{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"whatson","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/regions/edinburgh-fife-lothians/global-festivals-celebration-to-mark-edinburgh-fringe-s-70th-birthday-1-4428520","id":"1.4428520","articleHeadline": "Global festivals celebration to mark Edinburgh Fringe's 70th birthday","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493140152257 ,"articleLead": "A global celebration of festivals is to be staged for 24 hours in the run-up to the 70th anniversary Edinburgh Fringe - in a bit to emulate the worldwide buzz generated by St Patrick’s Day and Burns Night.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428629.1493140153!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A specially-branded open top bus was unveiled today to coincide with the World Fringe Day launch."} ,"articleBody": "

More than 200 “open access” events as far afield as Canada, South Africa and Australia are expected to unite to help mark their Scottish roots.

A key element of World Fringe Day, which will be held on 11 July and could become an annual event, will be to highlight Edinburgh as the “birthplace” of the fringe festival.

Organisers say the international celebration will “transcend national boundaries, demonstrating the power of arts and culture to bring people together.”

The campaign, which is being backed to the tune of £100,000 by the Scottish Government, is expected to see special live events staged in dozens of participating cities, as well as in Edinburgh.

Messages of goodwill are expected to be sent to the Scottish capital from across the world, while performers, producers, venues and festival-goers will be urged to join a social media drive aimed at spreading “the collective power and worldwide reach of Fringe movement.”

The campaign will recall the 1947 origins of the Scottish event, which was famously instigated by artists and companies who were not invited to take part in the first Edinburgh International Festival.

World Fringe Day, which was launched by Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop and Fringe chief executive Shona McCarthy in Edinburgh, will be staged less than a month before thousands of performers descend on the Scottish capital for this year’s Fringe.

A specially branded open-top bus which will be part of the 30-strong Edinburgh Bus Tours fleet was also unveiled to coincide with the launch of the campaign at The Mound.

Ms McCarthy, who was appointed last year, said: “We’re thrilled to reveal the plans for the first ever World Fringe Day.

“We can’t wait to join with our sister Fringes across the world to celebrate the wonder and joy of fringe festivals in this auspicious year.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Fringe organisers, venues, participants and audiences to take part in a truly international celebration of creativity that will transcend national boundaries, demonstrating the power of arts and culture to bring people together.

“We hope as many people as possible will join us for a very special day of worldwide fringe fun, as we celebrate 70 years of Fringe and pay homage to Scotland as the birthplace of the Fringe movement.”

Ms Hyslop said: “World Fringe Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the global connections that Scotland has made through the arts.

“Edinburgh’s festivals are world renowned and it is remarkable to think that the fringe movement, that began here in 1947 with the founding of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, has developed into a worldwide network with Fringes now taking place on every continent except Antarctica.

“The Scottish Government is proud to support World Fringe Day, acknowledging Scotland as the home of fringe and joining with the many other wonderful fringe festivals around the world for an international day of celebration.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4428629.1493140153!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428629.1493140153!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A specially-branded open top bus was unveiled today to coincide with the World Fringe Day launch.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A specially-branded open top bus was unveiled today to coincide with the World Fringe Day launch.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4428629.1493140153!/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/scots-piping-star-s-secret-five-year-battle-with-medical-condition-1-4428452","id":"1.4428452","articleHeadline": "Scots piping star's secret five-year battle with medical condition","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493099412468 ,"articleLead": "One of Scotland’s most successful pipers may be forced to give up playing the instrument - by a rare neurological condition.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428451.1493099204!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Gillespie has been the lead piper with Skerryvore since helping to form the band in Tiree in 2005."} ,"articleBody": "

Martin Gillespie, a founder member of multi award-winning festival favourites Skerryvore, has revealed he has been fighting a secret five-year battle against focal hand dystonia.

Gillespie, whose condition causes involuntary contractions, spasms and discomfort in the hands, has played across Europe, the Middle East, China and the US with the band.

But he has announced he has stepped down from his role as the main piper in the band, named live act of the year in the 2016 Scots Trad Music Awards, ahead of its next tour.

Skerryvore have been one of the leading bands in the Scottish folk scene for more than a decade and have been the driving force behind two major events - the Tiree Music Festival and Oban Live. Among the major overseas events they have played at have been Tartan Week in New York and the Ryder Cup in Kentucky.

The group, which was formed by Gillespie and his brother Daniel 12 years ago on the Hebridean island of Tiree, has gigs lined up in the Netherlands and Germany in the next few months, as well as festival appearances in Glenlivet, Oban, Killin and Stornoway.

The band has recruited a new piper, Scott Wood, due to the impact of Gillespie’s condition, sometimes known as “musician’s cramp, on his performances.

In a statement, the band said Gillespie had already been receiving “advice and support” from Stuart Cassells, founder and frontman of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, who quit piping six years ago after being affected by the same condition.

Symptoms include reduced precision when playing, loss of control of the hand, and fingers sticking or curling.

Gillespie, 32, said: “I’ve had problems for around five years. They’ve gradually been getting worse and I actually gave up playing completely for a few months at the beginning of 2015 to work with a specialist physiotherapist who’s studied focal dystonia in-depth.

“I’ve tried loads of things, including having x-rays getting botox, seeing a chiropractor, taking different medication and hypnotherapy, but nothing seems to have improved it or stopped it. Things have just got worse.

“I hadn’t really heard about the condition until Stuart was affected by it. Since it happened to me it’s amazing how many people I’ve heard about but nobody really seems to talk about it. Musicians don’t want to show a weakness.

“Sometimes I’m alright, but on other days my hand just cramps and it can be a nightmare getting through a gig. We’ve actually had to get someone else to play the pipes on our last few albums to make sure it’s to the right standard. I’ve loved being on stage and being involved with the band, but when you’re not enjoying it it all becomes too much.”

Gillespie revealed he had decided to step down completely from Skerryvore earlier this year, but was persuaded to keep touring, playing mainly accordion and whistle, and making only occasional appearances on the pipes.

He added: “I made a decision to stop playing completely with the band earlier this year, but the other boys want me to still be involved, as I’ve been involved with Skerryvore for the last 12 years.

“We’re going to keep going until the end of the year and see how it goes.

“I may have to give up playing the pipes completely. I don’t think I would even play for a friend’s wedding now as I sometimes struggle with the basics. It’s demoralising.

“You will get away with it a lot of the time because a lot of people don’t understand the movements and the technique involved. But you know yourself and you know if there are other pipers there they will know as well. It kind of eats away at you.

“It’s been absolute torture at times over the last few years, especially if you know something is being recorded for TV or radio. The more nervous you get the worse it gets. If you are playing outside and it is really cold it can be 10 times worse.

“It’s been ongoing for me for a while, but for the last year I’ve known I had to make a decision. It has affected me as a person and it’s affected the band as we’re not as good as we should be.

“We’ve had Scott in working on our new album for the last few weeks and he has been incredible. I’ve written a lot of the tunes for the album, but I can’t play them the way they should be played.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4428451.1493099204!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428451.1493099204!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Martin Gillespie has been the lead piper with Skerryvore since helping to form the band in Tiree in 2005.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Gillespie has been the lead piper with Skerryvore since helping to form the band in Tiree in 2005.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4428451.1493099204!/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-eugene-kelly-1-4429342","id":"1.4429342","articleHeadline": "Music review: Eugene Kelly","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493144312000 ,"articleLead": "

“I usually have someone standing next to me for this one,” indicated Eugene Kelly; literally, his right arm raised almost as though it were around an invisible partner. Of course he’s talking about Frances McKee, his partner for three years in the late 1980s and for nearly the last decade in the Vaselines, to not inconsiderable cult success. “Francis and Eugene,” he sighed, “like Ant and Dec. She’s always there.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4429341.1493144308!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Eugene Kelly"} ,"articleBody": "

Eugene Kelly ***

Summerhall, Edinburgh

Except this time she wasn’t. This set was all Kelly, with just an acoustic guitar, a mouth organ and support act Dan Willson, aka Withered Hand, for company, and the effect was that some of the most anticipated songs here lost a little for his comrade’s absence.

In the absence of McKee’s choral voice and deadpan sarcasm, Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam and Molly’s Lips turned only on Kelly’s particularly Glaswegian vocal fusion of warmth and encroaching bitterness. Yet the intimacy of the setting also allowed his cultured ability as a lyricist and songwriter to shine through, and not just on Vaselines tracks like the above and the brisk Son of a Gun.

Kelly’s post-Vaselines band Eugenius were represented by Flame On, and there were theatrical compositions from Michael Pederson and Alan Bissett’s political play Parley For Power (which uniquely comprised audience-participatory dog-woofing) and the 2014 Commonwealth Games’ community production Sports Day.

He fronted up to the possibly misogynist overtones of Stop the Press (sample line: “I kissed a girl just to shut her up”) with a detailed story of its origin, and dived into yearning ecological mode with Dear John, each track a clockwork-precise example of a writer investing much of themselves in a song without forgetting to write a good tune.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Pollock"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4429341.1493144308!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4429341.1493144308!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Eugene Kelly","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Eugene Kelly","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4429341.1493144308!/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/classical-review-the-rsno-and-thomas-s-ndergard-1-4429338","id":"1.4429338","articleHeadline": "Classical review: The RSNO and Thomas Sndergrd","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493143862000 ,"articleLead": "

Thomas Søndergård exercises a magic touch with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Of all its regular conductors – he is principal guest – he is the one who makes this orchestra really live, responding to his un-showy authority with tangible passion and corporate vitality.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4429343.1493144417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The RSNO's Principal Guest Conductor Thomas S�nderg�rd PIC: Andy Buchanan"} ,"articleBody": "

The RSNO and Thomas Søndergård ****

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Nowhere was that more evident in Saturday’s brief programme than in the closing performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No 1. Søndergård’s brisk and no-nonsense vision was one thing, but in response his orchestra reacted decisively and viscerally. The string sound was rich but thrillingly precise, the wind and brass matching that with the most cohesive playing they’ve produced all season, all of that flamboyantly underpinned by the super-incendiary delivery of the evening’s timpanist.

For Søndergård, every single note mattered, from crystal clear inner lines, to such detailed subtleties as the opening of the finale, its simple teasing introduction laced with unexpected pleasures.

This Beethoven was the pinnacle of a fulfilling programme that had journeyed via two Sibelius orchestral poems – Finlandia and The Oceanides – and Mahler’s characterful Des Knaben Wunderhorn settings, with baritone soloist Roderick Williams.

Williams approached the Mahler songs with simplicity, wit and affection, a performance lifted by the sparkle of the orchestral colourings, though his connection with the audience would have been more fully engaging had he dispensed with the written score.

In both Sibelius pieces, Søndergård was drawn to the raw, obsessive temperament that often defines this composer, imbuing the performances with darkened euphoria and subversive resilience.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ken Walton"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4429343.1493144417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4429343.1493144417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The RSNO's Principal Guest Conductor Thomas S�nderg�rd PIC: Andy Buchanan","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The RSNO's Principal Guest Conductor Thomas S�nderg�rd PIC: Andy Buchanan","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4429343.1493144417!/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/8-scottish-castles-from-film-and-television-1-4429230","id":"1.4429230","articleHeadline": "8 Scottish castles from film and television","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493136605000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland has no shortage of picturesque castles and imposing towers, so it’s no surprise that a great many of them have featured on the TV screen or silver screen. We’ve picked out eight of the more recognisable film star fortresses around the country.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4429229.1493136603!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) and Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) pictured in front of Castle Leoch (in reality, Doune Castle). Picture: Starz"} ,"articleBody": "

How many have you seen on screen?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4429229.1493136603!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4429229.1493136603!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) and Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) pictured in front of Castle Leoch (in reality, Doune Castle). Picture: Starz","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) and Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) pictured in front of Castle Leoch (in reality, Doune Castle). Picture: Starz","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4429229.1493136603!/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/colossal-clansman-launches-piping-hot-summer-in-glasgow-1-4428943","id":"1.4428943","articleHeadline": "Colossal clansman launches piping hot summer in Glasgow","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493126864000 ,"articleLead": "

THE world’s biggest week of piping – Piping Live! and The Worlds – to return to Glasgow

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428942.1493126863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Piping Live! is launched in Glasgow with massive 23ft mural. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The landscape of Glasgow Green has changed with a giant 23ft piper mural, known as The Colossal Clansman, popping up in the park – announcing that Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival and The World Pipe Band Championships are returning to the city.

READ MORE: The world’s largest piping family - official

The event, from 7–13 August, will see over 50,000 music fans, families and tourists flock to Glasgow to enjoy 200 events and 8,000 performers throughout the week.

The Colossal Clansman was created using a remarkable 6 miles of fabric - the same amount it takes to kit out the 23 participating Piping Live! bands and 21 competing in Grade 1 qualifiers of The World Pipe Band Championships.

The 7m by 4m portrait, made by Glasgow artist, Bruno Gallagher, was created to showcase the grand scale of both events, which annually attract thousands of visitors from across the globe to the city.

Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival Glasgow International Piping Festival is the biggest festival of its kind in the world and the week-long celebrations will see over 200 events take place in various venues across the city from 7 – 13 August.

Its diverse programme is famed for bringing the best pipers and pipe bands in the world to Glasgow and 2017 is set to be just as outstanding, with acts including Peatbog Faeries, Battlefield Band and Tejedor topping the bill and many more to be announced in coming weeks.

The programme will also see performances by the very best international acts from countries such as Estonia, Argentina, Canada, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Australia and Italy, as well as numerous events including the fiercely contested Master Solo, International Quartet and Pipe Idol competitions.

Throughout the week there will be daily performances and family fun in George Square, the festival’s city centre hub, as well as recitals, book launches and the hugely popular Street Café at The National Piping Centre.

The hugely popular Pipers’ Market will also return this year to George Square, bringing with it some of Scotland’s very best food and drink, as well as craft stalls for everyone to enjoy.

Roddy MacLeod, Festival Director of Piping Live! said: “Last year’s festival was all about celebrating bagpipes being at the heart of life’s moments that matter and this certainly resonated with people, as we celebrated a record-breaking number of attendees at Piping Live!.

“As well as selling more tickets than ever before, the festival had an economic impact of £2.3 million to Glasgow, which is just incredible. This year we are continuing to celebrate how piping and its music brings people together, with a diverse programme of events gathering the world’s best pipers and traditional musicians to the city.

“There really is something for everyone at Piping Live! – so make sure you come along and help make 2017 another record year for the festival.”

READ MORE: Plans unveiled to repopulate Skye crofting village

The World Pipe Band Championships will return to Glasgow Green on 11 and 12 August.

This year it celebrates its 70th anniversary, with the first ever World Pipe Band Championships being held at Murrayfield in Edinburgh in 1947. The event was first held in Glasgow in 1948 and has been staged in the city continuously since 1986.

Known affectionately as The Worlds, they’re hailed as the pinnacle of competitive Pipe Band competition and are organised on behalf of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association by the City of Glasgow. This year, the Worlds will be part of the celebrations for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

This year, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Northern Ireland defends the title they reclaimed last year.

The band has been World Champions five times in the last six years.

In recent years, over 225 bands have travelled from all over the world, bringing around 8000 pipers and drummers to compete in eight grades for the world title. Entries for this year’s event are open and the final list of participants will be confirmed six weeks before the championships.

Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association said: “The World Pipe Band Championships has developed and changed throughout its history but at its core the challenge to Pipe Bands is still the same.

“They spend months rehearsing for their shot at the World Title, all the time searching for the perfect performance that will show off their full talent as a band.

“A day out at the Worlds is to experience a unique showcase of Scottish culture but also to enjoy musicianship and teamwork of extraordinary quality. There is nothing quite like it.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Piping Live! and The World Pipe Band Championships, with both events attracting the best piping talent from around the world.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and it is fitting in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology that Glasgow continues to host these two wonderful international events, which truly showcase Scotland’s heritage and cultural offering.”

Tickets for Piping Live! are on sale now via www.pipinglive.co.uk

Tickets for The Worlds are available now via www.theworlds.co.uk or 0141 353 8000

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALISTAIR MUNRO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4428942.1493126863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428942.1493126863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Piping Live! is launched in Glasgow with massive 23ft mural. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Piping Live! is launched in Glasgow with massive 23ft mural. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4428942.1493126863!/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-the-unthanks-1-4428948","id":"1.4428948","articleHeadline": "Music review: The Unthanks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493126592000 ,"articleLead": "

How to make public performance from essentially private poetry and song? The Unthanks – singing Geordie sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank and pianist Adrian McNally, here with a café-orchestra accompaniment from bassist Chris Price, violinist Niopha Keegan and Faye MacCalman on clarinet and saxophone – have risen to the challenge by turning their distinctively ethereal Tyneside melancholia on songs and poetry written and home-recorded by a mother in the 1950s.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428947.1493126590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Unthanks"} ,"articleBody": "

The Unthanks: How Wild the Wind Blows ***

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

That she happened to be the late Molly Drake, mother of tragically short-lived singer-songwriter Nick, brings a trolley load of bitter­sweet baggage. From a stage set cosily with wicker chairs, table lamps and screens for back-projected images, the songs were interspersed deftly with recorded readings of her wry, whimsical and sometimes profoundly-questioning poetry, pre-recorded by actress Gabrielle Drake, Nick’s sister.

Some songs were little more than fragments, but the Unthanks’ tremulous harmonies brought sharp poignancy to the introductory How Wild the Wind Blows and to the winsome First Day.

Was Molly’s wry Poor Mum (a haunting a cappella performance) a rejoinder to her son’s Poor Boy? Certainly some spoken lines seemed a bitter response to her son’s death at the age of 26.

Occasionally their breathily sombre delivery risked dreariness, but the closing Do You Ever Remember, performed to fleeting footage of Molly with an infant Nick, couldn’t be anything other than heart-rending, while Becky’s beautifully cadenced delivery of Nick Drake’s River Man was an encore tour de force.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jim Gilchrist"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4428947.1493126590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428947.1493126590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Unthanks","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Unthanks","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4428947.1493126590!/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/dance-reviews-scottish-ballet-s-each-other-mark-murphy-s-v-tol-out-of-this-world-1-4428907","id":"1.4428907","articleHeadline": "Dance reviews: Scottish Ballet’s Each Other & Mark Murphy’s V-TOL: Out of this World","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493125015000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s not unheard of for a ballet company to bring a tear to the eye. A tender pas de deux, emotive death scene or moment of sheer beauty can do it. None of which are evident in Scottish Ballet’s latest work, created by choreographic duo Uri Ivgi and Johan Greben. Instead, Each Other touches us in other ways, tapping into our very human need to belong. Hailing from Israel and the Netherlands respectively, Ivgi and Greben were inspired by worldwide tensions born out of intolerance and fear. The walls and borders that separate us, existing or planned, are replicated by shoes – two tonnes of them, sculpted into piles by the dancers to form partitions or islands.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428906.1493125011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Each Other by Scottish Ballet, choreographed by Israeli-Dutch duo Ivgi & Greben."} ,"articleBody": "

Scottish Ballet: Each Other ****

Tramway, Glasgow

Mark Murphy’s V-TOL: Out of this World ****

Macrobert, Stirling

Watching them communicate from opposing sides is deeply moving, their bodies throwing pain, desperation, confusion and hope across the divide, quicker and more effectively than words could. There’s no need for translation here, this is a global language and the 17 dancers speak it fluently.

Each shoe, we are to assume, represents the human who once wore it, provoking untold stories in our head beyond the ones we witness on stage. All of which would be emotional enough, but when the dancers start to move in tight unison, the piece really takes flight.

Powerful, exciting, engaging and thought-provoking, Each Other is as far removed from pointe shoes and tutus as Scottish Ballet has ever gone, and they wear it well. The only issue here is length – shave ten minutes off, and the piece would be just about perfect.

It’s 16 years since Mark

Murphy created a show under the V-TOL banner, during which time he’s been directing large-scale projects like the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony. The experience gathered in those intervening years are evident in Out of this World, a medical drama with a difference.

Something is clearly wrong with Ellen; her head hurts, random conversations keep being replayed, and a stranger has booked her a plane ticket to an undisclosed destination. Her only saving grace is husband Antony, who appears at regular intervals to deliver much-needed love and support.

If all this sounds a little surreal, it’s because everything we see is taking place inside Ellen’s head, while she’s in a medically induced coma.

This is a conceit which gives Murphy licence to use all manner of theatrical devices, including dynamic aerial choreography and incredible digital imagery, to tell her tale.

On a very surface level, there is much to enjoy here – the pace rarely drops, there is always something visually stimulating to look at, and the performances are strong (Sarah Swire, in particular, is a powerhouse as the troubled Ellen). But Out of this World strives for something much deeper than spectacle – it makes a play for our hearts, and wins.

At the core of this drama lies a loving relationship, a heart-breaking decision and a reminder of just how fragile life is.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Kelly Apter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4428906.1493125011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428906.1493125011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Each Other by Scottish Ballet, choreographed by Israeli-Dutch duo Ivgi & Greben.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Each Other by Scottish Ballet, choreographed by Israeli-Dutch duo Ivgi & Greben.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4428906.1493125011!/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-monstrous-bodies-1-4428897","id":"1.4428897","articleHeadline": "Theatre review: Monstrous Bodies","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493124733000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s almost 35 years since Liz Lochhead launched her remarkable playwriting career with Blood And Ice, a play inspired by the extraordinary life and imagination of the woman who wrote Frankenstein, Mary Shelley. And now, out of the darkness of Dundee Rep’s beautiful, sweeping stage, comes another magnificent Shelley-inspired drama about the unending struggle for women’s rights and self-determination – a struggle which 200 years ago shaped the lives of Mary Shelley and her remarkable mother, the campaigner and writer Mary Wollstonecraft, and which continues unabated today, when despite so many gains over the last century, young women face brand new hazards of online abuse and hatred.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428896.1493124731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Billy Mack as William Thomas Baxter and Irene MacDougall (as Marianne Baxter) in Monstrous Bodies at Dundee Rep. PIC: Jane Hobson."} ,"articleBody": "

Monstrous Bodies ****

Dundee Rep

So Sandy Thomson’s powerful and fascinating new play – co-produced by Dundee Rep and Thomson’s own company, Poorboy Ensemble – intertwines two stories. One is based on the period in 1812 when young Mary Shelley, then aged 14 and still known as Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, came to Dundee to live for a while with the wealthy but radical Baxter family. The other is the fictional but well-researched story of a 21st century Dundee teenager, Roxanne. She is preparing to give a school talk on Mary Shelley when her life is derailed by a popular leader of “lad” culture in her class, who takes a semi-naked photograph of her unconscious after a drunken party, and posts it on social media.

The scene is therefore set for a rich, passionate and sometimes slightly mind-blowing theatre experience, as the young Mary joins her kind and motherly Dundee hostess Marianne Baxter, eloquently played by the great Irene Macdougall, in fighting the pompous and sometimes deadly patriarchal arrogance that surrounds female lives in the early 19th century, while 21st century Roxanne searches desperately for the inner strength to fight the sense of humiliation and worthlessness created by internet bullying.

Thomson, who also directs, uses all the resources of theatre to ­dazzling effect, washing the stage with fiercely contrasting lighting states and rowdy feminist rock music, and deploying a cast of 11, plus 15 young performers from the Rep’s Young Company, in explosive dance sequences by Emma Jane Park that range from the slightly intrusive to the absolutely brilliant. And if the alternations between one story and another sometimes seem exhausting – and the Mary Shelley story is too melodramatic towards the end – Monstrous Bodies remains a breathtakingly ambitious piece of contemporary theatre, sustained by two magnificent central performances from Eilidh McCormick as Mary and Rebekah Lumsden as Roxanne, ruthlessly honest about the physical reality of women’s lives, and memorably courageous in facing the demons and dragons of misogyny that have been laid low by so many brave feminist fighters through the ages, but that still return in every generation, to be confronted again.

*Until 6 May

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4428896.1493124731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4428896.1493124731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Billy Mack as William Thomas Baxter and Irene MacDougall (as Marianne Baxter) in Monstrous Bodies at Dundee Rep. PIC: Jane Hobson.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Billy Mack as William Thomas Baxter and Irene MacDougall (as Marianne Baxter) in Monstrous Bodies at Dundee Rep. PIC: Jane Hobson.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4428896.1493124731!/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-interview-richard-jobson-on-reforming-the-skids-40-years-on-we-stopped-when-we-were-at-our-peak-and-there-s-something-good-about-that-1-4423683","id":"1.4423683","articleHeadline": "Music interview: Richard Jobson on reforming The Skids 40 years on – ‘We stopped when we were at our peak and there’s something good about that’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493110800000 ,"articleLead": "

The Skids mark their 40th anniversary this year with a Scotland-wide tour. But with a new album out – their first in 36 years – it’s not just an exercise in nostalgia, Richard Jobson tells Fiona Shepherd

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4423680.1492620402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Jobson demonstrating my s*** dancing and all of that at T in the Park on the 30th anniversary of The Skids in 2007. Picture: Phil Wilkinson"} ,"articleBody": "

There is something quite telling – and also quite fitting – about The Skids’ 40th anniversary falling a year after the “official” 40th birthday of punk rock, as they represent the second wave of bands who emerged as punk made its influence felt well beyond its London epicentre and who treated the original sound and style as a license rather than a blueprint.

Formed in Fife when Richard Jobson, the only punk in his village, met budding guitar hero Stuart Adamson, The Skids were one of only a handful of Scottish punk bands who made it all the way to Top of the Pops and even then they were treated as misfits among misfits, crude provincials offering more brawn than brains.

The Skids were never the cool band, thanks in part to Jobson’s foghorn voice and ungainly dancing and Adamson’s thinly disguised facility for a guitar solo, but this was precisely their spirited appeal to a generation of uncool kids. Their muscular, politicised hits Into The Valley, Working For The Yankee Dollar and The Saints Are Coming – the latter revived in 2006 by U2 and Green Day as a chart-topping Hurricane Katrina benefit single – were definitely victories for substance over style.

“Punk was essentially an urban thing, so the landscape of rural Fife, the mining villages that we were all born out of made us slightly different,” says Jobson. “My mother sang sentimental folk songs from her Irish heritage and that was ingrained in me and also in Stuart. My father was a coal miner so I knew lots of those types of songs. Mixed with the edge of punk, it created something quite unique. Our sensibility and how we saw the world and each other was different from the urban sound.

“The band were like aliens and people either came towards us like a magnet or they kept well clear because they thought there was something disturbing about us. We made a bold statement in the type of landscape where people do not make bold statements, everybody follows in the traditions of their mothers and fathers, nobody wants to be different. Whereas the punk generation made being different OK for a lot of people from those kind of backgrounds, and I think that has probably stayed with us as part of our culture until the enormity of the madness that is coming our way now, where everybody seems to be looking over their shoulder to the past, wants to dwell in an idyllic version of a world that never existed in the first place.”

Jobson is acutely aware that punk, and his part in it, could be viewed through precisely the same rose-tinted spectacles, memorialised and sentimentalised the way revolutions often are. That same nostalgic appetite for the sounds of one’s youth has allowed The Skids to reform and spend the rest of this year touring to mark their middle age.

“It’s actually shocked me that people are genuinely that interested,” he says. “I was nervous of the heritage trail which seems to be quite a big thing in UK music culture now. I understand that that’s what we are, but I wondered if we could put another spin on that, and try and do something new.”

Word of the band’s 40th anniversary tour dates filtered through to punk peer-turned-ace producer Youth, who approached Jobson to co-write some songs. Their collaboration became the starting point for Burning Cities, the first new Skids album in 36 years, slated for release this summer. As the title suggests, The Skids have resumed their diet of socially engaged songs.

“Well, it’s not like there’s nothing happening in the world, is there?” says Jobson. “The album feels pretty fresh, it has an anger and an energy which I think it had to have or it was never going to work. I think a lot of bands in later life start to think of themselves as musicians and start to show their technical skills. We haven’t done that – because I don’t have any technical skills – so they’re songs that are just rich in atmosphere, and have an edge and a vitality that really excites me at this stage in my life.”

Jobson has certainly enjoyed a rich and varied time of it over the years as musician, model, filmmaker and broadcaster. He is currently writing a memoir of his early years up to and including The Skids, in which he makes public his long battle with absence seizures, a form of epilepsy, which was not properly diagnosed until his late 20s.

“Of all the people in the band, I expected to be dead first, so that had a massive impact on how I presented myself live, the fearlessness. I had nothing to be afraid of, because in the back of my head it didn’t really matter. It was a brief thing anyway because then Stuart called it a day – Stuart called it a day an awful lot of times I might add during this period – so we stopped when we were at our peak and there’s something good about that, so people remember it fondly.”

Adamson went on to more sustained success in Big Country, taking a distinctly Scottish pop/rock sound to a global audience until his premature death by suicide in 2001. His Big Country compadre Bruce Watson completes the current Skids touring line-up alongside his son Jamie and original Skids bassist Bill Simpson and drummer Mike Baillie.

“If I was to think what is the real reason for doing this,” muses Jobson of this latest reunion, “it’s just the experience. So why not just turn the page and enjoy every single minute of it? The words are serious but there’s also a cheekiness about it that I think we must never lose – my s*** dancing and all of that – because it’s exuberant, effusive and why not grab on to it again for a little while? It gives us an opportunity to pay respect to something, but at the same time reinvent it again.”

The Skids play PJ Molloys, Dunfermline, 3 & 4 May; the Liquid Room, Edinburgh, 5 May; ABC, Glasgow, 6 May; Montrose Town Hall, 29 June; Glen Pavilion, Dunfermline, 30 June; Inverness Ironworks, 4 October and Beat Generator, Dundee, 5 October

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepehrd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4423680.1492620402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4423680.1492620402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Jobson demonstrating my s*** dancing and all of that at T in the Park on the 30th anniversary of The Skids in 2007. Picture: Phil Wilkinson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Jobson demonstrating my s*** dancing and all of that at T in the Park on the 30th anniversary of The Skids in 2007. Picture: Phil Wilkinson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4423680.1492620402!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4423682.1492620405!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4423682.1492620405!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Skids in February 1978. Picture: Bill Stout","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Skids in February 1978. Picture: Bill Stout","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4423682.1492620405!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4423697.1492620408!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4423697.1492620408!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The 2017 line-up of The Skids","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The 2017 line-up of The Skids","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4423697.1492620408!/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/music/album-reviews-ray-davies-ron-sexsmith-loki-1-4423664","id":"1.4423664","articleHeadline": "Album reviews: Ray Davies | Ron Sexsmith | Loki","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493024400000 ,"articleLead": "

What’s quirky Brit songwriter Ray Davies doing with a transatlantic album like this? Enjoying himself

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4423662.1492620042!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Americana, the new album by Ray Davies, recaptures his boyhood awe of America. Picture: Alex Lake/Stem Agency"} ,"articleBody": "

Ray Davies: Americana Sony Legacy ***

Ron Sexsmith: The Last Rider Cooking Vinyl ****

Loki: Trigger Warning Online only ***

“I want to make my home where the buffalo roam” is perhaps not the first thing one expected to hear from the newly knighted Sir Ray Davies, the Britpop doyen who has romanticized leafy Englandshire so idiosyncratically across his career.

Yet his first new material in almost a decade is a bittersweet chronicle of his relationship with the US, a musical road trip on which he is backed by respected Americana outfit The Jayhawks, who rein in their widescreen tendencies to suit Davies’s snapshot approach to songwriting.

Americana recaptures his boyhood awe of America – or rather its cultural iconography as communicated through films – then recalls his real-life experiences of this vast and complex land. Thankfully he stops short of fist-pumping on the freeway.

In celebrating America’s pioneers, the twanging title track still has that wistful, nostalgic Davies quality, while references to mustangs deliberately sit awkwardly on the tongue on expat satire The Deal, which weaves in the soothing circular riff from Tired of Waiting For You.

Along the way, there are other Kinks’ references, careworn duets with Jayhawks’ vocalist Karen Grotberg, a couple of engaging spoken word interludes, a dippy retro country number A Place In Your Heart and the offbeat, distorted, minimal blues of Change For Change but little else musically to match the overall ambition of the project to engage with the slippery yet enduring concept of the American Dream – ironically at a time when it appears to be mutating into an American nightmare.

For a classic songwriter of a later generation, look no further than the gentle Canadian maestro Ron Sexsmith. For about the tenth album running, The Last Rider is being hailed as his breakthrough release, the one where the wider world will finally wake up and appreciate his brilliance, bathe in his McCartneyesque facility for a beautiful, gliding melody suffused with understated melancholy and revel in his timeless sentiments expressed with simple but trenchant grace.

There is no such thing as a bad Ron Sexsmith album, making The Last Rider as good a way in as any to his work. Broadly speaking, it is one of his more commercially conceived collections, while still showcasing his stylistic reach – he follows the smooth easy listening sound of Our Way with the 70s prog power pop flirtation of Breakfast Ethereal, before moving into the mellow roots singer/songwriter territory of Worried Song by which point Sexsmith has the listener warmly clasped by the hand.

Expect no such comfort from Glasgow rapper – and Scotsman columnist – Darren McGarvey, aka Loki, whose latest release is a concept album (part one of two), tracing a troubled protagonist across two decades of social, cultural and political change in Scotland.

McGarvey lives up to his stage name as the god of devilish mischief, displaying an Eminem-like grasp of character. He skewers class attitudes across the board on The Class Ceiling and A Tale of Two Cities, before waking up to the Trumpiverse, a fantasy world in which Noam Chomsky goes postal, on the woozy title track.

He rages hard as his disenfranchised anti-hero, but also presents multiple perspectives in rapid succession, weaving in local and global references which take repeated listens to unpick, across a variety of musical backdrops, from the unsettling to the downright perky, supplied by a range of hip-hop producers and composer Jim Sutherland.

McGarvey asks questions, of himself more than anyone, and inevitably there are no easy answers. Trigger Warning ends on a cliffhanger, which may or may not be resolved when its companion piece, The Last Me, is released later in the year.


Schubert: Piano Sonatas Harmonia Mundi ****

The coupling here of Schubert’s final B flat and the “little” A major Piano Sonatas is intended to complement the expansive, overriding calm of the former with the gentle cheeriness of the latter. But as Javier Perianes sets out to prove in this beautifully balanced disc, deeper rumination lies below the surface. The extensive opening two movements of the B flat sonata are liquid and timeless in Perianes’ free-flowing vision, the simple melodic strands expressed with bell-like clarity, the overall impression one of improvised acceptance, yet with ominous rumblings that threaten only to dissipate. The more defined dramatic colourings of the final two movements are delivered with a gentle, smiling countenance, though not without a few extrovert flourishes. Perianes applies equal grace and good taste to the A major sonata, its final Rondo acting as an airy, luminescent sign off to a charm-filled programme.

Ken Walton


Kevin Eubanks: East West Time Line Mack Avenue Records ****

California-based guitarist Kevin Eubanks shows his limber fingerstyle approach to be equally at home in the peerless company of musicians from both US coasts. Five of his compositions feature east-coasters Nicholas Payton on trumpet, bassist Dave Holland, pianist Orrin Evans and Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums, while the California sessions cover standards with Marvin “Smitty” Smith on drums, Bill Pierce on sax, Rene Comancho on bass plus percussionist Mino Cinelu.

Payton’s trumpet colours the New York tracks, as in the delicious melancholy of Watercolours, while Eubank’s guitar is gently sinuous in the meditative Poet. The California sessions open with Duke Ellington’s Take the Coltrane, guitar and tenor sax riding an edgy bass riff, Eubanks gives a warmly thoughtful account of What’s Going On, while Pierce’s soprano sax sings through a beguiling account of Cubano Chant.

Jim Gilchrist

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4423662.1492620042!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4423662.1492620042!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Americana, the new album by Ray Davies, recaptures his boyhood awe of America. Picture: Alex Lake/Stem Agency","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Americana, the new album by Ray Davies, recaptures his boyhood awe of America. Picture: Alex Lake/Stem Agency","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4423662.1492620042!/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/t-in-the-park-chief-music-festivals-have-changed-forever-1-4427443","id":"1.4427443","articleHeadline": "T in the Park chief: music festivals have changed forever","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1493018762425 ,"articleLead": "For more than two decades it was a fixture of the summer calendar, with tens of thousands of Scots flocking to the nation’s biggest live music event.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4427442.1492986727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "T in the Park boss Geoff Ellis says fans are no longer happy to "rough it" at music festivals."} ,"articleBody": "

But now the organiser of T in the Park has admitted that the festival landscape has changed forever due to dramatic changes in the habits and demands from music fans.

Geoff Ellis has cited dwindling repeat business, the rise of “boutique” events, a lack of major bands, “experience-chasing” millennials and audience demands for better facilities for dramatic changes in the UK’s festival scene.

The chief executive of promoters DF Concerts said audiences no longer had the “Woodstock mentality” and were not prepared to “rough it” when attending an event.

He said many fans now expected to have the choice of staying in a teepee or a yurt at a major festival and were only attending an event like T in the Park to “tick the box”.

Mr Ellis, who called off this year’s T in the Park for a long-term rethink over the event’s future, said it will have to be completely reinvented before it returns. He was speaking at Wide Days, a major music industry seminar in Edinburgh, during a discussion on the future of festivals.

DF announced in November that the 2017 event had been called off so that the organising team could “take stock”. It is instead staging a non-camping festival in Glasgow in July.

Speaking at Wide Days, Mr Ellis said: “It’s a constantly evolving marketplace, more so in the last couple of years than ever before. We’ve seen the rise of boutique festivals throughout the UK, as well as a Europe. That’s had a big effect.

“People used to go to maybe two or three festivals in the summer. Now they can’t afford to – they can usually only afford one. People have much more choice now.

“We’ve taken a year out of T in the Park. When we come back with a new camping festival it will be different – it will have to be, the market has changed in the last two or three years. It’s not a bad thing. It’s exciting. If everything stayed the same it would be boring.

“The big thing we’ve noticed is the behaviour of millennials now. They maybe want to go to a festival like T in the Park or Creamfields, but once they’ve ticked that box they’re off the next year to Magaluf or a festival in Serbia.

“It’s not that they didn’t have a good time, it’s because they want to keep doing different things, whereas a festival-goer ten years ago would go back every year with their mates. That’s all changed. People are chasing the next experience.

“I wouldn’t say it’s lack of loyalty. It’s just that you have less chance of repeat business from a young audience than you had ten years ago. If your key demographic is 18-25, you now have to accept you’re not going to get the same people coming back every year. You have to keep it fresh."

First staged in 1994, T in the Park was forced to relocate from long-time home Balado, in Kinross-shire, in 2015 due to long-standing concerns from the Health and Safety Executive over an oil pipeline running underneath the site.

However, the event was dogged by problems at its new home in the grounds of Strathallan Castle, in Perthshire, including traffic chaos, crowd congestion, anti­social behaviour and the cost of protecting wildlife, including nesting ospreys.

Mr Ellis added: “There’s never going to be one size that’s fits all. You’ve always go to look at what your audience wants and bring things forward.

“Putting decent toilets in 20 years ago was seen as innovative. Now everybody expects to be able to get a tee-pee or a yurt when they go to a festival. Audience demands have changed and people don’t want to rough it like they perhaps used to 20 years ago.

“The old Woodstock mentality of standing there in a field and having a warm pint of lager are long gone.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4427442.1492986727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4427442.1492986727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "T in the Park boss Geoff Ellis says fans are no longer happy to "rough it" at music festivals.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "T in the Park boss Geoff Ellis says fans are no longer happy to "rough it" at music festivals.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4427442.1492986727!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/under-the-radar-storm-the-palace-1-4426223","id":"1.4426223","articleHeadline": "Under the Radar: Storm the Palace","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492959600000 ,"articleLead": "

If there were a musical equivalent to slow food then it would be Storm The Palace, whose debut album Snow, Stars And Public Transport was written over a nine-year period while Edinburgh-born singer Sophie Dodds was living in London.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426222.1492794542!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Storm The Palace PIC: Arnab Ghosal"} ,"articleBody": "

With lyrics capturing snapshots of her life in the Big Smoke, its blend of styles incorporates strings, vocals which nod to Kirsty McColl, the occasional mandolin and the keyboard genius of the ubiquitous Reuben Taylor. The band’s five members are split between London and Edinburgh, and are signed to US label Abandoned Love Records, which releases the album on 12 May. They begin a tour in London on 6 May, finishing with dates in Glasgow’s Glad Café (13 May) and Edinburgh’s Wee Red Bar (14 May). A musical feast worth tucking into, Storm The Palace have created one of the best albums this year.

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


Under The Radar is in association with Knockengorroch World Ceilidh Festival in the hills, 25-28 May, featuring Max Romeo, RURA, Molotov Jukebox, Mouse Outfit, Mungo’s Hi Fi and many more Scottish and international acts. www.knockengorroch.org.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4426222.1492794542!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426222.1492794542!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Storm The Palace PIC: Arnab Ghosal","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Storm The Palace PIC: Arnab Ghosal","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4426222.1492794542!/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-mulls-first-night-mayor-idea-to-save-music-scene-1-4426865","id":"1.4426865","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh mulls first ‘night mayor’ idea to save music scene","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492953890000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh has kickstarted moves to appoint Scotland’s first “night mayor” in a bid to halt the closure of venues, prevent gigs being shut down due to noise complaints and raise the profile of the city’s troubled scene.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426864.1492890543!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lutz Leichsenring, a nightlife champion in Berlin, spoke at the Music Is Audible workshop at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Picture: Andrew O'Brien"} ,"articleBody": "

It has called in experts to advise on the appointment of an independent “champion” to resolve disputes and act as an official go-between for the sector and different city council departments.

They could also be charged with leading efforts to secure the future of important venues when major developments are being planned, advising on the development of new venues, leading efforts to promote Edinburgh’s musical heritage and ensuring the city’s regulations are as relaxed throughout the year as they are during the Edinburgh Festival in August.

The night mayor would almost be the first point of contact for anyone in the industry faced with a complaint over the running of their venue or event following long-standing complaints that the local authority has some of the harshest restrictions on live music anywhere in Europe. A census of live music activity in the city, carried out by Edinburgh University, found that nearly half of its venues had been affected by “noise, planning and development issues.” Some 44 per cent of musicians in the city said their gigs had been affected by noise restrictions.

The proposal, which is expected to be taken forward by the new city council administration following next month’s election, has emerged following two-and-a-half-years of talks between the local authority and music industry representatives.

Anger among venue managers, promoters and bands mounted in 2014 after the closure of one of the city’s main medium-sized venues, the Picture House on Lothian Road, the scrapping of a number of long-standing live music nights and criticism of the council from Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers for failing to support live music in their home city.

Recent months have seen the Picture House turned into a huge Wetherspoon pub complex, the closure of Electric Circus to make way for an expansion of a neighbouring art gallery, the forthcoming closure of the Citrus Club announced and Leith Depot threatened with demolition over plans for a major new development.

The city was urged to consider appointing a night mayor or music champion in an independent report from the Music Venues Trust, which campaigns to preserve the UK’s grass-roots venues.

Its recommendation stated: “When faced with a noise complaint music venues in Edinburgh have, in the past, felt they have no-one to talk to, nowhere to turn for support.”

Among those to advise Edinburgh has been Lutz Leichsenring, a nightlife champion in Berlin, who spoke at an industry summit at the Usher Hall last week.

He said: “A successful night-time economy needs affordable space so people can be experimental, as few restrictions as possible to allow new things to develop, people who are doers and don’t just talk, unconventional ideas and alternative tourists looking for special things.

“The city should monitor the effect on creative spaces when it makes decisions, not over-regulate night life, and provide public space for grass-roots projects and events. It’s not easy, but you should try to buy up properties and also tell real estate companies they can profit from creative activity. It can turn a run-down area into a much-loved area.”

The new post in Edinburgh is expected to be partly funded by the council and the industry, with the latter drawing up a job description.

Norma Austin Hart, vice-convenor for culture on the council, said: “We don’t just want our officers to produce a report on what this role will involve. It has to be right for Edinburgh and it is really important that this doesn’t have to do everything.

“The baton will be handed to the new council to take forward, but I’d encourage the city’s music industry to get organised and agree a set of common purposes.”

Edinbugrh-based promoter Douglas Robertson, who has spent years trying to find a home for permanent grass-roots venue in the city, said: “The crucial things in Edinburgh are properties, venues and performance spaces.

“Over the last 10 years or so we’ve seen so many venues closed down to the pressures of the property market.

“We’re in a city which is enjoying a property boom where every old building becomes student flats or yet another hotel.

“We should be looking at Glasgow, where there is a considerably healthier music scene.

“Part of the reason for that is that it’s a more run-down city in some ways. Edinburgh is just too damn smart and affluent. It makes life so difficult. There needs to a be a real commitment in Edinburgh that this is something that matters.”

Beverley Whitrick, strategic director of the Music Venue Trust, said: “Any city that identifies that it places a value on music and that it starts to talk about it, write about it and has identifiable champions can do more than a city that says: ‘It is too late for us and it is not really a priority.’

“The interesting thing about Glasgow, which is sitting quite pretty at the moment, is that there is a massive amount of development coming, particularly in areas where most of the venues are. Luxury student accommodation is becoming a big new thing in Glasgow.”

Dr Adam Behr, co-author of the Edinburgh University research, said: “While there are still issues for live music in Edinburgh, as recent news about Electric Circus and Leith Depot has shown, it’s also undeniable that there’s a vibrant and active musical community at work.

“It’s good to see some will from the council to engage over the idea of a music champion and the key challenge will be to find a format for the role that fits with the specific and unique characteristics of Edinburgh as a city.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BRIAN FERGUSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4426864.1492890543!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426864.1492890543!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lutz Leichsenring, a nightlife champion in Berlin, spoke at the Music Is Audible workshop at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Picture: Andrew O'Brien","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lutz Leichsenring, a nightlife champion in Berlin, spoke at the Music Is Audible workshop at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Picture: Andrew O'Brien","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4426864.1492890543!/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/is-record-store-day-just-a-rip-off-exploiting-collectors-1-4426766","id":"1.4426766","articleHeadline": "Is Record Store Day just a rip-off exploiting collectors?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492875237000 ,"articleLead": "

Vinyl could soon overtake download sales, figures shows, as music fans across Britain queue to snap up exclusive releases on Record Store Day.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426765.1492875235!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vinyl sales are at a 25-year-high. Picture: Ian Rutherford"} ,"articleBody": "

The vinyl revival, with sales surpassing the 3m mark last year, will be celebrated at more than 230 UK stores on Saturday, when 500 new releases, ranging from David Bowie to cult obscurities, will hit racks.

Vinyl overtook music download revenues for a week ahead of last Christmas and the reversal could soon be permanent.

The BPI said that vinyl, which has hit a 25 year high, currently accounts for 15% of physical album turnover.

The vinyl market is now worth 50% of the album download market, or more than 60% of the value of single track downloads.

Sir Elton John, named Record Store Day ambassador, who reissues a 1970 live album for the event, said vinyl simply “sounds better” than CDs or streaming music.

• READ MORE: Vinyl sales jump to 25-year high in UK

Reading the accompanying sleeve notes with an album, enhances the experience, he argued.

However vinyl accounts for less than 3% of the total music market, which is relying on digital streaming for a permanent revival.

Record Store Day has itself been accused of exploiting collectors.

Fans are willing to pay high prices for limited edition versions of released by The Beatles, David Bowie, Prince and U2, produced by major record labels.

Many of the purchases will never be removed from their dust jackets.

The event was launched a decade ago to boost struggling independent record stores and small labels releasing vinyl.

Cult items among the 2017 releases include a Fawlty Towers picture disc, Test Card Grooves from Chichester Hospital Radio and a compilation album showcasing “Nigeria’s Romance with Country Music.”

• This article first appeared in our sister title, i

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ADAM SHERWIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4426765.1492875235!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426765.1492875235!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vinyl sales are at a 25-year-high. Picture: Ian Rutherford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vinyl sales are at a 25-year-high. Picture: Ian Rutherford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4426765.1492875235!/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/classical-music-new-operatic-season-promises-joyous-escape-but-what-is-going-on-with-glasgow-life-1-4423666","id":"1.4423666","articleHeadline": "Classical music: New operatic season promises joyous escape, but what is going on with Glasgow Life?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492851600000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish Opera and all the main Scottish orchestras have now released their 2017-18 season brochures, and the prospects for classical buffs, between autumn and spring next year, are looking like the joyous escape we’ll need from the interminable political fisticuffs of Brexit and Indyref2.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4423663.1492620044!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Under Stuart Stratford, Scottish Operas new season looks like its best in years"} ,"articleBody": "

There are sure signs, for instance, that Scottish Opera’s new music director, Stuart Stratford, has had a positive influence on the company’s rising artistic fortunes. This is its best season for years. He’ll be conducting a brand new production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek – an anarchic operatic protest work from the Thatcherite 1980s – that marks Scottish Opera’s return this summer to the Edinburgh International Festival. Stratford also heads up a new version of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and the Scottish premiere of Stephen Barlow’s highly acclaimed Opera Holland Park production of Jonathan Dove’s comedy, Flight. Verdi’s La Traviata, Strauss’ Ariadne of Naxos and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (to be staged in a real circus tent, location as yet unknown) complete the main season.

As for the orchestras, my colleague David Kettle covered the Royal Scottish National Orchestra season a few weeks ago when it was first announced, so here’s a taster of what the other two bands, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, have in store.

The SCO’s principal conductor Robin Ticciati throws the spotlight on what he calls “quintessential” Dvořák: the later symphonies, the Violin Concerto (with Christian Tetzlaff), Piano Concerto (soloist Sir András Schiff) and the Biblical Songs, featuring supreme Scots mezzo soprano Karen Cargill. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Parts 1-3) promises to be a resplendent yuletide highlight, and there’s a new Saxophone Concerto from James MacMillan, and a brand new work by the younger generation Scot, Tom Harrold.

Cargill’s mesmerising voice also features in the BBC SSO’s broad-ranging main season in Glasgow, singing Elgar’s exquisite Sea Pictures, and the showstopping Denis Kozhukhin is back as soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1. Edinburgh gets its customary handful of visits as part of the Usher Hall’s Sunday Classics series.

Principal conductor Thomas Dausgaard’s main focus is on a series of Composers Roots programmes, homing in on the music of Bartók, Nielsen, Rachmaninov and Sibelius respectively. He opens the season with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, while Donald Runnicles, his predecessor, makes a welcome return to conduct Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, an orchestral blockbuster that is surely right up his street.

Meanwhile, it’s good to note that the Usher Hall has every intention of continuing its Sunday Classics, the popular afternoon season that brings in orchestras from around the world. Hall director Karl Chapman has indicated that the announcement of next year’s programme will be made around this season’s final concerts by the Moscow Philharmonic and SWR Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart in May and June respectively.

All of which begs the question: what on earth is going on with Glasgow Life, the city council’s cultural arm that used to promote its own classical music programme?

Up until a number of years ago, its International Orchestra Series, ambitious and complementary to the home orchestras, put the then-dormant Usher Hall to shame. Then, with the appointment of Svend Brown as music director, and the hype that surrounded Glasgow’s designation as Unesco City of Music, the decision was made to concentrate on smaller-scale activities – themed chamber festivals and artist residencies – providing a valuable platform for visiting international soloists and ensembles.

Brown departed last year, and the classical programme stopped dead in its tracks. Look at the classical activity booked in over the next few months, and all it is are regular RSNO, SCO and SSO gigs, plus one or two hall bookings by the city’s amateur choirs and orchestras. There’s nothing to get terribly excited about. Unesco may well wish to review the situation.

Commenting on the classical music provision, a Glasgow Life spokesperson confirmed there “hasn’t been much recently”, that they will be “presenting some shows next season, but there’s nothing to confirm at this point.”

Brown’s position was never really filled; his replacement, David Laing, occupies the more bureaucratic role of head of art, music and cultural venues. A year has passed with little to celebrate in the city’s once-envied classical provision. If that doesn’t change soon, should we simply accept that the good times have gone?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ken Walton"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4423663.1492620044!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4423663.1492620044!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Under Stuart Stratford, Scottish Operas new season looks like its best in years","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Under Stuart Stratford, Scottish Operas new season looks like its best in years","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4423663.1492620044!/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-funny-girl-the-musical-coriolanus-vanishes-voices-in-her-ear-1-4426091","id":"1.4426091","articleHeadline": "Theatre review: Funny Girl – The MusicalCoriolanus VanishesVoices in Her Ear","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492815945000 ,"articleLead": "

WITH Nell Gwynn at the King’s, and Funny Girl at the Playhouse, women on stage is a major theme in Edinburgh theatre this week; and what’s striking is how little seems to have changed, in 350 years, in a culture that still often seems prefer its women pretty, decorative, and not too mouthy.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426089.1492786013!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Funny Girl stars Sheridan smith"} ,"articleBody": "

Playhouse, Edinburgh ****

Tron Theatre, Glasgow ****

Oran Mor, Glasgow**

First seen on Broadway in 1964, Jule Styne’s classic musical – with lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart – was famously immortalised on film in 1968, with Barbara Streisand in the starring role of Fanny Brice, the Jewish girl from Brooklyn who between 1905 and the 1920s forged herself a remarkable career on the New York stage as a singer and comedienne.

Yet magnificent as Streisand was in the role, there’s something about Sheridan Smith’s gorgeous, passionate performance in the current touring production that seems to take us even closer to the emotional heart of the story of a woman who knows that her wit, and her relatively unconventional looks, make her less of a sexual icon than many female performers; and who can barely believe her luck when the gorgeous professional gambler Nick Arnstein falls in love with her, as deeply as she falls for him.

The story of their romance, their marriage, and their eventual separation is therefore a heart-wrenching one, that goes to the heart of the dilemmas often faced by strong, witty women seeking their match; and in Michael Mayer’s simple, graceful production from the Menier Chocolate Factory, Sheridan Smith brings all her magical star quality to Fanny’s story. The staging is unobtrusively brilliant, the dance is exhilarating, and the supporting performances – above all from Darius Campbell as Arnstein, and Rachel Izen as Fanny’s mother – are flawless; and it’s hardly surprising that this gem of a show, starring a woman of blazing talent whose recent roles range from Cilla Black on television to Hedda Gabler on stage, is attracting capacity crowds to the 3,000-seat Playhouse, every night of the week.

There’s a hint of a theatrical theme, too, in David Leddy’s powerful new 70-minute monologue, Coriolanus Vanishes; but in truth, what Leddy offers here is a portrait of dysfunctional masculinity, or flawed patriarchy, that might draw on the characters of a hundred great stage heroes, from Tamburlaine to Joe Keller, the father in All My Sons. His character, Chris, is a married man with a morally questionable job selling arms to Saudi Arabia, who leaves his wife and recently-adopted son for another man, takes to drink and drugs in toxic quantities, and finds himself plagued by a series of increasingly unbearable tragedies.

On a black-framed stage filled with ever-shifting letter-box shapes through which we view the character, and fierce washes of light in irreconcilable greens, oranges and blues, Leddy makes a brilliant job of conjuring up a character whose life is destroyed by his compulsive self-protective lying, and by his lack of real attachment to anyone. Like Philip Larkin’s poem This Be The Verse, this is a story of how emotional misery and dysfunction is handed on from generation to generation; and how that dysfunction, dressed in its best business suit, often still ends up running our world.

And meanwhile, back on stage, the great Alison Peebles has plenty of fun playing the main character in the latest lunchtime Play, Pie And Pint show. Betty is a dodgy clairvoyant and medium who once had a genuine gift; but now resorts to all the tricks of the trade in order to convince the gullible that she is indeed helping them communicate with their departed loved ones.

In truth, the quality of David Cosgrove’s writing, in Voices In Her Ear, is not really equal to the situation he conjures up; it’s crude, loud, sensational, and generally unconvincing. Yet there’s a vivid dramatic tension here, along with a central performance to treasure; and it’s possible to imagine a revised version of this play that might allow a more searching treatment of the themes it raises, including the question of whether the act of performance almost always involves exploitation – whether of the audience, or of the performer herself, in all her magnificence and vulnerability.


Funny Girl is at the Playhouse today, and at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, 30 May-3 June. Coriolanus Vanishes is at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, tonight. Voices In Her Ear is at Oran Mor today, and at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 25-29 April.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4426089.1492786013!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426089.1492786013!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Funny Girl stars Sheridan smith","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Funny Girl stars Sheridan smith","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4426089.1492786013!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4426090.1492786019!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426090.1492786019!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Leddy in Coriolanus Vanishes","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Leddy in Coriolanus Vanishes","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4426090.1492786019!/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/music/music-review-richard-ashcroft-black-grape-1-4425236","id":"1.4425236","articleHeadline": "Music review: Richard Ashcroft/Black Grape","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492815940000 ,"articleLead": "

The musical nostalgia market makes for interesting bedfellows – in this case, 90s peers Black Grape, a ragtag, raucous band of punky indie funkateers, fronted by the incorrigible Shaun Ryder and rapping sidekick Kermit, supporting the infinitely soberer Richard Ashcroft, who has been brooding away at the MOR indie coalface without interruption for a quarter of a century.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4425235.1492772719!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Aschcroft composes on an arena-friendly scale"} ,"articleBody": "

Hydro, Glasgow ***

While his impish tourmates came out on top in terms of lithe, catchy new material, their chaotic bolshiness is better suited to a smaller, sweatier venue. Ashcroft, however, has always composed on an arena-friendly scale since his days fronting The Verve, the mildly stirring Sonnet providing a reminder of the band who paved the way for a series of inoffensive stadium acts peddling vacuous highs.

Ashcroft opened and closed his set wearing an uncharacteristically flashy sparkly jacket. It was a shame the music had little in the way of such lustre, mainly comprising introverted banal ballads and formulaic wouldbe epics with pre-recorded strings on tap.

Ashcroft is at his best when not straining too hard for gravity, as on the breezy A Song For the Lovers with its chilled, spacey coda and the light soul pop of Music Is Power which revved up to a wah-wah maelstrom.

However, the fans were here for the 90s indie anthems, mostly crammed into an acoustic encore. Ashcroft abruptly abandoned History when he fouled up a lyric, but The Drugs Don’t Work was potent in its stripped-back form before his band kicked in for the final catharsis.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4425235.1492772719!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4425235.1492772719!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Aschcroft composes on an arena-friendly scale","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Aschcroft composes on an arena-friendly scale","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4425235.1492772719!/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-seasick-steve-1-4426188","id":"1.4426188","articleHeadline": "Music review: Seasick Steve","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492815939000 ,"articleLead": "

To the man in the audience yelling “gaun yersel’, Seasick!” in excited encouragement, it mattered not one bit that a biography of the man onstage released last year cast serious doubt upon the finer details of his heritage as a self-taught backwoods hobo musician, and suggested that he might actually just be a well-travelled session musician who had hit upon the right persona in later life. He and the rest of the audience were evidently here for the music and not the myth.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426187.1492791332!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steve Wold fluctuated between genuinely emotive country-sad acoustic poignancy and grizzled, ear-punishing electric blues-rock. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Usher Hall, Edinburgh ****

And what music it was. Seated in his uniform of grizzly grey beard and denim car mechanic chic, Steve Wold fluctuated between genuinely emotive country-sad acoustic poignancy and grizzled, ear-punishing electric blues-rock, the latter abetted only by his energetic drummer Dan Magnusson. He serenaded a woman plucked from the front row on Walkin’ Man, and Hard Knocks’ tuneful, plaintive cry for “the road where the hard knocks meet the hard rocks… not that storybook road” was a gee-up elegy to later life that’s not done yet.

Doubt as to whether this very sprightly apparent 70-something is really old enough to have found comfort in Love’s Signed DC upon its release in 1966 or mourned Bobby Kennedy in ’68 (“it was like somebody punched the politics outta me”) with Dick Holler’s Abraham, Martin & John were forgotten in the face of resonant covers of each.

“Ten years ago, I’d never heard of Jools Holland before I went on the show,” he growled. “But you all adopted me like a dog, and I thought, ‘if it can just last until the end of 2007...’” Seven albums later, the love for what he does is real.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4426187.1492791332!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4426187.1492791332!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Steve Wold fluctuated between genuinely emotive country-sad acoustic poignancy and grizzled, ear-punishing electric blues-rock. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steve Wold fluctuated between genuinely emotive country-sad acoustic poignancy and grizzled, ear-punishing electric blues-rock. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4426187.1492791332!/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-nell-gwynn-1-4425499","id":"1.4425499","articleHeadline": "Theatre review: Nell Gwynn","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492815937000 ,"articleLead": "

THE lights go up, at the King’s in Edinburgh, on a set by Hugh Durrant that looks as if it might have been made for this gorgeous Edwardian theatre; a glowing red-and-gold half-circle of theatrical arches and boxes that merges seamlessly into the curves of the King’s auditorium, reminding us of the centuries of history that led to this vision of how a theatre should look. And there, on the edge of the stage, sits Nell Gwynn the russet-haired orange-seller, thoroughly at home in a theatre where ushers with trays of interval ice-cream still take up position in the same aisle, and where pantomime stars regularly venture into the audience, as if the famous “fourth wall” had never existed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4425498.1492778625!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Laura Pitt-Pulford delivers a funny, raunchy yet nuanced performance as Nell"} ,"articleBody": "

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh ***

Nell’s life is about to undergo a decisive change, though; for the year is 1667, and the new monarch, King Charles II, has decreed that for the first time in England, women will be allowed to appear on stage. Charles Hart, a leading actor at Nell’s theatre, spots her potential as a performer; and in no time, the girl who was once a Cheapside prostitute is flaunting her wit, beauty, and sheer performing chutzpah on one of the nation’s leading stages, and catching the eye of a monarch who was famous throughout his life for amorous adventures with beautiful and strong-minded women, from Nell herself to his famously ambitious mistress-in-chief, Barbara Villiers.

It’s this moment of transition – both in Nell’s personal story and in the life of English theatre – that Jessica Swale seeks to capture in her 2014 play-with-songs, Nell Gwynn; and if the final result is often more like a well-written costume romance than a hard-hitting piece of social history, Christopher Luscombe’s production still makes a charming and exceptionally good-looking show, illuminated by a funny, raunchy, yet gently nuanced performance from the lovely Laura Pitt-Pulford as Nell, and an outstanding display of wit and charm from Ben Righton as the King.

Mainly set on stage at the theatre, the play features many self-consciously comic performance and rehearsal sequences, punctuated by memorably rude and joyous songs featuring a four-piece live band, and by a riotously camp comedy turn from Esh Alladi as Edward Kynaston, the male actor who was the company’s leading lady, until Nell replaced him. And if Nell’s life is finally framed here as a remarkable enduring love-story between king and commoner, it’s still full of an intelligent awareness of just how harshly 17th century society could bear down on women who flouted conventional morality, if they were ever unlucky enough to lose the protection of the powerful men who could make or break their lives, from one moment to the next.


Final performances today

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4425498.1492778625!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4425498.1492778625!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Laura Pitt-Pulford delivers a funny, raunchy yet nuanced performance as Nell","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Laura Pitt-Pulford delivers a funny, raunchy yet nuanced performance as Nell","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4425498.1492778625!/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-the-sco-alexandre-bloch-and-jean-guihen-queyras-1-4425272","id":"1.4425272","articleHeadline": "Music review: The SCO, Alexandre Bloch and Jean-Guihen Queyras","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492815932000 ,"articleLead": "

Young French conductor Alexandre Bloch is fast developing rather a special relationship with the SCO. He’d only conducted the band a handful of times before this eager, exuberant and often downright euphoric Beethoven Eroica, but they’re clearly already on one another’s wavelengths. So much so that Bloch’s expansive, energetic conducting sometimes felt more like elaborate choreography to the SCO’s playing.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4425271.1492773884!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alexandre Blochs expansive, energetic conducting sometimes felt more like elaborate choreography to the SCOs playing. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh *****

It was a big-hearted, bold and bright account of the Beethoven Symphony, one that surged ever forwards under Bloch’s exuberant direction – which occasionally strayed a bit close to being mannered. But he articulated and balanced everything with care, too. Indeed, he has a bit of a thing for sonic texture – some of his sounds were so vivid you could almost touch them – and not a single one of the Symphony’s many notes felt less than crucial. No wonder there was a roar of appreciation at the end.

No less appreciated was Bloch’s compatriot Jean-Guihen Queyras, in a sharply etched Haydn C major Cello Concerto, delivered with such suppleness and precision that it sometimes felt he was playing a viola da gamba. His speeds were on the restrained side, but that only served to highlight the detail of his playing. His encore – the Prelude from Bach’s Third Cello Suite – had the audience hanging on his every note.

Bloch’s opener, too – the polystylistic and thoroughly likeable Baroque Song by contemporary French composer Thierry Escaich – was an ideal vehicle for his wit and total conviction. It’s a relationship to watch closely.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4425271.1492773884!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4425271.1492773884!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alexandre Blochs expansive, energetic conducting sometimes felt more like elaborate choreography to the SCOs playing. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alexandre Blochs expansive, energetic conducting sometimes felt more like elaborate choreography to the SCOs playing. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4425271.1492773884!/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-ed-sheeran-1-4425218","id":"1.4425218","articleHeadline": "Music review: Ed Sheeran","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492815915000 ,"articleLead": "

Ed Sheeran is the busker with a budget. To co-opt those mathematical terms he likes to use as album titles, his ordinary blokeness is a plus and a minus.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4425217.1492772154!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ed Sheeran's ordinary blokeness is a plus and a minus"} ,"articleBody": "

Hydro, Glasgow ***

This huge sold-out show was almost exclusively one man and his acoustic guitar throughout but, however one feels about his music, one has to admire how he has managed to gussy up such a simple set-up with the aid of a loop pedal, a state-of-the-art carousel of screens and the input of 13,000 willing backing vocalists, who wasted no time making their voices heard on Castle On The Hill, a clichéd slice of sentimental nostalgia which could be this generation’s Summer of 69.

There was no displeasing the fans, who have even embraced the ridiculous Galway Girl, thankfully divested here of its naffer Celtic embellishments but signposted blatantly by lurid green lighting.

But, for the passerby, things started to sound pretty samey as Sheeran settled into his two default positions – the MOR love ballad and the hip-hop/R&B-influenced groove numbers, the best examples of each coming towards the end of the set.

Thinking Out Loud, for which he briefly went electric, is his most complete song, one which will likely reverberate longer than the disposable but way more enjoyable falsetto funk of Sing. As for technique, the stripped-back I See Fire showcased the finer points of his singing and playing, and the thin gruel of You Need Me, I Don’t Need You was jammed out to a blaring climax.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4425217.1492772154!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4425217.1492772154!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ed Sheeran's ordinary blokeness is a plus and a minus","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ed Sheeran's ordinary blokeness is a plus and a minus","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4425217.1492772154!/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/paisley/baker-street-tribute-to-be-staged-in-paisley-in-gerry-rafferty-s-honour-1-4425266","id":"1.4425266","articleHeadline": "Baker Street tribute to be staged in Paisley in Gerry Rafferty's honour","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492773756440 ,"articleLead": "

It was the song that made Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty his fortune after becoming a world-wide hit and has been played on radio more than five million times over nearly 40 years.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4425265.1492774022!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Music charity founder Tommy McGrory is organising the Baker Street tribute with the Paisley 2021 bid team."} ,"articleBody": "

Now a mass rendition of Gerry Rafferty’s iconic anthem Baker Street will be staged in the streets of Paisley to honour one of its most famous sons.

More than 30 saxophone players will be joined by a live band and a group of singers to perform at Paisley Cross tomorrow as part of the town’s bid to be named UK City of Culture later this year.

Rafferty, who played with Billy Connolly in the folk outfit The Humblebums, had a number of hits as a solo artist and in the band Stealer’s Wheel, but suffered from alcohol problems in later life and died in 2011 at the age of 63.

Baker Street, which features one of the best-known saxophone solos in musical history, was inspired by Rafferty’s regular travels between Paisley and London in the 1970s. It was said to have earned him around £80,000 a year in royalties.

A new Scottish songwriting festival was set up in Paisley three years ago in honour of Rafferty, with Eddi Reader, Barbara Dickson, Midge Ure, Karine Polwart, Blue Rose Code, Dougie Maclean, Justin Currie and Ricky Ross among those to appear.

Rafferty’s musical legacy is expected to be a key pillar of Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid, which will be lodged officially with the Government next week.

Paisley is facing competition north of the border from Perth for the 2021 title, as well as Coventry, Hereford, Portsmouth, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea, Warrington, St David’s and Wells.

Raffety’s daughter Martha said: “My father was very proud of his Paisley roots and I am sure he would have been supportive of the town’s UK City of Culture bid.

“To have so many people playing the Baker Street solo together in the town centre is a unique idea and I’m sure it will make a great spectacle.”

The Baker Street tribute is being staged by the bid team and the music charity Loud ‘n’ Proud.

Founder Tommy McGrory said: “Gerry Rafferty is a Paisley guy. Baker Street is one of the most popular songs he’s written and one of the most famous. It’s one of the favourite saxophone songs of all time.

“This is a celebration of the song that is recognised to be the number one rock and pop saxophone song in opinion polls and top 10 lists worldwide. We want as many saxophone players as possible to come along.”

Jean Cameron, director of the Paisley 2021 bid team, added: “This event is a tribute to one of Paisley’s best musical exports and a song known the world over.

“As well as marking what would have been Gerry’s birthday it’s also a great way to shine a spotlight on the town as we prepare to submit the bid, which will feature Paisley’s incredible musical legacy.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4425265.1492774022!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4425265.1492774022!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Music charity founder Tommy McGrory is organising the Baker Street tribute with the Paisley 2021 bid team.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Music charity founder Tommy McGrory is organising the Baker Street tribute with the Paisley 2021 bid team.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4425265.1492774022!/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/obama-edinburgh-visit-annie-lennox-and-kevin-bridges-to-perform-1-4424836","id":"1.4424836","articleHeadline": "Obama Edinburgh visit: Annie Lennox and Kevin Bridges to perform","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492771122000 ,"articleLead": "

Singing superstar Annie Lennox and best-selling stand-up comic Kevin Bridges are to perform for former US President Barack Obama when he visits Edinburgh next month.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4424965.1492771119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "U.S. President Barack Obama is to visit the Capital in May."} ,"articleBody": "

Sharleen Spiteri’s long-running pop-rock band Texas will also be playing at a gala dinner.

The event, which has just been declared a complete sell-out, is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities across Scotland.

Mr Obama has been lured to Scotland by the businessman and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter, after previous visits from Bill Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney.

More than 300 separate charities are set to benefit from the event, which saw tickets for a table of 10 go on sale for up to £20,000 when it was announced last month.

A number of young people are expected to attend the event, along with around 1200 business and charity leaders, and philanthropists.

All three acts providing the entertainment at the event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 26 May will be able to choose a charity to benefit from the event, which Mr Obama will be speaking at and taking questions from the audience.

Bridges, who started performing stand-up when he was just 17, has smashed a number of box office records since finding fame on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow in 2009.

He has previously supported the Teenage Cancer Trust and Motor Neurone Disease charity MND Scotland.

Aberdeen-born Lennox, who shot to fame in the early 1980s with long-time musical partner Dave Stewart as the Eurythmics, went on to become the most successful female British artist of all-time, notching up more than 80 million record sales.

Lennox, the first woman to receive a songwriting fellowship at the Ivor Novello Awards, was presented with a Nobel Peace award in 2009 for her work raising awareness of HIV/AIDS.

Texas have sold more than 40 million records since forming in 1985, while Spiteri - who has backed charities including children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent and Children in Need, has also carved out a hugely-successful solo career over the last decade.

Sir Tom said: “I’m proud, privileged and over the moon to announce Oscar winning musician, Annie Lennox, brilliant stand-up comedian, Kevin Bridges and world class rock band, Texas will all play at this amazing dinner.

“What’s even more amazing is that they are all doing this for the benefit of a charity of their choice.

“They are stand out talents of their generation and will provide a remarkable conclusion to what we all hope will be an incredible evening with all profits benefitting Scotland’s children’s charities.

“Demand for this dinner has been unparalleled in our own experience and we can only apologise to those who we cannot accommodate at the dinner.

“We’d like as many young people in Scotland to benefit from this, hence offering a little support to a lot of charities across all of Scotland.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4424965.1492771119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4424965.1492771119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "U.S. President Barack Obama is to visit the Capital in May.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "U.S. President Barack Obama is to visit the Capital in May.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4424965.1492771119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4424835.1492714089!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4424835.1492714089!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Annie Lennox will perform for Barack Obama at a gala dinner in Edinburgh next month.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Annie Lennox will perform for Barack Obama at a gala dinner in Edinburgh next month.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4424835.1492714089!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4424966.1492771122!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4424966.1492771122!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kevin Bridges. John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kevin Bridges. John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4424966.1492771122!/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/sophie-law-new-bands-need-your-support-more-than-ever-1-4424324","id":"1.4424324","articleHeadline": "Sophie Law: New bands need your support more than ever","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1492754403000 ,"articleLead": "

Red Pine Timber Co. are a collection of Scottish musicians who have been gracing the country with their unique Celtic-Americana sound since they formed in Perth in 2009.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4424322.1492691470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Turn off Spotify and go to see a live band, says Sophie Law."} ,"articleBody": "

They’ve just finished hand-crafting their second album. It took three years and 15 people to make, and all it needs now is for people to hear it – and see them.

In days gone by that’s where the record company machine might step in, with some marketing ­money to help secure radio play and a little bit more to get them on the road.

Instead Red Pine Timber Co. have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money they need to actually take their music out of the studio and onto stages around Scotland.

The band’s bid to raise ­money highlights a sign of the times. Crowdfunding has become a fundamental tool in the arsenal of many bands, and it’s a strategy that has helped level the playing field for artists who don’t have record label money propping them up.

On Saturday night, the BBC Scotland documentary Big Gold Dream told the story of the nation’s post-punk music scene and two ­independent record companies, Glasgow-based Postcard Records and Edinburgh’s Fast Product. Between them they help propel a host of artists and bands – Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Josef K, The Fire Engines among others –from the studio and rehearsal room to fans the length of the country.

In Scotland today, record ­companies are a thing of the past. Music scouts and hefty advances for tours and albums are a ­distant memory and ­Scottish record labels are few and far between.

Unless a band is One Direction’s successor complete with an X ­Factor-worthy sob story, they’ve got to claim success on their own.

This is mainly due to the shift in the way we buy and listen to music. Streaming services offer an instant service to listening ears, but it has damaged the essential music industry’s infrastructure, with financially devastating consequences.

Shockingly, the revenue bands make from one stream works out at less than a penny.

Surely we have a responsibility as listeners and music fans to support these bands at grassroots level? Otherwise, how are musicians – who need to make a living too, after all – going to get their music heard?

While the digital era continues to encroach upon every element of our lives, one thing that remains consistent is the Scottish passion for live music – go to most gigs and the audience appreciation almost becomes part of the performance.

Live performances will always capture our attention. The best way to absorb music is to see it ­performed.

Next time you’re tempted to stream on Spotify, Itunes or Youtube, hit pause instead. Buy the song, buy the album, or even better, go see them live.

Sophie Law is from Glasgow. She is studying journalism at University of Strathclyde.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4424322.1492691470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4424322.1492691470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Turn off Spotify and go to see a live band, says Sophie Law.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Turn off Spotify and go to see a live band, says Sophie Law.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4424322.1492691470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}