December 2010 / Issue I
Exclusive: Radio DJ Ally McCrae’s rise to fame
Tech: Are you HD Ready? Get your skis on & hit the Highlands
Cosy up with some winter woolies £ 3.95
editorial gentleman n. a chivalrous, courteous, or honourable man required: charm, sensitivity, attentiveness This month we asked and style the team what they Welcome to the first issue of The Gentleman.
would give a young Gentleman for Christmas...
It is not an easy feat to be a gentleman in today’s world. Why? Because the notion of gentlemanly behaviour is not nearly as clear-cut as it once was. Walking on the outside edge of the pavement and opening the car door doesn’t cut it anymore. But do not despair, we are here to tell you that the concept of being a gentleman is not dead, nor is it old-fashioned. It has merely evolved. So we have put together a magazine that will guide you through every step of becoming, or remaining, the perfect modern gentleman in Scotland. Ally McCrae, our first issue ‘chap of the month’ takes care of the ‘humour’-side of being a gent and talks about his recent success becoming BBC Radio One’s new hosting talent. Also on the menu are lots of suggestions à propos ‘what to do?’ this month, including ‘where to do it?’ and ‘what to wear whilst you’re doing it?’. HD televisions are our tech topic of the month, winter warmers take over men’s fashion, Moscow is our place-to-visit this holiday period and, not forgetting that December is all about giving, we have also included a few suggestions for the perfect present this Christmas. Enjoy, The Gentleman team
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Editorial Interview. Ally McCrae Culture. Cinema. Weekend. Where to go and what to do? Fashion. Brace the Scottish Chill Trends. Tech. How to choose your perfect HD TV Outdoors. Hit the Scottish slopes Travel. To Moscow we go...
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Blame these guys... Louise Begbie A cultured young lady, our Paris and London correspondent. Likes chocolate, red wine and giggles a lot.
A pair of warm woolie socks Miroslaw Czubaszek Passionate Polish filmmaker constantly chasing his dreams.
An armchair with a built-in beer holder Lelde Benke Quite the cosmopolitan, she has lived in 5 countries. Admits her dream is to work in a fashion mag for a year or 2.
A box of homemade cookies Laura Donaldson Over-enthusiatic and always the optimist. A keen news writer, traveller and snowboarder.
A mix CD with all the classics Diana Strausa Photographer extraordinaire, she hails from Latvia via Edinburgh where she studies, works and models.
A hat and scarf
Chap of the month:
Ally McCrae From student radio DJ to a pioneering figure in Scotlandâ€™s new music scene, Ally McCrae is about to go big. His extensive musical knowledge, hard work and big personality have earned him a place among BBC Radio One as their freshest young talent. He talks to The Gentleman about life, the universe and everything.
Unfortunately Allyâ€™s new post at the BBC means we cannot publish an interview with him without prior consent from the press office. The article could thus only be submitted as part of our assignment.
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C B B
s y sa
Photo: Ally and Weaver return home after a detour kidnapping
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culture Exhibition of the month: BP Portrait Award
f contemporary portrait painting is your thing, head to Aberdeen Art Gallery that sees the return of prestigious BP Portrait Award this month. Showcasing fifty-eight works selected from 2,177 competition entrants, the paintings feature anyone from a close friend or family member to a renowned celebrity. Each artist’s style is individual so expect to see a great variety of techniques and approaches employed in the paintings. The exhibition includes works by the three shortlisted artists, Michael Gaskell, David Eichenberg and Daphne Todd. This is the only Scottish showing of the touring exhibition. The competition is thought of by many as the crème de la crème of its kind.
All That Jazz
(c) Michael Gaskell
his month exclusively: the Jazz Bar on Chambers Street, Edinburgh is exhibiting some of locally-based artist John Hunt’s paintings. As well as being a talented musician – he plays his music at the bar every Tuesday at teatime - he evidently also has a flair for art. So you’ll be glad to hear that these very attractive original paintings, that you can check out on www.johnhunt. org, are all for sale at the Jazz Bar itself. And if on top of being an art-lover you’re also a fan of muffins and world class jazz music, then the Jazz Bar really is the place for you. Its unique, high-quality mix of good music, a stylish but non-trendy environment, great service, and an everchanging creative buzz make this basement bar extremely appealing to people from all walks of life. And with three gigs a day, seven nights a week, plus a Saturday afternoon jazz Trio session - that’s 22 gigs every week! - there’s never a dull moment in this place.
Idlewild anniversary tour
his December marks the 10th anniversary of Scottish rocker Idlewild’s iconic album 100 Broken Windows. To celebrate, the band is touring the UK throughout this month playing the record in sequence from beginning to end. Idlewild formed in 1997 whilst at university in Edinburgh, and the act have enjoyed a long success as one of Britain’s best live bands, with one critic going as far as dubbing them the punk rock Smiths. 100 Broken Windows, hailed by American magazine Spin as “the best album you didn’t hear in 2000”, has long been cherished by Idlewild fans as the band’s greatest effort, despite 2003’s The Remote Part being the most commercially successful for the Scottish group. Fans are delighted by the news, and many venues are already sold out in advance, yet do not fear as there are rumours of further ticket releases to come. www.idlewild.co.uk
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cinema One perilous descent
(c) Warner Bros
Shut up and watch it!
ramway in Glasgow will be host to a seminar on the ideas raised by Polish artist Artur Zmijewski in his short film project. Democracies features scenes from a feminist march in Warsaw, a Loyalist parade in Belfast and other demonstrations of protest, celebration and grief worldwide. The twenty films play synchronously in the exhibition hall to make the viewer feel part of the action and get a genuine impression of what it is like to go out and make your voice heard. These have been on show at the centre for contemporary arts since October. Zmijewski is known for believing art should capture reality, address current issues and try to provide answers to them. The discussion event on December 4 will thus feature questions such as can art play any meaningful role in effecting political change or does it merely offer aesthetic commentary? There will be various guest speakers. www.tramway.org
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anny Boyle’s latest film 127 Hours is not for the squeamish. It tells the true story of rock climber Aron Ralston, played by James Franco (Spiderman, Pineapple Express) who, after a slight stammer climbing out of a crevice in Utah is pinned against a rock face by a boulder to his right arm. After being trapped for over five days, Aron is faced with a harrowing decision, how far would you go in order to survive? Oh no, wait, is that a swiss army knife in the corner...? No doubt the scene where Franco ‘frees’ himself is a little, erm, ‘uncomfortable’ to say the least, the film is packed with flash backs in order to connect with Ralston and share his life story so far. 127 Hours has already made headlines when its premiere at the Toronto film festival had audience members leaving the cinema due to the graphic nature of his ‘escape.’ Just don’t say we didn’t warn you. www.127hoursmovie.co.uk
inema buffs will like the first Scottish silent film festival, held in Hippodrome cinema in Bo’ness on 18th- 20th March 2011. For film connoisseurs or simply for those who have had enough of special effects, it is going to be a great place to appreciate this almost forgotten art. The event is going to screen classic and rare silent films, accompanied by live musical performances and local archive films – making it a special event for all the family. However, the festival will not be totally mute as audiences will be treated to a performance by Neil Brand, a silent film accompanist. The Hippodrome offers a wide range of events like plays, ordinary film screenings and art shows. On top of that, the venue has an amazing atmosphere and is a welcome escape from an ordinary cinema experience. www.thehipp.org
weekend A fireball of a Hogmanay A bookclub with a difference Spotted! New restaurant on the block
ew Years in Scotland is a celebration unlike no other - but is the feeling of ‘been there, done that’ wearing a little, well, thin? Perhaps its time to gather your usual suspects and delve a little deeper into Hogmanay tradition this year. Stonehaven offers a Hogmanay experience that only ancient arsonists could have come up with. The Ancient Fireballs Ceremony involves 50-60 fireball-swingers charging down the street at the stroke of midnight, whirling huge flaming cages around their heads as they make their way through the town to throw them into the sea. The spectacle is intense and energetic, with some of the fireballs being as wide as 3ft in diameter. Apparently the event predates christianity, and it is believed the burning spheres were supposed to scare away evil spirits. Mental. Following the fire comes a huge new years ceilidh, complete with much merry-ment and no doubt an overflowing of ‘firewater’, or whiskey for those of you with a taste for the stuff. Stonehaven will no doubt provide much banter and first-footing and a merry night with the locals up north, and no doubt a story or two for the next year. Try it out if your looking for a hogmanay with a traditional edge, rather than just the usual street party.
aparazzi bistro is a nice, stylish and quiet place to eat and mingle in Central Scotland. The newly opened restaurant in the centre Bridge of Allan proudly offers fresh Italian themed meals. Guests can choose anything from a wide range of fresh salads, meats, fish and desserts, beautifully presented and served. On top of that you have a wide choice of cocktails and delicate wines from the extensive list. In comparison to bigger city restaurants, Paparazzi offers a great atmosphere coupled with friendly service which makes it the perfect place for a date. The huge portions make it great value for money, keeping everyone satisfied.
ooking for a new hangout in Glasgow’s hip West End? Within stumbling distance of the university and subway? Well The Gentleman team have found it for you. Hillhead Bookclub is a bar and restaurant with a special flair nestled right between Ashton Lane and the Botanic Gardens. Design genius combined with a highly appealing, extensive drinks list and a gastro-gasmic pub grub menu makes for the ultimate date à deux or in a group with your well-dressed chums. Yes, the right clothing is of essence, else you may risk losing out to the Urban Outfitters-clad young waiters in the competition for cool. Gift idea: If you are looking for a special treat for your loved one this Christmas, arrange for a cocktail masterclass. The Bookclub’s skillful bartenders will teach you exactly how to twist that lemon and shake that martini... to the beat of the exciting DJ-spun records. www.hillheadbookclub.com
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happy day for cardigan lovers worldwide as Scott Schuman, better known as influential style blogger The Sartorialist pronounced the old favourite this year’s absolute winter hit. ‘’If you want to buy one item that will dramatically affect your look then buy yourself a cardigan,’’ writes Schuman on his blog. ‘’The cardigan can be very slimming. It eliminates that hard visual line where the shirt meets the pants and reigns in the visual paunch of a shirt that blouses out too much at the waist.’’ Model Jonny shows off an exquisite yet affordable piece in our wintery photo shoot. thesartorialist.blogspot.com
Cardigan £39.99 River Island 7 | The Gentleman | December
Embrace the Scottish chill Photographer: Diana Strausa Models: Jonny Terrell & Louise Begbie Stylist: Lelde Benke Shot on location in Riverside, Stirling
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Jacket £64.99 River Island
he quilted jacket is a popular choice this season as the rural look is deemed in vogue. Wonder down any British high street and you will see even businessmen adopting the trend. Topman have reported a 1267% increase in country-style clothing since last year. British fashion favourite Barbour show similar figures. “People are looking for more sustainable fashion and brands that offer longevity more than disposable fashion,” comments Gary Burnand, Barbour’s director of global marketing and strategy.
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ed is the penultimate Christmas colour and combined with black in a checkered outdoor jacket looks casual yet classy. The look is perfect for a weekend of winter fun outdoors with friends or your loved one. Jonny dons one similar to that seen on Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley while snapped out shopping in New York with now ex-girlfriend Blake Lively. TG
Jacket £25.99 Zara
Coat December | The Gentleman | 10 £85.00 Topshop
trends Ice, Ice Baby
Swatch New Gent Collection
stylish take on the classic Swatch Gent – this model sets out to impress. Described as “creative, inventive and full of stylish fun, it transforms the classic Gent into a bigger, bolder, positively provocative statement.” Ten models are available in a variety of understated, yet bold colours. Each model has a large, vibrant plastic case with a contrasting colour-coded dial, a day/date window at 3 o’clock and rugged, matt silicone straps in complementary monochrome colours.
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Price on request WMF
rinking at home can seem too casual, or worse, antisocial, but all you really need are the right appliances. This icecrusher – a Heinrich Fiedeler Industrial Design piece by WMF - is made of highquality transparent plastic with a chromium-plated top. Integrated stainless steel knives driven by the crank crush the ice. So if the industrial rumble of your refrigerator’s icecrusher is starting to do your head in, here is a soothing ritual to add to your bar tending repertoire. Cleaning tip: do not scrub the plastic bottom with any rough cloths or sponges, as this could lead to scratches on the surface of the plastic and may impair its transparency.
Slope style 2011
Lanvin for H&M
nstead of forking out on a disco ball, lighten up the dance floor this party season by investing in a pair of metallic lace-ups designed with great care by Lanvin for H&M and on sale from the end of November. Parisian glamour can easily find itself a place on Scottish soil. The version in black takes you elegantly from office to party but do be weary wearing the brights available in bronze, pink and blue. Evenings only and teamed with simple dark tones they can stun. However, beware your morning after walk of shame could be très conspicuous. 11 | The Gentleman | December
o guarantee yourself the spotlight position in the queue for the ski-lift, invest in a Yes snowboard. The Gentleman crew find the Great Dudes of History series particularly awesome. These are donned with the portraits of wellknown historical figures. After all, who wouldn’t want to hit the slopes with a picture of Einstein or John Lennon looking up at them as if to say “have a good run mate!” “The A-symmetrical design has a shorter heel side edge with Ultimate Grip technology enabling you to make more responsive, powerful turns in hard pack conditions,” say the Yes board makers. Turn to page 13 to find out where you can show off your new board in Scotland.
The Ultimate viewing machine
hristmas is coming, along with the snow, and are you trying to figure out what television would make the best present? All TV manufacturers compete for customers by trying to convince them that their offer is the best. Very often many of us get confused by the technological jargon spoken by tech experts and instead just nod and pretend that we understand every word. Fear not, for The Gentleman will explain you the most important differences between HD ready and Full HD TV and guide you through what you should look for in your new telly.
High Definition is a system that produces an incredibly clear and detailed picture because of
its high resolution, complete with a superior sound system that trumps that of standard television systems (NTSC, PAL). In addition, HD technology uses a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, compared to the usual standard TV “square shape” which uses an aspect ratio of 4:3. High Definition televisions have a high screen resolution with twice as many pixels, starting at 1280 x 720 and can range to as many as 1920 x 1080 pixels, depending on how advanced it is. So what does ‘HD Ready’ mean? It is a standard HD ready TV set, with a resolution of 1280x720, however it is not the highest resolution available on the market. One very important thing to remember is that HD Ready TVs may not display the full resolution from the more advanced 1080pixel sources. However, HD ready TV 1080p, which is higher than the standard, will meet the requirements of the highest HD because of the additional 1920x 1080 pixels it contains. Another name for HD Ready TV is 720p HDTV.
Full HD is effectively a higher resolution than HD ready. A Full HDTV set is capable of ac-
60 in PIONEER KRP-600A £5000 approx
40 in SONY KDL - 40EX503 £900 approx cepting HD signals and able to display full resolution at 1920x1080. Full HD TV displays a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (making it fit for Blu-ray Discs) without resolution loss. This type of telly is also known as 1080p HDTV. To be able to enjoy HD technology you need an HD Ready or Full HD TV set. In short, the most important thing that you should look for when choosing an HDTV is the screen pixel resolution. Another very important thing to consider is the size of the screen. You need to think about the size of your room where the TV will be fitted. Bigger does not always mean better. If you are going to buy a large one with standard HD you have to prepare yourself for noticeable pixels on the screen. As a general guideline you will need Full HD TV screens to be larger than 32 inches so you can really notice the difference and benefit from the highest resolution. It is also worth considering the number and type of video inputs which determine what sources you can connect to your telly, such as DVD players or your games console. The last thing to remember is your pocket. Prices of TVs can range dramatically, from a couple hundred to a few thousand pounds. Everything depends on the brand, size, style and how many additional innovations you want to fit into your TV (Internet, wireless, etc). Before choosing you favourite telly you need to decide what you will really need it for so that you do not overpay for something that you will not enjoy to its fullest. TG
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“On a good day, you can have the best ride you’ve ever had”
cottish skiing. Those two words pronounced together may seem laughable to some. Heatherdodging, rock-jumping and the occasional swerve to avoid a slightly confused sheep are what is usually expected of the snow sports scene up north - not to mention the 60 mph wind and hail in your face as you struggle to see the piste. However, last season brought the best winter in over 30 years for Scottish skiing: resorts saw record numbers of skiers, snow up to six metres deep and one of the longest winter seasons in Europe. With Cairngorm ski resort already opening its funicular lift in mid November; snow experts, ski resorts and weather people alike believe this season will be even better than last year’s. Welcome back Scottish skiing, and oh how we’ve missed you.
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Home to the five top quality ski resorts of Glenshee, Cairngorms, Glencoe, the Lecht and Nevis Range, Scotland boasts a vast amount of skiable terrain. Last winter season brought in a badly needed boost to the slightly faltering skiing community in Scotland. Glencoe saw skier numbers break the 300,000 mark, and the huge quantities of snow saw Cairngorm mountain open its pistes to skiers and boarders on mid-summer days in June, giving it close to a seven month-long season. It seems a far cry from the usual state of Scottish skiing that we are so used to. From the gentle slopes of the Lecht near Aberdeen to the steep’n’deep back corries of Nevis Range at Fort William, Scotland has enough varied terrain to keep both complete beginners and the most avid winter
adrenaline junkies happy. “All the resorts are set up to deal with beginners,” explains Daniel Loots, an experienced skier, Ski-Scotland board member and Glencoe Mountain representative. “If you want steep stuff though, you go West. You go to Glencoe and you hit flypaper, which I’m told is one of the steepest black runs in Europe.” On an international scale, Scottish skiing certainly has its differences. “I think it’s a different product in many ways,” remarks Loots, “There’s a different vibe to it. The resorts are obviously smaller, the infrastructure isn’t as advanced, but at the same time there is the phrase ‘If you can ski in Scotland you can ski anywhere.’ It’s just a really friendly community”. “We’re lucky to have it in our own backyard. I think
on a really good day you can have the best ride you’ve ever had.” The excellent conditions from last season have certainly given many a taste for Scottish snow. Most resorts are situated just a few hours drive away from the central region, meaning a day’s riding isn’t too hard to come by. “That’s the best thing about skiing in Scotland within an hour and a half I can be up on the mountains enjoying some top quality riding and some of the best views in the world,” explains Loots. Get on the weather report, ‘cause next bluebird day, we’re going skiing. TG
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This year become a Moscovite for the Christmas season, don some warm winter woolies and have a shot of vodka. Na zdorovje*!
t’s -25ºC, it’s blowing a gale and the driving snow stings your face like a swarm of bees; in Moscow, it’s time for a party! Moscow is the city of contrasts. Take a stroll through the city today and you will find countless lavish boutiques selling Givenchy bags, where, not so long ago, people shivered all day in queues outside the state-run GUM department store in Red Square, only to find rows of bare shelves. New Arbat Avenue is another gentrified zone, offering some of the most luxurious hotel suites in town, and let’s not even get started on Moscow’s cutting-edge nightlife scene which would simply have been unthinkable before Glasnost. In addition to this juxtaposition between Moscow’s nouveau riche culture and its communist past however, there is a growing awareness in the city of a new kind of indigenous Russian culture - one that breathes the creative freedom of the West yet is authentically local. All this only adds to the giant enigma that is Moscow and, by extension, Russia. How can one country that stretches half way round the northern hemisphere, spans nine time zones and is home to more than 140 million people retain such a strong sense of itself, of what it means to be Russian? How does the brash, high-spending present square with the years of communism? You would need to live among Russians for a long time before you truly ‘got’ this mysterious nation. 15 | The Gentleman | December
But spend a week in Moscow and you’ll start to get at least a taste of the real Russia. And what better time to do just that but Christmas time? The Moscow Russian Winter Festival is indeed a spectacle to behold. It takes place during the last week of December and the first week of January, and combines all manner of secular and religious holidays. Activities in Izmailovo Park include traditional folk music, troika rides (sleighs drawn by three horses), Russian food and lots of vodka, dancing performances and characters dressed as popular figures from Russian mythology milling with the visitors. Other Winter Festival activities include ice sculpting on Red Square and snowman-building on Arbat Street. However, if sleigh rides and snowmen aren’t really your thing, you may find Moscow’s December Nights Festival more tempting. The classical music scene in Moscow is at its winter height during the latter half of December and the first couple of weeks in January, with exceptional performances by both local and international musicians. New Year’s in Moscow is yet another unmissable celebration. Head to Red Square to join the throngs of people ringing in the new year with the chime of the Kremlin clock tower, Moscow’s version of dropping the ball in New York City. Dress warmly, though, because if you think it’s cold by day, Moscow at midnight on January 1st takes bravery and a good pair of warm boots! TG www.visitrussia.org.uk *Cheers in Russian