Music review: Simple Minds

What better way for Simple Minds to mark their 40th birthday than returning to the beloved ballroom they inaugurated as a gig venue back in 1983? This celebration show had the air of An Audience with the Minds, kicking off with a terrific opening trio of their freshest futuristic Euro odysseys, I Travel, Celebrate and Love Song, all baring the blatant Berlin-era Bowie influences and innate dance/stompability of their younger years.

Kendrick Lamar has presence and belief in abundance. Picture: PA

Music review: Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is routinely declared as the most significant rapper of his generation – and with good reason. His albums Good Kid, m.A.A.d City and particularly the brilliantly realised but awfully titled To Pimp A Butterfly established him as both musical innovator and lyrical warrior, and he has maintained that momentum while embracing his newfound superstardom with 2017’s Damn and his newly released curated soundtrack for superhero blockbuster Black Panther.

DvoY�ks Dumky Trio formed the concerts main focus

Music review: Hebrides Ensemble

It was a typically enterprising, wide-ranging, provocative programme from the Hebrides Ensemble, conveyed in wonderfully fresh, vivid performances. There was a sizeable audience to experience the trio’s craft, in one stop on a three-concert tour taking in lesser-visited venues across Scotland, and even streamed live online (watch it again via the Hebrides Ensemble website). Which makes it all the more bewildering that future Hebrides events like this could be in jeopardy, following Creative Scotland’s apparent decision to withdraw regular funding of the ensemble.

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow has faced growing threats from new developments.

Scotland's live music venues win protection against property developers

Property developers will be ordered to ensure homes built near live music venues across Scotland are properly soundproofed in future following a campaign by industry owners, managers and promoters.
Lifestyle 5
Leith Theatre was reopened last year for the Hidden Door Festival nearly 30 years after its last event.

Capital's £10m spending spree on cultural venues

Three signature projects are set to share in a £10 million boost for Edinburgh’s cultural infrastructure.

Lifestyle 1
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers were playing in Belfast on Saturday night.

Couple mistake Red Hot Chilli Pipers for Red Hot Chili Peppers

A couple’s romantic getaway to see an iconic American rock group backfired - when it turned out they had bought tickets to see a Scottish bagpipe band with a similar name.
Lifestyle 3
Trad scene favourites Manran. Can they fill Runrig's footsteps?

Brian Ferguson: Trad scene is booming, but can anyone replace Runrig?

Not so long ago it was a case of feast or famine for many of Scotland’s musicians. The summer and winter festivals were still a time for hectic schedules, long journeys and playing to packed crowds in concert venues, village halls and tents across the UK. For those who associate themselves with the ‘trad’ scene, Celtic Connections was a rare chance to take to a much bigger stage than they were used to, and win new fans perhaps unfamiliar with their music.

Duncan Chisolm was at the first Celtic Connections and appeared this year with his band The Gathering

Music review: Duncan Chisholm: Sandwood

SINCE he played at the first Celtic Connections 24 years ago, Duncan Chisholm’s reputation as a Highland fiddler of substance has become particularly associated with his richly toned and unashamedly heart-tugging slow airs, frequently imbued with a powerful sense of place, as in his Strathglass album trilogy of the past few years.

The crowd responded to Hollie Cooks reggae vibrations

Music review: Hollie Cook

THE influence of reggae is everywhere in pop music just now, thanks to the infusion of Jamaican dancehall elements in R&B and grime. But that is the more strident sound of the island’s musical heritage; for a sweeter and deeper but just as danceable iteration, look to the radiant Hollie Cook.

Out Lines, featuring Kathryn Joseph, Twilight Sad frontman James Graham and Marcus Mackay

Music review: Out Lines and Hamish Hawk

ON THE final night of this year’s Celtic Connections, Twilight Sad frontman James Graham and former Scottish Album of the Year Award winner Kathryn Joseph said a (hopefully temporary) farewell to their own Celtic connection as they prepare for their own individual releases later this year.

Franz Ferdinand

Album reviews: Franz Ferdinand | Kyle Craft | Bas Jan

Franz Ferdinand show how to handle a line-up change by taking the chance to let their sound evolve


Band who trashed Edinburgh bar cancel gigs after death threats

A BAND has apologised “wholeheartedly” after a city centre bar was wrecked following a gig.


Under the Radar: Lucia

This looks set to be the year Glasgow-based artist Lucia makes it big. Discovered while busking in the city, her debut single, Best Boy, embracing hints of The Undertones, Blondie and Wall Of Sound, has already marked her out for attention on the local indie scene.

James Laing as the Refugee in Flight

Opera preview: Scottish Opera’s new production of Flight is ready for take off

Strangely, it feels even more topical now than it did when it was first performed.” Composer Jonathan Dove is talking about his airport opera Flight – unveiled at Glyndebourne in 1998, and getting its Scottish premiere courtesy of Scottish Opera from 17 February – and he’s referring specifically to one of Flight’s major plot strands: the plight of refugees.

Funding cuts for five announced by Creative Scotland Janet Archer last month have been overturned by its board.

Creative Scotland forced into funding review after climbing down over cuts

Arts quango Creative Scotland is to overhaul the way it provides long-term funding after caving in to demands to reverse cuts to five companies.
Edinburgh, Fife & Lothians 14
Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop was forced to intervene within days of Creative Scotland announcing its funding cuts.

Analysis: Creative Scotland's funding cuts post-mortem will be 'long and painful'

It is less than two weeks since Creative Scotland made its long-awaited announcement on who would be guaranteed its support for the next three years.
Martyn Brabbins

Music review: BBC SSO & Martyn Brabbins

Martyn Brabbins and the BBC SSO ended their enlightening survey of Michael Tippett’s symphonies with one that had not seen the light of day since it was written in the 1930s. Tippett created what was effectively his first symphony in 1932 (the one we call the First Symphony was composed 13 years later), revising it twice before withdrawing it as work to be neither published nor, consequently, further performed. Thursday’s performance was billed as the first performance since 1935, and the world premiere of the 1938 revision.

Daoir� Farrell

Celtic Connections review: Daoiri Farrell with Lori Watson, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

This powerful yet thoughtfully considered performance from the award-winning Dublin singer and bouzouki player Daoiri Farrell delivered seasoned, often traditional repertoire, made fresh with passion, articulation and narrative power – as in The Creggan White Hare, where mercy was shown to the hunted, or Valley of Knockanure, recounting a Black and Tan atrocity where there was none.

Adam Sutherland PIC: Jane Barlow

Celtic Connections review: Adam Sutherland Band, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

As for many in the Celtic Connections extended family, it’s been a busy festival for fiddler-about-town Adam Sutherland, already familiar from the line-ups of Croft No.5, Session A9 and the Treacherous Orchestra among other fine folk ensembles. It was a pleasure to finally see him fronting his own mixed acoustic-electric outfit at the launch of his new album, Some Other Land.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Music review: Scottish Chamber Orchestra & Robin Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

The chemistry between conductor and orchestra is what makes musical sparks fly. So Clemens Schuldt’s rapport with the SCO would suggest he’s in with a chance to replace outgoing principal conductor Robin Ticciati.

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