Under the Radar: Luke La Volpe

Luke La Volpe are the latest rising stars to hail from the West Lothian town of Bathgate. They have toured with the town’s biggest export – Lewis Capaldi – and played alongside Gerry Cinnamon, Jake Bugg, Alabama 3 and Tom Clarke (The Enemy), as well as performing live for STV and Sofar Sounds in London.


Music review: Bis, The Glad Cafe, Glasgow

Bis don’t do things by halves. To celebrate the release of their ace new album Slight Disconnects, the cult Glasgow indie-pop legends decided to play three bijou venue gigs over three consecutive nights.

RSNO Principal Guest Conductor Elim Chan

Music review: The RSNO with Elim Chan & Lukáš Vondráček, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

A Romeo and Juliet sandwich: that’s how the RSNO’s principal guest conductor Elim Chan described their Valentine’s offering, bookended as it was by two Russian composers’ responses to Shakespeare’s great romantic tragedy. An excess of passion and schmaltz? Not at all – if anything, contrasting Tchaikovsky’s voluptuous “fantasy overture” with selections from Prokofiev’s arch, sometimes grotesque Soviet ballet music provided fascinating perspectives on Russia’s fascination with the Bard.

Lauren Mayberry'of Chvrches PIC: Dan Reid/REX/Shutterstock

Music review: Chvrches, Hydro, Glasgow

It’s “Saturday night in the toon” and hometown heroes Chvrches were looking forward to letting their hair down in familiar surroundings in the company of fans where nothing was lost in translation, where they could make their feelings about Brexit known with four-letter brevity, stake their claim as global ambassadors for the “Here we f***ing go” chant and where even frontwoman Lauren Mayberry’s slight neurosis about the quality of her arena stage banter was automatically understood as natural Scottish self-deprecation. Because what’s a bit of awkwardness among friends, right?

Jim Galloway

Scots-Canadian jazz giant Jim Galloway remembered in new film

For the late Jim Galloway, every tune he played was an adventure, with live performance the very essence of what the Ayrshire-born, Toronto-domiciled saxophonist did. “I never know what I’m going to play,” he declares in a fine new documentary about his life. “Very often I find it’s like plunging into water.”

Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch, Mickey Graham and Ronan Keating of Boyzone. Picture: REX/Shutterstock

Music review: Boyzone, Hydro, Glasgow

For their final ever Scottish performance, this cleanest-cut of Irish boybands delivered a show that was sentimental but unquestionably engaging, with the surviving quartet seeming to have an awful lot of fun as they prepared to call time on their collective 25-year career. With no great stage trappings beyond a selection of costume changes and a couple of backing singers, Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch hoofed their way through a series of relatively restrained dance routines and the cheesy hits that made them one of Europe’s most successful boy groups.

Tears for Fears' Kurt Smith was less flashy than Roland Orzabal but both were the picture of stars with a healthy near 40 year success rate. Picture: Dan Reid/REX/Shutterstock

Music review: Tears for Fears & Alison Moyet, Hydro, Glasgow

Tears for Fears, formed in Bath at a time when you could call your band after primal therapy practise and get away with it, are not the most prolific band to take their place on the 80s nostalgic circuit. No touring and recording treadmill for them – they last played Glasgow in the mid-2000s, around the release of their most recent album, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, and have been working on a sequel ever since.

Tony Visconti was just one of the the band in this first rate showcase of David Bowie's music. Picture: Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock

Music review: Holy Holy, Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow

If none of us watching could quite believe we were in the presence of greatness, vocalist Glenn Gregory was on hand to vocalise our joy at this turn of events. “Just to let you know, he was in the Spider from Mars,” he gasped, pointing back over his shoulder at David Bowie’s stalwart drummer from the early ‘70s Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey.

Bill Ryder-Jones on stage belies his reputation for gloomy introspection

Music review: Bill Ryder-Jones, Summerhall, Edinburgh

Flourishing as a singer-songwriter of considerable craft since leaving The Coral, Bill Ryder-Jones on stage belies his unfair reputation for gloomy introspection. Though he’s not an obvious frontman, he’s grimly funny and determined to engage the audience, even wading into the crowd towards the end of his set to quell a confrontation between two of them.

Energetic, enthusiastic lucky bag of operatic fun and fizz

Opera review: Scottish Opera’s Opera Highlights, Village Theatre, East Kilbride

IT’S good, now and again, to get up close to opera by witnessing this extravagant art form in the raw, its excesses stripped to the bone. That’s the principle behind Scottish Opera’s perennial Highlights Tour, a long established initiative that takes opera to Scotland’s more out-of-the-way venues with only four singers, a pianist, a basketful of props and disparate lucky bag of operatic excerpts.

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