THIS week sees the arrival of the 11th Merchant City Festival, a poignant exhibition of some of the world’s best photojournalism, a stand-out gig from the venerable Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival programme, and a film that isn’t The Dark Knight Rises
25-29 July, Glasgow
While the Edinburgh Fringe Festival may dominate the agenda in the run-up to August, the Merchant City Festival enters its 11th year with a reputation for quality that grows each year. Filled with art exhibitions, music concerts, wine and whisky tastings, walking tours and a formidable theatre programme, the festival is a sprawling affair with a firm focus on community-based arts and culture, and with a character that sets it apart from its more cosmopolitan neighbour over the M8. The Big Mono Happening, taking place in the eponymous record store, promises a four-day assembly of musicians, visual artists and theatre performers on Fri 27; another festival-within-a-festival, Surge, will showcase a raft of forward-thinking dance and theatre performances for the third year running at The Arches. For art lovers, photography exhibitions of the works of David Peat, an exhibition of prints and paintings inspired by Truman Capote, and a photography showcase by the Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH) are well worth your time, as are the stories that inspired their fruition. Of the numerous walking tours on offer, The Merchant City, Slavery and Abolition promises the fullest insight into the city’s history, as well as its relationship with slavery and its role in leading calls for an end to the practice.
Chariots of Fire
23-25 July, Glasgow Film Theatre
Got The Dark Knight Rises out of your system, have you? No? Right. If your hero fetish hasn’t yet subsided, we advise a dash to the GFT to see Chariots of Fire, re-released to coincide with the run-up to the Olympic Games. Hugh Hudson’s multi-Oscar-winning epic tells the story of athletes Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, who battle to overcome conflicts of faith and prejudice respectively on their journey to compete in the 1924 Olympics.
The beach run, one of the most iconic scenes to ever grace a cinema screen - and, lest we forget, soundtracked by that peerless Vangelis score - is worth the admission price alone.
World Press Photo exhibition
Until 28 July, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
The Scottish Parliament is currently hosting a striking exhibition of photojournalism from around the world, offering a window into events that shaped the world in 2011, including some of the world’s most dangerous conflicts. The exhibition, making its only UK stop in Edinburgh, will be all the more poignant with the inclusion of works by French photojournalist Remi Ochlik, who died in Syria alongside veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin after a shell attack in Homs.
24 July, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, £12.50
Though part of the programme for this year’s Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, Edinburgh-based Hidden Orchestra are a semi-regular presence in Edinburgh - lucky us, we say. Their debut album, 2010’s Night Walks, is a sophisticated blend of jazz signatures, dusted-down hip-hop and Boards of Canada-esque textures that also informs their live shows - by turns a pastoral and subtly euphoric experience.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West