ISSUE 04 QUEEN ZEE DRENGE MAN OF MOON BRASSHOLES GLASGOW FILM FEST MUSIC FILM FOOD AND DRINK TRAVEL LGBT+ VISUAL ARTS WORDS
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CONTENTS WHATâ€™S ON MUSIC FOOD & DRINK TRAVEL EVENTS | PAGE 06
DRENGE, QUEEN ZEE, MAN OF MOON . . . | PAGE 12
THE BELL JAR, THE AULD HOOSE, VEGAN PIZZAS | PAGE 24
DISCOVER SCOTLAND | PAGE 30 Disclaimer: Snack Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this magazine in part or in whole is forbidden without the explicit written consent of the publishers. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the content of this magazine but we cannot guarantee it is complete and up to date. Snack Publishing Ltd. is not responsible for your use of the information contained herein.
E: email@example.com Editor/Sales: Kenny Lavelle Food and Travel Editors: Emma Mykytyn and Mark Murphy LGBTQ Editor: Jonny Stone Words Editor: Leona Skene Designer/Illustrator: Fionnlagh Ballantine
LGBT+ FILM VISUAL ARTS WORDS LGBT HISTORY MONTH . . . | PAGE 39
CEST LA VIE, GLASGOW FILM FEST . . . | PAGE 47
WARPAINT | PAGE 53
JUST LOOK UP | PAGE 55
MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR Firstly, a massive round of applause to the Save Leith Walk Campaign who, against most expectation, have helped block the unwanted and destructive proposed development and given the local community a chance to find solutions which will benefit the local area. Unfortunately, in Glasgow the news is not so positive with the future of the historic ABC venue now in serious doubt, its owners indicating that they wish to
apply for permission from the council to demolish the property. For so many of us the ABC was a vital cultural hub and there will no doubt be strong protest against any attempt to demolish. We can only organise and hope for the same kind of success enjoyed by the Save Leith Walk Campaign. As for this month’s issue of Snack, as always, I’m sure you’ll find your way around. Kenny Lavelle
WHAT’S ON GUIDE ANDY BURROWS AND MATT HAIG
King Tut’s, Glasgow –13th February Andy Burrows of Razorlight/We Are Scientists has teamed up with bestselling author Matt Haig for Reasons To Stay Alive, an album collaboration of songs loosely inspired by Haig’s much loved books. It’s a zeitgeistly emo collection of love stories, space and time travel, and soul-mate celebration which grasps unflinchingly into the tenderer recesses of the modern mind. Burrows will be playing picks from Reasons To Stay Alive alongside material from his earlier albums.
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CÉCILE B. EVANS AMOS’ WORLD Tramway, Glasgow – till 17th March Fancy being transported into the disorientating and surreal world of an architect and his plan to build a utopian housing complex and social structure? In Amos’ World, viewers are invited to climb onto brutalist viewing platforms and from there into tiny cubby holes to watch the unintended consequences of his vision on the housing-complex residents played out on screen, before watching the finale out in the communal viewing area. It’s absolutely immersive; sitting alone in a cubby hole creates a real feeling of isolation, along with the creeping paranoia that someone might come along and want to share your space - it’s an unnerving experience. Our advice is to get there early as you’ll likely want to re-visit at some point in the coming weeks. tramway.org
ALL MY SONS Dundee Rep Theatre – 19th February till 9th March Dundee Rep presents All My Sons, a timeless classic from one of the 20th century’s greatest playwrights, Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman). The Keller family appear to be living the American dream. Joe Keller has a successful business supplying engines to the U.S. air force, while his wife Kate runs the house. In the aftermath of World War II, one of their sons goes missing in action, presumed dead – a fate which Kate finds she cannot accept. As secrets come to light with ruinous consequences, Joe must confront his past while struggling to keep his family together.
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Audio, Glasgow – 9th March Grungy capitalism complainers and general pisstakers Visceral Noise Department, launch their debut album Distant Banging with support from the mighty folk-prog storytellers Sloth Metropolis and Perth’s harmonica blawing, heavy blues merchants, Multistorey Lover! All three bands are class acts and they’re promising nice long sets, so there’ll be plenty of quality noise to get your ears around. Take along some extra cash or forgo a pint to pick up a copy of the album on the night.
What's On Page 7
MAC DEMARCO CLUB NIGHT INSTALLATION: MARCO GIORDANO, Glasgow QMU – 2nd March Having recently burst back onto the touring gig CONJUNCTIVE TISSUE scene, West-End venue Glasgow QMU are now making inroads into club nights. ‘Freaking Out The Neighborhood’ promises to feature tunes from the artier side of indie so expect Courtney Barnett, King Gizz, Parquet Courts, Kurt Vile, Parcels, Whitney, Wolf Alice, MGMT & of course plenty of Mac Demarco. With entry on the door only £4 it’s well worth trying something new. All are welcome, not just students.
INTO THE NEW Pearce Institute, Govan –18th till 21st March Into the New promises to be one of the most important contemporary performance festivals in Scotland, exploring radical arts practices through examinations of identity, intimacy and social issues. Produced and performed by students on the BA (Hons) Contemporary Performance Practice programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, it runs from March 18 to 21 at the Pearce Institute in Govan. Every piece is unique, inviting you to share in the artists’ experiences and to push your own boundaries. www.rcs.ac.co.uk/boxoffice
THE GLEE Just recently opened, The Glee is Glasgow’s newest comedy club. It’s a cracking big space and the food’s far better than you’d normally expect at these types of venue. A quick look at who they’ve lined up for the next month: Christopher MacarthurBoyd, Gary Little, Scott Gibson, Dana Alexander, Rob Deering… all good stuff. They’ve photos of the magnificent Ezra Furman plastered about the place too so fingers crossed they’ll have some great music nights planned. They’re mainly open on Friday and Saturday nights for the moment, check out their website to find out more. glee.co.uk/comedy/glasgow/
The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh – 12th-24th February Part of Open Out: a week of performance, film, dance, installation, music and workshops which explore collaborative working across artforms, and giving artists the opportunity to experiment and show their work. Marco Giordano’s Conjunctive Tissue features a series of words in a variety of languages, displayed on brightly coloured, hanging banners, based on collages created by members of the public who took part in workshops run by the artist. It’s set up to invite the viewer to create their own associations and connections between the words, as they form and disappear as you move around the space. The exhibition will be on display throughout Open Out, expanding for a couple of days on 19th & 20th February.
WEE DUB FESTIVAL Various venues, Edinburgh Old Town – 1st till 3rd March Back with a massive line-up covering reggae, dub, dancehall and bass in their many forms over 7 venues around the old town. Wee Dub will, as always, be giving the stage to established artists alongside upcoming talent. They’re a flexible bunch, you can buy a ticket for the entire weekend, which will get you access to the full programme of gigs, club and events; or you can buy tickets for one or two events if that’s all you’re after. Highlights? Try Jah Shaka, Adrian Sherwood and Mungo’s Hi-Fi featuring Marina P for starters. There are far too many artists and events going on over the weekend to list here; best check out their website for more info. weedubfestival.co.uk/line-up/programme/
NELSON MANDELA: THE CENTENARY EXHIBITION The Lighthouse, Glasgow – till 2nd March Just on the heels of the 2018 centenary of iconic leader Nelson Mandela’s birth, this Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation exhibition about his life, career, and commitment to equality and justice is well worth a wander around. When you enter the exhibition you’re confronted with a maze of 48 panels, displaying information on Mandela and his life. The real highlight though, is the back room where the foundation is displaying dozens of hand painted posters used in anti-apartheid demonstrations and other materials telling the story of activity in Scotland during the anti-apartheid struggle. While you’re there you can pop a few quid in the donation box towards the creation of a permanent statue of the great man on Nelson Mandela Place - the location for many years of apartheid South Africa’s Consulate and the focus of much protest during decades of anti-apartheid struggle. mandelascottishmemorial.org/donate
THE DIVINE ORDER Summerhall – 24th February CinéFile presents the Tribeca Film Festival, Audience Award for Best Narrative Film winner, The Divine Order. It’s set in Switzerland where in 1971, it may as well be the 50’s, women still had no right to vote. Not so fun fact - Until 1985, Swiss law allowed a husband to prevent his wife from working. The story follows dutiful housewife Nora (Marie Leuenberger) who is forbidden by her husband to take a part-time job, her inevitable frustration leads to her becoming the poster child of her town’s suffragette movement. Powerful and crowd-pleasing, the film is a timecapsule that could not be more timely in the wake of #MeToo. In Swiss German with English subtitles. What's On Page 9
HOLE MARGARET SALMON DCA, Dundee – till 24th February *Last chance to see* Margaret Salmon investigates whether it might be possible for film to transcribe something as ephemeral as human warmth? Human affection? What about love? Hole is about our bodies and the intimate human connections we seek with others. Using light, colour, heat and sound to envelop a viewer within the space, Salmon creates an atmosphere of warmth, comfort and radiance to step into over the cold winter months. At the heart of the exhibition is a 16mm film that uses a female erotic gaze to look for places where love might be found in contemporary life and to explore what might constitute supporting, loving relationships today.
AUDACIOUS WOMEN FESTIVAL Various Venues – Edinburgh 21st till 25th February Do What You Always Wish You Dared is a message we can definitely get behind. The Audacious Women Festival has an amazing program of events lined up across Edinburgh this month. Along with workshops on songwriting, drawing real women, beer tasting and storytelling; they’ve music and dance performances, art and books, all towards the aim of giving you an opportunity to Do What You Always Wish You Dared, and to celebrate the achievements of audacious women who have gone before. audaciouswomen.scot
Unknown Pub , Edinburgh Right, this sounds interesting. Puzzled Pint is a casual, social puzzle solving event which happens in pubs around the world on the second Tuesday of every month. To take part, solve the location puzzle on the Puzzled Pint website and the solution will lead you to a local pub in Edinburgh. From there, on the night of the event, drop into that pub anytime from 6:30pm until 10pm. And guess what? There will be more paper-based puzzles waiting for you to solve while you enjoy drinks and food! Genius! puzzledpint.com
One of Scotland's most important contemporary performance festivals.
Mon 18 - Thu 21 Mar 2019 ----The Pearce Institute, Govan ----intothenew.org.uk -----
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DRENGE INTERVIEW One of the most interesting and invigorating British bands of recent times are back, and if you haven’t heard of Drenge, it’s time to get on board with their third album. We caught up with Eoin ahead of a busy time for the act. How was the recording process for Strange Creatures? It was quite a slow and stop-start process. Our producer had other gigs coming in and people’s schedules got in the way at times. We’re close with Ross Orton (producer) and I’m working with my brother (Rory), so there are no bad feelings involved, it was just one of those things. If there’s tension or an argument building, I’m able to ask myself or my brother if it is that important that we need to have an argument. We’re becoming quite zen about it. I really like making music and I don’t want to fight with my collaborator when I do so. You’re now a four-piece in the live arena, how did this come about? It was driven by the songs. It’d be great if we could keep it as two or three piece but we needed an extra set of hands! The songs sounded better with extra parts in and the more we added parts, we realised, we can’t do this with three of us. Do you feel there has been a strong evolution in the band, growing in size over the years? We started the band at the end of 2010 and I was 19. I’m much older, I listen to other types of music and when you do this full-time, you pick up on other artists and how they achieve what they do. It’d be pretty weird if I was still listening to the same stuff I did when I started the band. Naturally, that comes through in our music. We did our two-piece thing but we felt no reason to replicate it just because it was successful.
I understand why some people might be upset as to why we never stayed as a two-piece or that they don’t like our new music. However, a big reason for this band is for selfexpression, that’s what we use the band for. If we come out in two years’ time with our hip-hop record or our ambient instrumental record, that’ll just be where we are at that time. You show quite a lot of humour in your videos and social media, is it a fun process being in Drenge? I think we’re just not bothered about being taken as seriously as we were when we started. We’ve realised we can have a lot more fun with it. If you take our music at face value, it can be serious, even joyless, at times sad, serious or aggressive. That’s not who we are, but it is how we are expressing ourselves. To combat that, we push our humour a bit more so people realise that some of the songs have their tongue in their cheek and there is more depth to them. What’s your current take on social media? I had a lot more fun with it, as a medium, four or five years ago. Nowadays, it’s a real slog to be genuine or proactive on it. The discussions on it are so tense. It’s like walking into a bar and everyone wants to fight. It isn’t a communal space, but hopefully, something new will come in. On the note of walking into a bar and finding people wanting a fight, I know you love Sauchiehall Street – looking forward to playing the Garage in March? Not just Sauchiehall Street but the whole city, it is an incredibly magic place that I think of fondly and I cannot wait to be back in Glasgow. Being English and going to Glasgow and having to tune into the accent and hear people talking on the street is a
MUSIC great pleasure in life. You are doing a series of in-store shows billed as Drenge Philharmonic, what are these? We want to promote our record and support record shops and perform live but we can’t afford to take our full band around the country to play in record stores. Also, we don’t want to do an acoustic thing because I’m not sure our thing will be that good. So we’ve come up with Drenge Philharmonic. Philharmonic means love of music or harmony and it’s our little digital orchestra. The Wytches support you on your next tour, do you get involved with choosing your support? We always pick our support bands carefully because it’s not just about walking into a gig, it’s
about the whole night. It’s a big deal for us that people would come and see us so the curation of the evening is important. What are you most looking forward to when the album is released? Seeing what happens to songs and the discussions or ideas people have after they listen to them is important. It’s interesting seeing which tracks do well after the album comes out. Sometimes a song changes in the way that the audience sings a song back to you and you can’t stray from that, and it can remind you of what the song means. Finding that out from other people is a humbling experience. Drenge release Strange Creatures on February 22nd and play Glasgow Garage on Wednesday 27th of March.
Music by Andy Reilly Page 13
tokenism as a queer band? There are always elements of tokenism. We see it with women in bands: “We need to put a female band on the line up or we’ll get criticism.” That being said, I would hope that the music comes first; I do talk about queer politics but I always see Queen Zee as music first, art first. It’s an outlet that comes from a queer place, but at the same time, I want the product to be good. You should be able to enjoy the songs themselves, regardless of the themes or politics. Do you consider the band to be political? No, and I say quite a lot that I’m accidentally political. We’re not Rage Against the Machine: I just write about things that are personal, and when I’m addressing queer politics, I’m coming at it from a personal perspective. Take something like Trump’s military ban: it happens to be current and in the media, and I just happen to be transgender, sharing my personal experiences. People may seem political but I don’t feel there’s much commentary in music itself, perhaps exclusively on social media platforms. Do you feel any sense of apathy in pop music today? How can we retaliate? It’s horrendous. Guitar music, in particular has become really minimalist, like there’s nothing there at all. Any real subject matter has totally disappeared. It was great last year to see a band like Idles really take hold and achieve a top 5 album. It’s political and it’s angry but also really joyful and tapping into what people are thinking and feeling right now. I look at a lot of pop music and indie landfill nonsense: it’s not about anything, they’re not real love songs. “I saw a girl in a bar and she looked alright:” it’s pointless and we don’t need it. How much of your onstage persona is just that and how much is your authentic self? I always think a lot of your persona onstage is just adrenaline, you at your most intense. When I’m screaming at the audience, asking how everyone’s doing, it’s different to talking to my Nan at dinner. But at the same time, it’s still you: if you hurt yourself, it will hurt tomorrow. I like to think it’s like the Incredible Hulk. It’s the same person; he’s just exploded out of himself.
Unpredictable, queer and hugely talented, Queen Zee prove punk is still alive and more crucial than ever. Fronted by the electric, commanding Zena Davine [aka Queen Zee], the band is completed by co-founding member and multi-instrumentalist Jason Taylor-Brown, Frankie Wortho on bass and vocals, Ash Summers on keyboards, percussion and vocals and Dave Bloom on drums and percussion. Hailing from Liverpool, the quintet is loud, angry and their music will stick with you for hours. Their debut self-titled LP boasts eleven joyfully anarchic gems and the band is taking their new record on the road. As they prepare to bring their headlining tour to Glasgow, allow us to formally introduce you to one of the UK’s most irreverent and exciting bands. In an era where the world is going down the toilet, it’s nice to hear other people being pissed off too. We sat down with Zee herself: between kidney stones and the chippy next to The Garage, we also managed to discuss new music, misogyny in punk and the cure to apathy in pop. Iggy Pop said about Queen Zee: “I don’t wanna say they’re dirty, they look a little weird, they rock like crazy.” Coming from him, how close do you think he is? He was mates with David Bowie, and he thinks we’re weird. I feel like Iggy Pop’s threshold is higher than the average person’s; for him to say that we’re weird, it’s got to be true. I’m a big Stooges fan so that’s a massive compliment. Is punk inherently queer? I think it’s definitely come from that place. Look at the word “punk:” it was a slur for someone who looked effeminate or homosexual, it was used against Oscar Wild. And on top of that, a lot of the imagery of punk – leather and spikes – have come from queer BDSM culture. Some bands have gone so beyond that, but there’s something definitely queerinfluenced in punk. And in queer culture, people take what’s brilliant about it and do it do death, until it’s something completely different. Do you ever feel pigeon-holed or victims of
Music by Jonny Stone Page 15
Who are your personal musical icons, artists that continue to inspire you? I’m not a massive music listener, which puzzles a lot of people! It’s been my new year’s resolution to search out and listen to new music. I love Dream Wife; I was watching them every night and Alice Go is such an interesting guitar player. I’m really enjoying an artist from America called Brooke Candy, who’s a really interesting character with quite aggressive music. And there’s a death metal band I really like called Venom Prison, who we played with years ago when we were a much heavier band. They’re relentless and are doing loads of great stuff in heavy metal. You’re quite open about your punk persona and attitude. Have you ever landed yourself in hot water, on or off stage? Yeah, there have been a few phone calls
QUEEN ZEE from various people in our team… “Can you please delete that Tweet?” I have a bit of a rude sense of humour, and some people don’t always find it appropriate, which I understand. So yes, there have been moments when Tweets have disappeared! Onstage, any time when crowds have been offended by us, it’s usually when we’re addressing queer issues with the wrong crowd. We did a “No Brexit” chant at a gig and someone stuck two fingers up at us, and we’ve had people shout homophobic abuse at us. No one’s ever been too offended at a bit of swearing or any sex imagery.
I DON’T WANNA SAY THEY’RE DIRTY, THEY LOOK A LITTLE WEIRD, THEY ROCK LIKE CRAZY.” Have you experienced a lot of homophobic backlash? Yes and no. It’s bizarre for me, because when we play really big events, like Reading and Leeds, that’s when there, logically, would be moments when you are addressing a mainstream audience: they don’t necessarily know who you are, they’re not there to see you, and they’re there to see the headliner and happen to run across you. But it’s never happened like that! There always seems to be an undercurrent in punk music that has a far-right, slightly closeted attitude that still exists. People are happy to have a laugh and take the piss when the minute you try and take LGBT+ equality seriously, that’s not okay. That’s where
it’s prevalent for us. And online is totally different: we’ve been targeted by troll bots, suddenly 200 people on a Facebook post are telling you to kill yourself. We’ve become good at dealing with it, but that’s the reality of being political in this era. You’re playing The Garage in a few weeks, have you been there before? I’ve been to the chippy next to The Garage, but never been in The Garage…We’ve done King Tuts a few times. What have your experiences of a Scottish audience so far, any notable moments? There are quite a few similarities between a Scouse audience and a Glasgow audience: it’s a fun, lively audience who’s always up for a good time. There’s no bullshit there! In London, people can be little stand-offish, a little too cool.
In Glasgow, people want to have a good time. We’ve done Dunfermline and Dundee and it got hectic. It’s great to see the first support band go on and have people really go for it from doors open. I’m expecting a busy, sweaty gig. Album and tour aside, what does 2019 have in store for the band? Loads! The most important thing so far has been new music: we’re sitting on a second and third album worth of material already so we’ll be working towards that. And we’re doing Rebellion in Blackpool, a really big punk one and some other cool events. Queen Zee play The Garage on Wed 20 Feb, and their debut self-titled LP is available on vinyl, CD and digital formats via the band’s own label Sasstone Records.
Q Z Music by Jonny Stone Page 17
MAN OF MOON I LIKE THE NATURAL SOUND OF THE STREET AND EVEN WHEN I WAS A KID, I’D TRY TO TAP INTO RHYTHMS AROUND ME.
MO MOON Man of Moon came from the stratosphere, or at least the East Coast, sounding unlike so many of their contemporaries, breathing fresh life into the new Scottish music scene. We caught up with Chris on the verge of their UK tour and a new EP being released. You guys have been going since 2012, does it seem that long? No chance! Mikey and I met at college doing sound production. It didn’t take long for us to leave! The class needed a guitarist and drummer to go into the live room to practice, we hit it off quickly and then started skipping classes! We didn’t take it seriously until 2013 but after we got picked up by our manager Jamie at a Phantom Band show at the Art School, it’s been full-on.
What’s your favourite thing about playing live? One of the main enjoyments we used to get out of gigs was testing out new tunes or parts of a jam in front of a crowd. We don’t do that as much now. I really like the intensity of a gig because you don’t have the lights or a crowd in a rehearsal room. And you can play a lot louder, we’re big fans of playing loud! It is nice when you have people in the crowd that know the tunes but you feel a bit more pressure in that you have to plan your set and make sure you play certain tunes. Our manager changed that, telling us we have to play certain songs in our set! What is the songwriting process for Man of Moon? It can change a wee bit. A lot of the time I’ll get an idea in my head and record it straight into my voice recorder. For 'Ride The Waves', I came up with the bassline at home and then the next day I was in work and I could hear the beat and the vocals. I was working in a kitchen and we ran out of onions so I was sent up to Sainsbury’s to buy some. I was listening to the bass line when this ambulance raced by me and the second verse has a swirling synth that came from the ambulance. I like the natural sound of the street and even when I was a kid, I’d try to tap into rhythms around me. After work I went straight home, set up a projector on the wall and was up all night getting the song finished. We were in the rehearsal room the next day and it came really quickly. With another song on the record, it was a joint process. I went to Mikey’s flat, he has a more electronic set-up and he came up with a techno part. It was almost like I wrote the first half and he wrote the second half. Anything new or surprising on the EP? There are two tunes which are on the bass. Ride The Waves and the next single are on the bass. We worked with different producers in different studios for each track, which is quite weird but we think it works, they don’t sound that different.
The second song is a fast one and it’s one of our older songs, 'Slide Away'. There are moments on the record where I think we are more mature but it’s still loud, heavy and ambient, all the things we like. Have you any thoughts about expanding your line-up? We’ve had this chat loads of times. We’ve always said we’ll do the first album as a two-piece and see where it goes from there. I’d happily stick with two but we’re not opposed to it. If we do bring someone in, it’ll be an electronic multi-instrumentalist. There are no plans to change it right now, it’s a great dynamic on stage, just the two of us and it’s easy to arrange rehearsals. Are you all set for the tour in February and March? We know what tunes we’re playing: full new EP in full, some old songs and some surprises, including new songs we’re dying for people to hear. For the Glasgow headline act, we’ll hopefully play around an hour. What does the rest of 2019 hold for Man of Moon? All the songs for the album are written and we’ve got plans to record it soon. We know where we want to do it and who with. We’re really happy with the people we’ve worked with on in the EP. We went down to London to The Church Studios with Tom from the Horrors. That was amazing recording in such a professional studio. The EP came about due to funding from PRS and a successful pledge campaign, how important is that for bands these days? Labels are less willing to take a risk on bands these days and expect you to have everything ready. People aren’t buying music as much so PRS and funding are so important and amazing. I really respect all the fans who put money in. That really boosted our confidence, we hadn’t played or released in ages, so a massive thank you to those who supported us. Man of Moon release the Chemicals EP on the 8th of March and play Dundee, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness from February 21 to 1st March, before four English gigs. Music by Andy Reilly Page 19
TOM MCGUIRE AND THE BRASSHOLES
Tom McGuire and The Brassholes released their self titled debut album at the tail end of January. Their sold-out album launch night at Glasgow’s QMU was a chaotic and spectacular evening that gives the band a decent claim to be one of most entertaining live acts in the country right now. The album is a hugely energetic, funk filled slab of fun; shot through with more than just a tinge of existential angst. Just the kind of thing that should be getting regular plays on the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show. We caught up with their massively enthusiastic lead singer and lyricist Tom McGuire just hours before the album’s release.
Where are you all from and how did the band come together? I’m from Glasgow and the rest are essentially vagrants from all over the place. We’ve a guy from Poland, two Yorkshire men, a guy from Dumfries and one from Aberdeenshire. It’s an exciting troupe to be part of. The band came together as it is now during the Commonwealth Games. There were four of us busking; the town was electric at that point, a real festival atmosphere. We were doing this a lot, trying to make some money when, one day, two brass players showed up. We didn’t know these guys but they asked if they could jam along with us. That was the start of the path that we’re on now. We’re now all life long friends - super close and like brothers really.
Ok, tell us a bit more about the album would you? It’s a lot of labour and love. Contrary to what we first put our head over the parapet with; it’s actually quite a deep and thematically consistent record which tells the story of my experience through existential grief and my convalescence through love. But it’s told surreptitiously through the medium of super awesome funk jams. The album itself is thirteen tracks of really good, fun, upbeat music. But there’s a consistent theme there from start to finish. There’s a narrative that runs through that’s ready to be mined for those who want to delve a little deeper. For those who just who just want an immediate listen, each stand alone track is a fantastic piece of music. I think a lot of people would be surprised to hear talk of deeper themes and narratives from yourselves. That’s it, I’m really curious to see how people react, because we released Ric Flair, which is very light hearted and about almost nothing really. We did that as a strategic thing to show the world something immediate and fun, to give an entry level gateway drug into our deeper material. The album is to do with negotiating existential grief in modern life and how one can hope to survive that sort of thing. One of the ways we can hope to survive it is though fun and experiencing joy. So that’s where all this joy and fun comes in. That’s why, even though it’s not really thematically part of the whole, the song ‘Ric Flair’ is in there. It’s just a instance of joy for a lot of people and that’s what living is all about. Really the themes explored in the record are very heavy, very thick and very deep - they essentially address what life is. It’s all there for people to delve into but for the immediate listeners it’s going to be funk jams.
shattering change of situation which led me to examine all the things that previously gave me joy or pleasure. It led me to start asking the question ‘What’s the point?’. This was a funk that I was stuck in for some time; trying to find some meaning and answer questions that didn’t exist to me before. I sought meaning in everything. I realise now, that having experiences of joy in the moment as they are happening and not analysing them to dust, this is what life is. I also tried to find meaning by going to university and involving myself in a vocational course in radiography. I thought that if I could apply myself in a meaningful, altruistic and valuable way, then this would help me. But ultimately that didn’t work. I was one year away from being qualified when I took the leap away from this. The band was doing a bit better and at the same time I was realising that I had never really tried to do music properly. It was a huge gamble, I’m not super young, I’m 32. It precipitated the album’s creation and I’m so glad I made the decision because, this record, I’m proud of it. Tom McGuire and The Brassholes debut album is out now on streaming services, CD and Vinyl. tomandthebrassholes.com
You mentioned the negotiation of existential grief, why did you decide to concentrate on that? Some years ago I experienced a fairly earth Music by Kenny Lavelle Page 21
JULIANA HATFIELD Wierd – Track by track. In the very early nineties, The Lemonheads were coming to the attention of the general public in the UK with the release of It’s a Shame About Ray. The camera-friendly face of their lead singer beamed from newsagent shelves for months on end but one of the keys to their sound on that particular record was the thin, youthful backing vocals from their tiny looking bassist. Little known to most people this side of the cultural pond, she actually had been part of the brilliant Blake Babies who had previously employed Evan Dando (he of the camera-friendly visage) on bass.
Having done her stint in the Lemonheads following Blake Babies breakup, Hatfield released a solo album, Hey Babe, before releasing 1993’s Become What You Are under the guise of The Juliana Hatfield Three (the other two being Todd Phillips & Dean Fisher – fond switchers of instruments throughout gigs). That album cemented Hatfield’s place in the public consciousness (quite rightly – it’s a bedroom song-writer’s blueprint) and she seemed to be everywhere. ‘My Sister’ was on MTV’s heavy rotation, ‘Spin the Bottle’ was on the soundtrack to Reality Bites and Hatfield even appeared on a monumental Christmas special of My So Called Life opposite a teenage duo of Claire Danes and Jared Leto. If you haven’t seen the particular episode, it was surreally dark for its time and Juliana plays a (spoiler – redacted) who (spoiler – redacted) but it turns out all along she was (SPOILER – REDACTED). 26 years later, and Juliana has just released her 17th solo album. The Juliana Hatfield Three reformed in 2015 and released the sweetly jaggy Whatever, My Love and, since then, Juliana has been releasing new stuff with the regularity and work ethic of a musical Bertha (it was a big green factory machine in a stop motion animation – google it, kids). 2017’s Pussycat was Hatfield’s most political record to date and a direct reaction to the dawning era of President Trump. 2018 saw her release an album of Olivia Newton-John covers which is 50+ minutes of emotional beauty. Her version of ‘I Honestly Love You’ will break any vaguely operational heart and I can make a hearty pub debate case for it being the album of last year. On first listen, Weird ties itself to tried and tested ground and I was left longing for the record to take slightly more risks – go down more slightly leftfield paths and experiment a bit more. On further listens, though, the songs start to connect and, well, I’m glad she didn’t try to release a Grime or Crabcore crossover. First track ‘Staying In’ treads familiar sonic
ground – two contrasting guitars (one nearly clean, one quietly fuzzy) usher in a shuffle of a verse but the chorus really opens out the song’s rhythm. “I’m staying in, my hair’s not right, And if I go out, Somebody might take me for a functioning human being” is a far more hummable line than it looks written down. Thematically, it tucks the listener straight in to Weird’s recurring mood of comfortable solitude. ‘It’s So Weird’ is a real grower. The arrangement is understated with economic fantasy piano notes highlighting the quieter sections – the verses are catchier than the chorus, which is something of a recurring personal motif for Hatfield (her biggest ever single didn’t have a chorus at all). Juliana plays all instruments except (most of the) drums on the record but I’m a sucker for her underrated guitar playing – various guitars, rigs and pedals are used but the trademark trebly sound with slightly off-centre note placement is so very definitely her. She shreds at times but, worry not, she never strays into the territory of the derivative pentatonic “jobby sniff” axe-wielder. ‘Sugar’ is a skipping, ultra-treble-y song that ties a fairly optimistic melody to world weary lyrics. The production across the whole album is extremely polished and ‘Sugar’ is mixed to stand out. As the songs have grown on me with repeat listens, so has the production. I had thought the whole thing slightly over-compressed first time through. Nothing dominates or ruins the mix but the underlying dirt in some of the instruments felt like it could be slightly more in the listener’s face. However, there is more going on in the mix than you might notice first time round – it’s pretty skilfully textured. ‘Everything’s For Sale’ starts with a start-stop guitar riff being answered by a synth but the whole band coming in takes the song into an unexpectedly full and fluid journey. Lyrically, it’s one of those list songs where rattling off the names of objects creates its own associations. I can’t help picking out the “edible pants” line but, frankly, I think that’s more related to hunger than an
emotional attachment to pants. Then comes the glorious grind of bar room guitar that is ‘All Right, Yeah’. Easily the sultriest thing on the whole record, it manages to purr throughout and the refrain will have you gently doing one of those circular air punches before side A ends with ‘Broken Doll’. A song which could have come straight from 1995’s Only Everything. The riff is a molten blues-y exclamation and the repetitive chorus will have you joining in before your first listen is over. ‘Receiver’ starts with and builds around an almost staccato guitar riff - the last minute of the song is probably its most thrilling as organs cascade around said riff and the guitar gets gradually growlier. Lead single, complete with trippy video, ‘Lost Ship’ is a real high point. There’s a definite Sonic Youth feel to the swampy collection of guitars driving the verses. Thematically, the song is an extension of the old trope of staring out at sea wishing to be taken far away – the extension is that she wishes to escape (or return) to space. The solo is a crunchy Godsend. Probably the most forgettable track here, ‘Paid to Lie’ develops from a basic riff up to stringsoaked ending. The last two tracks, ‘No Meaning’ and ‘Do It To Music’ are a perfect duo to end on – ‘No Meaning’ has an emotive guitar lead fighting with the vocal melody while Juliana sings “Oh why do you do it?” making every syllable sound like a heartbreak. ‘Do It To Music’ could be an anthem/ manifesto written by a 20 year old and, it’s at this point I realised that I’ve been listening to this young sounding voice all these years and now, with its owner now in her fifties, it sounds as vital as it always has done. Music by Stephen McColgan Page 23
Visiting a bar named after a semi-autobiographical novel about the psychological breakdown of a young woman within the context of the difficulties of the 1950s probably isn’t what you’d expect to find near to Viccy Road! However, The recentlyopened Bell Jar is not a depressing place. Well, face-palm portrait on the back wall aside, it’s new and fresh, breathing life into what was the very tired Life O Reilly on the corner of Dixon Avenue and Westmoreland Street in Govanhill.
It’s brought to you by the same team behind The Sparkle Horse on Dowanhill Street in the west end - Sci-Fi Steve from Bis and friends - who hope to emulate what they did for The Dowanhill, reviving another tired pub (although we were fond of the regular appearances of the June Love Trio). Anyway, back to the actual bar. A black and white scene from Gregory’s Girl greets you on arrival. The colour scheme is pastel shades of burgundy and grey. There’s lots of wood - around the bar with wooden tables and flooring too. The seating reminded us of school chairs and science lab stools...perhaps they salvaged these from Mrs Foodie’s old school before the demolished it Abronhill High in Cumbernauld, where Gregory’s Girl was filmed? Probably not but it helps us feel like we were meant to be here on a dreary cold and wet day. We were the first to arrive for food but were soon joined by others. No one was talking about John Gordon Sinclair, Dee Hepburn or Bill Forsyth, instead we overheard talk about how Govanhill was on the up. First came the hipster coffee shops, then the bars, next Bilson Eleven Southside? The menu is kept simple - a single sheet of A4 listing shareable small plates, mostly Mediterranean in feel but Govanhill has long been an area in flux, a history of Irish, Pakistani and Roma immigration, so it’s only right that there should be peat smoked fish and pilaf on the menu too. Food arrives when ready and first to do so was the Lamb shoulder lasagne topped with goats cheese. Can’t say we’ve had lamb and goats cheese together all that often but this had the hallmarks of a long-lost Greek grannie’s comfort food. Hearty wholesome fare which was gobbled up quickly! Next came the Spicy baked aubergine with cherry tomatoes (vegan). This was not blowyour-head-off hot but was heavy on cumin. The aubergine was lovely, it’s something we don’t eat too often, as it can be a tad bitter if not prepared properly. Not a problem here. Lots of moist and
FOOD AND DRINK tender flavoursome aubergine. The peat smoked haddock, potato and leek gratin had an enticing aroma and flavour. It’s a great combo but our only criticism was that the sauce was quite thin, almost more like an extremely chunky cullen skink soup. We also ordered a side of nicely goldenbrowned rosemary roast potatoes which we happily dooked into the sauces of all the dishes above. Crispy outside and fluffy inside, they helped us both forget the dreich weather outside. Last to arrive was the fried halloumi with pomegranate, almonds and chilli. The halloumi came in chunky strips, scattered with the flaked almond, pomegranate seeds, chilli and coriander; so you got a bit of crunch, some tart fruitiness, the squeak of the cheese and a bit of heat as well. Like the spiced aubergine this wasn’t all that hot but the chilli still packed a wee punch. We didn’t have dessert because we were trying to be good, but sweet options change daily and are listed on the blackboard in the bar. One of today’s choices was apple crumble. so hard to not to order that. The food was wonderful. Simple, honest, moreish with some unusual choices. Service was friendly and quick. Toilets were clean and tidy with baby facilities also available.
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Just a street behind the hustle and bustle of Clerk Street, St Leonard’s Street is actually pretty quiet but inside The Auld Hoose, which had only just opened for the day, death metal was blaring away. On a Sunday afternoon. Drinks-wise there is a big focus on whisky, with at least 27 bottles, including Japanese and Bourbon choices. If you fancy a beer they have 3 cask ale pumps, with excellent choices of Titanic Plum Porter, Oakham Ales Citra and Stewart Brewing Radical Road Reverse (Radical Road at 4.6% instead of the usual 6.4%) on our visit. The draught beer selection includes Tiny Rebel Clwb Tropicana, West St Mungo
and Brewdog Punk IPA so it’s veering towards ‘craft’. If you’re feeling hungry then you’ve come to the right pub. They are famous for selling the biggest plate of nachos in Edinburgh. A whopping 5.9lbs (2.7kg) of nachos, including cheese, kidney beans, jalapeños, sour cream and guacamole. We decided that was too much of a task for just the two of us so we just ordered regular nachos, but this smaller portion was still a mighty challenge. At £13 they come with or without cheese and beef, so can be made meaty, vegetarian or vegan. We obviously had the works and wolfed this as best we could to a metal cover of The Police’s
'Message In A Bottle!' If we could have, we would have requested an S.O.S to save our stomachs! But we didn’t stop there, being gluttons for macaroni we also ordered the Beer Mac ‘n’ Cheese served with three slices of garlic bread. These are £8 and for an extra £1.25 you can add toppings of pulled pork, bacon or sun-dried tomatoes, we opted for the pulled pork, which made this another mountain of food that we struggled to finish! We don’t know what beer goes in the recipe, or if it made much difference to the overall taste but the macaroni was certainly gooey, cheesy and filling. More massive plates of nachos came out to other tables and we watched as deflated couples gave up their half-eaten plates like sacrifices to whatever Norse god the current metal band were screaming about. So, try not to over order as they don’t do doggy bags. The regular nachos is probably just enough food for 2 people on an empty stomach. Only take on the gigantic nachos If there is a group of you (4-6 people) or your name is Adam Richman As we were leaving, the music had mellowed out to Cake’s 'Race Car Ya-Yas'. So we rode off into the distance to ‘The land were large fuzzy dice still hang proudly like testicles from rear-view mirrors’. Food is served 12 noon - 9:30 Monday to Saturday, and from 12:30 - 9:30 on Sundays. They don’t take reservations but students get 10% off all food. Breakfast is available until 3pm, which includes a full traditional breakfast, vegetarian and vegan versions. For the less hungry, breakfast rolls are available. Again these can be meaty (bacon, egg & haggis), vegetarian (mushroom, egg & veggie haggis) or vegan (mushroom, fried tomato & veggie haggis *which is actually vegan*). After 3pm only nachos, burgers, hot dogs, burritos and the like are available. The pub is dug-friendly but children are not allowed in at any time. Both male and female toilets were clean with Scottish Fine Soap and Excel hand dryers in each, which is good when eating messy nachos. Music was a mix of 80s/90s rock and metal featuring Deftones, Tool and Mastodon.
IN BRIEF Absolutely massive portions Breakfast served until 3pm Veggie and vegan options Metal jukebox Good toilets
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Started out on the vegan trail in January and not quite sure about your options for eating out yet? We’ll start with an easy one. Everyone loves pizza. But of course not all pizza is created equally, and this is even more the case when you start taking dairy off the menu. Believe me we’ve had some shockers, including a pizza topped with a 5 inch pyramid of grey vegan cheese (it was crumbled tofu). Starting off with the chains, the handy and reliable stop off points where you can grab a bite to eat wherever you might be out and about. Mozza is our pick of the vegan pizza options, even though they’ve no set vegan option - it’s a chef’s surprise, basically you get what you’re given, but we’ve never been disappointed. Their neapolitan base is always perfectly baked with a big bubbly charred crusts, and their toppings are as fresh as you could ever ask. They don’t do vegan cheese here, but you probably won’t miss it, the veg toppings are packed full of flavour and stand perfectly on their own. Mozza have branches in Aberdeen, Glasgow. Dundee and St Andrews. Why no Mozza in Edinburgh? Pizza Express have been offering their cheeseless Giardiniera pizza for years now and they’ve added dairy-free cheese to their menu in the past year. The standard base can be a little undercooked, and it’s not always the comfiest of environments. But for a quick stop off (assuming you’ve a ubiquitous 2 for 1 voucher) it’s good value and the service is always spot on. They’ve recently launched a new puttanesca smothered option (no anchovies in the vegan version) topped with jackfruit, olives and capers that we’re looking forward to trying out. They’ve branches everywhere - of course. If for you, a pizza isn’t a pizza till it has cheese on
it then Toni’s Pizzeria on Gibson Street, Glasgow should definitely be on your list. A neopolitan base much like Mozza but in our experience a little less charred, their veg toppings are more of the everyday variety, it’s the cheese that really sets things off. It’s not quite similar in texture to any dairy cheese I remember but it’s tasty as all hell, without being overpowering like many vegan cheeses can be. You can sit in, they’ve a slightly hidden seating area downstairs, or if the weather is decent, take your pizza for a walk down by the River Kelvin.
There are loads of really good vegan pizza options in Edinburgh but if we could only choose one place then we’d go La Favorita every time. It’s a slightly obvious choice but with their awesome thin crust, delicious mutti tomato sauce and a quality vegan cheese option they are hard to beat. Their classic Margherita is a top notch lunch time filler (we try to make sure to pick up one whenever we’re out delivering Snack mags) and the Vegetariana works perfectly as part of a proper sit down with salad and a glass of red. @Pizza are also great for a quick stop off, it’s rapid - 60 seconds pizza in a Subway sandwich shop style with choices abound. There are decisions to be made on base type (sourdough or gluten free) and sauce, (vegan choices include classic tomato, smokey barbecue and roquito pepper sauce). Then there’s the toppings. There seem to be about a million different combinations on offer, we like to go back and try something different each time. We love that you put whatever you want on your pizza and there’s no judgement, yup even if your tastebuds fancy a pineapple, cheese and olive combo! If we’re in Dundee then Project Pizza is where we like to be (if we’re not in Mozza or Little Mexico). The pizzas are totally customisable with a tasty gluten free base option and loads of vegan toppings - it’s totally simple for everyone to create what they want. The refillable drinks are also a big plus point. If you’re feeling skint or just out for a quick bite at lunch then their £5 build your own pizza deal is available 12-5pm. One thing to watch out for is that The Project Pizza standard base isn’t vegan and you’ll have to upgrade to that… so it might not be a fiver after all. Let us know if we’ve missed any of your favourites via Twitter @snackmag
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Vegan by Kenny Lavelle Page 29
SCOTLAND The WEsT Coast And inverness
It’s so easy to forget the beauty and history on our doorstep when there’s a whole world out there to discover. Scotland really does have everything - stunning scenery, delicious food, famous historic sites and stories in spades. So get planning to discover more of Scotland this year! In this part, we look at where to visit on the west coast and Inverness, next month east! The islands of the Hebrides and Clyde may seem a hassle to explore, but they’re not! The Hopscotch tickets from CalMac make island hopping simple. These pre-paid tickets are valid for 31 days from the date of your first journey and can be used in either direction on your chosen route, allowing you to visit multiple islands with a single ticket. A well-known starter island is Arran; dare we repeat the old trope that it’s Scotland in miniature? Well there are mountains for hiking and climbing, standing stones, a mythical cave (where Robert the Bruce is said to have been inspired by that spider), waterfalls, fishing villages, castles, golf courses, wildlife (red squirrels, seals and eagles...), beaches... just about every aspect of Scottish beauty in one place! You might think the Scotland in miniature claim is just good PR on the part of Arran, but believe us, it’s real. What’s also real is that Scotland’s first ever nudist beach can be found here! For local food & drink there’s a whisky distillery (with another on its way in spring), a brewery and award-winning
“YOU MIGHT THINK THE SCOTLAND IN MINIATURE CLAIM IS JUST GOOD PR ON THE PART OF ARRAN, BUT BELIEVE US, IT’S REAL.”
TRAVEL cheese and ice cream. If you’re staying over, just about every type of accommodation is catered for, there’s an award-winning spa hotel, B&Bs, cottages, a youth hostel, caravan parks and a decent number of campsites. Arran is also great for cycling, the coastal roads provide plenty of ups and downs with great views along the way. It will take around 6 hours to cycle round the entire island (55 miles) and it’s absolutely free to bring your bike on the ferry if you’re a foot passenger. Travelling by public transport? Ardrossan harbour can be easily reached by rail from across Scotland and the station is a short walk to the ferry terminal. Travel over to Arran on the ferry, making sure to make friends with the seagulls looking for snacks, and arrive in Brodick, the island’s hub and a great base if you’re planning on tackling the island’s highest mountain, Goat Fell. There’s a handy combined train and ferry ticket that can save you some pennies - around £23 return from Glasgow and around £47 from Edinburgh. Once you’re there, the island bus service can be slightly confusing but the friendly drivers will pick up or drop you off pretty much anywhere on their route (best get a Stagecoach Dayrider or Megarider ticket if you’re planning on doing some exploring). From Brodick you can catch the bus or walk 30 minutes or so to visit Arran Cheese (Home Farm, Isle of Arran KA27 8DD) - you can even watch the cheese being made, and of course, try a few samples. Travelling south from Brodick, Lamlash is the biggest town on the island, where you’ll find the island’s only police station, secondary school and hospital. The town looks out on the bay towards Holy Isle, which can be visited by boat from Lamlash. The island has had a long history with Christian monks but is nowadays home to a Buddhist retreat.
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Head further south to Whiting Bay where you can begin one of the island’s easiest and prettiest walks along a looping path to see the double cascade of the Glenashdale Falls followed by the Giant’s Graves. It will take about 2 hours to walk the whole route. On the opposite side of the island is the village of Blackwaterfoot, home to one of the few 12-hole golf courses in the UK! From here, a scenic rocky path will take you towards Drumadoon Point, an old iron age fort and then King’s Cave (of Robert the Bruce fame). Machrie Moor Standing Stones are then a little further north and inland. It will take a good 3 hours to do the full walk. To complete your visit to Arran travel north to Lochranza to visit the Arran Distillery and Visitor Centre (Ballarie Bridge, KA27 8HJ). We’d recommend you take the tour with a tutored tasting to find out if you prefer the 10-year-old or the Arran Gold Cream liqueur. A 20-minute walk further north is the ruined Lochranza Castle (KA27 8HL). It’s rumoured to be the basis for the one in Tintin’s adventure ‘The Black Island’ and well worth a look. If you’re continuing on your explorations, you can take the ferry from Lochranza over to Claonaig on the Kintyre peninsula and then drive or take the bus to Kennacraig Ferry Terminal, where you can take the stunning 2 and a bit hour journey to Islay, or to Tayinloan for the quick ferry across to lush and peaceful, community owned Gigha. If you’re a whisky fan and want to bag them all, then at this point, a wee detour to Campbelltown is probably in order. This, the largest town in Kintyre, was at one point the whisky capital of the world and home to 30 distilleries. Nowadays there are only 3 working distilleries. From here you can spend some time around Machrihanish with its gorgeous dunes and consistent surfing. There’s reasonably comfortable wooden huts and bell tents complete with fridge and microwave at the local holiday park if you fancy spending a couple of nights to catch your breath. Head back north to catch stark and beautiful Islay; there’s a choice of ferry, depending on the
“SKYE HAS A WEALTH OF NATURAL SIGHTS TO SEE FROM AFAR OR VISIT UP CLOSE”
time of day, from Kennacraig to either Port Ellen or Port Askaig. Peat is a major part of what makes Islay special. It’s used for fuel, as fertiliser on crops and to flavour the barley that is used in making whisky - often imparting a smoky, or in some cases medicinal aroma and taste. The peaty flavours may not be to everyone’s taste but you can’t visit Islay without trying a dram or two! There are eight established distilleries, one which opened last year and at least another two in development. Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg are all along the south-east coast near Port Ellen, while Bunnahabhain, Caol Isla and Ardnahoe, the ninth distillery, are along the north-east coast near Port Askaig. Bowmore and Bruichladdich (who also make the Botanist gin) is on Loch Indaal, the sea loch in the north-west while Kilchoman is further west and the only ‘inland’ distillery. Whilst on the island, make a visit to Finlaggan (PA45 7QT). The fresh air here will certainly blow away any whisky fog. Not much remains, however it predates a unified Scotland and was once the seat of the Lord of the Isles, making it the most important
settlement in all the Scottish islands. So much so, that it featured in a soggy 1995 Time Team special - keep a geophysics/trench/midden whisky to hand if you’re going to YouTube it. The ruins of the island settlement can be reached by bridge. At least one overnight stay is recommended at the Ballygrant Inn (PA45 7QR), a cosy and comfortable stopping point. If you haven’t tried enough whisky during the day then visit their whisky bar which has well over 400 different varieties! From Port Askaig, you can get the 5 minute ferry across onto Jura, an island with only one main road. The village of Craighouse on the east coast of the Island is the biggest settlement. Here you will find the island’s only hotel/pub, shop and church as well as Jura Distillery - that’s another one off the list! If gin is more your thing, travel further north to the all-female Lussa distillery (PA60 7XW, tours by appointment only). Visit the Northern tip of Jura and look towards the island of Scarba to see the Gulf of Corryvreckan and its whirlpool, which although dangerous is a popular attraction - it has at least one whisky named
after it! The Paps of Jura can be seen from parts of Islay, Kintyre, and in good weather from both Skye and Northern Ireland. The hills have distinctive conical shapes resembling Dolly Parton’s finest assets, that’s right, her lungs. ‘Pap’ is an old Norse word for breast. Another historical tidbit, George Orwell lived at Barnhill in the north of Jura whilst recovering from tuberculosis. It was here that he finished writing Nineteen Eighty-Four. Return to Islay to move on. From Port Askaig you can take the ferry to Oban via Colonsay, or head back to Kennacraig on the mainland. The coach from Campbeltown to Glasgow stops in Inveraray where you can change onto the Oban bus or if you fancy a night or two here then there are a few great choices, Brambles (PA32 8TU) is a wee slice of rolltop-bath luxury, The George Hotel (PA32 8TT) has ornate rooms with fancy baths, a well stocked bar and a roaring log fire in winter while Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa (PA32 8XT) has interesting history, Winston Churchill held a number of war cabinets here! On arrival in Oban, the most striking feature is on the hill above town - McCaig’s folly, built in the style of a Roman coliseum but only ever partially completed. From there you get a great view over the bay and it’s an ideal place to watch the sun go down. If you are ticking off all the distilleries then Oban Distillery is right in the middle of town. There
Travel by Mark & Emma, foodieexplorers.co.uk Page 33
are a reasonable amount of places to eat. Seafood is, of course, popular and fresh. If your budget doesn’t stretch to a sit-in meal you’ll find quality fish and chips from any of the chippies in town. If you have time, travel south to Clach Na Sula (PA34 4TJ), the ‘bridge over the Atlantic’ onto Seil island and have a quick drink in Tigh-An-Truish (PA34 4QZ), ‘The House of the Trousers’, where it is said that after the Battle of Culloden while the wearing of kilts was banned, the locals who would wear kilts on the island and change into trousers here before crossing to the mainland! Oban is also an excellent base for more island hopping (to Mull, Lismore, Kerrera, Coll or Tiree) or venturing further to the Hebrides or the north-west coast. West Coast Tours offer summer tours such as the 9-hour Loch Ness day tour, which includes a cruise on Loch Ness, exploration of Urquhart Castle (IV63 6XJ) and brief stops at Fort William, which sits beneath Ben Nevis, the UK’s largest mountain, and the iconic Commando Memorial (PH34 4EG) near Spean Bridge. There’s also a 7 hour Glencoe and Glenfinnan day tour. Here you will visit the foreboding Glencoe valley, where Outlander and Skyfall were filmed, and learn about the massacre of the MacDonalds while taking in the sights of Buachaille Etive Mor and Glen Etive. Afterwards the bus will head to Glenfinnan, made famous by both the monument to the Jacobites and the viaduct used in Harry Potter. This tour also includes a lunch stop in Fort William. From here you can head towards the little harbour town of Mallaig and the ferry to Armadale on Skye. The most popular route to Skye, however, is back towards Fort william and further north on the A87 past Loch Garry, which looks a bit like the shape of Scotland when viewed from the Glengarry viewpoint (PH35 4HR). A good bit further along this road you’ll pass the iconic and highly photogenic Eilean Donan castle (IV40 8DX), soon you’ll be crossing the Skye Bridge just past Kyle of Lochalsh, where trains from Inverness terminate. Skye has a wealth of natural sights to see from afar or visit up close, including the Cuillin mountains,
Fairy Glen, the Fairy Pools, Kilt Rock and the Quiraing. Some of the best food we’ve eaten in Scotland can be found in Skye, such as at The Three Chimneys (IV55 8ZT) and Kinloch Lodge (IV43 8QY). Although both have now lost their Michelin stars, Loch Bay (IV55 8GA) has gained one. If you are distillery bagging then you will find Talisker (IV47 8SR) in Carbost. It’s like a cross between Islay and Highland whiskies in aroma and taste. Inverness is, of course, the largest settlement and the capital of the Highlands. It’s also the most northerly city in the UK and far more lively than everywhere listed until now. Recommended places to hear live music include Ironworks (IV1 1LX) and Johnny Foxes (IV1 1QU). The Castle Tavern (IV2 4SA) is also a great boozer with a beer garden facing directly towards the castle. Black Isle Brewery (IV1 1EN) have a tap room plus dorms and private rooms. Their main food draw is woodfired pizza. If you are here to shop, we recommend Leakey’s Bookshop (IV1 1EY) occupying an old church, this second-hand book store covers two floors and is filled with thousands upon thousands of books. The lofty space is kept warm by a wood burning stove in the middle of the building. Also nearby is the Victorian Market (IV1 1PJ), a historic shopping arcade that dates from the 1890’s. visitscotland.com
The Original Loch Ness Tour visiting Nessie since 1985
Scotline Tours offer a diverse range of day, multi-day tours and bespoke tours of the Scottish Highlands. With daily departures from Edinburgh and Glasgow, you can relax, unwind and rest assured that the friendly and knowledgeable team will show you the very best Scotland has to offer. Book online ar scotlinetours.co.uk or call us on 0131 557 0162 Travel by Mark & Emma, foodieexplorers.co.uk Page 35
IN VALENCIA WHAT IS TEFL? TEFL stands for teaching English as a foreign language and is for English speakers who want to qualify to teach English abroad, online or here in the UK.
HOW DO I BECOME TEFL QUALIFIED? First, you need to become TEFL certified. A minimum of 120-hours of training is recommended as this ensures you are as confident and well versed in TEFL as possible. This will also make you eligible for the widest range of job opportunities as 120-hours is a requirement for most employers. TEFL Org UK offers both online-based courses, classroom and combined course options.
WHY VALENCIA? Spain is currently one of the top TEFL destinations in Europe with teaching positions available throughout the country. With a population of just over 1 million, Spain’s third-largest city, Valencia has fast become one of the most popular cities in Spain to TEFL in. Valencia is a bilingual city, with Spanish and Valencian both widely spoken. Since there is now an added pressure to improve proficiency in Spain, the demand for English teachers is higher than ever.
WHERE TO EAT Valencia is the birthplace of paella! Some of the best restaurants are traditional, family-run establishments that have been around for centuries. Some top restaurants favoured by the locals are: RESTAURANTE LEVANTE whereyou can choose from 10,000 different Spanish wines to accompany your paella, LA PEPICA and LA RIUÀ
WHAT TO SEE With striking avant-garde architecture, medieval castles and modernist buildings – there is a lot to see in Valencia. Popular attractions include: 1. VALENCIA CATHEDRAL – home to the ‘Holy Grail’, the actual cup that Jesus drank from at the last supper. 2. CITY OF ARTS & SCIENCES – an architectural complex in the heart of the city, including an IMAX cinema and planetarium, museum, open-air oceanographic house and performing arts centre. 3. VALENCIA’S CENTRAL MARKET – live the life of a local by making a trip to the market. The beautiful modern building is full of traditional stalls where you are likely to come across fruit, veg and meat that you’ve never even seen before! There are also lots of shops and stalls around the perimeter of the building worth checking out. From Europe to South East Asia and everywhere in between, TEFL allows you to take part in a life-enhancing, fun-filled and exciting opportunity. For more information, visit tefl.org.uk.
Travel Supported feature Page 37
While we must never be complacent, it never hurts to celebrate the progress we, the LGBT+ community have made to achieve the level of equality we enjoy today. Of course we have many more steps to climb, but taking stock of landmark moments, people and cultural lynchpins is crucial for any queer person and ally worth their salt. Enter LGBT History Month, a festival of events dedicated to enabling the celebration of queer culture and promoting awareness of the things we need to value the most. LGBT History Month invites you to look back on what brought us here and made a big day dent on what is to come. Whether it’s hosting a queer cinema night, leading a panel on issues facing the LGBT community or throwing a raging party, there are many platforms to push gay culture to the forefront. Created and delivered by the awe-inspiring LGBT Youth Scotland, the festival is also an “opportunity for learning, discussion and debate around the continued fight for LGBT
liberation,” and in the volatile political landscape of 2019, now is as good a time as any to protect our civil and social status. The overall aim of LGBT History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public. The events below are far from exhaustive: there are countless experiences going on in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, as well as cities and towns across the country. For all information about the events and LGBT History Month, visit lgbthistory.org.uk. This year’s theme is CATALYST: 50 Years of Activism, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprisings in New York in 1969, and the birth of the modern Pride movement. And don’t forget that the last Friday of LGBT History Month is Purple Friday: so on Fri 22 Feb, it is your duty to wear purple to stand up against sexual and gender discrimination and support our community. Maybe even make your own and encourage others to make a small donation to LGBT Youth Scotland to take part.
LGBT+ BOGHA-FROIS Taking its name from the Gaelic word for rainbow, this showcase concert is the culmination of a 2018 project for Scottish LGBT+ folk musicians, aimed at creating new work from their personal stories and community perspective. The line-up includes chief organiser and fiddler Pedro Cameron (who Snack was lucky enough to interview in our inaugural issue) working alongside workshop leaders singers/ songwriters Rachel Sermanni and Josie Duncan, fiddler Laura Wilkie, and accordionist Grant MacFarlane and multiinstrumentalist Marit Fält. (Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Strathclyde Suite – 3rd February 20.00, £14)
COMING OUT COURSE
GLASGOW QUEER TIMES SCHOOL PRINTS
Exploring aspects of LGBT, Polysexual, Queer, Intersex + Allies histories and experiences in Scotland from the past 50 years, this exhibition is part of an art and citizenship project commissioned and acquired by Glasgow Museums from Jason E. Bowman, an artist with a curatorial practice. Featuring the work of artists: Adam Benmakhlouf, Jason E Bowman, Hamish Chapman, Kate Charlesworth, Michelle Hannah, Garry Mac, Anne Robinson, Camara Taylor, Donald Urquhart and Henry Rogers. (Gallery of Modern Art – 1st February till 10th March)
Coming out is a continual process which can involve being out to yourself, family, friends, partners, employers and service providers. Hosted by LGBT Health and Wellbeing, this course will give you a chance to think about how ‘out’ you are and discover new strategies to build your confidence and meet others in similar situations in a safe space. (Flourish House, 23-25 Ashley Street – 2nd February, 11.00-17.00)
LGBT+ QUIZ NIGHT A quiz night with an LGBT+ twist, join PCS Proud and PCS Scotland for their 3rd annual LGBT+ History Month Quiz Night for a chance to win £100, with other prizes up for grabs in their Quiz Raffle. Entry is absolutely free (donations welcome) with all funds raised on the night being donated to support local LGBT+ causes. (Blackfriars – 7th February, 19.00) LGBT+ by Jonny Stone Page 39
SELF-EMPOWERMENT FABRIC PRINTING WORKSHOP My personal favourite, LGBT Health and Wellbeing host a special LGBT History Month fabric printing workshop at the Gallery of Modern Art, where you can learn different printing methods and create a garment or accessory containing an empowering message of your choice. You have the option of submitting your work to next year's LGBT Collective’s exhibition. No experience or artistic talent necessary. (Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square – 9th February, 14.00-16.00)
ZINE MAKING WORKSHOP @ QUEER TIMES SCHOOL A creative workshop for LGBTQ+ young people aged 13-25 and part of the queer times school prints exhibition, GoMA invites the young people of LGBT Youth Scotland to a discussion on queer trends in social art and publishing. Discuss the importance of these trends to the LGBTPQI+ community and activism. Using queer artwork and media create your own zine, poster or artwork using collages and/or traditional drawing about a movement or issue that is important to you. Materials will be provided but you are encouraged to also bring your own media to make your piece more unique. (Gallery of Modern Art – 23th February, 14.00-16.00)
EDINBURGH: OLD WAY VOGUE PRACTICE WITH BRONZE PRODIGY OLD NAVY I am so upset I can’t go to this. Dance Base present an introduction to Old Way, the original style of voguing; a dance-based form of expression that is but one part of the Ballroom scene - a culture that grew from the Black and Latinx LGBT+ communities in prisons and the Harlem drag balls. Open to all, especially beginners & non-dancers. (Dance Base, 14-16 Grassmarket – 9th February, 17.30-19.00)
JUNO DAWSON: EDINBURGH THE RABBIT HOLE UNIVERSITY VISITING Following on from the success of last year’s ball, WRITERS As part of their Visiting Writers series, University of Edinburgh welcomes Juno Dawson, a multi award-winning author of novels for young adults. In 2016, she authored the best-selling World Book Day title Spot the Difference, followed by the beautiful and emotive Margot & Me. Juno’s most recent YA novel is Clean, described as “a provocative, important read” by the Observer and “bold and incisive with razor-sharp writing”. At this event, Juno will read from her work, talk about her writing, and take questions from the floor. The event will be chaired by Alice Tarbuck, and there’ll be an opportunity to buy books and have them signed by Juno at the end. (Lighthouse,Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop – 28th February, 18.30-21.30)
TRAVIS ALABANZA ON POETRY AND POWER Poetry and Power Edinburgh hosts London-based performance artist, theatre maker, poet and writer Travis Alabanza, hailed by Artsy, id and Mobo Awards as one of the most prominent emerging people in queer arts activism today. Travis will be giving a talk on poetry as a source of personal and political power, and perform some of their poetry. They’ll afterwards be in-conversation with Edinburgh-based organiser and PhD researcher Jessica Brough, discussing how poetry can be “a vehicle of liberation and transformation.” (David Hume Tower, Lecture Theatre A – 8th February, 19.00-21.00, £4)
Alice Rabbit presents a showcase of local drag talent in an unforgettable cabaret celebration. Expect the unexpected and more fun than you thought physically possible. Later in the month, the Rabbit Hole celebrates the club kids in a drag club night filled with insane fashion and unpredictable performance (Tue 26 Feb). (CC Bloom’s – 12th February, 21.00-3.00, £3)
SQIFF SHORTS ON TOUR SQIFF present on tour an inclusive selection of LGBTQ+ short films from their 2018 Festival Opening Night. Headlining the programme is VISIBLE, created by Campbell X and Kayza Rose, who explore QTIPOC (queer, trans, and intersex people of colour) histories, challenging mainstream perceptions and sanitisation of legacies, and celebrating complexity, multiplicity, myths, gossip, and legends. Also featuring a lesbian sports star coming out, being gay in the Maldives, queer working class vulnerability, and more. (Dundee Contemporary Arts – 13th February, 18.15-20.0)
MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO: FREE SCHOOL SCREENING Into Film presents an educational screening of one of my favourite queer films My Own Private Idaho as part of our LGBT History Month programme showcasing LGBTQ+ cinema. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries. (Dundee Contemporary Arts – 27th February, 10.00-12.10) LGBT+ by Jonny Stone Page 41
FIRST GAY IVF TREATMENT A Scottish couple has made history to become the first gay men to receive IVF treatment on the NHS. The anonymous couple are using one of the men’s sperm to fertilise the egg of a surrogate. The Scottish Government amended laws denying same-sex couples fertility treatment, following the NHS’ previous refusal to offer IVF and other fertility treatment to gay men using a surrogate. According to Pink News, the NHS updated its guidance in 2013 so IVF could be made available to same-sex couples and single women with fertility issues in Scotland, England and Wales. However, this only benefited same-sex female couples because of the ban on using surrogates. Very promising news for prospective parents: we have made real progress in achieving equality and facilitating the creation of rainbow families in such a momentous way feels like a major step in the right direction.
BRAZIL We have discussed the increasingly troubling political landscape in Brazil a lot over the last few months, namely exploring the dangers of President Jair Bolsnoaro and his homophobic attitudes. However, in more disheartening news, it has been revealed that Jean Wyllys, the country’s sole openly gay congressman, has resigned his post and fled Brazil following death threats. This reinforces the fears of many LGBT+ Brazilians that attacks of minorities will continue to rise under Bolsonaro’s regime; Wyllys has insisted that his departure is not due to the success and threat of Bolsonaro but rather the pernicious homophobia in the country and ever-increasing violence towards gender and sexual minorities. Wyllys stated to a newspaper “Why would I want to live four years of my life in an armoured car with bodyguards? Four years of my life when I can’t just go where I want to go?” A worrying and heartbreaking sign of how desperate the nation is.
GAY NYC HIV+ MAYOR
GAY CONVERSION THERAPIST
In more optimistic political news, New York City could soon receive its first openly gay, HIV+ candidate for mayor. Corey Johnson has already made history in becoming the first HIV+ politician in the state of New York as well as the first gay person to assume the role of Speaker of the city council. Johnson revealed on Twitter that “My team just told me we’re averaging about one contribution per minute this morning since I announced I’m considering a Mayoral run.” Johnson has made waves and prioritises homelessness, crime and women’s rights. Plus he got arrested for protesting efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act in Washington DC, so you know he doesn’t take any shit. An exciting prospect, and hopefully an indication of other queer minorities snatching political titles in order to make effective change. Unprofessional editorial side note: he is a fine specimen and gets my vote. Enjoy your Google search.
In the most satisfying news of the month, a prominent advocate for gay conversion therapy has, of course, come out as gay himself. David Matheson, a notable practitioner of the theory that homosexuality is an ailment worthy and capable of being cured, has admitted he has been suffering from internalised homophobia for decades. Matheson claims to have found solace in therapy he received to deal with his own samesex attraction. He said the benefits of that therapy, and his desire to help men like himself, drove him to become a therapist. He released a statement on Facebook: “Not that I would excuse myself, but any shortcomings I had as a therapist came from too narrow a view of what ‘emotionally healthy’ can look like…They came from my own homophobia and narrow-mindedness. I am truly sorry for those flaws and the harm they have surely caused some people. And I’m sorry for the confusion and pain my choice may be causing others.” While his contribution to the destruction of so many lives is inexcusable, the decision of anyone to live their life authentically is never easy and should be admired.
BILAL HASSANI EUROVISION In the face of vitriolic homophobia, openly gay singer Bilal Hassani will represent France in this year’s Eurovison Song Contest in Israel. He won the French program Destination Eurovision by a huge margin despite being inundated with homophobic abuse online. He has received support from LGBT rights organisations SOS Homophobe and Urgence Homophobie to bring those involved to justice, stating “Following the shocking wave of hatred facing Bilal Hassani, SOS Homophobie and Urgence Homophobie are teaming up to target every person who has insulted, discriminated or threatened Bilal Hassani on social networks.” People being held accountable for their homophobic bullshit online?? Surely the work of sorcery. The only issue I take with Hassani is that he was born in 1999 and I feel very attacked. How dare he?
LGBT+ by Jonny Stone Page 43
THE BIG GAY HANDBOOK Yes, Adam Rippon is the sweetheart I wish was my best friend; and Laverne Cox is the sage and affirming big sister I want bossing me around; and you just know I want to pick the brain and bask in the oozing intelligence and warmth of Sandi Toskvig. But at times we overlook the lesser known but just as influential trailblazers who came before them and who inspire the rest of us: to move, to look beautiful and to be bold. And LGBT History Month is just the right time to celebrate those who may not yet be household names, but will hopefully go down in the history books as pioneers in their own way.
WILLI NINJA Anyone who has ever tried to drunkenly vogue at a party (yes, me, as well as almost constantly sober) have many queens to thank for the privilege, namely the incomparable Willi Ninja. Known as the Godfather of Vogue, Ninja was the lynchpin of the Harlem ball scene (particularly the House of Ninja) and combined the effortless grace of Fred Astaire with high fashion modelling and posing to create a dance movement imitated the world over. Madonna may have brought it to the masses, but it was Ninja (as well as many others) who breathed life into the sleek, infectious dance adored today. He was one of countless invaluable artists who succumbed to AIDS-related illnesses, but his legacy is felt in all of us, even in the simple flick of a wrist.
AMANDA LEPORE Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race will hopefully be familiar with club kid icon and pop starlet Amanda Lepore. She has made waves on the underground scene for decades and continues to be a muse for artists, musicians and fashion designers today. Transgender and styled as a hyperfeminine blond bombshell, her post-electroclash music is trumped only by her ability to stand on a stage and capture the attention of everyone in the room. She is a sight to be seen. I had the distinct privilege of seeing Lepore onstage once and even I, a super fan, was not ready for the experience of seeing this cartoon Marilyn onstage. Her body defies the laws of science and she may now have the genetic make up of Tupperware, but her tenacity and effortless chic are inimitable and – in a world of “icons” – truly iconic.
CHAVELA VARGA Chevla is a hero in Latin music, not just because of her arresting, unusual voice, but also her rejection of standard femininity and behaviour. Born in Costa Rica, she was a cigar-smoking, gun-toting ranchera singer who took the Mexican music scene by storm. She was relentless and bold, pushing the the cultural norms of what a Mexican woman should be. She refused to swap pronouns in her songs, dedicating her heart breaking torch songs to the women in her life. I cannot recommend Chavela, the documentary chronicling her life, enough to anyone interested in the life of a woman who played by her own rules.
APRIL ASHLEY We are blessed to still have April Ashley with us! Ashley is one of the earliest known people to transition in the UK. She has had a fascinating life, serving in the navy before becoming a cabaret star in Paris and wildly successful model. Ashley appeared on the cover of Vogue and became an actress before being outed in the papers and suffering a major career set back. April Ashley is the perfect example of an LGBT icon who broke ground, allowing future generations to benefit from the progress she achieved.
Do you have 10 minutes to spare on your morning commute? Spend it wisely and read a poem by Frank O’Hara. Then read it again to really savour how funny, ironic, tragic and streamlined it is. O’Hara’s writing is super personal in tone, akin to a diary entry, and focuses largely on observations of life as a queer man in New York City in the throes of the Harlem Renaissance. Plus he rejected the notion or standards of traditional poetry, writing in his mock manifesto: “I don’t ... like rhythm, assonance, all that stuff. You just go on your nerve. If someone’s chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you don’t turn around and shout, ‘Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep.’” Use your time efficiently: read Frank O’Hara.
LGBT+ by Jonny Stone Page 45
C’EST LA VIE The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) can serve as a mine for undiscovered gems. I have been fortunate to unearth a few. Often a film will be something of a surprise or you’ll hear whispers of a festival beauty that you shouldn’t miss. I must confess; I went into C’est La Vie completely unaware of what i was going to see. Thankfully, It is a joy. The film, directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, follows wedding planner Max (played to perfection by Jean-Pierre Bacri) for a day as he promotes his business and organises, what appears to be, the wedding of the year. We see his interactions with infuriated waiters, off the book workers, a self aggrandising wedding band, a grammar bully, an out of touch photographer and an immensely infuriating groom. All of these characters give the film a real sense of depth. Once introduced you will revel in their stories and anticipate the potential conclusions as the film progresses, always with
hilarious effect. Every character in the film is unique, thought out, and in their own way loveable. Even the unbearable groom displays some charm by the end of the film. The beauty of C’est La Vie is in the set up: small scenarios that become a part of the huge chaos in the third act. The formula is executed perfectly here; you find yourself emotionally invested in all that is going on and can only laugh in despair as so much goes wrong. The film’s finale is a genuine show stopper. When the film goes silent for a brief period (I will remain spoiler free in these 500 words or so) I had to look away from the screen due to a convulsive fit of laughter, a truly hilarious spectacle that left me feeling faint from laughter, something I seldom experience (In fact, the last time I felt faint from laughter was in 1998 when I snuck into a screening of The Big Lebowski). C’est La Vie is a treat: it looks and sounds great, is populated with beautifully written characters and manages to deliver a positive
message about love, hope and friendship. There are moments in the film that capture the kind of charm and togetherness of seminal work like Takeshi Kitano’s A Scene at the Sea while also delivering the kind of riotous belly laugh belonging to films like Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles and any film mentioned in the same sentence as these is most deserving of your time. I would note that while Brexit chaos is spiralling ever out of control, it can be difficult to not get caught up in the emotion and anger that is felt. I have seen C’est La Vie twice and on both occasions something awful had been reported in the Brexit whirl wind, as this is a daily occurrence, I cannot recall what. I went into the cinema on both occasions furious. While watching the film I managed to forget the incompetence of leadership, the disgusting tolerance of lying politicians and parliament’s absence of a basic calculator. In these troubled times I don’t know what more you could want from a film. A near perfect picture. C’est La Vie is out now on digital and Blu-ray. Film by Chris Grant Page 47
PREVIEW The Glasgow Film Festival continues to grow in stature on the international film scene. In addition to the excellent program of films that we have come to expect, the festival’s industry program continues to impress with sessions for all levels of filmmaking: from careers advice at entry level, to professional development opportunities. The festival has really pushed out the boat with its opening and closing galas, both of which are set in the 90’s. Opening the festival is Mid90s the directorial debut of none other than Jonah Hill. A breezy coming-of-age story with a lot of heart which is sure to include Hill’s rapier wit and spirit, plus an original soundtrack by Trent Reznor, makes this one a sure winner. The closing gala is a little closer to home with Kieran Hurley’s award-winning play Beats getting the film treatment. You can read more about this paean to the 90’s UK rave scene in our festival picks over the page. The depth of the films on offer in the main program is sure to appeal to all tastes; from dramas to comedies, horror, documentary not to forget the special events that Glasgow has become immensely proud of. The most popular special event sold out in minutes and looks to be the best yet; Ridley Scott’s classic game-changing Sci-Fi horror Alien, presented in its 40th anniversary 4K remaster, with a laser tag
event as a backdrop. It’s every super-fan’s wet dream, and features themed cocktails, food, and some secret surprises. Another well regarded sci-fi movie gets the event treatment, with The Matrix replete with installations and an afterparty. It’s hard to believe that Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is 30 years old; I remember watching it on VHS as a kid, and, like, wanting to be those guys. The film is showing in Buchanan Galleries with a historical figure-themed party. The most intriguing of the events comes in the form of The Blair Witch Project which is to be screened in a secret location. If it’s anywhere near as successful as their previous event screening of The Lost Boys that took place in an abandoned amusement park, we’re on to a winner. Unfortunately, we can’t discuss the Fight Club event. For those enthralled by the antics of Jack and Victor there comes a very special event A Life in Still Game with Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan
wherein the two stars plus director Michael Hines and other cast members will appear to discuss the beloved show and introduce a special screening of the first two episodes of the new series. The Local Heroes strand showcases Scottish and British talent with a far-reaching and diverse range of films. Final Ascent tells the amazing story of Hamish MacIness, the Scots mountaineer who conquered many peaks especially in his prime in the 1950’s. The film catches up with him in the present day and the heartbreaking account of his struggles with dementia. Interviews include friends such as the legendary Michael Palin. Other Scottish films include the Glasgow set romantic drama Only You featuring two young stars that are rising high at the moment. Josh O’ Connor, hot on the heels of his tremendous performance in God’s Own Country and Laia Costa who starred in one of my favorite films of the last 10 years, the mind-blowing Berlin set Victoria
which was shot in one 90 minute take. The couple meet on Hogmanay when what looks to be a onenight stand develops into something much more meaningful. The End of Innocence strand features a chance to watch cinema classics on the big screen, including: True Grit, ‘Easy Rider’, ‘Medium Cool’, Butch Cassidy’ and the Sundance Kid, The Wild Bunch and Midnight Cowboy. After the line up, the best thing about this strand is that entry is free! An overwhelmingly diverse and strong line up reflects the passion of those behind the festival. The reflection I took from the launch event was one reflecting the heart of Scotland: inclusion, acceptance, passion and last but not least, great banter. The Glasgow Film Festival runs from 20th February till 3rd March. glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival Film by Martin Sandison Page 49
GLASGOW FILM FESTIVAL
With so many excellent films showing it’s near impossible to narrow down to the most anticipated in only a couple of pages but here are a selection of the films that speak to us the most, can’t wait:
THE WILD BUNCH
OUT OF BLUE
Widely regarded as one of the best films ever made, Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch is a visual festival that lights up the senses. The film changed the way action movies were created and perceived forever, with a film-making approach that is absurdly complex. The movie also acts as a meditation on the Vietnam war and the death of the Old West. With a great cast every aspect of this masterpiece is golden.
The much-anticipated new film from Carol Morley which looks to be more mysterious and ambitious that the usual Neo-noir, solving-the-case type, movie. With a great cast that includes Patricia Clarkson, Toby Jones, and a personal favorite character actor, James Caan.
WITCH PART 1 THE SUBVERSION New South Korean action film from Park HoonJung, the writer of the all-time classic I Saw The Devil (one of the most challenging and darkly brilliant films since the turn of the century). Parks has a unique approach to action and aesthetic dynamism. Expect to be in Asian action movie heaven.
AUTOMATA Screening as part of the Frightfest program this Scottish supernatural thriller has bags of atmosphere and surrealist imagery to spare. The trailer for this movie reminded me in equal parts of the original Suspiria, David Lynch’s Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive and one of the most vivid dreams I’ve ever had.
LORDS OF CHAOS A story based on the truth and lies surrounding the 80’s Norwegian black metal band Mayhem who took things to the extreme including; murder, satanic worship and church burning. Directed by Jonas Åkerlund, best known for his music videos (which you will have seen) including The Prodigies Smack my Bitch Up and Metallica’s Turn the Page. Jonus was part of this music scene, as the drummer for the black metal group Bathory, at the time the film was set. This gives the film a unique inside view to this tabloid story and a chance to find the causes of the mayhem.
AQUARELA Viktor Kossakovsky’s immersive documentary follows the path of water around the world. The journey takes us from the frozen tundra of Russia’s Lake Baikal to Angel Falls in Venezuela showing the power and the effect this essential life-giving element has on us all. Expect stunning visuals complimented by a haunting soundtrack from this cinematic experience.
EASY RIDER This counter culture classic is often cited as one of cinema’s most important films as its success established new Hollywood bringing auteur theory to the studios. Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda follow the American dream by taking a road trip from L.A. to Mardi Gras in New Orleans shining a light on the different facets of American society through the characters they meet on the way. It’s one hell of a trip, you dig?
BEATS The closing gala film adapted from Kieran Hurley’s award-winning theatre production of the same name and exec-produced by Steven Soderbergh is set in Scotland during the 90’s rave scene. The films looks at the cross over between music and politics at a time when the government used legislation based on their judgement of young people’s lifestyles by trying to make gatherings that have a ‘repetitive beat’ illegal. Glasgow is built on the sound of techno, award winning story aside I can’t wait to hear Optimo’s Kieth McIvor aka JD Twitch’s soundtrack on a cinema sound system… not to mention the after party.
Film by Martin Sandison and John Davidson Page 51
Excerpt from Warpaint Issue three
WARPAINT UK indie musician Kev Sherry (Attic Lights) and Italian comic artist Katia Vecchio (Wild Strawberries at The Worldâ€™s End) bring you Warpaint - a feminist tale of memory, regret, friendship and betrayal told over four issues. Three Scottish schoolgirls fight against the misogyny of their upbringing and the indifference of the adult world. The second chapter of Warpaint was released on Comixology on 12th December 2018. Issue three will be released mid February 2019. comixology.com
Visual Arts Page 53
JUST LOOK UP We had to guide the campers in with torches, their satnav having failed to find our code. They’d phoned three times, lost in the rural night though we were sure we’d written down the route. Next day they came and buzzed around our house, a cloud of midges seeking blood. They waved their iPhones in the air, each desperate for connection. In pity, I let them in to feed. They didn’t want our help, nor our advice, just our wifi password. Once logged in, they did not notice us. Their children loitered, poked the soggy undergrowth with sticks. They spent the summer evenings drunk on pixels, hovering beside our house, their thirsty screens like darting fireflies in the dark. The mountains brooded unremarked, the stars unseen. They were there at midnight, chattering ghosts outside our windows. Settlers under siege, we felt surrounded. Night had always been our curtain. We were helpless in their sights. Google maps led them astray. On bidding us goodbye, they said it was a shame they’d come so far, and never seen “the Skye”. We smiled. We could have told them; just look up. Clare O’Brien
What's On and Culture Guide for Scotland.