In Full

Culture in Full

Music interview: Nile Rodgers on returning to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park after “insane” gig last year

Nile Rodgers must have played thousands of gigs in his time as bandleader of seminal disco outfit Chic but he’s such an engaged and enthused human being that he can summon up standout performances with ease. Admittedly, he only has to reach back one year to remember the two nights when Chic stormed the Kelvingrove Bandstand in front of a few thousand mad-for-it Glaswegians, footage of which was then threaded throughout his BBC4 series How to Make It in the Music Business.

Jack Lowden as Vaughn in Calibre PIC: Calibre Films Ltd

Edinburgh Film Festival preview: Director Matt Palmer on his Highlands-set thriller Calibre, starring Jack Lowden

Inspired by films like Deliverance, Calibre was nine years in the making. Writer-director Matt Palmer talks to Alistair Harkness about the project, and persuading rising star Jack Loudon to play the ‘Everyman’ role

Work by Dalziel + Scullion at Dunbar Town House

Art reviews: Dalziel + Scullion | Robert Callender

John Muir, the celebrated pioneer ecologist and instigator, in America, of the first of national park, was born in Dunbar. He left Scotland at the age of 11, but the love of nature that defined him was already well established and it is right and proper that he should be commemorated in his native land. The house in which he was born in Dunbar is more shrine than museum, but it sets out very accessibly the facts of his life and the ideas that drove him. The John Muir Country Park on the beautiful estuary of the East Lothian Tyne is a more practical memorial in the spirit of Muir himself. To that well-established project, however, there has recently also been added the John Muir Way, emulating the John Muir Trail in California. Running for 134 miles, coast to coast, the trail echoes Muir’s own journey from Dunbar to Helensburgh where he set sail for America with his family.

The Inheritance, by Sheena Kalayil

Book review: The Inheritance, by Sheena Kalayil

At first glance, it could be the plot of any modern romance: beautiful young girl falls for older, married man. Yet the way Sheena Kalayil tells the story makes what could be a predictable meander down a well-trodden path come alive.

Kirsty Gunn PIC: Greg Macvean

Book review: Caroline’s Bikini, by Kirsty Gunn

For those who like that sort of thing,” Miss Brodie said in her best Edinburgh voice, “that is the sort of thing they like”. In this year of, as it were, Muriel Spark’s second coming, it seems right to apply this now famous, even perhaps to the point of being a bit stale, quotation to Kirsty Gunn’s clever sort-of-novel. “Sort-of-novel” may seem a harsh comment, unfair indeed, while yet being justifiable.

Bill Murray and Jan Vogler  PIC: Peter Rigaud

Music & Spoken Word review: Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Despite being forewarned that this wouldn’t be a traditional evening of anecdotal entertainment from the beloved Bill Murray, it’s probably fair to say that no one in the audience knew quite what to expect.

Anna and the Apocalypse

Five must-see movies at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival

Scotsman film critic Alistair Harkness casts his expert eye over the 2018 EIFF programme

The 39 Steps

Theatre review: The 39 Steps, Menzieshill Community Centre

There’s nothing 21st century theatre audiences like better than to be taken behind the scenes of some bigger and more dominant art-form, whether it’s film, television, or radio. Add the sheer nostalgic appeal of a show that features the golden years of radio in the 1930s and 1940s, and you have a perfect piece of lightweight entertainment, completely predictable in outline, yet infinitely fascinating and amusing in detail; and that’s exactly what Dundee Rep achieves with this year’s community touring show, which features American writer Joe Landry’s stage version of The 39 Steps, reimagined as a pre-war radio play based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film.

Isabel Davis will start her role as executive director of Creative Scotland's new screen unit in September.

New figurehead revealed for Scottish screen industry

Scotland’s troubled screen industry has been given a major boost after poaching one of British film’s leading executives to become its new figurehead.

Lifestyle 1
Billy Ritchie

Aidan Smith: The greatest Scottish band you have never heard of

Aidan Smith on the ‘three thistle and haggis voiced bairns’ who changed the course of pop history before vanishing

David Byrne PIC: Bryan Derballa/The New York Times

Music review: David Byrne, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

David Byrne is one of a number of musicians over the last year who have chosen to respond to a global rise in repression and intolerance by pushing back with positivity. Mass exposure to his glorious, life-affirming American Utopia show alone would make the world a better place.

Johnny Marr

Album reviews: Johnny Marr | Kanye West | John Parish | Apostille

Johnny Marr mines his past with decent results, but Kanye West’s brief offering falls rather short

Rebecca Vasmant, Seonaid Aitken (with violin) and Tam Gallagher at the launch of the 2018 Glasgow Jazz Festival

Music interview: Glasgow Jazz Festival director Jill Rodger on her unusual programming methods

Glasgow Jazz Festival director Jill Rodger may take an idiosyncratic approach when it comes to programming, but if the diversity of this year’s event, which opens on Wednesday, is anything to go by, her method seems highly effective. Acts skip blithely across genres and sub-genres, from former Bombay Bicycle Club singer Mr Jukes tapping into his inner jazz man to what promises to be a heartfelt and musically riveting concert in memory of the late, great Scots saxophonist Bobby Wellins.

Quality Street at Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Theatre review: Quality Street, Pitlochry Festival Theatre

What an infuriating playwright is JM Barrie; one moment a hopeless, cloying Edwardian sentimentalist, the next a brilliantly waspish and radical social satirist. And both Barries are present in force in his rarely-performed 1901 Regency romance Quality Street, in its day such a colossal transatlantic success that it even gave its name to the famous brand of chocolates.

The fire broke out in the Mackintosh Building at 11.19pm on Friday. Picture: John Devlin

Investigation into Glasgow School of Art inferno “very complex” says fire service

The investigation into the fire that engulfed the Glasgow School of Art will be “very complex” and “take some time” before questions over the future of the world-famous institution can be addressed, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has said.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, director of prevention and protection at SFRS, said it will scrutinise “every aspect” of the fire, which he said had left the Glasgow city centre building “devastated”.

After another devastating fire, there is debate as to whether Glasgow's School of Art building will be rebuilt or demolished (Photo: Shutterstock)

Can Charles Rennie Mackintosh's iconic Glasgow School of Art be saved?

After undergoing a painstaking rebuild for the last four years, Glasgow’s School of Art has been left in ruin following a second devastating fire.

Glasgow & Strathclyde
Gary Armstrong and Dodie Weir at the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival 2018 PIC: Alex Hewitt

Festival review: The Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival, Melrose

Ah, the Noughties; I remember them well. Back then, if you read the newspapers, you’d have a fair sense of what was going to happen, who was going to be the next PM, and when and how. The future seemed comparatively predictable. It was, as William Hague told Rory Bremner in a sparkling double-bill at the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival over the weekend, a golden age of consensus, though nobody realised it at the time.

Books 1
Thea Musgrave

Music review: Thea Musgrave at 90, City Halls, Glasgow

At 90, and despite the seemingly reassuring need of a walking stick, Thea Musgrave is as sharp as a tack. The Edinburgh-born composer, who has lived in America most of her life, was in Glasgow for a celebratory birthday concert by the BBC SSO, an event punctuated by a personal onstage graduation ceremony in which Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, conferred on her an honorary doctorate. Her response to the honour was both pithy and wise.

Angus Farquhar of NVA at St Peter's Seminary, Cardross PIC: Robert Perry

Joyce McMillan: The closure of NVA is immensely sad, but the company leaves a lasting legacy

On its website – still live and beautiful, for anyone who wants to see it – the Glasgow-based arts company NVA, which announced its closure last week, explains the meaning of its name. It says that it’s an acronym of “nacionale vita activa”, a phrase which – for the company’s founder Angus Farquhar – expresses “the Ancient Greek ideal of a lively democracy, where actions and words shared among equals bring new thinking into the world.”

Theatre 1
Benjamin Myers is the winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Histrorical Fiction 2018 for his book The Gallows Pole

Story of 18th century Yorkshire gang wins Walter Scott Prize

A novel about an 18th century gang of Yorkshire counterfeiters has been declared the winner of Britain’s biggest Prize for historical fiction at the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival.

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