{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"whatson","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/wet-wet-wet-star-says-no-1-hit-sowed-seeds-of-their-demise-1-4772195","id":"1.4772195","articleHeadline": "Wet Wet Wet star says No 1 hit ‘sowed seeds’ of their demise","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532184928000 ,"articleLead": "

They were catchy pop songs, featured in hit movies, that dominated the airwaves and brought two Scottish bands worldwide recognition.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4772194.1532184925!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Singer Marti Pellow attracted the lion's share of media attention. Picture: Allan Milligan"} ,"articleBody": "

But now Wet Wet Wet, who performed the marathon number one Love Is All Around, and Simple Minds, whose biggest hit was Don’t You (Forget About Me), have admitted that the success backfired, leaving them worse off than before.

In a documentary to be broadcast on the BBC, Wet Wet Wet drummer Tommy Cunningham says the band’s cover version of The Troggs’ song “sowed the seeds of destruction” and triggered their demise within three years.

Cunningham said of the song that featured in Four Weddings And A Funeral: “We recorded it in three days and thought it was a B-side, and the record company phoned us and went: ‘We think we should release this.’

“We found that the success was so overwhelming and so life-changing that it actually in a way sowed the seeds of Wet Wet Wet’s destruction.

“Marti’s fame increased and the band became the musicians behind him. That’s not a healthy place when you’re four guys standing in a line and one person starts getting ahead. It becomes a very difficult situation, especially when there’s that level of scrutiny and success. It took its toll. There’s a price to pay for worldwide, massive success.”

The backlash became so intense after the song had topped the UK charts for 15 weeks in 1994 that the band pulled it from record shops. Marti Pellow was later treated for drug and alcohol addiction.

For Simple Minds, the release of Don’t You (Forget About Me), which was used in the US film, The Breakfast Club, brought accusations of changing their sound for financial gain and left long-term fans of the Glasgow group “alienated”.

The documentary Rip It Up describes Simple Minds’ topping of the American charts for three weeks in 1985 as their “Elvis moment”, which was not welcomed by many fans who had supported the former punk band since the late 1970s.

Creation Records founder Alan McGee, The Proclaimers star Charlie Reid, Mogwai guitarist Stuart Braithwaite and Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie all discuss their admiration of Simple Minds – who emerged at the height of the 1977 punk craze in Glasgow.

But by the time The Breakfast Club was released they had turned into an American rock band and ended up performing at the US leg of Live Aid before an audience of millions.

Recalling the band’s rise to fame in the documentary, which will be shown on Tuesday, Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr states: “We wanted to take it around the world, we wanted it to be international, we wanted it to be global.”

Braithwaite said: “I actually really like the early Simple Minds records. I didn’t know that they used to be an art rock band.

“I always just remembered them being a big stadium band. I thought of them being like the Scottish U2. There’s a lot more to them than that.

“People get very suspicious when you change your music for financial gain. A lot of people in the 1980s did that and I actually think that there was more derision than some of the music itself actually deserved.”

Broadcaster Stuart Cosgrove, said: “Breaking America is one of the Holy Grails of pop music.

“The idea of going out there and doing the American thing, appearing in big rock stadia, was slightly alien to the Scottish independent music scene. It kind of exaggerated a perception that Simple Minds had done something almost illegal.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4772194.1532184925!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4772194.1532184925!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Singer Marti Pellow attracted the lion's share of media attention. Picture: Allan Milligan","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Singer Marti Pellow attracted the lion's share of media attention. Picture: Allan Milligan","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4772194.1532184925!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-noel-gallagher-s-high-flying-birds-1-4771712","id":"1.4771712","articleHeadline": "Music review: Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532160059000 ,"articleLead": "

“I can see by the amount of polo shirts and bald heads that there are some Oasis fans in,” said Noel Gallagher, bowing to rub the top of his own perfectly-preserved hair, before delivering the punchline: “It’s good to know that this is the only thing that survived the ‘90s.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771711.1532091556!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gallacher and his band were laidback and thoughtful"} ,"articleBody": "

Edinburgh Castle ****

Jokes worthy of a half-decent stand-up, plus a singular combination of self-deprecation and knowingly overbearing arrogance, have been a part of Gallagher’s stagecraft since the decade in which Oasis emerged and his (or his brother Liam’s) hairstyles became must-have for working class lads from Ipswich to Inverness. Yet joking about age reveals something more about where Gallagher is, eight years and three albums into his solo career.

The all-seated surroundings of Edinburgh Castle on a fresh July evening are far more refined than the heaving stadium moshpits Oasis used to create, and Gallagher’s music is similarly laid-back. Much of his sound these days is focused on depth of musicianship, rather than the punkish simplicity of Oasis, and his large band includes pianists, a trumpeter and two female backing singers whose voices balance his.

The Oasis songs he plays reflect this, among them rich, measured new arrangements of Whatever, Half the World Away and Wonderwall, as well as more mid-paced takes on the lesser-known Little By Little and Go Let It Out, which shine amid his set.

His solo material – the glam edge of Holy Mountain and She Taught Me How to Fly aside – is as thoughtful as these earlier classics, yet everything played fits perfectly amid the repertoire of a 51-year-old who has sung convincingly of nostalgia, regret and hard-earned contentment since his early twenties. While Liam is still out there chasing the youthful buzz of rock ‘n’ roll, the mellow but comfortable-in-his-skin Noel appears increasingly like the torchbearer of the Oasis sound in middle age.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771711.1532091556!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771711.1532091556!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gallacher and his band were laidback and thoughtful","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gallacher and his band were laidback and thoughtful","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771711.1532091556!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-curtis-stigers-and-martin-taylor-1-4771747","id":"1.4771747","articleHeadline": "Music review: Curtis Stigers and Martin Taylor","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532160023000 ,"articleLead": "

ANYONE who heard Curtis Stigers – the American singer-saxophonist with the Mount Rushmore features and the craggy, soulful voice – when he played a series of duo gigs at Le Monde in 2012-2013 will have had his second Edinburgh Jazz Festival appearance of this year circled in their programme since it was announced. Why? Because not only was he coming back for his first duo gig here since then, it was also to team him with British guitar star Martin Taylor.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771746.1532091491!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Curtis Stigers teamed up with Martin Taylor"} ,"articleBody": "

Teviot Row, Edinburgh *****

This may have been the pair’s first full concert together, but – as they explained – they met years ago, and the idea of a duo gig has been gestating ever since, with a shared love for the legendary Tony Bennett-Bill Evans recordings providing inspiration both in terms of repertoire (their 2018 version of Days of Wine and Roses was a particular joy) and as a prime example of the art of the jazz duo.

Right from the off, it was clear that the full-house audience at Teviot Row – great acoustics, great sightlines, fiendishly uncomfortable heat – was in for a treat. A terrific storyteller, Stigers clearly relishes this sort of intimate setting, and the opportunity it affords him to get to the core of a song and lay bare its heart – especially when he has such a suitably sensitive musical partner.

It’s no surprise, then, that it was the ballads – notably their exquisite takes on All The Things You Are, I Fall In Love Too Easily and There’s Always Tomorrow – which best showcased the results of this successful summit meeting.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771746.1532091491!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771746.1532091491!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Curtis Stigers teamed up with Martin Taylor","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Curtis Stigers teamed up with Martin Taylor","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771746.1532091491!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-scottish-chamber-orchestra-1-4771751","id":"1.4771751","articleHeadline": "Music review: Scottish Chamber Orchestra","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532160012000 ,"articleLead": "

THE UK premiere of Stephen Goss’s Theorbo Concerto, given by Matthew Wadsworth and the SCO Strings, also happened to be the first concerto ever written for this 17th century lute-like instrument. Commissioned by Wadsworth, the five-movement work was not only a vehicle for his talents but a chance to hear the theorbo, with the help of amplification, in a modern context.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771750.1532091730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Chamber Orchestra"} ,"articleBody": "

The Brunton, Musselburgh ***

In the prelude the tight string textures framed the theorbo’s delicate silvery harmonics while the combination of Wadsworth’s mellow tones with the plucked strings of the double bass in the interlude revealed the instrument’s jazzier side.

Wadsworth’s lively percussive thrumming also added texture and vibrancy to the otherwise mediocre readings of Purcell’s Chacony in G Minor and Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso (after Corelli) ‘La Folia’ by the ensemble, directed from the violin by Benjamin Marquise Gilmore. These theme and variation works would have benefited from more subtle tonal and dynamic shading and crisper phrasing. There was a lighter energy in Warlock’s 1926 nod to Renaissance dances in his Capriol Suite, especially the playful pizzicato of the Tordion.

But what a difference in the second half, when the violins and violas abandoned their chairs and stood up to play. With the feisty on-form viola section setting the bar high with their rich, gutsy sound in Mendelssohn’s phenomenal String Symphony No 10, the violins had to work hard to keep up. Along with Grieg’s elegant Holberg Suite, this was the stand-out performance in this mixed bag of a programme.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771750.1532091730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771750.1532091730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Chamber Orchestra","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Chamber Orchestra","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771750.1532091730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/festival-review-doune-the-rabbit-hole-1-4771935","id":"1.4771935","articleHeadline": "Festival review: Doune the Rabbit Hole","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532160008000 ,"articleLead": "

ALTHOUGH everyone muddled through in 2017, there’s a general acceptance that last year’s edition of the Doune the Rabbit Hole music festival – a boutique event with much goodwill behind it and a strong reputation for putting on a variety of quality artists – had been something of a washout, both literally and metaphorically. While irritating, drizzly rain was a factor in dampening spirits, an element of poor organisation, with some bands not appearing, had also contributed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771933.1532104754!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Levellers''Doune the Rabbit Hole, Stirling Cardross Estate, 13-15 July"} ,"articleBody": "

Cardross Estate, near Stirling ****

Yet still, plenty of people had fun last year and enjoyed what music there was – 
plenty of it, still – because Doune the Rabbit Hole is the kind of event which succeeds due to its audience taking 
ownership and remaining loyal.

So the crowds were back once more last weekend, even though the old sloping site to the rear of Cardross House had apparently been so damaged last year that the entire festival had to be shifted to another part of the estate.

Yet if this change really was enforced by circumstances, then it was one for the 
better. Where the large patch of grass enclosed by the 
snaking driveway which loops back to the main road had previously been a rather spacious car park, this year it also housed the campsite and the festival site itself. Both were so close to one another that music could still be heard from most tents, while the festival area felt far more compact and busy, although not overcrowded.

The atmosphere was, as ever, bohemian and laid-back, probably more akin to the free festivals of the 1970s than the corporately sponsored affairs which draw large audiences nowadays.

The line-up was refreshingly off-piste as well, with Friday’s reduced line-up including strong emerging Scottish talents like Rapid Tan and Bas Jan, dub-rave festival survivors of the 1990s Dreadzone, and rapper and political activist Akala.

On Saturday the sun beat down, as it did for most of the weekend, and holiday tans emerged while children and dogs ran around the site. In the small Whistleblower tent, Lost Map signing Alabaster DePlume played a baroque set of off-the-wall folk-pop and Glasgow’s Trongate Rum Riots played rowdy, late-evening sea shanties.

The slightly larger Baino tent was headlined by the Orb, ambient house producers whose greatest flush of fame came in the 1990s, yet whose audio/visual set remains evocative and contemporary, and in the small dance tent at the rear of the site, its line-up hidden and unfairly ignored, Glasgow DJ Sarra Wild’s set was outstanding, a joyous fusion of house, rap, R’n’B and classic pop.

The open-air main stage, meanwhile, featured among others a joyful folk set from the Peatbog Fairies, which included occasional electronic interventions and a procession of circus performers walking on one another’s shoulders through the crowd, although the fuzzy nouveau psychedelic rock of headliners Temples saw the crowd thin out dramatically when a large-scale fire-juggling display occurred across the site.

Sunday saw appearances from perhaps the most identifiable names, including the Levellers, Big Country and Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert, but this year’s Doune the Rabbit Hole was once more the kind of event which didn’t rely as heavily on the choice of music as the general atmosphere and the benefits of good, effective organisation.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771933.1532104754!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771933.1532104754!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Levellers''Doune the Rabbit Hole, Stirling Cardross Estate, 13-15 July","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Levellers''Doune the Rabbit Hole, Stirling Cardross Estate, 13-15 July","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771933.1532104754!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771934.1532104758!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771934.1532104758!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Temples''Doune the Rabbit Hole, Stirling Cardross Estate, 13-15 July","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Temples''Doune the Rabbit Hole, Stirling Cardross Estate, 13-15 July","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771934.1532104758!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-amythyst-kiah-george-square-gardens-edinburgh-1-4771734","id":"1.4771734","articleHeadline": "Music review: Amythyst Kiah, George Square Gardens, Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532090305000 ,"articleLead": "

Amythyst Kiah hails from the suburbs of Chattanooga but such is her connection to the music of her home state of Tennessee, she might as well have grown up in a log cabin in the hills of Appalachia, like the Smoky Mountains’ most dedicated global ambassador, Dolly Parton. It was light relief to hear that Kiah has enjoyed a trip to Dollywood; much of the rest of her chat between songs was serious and scholarly, with an almost forensic specificity of place.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771733.1532091934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Amythyst Kiah"} ,"articleBody": "

Amythyst Kiah, George Square Gardens, Edinburgh ***

Thankfully, she gave warmer expression to the material she has studied, adding her own complementary verses to Vera Hall’s Trouble So Hard (familiar to a wider audience from Moby’s Natural Blues) and Another Man Done Gone and wrapping her voice round the rise and fall of the melody of The Carter Family’s Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow, exhibiting great control without overegging the sentiments.

There was an economy of style, if not quite a front porch intimacy, as she flitted between guitar and banjo (with some matter-of-fact thoughts on the racial segregation of hillbilly and black banjo music in the early 20th century), between acoustic blues and gothic bluegrass.

Her own songs varied in quality, the best being The Worst (a love song), the “Armageddon blues” of Myth and flamenco flourishes of Wildebeest. But after 90 minutes of dolour, there was a welcome injection of wry levity in her rendition of perky hillbilly number I’m Getting Ready To Go.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771733.1532091934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771733.1532091934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Amythyst Kiah","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Amythyst Kiah","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771733.1532091934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-noel-gallagher-s-high-flying-birds-edinburgh-castle-1-4771702","id":"1.4771702","articleHeadline": "Music review: Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds, Edinburgh Castle","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532087110000 ,"articleLead": "

“I can see by the amount of polo shirts and bald heads that there are some Oasis fans in,” said Noel Gallagher, bowing to rub the top of his own perfectly-preserved hair, before delivering the punchline: “it’s good to know that this is the only thing that survived the ‘90s.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771701.1532087107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds performing at Edinburgh Castle PIC: Calum Buchan"} ,"articleBody": "

Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds, Edinburgh Castle ****

Jokes worthy of a half-decent stand-up, plus a singular combination of self-deprecation and knowingly overbearing arrogance, have been a part of Gallagher’s stagecraft since the decade in which Oasis emerged and his (or his brother Liam’s) hairstyles became must-have for working class lads from Ipswich to Inverness. Yet joking about age reveals something more about where Gallagher is, eight years and three albums into his solo career.

The all-seated surroundings of Edinburgh Castle on a fresh July evening are far more refined than the heaving stadium moshpits Oasis used to create, and Gallagher’s music is similarly laid-back. Much of his sound these days is focused on depth of musicianship, rather than the punkish simplicity of Oasis, and his large band includes pianists, a trumpeter and two female backing singers whose voices balance his.

The Oasis songs he plays reflect this, among them rich, measured new arrangements of Whatever, Half the World Away and Wonderwall, as well as more mid-paced takes on the lesser-known Little By Little and Go Let It Out, which shine amid his set.

His solo material – the glam edge of Holy Mountain and She Taught Me How to Fly aside – is as thoughtful as these earlier classics, yet everything played fits perfectly amid the repertoire of a 51-year-old who has sung convincingly of nostalgia, regret and hard-earned contentment since his early twenties. While Liam is still out there chasing the youthful buzz of rock ‘n’ roll, the mellow but comfortable-in-his-skin Noel appears increasingly like the torchbearer of the Oasis sound in middle age.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Pollock"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771701.1532087107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771701.1532087107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds performing at Edinburgh Castle PIC: Calum Buchan","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds performing at Edinburgh Castle PIC: Calum Buchan","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771701.1532087107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-vijay-iyer-sextet-zoe-rahman-trio-1-4771662","id":"1.4771662","articleHeadline": "Music review: Vijay Iyer Sextet/Zoe Rahman Trio","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1532085772000 ,"articleLead": "

“WE’LL play till they tell us to stop,” announced the New York pianist and band leader by way of introducing his muscular sextet’s Edinburgh Jazz Festival debut.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771661.1532085768!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pianist and band leader Vijay Iyer led his sextet in a powerful, uncompromising set"} ,"articleBody": "

Assembly Hall, Edinburgh ****

And didn’t they just, in a solid hour and half of pretty unremitting turbulence. They nailed their colours to the mast straight away, Iyer’s vivacious piano intro joined by staccato riffing as the triple horns of Mark Shim, Steve Lehman and Graham Haynes swung into action, Shim’s tenor sax blowing a rip-roaring break, followed by Haynes’s flugelhorn, initially muted then processed through laptop electronics to deliver long notes that whirred and twittered weirdly, sounding at times like a demented Moog.

Lehman’s alto sax contrasted waspishly with the mighty honking of Shim’s tenor instrument. There was the staccato signalling and 
ominous horns of the title track of the sextet’s widely acclaimed album, Far From Over, while elsewhere Iyer’s stealthy deliberations on piano and chiming keyboard would build up a head of steam, to be joined by a rising chorus of brass then into the funky slam of Nope, or the scrambling horn brawl and mighty, polyrhythmic fusillade from drummer Jeremy Dutton in Down to the Wire.

It was powerful, hard-edged music, which perhaps could have done with a few spoken intros by way of heightened communication. Uncompromising music, perhaps for these chaotic times: in closing, Iyer acknowledged that we’d had a certain other US visitor over the previous few days, and assured us that, in such troubled times, he and his band were here to represent “truth and compassion and human rights”, which earned them an additional roar of applause.

Opening the evening was Zoe Rahman and her Trio, the MOBO-winning pianist, whose Anglo-Bengali heritage (plus an Irish granny thrown into the mix), meant that their short but fluidly ranging set progressed from the introductory rolling and churning of her own Red Squirrel to sets which morphed cheerfully from music by Rabindranath Tagore into a perky Celtic jig, her regular sidemen, bassist Alec Dankworth and drummer Gene Calderazzo in hot pursuit.

The limber boogieing of Zantastic suddenly veered into the stately, resounding chords of Epicentre, with its occasional, eastern-sounding twang of plucked piano wires, while the catchy and increasingly animated Conversation with Nellie, with warm bass work from Dankworth, closed a set which was begging for a gig of its own.


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4771661.1532085768!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4771661.1532085768!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Pianist and band leader Vijay Iyer led his sextet in a powerful, uncompromising set","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pianist and band leader Vijay Iyer led his sextet in a powerful, uncompromising set","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4771661.1532085768!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/film/film-reviews-hotel-artemis-mamma-mia-here-we-go-again-a-prayer-before-dawn-madame-spitfire-1-4770948","id":"1.4770948","articleHeadline": "Film reviews: Hotel Artemis | Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again | A Prayer Before Dawn | Madame | Spitfire","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531998056000 ,"articleLead": "

Drew Pearce channels the spirit of John Carpenter to give Hotel Artemis instant cult appeal, while the stars come out to play in the excruciating Mama Mia sequel

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770947.1531998053!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sofia Boutella and Sterling K Brown in Hotel Artemis"} ,"articleBody": "

A-list screenwriter turned debut director Drew Pearce channels his inner John Carpenter with Hotel Artemis, a near-future-set gonzo action movie about a group of rival criminals stuck in a private hospital over the course of a riot-strewn night in LA. Jodie Foster takes the lead as the Nurse, the titular establishment’s ageing proprietress whose administering of medical aid to criminals injured in the field – the hospital has been using the guise of a fleabag hotel for 20 years – is predicated on a strict adherence to the rules. Rule number one is no killing the other patients, but that proves more of a challenge when a riot confines a not-so-random collection of bank robbers, assassins, arms dealers and drug kingpins in the building for the night. Though the criminals-on-lockdown premise echoes classic Carpenter fare like Escape From New York and Assault on Precinct 13, Pearce imbues the film with enough weird flourishes to ensure it generates its own cult appeal. Foster’s character is especially fun in this respect and she has a blast playing this fundamentally decent but damaged woman as an eccentric weirdo set on her current path by past tragedy. She’s ably supported by a collection of up-and-coming and established actors (Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista and Jeff Goldblum among them) all of whom seem to be embracing the outlandish B-movie spirit of the film as much as Pearce, who restricts the running time to a tight 90 minutes and keeps the action entertainingly bloody.

Based on a best-selling memoir by a heroin-addicted British amateur boxer Billy Moore documenting his own three-year stint in a Thai prison, A Prayer Before Dawn offers such a relentlessly bleak portrait of his ordeal it almost can’t help but fall prey to the mimetic fallacy. Nothing in this film is easy to watch and even in a genre littered with extreme depictions of violence and institutionalised barbarity, this tries to go the extra mile to strip it of any movie-like gloss. Gang rapes are shot in uncomfortably long takes; face-pummelling yard brawls are filmed in uncompromising close-up and the prison boxing matches show every detail of every puked bit of blood and torn earlobe. There’s no doubting the commitment of young British actor Joe Cole either: his depiction of the taciturn but resourceful Moore inveigling his way into the upper echelons of prison society by proving his worth as a Muay Thai fighter is an exemplary piece of in-the-moment rawness. And yet the film itself – stylishly directed as it is by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire – doesn’t transcend this. It beats us into submission without providing the temporary enlightenment Moore himself apparently found.

An unashamedly frothy drawing room farce, Madame offers a welcome showcase for Pedro Almodovar regular Rossy de Palma. She plays Maria, a maid who pretends to be a visiting dignitary to help make up the numbers at a suddenly uneven dinner party designed to facilitate the sale of a piece of art necessary to help keep the family of her long term employer, Bob (Harvey Keitel), solvent. Needless to say, Maria becomes the life and soul of the party, albeit much to the horror of Anne (Toni Collette), Bob’s social-climbing second wife who sees in Maria’s success a reflection of her own failings. Though it lacks the sharp zingers that would make the Paris-set story the paragon of sophisticated silliness it’s clearly striving to be, de Palma’s scene-stealing skills raise it up a notch and Michael Smiley (as the Brit art dealer who falls for her charms) is a delight.

Interviewing the last surviving men and women to fly Spitfires during the Second World War is a great idea for a documentary. Sadly, while Spitfire does just that, the end result is somehow less than the sum of its parts. Having this first-hand testimony on record is, of course, invaluable, but the film would have done better to follow the lead of its interviewees, who question the nostalgic obsession with a machine they pragmatically viewed as an instrument of war far more than this overwhelmingly celebratory film does.

There’s a distinct end-of-days vibe to Generation Wealth, Lauren Greenfield’s horribly compulsive documentary about the culture of excess and spiritual decline that’s gone hand-in-hand with globalisation and society’s increasing obsession with money and fame. Using her Oscar-nominated recession documentary Queens of Versailles as a jumping-off point, Greenfield looks back over her 25-year career as a photographer and filmmaker on the frontline of this cultural shift. From photographing the Kardashians when they were still high school students to documenting heartbreaking stories about cash-strapped Americans sacrificing everything to have hideous plastic surgery, she reveals a society with its priorities seriously out of whack, one in which Trump’s presidency is the inevitable consequence.

And on the subject of hideous cultural phenomena: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again arrives in cinemas a decade on from that moment of madness when the country’s cinema-goers briefly turned the Meryl Streep-starring original into the highest-grossing film of all time in the UK.

Depending on your dedication to that kitsch karaoke musical atrocity, this belated sequel’s lyric-referencing title will either function as a cheerful clarion call or a resigned acknowledgement that the torture

is starting all over again. Co-written by Richard Curtis and directed this time by The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’s Ol Parker, the new film functions as both sequel and prequel, allowing Streep to minimise her contribution to a ghostly cameo by having Lily James play the younger Donna in the extended flashbacks while Amanda Seyfried’s Sophie and the rest of the returning cast mourn her character’s passing in the present day.

The big Abba hits are woven into the narrative in a slightly more polished way, but the conga-line choreography and variability of the singing remains true to the first film’s that’ll do aesthetic. It all builds to a grand entrance from Cher as Sophie’s grandmother that is as bizarre as you might imagine. ■

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Alistair Harkness"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4770947.1531998053!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770947.1531998053!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sofia Boutella and Sterling K Brown in Hotel Artemis","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sofia Boutella and Sterling K Brown in Hotel Artemis","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4770947.1531998053!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/theatre-preview-robert-softley-gale-on-his-new-nts-show-my-left-right-foot-1-4770565","id":"1.4770565","articleHeadline": "Theatre preview: Robert Softley Gale on his new NTS show My Left/Right Foot","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531926291000 ,"articleLead": "

It all started with a bold and hilarious show called Wendy Hoose, first seen four years ago at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, and on tour around Scotland. Wendy Hoose tells the tale of a young man from Paisley who goes onto the dating app Tinder in search of a quick hook-up, only to find that the good-looking young woman who invites him up to her flat in Cumbernauld actually has no legs.

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The show featured two fine performances from James Young and Hollyoaks star Amy Conachan; and it was the joint brain-child of writer, performer, director and campaigner Robert Softley Gale – now artistic director of Scotland’s leading company working with disabled artists, Birds of Paradise – and Johnny McKnight, wickedly witty playwright, director and star of annual Christmas pantos at Stirling and the Tron. The National Theatre of Scotland’s artistic director Jackie Wyllie loved the show and when she arrived at the NTS in 2017, one of her first thoughts was to put McKnight and Softley Gale back together again, and to invite them to create a new show in co-production with the NTS.

Which is how it comes about that – just eight months after he and McKnight first met to discuss the project – Softley Gale is to be found, on a glorious July day, whizzing in his wheelchair around the NTS’s Glasgow canal-side headquarters, preparing his latest show for its fast-approaching premiere during this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. It’s a musical called My Left/Right Foot, involving a cast of seven and a large creative team, about the efforts of an amateur theatre company to produce a stage version of Christy Brown’s 1954 autobiography My Left Foot, immortalised in the 1989 film starring Daniel Day-Lewis. The company are under pressure to tick some boxes in terms of arts and disability; and the show traces their hilarious journey through a project that starts out, at least, by making every mistake in the book when it comes to tackling disability themes.

“I think our basic idea was to take some iconic, familiar piece of popular culture that tries to deal with disability, and to do something challenging and funny with it,” says Softley Gale, who was born in Glasgow 38 years ago with severe cerebral palsy, but has worked over the years to become an eloquent performer and public speaker. “I grew up in Kirkintilloch in a family that was very involved in the local am-dram company, and I was involved too – although in those days, back in the 1990s, it was always assumed that I would be behind the scenes, doing lighting or props or directing, rather than acting.

“And it just struck me that that am-dram setting would be perfect for this story. Apart from anything else, I don’t think any professional company would even try to do My Left Foot now – after the film, it just became too closely associated with the whole business of people who aren’t disabled telling stories about disabled people for their own ends, and with narratives about disability that don’t really give a voice to disabled people at all.”

After the idea for My Left/Right Foot took shape, McKnight had to drop out of the project because of other commitments; but Softley Gale had no problem in assembling a powerful creative team to work on the show, including award-winning composer-songwriters Claire McKenzie and Scott Gilmour of Noisemaker, and Jerry Springer – The Opera lyricist Richard Thomas. The script is by Softley Gale himself, and the cast includes Louise McCarthy of The Dolls, as well as rising NTS star Dawn Sievewright, who was once a child actor in that same Kirkintilloch am-dram company.

“It’s a new experience for me to work with a company of six-able-bodied actors and one actor, Matthew Ducket, who has a disability – but I’m finding it great fun,” says Softley Gale, who is directing this show, but not appearing in it. “As for the future – well I suppose I do occasionally feel that it would be good just to work at a big theatre like the Tron or the Citizens’, and to do some shows that are not about disability at all.

“Frankly, though, I don’t feel that very often. Theatre is all about telling people’s stories, and what a privilege it is to be doing this work that no-one else is doing, telling stories from a perspective that has been ignored or sidelined so long. I suppose I’ve always been a campaigner as well as a theatre-maker, campaigning for gay rights as well as disabled people, and for a world in which disabled people are no longer denied their right to a sexuality. I’m interested in the kind of activism that changes people’s perspective – and theatre is by far the best way of doing that.”

As for the future of Birds of Paradise – one of the five companies whose three-year Creative Scotland funding cut was abruptly reversed, earlier this year – Softley Gale foresees more co-productions, and plenty of them. “It’s not that co-productions are easy,” he says. “They can be really challenging and annoying, in some ways. But the process of making a co-production with a company that is not focused on disability is just so interesting and creative – it’s the real work of trying to integrate our perspective, and our concerns, into the mainstream of theatre life.

“So of course it’s great to be working with the NTS,” says Softley Gale, starting to pilot his wheelchair back towards the rehearsal room. “But in the future, we hope there will be plenty more of this, with theatres all over Scotland; and that’s what we’ll be working on, just as soon as we get this show on the road.” n

My Left/Right Foot – The Musical at Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh, 1-27 August

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4770564.1531927621!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770564.1531927621!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The cast of My Left/Right Foot PIC: Christopher Bowen","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The cast of My Left/Right Foot PIC: Christopher Bowen","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4770564.1531927621!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/art/interview-tacita-dean-on-her-edinburgh-art-festival-show-at-the-fruitmarket-1-4770540","id":"1.4770540","articleHeadline": "Interview: Tacita Dean on her Edinburgh Art Festival show at the Fruitmarket","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531923545000 ,"articleLead": "

Tacita Dean’s show at the Fruitmarket Gallery, part of of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival, focuses on the art of acting. Interview by Susan Mansfield

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Contemplating the arrival of another festival season in Edinburgh, Fiona Bradley, director of the Fruitmarket Gallery, knew there was one work of art she wanted to show more than any other: Tacita Dean’s Event for a stage.

Dean’s 50-minute film documents a performance by actor Stephen Dillane which is both compelling in itself, and an interrogation of what performance is. “I thought it was one of the most intelligent pieces of theatre I’d seen for a long time,” says Bradley. “I wanted to see it in the context of the festival where every space that stands still for five minutes is turned into a theatre and the whole of Edinburgh is a stage.”

She invited Dean to make a show for the gallery which placed Event for a stage at the centre of a collection of her works dealing with performance and acting. She agreed, but said: “There’s something you should know”. That “something” was the trilogy of shows in London planned for the first half of 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery and Royal Academy, each examining Dean’s practice in relation to a genre – portrait, still life and landscape – an unprecedented collaboration by the three museums, and an indication of the significance with which Dean’s work is regarded.

The Fruitmarket exhibition, Woman with a red hat, part of Edinburgh Art Festival, stands as a complement to those larger shows, bringing out a strand in her practice which the others didn’t cover. Dean will also include a new work, Found Postcard Monoprints (Actors), which has never been shown before. Bradley says: “I’m grateful that Tacita is interested enough in this area of her practice to do this show and make new work for it. It’s always fantastic when an artist agrees to make a show when they are still making work that speaks to it – it shows it’s alive.”

Dean, 53, grew up in Canterbury, the daughter of a judge. She studied painting at Falmouth, then at the Slade, though her work since has been principally in filmmaking. Early shows sometimes grouped her with the Young British Artists, who emerged at the same time, but her work was always more subtle, less sensational. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1998, losing out to Chris Ofili, but acclaim for her work grew steadily. She was the youngest artist (at 35) to have a solo show at Tate Britain.

She resolutely eschews digital film, working in 35mm and 9mm formats, speaking of the qualities, imperfections, risks and serendipities of “real” film. Her early works were seascapes – she became so well known for them in the UK she once said she was “pickled in the sea”. In fact, her work ranges widely, as the three London shows prove, but shares the same intense, contemplative gaze. This is slow art, art which requires time.

I meet Dean at the opening of the third of the London shows, Landscape, at the Royal Academy. Crowds throng the press view, which is also the first show in the RA’s newly refurbished galleries. Sitting in a corner next to a glass case filled with her collection of four-leafed clovers, Dean looks tired, admitting quietly that she will be “relieved when this is over”. She is concerned about the clovers, which are turning yellow in the light. She says she won’t show them again.

The centrepiece of the show is Antigone, the film which has, until now, been her great un-made work. Made using a technique she calls aperture masking – covering part of the film and rewinding it to record another set of images in the same frame – it combines Sophocles, the poet Anne Carson, Dillane again, and footage of the 2017 solar eclipse. After filming in the UK, the undeveloped stock was riskily transported across the Atlantic to chase the eclipse across Wyoming.

She had no idea what footage she would have – if any. “It’s all blind. It gives great treasure, I think, if you trust in something like that, trust that all is deliberate, that what we do as human beings is always good. I’m a great believer in the non-deliberate act.” The process is instinctive. “The unconscious is my working tool, I have to trust it. The whole of Antigone is a huge exercise in the unconscious.”

When I ask her what she set out to do in Event for a stage, I know straight away it’s the wrong question. “What I thought I was doing and what I ended up doing were completely different things. But that’s the whole point of an artwork, if you know what you’re going to do, it’s not worth doing it. I had no idea about theatre. How could I possibly have known what I could do? I had four nights on a stage in Sydney and Stephen Dillane, and from that we had to create something. It just grew out of itself.”

They devised a script which Dillane performed for four nights in front of a live audience, being filmed throughout. As he performs, Dean hands him pages from a seat in the front row. He confides stories about his family, quotes The Tempest and Heinreich von Kleist’s On the Marionette Theatre, complains about the quality of the text, storms out, comes back. Dean edited all four films into one, even though Dillane wears a different wig each night.

Fiona Bradley says of Event for a stage: “What you’re seeing is an immense risk being taken – I feel that I’ve been privy to an extraordinary series of confidences. Then, at the end you think, hang on a minute, this has happened four times, the whole thing is artifice, it’s scripted. It sucks you into the space, your disbelief is suspended, only to spit you out at the end saying this is all artifice, it’s a piece of theatre, it’s lying to you.”

Yet, somehow, the illusion is not disenchanted. The magic of the performance is preserved. This is what surprises us again and again about the best contemporary theatre: even though it lays bare its theatricality, we are still compelled.

In the Fruitmarket, Event for a stage – shown on the hour, every hour – will sit alongside other works by Dean about performance and performers. Early works such as Foley Artist (1996) which constructs an imaginary film through sound, are included, as are paper-based works like The Russian Ending, which uses found postcards made to look like the closing scenes of imaginary disaster movies. A nine-metre-long blackboard drawing references The Tempest.

And a film “miniature”, His Picture in Little (2017) features Ben Whishaw, Stephen Dillane and David Warner – all actors who have played Hamlet, from which the title comes – again, made using masking so they appear to share the same frame. But they are actors without a script, actors, perhaps, at their most vulnerable.

They are, perhaps, like people sitting for a portrait, which makes this a kind of painting. I ask Dean again about time, about art which thwarts the pace of the technology-heavy modern world. She nods. “It’s the pace of film. The time is embedded in the medium, I think. It’s important to take time. People don’t take the time with painting that they should.” n

Tacita Dean: Woman with a Red Hat is at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, from today until 30 September

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Susan Mansfield"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4770537.1531927548!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770537.1531927548!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tacita Dean, Event for a Stage, 2015. PIC: by Cathy Carver courtesy the artist, Frith Street Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tacita Dean, Event for a Stage, 2015. PIC: by Cathy Carver courtesy the artist, Frith Street Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4770537.1531927548!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4770538.1531927554!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770538.1531927554!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tacita Dean, Event for a Stage, 2015 PIC: Cathy Carver","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tacita Dean, Event for a Stage, 2015 PIC: Cathy Carver","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4770538.1531927554!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4770539.1531927562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770539.1531927562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tacita Dean PIC: Jeff Spicer","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tacita Dean PIC: Jeff Spicer","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4770539.1531927562!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/creative-scotland-chief-executive-quits-following-funding-row-1-4769889","id":"1.4769889","articleHeadline": "Creative Scotland chief executive quits following funding row","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531902724000 ,"articleLead": "

The chief executive of Creative Scotland has resigned following an on-going controversy over funding awards made by the arts quango.

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Janet Archer will leave the Scottish Government-funded agency after it faced serious criticism over the decision to stop funding several theatre companies.

Creative Scotland was forced to pledge a “root and branch” review of the way funding decisions were made following uproar earlier this year, and a “reset” of its future priorities in the wake of widespread criticism across the cultural sector.

The row reignited last week when Glasgow-based company Culture Republic announced it would be winding up after losing its long-term funding at the start of the year.

Ms Archer, who has led Creative Scotland for five years, had previously admitted her organisation had caused “real difficulties” with its handling of more than £150 million worth of applications from groups across the country.

Her decision to leave follows a damning parliamentary report into the way funding decisions were taken at Creative Scotland.

READ MORE: Creative Scotland blamed for closure of Glasgow arts company

Holyrood’s Culture Committee found decision-making fell well below the standard expected of a public body, and concluded the arts funding organisation had been “badly damaged” as a result of its approach.

In a statement published today, Robert Wilson, chairman of Creative Scotland, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Janet for everything she has achieved over the past five years and the important contribution she has made to Creative Scotland, to the arts, screen and creative industries and to public life in Scotland more broadly. We wish her every success for the future.”

Ms Archer said: “It has been an honour to work closely with, and to serve Scotland’s artists and creative communities over the past five years in my role as Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, and to help many thousands of people produce and share work.

“Over the past five years, we have supported artistic excellence, diversity and inclusion. We accelerated our work for young people and supported creative projects in all of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. We have also enhanced international support across artforms, especially for screen.

“I’m pleased that in a difficult public financial context, Creative Scotland managed to work closely with the Scottish Government to secure an additional £19.8m funding for 2018-21 for Regularly Funded Organisations to replace the unexpected steep downturn in National Lottery Funding, as well as an additional £10m annual support for screen.

“I would particularly like to thank the cabinet secretary, Fiona Hyslop for her support her committed and steadfast determination to position culture at the heart of government policy.”

Creative Scotland said Ms Archer, who joined the organisation in July 2013, left as of June 30 and would receive payment in lieu of her six month contractual notice period.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769888.1531834217!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769888.1531834217!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Janet Archer is steppind down from Creative Scotland following a difficult year for the agency. 'Picture: Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Janet Archer is steppind down from Creative Scotland following a difficult year for the agency. 'Picture: Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769888.1531834217!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/mental-health-issues-top-list-of-social-topics-in-2018-fringe-shows-1-4770209","id":"1.4770209","articleHeadline": "Mental health issues top list of social topics in 2018 Fringe shows","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531890000000 ,"articleLead": "

A play looking at the complexities of living with depression is just one of a number of shows focusing on social issues that are being staged at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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New analysis has revealed that around one in four performances due to take place during the international arts festival deal with topics such as human rights, equality, immigration, environment, health and poverty.

Mental health is the most-talked-about issue, featuring in 42 shows, while 29 look at women in society and 11 at the #metoo campaign.

Shows about social media have increased from one in 2017 to 12 this year, while productions looking at abuse have risen from 11 to 19.

However, the latest programme features fewer shows about LGBT issues, falling from 38 last year to 25 in 2018, and plays looking at refugees, human rights and prison have also gone down.

The analysis was carried out by the SIT-UP Awards, which encourage audiences to take action if they are affected by work they have seen on stage.

The research found 235 of the 966 shows – 24.3 per cent – coming to the Fringe in August relate to social issues. This is an increase since last year, when 22.3 per cent of performances dealt with such subjects.

“As theatre reflects society, we did not find it surprising that mental health headed the list, given that everybody knows someone with mental health issues,” said Changing Ideas charity founder David Graham, who conceived the SIT-UP Awards.

“Theatre can play a crucial role in highlighting the many issues that society faces today. The arts provide an excellent platform to act as a catalyst for change.”

As the National Health Service celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, the programme also includes five productions looking at the institution.

Two shows focus on the role of young carers and others consider issues such as bullying, loneliness and addiction.

Alice Millest, co-founder of charity theatre company Clean Break, added: “We have become almost numb to the sterile facts and figures we read about in the media or hear on the news.

Empathy for strangers can only be built through connection and experience.

“When theatre is at its best, an audience is captivated by a story and lives it alongside the characters. Through this experience we build compassion and a desire to do something to help.”

The SIT-UP Awards, new to this year’s Fringe, will announce a shortlist of six productions during week two of the festival, with the winner announced in the third week.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4770208.1531915702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770208.1531915702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Clown Show about Rain uses physical theatre to explore depression. Picture: contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Clown Show about Rain uses physical theatre to explore depression. Picture: contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4770208.1531915702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/theatre-interview-pitlochry-s-new-artistic-director-elizabeth-newman-plans-to-take-the-whole-community-along-for-the-ride-1-4770107","id":"1.4770107","articleHeadline": "Theatre interview: Pitlochry’s new artistic director Elizabeth Newman plans to take the whole community along for the ride","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531851475000 ,"articleLead": "

If you want a clue about the incoming artistic director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre you’ll find it in William Blake. On her first visit to the theatre in the hills, Elizabeth Newman kept thinking of a line by the poet. “To the eyes of the man of imagination,” wrote the 20-year-old Blake, “nature is imagination itself.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770106.1531851471!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pitlochry Festival Theatre's new artistic director Elizabeth Newman"} ,"articleBody": "

For Newman, about to move to a theatre embedded in nature, inspiration lies in the landscape. From the salmon ladder and the distilleries to Explorers, the Scottish plant hunters’ garden, she is rooting herself in the environment.

“I walked through the Himalayas a couple of weeks ago and I’ve never been to the Himalayas,” she laughs, after touring the garden with manager Julia Corden. “Pitlochry is full of explorers. The people that work there love exploring drama and nature and they also attract explorers. That’s been my portal into beginning to dig. Artistic direction is about digging in the place, because it’s all there, you just have to unearth it and discover the potential, which is there in abundance at Pitlochry.”

Just before the announcement of her Pitlochry appointment, I happened to meet Newman in Bolton where she has been running the Octagon Theatre since 2015 (before that she was an associate director for five years). Her production of Summer Holiday, which began with a real bus journey and a scene on the town hall steps before going into the theatre, had been made possible only by her getting everyone on side, from the manager of the local chip shop to the owner of an independent bus company.

“If you say, ‘We really want it to be your theatre,’ unless you give them the ownership and voice to say, ‘This is how I feel about it,’ then it doesn’t count for much,” she says. “That’s what I endeavoured to cultivate within the organisation and also

how we connected out of the building.”

Nor did she stop there. When a gang of teenage girls started shouting “Bus wankers” during the outdoor part of the performance, Newman suggested to them that instead of watching the same scene every night, they should come and see the whole thing. Not only did all seven of them agree, they’re now taking part in the community show (her swansong production of Gulliver’s Travels).

“They got on brilliantly and stayed for the whole thing,” says Newman, who was brought up in Croydon. “They’ve since told their mates to come down and see the weird blonde woman because it means you can join in at the theatre. Whether it’s Pitlochry Festival Theatre or the Octagon, it’s our responsibility to offer people choice and to remove the barriers.”

Post-industrial Bolton is not the same as pretty Perthshire, of course, but Newman’s philosophy is consistent. “All communities are different,” she says, pointing to the variety of audiences she has played to in north-west England. “To be in that Pitlochry environment to create work for the place is going to be an incredible privilege.”

It’s too soon to give specific details of her inaugural programme next year, but she promises to build on the foundation laid down by John Durnin who ran the theatre for 15 years until last December.

“It’s about evolution,” she says, hoping to keep an annual musical in the mix. “There is so much good in Pitlochry already. It’s taken me ten years to really understand Bolton; I’m sure it will take me ten years to understand Pitlochry.”

Having run mini-repertory seasons in Bolton, she is looking forward to working with the full-scale Pitlochry ensemble. “The thing I’ve loved is watching an actor one month playing Jane Eyre and the next month playing Ophelia. To watch an actor grapple with those different psychologies is so wonderful. Audiences love watching somebody morph – it’s like watching a friend go through an extraordinary experience, like childbirth. The rep system is an extreme version of metamorphosis for actors.”

With the company’s Vision 2021 redevelopment plans in mind, Newman is aiming to make connections with the whole population. That would mean taking the work beyond the theatre walls. “It’s art for and with everyone,” she says. “And at every opportunity, we want to be creating opportunities for people. I believe regional theatres are for a lifetime and you can come into contact with them at any point in your life and find something there for you. Pitlochry can offer that service to the community as well as being able to take the work around Scotland and beyond.”

For her model, she’s thinking big – the South Bank of the Thames, no less: “You should expect the National Theatre of Pitlochry: a diverse diet that ensures people will always find something for them and, hopefully diverse enough that they would want to come and see all six pieces. That’s what the National Theatre does so brilliantly.”


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Mark Fisher"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4770106.1531851471!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4770106.1531851471!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Pitlochry Festival Theatre's new artistic director Elizabeth Newman","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pitlochry Festival Theatre's new artistic director Elizabeth Newman","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4770106.1531851471!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews-edward-ii-much-ado-about-nothing-botanic-gardens-glasgow-1-4769895","id":"1.4769895","articleHeadline": "Theatre reviews: Edward II & Much Ado About Nothing, Botanic Gardens, Glasgow","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531847659000 ,"articleLead": "

The year is 1593; and somewhere in London a young man in his late twenties – with just months to live before his death in a tavern fight – sits down to write a play about a king who loved another man, and paid a terrible price for his passion. The playwright was Christopher Marlowe and he lived in a time when the word “homosexual” did not yet exist; but still, he knew all about the love of men for men, and in his tragedy of King Edward II and his lover, Piers Gaveston, he wrote about it with pain, confusion and a measure of self-hatred, but also with an angry, passionate sweetness that still sings out across the centuries, 400 years on.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769943.1531847656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Laurie Scott and Charlie Clee in Edward II"} ,"articleBody": "

Edward II ****

Much Ado About Nothing ***

So it was a fine and moving experience, if not always a subtle one, to watch Gordon Barr’s Kibble Palace revival of Marlowe’s play on the evening of this year’s huge Pride march in Glasgow. At times, Barr’s 1950s-style staging for just four actors – accompanied by a fitfully blaring backing-tape of gorgeous 20th-century torch-songs – seems more interested in driving towards its angrily political conclusion, featuring soundbites of key moments in recent gay history, than in the detail of Marlowe’s story. Yet the sheer force of the bond between Edward and Gaveston is poignantly captured by Laurie Scott and Charlie Clee as the lovers; and with Esme Bayley and Andy Clark offering strong support as Edward’s spurned wife Isabella and the rebel Lord Mortimer, this Edward II emerges as a rough-edged but heartfelt tribute to a play whose boldness in celebrating gay love remains striking today and must, in its time, have been truly astounding.

Out in the garden, meanwhile, Jennifer Dick’s new production of Much Ado About Nothing – the last of this year’s four Bard in the Botanics shows – takes a relatively conventional approach to Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy; but despite a world-class Beatrice in Nicole Cooper and a pretty fine Benedick in Adam Donaldson, it somehow struggles to make much of a case for itself or for the play.

The show does have a production idea, involving transforming the city of Messina, where the action takes place, into a circus. Sadly, though, it’s a notion so completely irrelevant to the play – which is about a macho army returning from war to a peaceful town full of marriageable young women – that it functions, in the end, only as an excuse for a few colourful if irrelevant costumes and a pretext for an outrageous, show-strangling performance from Darren Brownlie as a pompous Dogberry in an acrobat outfit.

Some of the circus foolery is mildly entertaining in itself; but in the end, it has a subtly undermining effect on a play which has been surviving on its own wit and merits for more than 400 years, and hardly needs some bolted-on big-top pzazz to help sell it to the public.

Until 28 July

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769943.1531847656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769943.1531847656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Laurie Scott and Charlie Clee in Edward II","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Laurie Scott and Charlie Clee in Edward II","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769943.1531847656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-alasdair-beatson-friends-paxton-house-berwickshire-1-4769892","id":"1.4769892","articleHeadline": "Music review: Alasdair Beatson & Friends, Paxton House, Berwickshire","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531826654000 ,"articleLead": "

A sensational double bill from pianist Alasdair Beatson with violinist Colin Scobie, cellist Philip Higham and clarinettist Robert Plane kicked off this year’s Music at Paxton festival. The first concert, an unusual selection of German chamber works, showcased the talents of each musician.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769890.1531826652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alasdair Beatson"} ,"articleBody": "

Alasdair Beatson & Friends, Paxton House, Berwickshire *****

In his 12 variations on Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen from Mozart’s Magic Flute Beethoven has fun with Papageno’s famous aria. Twinkly music box passages on the piano contrasted with the cello’s soulful articulation of the bird-catcher’s desire for a girl or a wife.

Beatson and Scobie beautifully captured the springy dotted rhythms and darker tonal shifts in Schubert’s Sonata in G minor while Beatson, Higham and Plane brought a Wagnerian muscularity to their lively and dramatic interpretation of Brahms Trio in A minor. The musicians got the balance between the instruments just right as they surfed the waves of this restless and ravishing music with aplomb.

The opulent surroundings in the picture gallery at Paxton couldn’t be further from the concentration camp where Messiaen composed and first performed Quartet for the End of Time.

There was much to savour in the ensemble’s second concert from the heart-wrenching wailing of the solo clarinet to the chime-like piano chords unsettling the more tranquil violin and cello harmonics.

There was little respite from these intense episodes unleashed with a controlled power by these fine musicians. They kept up the momentum right to the final note on the violin held high over the ebbing piano chords for what seemed like an eternity.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Susan Nickalls"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769890.1531826652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769890.1531826652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alasdair Beatson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alasdair Beatson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769890.1531826652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-il-divo-edinburgh-castle-1-4769887","id":"1.4769887","articleHeadline": "Music review: Il Divo, Edinburgh Castle","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531826395000 ,"articleLead": "

Like a particularly favoured old sofa which hasn’t yet outstayed its welcome, multinational pop-opera supergroup Il Divo are comfortable and relaxing, and before you know it they’ve been a fixture of your life for nearly 15 years.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769886.1531827137!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Il Divo"} ,"articleBody": "

Il Divo, Edinburgh Castle ***

Formed by Simon Cowell in 2004, the quartet – Carlos Marin of Spain, Urs Buhler of Switzerland, the Frenchman Sebastien Izambard and the American David Miller – show no sign of losing the affections of their mixed-age fans, even though a new album of theirs no longer guarantees the same multi-platinum transatlantic success.

Ageing is a factor in the easy rapport the quartet have with their crowd, particularly in Marin’s between-song chat; his role appears to be that of the lothario of the group, with a bit of self-consciously cringeworthy seduction patter before his solo on the Spanish standard Granada, his version most influenced by that of Mario Lanza. Yet he also talks of visiting his doctor and being told to slow down, which is the kind of conversation an artist makes when they’re comfortable in the presence of an audience who have grown with them over the years.

Despite their somewhat stagey presentation as four bow-tied Pierce Brosnans with impressive lung capacity and a small troupe of backing dancers, however, the group delivered a smooth and charismatic set which made best use of their various vocal properties together and apart, and also blended the traditional and the contemporary in equal measure.

They bounced from John Legend’s All of Me to Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender, taking in translated versions of Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable, the Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody and Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. Despite the formal nature of the show, it was the definition of a crowd-pleaser.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Pollock"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769886.1531827137!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769886.1531827137!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Il Divo","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Il Divo","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769886.1531827137!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/tv-radio/sam-heughan-under-fire-from-angry-outlander-fans-over-trump-story-retweet-1-4769518","id":"1.4769518","articleHeadline": "Sam Heughan under fire from angry Outlander fans over Trump story retweet","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531819412000 ,"articleLead": "

He is the star of one of the most popular historical dramas to be broadcast in recent years.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769517.1531819409!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

But Sam Heughan, the Galloway-born actor, upset some of his many fans by sharing a Scotsman story on the so-called “Trump baby blimp” which was paid for by UK protesters against the US president’s visit this weekend.

The giant inflatable was not allowed to fly over Donald Trump’s Turnberry golf course when he visited over the weekend.

Yet when Mr Heughan, best known for playing Jacobite clansman Jamie Fraser in the hit series Outlander, retweeted The Scotsman’s coverage of the story, it proved too much for some Americans.

One replied: “I guess when that is all you have to get attention, it’s what you do. Too many actors doing this. I have no issue with them expressing themselves, but must remember they alienate. And, it would be better if they saved for their personal circle, not the accounts fans follow.”

READ MORE: Outlander’s Sam Heughan to star in superhero movie

But the actor hit back: “My job is portray every aspect of the human condition. To understand each character. To be able to empathise means I have to understand and therefore have an opinion. You want “entertainment”, I suggest you stop watching drama. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.”

Another fan tweeted: “Sam, I am disappointed that you retweeted this. No matter your opinion of the man , you should respect the office. Since you are usually so kind to others I find it strange that you would promote hatred like this.”

Mr Heughan later thanked his fans for interacting with him. “Love your support and debate is what makes us grow,” he said. “Just dislike being controlled or silenced. We live in a democracy. (I think).”

Mr Trump left Scotland yesterday after spending time at his Turnberry golf course in South Ayrshire.

Thousands attended protests in Edinburgh and Glasgow over the weekend against his visit.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769517.1531819409!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769517.1531819409!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769517.1531819409!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5809007827001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/take-that-to-reform-for-30th-anniversary-tour-1-4769627","id":"1.4769627","articleHeadline": "Take That to reform for 30th anniversary tour","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531758964000 ,"articleLead": "

Boy band legends Take That have revealed they are planning to go on tour to mark the 30th anniversary of them getting together as a group.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769626.1531758961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, and Howard Donald of Take That"} ,"articleBody": "

Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald will also be releasing new music as well as a Greatest Hits album for fans.

The band will take to the road in 2019. They have been performing as a trio since Jason Orange quit in 2014.

Fellow original member Robbie Williams occasionally performs with the group.

READ MORE: Music review: Gary Barlow

“We have a Greatest Hits coming out, we have a few new songs and next year we’re doing a Greatest Hits tour, Barlow told Hits Radio presenter Sarah-Jane Crawford at the first ever Hits Radio Live at the Manchester Arena.

Owen said: “It’s thirty years this year. We’re making a record, we’re always celebrating, we’ve been celebrating for thirty years.

He added: “Somewhere in the performance we’re going to have to throw in a little floss!”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DIANE KING"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769626.1531758961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769626.1531758961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, and Howard Donald of Take That","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, and Howard Donald of Take That","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769626.1531758961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/interview-nicola-walker-1-4769468","id":"1.4769468","articleHeadline": "Interview: Nicola Walker","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531748095000 ,"articleLead": "

Divorce drama The Split, cold case crime series Unforgotten, Spooks, Last Tango in Halifax and The River, how Nicola Walker became everyone’s favourite actor

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769463.1531746594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Walker stars in the new series of Unforgotten. Picture: Ruth Crafer"} ,"articleBody": "

Nicola Walker is unemployed. Not something you hear very often from a woman with an industrial work ethic who is currently one of the most employed actors on our screens and airwaves, having just wrapped the third series of ITV’s hit crime drama Unforgotten just as her hit BBC divorce drama The Split is recommissioned.

Yet “as of Friday afternoon last week, I’m unemployed,” confirms the Olivier award winning, Bafta nominated actor when we talk. “So I’ll be doing the school run and putting the correct sports gear in my son’s rucksack for a bit.”

When she says ‘unemployed’, it’s more of a between jobs kind of thing, what the less industrious among us might regard as a well-deserved break. And Walker is pleased about the immediate work life balance for the next few weeks with her 11-year-old son Harry to look after while her actor husband Barnaby Kay appears in Home, I’m Darling, with Catherine Parkinson at The National Theatre in London.

“It’s worked out very nicely. I finished and Barnaby’s got this play. If I had been still working we would have to juggle the basics, who’s going to pick our child up and things… So I’m happy doing that, but also looking forward to the next thing.”

Walker talks quickly, then halts, then talks quickly again and in between you can almost hear the quick flash of her blinding smile down the phone as she modestly ascribes her success to “being lucky.” In fact she has worked consistently for the past two decades and her CV is prodigious. Versatile, she’s worked in theatre, radio, film and TV, breaking out as an annoying folk singer in Four Weddings and a Funeral, then making her mark in spy drama Spooks from 2003-11. She carried off her Olivier for Best Supporting Actress in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in 2013, and has taken on a whole squad of police officer roles in Prisoners’ Wives, Babylon, and River. She’s been Bafta nominated twice as best support in Last Tango In Halifax and last year played Broadway in A View from The Bridge. As well as the more recent Unforgotten and The Split, where she’s the lead as Hannah, scion of the Defoe divorce lawyer dynasty, this year she’s played a lesbian vicar in Collateral, the BBC/Netflix crime drama with Carey Mulligan, John Simm and Billie Piper. Throw in her Norwegian detective Annika Stranded in the eponymous Radio 4 comedy drama, and the 48-year-old Walker has the aura of an actor who has really hit her stride.

“I’m very grateful for the last couple of years and I really like the work that I’m involved with, really proud of Unforgotten and The Split. But nothing has really changed for me,” she says. “I have been doing this since I was 21. I was always about working. I like working. I don’t like being unemployed. I love acting.

“There’s not been a plan,” she says. “It’s just being an actor, and I’m really grateful that in the last few years the parts have got really interesting. I love that it’s since I hit my forties. I’m getting involving parts because there are people out there that want to tell more complex stories about women and men. I’ve benefited from the fact that women I worked with years ago are now in positions of power where they can put forward work that involves women my age.”

With the next six part series of The Split filming in the spring Walker could be forgiven for taking the time to put her feet up tomorrow night and watch Unforgotten as she and Sanjeev Bhaskar bring back detective duo DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunil “Sunny” Khan to solve another decades old murder. Digging up long buried bodies and secrets, the pair work to unravel historical crimes and find justice for the victims and their families.

This time round fresh suspects fall under their forensic eye in the shape of Alex Jennings (Victoria and The Crown), Neil Morrissey (The Good Karma Hospital), Kevin R McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean) and James Fleet (The Vicar Of Dibley). The quartet of old friends are under suspicion after the body of a teenage girl, who went missing nearly 20 years ago, is found at a building site.

Unforgotten fans will know Cassie and Sunny have secrets of their own after series two saw them shelve a case when the suspects turned out to be victims of child sex abuse who murdered their abusers. Walker is confident however, that viewers new to the series won’t be at a disadvantage if they’re not up to speed with the legacy of the cliffhanger end to the last series.

“I think you could watch this series never having seen any of it and understand and enjoy it as a piece of drama. But what you get by having seen them all is the cumulative effect in the development of the characters, and that’s a real narrative pull that’s interesting.”

Where Unforgotten scores is with its reflection of the development of forensics in criminal investigation. As science catches up with crime, evidence can be studied anew and complex cold cases opened up once more.

“We’ve had to wait for forensics to get to this point of advancement,” says Walker. “In this series we’re looking at one of those unsolved murders that has had a national impact. The investigation is different this time round and there are specific complexities in that my character has to meet with the media for the first time. There’s also a storyline with someone online commenting about the police and how the case is being investigated, and whether that has an effect. It’s very up to date and very relevant.”

As well as the appeal of forensics, there’s a revisiting of the genre of police procedural with the nuts and bolts and day to day routine to the fore.

“As a viewer myself I love big dramatic thrillers, but I was ready for a procedural that looked more real, and Sunny and Cassie look like they’re actually doing that job.”

Part of the appeal of Unforgotten is that the case is central and the cops are not the story, something that appealed to both Walker and Bhaskar.

“They’re not alcoholic, they can’t mind read, Cassie is not the archetypical police woman that has no home life: it’s just not relevant. We don’t find out about her husband until series two and then it’s like breadcrumbs, comments thrown in because it’s relevant to the case. They are human and ordinary as well as very committed to their jobs, and I haven’t seen that for a long time on TV.”

Another high point is the relationship between Sunny and Cassie, a partnership that we’ve watched over the series as they go about their jobs, putting in calls, chasing up suspects, discussing the case, all without feeling the need to take the case to the pub and back to someone’s flat. There’s no history or suppressed feelings and any exchange of body fluids is strictly that of handing over a sealed bag to be dropped off at the lab on the way home.

“It’s just two people who work together,” says Walker. “There’s no sexual tension, no ‘will they, won’t they?’ going on. That’s what the writer Chris Lang wanted and it was one of the main draws for me. There’s a different quality to the way these two people are shown working together: a man and a woman who support each other and work things out together and it’s not a physical or sexual relationship, but a friendship. I don’t know that I have ever seen that on TV, a man and a woman being supportive of each other and not being in a relationship. It’s a brilliant narrative twist.”

Born in Stepney in London’s East End, then raised in Essex, Walker wanted to act from a young age and despite her family having no knowledge of the business – her dad is a scrap metal merchant turned publican and her mother “did up houses before there were interior designers” – they encouraged their daughter.

“I was saying to them in the 1970s and 1980s ‘I really love acting’. They threw up their hands, didn’t know what to do, but there was a youth theatre near us so they sent me to that.”

Walker was also academic and loved English, so when she passed her exams applied to Cambridge University.

“I presumed it was going to be supremely posh. No one in my family had ever gone to university and I went in on a wave of triumph. I was the one in the first week running around with the scarf, whereas other people thought that wasn’t cool. I met Sue Perkins, on my first day, and Sarah Phelps who was going to be a writer, and they became my family.”

Perkins was already writing and involved in the Cambridge Footlights theatrical club, to which she introduced Walker, and Phelps went on to become a TV, screen and playwright, working on EastEnders, various BBC Agatha Christie and Dickens adaptations and on JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.

“I found myself at Cambridge, loved my course, and met these amazing people who got me heavily involved. I presumed I would have to go to drama school but I did a play with my uni friends, who were doing lots of pub theatre in London and through that met my agent. She said ‘don’t go to drama school, I’ll get you a job’ and two weeks later she did. I’ve been with her ever since which is good since I wasn’t the sort of person who would have been good at putting my foot in the door.”

As well as film, Walker loves a live audience and especially enjoys radio comedy. “I love the history and romance of that, Radio 4, you’re standing on the shoulders of giants. I’d like to do more, but I don’t say I must do comedy now, or I must do drama now. I do it on a job by job basis.

“I can’t tell you the excitement to be in a new TV series or a play you’ve got to read for, that’s the best.”

The unknown may be exciting, but Walker also enjoys developing a character and is looking forward to February next year when work on six more episodes of Abi Morgan’s popular legal drama The Split starts again.

With Walker as the lead, Stephen Mangan as her husband and Annabel Scholey as her mother, it will be back on our screens on BBC1 later next year.

A family of high-flying female divorce lawyers, it sees Walker and family fighting on the home front as well as in court as they pick their way through the minefield of modern marriage and divorce in a seemingly endless wardrobe of designer rainwear. Has playing a very expensive London lawyer who specialises in divorce made Walker reflect on her own relationship with Kay, who she married in 2003, 20 years after they met on the set of The Libertine?

She laughs. “It’s made me feel better about where I am in my relationship. I breathed a sigh of relief.”

Walker points out that it’s no accident that the drama is set in a top London law firm, as English divorce laws mean there is greater potential for brutal confrontation than in Scotland, and more work for Hannah and her colleagues, with celebrity and well-heeled clients slugging it out for the spoils.

“Yes, they all go to London for their divorces,” she laughs. “The Scottish press screening was very interesting because it was the one where the questions were all about the rights and wrongs of the fault and no fault system.”

But The Split isn’t only about divorce, it’s also about love, relationships and marriage, and the effects of splits within families, particularly on the main characters.

“It’s brilliant to know you’re going back to do another bit of their story,” says Walker. “It’s lovely having time off, but if you’re used to going to work, you have to make sure you’re doing other things. I’m doing a radio play and workshops before The Split, because you have to make sure you’re ticking over.”

There might be time for a holiday, however, before it all starts up again, and one place Walker would like to revisit is Torridon, Wester Ross, where she visited as a teenager.

“I went there because that’s where my dad spent his summers when he was young. He was put on a train in London when he was very little, and would travel up and spend time with a family friend. So I went when I was 18 and asked in the post office and they remembered him. It’s one of the most beautiful places, and I want to go back with him now. But he’d have to stop working for a few days so we could do that, and that’s not like him!”

It must run in the family.

“Yes, I go a little bit crazy when I’m not working, which is an issue for me. My background is you go to work, that’s what you do.”

It doesn’t sound like Nicola Walker will be unemployed for long.

Unforgotten, Series 3, 9pm, STV and on STV Player, www.player.stv.tv

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769463.1531746594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769463.1531746594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nicola Walker stars in the new series of Unforgotten. Picture: Ruth Crafer","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Walker stars in the new series of Unforgotten. Picture: Ruth Crafer","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769463.1531746594!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769464.1531748092!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769464.1531748092!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunny Khan and Nicola Walker as DCI Cassie Stuart in ITV's Unforgotten. Picture: (C) iTV","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunny Khan and Nicola Walker as DCI Cassie Stuart in ITV's Unforgotten. Picture: (C) iTV","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769464.1531748092!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769465.1531746600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769465.1531746600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nicola Walker as MI5 officer Ruth Evershed in BBC's Spooks","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Walker as MI5 officer Ruth Evershed in BBC's Spooks","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769465.1531746600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769466.1531746602!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769466.1531746602!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Walker with Sarah Lancashire, Anne Reid and Derek Jacobi in Last Tango in Halifax. Picture: Gary Moyes","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Walker with Sarah Lancashire, Anne Reid and Derek Jacobi in Last Tango in Halifax. Picture: Gary Moyes","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769466.1531746602!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769467.1531746604!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769467.1531746604!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Walker wins Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the 2013 Laurence Olivier Awards. Picture: Dave M Benett/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Walker wins Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the 2013 Laurence Olivier Awards. Picture: Dave M Benett/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769467.1531746604!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/edinburgh-jazz-festival-reviews-keyon-harrold-we-begin-with-morton-the-new-wave-of-scottish-jazz-40th-anniversary-gala-1-4769367","id":"1.4769367","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh Jazz Festival reviews: Keyon Harrold | We Begin with Morton | The New Wave of Scottish Jazz | 40th Anniversary Gala","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531737846000 ,"articleLead": "

Jim Gilchrist and Alison Kerr review the opening concerts of the 40th Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769366.1531936112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Keyon Harrold PIC: Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Keyon Harrold, George Square Spiegeltent ****

If Trump was trounced at a mass demo on Edinburgh’s Meadows on Saturday afternoon, a stone’s throw away that evening, a powerful counterblast to the racism scarring US society emerged in the shape of rising New York trumpet star Keyon Harrold and his fusion quintet, making their Scottish debut at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival.

Harrold’s M B Lament, written in response to the police shooting of a young black man in his hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, was a simmering declamation, its ominous piano and bass riff carrying a sweeping melody that became increasingly turbulent, closing after a raging climax with We Shall Overcome in what came over as a last post for decent humanity.

Couched in the muscular forces of Burniss Travis on six-string electric bass, drummer Charles Haynes, Julius Rodriguez on keyboards and guitarist Nir Felder, Harrold delivers the kind of heroic melody lines that might herald a

Morricone score, before pyrotechnics erupt with jabs and angry whoops and growls, Rodriguez’s energetic keyboard excursions alternating with stratospheric guitar while Travers and Haynes constititute a formidable powerhouse.

The opening Mugician, included snatches of pre-recorded speech and siren howls, with unremitting bass, keyboard explosions and drum fusillades ushering Harrold’s big-toned soundings. Occasionally vocalising, he was joined by singer Andrea Pizziconi for the anti-Trump Circus Show, a funky litany of protest, while a re-imagining of She’s Leaving Home saw the Beatles protagonist indeed leaving, and at one hell of a lick, propelled by Haynes and Travis.

Jim Gilchrist

We Begin With Morton, Teviot Row ****

Jelly Roll Morton’s claim to be the father of jazz may have been more self-promotion than anything else. He was, however, the first real jazz composer and seminal in the transition of ragtime into a more swinging mode. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival jumped back a century to the very roots of the music, opening with this “Jellyfest”, as Classic Jazz Orchestra leader and drummer Ken Mathieson put it, demonstrating vigorously that Morton transcends mere antiquarian interest.

Kicking off, the engaging piano-clarinet duo of Andrew Oliver and David Horniblow presented a stripped-down but expert introduction to the Morton canon, Horniblow’s reed voice twining sinuously over piano in classics such as the Original Jelly Roll Blues and Stratford Hunch, while Oliver gave a sparkling rendition of Fingerbuster, in which Morton threw down the gauntlet to the stride piano camp. Mathieson’s CJO fairly breezed into the Morton repertoire in which it specialises, opening with Grandpa’s Spells and Superior Rag, with animated interjections from reedsmen Martin Foster, Allon Beauvoisin and Dick Lee, ranging from perky lick-trading by Lee and Foster in the Latin-inflected Mamanita to Foster’s grumbling baritone sax and growly trumpet and trombone from Billy Hunter and Lee Hallam in Jungle Blues.

Gil Evans’s setting of the classic King Porter Stomp received a nicely unfettered delivery and Ganjam, Morton’s beefy piece of faux-Orientalism, was given a beguilingly Brazilian shuffle, convincingly underlining the innovative and surprisingly timeless nature of Morton’s music.

Jim Gilchrist

The New Wave of Scottish Jazz, Teviot Row ****

Teviot Row, this year’s base camp for the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, was the scene for a show featuring the festival’s pick of the jazz talent that has recently erupted out of Glasgow.

But it will be a testament to their youth if the musicians who performed didn’t feel like stretcher cases after their appearances on the stage in the airless auditorium – usually the university’s debating hall – on Saturday night. The heat was unbearable, the atmosphere sticky and suffocating; all the more so because there was no break until 80 minutes into the concert.

This didn’t seem to bother the dazzling young pianist

Fergus McCreadie, whose talent and trio were the main focal point of that long first half and who electrified the audience with a series of atmospheric numbers which recalled the style of the American pianist-composer Dave Grusin.

Like the Mark Hendry Octet, who played rich, multi-layered pieces after the break (and was listened to, by the casualties of the first half, from the bar), this was original, contemporary material very much catering to a specific jazz sensibility.

Much more accessible were singer Luca Manning’s trio of songs, accompanied by ace pianist Alan Benzie, which kicked off the proceedings. Manning’s breathy, vaguely Chet Bakerish vocals, combined with his evocative way of telling a story, were especially well showcased in the Steve Swallow song City of Dallas.

Alison Kerr

40th Anniversary Jazz Gala, Assembly Hall ****

The choice of that hoary old chetstnut I Got Rhythm for the jam session that closed the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival’s 40th anniversary bash was self-evidently apposite. Contrasting with the august surroundings of the Assembly Hall, there was rhythm and virtuosity aplenty as well as moments of real soul, the last from singer Carol Kidd, whose lingering Skylark and palpably heartfelt rendition of Billy Joel’s And so it Goes were among the highlights.

Kidd, accompanied by pianist Paul Harrison, was among the Scottish jazz luminaries on the bill, not least indefatigable pianist Brian Kellock, who reassembled his trio with bassist Kenny Ellis and drummer John Rae for a characteristically mercurial set, veering between the luminous and the uproarious.

Creative chemistry too when Kellock was joined by the throaty tenor sax of another long-time sparring partner, Tommy Smith, the pair coursing between balladic drift and having their effervescent way with the likes of Sweet Georgia Brown.

As well as compering, singer-violinist Seonaid Aitken gave a laidback account of I’m Confessin’ That I Love You as part of a brief but warm-toned set from master-guitarist Martin Taylor, then assembled her own outfit, Rose Room, for some gypsy jazz that particularly sizzled when joined by Konrad Wiszniewski’s soprano sax in the klezmer standard Josef, Josef.

The twin saxes of Wiszniewski and Smith added muscle to the exuberant if occasionally eccentric closing jam, which indeed gave the aforementioned I Got Rhythm a run for its money.

Jim Gilchrist

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jim Gilchrist and Alison Kerr"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769366.1531936112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769366.1531936112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Keyon Harrold PIC: Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Keyon Harrold PIC: Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769366.1531936112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-bruno-mars-glasgow-green-1-4769355","id":"1.4769355","articleHeadline": "Music review: Bruno Mars, Glasgow Green","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531736491000 ,"articleLead": "

Most pop megastars end their shows with a firework display. Bruno Mars begins his show with one. It’s a clear statement of intent: the biggest circus ever is in town.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769354.1531736487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bruno Mars"} ,"articleBody": "

Bruno Mars, Glasgow Green ****

In fact, the pyrotechnics were so insistent during the first 20 minutes of this typically energetic performance from the hardest working man in showmanship, they actually set the lighting rig ablaze.

Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the ten minute delay, during which thousands of bemused fans stared at stagehands extinguishing the fire, rather spoiled the infectious momentum that Mars and his band The Hooligans had worked up during this unofficial climax to the TRNSMT festival.

Still, ever the pro, Mars improvised a funky chorus of “We burned the stage down in Glasgow!” before getting back on track with his slick harlequinade. Styled after the sock it to ‘em soul revues of James Brown – one of his key influences alongside Prince and Michael Jackson – a Mars gig is pretty much irresistible.

It’s easy to see why he attracts such a broad fan-base: everyone from children to grandmas were dancing on Glasgow Green tonight.

The Hooligans groove alongside him in syncopated formation like an instrument-wielding Temptations. Mars, a la Prince, plays amusingly OTT pyrotechnic guitar. His voice, a la Jacko, is mellifluous and gritty. His music moonwalks confidently between rock, soul, hip-hop, R&B and pure pop.

A charmingly self-aware ham, Bruno Mars is a born entertainer who makes most of his contemporaries look like Alan Bennett renewing his library card.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Paul Whitelaw"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769354.1531736487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769354.1531736487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bruno Mars","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bruno Mars","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769354.1531736487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-james-taylor-bonnie-raitt-hydro-glasgow-1-4769353","id":"1.4769353","articleHeadline": "Music review: James Taylor & Bonnie Raitt, Hydro, Glasgow","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531736352000 ,"articleLead": "

James Taylor is a modest guy, unstarry enough to shuffle out on stage before his headline set to introduce special guest Bonnie Raitt, mindful of the added value, kudos and, frankly, balls this esteemed singer/guitarist brought to the bill.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769352.1531736348!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bonnie Raitt exploded, James Taylor comforted"} ,"articleBody": "

James Taylor & Bonnie Raitt, Hydro, Glasgow ***

Raitt talked about working her ire out on her guitar but her style is more of a controlled explosion. She simmered through sultry versions of INXS’ Need You Tonight and Mose Allison’s Everybody’s Crying Mercy, with some deliciously loose jazzy playing from her pianist Jon Cleary. But a spellbinding solo version of John Prine’s Angel from Montgomery was the highlight of a set rounded off by a chummy duet with Taylor on John Hiatt’s Thing Called Love.

Taylor is as wry and piquant in person as his music is cosy and comforting. Like Raitt, he employed a slick band of players to convey the soothing flavours of Carolina In My Mind and Country Road but looked a bit apologetic wrangling his guitar on the blues indulgence of Steamroller.

As beautiful as the group harmonies were on Shed A Little Light, Taylor’s audience responded most strongly to the solo troubadour terrain of Something In the Way She Moves (George Harrison was so impressed he nicked the lyric), the “cowboy lullaby” Sweet Baby James and Fire and Rain.

Backing vocalist Arnold McCuller added his customary soul injection to Shower the People, Raitt returned for a slightly cheesy Chuck Berry tribute and a close harmony Close Your Eyes and a convivial evening was shared by all.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769352.1531736348!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769352.1531736348!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bonnie Raitt exploded, James Taylor comforted","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bonnie Raitt exploded, James Taylor comforted","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769352.1531736348!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/theatre-review-the-band-playhouse-edinburgh-1-4769351","id":"1.4769351","articleHeadline": "Theatre review: The Band, Playhouse, Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531736205000 ,"articleLead": "

People call it the “Take That” musical; but in fact, Tim Firth’s clever and likeable tribute show, at the Playhouse this week, is not about the story of the legendary 1990s boy band, its five original members, or the three who still play as Take That today. Instead, the story it tells – through a huge playlist of Take That hits, old and new – is of the experience of being a fan; of four women who loved Take That as teenagers, and who find one another again 25 years later, after suffering a shared loss that drives them apart.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769350.1531737101!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The audience friendly cast and musicians achieve their aims"} ,"articleBody": "

The Band, Playhouse, Edinburgh ***

It’s tremendously cliched stuff, of course; the very mild “bad behaviour” of the women, the trip abroad that changes things in true John Goober style, the weary male authority figure (played with great good humour by Andy Williams) who recurs in their lives.

To say that this show is perfectly targeted at its chosen audience, though – women around 40 who were 15-year-old fans in the early 90s – is to understate its huge appeal for a crowd who simply adore every moment, singing along with every word, and bringing out their phone torches to create a forest of light for the big final anthems. And with the four lead performers on stage – Rachel Lumberg, Alison Fitzjohn, Emily Joyce and Jayne McKenna – delivering brilliantly audience-friendly performances, backed by a band of five boys who simply seem woven into their minds as they appear at key moments to offer comfort, encouragement and music, The Band emerges as a hugely effective exercise in musical and cultural memory, limited in ambition, but just about perfect in achieving its own aims.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769350.1531737101!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769350.1531737101!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The audience friendly cast and musicians achieve their aims","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The audience friendly cast and musicians achieve their aims","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769350.1531737101!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/music/music-review-paul-simon-hydro-glasgow-1-4769347","id":"1.4769347","articleHeadline": "Music review: Paul Simon, Hydro, Glasgow","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1531736040000 ,"articleLead": "

The stakes were higher on Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound Tour as one of the musical giants of the age took his farewell bow - with the cheeky proviso that he wasn’t ruling out a Sinatra-style comeback. For now though, it was au revoir to an old friend. Like his New York songwriting peer Neil Diamond, there was a frailty to Simon at first glimpse. This endowed opening number America with a valedictory vulnerability, enhanced by a gorgeous arrangement with plaintive sax and the band ebbing and flowing behind him.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769346.1531736036!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Simon PIC: Ilya S Savenok/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Paul Simon, Hydro, Glasgow ****

But concerns for Simon’s stamina over this bumper two-and-a-half hour show were soon dispelled as he danced lightly over the phrasing of 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover with a blues flourish to finish and then danced literally on the chirpy zydeco number That Was Your Mother.

Given Simon’s role in helping to bring African music to a western audience via his mega-selling Graceland album, this was a suitably globe-straddling set from an international band. From the bayous of Louisiana, he jumped to Jamaica for Mother and Child Reunion, from Nigeria for Spirit Voices (in the company of new guitarist Biodun Kuti, who replaces the late Vincent Nguini) to Brazil for The Obvious Child.

There was even a nod to the home nations with guitarist Mark Stewart in his clan kilt and Simon giving due credit to English folk legend Martin Carthy for the development of his guitar picking skills.

Band arrangements throughout were thoughtful, unexpected and beautifully wrought. Simon gathered the string, brass and woodwind players of the yMusic ensemble in chamber group format at the front of the stage for a touching Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War and a lyrical rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water - this successful attempt to “reclaim my child” won him a rightful standing ovation.

Later, those same musicians swapped reeds and bows for voice in a credible recreation of the South African choral tradition on Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes which rounded off the main set alongside the celebratory singalong of You Can Call Me Al.

Two extensive encores ticked off a number of other Simon gems, including the soulful Still Crazy After All These Years and a resonant American Tune as well as the opportunity for Simon to take a nostalgic moment with a montage of old photos, tickets and clippings and drink in the thunderous response to Simon & Garfunkel classics The Boxer and The Sound of Silence.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Shepherd"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4769346.1531736036!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4769346.1531736036!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul Simon PIC: Ilya S Savenok/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Simon PIC: Ilya S Savenok/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4769346.1531736036!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}