming. In the post about The Shee it was mostly a call to name and shame the festival, but to me that wasn’t getting at the root of the problem.

The response to my second post really made me realise what an important topic gender in traditional music is to a lot of people working in the industry, and that it was something worth discussing further. I wanted to figure out what could be done to encourage a positive and inclusive shift towards gender equality.

One of the main issues that came out of the discussion at Celtic Connections was the need for detailed research into female representation at festivals and other performance platforms across the country. And not just as performers, but as artistic directors, technicians, agents, managers and board members.

I’d like to find out why the many females playing musical instruments at education groups such as the Feis or studying folk and traditional music at university often don’t go on to forge a career in performance on the same scale as their male counterparts.

Other topics that were covered included quotas, mentoring and the need for more female role models, creating networks and how to tackle childcare issues.

For me, it’s not that folk and traditional music are any worse when it comes to gender inequality than any other artistic genre. All of the issues raised at the talk were similar to those I’ve heard discussed in a number of the creative industries. It’s just that I don’t think it has been addressed and challenged in the same way.

It’s a very small scene and there is a fear of rocking the boat, which has been made clear to me by the number of private messages I’ve received from women not wanting to speak out publicly for fear of offending or losing work. I was nervous myself about speaking out and what the response would be to the discussion at Celtic Connections.

In our bid to conserve and also to widen the appeal of folk and traditional music, I wonder if we are often too afraid to criticise anything about it in case we do it damage.

As someone who loves traditional music and has grown up in a music scene that often feels like an extended family, I think we do ourselves more damage if we don’t assess things critically and try to make positive changes.

To me it’s bizarre to think that Scottish traditional music is immune to gender inequality, which I believe still exists everywhere.

As a genre, I want us to be at the forefront of an open-minded and progressive way of thinking that reflects the values inherent to a music that was always meant for the people.

Rachel Newton is a singer and harpist who performs with the groups The Shee, The Furrow Collective and Boreas, as well as in her own band.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RACHEL NEWTON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4366606.1487100564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366606.1487100564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Bevvy Sisters, who played at Celtic Connections in Glasgow last month, are one of the few Scottish traditional music acts not dominated by men.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Bevvy Sisters, who played at Celtic Connections in Glasgow last month, are one of the few Scottish traditional music acts not dominated by men.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4366606.1487100564!/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/belladrum-festival-launches-tartan-fashion-label-1-4366463","id":"1.4366463","articleHeadline": "Belladrum festival launches tartan fashion label","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487091120353 ,"articleLead": "A Highland music festival has become the first in the UK to boast its own tartan fashion range.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366460.1487090105!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Naked Highlander range has been set up by the festival and Black Isle design firm Prickly Thistle."} ,"articleBody": "

The Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, which draws more than 16,000 to Beauly, near Inverness, each August, has unveiled a new line of kilts, capes, skirts. scarves and bags ahead of this year’s event.

A specialy-commissioned “Belladrum” design has been given official approval by the Scottish Register of Tartans.

It has been created by the Black Isle-based design studio Prickly Thistle, which is believed to be the only business of its kind in the Highlands.

The company’s founder, Clare Campbell, has joined forces with Joe Gibbs, director of the festival and owner of the Belladrum Estate, to set up the "Naked Highlander" label.

They launch the new clothing range on Valentine’s Day to coincide with the countdown to the 14th festival in August. It will be headlined by Sister Sledge, Franz Ferdinand and KT Tunstall.

On online shop has been opened to sell the full “Naked Highlander” range, with prices ranging from £35 for a scarf to £695 for a traditional kilt.

The design of the tartan is said to be based inspired by the colours of the landscape surrounding the festival site, including ancient greent forests and native lichens, as well as reflect the “pride and passion” of generations of owners of the historic estate, which has been in the same family for more than 150 years.

Ms Campbell said: “We’ve really enjoyed working on this project. The design of the tartan picks up on the red of the festival logo and the greens of the various lichens and mosses around the estate and festival site.”

Mr Gibbs said: “As an all-ages event, Belladrum’s crowd have always felt like one big happy clan so it seemed appropriate for the festival to have a tartan for everyone.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4366460.1487090105!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366460.1487090105!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Naked Highlander range has been set up by the festival and Black Isle design firm Prickly Thistle.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Naked Highlander range has been set up by the festival and Black Isle design firm Prickly Thistle.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4366460.1487090105!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4366461.1487090107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366461.1487090107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A ladies Highland skirt is available as part of the Naked Highlander range.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A ladies Highland skirt is available as part of the Naked Highlander range.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4366461.1487090107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4366462.1487090108!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4366462.1487090108!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The traditional Highland kilt will set back Belladrum festivalgoers 695.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The traditional Highland kilt will set back Belladrum festivalgoers 695.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4366462.1487090108!/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/regions/glasgow-strathclyde/brian-wilson-pixies-and-arab-strap-to-play-kelvingrove-bandstand-1-4365896","id":"1.4365896","articleHeadline": "Brian Wilson, Pixies and Arab Strap to play Kelvingrove Bandstand","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487065690053 ,"articleLead": "Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, world music superstars Ladysmith Black Mambazo and indie-rock icons The Pixies will stage outdoor concerts in Glasgow’s West End this summer.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365895.1487033599!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brian Wilson will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys's iconic pPet Sounds album."} ,"articleBody": "

They have all been confirmed for the annual “Summer Nights at the Bandstand” festival at Kelvingrove Park, which boasts a record 11 shows in its line-up this year.

Chart-toppers KT Tunstall and Texas, and recently-reformed bands Arab Strap and Hipsway are among the leading Scottish bands in the programme announced by promoters Regular Music today.

American blues musician Seasick Steve and British country duo The Shires will also be appearing at the festival, which will run from 2-13 August.

Acts like Joan Armatrading, Van Morrison, Primal Scream and Will Young have performed at the venue in the last three years since it underwent a £2 million revamp.

Mark Mackie, managing director of Regular Music, said: “We are delighted to be returning to the bandstand for our fourth year, bringing with us such a stellar selection of world class performers, including the wonderful Brian Wilson on the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds.”

Sharleen Spiteri, frontwoman of Texas, the pop-rock band formed in Glasgow in the mid 1980s, said: ‘This feels like truly going home to where I spent most of my formative years.

“It’ll be great to have a stage and a PA, just like the six-year-old me running up and down the park singing to an imaginary audience would have wished for.”

Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety said: “The Summer Nights concerts at Kelvingrove attract global talent to the heart of Glasgow’s West End and this year the line-up is truly unique.

“Summer Nights has established itself as a key part of Glasgow’s musical calendar and continues to enhance its reputation as a Unesco City of Music.

Ho"Experiencing any of these gigs in this wonderful venue will be a truly unforgettable experience.”

Tickets for all shows go on sale on Friday.

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365895.1487033599!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365895.1487033599!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Brian Wilson will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys's iconic pPet Sounds album.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brian Wilson will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys's iconic pPet Sounds album.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365895.1487033599!/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/film/10-movies-to-watch-if-you-re-staying-in-on-valentine-s-day-1-4365964","id":"1.4365964","articleHeadline": "10 movies to watch if you’re staying in on Valentine’s Day","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487063752000 ,"articleLead": "

If you don’t fancy going out this Valentine’s Day, and an evening in is more your scene - and research suggests you’re in the majority - then a romantic movie night is a perfect choice for a date.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365962.1487063735!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Audrey Tautou stars as the eponymous Amelie. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

We have found the best films for you and your loved one to enjoy this February 14th, spanning the past 80 years. From light-hearted romps to classic movies to artistic flicks – we are certain you will find a film to your taste.

It Happened One Night (1934)

This romantic comedy has just the right amount of schmaltz, but, more importantly, it also has a whole lot of giggles.

The movie stars Clark Gable as Peter Warne, a handsome newspaper-man, and Claudette Colbert as Ellen Andrews, a spoiled socialite.

Ellen is on the run from her father, desperate to be reunited with her spouse Westley. Peter decides to help her achieve her goal, but only if she’ll give him a scoop. As Peter and Ellen embark on an adventure through the countryside, the two begin to see each other in a different light.

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

The Philadelphia Story began life as a Broadway play, and was brought to the silver screen by director George Cukor.

Katherine Hepburn plays Tracy Lord, a society girl whose marriage plans are upset by the arrival of her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a young journalist (James Stewart). Will her quest for perfection in a partner be a roaring success, or a terrible failure?

Casablanca (1942)

The ultimate wartime romance, Casablanca has captured the imaginations of movie-goers for decades.

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman light up the screen as Rick and Ilsa, former lovers who must confront their past. Ilsa’s husband Laszlo (Paul Henreid) has come between Rick and Ilsa, but the couple still have feelings for one another. As European expatriates attempt to escape Casablanca by any means necessary, Rick must make a difficult choice between love and self-sacrifice.

An Affair to Remember (1957)

Widely considered as one of the most romantic movies of all time, An Affair to Remember is a gem of Hollywood’s golden age.

Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr play Nickie and Terry, a couple who fall in love while each is involved with someone else. They agree to meet in six months’ time, on the top of the Empire State Building, if they have each succeeded in ending their relationships. When Terry does not appear on the agreed date, Nickie assumes that she has rejected him, but he doesn’t know the full story.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

This is one of the most iconic movies of the 20th century, which stars Audrey Hepburn in her most celebrated role, Holly Golightly.

When Paul Varjak (George Peppard) meets Holly for the first time, he is intrigued by her lively personality and her unusual lifestyle. Paul is involved with his “decorator”, nicknamed “2E”, but despite this, his fascination with Holly begins to grow. However, Holly is not who she appears, and she is reluctant to accept Paul’s love for her.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Norah Ephron’s romantic comedy asks the question: “Can a man and a woman be just friends?” The movie includes several truly memorable moments, including the infamous “deli scene”.

Harry and Sally meet as college graduates, and, over a number of years, develop a friendship. But when they sleep together, this is suddenly endangered. Sally fears that their friendship has been ruined by this new intimacy, but Harry wants to give it a second chance.

Clueless (1995)

This seemingly frothy flick has a strong literary foundation, as it is based on Jane Austen’s novel “Emma”. Full of witty lines and outrageous 90s fashion, this film will have you laughing from start to finish.

Glamorous high school girl Cher decides to help her new friend, Tai, gain popularity, but in doing so makes some serious errors. As she attempts to find a boyfriend for herself and a boyfriend for Tai, she fails to see what is right under her nose.

Amélie (2001)

This is an eccentric and whimsical French film, in which the eponymous character is portrayed by Audrey Tautou.

Amélie is a lonely girl whose parents have protected her from the world, meaning that she finds it difficult to interact with others. When she discovers a box of childhood memorabilia which was hidden by a boy many years ago, she becomes determined to return the box to him. Following a trail of clues to find the boy she seeks, she also encounters many other lost souls who need her help.

About Time (2013)

Combining Richard Curtis’s unique style, and elements of science fiction, About Time is a heart-warming comedy about making the most of the life you have.

Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is looking for love, but has not yet had any success. His father (Bill Nighy) reveals that the men in his family have the ability to travel in time, so Tim decides to use this power to find a girlfriend. In his attempts to meet the woman of his dreams, and build a life of his own, he discovers the importance of living in the moment.

The Duke of Burgundy (2014)

This dreamy art house film looks at love in a different way to many other movies.

The story follows a pair of female lepidopterists who have an intense, ritualistic relationship. The balance of power between them shifts throughout the film, leading to tension and arguments. As they attempt to reconcile their differing expectations of a relationship, will the two resolve their differences, or fall back into the same patterns?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MADDY SEARLE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365962.1487063735!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365962.1487063735!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Audrey Tautou stars as the eponymous Amelie. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Audrey Tautou stars as the eponymous Amelie. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365962.1487063735!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365963.1487063737!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365963.1487063737!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365963.1487063737!/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/news/opinion/brian-ferguson-festivals-must-not-fear-loss-of-new-town-venues-1-4365580","id":"1.4365580","articleHeadline": "Brian Ferguson: Festivals must not fear loss of New Town venues","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487002756000 ,"articleLead": "

If you have seen the film, you will know the line by now: “First there was an opportunity… then there was a betrayal.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365579.1487002744!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Edinburgh Book Festival has been asked to reduce its impact on Charlotte Square's gardens: Picture: Phil Wilkinson"} ,"articleBody": "

It’s the clever tagline for the T2 Trainspotting sequel that is woven into the plot of Danny Boyle’s movie. Those words have refused to leave my mind since I first saw T2 nearly a month ago – and it’s not just down to the lingering aftereffects of Boyle’s film.

I wrote in this very slot three weeks ago of how T2 offered much food for thought on whether Edinburgh had changed for the better or worse in the two decades since the original ground-breaking movie was released. I pondered then about the creeping gentrification of parts of Leith as well as the regeneration revolution which had swept sections of the city centre.

I thought it telling that a sleek cocktail bar on St Andrew Square was the setting of Mark Renton’s updated “Choose Life” rant against the ills of modern society. A few days later I sat through a couple of presentations on two ongoing developments changing the face of Edinburgh.

By coincidence, both are a swift Renton-style dash from the scene of his latest rant, on the top floor of the Harvey Nichols department store.

The audience of tourism industry delegates would undoubtedly have been impressed by news of the impending Registers and St James developments. Shiny new department stores, luxury apartments, exclusive hotels, chain restaurants and even more cocktail bars are the stuff of dreams for an industry fearful about the impact of Brexit. In the audience was Festivals Edinburgh director Julia Amour, who is tasked with overseeing the wellbeing of the city’s major events in their 70th birthday year. I wonder if she had an inkling of looming trouble for the Fringe on the doorstep of these developments – or concerns at the other end of the George Street which are exercising the minds of those in charge of the book festival.

It is less than a decade since St Andrew Square Garden was opened to the public for the first time in more than 230 years following a £2.6 million makeover. In recent years the popular public space has become one of the city’s major outdoor arenas for festival events. During the summer it has provided one of the main counter-weights to the temporary venues created around Edinburgh University’s campus, south of the Royal Mile Fringe heartland. And it has led the expansion of the city’s winter festivals through the New Town in recent years.

Yet the square’s owners, who include Standard Life Investments and RBS, want to clamp down on events and return the square to a haven of peace and tranquillity, rather than a muddy field. It is understandable promoters who have developed events in the square are furious at having a race against the clock to find an alternative space for the 70th anniversary season.

The book festival is in a similar pickle over Charlotte Square, where new owners who have taken over 21 townhouses in recent years are unhappy that the garden is pretty much unusable by anyone else outwith August. For the moment at least the owners are content for the festival to stay in Charlotte Square, as long as its impact is curtailed. A task that is likely to be easier said than done may rely on finding a permanent home for some of its venues on George Street.

Edinburgh’s festivals and events have evolved gradually over the last 70 years and have arguably never been in a stronger position.

But as they turn 70 it is obvious that great care must be taken to ensure they are not in any way diminished in the name of progress around them.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4365579.1487002744!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4365579.1487002744!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Edinburgh Book Festival has been asked to reduce its impact on Charlotte Square's gardens: Picture: Phil Wilkinson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Edinburgh Book Festival has been asked to reduce its impact on Charlotte Square's gardens: Picture: Phil Wilkinson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4365579.1487002744!/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/incredible-string-band-s-rise-from-edinburgh-pubs-to-woodstock-1-4364383","id":"1.4364383","articleHeadline": "Incredible String Band’s rise from Edinburgh pubs to Woodstock","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1486851318000 ,"articleLead": "

Formed in a smoky Edinburgh pub at the height of the Swinging Sixties, they were to become one of Scotland’s most groundbreaking and successful musical acts.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4364382.1486847813!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left, Clive Palmer, Mike Heron and Robin Williamson put on a street performance back in the early years of the Incredible String Band"} ,"articleBody": "

The unique psychedelic sound of the Incredible String Band inspired the likes of The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin.

And their unique mix of folk, pop, blues, rock and world music, still revered by critics for being way ahead of its time, won millions of fans around the world as 13 albums were produced in the space of nine years. When they split up in 1974 there would be a 23-year hiatus before they performed under the ISB banner again.

Now, half a century after its formation, the memoirs of Mike Heron, one of the founders of the group which emerged from the melting pot of Edinburgh’s folk scene in 1965, are set to shed new light on the celebrated group.

He has joined forces with author Andrew Greig to tell the story of the early days of the band, who famously played Woodstock along with The Who, and Jimi Hendrix.

The book, You Know What You Could Be, recounts Heron rebelling against his strict private school upbringing at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh, where his father was a teacher, to pursue a passion for music.

The Ramjets, which Heron formed with schoolmates Alan Coventry and Atty Watson, made their debut in the school playground performing Buddy Holly’s That’ll Be The Day.

By the time he formed his next band, Rock Bottom and the Deadbeats, he was subscribing to an American folk audio-tape service, which introduced him to the sounds of Woody Guthrie and the Carter Family.

He writes: “Here I am living with my parents in a stifling, middle-class part of Edinburgh and every month an alien and strangely stamped package travels halfway round the world to clunk through the letterbox. I grab it and rush to the Grundig: cowboys, dusty vistas, secret pickings and tunings, coyotes, yodelling hobos, shady groves and, above all, weirdness. I want in.”

However, Heron’s parents had other ideas and, dismayed at his lack of interest in lessons, found him a job as a trainee accountant. But Heron, who has been drawn into the 1960s drug culture prevalent on the Edinburgh folk scene was thrown out of his home when he announced he had quit.

But his life was transformed within a year after Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer, two regular performers at The Crown bar, on Lothian Street, asked him to audition for a new trio they were forming to play a mix of “British folk, bluegrass, Edwardian banjo, old-timey Americana, jug band music and vaudeville.”

Writing about their early gigs, Heron says: “Here we were in the middle of the folk revival, preaching to the converted, and I loved it.”

When Palmer moved to Glasgow and set up an all-night folk club in a disused office on Sauchiehall Street in 1966, word began to spread about the new Incredible String Band. It was closed by the police by the time Elektra Records talent scout Joe Boyd turned up to see them, but he managed to track them down and persuaded them to record an album in London over a weekend. Heron writes: “The whole process was, for me, revelatory.”

The trio broke up shortly after recording the album when Palmer left Scotland for Afghanistan and India, and Williamson set off for Morocco. But when the latter returned he and Heron started playing together again.

Their best-known albums produced over the next few years included The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter, The 5000 Spirits Or The Layers Of The Onion, and Wee Tam And The Big Huge. After dwindling album sales, Williamson and Heron finally disbanded the group in 1974, although a series of ISB comeback concerts were staged in the late-1990s and early-2000s.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BRIAN FERGUSON
"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4364382.1486847813!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4364382.1486847813!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "From left, Clive Palmer, Mike Heron and Robin Williamson put on a street performance back in the early years of the Incredible String Band","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left, Clive Palmer, Mike Heron and Robin Williamson put on a street performance back in the early years of the Incredible String Band","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4364382.1486847813!/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/edinburgh-nightclub-clears-dancefloor-to-become-part-of-ragged-university-1-4364357","id":"1.4364357","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh nightclub clears dancefloor to become part of Ragged University","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1486848036000 ,"articleLead": "

It is one of Edinburgh’s most popular nightclubs, with clubbers forming lengthy queues into the early hours to enjoy live music in its Old Town basement vaults.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4364356.1486848023!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Events manager Mariusz Bogacki at Cabaret Voltaire, which is linking up with the Ragged University. Picture: Neil Hanna"} ,"articleBody": "

But now Cabaret Voltaire is revamping itself along the lines of many European nightclubs and branching out with the pioneering Ragged University educational movement to host a free showing of the Ken Loach movie I, Daniel Blake about a man caught up in welfare bureaucracy.

The move is part of an initiative flourishing in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Budapest where nightclubs are increasingly becoming social spaces during the day and early evenings for community events such as arts and craft sessions and yoga classes.

The club has already established weekly classes including a “Say it Ain’t Sew” class for craft sewing, a yoga class set to deep house music and the All The Young Nudes life drawing class.

Mariusz Bogacki, the club’s events coordinator, said he wanted to transform the club from a place where clubbers “not only come to get drinking, but to debate too”, and throw open the venue to local people and the community.

“I’ve been employed to turn the venue into more than a club, and want it to be a social space to reignite the feeling of community. This is an unusual idea for Edinburgh but it is happening in many other European cities,” Bogacki said.

“The Old Town has been revived with a lot of gentrification. There are new venues popping up on every corner but there’s been nothing which really brings all people, different sorts and ages, together.

“What I want to do is reignite this feeling of community, break boundaries and influence students and clubbers to see the venue in a different way.

“I’m a big fan of Alex Dunedin and his project the Ragged University. It’s great and fits in with what we want to do.

“We talked about I, Daniel Blake in January and I thought it would be ideal to screen at the club. It fits in with the current climate of austerity, rising flat prices and student debt.”

Dunedin, the man behind the “Ragged Uni” – free education in contemporary locations – is a former homeless alcoholic and drug addict who said he went to nightclubs and all-night parties so he could finish off people’s drinks and keep warm.

The non-profit Ragged University is the modern-day take on the Ragged Schools movement, which included Brechin-born Thomas Guthrie, who in 1847 opened the first Ragged School in Free St John’s Church, Castlehill, in Edinburgh, for destitute pupils.

“When you’re homeless you’ve got 24 hours to fill and you’ve always got to blend in. I spent a lot of time at parties. The clubbing and pub scene are other places where you find the hospitality of strangers,” said Dunedin, who left school at age 16 with no formal qualifications.

Six years ago Dunedin, 40, founded the non-profit Ragged University after hearing about the Ragged Schools movement from two former Edinburgh teachers, Eileen Broughton and Roy Wilsher.

It now attracts a range of speakers from university lecturers to artists and 
poets sharing their expertise at pubs, cafes and village halls, at free events dubbed “TED talks for ordinary people”.

Money raised at the Cabaret Voltaire screening on 23 February, starting at 7pm, will be donated to food banks. The evening includes a discussion about benefits sanctions with Mike Cormack of the Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SHN ROSS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4364356.1486848023!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4364356.1486848023!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Events manager Mariusz Bogacki at Cabaret Voltaire, which is linking up with the Ragged University. Picture: Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Events manager Mariusz Bogacki at Cabaret Voltaire, which is linking up with the Ragged University. Picture: Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4364356.1486848023!/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/gig-review-ben-watt-1-4363629","id":"1.4363629","articleHeadline": "Gig review: Ben Watt","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1486796400000 ,"articleLead": "


","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4363628.1486744976!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ben Watt"} ,"articleBody": "

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh


Fending off the usual requests for more as he announced the show was coming to an end, Ben Watt pointed out a fact which is easy to forget. “I’ve only ever made two albums, come on,” he laughed. “Well, maybe three…” Under his own name, he’s responsible only for 2014’s Hendra and last year’s Fever Dream, plus 1983’s North Marine Drive. Yet his career is far more deep-rooted than that; for nearly two decades he and his wife Tracey Thorn were Everything But the Girl, and he’s worked as a DJ and label owner as well.

It’s unsurprising, then, that this low-key show was vibrant in its confident, assured production and playing, but what was surprising was just how suited to the role of frontman Watt is. His voice rarely featured on EBTG tracks, and he recounted how Thorn once had to convince him to play a song he wrote for her. In this context, however, the careworn, piano-led Rollercoaster resonated with his own lived experience.

Foregoing the live band he had formed with his friend Bernard Butler, Watt appeared here alongside Laura Marling’s double bassist Rex Horan, the simplicity of the set-up creating a chimingly intimate feel. He remembered family, including – with huge poignancy – his late half-sister Jennie and her bereaved husband in the gorgeous diptych of Hendra and The Levels. Watt’s voice and guitar-playing are mournful and reflective, but buried deep there’s a resolute enthusiasm for life, and a sense of hope which flowered fully during the closing Spring. His own late blooming as a solo artist is extremely welcome.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Pollock"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4363628.1486744976!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4363628.1486744976!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ben Watt","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ben Watt","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4363628.1486744976!/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-susan-tomes-1-4363627","id":"1.4363627","articleHeadline": "Music review: Susan Tomes","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1486796400000 ,"articleLead": "


","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4363626.1486744917!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Susan Tomes and the book jacket to accompany the review of Sleeping in Temples."} ,"articleBody": "

Susan Tomes – Piano Recital

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh


This was a beautifully conceived, brilliantly executed programme by a pianist who combines a rock solid technique with a rare ability to communicate her deep understanding of the music she plays. With little fuss, Susan Tomes distils the essence of a piece of music into its purest form in the most profound and moving way. Debussy’s Preludes Book 2 is inspired by a delightful mix of the mundane and fantastical. Like a sound colourist, Tomes brought these 12 sketches vividly to life, from Peter Pan’s dancing fairies to circus jugglers and the more abstract moonlight, mist and fireworks. She also highlighted Debussy’s fascination with peripheral action, the splashes of tumbling notes that twinkle like stars in the distance.

Schubert’s Impromptus No 2 in G flat and No 3 in A flat are familiar repertoire staples, but Tomes unveiled them as if fresh off the page. It was the same for one of Beethoven’s most emotionally intense late sonatas, Op 109 in E major. Totally deaf, the composer was obsessed with Bach, from a religious and musical viewpoint, which influenced the structure and form of the sonata. The deceptively simple theme in the first movement belies a moody undercurrent which rises to the surface every so often and lets off steam in the edgy prestissimo. However, it was the rhapsodic Sarabande with its variations that danced under Tomes’ fingers. It concluded with a repetition of the theme, the final chord pedaled into heartbreaking infinity.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Susan Nickalls"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4363626.1486744917!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4363626.1486744917!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Susan Tomes and the book jacket to accompany the review of Sleeping in Temples.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Susan Tomes and the book jacket to accompany the review of Sleeping in Temples.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4363626.1486744917!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}