{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"whatson","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/russell-brand-to-get-key-slot-at-edinburgh-tv-festival-1-4487784","id":"1.4487784","articleHeadline": "Russell Brand to get key slot at Edinburgh TV Festival","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498566282443 ,"articleLead": "

Outspoken comic Russell Brand is to be given one of the main platforms at the Edinburgh International Television Festival this summer.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487783.1498566345!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Russell Brand has been handed one of the key slots at the annual Edinburgh TV Festival in August."} ,"articleBody": "

The 42-year-old, who made his name as presenter on MTV, will be appearing in the prestigious “Alternative Mactaggart” slot at the event.

He will follow in the footsteps of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, physicist and presenter Brian Cox, writer and producer Charlie Brooker and Scottish comic Frankie Boyle.

Brand will be appearing alongside former Manchester United star and Match of the Day favourite Rio Ferdinand, BBC presenters Lauren Laverne and Nick Grimshaw, and fellow comics Russell Kane and Jimmy Carr at this year’s festival.

Brand launched his stand-up career in 2000 and appeared at the Fringe later that year. He became a household name on MTV shows and fronting Big Brother spin-off programmes, then launched a film career, starring in the likes of St Trinian’s, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Despicable Me, Arthur and Rock of Ages.

Organisers say delegates will get “a unique insight into the career of this exceptional artist” at the festival.

Brand is also expected to discuss his foray into political activism, including his famous interview with Jeremy Paxman four years ago in which he encouraged people not to vote, which has been watched more than 11 million times on YouTube.

Festival director Lisa Campbell said: “Thought-provoking, entertaining and with a delicious way with words, Russell is one of the most exciting creative mavericks around.

“Having Matt on board as someone who knows the complexities and inner workings of this titan of comedy, and who can give genuine insight into his creative brain, will make this one unmissable hour.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487783.1498566345!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487783.1498566345!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Russell Brand has been handed one of the key slots at the annual Edinburgh TV Festival in August.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Russell Brand has been handed one of the key slots at the annual Edinburgh TV Festival in August.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487783.1498566345!/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/new-star-for-raven-reboot-unveiled-as-show-heads-for-cairngorms-1-4487642","id":"1.4487642","articleHeadline": "New star for Raven reboot unveiled as show heads for Cairngorms","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498561404383 ,"articleLead": "

The Cairngorm mountains are to get a starring role providing the spectacular backdrop to a children’s fantasy adventure show.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487640.1498561562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aisha Toussaint has been revealed as the new star of Raven ahead of its return later this year."} ,"articleBody": "

The BBC has announced it is to be three months filming the “warrior quest” series Raven in the Cairngorm National Park.

A new female star has been unveiled to head up the show, which return is to CBBC after a seven-year hiatus.

River City star Aisha Toussaint will be taking a series of young contenders throgh a series of trials of strength, intelligence and agility before one is crowned the “Ultimate Warrior.”

The reboot of Raven, which is expected to be broadcast later this year, is a major boost for BBC Scotland’s children’s department.

The original series, starring James Mackenzie, developed a cult following after being launched in 2002.

Originally filmed in the grounds of Castle Toward, near Dunoon, in Argyll, Raven ran for 10 series over eight years.

The new-look show will feature the return of Mackenzie, who plays Gary Trenton in River City.

Toussaint, 21, who plays Jules Belmont in the BBC Scotland drama series, said she was \"absolutely thrilled\" to play the shape-shifting Scottish warrior.

She added: “I was a massive fan of the original series and remember rushing home from school so I didn’t miss an episode - it was always so exciting.

“I used to dream of one day being a warrior contestant - I never for a second imagined that I’d one day be Raven. My 11-year-old self would be gobsmacked.

“Pulling on the costume for the very first time was a very special moment.”

Raven’s executive producer Sara Harkins said: “We’re so excited that Raven is back.

“The new series will be filled to the brim with challenges which will test our warriors’ bravery. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to showcase the stunning Scottish landscape.”

More than 2000 youngsters have applied for 16 places in the new show,

CBBC controller Cheryl Taylor said: “Raven has always inspired a passionate and loyal following from CBBC fans and it’s clear from the number of children keen to participate in the new series that its enduring and powerful appeal lives on.

“The return of Raven has caused great excitement and we wait with anticipation to meet the new cast and immerse ourselves in this legendary battle.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487640.1498561562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487640.1498561562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Aisha Toussaint has been revealed as the new star of Raven ahead of its return later this year.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aisha Toussaint has been revealed as the new star of Raven ahead of its return later this year.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487640.1498561562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487641.1498561564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487641.1498561564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Childhood fan Aisha Toussaint will be joined by original star James Mackenzie in the new series of Raven.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Childhood fan Aisha Toussaint will be joined by original star James Mackenzie in the new series of Raven.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487641.1498561564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/regions/edinburgh-fife-lothians/dundas-castle-offers-glam-edinburgh-festivals-accommodation-1-4487779","id":"1.4487779","articleHeadline": "Dundas Castle offers ‘glam’ Edinburgh festivals accommodation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498566067000 ,"articleLead": "

EDINBURGH will soon be welcoming thousands for its festival season, but many visitors find it difficult to find available - and inexpensive - accommodation in the city.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487775.1498566056!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A 'glampotel' is available at Dundas Castle during festival season. Picture: Supplied"} ,"articleBody": "

So, this year, why not try a ‘glampotel’?

Luxury venue Dundas Castle, on the outskirts of the capital, has launched its August glamping options for festival goers.

Glamping at the castle is completely off-the-grid and eco-friendly through the use of propane gas, solar lighting, biodegradable products and sustainable and recyclable materials.

To further confirm its green credentials, the castle is offering guests the opportunity to take part in its Plant a Tree Program and contribute to the estate’s ecosystem.

READ MORE: 5 hidden tourism gems on Orkney

Dundas Castle owner Sir Jack Stewart-Clark said: “When you think of festivals, glamping is never far away and now you can include it in your Edinburgh festivals itinerary.

“With our luxurious glamping canvas cottages the full Edinburgh experience is only a short way off, yet once you are on the Dundas Estate, it is tranquil and beautiful.”

Now in its second year, the glamping site at Dundas Castle, which is run with its partner Glampotel, includes ten luxurious canvas cottages set around the loch on the beautiful estate just outside Edinburgh.

Set on the shores of the private Dundas Estate loch, glamping at Dundas is set in beautiful Scottish countryside on the 400 acre estate, yet the vibrant Edinburgh festival season is only a short journey away by bus, train or car.

With prices starting at £169 per night during August, each five star Canvas Cottage contains a comfy king size bed complete with Egyptian cotton bedding, soft pillows and a cosy duvet.

Units also include a fully equipped kitchen cupboard, en-suite shower room with hot and cold running water, toiletries and composting toilets, wood burning stoves with a supply of logs for warmth and cooking inside, barbecues, USB ports for charging devices, towels, lighting, patio heaters, comfy seating and a lockable safe box.

READ MORE: Tourism in Moray hits record figures

Dundas Castle is a five star exclusive-use venue suitable for group events, corporate meetings and weddings for up to 200 people.

The Castle has seventeen luxury bedrooms plus a range of meeting rooms and event spaces both within the Castle and its extensive grounds.

Situated on the loch, the Castle also offers self-catering within its romantic getaway, four star Boathouse.

Glampotel is a glamping “Hotel” chain which prides itself on bringing eco-tourism glamorous camping at its finest around the UK.

Each Glampotel is run independently by experienced leisure property owners, with all of them offering the very best of camping, combined with the luxuries of a boutique hotel – hence the name: “Glamp-otel”.

To find out more go to: www.glampoteldundascastle.com

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALISTAIR MUNRO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487775.1498566056!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487775.1498566056!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A 'glampotel' is available at Dundas Castle during festival season. Picture: Supplied","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A 'glampotel' is available at Dundas Castle during festival season. Picture: Supplied","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487775.1498566056!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487777.1498566063!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487777.1498566063!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dundas Castle. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dundas Castle. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487777.1498566063!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487778.1498566066!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487778.1498566066!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Inside a 'glampotel'. Picture: Supplied","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Inside a 'glampotel'. Picture: Supplied","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487778.1498566066!/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/edinburgh-international-film-festival-the-last-photograph-1-4487519","id":"1.4487519","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh International Film Festival: The Last Photograph","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498557679000 ,"articleLead": "

One might expect a film featuring the 1988 Lockerbie bombing to be a highly emotive viewing experience, but director and star Danny Huston’s The Last Photograph – which had its second EIFF screening at the weekend – takes a deliberately low-key approach to the terrorist atrocity, using it instead as the backdrop to a film about the lingering hold grief exerts upon the bereaved.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487518.1498557673!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Last Photograph"} ,"articleBody": "

The Last Photograph ***

Filmhouse, Edinburgh

Set in 1988 and 2003, the film revolves around Tom Hammond (Huston), a London banker turned bookshop proprietor whose closed-off life is thrown into disarray when shoplifters randomly steal a bag containing a Polaroid of his son (Jonah Hauer-King) taken shortly before he boarded Pan Am Flight 103 some 15 years earlier.

If this set-up feels slightly contrived, the fractured narrative style Huston subsequently deploys – jumping back and forth in time, offering impressionistic glimpses of Tom’s relationship with his son and his son’s burgeoning relationship with the American girl he’s fallen for (she’s the reason he gets on the fateful flight to New York) – does help convey the psychological difficulty of trying to make sense of this kind of tragedy, even years down the line.

But the film is at its most effective when dealing with Lockerbie directly. Making sensitive use of archival news footage and artful sound design, Huston combines these with scenes of Tom calmly driving to Lockerbie in shock, unable to accept the inevitable. Stripped free of melodrama, it gives the film a quiet power, something Huston compliments with a poignant finale set at the Lockerbie memorial.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Alistair Harkness"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487518.1498557673!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487518.1498557673!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Last Photograph","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Last Photograph","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487518.1498557673!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews-nomanslanding-deadline-1-4487493","id":"1.4487493","articleHeadline": "Theatre reviews: Nomanslanding | Deadline","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498556734000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s a while since Glasgow’s Tramway has witnessed an evening of theatre quite so wide-ranging and rich as the one that took us, last week, from the heights of lavishly-funded international installation art to the latest heartfelt and beautiful show from award-winning youth theatre Junction 25, created from the raw material of their own young hearts, minds and bodies.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487492.1498556732!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nomanslanding"} ,"articleBody": "

Nomanslanding ****

Deadline ****

Both Tramway, Glasgow

In the big space of Tramway 1, a huge sphere sits in the dark, surrounded by wooden scaffolding, with glorious light playing around it; viewed from the gallery, it seems like a remarkable sculpture in itself.

The international project Nomanslanding is also a 25-minute performance, though, first conceived by artists from Australia, Britain and the Netherlands, including Glasgow’s Graham Eatough, to commemorate the First World War; and now reframed to encompass recent refugee experience. We enter through two dark refugee-camp tents, where magnificent singers Judith Williams and Nerea Bello begin to lead us into the echoing, whispering dome.

There is no water in Tramway, to match the locations for which Nomanslanding was first created; but when the two halves of the sphere briefly slide apart, in a glorious burst of white light, we can still sense the pain of distance, across a gulf of dark, unyielding space.

And in Tramway 4, meanwhile, Junction 25 produce a beautifully-choreographed show called Deadline, about the stress – the sheer exhausting ­tag-race – of today’s goal-driven teenage years.

The show is beautiful, heartbreaking and clever; and its simplicity speaks as loudly as Nomanslanding’s technical complexity, in a powerful reminder that theatre has many languages, each one worth learning in full.

*Nomanslanding runs until 2 July; Deadline, run ended.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487492.1498556732!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487492.1498556732!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nomanslanding","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nomanslanding","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487492.1498556732!/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-submarine-time-machine-1-4487488","id":"1.4487488","articleHeadline": "Theatre review: Submarine Time Machine","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498556468000 ,"articleLead": "

Along the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal, near the National Theatre of Scotland’s new home, something is stirring. There’s an old puffer costumed up like a home-made submarine; there are strange figures in period or science-fiction dress popping up and down on the towpath. And all along, from Speirs Wharf to Firhill, there are signs inviting us to pause and reflect on the rich, dramatic history of this stretch of water, once a thriving hub of Glasgow’s lost heavy industries, from the day in 1952 when two wee lads spotted a midget submarine surfacing, to Whisky Galore-like tales of rich cargoes lost and found in the canal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487487.1498556466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alan McHugh and friend on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal for Submarine Time Machine, a site-specific performance from the National Theatre of Scotland"} ,"articleBody": "

Submarine Time Machine ****

Speirs Wharf, Glasgow

The whole show, performed by a team of professional actors with members of the local community, is written in strong rhyming couplets by the show’s writer-director, Simon Sharkey. Some segments are just too long and wordy, leading to a two-hour experience that would be stronger and more vivid at 90 minutes or so. At their best, though, the scenes are unforgettable: the story of the wee boy who “pulled the plug” in the canal superbly re-created by local schoolchildren, Michelle Gallagher’s pregnant wartime air-raid warden, Alan McHugh as Captain Smith of the submarine, leading us through time.

And the point of the show, of course, is that this is the vital moment when the NTS shows its new community that its “theatre without walls” mantra is more than a slogan; that its mission is to tell Scotland’s stories, and that that includes the stories of the battered and fast-changing part of Glasgow where it will now build its future.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487487.1498556466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487487.1498556466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alan McHugh and friend on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal for Submarine Time Machine, a site-specific performance from the National Theatre of Scotland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alan McHugh and friend on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal for Submarine Time Machine, a site-specific performance from the National Theatre of Scotland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487487.1498556466!/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/glasgow-jazz-festival-reviews-ginger-baker-tony-allen-the-bevvy-sisters-1-4487474","id":"1.4487474","articleHeadline": "Glasgow Jazz Festival reviews: Ginger Baker | Tony Allen | The Bevvy Sisters","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498556066000 ,"articleLead": "

Glasgow Jazz Festival

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487473.1498556064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ginger Baker PIC: Kevin Winter/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

An Evening With Ginger Baker ***

Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow

Ginger Baker, the legendary, infamously volatile drummer who powered Cream and much else, is now 77 and a sick man, his incurable pulmonary disease the result of heavy smoking, he admitted, abjuring an enthusiastically devoted audience to kick the habit. In consequence, his set with his Jazz Confusion band – with the formidable Ghanaian percussion Abass Dodoo, Alec Dankworth on bass, and one-time James Brown saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis – was sadly abbreviated.

Despite his evident frailty – he had to be assisted to and from his kit – the monumentally gaunt Baker still presided with authority, hi-hat ticking off the beat with hypnotic precision as he exchanged forceful, polyrhythmic crossfire with Dodoo’s booming congas and hissing percussive gewgaws. Ellis delivered stentorian, no-nonsense sax statements that bookended numbers such as the North-African-accented Aïn Témouchent (recalling the time Baker drove off an Algerian mountainside) and the slyly titled Ginger Spice.

After an early interval Baker returned for a Q&A session in which he attempted to decode effusive Glasgow accents and respond with anecdotes ranging from being greeted by a military escort at Lagos airport to his penchant for polo. Unwisely chosen queries were summarily dismissed.

This at times farcical session was terminated by a fourth and final number, Why? – Baker’s questioning of his disaster-prone life, set to a lumbering Afro-beat, the audience yelling that one-word refrain. One couldn’t help thinking that it should really be How? he still manages to play at all.

Jim Gilchrist

Tony Allen Tribute to Art Blakey ****

Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow

The 31st edition of the Glasgow Jazz Festival was all about the drummers, with a tribute to Buddy Rich from the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, a headline show from Cream legend Ginger Baker and the double whammy of Afrofunk pioneer Tony Allen, a veteran of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 band, paying tribute to his chief inspiration Art Blakey, who toured West Africa in the 1940s, absorbing some of its indigenous traditions into his hard bop repertoire.

Allen is as cool as Baker is cantankerous and his reading of his hero’s canon was melodic, accessible, elastic and generally less hectic than Blakey’s bebop excursions. His quartet kicked off with the appropriately named Invitation, reeling in the late night crowd with soft piano chords from Jean Phi Dary, the seductive, easygoing sax of Irving Acao, Mathias Allamane’s steady bass rumble and Allen’s effortlessly lithe shapes.

His fellow players all got their moments to shine before Allen unleashed his moves, but together they were stronger, blending smoky sax, plangent bass and undulating piano on Politely which became ever more insistent before spinning off into freer territory. Dary indulged in a spot of scat and some call-and-response with himself on acoustic and electric piano simultaneously.

The glorious Moanin’ was more teasing than vibrant before one final blast of that sassy sax refrain but, suitably seduced, the audience did not need to be asked twice to dance in front of the stage to the rhythms of one funky maestro as interpreted by another.

Fiona Shepherd

The Bevvy Sisters ****

Drygate, Glasgow

It’s not often that you go to a gig and are captivated right from the opening notes – but that’s what happened on Saturday night when The Bevvy Sisters – Gina Rae, Heather Macleod and Louise Murphy – took to the stage in the Drygate (surely the most appropriately named venue they have ever played?) in Glasgow’s East End.

This vocal trio’s opener, a work song entitled Bring Me a Little Water Sylvie, immediately introduced their gorgeous close harmonies and velvety voices. It was impossible to resist, especially with Macleod’s bluesy and unaffected style as featured singer.

That song set an impossibly high bar for the rest of the concert, which featured a genre-spanning selection of music and each of the three Bevvies – plus their impressive guitarist, David Donnelly – taking turns singing the lead. The follow-up number, See-Line Woman, might not have been as mesmerising but it got the party atmosphere going a bit, especially when permission for participation was granted – “Go on, bash the tables – it’s a Saturday night in Glasgow!”

The Drygate – which feels like a cosier, less barn-like version of the Fruitmarket and is similar in size and lay-out to Oran Mor – was perfect for a group this size.

Other stand-outs included Alicia Keys’s Some People which was a bit of a tour-de-force for the dazzlingly lovely voice of Louise Murphy (aka Baby Bevvy?) and Love Me Like a River, a sultry ballad by Melody Gardot, whose music seems particularly well suited to this group.

Alison Kerr

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jim Gilchrist, Fiona Shepherd, Alison Kerr"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487473.1498556064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487473.1498556064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ginger Baker PIC: Kevin Winter/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ginger Baker PIC: Kevin Winter/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487473.1498556064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-interview-siobhan-wilson-on-new-album-there-are-no-saints-1-4482663","id":"1.4482663","articleHeadline": "Music interview: Siobhan Wilson on new album There Are No Saints","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498554000000 ,"articleLead": "

Siobhan Wilson’s gorgeous home-recorded album took a few days to cut, but it was years in the making, the classically-trained Glasgow-based singer-songwriter tells Fiona Shepherd

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487459.1498555246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Siobhan Wilson"} ,"articleBody": "

Siobhan Wilson is quite the musical alchemist, creating an entrancing, intimate atmosphere with an enigmatic combination of her pure voice, mesmeric guitar playing, trembling cello, beguiling harmonics, French lyrics and some old mattresses.

The latter provided crucial sound absorption when she was recording her new album, There Are No Saints, in the childhood bedroom of her collaborator Chris McCrory, of Glasgow indie band Catholic Action. But the ravishing results belie its lo-fi roots – although the album was recorded in a matter of days at the turn of the year, Wilson had taken a number of years to work up the songs and the sound.

“It wasn’t supposed to last that long, but I need an album to mean something,” she says. “I don’t need to wait for something bad to happen, but it really needs to feel important, like this is a statement.”

However, something bad did happen – an “epic love fail” as Wilson puts it, inspiring a writing surge and the urgent need to capture a moment.

“The theme is not really heartbreak, it’s meant to be just moving on,” she says. “The other theme is depression. The first single, Whatever Helps, is about that. I’ve got severe depression and I was never brave enough to talk about it before because I was always a bit ashamed of it. I was scared it would come across as attention seeking. Now I feel really good having addressed a bit of that in an album which is linked with everything that was going on at the time. The producer called it ‘the end of the world album’, but for me it’s really positive.”

Wilson, who originally hails from Elgin, is a bilingual multi-instrumentalist with a background in classical music and French jazz. Had she been around in the age of Jane Austen, she would have been described as “an accomplished young lady”. Wilson loves a bit of classic fiction, and draws much of her musical inspiration from abiding divas Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Edith Piaf, giving her music an otherworldly, timeless quality.

Apart from being a distant relation to folk singer (and erstwhile Generation Game co-host) Isla St Clair, Wilson has uncovered no musical background in her family, yet she was drawn elementally as a child to the sound of her next door neighbour playing cello in her back garden, and pestered her parents to let her play too.

“I thought it sounded like the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard,” she says. “That’s all I did for my childhood, except for sometimes hanging out with my friends and doing homework.

“Very early on I remember thinking this is what life’s supposed to be about, that whatever I do I can do this for the rest of my life. It’s human expression in a more abstract form and for whatever reason that really attracted me.”

School summer holidays were taken up with touring in youth orchestras, including the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. “For me it just felt like a social event,” she says. “It was like being in a band with a hundred people.”

At 16, Wilson won a scholarship to study cello, piano and guitar in Edinburgh, mixing with pupils who had been hothoused since the age of four. “The one thing we all had in common was that we were completely obsessed and your concentration doesn’t falter after four hours – or it does, but not in the same way as my friends in Elgin who thought I was nuts,” she says. “If you’re really into sport or art or science, you would have to be obsessed by it to become an expert.”

For all the intensity of her musical practise, Wilson didn’t really start exploring her singing voice until she left school and decided to try a gap year in Paris. “It was this whole new world of being free. I was 18, I’d been an adult for a few weeks and I was like ‘see you later mum and dad, I’m going to France’. Left my cello behind, just took my guitar and hung about with a few people who played jazz and they pushed me to start singing with them.”

Wilson started singing at open mic nights and was signed to a French label. That gap year became five years, in which she became fluent in French and immersed herself in Gallic song tradition, so much so that her own French language material feels very natural and nimble in the understated style of Françoise Hardy and Jane Birkin.

“There’s something about French singers,” she says. “They just look really badass. They’ve got this way of cutting about and being cool and it makes it feel like a more authentic performance. Probably I do that a little bit out of the habit of watching people like that on stage but maybe now that I’m in Glasgow, drinking beer in Bloc, I’ve got a bit more rough.” Since returning to Scotland, and basing herself in Glasgow, Wilson has followed up her debut album, Songs, with the self-released Glorified Demons EP, gigged extensively, captivating new audiences as she goes, and signed to Edinburgh indie label Song, By Toad, who release There Are No Saints next month.

Energised, Wilson is already planning her next move – to work with a drummer and bassist on an electric album “to be a bit like the Jesus & Mary Chain”.

She has also returned to classical music, teaching beginners’ piano, songwriting and theory, while also studying contemporary classical composition part-time at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, as a way of expanding her musical horizons. “Now I’m an adult learner!” she laughs. “I’ve always looked to the past for inspiration and now I want to know what’s really new. I want to get old and always be that weirdo that’s hanging around with younger folk, asking about their music. But most of them listen to Justin Bieber.”

Siobhan Wilson plays The Glad Café, Glasgow, 30 June. There Are No Saints is released by Song, By Toad on 14 July

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487459.1498555246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487459.1498555246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Siobhan Wilson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Siobhan Wilson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487459.1498555246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487463.1498555252!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487463.1498555252!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Siobhan Wilson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Siobhan Wilson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487463.1498555252!/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-the-women-leading-the-bard-in-the-botanics-productions-1-4482652","id":"1.4482652","articleHeadline": "Theatre: The women leading the Bard in the Botanics productions","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498554000000 ,"articleLead": "

This season’s Bard in the Botanics casts women in the lead roles in all of its productions, bringing more than simply gender equality to Shakespeare’s work

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482649.1498566047!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Janette Foggo as Queen Lear, centre, with Nicole Cooper as Isabella in Measure for Measure, top left; Stephanie McGregor as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, top right and EmmaClaire Brightlyn as Apemantus in Timon of Athens, bottom right"} ,"articleBody": "

Flick through any copy of Shakespeare’s collected works, and you can see the problem at a glance. As in most collections of plays from the standard western canon, female characters tend to be outnumbered by at least three to one; and in the great histories and tragedies, often by much more.

So in an age when gender equality is one of the key concerns of all respectable public organisations, it’s hardly surprising that many theatre companies face a stark choice: give up Shakespeare, or start casting across traditional gender divides. In the last few years, the trickle of great British actresses playing Shakespearean heroes has become a flood, from Maxine Peake’s Hamlet in Manchester, to Glenda Jackson’s acclaimed King Lear at the Old Vic.

And although Scottish-made main stage productions of Shakespeare are thin on the ground, and have yet to feature an example of cross-casting in a leading tragic role, Scotland’s main Shakespeare producing company Bard In The Botanics – responsible for the annual summer season in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens – has always been interested in mixing up Shakespeare’s gender categories, producing a Much Ado About Nothing re-framed as a striking gay romance, and having almost every character played by an actor of the opposite sex in a recent Twelfth Night.

Last summer, one of the company’s leading female actors, Nicole Cooper, delivered a stunning performance as the warrior aristocrat Gaius Marcia Coriolanus, picking up the Best Female Performance award in this year’s Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. And this summer, the whole Bard In The Botanics season has been framed around the title These Headstrong Women, as the company not only re-examines The Taming Of The Shrew and Measure For Measure, but presents two major tragedies with the heroes reimagined as women. Cooper takes on the role of Timon Of Athens, opening this weekend; and the fine Scottish actress Janette Foggo, Volumnia in last year’s Coriolanus, now steps up to one of the greatest theatre challenges of all, becoming Queen Lear in a production set to open in July.

“There are different ways of doing cross-casting, of course,” says Foggo. “You can simply do what the Old Vic did with Glenda Jackson, and ask a great 80-year-old actress to play an 80-year-old man – and it was a wonderful performance.

“But although you should never say never, I’m not sure how interested I would be in playing Lear as a man. To me, it seems a much richer thing, at the moment, to explore what it means to imagine this character a woman of power, conducting this very difficult relationship with her children. Shakespeare doesn’t write much for mothers and daughters – hardly at all. So to use the richness of his writing around Lear to explore that relationship is tremendously exciting. When Lear curses his own daughters’ fertility, for example – well, for a mother to say those words is absolutely shocking, and it makes us think again about the absolute destructive fury that grips the central character.”

And Cooper – tackling the relatively little-known role of Timon Of Athens, in what may be the play’s first-ever Scottish professional production – agrees that for now, the dynamic of reimagining these characters as women is uniquely satisfying. “This is a very different challenge from Coriolanus, of course,” she says, in a weekend break from rehearsals. “There, you’re going straight into the heart of a warrior world which traditionally excluded women completely.

“With Timon, though, you’re talking about a deeply “feminine” kind of character, a wealthy aristocrat who simply gives all his – or her – wealth away, partly out of generosity, partly because her sheer privilege means she has never had to think about the value of money. The director, Jennifer Dick, has adapted this play so that it’s set in the 1920s, with Timon as a wealthy heiress; so I find that with EmmaClaire Brightlyn playing Timon’s friend and critic Apemantus, here we are as two women talking about life and money and the state and mankind, and not at all about men. And in classic drama, you just hardly ever get that – certainly not in such glorious words.”

Whatever the thrill of re-framing great roles for female actors, though, both Foggo and Cooper feel that once the drama begins to unfold, conscious thinking about gender often gives way to the other huge themes implicit in Shakespearean drama. For Cooper, Timon Of Athens is a great, perhaps underrated, drama about wealth, power, and the impact of loneliness on our judgment. 
And for Foggo, Lear is profoundly a play about ageing, and how we cope with the gradual decline of our powers.

“As a woman, I don’t feel I have the option of playing Queen Lear as much older than my age, which is 62,” says Foggo. “She is a mother with daughters still in their 20s. Yet she has reached a stage where she feels that some things have to be let go; this play is about why she feels that, and how that act of letting go changes everything.

“I don’t know whether this kind of cross-gender casting will become a permanent feature of our theatre; I think it may do, just like colour-blind casting, and it certainly feels right and interesting at the moment. But because I am a woman and a mother, I don’t have to think all the time about being a woman and a mother. It’s part of me that I hope I can bring to this performance. Then, as with any great challenge in theatre, it’s a matter of preparing yourself, taking a deep breath, jumping in – and just seeing what happens.”

Timon Of Athens and The Taming Of The Shrew both run until 8 July; Queen Lear and Measure for Measure from 13-29 July; all at the Botanic Gardens, Glasgow, www.bardinthebotanics.co.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482649.1498566047!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482649.1498566047!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Janette Foggo as Queen Lear, centre, with Nicole Cooper as Isabella in Measure for Measure, top left; Stephanie McGregor as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, top right and EmmaClaire Brightlyn as Apemantus in Timon of Athens, bottom right","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Janette Foggo as Queen Lear, centre, with Nicole Cooper as Isabella in Measure for Measure, top left; Stephanie McGregor as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, top right and EmmaClaire Brightlyn as Apemantus in Timon of Athens, bottom right","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482649.1498566047!/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/hannah-scott-war-drama-that-could-give-gaelic-a-new-voice-1-4486697","id":"1.4486697","articleHeadline": "Hannah Scott: War drama that could give Gaelic a new voice","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498543230000 ,"articleLead": "

A Scottish film ­company ­is adapting the story of two soldiers who used Gaelic to confuse and evade pursuing Germans in the Second World War.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486696.1498475307!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Gaelic adviser on the new film has also worked on hit series Outlander"} ,"articleBody": "

Burning Horseshoe hope the film will bring a unique insight into Scotland’s ­founding language.

Gaelic has existed as long as Scotland has. When the Irish settled here in 500AD, it began spreading across the country. However, as time has passed there are less ­people speaking it.

Gaelic’s biggest setback came in the 18th century, with English rule in ­Scotland. As one member of ­Burning Horseshoe puts it: “For ­decades, native speakers were told that their language was inferior and they were often forced to give up their native tongue.”

According to the 2011 ­census, there are only 60,000 Gaelic speakers left in ­Scotland. However, five ­universities in Scotland offer an honours degree in ­Gaelic. Gaelic-speaking schools are increasing as part of the ­Scottish Government’s Gaelic language plan. We’ve seen the introduction of the BBC Alba channel and road signs with Gaelic place names.

But what impact does this have at a personal level? Lydia Quinn, a student from Glasgow attended a Gaelic medium school. She says: “It has brought me many new opportunities, I feel more confident in my own country, I understand the road signs, old songs and poetry.

“Many interesting historical events happened where the older generation will have used Gaelic as their first ­language. Being able to ­communicate with these ­people is something I’ll be forever thankful for,

“This is our own language, we should be proud of it”.

The memoirs of a Scottish soldier who spoke Gaelic to escape being killed by a ­German firing squad is the basis for In the Darkest Hour.

Writer and producer Stephan Don heard of the ­story through his father, an intelligence officer in the ­Second World War. Lead actors Jim ­Sturgeon and Josh Tevendale are both Scots but do not speak Gaelic. So they will be guided by Àdhamh Ó Broin, who has also worked on hit TV series Outlander.

Burning Horseshoe believe the film may inspire ­others to discover the ­language, ­saying: “We ­strongly believe this is a ­fascinating story that deserves to be shared internationally, with the emphasis on how important Gaelic can be for cultures and individuals. Our film could encourage both native speakers and ­foreigners to appreciate ­Gaelic and to learn more about Scottish history.”

It’s a feeling echoed by Lydia, who said: “I hope that, through media like this, the Gaelic community can grow through our country’s collective love of the arts”

Development funds have been received from Northern Ireland Screen and fundraising for production begins next month. Filming is due to begin next summer, with an estimated release in 2019.

Gaelic is a rich part of Scottish heritage. With the right media coverage and attitude from Scotland’s population we can learn it –and perhaps make Gaelic our true national language once again.

Hannah Scott is a journalism student at the University of the West of Scotland in Ayr.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4486696.1498475307!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486696.1498475307!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Gaelic adviser on the new film has also worked on hit series Outlander","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Gaelic adviser on the new film has also worked on hit series Outlander","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4486696.1498475307!/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/euan-mccolm-rock-n-roll-s-rejection-of-middle-class-doesn-t-stand-up-to-scrutiny-1-4487159","id":"1.4487159","articleHeadline": "Euan McColm: Rock ’n’ roll’s rejection of middle class doesn’t stand up to scrutiny","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498539600000 ,"articleLead": "

Music fans at Glastonbury are not society’s elite, even at £250 a ticket. Most are very ordinary indeed, writes Euan McColm

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487158.1498506544!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Joe Strummer was often protrayed as a punk revolutionary when he fronted The Clash, but was actually a former public schoolboy. This was conveniently overlooked. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

People lose their minds over the littlest things, these days, don’t they?

Take the case of Jeremy Corbyn and his mid afternoon slot at the Glastonbury festival at the weekend. According to his supporters, the adulation afforded Mr Corbyn’s bromides is all the proof we need that he’s the “real” Prime Minister.

The Labour leader’s opponents were quick to point out that he was hardly reaching out to the dispossessed by addressing tens of thousands of people who’d paid almost 250 quid a skull to be there (This take assumes, of course, that someone on a low income couldn’t save up for a ticket).

Mr Corbyn’s appearance at Glasto was what it was: the leader of the second largest political party in the UK addressing a largely sympathetic crowd at a festival which has benefitted organisations such as CND and Greenpeace. Had the Labour leader not been greeted as a hero, then there might have been a story.

And, anyway, Katy Perry was on for much longer and nobody’s arguing she’s the real Home Secretary.

At the heart of the digs at Mr Corbyn was the matter of class, which has haunted popular music since the earliest days of its creation.

We care nothing about the backgrounds of classical musicians - unless, I suppose, there’s an unusual rags to riches or child prodigy yarn to be told - but when it comes to pop music, to rock ’n’ roll, authenticity is everything. And authenticity means anything but middle class.

This weird delusion began to go viral, I suppose, in the mid 1970s when the punk rock movement - a predominantly middle-class thing - decreed that only the authentic sound of abandoned youth (or some such) was worth listening to.

It was not enough to be an entertainer, one had to, depressingly, be one of the people. Rock ’n’ Roll, which had exploded in a burst of glamour and colour less than two decades before, had been infected with a tiresome machismo that decreed what was and wasn’t authentic.

Yes, the music business has always played on the notion of bands as outsiders - The Rolling Stones, for example, were renegades rather than suburban middle class boys whose success didn’t exactly save them from going down the pit. But with punk, came the stripping away of artifice. Fans wanted to see that bands were just like them. How drab. (If a musician didn’t necessarily have the correct background but was considered cool enough - former public schoolboy Joe Strummer of The Clash, for example - this could be airbrushed away).

Ironically, working class musicians in the 1980s were more likely to be able to get into careers in music because of the benefits system. A genuine wave of working class bands - from Simple Minds in Glasgow to Echo and the Bunnymen in Liverpool and The Smiths in Manchester - started out when they could depend on the dole to support themselves through the early years.

It’s little wonder that, these days, so many bands that make it big seem to come from affluent backgrounds. Who else could afford to take the risk of having a go?

Rock ’n’ Roll’s hate/hate affair with the middle class from which so many of its most successful figures came is tiresome and based on notions of society that don’t stand up to scrutiny.

The middle class is no longer the “them” in a romantic “them and us” story of rock ’n’ roll rebellion. The middle class is now - by dint of its expansion since the end of the second world war - most of “us”.

Those critics of Corbyn who sneer at the music fans at Glastonbury are mistaken if they think those people represent an elite; by contemporary standards, most of them are very ordinary indeed.

Just as there are ageing music fans - mostly male and in their mid-50s - who like nothing more than reliving the days when listening to The Jam seemed a rebellious act, there are those in politics who see the debate in terms of class divisions that no longer exist to the degree they once did.

Critics of Jeremy Corbyn - and I included myself - may have made the mistake of failing to recognise great shifts in what it means to be middle class, today.

Young voters brought up in what we might think of as middle class backgrounds are unlikely to have the same expectations about earnings and home ownership as those a generation before did.

Perhaps the “enlighted self interest” of Blairism only worked when there was a realistic opportunity of some personal gain. If there was a cheap mortgage to be had and the prospect of some quick cash on the property market then one might vote to protect all of that.

A new generation of middle class voters won’t be driven to preserve a way of life that doesn’t exist for them. The Labour leader’s detractors - and I still count myself among their number - will have to come to terms with the reality that, although the Labour leader’s politics may have been forged in the 1970s, he is able to connect with voters we might have expected to reject him.

Jeremy Corbyn is not just the voice of a dispossessed underclass but of huge swathes of young middle class voters who will, in time, dictate the results of elections.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EUAN McCOLM"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487158.1498506544!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487158.1498506544!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Joe Strummer was often protrayed as a punk revolutionary when he fronted The Clash, but was actually a former public schoolboy. This was conveniently overlooked. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Joe Strummer was often protrayed as a punk revolutionary when he fronted The Clash, but was actually a former public schoolboy. This was conveniently overlooked. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487158.1498506544!/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/glasgow-strathclyde/paolo-nutini-to-play-charity-gig-in-paisley-abbey-to-help-culture-capital-bid-1-4486907","id":"1.4486907","articleHeadline": "Paolo Nutini to play charity gig in Paisley Abbey to help culture capital bid","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498487526285 ,"articleLead": "Paolo Nutini is to perform a huge charity concert in his home town’s historic abbey to help its bid to become the UK’s next culture capital.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486926.1498487590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paolo Nutini will be playing at Paisley Abbey to support the town's bid to become UK City of Culture."} ,"articleBody": "

Syrian refugees will be among the beneficiariers of the show in Paisley Abbey in October, which will be part of the annual Spree festival.

Nutini has revealed plans for the concert on 20 October after throwing his weight behind Paisley’s bid in November when he recorded a special video message.

Paisley is up against Perth in the race to be named UK City of Culture in 2021. A shortlist due to be announced in the summer and a winner due to be unveiled in December in Hull, when its reign - which is expected to be worth £60 million to the local economy - draws to a close.

Nutini's gig in the 850-year-old venue has been confirmed days after it was revealed that indie-rock outfit Frightened Rabbit would be staging a show at the abbey with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as part of the Spree festival.

Around 100 tickets for Nutini's 550-capacity show will be made available to community groups throughout Renfrewshire.

All proceeds from the show will go directly to five local charities selected by Nutini himself - The Love Street Singers, Mirren Park School, The Kibble Band, the Sunshine Recovery Cafe and some of the town’s Syrian refugee children.

Nutini said: “I’ve always wanted to play in the abbey since I was a wee boy. I’m proud to be a part of The Spree, I’m proud to be from Paisley, love is music and music is home.”

The star's support for the bid was revealed when his video message was broadcast to around 30,000 people at the switching-on off the town's Christmas lights.

He said: "“I’m backing the bid because Paisley is and always has been my home. I love the town and want to see it grow.

“It’s a town that needs the investment, but it knows what it’s going to do with that investment and I think the potential is really clear.

“I see the romance of the town – when you walk into the centre it’s got a beautiful composition.

“The bid is about building a structure that can tackle the more deep-rooted problems and it’s important we get behind that."
Tickets for Nutini's show at the abbey go on sale via a ballot on Friday and are limited to two per person.

Jean Cameron, director of the Paisley 2021 bid, said: “Paolo’s support has been absolutely instrumental to Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and we’re utterly thrilled he is playing this gig – it will be spectacular and we cannot wait.

“It is wonderful to see him helping us realise the bid’s aim to open up the benefits of culture to everybody in the town by supporting local charities and communities who face real barriers to accessing world-class cultural experiences.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4486926.1498487590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486926.1498487590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paolo Nutini will be playing at Paisley Abbey to support the town's bid to become UK City of Culture.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paolo Nutini will be playing at Paisley Abbey to support the town's bid to become UK City of Culture.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4486926.1498487590!/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/fringe-interview-playwright-lara-foot-on-south-africa-s-fringe-festivals-1-4487022","id":"1.4487022","articleHeadline": "Fringe interview: playwright Lara Foot on South Africa’s fringe festivals","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498493817000 ,"articleLead": "

Promoted by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In a regular series of interviews to mark World Fringe Day, acts performing at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe share their experiences of other fringes around the world. This week: playwright, director and producer Lara Foot on the fringe scene in her native South Africa

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487021.1498493917!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "South African playwright Lara Foot, who has three plays on stage in Edinburgh this August."} ,"articleBody": "

Irvine Welsh is doing it. Zinnie Harris is doing it. So too is Lara Foot. They are an elite group of writers who have not just one but three plays on stage in Edinburgh this August. “It’s a huge privilege for me to be in that situation,” says Foot, a South African playwright, director and producer. And it wouldn’t have happened, she says, were it not for another festival. “I was the featured artist at the Grahamstown arts festival last year. The criteria for that was that I would present one new work and two former works. Because they were put on at the same time, it means they’re all ready to tour.”

Having just finished its ten-day programme for another year, the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown is the major event of its kind in South Africa, with both a main programme and a fringe festival, both administered by the National Arts Festival Office. Foot reckons she must have been 25 times since its foundation in 1974 and regards her attendance as a central pillar of her work. “It has a massive fringe festival and it’s where we all cut our teeth as directors, artists and producers and where we learnt our craft in terms of getting things done and getting seen and noticed,” she says. “It’s hugely significant here.”

Look out, then, this August, for The Inconvenience of Wings, her latest play, about a woman with a bipolar disorder; Karoo Moose, a magical realist tale of a village girl who kills a wild animal more familiar to northern climes; and Tshepang, a harrowing story of child rape.

Her work doesn’t end there, however. As the director of the Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town, Foot is bringing three further productions to the Edinburgh Fringe. In addition to Yael Farber’s stunning Mies Julie, which reimagines Strindberg’s Miss Julie in post-apartheid South Africa, she is overseeing the transfer of The Fall, about anti-colonial student demonstrations, and Tobacco, based on a Chekhov short story.

It’s a long way to come with six productions, but Foot knows from experience that a successful festival run can lead to offers from all over the world. “Firstly, you want to be part of world thinking, understanding and connectivity,” she says, recalling that in her 20s she also took six productions to the Grahamstown Fringe. “You also know there’s the possibility of being picked up and starting an international tour, which we’ve done – most famously with Mies Julie which has toured internationally for the last four years.”

Just as she hopes the Baxter Theatre productions will be spotted by international producers visiting Scotland, so she attends similar festivals with a view to discovering new talent for herself. “As the artistic director, I always want to see what’s on at the Fringe, because you’re going to find a gem there,” she says. “There’s going to be something that is different in style and content, or an emerging artist amongst those 1,000 productions that you want to invite to your theatre.”

As well as the National Arts Festival and its fringe, South Africa is home to the Cape Town Fringe Festival (22 September-8 October 2017), a new kid on the block with an emphasis on local productions. “That’s quite a new festival and it’s much smaller,” says Foot. “Most of the work comes from the Grahamstown Festival – maybe ten or 15 of those works come to the Cape Town Festival along with other work from Cape Town.”

Of course, festivals are just as much fun for audiences, the opportunity to see shows in a concentrated period generating a special excitement. “The conversations about which company is putting out the best work are wonderful,” says Foot. “And what’s so exciting for us going to Edinburgh is you meet artists from various countries – on my first trip I saw a play from Poland and was completely blown away because I’d never seen something like that.”

*Karoo Moose – No Fathers is at Assembly George Square Studios, Edinburgh, 3–27 August; The Inconvenience of Wings, Assembly George Square Studios, Edinburgh, 3–27 August; Tshepang, Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh, 3–27 August, www.edfringe.com

*The Edinburgh Festival Fringe was the world’s first Fringe back in 1947. Seventy years later, there are now more than 200 Fringes worldwide. World Fringe Day, on 11 July, marks 70 years since the birth of the Fringe concept, www.worldfringeday.com

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Mark Fisher"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487021.1498493917!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487021.1498493917!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "South African playwright Lara Foot, who has three plays on stage in Edinburgh this August.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "South African playwright Lara Foot, who has three plays on stage in Edinburgh this August.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487021.1498493917!/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/edinburgh-festivals/edinburgh-festival-opener-to-transform-st-andrew-square-1-4486279","id":"1.4486279","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh Festival opener to transform St Andrew Square","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498478589000 ,"articleLead": "

More than 40,000 people are set to flood into one of Edinburgh’s most historic public squares for a spectacular sound and light show to herald the 70th anniversary of its summer festivals.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486278.1498429269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Edinburgh International Festival will take over St Andrew Square for its two-day opening event Bloom."} ,"articleBody": "

Three sides of St Andrew Square will be transformed between 10pm and midnight on the first two nights of the Edinburgh International Festival for its new “Bloom” event.

A series of animations and projections will celebrate the origins of the festivals, which were instigated in the aftermath of the Second World War, with an ambition to “provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit.”

The event, which see special effects created in the garden, is being masterminded by 59 Productions, a design team behind the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, the stage show War Horse and the V&A’s David Bowie exhibition.

The company also created the previous opening spectaculars staged on the facade of the Usher Hall and Edinburgh Castle rock in 2015 and 2016.

This year’s event, bankrolled for a second year by Standard Life, will involve an “immersive” experience specially created to recall how the “darkness and division” of the post-war years was suddenly transformed by the “colour and vibrancy” when the festival when launched in 1947.

The designers say the 15-minute sequence they are creating will draw upon “the architectural beauty of the new town, Edinburgh’s rich cultural heritage and the technological innovation for which the city is renowned.”

The south, west and north sides of the square will be closed to traffic to accommodate the expected crowds on the streets in the event arena, which audiences will be encouraged to walk around “at their own pace.”

The shake-up of the opening event has emerged after complaints of over-crowding at the previous opening events, which ran for under 40 minutes and only ran for one night. Around 8000 tickets will be issued in advance for each night, guaranteeing access to the square from George Street from 9pm. Anyone without tickets can queue up to gain entry from 10.30pm.

Leo Warner, founder of 59 Productions, said: “We wanted to build on what we had done in the last couple of years, but also wanted to do something new and equally ambitious, but different. We were interested in something which people could be inside, explore and, to some extent, create their own experience.

“We spent a long time looking at sites, but for a city that is organised around grids and squares, there were very few that were substantial enough and had the architectural variety of a living city. We kept coming back to St Andrew Square.

“We’ve ended up with something both wildly ambitious and bigger than anything we’ve done before in Edinburgh.

“The first few minutes of the piece are about creating this sense of post-war devastation and desolation across the world. There’s going to be a journey to Edinburgh and then a moment of blossoming that started a chain reaction of cultural events.

“We’re looking at the idea that by injecting culture and international collaboration into a geographical location you can create an explosion of energy, colour, light and life.”

EIF director Fergus Linehan said Bloom would celebrate the development of all of Edinburgh’s main festivals since 1947.

He added: “It’s really about Edinburgh being a festival city. You can’t really separate the festivals. People outside the city don’t really understand how they’re all inter-connected.

“You don’t really see all of the festivals collectively together anywhere. The piece is almost like having a series of big tapestries, which are in constant motion, on the three sides of the square.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4486278.1498429269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486278.1498429269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Edinburgh International Festival will take over St Andrew Square for its two-day opening event Bloom.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Edinburgh International Festival will take over St Andrew Square for its two-day opening event Bloom.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4486278.1498429269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-the-stone-roses-at-hampden-park-1-4486622","id":"1.4486622","articleHeadline": "Music review: The Stone Roses at Hampden Park","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498472108000 ,"articleLead": "

“Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy that it happened,” announced Ian Brown in typically pithy style, adapting the words of Dr Seuss to fuel speculation that this was to be The Stone Roses’ last ever gig. Wise counsel too, given that this was far from the best that the Roses had to offer. But when the band of a generation, subsequently adopted by ensuing generations too, rides into town, their shows become more gathering than gig.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486621.1498472108!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Brown PIC: Myles Wright via ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock"} ,"articleBody": "

The Stone Roses ***

Hampden Park, Glasgow

So as hearty as the crowd singalong to a pipe version of Flower of Scotland was, it had nothing on the massed rendition of the Roses’ traditional curtain-raiser I Wanna Be Adored which completely drowned out Ian Brown’s muffled vocals (possibly mercifully).

Meanwhile, the enthusiastic use of coloured flares set off in the crowd temporarily obscured the view for most of the audience in the kind of shambolic turn of affairs which has dogged this band for years without ever dampening the fans’ ardour.

The stadium bowl did not favour their sound. The blithe, trippy indie pop of Elephant Stone sounded, well, elephantine, with Reni’s deft drumming ricocheting around the terraces, while the sweet love song Sally Cinnamon was divested of its innocent charms. Who knows, the picture from down on the pitch could have been entirely different but, regardless, the band played on, powering through an indie pop catalogue which has reverberated down the decades, with the best reaction, as expected, reserved for the tracks from their debut album. Sugar Spun Sister and Shoot You Down just about escaped intact but Waterfall’s backwards coda Don’t Stop came over like a sonic dog’s dinner, culminating in a very bizarre handjive from Brown.

Interest rapidly waned when they broke out their rockier, riff-based material such as the stodgy boogie of All For One, but the sultry Fool’s Gold, jammed out into a funk-powered wah-wah wonderland, was the honourable exception.

There were no great concessions to the occasion, though Made Of Stone could justifiably be deemed A Moment. Brown, in the excitement and euphoria, lost all concept of pitch during She Bangs the Drums and the epic This Is The One but recovered sufficiently to deliver the closing flourish of I Am the Resurrection, which successfully married the two sides of the Roses, their soaring singalong tuneage with John Squire’s guitar heroics. There were touching group bear hugs all round at the end, appearing to confirm that it was all over bar the memories.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4486621.1498472108!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486621.1498472108!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Brown PIC: Myles Wright via ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Brown PIC: Myles Wright via ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4486621.1498472108!/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-the-east-neuk-festival-explores-its-maritime-links-1-4482654","id":"1.4482654","articleHeadline": "Music: The East Neuk Festival explores its maritime links","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498467600000 ,"articleLead": "

Historic links between Scotland and Denmark inspire a new project at the East Neuk Festival

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482651.1498064588!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danish musicians will join Chris Stout and Catriona McKay at the East Neuk gig"} ,"articleBody": "

The East Neuk of Fife’s historical maritime links with the wider world are well enough known: Crail’s Marketgate once seethed with merchants from the Low Countries and beyond and was the largest marketplace in medieval Europe; there’s the well-worn tale of a Spanish Armada vessel limping into Anstruther harbour in 1588; and that seafaring son of Lower Largo, Alexander Selkirk, was of course the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe.

Rather less well known, however, is the story of the Crail wabster, Thomas Kingo, who in the 1580s migrated to Denmark to become a tapestry weaver for King Christian IV, and whose grandson, also Thomas, became a Danish bishop, poet and renowned hymn-writer whose legacy is still sung in Danish kirks today.

This wandering dynasty from Crail will be celebrated in Anstruther Town Hall next Sunday, however, when the East Neuk Festival, which habitually transcends musical genre and period, presents “In the Footsteps of Thomas Kingo”, a concert featuring the venturesome fiddle and harp duo of Chris Stout and Catriona McKay and the similarly eclectic ensemble Mr McFall’s Chamber, in a piece by the Norwegian composer Henning Sommerro. Further steering the concert’s northerly course will be two widely respected Norwegian musicians, Hardanger fiddle player Nils Økland and bassist Mats Eilertsen.

“It’s a lovely story to jump on to,” says Stout of the Kingo piece, “and one that seems to have inspired Henning.” As a Shetland fiddler (Fair Isle, to be precise), Stout is well acquainted with his culture’s Nordic connections and both he and harpist McKay frequently collaborate with Scandinavian counterparts, McKay performing regularly with nyckelharpa player Olov Johansson, of the renowned Swedish band Väsen, and Stout similarly bowing alongside fiddler Susanne Lundeng from the Norwegian Arctic. They’ve also played with Økland, who makes his East Neuk debut with the esteemed jazz bassist Eilertsen.

Stout and McKay also have form when it comes to mixing it with contemporary classical forces. Three years ago they premiered and recorded Seavaigers, a piece written for them and the Scottish Ensemble by Sally Beamish, while other collaborators have included the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Quatuor Ébène and the Kronos Quartet.

And it is for a notable folk-classical collaboration which Sommerro is probably best known in Scotland. It’s more than 20 years since Follow the Moonstone, his beautiful settings of Scottish, Shetland and Scandinavian fiddle tunes, were recorded by Aly Bain and the Scottish Ensemble. For Stout, then a violin student at the former RSAMD (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), that music helped resolve dilemmas he was experiencing over reconciling classical training with his roots in traditional Shetland fiddling.

“For me, Follow the Moonstone was so instrumental in helping pave our way in understanding the relationship between folk and classical styles. It was important to work it all out in a way that you could celebrate these wonderful different traditions without having to leave one or the other. It settled me in many ways when, as a young student, I really needed to hear people doing what we were trying to believe in.

“Aly and Henning were so important in that development,” says Stout, now 40, “so to be able to have Henning write music for us 20 years on is a lovely thing.”

Sommerro’s composition is titled Chrysillis, after a pastoral love poem written in 1669 by Kingo, whose hymns are still sung today and whose hymns and poetry were regarded as momentous during a period when Danish culture was at a low ebb.

Stout describes the new piece as “very beautiful, very melodic and, without being too simplistic, accessible. As folk musicians Catriona and I are heavily dependent on great melodies and Henning understands that; some of the music is quite hymnal.

“In one part he quotes from [the Scots fiddle tune] The East Neuk of Fife, so there’s no denying where the heart of the music lies.”

The East Neuk Festival runs from 28 June until 2 July, www.eastneukfestival.com

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jim Gilchrist"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482651.1498064588!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482651.1498064588!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Danish musicians will join Chris Stout and Catriona McKay at the East Neuk gig","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danish musicians will join Chris Stout and Catriona McKay at the East Neuk gig","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482651.1498064588!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/album-reviews-lorde-royal-blood-ride-1-4482666","id":"1.4482666","articleHeadline": "Album reviews: Lorde | Royal Blood | Ride","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498467600000 ,"articleLead": "

Lorde seems to shrug off the burden of expectation and grows her sound at her own pace, while Ride pick up where they left off 20 years ago

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482655.1498064591!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lorde has made an assured second album"} ,"articleBody": "


Lorde: Melodrama Virgin ***

Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark? Warner Bros ***

Ride: Weather Diaries Wichita Recordings ***

Forget about all those teenage hopefuls on reality TV shows with stars in their eyes, dreams in their hearts and desperation in their gut – Ella Yelich-O’Connor, better known by her stage name Lorde, really did go from nowhere to somewhere seemingly overnight, thanks to a smart little ditty called Royals. This instant pop classic, audacious in its simplicity, was a rallying cry by a teenager for teenagers, capturing that invincible you-and-me-versus-the-world mentality which is so seductive and comforting for anyone who feels a little out-on-a-limb.

Lorde herself wasn’t like other girl pop stars, being an intense, overly serious quasi-goth outsider from a small town in New Zealand. This precocious writer/performer was described by no less an arbiter than David Bowie as “the future of music”. He popped up at her 17th birthday party, as you do; she was later invited to front the Bowie tribute at last year’s Brit Awards.

Melodrama is her long-awaited document of “the last two wild, fluorescent years of my life”. That quote alone tells you that Lorde has a mildly pretentious way with words, and there’s an unusual artist straining to be heard through the layers of production, generic soundscapes and overdubbed vocals which conspire to dilute her theatrical tendencies.

Green Light is a moderately quirky and propulsive dance pop track about partying back from heartbreak, and she’s got her gang around her, avowing there “ain’t a pill that can touch our rush” on Sober. By the closing Perfect Places, she has sobered up but smiles at the memory of “all the nights spent off our faces, trying to find these perfect places”.

In the interim, she takes deft snapshots of significant relationships on the flinty Hard Feelings, the clipped, compressed house track Supercut and the state-of-the-art sonic collage of The Louvre (“they’ll hang us in the Louvre, down the back but who cares, still the Louvre”). However, nothing resonates as much as the sparse piano ballad Writer in the Dark, where her soaring vocal strongly evokes that other innovative teen writer, Kate Bush.

In 2014, Royal Blood’s self-titled debut took rock music back to the top of the album charts for the first time in too long, and did so without the aid of a guitar. This bass/drums duo have their fuzz pedals in a row once again on the similarly efficient How Did We Get So Dark? which follows a familiar blueprint rather than retilting the formula like Muse or The White Stripes before them, toying with glam rock on Look Like You Know, classic rock riffing on Hook, Line & Sinker and a spot of doomy Sabbath riffola on Where Are You Now? It’s the equivalent of a Motörhead T-shirt purchased from Top Shop, stylish but with something missing where the sweat stains should be.

Oxford indie dons Ride were stalwarts of the shoegaze scene of the early 1990s, characterised by wispy vocals and lashings of guitar effects, before guitarist Andy Bell went off to join Oasis and latterly Beady Eye. Weather Diaries is the quartet’s first album in over 20 years and it’s a decently diverse effort, mixing in motorik rhythms and analogue synth to Lannoy Point, teaming chiming gothic guitar with chunky rhythmic gear changes on Charm Assault and floating serenely in Pink Floyd’s prog pond on Home Is A Feeling. The lyrics are apparently tainted by Brexit, but delivered with a sigh rather than a cry, and it all starts to sound flaccid when the pace drops below driving.


Dragon Quartet: Schubert & Dvorák Channel Classics ***

Top level string quartets are a fairly new concept in China, but the few there are tend to present faithful perspectives on centuries-old repertoire. The Dragon Quartet was established in 2012 and have already created a sizeable reputation through playing that is incisive and clean, engaging and warm, if leaning occasionally towards the matter-of-fact. That’s the instant impression from their Death and the Maiden – Schubert’s famous D minor Quartet – which they pair here with Dvořák’s equally mainstream “American” Quartet. There’s a tantalising purity in their Schubert, rhythmically buoyant in the opening Allegro, increasingly nuanced in the initially motorised Andante, unfussy in the enthusiasm of the Scherzo and Presto. Much the same can be said for the Dvořák, always neat, but crying out for caution to be thrown to the wind. There are already plenty of excellent recordings of this music. This one is more a straightforward option than a telling alternative.

Ken Walton


James Lindsay: Strand OIR Recordings ****

A strand may suggest a demarcation zone between elements, but also a constituent within a woven fabric, and in this richly-textured first album under his own name, bassist James Lindsay, perhaps best known for his work with the Highland band Breabach, meshes with a sterling squad of musicians from the folk and jazz scenes. The ethereal-sounding flute and fiddle (Hamish Napier and Adam Sutherland) of Hebrides Terrace Seamount herald soundscapes that glisten with Fender Rhodes chimes from Tom Gibbs, underpinned by Scott Mackay’s drums and, of course, Lindsay’s bass.

There are fine solos from guitarist Ben Macdonald – in The Silent Spring, for instance – and strathspey-like figures on Fender Rhodes in Forvie Sands. Sutherland’s fiddle shrieks a climax to the sinister-sounding Stacks, while Lindsay’s bass murmurs gently over glockenspiel tinkling in UB85 and bows a wistful air in the concluding Beaufort’s Dyke. Mood, tone and tempo shift as constantly as the tide.

Jim Gilchrist

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482655.1498064591!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482655.1498064591!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lorde has made an assured second album","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lorde has made an assured second album","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482655.1498064591!/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/edinburgh-festivals/4m-deal-secures-future-of-gaelic-drama-bannan-for-next-four-years-1-4486240","id":"1.4486240","articleHeadline": "£4m deal secures future of Gaelic drama Bannan for next four years","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498457444000 ,"articleLead": "

The company set up on the Isle of Skye by the producer of the hit comedy The Inbetweeners has won a new four-year deal to continue making a Gaelic drama series there.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486239.1498457444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gaelic drama Bannan is filmed almost entirely on the Isle of Skye."} ,"articleBody": "

Chris Young, who relocated to the island to create Bannan for BBC Alba, has negotiated a £4 million deal to secure its long-term future.

The new contract with channel funders MG Alba, announced at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, has been hailed as a “game-changer” for television production in the Highlands and Islands.

Speaking before the premiere of three new episodes of the show, Young said the move would allow Skye to capitalise on a current “golden age for long-form television drama”.

BBC Alba has broadcast 18 episodes to date, with another five which were filmed on Skye last year due to go on air in the autumn.

But Mr Young said production on the show had been “ad-hoc” to date due to the lack of a long-term commitment.

Around 100 people: actors, writers, directors and technicians currently work on Bannan, which started production in 2013 and will develop into a murder mystery.

He said the new deal would allow “more risks” to be taken with Bannan, with a new team of writers, directors and producers able to take the show in “exciting new directions” over the next four years. Mr Young said the deal would also allow him to pursue a host of other projects from Skye, including a feature film about the conspiracies over the Lockerbie disaster and a big-screen version of the classic novel The Silver Darlings.

His company, Young Films, has already signed a distribution deal to sell Bannan to overseas broadcasters.

Mr Young said: “We are 
living in a golden age for long form television drama. Never has there been such an 
appetite from audiences, combined with such a wide range of possible platforms on which to watch it. It is to MG Alba’s great credit that they have stepped up to embrace this unique moment and opportunity. This game-changing decision will follow through on our hard-won, but still fragile, success.”

Maggie Cunningham, chair of MG ALBA, said: “The development of drama was a key milestone for BBC ALBA and since it was first broadcast in 2014, Bannan has proved popular with both our core Gaelic audience and non-Gaelic speakers alike.

“The four-year deal with Young Films will provide longer-term certainty for Bannan’s ongoing development.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BRIAN FERGUSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4486239.1498457444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486239.1498457444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gaelic drama Bannan is filmed almost entirely on the Isle of Skye.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gaelic drama Bannan is filmed almost entirely on the Isle of Skye.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4486239.1498457444!/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/glasgow-strathclyde/police-make-10-arrests-at-stone-roses-hampden-park-concert-1-4486078","id":"1.4486078","articleHeadline": "Police make 10 arrests at Stone Roses’ Hampden Park concert","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498404464000 ,"articleLead": "

The Stone Roses gig in Glasgow saw 10 people arrested for a range of offences.

" ,"articleBody": "

Thousands of fans were at Hampden Park on Saturday to watch the Fools Gold band perform.

Police Scotland said 10 people were detained for public disorder offences and the use of pyrotechnics.

The arrests were made in and around the national stadium.

Gig-goers had been warned ahead of the concert to expect armed officers on patrol.

The event came amid weeks of heightened security at large events across the country, including the Scotland vs England World Cup qualifier and Scottish Cup Final.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CONOR RIORDAN"} ,"topImages": [ ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/gaelic-tv-drama-bannan-wins-new-four-year-deal-1-4486061","id":"1.4486061","articleHeadline": "Gaelic TV drama Bannan wins new four-year deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498402797492 ,"articleLead": "

The company set up on the Isle of Skye by the producer of the hit comedy The Inbetweeners has won a new four-year deal to continue making a Gaelic drama series there.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486060.1498402913!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Debbie Mackay and Dol Ian MacKinnon are two of the main stars of the BBC Alba series Bannan."} ,"articleBody": "

Chris Young, who relocated to the island to create Bannan for BBC Alba, has negotiated a £4 million deal to secure its long-term future.

The new contract with channel funders MG Alba, announced at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, has been hailed as a “game-changer” for television production in the Higlands and Islands.

Speaking before the premiere of three new episodes of the show, Young said the move would allow Skye to capitalise on a current “golden age for long-form television drama.”

BBC Alba has broadcast 18 episodes to date, with another five which were filmed on Skye last year due to go on air in the autumn.

But Mr Young said production on the show had been “ad-hoc” to date due to the lack of a long-term commitment.

Aroud 100 people actors, writers, directors and technicians currently work on Bannan, which started production in 2013 and will develop into a murder mystery.

He said the new deal would allow “more risks” to be taken with Bannan, with a new team of writers, directors and producers able to take the show in “exciting new directions” over the next four years.

Mr Young said the deal would also allow him to pursue a host of other projects from Skye, including a feature film about the conspiracies over the Lockerbie disaster and a big-screen version of the classic novel The Silver Darlings.

His company, Young Films, has already signed a distribution deal to sell Bannan to overseas broadcasters.

Mr Young said: “We are living in a golden age for long form television drama. Never has there been such an appetite from audiences, combined with such a wide range of possible platforms on which to watch it.

\"It is to MG Alba’s great credit that they have stepped up to embrace this unique moment and opportunity.

\"This game-changing decision will follow through on our hard-won, but still fragile, success.”

Maggie Cunningham, chair of MG ALBA, said: “The development of drama was a key milestone for BBC ALBA and since it was first broadcast in 2014, Bannan has proved popular with both our core Gaelic audience and non-Gaelic speakers alike.

\"The four-year deal with Young Films will provide longer-term certainty for Bannan’s ongoing development.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4486060.1498402913!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486060.1498402913!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Debbie Mackay and Dol Ian MacKinnon are two of the main stars of the BBC Alba series Bannan.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Debbie Mackay and Dol Ian MacKinnon are two of the main stars of the BBC Alba series Bannan.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4486060.1498402913!/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/festivals-turn-to-deprived-areas-for-volunteers-1-4485645","id":"1.4485645","articleHeadline": "Festivals turn to deprived areas for volunteers","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498399106000 ,"articleLead": "

Volunteers are being recruited from some of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas to help form a new army of volunteers to welcome people to the city’s festivals during their 70th anniversary year.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485644.1498324393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A volunteer at the 2014 Commonwealth Games gives advice at Glasgow Central Station. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Some participants in a new “Festival City Volunteers” scheme are expected to get their first taste of the city’s flagship cultural events this summer during the roll-out of the project in August.

The volunteers are planned to become the new friendly face of the festivals in both the Old and New Towns - highlighting the range of events that are on, helping to find key venues and offering advice on buying tickets.

A 40-strong army of volunteers is due to be recruited for the street patrols scheme, which is hoped to be expanded to several hundred in future years and involve events throughout the year.

All participants will undergo two days of training about the festivals, how to find your way around the city when they are on, visitor attractions, customer service and public transport. During the festivals they will get access to major events like the opening curtain-raiser to the Edinburgh International Festival and a preview performance of the Tattoo, behind-the-scenes access and guided tours of venues, and discounted ticket offers.

Lothian Buses, one of the main partners in the project, will be creating special uniforms for the volunteers, as well as providing a base for them in their shops and offering free travel passes. Volunteers must agree to do a minimum of six four-hour shifts during the festivals.

Areas like Granton, Craigmillar and Sighthill, where there are low levels of participation in the festivals, have been targeted for the £30,000 pilot, which is being run by umbrella body Festivals Edinburgh.

Initial funding for the pilot has come mainly from the city council, with VisitScotland, Marketing Edinburgh and the various festivals also supporting the new venture in various ways. Trusts, foundations and commercial sponsors are being asked to come on board to ensure the Festival City Volunteers become a familiar sight on the streets of Edinburgh when major events are on in future years.

Festivals Edinburgh director Julia Amour said: “As part of our 70th anniversary celebrations we wanted to help more people across the city feel part of the festivals family.

“We really want to reach out across the city to different communities to give more people an opportunity to experience the festivals, learn more about them, and then share that enthusiasm with visitors to the city. They will get to feel part of something really special, but will also gain from new skills.

“There is a really unique opportunity here. We’ve obviously been inspired by the Host City Volunteers project in Glasgow in 2014, but of course that was a one-off project for the Commonwealth Games. Edinburgh has this major event happening in the city every summer.

“They will be helping people to navigate around the festivals and they city. They will be asking people what they are looking to do and whether they are thinking about other things, and whether they know if there are certain festivals going on and where they all are.

“They can also help the people with questions they have about what to do, places to eat and where to get the best photographs. It’s about helping and welcoming visitors, as well as championing the festivals and how people to get the most out of them.”Edinburgh College students are being encouraged to sign up for the project, which is hoped will help some participants find work or secure places on training programmes. The scheme, been partly inspired by the success of volunteers during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, is also open to anyone in the city to apply to before the 3 July deadline.

The project website states: “It doesn’t matter if you don’t have experience. We will train you to build confidence, customer service skills and cultural knowledge. We’re looking for people who want to develop an interest in arts and culture, and who would like to increase their confidence, connections, skills or employability.”

“When we first started discussing the project with the festivals we all felt strongly that the emphasis should be on the experience people got and they skills they gained. We wanted them to be genuine volunteer roles and not in any way be substituting for jobs.

“For some of the volunteers, depending on what their ambitions are, there may be routes into training or work.

“For others it may be about being part of something special and meeting new people. It should be great for what people want it to do for them.

“We are very clear that the emphasis is on how the volunteers benefit from these experiences. We want to see them get the very most out of it.”

Gaynor Marshall, communications director of Lothian Buses, said: “The services we provide are absolutely integral to city life and we’re really committed to delivering a fantastic experience for visitors to Edinburgh.

“Supporting the festival city volunteer project is a perfect match with what we’re trying to achieve as a company. It’s also a great way to reach out to the community and involve Edinburgh residents, who are often the greatest ambassadors for our amazing city and all that it has to offer.”

Donald Wilson, culture leader at the city council, said: “Who better to champion the city and the festivals in this milestone year than our citizens?

“This is a fantastic opportunity for both seasoned and new festival fans to be part of the beating heart of Edinburgh in August.

“The council is delighted that this programme will shine a spotlight on our people and our communities, provide vital training and skills development, and the opportunity to share Edinburgh’s love of culture with visitors from all over the world. I imagine the roles will receive a lot of interest.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BRIAN FERGUSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4485644.1498324393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485644.1498324393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A volunteer at the 2014 Commonwealth Games gives advice at Glasgow Central Station. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A volunteer at the 2014 Commonwealth Games gives advice at Glasgow Central Station. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4485644.1498324393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/heritage/culture-clash-perth-v-paisley-in-title-fight-1-4485772","id":"1.4485772","articleHeadline": "Culture clash: Perth v Paisley in title fight","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498366818000 ,"articleLead": "

In Dunn Square in Paisley, the statues of industrial giants Thomas and Peter Coats gaze proprietorially over the skyline their success helped create. The brothers, former owners of J & P Coats thread mills, face away from each other. Thomas has a top hat in his left hand and his right tucked into his waistcoat. Peter sports sideburns Paul Weller would kill for. Each has an imperious expression on his face and a seagull perched on his droppings-encrusted head.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485771.1498338385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jean Cameron, Project Director of Paisleys UK City of Culture 2021 bid. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

More than a century after the brothers’ deaths – and 25 years after the closure of the Anchor and Ferguslie mills – Paisley is a two-storey town. Look up, and you see only wealth: the spires and the towers, the domes and the columns, the angels and the cherubs and the gargoyles – all legacies of its powerhouse past. Look down, however, and you can’t miss the poverty: the hard-bitten faces and the empty shop fronts – a consequence of globalisation and being stuck in Glasgow’s shadow.

Tucking into a poke of chips, Sharon Thomson, a care worker from nearby Penilee, says she only came into the town because she thought terrorists were less likely to strike there than at Silverburn. “Och, the High Street used to be buzzing, but now there’s just M&S, bookies, amusements and charity shops,” she says.

Sixty miles away, Perth preens itself on the banks of the Tay. The Fair City – and unlike Paisley, it is a city – has always benefited from its Gateway-to-the Highlands location. Today, the continental pavement cafés that line St John’s Place are bustling with students, tourists and ladies who lunch.

Though, like all Scottish towns, there are empty shops – the closure last year of the 150-year-old department store McEwens was a major blow – the town has higher than average employment and a wide range of big-name retailers.

There is no shortage of history here, either: Perth was occupied by Jacobite supporters on three occasions, John Knox preached on idolatry in St John’s Kirk, and the Battle of the North Inch was memorialised in Walter Scott’s The Fair Maid Of Perth. But the city hasn’t always been good at preserving its heritage. There were plans to demolish the B-listed City Hall – “an Edwardian interloper” – to create a public space before Historic Environment Scotland put the kibosh on them, while St Paul’s Church has lain empty for over 30 years.

The two cities could scarcely be more different: Perth, the sober matron; Paisley, the stroppy street fighter. Yet they are going head to head (along with Sunderland, Stoke-on-Trent, Hereford, Coventry, Wells, Swansea, Warrington, Portsmouth and St David’s) for the title of UK City of Culture 2021. Each hopes the accolade, the £3 million of funding, and the raised profile the title brings will serve as a catalyst for regeneration.

Both Scottish contenders have powerful cultural figures in their corners. Paisley is being backed by John Byrne, Gerard Butler and Paolo Nutini, Perth by Stuart Cosgrove and Colin McCredie. But which stands a better chance? To find out more, I asked the driving forces behind the bids to take me on a whistle-stop tour.

It’s 1pm on Wednesday, and I’m meeting Jean Cameron, Project Director of Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

The buddy (native of Paisley) – who has raven-black hair, bright red lips and infinite energy – was born and brought up in Ferguslie Park, the scheme that tops the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. Her mother was a doffer at the mill there and recently appeared in the BBC documentary The Town That Thread Built.

As a teenager, Cameron remembers looking out of the library window to see punks – then banned from Glasgow – congregating in the street outside Listen Records, before heading to the Bungalow; later, she danced to Talking Heads at Toledo Junction.

After leaving school, however, she moved to Glasgow because there were no opportunities to study or work in the arts in Paisley. She went on to lead the cultural programme for Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games.

A pragmatist, Cameron acknowledges the decline that has turned parts of the town into the “poster child for deprivation”. But, she insists, there are other ways in which Paisley’s cultural stock has risen. Nowadays, for example, a school-leaver could choose from a range of courses in the creative industries at the University of the West of Scotland and West College Scotland, while PACE Youth Theatre – where James McAvoy and Richard Madden first trod the boards – has 2,000 young members.

“We think this award would mean more to Paisley than any of the other cities taking part. It’s not going to solve everything, but it would be truly transformative,” Cameron says.

On her tour, we stop to look at the imposing architecture: the 850-year-old Abbey, where Robert the Bruce’s daughter Marjorie gave birth prematurely and then died after falling from her horse; the red sandstone Thomas Coats Memorial Church with its flying buttresses and grand staircase; and the soon to be extended museum and art gallery which boasts a large collection of Paisley pattern shawls.

She shows me the iconic Arnotts building, now restored to its former grandeur, its upper level turned into affordable flats, its lower level about to open as a restaurant. And I am granted a sneak preview of the ornate marble lobby of the Russell Institute – a former health clinic where Cameron remembers being taken to get her jags. The stunning art deco building, with its bronze angel protecting two young babies perched high above the main door, has been empty since 2011, but is about to open as a training and employability hub after a £4.5m refurbishment.

Cameron is also keen to highlight new murals by local artists. One is a tribute to the psychedelic Sixties (when the Beatles’ endorsement of the Paisley pattern turned it into a cult phenomenon). Another features local girl Eva Rose Ross, the distinctive skyline reflected in her sunglasses.

The mural of Eva Rose was made by Caroline Gormley. Today, she and her partner, Alexander Guy, are working in an underpass at Gilmour Street station. Using tinfoil flan cases as palettes, they are painting a large Paisley Tartan backdrop on to which images of well-known city figures and landmarks will be superimposed.

“This means a lot because it’s all about community,” says Gormley. “It’s not just about putting a nice picture on a wall, it’s got to relate to and involve the people of Paisley.”

“Aye, we get dog’s abuse from them,” chips in Guy wryly. “We get comments, like ‘Is that all you’ve done today?’ and ‘You’ve missed a bit’.”

Much thought has also been given to revitalising the High Street. In the short term, many empty shop fronts now have brightly painted hoardings, but long term more innovative plans are afoot. One premises is being converted into the country’s only city centre museum store.

Another unit is already being used by InCube – Invest in Renfrewshire’s business programme – to grow creative industry retail companies. Up to 20 a year are given access to funding, mentoring and a space to showcase their products. Those benefiting at the moment include Paisley Pins, which makes funky Paisley Pattern brooches from laser-cut acrylic, and The Canny Squirrel, which specialises in handmade Harris Tweed cushions.

So, the bid team and its wider partners, are focused on the intersection between culture and business; but they are also determined the arts will be used to reach out to disenfranchised communities.

Live Music Now has been touring Mill Memories – a new piece of music inspired by stories of the thread mills – round the city’s care homes, while Street Stuff, a charity which has helped cut youth disorder, has acquired a “culture bus”, equipped with games consoles and DJ-ing equipment.

Another beneficiary of the £1m Renfrewshire Cultural Heritage Events Fund has been the theatre company Historical Adventures, who – as I visit – have just finished a performance in British Sign Language at Paisley Arts Centre.

Director David O’Rourke, who can hear, learned to sign because he realised the deaf community was culturally isolated. For the past eight weeks, he has been teaching BSL to children at St Catherine’s Primary, enabling them to stage Communication, a show about an island where the inhabitants struggle to make themselves understood – for a mixed deaf and hearing audience.

We also stop in at the Sma’ Shot Cottages – two weavers’ homes, from the 18th and 19th centuries – situated in Shuttle Street, a cobbled alley which Cameron hopes will soon have all the vibrancy of Ashton Lane in Glasgow’s West End.

On Saturday, the Shuttle Street will burst into life for the Sma’ Shot Festival – which celebrates the weavers’ uprising of 1856 – and the Charleston Drum, used to rally the masses, will be once again be beaten through the streets. The Sma’ Shot Festival and the Spree Festival in October help draw people from all over the west coast, and the town is now attracting prestigious events such as the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) awards which are being held there on Wednesday for the second year running.

In the A-listed Bull Inn – a beautiful art deco pub with stained glass and original taps – deputy manager Alex Thomson is talking about his plans to track down photos that used to hang on its walls and to restore the old coal fire. “I think becoming UK of City of Culture would bring pride back to the town – that’s exactly what we need,” he says.

The next morning, I travel to Perth. As bid leader Fiona Robertson is not available, I am shown round by city development manager John McCrone.

McCrone is originally from Fife, but has lived and raised a family in the city for the past 30 years. He is dressed in a grey suit, blue shirt and spotty tie and I am about to peg him as an archetypal council apparatchik when he tells me he was once a bass player in a punk band called The Biafran Lepers.

As we walk round the city, he draws my attention to artistic flourishes he came up with. “Look here,” he says, pointing proudly at a metal grille with Scream-like skulls and bones on the site of what was once a burial ground. “That’s one of my things.”

McCrone seems aware that, while the city’s cultural heritage is undisputed, its need is less obvious. So, while Paisley tends to play down its problems, he plays Perth’s up, insisting it does have areas of deprivation. He also stresses that his bid is for the whole area – with its many outlying towns and villages – not just the city itself. “Our challenges are different to Paisley’s,” he says. “We have quite high employment but our wage level is quite low. This is about creating opportunities. What fuels economic growth? Innovation. We need to support the creative industries, alongside existing employers such as Stagecoach, Aviva, SSE. It’s not about culture in isolation, but culture is extremely important in terms of quality of life.”

McCrone’s tour starts at the river. He points up towards North Inch, where he and his wife walk the dogs on a Sunday morning before having coffee at the Black Watch Museum. He points across to the public sculpture trail on either side of the Tay which features statues inspired by biologist Patrick Geddes and poet William Soutar. And he points down towards two new pontoons from which boat trips will run throughout the summer.

In the centre, we pass the Museum and Art Gallery – which is about to undergo a £10m redevelopment – the 10-year-old concert hall and the Fair Maid’s House, the city’s oldest building, where the Royal Geographical Society is based.

Next to St John’s Kirk, with its animal carvings, is the aforementioned City Hall, the controversial building at the centre of Perth’s bid, which is to be transformed into a new visitor attraction.

If the city gets its way, it will become home to the Stone of Destiny on which the kings of Scotland were once crowned. The idea is to consolidate Perth’s place as the first capital of Scotland.

The controversy around the proposed demolition means public interest in its future has spiked. As a result, a steady stream of people come to look at a recently erected panel on which all five competing proposals are displayed.

Another huge building project involves Perth Theatre, Scotland’s oldest rep. The £16.6m refurbishment will see its interior restored to its original state and a new glass-fronted foyer incorporating a studio theatre. In addition, it is hoped performing arts group Circus Adventures will eventually move into St Paul’s Church, which is also undergoing a major renovation.

McCrone says the city is keen to boost its night-time economy, hence its attempt to bill itself as the City of Light. Though initial proposals to illuminate key city sites were met with scepticism, he believes the success of the Norie-Miller Walk Light Nights display at the beginning of the year – which attracted 53,000 visitors – won people round.

One of the features that distinguishes Perth is its medieval vennels – narrow passageways that run between the gables. Earlier this year, local street artists brightened them up with simple paintings, some of which can still be seen, and there are plans for further public artworks and illumination.

McCrone – who has four daughters – knows Perth is often seen as set in its ways, and is delighted by the growth in live music venues . He tells me he saw The Stranglers play here and once took The Levellers out to Greyfriars Bar. While established bands play at the Concert Hall, up-and-coming ones can be heard at the Twa Tams, the Green Room and The Venue, which has paintings by local artists for sale on its walls. The Green Room and The Venue are owned by Frank Burger-Seed, who has been nominated as a Perth Pioneer for his commitment to transforming the city’s nightlife.

Behind the bar at The Venue is Jordan Thomson, originally from Glasgow, who first moved to Perth to study for a Bachelor of Arts in popular music, and whose own band, One-Eyed Fish, plays in the Green Room. “I haven’t seen much change over the past four years,” he says. “I would like to see more people investing in art and music.”

But his colleague, Alan Livett, who has lived in the city for eight years , says: “What I like about Perth is that you walk down the same street and it changes almost daily. It’s a similar appeal to working here. Frank’s vision is all about making the city great.”

If Paisley’s challenge is to make sure the lives of its most deprived citizens are engaged, then Perth’s is to reach out to its rural communities. “We want to bring culture from our outlying towns into the city and vice versa. It has to be a two-way street,” says McCrone.

What unites Paisley and Perth is that they have both been energised by the bidding process. Like Dundee – which went ahead with the V&A, despite losing out on the UK City of Culture title – they will complete their major development projects whether or not they make it on to next month’s shortlist.

Nevertheless, neither of them is about to cede to the other. They are both in it to win it, their eyes fixed on the cultural prize.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Dani Garavelli"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4485771.1498338385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485771.1498338385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jean Cameron, Project Director of Paisleys UK City of Culture 2021 bid. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jean Cameron, Project Director of Paisleys UK City of Culture 2021 bid. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4485771.1498338385!/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/katy-perry-mocked-for-calling-saltire-blue-flag-with-an-x-1-4485754","id":"1.4485754","articleHeadline": "Katy Perry mocked for calling Saltire ‘blue flag with an x’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498336198000 ,"articleLead": "

SINGER Katy Perry has been mocked on social media after she failed to recognise the Scotland flag during her performance at this year’s Glastonbury.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485753.1498336198!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Katy Perrymade the gaffe while performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

While performing on the Pyramid Stage at the festival, she pointed out a Scottish Saltire and described it as the “blue flag with the x”.

During one of her songs, Perry pointed to the crowd and said: “I can see all of you. Even that security guard in the neon. Way in the back by that blue flag with the x.”

Her lack of Vexillology knowledge saw an immediate reaction online as Scots took to Twitter to point out that it was indeed the Scotland Flag.

One user posted: “#TIL (today I learned) Katy Perry doesn’t know ‘flags of the world’.... namely Scotland #blueflagwithaX”

Another tweeted the star’s Twitter account directly to point out her gaffe.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4485753.1498336198!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485753.1498336198!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Katy Perrymade the gaffe while performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Katy Perrymade the gaffe while performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4485753.1498336198!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/jeremy-corbyn-wows-the-crowds-at-glastonbury-festival-1-4485636","id":"1.4485636","articleHeadline": "Jeremy Corbyn wows the crowds at Glastonbury festival","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498330345000 ,"articleLead": "

LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn received a rapturous welcome as he took to the stage at the Glastonbury Festival.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485634.1498330336!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Britain's opposition Labour party Leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd from the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Corbyn appeared at the Pyramid Stage where he pledged his support to refugees, young people and the environment and took a swipe at US president Donald Trump.

Corbyn said: “Look, on the wall that surrounds this festival and there is a message on that wall for president Donald Trump ... build bridges, not walls.

“What was fascinating about the last seven weeks of election campaigning around Britain is that the commentariat got it wrong, the elites got it wrong.

“Politics is about the lives of all of us and the wonderful campaign that I was proud to lead brought a lot of people back into politics because they believed there was something on offer for them.

“What was even more inspiring was the number of young people who got involved for the very first time because they were fed up with being told they don’t matter and that their generation was going to pay more to get less in education, housing, health, pensions and everything else.

“Well, it didn’t quite work out like that and that politics that got out of the box, is not going back in any box because we are there demanding an achievement of something very different in our society.”

He explained that the five-day festival was about “coming together” and symbolised the importance of the environment and peace.

Corbyn continued: “Let’s stop the denigration of refugees, people looking for a place of safety in a cruel and dangerous world. Let’s support them in their hour of need, not see them as a threat and a danger.”

Spreading his message 
to global issues, he added: “Let’s tackle the causes of war, the greed for natural resources, the denial of human rights, the irrational imprisonment of political opponents.”

The politician shared his own memories of visiting Glastonbury Tor as a child and described it as a “magical area” and a place where “people come together and achieve things”.

He paid tribute to suffragettes and other people through history who “laid down their lives” for democracy and justice as he condemned racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination.

He also praised the festival for inspiring arts and music and for promoting the importance of protecting the environment. He said there was only one earth and joked: “Even Donald Trump doesn’t believe there is another planet somewhere else.”

Michael Vale, 28, from London, said: “I’m not sure they’d get Theresa to do this.

“I wore a Corbyn t-shirt last year. I think he’s a wonderful man and I think it’s great that he is getting in touch with young voters.”

Holly Maddick, 19, from Buckinghamshire, said: “I think he’s a really cool guy.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CLAIRE HAYHURST"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4485634.1498330336!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485634.1498330336!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Britain's opposition Labour party Leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd from the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Britain's opposition Labour party Leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd from the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4485634.1498330336!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4485635.1498330345!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485635.1498330345!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mr Corbyn was well recieved by the crowd. Picture: Ian Gavan/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mr Corbyn was well recieved by the crowd. Picture: Ian Gavan/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4485635.1498330345!/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/tv-radio/lulu-to-appear-on-new-series-of-who-do-you-think-you-are-1-4485549","id":"1.4485549","articleHeadline": "Lulu to appear on new series of Who Do You Think You Are?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498314082000 ,"articleLead": "

Scots singer Lulu is among the ten famous faces lined up for the next series of BBC ancestry programme Who Do You Think You Are?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485547.1498314075!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lulu, seen here performing in Glasgow, will examine her ancestry in the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Lulu, born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie in 1948, will be joined by Game of Thrones actor Charles Dance, TV presenter Clare Balding and comedian Ruby Wax among others as they trace their roots and ancestry in the 14th series of the programme, due to begin on 6 July.

Lulu is not the first Scot to appear on the programme - Edinburgh-born TV presenter Nicky Campbell, who traced his adoptive family’s roots in Scotland and Australia; Doctor Who and Broadchurch actor David Tennant, who discovered ancestors with links to the Orange Order and the Bloody Sunday massacre; comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner; actor and director Alan Cumming; singer Annie Lennox and comedian and actor Billy Connolly have all appeared on Who Do You Think You Are? since it first aired in 2004.

The former Eurovision Song Contest winner is no stranger to unexpected revelations about family - during a book tour in 2002, Lulu came face to face with a cousin she never knew existed.

Eddie Lawrie, from Tollcross in Glasgow, queued up at the Sauchiehall Street branch of Waterstone’s with a wedding photo rather than a copy of Lulu’s autobiography.

Eddie and Lulu both grew up in Dennistoun, in Glasgow’s East End, but their families drifted apart.

Speaking at the time, Eddie admitted: “I was so nervous. I’ve been waiting all my life to meet her. I’ve tried to track her down before, but with no success.

“When I heard she was coming to Glasgow, I thought I’d give it a go. She seemed shocked, but she was very friendly. I think she was as surprised as me.”

Big Brother presenter Emma Willis, radio DJ Fearne Cotton, actor Noel Clarke, writer Adil Ray, EastEnders actress Lisa Hammond and Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood will also delve into their past in the new series, with Revel Horwood uncovering another dancer in the family, while Clare Balding learns details about the possibly romantic relationship that her great-grandfather had with a male artist.

Included in the new series are trips to Uganda and the Caribbean, while Charles Dance - who portrays Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones - looks to find out more about the father he never knew.

The series has become synonymous with high-emotion real-life drama as guests explore the often tragic and triumphant pasts of their ancestors.

However, the ten guests will be hard pushed to relive the drama of the previous series, in which EastEnders actor Danny Dyer discovered he was directly related to the British royal family.

Dyer - who plays pub landlord Mick Carter in the BBC soap - found that his 15 times great grandfather was Thomas Cromwell, a chief minister in the court of King Henry VIII.

Like many of the personalities who appear on the show, Dyer was taken aback by his family revelations, saying, “This is stupid, innit? I need to get my nut around it. And then I’m gonna treat myself to a massive ruff.”

Tom McDonald, BBC head of commissioning for natural history and specialist factual, said: “Following its recent Bafta success, this new series of Who Do You Think You Are? promises fascinating revelations from some of the UK’s best-loved actors, performers and presenters.

“The series continues to be our most-watched history series across the BBC – and I know viewers are in for a real treat.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RUSSELL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4485547.1498314075!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485547.1498314075!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lulu, seen here performing in Glasgow, will examine her ancestry in the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lulu, seen here performing in Glasgow, will examine her ancestry in the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4485547.1498314075!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4485548.1498314081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4485548.1498314081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Clare Balding, left, and Charles Dance will also appear in the new series. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Clare Balding, left, and Charles Dance will also appear in the new series. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4485548.1498314081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}