In Full

Culture in Full
Paula Lane plays Lauren

Theatre reviews: Kinky Boots, Playhouse, Edinburgh | Aladdin, King’s Theatre, Glasgow

AT FIRST glance, it’s not the most obvious choice for a Christmas show: the musical of the 2005 film, loosely based on a true story, about a failing Northampton shoe factory that’s saved from closure when its new owner Charlie – the fourth generation of his family to run the business – moves into the niche market of making glamorous high-heeled boots and shoes for drag queens, who often find female shoes too small and fragile.

Lily Allen

Music review: Lily Allen, Barrowland, Glasgow

“I FEEL like anger is becoming a personality trait, it’s f***ing relentless,” said Lily Allen, moments before the finale of her show, a breezy skip through the righteous dismissal of F*** You. She was talking about the national political mood (Theresa May and Brexit had already been mentioned), but her own emotion range as an artist is more sophisticated than that.

Def Leppard

Music review: Def Leppard & Cheap Trick, Hydro, Glasgow

THE rock universe was shaken to its leather boots in summer 1987 by the release of an incendiary new album – Guns N’ Roses’ classic debut, Appetite for Destruction. So when Brit rockers Def Leppard released Hysteria two weeks later, they were already behind the curve. Three decades on, this is of little concern to band and fans, who would happily confirm that Hysteria’s brace of gleefully unreconstructed hits have retained their air-punching party credentials.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Music review: The SCO and Karina Canellakis, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

YOUNG New York conductor Karina Canellakis is fast developing a very fruitful partnership with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. And it’s a relationship that can only be welcomed: with her precise, demonstrative direction, her ear for detail and balance, and her outgoing, generous spirit, she urges particularly vivid, strongly defined playing from the SCO musicians.

Nile Rodgers & Chic may have released their first album in 26 years but here they stuck to the classics

Music review: Nile Rodgers and Chic, Hydro, Glasgow

THE protracted preamble on the opening night of Chic’s first ever arena tour suggested that bigger was not necessarily better, not even for a proven hitmaker like Nile Rodgers who takes the business of writing popular songs very seriously.

Paul Towndrow

Interview: Landmark birthday finds Paul Towndrow ready to experiment

Serendipity, or just the results of hard work and venturesome vision? Scots saxophonist Paul Towndrow is looking back on his career before celebrating his 40th birthday tomorrow night with a performance of his Charlie Parker with Strings programme at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s City of Music Studio, part of the venue’s “Late Night Studio Jazz” season.

Never Mind II c.1966-67 by Robin Philipson

Book reviews: Robin Philipson by Elizabeth Cumming | The Art and Craft of Gertrude Alice Meredith Williams by Phyllida Shaw

Not so long ago, books on Scottish art were a rare event. Things have changed and so it is a pleasure to be able now to welcome two new books at once. Elizabeth Cumming has written Robin Philipson, a biography of one of the most notable figures in Scottish art of the post-war decades, while Phyllida Shaw has written a biography of Gertrude Alice Meredith Williams, less well-known, but, as she demonstrates, important. The history of Scottish art is still a small world, however, and Cumming has written a foreword to Shaw’s book.


Under the Radar: VanIves

Growing up in the small Galloway town of Castle Douglas, Roan Ballantyne and Stuart Ramage were ten when they first bonded over a mutual love of skateboarding. Four years later the fully fledged lords of the boards had expanded their talents to setting up a drum’n’bass sound system, and this in turn has developed into the beguilingly gentle music of VanIves.

Fagman by Klaus Weber at Collective, Edinburgh

Art reviews: Affinity and Allusion at Collective | Emma Hart at the Fruitmarket

It is a time of change for many of Scotland’s art spaces. This year has seen the Ingleby Gallery open in its fine new space in Barony Street, and the high-profile opening of the V&A in Dundee. Next year brings the closure of the Fruitmarket Gallery for redevelopment and new premises for Edinburgh Printmakers at Fountainbridge. Meanwhile, Glasgow’s Common Guild has just announced that it is to leave Woodlands Terrace for pastures new (and as yet undisclosed).

Gavin Mitchell (back row, left) with the cast of Cinderella

“Panto is pure magic” - Still Game star Gavin Mitchell on playing an Ugly Sister in Cinderella at the Clyde Auditorium

It was one of the saddest and most dramatic moments in the whole history of Scottish pantomime; the day in October 2010 when it was announced that Gerard Kelly, the legendary “daft laddie” in more than a dozen pantos at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow since the 1990s, had died suddenly of a brain aneurysm aged only 51, just five weeks before the opening night of that year’s King’s panto. Kelly was scheduled to play one of his favourite roles, as the jester Muddles in Sleeping Beauty; and over the years, he had also become one of the main upholders and tradition-bearers of the Scottish panto scene, using his television fame to add clout to his passionate defence of the Scottish panto tradition.

Ben Howard

Music review: Ben Howard, Hydro, Glasgow

For all his considerable commercial success since 2011 breakthrough debut Every Kingdom, Ben Howard remains a musician on the fringes of fashion. It’s hard to get a fix on his schtick – this modest, introverted performer was literally a shadowy figure, rarely directly lit and mostly to be found hunched over his guitar. Yet his coy voice and soothing reveries often left him musically exposed before his sonorous playing kicked in to fill the vast space of the Hydro.

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