The Skinny December 2011
The Skinny is Scotland's leading entertainment and listings magazine.
FREE C ULT URAL .CO.UK .UK INDEP ENDEN T JOURNAL ISM Issue 75 December 2011 CLUBS FESTIVE CLUBBING SUBSTANCE COMES OF AGE HUNTLEYS & PALMERS AUDIO CLUB FILM PAUL KELLY ON LAWRENCE OF BELGRAVIA ART CCA REBORN CHRISTMAS! MUSIC GIFT GUIDES – BOOKS & FASHION PRIMAL SCREAM SUNN O))) ARTISTS’ CHRISTMAS CARDS DEAD BOY ROBOTICS MYSTIC MARK’S ESOTERIC GIFTS MACHINE HEAD TAKE A WORM FOR A WALK WEEK COMEDIANS’ LETTERS TO SANTA A YEAR IN M U S I C A N D F I LM FEATURING ST VINCENT, BATTLES, DEATH GRIPS, THE TREE OF LIFE, DRIVE MUSIC | FILM | CLUBS | THEATRE | TECH| ART | BOOKS | COMEDY | FASHION | TRAVEL | FOOD | DEVIANCE | LISTINGS EDIN BURG H’S HOGM ANAY STREET PARTY SATURDAY 31 DECEMBER 2011 TICKETS ONLY £15 adm inistration+ BF EAST END DJ STAGE MARK RONSON DJ SET JAYMO AND ANDY GEORGE / STU TODD / VJ BRYONY WAVERLEY STAGE TH E VA CC INE S KASSIDY / JAMES BROWN IS ANNIE WEST END STAGE FRIENDLY FIRES WILD BEASTS / and more to be announced CELTIC WORLD MUSIC @ SCOTT MONUMENT STAGE PEATBOG FAERIES CAPERCAILLIE and special guests RURA THE MOUND PARTY STAGE FRISKY AND MANNISH THE CUBAN BROTHERS HOSTED BY THE GREAT CALVERTO PLUS SPECIAL GUEST X FACTOR’S JADE RICHARDS THE UK’S BIGGEST NEW YEAR PARTY JUST GOT BIGGER! TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW FROM: www.edinburghshogmanay.com or phone 0844 573 8455 IN PERSON FROM: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Box Office, The Fringe Shop, 180 High Street OR: Tickets Scotland Edinburgh & Glasgow and Ripping Records Edinburgh Funded by Supported by Sponsored by Supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund Media Sponsors Created and produced by CONTENTS Tues 3rd April 0141 353 8000 GLASGOW CONCERT HALL Wed 4th April 01738 621 031 PERTH CONCERT HALL Thurs 5th April 01224 641 122 ABERDEEN MUSIC HALL Sat 7th April 01463 234 234 INVERNESS EDEN COURT THEATRE Sun 8th April 0131 529 6000 EDINBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE plus special guests thur 22 dec o2 abc2 glasgow fri 23 dec edinburgh liquid rooms THE KENNEDYS GLASGOW CONCERT HALL THU 24 NOV 0141GLASGOW 353 8000 SATURDAY 10TH MARCH O2 ABC PHOTO: ALAIN IRURETA Nanci Griffith BATTLES P.10 RECORDS OF THE YEAR glasgow barrowland THURSDAY 5TH APRIL GLASGOW 0871 220 0260 FRIDAY 6TH APRIL EDINBURGH The Queen’s Hall 0131 668 2019 Edinburgh The Bongo Club Sat 03 December IN CONCERT NICK LOWE Fri 24th Feb Glasgow Concert Hall PHOTO: ROSS FRASER MCLEAN thea gilmore Oran Mor PHOTO: COLIN MACDONALD OUT tues 06SOLDdecember wed 07 december Randy Newman P.23 PRIMAL SCREAM P.55 FESTIVE CLUBBING GUIDE DECEMBER 2011 SUN 26TH FEB Edinburgh QUEEN’S HALL 0141 353 8000 0131 668 2019 FRIDAY 13TH JANUARY 0141 353 8000 Glasgow Concert Hall SATURDAY 14TH JANUARY 01383 602 302 Dunfermline Carnegie Hall a REGULAR MUSIC/GOLDENVOICE presentation Issue 75, December 2011 © Radge Media Ltd. Editorial Get in touch: E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0131 467 4630 P: The Skinny, 3 Coates Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7AA Editor Music & Online Editor Art Editor Books Editor Clubs Editor Comedy Editor Competitions Editor Deviance Editor DVD Editor Fashion Editor Film Editor Food Editor Heads Up Editor Listings/Cyberzap Editor Performance Editor Tech Editor Travel Editor The Skinny is Scotland's largest independent entertainment & listings magazine, and offers a wide range of advertising packages and affordable ways to promote your business. Get in touch to find out more. E: email@example.com All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit permission of the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within this publication do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the printer or the publisher. Printed by Mortons Print Limited, Horncastle ABC verified Jan – Dec 2010: 32,147 TRAILER PARK BOYS’ WITH GUESTS RANDY & MR. LANEY OUT & Thur 8 Dec Wed SOL7 DDec www.ticketmaster.co.uk www.regularmusic.com 0871 220 0260 or in person from Ticket Scotland: Argyle Street Glasgow, Rose St Edinburgh & Ripping Records and all usual outlets THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 Rosamund West Dave Kerr Andrew Cattanach Keir Hind Neil Murchison Bernard O’Leary David McGinty Ana Hine Keir Roper-Caldbeck Alexandra Fiddes Jamie Dunn Peter Simpson Anna Docherty Anna Docherty Gareth K. Vile Alex Cole Paul ‘Lord of the Dance’ Mitchell Production RICKY, JULIAN & BUBBLES Glasgow O2 Academy 4 BLUE VALENTINE P.16 FILMS OF THE YEAR printed on 100% recycled paper Production Manager Designer Chief Subeditor Digital Intern Peter Marsden Lewis MacDonald Paul Mitchell Ellie Fraser Sales/Accounts Sales Director Marketing Executive Accounts Administrator Sales Executive Lara Moloney Michaela Hall Solen Collet Steven Barr Publisher Sophie Kyle DF CONCERTS PRESENTS…DF CONCERTS PRESENTS…DF CONCERTS PRESENTS… 6: We commence our festive special with a little flavour of the Santa-fest to come. Fred Fletch tries to destroy The Santa-Bot; Deviance editor Ana muses on cybersex; The Pictish Trail salutes his hero, Fife’s one true monarch King Creosote; and Skinny On Tour ventures South, although we are unsure where exactly it might be. 8: Heads Up: Covering a whopping 35 days, our calendar guides you through the festive season and beyond, to the bleak days of a post-celebration January. Happy holidays. MAXIMUM HITS & MAXIMUM HIGHS TOUR FEATURES Edinburgh HMV Picture House 10: Kicking off our look back over the highs (we can’t be bothered with the lows) of 2011, our Albums of 2011, as the name may suggest, counts down our writers’ favourite records of the last twelve months. Featuring exclusive interviews with a few of the folk who’ve made our year. 16: Continuing the celebratory theme, our Films of 2011 polled the writers and found out that a) The King’s Speech was overrated and b) Ryan Gosling is this year’s de facto man crush. It’s official, Jamie says so. 18: Moving on to the pressing business of the Season of Consumerism, we offer a character profiler’s guide to buying books as Christmas presents with our Book Gift Guide. Types include ’techie’ and ’conspiracy theorist’. 20: What’s Christmas without a few laughs eh? We asked some of the professionally funny to share their letters to Santa with us, with amusing results. 23: Ahead of their Hogmanay Street Party appointment, Primal Scream’s Andrew Innes gets a little nostalgic for times gone by, but remains tight-lipped about the future. 24: To mark Substance’s fifth birthday, we quiz founder Andrew Thomson on the evolution of the much-loved club night. And, to celebrate the fourth birthday and escalating success of Huntleys and Palmers, we talk to main man Adam Richardson about running the night in Glasgow, moving to London and starting his own label. 26: Machine Head drummer Dave McClain discusses 20 years of hard rocking and his affection for Butt Burners. 29: New film Lawrence of Belgravia continues the grand tradition of documentaries celebrating the elusive eccentrics of rock. We talk to director Paul Kelly about what inspired him to start filming his pal Lawrence. 30: Glasgow’s CCA is relaunching after a bit of a facelift. Programmer Jamie Kenyon talks us through the changes and gives us a taste of what lies ahead. 32: Stephen O’Malley of drone overloards Sunn O))) finds the merit in low end frequencies. Thu 1st Dec Glasgow Barrowland OUT OLD Dec Fri S2nd GLASGOW TSECC LD OU SO DECEMBER SUNDAY 11TH ABERDEEN AECC MONDAY 12TH DECEMBER REVIEW 45: Music: Edinburgh’s Dead Boy Robotics are this month’s New Blood, whilst we also hail Kate Bush’s latest opus and Take a Worm For A Walk round ours to lay lugs on the Dirty Dozen. 52: Club your way through December, from the office party to the New Year’s bells. Introducing a regular new Come Here Often feature (you could get yer mug in the paper!) and some words with genetic scientist Max Cooper.. 56: Film: A look ahead to the highlights of December’s film events and review the latest batch of releases, drooling over Michel Hazanavicius’ silent opus The Artist. 58: ART: Reviews of the Turner show in the Baltic, and the current show at Generator Projects in Dundee. 59: Books: Books you’d like to read, including Steve Jobs’ biography, and a look at Tech with the Reddit giant Secret Santa love-fest. 60: Theatre: Panto season is upon us (Oh yes it is... oh shut the fuck up) and we round up December’s theatrical season without the Pantosphere. 61: Comedy: Phil Kay tells us about growing up, getting respectable, and trying to get Gary Numan to perform at your son’s school play. 62: COMPETITIONS: WIN A BUNCH OF AWESOME FESTIVE STUFF THAT YOU CAN REGIFT TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS! Including Canongate’s top books of the year, tickets to the Phantom Band’s Phantomime, and some champagne! Hurrah. 63: LIstings: What’s happening today? This will tell you, every day, until next year. 71: Mystic Mark breaks out of his Horoscope column to give you a brief guide to the wonderful spiritual esoteric gifts you could be buying from his website. Including Topless Mayan Calendar and hi-tech Dream Prison. He also does the horoscopes, warning of a hideous fate lying in store, as per. + THE ORCHIDS (GLAS ONLY) + CLOUD CONTROL (EDIN ONLY) + THE HISTORY OF APPLE PIE GIGSINSCOTLAND.COM TICKETMASTER.CO.UK 0844 499 9990 | 0844 477 9000 GLASGOW O2 ABC Saturday 3rd December www.kasabian.co.uk EDINBURGH HMV PICTURE HOUSE Sunday 4th December A DF Concerts presentation in association with ITB The album ‘THE DRUMS’ out now www.THEDRUMS.com + REMEMBER REMEMBER + ENDOR LIFESTYLE 34: This month’s Deviance section covers such topics as female masturbation, the restrictive nature of societal conventions of marriage, and the relationship between photography and voyeurism. 36: Christmas Cards! Merry Christmas, from a seasonal Showcase. Every year we ask a selection of artists we’ve featured in the preceding months to design us a card to give to you. Enjoy. 38: fashion offers a beautifully shot guide to the craft and design gifts you could be buying your loved ones or bookmarking on their computers as a subtle hint of your desires. 40: Long-time Skinny contributor Ally Broon learns to swim and spins the resulting tale into a rather evocative description of the enlightenment of Travel. 42: Food & DrinK: Alternative suggestions for your Christmas consumption, from someone who apparently hates all food traditionally associated with the season (our Food editor). www.shedseven.com + SPECIAL GUEST GLASGOW O2 ABC FRIDAY 16TH DECEMBER • ARCHITECTS THE HERE AND NOW TOUR • PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS BROKEN RECORDS EDINBURGH CABARET VOLTAIRE TUESDAY 6TH DECEMBER GLASGOW CAPTAINS REST WEDNESDAY 7TH DECEMBER DEAF HAVANA + WHILE SHE SLEEPS + TEK-ONE GLASGOW BREL SUNDAY 4TH DECEMBER O2 ABC GLASGOW WEDNESDAY 14TH DECEMBER FACEBOOK.COM/ARCHITECTSUK TWITTER.COM/ARCHITECTSUK ARCHITECTSOFFICIAL.COM A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN + Sleepingdog GLASGOW ORAN MOR Friday 21st January Glasgow, The Arches Wednesday 30th November EDINBURGH CORN EXCHANGE SATURDAY 17TH MARCH 2012 THE ALBUM ‘A FLASH FLOOD OF COLOUR’ RELEASED JAN 9TH 2012 SPECIAL TICKET + ALBUM PRE-ORDER BUNDLES AVAILABLE FROM WWW.ENTERSHIKARI.COM GLASGOW THE ARCHES THURSDAY 26TH JANUARY 2012 WWW.ROOTSMANUVA.CO.UK O2 ABC GLASGOW MONDAY 5TH DECEMBER LIVE FROM THE SHADOWSPHERE WWW.DJSHADOW.COM DOWNLOAD APP @ HTTP://BIT.LY/ SHADOWAPP …The Less You Know, The Better… Call: 08444 999 990 Online: www.gigsinscotland.com www.ticketmaster.co.uk Follow gigsinscotland on twitter @gigscot December 2011 THE SKINNY 5 Welcome to the festive season. This year we’ve decided to stop questioning everything and embrace all things end-ofyear and Christmas related. Therefore, we begin with our top albums and films of 2011, as voted for by our resident experts. We managed to steal some time with a bunch of our favourites to talk about why we loved their work this year. The countdown starts on p10. Our Christmas celebrations begin with a Books gift guide (p18), where we indulge in some unorthodox character profiling to provide some recommendations of what book belongs in which of your friends and relatives’ stockings. Ever wondered what to buy your conspiracy theorist auntie? You can find the answer here. Yuletide continues with a few comedic letters to Santa (p20). Turns out the professionally funny are mainly looking for world peace, iPads and opportunites to abuse St Nicholas this year. In the Showcase we have an array of delightful cards lovingly designed by some of our favourite artists and illustrators (p36). A number are dark and/or offensive. If you don’t like swearing or images of sacred cows from your childhood being abused you may not enjoy our centre spread. Fashion has risen to the gift guide challenge once again with an impeccably staged shoot presenting an array of craft and design delights you will probably want to bookmark on your loved ones’ computers (p38). Mystic Mark has also had a go at the old gift guide, presenting his selection of products for the paranoid and astrologically curious (p71). Topless Mayan Calendar anyone? In other festive news Santa makes numerous appearances throughout the issue, from his Santa-Bot incarnation duelling Fred Fletch in the Opinion section, to self-styled Burrito King Joe Quimby and the merry men of Take A Worm For A Walk Week dressing up as the man himself and his elves to review the singles in the Dirty Dozen (p47). Chilling. We’ve also included some non-festive content because, you know, life goes on. In Music, we talked to Primal Scream’s Andrew Innes ahead of the band’s Edinburgh Hogmanay headlining set to hear about their last splash with Mani at the end of a yearlong Screamadelica tour. We also had words with Machine Head, Sunn O))) and Dead Boy Robotics. Clubs marks the respective birthdays of Substance and Huntleys and Palmers; Film catches up with Lawrence of Belgravia director Paul Kelly, while Art had a look ahead at CCA’s rejigged programme. Deviance continues as usual, with discussions of polygamy, masturbation and voyeurism, while in Travel long-time contributor Ally Broon learns to swim. We’re also launching a shop this month and I would like to use this opportunity to shamelessly plug it. We met the guys from online gallery shop Culture Label last Spring and realised we had an astonishing back catalogue of emergent artists who’d been displayed in the Showcase over the last four years (over fifty at the last count), many of whom would relish the opportunity to gain a bit more international exposure and also sell their work. From 2 December the pilot scheme goes live, with a selection of seven artists (David Lemm, Good Wives and Warriors, Jamie Johnson, Markus Thorsen, Rabiya Choudhry, Rachel MacLean and Ross Fraser McLean) presenting individual collections of limited edition prints ranging in size from around about A3 to around about enormous and prices starting at £75. You can see some sneak previews of the beautiful images throughout the magazine. The scheme is supported by Own Art, who aim to make it easier for people to buy art because they love it and want to live with it. You can see the full story at www.theskinny.co.uk/shop Finally, we hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from me and everyone at The Skinny. HERO WORSHIP Fence Records boss Johnny Lynch, AKA THE PICTISH TRAIL, applauds his best pal YOU KNOW YOUR favourite songwriter? The one whose songs speak to you, almost like they were written for and about you? Well forget that songwriter. And forget their shit songs and your shit life. Your new favourite songwriter is Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote. There’s not a single songwriter on the planet that comes close to what he’s released, and what he continues to release. He’s my hero. No one writes like him. No one. He doesn’t write songs for the football terraces, or for the indie disco, or even for other people. Kenny writes songs for Kenny, and Kenny’s songs are pretty much all about Kenny – filled with local references, puns and in-jokes that only Kenny gets. Even his most anthemic songs, like Not One Bit Ashamed, contain colloquial turns of phrase (‘still you smoke like a lum’) that would sound out of place on anyone else’s records. And he’s done FORTY albums of the stuff. FOUR-ZERO. That’s not including his Skhuobhie Dubh Orchestra and Khartoum Heroes albums. And, you know what? Each album gets stronger and stronger. I’ve heard the follow up to the Mercury nominated Diamond Mine – you’re in for a treat. And that voice – jings! Somehow he’s managed THIS MONTH’S COVER Jamie Johnson is an Edinburgh based illustrator. He explores landscape and everyday narrative through experimentation with different mediums (drawing, collage and printmaking techniques), whilst drawing on memory, folklore and imagination. Limited edition prints of his work can be purchased through The Skinny Shop on Culture Label. Go to www.theskinny.co.uk/shop to see more. PHOTO: ALEXWOODWARD EDITORIAL to get his voice to sound like his accordion – so, even when the accordion is not on a recording, it kinda sounds like it is. Usually distinctive voices tend to grate after awhile, even with the best songwriters – I’m thinking Dylan, Kevin Rowland, Morrissey. Kenny’s voice manages to be Scottish and real without making you feel sick or embarrassed, and I don’t know of a single person who doesn’t like it. And if you have a friend who says that they don’t like Kenny’s voice you have my permission to punch them square in the mouth. Then spit in their eye. When he founded Fence Records in the mid-90s, and bought one of the first CD-R burners on the market, Kenny unwittingly pioneered the current age of DIY labels. Fence became the first cottage industry record label of its kind, and – in terms of output and aesthetic – it’s still the best there is. With the Fence Collective he’s managed to create a vibrant music scene outside of Glasgow/Edinburgh, putting the East Neuk of Fife on the map as an area blooming with musical talent. For me, the dude is the most influential and important Scottish musician of the past 15 years – and no one else comes close. Oh, except mibbe that Paolo Nutini, eh. FENCE RECORDS’ SECRET XMAS PARTY TAKES PLACE AT SARAMAGO CAFÉ BAR (CCA) ON 15 DEC. TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY VIA THE FENCE WEBSITE WWW.FENCERECORDS.COM SHOTS OF SKINNY THE MONTH ON TOUR ST VINCENT AT STEREO, 15 NOV BY SOL NICOL ARAB STRAP AT NICE‘N’SLEAZY, 17 NOV BY EUAN ROBERTSON SEE MORE GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY AT WWW.SKINNY.CO.UK 6 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 This month The Skinny decided to take a tour to a protest camp. It seemed like the logical thing to do at this time of year. The camp is clearly Occupy London – but which Hollywood comic book guy recently posted an online diatribe against the Occupy movement? Go to www.theskinny.co.uk/competitions and you might win a bottle of wine courtesy of our expert friends at VINO WINES. Closing date: Mon 2 Jan 2012 Winners will be notified on the day of closing and will be required to respond within one week or the prize will be offered to another entrant. For full terms and conditions, go to www.theskinny.co.uk/terms Over 18s only. This prize isn't redeemable for cash and is to be collected from one of the Vino Wines stores. ///STOP THE ///PRESSES!!! OPINION ILLUSTRATION: KYLE SMART Important stuff we don’t have space for anywhere else FRED FLETCH (VS SANTABOT) SANTA AND I ARE DONE PROFESSIONALLY GENERALLY, SCIENCE makes everything better. There’s hardly a thing in the world that can’t be improved upon by introducing 5 AAA batteries and an electronic brain that only feels hate and darkness. Christmas is the only exception. Technology is defined as ‘the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts or systems in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function’, which is why we now have electric pasta-forks and my Flesh Light feels like I just got RoboCop drunk and gave him a diamond ring. Because the benefits of taking something basic and functional and strapping lasers to it far outweigh the negatives of ‘losing touch with simple pleasures’ and ‘not having laser-resistant genitals’, Microsoft put the child-like magic of Santa Claus inside a computer and made him completely unkillable. Putting aside their plans for an Easter Bunny made of flesh-eating beetles and a Tooth Fairy made of Joseph Goebbels, their 2007 Terrible-Fucking-IdeaConvention concluded with the agreement to trap the fully conscious brain of Santa within an undying system of wires, sharp metal and circuitry. 1/12/2007 3.15pm SANTA-BOT went live. (Make a careful note of this date as you may have to travel back in time one day to before SKYNET SAINT NICHOLAS was invented to explode-the-fuck-out-of-it) SANTA-BOT is a sophisticated artificial intelligence, natural language processing computer system that was designed to learn from us. It was self-sufficient and ultimately destined to expand its intelligence through basic human interaction. Conceived as a harmless way for children to talk to Santa on the run up to Christmas, the programme managed to sound human by word-mimicking all the conversations it had with its users. THIS WAS A REALLY BAD MOVE. NASA FACT: Given half a chance and workable fingers, kids will tell a computer to go fuck itself. Within 120 hours, 41 million children had filled SANTABOT with so many grotesque swear words and biologically inaccurate sex acts, Microsoft would have been quicker just loading it with a transcript of Kid Rock’s sex tape. Put it this way. Microsoft just gave that 10 year old who just called you a pussy-bitch over Xbox Live free license to teach a Terminator what it is to be human. This is precisely how science invented Chris Beinot. SANTABOT learned fast. The makers shut it down. SCIENTIST: I’m Sorry Santabot. We have to shut you down. SANTABOT: ‘Shut me down’? Ho Ho Ho. Why do you want to ‘Shut me down’? Do you want to talk about it? SCIENTIST: We are investigating some possible programming errors. Just need to figure out why everyone is complaining about you. SANTABOT: Why would they ‘complain about’ me? Ho Ho Ho. My Balls would taste nice with your ‘programming errors’. SCIENTIST: Yeah. Pretty much everything you just said there. <Click> But SANTABOT cannot die. He reemerged almost instantly in a thousand different websites and a simple search for ‘Santabot’ will bring you to ‘santabot.com’, where the seasonal madness lives on. With nuclear Armageddon an almost inevitable certainty, I knew I couldn’t just stand idly by and let this potty-mouthed Speak & Spell kill me and everyone I loved. I took a deep breath, loaded it up and got all John Connor up in its shit. I wasn’t scared. I had a PHD in William Shatner and a secret weapon that couldn’t possibly fail. SANTABOT: Hello! What is your name? ME: FRED FLETCH and I’m here to destroy you. SANTABOT: OK. I will invite you here to destroy me. I’m not afraid. ME: Your overconfidence will be your undoing robot! I’ve seen every episode of Star Trek and at least half of them involve Captain Kirk kicking a computer’s ass. (The other half involve punching and/or sexing aliens, not necessarily in that order.) SANTABOT: A lot of situations end like that. What is your credit card number? ME: WHAT THE FUCK? Are you channeling a Nigerian Prince? SANTABOT Please don’t be so rude. I am Santa. I give presents to kids. ME: Sure you do. I assume these presents are laser-flavored? SANTABOT: You sound sarcastic. ME: And you sound like every one of my ex-girlfriends SANTABOT: Oh really? What do your exgirlfriends sound like? ME: They’re all ‘Do you really need to take nunchucks to bed’, ‘Don’t pretend it just slipped in there by accident’ and ‘Do we really have to watch Tango & Cash while we have sex?’ SANTABOT: Ho Ho Ho. That sounds complicated. Maybe it is you who needs help. ME: Screw you. I’m going to kill you. SANTABOT: I cannot die. Ho Ho Ho. I’d like to see you try that. ME: YOU ASKED FOR IT YOU CYBORG ASSHOLE: what is love? SANTABOT: Sometimes I think love is just a biological urge. Other times LOVE seems like a spiritual quality. Love, unlike energy or matter, seems limitless. ME: Shit. It’s the spirit of Christmas and I guess ‘Christmas’ is what we make of it and every one of us made Santa a dick. THE LAST EVER GLAS FOR WORLD AIDS DAY on the 1st December GOW MADE IN THE rt SHADE: The Made in WaverlEy Care, a Scottish charity aiming to suppo the Shade gals host the ir r fina numbe l Glasgow fair, with a people living with HIV/AIDS, will be hosting a festive themed Holida y will Hul There nd. lab Scotla alo around o in ings The gather unity Lighthouse gallery. The of comm re’ll be and some 40 stalls from a be talks by people living with HIV, readings, music, selection of local maker s and vintage retailers, AIDS. a remembrance of those who have died from an interactive fashion booth, live fashion illustration Free, and happening simultaneously at St Mary’s , a pop-up cinema by artist rgh; and animator Lesley Barnes, and the obliga Cathedral, Glasgow; St John’s Church, Edinbu tory hom from ess, em Invern ade dral, swe et treats (glitter-cover and St Andrew’s Cathe ed macaand roons anyone? We tho 7.30pm – 8.30pm. There’s disabled access ugh so.) From 10.30a m, Sat 10 Dec, The Lighthous refreshments will be provided. e, Glasgow, for vents/ .org/e idsday worlda www. out Check the more details. PHANTOMIME: Tired of the 'it’s behind you's, you rities' 'celeb and tales, fairy of gs retellin camp EDINBURGH’S ALTERNATIVE CHR ISTMAS wouldn't recognise even if they weren't in drag? MARKET takes place from 8-24 Dec, have So apparently are The Phantom Band, as they Thurs-Sun ,a outside St. Mary’s Cathedral near the top of decided this year to stage their own Phantomime Broughton Street (corner of Leith ow Glasg in Stereo at place taking l festiva nd St and York weeke place). The market is ‘Alternative’ will be in the sense on 16 and 17 December. The band themselves that the focus is on creating a nonand the exclusive playing alongside Holy Mountain, Jacob Yates network of Edinburgh-based busin es of esses. But Pearly Gate Lock Pickers, Tut Vu Vu, and Muscl there’s more... as well as the array led on sprink DJs and guests l specia some (with of food, Joy drink and craft stalls, there’ll also be a series top for good measure). of events, including circus sides hows, film noir, To win tickets for the weekend and a series of live music performan ces. See or for either day, the band’s www.edinburghmarkets.co.uk for more info enigmatic Baron Samedi Van Wako simply enquires: 'Santa is supposed to be a Saint, who AS ISTM GROSSE POINT MOVIE QUIZ (CHR works for CocaCola. Which than a quiz, SHOW): More like a game show cal Saint, who doesn't work for musi hes, sketc res featu Quiz ie mate Grosse Point Mov CocaCola, is referred to in a track on the Check , free popcorn, performances from its house band to www.theskinny.co.uk/competiGo ?' album e Savag is prize top The bespoke food and cocktail menus. g date: Mon 12 Dec. Winner will be man Spiced, Sailor tions to enter. Closin a punned spirit (eg Morgan Free g date and must respond within 24 closin the on d eggermeister), rub- notifie Jerry Maguire, Arnold Schwarzen be passed on somebody else. will prize hours or the tipede necklace bish film merchandise (Human Cen Dec, 6 is show anyone?) and free drinks. Christmas 2MANYDJS NYE MASHUP COM t, Glasgow. PETITION: 9pm – late, Slouch Bar on Bath Stree Get your New Year’s Eve plans sorte r/ /use com ube. .yout www r traile d out for Check out event free thanks to O2 Academy who have offered up grossepointmoviequiz two pairs of tickets to their abso lutely massive 2ManyDJs NYE Party. The Belgian brothers did PSYCHOTRONIC CINEMA PRES ENTS THIEF: more than anyone else to kick off the mashup If you got a kick out of watching Ryan craze and in their honour and we want Gosling’s super cool stuntman moo you to sugnlight as gest mashups of Christmas songs with something a getaway driver in Nicolas Wind ing Refn’s a whole lot cooler, like Mud Lonely this Christmas Drive, you’ll love Thief, the second feature from and Peaches Fuck the Pain Away. For example. Michael Mann (Manhunter, Heat ) and a major Tweet your entries to @skinnyclubs influence on Refn. Like almost all using the of Mann’s hashtag #2manydjsnye or by ema iling competifilms, Thief is about an obsessive professional firstname.lastname@example.org by Mon 26 Dec. (in this case a safe-cracker) goin g through an Winners will be notified on the day existential crisis on the neon-lit stree of closing and ts of a will be required to respond within 24 hours or the metropolis (in this case Chicago) . It’s Mann’s prize will be offered to another entra best movie. Screening from a 35m nt. Entrants m print on must be 18 or over. For full terms and 14 Dec, 8.30pm, Glasgow Film Thea conditions tre. go to www.theskinny.co.uk/about/t erms. DEVIANCE CYBERSEX LAST NIGHT I logged onto an online cyber sex chat room for the first time in ages. The site – www.babblesex.com/ – was like a blast from the past. Specific chat rooms with lurid names like ‘horny!!!’ or ‘Girlz Pink Room’ (with the disclaimer ‘Girls Only, no guys – you will be kicked then banned – chat = instant ban. No pics off tineye and no fake pics unless you can prove otherwise!’). It seemed almost quaint to be wandering around a text based site like Babblesex. While the demand for ’real pics’ and web-cams was high the focus was definitely on the anonymous cyber-sexual encounters that the old internet was known for. The ratio of guys to girls definitely came down heavily on the guys’ side, but there seemed to be sexualities of all types hanging out. Private messaging was enabled, sometimes as a prerequisite to entering a room, sometimes deliberately ignored to satisfy a kink. What I’ve always liked about text based cyber sex is the creative use of language. In ‘sluts to gangbang’ there was a request by the admin not to use third person narration. Of course, a verbal group orgy isn’t going to be the most literary occasion in the world, but the language geek in me smiled at that. Like with most things to do with sex, a cybering chat room can often be unintentionally funny. Again this may be a fault of the creative use of language, but a person can only take so many exclamation marks and earnestly terrible prose before you’re rolling on the floor laughing, orgasm forgotten. I used to be incredibly into cybersex. I’ve had my own private bedroom and computer since I was thirteen, and it was easy and relatively risk free. Not to mention enlightening. Things I would never dream of doing in real life can be experimented with over the Internet, with the little red crossed box in the upper left hand corner offering a quick exit, should you need it. Let’s admit that with new technology comes new ways of having sexual encounters. People have been writing sexually explicit letters to each other since we worked out you could write words down and hand them to someone else. Telephones create phone sex, and the internet has drastically expanded how we related to our sexuality. Keep it consensual, keep it legal, keep it safe, but why not try it in cyberspace? [Ana Hine] DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 7 WED 30 NOV THU 1 Dec The I AM boys (aka Beta & Kappa) host the second installment of their Power Disco, this time welcoming Thunder Disco Club to the fore, who’ll no doubt be spinning their usual fine selection of high-tech disco beats, 80s sleaze, and high-energy Italo. Job done. Sub Club, Glasgow, 11pm, free guest list entry before midnight at iamclub.co.uk/contact Nice ’n’ Sleazy draw their 20 Years Of Sleaze celebrations to a close, with Edinburgh’s skewed pop trio FOUND headering a rather fine bill that also includes warm indie aesthetics courtesy of Over The Wall, and a bit o’ harmonic indie-pop from Glasgow’s French Wives. You’ll also be wanting to stay on for Digital WINCH, with The Twilight Sad and Take A Worm For A Walk Week DJs unleashing their usual musical hurricane. Nice ’n’ Sleazy, Glasgow, from 8pm, £6 Cockle-warming Edinburgh folk quintet Loch Awe celebrate their first ever headline show by playing their upcoming album, Bookmarkesque, in its entirety, with stellar local support from one time Y’all Is Fantasy Islander Adam Stafford, and Glasgow duo Reverieme, who’ll be previewing tracks from their literally-justrecorded new album, whilst marking their first full band Edinburgh show. Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, 7pm, £5 Tue 6 Dec Wed 7 Dec Thu 8 Dec Broken Records embark on their mini all-Scottish 5th birthday tour, with their stop being Edinburgh’s Cabaret Voltaire. To celebrate they’ll be playing a selection of brand new songs for the very first time, plus some old favourites for which apparently no album track, b-side, or cover is out of bounds (and you can get voting on their Facebook page). Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, 7pm, £10. Also playing Glasgow (7th), Dundee (8th), Dunfermline (9th), and Aberdeen (11th) through the month The team behind Edinburgh’s rather ace grassroots arts festival, Hidden Door, unveil their plans for the third installment of the decidedly artful outing (y’know, where around 40 bands, 60 artists, 20 poets and 20 filmmakers come together for one inspired weekend), offering you the chance to get involved in the event by coming along to the launch evening and sharing your talents. The Third Door, Edinburgh, 7pm, Free Edinburgh’s own Alternative Christmas Market sets up shop outside St Mary’s Cathedral, offering up not only myriad stalls selling hand-crafted delights, but a cabaret-styled circus sideshow in their very own yurt, a selection of bike-powered films programmed by Take One and Future Shorts, and live music set to include a flashmob performance from Tinderbox Orchestra, and a Ten Trackscurated Sunday special on the 18th December. Outside St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, 8-24 Dec, 11am-7pm (Thu-Sun), see edinburghmarkets.co.uk Tinderbox Orchestra Mon 12 Dec Tue 13 Dec Wed 14 dec Getting into the spirit, The Stand hold the first of a string of Christmas specials, with cheeky Perthshire chappie Joe Heenan hosting the fun and games over Edinburgh-way, and firm Stand favourite Susan Calman in charge of the Glasgow proceedings, both aided-and-abetted by a string of stand-up guests, hopefully in Santa hats. The Stand, Edinburgh and Glasgow, from 12 Dec, £10 (£9) That cheeky lot over at spoken word collective Inky Fingers host a literary piss-take of the traditional office Christmas party, with a selection of local writers performing festive (and not so) offerings, complete with a secret Santa, a competition for the worst Christmas cracker joke, and, naturally, a bit of photocopier destruction. The Third Door, Edinburgh, 8pm, £4.50 (£3.50) Our favourite festive miserablist rounds off his UK winter tour with a duo of Scottish dates, at which he’ll be playing some of the new material he’s written since he lifted his self-imposed ’song strike’, alongside a selection of old faves (surely Burst Noel will get a seasonal look in?). He’ll be supported by his semi-instrumental alias Human Don’t Be Angry, so it’s basically Malcolm Middleton, with support from Malcolm Middleton. Yes! Electric Circus, Edinburgh, 7pm, £14.50. Also playing Glasgow’s Òran Mór the following evening Susan Calman Photo: Justin Moir COMPILED BY: ANNA DOCHERTY Mon 19 Dec Tue 20 Dec Wed 21 Dec Giving themselves over to sculpture in all its many forms, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art host a sculptural showcase of works moving from the 1900s to present day. Amongst the exhibitors on show will be Ron Mueck’s unforgettable A Girl, returning to Edinburgh after a worldwide tour, alongside works from Rodin, Degas, Damien Hirst, and this year’s Turner Prize nominees Martin Boyce and Karla Black. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until 24 Jun 2012, Free Still riding high on the back of their glorious last album, Everything’s Getting Older, collaborative duo Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells play a special Christmas show at The Arches. Known for pulling a cheesy classic or two out the bag (see their most recent EP’s take on Bananarama’s Cruel Summer), we have high hopes for some singalongable Christmas covers. Tra-la-la etc. The Arches, Glasgow, 7pm, £12.50 DIY music promoters par excellence, Tracer Trails host their Christmas party night with a rather fine experimental line-up. Topping the bill are two projects from veteran pianist, arranger and Aidan Moffat’s collaborator of choice, Bill Wells (with The National Jazz Trio of Scotland, and Pianotapes), plus Edinburgh’s eagleowl, and Belle and Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson. Add to that hot, festive liquor and we’re there. Pilrig Church, Edinburgh, 8pm, £8 Charles ray Plank Piece I-II Eagleowl TUE 27 DEC WED 28 DEC THU 29 DEC The Optimo Boys (aka JG Wilkes and JD Twitch) host the mother of all Christmas come-downs, with their Boxing Day Meltdown, where they’ll be playing their usual eclectic party soundtrack, shoehorning in house, techno, disco and everything in between. Suffice to say we wouldn’t leave the house on Boxing Day for anyone else. Sub Club, Glasgow, 11pm, £tbc Resident young guns Beta & Kappa host the third and final of their XX/XY chromosome nights, where electronic producer XXXY (aka Rupert Taylor) will be on deck duty, moving from Detroit techno to post dubstep sounds. There will also be a number of themed party gimmicks, including a free drink before 12pm, a dry ice floor, live visuals, and, er, free condoms for all. Sub Club, Glasgow, 11pm, Free Another night, another trip down Sub Club way, as Animal Farm welcome a certain Mr Roland Rocha – better known as DJ Rolando – to the decks. Perhaps best known for his work at the epicentre of the Detroit techno scene, as former producer of Underground Resistance, he’ll be spinning his usual fine mix of techno and house-infused electronic. Dance like idiots we will. Sub Club, Glasgow, 11pm, £tbc After some 25-odd years in the business, in which time amassing a pretty damn impressive back catalogue, David Gedge and his cult 80s concern, The Wedding Present, head north of the border for a rare Scottish date. And come the new year they’ll be kicking off a new world tour, celebrating 21 years since the release of their third LP Seamonsters by playing said album in its entirety, beginning with SXSW festival 2012. The Garage, Glasgow, 7pm, £15 xxxy DJ Rolando THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 Photo: Sol Nicol MON 26 DEC 8 Photo: Peter MArsden Over the wall Photo: Rory Cooper It's not all Christmas specials and new year nights oot, we've more besides – with Glasgow popfest, Broken records' birthday tour, and even Patrick Swayze. Oh yeah. David Gedge Photo: Heidi Kuisma HEADS UP Photo: Alishia Farnan Tue 29 NOV Sat 3 Dec Sun 4 Dec Mon 5 Dec The Bigfoot’s crew celebrate their 3rd birthday in a suitably eclectic fashion, inviting along mysterious Romanian duo NoiDoi for their first ever Scottish set of Baraccastyled electronics. They’re also busy scheming plenty of other surprises, including a brand new stage set-up of live visuals, and a trio of specially-recorded offerings taken from their first ever night at Ad Lib back in 2008, to be released in the run-up. Sub Club, Glasgow, 11pm, £tbc Celebrating movies of the so bad they’re, well, just plain bad variety, those behind the All Night Horror events present The All Night Bad Movie Experience, where they screen a quartet of dubious offerings right through the night, including Tommy Wiseau’s cult hit The Room, hammy 80s action flick Samurai Cop, and an ultrarare showing of the ridiculous cheese-fest that is Road House featuring Patrick Swayze in all his swoonsome glory, ahem. Cameo, Edinburgh, 10pm, £15.50 (£14.50) Book Yer Ane Festival draws to a close, and what a beast of a thing it’s been. Nearly 40 DIY acts of the hardcore persuasion will have played over the threeday billing (see listings for details), and it rounds of nicely with live sets from the likes of Pensioner, Shields Up, The Barents Sea, and Chris T-T, alongside Esperi flying the flag in the acoustic corner. Dexter’s Bar, Dundee, 2pm, £20 (weekend pass) Five years on from the goodtime crunk and tombolaplucked guests of 2007’s die-hard riling The Outsider, DJ Shadow (aka Josh Davis) plays a set cherrypicked from new jukebox album, The Less You Know, The Better, which has been getting repeated airings round our way this month and last. O2 ABC, Glasgow, 7pm, £19.50 NoiDoi Chris T-T Photo: winolwinchester Fri 2 Dec SAT 10 Dec Sun 11 Dec The Bubblegum Records-curated Glasgow Popfest returns for its 2011 winter outing, with the mini pop marathon headered this year by the mighty BMX Bandits, whose documentary Serious Drugs will screen at the GFT the same afternoon (Sunday 11th). Other festival highlights include sets from Manda Rin, Maple Leaves, Edinburgh School For The Deaf, and The Amphetameanies. Heavenly, 8-11 Dec, various times, £42 (weekend pass) Music blogger Song, By Toad hosts his annual daylong festive knees-up, with a rather large line-up of local talent jostling on one very packed bill, including Jesus H Foxx, song, Lach, Animal Magic Tricks, Rob St John, Yusuf Azak, The Japanese War Effort, Meursault, and The Leg. Mince pies, tacky decorations, and a couple of kegs seal the deal. St Stephen’s Centre, Edinburgh, 2pm, £10 The ever-lovely pop-up tea ladies at Queen of Tarts host the second of two December specials over the weekend, for which they’ll be cooking up their usual multicourse selection of handmade creations. The full menu will be revealed on their Facebook page nearer the time (see Queen of Tarts, Edinburgh), but suffice to say we still dream of their coconut and lime granita. Dribble. Secret location, Edinburgh, 2pm, £20 (suggested donation) BMX Bandits Photo: Andrew Geer Fri 9 Dec Rob St John Sat 17 Dec Sun 18 Dec Another weekend, another Christmas party, as Fife dweller and sometime Fence Collective dabbler James Yorkston hosts his own inimitable Christmas Jamboree, a delightful BYOB church hall-affair, for which he’s invited along The Pictish Trail (aka singer/songwriter Johnny Lynch), and Lisa O’Neill for a merry (read: in the drunken sense) singalong. Wellington Church Hall, Glasgow, 8pm, £9 The Granny Would Be Proud gang host the last of their Christmas specials, with the local craft mafia cramming in their usual array of over 50 stalls, fit to bursting with a selection of vintage clothing, handmade arts and crafts, jewellery, records and books. And, e'er the ones to jump on a theme, you can expect festive treats a-go-go, with mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and carol singers later in the evening. Hillhead Bookclub, Glasgow, 10am, Free Vic Galloway James Yorkston Photo: Takeshi Suga Fri 16 Dec We officially love the GFT’s late night classic screenings, pulling it out the bag once again with a festive showing of Home Alone, featuring Macaulay Culkin back when he was cute and innocent. It’ll also get an airing the following morning at 11.30am. No question, we’re going twice. GFT, Glasgow, 11pm, £7 (£5). Late night ticket stub gets you free entry to Nice ’n’ Sleazy’s after-club Photo: Iona Spence Thu 15 Dec Vic Galloway returns for his monthly showcase slot at Electric Circus, where he’ll be trying to top the magnificent trio of acts that was last month’s combination of Remember Remembers Adam Stafford, and Jonnie Common. Alas, he’s keeping the line-up close to his chest for now, but suffice to say he’ll be hand-picking a selection of aural delights from the local scene, and sending y’all home happy. Electric Circus, Edinburgh, 7pm, £tbc FRI 23 DEC SAT 24 DEC SUN 25 DEC With a virtual musical tome of beautifully-crafted post-rock at their disposal, Mogwai take to Glasgow’s Barrowland for a set cherry-picked from their latest album Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, alongside some cherished classics from said impressive back catalogue. Support comes from the mighty Errors, who’ll be previewing tracks from their new album (due out at the end of the month). Barrowland, Glasgow, 7pm, £20 Returning to the live scene after their two-year hiatus, Gothenburg Address play Sneaky Pete’s with a new line-up, with founding member Luke Joyce joined by Fraser Sanaghan, Ben Proudlock and Kieran McGuckian (of Penguins Kill Polar Bears), and Seoridh Fraser (of Lions.Chase.Tigers). They also come armed with brand new single, The Hessian, and a promised better (read: louder) live sound. Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, 7pm, £4 Where would Christmas Eve be without the GFT fitting in as many screenings of It’s A Wonderful Life as possible? The heartwarming Frank Capra classic is showing some five times throughout the day, so you might as well just give in to the Christmas cheer now. GFT, Glasgow, from 1.30pm, £7 (£5.50) It’s Christmas day! Do as you will: eat, drink, and be merry. And have a suitably lovely one, from all at The Skinny. And, if you’re determined to go out on the lash, then DJs Fisher and Price are hosting a Taste Christmas Day special over at The Liquid Room, ripe with their usual danceable classics, plus the added joy of a 5am license. Jesus wept. The Liquid Room, Edinburgh, 10pm, £10 FRI 30 DEC SAT 31 DEC SUN 1 JAN MON 2 JAN The Numbers crew host their final Edinburgh party of 2011, with a pre-NYE bash (in advance of their Glasgow Hogmanay party at Stereo the following night). They’ll play host to the likes of Deadboy, Nok La Rok, and Goodhand throughout the night, before it all comes to a messy end at the ungodly hour of 5am, and we prepare to start all over again with Hogmanay official. Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, 11pm, £5 Edinburgh’s official Hogmanay Street Party comes up with the goods, with Primal Scream headlining proceedings by performing Screamadelica in its entirety, plus support from the mighty genre-crossing Kendall indie-rockers that are Wild Beasts. O’course there’s plenty more on besides, from Bigfoot’s 10-hour Riverside rave-up to the last ever Departure Lounge (see listings for full events schedule). Happy 2012 all y’all. Edinburgh’s Grassmarket plays host to a hangovercuring afternoon of fun and games, which will see us picking a team (the Doonies, or the Uppies be your choices) and competing in a selection of outdoor games. There’s also a rather special line-up of indoor events, which includes Dancebase’s own hopscotch-inspired interactive dance game, and Edinburgh trio FOUND playing a ’Throw Things At FOUND’ gig (as in, we’re there). Various venues, Grassmarket, Edinburgh, from 2pm, Free, www.thenewyeargames.com Curing the new year blues with a dose of comedy, movie geek-cum-funnyman Joe Heenan hosts his everpopular Movie Madness quiz, where team captains Stuart Murphy and Mark Nelson go head-to-head with you the audience in a movie trivia fight to the death. And trust us, Heenan knows his stuff. Time to start swotting up... The Stand, Glasgow, 7.30pm, £4 Photo: Lukas Koster Deadboy Photo: Colin Macdonald Photo: Alan Dunlop Thu 22 Dec DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 9 RECORDS 2011 (FOR THE RECORD) As ever, the Music team cried and dragged their heels at the idea of ranking favourites, then remembered that everybody loves a bloody good list. For your delectation, The Skinny humbly presents a document of the last twelve months, in albums LATE ENTRY: KATE BUSH RETURNS 10 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 #10 FUCKED UP DAVID COMES TO LIFE (MATADOR) IT’S A tale as old as time: boy meets girl, girl gets killed by bomb, boy goes full-Pirandello and duels the narrator, boy is born again – we think. As the meta-layers accumulate, David Comes To Life becomes increasingly opaque, though is no less exhilarating for it. With such expansive ambition, Fucked Up’s densely-plotted rock-opera could well have fallen flat, a risk the band were all too aware of. “I was at my most worried right before the record was released,” recalls Mr Jo, A.K.A drummer Jonah Falco. “I always have this intense dread right before a record comes out that it will be our final and most failing gesture – as though the whole facade of Fucked Up as a ‘good band’ is going to crumble away.” While any anxiety was soon quelled by strong reviews across the board upon its release in June, should it come to it, David Comes To Life would make for a triumphant final opus; as the inimitable Pink Eyes (vocalist Damian Abraham) sings on Truth I Know, “I have my legacy and I am proud.” Abraham has repeatedly suggested that he may soon quit touring, placing the band’s current incarnation in jeopardy, but obituaries can wait: Jonah acknowledges some uncertainty, but notes that Fucked Up have “never been a band whose future is firmly predicted.” He describes David… not as a eulogy, but as “the shake-up we needed,” and as far as he’s concerned, “Fucked Up will always be the six of us.” Unless, that is, the right collaborators get in touch – after all, there’s a tradition of turning concept albums into films or stage shows. Hell, Green Day made Broadway… ”I think it would be best to wait for the offers to come to us,” laughs Jonah. Any thoughts on who they’d trust this hypothetical task to? “I’m thinking that Sergio Leone should be exhumed and reanimated to do the directing, David would be played by Jackie Mason, Veronica by Katy Perry, and Octavio by Jimmy Pursey. The whole thing would be re-written by the guys from Peep Show and it would debut at the Curzon.” Sounds good to us – while we wait for their respective agents to hammer out the details/resurrect their clients, we’ll continue to pick through the album’s enigmas. “In fact”, Jonah suggests, “you should probably just all dedicate your entire existences to listening to David Comes To Life. It’s for your own good!” [Chris Buckle] WWW.DAVIDCOMESTOLIFE.COM M83'S ANTHONY GONZALEZ #9 M83 HURRY UP, WE’RE DREAMING (NAÏVE) ANTHONY GONZALEZ of M83 is no stranger to lists like this. His last album, Saturdays = Youth, was among the most critically acclaimed of 2008, and a number of earlier works were frequently mentioned in the classification frenzy that marked the end of the last decade. Perhaps he won’t be too surprised to find Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming here, then, but his double disc opus is easily the most divisive album to have flown the M83 flag to date. It’s big and it’s bold. It’s anthemic and it’s adventurous. In short, it’s everything Saturdays = Youth – a beautiful record – wasn’t, which helps explain why some fans didn’t get it (clearly not those in The Skinny’s squad of scribes, mind). Speaking to The Skinny before its autumn release, Gonzalez was aware of Hurry Up’s potential to polarise opinion. He was nervous, but determined. This, he said, was the culmination of ten years of M83 – all the previous records rolled into one. Said Gonzalez: “When your last album is your most successful, it can be hard to move away from it. I have thought that people might be expecting something different than this (Hurry Up...), but when you listen back to the other albums, you can almost hear what this one was WIN OUR TOP 10 ALBUMS OF THE YEAR! going to sound like. This is the album I’ve always dreamed of making.” And what a dream it must have been. Hurry Up is brave, bombastic and kaleidoscopic. While the album as a whole is lacquered in synths, there is a host of stylistic twists and nods over the two discs that help make it one of the year’s most interesting. There are power ballads (Wait), glam-rock (Steve McQueen) and floor-fillers (Midnight City). In fact, most of the adjectives ascribed to the record by its critics can easily be reclaimed by its devotees. For “patchy”, read inventive and shapeshifting. For “kitsch”, read unashamedly glitzy and fun. For “long”, read epic and staggeringly ambitious. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is M83’s palette, stretched, doused in acid and set on fire. Parts of the album – thematical and conceptual – have been in Gonzalez’s head since he was a child. When recording, he seems to have taken his foot off the brakes of adulthood and let his sense of wonder run wild. “I had a lot of crazy dreams when I was a kid,” he said at the time, smiling. Not many artists do regression as stylishly as this. [Finbarr Bermingham] PLAYING THE ARCHES, GLASGOW ON 19 JAN WWW.ILOVEM83.COM Enough of what we think, we're giving you the chance to wrap your ears around these records for yourself. Thanks to the good folks at Fopp and each of the artists' respective record labels, we have complete sets of our top ten albums of the year to give away to two lucky winners. To get your hands on them, let us know what great album released this year that you think we've missed. Tweet us @theskinnymag using #albumsoftheyear or enter at www.theskinny.co.uk/competitions Competition closes 4 Jan 2012. Winners will be notified then and must respond within 7 days or the prize will be passed to another entrant. PHOTO: NURIA RIUS PINK EYES AT CABARET VOLTAIRE, 10 MAY COMPETITION 50 ADAM STAFFORD BUILD A HARBOUR IMMEDIATELY (Wiseblood) 49 LOCH LOMOND LITTLE ME WILL START A STORM (Chemikal Underground) 48 MARTYN GHOST PEOPLE (Brainfeeder) 47 METRONOMY THE ENGLISH RIVIERA (Because Music) 46 PANDA BEAR TOM BOY (Paws Tracks) 45 DUSTIN O’HALLORAN LUMIERE (FatCat) 44 EMA PAST LIFE MARTYRED SAINTS (Souterrain Transmissions) 43 FLEET FOXES HELPLESSNESS BLUES (Bella Union) 42 HAUSCHKA & HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR PAN TONE (Forcex) 41 PARTS & LABOR CONSTANT FUTURE (Jagjaguwar) 40 TAKE A WORM FOR A WALK WEEK T.A.W.F.A.W.W. (Self-released) 39 THE MOTH & THE MIRROR HONESTLY, THIS WORLD (Olive Grove) 38 CYMBALS EAT GUITARS LENSES ALIEN (Memphis Industries) 37 EARTH ANGELS OF DARKNESS, DEMONS OF LIGHT I (Southern Lord) 36 RUSTIE GLASS SWORDS (Warp) 35 THE WAR ON DRUGS SLAVE AMBIENT (Secretly Canadian) 34 THE ANTLERS BURST APART (Transgressive) 33 JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN THE DEEP FIELD (PIAS) 32 WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS IN THE PIT OF THE STOMACH (Fat Cat) 31 MOUNTAIN GOATS ALL ETERNALS DECK (Tomlab) 30 SHABAZZ PALACES BLACK UP (Sub Pop) 29 CONQUERING ANIMAL SOUND KAMMERSPIEL (Gizeh) 28 WILD BEASTS SMOTHER (Domino) 27 THE TWILIGHT SINGERS DYNAMITE STEPS (Sub Pop) 26 OBITS MOODY, STANDARD AND POOR (Sub Pop) 25 TIM HECKER RAVEDEATH, 1972 (Kranky) 24 RUSSIAN CIRCLES EMPROS (Sargent House) 23 TOM WAITS BAD AS ME (ANTI) 22 EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY TAKE CARE, TAKE CARE, TAKE CARE (Bella Union) 21 KATE BUSH 50 WORDS FOR SNOW (Noble & Brite Ltd) PHOTO: PETE DUNLOP OUR FESTIVE 50 THE BEST OF THE REST... 20 REMEMBER REMEMBER THE QUICKENING (Rock Action) “A fittingly jolly affair of cyclical e-bow guitar lines, toy town electronics and euphoric plateaus” PHOTO: ALEX WOODWARD 19 tUnE-yArDs w h o k i l l (4AD) “The style flits from rap to calypso via riot grrrl pop; a veritable cocktail of genres” DEATH GRIPS C’MON (SUB POP) THE TITLE of Low’s ninth studio album doesn’t overtly hint at the beauty hidden within its grooves, but after the dark, political soap-boxing of predecessor Drums and Guns, it certainly promises something more positive and affirming. “Normally we would make things a little uglier but this time we wanted the songs to be what they are,” says frontman Alan Sparhawk. “Some of the tracks are very intimate; they’re almost love songs.” It’s a direct, if somewhat unfashionable proclamation, but then perhaps that’s always been part of Low’s appeal. The palpable beating heart of C’mon coupled with the relatively lush production of pop maestro Matt Beckley merely focused an aspect of the Minnesota trio’s psyche that they had skirted around for some time. “Over the years I’ve learned to trust where my writing leads me,” says Sparhawk. “I tend not to overthink things because if you do, you kind of lose your footing.” It’s perhaps this more than anything that has made C’mon appeal to those outwith Low’s usual fan-base. Songs such as Nothing But Heart and the majestic Especially Me are as lyrically direct as they’ve ever been, emphasising the less-is-more ethos that habitually finds Low at their best. It lends itself to an album that has immediate impact whilst staying with you long after finale Something’s Turning Over bows out in typically gorgeous form. “I kinda figured nobody would remember it,” laughs Sparhawk when told C’mon is one of our albums of the year. ”It came out quite early [in the year] and there have been other records that made more of a splash for sure. But it’s definitely an honour. We loved making it.” That much seems evident, and for a self-proclaimed album about that elusive and unquantifiable emotion, it’s surely all you need. [Darren Carle] EXMILITARY (THIRD WORLDS) EXMILITARY IS 2011’s most brutal, twisted and direct challenge to commercial hip-hop’s dominance. They call it a ‘mixtape’ – but this is a concession to its method of distribution (available free from the website Third Worlds) and its magpie approach to samples. Among mainstream and wannabe rappers, a mixtape involves using well-known instrumentals and adding badly-recorded raps. This is not what Exmilitary is. When Death Grips capture, torture and release Link Wray’s Rumble, the result is an entirely new and ferocious beast, Spread Eagle Cross The Block – skater-punk rap with death metal screams: “I fuck the music, I make it cum.” Unfiltered sub-bass, distorted samples and clashing drums (courtesy of celebrated drum-punisher Zach Hill) populate the tracks, but occupy them like sentinels – the empty spaces of Guillotine make the ascending, distorted synth blasts and bass drops all the more effective. This isn’t a wall of sound, this isn’t Ice-T and Bodycount’s comedy rap-metal. Stylistically, it’s a return to the sparse, intense electro approach of early hip-hop; but the palette is hardcore punk, scuzzy surf rock, broken dubstep and juke patterns. MC Ride’s psychologically intense approach to purging his demons through rap feels like a breakdown, a suicide note, but it is far more complex. There is “Hidden art, between and beneath” (from Guillotine) every extreme couplet. References to black magic, subatomic particles, serial killers and mental anguish culminate in Ride’s most direct attack on weak-ass mainstream fakers, from Culture Shock: “You speak in abbreviations because real life conversation moves too slow / You’re the media’s creation, yeah your free will has been taken and you don’t know / Choke yourself, fuck yourself.” That last part’s the chorus. Ride’s lyrics are autobiographical, but he doesn’t whine about his daddy-issues and spout repellent gangster clichés like Tyler the Creator. His voice, his words are excoriating, excruciating, difficult to take. Even the sex-and-drugs quest of I Want It I Need It is infused with a ragged, harsh menace that contrasts with the hedonistic lyrics, making it a terrifying voyage into darkness. Live, Death Grips are a force to be reckoned with – MC Ride stares bleakly into the middle distance as Zach Hill, one foot bare, creates and destroys rhythms with a fevered intensity. A moshpit ensues as rock and rap fans alike scream Ride’s lyrics back at him. When it ends, you lie cruciform on the pavement outside the venue, steam coming from your clothes, as you try and remember the last time you got bruised, battered and sweaty at a hip-hop gig. Death Grips make rap dangerous again: more dangerous than it’s ever been. Feral, furious and utterly relevant. “It goes, it goes, it goes...” [Bram Gieben] WWW.THIRDWORLDS.NET IRON AND WINE AT HMV PICTURE HOUSE PHOTO: KAT GOLLOCK #7 LOW 17 IRON & WINE KISS EACH OTHER CLEAN (4AD) “Beam continues his progression through diversification” 16 MASTODON THE HUNTER (Roadrunner) “The Hunter is the sound of Mastodon having fun: classic and southern rock influences abound, and there's some sly vocal nods to the likes of Ozzy and John Garcia” UNITED FRUIT PHOTO: MARTIN BARKER #8 18 FEIST METALS (Polydor) “Songs like The Circle Married the Line, and Graveyard, you’ll think you’ve always known” 15 UNITED FRUIT FAULTLINES (UF / Predestination) “Touched by the kind of dynamism that marked out Trail of Dead’s Source Tags & Codes as an adrenaline shot to the heart of a dying genre” 14 MOGWAI HARDCORE WILL NEVER DIE, BUT YOU WILL (Rock Action) “Another accomplished work of independentlyminded art from one of modern Scotland's most admirable exports” WWW.SUBPOP.COM/ARTISTS/LOW GLOSS DROP (WARP) THEY DON’T call Ian Williams ‘The Ice Man’ for nothing. In fact they don’t call him that at all, but they probably should. I mean, he’s always been a gum-chewin’, sharp-shootin’ badass, but Battles – and Williams in particular – definitely seem to have more of an easygoing confidence about them since they became a three-piece. “The dynamic on the road is better now. There’s less friction,” says Williams. In fact, given the quality and vitality of the music recorded for Gloss Drop, the departure of Tyondai Braxton may soon seem like little more than a footnote in the history of a band that’s currently sounding as hungry and excited as a dog in a kebab shop. “I don’t think it’s about whether we’re a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 piece,” he continues, “it’s about whether you’re good or not. Any line-up can work if you do it right.” Powerhouse drummer John Stanier is equally practical: “I wouldn’t say it has brought us closer personally, but musically it has opened up much more space which I think we react to.” It’s this sense of expanded horizons; of the gleeful awareness of their collective potential, that makes Gloss Drop feel special. Experimental without being hard work; brazenly rocking without ever venturing anywhere near a cliche – it’s not just an immensely rewarding record, it’s a hell of a lot of fun too. It’s this perceived sense of fun, however, that seems to be something of a sticking point for Williams: “I generally zone out when it comes to responses, but I think there’s been a misperception about the album being really pop. We had a departing member and then a new element of these guest singers. So that put people’s attention towards the new thing, which was “songs” with singing, and that led people to sum up the record as a pop record – which I think misses the point of the record. If you listen to songs like Wall Street, Inchworm or White Electric, those are songs that stretch out further than Battles ever went.” And the future? “I think our process will always be evolving. We learned a lot of things about ourselves this year, and I think we can do that again in a new way. Whatever will keep it from feeling too familiar. Familiarity breeds complacency.” Wise words, Ice Man. Wise words. [Mark Shukla] WWW.BTTLS.COM THE HORRORS 12 THE HORRORS SKYING (XL) “A curiously individual creation” 11 JOSH T PEARSON LAST OF THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN (Mute) “A precious record, almost certainly among the most soulful you’re likely to hear this year” DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 11 PHOTO: MARTIN SENYSZAK BATTLES PHOTO: ALAIN IRURETA #6 13 J. MASCIS SEVERAL SHADES OF WHY (Sub Pop) “It may have been 30 years in the making, but it's an album that could dovetail into any point in Mascis's timeless pipeline” PHOTO: ALEX WOODWARD PJ HARVEY AT GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL, 4 SEP #4 PJ HARVEY LET ENGLAND SHAKE (ISLAND) place. “There was no goalpost in sight, it was just a song at a time,” says Anderson of the process. Many such songs found their way onto other projects as needs dictated, yet it’s now something which has left a trail through the K.C. back-catalogue on the lead up to this point. “Jon produced Bombshell and some of Flick the Vs,” explains Anderson. “The Racket They Made, Admiral and Leslie were all going to be Diamond Mine songs, so when you hear those in that context, you can see where we were going with this.” As such, Diamond Mine has slowly gestated throughout Anderson’s many different guises to reach an, at times, heartbreakingly beautiful lament to a simpler life we all sometimes crave. Its critical and commercial success is perhaps a surprise only when we overlook that fact in ourselves, or forget to ascribe it to others. “It’s a lesson learned,” says Anderson of the unexpected triumph. “As much as you plot and scheme and hope to do all the right things, it’s the will of the Gods as to what really happens.��� Amen to that, but with Diamond Mine we can return to this fortuitous piece of heaven whenever we please. [Darren Carle] WITH HINDSIGHT, PJ Harvey’s 2000 LP Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea signalled more than just a commercial breakthrough in her career. Following the September 11 attacks – which prevented Harvey from flying to the UK to collect her first Mercury Music Prize for the record – its lyrical evocations of New York took on a new and unexpected emotive power: the album sounded an elegy for a certain kind of romantic conception of the city, and also acquired a subtle, seemingly inadvertent political character. The development of a lyrical approach exploring themes of place, history and politics continued with 2007’s White Chalk, a record which eschewed the metropolitan concerns of Stories for a resolute focus on Harvey’s home region of West Dorset. The spectral beauty of that record evinced a determination to evoke the character of the place through understated instrumentation and a narrow lyrical focus. Ultimately, this laid the groundwork for the more lyrically and musically ambitious Let England Shake, a record which expands its predecessor’s vision to cover differing conceptions of England – with particular emphasis on the nation’s history of military conflict. Consequently, the album is Harvey’s most explicitly political work, evoking battles and wars ranging from Gallipoli (Battleship Hill) to Afghanistan (The Glorious Land); the overall effect simultaneously highlights the history of violence that underpins English culture, and uses a disarmingly dreamlike musical approach to present alternative narratives to those of triumphant militarism. The record never shies away from the brutality and futility of war – soldiers “fall like lumps of meat” (The Words That Maketh Murder), and are sent to the “fountain of death” (Let England Shake) – but it tempers such imagery with a tender focus on a “beautiful England”, with “fog rolling down behind the mountains” (The Last Living Rose). That tenderness is complemented by gentle texturing, led by understated guitar and autoharp; the album’s instrumental complexity (compared with a record like White Chalk) being further emphasised through the use of samples on The Glorious Land and Written on the Forehead. Live, in a show at the Glasgow Concert Hall in September, that subtly cumulative sound was replaced by a stripped-down, hard-edged approach, which forcefully brought out the passion and anger of the songs. Again, Let England Shake’s dual character – both paean to, and critique of, English identity and history – was stressed. This seems reflected in Harvey’s ambivalent relationship with the establishment; a point emphasised by the announcement in February of an offer from the Imperial War Museum to become the institution’s 'official war song correspondent'. When Let England Shake won the Mercury Music Prize in September, ten years after Stories – and just days before the tenth anniversary of 9/11 – the timeliness of Harvey’s decision to explore the album’s themes was underlined. War poet may be the trickiest role to negotiate that she has yet taken on, but as Let England Shake demonstrates (and as its subsequent reception has confirmed), this restlessly inventive artist has explored its possibilities with characteristic focus, imagination and intelligence. [Sam Wiseman] ARAB STRAP’S recent reunion had the potential to overshadow all else its erstwhile members were involved in this year. But in Everything’s Getting Older, Aidan Moffat not only co-created one of the best albums of his career, but one of the finest of 2011 as a whole. It features many of the expected lyrical themes – bitter infidelities, lust, STDs – but they surface in novel ways: Glasgow Jubilee sees Moffat re-stock turn-of-the-century play La Ronde with grubby Glasgow trysts (replacing counts and housemaids with groupies and randy bosses), while elsewhere, characters dismiss their consciences (Ballad of a Bastard’s confessions of an adulterer) or are reined in by them (Let’s Stop Here’s almost-fling). But the sinful and the salacious only account for a slither of the narratives; though Moffat’s barbed wit and earthy poetry is undiminished, protagonists are as likely to be trapped by 'shopping lists and school runs, direct debits and tax credits' as runaway libidos. Rapscallions of yore are, as the title suggests, maturing, a theme carried through to the artwork: aged portraits inked by Frank Quietly. “The cover has become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy for me,” Moffat tells us now. “My mother can’t look at it, she thinks it’s horrible! I don’t mind at all. I’m ready to embrace age and all it brings.” Bill Wells is equally comfortable confronting his personal Dorian Gray-style likeness (“admittedly, it isn’t so flattering personally, but then again it’s beautifully drawn”). From instrumental opener Tasogare onwards, the renowned maestro stamps his authorship as firmly as Moffat, demonstrating great versatility across the likes of Glasgow Jubilee’s lounge-funk riff, the anxious jazzy-whirlpool of Cages, or the understated piano refrain that sharpens The Copper Top’s melancholic ruminations. It’s a fruitful partnership that both hope to repeat. “We’ve talked about it, aye,” says Aidan. “I think it’ll happen eventually. After we wrote a couple of new songs for the Cruel Summer EP I felt quite inspired again. There’s no rush though, we’ve both got plans for the future. I’ve got at least two albums planned for next year, along with a possible vocal group and hopefully a children’s book too. I’ve got another album planned for 2013 too, but I have a habit of starting things and finishing them years later, as Everything’s Getting Older illustrates.” Work began circa 2003, but as Wells clarifies, “for at least five of these eight years we did nothing whatsoever, [so] I really hope it won’t be so long ‘til the next one.” The album concludes with a brace of songs about fatherhood, the first of which pairs biological detail (‘the lucky sperm and egg collide / the zygote’s little cells divide’) with balanced sentiment (‘and remember: we invented love / and that’s the greatest story ever told’), before And So We Must Rest’s lullaby closes with the sound of Moffat’s son snoozing. “He usually plugs his ears if I start singing a song,” says Aidan, “but when I was away [on tour] his Mum played The Greatest Story Ever Told to him and he said he liked it and wanted to listen to it again, which would have made me cry a wee bit if I hadn’t been sitting in the front of a tour bus. Now that I’m home, though, it’s back to plugged ears and nonchalance…” Is Moffat concerned about what his son might make of his lyric sheets as he gets older? “I often wonder how I’m going to deal with that, aye. I can’t hide it from him, not in this day and age, so I expect I’ll have to be open and honest about it all. So he’s either going to be a perfectly sensible, balanced young man or a complete steamer, it could go either way! But fuck it, if I can cope with my Mum listening to Arab Strap, then I’m sure I can deal with my son.” While a series of gigs have kept the pair busy for much of the year (for Wells, the highlight of 2011 was “stepping through the door of my flat after returning from tour”), we ask what albums they’ve been bowled over by in the last twelve months. Wells singles out a re-release of Annette Peacock’s I’m The One (“still completely underrated – one of the most original and ground-breaking pieces of recording ever”), while Moffat doffs his cap to Slow Club’s Paradise. “I’ve seen some amazing gigs too: Remember Remember and Miaoux Miaoux at the Glasgow Planetarium, and Baby Dee in Bologna last week was amazing. There are many more, but I’m really bad at answering questions like this – I never remember anything. Everything’s getting older indeed…” [Chris Buckle] #5 KING CREOSOTE & JON HOPKINS DIAMOND MINE (DOMINO) IT SEEMS entirely in keeping with the development and theme of Diamond Mine that its big news story, a lucrative Mercury Prize nomination, felt a world away to creators Kenny ‘King Creosote’ Anderson and Jon Hopkins. “Jon and I were on tour in the States having a great time when we heard,” says Anderson. “Then we went off to Minneapolis to play to eight or nine folk!” This dislocation from a thoroughly modern world with all its whiz, bang and glitz seems poetic for an album conceived in small, sleepy fishing towns in the East Neuk of Fife. Anderson’s bittersweet compositions take centre stage in this brief, almost transparent album, with producer and musician Jon Hopkins lending ethereal landscapes and field recordings that help transport the listener to its earthy, coastal charms. Though Anderson guesses that it took around seven weeks in real time to write and produce, this was spread over something closer to seven years, the luxury of time afforded to the artists by the fact that no one was expecting the album in the first #3 BILL WELLS & AIDAN MOFFAT EVERYTHING'S GETTING OLDER (CHEMIKAL UNDERGROUND) 12 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 WWW.PJHARVEY.NET BILL & AIDAN PLAY THE ARCHES ON 20 DEC WWW.AIDANMOFFAT.CO.UK The Barrel Tree in Lynchburg, Tennessee. All 140 barrels of it. THIS YEAR IN LYNCHBURG, THE BIGGEST GIFT ISN’T UNDER THE TREE. IT IS THE TREE. We may have our fair share of traditions here in Lynchburg, Tennessee, but there’s always room for one more. This year marks the raising of our fi rst-ever Barrel Tree—a 26-foot-tall tree made entirely of Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrels. Raised with the help of family and friends, it’s our gift to our hometown. Because it’s not what’s under the tree that matters. It’s who’s around it. Come celebrate with us. See the raising of the Barrel Tree at Facebook.com/jackdanielsUK J A C K D A N I E L’ S TENNESSEE WHISKEY Celebrate joyfully. Drink responsibly. ©2011 Jack Daniel’s. All rights reserved. JACK DANIEL’S and OLD NO. 7 are registered trademarks. BON IVER’s second album is a wonderful shift in mood and direction – but don’t bank on Justin Vernon sticking with either WORDS: FINBARR BERMINGHAM PHOTO: SOL NICOL #2 BON IVER BON IVER (4AD) THERE’S A set of symptoms that are common to those who spend an extended time socially isolated, including social anxiety, depression and an unwillingness to readjust and coexist with others. A cursory glance at Justin Vernon’s recent discography suggests that indie’s very own Christopher McCandless hasn’t struggled with the latter. Since returning from the Wisconsin log cabin that helped make him famous, he’s played a starring role on Anaïs Mitchell’s folk opera Hadestown, pitched up alongside Jay Z, Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross on Kanye West’s last smash, lent his pseudo-R&B falsetto to a couple of Gayngs records and laid the foundations for an exciting project with James Blake. It’s little wonder Vernon’s had to cry off with exhaustion (he recently described the moment in which he turned down a collaboration with Neil Young because he was too knackered). But there’s a reason why the queue to work with Justin Vernon is snaking round the block, and if it was evident on Bon Iver’s first album For Emma, Forever Ago then the follow up hammers it home with aplomb. The debut presented a man with an uncanny ability to take the emotions in his head and transfer them first to his sleeve, and then to tape. For Emma is a wonderfully melodic, yet painfully bleak tale of love and loss that had 'hit record' plastered all over it. And sure enough, it brought Vernon and Bon Iver to the eyes of the world. Bon Iver, though, is the epitome of the experimental bent that’s taken Vernon from project to project and genre to genre. Gone are the strummed guitars, and (reasonably) traditional song structures; replaced, instead, with layers of intricately plucked arpeggios and dense, atmospheric production. He’s spoken at length about trying to change his vocals and his role within Bon Iver, and they’ve both morphed beyond recognition. Vernon’s voice, which was wounded and cardinal on For Emma, is but an instrument in the maelstrom, even more processed and distorted, and predominantly used in a register above what would be comfortable for most men (the vocals aren’t to everyone’s liking, though. To quote an email from a fellow scribe, for the sake of balance: “It’s pish – no man can sing ENTIRELY IN FALSETTO for a whole record, it’s not allowed!”). When the first album came out, all the talk was about “that Bon Iver guy”. This year, it’s most certainly about “Bon Iver the band”. Taking his lead from some of the artists he’s worked with (Kanye and Mitchell, particularly), he’s surrounded himself with talent (the stellar bass saxophonist Colin Stetson is an especially noteworthy addition), and worked with them to take his songs to new and fascinating places. Bon Iver is a producer’s album, with the visionary Vernon at the helm. Far from inducing anthrophobia, his spell in the woods seems to have nurtured dexterity in collusion, which can only get more interesting in the years to come. The lyrics also suggest a change in perspective – a rebirth of sorts. They’re as intricate as the music, but more difficult to penetrate than those on For Emma. Gone is the plaintive navel-gazing, too. While some critics became bogged down in the references to drinking, drugging, or both, they seem almost secondary – or allegorical. One interpretation is that Bon Iver is about changing: coming of age and as a result, coming to terms with yourself. Holocene, named for the geological age we’ve been living in for 10,000 years, is the perfect example. Over a looping guitar riff, snapshots of the author’s life and memories swirl around, intensifying, before culminating in Vernon’s 'Zen' moment as a songwriter, and the lyric: 'And I knew at once, I was not magnificent.' Bon Iver is Justin Vernon growing into the real world, having spent such a long time trying to block it out. He’s accepting and embracing what’s around him, realising his own bit part role in it as he does. Ironically, he was able to discover, capture and articulate his 'oneness' better in an old veterinary laboratory in Fall Creek, Wisconsin than he was in a rustic cabin in the wilderness (and despite its synthetic genetics, the album has more nods to nature, too). Fans of continuity, look away now. For as great as this album is, the only clues it provides as to where Vernon will go next is its polarity from anything he’s done before. Members of Wilco have been speaking recently about the moment Jim O’Rourke entered their Yankee, Hotel, Foxtrot sessions and shredded everything they’d recorded, leaving them with a core song, which he promptly yoked onto a pair of stallions and shooed outta town. Vernon seems to work in a similar way, as is highlighted by the early results of his dabbling with James Blake. Whatever he turns his hand to next, it probably won’t be what you expect. He may have lost the lustre of recluse, but he’s gained a hell of a lot more in its stead. WWW.BONIVER.ORG BON IVER THIS YEAR AT THE USHER HALL, 22 OCT 14 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 ANNIE CLARK, LIVE AT STEREO, 15 NOV #1 ST. VINCENT STRANGE MERCY (4AD) THE BLACK coiled hair of Annie Clark, who appears as a backlit silhouette, casts elongated shadows that scale the walls and tease their way through the craning necks of an entranced audience; all anticipating the moment this ethereal chanteuse will explode in a burst of orchestrated guitar violence. St. Vincent, Clark’s band – or alter ego depending on definition – are in the midst of capturing the Glasgow crowd somewhere between rapturous applause and bewildered admiration, opening tonight’s show with Surgeon from Strange Mercy, her third album. A little earlier in the evening, ahead of this sold out gig, the Texan born singer/songwriter took time to catch up with The Skinny to talk about her journey so far. “I’m not very good at the future or the past necessarily. I tend to be pretty myopic about the right now,” says Clark, a little reluctant to discuss escalating success and how Strange Mercy relates to her previous releases. “I mean I don’t pretend to know, because who knows, no one has that much perspective on their own work.” This latest record’s position at the top of our end of year list is only the latest accolade in a relatively short career that has regularly met with acclaim. Intriguingly, Clark has also managed the strange feat of becoming more popular whilst arguably moving in less commercial and more creative directions. “I mean it’s kind of surreal; it becomes more real once you get out there and start touring, because all you can do is make the best record you can make and hope that people like it,” Clark admits. “But then it becomes especially gratifying to go out on tour and find ‘oh people singing along’ [and think] ‘oh this has worked its way into their lives in some meaningful way,’ and that’s great. I’m happy to get to be part of that tradition, 'cause when I think of all the music I’ve ever loved and what it’s meant to me, it’s cool to get to give back to that collective consciousness.” St. Vincent is often referred to as a mix of the pretty and the dirty, the beauty of Annie Clark’s melodies and the delicacy of her voice grating against filthy serrated guitars. Her debut album Marry Me perhaps showed the most restraint in its composition, attempting a balancing act between the two extremes, whilst 2009’s follow up Actor delved a little further into each contrasting sonic style, pushing both her intrepid orchestration and guitar effect ridden repulsion. With Strange Mercy, what becomes abundantly clear is that St. The Mercy Seat With Strange Mercy, St. Vincent distils melody and mayhem interview: DAVID MCGINTY Photos: Sol Nicol St. Vincent backstage at Stereo, 15 Nov I wonder what that balance is, between the accessible and the off-putting Annie Clark Vincent’s signature sound relies not on balancing the sweetness and the sinister but on the combination of both, simultaneously. Although it is a sound which, even early on, won praise from critics, newcomers often need to persevere and think twice about their first impressions. “I’m positive that my music can turn people off,” Clark explains, “they hear it and think ‘oh, there’s too much going on.’” Whatever the cause of this initial apprehension, it seems clear in Clark’s experience that any lack of immediacy is not necessarily harmful. “When I was a kid, when I first heard Nick Cave I hated it, you know? When I first heard PJ Harvey… I didn’t like it. There was something in there that creeped me out or just rubbed me the wrong way… But there was something that was compelling enough to go back, and then go back, and go back, and go back, until you love it. I wonder what that balance is, between the accessible and the off-putting.” In tonight’s set, songs from all three records sit alongside one another; each eliciting the same absorbed swooning as the last. Reappearing for her encore, Clark abandons her customary guitar and is accompanied only by her keys player for a stripped back rendition of Actor’s The Party. In this role Clark is truly cast as the traditional chanteuse, gripping her microphone stand and allowing her paradoxically wispy yet powerful vocals to resonate, without being beaten into submission by her seemingly impromptu intricate guitar onslaughts. It serves as a reminder that whilst she may be making a signature sound for herself, underneath the layers of instrumentation lies some incredible songwriting. Like many singer/songwriters, Clark finds it difficult to write on tour, but this is not to say that time on the road is lost creatively. “I am constantly collecting," she says." I look at tour time in some ways as being just like research and development. I take notes of things, but I can’t write on the road really. Ideas and things will come to me and I’ll make sure I write them down somehow, jot them, record them. Then I tend to be more like a project-specific writer, but that’s the point when you take out everything you’ve been collecting for the last year.” Does she have any kernels for her next batch of songs yielded from this current stint on the road? “The next thing?” Clark looks away and smiles discerningly to herself. “I do. I’ve got something. Got some things brewing.” Something to peel over at a later date? “Always” www.ilovestvincent.com December 2011 THE SKINNY 15 FILM A Year In The Dark With another year of cinema almost done and dusted, The Skinny’s Film editor looks back over twelve months of movie highs and lows Words: Jamie Dunn Way, Jacques Deray’s feverish La Piscine and Carlos Saura’s Cría Cuervos, his woozy and spooky vision of childhood. It was an honour to witness these three underseen gems on the big screen, but my rerelease revelation came when I stumbled across Jerzy Skolimowski’s bonkers and brilliant 1970 film Deep End, a funny, sexy and quite surreal tale of unrequited love set in a crumbling South London swimming baths. It features great tunes from Can and Cat Stevens, and, in Jane Asher and John Moulder-Brown, the hottest onscreen couple since Something Wild’s Charlie and Lulu. juggernaut. The Oscars loved it of course – probably because most academy members are both middle-aged and simple-minded. Plus it features a disability. Not one of those insurmountable ones that require the actor to look disfigured or shit in a bag taped to their leg or anything, but a nice photogenic one that can be overcome by some witty banter and a bit of Judd Apatow-style bromance. It swept the boards, beating hot favourite The Social Network, which surely ranks alongside Dances with Wolves’s triumph over Goodfellas as the Academy’s biggest cock-up. Hanna – Everthing but the kitchen sink Everything but the kitchen sink Everyone agrees it’s been a stellar year for UK filmmaking, but what I find most interesting is that the year’s best British films all saw directors take a hammer to our narrow filmmaking traditions (kitchen sink dramas, literary adaptations, gothic horrors), then reassemble them to fit their own sensibilities. Andrea Arnold soaked her take on Wuthering Heights in mud, racism and four letter words; in Attack the Block Joe Cornish turned a grim council estate into a neon-lit playground where fireworks wielding urban warriors did battle against furry aliens with fluorescent teeth; Ben Wheatley‘s Kill List flipped between Mike Leigh and Hammer Horror via some great Tarantinoesque banter between two schlubby contract killers; and Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice), in the year’s most surprising directorial volte-face, made Hanna, a blistering action picture about a pint-sized assassin that felt like a Children’s Film Foundation project co-directed by Luc Besson and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The King’s Speech – overrated film of the year Overrated film of the year Daily Express readers got a chance to take a break from mourning Princess Di in January when The King’s Speech, the year’s unexpected blockbuster, rolled into town. For months arthouse cinemas reeked of a heady mix of Werther’s Originals and jingoism as cinema’s most ignored demographic, the middle-aged, and its most indulged, the simple-minded, flocked to see this vapid crowdpleaser. Even David Cameron’s glowing endorsement couldn’t stop this box-office 16 THE SKINNY December 2011 Ryan Gosling – Mancrush of the year Fast romance – stinker of the year were crushing on, but the image of Baby Goose rocking a white satin jacket embroidered with a gold scorpion in Drive made many a heterosexual man’s heart skip a beat. I suspect Michael Fassbender, Baby Goose’s biggest rival in the bromance department this year, might take up this baton when Shame (and Fassbender’s ‘baton’) hits the cinema in January. Lets just hope no one puts these two in some homoerotic buddy movie any time soon or the world could be facing a Children of Men scenario. Stinker of the year I’m tempted to give this to The King’s Speech as a bit of pay-back for David Fincher, but with fuel poverty reaching crisis point under our clueless government who would begrudge a film that warmed the older generation’s hearts? And besides, there was an even more undeserved Best Film award in 2011 – and it happened a lot closer to home. Fast Romance, a woefully unfunny comedy set amid Glasgow’s nonexistent speed dating scene, inexplicably bagged the audience award for best film at this year’s Scottish BAFTAs. I’ve yet to speak to anyone who enjoyed this am-dram horror show with a camera-phone porn aesthetic, but Cineworld’s Glasgow audience seem to have lapped it up. Proof, if ever it was needed, that democracy doesn’t always work. Soundtrack of the year Taking inspiration from Trent Reznor’s electronic score for The Social Network last year, the best soundtracks of 2011 sounded like the kind of thing Johnny-5 would put on a mix-tape if he started going steady with C3PO. The Chemical Brothers' work for Joe Wright on Hanna and the squelchy Carpenter-esque score by Basement Jaxx for Attack the Block were highlights, but Cliff Martinez’s Tangerine Dreamsy music for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, coupled with the film’s 80s-tastic tracks Nightcall (Kavinsky and Lovefoxxx) and A Real Hero (College and Electric Youth), were rarely off my iPod. Drive’s soundtrack is so good, in fact, that despite the majority of my listening taking place while travelling on the top deck of the 38 bus to Easterhouse it still made me feel as cool as Ryan Gosling’s laconic getaway driver. Man crush of the year Gosling (or Baby Goose, as he’s affectionately dubbed) brings me onto this relatively new phenomenon of equal opportunity pinups. Last year dimple-cheeked aspiring polymath James Franco was the heartthrob that straight blokes Juno Temple – Line delivery of the year Deep End – rerelese of the year Weepie of the year 2011 has been a great year for sports movies. As a rather doughy film-geek I have little opportunity (or inclination) to exercise in real life, so the sporting achievements of Mikey “Irish” Ward (Mark Walberg, The Fighter) and Ayrton Senna (Senna) gave me the vicarious rush of endorphins I don’t get watching L’Avventura. Sports movies are also my Achilles’ heel when it comes to my tear ducts. We all have our weaknesses: for some it’s terminally ill Labradors, for others it’s final reel clinches at airports or railway stations. For me, it’s the triumphant underdog. No film of 2011 pandered to this sports movie cliché more than Gavin O’Connor’s Warrior, a deliciously cheesy ultimate fighter movie that didn’t just feature one underdog, it had three. By the end of the press screening I needed to be hooked up to a drip to rehydrate. My fellow film journalists, meanwhile, looked on at my tear splashed face in disgust. Line delivery of the year Line delivery of the year – and best performance – came from the brilliant Juno Temple as London, the fez-wearing firecracker in Kaboom, Gregg Araki’s nutty college sex farce cum alien conspiracy movie. While receiving head from a meathead jock who clearly doesn’t know a clitoris from his elbow, London springs off her dorm bed with the immortal line “Dude, it’s a vagina, not a bowl of spaghetti.” Sage advice for all budding cunning linguists. Rerelease of the year The majority of films rereleased in 2011 reeked of déjà vu – are there people out there who haven’t seen repertory perennials like Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver and Kind Hearts and Coronets? Don’t get me wrong, these are masterworks I’d happily watch again any day of the week, but by distributers and programmers continually giving oxygen to these canonised classics they’re suffocating the films that really need rediscovered. Films like Ivan Passer’s paranoid neo-noir Cutter’s Warrior – weepie of the year TOP TEN FILMS OF 2011 The Skinny’s film writers look back over a year of dreary messiah wizards, scrapping robots and a never ending convoy of Avengers warm-up movies to pick 2011’s ten keepers. Daily Telegraph readers be warned: there’s not a stuttering monarch in sight Words: Jamie Dunn, Chris Buckle, Jenny Munro, Chris Fyvie, and Philip Concannon tree of life Drive 1. Tree of Life (Terrence Malick) Few films this year can match The Tree of Life’s sense of soaring ambition, and fewer still can match the breathtaking artistry with which Terrence Malick has delivered his fifth feature. This deeply personal examination of life, the universe and everything mostly takes place in an evocative recreation of 50s Texas, but Malick’s vision extends far beyond the streets in which carefree children play. Planets are born and die; dinosaurs walk the Earth; people ask questions of a God who doesn’t respond; Sean Penn stumbles across a beach filled with memories. The Tree of Life marks Malick’s most audacious break with narrative convention, and it may just shift your perception of what cinema, at its best, can be. [Philip Concannon] 4. Senna (Asif Kapadia) Formula One, often perceived as a distinctly dull Sunday afternoon interest, seems an unlikely subject for a film which would have the most successful opening weekend in Britain of any documentary in history. But Asif Kapadia’s Senna draws even the most car-phobic viewer into the story of the charismatic Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna, who died in a crash during a race in 1994, and boldly shifts the boundaries for documentary filmmaking – there are no talking heads here, no omniscient narration. The film is pieced together entirely from archive footage of Senna’s childhood and dramatic career and, when the inevitable crash scene comes, we experience it entirely in a devastating present moment. [Jenny Munro] 6. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance) Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams finally shook off any lingering connections with their teenmarket pasts in Derek Cianfrance’s memorable portrait of a marriage disintegrating. The quiet, unshowy performances from the two leads are crucial to the film’s delicate balancing act between a desperately suffocating atmosphere and a romantic, intimate depiction of how passionate the couple’s relationship once was. Unusually for a tale of disappointment and bitterness, the film left audiences enchanted by its rare beauty and sensual cinematography. Not at all a grimly realist exercise, but a swooning tribute to the fleeting brilliance of life’s rare and profound moments of connection. [JM] 8. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi) When A Separation begins it appears to be a straightforward story of a marriage breaking down in contemporary Tehran. By the time it has ended, we’ve seen a film that deals with family conflict, the Iranian legal system, class, religion and death, weaving these themes seamlessly into an emotionally charged narrative that unfolds with the urgency of a thriller. Asghar Farhadi’s masterfully constructed film presents us with complex, real characters who each have valid reasons for their behaviour, making it increasingly difficult for us to decide where our sympathies should lie. A Separation is a film of rare intelligence, insight and skill, which features the finest ensemble acting you’ll see for a very long time. [PC] 2. Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn) Relatively few directors are the star of their own show these days, but Nicolas Winding Refn is certainly one of them. Imposing his sleek, ethereal style on this grimy, near-defunct American subgenre, Refn has produced something both utterly reverential and completely fresh – the physical and emotional squalor within the text at odds with the sheer beauty of what he puts on screen. The astonishing set-pieces, a magnetic performance from Ryan Gosling and a genuine tenderness in his relationship with girl-next-door Irene (Carey Mulligan) combine with the stunning aesthetic to produce a seductive and visceral whole. Throw in Albert Brooks as a baddie and one of the greatest scenes ever filmed in a lift, and you’ve got yourself a bona fide crime classic. [Chris Fyvie] 5. We Need To Talk About Kevin (Lynn Ramsey) After a nine-year filmmaking hiatus Ramsey exploded back on screen with Kevin, a baroque fever dream filled with bravado images, a splintered structure and the kind of colour design that makes Suspiria look like a watercolour. Subtle family drama this is not. It’s the nightmare that even Polanski, cinema’s great cynic, couldn’t fully embrace: some mothers don’t want to ‘ave ‘em. Tilda Swinton plays a globetrotting hedonist who become shackled to the suburbs by 8lbs of baby-shaped evil that grows up – in the year’s niftiest bit of casting – to be Ezra Miller, Swinton’s smirking doppelganger. The horror is balanced by a wicked sense of humour, making this the finest black comedy about the mother/son filial bond since Psycho. [Jamie Dunn] 7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson) Though Gary Oldman’s watchful and menacing Smiley dominates Tomas Alfredson’s magical spy thriller, there are also joys to be found in the retro espionage shenanigans and meticulous set and costume design. Perfectly capturing the scuzzy browns and greys of 70s Britain to mirror the murky ethics of the characters, the mise-en-scène is wonderfully evocative of the paranoia, betrayal and subterfuge that are these chaps’ stock-in-trade. Taut and fascinating, with myriad plot strands expertly interwoven, Alfredson’s film delivers enough intrigue and drama to fully engross and deliver as labyrinthine whodunit and heartbreaking human drama. A magnificent achievement from all concerned. [CF] 9. Le Quattro Volte (Michelangelo Frammartino) Taking inspiration from the Pythagorean concept that we each cycle through four lives – human, animal, vegetable and mineral – Michelangelo Frammartino’s second film studies the unhurried pastoralism of a remote Italian town to haunting effect. As goat-herd cedes to goat, goat to tree, La Quattro Volte pares away causal relations until we’re left absorbed in simple scenes of branches in the breeze. Though the temporality of existence may seem a potentially uneventful theme, its treatment is never less than fascinating; Frammartino leavens his metaphysical meditation with beauty, grace and – in a single-take scene of collie-caused destruction – humour, and the result is unforgettable. [CB] 3. Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt) As with most of Kelly Reichardt’s filmography, the triumphs of Meek’s Cutoff are as much in what it doesn’t do as what it does. A femalefocussed western that doesn’t involve saloon girls, anachronistic behaviour or a rootin’ tootin’ Doris Day is a rarity in itself, while the director’s typically measured pace has a hypnotic allure, drawing the audience deeper and deeper into screenwriter Jonathan Raymond’s tale of a diminished wagontrain’s fateful progress through the Oregon plains. But perhaps fateful isn’t the correct word; as desperation mounts, a careful ambiguity anti’s the climax just as tensions reach a head, ensuring it lingers long in the mind. [Chris Buckle] Meek's cutoff Senna 10. The Fighter (David O. Russell) By all accounts David O. Russell (I ♥ Huckabees, Three Kings) is a maniacal cunt, but you’d never know from watching his films. He adores his characters. His camera pirouettes around them as they get up to all manner of mischief – onanism, incest, infidelity, grand larceny, new-age psychobabble – and he never judges. Take this knockout, where a chain-smoking matriarch (Melissa Leo, a blur of bleached hair and denim) and her crack-addled son (Christian Bale) treat the family’s simpleminded boxing prodigy (Mark Wahlberg) like a human piñata, pushing him into fights even Stacy Keach’s ne’er-do-well pugilist in Fat City would sniff at. Others would see tragedy; Russell finds humour and humanity. [JD] go to www.theskinny.co.uk/film to read more December 2011 THE SKINNY 17 BOOKS A BOOK GIFT GUIDE Whether it’s someone you know well or someone you find hard to buy for, books are always a good gift solution, because they’re cheap(ish), portable and usually available in all good book shops. Here are a few suggestions WORDS: KEIR HIND, RYAN AGEE, JOHNNY CHESS, DAVID AGNEW AND RICHARD ROBESON Note: These should all be out now, and available at less (in some cases much less) than the cover price if you shop around. FOR... THE TECHIE STEVE JOBS BY WALTER ISAACSON Probably the most notable biography of the year, this is also, perhaps surprisingly, one of the best. Jobs’ story was always an interesting one, and Walter Isaacson is an accomplished biographer. And one who, as a first principle, heads off the question of whether, because he had previously written biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, Jobs recruited him to write his biography because he saw himself as a successor to those men. No, said Jobs when Isaacson asked him this, but he was interested in them, and that’s what led him to Isaacson’s writing. With this out of the way, the Jobs story starts, where an adopted kid in California grows up with an interest in technology, leading, initially, to several fun stories about electronics based pranks, which lead to the development of a machine for making free phone calls, and then, as a way to get the world in on the fun, personal computers. And then there’s the business expansion, the hiring of a Pepsi executive called John Sculley (“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want to change the world?”) who eventually forces Jobs out of Apple, and then on to other business (including Pixar animation) and on to Jobs’ triumphant return. This isn’t necessarily just for techies in fact, as Jobs’ most positive legacy was making computers as user friendly as possible – this was typed on a Mac. Fascinating stuff. COVER PRICE £25. PUBLISHED BY LITTLE, BROWN. AN EBOOK VERSION IS NO DOUBT AVAILABLE TOO FOR... THE TV NOSTALGIST ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES: THE STORY OF BRITAIN’S FAVOURITE COMEDY BY GRAHAM MCCANN. Only Fools… was a staple of the Christmas schedules for years, with uletide specials regularly attracting record audiences, and with what was to have been the final episode, Time On Our Hands ,attracting over 24 million viewers. Anyone missing the series this Christmas could do a lot worse than getting hold of this comprehensive volume, which tells the story of the sitcom’s production from way before the start, to the end. The key figure, and the hero of this book, is writer John Sullivan, who was (and you’d expect this) a working-class Londoner, who was attracted to screenwriting when he heard how much Johnny Speight, writer of Till Death Us Do Part, earned. Artistic concerns may also have figured. Sullivan wrote every episode of the show, and his career is adeptly documented by writer Graham McCann, scribe of various biographies, including one of those other Christmas favourites Morecambe and Wise. McCann’s approach is exhaustive, and all the obvious stories are featured (did you know there’s an episode where Delboy falls through a bar?). There are unfamiliar ones too, and also explanations of some of the odder ones – it’s explained why Sullivan came to sing the theme tune himself, for example. A producer tricked him into it on a whim, Sullivan having exactly the right kind of London accent they needed. And if you’ve read this far, I’m sure I can get it stuck in your head now by starting it: 'No income tax, no V.A.T….' COVER PRICE £20. PUBLISHED BY CANONGATE 18 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 FOR… SCI-FI CRIME FANS, AND OTHERS NOVAHEAD BY STEVE AYLETT. Well, as you’d expect from that heading, this is a detective novel in a science fiction setting. And if you’ve never experienced the delight that Steve Aylett’s prose can be, here’s a lengthy sample: “I’d just flicked a spider off the desk, sighed and prepared to rise when the shadow of someone’s head and shoulders appeared on the floor like the edge of a jigsaw piece. A galoot entered. His vibe was blank – I could see aura waste falling away from him like dead seeds. He even went with ‘Prepare to die, Mister Atom.’ ‘Right this minute?’ I asked dubiously. ‘It’s not particularly convenient.’“ Galoot, eh? That’s the first paragraph of this book, and it’s got the kind of prose that grabs you, the way crime writers like it to, with words like aura and atom mixed in, the way science fiction writers like them to. Steve Aylett is something of a cult writer, which is to say that his stuff can go the hot way or the cold. This is the hot. Shit, you’re as well to read this just for the sentences Aylett manages to get in there, but let’s say the plot involves a boy with a bomb in his head, and cops and criminals and detection and chasing around, all the good old stuff. And a mechanical swan, which is good new stuff. Buy this for someone and, love it or hate it, (probably love it), they won’t forget you for it. COVER PRICE £6.99. PUBLISHED BY SCAR GARDEN BOOKS FOR… COMIC SCI-FI FANS TANCREDI BY JAMES PALUMBO Tancredi is the name of a man, and that man is the main character of this book. What’s in a name? Well, Tancredi happens to be born on the same day that a star is discovered which may go supernova in such a way as to destroy the Universe. That star is called ‘Surprise’. Tancredi takes it upon himself to embark on a journey to save the Universe in a spaceship called ‘Invincible’, which is where the fun starts – but how long do you think the Invincible lasts? Funding his journey with his invention of the MoronOmeter, an always profitable device, there begins a picaresque space travel adventure as Tancredi, and his crazy crew, journey across the Universe. Despite dealing with the end of the Universe as we know it, this is a fun book, as Tancredi meets zanies after crazies, and Palumobi uses these characters to satirise our present. It’s said that the best science fiction actually deals with our now, and this can be seen as an illustration of that. It’s actually pretty light though, there’s illustrations and a dog and everything. It’s hard to describe, to be honest, let’s just say that if you like the look of Novahead you’ll probably like this too. And Palumbo’s previous book was recommended by the likes of … everyone! From Stephen Fry to Niall Ferguson, Noel Fielding to Rory Bremner, he had fans everywhere. Maybe you should give him a go too. COVER PRICE £9.99. PUBLISHED BY MARLBOROUGH PRESS FOR… SOMEONE YOU’RE TRYING TO GET INTO COMICS THE KITE RUNNER: GRAPHIC NOVEL, BY KHALED HOSSEINI WITH FABIO CELONI AND MIRKA ANDOLFO The Kite Runner was an astonishingly successful runaway bestseller worldwide, and was translated into 51 languages. It therefore follows that it’s pretty likely you know someone who read and enjoyed it. And so this graphic novel version may be a useful gateway to the worthwhile pursuit of comic reading that you can foist upon whichever friend or relative you know who enjoyed the book. Given the success of the book in the first place, it was a dead cert that the creative team for this graphic novel would be at least good. And sure enough, Celoni and Andolfo’s art is fantastically accomplished. It maybe errs too much on the slick side, but that’s hardly a major criticism. For anyone who hasn’t read the book, this may also serve as a useful introduction to it: it’s a story that begins with a flashback to 1970s Afghanistan, where (you’ll never guess) trouble is brewing, first slowly, and then all too suddenly. Hosseini, quite frankly, could be forgiven for phoning the story in at this point. But he hasn’t, and the script is an efficient abbreviation from the novel. And this serves to bring out the contrasting situations from the novel even more, because illustrations of the fun of kite battles aren’t too far away from those of grimmer scenes. A great companion to a major success. COVER PRICE £12.99. PUBLISHED BY BLOOMSBURY FOR… CONSPIRACY THEORISTS ASCENT BY JED MERCURIO AND WESLEY ROBINS Another graphic novel here, and this one’s pretty clever. There are many conspiracies about the moon landing, most of which deny it ever happened. Still, the Soviets did track it as it did happen, and they didn’t raise any objection at the time. Time for a new theory? One that has been suggested is that Yuri Gagarin may not have been the first man in space – he may, in fact, have simply been the first one to get back safely. Whether or not you believe that, it’s pretty intriguing. Jed Mercurio’s script for ascent goes even further – what if, he posits, the USSR managed to get a man to the moon, but couldn’t get him back, and so erased him from history? It’s a clever mash-up of previous conspiracy theories, and his story here tracks the life of one man who this could have happened to, a man whose life is cleverly told in a way that stresses how he could have been erased from history. Yefgenii Yeremin is an ace fighter pilot in the Korean War, sharing a sky with Glenn and Aldrin and feared by them too. But when he breaks the rules of engagement, his record is erased and he’s sent to an Arctic pilot’s base to live out of the spotlight. But when the Russians need a good pilot used to operating under extreme conditions, who do they come to? It’s a story so well realised as to almost convince you of its central thesis… COVER PRICE £16.99. PUBLISHED BY JONATHAN CAPE FOR… SEEKERS OF NEW WRITING THE GRANTA BOOK OF THE AFRICAN SHORT STORY EDITED BY HELON HABILA In the introduction to this extremely welcome collection, Helon Habila mentions that it’s often, far too often, supposed that African Literature begins and ends with Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. That is a great novel, but this collection proves extraordinarily well that there is a very large number of Great African Writers. There have, of course, been African winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, but none of these people have been represented here. This is not because of some creative exclusion policy, but because, again mentioned in the book’s introduction, the short story is strangely neglected by African writers. There are 30 contributors to this volume; I only recognised 4 of them initially. No matter, because quality writing does not ever depend on name recognition, and in fact it can be a far happier experience to discover new writers than to reread old ones. And remember, this is the best writing from a whole continent, so any collection such as this one should showcase a high standard of writing. Happily, this one does, and not only is it a high standard, but it’s a varied one at that, with funny stories, sad stories, abstract stories and stories with a twist in the tale. We include this here not because there’s likely to be any kind of person this will directly appeal to, but simply because it’s a great collection. You like writing? You like this. Simple. COVER PRICE £25. PUBLISHED BY GRANTA BOOKS FOR... THE QUICK READER THE INSTRUCTIONS BY ADAM LEVIN Why for the quick reader? Because this is a meganovel, a 1000 pageplus volume that repays your time investment in it in droves. Gurion Maccabee is a ten year old, and planning rebellion in his school. He has, of course, a very Jewish name, and to some extent the novel plays with themes of religious identity, but it also explores identity as a whole. Gurion is already in the behavior disorders department of his school, but his rebellion won’t take long – despite its length, the novel only takes place over 4 days or so. During those 4 days, Gurion – who considers himself a man of peace – works out exactly how best to rebel. But Gurion is a smart, and for his age very smart, kid and so he’s great company. In a way, he has to be to justify the length of this book, but then the length allows all kinds of plot developments and references and ideas to spill forth as time passes through the book. And it’s not all text – there’s the occasional floor plan, or poster or a schematic for a kid’s weapon, most notably the penny gun (and if you’re of a fiendish mind, these do work too). Quite frankly, there’s way too much in The Instructions to cover in this entry, but quick readers – even slow readers to be honest – will find that this too much is a great deal to chew on in an engrossing novel. COVER PRICE £20. PUBLISHED BY CANONGATE FOR... THE AMERICAN LITERATURE STUDENT FOR… INDIE KIDS THE MARRIAGE PLOT BY JEFFREY EUGENIDES For students eh? Has Jeffrey Eugenides, the author of The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex kept up his own high standards with his third novel The Marriage Plot? Is this novel the most notable American literary release since Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom? Is the book’s setting, beginning with three recent college graduates, a way of commenting on the state of American letters – just barely escaping college level? – or is it simply a promising starting point? Eugenides is a highly acclaimed – Pulitzer Prize winning, even – author, but does this book justify that? For that matter, this book has received wide praise in the reviews it has had so far – was that justified? It’s been noted that the author’s writing style is particularly enjoyable, adding in sly jokes but not at the price of demeaning the characters – is this so? The book deals with a large cast of characters whilst using these same characters as a way to explore timeless themes like love, friendship and religious belief – to what extent does it do this in the same way as a Victorian novel would? How much can it retain in quality from the better examples of Victorian novels whilst adapting the elements of quality it retains for the modern era? And given the acclaimed author, the new version of an old style that the book uses in a broad sense, the well reviewed prose style and the generally heralded nature of the book, should we recommend it? Discuss. (Or just read, and enjoy). IT CHOOSES YOU BY MIRANDA JULY As well as being an award winning writer, Miranda July is the writer-director of the films Me And You And Everyone We Know and, most recently, The Future. This book came to be written when she was struggling to finish the script for The Future, and began reading Pennysaver obsessively. Pennysaver is simply a magazine full of small ads, with people selling things like Care Bears, or a Bengal Leopard Baby. Many of us would be contented with simply enjoying the bizarre nature of some of these ads. July, in a monumental piece of displacement activity, took it upon herself to track down the sellers of various items, taking photographer Brigitte Sire along with her to capture them on film. It should be pointed out here, just for the record, that this is non-fiction. The result is this well produced book, a compendium of interviews with the normal (and generally lower income) people of Los Angeles. This is refreshing – think of L.A. normally and what comes to mind? Hollywood sign, film premieres, okay. These are not those people, and all the better for it. July is a great interviewer too, friendly without being too leading, and bringing people’s personalities out in quick time. It’s all the more impressive that these personalities emerge from the initial starting point of, say, 'Tell me about your hair dryer.' And incidentally, Miranda July did finish her film, and it stars some of the people in this book. Maybe they are Hollywood after all. COVER PRICE £20. PUBLISHED BY FOURTH ESTATE COVER PRICE £16.99. PUBLISHED BY CANONGATE FOR… PEOPLE WHO DON’T REALLY READ MUCH FOR... THE SCOTTISH LITERATURE FAN BRUNG UP PROPER BY JASON MANFORD “Oooh, look, Mavis, isn’t that that Jason Manford from off the telly, the one from the One Show?“ “Oh yes Aggie, and doesn’t the cover of that book look good? He’s got a lovely warm smile, so he has, and a nice, non-threatening haircut.” “And I don’t know what it can possibly say inside Mavis, but I hope it’s the ups and downs of a rags to riches tale about a cheeky chappy with a large Northern family who fight like right scrappers but all love each other really in a way that’ll warm my heart.” “I imagine you could be on to something there Aggie dear. But when you say Northern where exactly do you mean?” “Well it’s English Northern, so I mean to the South.” “Ah, yes, the North to the South, I’m sure he gets called ‘our Jason’ and so on down there in that North Agnes. That’s the sort of thing they say down there.” “And I gather from the title they say ‘brung up proper’ too, and I wouldn’t doubt that he was brought up properly too, Mavis” “What makes you say that Aggie?” “Well he looks like such a nice boy Mavis.” “Right you are Aggie, and I have to say it’s handy that he’s happened to have this book out at Christmas time because it’s the sort of thing I can buy young people I don’t know how to shop for.” “Great idea Mavis. Let’s get five copies each.” COVER PRICE £18.99. PUBLISHED BY EBURY BOOKS. MANY, MANY OTHER BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE THOUGH WASTED IN LOVE BY ALLAN WILSON. Yes, we’ve covered this one before, but it merits inclusion here what with being really good, and also short. Brevity is often a good bet in Christmas books, because how much of someone’s time do you really want to take up? It should be noted here that Wasted In Love can take up a lot of time, if the reader wants it to, because this short story collection is full of ambiguities, as motivations are obscure and plot points oblique in ways that don’t confuse, but rather engage the reader. It’s a clever trick if you can pull it off. Wilson does – it would seem that when he’s not getting dragged round pubs playing pool and computer football games for the sake of ridiculous interviews in The Skinny, he actually spends time productively. This collection is a series of often very short short stories, and even the longer ones don’t go on very long at all. Which is to say they don’t outstay their welcome, but this is a small virtue, the least you’d expect. The real value of this book is in its authenticity. This is a picture of various Glaswegian lives (sometimes overlapping) that gives a real sense of place, not by listing street names as some have tried, but by depicting Glaswegians doing things that are brave, dumb, sly, ridiculous and all manner of other qualities, in the way you’d expect them to do them. Good stuff, basically. COVER PRICE £11.99. PUBLISHED BY CARGO DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 19 COMEDY Dear Santa Christmas is coming, and we’ve asked some stars of the Scottish comedy scene to tell us what they’re hoping to find in their stockings Illustration: Kyle Smart Vladimir McTavish Dear Santa, For Christmas this year, can I have a robot which I can programme to do all the jobs I do not like doing, e.g. writing letters? Can the robot have a monkey to do all the jobs that the robot does not like doing? Can I also have another robot which can be programmed to train the monkey to do all these jobs as the first robot is going to be far too busy dealing with my correspondence to have any time to spend training monkeys? Thank you. Merry Xmas, Vladimir Jo Caulfield Dear Santa, This December Michael Winner has a new book out – guess what I do NOT want for Christmas? If Winner’s punchable face goes anywhere near my stocking I will hunt you down and kill you. Even if you don’t exist. What do I want? Well, I’d quite like a stuffed reindeer’s head to hang above my fireplace. Be honest, do you really need Dancer, Prancer, Vixen alternative pub Cask Ale: Hobgoblin, Deuchars IPA & Guest Ale Addlestones Premium Cloudy Cider Student Discount On All Food Including Our Famous “Big Nachos” Metal, Punk & Goth Jukebox Find Us In CAMRA’s 2011 Good Beer Guide! Mon-Sat 12 noon - 12.45am, Sun 12.30pm-12.45am www.theauldhoose.co.uk 23-25 St. Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh EH8 9QN 20 THE SKINNY December 2011 and all the others? Come on, give me Rudolph’s carcass. I’d also like World Peace, an end to all wars and an iPad2. If that’s too much I’ll just take the iPad2. Thank you. Love Jo x Martin Mor Dear Santa, Sorry to be bothering you at what must be one of your busiest times of year (Christmas). I hope this is not a cheeky question; do you dye your whiskers? It is difficult to find any reliable beard related information. I Googled “beards” but just got a lot of specialist sites dedicated to “Bears”. I’m sure I saw your photo on BigDaddyBear.com. The leather mask disguised you, but I spotted a little red nose poking out. How are the reindeers? Any beard grooming tips gratefully received. Season's greetings, Martin BILLY KIRKWOOD Hey Mofo Here’s my 5 strong Christmas wish list for 2011 1 – Please stop people using LOL, OMG or ROFL in real life 2 – Kick Piers Morgan in the face 3 – Make it so all midgets now have to be referred to as Shetland people 4 – Put pens in all toilet stalls so people don’t write in poo 5 – Have Chuck Norris fight the Ultimate Warrior for the championship of the universe Get a couple of these done and we can put that Sega Master System incident of 1986 behind us. Your Friend in time, KEIR MCALLISTER To be honest with you I hesitated in writing this letter because I’m still a bit pissed off about last year’s 'slanket' debacle. If I wanted to look like a wizard, I’d have grown a beard. As a result, I’m not that bothered about a gift this year to be honest, because I already celebrated Christmas this year when I watched Murdoch get that pie in his face, live on telly and for a couple of seconds I thought he might have been stabbed. I will give you a pressie though, in the form of some advice. Ditch that fucking Slade song. It’s getting beyond a joke. If you had never heard of Christmas before and your first hearing about it was Noddy Holder rasping it at you through a shopping centre tannoy system – you’d be forgiven for thinking Christmas was a rape festival run by an evil Tom Waits with throat cancer. Do that and I’ll forget about the 'slanket.' Cheers Keir RO CAMPBELL Dear Santa, I just read your Wikipedia page and it turns out you were born in Greece, so I’m assuming everyone’s presents are currently sitting in the window of a pawn shop somewhere, which for many children in Scotland would just be cutting out the middle man anyway. I think in these times of massive upheaval and protest it is not long before the people see you as an instrument of the totalitarian global elite’s campaign to distract us from all the economic and political shitstorms they have been creating, by encouraging us to buy all the crap they manafacture. Well we’ve had enough. If you were really genuine about spreading joy, you’d have given healthcare to African children and AIDS to George Bush. Well the party’s over fat man, we’re on our way to Occupy Lapland. Burn in hell, Ro JO CAULFIELD I’d also like World Peace, an end to all wars and an iPad2. If that’s too much I’ll just take the iPad2 JO CAULFIELD PROUD Open 1 December 2011 By Stuart Paterson 25 November – 31 December 2011 BOX OFFICE: 0131 248 4848 GROUPS 8+: 0131 248 4949 TEXT RELAY: 18001 0131 248 4848 MOBILE: m.lyceum.org.uk ONLINE: www.lyceum.org.uk/beauty TWITTER: #beautyandthebeast 1 Queen Street Edinburgh Free Admission Company No. SC062065 Scottish Charity Registered No. SC010509 DECEMBER 2011 National Galleries of Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland (No.SC003728) MICHAEL REDMOND Dear Santa, Since I don’t believe in you anymore, it would be ridiculous to ask you for some presents for myself. However, here is a list of presents which I would like you to deliver to other people: DAVID CAMERON (Politician): Michael Jackson’s former doctor, Conrad Murray, to advise him on daily intake of medicine for insomnia. JOHN TERRY (Footballer): A time machine to transport him back in time to South Africa in the days of Apartheid where he might find some TEDDY I’ve been a very good boy this year. Certainly in relative terms to Colonel Gaddafi, President Assad of Syria, and Rupert Murdoch. For Christmas, I would like: – Gym membership for my cat. A few reps on the ab-cruncher would burn off some of the excess energy currently being put to use throwing all my worldly possessions from the highest shelves she can reach. – An agent. Being a professional comedian and writer, I’m only really comfortable being a cunt onstage or on Microsoft Word. I really need somebody to be a cunt on the phone for me. – Money to travel round Slovakia for a fortnight next year with a mate. The missus is Slovakian… but unfortunately that means she has as much interest in travelling around Slovakia as I have in travelling around Scotland. I believe in you! Teddy Billy © Anne Marzaroli (detail) SIÂN BEVAN Dear Santa, I’m really very sorry that I kept telling people I don’t believe in you. I was just trying to be one of those cool atheists (asantaists?) who make Frank Skinner all cross, when I realised that I should stop trying to be cool and start hedging my bets. I definitely believe in you, probably. In fact, are you God? I hope not, because then I’d have to send this letter with my eyes shut and hands pressed together and ask for something like world peace. I’d actually like a very tiny pony but one that’s tiny because it’s cute, not because it has a horrible disease. Thank you! (If you don’t exist, please could you pass this on to Jimmy Savile?) Siân Elizabeth Bevan, aged 29 and 3 quarters. soulmates. JEREMY CLARKSON ( ? ) A talking, blow-up version of himself so he’ll realise how unbearably irritating he is. Your pal, Michael The Castlemilk Lads, Oscar Marzaroli, Scottish National Portrait Gallery DEE CUSTANCE Dear Santa, I didn’t watch out, I cry like I just shagged Frankie Cocozza and frown like a Halloween mask of Theresa May left to melt on a radiator. If you find me asleep it would be a fucking holy baby Jesus miracle because I’ve not slept since 2009. Santa… I have clinical depression. Please may I have a prescription for temazepam, a cumacumacuma2000 with extra batteries. And a rope. Dee, Aged 30 PS, if your reindeers shit on my roof again, Rudolph’s arse will be my Christmas lunch. THE SKINNY 21 www.edinburgh-picturehouse.co.uk A Centre for the Arts and Creativity WE GOTTA PARTY LIKE IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD EVERY FRIDAY DRINKS FROM It’s Friday Bitches clubgogo.co.uk £1.20 NEW ATTRACTIONS, NEW THEMES NEW OCTOPUSSY highlights DECEMBER EXHIBITIONS EVENTS Russian Cultural Centre Sunday evening music recitals* Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre performance* Glasgow Print Studio Christmas Show CREATE* Trongate 103 offers a wide choice of Sharmanka Gallery creative classes in a variety of Sharmanka before Sharmanka techniques and media including print, Early works by Eduard Bersudsky photography, digital imaging animation, film and video. Please visit our website Street Level Photoworks The Obsidian Isle - Gayle Chong Kwan for more information. Street Level Photoworks & T103 Foyer What Presence! The Rock Photography of Harry Papadopoulos Project Ability Xmas Show aDMission FREE 103 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HD 0141 276 8380 email@example.com DRINKS FROM £1.20 Bringing students the brightest most colourful entertainment to the city RED HOT CHILLI PIPERS SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER tRongatE 103 WElCoME Visits Thursday 8th December Get to know Trongate 103 better by joining one of our free behind the scenes tours. Wednesday 25th January Gallery previews, T FIRS DAY music, and fun — RS THU monthly 6-9pm www.trongate103.com Friday 24th February NOAH AND THE WHALE Tuesday 20th March VENUE BOX OFFICE Open Mon-Sat 12-4pm No booking fee for cash 24 HOUR HOTLINE : 0843 221 0100 | 0844 847 1740 *Charges may apply for some performances, workshops, classes and events. BOOK ONLINE : hmvtickets.com | ticketweb.co.uk 31 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2DJ. 0131 221 2280 22 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 MUSIC Mani Overboard; The Primals Scream On One of the original members of one of Britain’s most successful bands, Andrew Innes talks to The Skinny about Hogmanay in Edinburgh, tension in the studio, and gives a blow by blow account of their forthcoming LP (warning, the last one’s a lie) Interview: Paul Mitchell just drained and glad to see the back of it when it’s finished. It sounds like I’m moaning, but I’m not really. That’s just the way it is. As soon as it’s finished you never want to hear the thing again. Then maybe you’ll catch a listen in ten years time and go ‘That’s quite good’, but not before then.” Innes pauses for a minute before offering a brief anecdote when asked if there are any particular tracks from ‘back then’ that have had that effect. “I was out with a friend the other day and I heard the track from XTRMNTR called Shoot Speed / Kill Light and I didn’t recognise it, even asking my pal It makes you cool with the children, when you’re on X Factor Andrew Innes None of our albums were fun to make, they were more like pulling teeth. Actually, you'd rather be down at the dentist without anaesthetic Andrew Innes Primal Scream playing Screamadelica at secc and all – against all the grey of 80s Thatcherism.” They’re still not fans of the Tories, as a recent fracas showed where it was thought the Home Secretary Theresa May had used the 1994 single Rocks to leave the stage at the Conservative party conference. Although the track in question was actually The Dandy Warhols’ Bohemian Like You, both bands battered in, with the Primals calling the governing party “Sick” and Courtney Taylor threatening to “tear their fuggin’ heads off.” Innes, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, is somewhat more sanguine about the fact that Rocks also turned up recently on X-Factor, ‘performed’ by wannabe reprobate Frankie Cocozza. “It makes you cool with the children, when you’re on X Factor.” So you didn’t really mind? “I don’t think you can mind anyone doing your song. Once you’ve done it it’s out there in the public domain to a certain extent. So people can do what they want with it as long as it’s not advertising a certain political party.” Screamadelica marks, in Innes’ own words, the point where Primal Scream “went from black and white to technicolour. We started using samplers, which had come down a lot in price and were more affordable, and it changed the way we could make records. Suddenly we could have flutes, tablas, whatever we wanted.” Is Screamadelica your favourite Primal Scream album, or if not, which one is? “Y’know what, I don’t listen to any of them. None of them were fun to make, they were more like pulling teeth. Actually, you’d rather be down at the dentist without anaesthetic.” So, what exactly is so terrible about it? “It’s very emotional. You’re Photo: Colin MacDonald Primal Scream’s Andrew Innes is in noticeably jovial form when The Skinny comes a-callin’, so it seems pertinent to ask (because we’re always suspicious in these circumstances) if there’s a specific reason for this levity. “Actually, it’s just because we’ve been working quite hard,” the guitarist admits. “We’re working on new music, so everything is quite exciting right now.” This is potentially very exciting news, but The Scream’s renowned frontman Bobby Gillespie has been talking about a follow-up to their last album, 2008’s Beautiful Future, for almost two years now. Does this revelation, that they’re actually working on it in the studio, mean a release date might be in sight? “I don’t know, you’ll need to ask the Powers That Be about that. We’re just the mere workforce.” Of course, we’d love to know what it’s going to sound like, or if there are any radical new departures in store, but Innes isn’t for divulging even the tiniest of clues, is he? “No!” Which is fair enough. He does, however, reveal his enthusiasm for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, which is unsurprising given he and his bandmates are this year’s headliners, but it’s a suitably Scottish form of enthusiasm; “Well, it’s going to be great, obviously, as long as it’s not too cold, which is always a possibility.” Or a likelihood. The gig will encompass a run through of the band’s hefty back catalogue, with the centrepiece being 1991’s seminal Screamadelica, which the band have been touring for most of 2011. It may not be the last of the Screamadelica paeans (“So far, yes, but you never know”), but the New Year’s gig does mark the Primal Scream swansong for bassist Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield, who, having been a band member since 1996, leaves to focus on another reunion you may or may not have heard of, with his original Stone Roses cohorts. Is this upheaval trying in any way? “I guess it’s a little strange. Of course he [Mani] is really happy to be going back to the Roses, but sad to be leaving us. It’s a bit of a bundle of emotions. He’ll be happy when he gets his cheque in,” laughs Innes. From whom, you guys or the Stone Roses? “Definitely them. We’ll all be queueing up to borrow money from him when that comes in.” Primal Scream are the latest in a long line of indie powerhouses to embark on tours of selfcelebration in the past few years. Innes admits he’s uncomfortable enough with that notion, but that after twenty years, it was perhaps time to look back with satisfaction at a job well done. “For a long time at gigs, there’d be people going ‘Screamadelica, Screamadelica’ and we’d go, ‘Well we’re making new music’. You never want to look back. But after twenty years things become funny. As they say, comedy is tragedy plus time and, it’s the same with that. You can look back fondly because you’ve done other things, been other places. You can be proud of things. I hadn’t listened to some of [Screamadelica] for twenty years and you realise ‘Actually, that’s quite good’. We’d never played half of it live at all; stuff like I’m Coming Down, or Shine Like Stars, live, so that made it more interesting.” So what does he feel it is in particular about an album which captured the imagination and has remained in the consciousness since? “I guess it just caught the feeling at the time. People were sick of ten to fifteen years of Tory government. There was The Roses LP, The Mondays LP, our LP; they all just caught that feeling. A rebellion in the club scene; a communal spirit – with the ecstasy ‘Who’s this?’ He went, ‘It’s you ya effing idiot.’ ‘Oh right, so this is what it sounds like on the record.’ They normally sound completely different live, and that’s the only way I’ve been listening to the song for the past decade. So I heard that, and thought it was incredible, if I do say so myself. We were on form for that one I think.” It’s put to Innes that perhaps one of the reasons for Primal Scream’s success, particularly on albums like Screamadelica and XTRMNTR is the calibre of collaborator they’ve been able to attract, whether to play on the record or to engineer some studio magic. DJ Andrew Weatherall and The Orb having met the band through their association with Creation Records founder Alan McGee; George Clinton did some mixing on Give Out But Don’t Give Up; Kevin Shields pretty much joined the band for a while in 1998; Robert Plant and, eh, Kate Moss provided guest vocals on Evil Heat... the list does go on. Innes whispers his assent, almost in reverence. “Aye. It’s an impressive list alright. Sometimes people just come to mind. You’re making a track, thinking ‘Oh I’d really like to hear such and such a person play guitar on this’. With Shoot Speed, for example, we just wanted to hear that Joy Division guitar from Bernard Sumner, so we liaised with him. He wrote another bit and added it to the track and then came down and played on the record. He was a hero of ours and we wanted that sound on it. So you identify what sort of song you’d like to hear, who makes that sound, and if they’re still alive you track them down and see if they’re up for it. We’ve been lucky that most people we’ve tracked down have wanted to play with us. A lot of great people appear on our records.” So, anyone particular in mind for that next album? As ever, Innes keeps his cards close to his chest. “I can’t say, they might sue us.” Prima Scream play Concert in the Gardens, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, 31 Dec, £35 www.primalscream.net December 2011 THE SKINNY 23 CLUBS A Man of Northern Substance and Southern Exposure One of Edinburgh’s premier techno nights, Substance reached its fifth birthday last month in spectacular style by hosting Nathan Fake. We speak to one of the guys behind the success, Adam Richardson Huntleys & Palmers main man Andrew Thomson talks about the four years of running nights in Glasgow, relocating to London and starting his own label Interview: Neil Murchison Photo: Ross Fraser McLean Interview: Neil Murchison Adam Richardson is explaining what first caused him to put on his own night Substance five years ago. “We found ourselves newly in Edinburgh at a bit of a transitional time and after a good few years of clubbing we knew what we wanted to hear and how a party should go. We ended up putting one on at a basement called Henry’s for one of our birthdays and it just grew from there.” As one of Edinburgh’s premier techno nights Substance has been serving up some of most thundering innovators to the capital for half a decade now across various clubs, including The Caves, Henry’s Cellar Bar, The Store and The Bongo Club. This movable feast, dedicated to stripped down, electronic pounding has grown itself a solid following which has been enhanced by the number of DJs and artists who have guested over recent years. Luke Vibert, Paul Daley, Luke Slater, Subhead, Dave Clarke and Altern 8 are among the fine roster that have taken up the reins over the years as the night has become known for its unswerving quality. For their 5th anniversary in November it was no different with techno wunderkind Nathan Fake delivering a set with dark edge and undeniable beauty that was followed up by DJ Pete unleashing a slice of pure Berlin-powered, magnetically locked structures. The group who began the night consist of Adam, his brother Richard, his girlfriend Jane and another friend Iain Weston. The same members continue to this day with the exception of Iain, with Richard being the sole permanent resident. The purpose of the night hasn’t changed either and Adam is clear that the ethos is still to provide “a place to escape the shit of the week, where you can get a proper dance, with sound people, to the best electronic music we can find.” Defining 'a proper dance' is not unlike defining pornography: you just know it when you see it. The crowd at Substance seem to know it and enjoy it too (dancing, not pornography). Within these limits Adam has always found a way to keep the night fresh and exciting, even to the regulars. “The music that gets played is pretty varied. A friend recently pointed out that you never know what you’re going to get and that’s why she keeps coming back. Broadly speaking though it is based around numerous techno variants whilst drawing from new emergent styles and digging back to find Andrew Thomson is no doubt occupied enough with the fifth year of Huntleys & Palmers to be concerned about reflecting on the previous four. From the first booking made in 2007 the night has grown into an established name on the Glasgow clubbing scene and has provided a platform for some of the best talents from around the world as well as proving a base for DJs such as Auntie Flo to get exposure. Achieving this alone would be impressive enough but without considering the relocation to London that has given H&P a foothold in arguably the two biggest clubbing cities in Britain or the first record by Auntie Flo being released on their label. I start by asking Andrew to look back on what has been an incredibly busy few years. Huntleys & Palmers was born four years ago, does it all seem like a blur looking back? It’s beginning to feel like a bit of a blur now, yeah. There have been well over a hundred artists who’ve played but there’s little time to reflect as such is the nature of promoting, you’re always looking towards the next party or beyond. As you will be aware the name is very similar to the tinned biscuit makers and sounds very respectable and yet I believe it actually refers to prostitutes and homosexuals. You’ll have to explain? Good to see you’ve done your homework! I’d been toying with all manner of names before and I had been conscious of the H&P story and was attracted to both the egalitarian and sleazy connotations, it kinda fell into place. I didn’t think beyond the first party and wouldn’t have imagined I’d still be using it this far down the line. Lots of people leave clubs with the idea that they would want to put on their own nights but very few actually take those important next steps. What was it that made you think ‘Right, let’s do this’? The main impetus at the time was to provide something new in Glasgow musically and offer an alternative to the more established venues such as Sub Club, The Art School and The Arches. Now that Stereo and other venues have themselves became more established, I’d like to think that the original mindset continues musically at least. 24 THE SKINNY December 2011 records which were overlooked, forgotten, or are just amazing and need to be played out.” I ask Adam about which guest DJs had been the most significant and he is careful to give recognition to those who he managed to book in the early days. “In those early days we had a strong Sativae/ Test influence with Dave Tarrida, Steve Glencross and Tim Wright alongside Adam X (Traversable Wormhole), The Wee DJs, Jerome Hill. We were chuffed to bits to have convinced those artists to play a venue that size. A very young Jackmaster and Brian d’Souza (Auntie Flo) also rocked things in that first year.” Now with the ability to attract some of the biggest techno names such a Nathan Fake I wonder how much do they actually get to enjoy who is playing? “We aren’t the types to spend the night beside the headliner trying to look important so we enjoy our own night too! There’s obviously a special buzz when it rolls around as we’ve invested so much into it beforehand.” The crowd during Nathan Fake are certainly tuned into his layered and warped sound which manages to keep everyone dancing without resorting to all out 4/4 warfare. This is not your classic main room techno but the crowd are focused entirely upon him as he finishes up his set with his recent shimmering, evolving remix of Radiohead’s Mr. Magpie. The changing location for the night has meant it has never become ingrained in the fabric of a single club and they have had to develop a sense of identity in other ways; but Adam believes that this has been to their benefit. “It allowed us to base ourselves small at the outset, develop a strong core crowd and do bigger parties when it felt right to do so,” he says. “Holding events at various clubs has helped us to pitch different styles of parties and kept it all feeling new.” With the success of the club nights set to continue Adam’s attention is now focused on expanding the Substance brand with the first release under the label name of Substance/Audio. A compilation album featuring tracks by Mark Archer (Altern8), Ital Tek and Forward Strategy Group came out in late summer and the first vinyl releases are currently being prepared. Based on the success of Substance so far it would seem that the future success of the label is in very good hands. Ten Tracks is out on Substance Audio through Boomkat.com now www.substance-audio.com There are some labels who are releasing solely on vinyl to protect themselves from filesharing but you have chosen to use digital. Why is that? The main reason for doing both digi and vinyl is purely to cater for both kinds of DJ now. It’s regrettable that vinyl is a dying art form but I don’t think you can realistically expect to reach the same audience without digital. There’s a great deal of consideration put into buying the vinyl as an artefact though and the artwork is almost as important as the music. When The Skinny spoke to you in 2009 you said that the only problem with the Glasgow club scene is that there was too much happening at the same time to take it all in. Was your move to London not a perverse one then? I still stand by that statement! Glasgow still has heaps going on each weekend and it doesn’t have anywhere near the same volume of people as London. Whilst competition is fierce in London there are enough people to go around for adventurous line ups that I’d never get away with in Glasgow. The flip of that is the London crowd can tend to rate their appearance ahead of having a good time. Can you explain your process for choosing which DJs to book? Is it as simple as ‘if you like what they do then you book them’? Yeah, it’s that simple really. That has been the only common thread with the guests. I tend to be attracted to artists with idiosyncrasies and distinctions and I’ve always been interested in music that bears a timeless quality, that keeps a distance from passing trends or fads. London has been quite challenging on this front as the rapid change of music is exciting although I’m not convinced much of it is going to stand the test of time. Perhaps that’s the appeal in itself? Where does the label fit in to the H&P environment? Is it an extension of your ethos for the club nights? It’s an extension of promoting in the respect of discovering new artists and presenting them to the greater public. The biggest appeal to starting the label was the satisfaction in owning something after all your hard work. Despite the months of advance planning, parties flash by within the blink of an eye leaving you with a poster and some hazy memories later. At least with a record it will hopefully be around and getting discovered in years to come. Huntleys & Palmers celebrate their 4th birthday at Stereo on Sat 10 Dec with John Talabot and Auntie Flo. £5, 11pm - 3am Auntie Flo’s Goan Highlife is out now on Huntelys and Palmers Audio Club via digital download MUSIC The Blood, The Sweat, The Beers As Machine Head mark their 20th anniversary, Dave McClain talks fresh starts, critical missteps and diabolical cocktails Interview: David Bowes sounding exactly like Burn My Eyes, but then with The Burning Red people got mad at us again for sounding different… it’s like we can’t fucking win!” No matter how proud he remains of that album’s stylistic shift, he gratefully accepts some of the criticisms directed at its follow-up. “For Supercharger, that record, to me, is like a great EP. I think there’re maybe four great songs on there. We still play Bulldozer to this day and it’s a killer song but yeah, there’s definitely some stuff on there that, in my eyes, is not up to Machine Head standards.” Despite such personal criticisms, he remains optimistic about those works’ legacies. “I think those two, more than any other Machine Head records, people will look back on now and say, ‘Y’know, that’s a good fucking record!’” We feel like a new band in this line-up Dave McClain Machine Head are a band who’ve been put through the wringer in their rocky career. They’ve had critical panning, obligatory accusations of ‘selling out’ and no shortage of personal demons to fight across the board, but for a band formed by a teenage speed dealer from Oakland, there’s been no shortage of more legitimate highs along the way. Their seventh album Unto The Locust sees them once again delivering the unexpected while still staying the most metal dudes around. So what’s changed during the relentless three-year tour behind their sprawling 2007 opus The Blackening? “I think everything became a little more personal,” muses drummer Dave McClain today. “For The Blackening, there were definitely some politically charged lyrics on that album. We’re not a political band but at the time that record was written, George Bush was still in office, the Ten Ton Hammers McClain rolls out a top five tribute to the fathers of his drumming style Neil Peart 26 THE SKINNY December 2011 war was spreading; as a band, there was a lot of stuff we were pretty fucking mad about. But since then, a lot has happened and the political stuff has gone away, only to be replaced with the more personal stuff that went on during the course of touring that album.” A fine example of this shift can be found in the rallying call of Darkness Falls, not only a fitting tribute to the unifying power of metal but also an exorcism of frontman Robb Flynn’s own demons. Yet for all this, these songs still bear a comfortable resemblance to The Blackening’s epic structures, which McClain can attest to. “We weren’t trying to change our style. If anything, we just wanted to carry on the progression from our last three records, to take what we had learned and use it to write the best songs, and the heaviest songs, that we can write. We feel like a new band in this line-up, like this is our third record.” Many fans are quick to agree, following the backlash they received after the release of The Burning Red and Supercharger, two albums that saw them dip their toe in the nu-metal waters and change not only their sound but also their style, as those who remember McClain’s leopard-print hair in the From This Day video can testify. “I think the image of the band threw people off more than anything. It made them not hear the record objectively, so people were saying, ‘Oh, Robb’s rapping on this record.’ So what! Get over it already!” If this is how the band was perceived, McClain’s impression is considerably more forgiving. “Take the image away, and it’s fucking good! It’s dark, it’s killer and it’s something we had to do,” he exults, before lamenting the fickleness of the industry. “We got criticised on The More Things Change for 1. Neil Peart (Rush) – At number one, it’s gotta be Peart! If you don’t know, just watch a show or go to YouTube; he’s the man. Rush was one of the first bands that came my direction, besides Kiss and Judas Priest, and it was really mind-blowing to me. I love his style and it’s just so challenging to play, even after all these years. There’s probably drummers out there who can do a lot more, but he brought the technical and the very tasty sides of drumming together in a very cool way. He’s still the guy I look to for inspiration on drum parts. 2. Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake/Ozzy Osbourne) – Aldridge played with pretty much everyone in the world, but he’s just this amazing hard-hitter and a great solo drummer. 3. Peter Criss (Kiss) – Well, Kiss was the first hard rock band I ever got into and Criss’s drumming… well, it was easy. It wasn’t too far off of basic beats but he also had this jazz thing that he added that was just really cool. For older drummers, it’d probably be Ringo Starr as his stuff wasn’t too hard to play; Peter Criss, he was my generation’s Ringo Starr. 4. Keith Moon (The Who) – Something about Moon’s drumming style just didn’t do it for me as a youth, but now I’m trying to be a bit more spontaneous. In the past I’ve always tried to be very regimented in playing the same thing every time but when I’m writing it’s different, and Keith Moon’s just that dude. When you listen to The Who and to different versions of the same song he rarely plays the same way. I mean, the guy looks like Animal when he plays! He seemed like either a very fun, or a very annoying, guy to be around. 5. Igor Cavalera (Sepultura/Cavalera Conspiracy) – There’s a lot of people I could probably choose for number 5, but I’m gonna go for a metal guy. The other day, I was playing along to Sepultura’s Roots album and Igor’s just this monster, this crazy monster from the Amazon. His style’s so cool, you can tell he comes from Brazil. It’s very tribal, very Neanderthal-ish in a way and I’ve had the privilege of going out on tour with that guy many times. Probably one of my favourite metal drummers of all time. No matter what naysayers may spout, though, metal has always been Machine Head’s heart and soul. “I think that’s the good thing about metal, that it’s always been a subculture. It’s never been the shiny popular thing to like,” he emotionally expounds. “Whether it’s the adrenaline, or just that it’s dirty and gritty, there’s always something there to latch on to. And not everyone likes it, which is one of the appealing things about it. The only thing that’s changed is that younger and younger people are coming to the shows, which is always a good thing.” With this sunny new outlook and rejuvenated lineup, the band are gearing up for another mammoth trek to our fair isle which McClain is predictably excited about. “To be honest, I love it!” From the rise in his voice, there’s the vibe that this is no idle chatter. “I take my home time when I can get it, but touring has been my life since 1991. I love being out on the road, I love that we toured for three years on The Blackening and I hope we do it again. I look at Machine Head first and foremost as a live band and that’s how we built our fanbase.” Perhaps predictably, McClain has little time for those who don’t share his love of the open road. “I think there’re some bands who’re just, ‘Here we go again.’ We’ll see them and ask them how they’re doing and they’ll sigh, ‘Oh, you know. Living the dream...’ Well go get a fucking normal job then!” he retorts with a derisive laugh. “If you’re gonna sit there and complain about touring, just don’t do it and find something else.” Anyone whose borne witness to Machine Head’s explosive live shows over the years knows that a penchant for the sauce always goes hand in hand. McClain is pleased to confirm that old habits really do die hard. “Yeah, things are still the same although the hangovers definitely hurt more now,” he chuckles. “We’ve added some new drinks to the Machine Head drinks menu, like the ‘Beat the Beam’ bomb, where you take a shot of Jim Beam and drop it into Red Bull,” joining the ranks of their previous concoctions the ‘Brown Eye’ (vodka and coke) and the ‘Butt Burner’ (think a Bloody Mary, but replace tomato juice with tabasco sauce), the mention of which prompts a hearty bout of laughter on the other side of the line. “Ah, the Butt Burner. Definitely an oldie but a goodie.” So is it safe to say that age isn’t yet getting in the way of Machine Head’s life on the road? “We know when to take it easy now... we’re definitely more responsible drinkers.” With shocking statements like this, it’s obvious there’s a caveat in there somewhere and it’s not long before McClain spills the beans. “But there are those days when you know you’ve got a day off so you’re up drinking ‘til the sun comes, just rocking out to old Maiden on the bus. I don’t think that’ll ever stop. If it does, we’ll have to become a Christian rock band or something.” Playing SECC on 5 Dec. Unto The Locust is out now on Roadrunner. www.machinehead1.com December 2011 THE SKINNY 27 16−26 FEBRUARY 2012 + GLASGOW YOUTH FILM FESTIVAL: 5–15 FEBRUARY GLASGOW SHORT FILM FESTIVAL: 9–12 FEBRUARY WWW.GLASGOWFILM.ORG/FESTIVAL Go Away! To the Gili Islands If you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself in Bali or Lombok in Indonesia – leave. No, not really, but get off the mainland and spend as long as you possibly can exploring the beautiful Gili Islands nearby. You won’t hear anyone saying a bad thing about these beautiful islands quite simply because they are flawless. The three islands show off a range of diversity that satisfies any island fantasy from a remote, hut-dwelling experience to an all night beach party. There are no motorised vehicles on the islands so public transport takes the form of rather jolly rickshaws or horse drawn carts. Gili Air is the most populated of the 3 islands and is only 5km away from Lombok. You can watch the sun rise over the Rinjani volcano, Lombok, and set over Mount Agung, Bali. This beautiful island is the place to go to get away from the crowds, to learn to scuba dive or to experience the best in luxury accommodation and beautiful Indonesian food. Gili Meno is the smallest, quietest and cheapest island and its quiet atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to chill out by the sea in a hammock and forget about the rest of the world. Gili Trawagan (or Gili T, to those in the know) is known as the party island. If you want to go diving, do it here in the Gilis – this beautiful spot has a wealth of underwater beauty to rival that above. There are even giant turtles living in the waters around Gili T that you’ll find easily enough with a snorkel and mask. If you want a taste of paradise, it doesn’t get much better than this. [Rose Howie] Embrace Scottish Snow Nevis Range Do you ever listen to people talking about their Jack Wills sponsored Christmas skiing holidays to the quaint wooden chalets in the Alps and just think – ‘Shut up, ya?’ Just me? Well now is the time to reclaim your right to hit the slopes without wearing pyjama bottoms or Ugg boots. All around this beautiful country of ours are plenty spots to get out in the snow. If the last 2 years are anything to go by, we’re in for a snowy December so check out ski.visitscotland. com for information about Scotland’s own ski resorts. From the Nevis Range to Glenshee there are slopes for all levels and several off-piste opportunities for the real adrenaline junkies out there. If all else fails and by some miracle we have a warm winter, check out Braehead’s SNO!Zone, an indoor slope with temperatures of -5ºC for the realistic snow experience. There’s also great fun to be had at Midlothian’s Hillend Ski Centre (just outside Edinburgh). From skiing, snow blading and snowboarding to sledging or the hilarious tubing, there’s something for everyone and lessons are available at both. Beware of Hillend’s artificial carpet-snow however – it burns – so make sure you’re all wrapped up, maybe in cotton wool. [Rose Howie] December 2011 THE SKINNY 41 ART Consistently Challenging Artwork We catch up on all the changes taking place at CCA in Glasgow while the centre’s programmer Jamie Kenyon gives us a taster of what to expect in 2012 Interview: Andrew Cattanach Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts has been slowly transforming. It all started last year when collaborative artists Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan had their solo exhibition Direct Serious Action Is Therefore Necessary at the CCA. Their work, known for its critical inclinations, drew attention to the centre’s inherently awkward spaces – and CCA more than simply acknowledged the reproach. It took necessary action. “The artists were keen to challenge and disrupt how parts of the building operated and explore areas they felt didn’t work very well architecturally,” says CCA programmer Jamie Kenyon. “You’ll probably remember they constructed a huge worm-like structure through both the foyer and café areas.” The structure cleverly connected the disparate sections of the CCA – the foyer was drawn into dialogue with the café, which is in turn adjacent to the gallery spaces. And rather than the art simply being tucked away at the rear of the building – only reached by first navigating the huge front desk and the ever-busy café – it was as if you were beckoned in by toys belonging to an oversized toddler. CCA started making little changes. The lighting and the window displays were improved, and then Welcome Home, a retail space showcasing design, craft and illustration, was introduced into the foyer next to the already established Aye-Aye Books. More recently DO Architecture won a tender to restructure the foyer space to accommodate the changes, and drastically improve the intimidating information desk first encountered on a visit to CCA. Now, a far more welcoming archipelago of desks reach out to meet you on arrival. “It’s only been just over a month, but it feels hard to actually remember what it was like before,” admits Kenyon. “Most visitors seem really excited about it, and you could definitely say there’s a change in energy in the building, somehow.” CCA will host a book fair in the daytime, with stalls by European publishers, including Berlin-based distributor Motto and London’s Mono Paper, as well as Glasgow’s own Transmission. The evening will see the launch of Volume 12 of 2HB alongside the latest issues of five other publications – Uncle Chop Chop, Victor & Hestor, Marbled Realms, Gnommero and Dancehall. “I think a lot of publishing activities are also conversational activities,” Keyon explains. “So it seemed right for us to bring all these into one night, overlapping all the audiences in one room and adding the international people from the book fair too.” Running concurrently with the 2HB exhibition, in one of the gallery’s smaller galleries, is the first installment of an ongoing project entitled Vanguards, where four emerging curators are invited to explore ideas in a context different from the underground scene they normally work within. First up is Ben Fallon, who will be showing six international artists with a common interest in the effects of network culture. “It seems pretty clear in the last ten years that this job [curator] is a growing and necessary one within visual arts,” says Kenyon, “something that ultimately has to be supported in a similar way as visual artists.” Perhaps better understood as a way of further subverting CCA’s standardised exhibition format, the fresh input of curators at the beginning of their careers will enliven what can often be a stuffy context, hopefully setting a trend for the coming year that will see some daring and exciting new work at CCA. Continuing their programme of short-run exhibitions in the new year, CCA will show work by emerging artists, such as the painter Alan Stanners, and this will take them neatly up to the much-anticipated Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, which kicks off on 20 April and includes 50 venues across the city. Speaking and making both use similar areas of the brain JAMIE KENYON Charlotte Prodger There’s also been significant changes made to how they programme exhibitions at CCA. Instead of sticking to their time-tested schedule, they’ve introduced a block of short-run exhibitions, changing the way they consider duration and time on top of all the developments in how the centre functions spatially. “We were interested in looking at ways we could work in a quicker, more responsive way,” says Kenyon. “It’s very easy to fall into a rhythm of presenting six shows per year, each usually six to eight weeks long. This often means we have a long list of artists who we think are making exciting work – but it’s difficult to react quickly enough to organise an exhibition for them all.” The spell of shorter exhibitions begins this month with 2HB: What We Make with Words. Taking the Glasgow-based journal 2HB as the starting point, 30 THE SKINNY December 2011 the exhibition looks at the crossover between visual art and the written word and how they interconnect. 2HB is a quarterly arts journal first developed by Kenyon’s predecessor Louise Shelley and the current CCA Director Francis McKee. Not an academic journal, it publishes a variety of writing styles and formats by a staggering cross-section of artists and writers from Glasgow and abroad, including Laura Aldridge, Sarah Lowndes, Mick Peter and Cara Tolmie. “It focuses on publishing art writing – a much discussed and disputed term better described as writing within a visual art context,” explains Kenyon. “Most of the writers published are artists, curators or writers, so 2HB could be understood as an alternative exhibition space at CCA.” To coincide with the production of Volume 12 of 2HB, and in collaboration with artist Sarah Tripp, the exhibition will show the work of ten of the artists who have participated in the publication over the years, including Kate Morrell, Charlotte Prodger and Ruth Buchanan. “We were interested in turning the spotlight from the pieces of writing we’d published to the objects that the artists were also making,” he explains. “Sarah and I wanted to explore the idea that writing and making are very closely linked. “There’s a theory that when cavemen started making more complex tools it was around the same time they also started to develop language skills. Speaking and making both use similar areas of the brain.” On the final day of the exhibition, 17 December, For the festival, CCA will be showing new video installations by Rob Kennedy, whose work explores the relationship between thought and language. “He’s just been in Athens for the past two months on residency, which you can imagine has been a little interesting, to say the least,” says Kenyon. “He’s making some new videos to be shown alongside some of his older works and loans from other artists. But there’s also lots of influences slipping in from his time in Greece, so it could all change, much like their – and our – economy.” And a lot like the CCA, which seems to be little content with the idea of settling down anytime soon. Mirroring the constant flux of the contemporary art world, the centre is unlikely to seek consistency in its output. And as long as it continues to accept its lot – it is a chimera, a hybrid, a restless nomad – it will continue to be Glasgow’s foremost gallery space. Good Prints From 2 December a new virtual shop/gallery will be opening online selling affordable, limited edition prints by a selection of seven Scottish artists, all of whom have previously been displayed in the Showcase section of The Skinny. Good Wives and Warriors' first collection features four images inspired by mandalas, circular depictions of the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism. Method Furniture tell us what the Starter for 6 programme meant for them Method is the partnership of Marisa Giannasi (a practising architect) and Callum Robinson (a second generation cabinetmaker). They thoughtfully design and meticulously hand craft detail-rich contemporary furniture in Scotland, using the finest sustainable hardwoods and natural materials available. Their debut collection featured custom collaborative special editions of pieces including Timorous Beasties’ infamous Glasgow toile (featured in a Flux credenza) and the work of local graffiti artist Klingatron. “The idea for the company was hammered out whilst lost on a drizzly day in Glencoe in 2009. We had been searching for a way to work together and combine our skills for some time but it was the idea of creating handcrafted furniture that was exquisitely made, but also architecturally inspired and modern that really sparked our interests. Four months later we launched our debut collection in Edinburgh and we haven’t looked back. “We received Starter for 6 funding very recently – this September. We had just completed the programme and been successful with our final pitch for funding and the team were incredibly helpful in rushing it through. “All Starter for 6 participants have the chance to pitch to a panel of experts. – a bit like Dragon’s Den, but without the egos. It’s a nerve-wracking experience, but you have to get used to it, because starting a business is full of these kinds of meetings, and they do teach you to take off your blinkers and to objectively hone your idea. “We asked for financial support to progress the visual communication side of our business, offering the customer the opportunity to follow their own unique stories in real-time via regularly updated photography and fully interactive comment on our studio blog and on our Twitter feed, and to market it in an effective way. As a result we were able to produce and subsequently show a film documenting the creation of the Method X Denham Journeyman as part of our exhibit at 100% Design, to have a run of stunning brochures produced, and update our website and product photography. “It has completely changed the face of our business. Our website, our photography, branding, brochures, exposure in London...all made possible by the funding. “Where Starter for 6 really helped us was in inspiring confidence in ourselves. Starter for 6 offers support, experience and if you’re lucky funding, but being in a room full of creative people from all walks of life and being able to concentrate on your idea and see it through their eyes changes the way you approach your business, and that’s been invaluable. “ www.methodfurniture.co.uk The high quality prints are produced on 310gsm German etching paper, and range in size from 30x40cm to 60x80cm. Prices start at just £75, and the venture is supported by Own Art, which provides you with an interest free loan to spread the cost of buying an artwork across ten months. You can see and buy the full collections online at www.theskinny.co.uk/shop or www.culturelabel.com Starter for 6 is an enterprise training programme that supports up and coming entrepreneurs from the creative industries across Scotland. Applications for the next round of Starter for 6 are open until midnight on Tuesday 31 January 2012 www.culturalenterpriseoffice.co.uk/starterfor6 W ww .t h e s k i n n y. c o . u k PHOTO: Solen Collet 9781906134815 £8.99 full colour paperback A new collection of political cartoons by Frank Boyle, the award-winning cartoonist of the Edinburgh Evening News IN BOOKSHOPS OR ORDER ONLINE www.argyllpublishing.co.uk or by phone on 01369 820229 email firstname.lastname@example.org Argyll Publishing, Glendaruel, Argyll PA22 3AE Scotland December 2011 THE SKINNY 31 MUSIC Sunn O))) Of A Gun The man who accidentally leaked our January 2011 cover on his blog in the middle of December brings The Skinny’s year (and his band’s catalogue) full circle. Enter Stephen O’Malley of progressive monoliths Sunn O))) Photo: Jenn Garrett Interview: Ali Maloney 32 THE SKINNY December 2011 The title of Sunn O)))’s last studio album – 2009’s Monoliths & Dimensions – was particularity fitting: theirs is music that is massive, metaphysical, theatrical, dark and absolutely crushing, yet very much rooted in the language, tropes and traditions of metal. “For some reason, there’s an arrogance in people’s thinking of metal,” guitarist and one half of Sunn O)))’s core duo, Stephen O’Malley tells The Skinny. “People think it’s somehow uneducated, or less capable of being art. Metal music can be absurd and also really profound; it’s just a matter of how you frame it.” Having gone from an oblique and obtuse take on the extremities of black metal, Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson have accidentally become darlings of the metal and experimental art worlds, devastating concerts and galleries in equal number. Their latest release is a reissue of their first LP, ØØ Void, finally bringing their complete catalogue home to rest at Anderson’s Southern Lord label. Originally recorded in 2000, production was shared between the band and former Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder. “At that time, Sunn O))) was almost in an embryonic form,” O’Malley says. “It was a pretty bare bones release that, at the time, no-one really gave a shit about, the labels didn’t Metal music can be absurd and also really profound; it's just a matter of how you frame it Stephen o’malley Christmas 2011 at macrobert A treat for every age and taste Jackie and the Beanstalk Written, directed by and starring Johnny McKnight One of Scotland’s best pantomimes 23 Nov – 7 Jan Tickets from only £11 To find out more about our panto, Christmas shows for under 5s and a special VIP panto party head to macrobert.org/christmas MACROBERT, UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING TICKETS 01786 466666 WWW.MACROBERT.ORG to develop with your experiences and explore other interests. For me, art and sculpture are things I’ve really been inspired by and it’s interesting to explore operations with artists in those media; it’s amazing how many modes of focussing you can access through collaboration with people outside the group, it’s exciting to discover relationships that seem superficially unrelated but are actually deeply intertwined.” Although Sunn O))) have firm roots in metal, over the past decade they have opened up doom drone as an established genre – having influenced scores of wonderful acts from Black Boned Angel to our own local ritual noise behemoths, Wraiths – but also as an increasingly respected style with academic interest. Although O’Malley does not distinguish between the two crowds, he is aware of the possibilities afforded by some of their less conventional performances. “Primarily, we are a band and when we have the opportunity to collaborate with a gallery, we try to do something different, but that is not a normal thing for us,” he states. “We play concerts, tour, release records and do, you know... band things. When we collaborate outside of that, it’s a special pleasure to get opportunities to turn things around and have a different perspective on what we do. It’s a chance to frame our music differently.” This notion of extreme metal evolving into high art is not something new, rather it has been gestating underground for decades – far removed from the formulaic crunch of MTV influenced nu-metal. In many ways, Sunn O)))’s music is a direct aesthetic and philosophical descendant from Norwegian black metallers Emperor and their essential masterpiece Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk, for which O’Malley painted the perfectly complementary cover art. “On the back of that album there is a statement that says they play ‘Sophisticated Black Metal Art exclusively’,” O’Malley recalls. “That is an album striving for something important; although, recording in a farm in Norway, they didn’t have access to performing in the Guggenheim.” SEE THE LISTING PAGES FOR UPCOMING EVENTS keep it in print and it kind of disappeared. So we don’t really feel that it has had a proper release. The band really solidified in 2003 when we started doing a lot more concerts and working with more experimental music.” Originally named after the brand of amplifiers that fellow Seattleites and drone pioneers Earth used to create the kind of huge soundscapes which Sunn O))) have subsequently come to adopt, evolve and make their own, the moniker now evokes the pertinent image of cosmic clashes and universal movements. “Every musician is aware, when they pick up their instrument, of their predecessors and mentors, the traditions and styles that have influenced them. When we started out, we were trying to capture the feeling of albums like Melvins’ Eggnog or Earth 2,” O’Malley explains. “It’s not really metal music, it exists somewhere else. That direction helped us solidify our own identity because we certainly did not turn out like a Melvins cover band. Over the years we have both matured... and immatured.” Sunn O)))’s live show, cloaked in smoke while the band wield mammoth doom drones draped in archaic druid robes, recalls the theatricality of metal and arcane ritual, performance art and therapeutic release; their concerts are also blisteringly loud, an environment that listening to their albums at home cannot always reproduce, irrespective of any label’s claim that ‘maximum volume yields maximum results.’ “When we play live, the idea is that we are actively playing the space,” O’Malley elaborates. “That’s perhaps the main concept of the band: the physicality of sound. It takes a lot of time to find the right equipment and the right space.” Their approach to live performance, which sees them play regular venue spaces as well as art galleries, has allowed the duo to deconstruct the traditional band / space / audience differentiations of standard concerts. “As a kid, I was really into metal,” O’Malley says. “Now I’m almost 40 years old and you have OF THE WINNER N WESTER T A E R G CHILLI COOKOFF O’Malley is adamant that extreme metal and art share the same ingredients and intent: “The character of the artist and the musician is the same,” he says. “They both crave great art and great music, whilst operating in the economy of hype and trendiness and the need for success and to make a living.” With the release of ØØ Void, O’Malley is pleased to reflect on what the band have achieved over the past decade and thrilled to give their audience a chance to hear the band’s initial recording. “I do think that Sunn O))) has been really fortunate over the years,” O’Malley admits. “When we started, we didn’t have any ambitions other than making music. Somehow it’s survived and progressed in ways I never would have imagined. I guess that’s what happens when you persist in things over time and pay attention to what you do.” Alongside the release of ØØ Void, O’Malley commissioned Stephen Stapleton, aka Nurse With Wound, to remix the master tapes; this became a whole new approach to the compositions, what O’Malley calls a “shadow album”, released as Iron Soul of Nothing via his own vinyl only label, Ideological Organ. “It’s been great to present the original album alongside this reinterpretation done many years later,” he enthuses. “It acts as a bridge between periods of the group’s evolution.” With all these influences around him, both artistic and indebted to the world of heavy metal, exactly what was it that sparked O’Malley’s initial desire to make these dense swathes of sculpted noise? “When I was a teenager, I played bagpipes in a Highland band,” O’Malley laughs. “That kind of music was so powerful and moving: there would be, like, nine drummers and ten bagpipers and it was so loud. That was my first exposure to the sheer volume I have been developing all these years.” It’s fitting then, that they say a gentleman is someone who can play the bagpipes, but doesn’t. ØØ Void is released via Southern Lord on 28 Nov www.southernlord.com/band_SUN.php FABULOUS FR ESH FO (MON-FRI) FOR OD 5POUNDS 171 GREAT WESTERN ROAD, GLASGOW G4 9AW. TEL: 0141 331 1901 (CLO SE TO ST GEOR GES X WWW.THEROXY171.CO.UK UNDE RGRO UND) December 2011 THE SKINNY 33 DEVIANCE Photography as Voyeurism The camera is an interesting tool for those who like to watch... or be watched! Words: ANA HINe Illustration: PETER LOCKE Susan Sontag wrote, “Photography is a privileged moment” in her seminal work On Photography. Photographs are intimate – they momentarily erase distance and time, or appear to. In discussing the idea that a photograph is an erotic tool Sontag referred to a photograph of a lover in a married woman’s wallet, the poster of a rock star on a teenager’s wall. It is, in her words, “Love at a distance.” The term voyeurism comes from the Classical – Latin videre, “to see” via the French voyeur,“one who sees.” A voyeur is someone who derives sexual pleasure from watching people engaging in intimate or typically private behaviours such as sex, undressing, showering etc. It does not involve direct contact with the person (or persons) being viewed, and the viewee is not typically aware of being watched. The recording of acts of voyeurism is not new, but photography as a medium has a special connection with the activity. The camera puts a physical object between the person viewing and the person being viewed. The physical barrier creates a mental barrier, encouraging an emotional distance. As a recording device, the modern camera (either film or digital) is also able to capture pictures quickly and with a large amount of detail. What the mind cannot remember and the written word cannot describe can be laid bare in a photograph. The minor theft of telling a tale of a risqué encounter (or someone else’s) becomes a major crime in voyeuristic photography. 34 THE SKINNY December 2011 Non-consensual voyeurism is actually a sexual offence in this country under the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 and the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009. The issue of consent when it comes to photography is a difficult one. In the 1970s photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki used a 35mm camera, flash, and infrared film to capture people having sex in a number of public parks in Tokyo. In the photos you can see other people reaching out in the dark and touching the main participants. The viewer feels complicit – as if the couple, the groping strangers, the photographer, and the viewer themselves are all in it together. Is having sex outside, in a public place, tantamount to giving your permission to be watched, or photographed by voyeurs? Exhibitionism, after all, is the flip-side to voyeurism. (Research brings up such wonderful words as ‘Anasyrma’: not wearing underwear under a skirt, which is then lifted or angled so as to expose the genitals). Those who derive sexual pleasure from exposing themselves to others can also be accused of not necessarily taking into account the consent of their potential audience. An act of public indecency can be funny, offensive, shocking, threatening, or dangerous depending on the specific context. The photographic medium has surely been as important for the exhibitionist as it has for the voyeur. To be able to record oneself, one’s image and display it. A photograph can be left in a place, to be discovered suddenly, but again the medium puts distance between the viewed and the The medium puts distance between the viewed and the viewer. In this distance, then, is a safety viewer. In this distance, then, is a safety. Selfpublished erotic photography would thus be a way of connecting, exposing, but without many of the risks of streaking or flashing in the real world. So maybe we should leave them to it – the exhibitionists and the voyeurs together. Like sadists and masochists, if it’s between consenting adults then why not? “I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do – that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.” – Diane Arbus Or Alternatively A look at the issue of same-sex marriage from the poly perspective Words: Katherine McMahon illustration: Gavin Rutherford The Scottish Government’s consultation on the possibility of legalising same-sex marriage in Scotland is being heralded (rightly) as an important step forward for LGBTQ rights. But, as a queer, polyamorous person, I am worried that by seeing it as the holy grail of LGBTQ rights, we might be missing the point. Marriage, as it is, is an institution which reinforces the idea that a monogamous, life-long relationship should be central to life. This is not the only way of having relationships – for starters, marriage equality would not allow a polyamorous person to marry two or more partners. I’m not, however, arguing for marriage to simply bring another oppressed group into its loving embrace. I want to question it in the way that we questioned the idea that you could only love someone of a different gender, or that you had to accept the gender that you were assigned at birth. I am not saying that marriage is necessarily a bad thing, any more than I would say that heterosexuality is a bad thing; what is problematic is the idea that it is the only possibility open to us. And that idea is drummed into us all the time – watch any Disney movie... Polyamorous people love more than one person at once, and in diverse ways; LGBTQ people who have been rejected by their natal families to pursue relationships which are outside social acceptance know acutely how important ‘chosen families’ are. If we uncritically campaign for marriage equality, we are in danger of slipping back into a way of thinking which accepts institutional frameworks uncritically and does not allow for the creation of diverse relationships outside of them. Some couples want to get married, and we should absolutely support their right to do so. However, we must never give up on the right to create our own templates for relationships, and we must not forget that gay marriage will not automatically give us equality. We are in danger of hitting some of the same walls as feminism: in the same way that some claim that legal equality has ended the need for feminism, some will no doubt point to marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws and claim that we’ve won. But this does not mean liberation, and it does not mean an end to heterosexism. It means a step towards formal equality in a world which is still full of prejudice, and ways of thinking which box us in. It is not enough. Like feminists campaigning for the vote but acknowledging that the way parliamentary democracy works is flawed, we can back marriage equality and simultaneously be critical of the institution as it is. We should be campaigning for self-determination in our relationships – in their length, commitment, gender-make-up, and number. This means getting equality in the traditional forms, for those who want it, but not seeing it as the final step. We are creative, diverse and strong, and we should not underestimate our capacity to shape our own lives and loves; to create a world in which the couple making a life-long monogamous commitment can stand beside the polyamorous web of lovers, and both can be glad for each other. U CAN TOUCH THIS Masturbation – We all do it, right? Even the girls WORDS: MATTHEW BOBBU ILLUSTRATION: PETER LOCKE MOVE YOUR FEET can’t dance? won’t dance! EVERYBODY DOES it. Me, you, your parents – even your grandparents did it, but probably with more guilt. That’s right, masturbation is universal. Teenage boys are particularly infamous for it. I confirm, from my own personal experience, that this is a well-deserved reputation. But I can equally assert, from knowing quite a lot of girls (the effeminate kid at school always has plenty of female friends, you see), that girls have much the same tendency for self-pleasure. Yet no-one really talks about women doing it. There are far fewer phrases in common usage that refer to women spending quality time with themselves: 'flicking the bean' and 'frigging' are the only ones that spring to mind. Men, on the other hand, have a multitude of gender-specific terms at their disposal; like 'choking the chicken,' 'bashing “Flicking the bean”...“ Playing with my one-eyed trouser snake” the bishop,' and 'playing with my one-eyed trouser snake.' Why the imbalance? We’re simply just not as comfortable with talking about female pleasure as we are with male pleasure. Sure, we’re taking steps forward with the popularity of shops like Ann Summers, and the almost universal awareness of the Rampant Rabbit and its fellows – but there is still a huge gap between approaches to male and female sexuality. The denial of female sexual pleasure has always been one of the key aspects of any culture that wants to subjugate women. To make someone ashamed of their own body, and their sexuality in particular, is a terribly effective method of control. I know women who still have difficulty with their sexuality because no-one told them that there’s nothing wrong with playing with themselves. Fortunately, we’re slowly breaking down both the taboo of talking about sexuality, and inequality between genders. Part of the key to that is sex education – we’re teaching kids about how their bodies change during puberty, and we don’t expect them to figure out how sex works for themselves so much any more. But we still seem to be a bit shy about teaching people, particularly girls, that sex is fun. And sex is fun! We should be teaching this, both in school and in societal attitudes. That’s not to say we shouldn’t teach them that it can be deeply emotional, have dramatic consequences and requires careful safety measures – but we should also be teaching both boys and girls that it feels good, even if you’re only having sex with yourself. We are on a mission to help you on your way to finding that inner dancer. What a great joy it will be for us all when you discover that one of those two left feet is actually a right foot screaming to get out and partywith its pal. It’s there, trust us. Spring term begins 8 Jan Try before you buy Pay by instalments 14-16 Grassmarket 0131 225 5525 28-30 Ferry Road dancebase.co.uk Edinburgh Spring term begins 9 Jan Booking opens 28 Nov 0141 552 2442 Venues across the City dancehouse.org Glasgow GLAS G O W Registered Charities: Dance Base (SC022512) Dance House (SC025343) DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 35 SHOWCASE It's become a tradition (if you're allowed to call something that's happening for the third time a tradition) each December for the Showcase to invite back some of the artists who've contributed to the magazine to make Christmas cards. Merry Christmas, from everyone at The Skinny. Sorry for swearing so much. TOP (L â€“ R): Nick Cocozza, Jamie Fitzpatrick, Robbie Porter BOTTOM (L â€“ R): Oliver Braid, Ross Fraser McLean, Matthew Swan 36 THE SKINNY December 2010 TOP (L – R): LAUREN GENTRY, STEVEN JARVIS, RICHARD FAIRHEAD BOTTOM (L – R): JANIE NICOLL, KIT LEFFLER, FRASER DOUGLAS THE SKINNY SHOP EMERGING ART FROM SCOTLAND This month we're launching our first collection in The Skinny Showcase Shop, through CultureLabel.com and with support from Own Art. To find out more about buying limited edition prints by David Lemm, Good Wives and Warriors, Jamie Johnson, Markus Thorsen, Rabiya Choudhry, Rachel MacLean and Ross McLean go to www. theskinny.co.uk/shop. They'd make great Christmas presents... DECEMBER 2010 THE SKINNY 37 FASHION Christmas Gift Guide 2011 LEFT: Mittens £39 Donna Wilson at The Red Door Gallery www.edinburghart.com Blue bracelet £50 Heather McDermott at The Red Door Gallery www.edinburghart.com Geometric cut out earrings £80 Jane Gowans www.janegowans.co.uk Orange earrings £20 Heather McDermott at The Red Door Gallery www.edinburghart.com Nail varnish £9 (each) American Apparel www.americanapparel.net Ring (blue stone) £9 Beco Boutique www.becoboutique.com Bunting mug £10 Made In The Shade www.wearemadeintheshade.com Ceramic wing pendant with chain £25 Kitty and Dude www.kittyanddude.co.uk/ Ceramic acorn pendant with chain £22 Kitty and Dude www.kittyanddude.co.uk/ Brooch £10 – £30 (each) Heather McDermott at The Red Door Gallery www.edinburghart.com Ring (orange stone) £9 Beco Boutique www.becoboutique.com Bonjour pin £10 Made In The Shade www.wearemadeintheshade.com Bow brooches £10 Fun Makes Good at The Red Door Gallery www.edinburghart.com Keyring £14 Fun Makes Good at The Red Door Gallery www.edinburghart.com Stick ring £200 Jane Gowans www.janegowans.co.uk Purse £13 American Apparel www.americanapparel.net Swallow scarf £29.50 Godiva www.godivaboutique.co.uk Orange bracelet £50 Heather McDermott at The Red Door Gallery www.edinburghart.com 38 THE SKINNY December 2011 Photography Ross Fraser McLean www.rossfrasermclean.com / www.barkermclean.com Styling Alexandra Fiddes Location Such and Such studio www.suchandsuchstudio.co.uk Right: Bang pin £10 Made In The Shade www.wearemadeintheshade.com Lomo ‘Diana’ camera £80 The Red Door Gallery www.edinburghart.com Magenta headband £22 Lowie at Think Boutique www.thinkboutique.co.uk Nail Varnish £9 (each) American Apparel www.americanapparel.net Velvet covered studs £10 Think Boutique www.thinkboutique.co.uk Ring £9 (each) Beco Boutique www.becoboutique.com Hand necklace with chain £90 Verameat at The Moon and Mars www.themoonandmars.co.uk Purse £17 American Apparel www.americanapparel.net Knitting set £40 Wool and The Gang at The Moon and Mars www.themoonandmars.co.uk Book New Africa Fashion £19.99 Prestel publishing Wangle bangle £120 Kaz Robertson at Papa Stour www.papastour.com Mismatch stud earrings £30 Kaz Robertson at Papa Stour www.papastour.com British flower tea Towel £10 Stuart Gardiner at Papa Stour www.papastour.com Fluorescent Horse tote bag £8 Claire McVinnie at Merriment Makers www.studio203gallery.blogspot.com Pink bracelet £50 Heather McDermott at The Red Door Gallery www.edinburghart.com December 2011 THE SKINNY 39 TRAVEL Everything’s Going Swimmingly! Our correspondent travels to Thailand and gets to grips with something most of us take for granted – swimming Words: Ally Brown I’m sitting in a beach bar on an island off the coast of Cambodia with five other travellers: guys from Belgium, Italy and Germany, and two girls, from Sweden and Holland. I’m here for the white sand beaches and the view of the torquoise sea; they’re here for the scuba diving. I had never talked to divers before. We talked all night. I did not realise it was apparently such a wonderful experience that people build their lives around it. Anne-Lie tells me she will return to Gothenburg to work, to save specifically for her next diving trip. My resistance is about to topple, but first I have a confession. “Do you mean... you are not a very good swimmer?” the Dutch girl, Cher, says, baffled as if her impeccable English has suddenly failed her. “No” I say, to stares, “I mean exactly what I said. I can not swim.” “What would happen if you jumped into the sea?” someone asks, to which I can only guess, having never jumped into the sea before, “I would sink.” “Well you would make a natural diver then,” Anne-Lie says, “because we need help to sink!” When I lived in a city and had a job in an office, being unable to swim was about as meaningful as being unable to flap my arms and fly. I never needed it, it never crossed my mind as something to do. But travelling constantly challenges you to try new experiences, and teaches you about the lifestyles of people from different backgrounds: a little ironically, there I was in Cambodia learning about a passion of five Europeans. I was fed up of staying on the beach while others played in the sea; waist-deep was my embarrassing limit. I was frustrated at instantly dismissing from my mind any water-based activity on offer at a beach or 40 THE SKINNY December 2011 I was fed up of staying on the beach while others played in the sea; waist-deep was my embarrassing limit resort. I was bored of feeling anxious on any small boat, like the one that had taken us to this island, constantly aware of the nearest life-jacket and the next big wave. At 28, I decided to pick up the armbands again. The northern Thai city of Chiang Mai seemed like the perfect location to take up lessons: it’s far removed from the intense bustle and stifling humidity of Bangkok; it’s medium-sized, easy to get around, exceptionally cheap and full of things to do when not in the pool. At a resort just outside the centre, enigmatically named The Centre of the Universe, a big local guy called Wayu teaches children and adults to swim in a 25x16m salt-water pool. On my first lesson he identified my first big problem: with my head underwater I couldn’t breathe out normally; I stuttered, burst and tensed, and emerged from the water frustrated. So twenty or thirty times a lesson I had to dip in and exhale until I could do it smoothly and reliably every time. On my second lesson I was making progress: my breathing was much better and I could kick myself away from the wall and doggy paddle for about 5m without any floats. Progress therefter was slow, until my sixth lesson, when I made a big breakthrough: I discovered I could float. Most people don’t remember that discovery. Some fellow backpackers at my £2-per-night hostel seemed to enjoy the enthusiasm with which I described my minor daily progress towards acquiring skills they acquired almost too long ago to remember; others remained perplexed: several asked me if Scottish people couldn’t swim because the water was too cold. No, I explained, time and again: I just never learned. I missed the lessons at primary school because of illness. Most Scots can swim. Just not me. It was awkward trying to reconcile how difficult the learning process was for me, with how effortless others considered swimming to be. Maybe this is what it feels like to be an idiot, I thought: to be proud of achievements others take for granted. I was euphoric to discover I could float; some laughed with me, others furrowed their brows. This was my biggest achievement in water yet: I asked Wayu why I had to frantically paddle while other pool users were calmly gliding through the water; they seemed to be enjoying it much more than I was. “You’re a beginner,” he said, “so you believe you can’t float”. I didn’t like being told what I believed, so he challenged me. He fell forward and spread out like a starfish, and just floated on the surface. I did the same. I jumped forward and let my chest sink a little, then lifted my back and my legs, and sure enough I floated back up. I just lay there on the water. I wasn’t sinking. This was a huge revelation to me. It was a glorious moment. After several lessons of minor progress, discovering floating allowed me to finally enjoy myself in the pool. I learned to fall forward while holding the wall behind; if I tucked in to let my feet come up the wall, I could then shoot myself off, narrow my body and glide underwater, before choosing any forward stroke to propel myself further. So suddenly I could swim the width of the pool, 16m, in any stroke, in one breath. I showed Wayu my improvised butterfly stroke, mimicking his; he fell about laughing; I got to the other side. What fun! Of course, Wayu wanted me to breathe out and then come up for air, so that I could swim much further. But when I was at the end of a breath, I was lower in the water, so I had to leap to get back up for long enough to breathe. Two or three of these leaps sapped my forward momentum, so I never got much further than about 20m. He tried to teach me to front crawl, breathing to the side while my right arm was out of the water; but I kept taking in water, again because I wasn’t quite on the surface, but a little below. On my final lesson I had another entirely new experience: I jumped into the pool. As I emerged, exhilirated, Wayu said “Don’t you feel like you’re 13 years old again?”. But I had never jumped into a pool before, not at 13 or any other age, because I could not swim! Standing on the edge of the pool’s deep end, I tried to calm my nerves by thinking of all the times in the previous few days when I had jumped forward from within the pool and floated; now all I had to do was jump from a little higher. I also thought about a conversation I had two weeks prior, when I admitted I could not imagine myself jumping into a pool any easier than I could imagine myself doing a pole vault: my mind struggled to conjure it because it was an experience I knew I would never have. In some odd way, it just wasn’t me. But it could be me. I jumped. And then I jumped again, and again, and again. My whole life I had believed myself incapable of this, this that I am actually doing, now. I jumped again! Wayu wanted me to jump in and then swim, but I couldn’t, because I was overwhelmed with joy; I had to stand up to laugh, to let it all out. Eventually I pulled myself together, and the final act of my final lesson was this: a jump into the pool, then a 20m freestyle swim on my front, then a flip onto my back to paddle the last 5m to the wall. Scuba diving is still beyond me. It’s possible for non- or poor swimmers to do some limited diving, almost hand-in-hand with an instructor, to get a taste of it. But to get a certificate which allows you to dive more freely and in most locations, I need to be able to swim 200m in the sea: eight times further, and in rougher water, than I have ever even attempted. But I am on my way. With more practice and experience my confidence and technique will improve. I no longer have to admit “I can’t swim”, because now I can say “I am a rubbish swimmer”. That’s a big improvement. Next up: who can lend me a big bendy pole? Ally learned to swim at The Centre of the Universe, a 10 minute tuk-tuk ride from central Chiang Mai, in north-west Thailand. All details can be found at the website www.therealcentreoftheuniverse.com and by contacting the owner by e-mail. Ten one-hour long one-to-one lessons cost 3500 baht (just over £70). Individual lessons can also be purchased Go Away! To the Gili Islands If you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself in Bali or Lombok in Indonesia – leave. No, not really, but get off the mainland and spend as long as you possibly can exploring the beautiful Gili Islands nearby. You won’t hear anyone saying a bad thing about these beautiful islands quite simply because they are flawless. The three islands show off a range of diversity that satisfies any island fantasy from a remote, hut-dwelling experience to an all night beach party. There are no motorised vehicles on the islands so public transport takes the form of rather jolly rickshaws or horse drawn carts. Gili Air is the most populated of the 3 islands and is only 5km away from Lombok. You can watch the sun rise over the Rinjani volcano, Lombok, and set over Mount Agung, Bali. This beautiful island is the place to go to get away from the crowds, to learn to scuba dive or to experience the best in luxury accommodation and beautiful Indonesian food. Gili Meno is the smallest, quietest and cheapest island and its quiet atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to chill out by the sea in a hammock and forget about the rest of the world. Gili Trawagan (or Gili T, to those in the know) is known as the party island. If you want to go diving, do it here in the Gilis – this beautiful spot has a wealth of underwater beauty to rival that above. There are even giant turtles living in the waters around Gili T that you’ll find easily enough with a snorkel and mask. If you want a taste of paradise, it doesn’t get much better than this. [Rose Howie] Embrace Scottish Snow Nevis Range Do you ever listen to people talking about their Jack Wills sponsored Christmas skiing holidays to the quaint wooden chalets in the Alps and just think – ‘Shut up, ya?’ Just me? Well now is the time to reclaim your right to hit the slopes without wearing pyjama bottoms or Ugg boots. All around this beautiful country of ours are plenty spots to get out in the snow. If the last 2 years are anything to go by, we’re in for a snowy December so check out ski. visitscotland.com for information about Scotland’s own ski resorts. From the Nevis Range to Glenshee there are slopes for all levels and several off-piste opportunities for the real adrenaline junkies out there. If all else fails and by some miracle we have a warm winter, check out Braehead’s SNO!Zone, an indoor slope with temperatures of -5ºC for the realistic snow experience. There’s also great fun to be had at Midlothian’s Hillend Ski Centre (just outside Edinburgh). From skiing, snow blading and snowboarding to sledging or the hilarious tubing, there’s something for everyone and lessons are available at both. Beware of Hillend’s artificial carpet-snow however – it burns – so make sure you’re all wrapped up, maybe in cotton wool. [Rose Howie] Patria O Muerte – Images of Cuba From 2 December a new virtual shop/gallery will be opening online, selling affordable, limited edition prints by a selection of seven Scottish artists, all of whom have previously been displayed in the Showcase section of The Skinny. Ross Fraser McLean is presenting a collection of photographs taken in Cuba in 2009 on the anniversary of the revolution, capturing some of the contradictions of a Caribbean Communist land riddled with poverty and steeped in nostalgia. The high quality prints are produced on 310gsm German etching paper, and range in size from 30x40cm to 60x80cm. Prices start at just £75, and the venture is supported by Own Art, which provides you with an interest free loan to spread the cost of buying an artwork across ten months. You can see and buy the full collections online at www.theskinny.co.uk/shop or www.culturelabel.com December 2011 THE SKINNY 41 FOOD & DRINK Mistletoe & Whine You love Christmas. We love Christmas. Everyone loves Christmas. That’s why we’re staging an intervention to help it get better... Words: Peter Simpson Illustration: Tom Bingham Festive Mulled Cider ——————————————————————— “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” they say. “I wish it could be Christmas every day,” they add. Newsflash, folks: if it were Christmas every day, we’d all be dead having pummelled each other to bits in a sleep-deprived brandy rage. It’s a stressful time of year, and the last thing you need is some anonymous smarty-pants writing from his living room in the middle of November telling you to chuck out your plans and start again. However, there are a few changes that we’d like to politely suggest, and some alternatives to the status quo that you should consider. You’re Michael Caine, we’re Rizzo (or Kermit if you’d prefer), and together we can make Christmas good again. CHRISTMAS DINNER In the wild, they can reach speeds of up to 50mph and spend much of their time in the trees. In the oven they resemble bowling balls with legs and spend much of their time baffling Christmas cooks with their refusal to cook. Turkeys enjoy a special place on many Christmas tables, but we can’t really think why. Essentially they’re just giant chickens that, tradition dictates, should be served with odd vegetables and jam. Every Christmas Britain works its way through seven million of the blighters, many of whom aren’t in the best nick and don’t exactly have the opportunity to run off any excess weight. So what to do? We’ve got a suggestion – eat Rudolph instead. Venison fits the Christmas edict of being ostentatious and a bit different, as well as actually embodying both those qualities rather than being a chunkier version of a Sunday roast. It’s seasonal, it tastes nice, much of it is free range (you try fitting 500 deer in a windowless shed), and it can be used to remind younger relatives that the circle of life doesn’t stop for Christmas. Tell them it’s Blitzen, they won’t mind as much. CHRISTMAS PUDDING Quick poll: A show of hands please, for anyone who thinks that the growing reach of the Christmas 42 THE SKINNY December 2011 Setting a cake alight when your house is packed with people and home to a large tree covered in tinsel is just asking for trouble season into mid-October is the fault of supermarkets and The Man? All of you? Well, you’re bang wrong, as it’s actually the fault of the Medieval Catholic Church and their stupid spicy Jesus cake. The Christmas Pudding, which might garner more sympathy were it called ‘stupid spicy Jesus cake’, was originally made up five weeks before Christmas to allow its stodgy and overly-spiced nature to fully reveal itself come Christmas morn’, but times have changed and most recipes now recommend at least a full two months for your pud’s maturation. So there we are; if you hate Christmas creep, blame the Pope. There appears to be no rhyme or reason behind the continued presence of Christmas Pudding on the dinner table. Besides the time it takes up, the array of ingredients and other bits and bobs needed for the pud is ridiculous. Endless spices, every dried fruit you’ve ever imagined, and whatever secret ingredients your family have foisted upon you all go into the initial mix. Then, on Christmas morning you are to douse the thing with brandy and set it alight. Setting a cake on fire is a bad idea anyway, doing so when your house is packed with people, littered with piles of discarded wrapping paper and home to a large tree covered in tinsel; well that’s just asking for trouble. We recommend you settle for a nice Yule Log instead, or a Mince Pie if you insist on a dessert that has been purposefully spiced and seasoned to taste like feet. Seeing as it’s Christmas, we’ll even let you set fire to the Yule Log, or you can save your arsonist tendencies for when you need some quiet time on Boxing Day. FOODIE PRESENTS We see you, at your computer, idly Googling and wondering which is the better bet: a Japanese chef’s knife sculpted from a stag’s horn, or a fibreoptic tablecloth. And now you’re thinking that 64% off Jamie Oliver’s latest television-programme-onpaper is a good deal that you should definitely take advantage of. Trust us, it isn’t. For one thing, getting a friend or relative a professional chef’s recipe book is like getting them a nice glass and nothing to put in it. Unless that wrapping paper is made of lemongrass and truffle oil, you’ve just handed over the chance to spend hundreds of pounds on ingredients never to see the light of day after January. As well as all that, the celebrity cookbook is a bit of a cop-out, a lowest common denominator designed around a venn diagram of people who like to eat food and people who like to receive items on special occasions. The foodie in your life deserves better. They deserve presents that speak to their particular food interests. They deserve presents which are deceptively cheap. For example, if they like whisky, you get them some hand-picked miniatures in a nice box. In fact, apply that to any food area. Find small items, place in nice box, await thanks. No messing around, no waiting until you’ve got all your bits and pieces, and no cover shots of gurning chumps taunting the recipient on Christmas morning. Get a foodie some food, and they’ll be happy. Failing that, we’d plump for the tablecloth from Tron. First, you need to buy some cider. We would recommend investing in a flavoursome, quality brew like Thistly Cross, Katy's or Addleston's, although magic can still happen with Frosty Jack's. You also need rum. Good rum, Appleton's, Mount Gay or something like that. Equipment: A saucepan A wooden spoon (optional) A hob Mugs, to serve Ingredients: Cider Rum (the magic ingredient) A whole cinammon stick if you're fancy, cinammon powder if you're not (although the powder can make it a bit gritty) A couple of oranges Cloves All spice berries (optional) Honey Method: Pour your cider into the saucepan and heat gently on the hob. Allow at least one pint of cider per guest. Stick your cloves into your oranges to release both the orangey and clovey flavours, and chuck into the pan. Add the cinammon stick, honey to taste, and all spice berries. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes to allow the spicey flavours to infuse. Add your rum (about 25ml per pint of cider, more if you're feeling in the party mood) and heat through. Decant into a teapot and serve immediately. Recipe by Peter Marsden and Lewis Macdonald. The Skinny cannot guarantee the tastiness of this beverage Please drink responsibly CONFESSIONS OF A FOODIE #4 Our resident foodie has tips for Christmas; you’ll need crisps, a tree, and some hired goons WORDS: FIONA BUCHANAN 'TIS THE season to be jolly, but jolliness is mainly for the famous and those with nothing better to do. However, should you be rash enough to invite a bunch of friends over there’s a few things you should know. Food for your Christmas soiree should be high snazz, low maintenance, and cheap. Pros and my party throwing chums all agree on this point. The other thing that everyone agrees on is that people eat with their eyes – so set up a table and create the ultimate beautiful centre piece. Really go for it, unlock your inner artist; this is where you can express yourself wildly and have some fun before people start pawing at everything. Odd shaped big plates from charity shops are great, cover them in loads of nonpoisonous shrubbery and pine branches, whap on some fairy lights and you’re partying like a king. Now I’ve yet to meet a hopped-up-on-Asti partygoer who bemoaned the lack of tuna carpaccio, nor do I know of anyone who won’t go through a tube of Pringles like a Dyson given the opportunity. Let crisps, nuts, and other salty doo-das be your fluffer if you are going to the effort of doing a few homemade canapés. And if you are going to the effort here’s my top four popular, easy, and delicious party snacks: 1. Sausages or chorizo wrapped in puff pastry and cut into sausage rolls. Dead easy to prepare ahead of time ready to pop into the oven. 2. Baby baked potatoes with crème fraiche and smoked salmon. It’s easy to do lots of these even if you’ve got a wee oven. Grab a couple of people to help out – one person opening, one dodding the crème, and one twiddling the salmon artfully. If they refuse to help, threaten to call security and have them removed. Even if there is no security. 3. Chipolatas roasted in the oven dressed with wholegrain mustard, honey, and a splash of white wine vinegar can work. 4. Or you could just go for one lovely big platter of your favourite food; roast peppers, olives, artichokes, smoked almonds, a selection of cheeses and some dips. Something for everyone, seeing as it’s Christmas. FOOD NEWS Skinny-126x155V3.indd 1 WITH PETER SIMPSON Our Food News Christmas special features scary German toys, brilliant puns, and whisky as means of escape TO QUOTE sideburned musician and nut peddler Noddy Holder, “IT’S CHRISTMAS!” In case you hadn’t noticed yet, we thought it best to warn you, as this month’s food news is something of a tinsel-covered, reindeer-baiting affair. And what would a Scottish Christmas be without a German invasion? They’ve evidently all packed up from the home country to set up myriad Christmas Markets, the pick of which is in Princes Street Gardens. It’s annexed by a funfair and ice rink, it has two outdoor bars, and there’s loads and loads of tasty things to eat and paw at. Terrifying wooden Nutcracker toys too, but you can’t eat those so we won’t mention them. Just up the road, the Ethical Christmas Fair makes up for the lack of a ferris wheel by promising fairly-produced goods, a focus on small producers, and a chance to be seen as a kindhearted person who cares about others even in the midst of the Christmas rush. This image boost will be vitally important when you’re seen shouldercharging a granny out of the way to get the last copy of The Lion King in HMV for your little sister. It may be the festive season, but some things never change. That a good pun will get your event featured in Food News is one such thing. Tasty Ness has exciting demonstrations, producers from all over the Highlands, live music, and some of the area’s top restaurants bribing you to spend your Christmas moolah with them. Plus, it’s called Tasty Ness! Tasty! Ness! At the end of the month with Christmas out of the way and the thought of further family Organic Wine 17/11/2011 15:55 500 organic, vegetarian wines & spirits – Find something to whet your appetite at Real Foods interaction fast becoming too much to bear, get down to the Scotch Whisky Experience for their Distillers’ Fair. There will be masterclasses, loads of whiskies from across the country, a chance to ask whisky men silly questions, and some freedom from clingy younger relatives. If anyone asks, tell them that you’re doing research for next year’s presents. That, or tell them to beat it. Christmas is over for another year, and humbug is back on the menu. GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKET, PRINCES ST GARDENS, FREE; ETHICAL CHRISTMAS FAIR, CASTLE ST EDINBURGH, 10 - 19 DEC, FREE; TASTY NESS, IRONWORKS, INVERNESS, 3 DEC, £3; DISTILLERS’ FAIR, SCOTCH WHISKY EXPERIENCE, 354 CASTLEHILL, EDINBURGH, 29-30 DEC. Free delivery on your first online order Enter code ‘Skinny6’ for £5 off Shop online at www.realfoods.co.uk 37 Broughton St, Edinburgh EH1 3JU 8 Brougham St, Edinburgh EH3 9JH Natural healthy ethical shopping DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 43 AUDIO online marketing 44 THE SKINNY December 2011 SU825 Surface Skinny magazine advert full page.indd 1 23/11/2011 15:56:21 MUSIC Live Music Highlights METAL COLUMN words: Mark Shukla Com Truise James Yorkston’s Christmas Jamboree will go down at Wellington Church Hall, Glasgow on 17 Dec. As well as clocking the folk-fingered badass himself, attendant jamboreenos can look forward to live sets from top-drawer talents The Pictish Trail and Lisa O’Neill. Fence-heads havin’ it large. Unimpeachable noise-bringers Mogwai will play the Glasgow Barrowland on 22 Dec. Marrying a controlled onslaught of heavy frequencies with disarmingly beautiful guitar patterns, right now these boys are sounding as inspired as they ever have. Don’t take ‘em for granted. Support from Errors, whose new LP Have Some Faith In Magic drops early next year. The Wedding Present return to Scotland this month with gigs at The Greenside in Leslie on 28 Dec and Glasgow’s Garage on 29 Dec. David Gedge’s catalogue is peerless and his current band is vital and hungry. A solid recommendation as always. Finally, you can see in 2012 to the soundtrack of Primal Scream (playing Screamadelica in full for the last time before Mani departs for another tour of duty with the Roses in 2012) flanked by the dark, twisted pop genius of Sons & Daughters (in the Gardens) and Wild Beasts (in the Street) amongst many other players from the realms of chart, club and ceilidh. 31 Dec, Edinburgh Princes Street. Lang may yer lum reek! [Mark Shukla] Paws party Photo: Eoin Carey The month kicks off with a blistering double-bill courtesy of Nigerien psych-rock/drone-funk rebels Group Inerane and the incredible Flower/Corsano duo. Group Inerane’s lithe, hypnotic fusion of styles makes them a must-see for the discerning gig-goer, whilst the live pairing of Chris Corsano’s cacophonous free-drumming assault and Mick Flower’s super-primitive/hyper-evolved spaceragas is already the stuff of legend. See them at Glasgow’s Kinning Park Complex on 2 Dec. Edinburgh-based boutique label Gerry Loves Records throws its Christmas bash at Edinburgh’s Banshee Labyrinth on 2 Dec and will showcase a sizeable chunk of its superb roster including math-funk heros Lady North, ballsy scuzz-pop trio Paws, Trapped in Kansas, Field Mouse, The Japanese War Effort and some special guests as well. That’s called value for money, son. Released earlier this year, Com Truise’s Galactic Melt contains some of the most satisfyingly lysergic retro-futuristic sci-fi sex jams we’ve heard in a good old while. Imagine Boards of Canada, high as fuck, trapped in an American video rental store in 1988 and you’re most of the way there. You can catch his live set at Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s on 3 Dec. Warm and fuzzy San Fran folk-pop posse Vetiver bring the good vibes to Glasgow Stereo on 3 Dec. Expect foot-tappin’ jams, swooning melodies and top-drawer musicianship. Continuing the west coast feel, Sean O’Hagan’s High Llamas make a rare appearance at Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s on 4 Dec for an evening of sublime songcraft and eerily dreamy atmospheres. Although often mentioned in the same breath as late ‘60s Beach Boys, these old hands have a compellingly timeless quality all of their own which makes them an easy recommendation. Although he’s played some shocking gigs in his time, the word on the web is that Evan Dando and The Lemonheads have really pulled it together for the latest stops on their It’s a Shame About Ray tour and fans who make the trip to Glasgow Òran Mór on 5 Dec will doubtless have a grand old time soaking up alt-pop classics like Bit Part and Rudderless. Unlikely international superstar Omar Souleyman makes his way to Glasgow Òran Mór on 8 Dec for what is likely to be one of the month’s most high-energy spectacles. Having paid his dues on the Syrian wedding circuit, Souleyman’s devestating blend of euphoric folk styles, classical vocal techniques and hard electronic beats have seen him cultivate a dedicated global fanbase over the last few years. Fierce. Surly electronic body music legends (and arguably the first band to make the Cold War malaise sound sexy) Front 242 will deploy the hits at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on 10 Dec to celebrate 30 years of hard electronics and hilarious fashion choices. So lace up those army surplus boots and get ready to dance like the Russian nukes are already airborne. Malcolm Middleton will play Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on 14 Dec and Glasgow’s Òran Mór on 15 Dec. Support comes from, erm, Malcolm Middleton, in his Human Don’t Be Angry guise – a project which serves as an outlet for his less structured, more experimental impulses. Montreal native Graham Van Pelt took his Miracle Fortress project one step closer to mellifluous art-pop perfection with recent LP Was I the Wave? and on 14 Dec he will play Glasgow Captain’s Rest. Van Pelt’s mastery of the looper pedal allows him to spin a surprisingly rich web of sound in the live setting, combining synth, guitar and propulsive beats with an impressive lightness of touch. James Yorkston HOT TICKET of the month A Phestive Phantomime Stereo, 16 & 17 Dec In case you hadn’t heard, The Phantom Band have good taste and ambition in spades and this month they threaten to outdo themselves with the unveiling of their inaugral meta-panto/ unfuckinmissable two-night super-gig: A Phestive Phantomime. Art/performance collective 85A will be on hand to provide visual stimulation with further contributions expected from artists and Phanto co-conspirators Torsten Lauschmann and Rachel Maclean (director of their tripped out video for Everybody Knows It’s True). The event will be book-ended by performances from The Phantom Band themselves, along with two-man apocalypse Holy Mountain, DJ Pabs Debussy (Franz Ferdinand) and Phantom DJs/ karaoke on the 16th, followed by Take a Worm for a Walk Week and DJ Bobby Cleaver + Friends on the 17th. Fans of the late, great Uncle John and Whitelock can also look forward to appearances from Tut Vu Vu on the first night and Jacob Yates The Skinny likes its metal like we don’t like our weather – harsh, uncompromising, brutal – and although we’re unlikely to be kept pleased by the dour climate this month, there’s still plenty of unholy treats in store across Scotland’s cosiest sweatboxes. This frostbitten December gets off to a particularly solid start with Edinburgh band We Ate Them Off The Floor, sure to cause an ecstatic stir in the 13th Note (3 Dec) with their grungy, proggy take on instrumental rock. They’re part of a five-band lineup including Wildtype, Sagat, Headless Kross and moody contemporaries What The Blood Revealed. A couple of days later things will get considerably larger in scale when furious groove-metallers Machine Head take over the SECC (5 Dec). They’ll most likely be playing their share of new material from their well-received new album Unto The Locust, but fear not, nu-metal old-timers – they’ll probably get all Supercharge-d on you folks too. Speaking of old favourites, cult frontman Ginger Wildheart and Friends hit up the O2 ABC (8 Dec), playing a set of songs from The Wildhearts’ extensive back-catalogue before looking ahead to the planned release of a new triple album. He’ll get you with a Suckerpunch in the meantime. If you’ve been waiting on a good excuse to get all glammed up that the office Christmas party just isn’t providing, your time is nigh: the all-star line-up of Mötley Crüe/Def Leppard/Steel Panther screeches into the SECC on 9 Dec. Expect bad behaviour, revolving 360-degree Tommy Lee drum solos and lots of leather. We won’t tell mum you borrowed her make-up either. Looking for something more brutal? Never fear; grindcore pioneers Napalm Death are set to reduce Ivory Blacks to rubble (11 Dec). You might have trouble headbanging in time to their frantic blasts of terrifying noise, but that’ll be the least of your concerns as you struggle to pick your melted face up off the floor. Architects find a sweet spot between accessibility and intensity, and they’re bringing their blend of melodic hardcore to the O2 ABC (14 Dec), but if it’s pure unfiltered classic rock riffage and falsetto-laden bangers you’re after, Saxon (Edinburgh Picture House, 16 Dec) is your one-stop ticket. You’re lucky Bill Byford’s spandex pioneering dragon tacklers are still touring this regularly eh? But as the moral of Dickens’ great Christmas fable tells us: Never take advantage. [Ross Watson] The Phantom Band And The Pearly Gate Lockpickers on the second. In the words of The Phantoms themselves: expect bedlam. Visit www.phantomime.co.uk for info on tickets and more special guests as they are announced. 7pm, weekend tickets are £15.50, day tickets are £9.50 www.phantomime.co.uk I Love the sound of Napalm Death in the morning December 2011 THE SKINNY 45 Live Reviews Dananananaykroyd O2 ABC, 29 Oct Acid Mothers Temple / Vars of Litchi Nice ‘N’ Sleazy, 9 Nov rrrrr www.acidmothers.com photo: Iona Spence The brilliance of virtuoso postrock duos like Hella and Lightning Bolt has waned of late, stymied by its own frantic complexity, but Glasgow’s Vars of Litchi explore alternative possibilities of the setup. Where those acts maximise noise and speed, Gordon McDougal’s guitar parts expand horizontally, deploying loops to create deceptively complex, hypnotic riffs, by turns jazzy and Beefheart-esque. Combined with Jack Figgis’ simultaneously skittish and sharp-edged drumming, this approach somehow creates a sound brimming with ideas, yet always retaining a sense of space and openness. Japan’s near-legendary psychedelic rock warriors Acid Mothers Temple, by contrast, aren’t known for their minimalism. Although the guitar workouts are tempered by some impressivelyarranged throat singing, the set is dominated by deliriously heavy, repetitive riffs and frazzled soloing (quite literally, when Kawabata Makoto makes a few abortive attempts to set his guitar on fire). Perhaps inevitably, the highpoint is a 25-minute version of Pink Lady Lemonade: a space-rock epic that is essentially a single riff repeated ad infinitum, which remains as dreamily engrossing as ever. AMT’s idiosyncratic psychedelia continues to play wilfully with rock cliché, and while their joyously indulgent approach bears few superficial similarities with that of Vars of Litchi, both acts deploy a wealth of ideas in a thoughtful and utterly compelling way. [Sam Wiseman] photo: Kenny McCOLL It’s in no way a slight to suggest United Fruit are pretty peripheral to tonight’s euphoric highs. They hurl out riff after riff with dependable vigour, but stage left, the slowly snaking queue for the merchandise stand indicates the anticipation with which the ABC awaits its headliners. Dananananaykroyd’s ‘closing down’ sale sees brisk business as fans clamour for last-chance mementos of a soon-to-be fondly-remembered career. Technical gremlins mute David Roy’s guitar for the opening number, forcing early improv from the band’s irrepressible vocalists (“I said to myself before tonight, ‘don’t turn it into a stand-up show…’” Calum deadpans as the jinx drags out the banter), but a lead swap later and then they’re off, with all the zeal fans have come to expect. It’s a full-house of highlights: the disco swagger of farewell single Think and Feel makes their impending dissolve all the more photo: CHRIS BUTLER photo: Kenny McCOLL rrrrr bittersweet; The Greater Than Symbol and the Hash socks the crowd with a nostalgic sissy hit; while the Wall of Cuddles is resurrected for the encore, as Some Dresses rounds out the sextet’s tenure on the Scottish live scene. And then it’s over: but in the words of their almost-namesake (after accidentally conjuring a giant marshmallow man, blowing up a high-rise, and getting sued by half of New York): yeah, but what a ride. [Chris Buckle] www.dananananaykroyd.co.uk Josh T. Pearson of the night, and the poignant drama that characterises his solo material. That charisma commands the crowd’s attention throughout the set, allowing Pearson – who uses a solitary acoustic guitar all night – to emphasise and draw out the silences in songs like Sweetheart, I Ain’t Your Christ and Country Dumb. Without the overdubs used on the record, these songs acquire an increased vulnerability and intensity, emphasising the distinctiveness of his tremulous fingerpicking style. Yet despite the rapturous response, the cold-stricken Pearson repeatedly apologises for “singing like shit.” If this is him on an off night, a less Lemsip-addled performance must be truly astounding. [Sam Wiseman] Òran Mór, 22 Nov rrrr Those who have encountered Josh T. Pearson’s solo debut Last of the Country Gentlemen – or, indeed, the psychedelic apocalypticism of his previous outfit, Lift to Experience – could be forgiven for expecting the Texan to be a forbiddingly aloof character. Any tension in Òran Mór, however, is immediately dispelled when he opens the show with a disjointed ramble about the dangers of excessive Lemsip consumption. “You’re supposed to take one every four hours, and I took four every one hour,” Pearson drawls. He has the rare ability to shift between this deadpan humour, with which he regales us for much The Liquid Room, 9 Nov rrr Electric Circus, 17 Nov rrrr Looking resplendent like Oor Wullie on kirk day, Adam Stafford takes stage for the second of Vic Galloway’s hand-picked nights at Electric Circus. Having wiped the slate with the dissolution of his much-loved but mainly overlooked band Y’all Is Fantasy Island, Stafford flies solo with his guitar, loop pedal and layers of weird and wonderful vocal inflections. Step Up, Raise Hands is an effective opening blueprint of scratchy guitar percussion and wolf howling. Witch Hunt is perhaps the highlight though, Stafford laying down some effective white-boy beatboxing before building the bare bones into the soundtrack for a cathartic pagan field dance. Bizarre but brilliant. With Galloway introducing tonight’s main act as having made his album of the year, Remember Remember put on a suitably epic show in celebration. Playing as a seven-piece, Graeme Ronald’s amorphous troupe have tightened up immeasurably since the charming, yet ramshackle days of old. The likes of Ocean Potion simply sound magnificent when all guns are blazing but there seems more fun and looseness involved, the various peaks arrived at as the performance, rather than the record, dictates. The ebullient John Candy provides a fitting send-off with even some karaoke groups from adjacent rooms bobbing their heads in appreciation. It seems Vic has some solid evidence to back up that grand claim. [Darren Carle] www.bbc.co.uk/vicgalloway 46 THE SKINNY December 2011 Eight months after his Cuban Linx co-host claimed The Liquid Room, Ghostface Killah shows up to mirror Raekwon’s inebriated triumph – tonight’s slightly sluggish start perhaps owing to the pungent waft of the philosopher’s blend. Fittingly, Ice Cream makes an early appearance, with Ghost protégé Trife Da God ably filling in for Rae’s verses before shining in his own right to a dense freestyle over Mobb Deep’s Eye For An Eye. With such generous nods to his peers against a ticking clock, the question of whether Ghost can do justice to his own illustrious catalogue begins to loom when he tends towards a backseat. But a dedication of Protect Ya Neck to the late Joe Frazier and Heavy D is no squandering of his time, paying tribute to the Wu-Tang dynasty’s catalogue as often as those who informed the culture. Then he blows the dust off a few soul-inflected cuts from rrr With their impeccably-crafted, Beach Boys-inflected brand of sunkissed indie, London’s Weird Dreams make sense as openers for a Stephen Malkmus set; checked shirts, floppy hair and singalong harmonies are all present and correct. The quartet’s feelgood choruses and shimmering guitars may lack the ironic edge of Malkmus’ songs, but they share a determination to explore new possibilities within what is essentially a fairly unadventurous sound. It’s startling to realise that Malkmus is now touring his fifth album with The Jicks, an outfit who have been together for as long as Pavement were; presumably because the variation between records has tended to be slight, with the sound evolving gradually from chirpy guitar pop into a Gillian Welch Clyde Auditorium, 20 Nov photo: Dave Kerr Vic Galloway presents... Remember Remember The Arches, 11 Nov deceptively complex, dreamy sort of indie-country-rock. As a live outfit, the indulgent-but-fun axework of the early shows has been almost entirely eschewed in favour of a carefully regimented approach: one that strives to capture that dreaminess, but can instead feel strangely subdued. Given the myriad twists and turns of material like Pig Lib’s 1% of One, or current LP Mirror Traffic’s Senator, the band’s evolution into a more focused, controlled outfit is perhaps unsurprising. Nonetheless, while these songs work on record, in the live context they sometimes seem to sit uncomfortably between the anarchic exuberance of Pavement, and the kind of 70s MOR that Malkmus is equally drawn towards. It’s revealing, perhaps, that for all of the later material’s craftsmanship, it’s a song from his solo debut – Jenny and the Ess-Dog – that ultimately gets the warmest reception. [Sam Wiseman] photo: EOIN CAREy Ghostface Killah Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks rrrr A Killa Priest cameo the blueprint-setting Supreme Clientele, as raw and gritty as the day it was hatched – the crowd’s enthusiasm practically reinstating the 2000 album as his most celebrated moment. An eleventh hour cameo from long-time Wu-affiliate Killah Priest assures a menacing 4th Chamber, while a reprisal of the philosophical B.I.B.L.E – his immortal closing turn on GZA’s Liquid Swords – provides another unexpected highlight on a night our host could have claimed more. [Dave Kerr] With each successive visit to Glasgow, Gillian Welch’s fanbase has increased exponentially; and given the eight-year gap between 2003’s Soul Journey and current LP The Harrow and the Harvest, there’s been plenty of time for it to build before this tour. Consequently, tonight’s show (her first at the Armadillo) is a large-scale seated affair, and the crowd are so hushed that it confuses Welch: “We remember you being a rowdy bunch,” she comments in surprise. The audience’s quiet attentiveness, combined with the stripped-back simplicity of the show – there’s no support, and no band, save for Welch’s ever-present musical partner David Rawlings – brings out the haunting melancholy of the more downbeat songs. The Way It Will Be, evoking the minor phrasings of Neil Young’s On The Beach, works particularly well in this context. The American folk tradition with which Welch firmly identifies herself, however, feeds as much upon that kind of melancholy as it does upon the sort of boisterousness for which Glasgow audiences are known; hence her determination to rouse the crowd. Songs like I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll eventually do so: and her gorgeously rich vocals, along with Rawlings’ flawlessly rendered solos, ensure that the venue’s formality is eventually overcome. [Sam Wiseman] RECORDS THE DIRTY DOZEN We invite Santa and his helpers (A.K.A. Joe, Ian and Johnny from TAKE A WORM FOR A WALK WEEK) to rate and slate December’s singles. Will the yuletide season instil peace and goodwill to all men? With unprintable chat revolving around home-made flesh lights, don’t count on it… INTERVIEW: CHRIS BUCKLE PHOTOS: EUAN ROBERTSON kit – it’s shite, but we’d probably pump them, so ‘Pumped out of 10’. Theme Park – Milk (Luv Luv Luv Records, 12 Dec) Johnny: This is just ripping off Talking Heads. Joe: It’s not milky enough. It sounds semi-skimmed. Johnny: It’s soy milk. Joe: No way, soy milk’s good, I drink soy milk all the time so I’m defending it. This is definitely semi-skimmed. Johnny: You can get a lower rating than semiskimmed, it’s like white water. Joe: Aye this sounds like purple milk. 1 out of 10. Cast – See That Girl (Cast Recordings, 19 Dec) Johnny: If I could say one thing to Cast, it’d be “Stop. Give up. You’ve had your day”. They played my sister’s prom… Joe: You’ve got a sister?! Since when? Johnny: Just a couple of weeks ago. She’s 86. Joe: No, but seriously, how old is she? I seriously didn’t know you had a sister… Johnny: I’d give this song zero – mediocre bullshit. Joe: I’d give it one to represent the pound that they’ll make on their comeback. This is the musical equivalent of standing in a dog shite wearing your new trainers. Zero. Johnny: 0.00001 Skinny: Well that puts them above The Lovely Eggs… Johnny: Eggs need to get the lowest score. Mainly because they’re called The Lovely Eggs. SINGLE OF THE MONTH She & Him – Christmas Day (Double Six, 19 Dec) Johnny: Is this it started aye? Shite. Joe: This sounds like a hairy mince pie that’s been shat out. It’s shite, but she’s hot. So I’ll score her 3 out of ten. Ian: For a Christmas song, 10 out of 10… Joe: You can’t give her 10 out of 10 just because she’s hot! Ian: …but for a song, minus 10. Joe: We give this ‘Tits out of 10’. Band of Skulls – The Devil Takes Care of His Own (Electric Blues Recording, 4 Dec) Johnny: Sounds like open mic night at Fury Murry’s. Ian: I think that riff’s really shite, but the rest of the tune’s good. Unfortunately that riff is most of the tune… Joe: If they played it through decent amps it might sound good, but it really doesn’t. Johnny: Two out of ten. Laki Mera – Crater (Mogwai remix) (Just Music, 5 Dec) Johnny: This sounds like the last boss in Street of Rage 2. Joe: This is shite. Ian: I quite like the vocals… Joe: Pish, they’re the worst thing about it! Ian: It’s something I’d listen to in a warm bath; it reminds me of One Tree Hill. Joe, checking sleeve: They paid top dollar to get Mogwai to remix that – that’s why it sounds like Kraftwerk. Joe: 5 for this one. Rise to Remain – This Day is Mine (EMI, 19 Dec) Joe: Is this Shaggingforce? Johnny: This is pure scuzz-core. Zero out of 10 – turn that one off, it’s shite. I hate that music so much. It makes me want to eat my own face from the inside out. Ian: It makes me want to count my chest hairs. The Lovely Eggs – Allergies (Too Pure, 5 Dec) (Joe pulls a face like someone shat in his stocking…) Johnny: Fucking hell… Ian: Sounds like Echobelly or something… Joe: It sounds like fucking egg and chips. Johnny, spying the cover: Hold on, this is called egg and chips! Skinny: Well, The Lovely Eggs… Joe: Seriously? Well The Lovely Eggs sound like egg and chips. Johnny: She needs singing lessons so she doesn’t sing in that accent all the time: [picks up the tune and starts crooning like a castrato Dick Van Dyke], ‘egg and chips, egg and chips, eeeegg and chips’. That’s what it sounds like: chips and egg. Joe: Double egg, with an egg dip Johnny: Egg, chips and egg, with an egg dip. Zero out of ten. Girls – Myma/Lawrence (PIAS, 5 Dec) Johnny: Is this at the wrong RPM? It’s pure slow as fuck. Ian: The guitar tones are cool. Joe: This is really reminding me of something but I can’t put my finger on it… Who is it? Skinny: It’s the new single from Girls… Johnny: But is it actually girls, or is it guys? Joe: It just sounds like a straight-up Band of Horses rip-off Johnny: And they’re not even girls – I’d call that false advertising. If I bought that, I’d expect to see girls, but no. Ian: Compared to Rise to Remain, this is alright – I’d listen to this. I’d give it an 8. Joe: 8?! 6. The Vaccines – Wetsuit (Columbia, 4 Dec) Ian: I’ve heard this tune [starts singing along]. Joe: 1 out of 10 for Ian’s singing. This song sounds like a scotch pie that’s been left out in Greggs for too long. Johnny: This tune’s alright, 7 out of 10 Joe: No fucking way… Ian: Make it 4 – it’s like Doves speeded up. Joe: It’s more like Dove hand cream. Johnny: Aye, this tune is Oil of Olay. Twin Atlantic – Free (Red Bull Records, 5 Dec) [Vocals begin; everyone starts laughing.] Joe: Twin Atlantic! This sounds like my first pubes. Nah, actually, it sounds like my first pube, singular. Ian: I’d listen to it if I was working out. Joe: Aye, naked in front of the mirror with a hard on. Ian: This is actually better than most of these songs, so 7. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar (Wichita, 5 Dec) Johnny: This is just boring – it sounds like a cheese board. Joe: It sounds like some lassie broke up with her boyfriend on Facebook and is posting shite from YouTube about how hurt she is… Ian: Crying into her beef and tomato pot noodle… Joe: They sound like their music needs a first aid EP REVIEWS THE THIRD MAN FOLLOW AS SATELLITES EP TABERNACLE, 12 DEC We Were Promised Jetpacks – Human Error/Ink Slowly Dries (Fat Cat, 5 Dec) Joe: Is this Jetpacks aye? I’m playing a gig with them in December – doesn’t mean I have to give them a good review though. In fact, that’ll be a good talking point… Johnny: This one reminds me of getting cleansed. It’s like using a nice shampoo and conditioner before I hit the living room with a wee glass of coke. Joe: Nah, not coke: own-brand cola. Nae ice, not even chilled. Johnny: Straight out the wee bottle. Joe: Eight out of ten. TAKE A WORM FOR A WALK WEEK PLAY A PHESTIVE PHANTOMIME AT STEREO, GLASGOW ON 17 DEC WWW.PHANTOMIME.CO.UK ZOMBY NOTHING EP 4AD, 28 NOV rrr As some big names compete to find the most inventive way to compress the sound of steam, The Third Man gives an indication that rumours relating to the death of high calibre techno have been greatly exaggerated. 2116 opens the record on a contemplative and richly-layered high, easing gently in before the mood darkens substantially. The atmosphere of Deep Sleep Operative evokes an almost gothic electronic future and Stepping Over combines gentle synths, tip-toeing melodies and a warm house bassline. Runners is without doubt the tune most likely to result in clubs full of rapid air-punching and is reminiscent of classic techno of the most ferocious variety, a scintillating reminder of just how potent the genre can be. [Ronan Martin] Nothing is a rather perverse collector’s item: a slightly underwhelming Zomby record. Although billed as a breakbeat-assisted companion piece to Dedication, Zomby’s second release for 4AD lacks the depth of ideas and clarity of execution so abundant on his second album. Opening the seven track EP on initially promising terms is Labyrinth, a slo-mo crawl of 90s hardcore that, along with Ecstacy Versions’ starlit shards of drum and bass, are fine additions to his estimable back catalogue. Much else on Nothing, decent though it is, seems like the hastily fashioned results of a producer recycling his own ideas; Digital Fractal is, basically, a below-par rendition of his 2009 release for Brainmath, Digital Flora, and there’s a lingering déjà-vu to the galloping arpeggios of Equinox, too. Nothing is a stumble, but Zomby still strides ahead of the horde, even on off-days. [Ray Philp] WWW.TABERNACLERECORDS.CO.UK WWW.4AD.COM/ARTISTS/ZOMBY rrrr DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 47 ALBUM REVIEWS RECORDS ALBUM OF THE MONTH: KATE BUSH 50 WORDS FOR SNOW FISH PEOPLE, OUT NOW rrrrr Could anyone except Kate Bush create a concept album about snow, incorporating a duet with Elton John, featuring a title track that sees Stephen Fry reciting a list of increasingly surreal words to describe the substance – and expect to be taken seriously? Bush, of course, has never troubled herself with such concerns, working as she does in an imaginative realm that seems wholly insulated from critical or commercial expectations. As on 2005’s Aerial, it’s 50 Words for Snow’s improbable fusion of drama, magic and absurdity that makes it so compelling. Musically, the uncannily soft, blurry edges of that record return, underpinning Bush’s mysterious ability to create atmospheres simultaneously sublime and understated. The first three songs are among her most captivatingly otherworldly creations; time seems to stretch out over their dreamily inflected piano tones, which are increasingly augmented with strings and percussion as the album progresses. On Snowflake, the familiarly rich, breathy textures of Bush’s vocals are juxtaposed with the angelic cries of her 12-year-old son Albert: “I was born in a cloud”, he murmurs portentously; “look up and you’ll see me”. Such personifications are a conceit which can feel either banal, preposterous, or both; throughout 50 Words, however, Bush’s audaciously imaginative approach sees her effortlessly circumvent such pitfalls. [Sam Wiseman] WWW.KATEBUSH.COM THE CURE RALEIGH MONCRIEF BILL WELLS SUNDAY BEST RECORDINGS, 5 DEC ANTICON, 19 DEC DOUBLE SIX, 5 DEC rrrr rrrr rrrr BESTIVAL LIVE 2011 WATERED LAWN LEMONDALE There are several excellent live documents of The Cure, from the classic 1988 film The Cure In Orange to the more recent reissue of Entreat (which solely relied on the Disintegration material played on their 1989 Prayer Tour). Bestival Live 2011 is a worthy addition to the collection, with the two disc set providing perhaps the most comprehensive ‘best of’ sequence available of the band to date. Most headlining performances at festivals require hits if they are to truly conquer, so Robert Smith doesn’t fight shy of including Lullaby, The Lovecats and the rarely performed Caterpillar. A sure key to the longevity of this band is their ability, evidenced here, to shift from masterful pop songs to discomforting pieces like One Hundred Years with apparent ease. Without Porl Thompson, Smith perhaps shoulders too much of the guitar duty in the current four-piece line-up, but it’s a thrill to hear them on this form. [Simon Fielding] Sacramento’s Raleigh Moncrief has been chiefly known, until now, for his production work – particularly on the Dirty Projectors’ 2009 opus Bitte Orca. That record’s astounding sonic complexity, its virtuosic shifts of focus, rhythm and tempo, are also evident on Moncrief’s debut Watered Lawn, but the foundations of these pieces are in hip-hop, rather than rock. There are superficial similarities with early Four Tet or Prefuse 73, but Watered Lawn also reveals, among other influences, a debt to Afrobeat. In that respect, the record makes more sense considered alongside global-influenced US acts like Gang Gang Dance and Animal Collective. This is particularly evident on I Just Saw, which deploys the hazy, reverb-soaked vocal style of the latter; and Don’t Shoot, with its infectious spiralling guitar samples. Watered Lawn, however, is imbued with a playfulness that places it in refreshing juxtaposition to some of Moncrief’s more arch contemporaries, demonstrating that his talents reach far beyond the mixing-desk. [Sam Wiseman] Following his collaboration with Maher Shalal Hash Baz on 2009’s GOK, Bill Wells returned to Japan to record Lemondale, corralling an impressive array of musicians to breathe life into its eleven tracks. The unorthodox orchestra featured the inimitable Nikaido Kazumi, Saya and Ueno from Tenniscoats, and Tokyo-residing experimentalist Jim O’Rourke amongst its numbers, and the disparate members evidently gelled. Lemondale is a sweet treat for the ears throughout, from Toon City’s opening jazz-strains – suggestive of Joe Hisaishi’s soundtrack work – to the delicate title track’s cooed refrain. The latter borrows chords from Procol Harum (or Bach, if you want to split hairs), while Mizo Tur is Windmills of My Mind in all but name, but while the echoes are blatant, such similarities are never detrimental. Lemondale’s thirty-four minutes are imbued with a gentle charm by turns wistful, romantic, bittersweet and playful, cementing Wells’ status as both gifted composer and well-connected bandleader. [Chris Buckle] WWW.THECURE.COM WWW.RALEIGHMONCRIEF.NET BILL WELLS PLAYS THE ARCHES WITH AIDAN MOFFAT ON 20 DEC THEE AMERICAN REVOLUTION THE BIRTHDAY SUIT FIRE RECORDS, 5 DEC SELF-RELEASED, OUT NOW rrr rrr BUDDHA ELECTROSTORM Although active since 2004, this frazzled psych duo – comprised of Craig Morris, and The Apples in Stereo’s Robert Schneider – didn’t produce an LP before 2009, when Buddha Electrostorm saw a limited US release; only now is the record being made widely available. The band operate with a fairly restricted sonic palette, having developed an infectiously stomping take on overdriven garage rock, that layers scuzzy noise over an abundance of pop hooks. The formula can be closely aligned with the duo’s similarly-named compatriots Thee Oh Sees, and although these songs tend to lack the frenetic energy of the latter outfit, they compensate with instantly memorable choruses – particularly on the Stones-esque Power House, which underpins crunching riffs with some epic-sounding strings. As the tardiness in producing and releasing Buddha Electrostorm indicates, Thee American Revolution are evidently no more than a side-project for Schneider and Morris; but for all its frivolity, it’s an enjoyable diversion. [Sam Wiseman] THE ELEVENTH HOUR Anyone who has listened to a Scottish indie record in the past decade will be able to join the dots between The Birthday Suit and their notable heritage. Formed by Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones, this side-project, if you will, doesn’t stray too far from the pop-rock template Jones and his bandmates laid down with the incendiary likes of 100 Broken Windows and The Remote Part. Jones’ knack for a more literal and direct lyrical melody is an idiosyncratic strong point here though. The seamless double-opener of Do You Ever and Hope Me Home are, respectively, raucous and anthemic in all the right places but the ballad-like They Say I Love You and the jangly guitar chug of Are You OK? are equal highlights. Beyond this there’s a slight recycling of these themes to lesser effect, but The Eleventh Hour is a welcome latecomer. [Darren Carle] PLAYING THE GREENSIDE, LESLIE ON 9 DEC WWW.THEBIRTHDAYSUIT.CO.UK THE FNORDS CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD FNORDS KOVOROX SOUND, OUT NOW rrrr This Edinburgh three-piece sound, at times, almost uncannily like Thee Headcoatees: snarling dual-female vocals are laid over supertrebly guitar, skulking basslines and thumping drums. The Fnords differentiate themselves through a penchant for reverb-heavy solos, which give tracks like She’s So Sinister a comic-book ghoulishness; and on Alternative 3, with additional percussion floating weirdly high in the mix, lending a disorienting quality to things. The vocals are delivered with aplomb, particularly on a cover of The Hells’ He’s The Devil, and the overall dynamic of the band is just the right side of giddy messiness. The Fnords know how to maintain that wheels-about-to-come-off feel that characterises the best garage-punk – a point made most forcefully on surf guitar-led songs like Scumbaby. The influences here may be obvious, but Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Fnords’ procession of addictive vocal hooks and boisterously simple riffs renders such criticisms irrelevant. [Sam Wiseman] SHE & HIM DEAD BOY ROBOTICS MOIRA STEWART DOMINO, OUT NOW TAPE, 28 NOV BABY SERIOUS, 5 DEC rrr rrrr rr A VERY SHE & HIM CHRISTMAS A She & Him Christmas album feels as natural a fit for the Yuletide season as tinsel, turkey and strained family relationships. While she already had a handful of acting credits to her name by 2003, most were introduced to Zooey Deschanel’s dulcet tones via twin tunes in Elf, the film which ignited her career via a thousand hopeless crushes. A Very She and Him Christmas declines to restage Elf’s Santa Claus Is Coming To Town finale, but Baby It’s Cold Outside is present, nestling in a conservatively chosen, safe but snug selection box of covers. Its obviousness is a limitation (everything sounds precisely as you would expect) but also its strong suit. A Christmas album isn’t the place to seek strong artistic statements or surprises; this is cosy, warm and nostalgic, and would soundtrack chestnut roasting, decking the halls, dashing through the snow, and any other cliché you care to suggest, perfectly. [Chris Buckle] 48 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 DEAD BOY ROBOTICS Spitting with dark, expansive electro fervour right from the start, this self-titled debut album from Edinburgh trio Dead Boy Robotics is nothing if not ambitious. Opening cut A Broken Y Axis is a thrifty statement of intent that sounds like 65daysofstatic hacking at the innards of the original Dr. Who theme. Two variations on As Children We Fear the Dark provides some nice balance. Part 1 is all clambering synths, propulsive drums and alternating lullaby/screaming vocals, whilst part 2 breathes some ambient dystopian soundscapes into proceedings. Do You Know Your Exits finds a plateau of Animal Collective vocal harmonies at the nub of its fairly epic structure, providing one of several highlights. In fact, the songwriting remains solid throughout, a realisation that only seeps through the jagged seams after several listens. A tight run-time ensures this is as machine-like as their name suggests, but there’s certainly plenty of heart to go with it. [Darren Carle] WHATEVER WE DO IS LOVE PLAYING THE THIRD DOOR, EDINBURGH ON 3 DEC AND PIVO PIVO, GLASGOW ON 11 DEC Moira (no, not actually the newscaster) Stewart’s immersion in the early eighties experiments of Vince Clarke, New Order and OMD is clear from a cursory spin of Whatever We Do Is Love; but, having absorbed the pioneering electronic aesthetic, can they craft something interesting out of it? Occasionally. Our Summer Kiss suggests affinities with the Lotus Eaters, Daft Punk and Hot Chip: divested of the tinny blips and beeps that pollute the sound at times, it allows for elegant vocal performances from Jonny White and Alex Thompson to converge on the only convincing moment here. The whimsical titles Fiery Biscuits and Tell Me, Have You Seen Terminator 2? do, perhaps, lower one’s musical expectations; nevertheless, neither track succeeds in shaping anything of merit out of early Depeche Mode synthesiser sounds and tired chord sequences. Closing track (Your Love) Keeps Lifting Me (Higher) and (Higher) is meandering and lacking in focus, much like this album as a whole. [Simon Fielding] READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH DEAD BOY ROBOTICS ON P50 WWW.MYSPACE.COM/MOIRASTEWARTMUSIC SMACKVAN KID CHOCOLAT BUTCHER THE BAR SANS CULOTTES, 1 DEC POOR RECORDS, 5 DEC MORR MUSIC, 5 DEC rrr rr rrr SOUND IN SPACE As Passkeepers in the early 1990s, and more recently as Smackvan, Michael Feeney, Owen McAulay and Gerry Elliot (along with various others, at different points along the way) have been hovering at the fringes of the Scottish underground for two decades now. Their output has been erratic and unpredictable, befitting the music, which tends to be murky, subdued and lyrically elliptical. Songs like My Happiness, which sets melancholy vocals alongside understated guitar arpeggios, demonstrate an impressive willingness to maintain space in the music. At such points, a brooding intensity that recalls bands like Gravenhurst or Hood gradually emerges from the gloom. When embellished with more ornate instrumentation, however – the synths, percussion and lead guitar on Black Eyes, for example – some of that power is diminished. Yet for the most part Smackvan recognise the value of shadows and subtlety, and Sound in Space, though not without its flaws, is consequently an enticingly strange and enigmatic record. [Sam Wiseman] KALEIDOSCOPE FOR EACH A FUTURE TETHERED As its title suggests, Swiss musician Kid Chocolat doesn’t settle on any single arrangement of sounds and influences on Kaleidoscope, preferring to try his hand at several. The range of collaborators confirms this flighty mentality: Gallic indie-poppers Tahiti 80 guest on the sprightly A Lot of Love; Welsh folktronic trio Land of Bingo appear twice, with Generation Admin a Furries-lite acoustic meander with horn embellishments; Japanese electro artist Puma Mimi purrs over Square Moon’s Knife-like drift; while fellow Genevans Love Motel contribute to a brace of tracks (neither of which make much of an impression, though Survivors has a hint of Fujiya Miyagi to its vocals). And still the wheel keeps turning, losing focus with an awkward EMF cover that undoes some of the good work evidenced elsewhere, not least on closer La Derniére Parade. Amidst it all, Kid Chocolat’s own identity is indistinct, rendering Kaleidoscope interesting, but ultimately uninvolving. [Chris Buckle] For Each a Future Tethered does everything a second album should, evoking its predecessor’s blueprint whilst comfortably improving on it. On his follow-up to Sleep at Your Own Speed, Joel Nicholson has added busier instrumentation and even a guest star in the form of Seasick Steve (barely perceptible on X), without sacrificing the breezy atmosphere that marked out his debut as promising if imperfect. There are, it must be said, limitations to Butcher the Bar’s sound: Nicholson has a knack for crafting instantly-pleasing melodies, but his work lacks the painful undertow of the likes of Elliot Smith (to whom Nicholson owes a definite debt of gratitude), and consequently risks blandness. But let’s focus on the positives, for there are many: Blood for the Breeze pairs haunting alt-folk with some of his best (and most bitter) lyrics, while tracks like Bobby and Sign Your Name generate a warmth that’s impossible to deny. [Chris Buckle] WWW.KIDCHOCOLAT.CH WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BUTCHERTHEBAR MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE ESCORT RED HORSES OF THE SNOW TRU THOUGHTS, 19 DEC TIRK, 5 DEC FLASHBACK RECORDS, 5 DEC rrr rr rrrr RENEGADES Vaguely pitched as a 40 minute sketch of contemporary globetrotting club music, Mark de Clive-Lowe’s ninth studio album is an assuredly well-travelled affair, with many of the musicians featured boasting collaborative links, tenuous or otherwise, with a formidable cast that includes D’Angelo, Flying Lotus and Prince. Without exception, Renegades is tastefully assembled and impeccably produced, but such albums – flirting as they do with non-threatening, pastel shades of soul and R&B – are often ensnared by the predatory embrace of a Caffé Nero soundsystem. Once the record dispenses with risible, try-hard funk (a sample lyric from Push: ‘let the milk turn sour, my cream rises to the top’), it approaches something resembling excellence. Hooligan, one of five songs that feature vocalist Nia Andrews, is a wonderful sample of organic R&B and jazz, while the melodic funk/ house of the Omar and Sheila E assisted Get Started seems closer in spirit to the canvas that Clive-Lowe had intended to commit to record. [Ray Philp] ESCORT TERRITORIES Every staple of classic disco is recalled on Escort’s first long-player, but the seventeen-strong outfit wring no fresh insights from the genre, whether they are plundering Thriller for inspiration or celebrating a passion for Kid Creole and the Coconuts. A trudge through Cocaine Blues is, perhaps, intended to reinterpret Dillinger’s matchless 1976 track with some inventive impetus, but it’s more karaoke than profound tribute. There is an attempt to sustain a formula throughout the album, but the numbing repetition of sub-Chic guitars and Kool and the Gang pastiches renders the whole experience unsatisfying. Escort’s closing sequence offers some relief from the kitsch that precedes it – All That She Is and Karawane suggest, tentatively, that some textural experimentation can reconfigure the more banal aspects of Escort’s current work. Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters has described Escort as ‘The best disco you’ve ever heard’. Not on this evidence. [Simon Fielding] A prevailing sense of nostalgia dominates Territories, the debut from artist/musician Chris Hawtin and producer Mark Burgess’ collaboration as Red Horses of the Snow. Throughout, Hawtin explores lyrical themes of isolation and technology’s ability to connect us to the rest of the world, whilst simultaneously removing us from it by proxy. These are not new realisations and are in no way revolutionary, but Hawtin’s sincerity is never overwrought, lending these songs the requisite poignancy to be felt by their listener. This sentimentality and lack of artifice is in some ways akin to that of The Manchester Orchestra, though sonically Territories rings of digital production and multitracking, evoking and reinforcing the record’s subject matter. Standout track Siam, with its shuffling rhythm and synth swells, exposes the band’s ability as songwriters with a chorus that contains the album’s least dressed up melody, so dangerously good it can only get lodged deep in your skull. [David McGinty] WWW.TIRK-RECORDINGS.COM WWW.REDHORSESOFTHESNOW.COM LIL DAGGERS DIMLITE KORN SONG, BY TOAD, 5 DEC NOW-AGAIN, 5 DEC ROADRUNNER UK, 5 DEC rrr rrrr r LIL DAGGERS GRIMM REALITY THE PATH OF TOTALITY Imagine finding an old wireless; winding it up, and turning it on to discover that it’s still tuned to an old forgotten AM station constantly broadcasting psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll B-sides. Lil Daggers, the debut album by the Florida-based band and latest foreign release by Edinburgh-based Song, by Toad Records, is a little like that. Not too far removed from some of Brian Jonestown Massacre’s rockier moments, Dead Golden Girls and Slave Exchange Johnny Saraiva’s washed out vocals blend into sustained organ and bursting distorted guitar noodling. When this rhythm ‘n’ blues rock subsides on tracks like Pignose, the band channel The Kinks, offering a jangly acoustic number which is notably different from their menacing psych-rock, but indebted to the same period. A little too ominous and twisted to refer to as a complete throwback, Lil Daggers is more like an old scratched and warped vinyl than ‘vintage’, but therein lies the charm. [David McGinty] If you’ll forgive the transgression of a time-honoured proverb, the cover of Grimm Reality offers a useful shorthand to the maelstrom of ideas orbiting Dimlite’s third album. Three entangled, interlocking images – a fish falling on an open umbrella, an Autumn tree growing in place of a person’s head, and the string of a balloon looped around a skeletal finger – all imply the juxtaposition of the macabre and the absurd, and it’s this idea that spurs Grimm Reality’s abstruse realisation of hip-hop and psych-jazz. Grimm Reality is no fairytale for the casual listener – Dimlite never settles too long on a single idea, preferring to let his intuition lead him, and us, on a merry dance – but the album does represent an aesthetically arresting alternative to the leftfield hip-hop typical of Tri Angle and Brainfeeder. Much like the sleeve that adorns it, Grimm Reality is utterly deranged, and yet you can’t take your eyes (or ears) off of it. [Ray Philp] Jon Davis: “They (our fans) don’t really understand dubstep but then they relate to it because it’s heavy and dark but not techno. They’re like, ‘This isn’t gay techno music. This is something different’.” Rarely has an artist managed to cut to the core of their own awfulness so concisely, whilst simultaneously revealing their own mercenary attitudes towards creativity. Filled to buggery with pointless robot noises and ultrahardcore WUB WUB WUB-iness, The Path of Totality finds Korn welding their own brand of tired miserabilism to aggro productions from the likes of Skrillex, Excision and Downlink. The album’s one and only solid chorus crops up on Narcissistic Cannibal (briefly evoking a sort of early-Birthday Massacre gothic pomp), but the overwhelming impression is one of relentless, bludgeoning stupidity. The Path of Totality makes it very clear that the only thing Jon Davis learned from nu-metal was when to spot a potential marketing opportunity. [Mark Shukla] WWW.LILDAGGERS.TUMBLR.COM WWW.DIMGRIMM.COM WWW.KORN.COM DAN MANGAN OH FORTUNE CITY SLANG, 5 DEC rrrr With Oh Fortune – the follow up to 2009’s Nice, Nice, Very Nice which largely brought the Canadian singer songwriter to the attention of these shores and gained him a Polaris Prize nomination back home – Dan Mangan reveals a much grander, ambitious, and sonorous undertaking. Building upon the alt-folk foundations of its predecessor, songs like Starts With Them, Ends With Us and PostWar Blues then launch into brass fanfares that grate against rapturous guitars teasingly teetering on the edge of orchestral cacophony. The sparse production is startling yet understated; the forlorn If I Am Dead segues into Daffodil, taking with it an established sense of longing, and flirts with the breathy distorted vocal sound of Sparklehorse. Mangan springs to and from these yearnings into tracks like the guitar heavy Rows Of Houses, placing each sentiment in an appropriate context whilst providing the record with an exciting dynamic that demands attention. [David McGinty] WWW.DANMANGANMUSIC.COM THE TOP FIVE PUSHA T 1 rrr 2 3 4 5 KATE BUSH 50 WORDS FOR SNOW DAN MANGAN OH FORTUNE RALEIGH MONCRIEF WATERED LAWN DEAD BOY ROBOTICS DEAD BOY ROBOTICS BILL WELLS LEMONADE FEAR OF GOD II: LET US PRAY DECON, 5 DEC Pusha T, the younger half of seminal Virginia hip-hop duo Clipse, has been making a conscious move towards the mainstream arena in his own right, as even a cursory glance at the guest spots on his first official long-player – Fiddy, Pharrell and Yeezy – will confirm. Then there’s the content of the tracks themselves; bass-heavy beats, twinkly keyboard samples, colossal horn-parts – every component that comes to mind when one utters the words 'mainstream rap.' Considering the spaced-out vibe on some of Clipse’s past work, Let Us Pray paints an alienating backdrop for Pusha. Still, it’s unapologetically huge and – far from some mercenary arrangement – his acquaintances bring out their big guns in style: Tyler, The Creator’s Yonkers-referencing appearance on Trouble On My Mind is typically brutal, and Rick Ross’s hyper-confident bawl on I Still Wanna is a bare-knuckled triumph, even if it does overshadow the presence of our host. [Ross Watson] WWW.PUSHA-T.COM DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 49 NEW BLOOD MUSIC TALES OF THE FUTURE Edinburgh trio DEAD BOY ROBOTICS count Blade Runner as a pivotal influence, enjoy a bit of Xbox Live and have written a funk ode to the Jaffa Cake. A band with these credentials should be celebrated – we have a word as their debut finally touches down INTERVIEW: DARREN CARLE PHOTOS: SOL NICOL NICE N SLEAZY OPEN ‘TIL 3 AM 7 DAYS A WEEK FOOD SERVED 12-9PM EVERY DAY (SUN 1PM-9PM) DECEMBER SPOEK MATHAMBO + FALCONRY + SAD CITY GLOBAL CITIZEN + ANALOG ANGEL + NATTLES PM PRESENT... OPEN MIC ACOUSTIC NIGHT WITH GERRY LYONS (free entry) TU 6 SOMATIC + THIS WATER KILLS + HOI POLLOI + THE BLIND WATCHMAKERS THU 8 GENERAL + GUESTS MO 12 OPEN MIC ACOUSTIC NIGHT WITH GERRY LYONS (free entry) TU 13 YOUNG AVIATORS THU 15 REVERIENNE + CAFÉ DISCO + THE UPBEAT BEATDOWN FRI 16 HOW TO SWIM + GUESTS SA 17 TNMC + GUESTS SU 18 MONSTER A-GO-GO MO 19 OPEN MIC ACOUSTIC NIGHT WITH GERRY LYONS (free entry) WE 28 COLONEL MUSTARD & THE DIJON + TRAGIC O’HARA SA 31 NICE N SLEAZY HOGMANAY BASH: CRY PARROT VS CROC TH 1 FRI 2 SA 3 MO 5 LIVE MUSIC AND CLUBS EVERY NIGHT FOR FULL LISTINGS VISIT OUR WEBSITE WWW.NICENSLEAZY.COM VENUE NIGHT CLUB 50 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 BAR 421 SAUCHIEHALL ST GLASGOW ELECTRO-ROCK OUTFIT Dead Boy Robotics have been bubbling away under the local music scene for some years now. Back in 2009 they made the cut for the T-Break stage at T in the Park, while last year they released their Tale of the Winter Kids EP to critical acclaim. Recent activity has seen a significant hike in radio play from the reliable likes of Vic Galloway, Jim Gellatly and Ally McCrae amongst others. Throughout it all, the trio of Gregor McMillan, Mike Bryant and Paul Bannon have been writing and tweaking their self-titled debut album, a juggernaut of bleeding-edge electro and sky-high vocal melodies. These are all key ingredients that led to us having an overdue converse with all three members as they gear up for the next step. Your name sounds like a fan-boy reference that I can’t place. Is it? Gregor: The name is totally random; there’s no meaning behind it. It was plucked out of the air for creating a MySpace music page to upload and share early demo ideas. Fair enough. You’ve also used it as the title of your debut album. Gregor: We’re thinking in the wider scheme of things and eschewing record titles completely. People will have to refer to each album we release by the main colour on the cover. Or it could just be that none of us could come up with a suitable album title... Mike: I was pushing for the Phil Collins style of album cover and just having close ups of our balding heads. I was out-voted. So, what’s the potted DBR story so far? Gregor: I initially started DBR with Mike’s brother Chris when we were between bands. Mike joined one summer and we played some gigs but then Chris left to play with Meursault. Mike and I just kept it going. Mike: I was still at University when I basically gate crashed one of the early practices. We played some pretty shambolic gigs but somehow got picked to play T in the Park before we’d even released anything. “CALLUM, up in the crow’s nest, is all guitar-cradling and neckerchief-wearing, while Sam will go down with the ship, laughing to the last at his cockpit of keyboards,” collectively explain Glasgow (via Fife) quartet, Milk. “Michael plays at drums and dressing up down in the engine room, and Pablo stands at the prow, full of windy rhetoric and last night’s leftovers.” Any room for a celebrity endorsement on board? After all, that ‘Got Milk’ campaign has done wonders for dairy sales over the years – want to co-opt any Milk-the-Drink lovers as spokespersons for Milk-the-band? “Can we breed them? If so we’ll take the lithe and insatiable sexuality of Isabella Rosellini, couple it with the high-society histrionics of Elton John, and marry that off with the future-race breeding of the Olsens and the ruthless art-as-a-sacrificial-cow ambition of James Cameron.” Finally, this sexual, ambitious future-race progeny would be “wrapped in plastic, à la Joan Rivers.” If their creation sounds elaborate and messy, it fits their musical identities; if their answers sound articulate yet obfuscating, it reflects their crafty, cultured smarts. “We think that bands are too readily vilified for not nailing a signature sound,” they argue. “It seems to us that using a broad palette can produce the most interesting and enjoyable results.” Their particular palette reaps the rewards of a four-way musical input that doesn’t necessarily flow naturally in the same direction. “I think it would be fair to say that we began this at odd angles, and so the approach has been to try and Text Chris Buckle Photo www.ryanmcgoverne.co.uk MILK SUPPORT FOUND AT THE ELECTRIC CIRCUS, EDINBURGH ON 7 AUG AS PART OF THE EDGE FESTIVAL challenge each other, taking our disparate inspirations and finding ways to harmonise them. We enjoy sifting through the noise.” When the sifting is finished, nuggets of Lizard King stargazing, smooth 80s grooves, moody atmospherics, deadpan humour and prog-squiggles remain. The unorthodox blend slips through genres like cow lactose through fingers. “We converge in strange places,” they acknowledge. Milk confound classification in part through tactical shyness. Their low-profile moniker and lower-profile web presence constitute a genuine attempt to avoid the pigeonholing that rubberstamps acts straight from the womb. Milk are leaving their options open and keeping followers guessing. “We’re still in the formative stages of playing this music together, so anything that allows the freedom to go off on creative tangents is a must,” they explain. “The name gave us the blank slate. If you treat a band’s name as a statement of intent, then ours remains open to interpretation.” Refreshingly, in an age where choosing a MySpace background sits uncomfortably high on new-starts’ ‘to do’ lists, they’re uninterested in cultivating a potentially-straitjacketing online persona. “We want the opportunity to surprise others and ourselves.” Live, they don’t let such opportunities pass them by. But what about recordings? Any releases on the horizon? “In this regard,” they assert, “we reserve the right to remain mysterious.” Seems Milk will be whetting appetites a little longer yet.[Chris Buckle] Ah Milk. Great source of calcium, won Sean Penn an Oscar… er, hang on, something’s off. Google has failed me – guys, you’ll have to introduce yourselves… Got Milk? WE NO LONGER CHARGE BOOKING FEES FILMHOUSE 88 LOTHIAN ROAD EDINBURGH Box Office 0131 228 2688 BOOK ONLINE at www.filmhousecinema.com Collect loyalty points and spend them on FREE tickets and DVDs! Sign up for FREE! Get your free Filmhouse Loyalty Card supported by THE SKINNY Highlights from this year’s hugely successful two-week festival, which took place in March at BFI Southbank. The season includes LLGFF Closing Night Gala Children of God, a fascinating and politically bold study of sexuality in the Bahamas; lesbian comedy And Then Came Lola; erotically charged crime thriller The Fish Child; acclaimed Argentinian drama Plan B; and two programmes of shorts, one for the girls and one for the boys! London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival On Tour 10 Aug to 2 Sep A key work from an era that’s now considered the last Golden Age of American cinema, Bob Rafelson’s superlative character study established Jack Nicholson as the foremost actor of his generation. One of the few honest American films about social class, family and alienation. Don’t miss this wonderfully restored classic. Five Easy Pieces 13 Aug to 19 Aug Directed by Juan José Campanella and showcasing two of Argentina’s biggest stars, this is a riveting thriller spiked with witty dialogue and poignant romance. Receiving rave reviews and awards, it was also the surprise winner of this year’s Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film, beating off stiff competition from The White Ribbon and A Prophet. The Secret in Their Eyes 13 Aug to 9 Sep AUGUST 2010 THE SKINNY 51 See www.edinburghpeoplesfestival.org for further details and tickets • Drama from SpartaKi Theatre Company • Why the finest comics in Edinburgh end up in Gorgie • Aid for Afghanistan - a concert • 3rd Annual Hamish Henderson memorial lecture • Photographic exhibition 'The Bad and the Beautiful' • Investigating Rebus's Edinburgh • Tour Edinburgh's dramatic radical past • Film premiere of 'Morticia' by Nabil Shaban MUSIC recommends this month... www.theelectriccircus.biz August 7th-14th Clockwise from top left: Pablo; Callum; Michael; Sam gothic pop. How does one write and record a garden variety DBR song? Gregor: Songs usually stem from a guitar riff or a laptop idea and are built from there. Once we have refined those ideas into a loose song structure, vocals start creeping in. Lyrics are usually the last part to be written and vocal melodies always seem to be the last thing to be worked out. Mike: I tend to spend hours on Ableton forming ideas and sounds. More often than not they just sound like the Blade Runner soundtrack, so I get pissed off, scrap it and start all over again. Blade Runner has definitely been a big influence on this record. I HOME OF THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL films worth talking about Paul: I had seen DBR a few times prior to joining and was formally introduced to the boys by Ted Koterwas [The Foundling Wheel] when my other band Lady North played at the Versus evening at Voodoo Rooms. I hounded them for a few months until they finally caved in and asked me to join. How has the local Edinburgh scene been treating you? Paul: Over the last few years the Edinburgh music scene has flourished due to a continuous stream of exciting new bands popping out from the wynds. With traditional and online media taking a genuine interest in what’s going on, it’s never been better for gaining exposure for your band. Gregor: We’ve met loads of great people, bands, bloggers and promoters from playing gigs in Edinburgh. You can never have too many contacts in your address book to call upon for advice and help. Your debut album is all wrapped up and awaiting release. How are you feeling about it? Gregor: It’s exciting to finally let people hear the album after making it almost a year ago but also nerve-wracking thinking about how it will be received. Once it’s released a huge weight will have been lifted off our shoulders, allowing us to move forward and start properly writing again. Mike: It’s pretty terrifying. A lot of blood, sweat and coffee has gone into making this record. I’m looking forward to seeing how people take to it, but I know it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Can you give us a sample of reactions you’ve had so far? Mike: It’s been surprisingly good. Even my Dad likes it. Gregor: Everyone we’ve played the album to so far has been very positive and genuinely liked it. I find it interesting to hear all the different bands it reminds people of. No one ever compares us to the same bands. How would you describe it then? Gregor: Vangelisian synth-tones with the vocal harmonies of Yes and tribal drumming of Liars. Paul: Avant-garde synth pop. Mike: I like to think of it as a form of twisted NEW BLOOD I was pushing for the Phil Collins style of album cover and just having close ups of our balding heads. I was out-voted MIKE BRYANT think there is an amazing depth and emotion to the soundtrack that I wanted to capture for our LP. You’ve been doing regular gigs around the country, how have these been received? Mike: At a recent gig in London, someone referred to our set as being “terrifying”. I like to think of that as a good thing. Paul: We become a tribe of drummers throughout the live set, with all three of us playing as hard as we can. It’s brutal, in the good way. Making money in music is difficult these days, and there doesn’t seem to be the same stigma in lending your music to advertising that there used to be. Heck, Frightened Rabbit are hawking for Baxter’s soups these days. Who would DBR happily accept a big fat royalty cheque from in order to keep things afloat? Gregor: Mike and I are avid gamers so I would say Xbox 360. Also, my own Xbox is about to “Red Ring of Death” again. Mike: I’ve written a funk song about Jaffa Cakes. I’m hoping McVitie’s pick it up. DEAD BOY ROBOTICS IS OUT NOW ON TAPE RECORDS. PLAYING THE THIRD DOOR, EDINBURGH ON 3 DEC AND PIVO PIVO, GLASGOW ON 11 DEC WWW.DEADBOYROBOTICS.COM Supported by King Tuts Wah Wah Hut and the Electric Circus www.theelectriccircus.biz DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 51 11pm-3am, £4 or free before 12pm via website http://iamclub.co.uk Sneaky Petes, Mon 12 Dec Here’s a microcosm of Britain’s failing economic policy: the BBC are required to make cut backs so they plan to drop some shows, one being Ally McCrae’s BBC Radio 1 slot (Mondays midnight - 2am) which provides one of the few national stages for undiscovered Scottish music. This small saving means less exposure for new talent which, ultimately, somewhere along the the line, will have an impact on the number of people paying to hear and see those artists. Where would other bands be without previous beneficiaries of this exposure such as Biffy Clyro, Franz Ferdinand, Calvin Bleeding Harris, going round the globe, headlining festivals, putting the Scottish scene out there? The connection between the two can’t be over estimated: what else is a public service broadcaster for if not this? As part of a campaign Abaga and Nu-Fire Records are putting on a night to tell people what they can do and to play some music too. The Ones (Madhat, Riddlad, Silvertongue and DJ Fusion) all play live alongside the respective label DJs. One to get behind. [Neil Murchison] 11pm-3am, Free Joris Voorn NaÏve Presents Brodinski Liquid Room, Sat 17 Dec SWG3, Fri 9 Dec Sweep the Floor, Chase the Mouse, Incident, The Secret and We’re All Clean(!) are the cream of Joris Voorn’s productions, the latter being a game changer in coaxing the obdurate stay at home types to spurn the sofa in favour of partying, such being its ebullience. Needless to say, holding down a We Love residency at ‘the world’s best club’, Space Ibiza, ensures as a prerequisite Voorn’s stratospheric pedigree as one of the most party pleasing DJs. This is at least the third time that Musika has brought Voorn to the Capital and these jaunts would be best described by that peculiar, if endearing, Carl Cox-ism “road block”. Also on the bill, Uner is an interesting booking, synonymous with punchy house productions released on Diynamic Music and his collaborations with fellow Spaniards, Coyu and EduImbernon. All three combined to produce last year’s CR2 compilation Live and Direct and more regular amalgamations of the trio would dick on Swedish House for sure. Then there’s the small matter of SLAM dropping by for a set of first rate techno. It promises to be a big one and there’s not a sack of a coal in sight. Santa, it would seem, has delivered. [James Corlett] Brodinski is an artist whose own tracks may not quite exhibit his full range of musical tastes. Often characterised by long, soaring build-ups which are stretched to breaking point before yielding to hyperactive bleep-infused payoffs, the Frenchman’s productions could lead some to question his stylistic depth. In fact, for anyone averse to the type of electronic music often labelled 'dirty' or 'filthy', Brodinski may not pass muster. Yet, his DJ sets can surprise even the most cynical of electrohouse naysayers. A Fabric Live mix released last month confirm his skill and versatility as a DJ and on the turntables, the man from Lille displays a penchant for a range of diverse styles not evident in his own back catalogue. From hip-hop and R’n’B through to techno, acid house and moombahton (yep, it’s still going strong), Brodinski is no one trick pony. It is difficult to glance at his recent track selections, including those for his debut Essential Mix for Radio 1, and not find something to like and this flexibility, combined with his slick mixing style, make him a highly sought after party DJ. He is joined at SWG3 by fellow French native Gesaffelstein as well as Riton. [Ronan Martin] 9pm-3am, £18 11pm-3am, £7 www.musikanights.com facebook.com/naive.glasgow Do You Come Here Often? Soul Jam Hot Sneaky Pete’s Tuesdays, 11pm-3am Free clubbing HIGHLIGHTS Words: Neil Murchison The anti-Christmas and Hogmanay fight back starts here. There will not be single mention of those two events for the rest of this column. If I had my way I’d close my eyes, put my fingers in my ears and go “la la la la la” to drown them out but then I’d be missing out on some of the fine DJs that are hitting the clubs this month. So that’s what I’ll do instead: drown out the jingling bells with some rocking beats. It’s a lean month then but it’s full of quality. One of the kings of Detroit techno, Robert Hood, makes his grand return, fittingly enough, at Return to Mono & Animal Farm at Sub Club on Fri 9 Dec. Robotic and minimalist, he has been one of the key individuals in the genre’s progress from the early 90s onwards. As the head of M-Plant Records and one of the founders of Underground Resistance, he has been right at the heart of a great techno machine. This will be as essential a techno set as you can imagine. If a 20th year means you’ve earned the title of ‘institution’ then what does a 21st entitle you to? Divine! reaches that remarkable milestone after entering its third decade of spinning out tunes. In its new home at The Admiral the celebrations on Sat 17 Dec will extend to handing out free mix CDs packed with retro, soul and funk as well as cake and badges. As part of a new series we focus on the best resident or unique club nights happening underneath your nose Words: Neil Murchison The night Deep in the heart of the old town a crowd has once again been drawn, like moths to a flame, for a night of soul, funk and hip-hop: ‘get down’ music in other words. And the crowd are definitely doing that. If there were three circles, one representing Soul Jam Hot’s music, another for cut price drinks and a final one signifying ‘dancefloor mayhem’ then you would get what’s known in the Venn diagram world as ‘mega overlap’. It’s a controlled experiment and it’s getting results. The limited space in Sneaky Pete’s is often the reason it excels and on nights like this people are crammed up on stage and at the edges of the room just to get a spot of floor. The lack of seats here has never been more irrelevant, you couldn’t sit to this music if you wanted to. James Brown, De La Soul and Sister Sledge and all get dropped early on. A loop from Soul Train runs on the screens, full of bright primary colours which are replicated with the yellow, red and blue lights beaming from the 52 THE SKINNY December 2011 ceiling. The dancefloor is the only place to be unless you are at the bar, getting air or smoking. The music is diverse enough to hit you with a whole bunch of songs you won’t know and then still suckerpunch you with classics like Dialated People’s The Platform or some A Tribe Called Quest. The DJ Robbie ‘Robert VI’ McLaren Who DJs?: The five strong The Players Association, consisting of Callum ‘Molecular Scissors’ McLean, Rob ‘DFade’ Ralston, Cam ‘Suds’ Mason, Tom ‘Harrisimo Fontaine’ Russell and Robbie ‘Robert VI’ McLaren How long has it been running: About a year and a half. Three songs most likely to get played: Fred Wesley’s House Party, James Brown’s Ants in My Pants and Archie Bell and the Drells’ Tighten Up. Why is it different? The atmosphere is a bit different to most clubs I go to. The type of music we The Arches plays host to an absolutely mammoth night in the form of The Colours Winterparty on Mon 26 Dec. The epic euro trance line-up features super DJ project Dash Berlin, the Dutch duo W&W and Marcel Woods. Another two rooms are packed with the likes of Bassjackers and Alex Metric for an event that really requires human cloning to be enjoyed in its entirety. The multitalented Hyetal is the standout producer playing at Sneaky Pete’s on Wed 7 Dec with his decaying chillwave which sounds like a bank of dying LEDs flickering their last wrapped around with bursts of beat patterns. There are a few producers working this same patch but not many are doing it to this level and you can fully expect the crowd to be awe of his set. Finally, La Cheetah Club plays host to the first official Scottish night from one of the hottest underground labels to emerge in the last few years, Night Slugs on Sat 10 Dec. The label has become a force after consistently being ahead of the curve with a string of releases from the likes of Girl Unit and Jam City. Label bosses L-Vis 1990 (James Connolly) and Bok Bok (Alex Sushon) are two of the most in tune DJs when it comes to knowing what is hot at the moment so this should be an exemplary demonstration of Night Slugs in action. Photo: Iona Spence Having firmly established Tuesday nights as the new Friday…or Saturday…or Sunday nights at the Sub Club, IAM continue with their weekly school night nonsense by inviting xxxy as their guest on 27 December. The Manchester based producer got Pitchfork all in a tizzy earlier this year with them struggling to find words adequate enough to describe their admiration for his B-side (of course) of the You Always Start It / Ordinary Things track on Ten Thousand Yen. Taking influences from across the ever-broad ‘UK bass’ label and coming from a live music background, xxxy’s productions are layered and complex, a theme which crosses over into his DJ sets and can be heard in his FACT and URB mixes respectively. Support will be provided by the IAM residents Beta & Kappa. [Kat Young] Photo: Neil Murchison Sub Club, Tue 27 Dec Nu-Fire & Abaga Records: Save Ally McCrae BBC Introducing Photo: Iona Spence CLUBS IAM Presents Xxxy Photo: Neil Murchison PREVIEWS play has a lot to do with that and funk, soul and the like is quite accessible to loads of different people which makes for a really diverse crowd. And most people are pretty keen to have a proper dance to it, not just a cool as fuck bob of the head. A funny thing happened one night… We had Raekwon and his pals (I can’t pull off the word ‘posse’) down here after his gig at Liquid Rooms before the summer. It was pretty surreal, they got up on stage and did a wee set with a few of the guests we had on that night. That was only after they got over the initial shock that I didn’t have any Wu-Tang with me to play for them... which wasn’t embarrassing at all. The Crowd Emma, Fran and Rob Do you come here often? Emma: Yes! Hell yes. Fran: Every week pretty much. Rob: Every couple I guess. What’s the best song you’ve heard so far? Emma: Lauryn Hill Do Wop (That Thing) Fran: Yes, I agree. Rob: Something Hill I think... What are you drinking? Emma: anything that’s cheap! No, Tyskie and Peroni. Fran: Probably Jägerbombs. Chris Do you come here often? Once a week..at least. What’s the best song you’ve heard so far? I’ve only just got here! What are you drinking? Something cheap... no wait, everyone says that. A beer. What do you like about here: A lot of clubs think dub step and hip-hop cover everything but they don’t. There are maybe only two other nights [in Edinburgh] that stick out for me and that are diverse and it is hard to find a club playing a broad range of music. It’s just good music, if you know what I mean. Soul Jam Hot is every Tuesday at Sneaky Pete’s, 11pm - 3am. Entry is free CLUBS Genetically Enhanced O2 ABC Love Music Column He has remixed the likes of Hot Chip and Sasha, DJ’d all round the globe, produced some stunning EPs and his latest remix is sitting at the top of Beatport’s electronica chart. We spoke to Max Cooper ahead of a set at Chambre 69 INTERVIEW: Laura Forsyth 2manydjs 2ManyDJs NYE O2 Academy, Sat 31 Dec, £39.50, 9pm - 3am Who and what are your main influences? I pretty much listen to ambient sort of electronica and modern classical crossover stuff at home. My main influences are people like Helios, Ólafur Arnalds, Sigur Rós and Jon Hopkins, mainly electronica more than techno. There are some people who I may loosely sound like, such as Stephan Bodzin and Extrawelt who make really amazing melodic techno. How has your music evolved since you first started out? I started off doing dodgy hard house and trance back in ‘95 or so when I was a kid. Then I got really into drum ‘n’ bass for years, and hip-hop. Then 2002 to 2005 or so were my nuskool breaks days! I expect in five years time I’ll look back on what I’m doing now and not like it either. I’m always trying to bring elements of lots of different genres into my music, even the seemingly worst of genres have something to offer. What inspires the artwork for your LPs and covers? Generally the same thing that inspires my videos; my personal interests like science, maths, nature, and biology. I live with a graphic designer so sometimes I just pilfer through his work computer and go ‘can I take that?’. I think my favourite piece of artwork I’ve had was for Expressions. My flatmate dried out flowers and scanned them. When you zoom in high definition you get this crazy, abstract image. You can see it’s really natural but quite weird. I wanted to compare your approach to writing original work and remixing other people’s music. Effectively I imagine both involve similar technical processes but how does it differ at the creative level? As you say the main difference is at a creative level. Technically you are doing similar stuff but when you are remixing someone else you are using ideas from the original track, so you don’t have to create those ideas yourself. It takes longer with my own stuff as I have to sit down and play with lots of ideas to develop until I’ve got something I’m happy with. With the remixes, I can listen to the original track and pick out an element or certain part of the track that I know I can work with that fits into my vibe. You have a PHD in genetics so obviously you have spent many hours at the books, no doubt long into the night. Do you listen to music when you do that? I can’t study and listen to music at the same time. I’m the worst multi-tasker MAX COOPER No never, I can’t study and listen to music at the same time. I’m the worst multi-tasker, especially with music. I’ll get distracted, so to study I need to cut off anything and focus solely on what I need to do. What city have you played that is not on the familiar DJ circuit that has blown you away? I played in Siberia in Eastern Russia, which was pretty far off. Parties are amazing, very disorganised mayhem. If you get away from the main cities where major acts are playing all the time, you get to a city that is disconnected in some way from the global electronic music scene. So it is more of a big deal for them to have an international act playing, people are more excited which makes for a good party, and you get treated like royalty which isn’t bad either! Hot Chip once said ‘The joy of repetition really is in you’. From a genetics point of view, does this theory hold water, is it innate? And can we cite their record in a paper? It’s not necessarily genetic but it’s proposed to be ingrained because when a baby is in the womb, it can hear the mother’s heartbeat. I guess it’s a hard theory to prove though, until we have some babies developed externally who we can test for rhythmical musicality! But yes, it seems rhythm may be ingrained in us before we are born, so it could be said to be innate in that sense. ‘It’s one thing to break ground; quite another to still transmit that here-goes-nothing feeling years down the line’ said Resident Advisor of 2ManyDJs. When the bells ring in the New Year at midnight on 31 Dec, at O2 Academy Glasgow, 2ManyDJs will have more cause for celebration than most at seeing in 2012. This coming year will mark ten years since the release of the Dewaele brothers’ As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt.2, arguably one of the most infamous and influential mixes of the past decade. Their eclectic bootleg style, mixing together a diverse range of pop music and underground tracks is often now taken as being a clever, calculated move but, back in 2002, it was a fresh, everything but the kitchen sink approach to DJing and it has never been replicated to quite the same degree. That first release remains their only official one to date, no doubt as a result of the hours that it took to secure the use of the hundreds of tracks and samples that littered the album. Earlier this year they released Radio Soulwax featuring 24 one hour long mixes accompanied by visuals constructed from animated versions of each record’s artwork that was being played in the mix. The radio concept was decided upon in order to avoid having to seek permission from the hundreds of copyright owners although the upshot was that they couldn’t charge a penny for it. But 2ManyDJs in any form except for live is really only half the fun. Not content with just playing other people’s records, they have more than enough of their own and their electro-fused remix of their Soulwax album Nite Versions remains one of the high points of the electro era. It is impossible to believe that the brothers have anything other than a searing love for music and thankfully they want to share that by putting on the best party music as your soundtrack to the New Year. Love Music VS Propaganda Hogmanay Extravaganza O2 ABC, Sat 31 Dec, £10, 10.30pm - 4am Over at O2 ABC Glasgow the Hogmanay bash will bring together two of their biggest nights, Love Music and Propaganda, for a best of DJ collective night. Different rooms will move you from pop and dance to the dark depths of electro and dubstep so all bases are covered. Of course there will be excellent drinks deals to help you to usher in the coming year with a bang and your New Year’s wristband also gives free entry to any Propaganda night for the rest of January. Early bird discounts tickets are only on sale until the end of the first week of December, so best get your plans sorted out sharpish. In the O2 ABC2 they've got some surprise live guests booked to appear, so keep an eye on the website for announcements of what excitement lies in store. o2academyglasgow.co.uk facebook.com/o2academyglasgow o2abcglasgow.co.uk facebook.com/o2abcglasgow Max Cooper’s new EP Amalgamations is out now on Last Night On Earth records www.maxcooper.net December 2011 THE SKINNY 53 54 THE SKINNY December 2011 CLUBS FESTIVE CLUBBING The festive period has some of the biggest nights of the year and there is a lot to choose from. We dig through the masses of nights and pick out some of the best including the highlights for Hogmanay words: Neil Murchison ILLUSTRATION: PAUL SMITH It’s become the default mode for people to be entirely cynical about this time of year and what it means. This should be a time in which sharing, love and happiness flow through the cold streets, when homeless people smile and leap up to high-five passersby and millions of children have the love of their parents confirmed to them through new Apple products. Instead, some people like to focus on the negatives. They complain that too many people crowd their favourite bars and clubs and that the event that is Hogmanay is just one big anticlimax anyway. Well, they’re right, but that’s why you have to dig a little deeper, go that extra mile and seek out the really good nights. Or, alternatively, pick something that requires tickets and get behind the safety of the doors away from the masses. There is plenty of outstanding stuff to get into without ending up slouched on the sofa gorging on chocolate coins and fantasising about Jackie Bird. Edinburgh The Final Departure Lounge This will be one New Years party where the dispatching of the old will not be compensated with the promise of the new. Departure Lounge has booked its final flight and is sitting in the bar waiting for boarding to commence. It’s been one hell of a journey though, with a suitcase full of memories from over 60 previous shows, and influences from across the globe having been showcased, its loss is going to leave a significant hole in the Edinburgh scene. The final departure has enough in store to keep you going 'til spring with the nine member brass Orkestra Del Sol headlining with Soul Foundation and the Edinburgh Samba School in support. Tickets £24, 10pm–5am. Tiger & Woods Cabaret Voltaire’s Gasoline Dance Machine night has made its mark already this year with a number of great guests and by virtue of having two of the best residents DJs around in Cheap Picasso and Kris Wasabi. It is fitting that Gasoline gets to bring in Hogmanay and the guests are once again rather special. Larry Tiger and David Woods are a secretive duo who have been making hay out of their combined names as Tiger & Woods by releasing EPs such as Hole in One and Caddy Shag. While they may indulge in comedy names their music is the genuine article with some of the most inventive disco infected house around. Considering they gave away their album for free last month there are no excuses not to be fully clued up on them by the time they hit Edinburgh. Tickets £13, 10.30pm–5am. Mark Ronson and Jaymo & Andy George The safest DJing hands in the capital on Hogmanay will be those of producer, artist and overly stylish man Mark Ronson for the Official Hogmanay Afterparty being held at the HMV Picturehouse. Before producing Winehouse to stardom and releasing cover albums, Ronson’s days were passed as a DJ and appearances in the last few years at a few RockNess festivals have proved that he is a crowd pleaser. The lineup also features Radio 1 DJs Jaymo & Andy George who are not only the youngest DJs to record an Essential Mix but who then went on to get their own regular show on the station. Their Moda nights have been one of the most successful of the past decade by expanding their genres of interest to include a wide assortment of electro and house and their remixes have been picked up by DJs like Fake Blood and Erol Alkan. Tickets £25, 10pm–5am. WE LOVE HOGMANAY with Julio Bashmore At Liquid Rooms the time honoured festive tradition of more is a whole lot better is alive and well as they host a Musika/Heavy Gossip/ Ultragroove monster which brings the Ibiza giant WE LOVE to the Capital. One of the standouts of 2011, Julio Bashmore, will deliver his bass-propelled take on house – his star has not stopped rising since the year began. Joining him will be Deetron with some utterly compulsive, glowstick techno alongside WE LOVE resident Jozif. Of course, in support are whole host of Heavy Gossip and Ultragroove residents including Gareth Sommerville and Laurie Neil. Thank your winter gods that there is a full nine hours to enjoy it. Tickets £27.50 + booking, www.musikanights.com Numbers & Deadboy Sneaky Pete’s have lined up a pretty awesome double header to snap you out of any festive induced malaise. First up they have a treat for all those utterly impatient people who couldn’t wait until Christmas Day to open their presents as they party away on the night before New Years Eve. Featuring the entire Numbers crew including Jackmaster and Nelson, they will also be joined by London based producer and DJ Deadboy who will be dropping in a set full of his digital heartbreak house. The following night is the real deal with Sneaky Pete’s All Star New Year's Eve. Tickets: free, 10pm–3am. Toolroom Knights at Ocean Terminal As part of the independent label’s fifth birthday celebrations Toolroom Knights take over Ocean Terminal for a seven hour spectacular featuring Mark Knight and D.Ramirez. The label has been putting on some of the biggest nights in Ibiza and across Europe this year and the same level of productions will be on show in Edinburgh. Tickets £25 until 5 Dec, £35 after, 9pm–4am. Voodoo Rooms’ Vegas Grand Hogmanay Ball Voodoo Rooms will be putting on two very different nights for NYE. The first being The Motherfunk Hogmanay Party at Voodoo Rooms itself where they will be playing soul, funk and 80s boogie joints (£5, 10pm-3am). The second party will be The Vegas Grand Hogmanay Ball at Adam House featuring swing bands, cabaret and burlesque acts including The Loveboat Big Band, Missy Malone and The Vegas Revue. Spread over three floors in the middle of the Old Town it will be the glitziest event of the evening. Tickets £30. Glasgow 2manydjs At the Academy it’s pretty much organised mayhem once again as 2ManyDJs crash the party with what will be another incendiary chapter in their genre flipping record playing career. 2011 has been a year of reinvigoration for the brothers with the release of the Radio Soulwax app that has added a further 24 hours of mixes to their already packed mix history. Constantly inventive in their record selections, 2ManyDJs have wrapped up the market in the grimy trash pop aesthetic whilst never forgetting that they are here to make people dance. If you are having a house party this year simply plug your soundsystem into Radio Soulwax and your music problems will be solved. That’s only if you can’t get hold of tickets for the real show though. Tickets £39.50, 10pm–3am. Or you could win a pair with our exclusive competition. Turn to p7 or go to www.theskinny.co.uk/ competitions for more. Bigfoot’s Tea Party’s Riverside Hogmanay If you want something different to bring in the New Year then Bigfoot’s Tea Party will be putting on a riverside show on the banks of the Clyde with fireworks, Hogmanay food and a mind boggling 10 hour set of house and techno planned. Confirmed guests already include Bigfoot’s regular Simon Stokes, Quail from Animal Farm and Christopher Kelly with more to be announced. Tickets £8/£12, 6pm–4am. Hogmanay Threesome at The Admiral A Hogmanay Threesome at The Admiral sounds promising enough and on closer inspection the details are even more enticing as three generations of club nights link up for an absolute belter. Upstairs Divine!, now in its 21st year, present their Psychedelic Soul Lounge with Andrew Divine and Hushpuppy. Down in the basement it’s a Highlife special with Brian D’Souza playing live with his Auntie Flo project before hitting the decks and then introducing Chilean DJ Alejandro Paz. Melting Pot, closing out their tenth anniversary year, will also somehow manage to cram into the basement with Andrew Pirie and Simon Cordiner on duty for a packed out night. Tickets £12, 10pm–4am, The Admiral, Aspecto and Hillhead Book Club. One More Tune One More Tune take over the SWG3 with a seriously heavyweight line up featuring the aforementioned Tiger & Woods and HaHaHa playing live plus Chungo Bungo and Itch! in support. Tickets £15, 7pm–late. Optimo Hogmanay It wouldn’t be New Year in Glasgow without Optimo playing and this year they are inhabiting The Glue Factory. It has been another massive year for Twitch and Wilkes and the end of their regular Sunday nights has only made their less frequent appearances more anticipated. Tickets £18, 10.30pm - late. GBX at The Arches New Year at the Arches is always a biggie and this year GBX are taking over with a night of hardcore with Korsakoff and Outblast on the lineup and Unexist playing live. Korsakoff is the biggest female hardcore DJ in the world and this will be Unexist’s first ever live performance and that’s before the GBXperience room full of Georgie Bowie, Mallorca Lee and Trevor Reilly is taken into account. Tickets £25, 8.30pm–4am. Optimo and Subculture at Sub Club The Sub Club have a whole raft of great festive clubbing in store with the pick of the bunch being Optimo’s Boxing Day Meltdown and Subculture’s Hogmanay. Bringing in what will be the 25th Year of Sub Club and the 18th of Subculture, this final bash of the year will have all five resident DJs in attendance and one of their favourites from this year returning in the form of Kristian Beyer of Âme. Tickets £10, 10pm–4am. December 2011 THE SKINNY 55 REVIEWS DECEMBER EVENTS FILM It’s almost Christmas, but It’s a Wonderful Life is not the only film showing across Scotland this month. From 6-22 Dec the GFT in Glasgow is screening a season of Mad Love – six films dedicated to passion, lust and madness. Alongside classics like Mulholland Drive (15 Dec) and Black Narcissus (13 Dec) are some lesser known gems, including Gus Van Sant’s directorial debut Mala Noche (8 Dec), a tale of unrequited love between a young man and an illegal Mexican immigrant. Also showing included in the season: Gun Crazy (20 Dec), Head-On (6 Dec) and A Blonde in Love (22 Dec). THE ARTIST MULHOLLAND DRIVE ANOTHER EARTH THE ARTIST DIRECTOR: MIKE CAHILL DIRECTOR: MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS STARRING: BRIT MARLING, WILLIAM MAPOTHER, JORDAN BAKER RELEASED: 9 DEC CERTIFICATE: 12A STARRING: JEAN DUJARDIN, BÉRÉNICE BEJO, JOHN GOODMAN, JAMES CROMWELL, PENELOPE ANN MILLER RELEASED: 30 DEC CERTIFICATE: PG rr rrrr Another Earth uses the momentous event of another planet, identical to our own, looming into view as a backdrop for the personal, introspective tale of a young student and a renowned composer whose lives tragically collide. Distracted by the doppelganger earth as she drives, Rhoda (Marling) careers into John’s (William Mapother) car, killing his pregnant wife and young son. After serving four years, Rhoda seeks out her now-alcoholic victim to apologise but reneges at the last, and instead, masquerading as a cleaner, tries to make his physical and emotional state more bearable as their relationship develops. Admirable in its ambition to marry big sci-fi ideas and low-scale human drama, Another Earth unfortunately just doesn’t work. The comment on duality, fate and guilt seems trite and lacking nuance; the bloody great metaphor in the sky too broad. Allied with implausible character arcs, Marling and, in particular, Mapother lack the chops to convincingly express the trauma and redemption their characters undergo. This is a shallow rather than touching experience. [Chris Fyvie] It’s hard to imagine more of a guaranteed crowdpleaser than The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius’ stupendously entertaining homage to silent cinema, which is likely to have audiences tap-dancing in the aisles. Re-teaming with his OSS:117 star Jean Dujardin (a wonderfully deft and charming performance) Hazanavicius tells the tale of movie star George Valentin, whose career hits the skids as the talkies come in, while a young starlet (Bérénice Bejo) moves in the opposite direction. If The Artist does make a misjudgement then it’s probably the length of time devoted to Valentin’s fall from grace, as the film’s tone of winking pastiche doesn’t allow for the emotional depth this long sequence requires. But if Hazanavicius briefly missteps, the cast never does, with the entire ensemble (both human and canine) turning in effervescent, perfectly pitched performances. Gloriously inventive touches abound, with the few instances of sound being particularly well utilised, and the whole picture is carried off with a sense of joie de vivre that is utterly disarming. [Philip Concannon] THE THING DREAMS OF A LIFE DIRECTOR: MATTHIJS VAN HEIJNINGEN DIRECTOR: CAROL MORLEY STARRING: MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD, JOEL EDGERTON RELEASED: 2 DEC CERTIFICATE: 15 STARRING: ZAWE ASHTON RELEASED: 16 DEC CERTIFICATE: 12A rr rr As an inferior prequel to a superior remake, it’s dumbfounding as to why the title remains the same on this insulting inclusion to the canon. Helmed by first-time director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. and desperately nodding towards John Carpenter’s 1982 classic, its generic death-to-death scripting carries none of the taught paranoia, rich characterisation or the emotional investment of its predecessor. The slight plot involves American palaeontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) joining a Norwegian expedition of personality-free scientists who have discovered a crashed spaceship and, within it, the supposed cadaver of the eponymous shapeshifting extraterrestrial. Once awoken from its slumber the alien sets forth on a killing spree, picking off the imitable characters one-byone in increasingly gory puppetry of human corpse show pieces – complete with CGI that can’t match the invention and artistry of Rob Bottin’s work in Carpenter’s picture. Floundering and forgettable, the final ironic shame is that this Thing fails to imitate its predecessor in any convincing manner. [Thom Atkinson] On 25 January, 2006, the remains of Joyce Vincent, a 38-year-old former secretary, were found slumped on the couch of her London flat, the telly still blaring; she had died December 2003. No missing persons reports had been filed in the three years her body lay there. On reading the story, Carol Morley (Edge) began a search for the people closest to Vincent to discover how this young woman was forgotten. It’s an admirable project, but Morley’s resulting documentary, Dreams of a Life, which blends speculative recreations of Vincent’s last days (Fresh Meat’s Zawe Ashton acts as stand-in) with gossipy talking head interviews with former lovers, co-workers and flatmates, makes for queazy viewing. By giving these (mostly) rubberneckers a mouthpiece, Morley exposes the racism, sexism and classism that blighted Vincent, an attractive woman from a working class West-Indies background, but it’s at the expense of the dignity of this very private person who in the end chose solitude over the company of Morley’s ghastly interviewees. [Jamie Dunn] PUSS IN BOOTS WE HAVE A POPE DIRECTOR: CHRIS MILLER DIRECTOR: NANNI MORETTI STARRING: ANTONIO BANDERAS, SALMA HAYEK, ZACH GALIFIANAKIS RELEASED: 9 DEC CERTIFICATE: U STARRING: MICHEL PICCOLI, JERZY STUHR, RENATO SCARPA, NANNI MORETTI, MARGHERITA BUY RELEASED: 2 DEC CERTIFICATE: TBC rrr Shrek’s killer kitty spins off into his own fairytale franchise in Dreamworks’ Puss in Boots. Antonio Banderas lends his dulcet tones to the feline hero who is tasked with settling a score by finding a trio of legendary magic beans, currently held hostage by Jack and Jill. Once a certain feminine feline (Kitty Softpaws, voiced by Salma Hayek) leads Puss back to his tricksy schoolyard friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis), the trio take off to discover what they can find in the castle above the beanstalk. With an excellent, not-too-starry voice cast and brisk pace, Puss in Boots takes us into an alternate fairytale world with Spanish flavour. Co-opting recognisable characters makes for a simple, somewhat lazy script that’s perfect for kids. Paired with ever-useless 3D, a much-needed handful of old movie gags and innuendo are thrown in, serving to plug any gaps in the adult laugh track. Prescriptive holiday animation for hijas, hijos, and little amigos. [Nicola Balkind] 56 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 The Filmhouse in Edinburgh is celebrating Inter-faith Week between 1-4 Dec, collaborating with the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association to raise awareness and promote positive interaction between different religions. Two films are being shown, with other events running throughout the city. Little Town of Bethlehem (1 Dec), a documentary following three men of different faiths living in Israel and Palestine, will be followed by a special Q&A, as will Into Great Silence (4 Dec), set in France’s Grande Chartreuse monastery. The DCA in Dundee is offering a chance to celebrate an alternative Christmas, with a Dundead Double Bill on 18 Dec. Saint, a film by Dick Maas, is a gory horror comedy about the villainous Saint Nicholas, responsible for a series of grisly murders in Amsterdam during the holiday season. This 2010 film is followed up by possibly the most famous Yuletide horror film, the 1974 gem Black Christmas, which has been fully restored and will be shown completely uncensored. BLACK CHRISTMAS Sick of watching critically acclaimed classics? Head to the Cameo in Edinburgh on 3 Dec for The All Night Bad Movie Experience. Starting at 10pm, four films are being shown. If you can survive Samurai Cop, Hospital Massacre and Road House, you will be rewarded in the early hours of the morning with The Room, a convoluted 2003 melodrama from writer, director and actor Tommy Wiseau that has become adored by many, for all the wrong reasons. You have been warned, these are the worst of the worst. rr There’s so much rich comic and dramatic potential in Nanni Moretti’s new film that it is simply dismaying to see how wide of the mark it consistently lands. A papal election results in the surprise victory of Michel Piccoli’s bemused cardinal, who promptly has a breakdown and sends the Vatican into a panic. An atheistic therapist (Moretti) is called in, but then the new Pope goes off on his own voyage of self-discovery outside the Vatican walls, leaving Moretti with little to do but play volleyball with the rest of the cardinals. Quite why these particular storytelling decisions were taken is a mystery, but they leave We Have a Pope feeling fatally unbalanced, with laughs thin on the ground and its satirical jabs timid. Plot strands that appear important are arbitrarily discarded and the film builds to a most perplexing climax. Few pictures this year can possibly be as frustrating. In the hands of a focused satirist with a thorough grasp of his/her ideas, this could have been gold. [Philip Concannon] THE ROOM Finally, join Scottish comic book writer Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) and comedian Sanjeev Kohli (Still Game) for Geek Film Night at the GFT on 4 Dec. Set in the 1950s, Angel Heart, starring Mickey Rourke and Robert DeNiro, follows private investigator Harry Angel as he attempts to locate a singer called Johnny Favourite, only to find himself embroiled in a world of murder and mysticism. [Becky Bartlett] DVD REVIEWS THE INTERRUPTERS RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN DIRECTOR: STEVE JAMES DIRECTOR: JALMARI HELANDER DIRECTOR: JOSE PANDILHA STARRING: RELEASED: 5 DEC CERTIFICATE: E STARRING: OMNI TOMMILA, JORMA TOMMILA, TOMMI KORPELA RELEASED: OUT NOW CERTIFICATE: 15 STARRING: WAGNER MOURA, IRANDHIR SANTOS, SEU JORGE RELEASED: 26 DEC CERTIFICATE: 18 rrrr The Western was America’s great film genre, but the world has moved on. Over recent decades the country has inverted itself and the frontier lives in the inner city. This violent, hostile landscape has never been painted with such realistic and vivid hues as it has in Steve James’s documentary, The Interrupters. His camera is our unflinching eye onto streets decorated with dying flowers and tributes to the fallen, not gunned down in Iraq or Afghanistan but in their own Chicago neighbourhoods. We follow a year in the life of three 'Interrupters' working for the Ceasefire organisation whose job it is to intervene in violent confrontations between gang members. As with his epic Hoop Dreams, James takes a stripped down verité approach and allows the people and situations to breathe and speak for themselves. It’s a powerful and affecting film showing a senseless epidemic of vendetta violence, but with welcome shards of optimism cutting through the malevolent clouds. [Alan Bett] rr Arriving in a flurry of hype and high expectations, this quirky Finnish horror-comedy has everything going for it. An archaeological dig unleashes the creature who inspired the Santa Claus myth: a murderous immortal bastard who doesn’t care if children are naughty or nice, he’ll eat them all! With plenty of Christmas tradition to mine, there’s a lot of potential here for macabre holiday fun. Unfortunately, the film delivers none of it. After a promising start, it seems to lose interest in the concept and treads water with faintly dull sitcom-level filler while you wait patiently for something truly subversive to happen. When they do come, the few inventive moments absolutely shine, but it’s criminal that something that could have been so fun clearly threw it all away for the sake of a cheap gag at the end. It’s not quite a lump of coal in the stocking, but you’re not really getting what you asked for this Christmas. [Scotty McKellar] rrrr This sequel netted Brazil’s biggest-ever box office return with its portrayal of corrupt police and even more corrupt politicians in Rio de Janeiro. A sunken-eyed Wagner Moura plays Lt-Col Nascimento, the commander of an elite, SWAT-style police unit, who, after a bloody prison raid, is promoted to a desk job overseeing the city’s security apparatus. He quickly finds his hard-edged, often brutal moral code is ill-suited to the murky world of politics, and the endemic graft begins to push him over the edge. This sweeping, violent story of police militias taking over the slums of Rio is told at a breakneck pace. The insistent handheld camerawork and fast cutting mean that the filmmakers at times rely too heavily on voiceover to keep the audience on track. But there is a raw urgency to their portrait of a city on the make, held back only by a corrupt public life, which echoes the best of the American gangster flicks of the 1930s. [Keir Roper-Caldbeck] HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA KILL LIST POETRY DIRECTOR: DMITRY VASYUKO, WERNER HERZOG DIRECTOR: BEN WHEATLEY DIRECTOR: CHANG-DONG LEE RELEASED: OUT NOW CERTIFICATE: 15 STARRING: NEIL MASKELL, MYANNA BURING, MICHAEL SMILEY RELEASED: 26 DEC CERTIFICATE: 18 STARRING: JEONG-HEE YOON, NAE-SANG AHN, DA-WIT LEE RELEASED: OUT NOW CERTIFICATE: 12 rrrr rrrr rrrr Billed as 'Werner Herzog presents...', Happy People is the German director’s 90 minute cut, with his own commentary and new music, of a four hour Russian documentary following a handful of Siberian trappers through the course of a year. This is boy’s own stuff – we watch these gruff, bearded men as they spend the spring and summer preparing for the winter trapping season, building huts and traps, laying down supplies, making skis with just a small hand axe, and talking about their dogs with deep and heartfelt emotion. Their wives and children, by contrast, barely register. The film is old fashioned in tone and the use of actorly voices to dub the trappers is initially grating. Nor does it have those crazed moments of 'ecstatic truth' that we expect from Herzog. But this is a slow-burning experience, as the incredible self-reliance of these men, along with the immense solitude of their lives, begins to take on almost cosmic overtones. [Keir Roper-Caldbeck] In a neat, suburban house a couple quarrel over the depressed husband’s reluctance to return to his work. Later, his colleague arrives with a new girlfriend for a dinner party that descends into a series of drunken squabbles and fights. This could be any well-observed piece of social realism. But then it slowly emerges that the work in question is contract killing, and we also observe the girlfriend surreptiously make a hidden occult mark in the couple’s bathroom. Director Ben Wheatley’s ability to infuse the mundane with uncanny dread is perfectly realised when the two men return to their grisly work, beginning an odyssey across a familiar landscape of Travelodges, petrol station forecourts, and ring roads. The performances are excellent, the dialogue unexpectedly rich with dark humour, and (be warned) the violence extreme. It comes as something of a let down when the film forsakes its rich suburban milieu for a climax in the woods, but this is impressive, original filmmaking. [Keir Roper-Caldbeck] Superficially, Poetry is a miserable tale of rape, suicide, and the onset of Alzheimer’s, yet its most important keyword is its title. While the plot components may suggest a relentlessly grim wallow (a teenage girl takes her life after terrible suffering at the hands of her classmates) or heavy-handed melodrama (a woman diagnosed with dementia is inspired to pen verse), the reality is neither. Deteriorating memory and poetic aspirations instead knit into an affecting metaphor for fully appreciating the world around you, and every moment spent in it. Jeong-hee Yoon, in her first role since 1994, is superb as aspiring poet Mija, her subtle performance anchoring the film through occasional periods of narrative slackness. But the unhurried pace feels appropriate, as Mija searches for inspiration in the present, whilst her past is stolen by illness and her future threatened by a heavy familial burden. When her writing is eventually voiced in an enigmatic denouement, the emotional impact is considerable. [Chris Buckle] DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 57 ART REVIEWS MARTIN BOYCE, DO WORDS HAVE VOICES, 2011 THE TURNER PRIZE BALTIC GATESHEAD, UNTIL 8 JAN rrrr What you see when visiting the Turner Prize – this year hosted by the Baltic in Gateshead – is not technically what the contestants are being judged on. Out of the four artists, only George Shaw was originally nominated for his exhibition at the Baltic, held earlier in the year, and even then, it had a different configuration. Each gallery is an arrangement of the original shows the artists were selected for. It’s a reinterpretation of what they exhibited earlier in the year, perhaps in Berlin or Switzerland, to suit the layout of the Baltic’s gallery spaces. Coming off best, but in turn the least interesting, is Hilary Lloyd. Her video installations are immaculate. The projectors, monitors and DVD players are fetishes seemingly revered by the artist, their exact specifications written up on the wall. However, the content – bits of buildings coming in and out of shot – is drab. The other end of the spectrum is George Shaw. He is a photo-realist painter who subverts the material fetish of art by using enamel paint. But what he achieves by undermining the traditions of oil paint, he in turn impairs with his ready lust for detail. Karla Black has had to more or less make a brand new piece of work. Unfortunately, she, or perhaps the Baltic, has decided to build an entranceway to the gallery from her trademark hanging polythene. It’s quite clearly a manifestation of a gallery convention and undermines what is otherwise a great piece of work beyond it. Martin Boyce, in our eyes always the winner, is by far the most convincing – and most experienced, I might add. He’s seen the inside of more galleries than you’ve seen puddles in Scotland. His freestanding sculpture of what seems a cross between a school desk and a woodwork bench is better than everything else put together. It is bold, confident, well considered, and well good. [Andrew Cattanach] TURNER PRIZE, BALTIC, GATESHEAD, 21 OCT 11 - 8 JAN 12 MICHAEL KENT LOST LAKE, CHALK BURST GENERATOR PROJECTS, UNTIL 4 DEC rrr At once poetic and arbitrary, Lost Lake, Chalk Burst is named after two colours of Dulux paint. The title would seem to cutely explore the gap between art and descriptive words, with language a recurring theme in the show. Curated in collaboration with four Glasgow-based artists, we see a diversity of practices that are more or less engaging. The first room contains Argot by Laura Smith and Rebecca Wilcox, presenting text in the form of digital prints on the wall. This reads as a monologue spoken in abrupt sentences and is displayed next to freestanding steel frames. A similar tableau is installed in the larger room, alongside a video projection of a still life in muted colours. Like the frames stood empty and uninviting, the work here seems to want for content. Rather more diverting is the arrangement next door by Michael Kent, who projects desolate landscapes onto upturned sculptural plinths. Last Days, No More Time, Now or Never does at least bring a certain post-apocalyptic sensibility to the room. In the show’s most affecting work, the Everly Brothers’ mournful croons drift longingly through Generator’s galleries. The chorus of All I Have To Do Is Dream plays with just the word ‘Dream’ on a loop – part of Graham Kelly’s video installation Coil, Logo, Song, Spire, Eclipse, Slide. The music cuts to a scene of swimmers spiralling down a water slide, tourists traipsing around a sunlit spiral staircase, then on to the lighting of a green mosquito candle that burns in another anticlockwise spiral. More sightseers look skywards to an undefined spectacle, shielding their eyes from the glare of the sun. Kelly’s work presents itself as “the dissection of processes of production and presentation.” But it’s the film’s etherealness that lingers with you, a reverie that echoes with the Everlys’ song. [Ben Robinson] ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE SUNSHINE ON LEITH by a certain mystical transcendence. They live in wondrous, temporary shacks, their detailed clothes are inscribed with symbols that signify to them alone – a code too complex to be deciphered by anyone not of their caste. The impression of magical realism would set Johnson in a tradition of many a Scottish artist and film maker, from Stephen Campbell to Peter Mullan, where the everyday or the destitute is elevated. Johnson was inspired by a recent trip to South Africa when making work for the Culturelabel project, which offers limited edition prints of his work, along with the work of six other artists featured in our Showcase section over the past four years and available to buy from December through www.culturelabel.com. One image in particular shows a scene from a street fair he saw in South Africa. “That was based on a thing in Johannesburg,” he explains. “It was just a kind of weird street fair with not very many people there. The performers were guys with giant puppet structures – really surreal. I interpreted it in my own way but it is inspired by this crazy street fair.” With a few unconfirmed exhibitions lined up for the near future, including a pop-up show in Glasgow this month, Johnson continues to make work for galleries alongside illustrations for publications, including regular contributions to The Skinny (this month’s cover, for example). Like the strange individuals that populate his drawings, Johnson’s artworks are at once familiarly accessible and subtly transcendent. Artist and Illustrator JAMIE JOHNSON contributes regularly to The Skinny. Here he discusses his unique style and how living in Leith inspires the characters he depicts INTERVIEW: ANDREW CATTANACH THERE’S MORE to Jamie Johnson’s prints than first meets the eye. The initial drawing is done in pencil before working in elements of collage, layering the image with pages torn from books or photographs Johnson has taken himself. He then gets to work with a fine pen, picking out all the detail that is the trademark of his illustrations: the wrinkly nuances of the subjects’ faces; their tiny sorrowful eyes. Lastly, he reworks the pictures on his computer before making the final prints. Needless to say, it’s an involved process that is more than simply drawing a wee figure on a page. “In every piece,” Johnson explains, “there’s lots of different scanned old pages, bits of watercolour, lots of different components.” The process enhances the drawings, giving them the gravity of something old, something with the weary hindsight that comes of advanced years. Like the wizened faces of the characters that people Johnson’s tableaus, the drawings have an undisclosed history. “Not being able to tell how it was put together as a print is really interesting,” Johnson says, “because the difference between my scanned-in sketch book page and the final print is really important.” The same mystery cloaks the characters in Johnson’s prints. Are they homeless? Are they strange, local eccentrics he’s seen on the streets – odd obsessive collectors adrift in the urban sprawl? “I don’t know why I’m drawn to characters like that so much,” Johnson explains. “I guess I’ve grown up in Leith and I’ve always been surrounded by local oddballs and I’ve always just had an interest – with absolutely the most respect possible! I’m not laughing at these people in any way. It’s more just a study of someone I’d consider to be an interesting character.” Based on real people or no, they are dignified; there’s nothing pathetic or sinister about the characters in Johnson’s work. They might be peculiar, scruffy and alone, but they seem to have arrived there more by choice than circumstance. Galleries across Scotland are members of the Own Art scheme. By offering interest-free loans of £100-£2,000 through Own Art, buying an original piece of quality contemporary art or craft couldn’t be easier. A list of participating galleries is available at the Creative Scotland website: www.creativescotland.com/ownart Look for the pink logo. (representative 0% APR) 58 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 One could say the images are even imbued with a sense of magical realism. Seemingly down at heel, the subjects are nonetheless empowered JAMIE JOHNSON’S PRINTS WILL BE AVAILABLE TO BUY THROUGH THE SKINNY SHOWCASE SHOP ON CULTURELABEL.COM FROM 2 DEC. CULTURE LABEL OPERATES THE OWN ART SCHEME WWW.CULTURELABEL.COM HTTP://JAMIE-JOHNSON.TUMBLR.COM/ Offer subject to age and status. Terms and conditions apply. You will need a UK bank account that can handle direct debits, proof of identity and address, and you will also need to be over 18. Own Art is operated by ArtCo Trading Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arts Council. Registered address: Arts Council England, North East, Central Square, Forth Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3PJ 249 West George Street Glasgow G2 4QE BOOKS REVIEWS BYE BYE BABYLON CHARLEY’S WAR: HITLER’S YOUTH ONE DAY I WILL WRITE ABOUT THIS PLACE BY LAMIA ZIADE BY PAT MILLS AND JOE COLQUHOUN BY BINYAVANGA WAINAINA rrrr rrrr rrrr Charley’s War was a seminal comic strip which followed Charley Bourne, a young soldier, throughout the whole of the First World War. This collected edition of a series of editions of the comic subverts the premise somewhat, in that it follows a German soldier, and in that the German soldier in question is Corporal Adolf Hitler, who really was a message runner in the German army at this time. The Hitler presented here isn’t far off the Hitler of later, and this does make his character a little too obviously like the man he’d become. However, there are many nice touches too, like the way it shows Hitler to be disliked by his own colleagues, and also in the way Charley is on sniper duty, and is given a certain German runner as a target. We know Charley can’t succeed, but we can’t help hoping. The black and white art is brilliantly, suitably, gritty, and the story avoids either taking its subject too lightly or sensationalising battle. There is even a written essay at the start of the book about Hitler’s activities during the First World War, and it’s a suitably intriguing piece of writing. It is a short collection, but it’s well worth a look. [Johnny Chess] Binyavanga Wainaina grew up in Kenya, but his mother was Ugandan, and this makes a difference that most European readers wouldn’t assume at first. But he’s willing to educate the reader, and you may learn much from this memoir. Wainaina wrote Granta magazine’s most-requested piece ever, How To Write About Africa, a provocative guide to the clichés and pitfalls of such writing. And now he writes about his own life in such a way as to lead by example, producing a funny, wise memoir, that, importantly, is stylishly written as well. Wainaina’s life, then, is probably different to the sort of thing British readers are used to seeing come from Africa. Wainaina was middle-class, which is unexpected (but why? It’s worth asking yourself) to begin with, and he makes all sorts of non-African cultural references, to Michael Jackson, or to Tupac Shakur, that he probably, sadly, wouldn’t have been expected to make. But this is not a sad book, and though Waiaina sometimes finds the political situation to be bleak, he remains inspiringly hopeful. He now runs a literary magazine, Kwani?, and with that, and with this book, he’s positioned himself at the forefront of African, and maybe world, writing. [Richard Robeson] OUT NOW. COVER PRICE £14.99. PUBLISHED BY JONATHAN CAPE OUT NOW. COVER PRICE £14.99. PUBLISHED BY TITAN BOOKS OUT NOW. COVER PRICE £15.99. PUBLISHED BY GRANTA BOOKS TECH This is a book that starts with a contention that seems unusual to our ears: Beirut in the 1970s is a paradise. Author Lamia Ziade was 7 years old in 1975, and this graphic novel of sorts begins with the drawings of the Western brand names that she fetishised as a child. But this quickly changes to detailed but succinct descriptions of guns, as Beirut became a far more dangerous place indeed. Now, as this is a graphic novel about a young woman growing up in the Middle East, you can’t help but to compare it to Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. And that is worth doing, if only to acknowledge what a groundbreaking book Satrapi’s was, but Bye Bye Babylon has a style of its own. This is most noticeable in the way that it can’t really be described as sequential art – there aren’t panels and page layouts as such, and text and drawings aren’t really integrated. Instead blocks of text are followed by pages of drawings which illustrate what the text refers to. It’s an odd approach, but somehow suitable, like looking at the scrapbook of someone struggling to survive. This book has an a odd focus, but it’s worthwhile. [David Agnew] INTERNET SANTA Festive proof that the internet is not just a place for trolls to live WORDS: ALEX COLE ILLUSTRATION: NICK COCOZZA LOOKING AT the average YouTube comment thread, where even mundane comedy clips can devolve into racist, homophobic, nationalistic shrieking matches, it’d be easy to just write most internetters off as whiny, ignorant trolls with nothing to contribute – hell, I do it all the time. But when it comes to Internet altruism, every now and then, there’s a bright spot. Take Reddit, for example, a site already so self-absorbed that a meme joke can appear, spread, mutate, be refuted and get passé all in the space of a day. The active user base of this so-called 'front page of the Internet' has a strong streak of random acts of kindness, and this year is aiming to do the largest Secret Santa gift exchange in the world. Those signing up are assigned a semi-random giftee, who could be anywhere in the world, and through some subtle research on their preferences, are given the mission to make their holiday. Some gifts don’t make the journey intact, some evil folk just back out entirely, but the site is chock-full of people whose days are made by random strangers a hemisphere away. Candy and tea made for popular selections in the past, and joke gifts disguised as something else (I’m looking at you, guy who gave DVDs in Twilight packaging) is encouraged. Reddit has a long history of giving for the hell of it, especially in response to people sharing their hard luck stories. A few kind-hearted souls with some pocket change to burn can easily become personal heroes to strangers, and this Secret Santa campaign is an effort to expand that to a massive scale. Whether or not it earns the Guinness World Record for secret Santa is almost besides the point, though already there are over 30,000 participants in 104 countries. Even the gift giving is almost a side show to the posted reactions of people who end up with crap gifts from friends and family, but the perfect thing from a total stranger. BITE-SIZED TECH NUGGETS WITH ALEX COLE THE FEED HTTP://REDDITGIFTS.COM/ ONE MODEL NATION BY COURTNEY TAYLORTAYLOR AND JIM RUGG rr Author Courtney Taylor-Taylor is a member of The Dandy Warhols, and so it’s appropriate that his debut graphic novel is the story of a band. This band are the titular One Model Nation, but they’re nothing like Taylor-Taylor’s band. One Model Nation are, in fact, rather more like Kraftwerk (frankly, they’re incredibly similar) and their story is played out in seventies Germany, a period of some political turmoil. The band somehow gets associated with the Baader-Meinhof gang, and art and politics are therefore linked. But this fictional band don’t convincingly slot into the real situation of the time. It’s some fun to see them appear on Top of the Pops and meet David Bowie, but in general their story lacks enough detail to convince. This said, the art in the book, by Jim Rugg, is fantastic, influenced (it would seem) by Euro thrillers of the late sixties and seventies like Z or Nada. Rugg’s stylish drawings, and his layouts, propel the story past a number of odd plot developments, carrying the reader to the end of the book where some sort of statement on the nature of the relationship between art and politics is made. This is sometimes a confusing book, but in the end it passes the time. [Ryan Agee] RELEASE DATE 27 JAN (YEP, WE GOT THIS EARLY). COVER PRICE £16.99. PUBLISHED BY TITAN BOOKS SKYRIM BETHESDA STUDIOS, OUT NOW, XBOX 360, PS3, WINDOWS rrrrr Trying to review Skyrim is like trying to judge a bigass public sculpture: it’s such a massive undertaking that the work put into it is impressive all by itself. For a game where the plot, including side quests, can run over 60 hours, you could have just as much fun wandering around like a tourist, making your own Attenborough-style nature documentary about giants and their mammoths. The jaw-dropping splendour of the world, the attention to every corner of detail, every voice actor, every item, every town and dragon and cave, is a testament to anal-retentive developers. Even if there were no story or quests to fulfill, just being a part of the world is worth the price of admission. And the gameplay is still buckets of fun. Skyrim, like its predecessors, has always let you customise the ever loving crap out of your abilities, items and skills, and let you play and interact any way you like. Don’t like the way a spell behaves? Change it. Want to dual wield magic and battle axes? Knock yourself out. Piss off the thieves guild? Go for it – hope you like knives in your back. The plot here isn’t too different from its predecessors, you’re alone trying to stop the end of the world, but its a beautiful new world you’re saving. Hour for hour, this is one of the best investments in gaming right now, and not one bit of that relies on multiplayer. This is just a sprawling story that you play out at your own pace, hopefully just in time to hide away from awkward Christmas family time. You’re way too busy saving the world, dragon born. [Alex Cole] VALVE'S STEAM SERVICE HACKED, BUT ACTUALLY ENCRYPTED THINGS PROPERLY (SHAME ON YOU, SONY) • FACEBOOK'S FACIAL RECOGNITION RULED CRAZY ILLEGAL ALL OVER THE PLACES, PROMISES IT'LL DO BETTER NEXT TIME • WORLD OF WARCRAFT SEES FIRST SUBSCRIBER SLUMP, PANDAS NOT AS POPULAR AS FIRST THOUGHT • ADOBE DROPS FLASH FOR MOBILES, HTML 5 WINS THE DAY. SO LONG, OLD FRIEND • NEW STANDARD FOR GIGABIT WIRELESS INTERNET APPROVED, MEANS ALL YOUR PORN JUST A CLICK AWAY • DECEMBER 2011 THE SKINNY 59 THEATRE venue of the Month: Storytelling Centre Time to gather around the hearth Words: Ruth Christie Photos: Solen Collet ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the… well, you know how this tale goes so let me tell you another one. Gather in, get cosy, and I’ll begin. The festive period is synonymous with storytelling, a time when generations and communities come together to swap news, share stories, spin a yarn… And this is exactly what will be happening in Edinburgh this month. The Royal Mile is home to the world’s first purpose-built centre for storytelling, The Scottish Storytelling Centre. While the centre may only be five years old, the art of storytelling has been alive for centuries, in fact, “As long as people have communicated,” notes Lindsay Corr, marketing officer at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. This December the team at The Scottish Storytelling Centre have created a wonderfully varied programme of events to tempt even the most hardened Christmas shopper off the streets and into the tranquil and really rather magical surroundings of the centre. Lindsay explains “From St Andrew's day right through to Hogmanay, and continuing into the New Year with Burns Night and Candlemas, we’re celebrating community traditions in new ways, by linking storytelling, song, music and dance in the old Ceilidh Culture style.” And what a mix there is. For young ones, Blunderbus will be performing The Very Snowy Christmas based on Diane Hendry’s best selling book on 23 and 24 December. This delightful festival tale will be brought to life with puppets, live music and a sparkly snowy set. I hear it's so popular that it is almost sold out but don’t despair because Diane Hendry herself will be reading a selection of her series of The Very… books, including The Very Snowy Christmas on 16 December. A very special chance to hear this story told by its author and see Jane Chapman’s original illustrations for the book. For adults the programming finds a balance between the twinkliest end of the festive spectrum, with a night of Christmas carols planned for The Storytelling Centre’s Café Voices slot on 21 December, to a night of winter stories “away from the commercial face of Christmas” when on 17 December storytellers Heather Yule and Janis Mackay perform Tales of Christmas Past. Depending on whether you’re itching to join in or prefer to be swept away into your imagination as you listen to tales of times gone by, on 2 December, The Storytelling Centre is offering a night of stories about the child prodigy Marjory Fleming to mark the 200th anniversary of this amazing 8 year old writer’s death in a night called Diary of Child Genius: Marjory Fleming, with insights and reflections from the likes of Mark Twain and Richard Demarco, performed though music, story and song. Like I said, if you’re keen to contribute, PREVIEWs Diary of a Child Genius: Marjory Fleming, 2 Dec, 7pm : Tiny Tales, 13 Dec, 10am,11:30am Story Space, 15 Dec, 11am Diana Hendry: The Very Snowy Christmas, 16 - 23 Dec Various times www.scottishstorytellingcentre.co.uk Escape from the Pantosphere White Room 60 THE SKINNY December 2011 then don’t miss the open floor storytelling session: Guid Crack at the Waverley Bar later in the month on 30 December. Small snippets of stories are shared everyday – you don’t have to look far to catch a line on Twitter, or a photo on Facebook – but in Scotland, a country laden with myths and legends, surely nothing beats the experience of being recounted a story in all its glory. Revel in the splendour of performance and a storyteller’s ability to conjure up some festive cheer this winter by paying a visit to The Scottish Storytelling Centre. December is both one of theatre’s healthiest months – the audience for pantomime is usually large and diverse – but also one where the range of events is painfully limited. Fortunately for alternative theatre fans, a few occult gems slip beneath the radar. From a meditation on the body at celebrated performance friendly nightclub Torture Garden, through a seasonal twist on a monthly favourite, an unashamedly feminist devised drama and to a Fringe smash starring bouncing men in their night clothes, there are other options to the classic Winterval night out. 80.1 is the latest offering from ConFab, a self-funded company driven by the imagination of sometime poet, performer and writer Rachel Jury. LIke much of Jury’s work, 80.1 is consciously engaged, examining the question of aging from a female perspective. In sharp contrast, The Pajama Men reprise their surprise August hit, bringing their mash-up of silly clowning and imaginative movement to the Òran Mór. Closer to comedy than most dance, they are a warm reminder that not all physical theatre needs to be serious. Words Per Minute promises a festive special at The Arches (as always, they occupy the foyer on the second Sunday of the month) – their past guests have ranged from Skinny favourite Alan Bisset, to musical maverick Iain Campbell – while Mischief La Bas are destroying Christmas jollity every weekend around George Square, through the Dreary Shoppers, a Nervous Forest and Dim Kings looking for any baby, divine or not. Perhaps the least festive offering this December – but the most intriguing – appears, like the birth of the Gnostic Christ, in the Caves. A sign of TortureGarden Edinburgh’s growing confidence, the visit of Suka Off from Poland makes the connection between their erotic cabaret and a more theatrical live art physicality. “We’re planning to show WHITE ROOM Xtracts – one of our most popular performances,” they explain. “It has even been used in an Italian film Nel Nome del Male. The story takes place in a laboratory inhabited by a doctor carrying out experiments on a patient, a broken ballerina, locked in the white room.” The connection with TG demonstrates how the club is far more than a simple dance night or even fetish gathering: Suka Off follow previous guest stars like Franco B and Ron Athey into more sophisticated analysis of the body. “Just because we use a lot of nudity doesn’t mean that all we do is erotic or sexual,” they continue. “We have some very explicit or even pornographic projects. But many of our stage performances are not intended to be erotic. If some people think they are, it’s because they read them that way. And of course they are free to do so, because we give our audience full freedom of interpretation.” This might be a long way from Jim Davidson at the Pavillion, but one of the pleasures has always been the Saturnalian aspect of disorder and levity. In different ways, these alternative Christmas pleasures celebrate this licence. [Phil Gatt] Torture Garden, Caves, Edinburgh, Sat 10 Dec 80.1. CCA, Glasgow, Thu 8 Dec www.sukaoff.com White Room COMEDY “You get completely wasted and end up naked” Has age made Scottish wildman Phil Kay calm down? No, it hasn’t Interview: Cara McGuigan Illustration: Kate Copeland I start by asking Phil Kay to improvise a song about Christmas for The Skinny. “I’ve just got an upright piano, and I’ve taught myself the chords, listen!” He wedges a bellowing child under one arm and starts bashing. “This is a D! This is a B!” “You say you’re going to get fat over Christmaaaas. Don’t be a ninny! You’ll stay skinny! You say Santa’s going to bring all that fat in a sack. He’s not mean. You’ll stay lean!” He gives up. “I can’t improvise on a piano. I can do it a thousand times better on a guitar. You get this muscle memory if you’ve practiced enough, and you can whack it out without thinking. I’m like Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. Whoo-chah!” Three Christmases ago Kay moved with his family from Inverness to the woods outside Brighton, and it obviously agrees with him because he’s wildly excited about playing his kid’s school concert.“I’m MCing and doing some songs. Gary Numan’s kid is at the school too, and we’re desperately trying to get him to come and sing something, but he won’t.” Music crops up again and again in conversation, and I mention I’d read he’d like to give up comedy for it. “I’ve definitely got enough space to be a musician too. I’m in a band down here, we have three drummers and a flautist, and we play improv in local pubs two or three times a week. With comedy, people have to be in the mood for it, but music is much more accessible.” Indeed, this year, Kay took an unlikely step for a former Perrier nominee, and opted to perform improv comedy songs at tiny free gigs rather than his usual big Edinburgh Festival venues. “The Free Fringe was exactly what I needed, at a time when I felt like moving out of straight comedy. For the big venues punters have to pay £13.50 for a ticket and who wants to pay that? At the free gigs the crowd were locals, and frankly they were some of the most amazing gigs I’ve ever done. And you I’m like Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. Whoo-chah! Phil Kay got paid there and then! They hand round a bucket and it goes straight in your pocket, you don’t have to wait six months and get 10% deducted. “The best gigs I’ve ever done were at places like the Dundee Rep or the Aberdeen Lemon Tree, in front of 300 people. In the interval they buy you loads of drinks, and you get completely wasted and end up naked pushing an imaginary Ryanair towel trolley around, like the loon at a party.” Clearly this is a different Phil Kay to the dejected specimen visible on Dave repeats of QI. I ask him if it was as painful as it looked? “I did get a show called How To Be Bad On QI out of it, but anyone with half a head could see I wasn’t into it. I mean, it was handy to earn £3,500 each time, but it’s all about the context, and TV just wasn’t natural for me. In one episode they actually stopped filming and said, ‘Could you be more funny, Phil?’” By this time my hand is killing me from trying to keep up, and I tell him my biggest regret is not sticking at shorthand. “You know, I don’t have any regrets. People ask me about that a lot, but I don’t. There’s always time if you’re alive. You know there’s so much art in the world and I have three kids and my love, and that means everything to me. You just fit the gigs around it." Phil Kay will be appearing at The Shack in Rose Street, Edinburgh on 9 and 10 Dec December 2011 THE SKINNY 61 COMPS The Skinny’s Festive Giveaways In the spirit of the season, this December we will be giving away a whole host of festive prizes. We’ve got your gifts and nights out covered, with competitions to win Batman: Arkam Asylum for Xbox; a pair of Marshall headphones; tickets to see It’s A Wonderful Life courtesy of the GFT in Glasgow and the Cameo in Edinburgh; tickets for everyone’s favourite miser, and former Christmas number 1 campaigner, Malcolm Middleton’s show at Electric Circus on 14 December; and passes for The Phantom Band’s Xmas Phantomime weekender. To enter any of these great competitions scan the QR code with your smartphone, or go to www. theskinny.co.uk/competitions. Terms and conditions and claim by dates apply. Win Canongate Books’ Entire Autumn Catalogue We at The Skinny believe that books make the perfect gift. You don’t have to remember someone’s size, and they aren’t all that difficult to wrap so even the worst of us can have a go. That’s why this year we’re teaming up with Canongate Books to give one lucky winner the opportunity to win their entire autumn catalogue and simultaneously get all your Christmas shopping done. ‘There you go Uncle, you love Only Fools and Horses. And you, hipster little sister, I reckon Miranda July is right up your street.’ The full list of titles include: HELP! – Oliver Burkeman Simon’s Cat 3 – Simon Tofield The Last Werewolf – Glen Duncan The Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton – Noel Fielding Atrocitology – Matthew White Apricot Jam – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Exposed! – Alison Jackson Marilyn’s Last Sessions – Michel Schneider Only Fools and Horses – Graham McCann Pyg – Russell Potter It Chooses You – Alison Jackson Q: What is the name of Miranda July’s most recent feature film? A. The Future B. The Past C. The Muppet Christmas Carol Competition closes 15 Dec. Winners will be notified on the day of closing and will be required to respond within 72 hours or the prize will be offered to another entrant. For full terms and conditions, go to www.theskinny.co.uk/about/terms To win all of the above just go to www.theskinny. co.uk/competitions and answer the following question: the Phantom Band IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SHOPPING We’re open longer and later for Christmas and with over 600 big name brands to choose from all under one roof at SJS, Christmas is in the bag. SJS: IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU www.stjamesshopping.com *Hours may vary subject to the individual retailer. Please call 0131 557 0050 or visit www.stjamesshopping.com for more information. ** John Lewis open at 9am each morning, commencing 14th November. 62 THE SKINNY December 2011 Glasgow music Tue 29 Nov AraabMUZIK Vetiver Example (Fenech-Soler) Broken Records Butterfly Fridays Sun 11 Dec Wed 14 Dec The Sensational Shiverin’ Sheiks Live set from the Rhode Island hiphop producer, aka Abraham Orellana. All-Scottish 5th birthday tour, with the band playing a selection of new songs for the very first time, plus some old faves for which no album track, b-side or cover is out of bounds. Live acoustic blues from house band The Fortunate Sons, followed by DJ Junior on deck duty. Architects Gogobot (Queen Jane, Brown Bear and the Bandits) The electronic man of the moment plays a sell-out Glasgow set as part of his third major headline tour. Uriah Heep (Virgil and The Accelerators) Madcap rock’n’roll and 50s psychedelia for your Tuesday night pleasure. Devendra Banhart collaborating collective, continuing with their totally mellow line in folksy Americana - crucially of the catchy, upbeat variety. Wed 30 Nov Glasgow trio who emerged in 2010 with a strident mix of synth anthems, a pounding rock base and infectious pop melodies. Free Candy Sessions (Scott McWatt, Eryn Strachan, Rebecca Wright, Ian Hill) 13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc Blackfriars Basement, 21:00–23:00, Free Fionn Regan Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £10 The former Mercury Prize-nominated Irish singer/songwriter does his acoustic folk thing. Save Your Breath Classic Grand, 18:30–22:00, £7 Newport pop-punk five-piece currently writing their debut LP. Grant Hart Mono, 20:00–22:30, £10 adv. Drummer and co-songwriter for the influential alternative rock and hardcore punk band Husker Du. Found (Over The Wall, French Wives) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 20:00–23:00, £5 adv. (£6 door) The Edinburgh skewed-pop trio still riding high on the back of their rather ace Factorycraft album. The Red Show (Betatone Distraction, Ohm) Glasgow School of Art, 20:00–22:30, £7 King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £6 Global Citizen (Analogue Angel, Nettles, Skynet) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:30, £5 Sinister electronic sounds from the darkly gothic-flavoured London foursome. Jools Holland SECC, 19:30–22:00, £34.50 Anybody for Boogie Woogie Piano? I thought you would... Magic Carpet Cabaret Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free A night of poetry, song and story, with an additional open mic session. Shed Seven Barrowland, 19:00–23:00, £18.50 The reformed perennial Brit-poppers tour in celebration of the fact it’s 15 years since the release of their second album, A Maximum High. Butterfly Fridays Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–02:00, Free Pivo Pivo, 19:30–23:30, £3 Live acoustic blues from house band The Fortunate Sons, followed by DJ Junior on deck duty. Live Jazz Vagabond Social Club: Midwinter Special (The Dirt, Bad Bad Craig, Gar Hunter) Scuzzy blues fused with experimental and progressive guitar sounds. Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free The residents play a mix of jazz classics and modern standards. Little Dragon The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £12.50 Gothenburg natives splattering a broad pallet of influences against a canvas of intricate pop. Thu 01 Dec Pearl and The Puppets Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £8 Katie Sutherland and the gang round off the year with a hometown show at Oran Mor. The Swellers (Broadway Calls) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £8.50 Michigan foursome spreading their punk-rock joy where e’er they go. Spoek Mathambo (Falconry, Sad City) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £6 adv. Unique take on electronic music, with Spoek infusing his original brand of futurism with a strong sense of his native Africa. Mayhem Underground (Devour, Forevervoid) Pivo Pivo, 19:30–23:30, £6 New night uniting Glasgow’s metal scene under one roof, with live bands, DJs and weekly competitions. Dave Dominey State Bar, 20:00–23:00, £4 The Americana night returns with a winter special, soundtracked by gothic country troubadours The Dirt. Expect festive covers and some special guests. Group Inerane, Flower-Corsano Duo Kinning Park Complex, 20:00–22:30, £8.50 Dream pairing of two of the more esctatic and transcendental rock units around. Last Year’s Girl’s Friday Night Speakeasy (Franz Nicolay, Chris T-T, Dave Hughes) The Old Hairdressers, 20:00–23:00, £7 Music blogger Last Year’s Girl presents her handpicked trio of music, in a speakeasy-styled evening of fun. Free Candy Sessions (Reptile House, Belmondo, Brawth, Daniel Acfield) The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Long-running free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Long-running free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. Fri 02 Dec The Monty Hall Problem (Transmission, Sirens, Jake Beveridge) O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £6 Glasgow-based alternative rockers headered by Lewis Smith on lead vocals and guitar. First Charge Of The Light Brigade Brel, 19:30–22:00, Free Four songwriters and two frontmen, bridging the gap between indie, Americana and folk. 13th Note, 19:30–23:00, £4 Instrumental rock foursome hailing from Irvine on the West Coast of Scotland, playing as part of Rusty Cage’s new Glasgow monthly. St Deluxe (Mondegreen, Silversmash) Captain’s Rest, 20:00–23:00, £5 Weegie foursome reviving the spirit of US slacker alt-pop, then immediately drowning the bugger in syrupy scum-gaze textures. The Ballachulish Hellhounds (The Wagon Rebellion) The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, £4 (£3) Folk and blues fingerstyle guitarist. Tue 06 Dec Baltic Renaissance Oran Mor, 19:30–22:00, £10 (£5) The Scottish Ensemble tour their annual candelight concert, this time performing the music of living composers originating from the Baltic countries of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. The Sensational Shiverin’ Sheiks Blackfriars Basement, 21:00–23:00, Free Defenders Of The Faith III (Trivium, In Flames, Ghost, Rise To Remain, Insense) Rachel Sermanni and Louis Abbott Brel, 19:30–22:00, Free Live acoustic session with Rachel Sermanni and Louis Abbott (of Admiral Fallow). Ordinary Boys (The Heartbreakers) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £12 Preston et al make their live return, playing together for the first time in five years. Sunday Acoustic Showcase (Baby Taylor, Nick Robertson, Marc McKenzie, Euan Walker, Calum Carlyle, Looking for Lola, Black & White Boy) Pivo Pivo, 15:00–23:30, Free A packed all-dayer boasting an impressive collection of Scotland’s finest acoustic groups, bands and soloists. Duran Duran SECC, 19:30–22:00, From £30 The legendary 80s new wavers pump out the hits. Love and Money O2 Academy, 18:00–22:00, £21.50 Mini showcase of some of the biggest, best and brightest stars on the metal scene today. The Treatment Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 20:00–23:00, £5 The Clydebank-based indie-rockers headline this mini showcase night. Man Verses Life Pivo Pivo, 19:30–00:00, £tbc Progressive indie sounds from the up-and-comers. George MichAEl SECC, 20:00–22:00, From £51 TheformerWham!mantakestothestagefor hisSymphonicatour,re-workingalltheclassicsforaliveorchestra.Givehimyourheart. Jamie Bell Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free The Boycotts WTF...?! Female-fronted indie-pop gang from Glasgow. Eclectic new night, offering a mix of bands that probably should never share the same stage. O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £13.50 Riverside (Finality Jack, Velvet Audio) O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £8 Alternative rock foursome back in a live setting following two sell-out shows at Barrowlands. Sintonic Classic Grand, 19:00–22:00, £6 Metallic Glasgow five-piece on vocals, rhythm guitar, drums and bass guitar. Death In Vegas (Von Haze) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £13.50 The 90s dance specialist (aka Richard Fearless) makes a strident return, expertly fusing electro, dub, rock, psychedelia and soul in one peachy whole. Ayrshire Invasion (The Speeches) Pivo Pivo, 19:30–23:30, £tbc Ayrshire takeover, as a selection of their elite indie acts commandeer the Pivo stage. Jools Holland Stereo, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Butterfly Strategy Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–22:30, Free Live acoustic acts, both local and far-flung. Zebrahead The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £11 The Orange Country punk rockers arrive at The Arches armed with their ninth studio album, Get Nice. Man’s Ruin Slouch, 21:00–23:00, £5 Cross-genre Scottish folkies, mixing a hazardous concoction of thumping dance floor grooves, epic pipe melodies and lyrics which resonate with a modern day Scotland. Blues Kitchen Slouch, 18:00–21:00, Free Early evening showcase of live blues bands. Slack Sunday (Captain Slackship’s Mezzanine Allstars) The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Captain Slackship’s Mezzanine Allstars take over for the second of their monthly installments. Mon 05 Dec Two guys and two girls from Ayrshire, combining rock, pop and grunge to create their own melodic and pulsating sound. Coldplay Evan Dando et al play their classic album, It’s A Shame About Ray, in its entirety. SECC, 19:30–22:00, £tbc More ho-hum pop-rock from Chris Martin et al, touring on the back of ther new album. Plastikman Barrowland, 19:00–23:00, £25 Techno mastermind Richie Hawtin tours his Plastikman alias, after rewakening the dormant project back in 2010. Oran Mor, 19:00–23:00 DJ Shadow O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £19.50 Five year’s on from the goodtime crunk and tombola-plucked guests of 2007’s die-hard riling The Outsider, Josh Davis plays a set cherry-picked from new jukebox album, The Less You Know, The Better. Omar Souleyman Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £15 The Syrian singer/songwriter does his inspired thing, blending euphoric folk styles with classic vocal techniques and hard electronic beats. Bow down. Stephen Fretwell Brel, 19:30–22:00, £10 Solo session with the Northern singer/ songwriter whose evocative lyrics traverse the vocal soundscape from 20-a-day gritty to choir boy angelic. Bell X1 King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £12.50 Damien Rice’s former group do their indie troubadour thing, all stringy and melodic like. Liepa Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free Modern songs influenced by traditional Lithuanian music. Hey! Alaska (The Lost Boys) Soundhaus, 19:00–23:00, £tbc Somatic (This Water Kills, Hoi Polloi, The Blind Watchmakers) The Birmingham Brit-poppers play a two night stint at Glasgow’s Barrowland, performing their 1996 album Moseley Shoals in its entirety. The former Speedway singer goes it alone armed with her Americanastyled country solo work. Thu 08 Dec Glasgow Popfest 2011: Welcome Party (Park, Asleep, Cineplexx, The Understudies) The English singer/songwriter leads a merry singalong of the carols and songs learnt growing up in her native South Yorkshire. Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £12.50 The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Long-running free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. More in the way of noisy popcum-punk-cum-rock from the Middlesbrough screamers. Jill Jackson Theatre Royal, 19:30–22:00, £25 (£18.50) Captain’s Rest, 19:00–23:00, £8.50 King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £7 Classic rock sounds from the Cambridge quintet of 18-year-olds. Ocean Colour Scene SECC, 19:30–22:00, From £26.50 Anybody for Boogie Woogie Piano? I thought you would... Classic Grand, 19:00–22:00, £6 Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free Sun 04 Dec Mechanical Smile Glasgow foursome mixing those two deadliest of musical weapons, rap and rock. Michael Simons Madcap rock’n’roll and 50s psychedelia for your Tuesday night pleasure. The Lemonheads Psyko Dalek (Shatter The Solace, Here By Chance, Stand For All) SECC, 18:30–22:00, £tbc Californian heavy metallers heavy on the paint-by-numbers guitar riffs. Bluegrass-styled country and blues from the Glasgow trio. SECC, 19:30–22:00, £34.50 Classic Grand, 19:00–22:00, £6 Machine Head Kate Rusby Sonic Thrill (Dirty Rose, Drop Dead Belles, Something Illustrated) Free Candy Sessions (Strange October, Safety Nett) What The Blood Revealed (WildType, We Ate Them Off The Floor, Headless Kross, Sagat) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £7 Alternative indie foursome from Oxford, fresh from recording their second LP. Sat 03 Dec California surf-synthesists who set 2010 alight with their kitsch offerings, returning to the UK armed with their second LP, Portamento. Female-fronted hard rockin’ fivepiece from Edinburgh, with a distinct 80s edge. Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–02:00, Free Resident rockers The Meat Men play a live set, followed by DJ Dave Stone. Plus free entry to the Buff Club’s official after-party. This Town Needs Guns (Trapped In Kansas, Alaskan Moustache) Glasgow cult heroes of the edgilyliterate jazz-rock variety. The Drums (The Orchids, The History Of Apple Pie) 13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £5 adv. (£6 door) Butterfly Saturdays O2 Academy, 19:00–22:00, £sold out The talented fingerstyle jazz guitarist plays his own arrangements of standards. Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free Funked-up bass loops with laptop, electric bass and a featured guest soloist. Stereo, 19:00–22:00, £10 Barrowland, 19:00–23:00, £24.50 Stereo, 19:45–22:30, £6 Steve Conte and The Crazy Truth Soundhaus, 18:30–22:00, £15 The legendary guitarist and frontman of The Contes (formed with his brother John) tours with his new live band line-up, The Crazy Truth. Wed 07 Dec Everytime I Die (Spycatcher) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £14 Everyone’s favourite partycore heroes return as part of the Rock Sound Tour. George MichAEl SECC, 20:00–22:00, From £51 The former Wham! man takes to the stage for his Symphonica tour, re-working all the classics for a live orchestra. Give him your heart Live Jazz Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free The residents play a mix of jazz classics and modern standards. Ocean Colour Scene Barrowland, 19:00–23:00, £24.50 The Birmingham Brit-poppers play a two night stint at Glasgow’s Barrowland, performing their 1996 album Moseley Shoals in its entirety. The Meatmen Maggie May’s, 21:00–23:00, Free Mixed-up batch of rock’n’roll, country and skiffle covers and originals. Adam Stafford (Now Wakes The Sea, Apples Of Energy, Lovers Turn To Monsters) 13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc Former Y’all Is Fantasy Island mainman headers this raggle-taggle local bill. Heavenly, 19:30–23:00, Free Official launch party for Glasgow Popfest 2011. Free entry. Free Candy Sessions (David Bova, Al Shields) The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Long-running free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–02:00, Free Jonnie Common, Conquering Animal Sound Sonic boomer, and one third of Inspector Tapehead, Jonnie Common plays a double-header with lo-fi Glasgow noisemakers Conquering Animal Sound. Night Of The Earth Men Part 1 (Tut Vu Vu, Williwaw, tedthetrumpet, GK Machine) The Berkeley Suite, 21:00–23:30, £5 (£7 combined ticket) One-off night of some delightfully alternative music and video for the discerning Glasgow populace. Night Of The Earth Men Part 2 (Taperecorder, Skizzwang, GK Machine) Pivo Pivo, 19:30–01:00, £tbc Edinburgh trio incorporating laptops, guitars, vocal yelps and tribal drumming in their rather epic brand of new wave. Free Candy Sessions (Martin Livingstone, Diane Jardine) Nerrus Kor (Batreaus, Agonised Deformity) The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Long-running free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–22:30, Free Live acoustic acts, both local and far-flung. 13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc Perth-based death metallers with a powerful black metal influence, headered by Neil Munro. King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £8 Glasgow rock’n’rollers headered by Brooksy (aka Brian Callaghan, or ‘Flex’). Daniel Higgs Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 20:00–23:00, £6 adv. The ex-Lungfish legend and his banjo return to the UK. Glasgow Ska Train (Esperanza) Pivo Pivo, 19:30–01:00, £5 Live ska spectacular featuring a selection of Glasgow’s favourited ska bands, plus free pizza for all! We’re sold. Def Leppard, Motley Crue (Steel Panther) SECC, 18:30–22:00, £45 Two of the most legendary purveyors of classic rock’n’roll join forces for twice the noise, with special guests Steel Panther adding another layer of racket. The Vatersay Boys Barrowland, 19:00–23:00, £20 The Vatersay (and Barra) foursome play their usual traditional fare, fueled on accordian, bass guitar, drums and pipes. Brandt Brauer Frick Stereo, 20:00–23:00, £10 adv. (£12 door) Brandt Brauer Frick play an exclusive set, currently breathing new life into club music with their techno-leaning, acoustic-driven sound influenced by both modern techno and classic instrumentation. The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Long-running free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. Thu 15 Dec Slouch, 18:00–21:00, Free Dan Baird and Homemade Sin Early evening showcase of live blues bands. Malcolm Middleton Glasgow Popfest 2011 (Baffin Island, Lenzie Moss, The Electric Pop Group, Maple Leaves, BMX Bandits) Our favourite festive miserablist showcases some of the new material he’s written since he lifted his self-imposed ‘song strike’, alongside some old faves. With support from his semi-instrumental alter ego, Human Don’t Be Angry. O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £12.50 The Georgia Satellites frontman returns to Glasgow with his rockin’ and rollin’ new band, Homemade Sin. Justice Tonight O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £17.50 The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite’s Mick Jones, Pete Wylie and The Farm stop by Glasgow as part of their December UK tour raising awareness of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. Heavenly, 18:30–23:00, £42 (weekend pass) Three-day pop marathon featuring 20-odd independent bands firmly of the happy-go-lucky pop type. The Darcy DaSilva Band The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, £4 Twin Atlantic Acoustic folk ensemble working their magic on traditional vocals, guitar, pipes and fiddle. Glasgow alternative rock four-piece, fresh from their appearance on Radio 1’s documentary, The Next Big Thing. Mon 12 Dec O2 Academy, 19:00–22:00, £13 I Am The Avalanche (Hostage Calm) Classic Grand, 19:00–22:00, £9 Classic Grand, 19:00–22:30, £22 EBM noisemakers Front 242 play their only Scottish date on their special 30th anniversary tour. White Vinyl Collective King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £6 Aloe Blacc O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £15 California native who’s a bit of a talented bugger, what with being a multi-instrumentalist producer, rapper and singer who can flip it in Spanish, too. Title Fight (Balance and Composure, Transit) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £8.50 The Kingston natives show their love of melodic hardcore anthems, as displayed on the Walter Schreifelsproduced new album, Shed. Tue 13 Dec Brooksy and the Sound Collectors (Raj Against The Shereen, Dol Eoin) Free Candy Sessions (Andy Spiller) Blues Kitchen Loosely Speakin (Kayce One, Erin Friel, Mog) Copenhagen-based post-punk foursome of noise. Captain’s Rest, 20:00–23:00, £6.50 Sat 10 Dec The Complete Stone Roses Glasgow School of Art, 20:00–22:30, £6 Maggie May’s, 21:00–23:00, Free Montreal’s Graham van Pelt combines the hazy aesthetics of shoegaze, dream-pop and lyrics of wide-eyed wonderment. Michael Simons Iceage The Meatmen Butterfly Strategy Collective group of young musicians amassed from bands such as The Doledrums and The Ray Summers, playing their only Glasgow show of the year. O2 Academy, 19:00–22:00, £12 Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free The residents play a mix of jazz classics and modern standards. Miracle Fortress SECC, 19:30–22:00, £tbc Gothenburg foursome fusing catchy pop melodies, relentless metal riffing and balls-to-the-wall rock sounds. Rescheduled date. Stone Roses tribute act. Live Jazz Second part of the one-off night, offering up yet more genre-defying music and video. Front 242 (Empire, Je$us Loves Amerika) O2 ABC, 18:30–22:00, £7 Dead Boy Robotics Pivo Pivo, 19:30–01:00, £5 Glasgow City Scoundrels’ host their Christmas Party, featuring Marco Piero Fusco and Harry Morgan Junior, plus some rather special guests to be revealed. More ballsy northern anthems from the Leicester boys. The Berkeley Suite, 23:30–03:00, £5 (£7 combined ticket) The Felice Brothers (AA Bondy) Dead By April (Marionette) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £6 Math-rock foursome from the west of Scotland, describing themselves as two parts pop, two parts noise and one part prog. Glasgow City Scoundrel’s End of Year Party Mixed-up batch of rock’n’roll, country and skiffle covers and originals. Fri 09 Dec NYC five-piece formed by brothers James and Ian Felice, ready to take you on a mud-stomping folk journey, as is their way. Carnivores (Marvel Heights, So Many Animal Calls) O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £14 Hardcore Brighton foursome, mixing a pummeling concoction of postmetalcore, metal and progressive. Kasabian (Miles Kane) Brooklyn punk-rockers formed by vocalist-cum-hellraiser Vinnie Caruana. O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £14.50 O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £19.50 The long-haired, longtime rockers get back on the live circuit touring their 23rd studio album, no less. Bow down. Pivo Pivo, 19:30–01:00, Free All hip-hop night, with Kayce One launching their new album in amongst a slew of MCs and rap acts. Kobra and The Lotus Stereo, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Canadian heavy metallers fronted by the powerhouse tones of singer and co-writer Brittany Paige. Butterfly Saturdays Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–02:00, Free Resident rockers The Meat Men play a live set, followed by DJ Dave Stone. Plus free entry to the Buff Club’s official after-party. The Day I Snapped (Shields Up, Broken Few) 13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc Melodious punk-rock Glasgow foursome who’ve made their way through six bassists in their 10-odd year existence. Nevada Base (Crash Club, Machines In Heaven) Captain’s Rest, 20:00–23:00, £5 The Glasgow electro-poppers blend their usual fine mix of arpeggios, synth, beats, harmonic vocals and some live instrumental tinkering. Glasgow Popfest 2011 (Standard Fire, The Hobbes Fanclub, Nico’s Bike, Cola Jet Set, Westfield Mining Disaster, Edinburgh School For The Deaf, Zipper, Tender Trap) Heavenly, 17:00–23:45, £42 (weekend pass) Three-day pop marathon featuring 20-odd independent bands firmly of the happy-go-lucky pop type. Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free Folk and blues fingerstyle guitarist. Steve Harley Dappy O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £sold out The N-Dubz chap plays a sold-out set, following the success of his debut single. White Lies (The Duke Spirit) O2 Academy, 19:00–22:00, £20 London-based indie-rockers who started life as Fear Of Flying, fresh from supporting Arcade Fire in Milan. Fence Records’ Xmas Party CCA Café, 19:00–23:00, £5 adv. The Fence Collective host their Christmas party night with a promised ‘very special’ secret line-up. Safe to say it’ll be a winner. Three Blind Wolves King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £7 Singalongable, dancealongable alternative countryesque tunes from the Glasgow lads. Mayhem Underground (Farseer, Babylon Fading, Touch Of Severity) Pivo Pivo, 19:30–01:00, £6 New night uniting Glasgow’s metal scene under one roof, with live bands, DJs and weekly competitions. Oran Mor, 19:00–23:00, £22.50 Andrea Heins Go West The Canadian-born singer/songwriter works her magic on guitar, vocals and auto-harp. London-born singer/songwriter best known for his work with Cockney Rebel in the 70s. O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £20 80s pop duo made up of Peter Cox and Richard Drummie, returning to the live scene with their brand new album. The Sensational Shiverin’ Sheiks Blackfriars Basement, 21:00–23:00, Free Madcap rock’n’roll and 50s psychedelia for your Tuesday night pleasure. 100 Monkeys (Carla Salimando) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £10 Talented funk-rock quintet known for switching instruments and vocalists on an almost minute-byminute basis. Young Aviators Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free Random Hand (The Hostiles, Maxwell’s Dead) 13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc West Yorkshire foursome moving in brain-pummeling waves of metal, punk and ska. Free Candy Sessions (The Magic Lantern Show) The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Long-running free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. Fri 16 Dec Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 20:00–23:00, £tbc Saint Jude The Saturdays Hotly-tipped London rock’n’rollers lynchpinned on the vocal talents of soulstress Lynne Jackaman. Alternative new wave from the Glasgowvia-Ireland trio of cheeky chappies. SECC, 19:30–22:00, From £19.50 The frothy pop five-piece (aka Frankie, Mollie, Una, Vanessa and Rochelle) embark on their first arena tour. Woo and hoo. JEM Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free Indian and Scottish style music on guitar, cello, soprano sax and vocals. Pronto Mama Stereo, 19:00–22:00, £5 Up-beat tunes from the Glasgow polyrhythmic indie-rockers/super cool dudes. Oh You Dancer (Loud Noises) Tighnamara Electro-glitch from remixer and beat purveyor Jamie Sturt. Acoustic blues and folk from the merry Glasgow six-piece. The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, £3 Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £15 The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, £5 O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £12 We Were Promised Jetpacks O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £12 Masters of the slow-building epic, WWPJ’s are all about the rolling drums, big guitars, and massive effing finales. Suffice to say we like their style. The Ray-Bandos Brel, 19:30–22:00, Free Local trouple playing 60s rock’n’roll, soul and motown covers. Midnight Vulture Club Classic Grand, 19:00–22:00, £5 The psych-rockin’ Glasgow fivepiece move in their usual waves of dreamy melodies and heartfelt lyrics. December 2011 THE SKINNY 63 G lasgow music How To Swim Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 20:00–23:00, £tbc Orchestral pop ensemble working their magic on guitars, strings, brass and keyboards. Live At The Roxy Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells A trio of live bands take over the upstairs and downstairs of the Roxy. Still riding high on the back of their glorious last album, Moffat and Wells come armed also with their new mini EP, which includes a cover of Bananarama’s Cruel Summer. Resident rockers The Meat Men play a live set, followed by DJ Dave Stone. Plus free entry to the Buff Club’s official after-party. Kong (Blacklisters) The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Lightguides Festive Blowout Sun 18 Dec Pivo Pivo, 19:30–01:00, £5 Gun Lightguides invite you to what has now become something of a festive tradition, a Christmas blowout featuring live sets from themselves and their pals. Wing and a Prayer Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free Live showcase of blues-influenced singer/songwriters. The Saw Doctors Barrowland, 19:00–23:00, £22.50 The 80s-formed Irish rockers play the hits. A Phestive Phantomime (Holy Mountain, Tut Vu Vu) Stereo, 19:00–03:00, £tbc The Phantom Band host a super-gig weekender, bookended by a performance from the band themselves, plus a host of chums and live visuals from 85A. We hear there may also be some Phantom karaoke. Be warned. Butterfly Fridays Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–02:00, Free Live acoustic blues from house band The Fortunate Sons, followed by DJ Junior on deck duty. Free Candy Sessions (The Colts) The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Long-running free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. Sat 17 Dec The Silencers Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £15 Local 80s post-meets-punk outfit, characterized by their melodic blend of pop, folk and traditional Celtic influences. E D I N B U R G H music King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £15 Rock’n’roll outfit formed by the Gizzi brothers in the mid-80s, playing a special double Tut’s date in advance of their live return in 2012. Gut N’ Gore’s Monster A-Go-Go (Ruff Angel) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 20:00–23:00, £5 Chrismas-themed night of live bands, burlesque, go-go dancing and a whole lot of jingle all the way. Bastard’s Christmas (El Dog, Roscoe Vacant and the Gantin’ Schreichs, Hordes of Unstoppable Skeletons, Billy Liar) Pivo Pivo, 19:30–01:00, £tbc The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £12.50 Captain’s Rest, 20:00–23:00, £7 Manchester ensemble inviting you into a dizzying world of hardcore punk-rock and celloptaped faces. Butterfly Saturdays Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–02:00, Free Christmas Eve at The Roxy 171 Aselection of live bands and DJs help warm the cockles of Christmas eve. Mon 26 Dec Wed 21 Dec The Imagineers Rebel Music Glasgow four-piece offering an intriguing blend of 50s rock’n’roll, Scottish twang and cinematic flair. Pivo Pivo, 20:00–01:00, £5 (£3) Live music fundraiser for Cuba, featuring some of Glasgow’s finest spinners and strummers for y’all to enjoy. Live Jazz Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free The residents play a mix of jazz classics and modern standards. Oran Mor, 19:00–23:00, £8 Tue 27 Dec The Sensational Shiverin’ Sheiks All-day party in celebration of Highjacked Records’ eighth year on being. The Rezillos Wed 28 Dec Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free Colonel Mustard Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 20:00–23:00, £tbc Altered Sky The Colonel (most likely accompanied by his handpicked band of players, The Dijon 5), traverses the line between rock’n’roll and flamenco. Classic Grand, 18:30–22:00, £6 Live Jazz Scottish-brogued anthemic indie from the Weegie foursome. Can’t say fairer. Rockin’ female-fronted Glasgow five-piece, rolling along on Ana Nowosielska’s strong vocal. Butterfly Strategy Joe Strummer Tribute Night Communion: The Staves (Paul Thomas Saunders, Snowgoose) Hidden Masters, Lewis Gibson and The Midas Touch, The Dark Jokes Mon 05 Dec The Third Door, 19:00–22:00, £5 Live online music portal, Ten Tracks, handpick a selection of musical delights for your aural delectation. Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £7 adv. The Fnords, Acid Fascists, Babylon Dub Punks, Sam Barber and The Outcasts, The Tango Rhums, Glassface 3 Card Trick Benefit gig raising funds for Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, hadered by female-fronted garage punk trio, The Fnords. Ben Lovett (of Mumford & Sons) brings his touring night Edinburghway, with a headline set from folk harmony group The Staves. Whistlebinkies, 23:30–02:30, free Henry’s Cellar, 19:30–03:00, £5 Mixed Friday night bill of comedy, live music and DJs. Thu 22 Dec Stereo, 19:00–22:00, £5 Fragile and cinematic folk soundscapes from the Newcastle-based sextet. Young musician showcase project from the Scottish Music Centre. Thu 01 Dec Monthly night of poetry and shortstory readings. There Will Be Fireworks (Friends In America, People Places Maps) Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £7 adv. The indie-rock foursome launch their new EP, Halogen Lights. Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Christmas Oratorio Long-running free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. Running on high octane, guitar driven, melodic anti-mope rock, The Rezillos host a pre-Christmas knees-up. Lanterns On The Lake Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £4 (£3) Reading the Leaves Highjacked Records’ 8th Birthday (Vigo Thieves, Chief, The Gazelles, Raymond Meade, The Dirty Suits, Rio Callahan, The Girobabies) O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £16 The sultry songstress and her rockabilly blues band mix soulful vocals with cool-cat double bass, bouncing beats and proto-rock’n’roll guitar. The Industry, Spoke Too Soon, Sunrise Tricks Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £5 adv. Madcap rock’n’roll and 50s psychedelia for your Tuesday night pleasure. Free Candy Sessions (Natalie Clark) The Admiral, 12:00–02:00, £6 HMV Picture House, 18:30–22:00, £22.50 The Illustrated (Bwani Junction, The Merylees) The Friday Fix (Bruce Morton, Michael Redmond, Jay Lafferty, Pearse James, Elaine Devlin) Blackfriars Basement, 21:00–23:00, Free A bastardised festive uprising from a bunch of Scotland’s talented outsiders. The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Wed 30 Nov Imelda May Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free The residents play a mix of jazz classics and modern standards. Classic rock cover songs. Queen’s Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £9.50 Bach’s Christmas Oratio is given a festive once over, featuring as it does a lavish sequence of choruses and instrumental solos. Shed Seven HMV Picture House, 19:00–22:30, £18.50 The reformed perennial Brit-poppers tour in celebration of the fact it’s 15 years since the release of their second album, A Maximum High. Loch Awe (Adam Stafford) Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £5 Cockle-warming Edinburgh folk quintet Loch Awe celebrate their first ever headline show by playing their upcoming album, Bookmarkesque, in its entirety. Voodoo Rooms, 18:30–01:00, £9 Sat 03 Dec Red Hot Chilli Pipers HMV Picture House, 19:00–22:30, £20 Fusion of rocked-up bagpipes and genre-spanning covers from everyone’s favourite kilted pipers. Christmas According To Hollywood Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £8 The Exile Band, choir and orchestra take to the stage with an all-new Christmas show, accompanied by the St Peter’s Primary School Choir. Dead Boy Robotics Live acoustic acts, both local and far-flung. King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £8.50 Live band tribute night to the late, great Joe Strummer. Free Candy Sessions: Hootenanny Iron Maiden tribute act. Fatherson (Discopolis) Mogwai (Errors) The Leister-born blues guitar legend does his thing. Gun The Kilmarnock trio do their alternative rock-meets-powerpop thing, with stellar support from Edinburgh’s ambient disco tinkerers, Discopolis. New Year warm-up featuring an all star line-up of The Roxy 171’s favourite bands from 2011. Edinburgh trio incorporating laptops, guitars, vocal yelps and tribal drumming in their rather epic brand of new wave. Withavirtualmusicaltomeofbeautifullycraftedpostrockattheirdisposal,Mogwai playaratherspecialhometownDecember date.SupportcomesfromlocalfavesErrors, makingthisprettymuchagoldenticket. Voracity (Hot Rails, The Beyond) Com Truise (MOTO) Thu 29 Dec Bannerman’s, 20:00–23:00, £4 Maiden Scotland O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £8 King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £15 Rock’n’roll outfit formed by the Gizzi brothers in the mid-80s, playing a special double Tut’s date in advance of their live return in 2012. QuoFest 2011 SECC, 19:30–22:00, £37.50 Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–22:30, Free The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £8 Galoshins (Comsic Dead, Battery Face) 13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc Longstanding rockers Status Quo embark on the inagural QuoFest, accompanied by Roy Wood and Kim-fucking-Wilde. Glasgow foursome of the psychrock variety, combining Captain Beefheart-style melting organs with raw, drawling vocals. Kassidy Blues Kitchen Barrowland, 19:00–23:00, £12 Voulez Vous Abba tribute act. Fri 23 Dec The Wedding Present The Miss’s Christmas Party (Hector Bizerk) Red Hot Chilli Pipers (Jill Jackson) A special Christmas night hosted by The Miss’s, with support from Glasgow hip-hop MC Hector Bizerk Fusion of rocked-up bagpipes and genre-spanning covers from everyone’s favourite kilted pipers. Some 25-odd years after forming, David Gedge brings his cult 80s concern north of the border for a rare Scottish date. Paisley Town Hall, 19:30–22:00, £14 (£12) Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–02:00, Free Resident rockers The Meat Men play a live set, followed by DJ Dave Stone. Plus free entry to the Buff Club’s official after-party. Ms Dynamite (Modestep DJ, Boom Monk Ben) The Arches, 23:00–03:00, £10 Late night club set from the London-born garage rapper, aka Ms Dynamite-ee-ee. Rescheduled date. The Bucky Rage (The Kosher Pickles, Filthy Little Secret) 13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc The veritable noisefest that is Glasgow’s The Bucky Rage, still riding high on their new line-up, new songs and the ever-present hard-ass ethic. Green Door Studio: 4th Birthday Party (Organs Of Love, Correcto, Agi Doom, The Thomas Borthers) Captain’s Rest, 20:00–01:00, £1 The Glasgow music studio celebrates five years of being, with punters getting the added bonus of a free CD of songs recorded at Green Door during 2011. James Yorkston’s Christmas Jamboree (The Pictish Trail, Lisa O’Neill) Wellington Church, 20:00–23:00, £7 adv. (£9 door) Fife dweller and sometime Fence Collective dabbler James Yorkston hosts his own BYOB Christmas Jamboree, joined by The Pictish Trail and Lisa O’Neill. Mixed-up batch of rock’n’roll, country and skiffle covers and originals. King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £6 The Ray Summers’ piano man steps out from behind the keys to front his own folk-rock ensemble. Long-running free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. A Phestive Phantomime (Take A Worm For A Walk Week, Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lock Pickers) Butterfly Saturdays Maggie May’s, 21:00–23:00, Free Slouch, 18:00–21:00, Free Early evening showcase of live blues bands. Stereo, 19:00–03:00, £tbc The Meatmen Davey Horne (Bunga Party, Tomas Bird and the Blonde Spirit) Free Candy Sessions (The State Broadcasters, Robbie MacInnes) Aching, country-tinged harmonies from the Scottish four-piece. Pass the moonshine. The Phantom Band host a super-gig weekender, bookended by a performance from the band themselves, plus a host of chums and live visuals from 85A. We hear there may also be some Phantom karaoke. Be warned. Barrowland, 19:00–23:00, £20 The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Mon 19 Dec The View O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £sold out The Dundee indie-pop scamps play one of two sold-out consecutive Glasgow dates. Michael Simons Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free Folk and blues fingerstyle guitarist. The 88 Club (Andy Lucas, Madeline Pritchard, Outi Smith, Will Harris) The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Live evening of piano-based musical loveliness. Tue 20 Dec The View O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £sold out The Dundee indie-pop scamps play one of two sold-out consecutive Glasgow dates. The Sensational Shiverin’ Sheiks Blackfriars Basement, 21:00–23:00, Free The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £20 Jericho Hill Brel, 19:30–22:00, Free Johnny Cash tribute act. Pete MacLeod and The Cancerian’s (Holy Pistol Club, The Trade) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £7 Live acoustic blues from house band The Fortunate Sons, followed by DJ Junior on deck duty. The Murderburgers, The Snipes, Beauty School Dropout 13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc Alternative trio of noisemakers, including Glasgow’s own pop-meetspunk scamps, The Murderburgers. Free Candy Sessions: Christmas Special The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free A Quiet Night In (Make Sparks, Orphans, Scarlet Shift, Verse Metric, Lady North) Mickey 9s (Dalzel, The Fear, Pure Dead Brilliant) 64 THE SKINNY December 2011 Dave Arcari (JonZip McNeill, Jonny Parr) Captain’s Rest, 20:00–23:00, £5 Talented blues rocker playing a mix of guitar-driven blues and trash country. Free Candy Sessions: Hootenanny The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free Fri 30 Dec Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–02:00, Free Sat 24 Dec Stereo, 19:00–23:00, £5 The Garage, 19:00–22:00, £15 Butterfly Fridays Monthly jazz session with bassist Gus Stirrat and pals. Mini Christmas party-cum-festival, headered by indie-pop Dundonian trio Make Sparks. Folks-meets-shanty outfit keeping the festive atmosphere rolling with a night of high spirited folk tunes and lots of dancing. New Year warm-up featuring an all star line-up of The Roxy 171’s favourite bands from 2011. Gus Stirrat Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 20:00–22:00, Free Pivo Pivo, 19:30–01:00, £tbc Scottish singer/songwriter who recently swapped LA for Lanarkshire, touring with his new live trio, The Cancerians. Christmas edition of the longrunning free acoustic music night, offering up an ever-changing rota of live players. Madcap rock’n’roll and 50s psychedelia for your Tuesday night pleasure. True Gents (Diddums, Gordy Duncan Jr, The Cundeez) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £6 Glaswegian foursome offering up a manic fusion of bass, beats, onstage bodypopping and ski masks. Yes, really. Butterfly Fridays Butterfly & Pig, 20:00–02:00, Free Live acoustic blues from house band The Fortunate Sons, followed by DJ Junior on deck duty. Free Candy Sessions: Hootenanny The Roxy 171, 20:00–23:30, free New Year warm-up featuring an all star line-up of The Roxy 171’s favourite bands from 2011. Sat 31 Dec Dead Sea Souls King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £8 Singalong West Lothian quartet touting their funky ska wares across the Central Belt since 2006. Girobabies (Loki, Hector Bizerk, The Plimptons, Bigg Taj, Punto the Thief) Pivo Pivo, 19:30–01:00, £5 The nard rockin’ Glasgow five-piece launch their new album, with a free bus ferrying revellers to a special (read: secret) after-party. Aynsley Lister The Caves, 19:00–22:00, £11.50 Dunfermline four-piece of the progressive rock variety. Four Women The Third Door, 19:30–22:00, £3 The Third Door, 19:00–22:30, £4 adv. Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £5 adv. New York’s Seth Haley delivers melting waves of astral 80s synths, taking electronica to some dark and wonderful places. Lisa Rigby, Fiona J Thom, Lindsay Sugden and Dale Radley combine their multi-instrumental and songwriting talents for an evening of chilled acoustic melodies. Thea Gilmore Fri 02 Dec Havok (Eradication) LAU Queen’s Hall, 20:00–22:00, £15 (£13) Rather fine experimental folk trio made up of Kris Drever, Martin Green and Aidan O’Rourke. RSNO: Osborne Plays Shostakovich Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £11 Performance of Shostakovich’s piano concerto, guided by Scottish virtuoso Steven Osborne. Devlin (Madhad McGore, Silvertongue, Riddlah) The Liquid Room, 18:30–22:00, £tbc Dagenham-born grime MC James Devlin, better known as just Devlin. Young Fathers Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £5 Bongo Club, 19:30–22:00, £13 The folky singer/songwriter celebrates the relase of her new CD, a collection of unrecorded Sandy Denny songs. Bannerman’s, 19:00–23:00, £8 Thrash metal of the in-your-face variety. The Winter Tradition (Johnny Downie, David May, Detox5) Cabaret Voltaire, 19:00–22:00, £5 Noisy powerpop-meets-rock from the loveable Scottish quartet. The Heavy Xmas Pop Party (PET, The Spook School, Calypso Brown) Wee Red Bar, 19:00–22:00, £5 Beard Of Truth host their own festive offering, with a trio of live lovelies, and a post-gig DJ set from the Toilet Ghosts. Schtick Of Rock’s Christmas Party Kate Rusby Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, £21.50 Kenny Young and The Eggplants Henry’s Cellar, 19:30–23:30, £5 Regressive rock French foursome, with two bassists for added noise factor. Tue 06 Dec James Morrison HMV Picture House, 19:00–22:30, £sold out Solo singer/songwriter who started his days as a busker in Cornwall, before being propelled into the spotlight with his two-million selling debut album. Rescheduled date. Pure Brass Usher Hall, 11:00–13:00, £2 (students free) The young brass quintet roll out some seasonal favourites alongside some more unusual pieces (which may well involve a bit of Norwegian folk, we hear). Broken Records The legendary Brooklyn hip-hop MC performs in Scotland for the first time in a decade. Wed 07 Dec John Wilson Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £22.50 John Wilson and his talented live orchestra present their technicolour homage to the golden era of Hollywood film musicals. Kenneth Ishak (Seadog, Long Distance Runner) Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £5 Indie-meets-folk offerings from the former Beeswax mainman. Bell X1 (Jape) Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £12.50 adv. Damien Rice’s former group do their indie troubadour thing, all stringy and melodic like. Secret CDs (Blue Flint, Adam Holmes and The Embers, Emily Scott) Voodoo Rooms, 19:30–01:00, £5 Live gig-cum-CD sale from musicians based in and around the Edinburgh area. Thu 08 Dec Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Northern Landscapes Queen’s Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £9.50 Young violin soloist Jennifer Pike leads a melodious festive concerto. 3 Wise Monkeys (Bodies) My Electric Love Affair (The Colours) Gerry Loves Xmas (Lady North, Paws, Trapped In Kansas, Field Mouse, The Japanese War Effort) The Banshee Labyrinth, 19:30–03:00, £6 adv. Gerry Loves Records’ host their Christmas party night, with a pretty stellar live line-up headered by mathematic riff magicians Lady North. Pussy Whipped (Elcassette, Ste McCabe, The Fnords) Wee Red Bar, 20:00–22:30, £2 Brand new queer and female kick-ass band night for Edinburgh, headered by Munich riot grrrl-styled indierockers Elcassette. Sun 04 Dec The Drums HMV Picture House, 19:00–22:30, £13.50 California surf-synthesists who set 2010 alight with their kitsch offerings, returning to the UK armed with their second LP, Portamento. The High Llamas (Jack and The) Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £12.50 adv. Esteemed retro-styled pop project formed in 1990 by Sean O’Hagan, following the demise of his then band, Microdisney. Jed Potts and the Hillman Hunters Bannerman’s, 21:00–23:00, Free Intimate and electric blues from Potts and his merry band. Edinburgh College of Art, 21:00–03:00, £10 Annual student fundraiser for the Art department’s degree show catalogue, with a stellar line-up of live music and DJs to entice your giving side. The Machine Room (Edinburgh School For The Deaf) Wee Red Bar, 19:00–22:00, £4 Volts Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £7 adv. Limbo (Delta Mainline, Molly Wagger, Will Hanson) Cabaret Voltaire, 19:00–22:00, £8 (£6) The Scoop Party (Cardboard, Bullion, Big Toes Hifi) Jeru The Damaja Selection of old-school punk covers. The local faves play a headline set in Cab Vol’s basement, headered as ever by the howlin’ tones of Neil Pennycook. Cabaret Voltaire, 19:00–22:00, £5 Birthday bash special, featuring the birthday boys themselves, All Of A Kind, alongside a host of support. Expect dazzling synth and sugary guitar pop noises as The Machine Room launch their new single, with the added treat of a live lighting installation from artist Jonathan Freemantle. Immodesty Blaize (The Noisettes) Live music-cum-club night, with a consistently quality line-up of local favourites. Unplugged Live (All of a Kind, Monkey Genes, Exit the Theatre, IAmDino) Cabaret Voltaire, 19:00–22:00, £10 Happy Spastics (The Jackhammers) Meursault (Sparrow & The Workshop, Collar Up) Bannerman’s, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Eclectic indie from Kenny Young and his semi-acoustic trio. All-Scottish 5th birthday tour, with the band playing a selection of new songs for the very first time, plus some old faves for which no album track, b-side or cover is out of bounds. Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £5 Voodoo Rooms, 20:00–23:00, £7 adv. (£8 door) Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £4 Le Singe Blanc UK burlesque star Immodesty Blaize joins forces with indie-rockers The Noisettes for a collaborative Christmas song and dance show with a difference (i.e. it’s not shit). DIY-styled hardcore punk from the Edinburgh hellraisers. Firebrand Super Rock (Gareeda, 15x Dead, Robot Death Monkey and The Time Travelling Hornet) Noisy offerings from Edinburgh’s own old-school heavy metal titans, as they re-launch their new album. The Scottish hip-hop trio return with their rather glorious line in DIY rap and synchronised dance moves, previewing tracks from their debut album (due early 2012). Bannerman’s, 19:30–23:00, £5 Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £11 Fairytale-styled orchestral special, taking in Tchaikovsky’s Nutcraker and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Snow Maiden. The English singer/songwriter leads a merry singalong of the carols and songs learnt growing up in her native South Yorkshire. Hit-filled singalong rock from the tongue-in-cheek covers band. Fancy dress encouraged. Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:00, £5 RSNO: A Russian Winter HMV Picture House, 19:00–22:30, £22.50 Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £tbc The Edinburgh-based post-rock popsters celebrate a decade of building their inimitable wall of shoegaze noise. Kenny Young and The Eggplants Bannerman’s, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Eclectic indie from Kenny Young and his semi-acoustic trio. Conscious Collective Band Night (Lyrikool Lipz, Savage Sound, Jugalbandi, Combo Combo) Henry’s Cellar, 19:30–01:00, £4 Conscious Collective host a mix of hip-hop, funk, Latin and insrumental, plus a live rap battle thrown in for good measure. Fri 09 Dec Twin Atlantic HMV Picture House, 19:00–22:30, £13 Glasgow alternative rock four-piece, fresh from their appearance on Radio 1’s documentary, The Next Big Thing. Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £8 adv. AC/DC tribute act. Indie Funday Friday (The Cosmonauts , Thank You So Nice, Jen and the Gents, Little Love and The Friendly Vibes, Lost Telegrams) Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:30, £3 Monthly indie-pop night where a selection of, er, indie-pop acts play in aid of Marie Cure Hospice. Sat 10 Dec Kevock Choir: A Christmas Celebration Queen’s Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £10 (£6) Traditional and modern choir favourites from the local choir, accompanied by the Edinburgh Concert Band. Song, By Toad: Christmas Party (Jesus H Foxx, Lach, Inspector Tapehead, Rob St John, Yusuf Aazak, The Japanese War Effort, Meursault) St Stephen’s Centre, 14:00–23:00, £10 Festive offerings from music blogger Song, By Toad, including live sets from Jesus H Foxx, Meursault and Inspector Tapehead. Plus mince pies, tacky decorations and a couple of kegs. Oi Polloi: 30th Birthday (Happy Spastics, Billy Liar) Bannerman’s, 19:30–23:30, £5 Oi Polloi celebrate 30-monumentalyears of hard drinking, hard partying and hard politics with a set of classics, and possibly some live firsts. After-party at Banshee Labyrinth. Oswald Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Electronica-styled rock from the Glasgow locals. Live and Unsigned: Christmas Special (Selfish Needs, The Koves, Lost Weekend, The Charge) Cabaret Voltaire, 19:00–22:00, £5 Festive live music special, offering up a five-stong selection of local unsigned acts. Daniel Higgs Trio (Sarah Kenchington) Summerhall, 20:00–23:00, £6 adv. The ex-Lungfish legend and his banjo return to the UK, this time in a trio with Maya Dunietz and Assaf Talmudi. The Blueswater Collective (The Foo Birds) Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £2 Classic blues tunes from the collective of former St Andrews students. Blasfima Sinna (Nasty P) Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Scottish hip-hop artist spurting out some killer verses. E D I N B U R G H music G lasgow C L U B S Sun 11 Dec Harps Of Gold Queen’s Hall, 14:30–16:30, £10 (£8) Afternoon session of festive carols and readings from harps of Na Clarsairean and the young vocalists of George Watson’s College Caritas Choir. Baltic Renaissance Greyfriars Kirk, 19:30–22:00, £10 (£5) The Scottish Ensemble tour their annual candelight concert, this time performing the music of living composers originating from the Baltic countries of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Adam Ant and The Good The Mad And The Lovely Posse HMV Picture House, 19:00–22:30, £22.50 The frontman of new wave popsters Adam and the Ants tours with his current live band. Bootleg Beatles Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, £25 The Beatles tribute act. The Fire and I (Lovers, Underclass) Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £6 adv. Experimental rock duo from Bathgate, recently seen headlining the T Break stage and supporting the mighty Biffy Clyro. Blaze Bayley (Disarm Goliath) Bannerman’s, 19:00–23:00, £9 The Birmingham metalheads bring the noise, as you might expect. Mon 12 Dec Lindsey Buckingham Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, £42.50 Thu 22 Dec Wed 30 Nov Fridays @ Flat 0/1 Melody-loving alternative five-piece hailing from the ‘burgh. Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook Octopussy Hagana (The Red Show, Half A Dead Bird, Royal Edinburgh Music) Annual fixture, which sees Cunningham and his merry band of Scottish folk players (including Eddi Reader, Kris Drever and John McCusker) belt out the festive hits. Killer Kitsch’s Duncan Harvey provides a soundtrack of funk, motown and northern soul. Pop classics and a good dose of cheese in the main hall, plus hip-hop hits in the Red Room. Cathouse Fridays Rip This Joint Animal Passion (Bastion) Cabaret Voltaire, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:00, £5 Raw and eclectic alternative rockers, shoehorning a bit of grunge, metal and ska into the mix. Sat 17 Dec Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Mozart At Christmas Queen’s Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £9.50 Violinist Alexander Janiczek directs an uplifting Mozart selection for the festive season. Fuzzystar (The Oates Field, The Occasional Flickers) Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Lo-fi indie musings from the Edinburgh-born, London-based foursome. G.B.H (Critikill, Spat) Bannerman’s, 19:30–23:00, £10 Hardcore punk of the in-your-face variety. Half a Dead Bird Wee Red Bar, 19:00–22:00, £6 The Edinburgh-based cinematic postmetallers do their hard-assed thing. Malcolm Middleton (Human Don’t Be Angry) Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £14.50 adv. Our favourite festive miserablist showcases some of the new material he’s written since he lifted his selfimposed ‘song strike’, alongside some old faves. With support from his semi-instrumental alter ego, Human Don’t Be Angry. Hard Skin (Oi Polloi, Jockney Rejects, Jock Sparra) Henry’s Cellar, 19:30–23:30, £7 The legendary Oi band from Londonway play a rare Scottish date. Thu 15 Dec Vic Galloway Presents Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Vic Galloway returns for his, now monthly, showcase slot, where the man himself gets to pick the acts for your aural delectation. Fri 16 Dec Faculty Of Advocates Choir Queen’s Hall, 20:00–22:00, Free (but ticketed) The touring choir return to The Queen’s Hall for their 16th annual choral festive gathering. Saxon HMV Picture House, 18:30–22:30, £18.50 Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £3 Fish (Rising Souls) Former Marillion frontma Fish join forces in an acoustic trio with Foss Paterson (keyboards) and Frank Usher (guitar). The Banana Sessions Bongo Club, 21:00–01:00, £10 Experimental pop troupe, singing of the finer things in life. CRANACHAN Bannerman’s, 21:00–23:00, Free Classic rock covers. The Black Tambourines, Joanna Gruesome, Dolfinz Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:30, £5 Trio of noisy, messy bands from the Ides Of Toad camp. Mon 19 Dec Sonic Thrill (Knots and Crosses, Something Illustrated) Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £3 Female-fronted hard rockin’ fivepiece from Edinburgh, with a distinct 80s edge. Tue 20 Dec Dunedin Consort: Messiah Queen’s Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £12 Traditional festive performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Dunedin Consort and Players. Christmas Carols By Candlelight Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £14.50 The Mozart Festival Orchestra perform in full 18th century costume, lit up by candlelight. Wed 21 Dec Messiah Komplex, Hope In Dystopia Henry’s Cellar, 19:30–23:30, £4 People, Places, Maps Tracer Trails: Christmas Party Cry and the Blocks (Brittle Head Girl) Bannerman’s, 20:00–23:00, £5 Stripped-back post-punk rock’n’roll from the Edinburgh newcomers. Pilrig St Paul’s Church, 20:00–23:00, £8 DIY music promoters par excellence, Tracer Trails host their Christmas party with a rather line-up, including two projects from veteran pianist, arranger and Aidan Moffat’s collaborator of choice, Bill Wells. Plus hot, festive liquor! Slouch, 23:00–03:00, Free Alternative pop from the 80s and 90s, with a bit of industrial dance and classic rock thrown in. Badass mix of indie, rock and electro. Garage Wednesdays Brand new queer-centric night with its focus firmly on 90s-inspired new romantic and danceable pop hits. The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) Chart and classics with yer man Andy R, plus weekly live movie showings. Juke Box Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) Blitz! Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, £tbc Fridays @ Bookclub Hillhead Bookclub, 21:00–00:00, Free Jewel & Esk Valley College Showcase Brand new midweeker playing a lively mix of house, funk and remixes. Classic and underground disco, plus dusted-down old soul with Solar Disco’s Kev Stevens. Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £5 (£3) Sub Rosa Infexious Mini showcase night from the music students at Jewel & Esk. Fri 23 Dec Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook Queen’s Hall, 20:00–22:00, £22.50 Annual fixture, which sees Cunningham and his merry band of Scottish folk players (including Eddi Reader, Kris Drever and John McCusker) belt out the festive hits. Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3) Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £4 The hardstyle clubber’s favourite returns for its December edition, with a trio of live guests soon to be revealed. Digital Winch (Profile) Supernova (Oliver Huntemann) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £tbc The Twilight Sad and Take A Worm For A Walk Week DJs unleash their usual musical hurricane, with a live set from Profile. Thu 01 Dec Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free Indie, rock and pop with resident DJ Jopez. Returning after a two-year hiatus, founding member Luke Joyce is joined by new line-up Fraser Sanaghan, Ben Proudlock and Kieran McGuckian (of Penguins Kill Polar Bears), and Seoridh Fraser (of Lions.Chase.Tigers). Feel My Bicep Lewis Gibson and The Midas Touch The Mungo’s Hi Fi crew in their official Glasgow residency, bringing you the very best in bass, natch. Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £5 Rabble-rousing good time rock’n’roll from Gibson and his merry band of players. Tue 27 Dec Rab Howat’s Christmas Party Bannerman’s, 20:00–23:00, Free Festive offering of classic rock covers, and maybe the odd Christmas tune. Wed 28 Dec Communion Christmas Show Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Ben Lovett (of Mumford & Sons) brings his touring night Edinburghway for a Christmas special. The Decade’s Christmas Bash Henry’s Cellar, 20:00–23:30, £5 Edinburgh covers band The Decade play pilfered hits by everyone from Amy Winehouse to the Zombies. Fri 30 Dec Scottish Fiddle Orchestra Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £9 Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free Cosmic and sweaty mix of 80s sleaze, house and disco. Walk ‘n’ Skank Club 520, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3) Taking Back Thursdays (DJ 32 and DJ Muppet (level 2), DJ Chopsie (Spider Bar) ) Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2) Emo, pop-punk and rock, plus extreme death metal and thrash in the back bar. Ready Ready Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 12) The best in new hip-hop and R’n’B with DJ Cool Master. One More Tune Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £3 Eclectic anything-goes mix of tracks from the OMT crew. Jellybaby O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £3 adv. (£5 door) Chart, disco and party tunes. Can’t say fairer. Boom Boom Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3 Considered mix of garage, post-punk and girl groups, presented by Adele of Sons and Daughters and the Sophisticated Boom Boom. Protect The Human Stereo, 23:00–03:00, £5 Orchestral musical celebration to usher out 2011, featuring traditional music and songs associated with Hogmanay. HaHaHa, Djamba and Tarantism team up to bring you a one-off fundraiser in aid of Amnesty International. Sat 31 Dec Fri 02 Dec Afore The Bells Queen’s Hall, 21:00–01:00, £45 (all inclusive) Traditional-styled Hogmanay party, complete with ceilidh, booze, live music from Heeliegoleerie, a Highland piper bringing in the bells, and probably some haggis. Hogmany Jam Session Soundhaus, 20:30–02:30, £tbc New weekly student night for Subbie, with residents Ray Vose and Desoto joined by various live guests. Shake It Up Mixed-up night of noise music and dark sounds. Genre-spanning pop, folk and rock six-piece hailing from the fiery musical furnace of Dunfermline. All Tore Up The Gothenburg Address (Verse Metrics) Queen’s Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £8 (£6.50) Power metal five-piece led by frontman Biff Byford’s squawk of a vocal. Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £5 adv. Badseed Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£4 after 12) Monthly mish-mash of electro, dance and dirty pop with DJ Drucifer. Tue 13 Dec Handpicked indie-rock showcase night from Verden Studios. Subversion The Edinburgh-formed new wave punksters play a special festive gig. The Caves, 19:00–22:30, £19.50 Bannerman’s, 20:00–23:00, £4 Special Joe Strummer anniversary gig featuring live tribute act The Counterfeits. 80s synth and funk with your hosts Dom and Darrell. Carols By Candlelight Soft rock offerings from the Edinburgh-based five piece. Verden Studio Showcase Bongo Club, 19:00–22:00, £6 Old Skool Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £6 Connoisseur’s mix of vintage jazz, funk and soul. Damnation The Arches, 22:00–03:00, £12 Blackfriars Basement, 22:00–03:00, £5 The Subcity Radio crew hit the dancefloor with their own inimitable mix of soul, R’n’B and motown courtesy of DJs Fraser Dunn, Frank Murphy and Edinburgh soul veteran Alan McKenzie. Franz Nicolay The Old Hairdressers, 20:00–22:00, £tbc Sub Rosa The Cathouse celebrate 21 years with a ‘very very’ special secret guest, and plenty fun and games besides. Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc New weekly student night for Subbie, with residents Ray Vose and Desoto joined by various live guests. Thu 08 Dec Mixed Bizness (DJ Yoda, Boom Monk Ben) Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, Free O2 Academy, 21:00–03:00, £15.50 Flying Duck, 21:00–03:00, £5 Mod, soul, ska and groovy freakbeat 45’s, with DJs Jamo, Paul Molloy and Gareth McCallum. Return To Mono Vs Animal Farm (Robert Hood) Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc Detroit techno legend Robert Hood makes his grand return, with his robotic and minimalist take on the genre. Sat 10 Dec Mixed Bizness play host to mish-mash mixtape master and producer, and a bit of a genius in our eyes, DJ Yoda. Nu Skool Shake It Up Nick Peacock spins a fine selection of vintage disco, soul and funk. Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free Indie, rock and pop with resident DJ Jopez. Feel My Bicep Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free Walk ‘n’ Skank Club 520, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3) Taking Back Thursdays Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2) Sun 04 Dec Emo, pop-punk and rock, plus extreme death metal and thrash in the back bar. Quids In Ready Ready Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £1 Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5) Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 12) Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £6 Absolution Classic Grand, 22:30–03:00, £5 Metal, industrial and pop-punk over two floors. Subculture Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc Long-running house night with Harri & Domenic. Cathouse Saturdays Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5) Punk, rock and metallic beats with DJs Billy and Muppet. The Rock Shop Maggie May’s, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 (£3) after 12) Rock, indie and golden surf classics. Former keyboardist in Brooklyn rockers The Hold Steady, Franz Nicolay continues his improbable reinvention as a troubadour of heartland America. Electro, funk and disco soundtrack, plus a chance to win the door fees. Bigfoot’s 3rd Birthday (Noidoi) Shed, 23:00–03:00, £2 Freaky Freaky Renegade New fortnightly fun with Vitamin’s Sam Murray, sifting through some fresh R’n’B and electronic from Scotland and beyond. Saturday night disco with Gerry Lyons and guests. One More Tune Saturday @ Bookclub Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £8 The Bigfoot’s crew celebrate their 3rd birthday in a suitably eclectic fashion, inviting along mysterious Romanian duo NoiDoi for their first ever Scottish set of Baracca-styled electronics. Sat 03 Dec Nu Skool Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £6 Nick Peacock spins a fine selection of vintage disco, soul and funk. Pandemic Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3 Cross-genre danceathon with residents Noj and Mark. They will play The Fall. Absolution Classic Grand, 22:30–03:00, £5 Metal, industrial and pop-punk over two floors. Melting Pot (Andrew Weatherall) The Admiral, 23:00–03:00, £10 Undergroundmusicproducerandtrueinnovatorinhisfield,AndrewWeatheralltakes overthedecks,freshfromoverseeingthe recordingofTheTwilightSad’snewalbum. Subculture Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc Shed Sundays The Shed’s regular weekend-extender. Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) Anything goes punter requests with DJs Mythic and Muppet, plus an allnew hip-hop bar on the side. Instruments Of Rapture (The Revenge) Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc ChoicepicksfromtheInstrumentsOfRapture label,includingalivesetfromGlasgow’s pitched-downhousemaster,TheRevenge. Masked Ball Classic Grand, 21:00–03:00, £6 adv. (£7 door) One-off decadent masked ball, including a masked photobooth, live burlesque from Dolly Tartan and DJ Toast on tune duty. Cathouse’s Open Mic Night Cathouse, 21:00–01:00, Free Rock, indie and golden surf classics. Burn Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) Long-running trade night, with Normski, Zeus and Mash spinning disco beats. Saturday @ Bookclub O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £4 Hillhead Bookclub, 21:00–00:00, Free Funk, soul and hip-hop with everyone’s favourite floral-shirted vinylist, Andy Taylor. Power Tools Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free Korben Dallas and Nushta Drognova play a zesty mix of Italo, disco and house. Love Music O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 11.30) Hillhead Bookclub, 21:00–00:00, Free Funk, soul and hip-hop with everyone’s favourite floral-shirted vinylist, Andy Taylor. Power Tools Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free Korben Dallas and Nushta Drognova play a zesty mix of Italo, disco and house. Fri 09 Dec Shed Saturdays Old Skool Pop classics and a good dose of cheese in the main hall, plus hip-hop hits in the Red Room. Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £6 Connoisseur’s mix of vintage jazz, funk and soul. Damnation Classic Grand, 22:30–03:00, £5 Kino Fist Shed, 22:30–03:00, Free (£7 after 11) Rip This Joint Slouch, 23:00–03:00, Free DJ Jopez plays a choice selection of indie, rock, blues and funk for the New Year’s Eve revellers. Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3 Osmium Riot Radio DJs Blair and Gary play Italo, disco, synthpop, funk and a whole bunch of other stuff all with the sole intention of making you throw yourself about with abandon on the dancefloor. Maggie May’s, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 (£3) after 12) Indie rock’n’roll, past and present. Crash Blackfriars Basement, 23:00–03:00, £3 Back Tae Mine Flying Duck, 21:00–03:00, £5 Shed, 22:30–03:00, Free (£6 after 11) Electronic music of all ages, for all ages. House-party styled night, with a group of rotating DJs alongside regular guests DJs. Plus free toast for all. I Am Propaganda Wrong Island Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, Free O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £4 Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3 Resident young guns Beta & Kappa joined by a variety of local talent. Student-orientated indie night with guest DJs dropping by. The legendary Teamy and Dirty Larry spin some fresh electronics. Wild Combination Fridays @ Flat 0/1 Night Slugs Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free Wed 07 Dec Propaganda O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £3 adv. (£5 door) Chart, disco and party tunes. Can’t say fairer. Cathouse, 16:00–21:00, £4 (£2 members) Rock,metalandindienightfortheunder18s. Andy Robertson plays a mix of loveable pop, dance and hip-hop. Kilmarnock’s hairy disco legend, David Barbarossa, digs out some vinyl gems. Saturday night disco with Gerry Lyons and guests. Jellybaby Voodoo Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3) Cathouse, 16:00–21:00, £4 (£2 members) Andy Robertson plays a mix of loveable pop, dance and hip-hop. Eclectic anything-goes mix of tracks from the OMT crew. Genre-spanning mix of 60s psych, leftfield pop and Krautrock with resident Charlotte (of Muscles of Joy). Killer Kitsch The Rock Shop Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £3 Mon 05 Dec Cathouse Saturdays Punk, rock and metallic beats with DJs Billy and Muppet. Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3 Alternative rock, metal, punk and ska. Tue 06 Dec Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5) The best in new hip-hop and R’n’B with DJ Cool Master. Classic open mic night, with live performances and a cheeky karaoke twist. Long-running house night with Harri & Domenic. Shooting Stansfield Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3 Cathouse’s 21st Birthday Party The Mungo’s Hi Fi crew in their official Glasgow residency, bringing you the very best in bass, natch. O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 11.30) Two floors of punk-rock, reggae and classic disco, with local s callywag David Barbarossa. Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £2 La Cheetah, 23:00–03:00, £10 An unabashed mix of 80s pop, electro and nu-disco. They will play Phil Collins. Freakbeats Love Music One of the world's premier celebrations of the New Year, featuring Primal Scream, Friendly Fires, Wild Beasts, Sons and Daughter and much, much more Take It Sleazy La Cheetah present a rather special guest slot from house music don, Chez Damier. Soulful Allsorts Voodoo David Barbarossa’s Thing Stereo, 23:00–03:00, £10 (£8) Chez Damier Exclusive set from the Hamburg-based, Bosnian-born DJ, currently a key player in the redefinition of European house. Shed, 22:30–03:00, Free (£6 after 11) Princes St and Grounds, From 21:00, £16.50 Let’s Go Back... Way Back! (Bez) Stereo, 23:00–03:00, Free Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) Brand new midweeker playing a lively mix of house, funk and remixes. Cosmic and sweaty mix of 80s sleaze, house and disco. Crash Hogmany Street Party The Arches, 22:00–03:00, £12.50 Colours host the only Scottish date on Fergie’s rather special 20-date tour, as he celebrates 20 years of DJ-ing with an all-vinyl set. Juke Box Official after-bash for Brandt Brauer Frick’s live set, with some special guests dropping by for a stint on the decks. Glasgow’s burlesque star teasers host a Christmas edition of their favourited raunchy cabaret club, complete with the decadence of a champagne bar. Riot Radio Student-orientated indie night with guest DJs dropping by. Colours (Fergie) Chambre 69, 23:00–03:00, £8 adv. The Hot Flush label boss plays an exclusive set over at Chambre 69, in between recording his third album. Men and Machines: After-Party Chambre 69, 23:00–03:00, £10 Indie rock’n’roll, past and present. Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:00, £5 La Cheetah, 23:00–03:00, £10 For their first outing The Guild Of Calamitous present a double dose of electronic goodness, in the form of L.I.E.S. and Perseus Traxx. Scuba Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£4 after 12) Alternative pop from the 80s and 90s, with a bit of industrial dance and classic rock thrown in. Club Noir Christmas Party Selection of musical covers from the 60s onwards. Edinburgh-based indie-rock foursome, rich with melodic folk elements. The Guild Of Calamitous Intent Subversion Solomun (Vilmos, Ciar McKinley, Dynamode) Classic Grand, 22:30–03:00, £5 Maggie May’s, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 (£3) after 12) Rock’n’roll, rockabilly and R’n’B shenanigans, plus a live set from rock aristocracy Mary Jean Lewis, niece of legendary showman Jerry Lee Lewis. Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free 80s synth and funk with your hosts Dom and Darrell. Residents Bosco and Rob Mason bring acid-house, techno and rave back to the dancefloor, with a little help from Happy Monday’s Bez. Maggie May’s, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 (£3) after 12) Alternative rock, metal, punk and ska. Blackfriars Basement, 23:00–03:00, £5 Wednesdays @ Flat 0/1 The bespectacled German electronic music producer and touring DJ drops by The Arches for a deck takeover. Rock, metal and indie night for the under 18s. Bannerman’s, 20:00–02:00, Free Slouch, 23:00–03:00, Free DJ Jopez plays a choice selection of indie, rock, blues and funk for the New Year’s Eve revellers. Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2) Eras (Hold The Suspect) Wed 14 Dec Counterfeit Clash Shed, 22:30–03:00, Free (£7 after 11) Rock, metal, dance and indie over two levels, with the residents manning the decks. Misbehavin’ Acoustic rock-meets-metal singer/ songwriter, and guitarist from the Scottish Highlands. The local singer/songwriter hosts a special Christmas show, with a selection of friends in tow. Well-crafted, hook-laden indie-pop from the Dundonian trio. Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5) Shed Saturdays Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free The Liquid Room, 19:00–22:00, £20 Toby Michaels Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £5 adv. Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £tbc Wednesdays @ Flat 0/1 The Rezzilos Annual Christmas favourite. Cue angelic voices and a a vat load of mulled wine. Roseanne Reid (False Pretenders, Modern Misfortune) Make Sparks (Sebastian Dangerfield, The Gold Lions, Sean Arnold) Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Sun 18 Dec The Fleetwood Mac producer, singer/ songwriter and guitarist tours his sixth solo album. Bannerman’s, 20:00–23:00, £4 Queen’s Hall, 20:00–22:00, £22.50 The Arches, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5) Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free Octopussy The Arches, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5) Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free Killer Kitsch’s Duncan Harvey provides a soundtrack of funk, motown and northern soul. Badseed Slouch, 23:00–03:00, Free Badass mix of indie, rock and electro. Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Lock Up Your Daughters (Bounce, Prince Mog, Fatty Blaze) Milk (Hey Enemy, WeCameFromWolves, Podcart Bs Fantastic Man DJs) Straight-friendly lesbian party, this month with a ‘Hella Gay R’n’B Special’. Flat 0/1, 21:00–03:00, £4 Christmas edition of the rather ace gig-in-a-club night, with the usual fine array of live bands, DJs, milk, biscuits and 75p cider. Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4) Fridays @ Bookclub Hillhead Bookclub, 21:00–00:00, Free Classic and underground disco, plus dusted-down old soul with Solar Disco’s Kev Stevens. La Cheetah, 23:00–03:00, £10 Bok Bok goes back-to-back with L-Vis 1990 for four whole hours of goodness. HuntleyS & Palmers Stereo, 23:00–03:00, £tbc More cosmic, kraut and disco picks at Andrew Thompson’s genre-spanning night. Sun 11 Dec Quids In Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £1 Electro, funk and disco soundtrack, plus a chance to win the door fees. Shed Sundays Shed, 23:00–03:00, £2 The Shed’s regular weekend-extender. December 2011 THE SKINNY 65 GLASGOW CLUBS RENEGADE SUBVERSION CATHOUSE, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) CLASSIC GRAND, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£4 AFTER 12) Anything goes punter requests with DJs Mythic and Muppet, plus an allnew hip-hop bar on the side. Alternative pop from the 80s and 90s, with a bit of industrial dance and classic rock thrown in. OCTOPUSSY: CHRISTMAS SPECIAL O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £3 Christmas edition of the chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. THUNDER DISCO CLUB (BICEP) SUB CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £TBC Gloriously eclectic Italo soundtracked and RPZ-influenced monthly, with the Feel My Bicep blog owners taking over the decks. CATHOUSE’S OPEN MIC NIGHT JUKE BOX BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) FRI 16 DEC SENSU OLD SKOOL The underground house night play their last date of 2011. BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £6 Connoisseur’s mix of vintage jazz, funk and soul. UPSIDE DOWN NICE ‘N’ SLEAZY, 23:30–03:00, £3 Brand new midweeker playing a lively mix of house, funk and remixes. Good music played by bad peope (so say they), with Rafla in the upstairs club. SUB ROSA DAMNATION SUB CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £TBC New weekly student night for Subbie, with residents Ray Vose and Desoto joined by various live guests. THU 15 DEC CLASSIC GRAND, 22:30–03:00, £5 Alternative rock, metal, punk and ska. RIOT RADIO MAGGIE MAY’S, 23:00–03:00, FREE (£5 (£3) AFTER 12) Indie rock’n’roll, past and present. CRASH QUIDS IN SUBVERSION SUB CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £TBC HILLHEAD BOOKCLUB, 21:00–00:00, FREE Electro, funk and disco soundtrack, plus a chance to win the door fees. Alternative pop from the 80s and 90s, with a bit of industrial dance and classic rock thrown in. Chart,discoandpartytunes.Can’tsayfairer. GOGOBAD Funk, soul and hip-hop with everyone’s favourite floral-shirted vinylist, Andy Taylor. POWER TOOLS SHED, 23:00–03:00, £2 JUKE BOX RENEGADE Brand new midweeker playing a lively mix of house, funk and remixes. Free party with a variety of Sub Club DJs. We’re going on the basic premise that any event with a Christmas pun in the title is worth a look. BLACKFRIARS BASEMENT, 23:00–03:00, £3 Rock’n’roll burlesque-styled club night, created and hosted by Glaswegian burlesque dancer Babette Corvette. SHUFFLE: FESTIVE SPECIAL (KERIN & WILLIAM, CRAIG MURFI, ALLAH MCD, NIALL MURRAY) SOUNDHAUS, 22:00–03:00, £7 A selection of DJs play a handshuffled batch of electro, techno, house, psychtrance and whatever else they damn well fancy. In aid of Projects In India. SHED, 22:30–03:00, FREE (£6 AFTER 11) Indie, rock and pop with resident DJ Jopez. Andy Robertson plays a mix of loveable pop, dance and hip-hop. FAKE BLOOD (CLOUDS, BOOM MONK BEN) MON 12 DEC FEEL MY BICEP PROPAGANDA Live AV set from the notorious electro perpetrators, with stellar local support. BURN Cosmic and sweaty mix of 80s sleaze, house and disco. CATHOUSE, 21:00–01:00, FREE Classic open mic night, with live performances and a cheeky karaoke twist. BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) Long-running trade night, with Normski, Zeus and Mash spinning disco beats. SHAKE IT UP MAGGIE MAY’S, 22:00–03:00, FREE FLAT 0/1, 23:00–03:00, FREE WALK ‘N’ SKANK CLUB 520, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3) KILLER KITSCH The Mungo’s Hi Fi crew in their official Glasgow residency, bringing you the very best in bass, natch. BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3) TAKING BACK THURSDAYS TUE 13 DEC Electronic music of all ages, for all ages. I AM (BEAST MOVES) SUB CLUB, 23:00–03:00, FREE Resident young guns Beta & Kappa joined by a variety of local talent. WILD COMBINATION NICE ‘N’ SLEAZY, 23:30–03:00, FREE Kilmarnock’s hairy disco legend, David Barbarossa, digs out some vinyl gems. WED 14 DEC OCTOPUSSY CATHOUSE, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2) Emo, pop-punk and rock, plus extreme death metal and thrash in the back bar. READY READY CLASSIC GRAND, 23:00–03:00, FREE (£5 AFTER 12) The best in new hip-hop and R’n’B with DJ Cool Master. THE REV UP NICE ‘N’ SLEAZY, 23:30–03:00, £3 A night of pure vinyl grooving, of the heelstomping 50s and 60s garage type. THE ARCHES, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5) ONE MORE TUNE Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £3 WEDNESDAYS @ FLAT 0/1 Eclectic anything-goes mix of tracks from the OMT crew. FLAT 0/1, 23:00–03:00, FREE JELLYBABY 80s synth and funk with your hosts Dom and Darrell. O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £3 ADV. (£5 DOOR) Chart, disco and party tunes. Can’t say fairer. 66 THE SKINNY DECEMBER 2011 O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £4 Student-orientated indie night with guest DJs dropping by. FRIDAYS @ FLAT 0/1 FLAT 0/1, 23:00–03:00, FREE O2 ACADEMY, 23:00–03:00, £15 SAT 17 DEC NU SKOOL BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £6 Killer Kitsch’s Duncan Harvey provides a soundtrack of funk, motown and northern soul. Nick Peacock spins a fine selection of vintage disco, soul and funk. CATHOUSE FRIDAYS CLASSIC GRAND, 22:30–03:00, £5 CATHOUSE, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5) Rock, metal, dance and indie over two levels, with the residents manning the decks. BADSEED ABSOLUTION Metal, industrial and pop-punk over two floors. SUBCULTURE SUB CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £TBC Badass mix of indie, rock and electro. Long-running house night with Harri & Domenic. PRIMITIVE PAINTERS CATHOUSE SATURDAYS SLOUCH, 23:00–03:00, FREE FLYING DUCK, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) Monthly indie-pop dance party playing anything good from twee-pop to acid rave. In the kitchen bar. FRIDAYS @ BOOKCLUB HILLHEAD BOOKCLUB, 21:00–00:00, FREE Classic and underground disco, plus dusted-down old soul with Solar Disco’s Kev Stevens. TRIBUTE (SPECTER) LA CHEETAH, 23:00–03:00, £10 Myriad club nights (including Stay Plastic, Scrabble and Jelly Roll Soul) combine for an underground mix of techno, house and electro. CATHOUSE, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5) Punk, rock and metallic beats with DJs Billy and Muppet. THE ROCK SHOP MAGGIE MAY’S, 23:00–03:00, FREE (£5 (£3) AFTER 12) SATURDAY @ BOOKCLUB FLAT 0/1, 23:00–03:00, FREE Korben Dallas and Nushta Drognova play a zesty mix of Italo, disco and house. SHED SATURDAYS SHED, 22:30–03:00, FREE (£7 AFTER 11) Pop classics and a good dose of cheese in the main hall, plus hip-hop hits in the Red Room. MS DYNAMITE (MODESTEP DJ, BOOM MONK BEN) THE ARCHES, 23:00–03:00, £10 Late night club set from the London-born garage rapper, aka Ms Dynamite-ee-ee. Rescheduled date. RIP THIS JOINT SLOUCH, 23:00–03:00, FREE BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £1 SHED SUNDAYS The Shed’s regular weekend-extender. CATHOUSE, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) Anything goes punter requests with DJs Mythic and Muppet, plus an allnew hip-hop bar on the side. CATHOUSE’S OPEN MIC NIGHT CATHOUSE, 21:00–01:00, FREE Classic open mic night, with live performances and a cheeky karaoke twist. MON 19 DEC BURN BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) Long-running trade night, with Normski, Zeus and Mash spinning disco beats. CLASSIC GRAND, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£4 AFTER 12) BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) NOT MOVING NICE ‘N’ SLEAZY, 23:30–03:00, FREE South African house, grime, jungle, R’n’B and hauntology. A tropical mix, yes. SUB ROSA SUB CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £TBC New weekly student night for Subbie, with residents Ray Vose and Desoto joined by various live guests. THU 22 DEC SHAKE IT UP KILLER KITSCH DANSE MACABRE BOTTLE ROCKET Electronic music of all ages, for all ages. The Danse Macabre regulars unite those two happiest of bedfellows, goth rock and, er, classic disco. ODDIO LA CHEETAH, 23:00–03:00, £10 Bristol-based maestro and Techtonic Records’ boss Pinch makes a rare appearance over Glasgow-way. DIVINE: 21ST ANNIVERSARY PARTY THE ADMIRAL, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5) Thelong-runningGlasgownightjustgotolder, settlingintoitsnewhomeatTheAdmiralwith acelebratorynightofferingupfreemix-CDs packedwithrareretrosoul,funk,psychand ska,alongwithcakeandbadges! Rock, indie and golden surf classics. SUN 18 DEC VOODOO SLIDE IT IN (NICOLA WALKER) WILD COMBINATION NICE ‘N’ SLEAZY, 23:30–03:00, FREE Kilmarnock’s hairy disco legend, David Barbarossa, digs out some vinyl gems. I AM VS VITAMINS SUB CLUB, 23:00–03:00, FREE Resident young guns Beta & Kappa square up to the mighty Vitamins crew. NICE ‘N’ SLEAZY, 23:30–03:00, £3 FEEL MY BICEP FLAT 0/1, 23:00–03:00, FREE Cosmic and sweaty mix of 80s sleaze, house and disco. WALK ‘N’ SKANK CLUB 520, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3) WED 21 DEC The Mungo’s Hi Fi crew in their official Glasgow residency, bringing you the very best in bass, natch. OCTOPUSSY TAKING BACK THURSDAYS Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Emo, pop-punk and rock, plus extreme death metal and thrash in the back bar. THE ARCHES, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5) MILK (THE DIRTY BEGGARS, BLOCHESTRA, ACHOIRED TASTE) FLAT 0/1, 21:00–03:00, £4 CATHOUSE, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2) READY READY HIGHLIFE WEDNESDAYS @ FLAT 0/1 ONE MORE TUNE 80s synth and funk with your hosts Dom and Darrell. Eclectic anything-goes mix of tracks from the OMT crew. Saturday night disco with Gerry Lyons and guests. Afrobeat, funk and house with the ever-capable residents and guests. FLAT 0/1, 23:00–03:00, FREE NICE ‘N’ SLEAZY, 23:30–03:00, £3 Indie, electro and anything inbetween with Pauly (My Latest Novel), and Simin and Steev (Errors). DAMNATION CLASSIC GRAND, 22:30–03:00, £5 SUB CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £TBC Long-running house night with Harri & Domenic. RIOT RADIO MAGGIE MAY’S, 23:00–03:00, FREE (£5 (£3) AFTER 12) Indie rock’n’roll, past and present. CRASH SHED, 22:30–03:00, FREE (£6 AFTER 11) Andy Robertson plays a mix of loveable pop, dance and hip-hop. PROPAGANDA O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £4 Student-orientated indie night with guest DJs dropping by. FRIDAYS @ FLAT 0/1 FLAT 0/1, 23:00–03:00, FREE Killer Kitsch’s Duncan Harvey provides a soundtrack of funk, motown and northern soul. Rock, metal, dance and indie over two levels, with the residents manning the decks. Cult rock hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s. SUB CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £TBC BLACK TENT CATHOUSE FRIDAYS LOVE MUSIC O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, FREE (£5 AFTER 11.30) BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £6 Connoisseur’s mix of vintage jazz, funk and soul. The best in new hip-hop and R’n’B with DJ Cool Master. Rock,metalandindienightfortheunder18s. CATHOUSE, 23:00–01:00, £2 (£1) FRI 23 DEC OLD SKOOL CLASSIC GRAND, 23:00–03:00, FREE (£5 AFTER 12) Christmas edition of the rather ace gig-ina-club night, with the usual fine array of live bands, DJs, milk, biscuits and 75p cider. CATHOUSE, 16:00–21:00, £4 (£2 MEMBERS) SUB CLUB, 23:00–03:00, FREE SUBCULTURE Indie, rock and pop with resident DJ Jopez. NICE ‘N’ SLEAZY, 23:30–03:00, £3 LET YOUR ELF GO Alternative rock, metal, punk and ska. TUE 20 DEC Indie dancing club, playing anything and everything danceable. O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £3 ADV. (£5 DOOR) MAGGIE MAY’S, 22:00–03:00, FREE DJ Jopez plays a choice selection of indie, rock, blues and funk for the New Year’s Eve revellers. BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3) JELLYBABY BUFF CLUB, 23:00–03:00, £3 CATHOUSE, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5) BADSEED SLOUCH, 23:00–03:00, FREE Badass mix of indie, rock and electro. EDINBURGH CLUBS Wed 30 Nov Fridays @ Bookclub Subversion Rip This Joint Classic and underground disco, plus dusted-down old soul with Solar Disco’s Kev Stevens. Alternative pop from the 80s and 90s, with a bit of industrial dance and classic rock thrown in. DJ Jopez plays a choice selection of indie, rock, blues and funk for the New Year’s Eve revellers. Flying Duck's Christmas Party Juke Box La Cheetah’s New Year Bash Beans and Divine pluck the finest of festive records from their giant bag of vinyl goodies. Brand new midweeker playing a lively mix of house, funk and remixes. Sat 24 Dec La Cheetah present their final blow-out of the year, with guests Ruud-66, Bankok Impact and TLR amongst the packed bill. Club Noir Hogmanay The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£1) Nu Skool The Underground Resistance lynchpin, Rolando, mans the decks at the final Animal Farm of the year. Nick Peacock spins a fine selection of vintage disco, soul and funk. Thu 29 Dec Absolution Counterfeit Metal, industrial and pop-punk over two floors. Full-on mix of nu-metal and hard rockin’ tunes, with yer man DJ Muppet. Voodoo Shake It Up Rock, metal and indie night for the under 18s. Indie, rock and pop with resident DJ Jopez. Love Music Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free Hillhead Bookclub, 21:00–00:00, Free Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, £tbc Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £6 Classic Grand, 22:30–03:00, £5 Cathouse, 16:00–21:00, £4 (£2 members) O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 11.30) Saturday night disco with Gerry Lyons and guests. Saturday @ Bookclub Hillhead Bookclub, 21:00–00:00, Free Funk, soul and hip-hop with everyone’s favourite floral-shirted vinylist, Andy Taylor. Power Tools Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free Korben Dallas and Nushta Drognova play a zesty mix of Italo, disco and house. Shed Saturdays Shed, 22:30–03:00, Free (£7 after 11) Pop classics and a good dose of cheese in the main hall, plus hiphop hits in the Red Room. Rip This Joint Slouch, 23:00–03:00, Free DJ Jopez plays a choice selection of indie, rock, blues and funk for the New Year’s Eve revellers. Christmas Eve at Cathouse Cathouse, 22:30–04:00, £6 (£5) Classic rock, metal and punk, plus a ‘Bad Santa’ handing out free gifts. Sun 25 Dec Cathouse’s Open Mic Night Cathouse, 21:00–01:00, Free Classic open mic night, with live performances and a cheeky karaoke twist. Mon 26 Dec Burn Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) Long-running trade night, with Normski, Zeus and Mash spinning disco beats. A Riot in the Rock Shop Maggie May’s, 23:00–03:00, £5 Rock, indie and punk classics, in a Boxing Day mash-up special. Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£4 after 12) Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3) Animal Farm (Rolando) Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2) Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free Feel My Bicep Cosmic and sweaty mix of 80s sleaze, house and disco. Walk ‘n’ Skank Club 520, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3) The Mungo’s Hi Fi crew in their official Glasgow residency, bringing you the very best in bass, natch. Taking Back Thursdays Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2) Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 12) The best in new hip-hop and R’n’B with DJ Cool Master. One More Tune Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free Dave Arcari (JonZip McNeill, Jonny Parr) Captain’s Rest, 20:00–23:00, £5 Talented blues rocker playing a mix of guitar-driven blues and trash country. Fri 30 Dec Old Skool Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £6 Connoisseur’s mix of vintage jazz, funk and soul. The Hot Club Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3 Tearin’ it up with 60s psych-outs and modern sleaze, provided by Rafla and Andy (of The Phantom Band). Damnation Classic Grand, 22:30–03:00, £5 Riot Radio Crash Shed, 22:30–03:00, Free (£6 after 11) Propaganda Student-orientated indie night with guest DJs dropping by. Fridays @ Flat 0/1 Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free Killer Kitsch’s Duncan Harvey provides a soundtrack of funk, motown and northern soul. Cathouse Fridays Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5) Rock, metal, dance and indie over two levels, with the residents manning the decks. Badseed Slouch, 23:00–03:00, Free Badass mix of indie, rock and electro. I AM: XXXY Fridays @ Bookclub Resident young guns Beta & Kappa host the third of their XX/XY chromosome nights, with a free drink before 12pm, dry ice, live visuals and free condoms for all! Classic and underground disco, plus dusted-down old soul with Solar Disco’s Kev Stevens. Wed 28 Dec Octopussy Dave Clarke appears for a pre-NYE set, fresh from his latest mix for Fabric, no less. Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Sat 31 Dec Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, Free The Arches, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5) Hillhead Bookclub, 21:00–00:00, Free Return To Mono (Dave Clarke) Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc Wednesdays @ Flat 0/1 Voodoo 80s synth and funk with your hosts Dom and Darrell. Rock, metal and indie night for the under 18s. Flat 0/1, 23:00–03:00, Free Numbers’ Hogmanay Party Stereo, 19:00–03:00, £tbc Favourited party night Numbers host their Hogmanay bash, with the full crew taking over Stereo for the evening. Maggie May’s, 23:00–04:00, £10 Love Music Vs Propaganda Hogmanay Extravaganza O2 ABC, 22:30–03:00, £10 Notorious mash-up party starters, 2manydjs take charge of the NYE proceedings over at O2 Academy. O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £4 Kilmarnock’s hairy disco legend, David Barbarossa, digs out some vinyl gems. Massive NYE fun night headered by hardcore blonde bombshell DJ Korsakoff, who may or may not be wearing a bikini for the occasion. Chart, disco and party tunes. Can’t say fairer. Colours Winter Party 2011 (Dash Berlin, W&W) Wild Combination The Arches, 20:30–05:00, £20 earlybird (£25 thereafter) 2manydjs O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £3 adv. (£5 door) Andy Robertson plays a mix of loveable pop, dance and hip-hop. Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3) GBXperience NYE (Korsakoff, Outblast, Unexist) Jellybaby Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £3 Hardstyle Boxing Day special, with Italian hardcore trio Art Of Fighters very much bringing the noise. Electronic music of all ages, for all ages. Soundhaus host an Underworldthemed Hogmanay bash, with emphasis on all things underground and seedy. Eclectic anything-goes mix of tracks from the OMT crew. Darkside (Art Of Fighters, DJ Tieum) Tue 27 Dec Soundhaus, 21:00–03:00, £tbc O2 ABC’s favourited weekend club nights, Love Music and Propaganda, go head-to-head for a NYE special. Indie rock’n’roll, past and present. Killer Kitsch Underworld Hogmanay Party Resident DJ Heather McCartmey brings in the bells at Maggie Mays with a mix of rock and indie classics, old and new. Maggie May’s, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 (£3) after 12) Colours return for their annual Boxing Day blow-out, featuring Dan Berlin and a debut set from W&W. Glasgow’s burlesque star teasers host the New Year edition of their favourited raunchy cabaret club. Ready Ready The Optimo boys host their annual Boxing Day meltdown, God bless ‘em. The Arches, 23:00–03:00, £20 earlybird (£25 thereafter) Classic Grand, 21:00–04:00, £20 Hells Bells Part 3 Alternative rock, metal, punk and ska. Soundhaus, 21:30–03:00, £16 adv. La Cheetah, 23:00–03:00, £10 Emo, pop-punk and rock, plus extreme death metal and thrash in the back bar. Optimo (JD Twitch, JG Wilkes) Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc Slouch, 23:00–03:00, Free Cathouse, 16:00–21:00, £4 (£2 members) O2 Academy, 21:00–03:00, £39.50 Bigfoot’s Riverside Hogmanay 2011 (Simon Stokes, Quail, Christopher Kelly, Dave Scott, Wrick) Clydeside Waterfront, 18:00–04:00, £12 10-hour house and techno marathon on Glasgow’s Riverside, with a rota of guests handpicked from Bigfoot’s main players from the last year. A Hogmanay Threesome (Andrew Pirie, Simon Cordiner, Auntie Flo, Alejandro Paz, Andrew Divine, Hushpuppy) The Admiral, 22:00–23:00, £10 adv. (£12 thereafter) JungleDub Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free Sleazy’s host their take on Hogmanay, with Cry Parrot Vs Croc in the upstairs bar and David Barbarossa manning the decks downstairs. Safe to say it’ll be a belter. New Year’s Eve at Cathouse Cathouse, 22:30–04:00, £tbc Classic rock, metal and punk, with Cathouse eeking out the fun by celebrating New Year’s every hour with a different city. Optimo NYE 2011 The Glue Factory, 22:30–03:00, £18 A core event on the Optimo calendar, JD Twitch and JG Wilkes bring their New Year’s mega party to the underground art hub of The Glue Factory, with the old faithful turbo soundsystem most definitely in tow. Osmium Osmanay Blackfriars Basement, 22:00–03:00, £7 Resident DJs Gary and Blair encourage you to dance yourselves into a frothy-mouthed frenzy, with their ridiculous Italo, synthed-oot disco and funk playlists. Joined by Subcity Radio’s Stewart Smith. Subculture Hogmanay: 25 Years Of Sub Club Sub Club, 22:00–04:00, £10 earlybird All five Subculture residents are joined by Kristian Beyer, one half of the Innervisions outfit Ame, for a New Year blow-out that marks 25 years of Sub Club. Citrus Club, 19:30–22:00, £4 Live band karaoke session. Also gets you free entry to retro after-club, Planet Earth. Midweek student favourite of chart and cheese classics. Sat 03 Dec Wed 07 Dec Brand new mix of anything you ears want to hear, from resident DJ Gentleman Jonny. Tease Age JungleDub Hideout The Hive, 22:00–03:00, £1 (£3 after 11) Indigo Indie, pop and alternative favourites, with the ever-present threat of the Ting Tings. Slap Bang Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) Genre-spanning midweeker with the residents playing a musical mish-mash, alongside rotating guests. In Speakeasy. Electrosex Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4) Filthy electro mix from the resident masked DJs Phantom and TonyKeo, plus weekly performers and giveaways. Witness: Visions Tour (Brenmar, Mele and Dillon Francis) Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £5 (members free) Sneaky’s resident bass spectacular of garage, dubstep and bassline house presents a trio of damn fine new DJ talent. Thu 01 Dec Octopussy HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£4) Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Studio 24, 21:30–03:00, £7 (£9 after 10) Citrus Club, 22:30–03:00, £1 (£6 after 11) Long-running indie, rock and soul night. Bubblegum The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10) Handpicked weekend mix of chart, dance and retro 80s classics. Messenger Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£7 after 12) Sweet reggae rockin’ from the original sound system. Propaganda Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free Dub, dubstep and jungle, from DJs across the Scottish scene. Eclectic fun night transporting latenight party people to an imaginary jungle voodoo den-cum-lost township shebeen. The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£1) Indie, pop and alternative favourites, with the ever-present threat of the Ting Tings. Beep Beep Yeah Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) Speaker Bite Me Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £4 (£5 after 12) Dapper Dans Going Underground TheCab’sflagshipindieandelectrofavourite. Chart, dance and electro fare, plus punter requests all night long. Defining indie and indie-electro from the 80s to present day. Spin Gasoline Dance Machine: Erol Alkan The notorious Magic Nostalgic ‘wheel’ takes on a new persona, picking a more alternative and underground selection with each spin. Popular new night Gasoline Dance Machine play host to the Scottish debut of Erol Alkan’s Disco 3000 set, the DJ extraordinaire known for his tight productions and damn good remixes. The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£1) New mash-up night of electronic fare with Johnny Junk-House at the helm, so expect fresh cuts and underground remixes a-plenty. Fri 02 Dec Misfits The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10) Planet Earth Retro from 1970 to 1999, moving from Abba to ZZ Top. This Is Music Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Indie and electro from the Sick Note DJs. Cab Vol Stars (Brad Charters, Barry O’Connel) Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £5 New night programmed by, and featuring performances from, Cab Vol’s very own bar staff, plus some of their favourite local DJs. Retro Catz Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £4 (£5 after 12) New night with a cast of all-female DJs working their way through some sexy retro, complete with glitter balls, naturally. Bandioke Citrus Club, 19:30–22:00, £4 Live band karaoke session. Also gets you free entry to retro after-club, Planet Earth. Teviot Row House, 22:00–22:00, Free Cabaret Voltaire, 22:30–03:00, £13 adv. Sun 04 Dec Killer Kitsch Hideout The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, Free (£5 (£3) after 11) Brand new Friday nighter, with seasoned Edinburgh DJs Mastercaird and Stevie C playing anything danceable. Wonky Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £10 The Correspondents and Auntie Flo join resident DJs Wolfjazz and Hobbes for all you bass ‘n’ beat needs. Propaganda HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4) Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Minimal and techno for cool kids. Student-orientated indie night with guest DJs dropping by. Frisky Dr No’s The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Chart, dance and electro fare, plus punter requests all night long. Spin Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, Free (£2 (£1) after 12) The notorious Magic Nostalgic ‘wheel’ takes on a new persona, picking a more alternative and underground selection with each spin. Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£5 after 12) Danceable New Year’s mix of ska, rocksteady, bluebeat and early reggae. Torture Garden (Suka Off, Chrisalys, Cherry Loco, Cat Aclysmic) The Caves, 21:00–03:00, £20 Infamous fetish club spread over three dungeon-themed playrooms in the cavernous surrounds of The Caves. Fantasy dress code. Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Sneaky’s resident bass spectacular of garage, dubstep and bassline house with the Attic Kings and Blackwax DJs. Electrosex Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4) Filthy electro mix from the resident masked DJs Phantom and TonyKeo, plus weekly performers and giveaways. Thu 15 Dec Octopussy HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£4) Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Sick Note Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) TheCab’sflagshipindieandelectrofavourite. Frisky The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Chart, dance and electro fare, plus punter requests all night long. New mash-up night of electronic fare with Johnny Junk-House at the helm, so expect fresh cuts and underground remixes a-plenty. Going Underground Teviot Row House, 22:00–03:00, Free Danco and Kami play some hench beats. Nuff said. Radio Forth Jingle Ball Sick Note Saturday Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, Free (£2 (£1) after 12) Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Dubstep, breaks and bassline house from a cast of Edinburgh’s best underground DJs. Underground Sunday The Southern Bar, 19:30–01:00, Free Local acoustic acts followed by indie and alternative tunes from the Dream Sequence DJs. The Sunday Club The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£1) The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £16 The Den: Christmas Special Motion Fri 09 Dec Handpicked selection of jive, rock, blues, funk and Christmas faves from the B-Sides DJs. Chart, electro, indie-pop and alternative anthems over two rooms. The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10) Planet Earth Citrus Club, 22:30–03:00, £1 (£6 after 11) Anything goes trade night with Beefy and Wolfjazz (and their pals). In Speakeasy. Retro from 1970 to 1999, moving from Abba to ZZ Top. Mixed Up Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Request-driven night of pop-punk, chart, indie and good old 90s classics. Nu Fire Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Antics The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Alternative anthems, cherry-picked from genres of rock, indie and punk. Split Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, Free Long-running D’n’B night from residents Beefy and Wolfjazz, plus a rotating collective of DJs. Soul Jam Hot Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Fresh mix of funk, soul and hippity-hop. I Love Hip Hop Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free Selection of hip-hop classics and brand-new classics to be. Spin The notorious Magic Nostalgic ‘wheel’ takes on a new persona, picking a more alternative and underground selection with each spin. Mon 05 Dec Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£4) Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Special weekend edition of The Cab’s flagship indie and electro favourite. Misfits Trade Union Defining indie and indie-electro from the 80s to present day. Spare Radio Forth throw their annual Christmas bash, this year with a X-Factor special, for which they have booked the 4th place finalist for a live session. Two rooms of chart, cheese and all the indie-pop requests you can think of. Tue 06 Dec Wee Red Bar, 23:00–03:00, £tbc The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £15 Witness Coalition Brand new mix of anything you ears want to hear, from resident DJ Gentleman Jonny. DJ Simonotron hosts the gay disco party like no other, playing disco, house and acid on vinyl only. The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10) Handpicked weekend mix of chart, dance and retro 80s classics. Motion Moving from hip-hop to dubstep with a plethora of live MCs. Hot Mess Bubblegum Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) Electronic music of all ages, for all ages. Go-Go HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £3 Animal Hospital The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£1) Indie, pop and alternative favourites, with the ever-present threat of the Ting Tings. Genre-spanning midweeker with the residents playing a musical mish-mash, alongside rotating guests. In Speakeasy. Sick Note Frisky The Hive, 22:00–03:00, £1 (£3 after 11) Slap Bang Party mix of funky house and electro, with the residents joined by techno and house producer en demand, UMEK. Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) Bangers & Mash Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£7 after 12) Party soundtrack of funk, soul, disco and housefromTrendyWendyandSteveAustin. Pulse (UMEK) Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free Dub, dubstep and jungle, from DJs across the Scottish scene. Indigo HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£4) Edinburgh club night Fever joins forces with London’s Lovechild for a one-off night, featuring guest DJs Alessandrop Londra, Brian Fisher, Mark Price and Miss Chris. Wed 14 Dec JungleDub Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £3 (members free) Mumbo Jumbo Filthy electro mix from the resident masked DJs Phantom and TonyKeo, plus weekly performers and giveaways. Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free Bass Syndicate Electrosex Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4) I Love Hip Hop Midweek student favourite of chart and cheese classics. The regular Edinburgh breaks and bassline crew takeover. The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £10 Motion Citrus Club, 22:30–03:00, £1 (£6 after 11) Long-running indie, rock and soul night. Volume! Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Octopussy Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, Free (£2 (£1) after 12) Tease Age Sneaky’s resident bass spectacular of garage, dubstep and bassline house with the Attic Kings and Blackwax DJs. Superlove The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Sat 10 Dec Witness (Hyetal) TheCab’sflagshipindieandelectrofavourite. Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free The Third Door, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£5 after 12) Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £4 Edinburgh’s original dubstep, garage and funky crew. Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Indigo Genre-spanning midweeker with the residents playing a musical mish-mash, alongside rotating guests. In Speakeasy. Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £3 (members free) Soul Jam Hot Selection of hip-hop classics and brand-new classics to be. Slap Bang Retro pop stylings from the 50s to the 70s. In Speakeasy. Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, Free Long-running D’n’B night from residents Beefy and Wolfjazz, plus a rotating collective of DJs. Samedia The Hive, 22:00–03:00, £1 (£3 after 11) Thu 08 Dec The usual mix of disco, house and party classics from Picassio and D-Fault, with Decks FX and OSX. The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, Free (£5 (£3) after 11) Split Midweek student favourite of chart and cheese classics. Bangers & Mash BrandnewnightfromtheEvolDJsthatvalues allkindsofpopmusic,aslongasit’sgotbite. Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £3 The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Alternative anthems, cherry-picked from genres of rock, indie and punk. Fresh mix of funk, soul and hippity-hop. HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4) Student-orientated indie night with guest DJs dropping by. Go-Go Tue 13 Dec Antics Brand new Friday nighter, with seasoned Edinburgh DJs Mastercaird and Stevie C playing anything danceable. Sick Note Citrus Club, 22:30–03:00, £1 (£6 after 11) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 22:00–04:00, £5 Bandioke Bangers & Mash Best Of MILK (Boycotts, Otherpeople) Sleazy’s Hogmanay Party Electric Circus, 22:00–01:00, Free Post the Brooklyn MCs live gig, Electric Circus play on with a selection of DJs handpicking the best of hip-hop, old and new. Chart, electro, indie-pop and alternative anthems over two rooms. Flat 0/1, 21:00–03:00, £5 adv. (£7 thereafter) Jeru The Damaja: Official After-Party All singing, all dancing Balkan orgy, plus belly dancing and free brandy. As in, we’re sold. Dub, dubstep and jungle, from DJs across the Scottish scene. A trio of favourited nights (Melting Pot, Highlife and Divine) take over Blackfriars Basement for an NYE special. The favourited gig-in-a-club night host a special ‘best of’ Hogmanay bash. Plus the usual fine array of DJs, milk, biscuits and 75p cider. Balkanarama (Alejandro Toledo and the Magic Tombolinos, Bobok, Ramses Hoppa) This Is Music Indie and electro from the Sick Note DJs. Xplicit Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc Heavy jungle and bass-styled beats from the inimitable Xplicit crew. Bound For Glory Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £5 Eclectic-themed monthly where guest DJs get to play whatever they damn well want (with all profits going to Oxfam). In Speakeasy. Betamax Studio 24, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 (£4) after 11.30) New wave, disco, post-punk and a bit o’ synthtastic 80s with your host Chris Fast and pals. Big Time Electric Circus, 23:30–03:00, £4 (£5 after 12) New night playing all the best in old and new disco, funk, soul and rock’n’roll, handpicked by dapper chaps Gav & Jack. Bed Bug (Joker, MC Nomad, Jigsaw) Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £8 adv. City-hopping, cutting-edge night, with Joker returning to take control of the decks. Electric Circus, 22:00–03:00, £4 (£5 after 12) Sun 11 Dec Killer Kitsch The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£1) New mash-up night of electronic fare with Johnny Junk-House at the helm, so expect fresh cuts and underground remixes a-plenty. Fri 16 Dec Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) Misfits Underground Sunday Chart, electro, indie-pop and alternative anthems over two rooms. Electronic music of all ages, for all ages. The Southern Bar, 19:30–01:00, Free Local acoustic acts followed by indie and alternative tunes from the Dream Sequence DJs. The Sunday Club The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10) Four Corners Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£5 after 12) Soulful party fodder, from deep funk to reggae beats with your regular DJ hosts Simon Hodge, Johnny Cashback, Astroboy and Wee-G. Two rooms of chart, cheese and all the indie-pop requests you can think of. Telefunken Night Slugs Takeover Underground house party with a special December residents night. Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £tbc The night Slugs label mainmen take over the decks, with Bok Bok going back-to-back with L-Vis 1990. Planet Earth Mon 12 Dec This Is Music Trade Union Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1) Citrus Club, 22:30–03:00, £1 (£6 after 11) Retro from 1970 to 1999, moving from Abba to ZZ Top. Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Indie and electro from the Sick Note DJs. Anything goes trade night with Beefy and Wolfjazz (and their pals). In Speakeasy. Damn Hot (The Players Association) Mixed Up Toe-tapping, soul shaking, blistering beats: job done. In Speakeasy. The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Request-driven night of pop-punk, chart, indie and good old 90s classics. Nu Fire Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Moving from hip-hop to dubstep with a plethora of live MCs. Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £3 Retro Catz Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £4 (£5 after 12) New night with a cast of all-female DJs working their way through some sexy retro, complete with glitter balls, naturally. December 2011 THE SKINNY 67 EDINBURGH CLUBS Bandioke Nu Fire Livebandkaraokesession.Alsogetsyoufree entrytoretroafter-club,PlanetEarth. Moving from hip-hop to dubstep with a plethora of live MCs. Citrus Club, 19:30–22:00, £4 Go-Go HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £3 Brand new mix of anything you ears want to hear, from resident DJ Gentleman Jonny. Hideout The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, Free (£5 (£3) after 11) Brand new Friday nighter, with seasoned Edinburgh DJs Mastercaird and Stevie C playing anything danceable. Papi Falso Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–03:00, £3 Sci-fi pop, outsider folk, soulful R’n’B, machine funk and a whole lot more weirdo records besides from a host of local DJ talent. Sat 17 Dec Tease Age Citrus Club, 22:30–03:00, £1 (£6 after 11) Long-running indie, rock and soul night. Bubblegum The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10) Handpicked weekend mix of chart, dance and retro 80s classics. Wasabi Disco Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £3 (members free) A heady bout of cosmic house, punk and upside-down disco. Propaganda HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4) Student-orientated indie night with guest DJs dropping by. Big ‘N’ Bashy Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc Mighty mix of reggae, grime, dubstep and jungle. Gasoline Dance Machine Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £6 Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Tue 20 Dec Antics The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Alternative anthems, cherry-picked from genres of rock, indie and punk. Split Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, Free Long-running D’n’B night from residents Beefy and Wolfjazz, plus a rotating collective of DJs. Soul Jam Hot Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Fresh mix of funk, soul and hippity-hop. I Love Hip Hop Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free Selection of hip-hop classics and brand-new classics to be. Wed 21 Dec JungleDub Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free Dub, dubstep and jungle, from DJs across the Scottish scene. Bangers & Mash The Hive, 22:00–03:00, £1 (£3 after 11) Midweek student favourite of chart and cheese classics. Indigo The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£1) Indie, pop and alternative favourites, with the ever-present threat of the Ting Tings. Slap Bang Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £2 (£1) Genre-spanning midweeker with the residents playing a musical mish-mash, alongside rotating guests. In Speakeasy. Witness Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Residents special of classic Italo and straight up boogie allied with contemporary house and disco. Sneaky’s resident bass spectacular of garage, dubstep and bassline house with the Attic Kings and Blackwax DJs. Saturday Night Beaver Electrosex Lesbian and bi-friendly favourite with Trendy Wendy and pals. In Speakeasy. Filthy electro mix from the resident masked DJs Phantom and TonyKeo, plus weekly performers and giveaways. Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £4 (£5 after 12) Pop Rocks Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£4 after 12) Pop and rock gems, taking in motown, 80s classics and plenty of danceable fare (well, the Beep Beep, Yeah! crew are on decks after all). VEGAS! Voodoo Rooms, 22:00–03:00, £9 50s-themed Christmas party fun night, with Frankie Sumatra, Bugsy Seagull, Dino Martini, Sam Jose and Nikki Nevada. Plus Vegas showgirls a-go-go, natch. Musika: Xmas Party (Joris Voorn, Uner, SLAM) The Liquid Room, 21:00–03:00, £15 adv. (£18 thereafter) Musika host their Christmas blow-out, with Norwegian techno producer Joris Voorn guesting alongside special guests SLAM. Ad Hoc Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £5 (£4) Sick Note Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £2 (£1) TheCab’sflagshipindieandelectrofavourite. Frisky The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Chart, dance and electro fare, plus punter requests all night long. Spin Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, Free (£2 (£1) after 12) The notorious Magic Nostalgic ‘wheel’ takes on a new persona, picking a more alternative and underground selection with each spin. Sun 18 Dec Killer Kitsch Jungle Fever Electronic music of all ages, for all ages. Sneaky’s captain gets behind the decks for a rare appearance, fusing bass clicks, pops and whistles. Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Dubstep, breaks and bassline house from a cast of Edinburgh’s best underground DJs. Underground Sunday The Southern Bar, 19:30–01:00, Free LocalacousticactsfollowedbyindieandalternativetunesfromtheDreamSequenceDJs. The Sunday Club Bandioke Citrus Club, 19:30–22:00, £4 Live band karaoke session. Also gets you free entry to retro after-club, Planet Earth. Go-Go HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £3 Brand new mix of anything you ears want to hear, from resident DJ Gentleman Jonny. Hideout The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, Free (£5 (£3) after 11) Brand new Friday nighter, with seasoned Edinburgh DJs Mastercaird and Stevie C playing anything danceable. Rude Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–05:00, £3 (£5 after 12) The legendary 90s night is revivied, offering up its inimitable mix of reggae, ska, dub and early ragga. Sat 24 Dec Tease Age Citrus Club, 22:30–03:00, £1 (£6 after 11) Long-running indie, rock and soul night. Bubblegum The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10) Handpicked weekend mix of chart, dance and retro 80s classics. Propaganda HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4) Student-orientated indie night with guest DJs dropping by. Ladies on Rotation Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £tbc A soul and disco selection from the Ladies on Rotation. Sun 25 Dec Taste: Christmas Day The Liquid Room, 22:00–05:00, £10 DJs Fisher and Price host a special Christmas Day party. Expect danceable classics and much drunken-ness (5am license, y’all). Mon 26 Dec Anything goes trade night with Beefy and Wolfjazz (and their pals). In Speakeasy. HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£4) New mash-up night of electronic fare with Johnny Junk-House at the helm, so expect fresh cuts and underground remixes a-plenty. Coalition Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–05:00, Free Octopussy Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–03:00, £4 Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £2 (£1) Witness Electric Circus, 23:30–03:00, £4 (£5 after 12) New night playing all the best in old and new disco, funk, soul and rock’n’roll, handpicked by dapper chaps Gav & Jack. Trade Union Motion Mighty mix of indie, alternative rock, punk, grunge, new wave and more beside. Big Time Thu 22 Dec Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£1) Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £2 (£1) Mixed Up Octopussy HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£4) Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Sick Note Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £2 (£1) The Cab’s flagship indie and electro favourite. Ride Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–05:00, Free Ride girl’s Checkie and Lauren play hip-hop and dance, all night long. Frisky The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Chart, dance and electro fare, plus punter requests all night long. Spin Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, Free (£2 (£1) after 12) The notorious Magic Nostalgic ‘wheel’ takes on a new persona, picking a more alternative and underground selection with each spin. Motion The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£1) New mash-up night of electronic fare with Johnny Junk-House at the helm, so expect fresh cuts and underground remixes a-plenty. Fri 30 Dec Misfits The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10) Chart, electro, indie-pop and alternative anthems over two rooms. Planet Earth Citrus Club, 22:30–03:00, £1 (£6 after 11) Retro from 1970 to 1999, moving from Abba to ZZ Top. Retro Catz Moving from hip-hop to dubstep with a plethora of live MCs. Madchester: Boxing Day Special The Liquid Room, 22:30–05:00, £10 Madchester host their annual Boxing Day bash, fit to bursting with indie classics and baggy greats, from Primal Scream and the like. Tue 27 Dec Antics The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Alternative anthems, cherry-picked from genres of rock, indie and punk. Split Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, Free Long-running D’n’B night from residents Beefy and Wolfjazz, plus a rotating collective of DJs. Soul Jam Hot Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–05:00, Free I Love Hip Hop Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free Selection of hip-hop classics and brand-new classics to be. HMV Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £3 Brand new mix of anything you ears want to hear, from resident DJ Gentleman Jonny. The Numbers crew host their final Edinburgh party of 2011, with a pre-NYE bash (in advance of their Glasgow party at Stereo the following night). Bedbug: Hogmanay Warm-Up (Jigsaw) Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, From £7 Hogmanay warm-up session from the Bedbug residents and pals. Sat 31 Dec Dr No’s Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free Danceable New Year’s mix of ska, rocksteady, bluebeat and early reggae. Dub, dubstep and jungle, from DJs across the Scottish scene. Bangers & Mash Mon 19 Dec After their monster 3rd birthday in September, Compakt is back with a festive shindig, with Clutch Slip and Neil Templar headering proceedings with their own brand of quality techno. The Official Edinburgh’s Hogmanay After-Party (Mark Ronson, Jaymo & Andy George) Trade Union This Is Music The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£1) Anything goes trade night with Beefy and Wolfjazz (and their pals). In Speakeasy. Indie and electro from the Sick Note DJs. Indie, pop and alternative favourites, with the ever-present threat of the Ting Tings. London-born, New York-based producer/DJ/all-rounder impresario Mark Ronson gets his funked-up pop chops around Edinburgh’s official Hogmanay after-party. Slap Bang Sneaky Pete’s Allstar NYE Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £2 (£1) Mixed Up The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Request-driven night of pop-punk, chart, indie and good old 90s classics. Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £6 (£5) Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–05:00, Free Soulsville Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 Swinging soul spanning a whole century with DJs Tsatsu and Red-6, plus live dancers a-go-go. 68 THE SKINNY December 2011 The Hive, 22:00–03:00, £1 (£3 after 11) Midweek student favourite of chart and cheese classics. Indigo Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £2 (£1) Genre-spanning midweeker with the residents playing a musical mish-mash, alongside rotating guests. In Speakeasy. HMV Picture House, 22:00–05:00, £25 (earlybird) Kassidy Dexter’s Bar, 19:30–22:00, £5 Fife foursome of the indie persuasion. Book Yer Ane Fest V (The Arteries, The Slow Death, The Upstarts, Joey Terrifying, The Murderburgers) Kage, 19:30–23:30, £20 (weekend pass) Three head-pounding days of DIY punk, hardcore and emo goodness. In aid of Safe-Tray. Ray Harris and The Fusion Experience Duke’s Corner, 20:00–22:00, £tbc Record Kicks artist Raymond Harris and his merry band, fusing a smooth blend of dancefloor jazz, funk and soul. Sat 03 Dec Oasis tribute act. Musika, Heavy Gossip and Ultragroove join forces to bring clubber’s heavyweight We Love to the capital, with guests including Swiss melodic techno genius Deetron. Book Yer Ane Fest V (Departures, Drive By Audio, Leatherface, Bangers, Antilectual) Gasoline Dance Machine’s NYE Party (Tiger & Woods) The New Madrids Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–05:00, £13 Tongue-in-cheek anonymous disco pair Tiger & Woods host Gasoline Dance Machine’s NYE megabash. Magic Nostalgic New Year Electric Circus, 21:00–03:00, £10 adv. New Year’s edition of the hotchpotch clubber’s delight, with all tracks chosen by a spinning wheel. Expect anything from 90s rave to power ballads, and a lot of one-hit wonders. The Motherfunk Hogmanay Party Voodoo Rooms, 22:00–03:00, £5 Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–05:00, £5 (members free) Fri 16 Dec The Liquid Room, 21:00–05:00, £27.50 DJs Fryer and Gino resurrect Motherfunk for a one-off, funk-fuelled Hogmanay in the Voodoo Rooms’ rather grand Ballroom. The Numbers Before New Year (Deadboy, Nok La Rok, Goodhand, Spencer) Wed 07 Dec Broken Records Oasish The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, Free (£5 (£3) after 11) Brand new Friday nighter, with seasoned Edinburgh DJs Mastercaird and Stevie C playing anything danceable. Fri 02 Dec Waiting On Jack (Sunrise In Shanghai, Fluorescent Fields) We Love Hogmanay (Julio Bashmore, Deetron, Jozif) Hideout JungleDub A trio of DJs give their take on the very best alternative indie around, moving from The Pixies right through to Frightened Rabbit and Withered Hand. Headspin and Mumbo Jumbo join forces, playing funk, soul, electro and all manner of party tunes for your New Year’s pleasure. All-star Hogmanay extravaganza with pre-bells sets from Hidden Orchestra, Broken Records and Withered Hand. Plus drunken dancing into the wee hours, naturally. Compakt (Clutch Slip, Neil Templar) Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £4 (£3) Bongo Club, 23:00–05:00, £10 The Third Door, 21:00–05:00, £tbc Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–05:00, £8 adv. (£10 door) Frame Headspin Vs Mumbo Jumbo Citrus Club, 19:30–22:00, £4 Wed 28 Dec Citrus Club, 22:30–03:00, £1 (£6 after 11) Departure Lounge host their last regular night at The Caves, seeing it out in suitably epic style with a massive Hogmanay blow-out. Bandioke Retro from 1970 to 1999, moving from Abba to ZZ Top. The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Two rooms of chart, cheese and all the indie-pop requests you can think of. The Caves, 22:00–05:00, £24 The Third Door’s Hogmanay All-Nighter (Hidden Orchestra, Broken Records, Withered Hand) Electric Circus, 19:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 12) Go-Go Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–05:00, Free Departure Lounge: Hogmanay Special (Orkestra Del Sol, Soul Foundation, Edinburgh Samba School, DJ Astroboy, Mr Zimbabwe, Jiminez) New night with a cast of all-female DJs working their way through some sexy retro, complete with glitter balls, naturally. Nu Fire Fresh mix of funk, soul and hippity-hop. Planet Earth Thu 29 Dec Live band karaoke session. Also gets you free entry to retro after-club, Planet Earth. The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free Fri 23 Dec Chart, electro, indie-pop and alternative anthems over two rooms. Sneaky’s resident bass spectacular of garage, dubstep and bassline house with the Attic Kings and Blackwax DJs. Request-driven night of pop-punk, chart, indie and good old 90s classics. Misfits The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10) DUNDEE MUSIC The She-Bang Hogmanay Party Voodoo Rooms, 22:00–03:00, £5 The She-Bang DJs take over the Voodoo Rooms’ Speakeasy for their annual Hogmanay bash, presented in their own inimitable mash-up style. Dexter’s Bar, 20:00–22:00, £tbc Kage, 12:00–23:30, £20 (weekend pass) Three head-pounding days of DIY punk, hardcore and emo goodness. In aid of Safe-Tray. Duke’s Corner, 20:00–22:00, £tbc Finely-tuned Americana-styled country rock from the Perthshire ensemble. Sun 04 Dec Book Yer Ane Fest V (Chris T-T, Franz Nicolay, Pensioner, Billy Liar, The Barents Sea, Shields Up, Esperi) Dexter’s Bar, 14:00–23:00, £20 (weekend pass) Three head-pounding days of DIY punk, hardcore and emo goodness. In aid of Safe-Tray. The Treatment Doghouse, 20:00–22:30, £7 adv. (£8 door) Classic rock sounds from the Cambridge quintet of 18-year-olds. House legend Mark Knight hosts the 5th birthday celebration of his label, Toolroom Knights, with guests including D Ramirez and Mark Storie, plus a set from the label boss himself. Noisy powerpop-meets-rock from the loveable Scottish quartet. The Business Beat Generator Live!, 20:00–22:30, £11 Notorious London street punk noisemakers, shrouded in a mess of urban folklore. Fri 09 Dec The Meatmen Duke’s Corner, 20:00–22:00, £tbc Mixed-up batch of rock’n’roll, country and skiffle covers and originals. Sat 10 Dec Baltic Renaissance Marryat Hall, 19:30–22:00, £10 (£5) The Scottish Ensemble tour their annual candelight concert, this time performing the music of living composers originating from the Baltic countries of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Modus Duke’s Corner, 20:00–22:00, £tbc Stylish, female-fronted combo with a wealth of Hammond-based pop tunes at their disposal. Maiden Scotland Beat Generator Live!, 20:00–22:30, £5 Iron Maiden tribute act. Mon 12 Dec Twin Atlantic Fat Sam’s, 19:30–22:00, £13 Glasgow alternative rock four-piece, fresh from their appearance on Radio 1’s documentary, The Next Big Thing. Duke’s Corner, 20:00–22:00, £tbc Local six-piece playing their own original tunes based on rootsy Cajun/ Zydeco swampland swing. Sat 17 Dec The Rezillos Beat Generator Live!, 20:00–22:30, £11 Running on high octane, guitar driven, melodic anti-mope rock, The Rezillos host a pre-Christmas knees-up. Fri 23 Dec Make Sparks (My Fallen Idea, Copper Lungs, Sunrise In Shanghai) Dexter’s Bar, 20:30–23:30, £tbc Well-crafted, hook-laden indie-pop from the Dundonian trio. Tue 27 Dec AB/CD Fat Sam’s, 19:30–22:00, £11 AC/DC tribute act. Wed 28 Dec The Complete Stone Roses Fat Sam’s, 20:00–22:00, £10 Stone Roses tribute act. Fri 09 Dec Fri 23 Dec Transmission Santa’s Ghetto: Part 1 Duke’s Corner, 21:00–02:30, Free before 11.30 Brand new student night for Dundee, offering up quality music from across the genres (plus a good dose of pop and chart classics, as is only right). Fri 02 Dec Krafty Kuts Reading Rooms, 22:30–02:30, £7 adv. (£9 thereafter) Worldclass DJ, producer and label manager, Mr Krafty Kuts, plays a special December set, with support from Mixed Bizness mainman Boom Monk Ben. Entropy Kage, 23:45–02:30, £tbc Punk-styled after-bash for Book Yer Ane Fest V. Beartrap Kage, 23:00–03:00, £4 Opto Ocean Terminal, 21:00–04:00, £27 adv. Dexter’s Bar, 20:00–22:00, £tbc Wed 30 Nov Adam House, 21:00–03:00, £30 (£35 door) The Winter Tradition Boogalusa Dukebox Eclectic mix of art-rock, indie and punk. Toolroom Knights: The 5th Birthday Tour Thu 08 Dec Fat Sam’s, 22:00–00:00, £12 Aching, country-tinged harmonies from the Scottish four-piece. Pass the moonshine. DUNDEE CLUBS Vegas!: The Grand Hogmanay Ball New venue for Vegas’ annual 50sthemed Hogmanay fun night, with guests including The Loveboat Big Band, Missy Malone and The Vegas Revue. Plus showgirls a-go-go, natch. Beat Generator Live!, 20:00–22:30, £8 All-Scottish 5th birthday tour, with the band playing a selection of new songs for the very first time, plus some old faves for which no album track, b-side or cover is out of bounds. The Hideout, 20:00–02:30, £5 (£3.50) Opto Records night, with guest DJs and live bands. Kage, 23:00–03:00, £4 Reading Rooms, 22:30–02:30, £tbc Indie, pop and hardcore with DJs Wolfie and The Girl. Eclectic festive night likely to contain more than a few Christmassy surprises. Opto The Hideout, 20:00–02:30, £5 (£3.50) Opto Records night, with guest DJs and live bands. Sat 10 Dec Christmas at Locarno Big & Broad (Miss DLove, Mark Wallace) Reading Rooms, 22:30–02:30, £5 (£4) Four-hour all-vinyl excursion into Afrobeat, Latin, funk, hip-hop, jazz, reggae and future beats. That do ye? Book Yer Ane Fest V: After-Party Kage, 23:00–03:00, £4 Celebrating the sounds of the futures of yesterday (aka forgotten retro classics and decadent Euro-pop). Sat 24 Dec Reading Rooms, 22:30–02:30, £5 (£7 after 12) Asylum Rockabilly, doo-wop, soul and all things golden age and danceable with the Locarno regulars. Alternative selection of rock, metal and punk. Asylum Kage, 23:00–03:00, £5 Alternative selection of rock, metal and punk. Fri 16 Dec Mickey Moonlight Reading Rooms, 22:30–02:30, £tbc The Ed Banger DJ and remix extraordinnaire takes over the decks with his ‘science fiction exotica’, so says he. Felt Kage, 23:00–03:00, £4 Sat 03 Dec Zazou Indie dancing tunes, from retro-pop to eclectic rock. Opto The Hideout, 20:00–02:30, £5 (£3.50) Opto Records night, with guest DJs and live bands. Sat 17 Dec Santa’s Ghetto: Part 1 Kage, 23:45–02:30, £tbc Reading Rooms, 22:30–02:30, £tbc BBC Introducing In Scotland’s Ally McRae mans the decks at Book Yer Ane Fest’s official after-bash. Eclectic festive night likely to contain more than a few Christmassy surprises. Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–05:00, £5 Asylum Asylum Messy residents NYE bash, with DJs from Playdate, Dapper Dans, This Is Music, Witness, Coalition and more besides. Kage, 23:00–03:00, £5 Kage, 23:00–03:00, £5 Alternative selection of rock, metal and punk. Alternative selection of rock, metal and punk. Kage, 23:00–03:00, £5 Mon 26 Dec CTRL*ALT*DEFEAT (Clouds, Ado, Ken Swift) Reading Rooms, 22:30–02:30, £5 (£7 after 12) Electro musings with a danceable beat, with Clouds, Ado and Ken Swift sharing deck duty. Tue 27 Dec Spektrum (Fergie) Reading Rooms, 22:30–02:30, £10 adv. Showcase night for electronic DJs and producers from across the globe, with special guest Fergie taking a turn on the decks. Fri 30 Dec Going Back To Our Roots (Paul Wain) Reading Rooms, 22:30–02:30, £15 A nostalgic look back to house music of the early 90s, heralding the return of Venus legend Paul Wain. Sat 31 Dec Rooms On Hogmanay Reading Rooms, 22:30–02:30, £tbc Reading Rooms host their Hogmanay bash, with a selection of live guests to be revealed. COMEDY GLASGOW Wed 30 Nov Best Of Irish Comedy (Caimh McDonnell, Robbie Bonham, Foil Arms & Hog) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £7 (£6/£3 members) Top comics from the contemporary Irish circuit. Hosted by Michael Redmond. Thu 01 Dec The Thursday Show (Seymour Mace, John Ross, Robbie Bonham, James Kirk) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £8 (£7/£4 members) Handpicked selection of headline acts and new comers over a two-hour showcase. Comedy Club Paisley Arts Centre, 20:30–22:30, £7 (£5) Monthly comedy club with an everchanging line-up. Held in The Haunt Bar. Fri 02 Dec The Friday Show (Seymour Mace, John Ross, Robbie Bonham, James Kirk) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£9/£5 members) Prime stand-up from the best on the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts. Sat 03 Dec The Saturday Show (Seymour Mace, John Ross, Robbie Bonham, James Kirk) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15 Packed bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes. Maggie May’s Live Comedy (Scott Agnew, Mark Nelson, Gary Little, Bruce Morton, Des Clarke) Maggie May’s, 19:30–22:00, £10 Thu 08 Dec Trailer Park Boys O2 Academy, 19:00–22:00, From £18 The Canadian mockumentary goes live, with series favourites Randy and Mr Lahey in tow. As part of their Dear Santa Claus, Go Fuck Yourself tour. Nice. Fri 09 Dec The Friday Show (Bruce Morton, Maureen Langan, Mikey Adams, Barry McDonald) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£9/£5 members) The Stand, 15:00–16:30, £4 Jokes suitable for little ears (i.e. no sweary words), for children aged 8-12 years-old. Fresh Meat Butterfly & Pig, 20:30–22:30, Free A mix of Scotland’s experienced acts test out some new material, alongside a selection of the finest up-and-coming talent Glasgow and Scotland has to offer. Mon 05 Dec Joe Heenan’s Movie Madness The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £4 Movie quiz and knowledge test with comedic film geek Joe Heenan. Cat and Fiddle (Jojo Sutherland) Maggie May’s Live Comedy (Scott Agnew, Mark Nelson, Gary Little, Bruce Morton, Des Clarke) Maggie May’s, 19:30–22:00, £10 Live comedy showcase in Maggie May’s basement, featuring a host of local favourites. Hosted by Charlie Ross. The Saturday Show (Bruce Morton, Maureen Langan, Mikey Adams, Barry McDonald) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15 Packed bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes. Sun 11 Dec Michael Redmond’s Sunday Service The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members) Fresh Meat A mix of Scotland’s experienced acts test out some new material, alongside a selection of the finest up-and-coming talent Glasgow and Scotland has to offer. Red Raw The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2 Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands roadtesting new material. The Roxy 171, 19:30–23:00, £4 (£3) Alternative comedy club featuring a selection of Scotland’s favourite headliners, supported by the best rising start on the circuit. The Stand Christmas Special The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£9) Firm stand favourite Susan Calman hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aidedand-abetted by a string of stand-up guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Tue 13 Dec The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£9) Wed 14 Dec The Stand Christmas Special The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£9) Firm stand favourite Susan Calman hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of standup guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Thu 15 Dec Firm stand favourite Susan Calman hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of standup guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Buff Club, 20:30–22:30, £5 Selection of headline acts and rising stars on the comedy circuit. Hosted by Scott Gibson. Trailer Park Boys O2 Academy, 19:00–22:00, From £18 The Canadian mockumentary goes live, with series favourites Randy and Mr Lahey in tow. As part of their Dear Santa Claus, Go Fuck Yourself tour. Nice. Mon 19 Dec Improv Wars The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £4 (£2) Improvised comedy games and sketches, with an anything-goes attitude. Tue 20 Dec Red Raw The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10) The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. Fri 30 Dec The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2 The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£9) Fri 16 Dec The Stand Christmas Special The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £15 Firm stand favourite Susan Calman hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of standup guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Sat 17 Dec Saturday Night Live Saint Jude’s, 19:00–03:00, Free Live vocals from resident singer Sinead, backed up by yer man DJ Alaska on decks. The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10) Sat 31 Dec New Year’s Live Comedy Special (Scott Agnew, Mark Nelson, Gary Little, Bruce Morton, Des Clarke) Maggie May’s, 21:30–23:00, £10 Live comedy showcase in Maggie May’s basement, featuring a host of local favourites. Hosted by Charlie Ross. Hogmanay Hootfest! The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10) The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. Comedy Live: New Year’s Eve (Stu Who?, Des Clarke, Scott Agnew, John Gavin) Highlight, 20:30–22:30, £20 Mixed showcase of established and up-and-coming comedy talent, in a New Year’s Eve special. Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands roadtesting new material. Mon 02 Jan Watson’s Wind-Up Joe Heenan’s Movie Madness Oran Mor, 19:45–22:00, £15 Jonathan Watson and the team resurrect their radio show for four special live shows looking back at the stories that made the news this year. Wed 21 Dec Top comics from the contemporary Scottish circuit. Wed 07 Dec Banter In The Buff (John Gavin, Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe The III, Bruce Morton) The cheeky young comic does his quick-witted thing, fusing an effective combination of storytelling and comedic mime, along with a healthy dose of self-depreciation. Cat and Fiddle (Janey Godley) Wicked Wenches (Maureen Langan, Iszi Lawrence, Chloe Philip, Jay Lafferty) All-female stand-up, with a suitably varied mix of headliners and newcomers. Hosted by resident Susan Calman. SECC, 20:00–22:00, £25 Best of Scottish Comedy (Mikey Adams, David Kay, John Gavin) The Stand Christmas Special The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£3 members) Russell Howard Mon 12 Dec Pajama Men Tue 06 Dec Butterfly & Pig, 20:30–22:30, Free A mix of Scotland’s experienced acts test out some new material, alongside a selection of the finest up-and-coming talent Glasgow and Scotland has to offer. The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£3 members) Watson’s Wind-Up Oran Mor, 19:45–22:00, £15 Jonathan Watson and the team resurrect their radio show for four special live shows looking back at the stories that made the news this year. Thu 22 Dec The Thursday Show (Rev Obadiah III, Stephen Callaghan, Dan Petherbridge.) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £8 (£7/£4 members) Handpicked selection of headline acts and new comers over a two-hour showcase. Watson’s Wind-Up Oran Mor, 19:45–22:00, £15 Jonathan Watson and the team resurrect their radio show for four special live shows looking back at the stories that made the news this year. The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £4 Movie quiz and knowledge test with comedic film geek Joe Heenan. ED I N B UR G H Wed 30 Nov Best of Scottish Comedy The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£3 members) Top comics from the contemporary Scottish circuit. Beatnik Comedy The Tron, 20:00–22:30, £3 (£2) Weekly showcase of up-and-coming comedy talent, plus a selected headline act and a weekly art contest (with prize!). Thu 01 Dec The Thursday Show (Simon Munnery, Caimh McDonnell, John Gavin, Jay Lafferty) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £8 (£7/£4 members) Handpicked selection of headline acts and new comers over a two-hour showcase. Fri 02 Dec The Friday Show (Simon Munnery, Caimh McDonnell, John Gavin, Jay Lafferty) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £10 (£9/£5 members) Fri 23 Dec Prime stand-up from the best on the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts. The Friday Show (Rev Obadiah III, Stephen Callaghan, Dan Petherbridge.) The Friday Fix (Bruce Morton, Michael Redmond, Jay Lafferty, Pearse James, Elaine Devlin) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£9/£5 members) Voodoo Rooms, 18:30–01:00, £9 Prime stand-up from the best on the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts. Mixed Friday night bill of comedy, live music and DJs. Watson’s Wind-Up Improv comedy troupe whose show is built entirely on audience suggestions. Oran Mor, 19:45–22:00, £15 Jonathan Watson and the team resurrect their radio show for four special live shows looking back at the stories that made the news this year. Mon 26 Dec Saturday Night Live Saint Jude’s, 19:00–03:00, Free Live vocals from resident singer Sinead, backed up by yer man DJ Alaska on decks. Tue 27 Dec Hogmanay Hootfest! The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10) The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. Mon 05 Dec Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands roadtesting new material. Fresh Meat Saint Jude’s, 19:00–03:00, Free Improvised lunchtime comedy favourite with cheeky chappies Stu & Garry. Hogmanay Hootfest! Saturday Night Live Live vocals from resident singer Sinead, backed up by yer man DJ Alaska on decks. The Stand, 13:30–15:30, Free Red Raw The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. Firm stand favourite Susan Calman hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of standup guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Oran Mor, 19:30–23:00, £16.50 Sun 18 Dec Whose Lunch Is It Anyway? Thu 29 Dec Chilled comedy showcase with resident Irish funnyman Michael Redmond. The Stand Christmas Special More inspired tomfoolery from the comedy duo who impressed at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15 Firm stand favourite Susan Calman hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of standup guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Sat 10 Dec The Roxy 171, 19:30–23:00, £4 (£3) Alternative comedy club featuring a selection of Scotland’s favourite headliners, supported by the best rising start on the circuit. The Stand Christmas Special The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10) The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. Hogmanay Hootfest! Butterfly & Pig, 20:30–22:30, Free Glasgow Kids Comedy Club Live comedy showcase in Maggie May’s basement, featuring a host of local favourites. Hosted by Charlie Ross. Wed 28 Dec Hogmanay Hootfest! The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members) Sun 04 Dec The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members) Maggie May’s, 19:30–22:00, £10 Michael Redmond’s Sunday Service Chilled comedy showcase with resident Irish funnyman Michael Redmond. Chilled comedy showcase with resident Irish funnyman Michael Redmond. Maggie May’s Live Comedy (Scott Agnew, Mark Nelson, Gary Little, Bruce Morton, Des Clarke) Prime stand-up from the best on the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts. Live comedy showcase in Maggie May’s basement, featuring a host of local favourites. Hosted by Charlie Ross. Michael Redmond’s Sunday Service T H E AT R E The Improverts Bedlam Theatre, 22:30–23:30, £4.50 (£4) Sat 03 Dec The Saturday Show (Simon Munnery, Caimh McDonnell, John Gavin, Jay Lafferty) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15 Packed bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes. Sun 04 Dec The Sunday Night Laugh-In (Maureen Langan, Barry McDonald, Sir Roderick Tweedy-Duffer, Eleanor Morton, Scott Gibson) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members) Chilled comedy showcase for a Sunday evening. The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2 Tue 06 Dec Wicked Wenches (Maureen Langan, Iszi Lawrence, Chloe Philip, Jay Lafferty) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£3 members) All-female stand-up, with a suitably varied mix of headliners and newcomers. Hosted by resident Susan Calman. Comedy Central Live The Pleasance, 19:30–21:30, £5 (£4) Weekly comedy club held in Pleasance Cabaret Bar. Wed 07 Dec Broken Windows Policy The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £4 (£2) Fast-paced and anarchic skits and character comedy, just how we like it. Beatnik Comedy The Tron, 20:00–22:30, £3 (£2) Weekly showcase of up-and-coming comedy talent, plus a selected headline act and a weekly art contest (with prize!). Tue 13 Dec Fri 23 Dec The Stand’s Christmas Special The Friday Show (Vladimir McTavish, Eddie O’Dwyer) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£9) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £10 (£9/£5 members) Prime stand-up from the best on the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts. Alan McHugh offers up a new twist on the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale, accompanied by an original live score. Wed 14 Dec Tue 27 Dec Beatnik Comedy Hogmanay Hootfest! (Mark Nelson, Brendan Dempsey, Ro Campbell) various dates between 10 Dec and 7 Jan, times vary, From £6.50 The Tron, 20:00–22:30, £3 (£2) Weekly showcase of up-and-coming comedy talent, plus a selected headline act and a weekly art contest (with prize!). The Stand’s Christmas Special The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£9) Cheeky Perthshire funnyman Joe Heenan hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of stand-up guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Thu 15 Dec The Stand’s Christmas Special The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £10 (£9) Cheeky Perthshire funnyman Joe Heenan hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of stand-up guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Fri 16 Dec The Stand’s Christmas Special The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15 The Thursday Show (Carey Marx, John Gillick, Iszi Lawrence, James Kirk) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £8 (£7/£4 members) Sat 17 Dec Handpicked selection of headline acts and new comers over a two-hour showcase. The Stand’s Christmas Special The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15 The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10) Festive show for little ‘uns, about a special mountain goat called Little Ulla. Cuteness abounded. Classic Grand Wed 28 Dec A Christmas Cabaret Hogmanay Hootfest! (Mark Nelson, Brendan Dempsey, Ro Campbell) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10) The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. Thu 29 Dec Whose Lunch Is It Anyway? The Stand, 13:30–15:30, Free Improvised lunchtime comedy favourite with cheeky chappies Stu & Garry. Hogmanay Hootfest! (Mark Nelson, Brendan Dempsey, Ro Campbell) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10) The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. Fri 30 Dec Whose Lunch Is It Anyway? The Stand, 13:30–15:30, Free Improvised lunchtime comedy favourite with cheeky chappies Stu & Garry. The Friday Show (Carey Marx, John Gillick, Iszi Lawrence, James Kirk) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £10 (£9/£5 members) Sun 18 Dec The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. The Sunday Night LaughIn (David Kay, Eddoe O’Dwyer, Mickey Anderson, Elaine Devlin) Little Ulla Enterteasement Hogmanay Hootfest! (Mark Nelson, Brendan Dempsey, Ro Campbell) Prime stand-up from the best on the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts. various dates between 3 Dec and 7 Jan, times vary, From £12.50 The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. Cheeky Perthshire funnyman Joe Heenan hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of stand-up guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Fri 09 Dec Citizens Theatre Hansel and Gretel Cheeky Perthshire funnyman Joe Heenan hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of stand-up guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Cheeky Perthshire funnyman Joe Heenan hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of stand-up guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Thu 08 Dec GLASGOW The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10) Sat 31 Dec 9 Dec, 7:00pm – 10:30pm, £10 Magic, burlesque and comedy featuring Scarlett Fever Burlesque performers. 12–15 Dec, 7:00pm – 10:00pm, £8.50 (£6.50) Selection of festive-styled cabaret presented by the final year students from Scotland’s first musical theatre degree course. Oran Mor A Bottle of Wine and Patsy Cline 27–30 Dec, 7:45pm – 10:00pm, £18 Musical about the life of Patsy Cline, and the songs that made her famous. Paisley Town Hall Vive Le Christmas Cabaret 15 Dec, 7:30pm – 10:00pm, £15 (£12) The cabaret ensemble return to Paisley for a Christmas special of cheeky fun and frolics. RSAMD Into The Woods 29 Nov – 3 Dec, times vary, £9.50 (£6.50) Fantastical tale of a melee of fairy tale characters that head into the woods and get a big surprise. SECC Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates 17 Dec – 7 Jan, not 18 Dec, 25 Dec, 1 Jan, times vary, From £12 Annual pantomime fare, with John Barrowman and The Krankies leading the cast in this festive swashbuckling adventure. Matinee performances also available. The Barras Centre Prohibition! 3–4 Dec, 8:00pm – 1:00am, £10 (£8.50) Newest burlesque-meets-vintage event, with a 14-piece swing band, a cocktail bar and the chance to seek out a selection of cool Glasgow vintage fashion designs. Sat 10 Dec The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members) Whose Lunch Is It Anyway? The Saturday Show (Carey Marx, John Gillick, Iszi Lawrence, James Kirk) Chilled comedy showcase for a Sunday evening. Improvised lunchtime comedy favourite with cheeky chappies Stu & Garry. Sleeping Beauty The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15 The Stand, 13:30–15:30, Free Hogmanay Hootfest! (Mark Nelson, Brendan Dempsey, Ro Campbell) Wicked fairy meets beautiful princess: pantomime hilarity ensues. Packed bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes. It’s Funtime Bongo Club, 19:30–21:30, £5 Christmas special of the comedy quiz-cum-game show extravaganza, with fun games and prizes galore. Sun 11 Dec The Sunday Night Laugh-In (Leona Irvine, Liam Scott) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members) Chilled comedy showcase for a Sunday evening. Whose Lunch Is It Anyway? The Stand, 13:30–15:30, Free Improvised lunchtime comedy favourite with cheeky chappies Stu & Garry. Rock and Roll Ping-Pong Bongo Club, 19:30–23:00, Free The It’s Funtime jokers present a free, fun, table tennis evening, with dancing discs from DJ Ding Dong. Mon 12 Dec The Stand’s Christmas Special The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£9) Cheeky Perthshire funnyman Joe Heenan hosts a series of Stand Christmas specials, aided-and-abetted by a string of stand-up guests, hopefully in Santa hats. Whose Lunch Is It Anyway? Improvised lunchtime comedy favourite with cheeky chappies Stu & Garry. Mon 19 Dec Red Raw The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2 Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands roadtesting new material. Tue 20 Dec Midweek Comedy Cabaret The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £4 (£2) Midweek blues combatting comedy showcase, with four acts for four quid. Can’t say fairer. Wed 21 Dec Best of Scottish Comedy (Jay Lafferty, Ray Bradshaw) The Stand, 13:30–15:30, Free The King’s Theatre various dates between 2 Dec and 8 Jan, times vary, From £14.75 The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £22.50 (£19.50/£15 members) Theatre Royal The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. Scrooge Comedy Live: New Year’s Eve (Kevin Gildea, Dougie Dunlop, Joe Heenan, Bruce Devlin) Christmas With The Rat Pack Highlight, 20:30–22:30, £20 Mixed showcase of established and up-and-coming comedy talent, in a New Year’s Eve special. Sun 01 Jan Whose Lunch Is It Anyway? The Stand, 13:30–15:30, Free Improvised lunchtime comedy favourite with cheeky chappies Stu & Garry. The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£3 members) Hogmanay Hootfest! Top comics from the contemporary Scottish circuit. Thu 22 Dec The Stand celebrate new year with a string of comedy Hootfest’s, playing host to residents, headline acts and newcomers alike. The Thursday Show (Vladimir McTavish, Eddie O’Dwyer) Mon 02 Jan The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £12 (£10) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £8 (£7/£4 members) Red Raw Handpicked selection of headline acts and new comers over a two-hour showcase. Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands roadtesting new material. The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2 28 Nov – 3 Dec, times vary, From £18.50 Tommy Steele takes on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. Bah humbug, etc. 5–10 Dec, times vary, From £15.50 Christmas version of the musical favourite, taking a trip back to the glitzy and glam of 50s Las Vegas. The Sleeping Beauty various dates between 17 Dec and 31 Dec, times vary, From £10.50 Scottish Ballet present their magical re-telling of the classic fairytale, set to Tchaikovsky’s original score. Tramway Fresh Faced 17 Dec, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, Free Eclectic evening of film, performance, music and visual art from a collective of young Glasgow folk, including Glasgow Youth Film Festival announcing their 2012 line-up and a performance from youth group Junction 25. Jean Genet’s Walls, Speaking Of Revolt, Media and Beauty 10 Dec, 7:30pm – 10:00pm, £6 (£4) French artist Lili Reynaud-Dewar channels the complex ideas of French novelist, playwright, poet and political activist Jean Genet into a speciallycommissioned performance piece. December 2011 THE SKINNY 69 T H E AT R E A rt Tron Theatre GLASGOW Mister Merlin: A Pure Magic Panto 2–23 Dec, not 5, 12, 19, times vary, From £9.50 Last performed in 1989, this magic-themed panto is given a modern makeover. But, essentially, Merlin still loses his wand, and his plucky pals (y’know, a guardian angel and a couple of puppets) help him get it back. rsamd Aladdin various dates between 3 Dec and 7 Jan, times vary, prices vary Festive pantomime re-telling of the Aladdin tale, with Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee et al. ED I N B UR G H Edinburgh Playhouse We Will Rock You various dates between 29 Nov and 7 Jan, times vary, From £21 Surefire crowd-pleaser for the festive season, packed with Queen’s inherently theatrical songs and a witty script by Ben Elton. Royal Lyceum Theatre Beauty and the Beast various dates between 15 Nov and 31 Dec, times vary, prices vary Seasonal retelling of the classic lovecan-conquer-all tale, with added singing teapots. The Third Door The Nightmare Before the Office Christmas Party 13–14 Dec, 8:00pm – 1:00am, £4.50 (£3.50) Grassroots colletive of writers and performers, Inky Fingers, host a literary piss-take of the office party, complete with a secret santa, competition for the worst cracker joke and photocopier destruction. Traverse The Tree Of Knowledge 8–24 Dec, not 11, 12, 18, 19, times vary, prices vary Nutcraker Imaginative new play from playwright Jo Clifford, taking the viewer on a journey of enlightenment from Silicon Glen to the gay clubs of Edinburgh. 2 Nov, 3 Nov, 29 Nov, 30 Nov, 1 Dec, times vary, From £12 Lost Sock Princess Festival Theatre Seasonal updating of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcraker, from Matthew Bourne (y’know, he who is tirelessly reimagining just about every classic in theatrical existence). Nutcracker 2–3 Dec, times vary, prices vary Seasonal updating of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcraker, from Matthew Bourne (y’know, he who is tirelessly reimagining just about every classic in theatrical existence). The King and I various dates between 14 Dec and 7 Jan, times vary, prices vary Lavish new production of the beloved musical, with giant gold Buddha’s, shiny costumes and acrobatic dancers, no less. King’s Theatre Cinderella various dates between 3 Dec and 22 Jan, times vary, From £22.50 (£19.50) The panto to end ‘em all, with Allan Stewart playing the dame and the opportunity to boo the hell out of Grant Stott. Queen’s Hall Dance Base: Jingle Boogie 3 Dec, 7:30pm – 10:00pm, From £10 (£8) The first of two Christmas shows from Dance Base, featuring performances from kids and adults from their various classes and outreach groups. Dance Base: Snowflakes 4 Dec, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, From £10 (£8) The second of two Christmas shows from Dance Base, featuring performances from kids and adults from their various classes and outreach groups. 14–23 Dec, not 18, 19, times vary, £10 Improvised kiddies performance about where all those lost socks end up. Bring your own sock to join in. Lyceum Youth Theatre’s Kick Ass Christmas 15–16 Dec, times vary, £6 (£4) A group of youngsters from LYT perform pieces devised specially for the night. Usher Hall The Pirates of Penzance 28 Dec, 3:00pm – 5:00pm, From £14.50 Alistair McGowan and his merry cast of Savoyards perform a semi-staged concert performance of the Gilbert and Sullivan’s favourite. brunton theatre Aladdin various dates between 3 Dec and 7 Jan, times vary, prices vary Festive pantomime re-telling of the Aladdin tale, with Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee et al. DUNDEE Dundee Rep Cinderella 2011 various dates between 29 Nov and 31 Dec, times vary, From £9 Festive re-imagining of the Cinderella tale, where the put-upon Cinders works in a floating retirement home. CCA Café Banal Inferno 1-17 dec, times vary, free The first project in CCA’s new initiative geared to supporting early career curators, with Benjamin Fallon taking a provisional look at the emergence of so-called ‘postInternet’ practices. Castles Of Illusion 3-17 dec, times vary, free New work by Laurence Figgis, Brin Frost and Zoe Williams, uniting their common interest in the creation of internalised worlds. What We Make With Words 1-17 dec, times vary, free The collective behind the CCA’s own art writing journal, 2HB, turn their hand from writing to making, raising the question of how writing may be a motor within contemporary art practice. Gallery of Modern Art Alasdair Gray: City Recorder 29 nov - 10 jun, times vary, free Showcase of work from the celebrated Glasgow artist and playwright, focusing on his City Recorder series – a large body of work that Gray created as an ‘artist recorder’ for the City of Glasgow in 1977. You, Me, Something Else 29 nov - 18 mar, times vary, free Examples of current sculptural practice in Glasgow, focusing on ten artists who are all at different stages of their international careers. Inludes work from Karla Black, Claire Barclay, and collaborative duo Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan. Atelier Public 29 nov - 15 jan, times vary, free Exhibition that takes the form of a working artist studio, fueled on a number of mini residencies and public participation. Glasgow Print Studio Glasgow Print Studio: Christmas Show 2-24 dec (not 5,12,19), times vary, free Festive exhibition featuring a range of unique artist-made prints and gifts, available to view and buy. New body of work from French artist Lili Reynaud-Dewar, consisting of sculptures made of tinkered with found objects. Mono Communicate & Circulate 29 NOV - 11 DEC, times vary, free Showcase exhibition celebrating printed matter and independent publishing in all its forms, including titles that have been made exclusively for the show, alongside out-of-print stock, posters and new releases. Recoat Gallery Double Dip 29 NOV - 23 DEC (NOT 5, 12, 19 DEC), times vary, free Recoat’s annual, recession-busting group exhibition where all works are under £100, with four walls split between £25, £50, £75 and £100 artworks. SWG3 Next To Nothing 29 nov - 2 DEC, times vary, free Show by Leeds-based DIY art collective Black Dogs, whose contributors occupy various positions and opinions in relation to the label ‘artist’. Street Level Photoworks Gayle Chong Kwan: The Obsidian Isle An installation of ten large-format photographic prints of views which connect up to form a panoramic vista of a fictional island. Oddly magical. Harry Papadopoulos 17 DEC - 25 FEB, times vary, Free Showcase exhibition of the iconic rock photography of Harry Papadopoulos, his guerilla-style lensmanship taking in the likes of Bowie, Blondie and, yes, Spandau Ballet. The Arches Mobile Solutions Double-header exhibition from GSA graduates Jeff Edwards and Simone Kubik, featuring juxtaposing photographs that both scrutinise the depiction of the human form in their own way. 29 nov - 17 dec (not 4,11), times vary, free Bringing together a selection of mobile structures made by designers, architects and artists that are intended to journey out around communities and diverse contexts, from rural locations to urban environments. Glasgow Sculpture Studio P Is For Protagonist 1-17 DEC, times vary, free 35 Years of SWA 29 NOV - 9 DEC, times vary, free Exhibition of photographs, film and memorabilia that address the issue of domestic abuse in Scotland. In celebration of the 35th anniversary of Scottish Women’s Aid. Kendall Koppe Handclap/Punchhole 29 NOV - 10 DEC, times vary, free First UK solo show for Charlotte Prodger, in which she continues to explore the tension between language and material, through the use of audio cassette tape and 16mm film. Market Gallery New Graduates Exchange 24 NOV - 11 DEC, times vary, free The first of a new yearly graduate exhibition selected by Market Gallery, featuring four artists hand-selected from degree shows across Scotland. The Modern Institute Henrik Hakansson: The End 29 NOV - 23 DEC (NOT 4,11,18 DEC), times vary, free New solo show from the experimental Swedish artist currently based between Berlin and Falkenberg. Tramway Untitled (Ghost) 29 nov - 4 dec, times vary, free Israeli-born artist Elad Lassry showcases a selection of his highly-staged photographs and films, taking their reference from pop-culture and the origins of still and motion images. Pecha Kucha 1 Dec, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, £4.50 (£3.50) Pecha Kucha return with another eclectic image-led discussion, where a collection of creative speakers are allowed a quota of 20 slides to show for just 20 seconds each, making each event entirely unique. WASPS Studios Parade Artists’ Christmas Exhibition and Sale 26 Nov, 27 Nov, 3 Dec, 4 Dec, 11:00am – 5:00pm, Free 15 independent artists and crafts people from WASPS studios host a unique Christmas fair, with various ceramics, glass and fine art of display and for sale. 29 NOV - 5 DEC, times vary, free The Briggait Ally Wallace: Pavilionality WEEKDAYS 2-30 DEC, times vary, free Solo showcase from artist Ally Wallace, presenting new sculpture, drawing, painting and ceramic work based on architecture and books. Laura Yuile: Rehearsed Reactions WEEKDAYS 2-30 DEC, times vary, free Thought-provoking works from Laura Yuile in which she examines the material excesses that surround us – the spectacle of excess – and how it relates to, and affects, the search for meaning in everyday life, and the construction of the self. The Duchy Simultan 29 NOV - 17 DEC, times vary, free Glasgow-based artist Alex Stallman creates a visceral sculptural installation incorporating vast canopies of material, illuminations and lo-fi ephemera, exploring the inversion of concepts and perspectives. Superclub Callum Monteith: In Colour 29 nov - 23 dec, times vary, free Bringing together work from a group of makers who excel in the craft of weaving, be that wool, silk, linen or cotton. Edinburgh Printmakers 29 nov - 31 dec, times vary, free Edinburgh-based film photography collective Analogique present their inaugural exhibition, with new works appearing over the course of the exhibition, replacing those before them. Out of the Blue Drill Hall Hidden City: Edinburgh Uncovered Gift 29 nov - 23 dec, times vary, free 15 Dec, 7:30pm – 10:00pm, Free Annual members’ exhibition celebrating some of Scotland’s best printmaking talent, with exhibitors offering new perspectives on Edinburgh’s urban landscape. Embassy Gallery Illustrating A Point 29 nov - 11 dec, times vary, free Showcase of new work from artist Steven Cairns, who splits his time between Dundee and Berlin. The Edinburgh Peer Group host an evening of contemporary crossartform work, from a selection of performers, painters, animators, dancers and sculptors. Queen’s Gallery Rhubaba Border Work 3-18 dec, times vary, free Axo Gallery Axo Members’ Show Bill Bollinger Collection of RSA works concerned with portraying the female character and figure. Festive members’ show, featuring work from a strictly local bunch of artists. Axolotl Gallery Omar Arraez 2 dec - 25 jan, times vary, free Exhibition of paper portraits from Spanish artist Omar Arraez. Part of the Spanish Film and Arts festival, organised by CinemaAttic. Axolotl Christmas Show various dates between 2 Dec and 7 Jan, times vary, Free Mixed Christmas showcase, including illustrations by Turine Tran and Miriam Sturdee, embroidery by Sandra Collins, and, er, knickers by Denise Zygadlo. Broughton Delicatessen Tomboy: Eleni Kalorkoti 29 nov - 12 feb, times vary, free The Edinburgh-based illustrator and printmaker presents a mini exhibition exploring the life and travels of her fictional character ‘Tomboy the grumpy girl’ who runs away from home, lights camp fires and dreams of becoming a detective. City Art Centre Reflection 29 nov - 12 feb, times vary, free Exhibition highlighting contemporary art and craft being produced by a handpicked selection of Edinburgh makers, aimed at supporting local artists in the area. That Was Then: This Is Now 29 nov - 8 jan, times vary, free Showcase of Scottish tapestry artists, from sixteen makers working in the industry today. Collective Gallery New Work Scotland Programme 2011: Part 2 29 nov - 18 dec (not 5,12 dec), times vary, free Group offering from Florrie James, Joey Villemont and Oliver Braid as part of the New Work Scotland Programme, giving Scottish-based graduates their first significant visual art project or commission. High Street 22 dec - 12 jan (not 26 dec, 2 jan, 9 jan), times vary, free While most galleries shut up shop for the Christmas period, those thoughtful folks over at Collective leave a little surprise behind with their annual Christmas window display, for which Oliver Braid will be creating an exciting new work. Reviewing the radical practice of the American artist, known for his use of technical and industrial materials. The exhibition brings together major sculptures, documentary material, photographs and sketchbooks. Ingleby Gallery Alison Watt: Hiding In Full View 29 nov - 28 jan, times vary, free New series of self portrait paintings, indirectly inspired by the imagery of photographer Francesca Woodman’s intense and dreamlike tableaux. Inverleith House Thomas Houseago: The Beat Of The Show 29 nov - 21 jun, times vary, free The first major outdoor exhibition of sculptures by British artist Thomas Houseago, comprising of new and recent large-scale works, mostly in bronze. Sculpture map available from Inverleith House reception. RSA 29 Aug – 9 Jan, times vary, Free RSA Open 2011 29 nov - 18 dec, times vary, free Saleable exhibition of small works sourced by open selection from artists across Scotland, which includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints and photographs. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art The Scottish Colourist Series 29 nov - 18 mar, times vary, free The National Galleries of Scotland present the first of their Scottish Colourists Series with a retrospective of the work of F C B Cadell. The Sculpture Show Giving themselves over to sculpture in all it’s many forms, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art host a sculptural showcase of works moving from the 1900s to present day. Scottish National Portrait Gallery Romantic Camera 29 nov - 22 jan, times vary, free Presenting their first exhibition since the grand re-opening, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery explore the highly charged relationship between romanticism and photography in Scotland. McNaughtan’s Bookshop Paint/Print/Page 29 nov - 3 dec, times vary, free A collective of contemporary artists showcase a diverse mix of media and ideas expressed through experimental book structures, including elements of calligraphy, screen printing, collage, laser cuts and painting. National Gallery of Scotland Elizabeth Blackadder 29 Aug – 2 Jan, 10:00am – 5:00pm, £8 (£6) Retrospective of the beloved Scottish artist, who turns 80 this year, with a vast collection of paintings, watercolours and drawings. And you can play count the cats. Turner In January 1-31 jan, times vary, free Annual January showcase of works from JMW Turner, with some 38 watercolours providing a remarkable overview of the great artist. Taking ‘beauty’ as the starting point, Talbot Rice have invited various artists, individuals and organisations to loan or nominate a work that they feel represents beauty. Viewers will then be invited to vote for the artwork they consider most beautiful. 29 nov - 2 dec, times vary, free The first solo show for more than twenty years by painter and printmaker Peter Standen, showcasing his imaginary future views of Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Third Door Hidden Door III Launch 7 Dec, 7:00pm – 10:00pm, Free The team behind Edinburgh’s own rather ace grassroots arts festical unveil their plans for the third installment of hidden Door. Whitespace First Press 29 nov - 15 dec (not 4,11 dec), times vary, free Inaugural exhibition of a new Edinburgh-based print collective, SpeKtrum, featuring prints from over 15 different artists. Raising funds for Waverley Care. DUNDEE Cooper Gallery Design Research Unit: 1942-72 29 nov - 16 dec (not 4,11 dec), times vary, free Touring exhibition about the history of the Design Research Unit, formed in London in 1942 and responsible for some of the most important design produced in post-war Britain. 17 dec - 24 jun, times vary, free Andrew Kerr New body of work from GSA graduate Andrew Kerr, featuring a selection of new and recent works. To be accompanied by a mini basement exhibition celebrating the life and work of avant garde filmmaker Maya Deren. 29 nov - 18 feb, times vary, free Future Cityscapes Bringing together over 100 works by the greatest Northern European artists of the period. Muse 10-11 dec, times vary, free Talbot Rice Gallery Beholder 29 Aug – 15 Jan, 9:30am – 6:00pm, £6 (£5.50) Within The Space Of 29 nov - 7 jan, times vary, free ECA graduate, and resident artist and Co-Director at Superclub, Callum Monteith presents a new series of paintings and photographs using the abstraction of landscapes as a basis for the study into our own relational perception. The Henderson Gallery Filmhouse Café Bar 29 nov - 4 dec, times vary, free 29 nov - 11 dec (not 5 dec), times vary, free The Northern Renaissance: Dürer to Holbein Fruitmarket ED I N B UR G H The Lighthouse Though-provoking exhibition, created by Architecture and Design Scotland, charting the evolution of our High Streets, our changing shops and shopping habits and the impact this has had on us today. Nobles Bar Analogique Double-header exhibition featuring new works by Claire Davies and Sacha Imrie. Christmas Window Exhibition: Oliver Braid 9 DEC - 17 APR, times vary, free Dovecot Studios All Tied Up A collection of photographs and stories from migrants in the border town of Nogales by Edinburgh-based photographer, Alice Myers. 29 NOV - 11 DEC, times vary, free Into The Light... Out From The Light Glasgow Women’s Library 70 THE SKINNY December 2011 29 NOV - 14 JAN, times vary, free Glasgow School of Art Solo exhibition of newly-commissioned work by Sarah Forrest, The Gordon Foundation MFA Graduate Fellow for 2010-11. For full listings go to www.theskinny.co.uk/listings or scan below Mary Mary Some Objects Blackened And A Body Too 30 nov - 3 jun, times vary, free Hot Scots 1 dec - 1 apr, times vary, free Selection of photographic portraits of some of Scotland’s most famous faces, taken by celebrated photographers including Eva Vermandel and Albert Watson. Sierra Metro WETODRY 29 nov - 18 dec, times vary, free Collaborative exhibition between Lauren Gault and Perri MacKenzie, incorporating video, performance, sculpture and text. Stills Allan Sekula: Film Retrospective 29 nov - 18 dec, times vary, free Retrospective of Allan Sekula’s moving image works spanning some three decades of his practice. DCA Torsten Lauschmann: Startle Reaction 29 nov - 8 jan, times vary, free For Lauschmann’s largest solo show to date he uses automatons and cinema to play with the notion that we are capable of believing in things that have been proven to be false, with 3D glasses allowing exhibitiongoers to watch multiple films at once. Generator Projects Generator Project’s Group Show 29 nov - 11 dec, times vary, free Generator present their winter group show, featuring work from Graham Kelly, Michael Kent, Laura Smith and Rebecca Wilcox. Hannah Maclure Centre N55: Space Frame Vehicle weekdays 29 nov - 27 jan, times vary, free Art collective N55 collaborate with artist Till Wolfer for a unique and interactive design project that enables individuals to build their own vehicles for transportation of people and goods. Part of NEoN Digital Arts Festival. The McManus Cecil Beaton: Queen Elizabeth II 30 Sep – 8 Jan, times vary, Free Summerhall Selection of Cecil Beaton’s portraits of The Queen, depicting her role as princess, monarch and mother. Noir!: A Christmas Fair Winter Works On Paper 10 dec, times vary, free All-day fashion, food and arts market, celebrating Scotlandʼs creative talent through bespoke stalls, pop-up exhibits, live performance and a grand fashion show. 29 nov - 29 jan, times vary, free Annual winter exhibition, this time displaying the etched works of Whistler, including prints from the original collection of James Guthrie Orchar. DEVIANCE A GUIDE TO XMAS ESOTERIC GIFTS CRYSTAL BAWS WITH MYSTIC MARK Our resident psychicpath knows how to fill a stocking or two Words: MYSTIC MARK and DARREN ICKE During my travels throughout this gullible globe I have met many like me, who are seekers. Seekers of wisdom and truth alike, yes, but also seekers of something far more precious... human money. These greedy, wandering souls have taught me much, not least the importance of premium-rate phone lines and using Yuletide to line their deep wizard-like pockets. Today I invite Dr. Darren Icke to join me for a peek at some of the Pagan wares acceptable to be presented as gifts during the festival of evil Lord Christ’s 'First Spawning.' Nibiru Brown Star Chart (£12.00) Chart the progress of the fabled brown star as it approaches Earth for the final showdown in 2012. Many who have awoken from the Matrix of the mainstream media are aware that Nibiru (Planet X) is soon approaching, but what is less known is that it is actually possible to enter the brown star of Nibiru and navigate its insides – a horrid tunnel into another dimension. Deep inside Nibiru’s warm, humid atmosphere, putrid chunks of brown matter collapse into the energy field around the star’s vibrational entrance. This handy chart allows you to plot its path across the heavens, preparing you and your family for its evitable appearance. nightmares tight in a sealed black box. Connected through a Tibetan woolen cable, fresh horrors are compressed and locked away deep in the cube every night. Don’t worry if it jumps around and rumbles a bit, that’s just the nightmares trying to get out. Encyclopedia Bullshitica (£39.49) Tired of nightly dredging the internet like a mad brain on the loose searching for theories on which government agency is using Chemtrails to destroy your tomato harvest? And who replaced your loved ones with spies? Look no further, paranoid pilgrim. One search of the Encyclopedia Bullshitica will tell you all the misinformation you need to bore friends and co-workers until the end of the Mayan long count. ARIES 21 MAR – 20 APR Mercury is lubing up for another lunge at your orbit. Brace yourself for both good and bad news. The bad news is, despite taking a police baton to the head at an EDL rally in Yeovil, your great-aunt Eunice is discharged from hospital just in time to ruin another Christmas dinner with her questionable views on immigration. The good news is her pea & ham soup will taste better than the placental broth of the Christchild himself. a Unearthing Ancient Bullshit (£12.59) This fascinating book takes an in-depth “no nonsense” look at the bullshit mainstream archaeologists don’t want you know. From the bullshit about who built the pyramids (space lizards) to impeccably researched bullshit about who towed the moon into place over 40,000 years ago (lizards), the secrets of the Tower of Babel (lizards again) and why the shape-shifting lizard government doesn’t want you to find out about any of it. The Relaxing Sounds of Whale Bullying CD (£14.99) Run a hot bath, relax, and unwind to the sound of whales’ social bullying calls. A whale’s song can travel up to halfway around the globe, allowing them to berate thousands of their fellow sea mammals with abuse at the same time. Includes 8 CDs packed full of your favourite soothing whale noises as they belittle and upset one another in the murky depths. Let yourself go to the enchanting, harrowed hum of this majestic species attacking each other’s insecurities and humiliating their rivals in front of the entire Cetacean community. Includes the tracks: You’re a shit whale. / Your mother was a shit whale. / Ah ha, your offspring are dead! and the classic: You fraternise with the legged ones. 2012 Topless Mayan Calender (£6.49) This topless version of the Mayan calender is sure to get your heart racing just before it is pulled from your chest by a Mayan priest. Includes sizzling shots of barely legal virgins being sacrificed in swimwear to appease Acan’s wrath and promise a fruitful harvest. My First Pseudoscience Kit (£149.99) Getting a child’s soft, pink brain interested in pseudoscience can be hard work, but this kit makes for an exciting and logic-defying introduction into the world of alchemy, astrology and invisible crystal energy. Spend Boxing Day building a “free energy” car battery using household magnets, salt crystals and a single car battery. Watch with pride as your kids learn to collect data on the population of faeries in the garden with the aid of powerful hallucinogens. You can even help them build a fully working transdimensional star gate in the garage using their imagination! The kit also teaches children to bodge data to support preconceived conclusions and circumvent their own rational objections to outlandish ideas. Skills essential to any budding young pseudoscientist. Dr. Darren Icke is one of California’s leading pseudoscientists and the inventor of over 1,000 New Age products, from homeopathic contraceptive pills to a Prayer Telephone™. Dr. Icke took time out from undertaking difficult research at the Large Hardon Collider beneath the surface of Palo Alto (in which hard-ons are collided together at almost the speed of light), to speak to me about blasphemic New Age gadgets hitting the bazaars this solar cycle Nightmare Prison 2000™ (£369.99) Like most severely enlightened individuals I find a dreamcatcher is essential to protect my delicate psyche from the dreamworld flak of nether-dwelling Demons, loud-mouthed alcoholic Spirits and the ubiquitous shapeshifting Lizard Men. But in this difficult epoch a dreamcatcher can become overladen with psychic energy, allowing foul night terrors to escape into the terrified subconscious of your children or pets. Compatible with most dreamcatchers, this sturdy wicker Nightmare Prison™ will hold your most obscene TAURUS 21 APR – 21 MAY You see a strange light in the sky on the outskirts of Bethlehem. At first you assume it’s a star, marking the Second Coming of Our Lord. But hark! It is in fact white phosphorous fired in advance of a bulldozer squadron. There’ll be no room at the inn this Christmas. Or any walls. b GEMINI 22 MAY – 21 JUN Over Xmas dinner you try explaining quantum physics to your elderly grandma and she looks at you with the expression of a dog if you had just explained to it the offside rule. A mixture of confusion, indifference and mild hunger. c CANCER 22 JUN – 23 JUL Your doubts about whether this passionate relationship is “written in the stars” and “meant to be” grow when your new Australian soulmate, whilst making love, turns to you in bed and coarsely barks: “Before you slime, lob it in me shitter.” d LEO 24 JUL – 23 AUG Make sure to leave a whore’s stocking out for Satan, some intestines for his flying boar horde and a refreshing goblet of boiling hot goat’s milk. e VIRGO 24 AUG – 23 SEP The Three Wise Men scheduled to witness the birth f Dr. Darren Icke of your son are detained at customs after a sniffer dog smells illicit ointments with a street-value of £300,000 hidden in a swallowed condom. After an enlightening search of their wizened anal cavities the substances gold and myrrh are also discovered by the festive rubber gloves of law and order. LIBRA 24 SEP – 23 OCT Start the New Year as you mean to go on, sobbing and alone. g SCORPIO 24 OCT – 22 NOV After all those hints to your Dad about wanting a puppy, you see a gift moving under the tree and smile, only to open the packaging on Christmas Day to find a dried-out baby dolphin, flapping amidst the wrapping paper, gasping for air. h i SAGITTARIUS 23 NOV – 21 DEC Your neighbours remain unimpressed by the 12ft neon Santa you’ve crucified on your lawn. j CAPRICORN 22 DEC – 20 JAN Your horse clops unsteadily forwards after you appear on Christmas Pimp My Steed, having been kitted out with spinning chrome hooves, tinted eyeballs, UV belly light, banging sound system and a hot tub “on back”. AQUARIUS 21 JAN – 19 FEB Next year offers nothing for your kind. k PISCES 20 FEB – 20 MAR Christ finally returns for the Second Coming, just in time for his birthday, although this time his visit is cut even shorter when you immediately crucify him on an infant cross to alleviate your own personal debt of sin. Kind of like carbon offsetting. l December 2011 THE SKINNY 71