Arts diary: Let’s get the old gang back together! No, let’s not! Whatever. Get on with it

Alan McGee
Alan McGee
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OASIS will not reform, even if “all the starving children in the world depended on it”, Noel Gallagher told the NME this week, showing a decisiveness that his old rival Damon Albarn could learn from (is the Blur reunion an ongoing concern or not? Do the other members of the band actually know, or do they just discover Albarn’s latest thoughts on the matter via the media like the rest of us?)

Oasis’s old record label might be back, though. “Music needs a kick in the balls, and I have got the music buzz back again,” announced former Creation boss Alan McGee on Tuesday, in an exclusive interview with music journalist John Robb (“the first to write about bands such as the Stone Roses and Nirvana”, as Robb pointed out at the end of his own news story. Clearly this is a writer who shares McGee’s love of self-promoting hyperbole. The interview, by the way, turned out to be just an exclusive “statement”. So, a press release then.)

Anyway, “I am now seriously thinking about restarting Creation,” continued McGee, “or maybe call it something else if I can find the right people at a label to work with.”

Bless. Come back Alan! We miss your endless bragging about how brilliant and edgy and rock and roll everything you do is, and how useless everyone else is (apart from Oasis, the Stone Roses, Primal Scream and anyone else you’re friends with). We miss the way you casually drop opportunistic plugs for your latest projects into every sentence that comes out of your mouth.

And we particularly miss the way that your latest emphatic statement tends to completely contradict the last emphatic thing you said. In this case, didn’t you write an article in the Sun in February this year, saying: “I’ve had enough of the music industry. I’m more excited by film and art.” “All modern music is rubbish. I’ve lost interest in it.” And “I am excited about seeing The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays but I don’t live in the past.” Yes you did.

Anyway, good luck with your new record label. We look forward to hearing more about how you’re going to shake up the music industry, bring good music back at last, etc, and reminding you that you said much the same thing about Poptones – which signed the Hives, who did very well, and lots of other people who didn’t do so well (just like most other indie record labels, then), and wound down five years ago.

In other news, Suede are also back and making a new album. Apparently it’ll sound like a cross between Dog Man Star and Coming Up. Look forward to that.


Dear Creative Scotland and Daily Record. It’s great to see that creativity in Scotland will be celebrated by a glittering, unashamedly populist awards ceremony at Kelvingrove in Glasgow this December. Having read the event’s website, I hope you will take this constructive criticism in the spirit in which it is meant.

1. £110 for a single ticket? Really? You do know that most people who work in the arts are too poor to afford that, right? (£15 for the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland is beyond the budget of quite a few of them.) Are you expecting any actual artists to turn up?

2. “From small-scale productions to Hollywood aspirations, the Scottish theatre scene has something for everyone,” you say in your introduction to the 2012 Theatre Award. Actually big theatre shows don’t aspire to be like Hollywood. They aspire to be good theatre shows. Hollywood makes films, a different art form entirely. The main reason that lots of Hollywood actors continue to do theatre, in fact, is that theatre is nothing like Hollywood. You do know this, right?

3. Slightly puzzled by the Arts Ambassador Award. “Our country has produced some of the biggest names in the world of entertainment, whether in film, music, television, art or literature. But which individual has truly excelled in championing Scotland both at home and around the world?” You do know it’s not actually the job of artists to champion Scotland around the world, right? It’s their job to make stuff and ask questions. People who champion Scotland around the world are called politicians.

4. Nice to see all those pictures of dancers on the website. No dance category though? Isn’t it one of the most popular art forms in the country?

5. What, exactly, is the 2012 Year of Creative Scotland Event award for? “We honour an event, big or small, which has memorably and successfully showcased culture and the arts in a setting that is unmistakably Scottish,” you say. So if the location could conceivably be mistaken for somewhere not Scottish, it doesn’t qualify? Does that mean I can’t nominate T in the Park, on the grounds that other countries also have large fields? Just wondering.

6. The 2012 Scottish Film/TV Award is described as “a celebration of a piece of work or individual performance in a TV production or film which epitomises the character and spirit of Scotland”.

I have absolutely no idea what this means or what to nominate. So films, TV shows, and actors in both are all competing for the same award? And we’re not recognising skill or talent here but Scottishness? Are you seriously giving out an award for the most Scottish film/TV show, rather than the best? My head hurts. Can I just vote for Brave in every category?

7. If you’re going to organise a Literary Award celebrating Scotland’s proud history of “writers with skill, flare and the ability to communicate, educate, illuminate and entertain the people”, the award will probably have more credibility if you spell “flair” correctly.