I think the management at Waverley Mall and their owners, Moorgarth, have found supporting independent businesses and the arts to be more challenging than they may have expected.
So it was good to have some positive news this week when the Fruitmarket Gallery bookshop opened in a space accessed via Williams and Johnson Coffee Co who are based next to the Waverley Steps.
This is, of course, only a temporary home while a major extension is completed in nearby Market Street, but even so for the next six months or more it will be a great addition to what the mall has to offer. There is actually extra seating in the new shop, so taking in your cup of coffee is encouraged.
By coincidence, after Avalanche’s arrival I had actually suggested to Jacquelyn Stewart, the Waverley Mall manager, that without a home the Fruitmarket Gallery would be a perfect addition, little realising that she was already on the case and in talks.
A big thank you is due to the gallery’s communications manager, Louise Warmington, who brought over the old West Nicolson Street Avalanche sign that had been part of the Scottish music exhibition held there some time ago and I had never got round to collecting.
This is, of course, the sign that Shirley Manson from Garbage helped paint with her then artist boyfriend and later husband, Eddie Farrell, so I was relieved it had been saved from the builder’s skip.
More good news in the same part of town as bookshop Topping & Company also opened a couple of weeks ago on Blenheim Place. Very much a bookshop’s bookshop, I’ve not had a free day to visit yet, but I’ve heard nothing but good things.
Meanwhile, a stone’s throw away Edinburgh St James is starting to take shape and is now officially only a year away from opening its doors.
By then, of course, building work should have started on the Waverley Mall roof, so initially there will be little comparison between a building site and a shiny new building, but it will be interesting in the longer term to see if there is indeed some synergy between the two.
I’m not a fan of Underbelly’s generic Christmas market and their exaggerated claims of success, so it was interesting to hear this week that they had decided to double down on the inappropriateness of much of what they do by introducing silent discos to Princes Street Gardens.
It really does feel as if Underbelly organisers Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam sat around thinking that those that moan about their efforts need something new, so let’s have extra stalls and a bunch of idiots being silent very loudly.
Apologies, I should, of course, have given Charlie and Ed their full title of “old Etonians Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam”.
With Avalanche literally being over the road from the Christmas market this year, I’ll certainly keep a close eye on things.
Source of the Blue Nile
Big news on the music front as the reissue on vinyl of the Blue Nile’s first three albums later next month was announced. Limited to only 1000 of each, it looks like they will sell out immediately, so I do hope there is a rethink and more pressed.
A week before, on November 15, there is a live Josef K album The Scottish Affair (Part Two) and on November 1 there is a Jazzateers album and the release of the long lost Motorcycle Boy album, so a great month for followers of Scottish music.