{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"whatson","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/music-review-the-national-usher-hall-edinburgh-1-4567192","id":"1.4567192","articleHeadline": "Music review: The National, Usher Hall, Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506078874000 ,"articleLead": "

THE National arrived in Edinburgh celebrating their first UK Number One album, but the four new tracks from Sleep Well Beast with which they chose to open the first of two Usher Hall shows may well take some time to bed in. Despite the anticipation-raising “please stand by” notice flashed on the big screen alongside backstage footage of the band waiting in the wings (no crazy pre-gig rituals to see here), the opening half hour felt like a moody preamble, with the audience left wondering when the gig was going to start.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567191.1506078882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The National"} ,"articleBody": "

The National ***

Usher Hall, Edinburgh

The tasteful constituent elements of The National’s sound don’t always add up to a satisfying whole, though frontman Matt Berninger was given to the occasional throat-shredding vocal and guitarist Aaron Dessner threw out brief bursts of elegant, keening guitar which excited sections of the crowd.

Ironically, it was another new song, Turtleneck, which finally stirred the pot with its epic riffing and ragged vocals taking the band from sonic saunter to Stooges wigout in seconds. The hungry audience pounced on the driving Bloodbuzz Ohio from their breakthrough album High Violet, and the compelling groove and ringing riffs on Day I Die provided another energy peak, though the momentum was lost again on the brooding fare to which they would often retreat, with only the melancholy resonance of Kyle Resnick’s trumpet for comfort.

Resnick and trombonist Ben Lanz rounded off the main set with a lovely brass fanfare, while the duelling Dessners pointed their guitars to the stars despite failing to scale the heights on this occasion.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567191.1506078882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567191.1506078882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The National","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The National","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567191.1506078882!/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-steven-osborne-st-mary-s-church-haddington-1-4567028","id":"1.4567028","articleHeadline": "Music review: Steven Osborne, St Mary’s Church, Haddington","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506073150000 ,"articleLead": "

IN MANY ways, this late-night piano recital from Steven Osborne encapsulated what the Lammermuir Festival is all about: a remarkable venue - St Mary’s Church in Haddington – whose acoustic was gloriously exploited; a world-class artist sharing their personal passions; and a provocative programme – piano music by US experimentalists Morton Feldman and George Crumb – that you’d be hard pushed to find elsewhere among Scotland’s concert offerings.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567027.1506073159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Osborne"} ,"articleBody": "

Steven Osborne *****

St Mary’s Church, Haddington

It was a wonderfully intimate, atmospheric evening, with the audience clustered around Osborne’s piano, the sole spot of light in the darkened interior of St Mary’s. In his informal introduction, Osborne revealed his own affection for this sometimes elusive music, and helpfully advised newbies that if it seemed like nothing much was happening – well, that was probably about right.

But he dispatched the gently chiming harmonies of Feldman’s extremely quiet music with exquisite care, and an uncanny sense of the grit of the music’s sounds – often approaching silence, but articulated and balanced with remarkable nuances. Best of all was Palais de Mari, Feldman’s final piano work and Osborne’s 25-minute closer, drawing steely focus across its hypnotic not-quite-repetitions.

Providing contrast were two picture-painting works by George Crumb, the thunderous Processional and the delicate sonic musings of the Little Suite for Christmas AD1979, where Osborne took just as much care in caressing, thumping and plucking the piano’s strings as he did in the work’s raucous evocations of bells or piping shepherds on the keyboard.

It was breathtakingly beautiful, but also brave and important, for taking this magical music out of the esoteric confines of a contemporary music event and placing it centre-stage. A deeply rewarding, fulfilling evening.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Kettle"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567027.1506073159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567027.1506073159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Steven Osborne","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Osborne","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567027.1506073159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/roddy-smith-there-s-a-lot-going-on-behind-the-scenes-to-make-edinburgh-festival-city-of-the-world-1-4565269","id":"1.4565269","articleHeadline": "Roddy Smith: There’s a lot going on behind the scenes to make Edinburgh festival city of the world","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506060042000 ,"articleLead": "

The dust has now settled on another summer ­festival season, with this year being especially important as it was the 70th anniversary edition. ­Early ­indications from the many ­promoters, venues and organisers are that ticket sales this year are up on ­previous years with thousands of visitors and residents enjoying the city’s cultural, retail and leisure ­offerings.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565268.1505913888!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "George Street during the International Festival"} ,"articleBody": "

Thousands of performers, millions of ticket sales, tens of thousands of hotel nights, restaurant bookings, huge footfall for our shops, pubs and myriad other businesses, as well as an enormous and positive profile for the city around the globe – all testify to the vital nature of Edinburgh maintaining its crown as festival city

This year we have been delighted to have partnered with many festival operators to support activity within our area. On the opening weekend, we were pleased to work in partnership with the Edinburgh International Festival to host the superb free Bloom event in St Andrew Square. It was great to see the square full of people enjoying a quite simply ­amazing lighting projection. The east end was alive with ­residents and visitors enjoying our beautiful city.

Essential Edinburgh has worked in partnership with the Book Festival, Assembly and Salt ‘n Sauce to bring George Street to life, with the very welcome addition of the Rose Theatre making sure the New Town ­complements the festival offering in the Old Town. Our city is exceptionally busy during August and it’s vital that the Festival’s venues are city-wide.

We should also never lose track of the fact that the city is itself a vital part of the ­festivals. The city would be poorer in every way without its wonderful, year-round programme – but it is also hard to imagine these festivals taking place in any other city!

It’s the vibrancy and beauty of ­Edinburgh and, in particular, the city centre, that lends so much to our wonderful and unique ambience, attracting visitors in their droves.

Heritage and history is fundamentally key to our ability to attract visitors and offer them a world class experience to complement the world class environment and the quality of our retail and leisure provision. This is a superb mix and should be celebrated and enhanced year on year.

Using space in the city centre is not always easy. We need to be free to maximise the benefits for visitors and residents – but we also need to be able to use the spaces in an imaginative way that helps us ensure that our wonderful city’s beating heart stays as healthy as it can whilst minimising ­disruption to residents.

This, as we know, is often a delicate balancing act. Pop-up venues, road closures and logistical changes are needed during August and these must be delivered in a way that causes the least friction to our residents whilst accepting that August is fundamentally different to every other month. In other words, balancing the desire to constantly enhance with the need to ensure we are sustainable.

All this reminds us that our city centre is, literally, at the heart of our city’s success and ­economic health and Essential Edinburgh will do all that it can to enable it to prosper.

We continue to work proactively to support new public realm on Rose Street and George Street as well as add support to the exciting developments at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens.

We are also keen to explore with our partners at City of Edinburgh Council a much more structured and strategic approach to how to get the best from Castle Street, where significant investment created a space with an amazing location which could, and should, be key to future city centre animation.

We are also keenly involved in making our city centre as attractive as possible – our clean team works hard to augment the services provided by City of Edinburgh Council and we have invested in increased planting and landscaping, as well as significantly in lights to ensure the city centre has an appropriate festive feel at Christmas.

With the well-documented financial challenges faced by our local authority, Essential Edinburgh is seeking to attract new investment and deliver more services – our levy payers invest £1 million of their own money in enhancing the city centre every year, and Essential Edinburgh has a proven track record in attracting additional money to support activity.

The success of The Street of Light, Red Red Rose Street, Edinburgh’s Georgian Shadows, Film Fest in the City, Bloom and the Book ­Festival amongst others show the benefits of agencies working in partnership to deliver innovative projects.

Roddy Smith is chief executive of Essential Edinburgh.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4565268.1505913888!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565268.1505913888!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "George Street during the International Festival","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "George Street during the International Festival","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4565268.1505913888!/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-scope-1-4566171","id":"1.4566171","articleHeadline": "Under the Radar: Scope","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505991614000 ,"articleLead": "

Many of Scotland’s biggest acts of the past decade have come from outwith the Central Belt, which bodes well for budding star Lewis Schofield, aka Scope. Hailing from the small fishing village of Portpatrick, the young hip-hop artist swiftly signed a deal after his first single and then disappeared into a converted farmhouse to work on his debut album.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4566170.1505991622!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scope"} ,"articleBody": "

Since then he has graced stages throughout Europe and the US, supported J-Hus, Tinie Tempah and Obie Trice, not to mention playing Celtic Connections and Knockengoroch closer to home. Next moth Scope flies to New York to work on his next album, with shows at SXSW and Canadian Music Week 2018 already confirmed. In the meantime, the video for his latest track Real Friends debuts on Youtube today and Glasgwegians can get a taste of what might soon be Scotland’s biggest musical export at King Tut’s on Saturday.

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


Under the Radar is in association with Off Axis, a free to use touring and gig swapping network enabling artists to play successful shows and festivals to guaranteed audiences in over 75 towns and cities across the UK. Off Axis enables artists to build fanbases nationwide – be part of it https://whatisoffaxis.com

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4566170.1505991622!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4566170.1505991622!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scope","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scope","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4566170.1505991622!/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/film-reviews-kingsman-the-golden-circle-borg-vs-mcenroe-1-4565474","id":"1.4565474","articleHeadline": "Film reviews: Kingsman: The Golden Circle | Borg vs McEnroe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505984400000 ,"articleLead": "

The overblown sequel to the first Kingsman film pays too much attention to a third outing of the franchise, sacrificing the original’s anarchic charm in the process, while Shia LaBeouf serves up a great John McEnroe in Janus Metz’s tennis biopic

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565473.1505920225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Taron Egerton, left, and Mark Strong star in Kingsman: The Golden Circle"} ,"articleBody": "

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (15) **

Borg vs McEnroe (15) ***

Based on the Mark Millar comic book series of the same name, the first Kingsman movie was a delirious blast of demented action cinema that put an entertainingly subversive, sometimes crazy, sometimes crude spin on the spy genre in an age in which Bond and Bourne had made it super-serious. Director Matthew Vaughn’s decision to cast Colin Firth as a sort of dapper, dangerous fusion of Patrick Macnee in The Avengers and Wolverine at his most kill-crazy was the sort of eccentric, esoteric touch that distinguished it from its Hollywood competition and helped make it a huge box-office hit.

That penchant for weirdness is still very much present in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Once again directed by Vaughn, from a script by regular collaborator Jane Goldman, it’s a film, after all, that features Julianne Moore as the sort of world-domination-seeking super-villain who minces her henchmen not her words and keeps a kidnapped Elton John around as a pet, just because she can. But it’s also the sort of sequel that bloats the running time to a ridiculous degree – not just with repetitious action sequences, tedious exposition and groan-worthy attempts to shock, but with endless-seeming set-ups for a big-name American cast that Vaughn proceeds to keep on ice (literally in Channing Tatum’s case), presumably in preparation for a third film.

To begin with, though, we’re reintroduced to Taron Egerton’s chav-turned-gentleman-spy Eggsy. At the end of the first film, he’d gone through his My Fair Lady-riffing transformation to become a fully-fledged member of the titular secret service operation; this one drops us, Bond-style, into the midst of a big set piece involving a former rival and a ludicrously violent and over-the-top punch-up in the back of a speeding cab. Vaughn wastes no time establishing the cartoonish tone: limbs are ripped off with comic glee and the laws of physics are abandoned with an over-reliance on CGI. It makes for a fun spectacle, but it also feels like watching someone play a video game with all the cheat codes on: everything comes a bit too easily for Eggsy and there’s no real sense of threat.

The film continues in much the same vein. Operating out of a Cambodian temple decked out with 1950s kitsch Americana, Moore’s delightfully unhinged Poppy may unleash plenty of death and destruction in her bid to hold the world to ransom, but there’s such a plethora of death-defying gadgetry on hand it barely comes as a surprise when Colin Firth’s demise in the first film proves no barrier to his taking top billing in this one. He makes his return after Eggsy and Mark Strong’s Scottish-accented Merlin are forced to seek help from their US counterparts, “Statesman” – a rag-tag group of highly skilled Southern hicks who fetishise Stetsons and bourbon the way Kingsman operatives fetishise brogues and martinis. Led by Jeff Bridges, its star operative is played by the aforementioned Tatum, who goes by the alias Tequila, but exits the film almost the moment he enters. Similarly underused is Halle Berry as a Q-style tech-support called Ginger Ale who even complains about never being allowed to participate in the action. Given Berry’s own Bond history, that could have been a sly acknowledgment of the rubbish roles women in movies like this frequently get, but it’s a point rendered redundant by the film postponing any agency for her character to some future instalment.

Instead, the plot’s diversion to the US feels like a convenient way for Vaughn to include lots of culture-clashing comedy, not to mention a comically ruthless president (played by Bruce Greenwood) who’s only too happy to exploit the flaw in Poppy’s diabolical plan for his own political ends. Atypically for Vaughn, however, it all feels a bit unfocused, as if he’s fallen into the very franchise traps that this series seemed like it was going to avoid. As it piles on more and more nods to the ridiculousness of Roger Moore era-Bond, it feels less an affectionate parody and more like a way of peddling something that’s forgotten how to deliver a proper buzz.

It’s not often that Shia LaBeouf is the best thing in a movie, but in Borg vs McEnroe he’s well cast as John McEnroe, the one-time enfant terrible of American tennis who set-out to stop the preternaturally cool Swede Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) from winning his fifth Wimbledon title in a row in an epic five-set showdown in 1980. The film is built around that final and the build up to it, and though it’s ostensibly about both players, director Janus Metz weighs the drama in Borg’s favour, turning the film into a psychodrama about a player wrestling with the toll taken by constantly burying his emotions for the sake of success. It’s not the most scintillating side of the rivalry and Gudnason, who looks eerily like Bjorg, never really gets under his character’s skin in a way that suggests there’s much more to him than a hyper-focused professional who learned early on that the only way he could fulfil his desire to be the best player in the world was to channel everything into the game. LaBeouf, however, brings the film alive whenever he’s on screen and, thanks to some CGI augmentation, the tennis looks convincing enough. If there’s a major fault it’s the way the film suggests McEnroe had to change his attitude a bit before he became truly great. But, of course, tennis didn’t change him. He changed tennis.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Alistair Harkness"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4565473.1505920225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565473.1505920225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Taron Egerton, left, and Mark Strong star in Kingsman: The Golden Circle","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Taron Egerton, left, and Mark Strong star in Kingsman: The Golden Circle","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4565473.1505920225!/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/scots-actress-kate-dickie-is-uk-s-most-prolific-1-4565684","id":"1.4565684","articleHeadline": "Scots actress Kate Dickie is UK’s ‘most prolific’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505935892000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish actress Kate Dickie has told of her shock at being named the most prolific British performer of the current decade.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565683.1505935901!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish actress Kate Dickie has told of her shock at being named the most prolific British performer of the current decade."} ,"articleBody": "

More popular with directors than Kate Winslet and Dame Judi Dench, East Kilbride-born Dickie was found by BFI Filmography, a treasure trove of data covering the past century of UK film, to be the most credited film actress of recent years.

Her 17 film credits include Red Road, Prometheus and The Witch.

The 46-year-old, who also appeared in Game of Thrones, has carved a reputation for playing dark and troubled characters. She was required to breastfeed a raven in supernatural film The Witch and concocted a rape revenge plan in Red Road.

Dickie said: “I was shocked, I thought they’d made a mistake.

“I’m just a jobbing actor. I am drawn to characters caught in extreme circumstances. I do get cast in a lot of challenging roles and that is a lot to do with the way I look.”

She said she would be happy to play a romantic lead. “But I don’t get offered those roles. It’s a shame if people think only someone with a certain look can play a lead.

“I want to see people on screen reflecting real life.”

She found the BFI statistics revealing that the proportion of women cast in British films has fallen since 1913 “horribly depressing.”

Dickie said: “A lot of the time your character’s sole purpose as a woman is to support a man’s story. But you can’t afford to turn work down. I told my agent ‘I don’t have any more prostitutes left in me’.

“I’ve played every sex worker and drug addict going. Breastfeeding a raven was “the most frightening thing I’ve ever done. I thought I’d be cradling a cute little bird and they brought out this pterodactyl. When someone doubted I’d be able to do it, that made me go, ‘Actually, I think I might.’”
Dickie’s first credited TV role was in Rab C Nesbitt, playing a young girl. Along with Game of Thrones, she has also appeared in Taggart, Still Game, and New Tricks.

She was followed in most credited list by Alice Lowe, (12 films) who wrote, directed and starred in Prevenge. Also starring in a dozen films is Jodie Whittaker, whose profile has soared since she was named the first female Doctor Who.

The BFI Research confirmed that women tend to have shorter careers and on average make fewer films than male actors. But a woman is the most featured character - Queen Victoria appears in 25 films. She is followed by two men, Sherlock Holmes (24 films) and James Bond (21).

Meanwhile, the research reveals ‘Man’ is the most common word in British film titles.

BFI found that 221 films of 10,000 films released since 1911, have man in the title.

Only 71 films meanwhile have woman in the title.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Adam SHERWIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4565683.1505935901!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565683.1505935901!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish actress Kate Dickie has told of her shock at being named the most prolific British performer of the current decade.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish actress Kate Dickie has told of her shock at being named the most prolific British performer of the current decade.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4565683.1505935901!/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/regions/edinburgh-fife-lothians/edinburgh-unveils-plans-for-festive-celebrations-in-new-town-1-4564099","id":"1.4564099","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh unveils plans for festive celebrations in New Town","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505919770853 ,"articleLead": "Huge ice and snow sculptures of Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, Dolly the Sheep, Greyfriars Bobby and the Loch Ness Monster will be brought into the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town for the festive season.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564097.1505818681!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A new 'frozen museum' attraction will be installed on George Street in the run-up to Christmas."} ,"articleBody": "

A “frozen museum” will be created at the west end of George Street as part of a major overhaul of the city’s winter festivals.

Kelpies, Highlands cows, Vikings and eagles will be among the other “Scottish icons” turned into works of art for The Ice Adventure, which will run until Christmas Eve.

The new ticketed event, billed as an “immersive walk-through experience”, will replace the popular Street of Light installation, which attracted more than half a million people to George Street and the Royal Mile in the last two years.

And one of Edinburgh’s most prominent buildings will be turned into a giant advent calendar as part of a drive to ensure attractions are more spread out around the city.

Historic images of Edinburgh in winter will be projected onto the face of General Register House, the national archive building at the corner of Princes Street and the Bridges, in the run-up to Christmas.

Underbelly, which is producing the Christmas event for the fifth time, has confirmed that the city’s popular festive ice rink will be allowed to return to St Andrew Square, despite a controversial ban on Fringe shows in the summer, for the duration of the seven-week festival.

However, the Famous Spiegeltent, the popular Fringe venue ousted from the historic garden in August, will be making a comeback elsewhere.

A special festive edition of La Clique, its popular late-night cabaret show, will instead be staged in Festival Square.

Other initiatives will see one of the city’s trams transformed for the festive season by schoolchildren who will be able to help redesign its branding. Young people will also be creating special window displays for St Giles’ Cathedral and several outlying parts of the city, including Leith, Craigmillar, Wester Hailes and Drumbrae.

Underbelly is joining forces with Hamilton Ice, producers of The Ice Kingdom event in London’s Hyde Park in recent years, to create the new attraction for George Street, which will open on November 17 and run until Christmas Eve.
Underbelly director Ed Bartlam said: “We’re really excited about The Ice Adventure, which is essentially a frozen museum which will take people through the iconic people and parts of Scotland.

“We’re going to be producing it with Hamilton, who are amazing ice sculptors, and it will be our big new attraction this year.

“We’ve had great success with Street of Light over the last two years, but we decided we wanted to do a big new free event.

“We will be turning General Register House into a massive advent calendar celebrating the winter through the years. Every evening between 5 and 10pm we will reveal a new window and a new image from Edinburgh’s winter history.”

More than 700,000 tickets were sold for Christmas events last year, compared to nearly 470,000 during the previous event. It is estimated there were 3.8 million visitors to the main sites at St Andrew Square and Princes Street Gardens.

Underbelly has confirmed that a special 20 per cent discount for local residents, which accounted for more than 130,000 tickets last year, will be repeated.

There was huge controversy earlier this year when it emerged that Fringe venues would not be allowed to operate in St Andrew Square due to concern from major properties about damage that was being done to the garden from big events.

However, Underbelly director Charlie Wood said agreement had been reached with the square’s owners for the ice rink to return for the forthcoming festive season at the beginning of this year.

He added: “It’s great that a beautiful square like this is going to be in use at Christmas. We only used the centre circle of the garden for the ice rink and the bar last year. The green space outside that was left untouched.”

Mr Bartlam said: “The ice rink is actually unique to St Andrew Square. We designed it specifically with that space in mind. All the local stakeholders understand that.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564097.1505818681!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564097.1505818681!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A new 'frozen museum' attraction will be installed on George Street in the run-up to Christmas.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A new 'frozen museum' attraction will be installed on George Street in the run-up to Christmas.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564097.1505818681!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564098.1505818683!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564098.1505818683!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The creators of The Ice Kingdom in London on the new addition to Edinburgh's festive line-up.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The creators of The Ice Kingdom in London on the new addition to Edinburgh's festive line-up.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564098.1505818683!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564108.1505819573!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564108.1505819573!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Historic images of Edinburgh in winter will be projected onto one of its most prominent buildings in the run-up to Christmas.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Historic images of Edinburgh in winter will be projected onto one of its most prominent buildings in the run-up to Christmas.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564108.1505819573!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/theatre-review-cilla-the-musical-edinburgh-playhouse-1-4565422","id":"1.4565422","articleHeadline": "Theatre review: Cilla The Musical, Edinburgh Playhouse","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505918702000 ,"articleLead": "

If you’re looking for spine-tingling moments in Edinburgh theatre this week, there are probably two on offer; and intriguingly, both are based on the history of the 1960s. One is the horrible, backward-looking sound of Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech of 1968, unforgettably re-created by Ian McDiarmid in What Shadows at the Lyceum. And the other - bursting with all the positive, forward-looking, youthful energy of that same period - is the electrifying moment in Cilla The Musical, at the Playhouse, when a brilliant Kara Lily Hayworth, playing the “people’s diva” from Liverpool, opens her lungs to the max and belts out Anyone Who Had A Heart, the mighty ballad that, in February 1964, first took Cilla to No. 1.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565421.1505918712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cilla The Musical"} ,"articleBody": "

Premiered in Liverpool last month, Cilla The Musical is essentially a soft-hearted musical biopic, based by writer Jeff Pope on his own 2014 television miniseries about Cilla. The story is built around Cilla’s relationship with her husband and manager Bobby Willis, beautifully played by Carl Au, who adored her from the first moment he saw her in a tiny Liverpool club, and stayed true even during the heady mid-Sixties years when she was being managed by the charismatic Brian Epstein; and if the narrative reaches a memorable climax at the end of the first act, with Cilla’s first No. 1, it struggles to find the same shape and coherence in the longer and darker second half, when Cilla and Bobby face tensions in their relationship, and the tragedy of Epstein’s untimely death. The plot, which ends in 1967, denies us even a resolving glimpse of Cilla and Bobby’s later happiness; and the second-half musical arrangements also seem incoherent and over-lush, sometimes drowning out Hayworth’s brilliant voice.

For all that, though, Cilla The Musical is a generous, heartfelt show featuring some terrific performances - not least from Andrew Lancel as Epstein - as well as a magnificent Sixties playlist packed with early Beatles hits, and all of Cilla’s blockbusting songs. And if there’s a sense that this production still needs more work to give the second half the same clear focus and perfectly-pitched performances as the first, then it also has plenty of brilliant material to work with; as it explores that vital moment in our history when music, love, politics and social change merged into one mighty musical wave of empowerment and joy, somewhere on the backstreets of Liverpool.

*Cilla The Musical at Edinburgh Playhouse until 23 September; and at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, from 30 January until 3 February

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4565421.1505918712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565421.1505918712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Cilla The Musical","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cilla The Musical","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4565421.1505918712!/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-threepenny-opera-at-the-king-s-theatre-edinburgh-1-4565238","id":"1.4565238","articleHeadline": "Theatre review: Threepenny Opera at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505913006000 ,"articleLead": "

So in the middle of the opening chorus, one of the big lights over the stage shatters spectacularly, apparently blowing the whole lighting-rig; and for the next two-and-a-half hours, we find ourselves plunged into a world of improvised lighting provided by storm-lanterns and stray spotlights, while cast members puff along on makeshift generator bicycles.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565352.1505916048!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Attic Ensemble's Threepenny Opera"} ,"articleBody": "

Threepenny Opera ****

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

It’s an original way to take the audience back to the poor theatre world of Bertolt Brecht’s early work in 1920s Berlin; but it works brilliantly, generating a wave of raw energy and complicity, between stage and audience, rarely seen in a comfortable theatre like the King’s.

The Threepenny Opera is the last of three shows produced this year by Attic Theatre, the King’s company for young professionals, and director Susan Worsfold’s formidably talented young ensemble of 18 actors seize this 1928 Brecht-Weill classic by the throat, never flinching from the fierce, ironic energy that drives the story – set in 19th century London – of the compulsively womanising arch-criminal Macheath, and the layers of self-serving criminality that surround him.

Charlie West is a charismatic Macheath, Kirsty Punton’s performance as his latest “wife” Polly Peachum is a satirical masterpiece of feminist fury veiled in china-doll looks. And with some of the company forming a scratch onstage band under Simon Goldring’s superb musical direction, the whole show rattles to a truly Brechtian conclusion as the cast rasp out a final chorus of What Keeps A Man Alive and Mack The Knife - a fittingly fierce finale to their year in the King’s attic studio, working on the big themes of sex, war and money, in apocalyptic times.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4565352.1505916048!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565352.1505916048!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Attic Ensemble's Threepenny Opera","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Attic Ensemble's Threepenny Opera","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4565352.1505916048!/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-lcd-soundsystem-at-barrowland-glasgow-1-4565117","id":"1.4565117","articleHeadline": "Music review: LCD Soundsystem at Barrowland, Glasgow","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505908073000 ,"articleLead": "

According to the lyrics of one of LCD Soundsystem’s best loved songs New York brings them down, but Glasgow lifted them high last night, as the Brooklyn cool cat ensemble returned to play the first of two sold out shows in their favourite venue, turning Barrowland into a Studio 54 boogie wonderland with their signature spinning discoball.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565116.1505908081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem"} ,"articleBody": "

LCD Soundsystem ****

Barrowland, Glasgow

Below its beams, the stage was set with an orchestra of synthesizers and percussion, with the eight players, including foreman James Murphy, at their stations, turning out a production line of irresistible grooves from the driving motorik rhythm of Call the Police to the 80s synth pop vibe of I Can Change, while an LCD clock counted down the two-hour shift.

Not everyone can translate great music taste into great original music, but Murphy is a shrewd curator of dance music traditions. Yr City’s a Sucker showcased the punk edge to their partying, while the fuzzy analogue synth sound and techno pulse of Tribulations exhibited the ever-present influence of New Order.

The crowd were suitably fired up for the nosebleed electro punk of Movement but let loose in more cathartic style on the torch song New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down, with Murphy mining the melodrama for all he was worth. However, his entertaining spoken word chronicle Losing My Edge remains the quintessential LCD punk-funk number, dedicated here to Glasgow club night Optimo which first brought this New York party band to town.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4565116.1505908081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4565116.1505908081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4565116.1505908081!/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/paisley-wins-10m-in-backing-for-uk-city-of-culture-bid-1-4564386","id":"1.4564386","articleHeadline": "Paisley wins £10m in backing for UK City of Culture bid","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505838541827 ,"articleLead": "The Scottish Government has committed £10 million to Paisley's bid to become the UK's next culture capital.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564385.1505831523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fiona Hyslop was in Paisley today to announce the backing for its UK City of Culture bid."} ,"articleBody": "

The Renfrewshire town is one of five contenders vying for the title in 2021, which is due to be announced by the UK Government in December.

Ministers have pledged £7 million in direct funding from the government and £3 million through its agencies for Paisley’s bid.

Renfrewshire Council, which is spearheading the bid, has pledged a further £8.7 million from its own budget. If successful, Paisley would secure a further £3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Paisley has predicted an economic boost of £172 million and the creation of 4700 jobs over a 10-year period if its bid is successful.

Paisley is competing against Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea for the right to succeed Hull, which is basking in the limelight of the title this year.

Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop revealed the backing for Paisley bid during a cultural summit in the town, which is due to lodge its bid at the end of this month.

She said: “I’m very pleased to confirm the Scottish Government’s support for Paisley 2021’s bid as the UK City of Culture.

“It’s an exciting prospect which fits in well with the government’s ambitions as we recognise the significant contribution Paisley makes to Scotland’s rich cultural life and the local and national boost this would bring.

“The Scottish Government is including its contribution to the Paisley bid within its spending review plans, as will the national agencies.”

Council leader Iain Nicolson, chair of the Paisley 2021 board, said: “There has never been a Scottish winner of the competition but we would love to be the first.

“The pledge supports our view that a successful bid for Paisley will produce benefits that will be felt across the whole country in terms of visitor numbers and economic impact and as a showcase of cultural excellence.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564385.1505831523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564385.1505831523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fiona Hyslop was in Paisley today to announce the backing for its UK City of Culture bid.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fiona Hyslop was in Paisley today to announce the backing for its UK City of Culture bid.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564385.1505831523!/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-ryan-adams-at-the-usher-hall-edinburgh-1-4564289","id":"1.4564289","articleHeadline": "Music review: Ryan Adams at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505827685000 ,"articleLead": "

If there are not already enough purely musical reasons to love Ryan Adams, his quirky insistence on the anachronistic use of swathes of fragranced dry ice, more suitable for an 80s goth band or a production of Phantom of the Opera than one of the most adored Americana songwriters of his generation, could well have clinched the love affair.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564288.1505827695!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryan Adams performs at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. PIC: Alan Rennie"} ,"articleBody": "

Ryan Adams ****

Usher Hall, Edinburgh

For many, Adams is the Springsteen of his generation but he can be a right awkward article, a notoriously tetchy and precious performer, if more than sufficiently talented to make the grief worthwhile. So if Ryan wants dry ice, so be it.

As things turned out, the only great drama over the next two hours was that inherently present in his music, as he and his righteous band launched into devotional opener Do You Still Love Me? Need he ask? The capacity crowd were smitten at the first chord.

But while Adams is an accomplished roots rocker, truly honouring both elements of that description, he is an even greater troubadour, a quite exquisite songwriter who could silence a room with the beauty of his melodies – not this vociferous room though, we’re all too excited at the prospect of Adams and acoustic guitar at the front of the stage, heading off piste due to some perceived technical difficulty which held the band at bay for a few numbers.

The sparse but spellbinding solo likes of My Winding Wheel, Jacksonville Skyline, Ashes & Fire and Prisoner, an aching paean to the hell of love from his most recent album, all rang out with a pure, direct emotional vulnerability, enhanced by the beautiful Usher Hall acoustic, before the reverie was broken in delicious fashion by the return of the rollicking soulful rock’n’roll band experience, with Adams pledging to play on through the curfew to complete his intended marathon set.

In the end, he confined himself to letting rip most thrillingly on an extended acid rock wigout at the heart of Cold Roses, followed up with some Neil Young noodling and revved up to a rock’n’roll finish with guest backing vocals from his support act Karen Elson, the Oldham-born, Nashville-based model and former Mrs Jack White, who had earlier delivered a fine set of fragrant gothic country pop, embellished with bluegrass fiddle and a certain Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra spirit.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564288.1505827695!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564288.1505827695!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ryan Adams performs at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. PIC: Alan Rennie","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryan Adams performs at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. PIC: Alan Rennie","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564288.1505827695!/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-lammermuir-festival-1-4564284","id":"1.4564284","articleHeadline": "Music review: Lammermuir Festival","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505827410000 ,"articleLead": "

The sensuous harmonies of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde Prelude felt like great waves of sound surging to fill the cavernous interior of St Mary’s Church, Haddington, then breaking over the capacity audience. It was an appropriately imposing opening to this year’s Lammermuir Festival, as grand, generous and confident as the ten-day East Lothian event itself feels, having recently won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2017 festival award in just its eighth outing.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564283.1505827419!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Harpsichordist John Butt"} ,"articleBody": "

It was an unhurried, thrillingly immediate Wagner performance from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (****) under Martyn Brabbins on Friday evening, all caressing melodies and lovingly sculpted textures that made full use of the church’s resonant acoustic.

That acoustic provided a clear backdrop, too, for Brabbins’s brisk, good-natured Mahler Fourth Symphony – strings dug into their lines (basses were particularly rich); woodwind were vivid; brass glowed.

Brabbins balanced unselfconscious simplicity in the Symphony’s slow movement with a pleasingly sinister edge to a fractured, devilish scherzo, with leader Laura Samuel on oily form in her lopsided violin solos.

Young soprano Rowan Pierce added wide-eyed, youthful authenticity to the child’s view of heaven in the Symphony’s concluding song with her pure, graceful voice. She was occasionally rather submerged in the orchestra’s textures, however – something that had also been an issue in her three Mozart arias earlier in the programme.

It felt like a pilgrimage on Saturday afternoon to travel to far-flung Humbie Kirk, a miniature 19th-century edifice nestled in its own secluded valley, for Bach’s Goldberg Variations from scholar, Dunedin Consort director and (in this case) harpsichordist John Butt (***).

He’s known for the flamboyance and flair of his playing, but this performance at times sounded perplexingly idiosyncratic. There was a beautifully improvisatory freedom to his opening Aria, but elsewhere rhythms were stretched beyond consistency and he flicked furiously through the pages of his score, as though in a rush to get to the end.

He played with fearsome focus and eloquent ornamentation, however, and it was nothing if not thought-provoking – and just as stimulating as Butt’s fascinating introduction, in which he expounded on what he called Bach’s ‘spiral time’, blending linear and cyclical notions of time.

Saturday’s evening concert took place in the warm, elegant interior of Dirleton Kirk, with an equally warm, elegant account of Schubert’s Octet from the Hebrides Ensemble (*****).

The Kirk’s generous acoustic no doubt aided the group’s astonishingly rich, velvety sound – with glowing contributions from bassist Enno Senft and Stephen Stirling on horn – but it was a performance full of vivid character, too, not least in its sharply etched theme and variations movement.

The evening’s discovery, however, was the opening Rhapsodic Quintet (a clarinet quintet in all but name) by Herbert Howells, written in 1919, sounding like Debussy meeting Vaughan Williams, and given an astonishingly full-blooded, vigorous account by the Hebrides players. Clarinettist Lynsey Marsh’s lyrical lines were very much embedded in the almost orchestral richness of Howells’s textures, but she shone through nonetheless in what was a captivating, compelling performance. It was an arresting, sometimes provocative start to this year’s Lammermuir events, and a bracing launchpad for the coming week’s music.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Kettle"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564283.1505827419!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564283.1505827419!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Harpsichordist John Butt","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Harpsichordist John Butt","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564283.1505827419!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/tv-radio/scots-comedian-susan-calman-slaps-down-twitter-trolls-1-4564129","id":"1.4564129","articleHeadline": "Scots comedian Susan Calman slaps down Twitter trolls","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505820931000 ,"articleLead": "

A comedian signed up to take part in the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing has revealed how she was bodyshamed by online trolls before the first episode airs this weekend.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564128.1505820940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Susan Calman. Picture: Ian Georgeson/TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

Susan Calman shared a video clip of pop star Beyonce flicking her hair with the words: “I don’t often interact with trolls but occasionally I do. For years I thought I was fat and ugly. I’m not. And I won’t let anyone say I am.”

The Scots performer, daughter of Glasgow University chancellor Sir Kenneth Calman, added: “I have a five-year-old niece. I want her to know that no one (man or woman) should make her feel bad about how she looks. Strictly is for her.”

Calman had shared several pictures of her rehearsing for the hit BBC1 show, which returns on Saturday, only to subjected to cruel remarks from some users regarding her appearence.

One anonymous account said “They let pigs dance?” to which Calman replied: “No, but they do let d***s on Twitter.”

Last month Calman was the victim of homophobic abuse after she first announced her partipation in Strictly.

In response, the comic said: “I can be both a kick ass time travelling lesbian and a bombshell in a dress. That’s the joy of Strictly.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "AMY WATSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564128.1505820940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564128.1505820940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Susan Calman. Picture: Ian Georgeson/TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Susan Calman. Picture: Ian Georgeson/TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564128.1505820940!/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-grid-iron-s-examination-of-scottish-justice-1-4559350","id":"1.4559350","articleHeadline": "Theatre: Grid Iron’s examination of Scottish justice","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505811600000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish justice system comes under scrutiny in Grid Iron’s new drama, in which members of the audience are invited to join a jury

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559349.1505320077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Bett will be presiding over the criminal trial in Jury Play"} ,"articleBody": "

It’s 21 years now since Grid Iron first exploded onto the Scottish theatre scene, as brilliant Edinburgh-based pioneers of the site-specific and site-responsive theatre movement that would sweep across UK and international theatre over the next decade.

From their unforgettable version of Angela Carter’s Bloody Chamber, presented in Mary King’s Close before it became a tourist attraction, through the Rabelais show Gargantua that was the first ever staged in the venue now known as the Underbelly, to shows played out in play parks across Scotland, an island off Stavanger in Norway, a mortuary in Cork, and the top floor of Debenham’s in Princes Street, the company led by producer-director Judith Doherty and director Ben Harrison – who met at university in Edinburgh 25 years ago – has taken audiences to places they have never seen before, not only physically, but also creatively and emotionally.

So it’s hardly surprising that when the company decided, back in 2011, to turn their attention towards Scotland’s justice system, their first thought was to try to present the show in Edinburgh’s High Court, or in the nearby Sheriff Court in Chambers Street. In the end, it was not to be; the time constraints were too severe, the architecture of the spaces too rigid, the politics of presenting a show potentially critical of the system, in spaces dedicated to upholding the system, a little too complicated.

Yet by the time the Traverse Theatre came on board as a co-producer of the project, 18 months ago, the company were feeling increasingly confident about staging Jury Play in a large flexible theatre space like Traverse One, not least so that the play could actively challenge our assumptions about how a courtroom should look, and the respective roles of the various familiar characters in the courtroom “drama” – the judge, the advocates, the accused, and the 15 good citizens and true who, in Scotland, make up the jury in criminal trials.

“This whole project was inspired by the work of the brilliant criminologist Dr Jenny Scott, who we first worked with back in 2011 on our project What Remains,” says Harrison. “Jenny has been a performer herself, and her current research is about the way courtrooms work, and the different roles people play there – in particular, the role played by the jury. So she has co-written this play with me, and we’ve very much worked on it together, step by step.”

Although it will take place in a theatre – and most of the audience will be seated in the normal way – Jury Play is still involved in that restless exploration of the relationship between performers and audience that is the hallmark of Grid Iron’s work. In this case, audience members will be asked as they arrive whether they are willing to act as jury members or not; then a random selection of those who have volunteered will be called on stage to become the jury in the case. This introduces an elements of uncertainty to the unfolding of the story, for which all of Harrison’s seven-strong cast must be prepared; and the brilliant Scottish stage veteran John Bett, playing the judge, says that although he expects most of his words to be scripted, he is ready to improvise if necessary.

“I do love the kind of theatre that contains a strong element of information and factual material, as well as drama,” says Bett, who first shot to fame as a member of the legendary first 7:84 Scotland Company in 1973, as they toured Scotland updating the factual elements of The Cheviot, The Stag And The Black, Black Oil from show to show. “I spent a day in the High Court last week, watching judges dealing with various aspects of their work – sentencing, presiding over a criminal trial, consulting with defence and prosecution advocates about a matter of law; and I’m meeting a retired sheriff later, to try to get more insights into how the system works.

“Ben Harrison and I first discussed this project a few years ago, when we were doing workshops at Dundee based on Brecht’s Life Of Galileo, which involved an astronomer from the university there; then I was lucky enough to work on the development phase of this script back in 2015. So it’s great to be involved again; and although there’s always some element of risk, with a high level of audience participation, I see it as part of my job to keep the show on track – or at least to make sure that the dramatic soufflé doesn’t collapse, at a crucial moment.”

One of the main points of Scott’s research, though, is to suggest that conventional ideas about courtroom procedure are no longer working as well as they should, either for jurors who want to do a good job, or – crucially – for the accused; so we should expect a show that plays with and challenges our expectations of courtroom drama, from Agatha Christie to LA Law and beyond.

“I’ve always been a bit obsessed with courtroom dramas,” says Grid Iron’s producer-director Jude Doherty, “so it’s interesting that this show definitely isn’t one, although it 
refers back to the genre. Instead, we’ll be exploring new ideas about how juries might work, and the audience will be hearing some of the inner thoughts of the main players, as events unfold. It has a definite edge 
of unpredictability to it. And one 
good thing,” she adds with a laugh, 
“is that we do have a genuine authority figure on stage, in the shape of John Bett as the judge. I have a feeling that with this show, there might be performances where that will come in very handy indeed.”

Jury Play is at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 3-7 October

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4559349.1505320077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559349.1505320077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John Bett will be presiding over the criminal trial in Jury Play","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Bett will be presiding over the criminal trial in Jury Play","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4559349.1505320077!/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/film-interview-radical-filmmaker-bruce-labruce-i-do-consider-pornographers-as-artists-1-4559338","id":"1.4559338","articleHeadline": "Film interview – Radical filmmaker Bruce LaBruce: ‘I do consider pornographers as artists’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505811600000 ,"articleLead": "

Rejected by the mainstream gay film industry as too pornographic and by the porn world for being too artistic, director Bruce LaBruce is comfortable being a ‘radical centrist’, writes Alistair Harkness

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564022.1505815020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A scene from The Misandrists by Bruce LaBruce"} ,"articleBody": "

Opening this year’s Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF), Bruce LaBruce’s provocatively titled new film The Misandrists couldn’t be timelier. Revolving around a lesbian terrorist cell called the Female Liberation Army (FLA)as they plot to topple the patriarchy, the Canadian artist and filmmaker’s riotous, sexually liberated, politically incorrect opus arrives at a moment when gender politics and LGBT+ issues have become a regular fixture of both the mainstream news cycle and the pop culture landscape.

“It’s funny,” says LaBruce, on a Skype call from his home in Toronto. “I watched the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale and it was kind of interesting that it covers some of the same territory. Instead of a dystopian world in which women are literally enslaved and subjugated to men, mine is a more utopian world in which women reject men and try to forge their own society.”

Set in a girls’ school run by a former porn star called Big Mother, and featuring a subplot in which its most secretive pupil provides shelter to an injured male anarchist sympathetic to their cause, The Misandrist is, admits LaBruce, also a loose remake of Don Seigel’s The Beguiled, a film that was updated more recently (and more officially) by Sofia Coppola – albeit without the witty digressions into hardcore feminist theory, hardcore pornography and hardcore gore that LaBruce’s spin on the premise brings to the table.

“I can dig pretty deeply into ideas about gender and feminism that you wouldn’t see so much in a mainstream film,” agrees LaBruce, name-checking the likes of Simone de Beauvoir and Ulrike Meinhof. The latter’s transition from radical feminist to terrorist leader of the Red Army Faction is also one of the more blatant inspirations for his outré satire, which, LaBruce says, is intended as a critique of certain aspects of radical feminism while also being supportive of the spirit of feminism. The title plays into that. “It’s kind of a hyperbolic expression of a certain kind of radical feminism,” elaborates LaBruce. “But it’s also a kind of rebalancing of history. After millennia of subjugation and patriarchal oppression, it’s a cathartic thing for women to be able to express that kind of anger and hatred. That’s why the over-the-top castration scene is there.” Oh yeah, there’s an over-the-top castration scene. “It’s meant to be cathartic reaction against the weight of history and oppression of women.”

That kind of outrageous expression of serious ideas is one of the hallmarks of his work. He also makes explicit and frequent use of hardcore porn and views gay porn stars as “the last bastion of gay radicalism” in an era of mainstream assimilation. In The Misandrists, the FLA celebrates pornography as an “honourable expression of sexuality”, a path to liberation and an artform that’s “inherently hostile to the dominant order”. LaBruce doesn’t disagree.

“I do consider pornographers as artists. Some of them are bad artists, but I still think it’s a form of artistic expression.” Indeed, he sees his work as part of a tradition that encompasses the gay avant-garde (Andy Warhol’s Blue Movie and Jean Genet’s Un Chant d’Amour are both porn films, he reasons), the work of 1970s porn directors such as Peter De Rome, and the gay liberation movement of the 1970s and 1980s. “The engine of gay liberation was sex,” he says, “militant, unapologetic gay sex. And that’s been kind of forgotten.”

Not by him. He’s been using sex in this way since he emerged from academia and immersed himself in Toronto’s punk scene. “In the context of punk, making queer films was very controversial because at that time there was a certain strain of homophobia in the punk/skinhead scene. So I started using hardcore gay porn imagery as kind of a political gesture.”

With films such as No Skin of My Ass (which Kurt Cobain declared his favourite film) and Hustler White (which is also screening at SQIFF), he became a key figure of the New Queer Cinema movement of the early 1990s. Though his more explicit use of sexual imagery meant he didn’t enjoy the same crossover success as contemporaries such as Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, Gregg Araki and Rose Troche – whose movies were more readily embraced within the thriving Sundance-led indie film scene of the day – LaBruce was happy his work reached the audiences they did, something he attributes to the parallel rise of specialist lesbian and gay film festivals. Ironically, some of those festivals now refuse to show his work. “A lot of the mainstream gay film festivals are not showing The Misandrists because they think it’s politically incorrect… One of the main gay film festivals said they couldn’t programme a film about lesbians by a gay man, which I think is preposterous.”

But then he’s pretty despondent about the Left as a whole. “I identify now as a radical centrist,” he says.

He hasn’t, however, been left out in the cold. In fact, he gained some mainstream artistic legitimacy in 2015 when New York’s Museum of Modern Art did a retrospective of his work. “They did get some flack for it,” he quips. Nevertheless, he knows the pornographic content of his work remains a barrier to many. “In some ways I’ve always been considered too pornographic for the art world and too artistic for the porn world. I’m kind of in this weird netherworld in the middle.”

Maybe he’s just destined to be a radical centrist.


The Misandrists screens at the Scottish Queer International Film Festival on 27 September, www.sqiff.org

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Alistair Harkness"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564022.1505815020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564022.1505815020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A scene from The Misandrists by Bruce LaBruce","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A scene from The Misandrists by Bruce LaBruce","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564022.1505815020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4564023.1505815025!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4564023.1505815025!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Film director Bruce LaBruce","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Film director Bruce LaBruce","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4564023.1505815025!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/film/film-five-things-to-see-at-the-scottish-queer-international-film-festival-1-4559367","id":"1.4559367","articleHeadline": "Film: Five things to see at the Scottish Queer International Film Festival","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505321295000 ,"articleLead": "

Our film critic picks highlights from this year’s SQIFF

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559337.1505321286!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Signature Move is the closing film of SQIFF"} ,"articleBody": "


Built around footage shot in 1992 by co-director Catherine Gund, this documentary portrait of the late Chavela Vargas, right, promises an intimate look of the legendary Costa Rican/Mexican singer who counted Frieda Kahlo among her many lovers and Pedro Almodóvar among her biggest fans.

Glasgow Film Theatre, 28 September, 8:30pm

Play the Devil

Writer/director/producer Maria Gava’s Trinidad and Tobago-set drama revolves around a gifted 18-year-old student whose future is thrown into disarray when an older businessman forms an obsession with him.

CCA, Glasgow, 28 September, 6:15pm

Looking Awry: Representations of Bisexual Desire on Screen

Trawling through classic Hollywood films to underground cinema, this special event looks at the ways in which bisexuality has been tackled in movies.

CCA, 30 September, 12:45pm

Women Who Kill

This award-winning debut for writer/director/producer/star Ingrid Jungermann follows former couple Morgan (Jungermann) and Jean (Ann Carr) as their ongoing relationship hosting their titular true-crime podcast in Brooklyn takes a strange turn when Morgan falls for someone who might actually fit the ‘Women Who Kill’ bill.

CCA, 29 September, 6pm

Signature Move

Drawing comparisons with Desiree Akhavan’s excellent Appropriate Behaviour, SQIFF’s closing-night film revolves around Zayneb, a semi-closeted Pakistani-American lawyer (played by co-writer Fawzia Mirza) who’s trying to balance life caring for her widowed mother with the demands of her job, a new relationship and a side-career as a wrestler, inset.

CCA, 1 October, 8:30pm


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Alistair Harkness"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4559337.1505321286!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559337.1505321286!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Signature Move is the closing film of SQIFF","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Signature Move is the closing film of SQIFF","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4559337.1505321286!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/aidan-smith-don-t-reform-oasis-lads-you-re-more-fun-when-you-fight-1-4563700","id":"1.4563700","articleHeadline": "Aidan Smith: Don’t reform Oasis, lads, you’re more fun when you fight","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505797200000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s the rock reunion many want but Aidan Smith reckons Noel and Liam’s insults are better than their songs

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563699.1505763545!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gallagher and bile: The vicious and at times undoubtedly witty rivalry between the Mancunian siblings offers better entertainment than any potential reunion gigs for Oasis"} ,"articleBody": "

Noel Gallagher turned up twice on TV over the weekend. The first time was an old clip in a rock documentary from when his band Oasis were on top of the world. Cocky as hell, he smirked: “If my old music teacher is watching… do you want to borrow a tenner?” The second time was the football highlights when the cameras cut to the posh seats and there he was: older, rounder in the face, less hungry in every sense and, as his brother Liam would suggest, “smug”.

Did I say Oasis were Noel’s band? Liam always claimed they were his. Noel was the songwriter but Liam reckoned he trumped this by being the singer, the frontman, better looking and even cockier. Right after these sightings of the older Gallagher, Liam was the subject of a magazine interview and there he was: older, but in every other respect just the same. Still believing that Anorak Wearer of the Year is a title worth retaining. Still ranting at the world and in particular Noel.

The full quote was: “You just don’t want to turn into a lot of these other people who are out there, i.e. our kid, who just seem very smug in their f***ing little lives.” I scoured the interview in vain for evidence of a softening of attitude, the possibility of détente. This is the way it has been between these two since 2009 when Oasis split up.

Taken at face value all the jibes and slaggings would seem to indicate there will never be a reunion. But there’s bound to be, don’t you think? All successful groups, and even unsuccessful ones, get back together eventually. In the the case of Oasis it won’t be Definitely Maybe but Definitely Definitely.

Oasis were monsters. They flogged more than 70 million albums and were the key players in a musical movement (Britpop), a cultural movement (Cool Britannia) and an intellectual-philosophical one (Laddism). Men, and not just northern working class toerags, wanted to talk like them (lots of swearing) and walk like them (the way carpet-fitters do, as if lugging heavy rolls under each arm). With their cigarette-lighter anthems Wonderwall and Don’t Look Back in Anger, they encouraged blokes to show their emotions, or at least to indulge in beery hugging-wrestling at the end of yet another Binge Britain night. Tony Blair invited Noel to No 10 and got so tipsy on the hand-of-history significance of the encounter that he slurred into Gordon Brown’s ear: “You’re my besht mate, you are.” (Well, almost).

Nothing either Gallagher has done since has come close to matching that, and Liam admits that his upcoming first solo album will be “the last throw of the dice” for him. But should they re-form? They wouldn’t want to simply play the hits, for risk of becoming a tribute-act pastiche of themselves. But there must also be a risk, if choonsmith Noel is as content with his life as Liam spittingly claims, that he won’t have anything relevant to say, that any new Oasis songs would be watered-down versions of old Oasis songs, which were themselves watered-down versions of classic Beatles songs. To paraphrase Johnny Rotten, Oasis have enjoyed lots of cheap holidays in other people’s melodies. “Do some old!” is the fond cry from the audience on the rock reunion circuit, and nothing has fans streaming towards the bar, if not pouring right out into the car park, quite like the dread words: “And now we’d like to play a song from our new album … ”

You can probably tell I wasn’t a devotee, first-time-round, although to be fair, over-exposure quickly became an issue. The newspaper where I worked at the time was obsessed with Oasis, their antics, the rivalry with Blur and especially the sibling power-struggle which must have began when Ma Gallagher asked: “Right, who wants the top bunk?”

On this excitable journal’s showbiz desk I was part of a special Oasis unit, semi-official but relentless in its pursuit of week-long follow-ups to the latest Liam walk-out. These would involve ringing round rent-an-exposition psychologists and other musical brothers (“Hello, is that Pat Kane from Hue & Cry? Sorry to bother you again … ”). When Oasis came to town, all leave was cancelled. I wasn’t at Glasgow’s King Tut’s the night they were discovered – don’t believe those who claim to have been – but after a mega-gig at Loch Lomond, myself and three colleagues had to stay up all night monitoring the band’s hotel for possible orgy-type behaviour.

But while I don’t much care for the music, I have a huge soft spot for the brothers. The rivalry may not quite reach Shakespearean or Steinbeckian heights but they’re great at being grumpy with each other. Even though I reckon I know how this soap opera is going to end, I continue to be entertained by the sometimes stunning insults, viz: “He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet – like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” That was Noel on Liam and I’m not sure the man has penned a lyric as smart as that these past eight Oasis-less years. If the brothers were to get back together, Liam would just go all flabby and Noel flabbier still.

Five years ago, insisting Oasis wouldn’t be reforming before the Smiths or the Kinks, Noel told me why he turned down Simon Cowell’s offer of a job on The X Factor: “I love the show but imagine what ‘judges’ houses week’ would have been like: all them checkout girls from Rochdale trampling on me daffs and scaring the cat. I wasn’t having that.” Yet more evidence of the wit he doesn’t put in his songs – he should become a comedian. And Liam should just stay angry, waving his fork furiously.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "AIDAN SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563699.1505763545!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563699.1505763545!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gallagher and bile: The vicious and at times undoubtedly witty rivalry between the Mancunian siblings offers better entertainment than any potential reunion gigs for Oasis","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gallagher and bile: The vicious and at times undoubtedly witty rivalry between the Mancunian siblings offers better entertainment than any potential reunion gigs for Oasis","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563699.1505763545!/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/stv-vows-to-turbo-charge-new-era-of-drama-production-1-4563560","id":"1.4563560","articleHeadline": "STV vows to 'turbo charge' new era of drama production","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505756027083 ,"articleLead": "STV is to roll out a string of drama series set in Scotland for the first time since the demise of Taggart seven years ago.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563559.1505751346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "STV's long-running crime drama Taggart ran from 1983 to 2010."} ,"articleBody": "

It is bringing in one of Britain’s leading producers to help “turbo charge” its development of drama over the next few years.

Channel chiefs say they are planning “a raft of projects set in Scotland” under a new commitment to “distinctive, high-quality, writer-led shows.”

STV has revealed it is joining forces with Elaine Collins, who brought Vera and Shetland to the small screen, and has previously worked with both BBC and ITV.

STV Productions, which previously made Rebus and Taggart, is already working on a brand new legal drama for BBC One.

The Victim, a four-part drama set in Edinburgh, is billed as a gripping, contemporary thriller which will offer a “constantly surprising and twisting perspective on who is really the victim.”

Sarah Brown, head of drama at STV Productions, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Elaine on this exciting new venture. She is hugely respected in the industry thanks to her fantastic writer relationships, terrific development brain, and impeccable taste.

“Her track-record making shows which are so loved and admired will give a fantastic boost to our ambitions to grow our drama business and to build on our past successes as a leading producer of top quality drama both north and south of the border.

“Drama development being such a slow process, and the competition for slots so stiff, it is fantastic to have a producer of Elaine's calibre working with us at STV. It will enable us to develop a bigger and more varied slate of projects and increase our chances of securing more commissions to follow on from The Victim.

"In the short term, Elaine will be concentrating her efforts on finding new projects (she won’t be working on The Victim ) and we very much hope that combining our forces will result in many more dramas from STV Productions in the future. “

Ms Collins, a former film and TV actress who is married to Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, was previously an executive producer at ITV Studios and creative director at BBC Drama.

She now has her own company, Tod Productions, which is said to have signed an “exclusive deal” with STV Productions.

She said: “I’m very much looking forward to teaming up with Sarah and STV Productions.

“Our shared ambition to work with the very best screenwriting talent, provide a home for the most original novels, both historical and contemporary, and our passionate commitment to producing top quality work from Scotland and beyond, makes it feel like the perfect home for me.”

STV Productions has concentrated mainly on entertainment shows like Antiques Road Trip and Catchphrase, and documentaries the award-winning programmes on the Piper Alpha disaster and the Dunblane massacre.

The Victim, the first new drama series STV has filmed in Scotland since the demise of Taggart in 2010, will begin filming early next year.

The series, written by Rob Williams, is described as “a gripping, contemporary legal thriller told through the eyes of the plaintiff and the accused.”

Ms Brown added: “It’s particularly exciting to be making a drama set and shot in Scotland, and to be able to tell a story which is both totally rooted in its setting, and yet utterly universal in its concerns.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563559.1505751346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563559.1505751346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "STV's long-running crime drama Taggart ran from 1983 to 2010.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "STV's long-running crime drama Taggart ran from 1983 to 2010.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563559.1505751346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563591.1505756028!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563591.1505756028!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Former BBC and ITV executive Elaine Collins is to help mastermind a new era of drama production at STV.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former BBC and ITV executive Elaine Collins is to help mastermind a new era of drama production at STV.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563591.1505756028!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/interview-robert-bathurst-1-4563297","id":"1.4563297","articleHeadline": "Interview: Robert Bathurst","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505739893000 ,"articleLead": "

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563295.1505739879!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robert Bathurst stars in Cold Feet on STV, Fridays, 9pm Picture: Debra Hurford Brown"} ,"articleBody": "

No, I don’t associate myself with the character at all,” says Robert Bathurst, sounding exactly like David Marsden, his character from Cold Feet.

Urbane, incredibly polite, charming, yet slightly apologetic and quietly spoken, he has one of those voices that make you feel as if he is genuinely delighted to be talking to you, that you have his undivided attention. Generally cast as well-spoken and upper middle class, whether tending towards honourable or bounder, with his smart suits and slightly foppish grey hair, he puts you in mind of the upmarket lawyer he may well have been if the Cambridge Footlights hadn’t lured him from his law degree into full-time acting, or indeed of “management consultant/investment consultant” David Marsden.

“Acting is just colouring in,” he says, “so you try to colour in as best you can, but what comes first is what the author writes. Obviously some aspects of your instinctive reactions might be your own, and then all the grace notes you find from other things go in there. But I play high and low class too, you know.”

Back on our screens last year after a 13-year gap and nearly 20 years after it first aired, Cold Feet is just as popular second time round with its cast of James Nesbitt, John Thomson, Faye Ripley, Hermione Norris, as well as Bathhurst, this time joined by Benidorm and The Loch actress Siobhan Finneran. Over six million people tuned in to the first episode of the 2016 season of the ITV drama, to see how the friends had coped with the vicissitudes of life. Older, but apparently not much wiser, they continue to marry and split up, land and lose jobs, struggle to parent and generally make a mess of things, not least Marsden. Having wound up in the criminal and divorce courts last season, he has a knack of turning his self-inflicted misfortunes around and may yet come up smiling apologetically once again.

“I love playing him,” says Bathurst, who is delighted to be back for another seven episodes of Cold Feet, reprising the role of the… what exactly is it David does again?

“Do you know, I’m not really very sure,” he says. “There was one episode where I sang a nursery song to one of my children, ‘Bye Bye Baby Bunting, daddy’s management consulting…’ so we think that was it, but I don’t really know what David does for a living. He’s sort of in the financial world...

“He was originally a sort of ex-yuppie. When we first saw him in 1996 we had been through 11 years of Maggie and he was a creation of that. Those characters aren’t meant to have a chink of humanity so you’re surprised when David does, albeit he gets it wrong. He comes from a milieu that is bent on perfection yet he’s wholly flawed so people enjoy that,” he says.

“At first you question if we’re doing it again just to fill a hole in the schedules left by Downton, you know, is it happening for the right reasons? But you realise there’s a good reason for coming back; we’ve grown older and it’s richer for the gap. And to be working with the same lot again, yes it was very warming.

“All of the characters have been affected by their experiences over the years so they’re not just flying one flag as characters, there’s more flow than that. And David is less sharp in his aspirations,” he says.

“One thing with middle age, you just think ‘oh, sod it, who cares’ about certain things, and you see them from a different angle. For David the materialistic drive is less important and the jobs aren’t there for him. Spiritually too, other things matter more and he appreciates friendship, something he’s not very good at. There’s a golden thread between those main characters, from the weight of shared history that comes from long-term friendships.”

At the end of the last series David has been released from prison after his investment advice turned out to be dubious and he’s without a home or a job. Will ex-wife Karen, who he is possibly still in love with, take him back or will he remain married to current wife Robyn, who is in the process of divorcing him?

“Yeah… I think we left it that he had left Robyn… that Robyn was… em, he’s not divorced yet, that’s right,” he says, not sounding 100 per cent sure, or perhaps trying diplomatically to avoid spoilers. “Things have moved on a bit and he gets into more pickles, scrapes, em, severe physical danger... for the best of motives. Yes... another unwise adventure.”

More affairs perhaps?

“The affair when he was married to Karen?” he says. “Well, that was one afternoon in a hotel and the whole world fell in on his head after that,” he says, sympathising. “That’s David’s sort of character. You step out of line a TINY bit and the whole world comes crashing down on you. You get no latitude, nobody gives you any space to misbehave. They’re straight down on you,” he says, defensive of his character, who despite his flaws, is popular. What does Bathurst see as his appeal?

“It’s always enjoyable seeing people suffer, isn’t it? And suffering at his own hand as well, because everything he does goes slightly wrong. And from his own standpoint he has always behaved TOTALLY honourably.”

Even when he hasn’t...

“Yes, exactly, honourably from his own viewpoint,” says Bathurst. “I’m sure Stalin believed he was behaving honourably. I think David does try and do things for the best, but he’s always getting into terrible scrapes and getting smacked in the gob or put in prison.”

Going to prison wasn’t such a shock for the resilient and optimistic David, who describes it as “much like boarding school, only less violent”, something Bathurst can identify with, having been to more than one. Born in Ghana in 1957, where his father was working, he returned with the family to Ireland then England, and he and his brother were educated at boarding school. “There was one school in Ireland that was fairly Lord of the Flies,” he says, ”but that was par for the course in the 1960s anyway. The others were all OK.”

Ireland was the setting for Bathurst’s introduction to theatre, in particular the panto at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin which sparked an ambition to act.

“Yes, I used to love the panto there, that’s probably where my fairly low-brow taste developed, and I relish it,” he says. “That and going to see Ken Dodd at the Winter Gardens in Scarborough when I was ten was fantastic.”

If Bathurst’s tastes are broad, he reckons his roles are too, contesting that he gets cast as a certain type, and racking up appearances on stage and screen in a variety of roles over an almost four-decade career.

“I played high status recently as Prince Charles in Charles III...”

And he played a would-be stand-up comedian in Joking Apart, Stephen Moffat’s 1990 TV sitcom.

“Oh, did you see that?” he says, pleased. “Were you one of the few? I loved Joking Apart. I think it’s crazy that the BBC haven’t repeated it – Stephen Moffat showing how to write comedy, although I don’t think the stand-up routines really worked. I think it should be re-done.”

He also enjoyed his part in cult 
sci-fi series Red Dwarf, which he says “tapped into that extraordinary body of audience who love science fiction and there was enough of that in there, as well as being just a sort of straightforward farcical sitcom.”

And he turned up as Mrs Brown’s love interest in an episode of Mrs Brown’s Boys, and in the film, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie as an Anglo-Irish barrister with Tourette’s. There was his part in the long-running ITV game reserve drama Wild at Heart and he was in at the beginning of ITV megahit Downton Abbey in 2010, where he was resplendent in tweeds and tuxes as Sir Anthony Strallan, love interest of the lovely Lady Edith, aka “poor Edith”. Honourable, but dithering, he finally came to his senses over the 25-year age gap and dumped her at the altar at the last minute. Harsh, but it was the honourable thing to do.

“At that stage no-one knew Downton would be a success, but it was because it was sharply written. The scenes were generally not longer than 30 seconds and it really rattled along. It took people by surprise, but that’s down to tapping into people wanting nostalgia, and also the characters, plot and making it snappy. It turned out to be a good calling card for America for me, because they were mad on Downton, and that took me to Chicago to do King Charles III.”

Other stage outings over the years include Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, Noël Coward’s Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit, and on the big screen he was perfectly cast as John Le Mesurier in the Hattie Jacques biopic Hattie, while on the small screen, he teamed up once again with Cold Feet co-star Hermione Norris for his role as philandering husband Andy Cummings-Browne, working his way through the village’s womenfolk in Sky One comedy drama Agatha Raisin And The Quiche Of Death in 2014.

But one of his most enjoyable roles ever has come about more recently in the bonkers Channel 4 BAFTA 
and Rose D’Or winning comedy, 
Toast of London, where Bathurst plays idling retired actor Ed Howzer-Black.

Bathurst fits right in with Matt Berry’s surreal thespian comedy, as the star’s landlord and sidekick, 
mild yet sexually perverse, in the show that has racked up three series so far.

Toast of London I would put into the category of shows which are amongst the favourites I’ve ever done. It’s a minor cult in that the first series on Channel 4 was watched by almost nobody and the second series got awards and now people absolutely adore it. I love it. I’d love to do more, so hopefully…”

Even while it’s off screen Bathurst has been making money from the show as there are several racehorses named after the characters.

“Clem Fandango has never been less than first, second or third, so I’ve had a good return on him, although Ray Purchase came ninth at Carlisle the other day and I lost some money on that one.”

Based in London, Bathurst lives with his wife, artist Victoria Threlfall, and the couple have four grown up daughters Matilda, Clemency, Oriel and Honor, with Oriel following him into the entertainment world, on the production side. This summer he’s been happy to enjoy some time off after working solidly since last October.

“We’ll see if Cold Feet re-commissions and if it doesn’t I should get going, find something else,” he says. “I’m doing audio books at the moment, then after that I’m going to look at putting my show 
on at the Edinburgh Festival next year.”

Bathurst is producing and starring in a stage production called Love, Loss And Chianti, based on poems by Costa Prize-winning poet Christopher Reid, which he has already performed at Chichester last year.

“It’s not the sort of poetry that frightens people at school,” he says. “They’re lyrical narratives, very clear, very emotional, very funny. It’s like character stand-up really, you just bang it out and see how it works. Altogether it’s a blend of poetry, music (viola and cello) and projected cartoons.”

And chianti?

“Oh yes, there’s plenty of that,” he says. “Especially in the second half. Lots. The poems are called ‘A Scattering’ and ‘The Song of Lunch’ and they’re both about love and loss. One’s about grief and one’s about the end of a relationship, one is sad, but one is very, very funny, so they work well as a double bill.”

And will it be in a venue where the audience can join in with a glass of chianti or two while they watch the poetry and drama unfold?

“Yes, of course. Absolutely. I shall ensure it is.”

Of course he will. We wouldn’t expect anything less.

Robert Bathurst stars in the seventh series of Cold Feet which continues on STV on Fridays at 9pm

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Janet Christie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563295.1505739879!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563295.1505739879!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robert Bathurst stars in Cold Feet on STV, Fridays, 9pm Picture: Debra Hurford Brown","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robert Bathurst stars in Cold Feet on STV, Fridays, 9pm Picture: Debra Hurford Brown","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563295.1505739879!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4563296.1505739882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4563296.1505739882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robert Bathurst, far right, plays David Marsden, alongside his Cold Feet co-stars","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robert Bathurst, far right, plays David Marsden, alongside his Cold Feet co-stars","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4563296.1505739882!/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-foo-fighters-gun-ricky-ross-neil-young-1-4559346","id":"1.4559346","articleHeadline": "Album reviews: Foo Fighters | Gun | Ricky Ross | Neil Young","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505725200000 ,"articleLead": "

Dave Grohl invites some of his showbiz friends to help out on the new Foo Fighters album, while a legendary Neil Young bootleg gets a long-awatied official release

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559345.1505320051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Foo Fighters deliver poise and power in their new album, Concrete and Gold"} ,"articleBody": "


Foo Fighters: Concrete and Gold Columbia ***

Gun: Favourite Pleasures Caroline International ***

Ricky Ross: Short Stories Vol.1 earMUSIC ***

Neil Young: Hitchhiker

Reprise ****

Dave Grohl, by common consent the Nicest Man in Rock, can now bid for the Hardest Working Man in Showbiz tag. Not even a nasty leg break can keep the Foo Fighters frontman down. Having completed the band’s Sonic Highways world tour seated on a Spinal Tap-esque throne, Grohl took some time off to recuperate – and managed to sit down for a mere six months of recovery before scratching that itch again.

Concrete And Gold is the satisfying result, forged in cahoots with Adele producer Greg Kurstin, with guest backing vocals from Justin Timberlake and Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman, plus Grohl’s old mucker Paul McCartney on drums, all bringing robust pop credentials to the table.

This is no mainstream bland-out, however. The big though brief air-punching 70s power rock opener T-shirt, demented Gothic thrash of recent single Run, lean but mean blues rocking Make It Right and economic garage rock of La Dee Da testify to the taut dynamism of an album which confidently blends the band’s rock and pop chops.

The Sky Is A Neighbourhood is another brawny arena rocker with the additional dramatic swirl of strings, its odd title concept referring to stewardship of the planet and beyond. Grohl is more of a big picture politico – “trouble to the right and left, whose side you’re on?” he asks.

The foot comes off the accelerator for the first time on Dirty Water but its mellow, summery sound eventually revs up to a rocking climax to reflect its far from placid envirogeddon concerns. “Where’s your Shangri-la now?” Grohl muses on the blatantly Beatley pop number Happy Ever After (Zero Hour), garlanded with wistful backing vocal harmonies.

For all its ferocious moments, Concrete and Gold is a sophisticated pop production and never more so than on the epic closing title track, a Sabbath sludge rock lament featuring a choir of Timberlakes and Stockmans.

Glasgow’s Gun also stick to their classic rock lane on latest album Favourite Pleasures, though it is a more conventional and less stimulating affair than the Foos’ offering, characterised by the efficient mainstream rocking of Take Me Down and drab rock ballad The Boy Who Fooled The World but better served by glam stomper Here’s Where I Am and the blend of grit and fist-pumping chorus on Black Heart.

In contrast, Deacon Blue frontman Ricky Ross dials back the strutting showmanship on his latest solo outing which was initially inspired by a piano pow-wow with pals and features songs old, new, borrowed and blue in a stripped down setting. Short Stories Vol. 1 is being sold in tandem with tickets for his forthcoming solo tour and is effectively a preview of his setlist. Deacon Blue favourites Raintown and Wages Day feature in less rumbustious form and the best of the bunch of new self-styled “homeless songs” are the ruminative croon of The Kid at the Airport, the blithe baroque pop of Siggi the Bully and the touch of Tom Waits storytelling on Only God and Dogs.

The best album of the week, however, is the fabled 41-year-old Hitchhiker, recorded by Neil Young in one spontaneous Malibu session in August 1976, bootlegged many times over the years but now given a belated official release. Some of its ten acoustic songs were re-recorded in the interim – Pocahontas and Powderfinger on Rust Never Sleeps, for example – and became Young staples, but a couple of tracks, Hawaii and Give Me Strength, were never placed elsewhere and are deservedly retrieved on this prime slice of vintage Americana, all the more remarkable for its spontaneity.


Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto & “Reformation” Symphony Harmonia Mundi *****

The danger with a piece as familiar as Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto is its very familiarity. Any attempt to do something different will initially cause some mental unrest. Take the scooping portamenti that soloist Isabelle Faust plays freely with, most unconventionally in the slow movement – the result of some consultation on performance traits of the time. Her approach is apparently authentic, as is the thinning down of the vibrato, and the clean, raw edged period instrument style of the accompanying Freiburg Barockorchester under the baton of Pablo Heras-Casado. Let the ears attune and this period reboot is truly electrifying, void of sentimentality, but full of rich musicality. Similarly, Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture enjoys an appropriately rugged finesse in the Freiburgers’ hands. There follows a glorious performance of the Reformation Symphony, Mendelssohn’s 5th.

Ken Walton


Mairearad Green & Mike Vass: A Day a Month Buie Records ***

Multi-instrumentalist Mike Vass and accordionist Mairearad Green agreed to meet once a month to arrange and record tunes from some of the great Highland collections, some of them not frequently heard. By the sound of it, they fairly enjoyed themselves.

Despite Vass multi-tracking on fiddle and tenor guitar and occasional effects, such as the spacey background echoes on Tha’m Buntàta Mòr or the heavy electronic beat behind a jig set, this easy-going album gives the impression of two sympathetic musicians simply sitting down together (in a croft house in Achnahaird, or on Vass’s boat) to play some of their favourite tunes. The near-live effect is particularly marked in tracks such as the strathspey set, Megs, and a perky set of reels, while there is sensitive treatment for two slow airs, Dhomhnuil and Failte do’n Mhisg – a surprisingly dignified melody, considering its title can be translated as “Hail to Drink”.

Jim Gilchrist

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4559345.1505320051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559345.1505320051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Foo Fighters deliver poise and power in their new album, Concrete and Gold","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Foo Fighters deliver poise and power in their new album, Concrete and Gold","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4559345.1505320051!/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/jazz-martin-taylor-joins-scottish-national-jazz-orchestra-to-celebrate-django-reinhardt-1-4559348","id":"1.4559348","articleHeadline": "Jazz: Martin Taylor joins Scottish National Jazz Orchestra to celebrate Django Reinhardt","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505725200000 ,"articleLead": "

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559347.1505320054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Taylor is regarded as a leading interpreter of the music of Reinhardt. Picture: Simon Murphy"} ,"articleBody": "

The smoky swing of 1930s Paris will be charged by the 21st-century powerhouse that is the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra next weekend, when the band is set to be joined by the celebrated guitarist Martin Taylor MBE to celebrate the music of one of the most seminal figures in jazz and popular music, Django Reinhardt.

With his formidable technique, Taylor is regarded as a leading interpreter of Reinhardt’s music, his empathy with it honed by more than a decade of playing with Reinhardt’s Hot Club de France partner, the late Stephane Grappelli, and through his group Martin Taylor’s Spirit of Django.

“We want to recreate the atmosphere of Paris back in the Jazz Age,” the guitarist says of the forthcoming concerts, “but we’re going to give it a few little twists inspired by my group Spirit of Django by adding accordion [Karen Street], as well as paying homage to 
Stephane by adding violin [Christian Garrick].”

Born into a Romany family in Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, in 1910, and despite losing the use of two of the fingers on his left hand in a caravan fire, Reinhardt developed a remarkable technique that made him one of the best known and most influential guitarists of the 20th century, a harbinger of European jazz who made the name “Django” synonymous with gypsy jazz, both in his celebrated partnership with Grappelli and in his own right.

Taylor sees Reinhardt’s particular contribution to jazz, along with Grappelli, as “[giving] what was essentially American pop music of that time a strong European accent.”

“In later years other forms of jazz were born in different parts of the world,” he continues, “most notably in Brazil in the 1960s. In the UK at that time, jazz musicians tended to play very authentically like American musicians, but Django gave the music a very French accent. Also, as a gypsy musician, he also brought something very deep and soulful to the music, coming to it from another direction, as all the great musical innovators do, bringing his own unique artistry to what was essentially popular dance music.”

When we think of Reinhardt, it tends to be in his Hot Club de France format with Grappelli, but as Taylor points out, he played and recorded with big bands both in France and in the United States, where he worked with Duke Ellington after the war. It was while working with big bands that he “went electric”, Taylor adds: “He loved the electric guitar because he could play with a big band and be heard.”

A few years ago Taylor premiered The Spirit of Django Orchestral Suite, which he co-wrote with trumpeter and bandleader Guy Barker, at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. He says he’d love to perform it in Scotland sometime with the SNJO and full orchestra. In the meantime, the repertoire he’ll be playing with the SNJO will be based on Reinhardt’s big band recordings, mixing his Hot Club music with other jazz standards from the 1930s.

Reinhardt died in 1953, but his legacy is ineradicable, through his influence on generations of guitarists and through tunes such as Nuages, Djangology and Musette for a Magpie, all of which will be among the arrangements SNJO director Tommy Smith has commissioned from such esteemed names as Florian Ross and Geoffrey Keezer as well as by the orchestra’s own Martin Kershaw, while Taylor himself has arranged Marguerite Monnot’s well-known Hymne à l’amour.

This is the first time that Taylor, who divides his time between his home in Perthshire and California, where his online guitar school is based, has played with the Scottish big band, although he has known Smith since the saxophonist was 16, and regards him as “one of the most amazing musicians on the planet.”

Martin Taylor and the SNJO play Eden Court, Inverness, 22 September; Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 23 September and City Halls, Glasgow, 24 September, see www.snjo.co.uk and www.martintaylor.com

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jim Gilchrist"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4559347.1505320054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4559347.1505320054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Martin Taylor is regarded as a leading interpreter of the music of Reinhardt. Picture: Simon Murphy","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Taylor is regarded as a leading interpreter of the music of Reinhardt. Picture: Simon Murphy","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4559347.1505320054!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/tv-radio/emmys-handmaid-s-tale-the-big-winner-as-brits-lead-the-way-1-4562976","id":"1.4562976","articleHeadline": "Emmys: Handmaid’s Tale the big winner as Brits lead the way","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505719403000 ,"articleLead": "

Charlie Brooker and Riz Ahmed led the way for Britain at the Emmys in a night of disappointment for The Crown after it entered television’s biggest ceremony with high expectations.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562975.1505719393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Riz Ahmed poses with the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for "The Night Of". Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Brooker’s Black Mirror scooped two accolades, while debutante Riz Ahmed won lead actor in a limited series for his role in The Night Of at the Los Angeles ceremony on Sunday.

Despite receiving 13 nominations, The Crown only scooped one award - with US actor John Lithgow winning best supporting actor in a drama series for his portrayal of Sir Winston Churchill.

The highest achievers were the dystopian show The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies, which netted five-a-piece.

The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the Margaret Atwood novel, won best drama and lead actress in a drama series for Elisabeth Moss, while Nicole Kidman won outstanding lead actress in a limited drama for Big Little Lies.

• READ MORE: Dramatic Black Mirror trailer gives a glimpse into sex new episodes

On the politically-charged night which saw Donald Trump a repeated target of criticism, the Armando Iannucci-created satire Veep was also a winner with two awards including best comedy.

So too was comedy series Saturday Night Live, which has resurged with its repeated attacks on the US President.

In one of the diatribes on the night he was called a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigot” in a speech by presenters Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.

The pair were on stage with Dolly Parton, having walked out to the theme music of their 1980 hit movie 9 To 5.

The country singer raised her eyebrows but remained silent during her co-stars’ critique.

Reading-born Brooker, 46, collected the writing for a limited series award and outstanding television movie, both for the San Junipero episode.

Londoner Ahmed, who portrayed a Pakistani-American’s experience in the US legal system in the show based on 2008 British series Criminal Justice, said the award was bittersweet.

“It’s always strange reaping the rewards of a story that’s based on real-world suffering,” the 34-year-old said.

• READ MORE: Bafta win for Happy Valley as The Crown leaves empty handed

“But if this show has shone a light on some of the prejudice in our society, xenophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system then maybe that’s something.”

Birmingham-born John Oliver, 40, scooped outstanding writing for a comedy series and best variety talk series for his US talk-show Last Week Tonight.

Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown, 13, missed out on becoming the youngest ever Emmy winner at the Microsoft Theatre when the Briton was beaten to best supporting actress in a drama series by Ann Dowd in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Other nominated Brits to walk away empty handed were Westworld’s Anthony Hopkins and Benedict Cumberbatch for Sherlock: The Lying Detective.

Among The Crown’s nominations at the 69th Emmys were best drama series and lead drama actress for Stockport’s Claire Foy.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4562975.1505719393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4562975.1505719393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Riz Ahmed poses with the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for "The Night Of". Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Riz Ahmed poses with the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for "The Night Of". Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4562975.1505719393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/tributes-paid-to-harry-dean-stanton-1-4561939","id":"1.4561939","articleHeadline": "Tributes paid to Harry Dean Stanton","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1505569947000 ,"articleLead": "

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill and Twin Peaks creator David Lynch are among the stars who have paid tribute to actor Harry Dean Stanton, who has died aged 91.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4561938.1505569937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Harry Dean Stanton. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Stanton’s agent John S Kelly confirmed the star had died on Friday afternoon at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles in a statement.

Kelly said that Stanton, remembered by many as a “cult actor”, had died of natural causes.

Hamill posted a black and white photograph of Stanton on Twitter, writing alongside it: “Sad to say goodbye to the incomparable Harry Dean Stanton - so profoundly authentic in every role he inhabited”.

Lynch described him as a “great one” in a statement posted on the official Twin Peaks Twitter account.

He said: “The great Harry Dean Stanton has left us. There went a great one. There’s nobody like Harry Dean.

“Everyone loved him. And with good reason. He was a great actor (actually beyond great) - and a great human being - so great to be around him! You are really going to be missed Harry Dean! Loads of love to you wherever you are now!”

The pair had recently worked together as Stanton featured in Twin Peaks: The Return and they star together in the last project he worked on, the film Lucky, due to be released later this month.

A message posted on the film’s Twitter account said: “We lost a legend today with the passing of Harry Dean Stanton. Everyone involved with LUCKY is deeply saddened by this tremendous loss.

READ MORE: Twin Peaks: A beginner’s guide to David Lynch’s cult classic

“We had always hoped to celebrate this film and Harry’s beautiful performance with Harry himself.”

“Our hearts go out to all who knew him, all who loved him, and his fans the world over. He will be missed, but his work will live on as long as people watch films.”

The film’s director, John Carroll Lynch, said he had “the honour to watch over Harry’s final performance in intimate, exquisite detail”.

In a long message posted on Twitter, he wrote: “In this nano-second world, I understand the need for a response to the death of Harry Dean Stanton. But it is difficult.

“I had the humbling good fortune and honour to watch over Harry’s final performance in intimate, exquisite detail.

“I watched every second of it again and again over hours, days, weeks and months these last two years. It was a gift beyond measure. He is amazing in it.

“But he was amazing in everything he ever did.

“And as a man, he was singular. Funny and mischievous, wise and furious, loving and kind, and always, always beautiful.

“I am sure there is more to be said, but for now, I celebrate his life, his work and will hug the loved ones he left behind.

“Thank you, Harry Dean. Thank you, Harry Dean. Thank you.”

During his career Stanton appeared in around 200 films and television shows, with his most memorable credits including Alien, 1984’s Paris, Texas, which featured Nastassja Kinski as his wife, and the TV show Big Love.

Big Love writer Dustin Lance Black posted a photograph of the series’ lead actor Bill Paxton and Stanton on Twitter, writing alongside it: “The most anxious I’ve ever been on set was the morning before working with #HarryDeanStanton. Now it all seems a dream #Legend #BigLove #RIP”.

He had also had roles in films such as the 80s coming of age romantic comedy, Pretty In Pink, in which he played the father of Molly Ringwald’s character.

Another notable performance of the Kentucky-born star remembered by fans was his role in The Godfather Part II.

Director and actor Samuel West tweeted: “Harry Dean Stanton in PARIS, TEXAS. He redefined acting for me. That someone could be silent, still and yet utterly mesmeric. RIP.”

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Grease ***

Edinburgh Playhouse

The Witches of West Fife ***

Oran Mor, Glasgow

This is the explosive energy captured and immortalised in Jim Jacobs’ and Warren Casey’s iconic 1972 musical Grease, which became the smash-hit 1978 movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John; and audiences still find it irresistible today, as the umpteenth revival of the stage musical – in this case a British touring version produced by Paul Nicholas and David Ian – reaches Edinburgh Playhouse.

In truth, this current production – originally directed by David Gilmore and choreographed by Arlene Phillips – sometimes looks a little uninspired. Tom Parker of The Wanted cuts a slight, unimposing figure as Danny, although Danielle Hope’s Sandy is lovely, and sweet-voiced; and the show often signals the moments when laughs or applause are expected with all the gentle subtlety of Big Brother instructing the masses to be amused, or else. Yet in the end, it’s impossible to resist the sheer exuberance of the 20-strong company, and Griff Johnson’s fine onstage live band, as they dance and sing their way through the show’s terrific playlist, from Summer Nights to You’re The One That I Want, via bad girl Rizzo’s sarcastic anthem Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee.

And if the final message –get your tight pants on, girls, and give that teddy boy what he wants – looks unfashionable in the age of third-wave feminism, it’s still crystal clear that this is as much about Sandy learning to express herself as Danny finally getting what he’s been longing for ever since those summer nights.

Every time women begin to empower themselves, though, the danger of backlash seems to re-emerge from the patriarchal sludge; and although we no longer burn witches, the language of misogyny is never far from the surface of our culture. Jane Livingstone’s new show The Witches Of West Fife, part of the Play, Pie and Pint season at Oran Mor, is in some ways a fine dog’s breakfast of a piece, that tries to take us from 21st-century Fife to 17th-century London with a cast of three, and barely a change of costume.

Yet it’s also full of seething energy, as it explores the brutal institutional misogyny in 16th-century Fife that formed part of King James VI’s war on witchcraft and his book Demonology, which later –after he became king of England in 1603 – helped inspire Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The linking figure in the story is Sally Reid’s Lilyan, a 16th-century Scots woman who has fled to London to escape the king’s persecution, and dreads his arrival there. Her 20th century counterpart, Janet, is one of three feisty female extras playing the witches in a film version of Macbeth, but Lilyan is the woman who has the chance to talk to Will Shakespeare about the ethics of perpetuating anti-witch hysteria down the centuries, just to win the King’s favour; and perhaps – just possibly – to influence his handling of the theme, even as he makes his inevitable compromise with the reality of power.

Grease, Edinburgh Playhouse, final performances today, and at His Majesty’s, Aberdeen, 13-18 November. The Witches Of West Fife, Oran Mor, final performance today.

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