Free Issue 78
Leither Edinburgh Festival: A Miscellany The Paper Doll Militia Dial M for Murdoch
Politics | Music | Fitness | Reviews | London | Whatâ€™s On | Humour | Cinema
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Yah, boo, sucks! No more Y
Super Bock lager is undoubtedly the finest amber nectar on the planet, er, bar none
our humble Leither gets invited to the strangest things; an exhibition of Weimar art in Berlin, an international polo match in Argentina and an outdoor opera in Malta being just some examples. I normally say yah, boo, sucks! As I hate flying, but Super Bock Super Rock in Sesimbre, Portugal, had my name on it. As it happened we were holidaying in Lisbon, 30 miles away. We pitched up at the festival site (sand dunes on the Atlantic coast) fully expecting to be ‘found out’. I sidled up to the press tent for all the world like my 16-year-old self trying to buy a drink in the Gellions bar with a pounds worth of coppers, I swear I was blushing. After a minor hitch – “why did you say your name was Billy when it says William on our records”? You try miming ‘shortened version’ to a Portuguese/ Eastern European security advisor! – almost despite myself, there we were, literally up to our elbows in V.I.P wristbands. What to do next? Why bugger off to the beach of course or visit a walled town…You see that’s what’s so civilised about Super Bock the music doesn’t start till 7pm each night (headliners on after midnight), so you have the whole day to
The Port O’Leith proudly sponsors the use of Moncur the Monkey in laboratory tests
ÊÊInfo: Super Bock Super Rock: Meca, Sesimbra, 2nd weekend in July 2012
We speak to Nick Garrie, creator of an album so rare that its first vinyl pressing sells for $1200 dollars
Kevin Williamson embraces the difficult task of removing Robert Burns from shortbread tins and reinstating him to the political arena Carrie is back on the internet dating roundabout – £30 for an introduction to two men? – an absolute bargain, say her inner circle
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explore. Then back to the site nine-ish (after a good meal) for the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Arcade Fire, Portishead, Elbow and Brandon Flowers. The continentals (see also Benicassim) seem to know their stuff when it comes to programming a festival. Okay we have to climb the mountain back to our hotel at four in the morning but the view is staggering (or that may well be me). When we finally pluck up the courage to go to the V.I.P area, nobody sets dogs on us, we are not tasered, truncheoned, or thrown in the back of a dark van. In fact we are escorted to an all day (free) rolling buffet and a free bar. Oh bliss thy name is Super Bock Beer (a right good bargain in Lidl). Come on…I have to do something for those V.I.P wristbands. ■
Carine experiences the full horror of the bikini wax (a Hollywood no less) is she a convert? No. Will she do it again? You bet your ass
© 2011 LEITHER PUBLISHING. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden without the written permission of the Publishers. The Leither does not accept responsibility for unsolicited material.
Port O’ Leith
Walkmen at Super Bock 2011
Front cover illustration: Camille
O’Sullivan by Ryan McGoverne. Camille performs at the Pleasance Grand, 3rd to 29th August at 8pm, Tickets: 0131 556 6550
Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 3
Protempore Megalomaniac Press Barons and Pandora’s Box D
oesn’t it make a difference when the sun’s out? The hangover that you knew was on its way because you could hear it rumbling in the distance in the dead of night isn’t quite as bad as you thought it was going to be once you throw those curtains wide (thanks, Mr Guy Garvey). The bills that fall through the door are suddenly bathed in light from your window rather than left to fester under a pile of dust. The bus driver actually says “good morning” as you step aboard his magic charabanc rather than greeting you with a scratch of his tattoos and a grunt. And when megalomaniac press barons start to see their ugly empire crumbling all around them, you actually think that maybe, just maybe, the world is taking a turn for the better. That’s right folks by the time you read this, Rupert Murdoch and his band of sick muckrakers will have appeared before a House of Commons select committee to answer questions about the phone hacking scandal which has dominated the front page of the newspapers for the last few weeks. You will, of course, have to discount the News of the World from that list of papers as it has been closed down, a shrewd move by the old Aussie nosey parker in a desperate attempt to cover up the worst excesses of his ‘journalists’? We’ll see. The recent debate has centred on the phone hacking but there is also a debate to be had on our politician’s relationships with newspaper moguls and the police, who are also up to their truncheons in all of this. But let’s stick to the phone hacking for now. One of the arguments used by the Murdoch family (and I use the term ‘family’ here in the same way that I 4 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 78
would if I was writing an article about the Manson family) is that this sort of thing has been going on for ages and that all newspapers in the UK and abroad are involved to some degree or another. I find this hard to believe. I don’t doubt that journalists who work for newspapers outwith the Murdoch empire have some less than scrupulous tactics for drumming up stories but if they really are as bad as the scumbags who hacked phones for Andy Coulson et al, then surely Murdoch, his son James and Rebekah Brooks (one time editor of the now defunct News of the Screws) will be able to finger them? But wait a minute.
Pigticians illustration by Bernie Reid
Hoovering up notes
Brooks has claimed that she knew nothing of the hacking while she was editor at the paper and if Murdoch is going to grass all of these hacks up, is he going to go to the police? Well, he certainly knows enough of them personally having paid huge backhanders to make sure that police investigations into his dirty businesses were completely botched. I doubt that they’ve got the bottle to squeal because that would open up a huge Pandora’s Box. (‘Pandora’s Box’. Wasn’t that a headline on the front of the News of the World a while back?). We already know that the rats involved in actually doing the phone hacking, principally the ‘private investigator’ Glenn Mulcaire, hacked into thousands of telephones, but the case of murder victim Milly Dowler really does tell us everything that we need to know about how these risible individuals go about their business. When Milly went missing, the News of
I use the term Murdoch ‘family’ here in much the same way I would if I were writing an article about the Manson family
the World’s journalists hacked directly into the voicemail of the missing girl’s own phone. As her friends and parents called and left messages imploring Milly to get in touch with them, the paper was listening and recording their every private word. But the journalists at the paper then encountered a problem. Milly’s voicemail box filled up and would accept no more messages. Apparently thirsty for more information from more voicemails, the paper intervened – and deleted the messages that had been left in the first few days after her disappearance. When her friends and family called again and discovered that her voicemail had been cleared, they concluded that this must have been done by Milly herself and, therefore, that she must still be alive. But she was not. It is impossible to imagine how Milly’s family and friends must have felt when they found out that the hope they were so desperately looking for had been falsely created by a gang of sick journalists hungry to sell newspapers. Maybe you like to read about footballers and their schoolboy shenanigans. Maybe you also like to know which celebrities are currently hoovering their hard earned pound notes up their nose. Maybe you think that everyone’s fair game when it comes to selling newspapers, including missing schoolgirls. That’s certainly what people like the Murdochs, Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson, and Glenn Mulcaire think. Hopefully, their days of darkening the world are over for good. (Are you including ‘Digger’ Murdoch there, Protempore?! – Ed). ■ Protempore
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Bikini, Brazilian, Bollywood or G-string? T
hey say that the most entertaining writing is that which is painfully honest. Well dear Leither readers, it doesn’t get more painful, honest – or frankly intimate – than this. Up until last week, I had never had a bikini wax. That’s not to say I’ve been cultivating a forest down there you understand, but that Immac has been my grooming tool of choice. However, Immac smells like sulphuric toxic waste. And regularly smothering my lady garden in a substance that smells so bad was becoming depressing. It’s also messy, it promotes hair growth (honestly) and it just doesn’t work that well. There’s also the issue of burning yourself in the one place you really, really don’t want to burn yourself when it’s accidentally left on too long, but that’s another column altogether. However, the idea of having my pubic hair yanked out at the root never filled me with much excitement either, which is why I’ve persisted with the toxic waste for so long. And if the thought of the pain from the basic process isn’t bad enough, you hear horrors stories about skin being ripped off and molten wax burns. Shudder. However recently, after another bout of sulphuric slathering, I read about a place which is reputed to be the crème de la crème of waxing in London and decided enough was enough. It was high time I manned up (if you will) and took the plunge into the world of wax.
My first bikini wax, picture the scene, is it weird I’m asking you to do that?
Strip Wax Bar has a branch in Soho, which seemed fitting somehow. Next up, it was time to decide between bikini, g-string, Brazilian, Hollywood or Bollywood. For the uninitiated, this basically means choosing between a wee bit of hair, a bit less, a landing strip, everything off, or adding gem shapes and dye (yes, really). Now, most normal people going for their first wax would go for bikini. Break themselves in gently. Not me. My new motto is in for a penny, in for a pound. Hollywood was the order of the day. Jesus. Wept. Picture the scene (is it weird that I’m asking you to do that?): I’m lying on a treatment couch in a cosy wee room, butt naked from the waist down and legs akimbo, watching a cartoon on a wallmounted plasma, while Michaela, who I’ve met for the first time in my life five minutes previously has got her face in
6 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 78
Carine, you said lady garden...I feel sure you said lady garden
my crotch and is rubbing tea-tree oil all over it while telling me that this is going to be ‘the longest and most painful wax of my life’. This is her trying to assure me that it only gets better after this. I’m not feeling assured. And so it begins. She applies the hot wax, lets it become tacky, peels up a wee corner and then wheecks it off. Waxon, wax-off if you like. Over and over and over again. She tells me to breath in, then exhale on the rip. What I do is more akin to the breathing techniques seen on One Born Every Minute. My leg starts spasming involuntarily and I accidentally knee her in the chest while she deals with the er, most intimate parts. Just as I’m staring to worry that I might pass out, she says it’s nearly finished. Thank god. Only it turns out that what she actually means is that she’s nearly finished the front. Before I know it, I’m lying hugging my knees to my chest while she sets to work on the back. Are you still picturing this? You know that bit after you’ve had your haircut and the hairdresser gives you a mirror so you can inspect their handiwork at the back? Guess what’s coming. Yep, me, Michaela and a hand mirror. What exactly is the etiquette for this moment? ‘It’s lovely, thank you, I really like what you’ve done with the bit at the side’? ‘That really bloody hurt, you sick twisted torturer’? I opt for ‘it looks great, what a difference’ and she seems
happy with this. There’s a quote from Jo Whiley on Strip’s website which says ‘you always leave feeling supersexy’. I’m not entirely sure that’s the word I’d use to describe what I was feeling. I was badly in need of a drink and weak at the knees, but not in an erotic kind of a way. Still, a few days later I felt supersexy indeed. Will I have it done again? Hell yeah.
This month I’ve been mainly…
love love loving my job; being hoodwinked into appearing on TV; laughing harder than I have done for a long long time; shredding; seeing Take That at Wembley, screaming, whooping, and revisiting my fourteen-year-old self; eating more Nutella than is probably healthy; haemorrhaging my hard-earned pennies on lovely lingerie because I can; more laughing; getting to know London boozers; eyeing up the hot waiter at our Sunday brunch place; reading Caitlin Moran’s new book How To Be A Woman on the tube and trying not to laugh out loud; looking forward to seeing Snoop Dogg at Lovebox next weekend; getting excited about the pool party the weekend after; and laughing. Did I mention laughing? ■
The rise and fall of Stamford Barnes PI With the Met’s reputation in tatters over phone hacking, Colin Montgomery recalls the heyday of a forgotten crime-buster
llo ello ello, what’s going on ‘ere then?” Well officer, it would appear that The Met, the country’s most powerful police force, supposedly upholders of the law of the land and beyond reproach, have been guilty of turning a blind eye to heinous and immoral criminality. And doing so in return for dirty money. “Well, I’d better take down my particulars then ‘adn’t I?” Yes, in preparation for a damn good truncheoning you vile, treacherous and conniving imposter of a Policeman. That righteous – but entirely justified – rant was a struggle. Fact is I’m all out of fury such has been the deluge of filth emerging from Wapping. There’s no point in taking another swim in the sewer. Unless you’re a coprophiliac (or indeed coprophagic), for it would appear that most of the British political establishment has been happily wolfing down turd on toast for most of the last three decades – served up by a succession of smiling chefs from the News International Bistro. They must have spent a fortune on Smints. Instead of impotent fuming, I’d like to dwell on different times. On an era when one – now dearly departed – gentleman detective took on the toughest cases and most truculent crime outfits and won. Better still, he did it by the book. In fact, he wrote the book. Well, a book, something about ant whispering? Can’t remember exactly. No matter. All we need know is that in the pantheon of principled private detectives, Stamford Barnes shone the brightest. He made Elliot Ness look like a grubby bookie’s runner. Posterity has not been kind to Stamford Barnes. He is frequently mistaken for a firm of gentleman’s outfitters, or a factory retail outlet near Welwyn Garden City. Yet this blazered sleuth blazed a trail for justice between 1973 and 1977. His rise to the position of crime-buster par excellence was truly remarkable, just as his mysteryshrouded disappearance from public life was truly perplexing. Following in the footsteps of his father, Icarus, Barnes started life as a London florist. Soon his nose for a rose became a nose for the manure of the
Stamford Barnes PI, up to his knees in the Mendacious Mammaries Case
capital’s underworld. While recent headlines over phone hacking seem remarkable, dodgy dealings of a similar flavour were not uncommon back then. And, when the Editor of the Catford Enquirer was heavily implicated in a politically motivated scheme to publish details of MPs’ bar tabs and crisp selection at the infamous Thirsty Toad public house but a Hansards length from the heart of our day-to-day democracy, it was to provide the bold Barnes with his big break.
Rowdy saloon bar
Travelling together in Stamford’s chocolate brown Austin Princess, they struck fear into those with an aversion to British engineering
Still rearranging petunias by day, by night Stamford was taking a pair of pruning shears to the Enquirer’s shady criminal enterprises. He usually worked alone – although a trainee stevedore who was fluent in Polari sometimes accompanied him. Travelling together in Stamford’s chocolate brown Austin Princess, they struck fear into the heart of homophobes and those with an aversion to British engineering. Eventually, after months of tireless detective work, Stamford’s efforts paid off. The Catford Enquirer and its seedy ties to the Thirsty Toad were exposed in the campaigning freesheet, The Paddington Ombudsman. In what become know as Toadgate, hacks and busty barmaids fell like dominoes. Stamford followed this triumph of investigation with an even bigger bust. Almost literally. For in the days when sex svengali, Paul Raymond, was changing the face and the arse of Soho, a trade in illegal false breasts gripped the filthy fleshpots behind Golden Square. Again, police collusion and a cover-up
were suspected. Ironic, as cover-ups were in short supply in the gentlemen’s entertainment industry. But Stamford got to the bottom of it…in a manner of speaking. The Mendacious Mammary Case was the making of Stamford but also his undoing. Naturally publicity shy, Barnes hated having his bouffanted, beaky coupon plastered over the front pages. Or the back pages for that matter (he was a backgammon champion four years running during the game’s 70s heyday). Soon, Stamford’s ability to ghost through the shadowy underworld was fatally compromised. Upon seeing him, toms, nonces, grasses and bent coppers scattered like nuts on the floor of a rowdy saloon bar during ‘open mic’ strip night. The criminal classes closed ranks. His Austin Princess was stolen and later turned up in an episode of Crossroads bearing rude slogans about Benny, and Nick Drake’s sister. The humiliation of this once proud PI was complete. So it was that on August 16th 1977 that Barnes simply disappeared. Vanished without trace. That very day also saw the untimely demise of one Elvis Aaron Presley. Two titans taken from us. I for one experienced first hand the turbulent emotions of that harrowing day. For it was my 5th birthday. And my mother appeared moist-eyed from the kitchen during a game of balloon tennis. She claimed Elvis’s demise caused her to weep. But I still suspect a few of those salty goodbyes were for the great detective, Stamford Barnes. Did justice die with him? It’s hard to say. If only he were here now. How different things could have been. ■ Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 7
Re-arrival, resurrection, Michael Pedersen speaks to the creator of the great ‘lost album’ The Nightmare of JB Stanislas
aving listened to the fantastical musical creations Nick Garrie’s constructed over the years I’m astounded to find he’s not selling out arenas; being stalked by documentary filmmakers and winning lifetime achievement awards. Quite frankly, it’s inexcusable! Outside of music Nick has opened a Ski Club; founded a ballooning company and worked as a French teacher. Admirable occupations I agree, but having heard his musing – indeed he has won the praises of no less than Leonard Cohen – this is not what Nick should be doing… Although not commercially successful in the English-speaking lands, his second album, Suitcase Man, did reach Number 1 in Spain. That plus tapas, rioja and siestas – we’ve much to learn from the Spanish! Thankfully there are a few of us with the time and temperament to wave his flag. Nick’s a virtuoso; a maestro, a folk troubadour and he deserve a parade (or at the very least a picnic) in his honour. Having whetted your appetite, I’d strongly recommend you feast on this 8 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 78
little interview and then follow-up your findings. ‘The Nightmare of JB Stanislas, is a majestic confection of baroque orchestration and melodic nous that should have established him alongside The Zombies’ later work, if not Brian Wilson’s more experimental forays’ – The Independent Your first album The Nightmare of JB Stanislas was recorded in Paris in 1969 – can you tell us a little about it? “It was recorded with a 56 piece orchestra – mainly classical men in cardigans who were a bit bemused as to what I was doing there; plus nice young man Ronnie Butocavali who played trumpet on the song Evening. It was produced by Eddy Vartan, the French singer and Yé-yé style artist Sylvie’s brother. The suicide of executive producer Lucien Morisse (the mercurial label boss who had discovered Gallic artist Michel Polnareff and made Petula Clark a star in France) led to the record never being officially released at the time. There are lots more answers in the short autobiography ‘I’ll read the book’ that comes with the recently released JB Stanislas Digipack. The Digipack is, if you like, the official 40th anniversary edition of JB Stanislas on Elefant records and includes songs from the time never before recorded which I then recorded at Riverside Studios with
Recording Glasgow 2008
the same crew from Arlington Gardens and then Josefina in a small studio up in the Portuguese hills.” Not only are you a preciously talented songwriter but also you’re a bilingual wordsmith. Do you prefer - or rather find it more visceral - to write in a particular language? And how do you go about assembling songs with duallanguage lyrical content? (Note to reader – Nick’s song When Evening Comes is a sublime example of the seamless synergy he employs in shifting tongues). “I was brought up bilingual in Paris and wrote some songs in French. I’m pretty much at ease in both languages. At home we would start a
Main: Nick takes it to the kids Left: Encore time, Castello 2011
or…resurgence? conversation in one and switch when the apposite word sounded better in the other.” Bob Dylan (whom many have inevitably compared Nick to) spent a lot of time weeding through papers and poems in order to uncover stories for songs – can you tell us a little about your methods of harvesting words and sculpting stories? “Just words and jumbled sentences that form some sort of pattern in my cluttered mind. Usually founded on a particular mood at a particular time. All my albums came at a crossroads in my life and were my way of dealing with it.” Although abominably unsung, you’ve a fine flock of admirers – among them Duglas T. Stewart from The BMX Bandits and Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub (two of my favourite Scottish songwriters) – where did these allegiance spring from and where are they going? “I signed with Joe Foster from Rev-Ola records and he suggested I come up to Glasgow and record some new songs. I met Ally Kerr, Duglas, Norman, Francis and a host of young musicians who seemed to like the new songs. I played them the JB Stanislas songs and they seem to sit pretty well…’like meeting an old friend on the side of the road’ it said in an Italian Review.
Where am I going? Don’t know. My second album was called Suitcase Man and as Leonard Cohen once told me years ago, ‘my albums seem to pop up anywhere like champagne corks in the ocean’.”
I came down from the mountains with my rucksack and guitar and I think Leonard Cohen was intrigued
You toured Spain with Cohen during the 1980s, for many of my characteristically curious make-up, that’s somewhat of a folk fairytale; care to share a few memories from your time on the road? “He was a kind and generous gentleman really. I came down from the mountains with my rucksack and guitar and I think he was intrigued. He quickly realized that I had never sung to more than 50 people and took me under his wing and explained to me that the audience sent out their own vibes which when they met the singer’s made for a beautiful concert. All news to me for I had previously knocked back a stiff one and set off with my eyes closed. Now I sense the crowd from the first song like a matador watching the bull as he comes out.” Could you tell us what you think are the crowning songs of your career and why? “Deeper Tones of Blue, Inkpot Eyes, Back in 1930, Love In My Eyes, Nook and Cranny; and Twilight – the last one because of the
lovely harmonies (not mine!). “Not really crowning songs because I’ve never had that much of a career but little songs that hopefully will stand the test of time. The JB Stanislas ones are 40-years- old and I get messages from 20-year-olds who tell me how much the album has meant to them which of course makes me feel warm and glowing inside.” Can you piece together a fictitious Supergroup for us, the condition being you include yourself? (Note to reader, I know Nick to be recklessly modest and a little coy – I must insist on his inclusion for the sake of the band!) “You know, I’ve only ever played with a band once, at this years Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival – it was with Mike Heron and Trembling Bells, strings, bass, drums and Johnny Cameron on guitar keeping me in time. I think I’d stick with that!” A parting sentiment for our readers? “A little loving goes a long way…” ■ ÊÊInfo: Nick Garrie appears at Leith on the Fringe in Out of the Blue Drill Hall on Saturday 13th August; www. myspace.com/nickgarrie; www.elefant. com; Entrepreneurs, you can even book Mr. Garrie! – michael_eats_oranges@ hotmail.com Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 9
A year of transition Adam Smart reflects on this years EIFF and reviews some films that, hopefully, are coming your way
Michael McDonagh. It is laced with the same black humour; morally flexible characters and thankfully has just as many laugh out loud moments. The ever-excellent Gleeson excels as the grumpy and reluctant hero, here playing the polar opposite of his character from In Bruges. Cheadle does a fine job as the straight man in this odd couple, deflecting Boyle’s humorous jibes with deadpan comic timing. This comedic parody of the buddy cop movie was by far one of the best films at the festival.
t was a strange EIFF this year. Where the calibre of films was high, the actual atmosphere of the festival was rather low key. Mainly utilising the Cameo and Filmhouse cinemas – Cineworld having been retired from service – and Teviot Row Union as the hub of activity for industry and festival events. The lack of extra screens and proliferation of events that took place exclusively in dining halls or student bars, sadly made the whole event feel a little half-arsed. It is safe to say that what little charisma Scotland’s premiere film festival once had has all but disappeared. Hopefully this is down to a lack of funding in the midst of recession and not some ploy by the EIFF’s new director James Mullighan to take it ‘back to its roots’ or try to make it more ‘intellectual’. Whatever the reason, hopefully 2012 will see the EIFF back on track. Having said that, the important stuff is the films and although there weren’t as many programmed as last year there were still some absolute gems: Life in Movement «««««
Powerful, insightful and heartbreaking, best describes Life in Movement, Bryan Mason and Sophie Hyde’s documentary exploring art, passion and mortality. At 29, Tanja Liedtke was the youngest person ever appointed to the position of Artistic Director of the Sydney Dance Company. Tragically, seven weeks before she was due to take up the post, she was run over and killed whilst out for a walk. This documentary follows her dance
Fase 7 (Phase 7) «««««
As an unstoppable and unknown viral epidemic sweeps across the globe, panic and fear descends upon the small population of a quarantined Argentinean apartment block. The pressure of uncertainty mounts, paranoia kicks in and soon it is not only the evils of the outside world that the tenants face. A brilliant homage to John Carpenter in both visual and acoustic content, Phase 7 is destined for cult success. As Coco (Daniel Hendler) attempts to take care of his pregnant wife Pipi (Jazmin Stuart), the tense and chilling events soon ascend into the ridiculous, but it is all part of the fun. Why does Pipi not take the virus seriously, even with all the news coverage or the fact a big roll of cling-film has been wrapped around the apartment block? Why does she not question where Coco got a blood stained Hazmat suit? Why does Coco grow such a ridiculous moustache? These questions and more go unanswered, but are accompanied by a deep, resonating, synthesizer. A must see for Carpenter and apocalyptic fans alike.
troupe as they undertake a world tour of her final works, paying homage to a friend and mentor as they struggle with their own grief. Through home footage and unseen interviews interwoven through the troupe’s journey, it is no mere flattering chronicle of the life and death of an artist that the audience will experience, but rather a testament to the legacy and beauty that Liedtke left behind. To deny her genius would be criminal; the sublime and extraordinary dance routines are reason enough to eulogize her, but it is the passion for her art and a life dedicated to perfecting it that is where the true inspirational beauty of this film lies.
Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure «««««
The Guard «««««
Sgt. Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) of the Galway Garda is a man who appreciates the finer things in life – whiskey, acid and hookers. When straight-laced FBI Agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) turns up on the Emerald Isle, Boyle’s uneventful and peaceful skive of a career is inconvenienced with the hunt for a trio of psychotic drug dealers with a penchant for philosophy. From the beginning this looks and feels like Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges. No surprise then that it is written and directed by his brother John 10 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 78
Sgt. Gerry Boyle appreciates the finer things in life – whiskey, acid and hookers
It you live in a block of flats you will no doubt at some point have heard your neighbours through the wall, perhaps playing music, watching TV or doing the horizontal mambo. Imagine then if your walls were only a couple of inches thick and every night you had to listen to the drunken rants of a homophobe and his homosexual flat mate. Shut Up Little Man follows the story of two 20-somethings in 80s San Francisco who did the only thing they could when faced with said dilemma; record it on a cassette tape. In a world dominated by facebook, super-injunctions and the like, this documentary is an often hilarious, at times rather sad and tragic, exploration of some interesting issues surrounding privacy, copyright and exploitation. ■
Rediscovering our National Instrument Dave McGuire has grown to appreciate (no, really) the skirl of the bagpipes
ike most ex-pats, in my ten years of living in London I fell into the age-old trap of missing things about Scotland that most people living here don’t give a second thought to. As someone who worked in the music industry, dealing with folk music from far-flung corners of the world, I would get misty eyed about…bagpipes. When I moved to Edinburgh last year, one of the first things I noticed was the multi-various pipers in the city centre, and the tacky tartan tourist shops blaring out techno tinged bagpipe music. While I’ve programmed myself to be oblivious to it, my 4-year-old daughter absolutely loves the bagpipes and will stop to listen irrespective of quality. I’m all for her discovering the world of music out there, but selfishly thought if I’m going to have to listen to bagpipes then I should take a look and see if there’s anything that might be more to my taste. The Scots are a musical nation and it only seems right that we should have people doing interesting things with our national instrument. The most obvious candidate would have been Martyn Bennett, who burst onto the scene in the 90s with his unique fusion of traditional Scottish pipes and dance culture, and scored a hit with clubbers (myself included) through his seminal album Bothy Culture. Bennett continued to experiment, exploring traditional, classical and contemporary themes, and I believe had the potential to become a truly pivotal figure in Scottish music had he not been cut off in his prime.
Avante garde bagpipes
When I looked online for experimental bagpipe music I was surprised to find that two of the most prominent exponents of diverse bagpipe music are from North America. The original funky bagpiper Rufus Harley cut a striking figure, a black American in MacLeod tartan, often with a Viking helmet on his head. Harley took the bagpipes to a whole new sphere with a handful of jazzfunk albums in the 70s combined with appearances on albums by Sonny Rollins, Laurie Anderson and The Roots, and very hard to find self-produced releases where he added electrified and even reggae pipes. Well worth checking out. Canadian Matthew Welch is at the other end of the spectrum, while he is of Scottish heritage and well versed in
traditional pipes, he learned his craft at the same time as studying experimental and electronic composition, so it’s no surprise that this would shape his bagpipe works. Albums like Blarvuster and Luminosity take the bagpipes fully into avante garde territory, whilst purists may recoil in horror, if you want to hear something truly innovative and interesting then Mr Welch is your man. Before you wonder if all my suggestions are going to veer on the pretentious side, worry not, as I had the pleasure of hearing the Red Hot Chilli Pipers at Armed Forces Day in Holyrood Park last month. The backline aren’t the greatest rockers, and I’m guessing that aficionados would say the same about the pipers, but this seemingly unlikely combination goes down an absolute treat in concert. As for their albums, while tackling the likes of Snow Patrol and Coldplay is perhaps a tad obvious I found myself less embarrassed at liking their ‘bagrock’ versions. To me, the Chilli Pipers are perhaps the most accessible bagpipe alternative, equally likely to go down a treat in front of drunken revellers at T in the Park as they are on the stereo in my wee Toyota with my daughter in the back dancing in her booster seat. Inspired to learn more, I looked into finding out who ‘those in the know’ recommend. Chris Armstrong is arguably the player of his generation, bursting onto the scene as a 10-year-old he rose through the traditional ranks to
Rufus Harley, the world’s first jazzfunk and reggae bagpipe fusionist!
become the Pipe Major of the Scottish Power Pipe Band in 2006. Alongside his teaching duties at the National Piping Centre, Chris has a solo career that may see him carry the mantle left by Martyn Bennett, pushing the envelope as far from traditional as one could imagine stating his intention with album titles such as X-treme and Quantum Leap. Hopefully Armstrong gets the opportunity to develop and experiment further, his could be a very interesting musical journey.
Samples & found sound
Harley cut a striking figure, a black American in MacLeod tartan, often with a Viking helmet on his head
Another tutor at the National Piping Centre who caught my attention is John Mulhearn. After years of touring the Highland Games circuit, Mulhearn decided to use traditional Scottish and Irish melodies, and the stories associated with them, to create something new using electronics, samples, found sound, voice and instruments not commonly heard in traditional music. His album The Extraordinary Little Cough takes inspiration from the likes of the Cinematic Orchestra, using rhythmic samples and melody to create canvases of sound - it’s my current favourite album. I started working on this piece with the simple aim of finding some decent bagpipe music to play for my daughter that wouldn’t drive me nuts, and what do you know…by a happy coincidence I discovered that there is exciting bagpipe music out there that positively begs to be heard. ■ Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 11
Pen Portrait from the Port
Sarah Palin v Coatbridge? Mr Daniel Gray suffers an attack of Metafiction fever
ver the last year I’ve come to the conclusion that this column does pretentious, self-regarding nonsense very well indeed. Playing to those strengths, here is a review of my very own performance at the recent – is it really 2 months ago? – Leith Festival, in the style of a highbrow savaging: When Paul Klee wrote ‘Kunst gibt nicht das Sichtbare wieder, sondern macht sichtbar’ he could have been referring to travel writing. That genre should not, afterall, tell but show and point rather than push. The value of Klee’s words came to mind twice recently, once while I was visiting the doctor and then when I was watching Daniel Gray batter his audience into indifference during a performance of ‘A Yorkshireman’s Scotland’. (I use the word ‘performance’ lightly here; the tediously parochial author performs in the sense that a dodgy service station condom machine performs when struck a glancing blow on the side by a spotty Belgian virgin on ‘a promise’). In his book Stramash, Gray attempts to argue that football is a cultural phenomenon, rather than eleven repressed homosexuals thoughtlessly tip-tapping a vessel of flatulence around a dirty meadow. He visits himself upon towns in North Britain – as Scotland was known before English subsidy granted it a house where politicians could ‘put the heid’ on one another – and claims that their existence has been and is worthwhile. It isn’t: Cowdenbeath and Coatbridge are about as necessary as Aids or Sarah Palin. Tonight, Gray gives us more of the same gruel; only this time his assault on the senses is an oral one. He reels through story after story, each congealing into a morass of hyperbole and linguistic nuisance (not nuance, dear reader). Gray’s punchlines take root in such stony ground that it is a wonder they do not threaten the venue’s very foundations. If one has to inform one’s audience that it is okay to laugh then things are probably not going well. I could’ve told him this, but that would be putting him out of his misery, and for 12 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 78
this he deserves to wallow through desolation. After Gray has hectored blood out of the walls with the – ahem – scripted part of the evening, he invites the audience to pose questions or offer comment. Remembering my dear mother’s advice to remain silent should I have nothing nice to say, I head for the door and conjure Klee whirling in his Jerry-built sepulchre.
Which is more necessary Sarah Palin or Coatbridge?
Food Review Extra
Sometimes in the quest for gastronomic perfection, one has to venture outside one’s comfort zone. This may mean sampling foods the diner previously thought unpalatable, think bleached tripe or twice boiled baby chaffinch. Or journeying to faraway shores, think el Bulli in Catalonia or The Quick & Plenty in Thornton Watlass. Fully subscribing to this sense of culinary adventurism, Mrs Portraits and I found ourselves travelling westwards in a maroon charabanc of classic vintage. The number 47 bus chugged and chuckled its way up hill and down dale, a romantic sleigh caked in errant diesel flak. Sadly and all too soon, we reached our dining destination; her slinky blue corrugated roof and giant golden lettering resembling the sun setting sleepily on a continental sky. Tired of the ethnic dietary canon on our doorstep, we had decided to go Swedish and try out a little place called
A hot dog dressed in a jaune paste, which brought to mind soccer moms on a hot summer’s day – never a bad thing
The Ikea Café. Once we’d surmounted the logistical obstacle of having to enter via the attached shop’s exit (the café’s owners recently branched out into flatpack furniture), we joined a queue bristling with stressed-looking couples. This hiatus gave us chance to appraise the menu, trendily displayed on a DayGlo headboard; paper menus are just so not Stockholm or Gothenburg. What we read was an innovative departure from tired Scandinavian fare, Swedish food only pecked on the cheek by the inclusion of meatballs rather than embraced. Mrs Portraits opted for the calzone (‘a squelchy riot of satisfaction and regret’), your paunchy narrator a hot dog dressed in a jaune paste, which brought to mind soccer moms on a hot summer’s day (never a bad thing). We shared chipped potatoes in the French style, which were triumphantly salty and reminded us of an incident in Marseille I shan’t go into here. Liquid sustenance came via a boutique vessel of carbonated citrus fruit, which sadly veered towards the higher regions of gaseousness. Overall, though, the Ikea Café is piping hot proof that travel can broaden the mind without broadening the bank balance. ■ Score: «««««««««« Damage: under £4.94
ÊÊInfo: Dan’s book Stramash: Tackling Scotland’s Towns and Teams is still on sale, priced £9.99 (see www. stramashthebook.com) Buy it and file a highbrow savaging on the web site, if you like.
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Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 13
ElectricShadows Extra TM
A shining light Alan Bett interviews (and reviews) the young director of one of the hits of this year’s EIFF
e’s only 24 I think to myself (somewhat bitterly) as I look across the table at the young Director. Sure, Mozart made his debut on the classical music scene at the age of six, but making a feature length movie at 24 remains a genuine achievement. Craig Viveiros premiered his debut film Ghosted at the 2011 Edinburgh Film Festival. He came to place his marker as an emerging talent in British cinema. Did he succeed? Ghosted instantly caught my eye in the festival programme. Not because of Viveiros, I knew nothing of him at this time, but because of another man who burned so bright so young. Martin Compston was plucked from the pitch of Greenock Morton by the UK’s finest filmmaker, Ken Loach. Not quite grasped from obscurity, but Cappielow Park lacks that certain glamour which cinema has in abundance. The resulting film Sweet Sixteen was a revelation. Oscars just aren’t given to 16-year-olds from Inverclyde but the performances that actually were nominated that year looked jaundiced next to his. Anyway, I watched the film for his presence but ended up finding another fledgling talent. Ghosted is a prison drama, or as the director himself calls it, “A love story.” Not exactly what your soiled minds may be thinking. This specific relationship involves neither dropped soap nor showers, well not directly. Its crux is the protective bond of fatherhood, one pulled dangerously tight by guilt and 14 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 74
redemption. Craig Viveiros laughed as he explained his reasoning behind this theme, “My Granny is Portuguese Catholic...there is a nature within us which wants to tell these stories.” The prison setting is the perfect arena for this. “It’s a breeding ground for drama, for tension, just for engaging material.” Very true, but above all this, prison is a self-contained microcosm. Das Experiment used it to examine the terrible corrupting influence of authority while Jacques Audiard employed it so eloquently to explore clashing cultures in A Prophet. Craig Viveiros’s bold brush strokes are anger and salvation. The cast contains the instantly recognisable David Schofield, John Lynch and Compston of course, alongside Art Malick and Craig Parkinson – a varied bunch whose experiences range through stage and TV to Hollywood blockbusters such as True Lies and Gladiator. A hard work ethic and high level of professionalism is required when spending over a month in a prison cell with 10 others. I asked Viveiros whether he had subscribed to the Spike Lee, School Daze divide and conquer technique with his stars, setting them against one another off screen to produce the required tension on it. Not so. “I like to work in a comfortable environment where everyone can blossom. The reason I employed some actors is because I’m interested in what they can bring to the project. They’re not there just to serve what I want but to make something together.” He did manage a wry smile while telling me “There were difficult scenes in there...John and Craig having to wrestle naked together.” The film premiered at the Cameo cinema. The stars were present, naked wrestlers included. They smiled, waved, bowed; deceptively veiling the dark and
Craig Parkinson and Martin Compston
I ask if he subscribed to the divide and conquer technique Spike Lee employed with his actors on School Daze
extreme emotions they were soon to display on screen. This shard of reality threatened to puncture the magic of cinema, but once the lights go down the film is everything. The verdict? This is a quality work and a strong first step for Viveiros. Ghosted is an actor’s film and the performances are superior. Craig Parkinson creates a camp and effective villain while Compston skilfully blends naivety with underlying secrecy. The standout is John Lynch who is natural and layered, seeming effortlessly to change gear and deliver powerhouse scenes. This is not to say that there are not flaws. Malick provides gravitas but at times his character is overly sage like. His lines are a little perfunctory, the function of his role too visible. As Viveiros hones his scriptwriting skills he may be able to offer more camouflage. Also, Schofield is underused. His narrative fizzles out, the character’s potential lost. Visually the film is claustrophobic. There is nowhere to hide in the prison and as a viewer you feel this. It stays true to Britain’s proud tradition of social realism. Only one momentary shot displays a more surreal metaphoric edge. Our domestic filmmakers seem scared to mine this seam and are criticised when they do, which is a pity. There are touching stones here to past UK prison movies but cliché is deftly avoided. This is an individual film in its own right. The main issue I had was the morality behind whether catharsis is possible through violence. Who is saved here? I’m unsure whether Ghosted finished with optimistic glow or futilitarian silence. Off screen however the future is bright for this young director. ■ ÊÊInfo: Ghosted has a limited cinema release and will be available on DVD in August
Running Away With the Circus: Leith on the Fringe F
rom a geographical point of view, some might argue that Leith spends the whole year on the fringe of the city, and perhaps never more so than during August, when the eyes of the world are scanning the Royal Mile for a famous face. But Leith has had some pretty big Fringe hits in recent years. Last year, No Fit State Circus once again took up residence at Shrubhill, selling out their dark and daring display of acrobatics en promenade. And in 2007, Argentinean company Fuerzabruta arrived at Ocean Terminal with a breathtaking and imaginative performance that (partly thanks to the £25 ticket price) proved to be the highest grossing Fringe show of all time. These successes prove that if the show is right, the trip down the Walk is not a barrier to bringing in an audience. And, with this year’s Assembly joining the glut of venues on the Southside and a Fringe programme that comprises over 2500 events a journey out of the fray and into the calmer, more ‘business-as-usual’ streets of Leith could prove more attractive than ever. So hope the organisers of Leith on the Fringe who for the first time this year are promoting Leith as a fully fledged and integral part of the Fringe programme. Organised by a team of Edinburgh and Leith –based creative and theatre producers, along with Leith FM co-founder and former Artistic Director of the Leith Festival John Paul McGroarty, 2011 marks the first stage of a festival strategy that they believe could see continued growth in years to come.
A twisted tale
By creating an umbrella organisation for Leith’s festival activity both from local and international artists, Leith on the Fringe seeks to bring our once disparate August artistic endeavours under one recognisable brand, uniting a programme that can hold its own against some of the more established big boys in town both with international audiences and those of “the many artistic companies and individuals who call Leith home.” The current trendy word for a venue with more than one performance space and a bar is ‘hub’ and in the Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Leith on the Fringe has found just that very thing. With an established Edinburgh-wide reputation for housing a whole host of creativity, Leith on the Fringe should be able to
clearly states that it aims to become ‘Edinburgh’s main hub for showcasing UK and international circus, aerial and street art of the highest quality’ and this year’s programme makes a very good start, welcoming two international companies who will demonstrate their acrobatic abilities in two very different productions. This Twisted Tale, the aerial contribution from San Francisco company The Paper Doll Militia tells a dark emotional tale of a little girl’s encounter with the devil, fusing airborne acrobatics with animation and puppetry. The original score has been composed by David Paul Jones who has worked with the National Theatre of Scotland, Catherine Wheels and Theatre Cryptic among others and the production is co-directed by Grid Iron’s Ben Harrison.
Fly like Peter Pan
use that credibility to its advantage. Not only that, the Drill Hall offers the perfect flexible space to accommodate the wealth of performances the programme offers, from music, theatre and film to trickier-to-house disciplines such as aerial and circus skills. And it is this which Leith on the Fringe hopes will become its niche. A study by Edinburgh-based audience research company The Audience Business following last year’s Fringe found that the diversity and density of the Fringe programme can make it hard for venues and the individual artists they house to reach their target markets. It recommended a narrower and more focused approach to programming, specialising in just a few performance genres and by doing so increasing their prominence amongst the audiences they want to attract. In the future, Leith on the Fringe
The Paper Doll Militia
Edinburgh’s main hub for showcasing UK and International circus, aerial and street art of the highest quality
German company ANGELS Aerials will perform their unique and adventurous adaptation of Peter Pan, with all the action taking place above your head as they swoop, fly and scale the walls of the Drill Hall. This is the company’s first visit to Edinburgh, coming directly from a sell-out tour of Germany. On paper, both these productions seem to provide the foundations for a circus showcase which could build in years to come. In addition, both companies will offer aerial workshops on selected dates during the festival period. Giving adults and kids from 6+ the chance to fly just like Peter Pan, while aerial acrobats with some experience can take the opportunity to learn new skills on silks, ropes and trapeze with members of The Paper Doll Militia. These form part of a workshop programme encompassing fencing, dance, wicker sculpture and singing with the under fives, highlighting the diversity that also underpins the Leith on the Fringe programme as they seek to establish themselves. While circus may be the vision for the future there is also much on offer from local and international performers in the form of theatre, dance, music, comedy and cabaret. Leith is most definitely on the Fringe. ■ Vikki Jones ÊÊInfo: Leith on the Fringe, 3-28 August 2011, daily except Mondays. Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 0131 554 8092, www.leithonthefringe.com Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 15
Pocahontas McBride & Diva Muffin Zappa Kennedy Wilson on the almost pathological need for celebrities to give their offspring zany names
avid and Victoria Beckham are expecting their fourth child this summer, Emma Bunton is also to be a mum, and the media is buzzing with speculation about what crazy names the children will be saddled with. (The Beckhams certainly did not disappoint, saddling their latest, a little girl with the handle Harper Seven.) The rock star stereotype; TVs flying out of hotel room windows, has given way, with crushing inevitability, to the silly naming of their offspring. Was Paula Yates of sound mind when she chose Fifi Trixiebell? Peaches Geldof has probably eclipsed her sisters in the career stakes because her name is the least cringe worthy. Bob Geldof’s best man, Simon Le Bon, has children called Saffron Sahara, Amber Rose and Tallulah Pine. This relatively modern phenomenon probably has its roots in the unfortunate progeny of 60s rocker Frank Zappa. Namely; Moon Unit, Dweezil and Diva Muffin. Almost as big a tradition is that of the dodgily monikered offspring changing their names to something less zany. Zowie Bowie called himself Joey for a while. He is now an award-winning film director answering to Duncan Jones. Keith Richard’s daughter Dandelion is now Angela and Cher’s daughter, originally saddled with Chastity, has changed her name (and gender) to Chaz. But back to today’s celebrities who are doing their utmost to keep up a proud tradition. Li’l Mo has a daughter called God’Iss Love Stone; John Paul Getty II one who rejoices in, Tara Gabriel Galaxy Gramophone Getty and novelist Daisy Waugh drops off Zebedee on the school run. One time presidential hopeful Sarah Palin has a number of oddly named progeny including Bristol, Piper, Track, Willow and Trig (the last named after the Trisomy G chromosome that causes Down’s Syndrome, as one blogger said ‘has Sarah Palin got a sense of humour or what’?). Finally, and best, in 1996 when a Glasgow couple named their daughter Pocahontas the Guardian suggested 16 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 78
Plain Duncan Jones, formerly Zowie (and Joey) Bowie, filming Source Code
that this was ‘a moniker that does not sit happily with the decidedly un-exotic surname McBride’.
Superman’s birth name
Sometimes a name given to a child makes for an unfair standard to live up to (think of the aforementioned Chastity Bono), Scott McNeally, cofounder of Sun Microsystems, one of the top computing companies, named his son Maverick. It would be a shame if the boy grew up to become a staid conformist. Lady Helen Taylor, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, has a son called Columbus woe betide him if he grows to be an unadventurous homebody When parents give their children unusual names what does that say about the parents and what message does it give the kids? Parents are often repeating patterns that go back to their own childhood. Alternatively they may be consciously, or not, allocating a role to
A Glasgow couple named their daughter Pocahontas ‘a moniker that does not sit happily with the decidedly un-exotic surname McBride’, said the Guardian
the child, says psychotherapist, Anthony Lunt. This is especially true if children have been named after a favourite relative, sporting hero or, as is often the case, the parents themselves. Back in the mid-90s there was a Danish case where the law intervened to curb parental excesses. Pia and Jesper Lindberg considered their son so special that they gave him a unique spelling: Christophpher. The Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs said that this name was not on its approved list and the Lindberg’s were ordered to change it. They refused despite the possibility of heavy fines and took the case to the European Court of Human rights. There remains a strong desire in many parents to name their child in a way that will identify aspirations or differentiate the child as special. Usually such names are cruel and a telling reflection on the adults. Alice Kim and Nicolas Cage have a son called Kal-El– Superman’s birth name – how aspirational is that! ■
Robert Burns: not in my name It takes a brave or foolish man to step into the Bard’s Scotland-sized shoes; Kevin Williamson gives it a go
’ve never been comfortable with the concept of Robert Burns, The Shortbread Tin Man; the ubiquitous Scottish commodity, draped in tartan, and toasted once a year with haggis and whisky. This false construct reeks of tourist dollars with a maudlin disregard for historical reality. Robert Burns was a radical subversive, damn it, who risked his liberty to speak truth to those in power. Plastering his face on couthy tourist tat, in my book, is akin to the Irish dressing James Connolly in a green leprechaun suit and attaching him to key fobs. It’s insulting, degrading, and just plain wrong. Robert Burns, whether folk like it or not, and some don’t, was a radical, subversive political dissident throughout his creative life. Some of his earliest poems cry out eloquently against oppression, injustice and the treatment of the poor. But rather than toning it down when he became the toast of the Edinburgh bourgeoisie his headstrong egalitarian streak became more pronounced, and more sophisticated, as the years went by. Burns often found himself treading on dangerous ground. He sympathised with the republican ideals of the American Revolution of 1776, as well as the French Revolution of 1789, despite his own government declaring war on both republics.
His moral compass
Many of his fans are unaware that some of his best-known songs – such as the political anthems Scot’s Wha Hae and A Man’s A Man – were considered so subversive when they were written that government spies sought out information to determine the identity of the author. Such was the repressive
political climate in the 1790s – sometimes referred to as ‘The Scottish Terror’ - Burns could have been jailed or deported if unmasked. In 1793, the radical young Scottish lawyer Thomas Muir was sentenced in Edinburgh to fourteen years deportation to Botany Bay. Muir, a leading light of the Scottish Friends of the People, was accused of a number of political crimes. Burns was equally guilty of most of those charges. Nowadays, given his fame, it should be common knowledge that Burns’s verse was considered too outspoken, too seditious, or, in the case of his erotic poems, too outrageous for him to publicly put his name to. Yet this isn’t the case. The reality of Burns is still far removed from the public perception of him. Burns didn’t have ‘a radical side’ which was somehow separate from the tenant farmer, the lover, the poet of nature, and the Exciseman. This is a common misconception. As a fellow radical, time-served dissident, and ardent Scottish patriot, it seems natural to me that Burns’s idealistic convictions were intrinsic to everything he did and wrote. They were the heart and soul of the man, his moral compass. The twelve incendiary works I’ve chosen to include in Robert Burns: Not In My Name span the last ten years of the poet’s life. Some are stubbornly patriotic, others rail against injustice, oppression or war, while still others are staunchly republican. A couple, are erotically charged verse from The Merry Muses of Caledonia.
Robert Burns was a radical subversive, damn it, who risked his liberty to speak truth to those in power
ÊÊInfo: Kevin Williamson performs 4 to 12th Aug & 24th to 28th Aug, 7pm, National Library of Scotland (Venue 147) George IV Bridge, tickets £8/£5 0131 226 0000, blog at robertburns notinmyname. com, Twitter @ robertburnsbard
Preceding each poem will be twelve short films created specially for the show by award-winning filmmaker, Alastair Cook, working with composer Luca Nasciuti. Getting Luca on board was a masterstroke by Alastair as his approach to film sound is in the tradition of Bresson and Tarkovsky. Alastair’s twelve films are visually stunning, providing context and a spoken narrative to help the audience follow the twists and turns of the poet’s complicated life. I’ll perform Burns’s work in the chronological order they were written, to help give a sense of story. Hopefully these disparate elements will blend together into a thoughtful, unified and interesting experience for longtime fans of Burns, as well as those curious to discover more about this ubiquitous Scot and enigmatic rebel. I’m not aware of any other theatrical experiences that have approached Burns’s life and work in this manner. Drawing on the research of respected Burns scholars such as Thomas Crawford, Liam McIlvaney, Gerrard Carruthers, Robert Crawford and Patrick Scott Hogg; I hope to challenge the safe, couthy, tartanised mythology that has surrounded our national poet for over two centuries. Will the show succeed in its objectives? Come along and find out for yourself! John-Paul McGroarty, former director of Leith Festival and a fellow Burnsian will direct the show. ■ Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 17
FoodReview John Holmes
Well fed and happy? Yeah Siam… Port of Siam
3 Pier Place Newhaven ( 0131 467 8628 8portofsiam.comk
hen I was a young man, before the World Wide Web, it was generally accepted that the world’s finest cuisines were ranked according to a definitive hierarchy – 1st French, 2nd Italian, 3rd Chinese, and so on. But now, nothing’s definitive and everyone with access to a computer has an opinion, not that that’s a bad thing. It prompts interest, debate, knowledge sharing and, best of all, experimentation. One blog I read adjudged Thai cuisine as 8th best in the world, on another it was rated 5th. Of course the topic is so subjective as to be near meaningless, but you’ll have read this column before... One commenter on a blog (which rated French food as no.1) railed that French cuisine originated ‘from masking the taste of rotten food – it is gross, lamely flavoured and the portions suck, just like the French’ was his (I suspect) American take on things. I tend toward more measured views but I must say that there are times when only Thai food will hit the spot. It’s a fantastic amalgam of influences from around Asia and, for me, strikes an excellent balance between the flavoursome and aromatic and spicy foods from that part of the world. 18 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 78
Having visited a few parts of Asia, I would also venture that the food in Thailand is closer to the Thai offerings we are served up in the UK than those purporting to be from China, India, etc., which are always very different in their home countries. So don’t listen to Gordon Ramsay when he states that you can’t get traditional or authentic Thai food in the UK, he’s a twat, and I bet he’s never been to the Port of Siam. The Port (still your beating heart…not the Port – Ed) has been serving fine fare from its tiny space on Pier Place for over a year now, but it somehow managed to stay off my radar – despite friends telling me how good it was and that I really must go – until a couple of months ago. It is now firmly on it and yes, you were all right, so you can stop reminding me, and gloating, now. The menu has a mix of traditional Thai fare – Green Curry, Yum Plaa Muuk, etc., but becomes more interesting with its list of ‘contemporary’ dishes. The last time we were there we tried the sea bass fillets with mashed potatoes and, done contemporary Thai-style, it was superb. This time, we kicked off with a more traditional mixed tempura @ £7.85 and Thai Fish Cakes @ £5.95. The tempura had prawn, squid and green bean and was light and full of flavour. Leither readers as a breed are well-travelled, well-read and well-versed in the culinary arts, so you won’t need me to tell you that Thai fish cakes are often terrible,
Score: ««««« Damage: £70.60
A food critic who writes for a proper periodical recently opined that dessert is a course you eat because it is there
rubbery, tooth-resisting depositaries for the previous day’s leftovers: these were not. They were splendid - the best Thai fish cakes I’ve eaten in the UK. For mains we stuck to the traditional and had prawn green curry @ £11.95 and the wonderfully entitled Pad Chaa Krapao @ £11.50, accompanied by a coconut rice @ £2.75 and egg noodles @ £3.50. Both were fresh, well textured and excellent. You’ll make up your own mind about these prices but to mine, the quality was so good as to render them great value for money. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Thai pudding before because I tend to think that Asian food is not about dessert – indeed most Thais finish their meals with a simple piece of fresh fruit, and that’s probably your best bet, because I wasn’t overly enamoured of what we had. A dish called Thai Rice Pearls, which is described on the menu as weird and wonderful, rice as you’ve never seen it, comes in coconut milk soup with pandamus ice cream and was actually quite nice, but The Pudding, which is black rice with coconut cream, fruit and cinnamon ice cream, was only half-eaten because it
Serving Fish ‘n’ Chips to Leithers since the 1960s
wasn’t great. Both are £4.75. A food critic who writes for a proper periodical, and is far more qualified than I, recently opined that dessert is a course that you eat because it is there. He may have had Asian food in mind when penning this witticism. Port of Siam used to be a BYO but is now licensed. The wine list, though quite short, is well judged and very well priced. The house white is under £12. We had a very nice Chenin Blanc @ £13.50 which had a lovely herbaceous edge, a hint of spice and enough acidity to cut through the rich Thai Green Curry. Continuing on the booze front, we didn’t venture out of Leith for our pre and post-prandials, with Nobles Bar setting us up nicely with their Black Isle Red Kite and Big John in the Shore Bar welcoming us Royally, as ever, with his wonderful, strong coffee and even stronger whiskies to round things off. All in all, marvellous. ■ ÊÊNB. The author takes no responsibility for the title of this article, which was suggested by Mrs Karen Holmes of North Leith, who thought it amusing.
A Real Family Business
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Malcolm Chisholm MSP Constituency Office
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Sex and grief on a Sunday The public need their weekend dose of scandal mongering, says Stephanie Malcolm, and Murdoch will give it to them
ust when the phone hacking scandal reached saturation point and a safe distance from the now familiar flaming red hair that covers most front pages was surely in sight, the News of the World, ever the dirty fighter, landed another blow. Its recent closure was both surprising and important but significant questions remain: what of the cast off journalists and what of its imminent rebirth under a different name? Fire extinguishers at the ready, this scandal is yet to desist and here comes yet another opinion. In issue 72 of The Leither I wrote of Vince Cable’s undoing by two undercover reporters. His proffered personal opinion on the BSkyB takeover – which was dutifully exposed by the hacks – overshadowed any professional sensibilities he may have possessed resulting in his being stripped of the job, landing Jeremy Hunt the hot seat. His demise was a construct of lax selfcontrol, but the issue of the moment is that this kind of subterfuge, underhand and immoral, is at the very centre of the hacking scandal and has bred this culture of toxic journalism. One former News of the World journalist, Paul McMullan, described the insurmountable pressure fellow journalists felt in an apocalyptic era for print journalism. Without a sufficient tally of by-lines, journalists were simply axed from the paper. Frustration also built in the ranks of contributors at the News of the World from Murdoch’s implementing of a paywall model for its online version – a decision that resulted in an 87% drop in online readership late last year. Online readers simply switched to rival websites that invited free access to the entirety of their current and previous online publications. This perilous combination of fear and frustration is what Paul McMullan (the reporter caught in a ‘honey trap’ by Hugh Grant) ascertains to be the driving force behind many of the most appalling breaches of privacy revealed in the past few days. It has been impossible to avoid or indeed ignore the resurfacing of past tragedies
that dominated all dimensions of the media and resonated so emotionally with the people of this country. To learn further that the phone of Milly Dowler was hacked, with calculated intentions and deft disregard for the catastrophic implications on her parents, changed the dynamic of the scandal so radically it has dominated the media in a shamefully similar fashion.
David Cameron is under pressure to take action against an empire (Murdoch’s) that he believes is the winning component in the next election
Working in a profession that is faced everyday with the threat of a declining readership favouring the resources of the internet, is a threat which resonates amongst all tiers of an organisation – from bottom to top. The pressure came from somewhere and from that somewhere strict instructions were given to private investigator, Glen Mulcaire, to carry out much of the dirty work. As Geoffrey Robertson QC stated, we are a nation “addicted to sex and grief on a Sunday morning.” The higher echelons of News International know exactly what sells papers and acknowledge no legal, professional or moral boundaries to get it. This kind of savage pursuit of another by-line has brought about the tipping point in this scandal where no amount of pressure can excuse these acts. No longer is this an issue about what Sienna said to Jude; the public are united against a Murdoch empire riddled with ruinous unethical practice. But the News of the World has the highest readership of any English language paper and the Australian proprietor is a businessman.
That’s why www.thesunonsunday. co.uk was bought as a domain name and registered on 5th July. The closing of News of the World is a bold move but certainly not a specifically damaging one to News International. The public need their scandal on a Sunday and Murdoch will give it to them. What has been enlightening yet equally unsurprising throughout this scandal is that many other journalists spreading across the print spectrum are reportedly involved in hacking too. Journalism has forever been plagued by a sense of distrust and tabloids are frequently guilty of spreading this through constant sensationalising of hot topics. Recently however, it was The Independent’s Orwell Prize winning journalist, Johann Hari, who erred dangerously close to plagiarizing and was caught out, fuelling a sense of distrust further. The government is now under pressure to take dramatic action against an empire that David Cameron believes is the winning component in the next election. By standing up to Murdoch, he risks losing the support of News International but by doing nothing he risks losing the support of the public. Freedom of speech in print journalism is now under threat opening a fierce debate on the necessity of regulation. The scandal shows no signs of abating and difficult decisions and their repercussions lie ahead. What should be the easiest decision of them all, however, is the jailing of all those found guilty – starting at the top. ■ Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 21
Mark Lazarowicz MP Constituency Office
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Discover the in the heart of
aerial performance, caberet, theatre, workshops and family shows
The Festival according to Mr. Munro Our man in the city gives us the nod on what to look out for this August
Neil Gaiman will be discussing the 10th anniversary of American Gods
hat to see? What to do? Edinburgh Festival is bigger than Glastonbury and can, like Glastonbury, intimidate by sheer size alone never mind the fact that the population doubles. But seek and you will find riches and some of it will not cost riches. Once again Jonathan Mills bins expectations with Edinburgh International Festival providing some real must-see stuff. Shahrazad tells tales to save her life in One Thousand and One Nights at the Lyceum. You can gorge yourself on both parts in one day or see each part on different days. With tickets from £10 and a discount of 10% if both parts are purchased in the same transaction this comes in cheaper than some Fringe productions. The Philip Glass ensemble will play live to the Qatsi Trilogy of films over 3 nights in the Playhouse. Glass originally composed and choreographed the music to fit the images precisely and this promises to be a rare experience. With tickets for each performance starting at £12 the trilogy is possible for just over the cost of top tickets for one performance. Should this prove too costly, Glass will talk about the trilogy at the Hub, as part of the excellent Conversations with Artists series for £6. This and the Continental Shifts talks and debates continue the ideals of the Enlightenment by tackling big themes such as ‘How Chinese money is changing the world’. No more working for the Yankee dollar then. Once again the Fringe intimidates by
scale alone but there are pearls to be had. Ten Plagues at the Traverse finds Marc Almond performing a libretto by Mark Ravenhill (£12 or £6 for concessions). Leaping across the road, the Lyceum Theatre Company appears under the Traverse umbrella in Wondrous Flitting written by their artistic director Mark Thomson. Dust raises hopes only because it’s set on the morning of Thatcher’s death and might be worth the trip to the George Street for that reason alone. Let’s hope they get their timing right!
If you’re feeling helpless, help someone – Aung San Suu Kyi
Definitely getting their timing right are The Stand with, Singin’ I’m no a Billy he’s a Tim, a play about Scotland’s shame that exposes sectarianism in a way that is both funny and enlightening. As well as timing the Stand get pricing right and with Phil Jupitus, Richard Herring, Stewart Lee and oor very ain Vladimir McTavish it is worth supporting your local comedy club. Pick up their brochure to find out more. Mark Thomas (Bongo Club) is always good value and his show Extreme Rambling is not an aimless monologue but his tale of walking the wall built by Israel to suppress the Palestinian peoples. Two of the more unusual venues are the Unison offices on Belford Road, which is hosting an Anti-Cuts Festival. With workshops from Messrs Thomas and Lee, other surprises, and Susan Morrison acting as your conspiratorial host this could prove to be an old fashioned ‘happening event’ that becomes this year’s story. The other unusual venue is Arthur’s Seat. Josie Long, Simon Munnery and Rich Fulcher can be found near the summit at 3.00pm on August 20th paying tribute, in their own way, to Lionel Richie – I know some Leither readers would climb Arthur’s
Seat to avoid Lionel Richie so it’s just as well this is free. Give your ears a treat by listening to the Burns Unit, whose new album Side Show is very good, at Queens Hall on August 24th. You can enjoy Dick Gaughan in the same venue two days earlier. It’s good to see the Malmaison back as a Fringe venue, hosting Half Man Half Biscuit’s favourite songwriter Dean Friedman from 17th to 21st August Fierce looking and fierce talking Henry Rollins mauls the word at the Queens Hall in a way that will see him sell out. The written word made real can be found at the Book Festival, which has some real quality this year. A highlight for me will be Neil Gaiman talking about his great novel American Gods on the 10th anniversary of its publication.
Dan Gray is free
Local author Daniel Gray can be found talking football with an Aberdeen fan who remembers the Glory Days under Alex Ferguson on Wednesday 17th August. Whilst Aberdeen fans may baulk at the £10 admission price, Dan is always good value for money. Mr. Gray is also (free) in the Speigeltent on 20th August as one of the writers reading for Amnesty International in their Imprisoned Writers series. The highlight here will be the reading of work by Burma’s prodemocracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi who, despite having the Freedom of the City, will be unable to attend. Again this is free. If you can’t make it along on the 25th then pay tribute to her at the tree planted in her honour in West Princes Street Gardens. Of course you don’t have to take my word for it. Pick up one of the myriad brochures, flick to any page, and I guarantee you’ll find something to stimulate… above all, have fun! ■ Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 23
SummerFitness & Health Tracy Griffen
Living in a Parallel Universe We are becoming disassociated from our bodies. Discuss.
A friend once told me, if you compare the 1800s to now, that we receive a year’s worth of information in a day
like to set myself wee exam questions for Leither articles. The idea is to start with something that sounds outrageous and try to prove it’s true. This month’s starting point stems from observing the number of people walking along talking on phones, texting, or in their own wee technological world. Playing phone bingo as I walk up Leith Walk is a favourite pastime – counting how many people you pass in a row that are engaging with their handheld telecommunication devices. You might think this is a slightly leftfield start point for a fitness and health page. However if you consider the health aspect, folk walking whilst interacting with phones are only half alive, like the undead, zombies of a new technological age. Physically present, yes, but not really there. Walking out in front of cars without seeing, blank eyes walking past friends, dumbly stepping over gutters without looking (or if you’re me, walking into lamp poles, very embarrassing). All this talking on mobiles is meant to save time, but does it? What do we talk about that we didn’t talk about before we had mobiles? A friend once told me, if you compare the 1800s to now, that we receive a year’s worth of information in a day. That’s quite a lot of extra information, although I’m not quite sure how they measured it. So it seems our brains are doing a lot more exercise than our bodies are nowadays.
You can now buy fully immersive gaming chairs to plonk yourself into. I know because I’ve seen them at Argos (ahem, not that I ever shop there). Technology is taking over our lives and we are zombie disciples to it. By spending so much time online or chattering, we forget our actual physical environment. It used to be rude to have your phone on the table when meeting up with friends, now folk sit
24 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 78
Yet we are happy to continue doing it. It’s enough to make me want to flush my Blackberry down the loo and head out the door for a very long run in the fresh air. Speaking of which, when we first got our allotment, I made a ‘no Blackberry on the allotment’ rule (only natural berries, of course). However I’ve now started to Twitter (@ tracygriffen) from the veggie patch. Husbo quite rightly points out that this decreases my effectiveness doing the weeding. And this is exactly my point, when engaged with the technological; we are less inclined to do anything physical. And using our bodies more is something we need to do.
together but text other people. Why? Do they wish they were somewhere else? Is it that urgent? I was considering parallels with Orwell’s1984 and decided to consult my favourite resource Wikipedia, which reminded me ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ (mostly written 1984) is a dystopian novel written by George Orwell, about a society ruled by an oligarchical dictatorship. The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and incessant public mind control.’ Righto, not that different from today then. The main difference I can see is that rather than citizens being unwillingly watched over, we volunteer our life information to various well-known websites who are less than careful with data protection.
Some technology is good technology. There’s a wee Smartphone app called Waterlogged that makes funny sloshing noises and reminds the user that they need to drink more water. The idea is that you log how much water you drink each day and aim for a hydration target. It’s true most people need to drink more water and this is one of the easiest ways you can improve your health. On the food side of things, I quite often suggest to my corporate Personal Training clients that they set an Outlook alarm to remind them to have a mid-morning snack. Having a snack between breakfast and lunch is an easy way to keep the metabolism ticking over, so a start point for those who would like to lose weight. It is sad in a way that office folk need to set alarms like this, that they have programmed themselves not to be hungry at work and to prioritise the never ending stream of emails over their own physical wellbeing. But hey ho, that’s the world we live in today. We ignore the physical world and engage with the cerebral. A flight of fancy, of celebrity gossip, breaking news, facebook friends and inane twittering… it makes us forget we are here. So I urge you dear reader, to have at least one technology free day each week. Switch off your phone and reconnect with your surroundings. ■ ÊÊInfo: www.getfitandenjoyit.com
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Pork steaks and apple/ berry compote H
ere’s a nice mouthwatering nosh fir yis awe, mah wee muckers.
Wit yi’ll need is:
4 large pork steaks 50g butter 12 sage leaves Sea salt & cracked pepper
Fir yir compote:
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250g cooking apples cored and cut 75g blackberries 2 tablespoons sugar Juice of half lemon 3 juniper berries
Now, whit yi dae is:
Pit the apples, berries, sugar, juice, juniper and 2 tablespoons water intae a saucepan. Cover and cook gently till fruits collapse. Remove
lid and simmer till juices evaporate. Keep warm. Meanwhile, season pork steaks, melt butter in large frying pan, as soon as it starts foaming add the pork. Cook, over medium heat, fir 3-4 mins each side until brown and cooked through. Leave ti rest in a warm place for 5 mins. Meanwhile add sage ti pan and fry till crispy. Serve steaks topped wi’ compote, crisp sage leaves ‘n’ pan-juices. (Greens and buttery mash wid be nice tae.) It’s yummers! Here by the by, mah wee mucker Luke Deekin asked me why the chicken crossed the playground. Ah said ah dinnae ken. Tae get tae the other slide, says he! ■
Ching – Ching The Laird
Home thoughts from abroad
Heard the one about Moore, McIIroy and Murray? H
eard the one about the Englishman, the Irishman and the Scotsman? No? Then read on. The news has been full of pictures of the Middle East, where popular uprisings have seen the people take to the streets in an effort to overthrow the countries’ leaders. Meanwhile the BBC, as is usual at this time of year, had sport on its mind offering the image of Brian Moore, erstwhile England Rugby hooker and bete noire of the Scottish nation leaping to his feet punching the air in celebration, the occasion? An English sporting triumph perhaps? No, it was Andy Murray, darling of Scotland, beating Ivan Lubjic, on the centre court at Wimbledon. In the crowd two days later were Rory Mcllroy and Colin Montgomery, meanwhile Murray was in text contact with David Haye the British World Boxing Champion. These sportsmen had found a common bond, although they were from differing home nations they were British sportsmen supporting and cheering on other British sportsmen. Although on the surface these two items were totally unconnected, both stories provoked in me thoughts of nationhood and self-determination. Murray’s (still unrealised) assault on Wimbledon, and the debate that rages around it, are in many ways a distilling of myriad discussions on what it means to be British and to live in Britain. However for those of a Nationalist persuasion in Scotland, Murray’s seeming adoption by the English is seen as an unwelcome sign of English arrogance, (Mcllroy’s support is fine because he is Northern Irish). And yet the English are merely displaying the fact they have bought into the ‘British’ idea, Most people down south are pretty clear that Murray is a Scot and, despite his earlier assertions
Jenifer Dempsie, former advisor to Alex Salmond, wrote in the Scotland on Sunday that ‘the Scottish Independence movement differed from the Basques and Catalans in Spain’, in that ‘they would discuss politics in the bars and restaurants and hold events and concerts as it was intrinsic in their culture’ and that ‘our Independence Vote needs to move into the mainstream away from the chattering classes’. As we move towards the referendum that our political masters deem necessary I can’t help feeling that this particular aim, stems not from a popular uprising but from political ambition. The differences between what is happening in the Middle East and Spain and us could not be starker, there the people are driving the politics, here the politicians are leading the people and as with all politicians I mistrust their motives, be it Unionist or Nationalist.
that he would support any team other than England, have for the most part responded by forgiving, forgetting and supporting. Of course were they to reject Murray then the Nationalists would once again bemoan English arrogance and infer that poor Andy was paying the price for being Scottish. To be honest the English can’t win, they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
Brian Moore’s reaction was interesting and said much of the English psyche. This is a man who knows the difference between being English and what being British is, he is after all an English internationalist and a British & Irish Lion. He played and battled, with and against the best that the home nations could provide. As an England player he wore his heart on his sleeve and he was prepared to take the jibes of a Scottish nation in his stride throughout his career, and yet he was still comfortable to leap to his feet in unadulterated joy as the Flower of Scotland conquered (almost) London SW19. Nationalists in Scotland talk of a more grown up future, one of mutual respect but often play on the past to engender resentment, focusing on the differences between the two nations and the historical enmity in order to support their political aims. Following the historic victories in the recent elections you would have expected Scotland to be in a ferment of Independence fever, yet the talk in the pubs was of Wimbledon, Alex Salmond’s tirade against the UK Justice System, the fact that the Football season was nearly on us already and, of course, Rangers and Celtic and the anti-sectarian legislation.
They had found a common bond, although they were from differing home nations they were British sportsmen cheering on other British sportsmen
Cheer to rafters
Which brings me back to our erstwhile Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman, they demonstrated that you can be patriotic to the part of the UK of your birth and blood, that you can give your all for that country and yet you can also count those that were once your opponents and, in centuries past your enemies, as compatriots now and cheer them to the rafters for their exploits. It isn’t in itself a reason for keeping the Union or for not re-examining the way we are governed, however in a world of hatred and war, where one tribe is able to massacre another, where one religion seeks the right to be seen to be the true religion over another, It does give us a glimmer of hope. We can move forward together and, perhaps, sport can conquer all. ■ Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 27
Bainbridge Music 2 Sept: The Mine featuring Underclass, Lost in Audio and the Deep Red Sky. Cabaret Voltaire, 36 Blair Street. 7-10pm
highlight of the month
Boda Bar 229 Leith Walk 0131 553 5900 Every Monday: Boda Bar Chan Bang. Join in the jam session Rocktail Thursdays, Meze Fridays and Soul Sundays Carrier’s Quarters 42 Bernard Street Sun: 6.30pm Jammie Devils Dalriada 77 Promenade, Portobello 0131 454 4500 Thu: Quiz Night 8.30pm Fri & Sat: Live Music 9pm Sat & Sun: Live Music 3-6pm Sun: Summer Sunday Evening Showcase 7-9pm Elbow 133 East Claremont Street 0131 556 5662 Mon: Supper Club Tue: Pub Quiz at 8pm Fri: Live Music, 9pm Sun: Open Mic Night, 9pm Espy 62 Bath Street, Portobello 0131 669 0082 Tue: Stitch & Bitch (knitting circle) Fri: Live music 9.30pm Guilty Lily 284 Bonnington Road 0131 554 5824 Sun: Quiz Nite 8.30 Mad Mexican Mondays Every Thu: Film Night, wear pyjamas & get a free glass of wine! Open Mic on last Friday of the month 8.30pm Iso Bar 7 Bernard Street 0131 467 8904 Wed: Quiz Night 8pm Sun: Open mic with Sylvain 5pm onwards Joseph Pearce’s Bar 23 Elm Row 0131 556 4140 Tue: Jogging Club 7pm-8pm 1st Monday of month: The Paintbrush and the Sewing Needle 7pm Cinnamon Wednesdays and Sunday D.J. Sun: The Random Selector with Annie Cavanagh 8 Aug: J.P.’s Book Club 21 Aug: Summer Barbecue from 2pm Leith Folk Club @ the Village South Fort Street 0131 478 7810 9 Aug: Rod Paterson 16 Aug: Smith Burns and O’Sulivan 23 Aug: Joy Dunlop 30 Aug: Sandra MacBeth Nobles 44a Constitution Street 0131 629 7215 Mon: Epic quiz night, Tue: Open Mic w/Caramello Fats & Packets O’Shea Wed: Jack of Diamonds Scrimshaw Shanties Thu: Acoustic Sesh w/Hailey Beavis and friends 28 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 78
Love’s Rebellious Joy: A Party For Paul Reekie Sunday 28th August 9pm, The Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square Gardens, Free By way of a tribute to the late poet, iconoclast,
facilitator and disseminator of all manner of arcane knowledge. Expect to hear from the likes of Irvine Welch, Gordon Legge, Laura Hird, Tam Dean Burn and,
Sun: Rossco Galloway & Alisdair McErlain. 5 Aug: The Peterman Powderkeg Project 6 Aug: Top Hat plus guests 12 Aug: Missing Cat 13 Aug: Electric Mud 19 Aug: Bainbridge presents new bands 20 Aug: Deep Fat Fried Showcase 26 Aug: The Chans 27 Aug: Seneka and The John Knox Sex Club
Neu! Reekie! Scottish Books Trust, Trunk’s Close, 55 High Street 26 -27 Aug: The best in avant-garde poetry, music and film fusions, Festival Double Bill, 7-10pm The Parlour 142 Duke Street 0131 555 3848 Every Mon: The Parlour Unplugged. Acoustic jam session, 8pm Every Wed: Quiz – bar tab and jackpots to be won, 8pm Every Thur: Open Mic Night with Packets O’ Shea, 8pm Saturday Night Beaver 36 Blair Street 3rd Saturday of the month, 10.30-3am The Shore Bar 0131 553 5080 Tue: Infinite Trio 9.30pm
all the way from Japan, fellow poet Paul Hullah. Join Edinburgh’s literary Demi-monde for readings, music and, erm, a swally or two.
Wed: Folk Session 9.30pm Thu: The GT’s or Kevin Gore 9pm Sun: Jazz - Ellis & Kellock 2pm-5pm.
Sophie’s 65 Henderson Street 0131 555 7019 1st Wed of month: Coup Red – SELECT – monthly artist gathering. 6.30-8pm 1st Thu of month: Sing Songwriter’s night, 9-11pm 9 Aug: Edinburgh Blog Together, 6-8pm. A chance to meet up with fellow bloggers. Victoria Bar 265 Leith Walk 0131 555 1638 15 Aug: Acoustic Bluegrass Jam Session, monthly, 8pm The Waterline 58 The Shore 0131 554 2425 Every Thur: Pub quiz from 9pm!
Concrete Wardrobe 50 Broughton Street 0131 558 7130
August Maker of the Month: Mhairi Wild and Blair Sorley. Wild Weaves and Smooth Leathers – handbags, purses and accessories.
Corn Exchange Constitution Street 0131 561 7300 Til 22 Sept: Hayashhi Takeshi – White Rain ( Haku-u)
What’sOn Sponsored by Chop Chop Leith 76 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6LX Tel: 0131 553 1818. www.chop-chop.co.uk Now delivering (inc. Business Lunches) to EH6, EH7 & EH8 Out of the Blue Drill Hall 36 Dalmeny Street 0131 555 7100 outoftheblue.o rg.uk Weekly: drama, dance, yoga, martial arts, belly dancing, life drawing and aerial (phew!) Oh and kids art classes! 3-28 Aug: Full programme of aerial shows, theatre, music, cabaret and workshops. www.leithonthefringe.com Talbot Rice Gallery
From 5 Aug: Anton Henning – Interieur No. 493.
First Scottish solo show by the German artist. Ragamala – Exhibition of a series of unique, minature Indian paintings from the University of Edinburgh’s collection The Framed Gallery 11b Gayfield Square Til 19 Aug: The Affordable Art Fair. 30 artists and a wide variety of mediums Such and Such Gallery 105 Brunswick Street 13 Aug-11 Sept: Residents – an exhibition of new work by the studio’s resident artists. Combining work in silver, mixed media and printmaking. 11-6pm The Dirty Pint Pub Crawl Leith Walk during the Fringe Festival The show’s team of actors, improvisers, magicians, writers and whisky connoisseurs use a mix of storytelling and processional theatre techniques.
Malcolm Chisholm 0131 558 8358 MSP Edinburgh North & Leith. Advice surgeries every Saturday morning. Mark Lazarowicz 0131 557 0577 MP for Edinburgh North & Leith. Weekly surgeries every Friday (no appointment required) 4pm Stockbridge Library. 5pm Constituency Office, 5 Croall Place Rob Munn 0131 529 3290 Leith Ward SNP. 1st & 3rd Mon of month: Leith Library 6pm 1st Fri of month: Leith Community Centre, 1pm 2nd Wed of month: Hermitage Park Primary, 6pm Gordon Munro Leith Ward Labour. Advice surgeries: 1st & 3rd Monday of each month at Leith Community Education Centre, 6.30-7.15pm. 2nd Tuesday of the month at Victoria Primary School, 6.30-7.15pm. Last Saturday of each month at Lochend Y.W.C.A. 12noon-1pm. Marjorie Thomas City Chambers. 0131 529 4988 Leith Ward Lib/Dem. Advice surgeries: 1st & 3rd Wed. of each month at Victoria Primary School 5.30-6pm and Leith Academy 6.30-7.30pm
Deidre Brock Leith Walk Ward S.N.P. Advice surgeries: 1st & 3rd Wednesday of every month at McDonald Road Library 6pm and 2nd Friday (during term time) Leith Walk Primary School 12:30 Kipawa Charity Comedy Night 18 Aug: The Grannary. Leith based charity running various projects to help slum children in Kenya. For more info check out website kipawa.org.uk Louise Lang Leith Walk Ward Lib/Dem 0131 529 4019 Advice surgeries: 1st Monday of month at Broughton Primary School, 6pm and 1st Wedneday of month at Lorne Primary School, 6pm Leith Community Centre Get Fit Get Fed: 1st to 4th years (up to 16), Tues/ Weds/Thurs, 10am-12pm, till 11th August. Get involved in a host of sports and enjoy breakfast! And it’s FREE! Spaces are limited. Interested? Contact Leith Community Centre 0131 554 4750 Leith Library 28-30 Ferry Road 0131 529 5517 Tue: 4-5pm Under 13’s Computer Club Fri: 2.30pm Craft Time: (ages 4 to 11) For info on other clubs contact Leith Library. The WW1 Leith Roll of Honour that was exhibited in Leith Library at 2008-2009 is now available in page-turner format at lhsa.lib.ed.ac.uk/exhibits/Leith_ROH.htm McDonald Road Library 28-30 Ferry Road 0131 529 5517 Craft for kids: Every friday, 3-4pm (ages 4-9) Bookbug Sessions: 2nd friday of month,11.30pm; Last friday of month, 10.30-11am; 2nd sunday of month, 2.30-3pm Polish Bookbug Session: Every Tuesday, 10.30-11am Urdu Book Group (women only): Last monday of month, 2-4pm Book Group: Last monday of month, 6.30-7.30 Polish Book Group: 20 June ( then every 2nd month), 6pm
Full body: £15 Half body: £10 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Key Point Building services
All insurance work carried out. Free estimates. Mob. 07904 657899 Tel. 0131 555 2483 Email. email@example.com CREDIT CRUNCH DISCOUNT 10% OFF TO LEITHER READERS
Laughter Yoga Classes resume 16 May at Leith Community Centre, 7-8pm,£3/4 Ramsay Cornish 15 Jane Street. 0131 553 7000 Thu: 11am Traditional Lane Sale Sat: 11am General Household Auction. South Leith Church Halls 6 Henderson Street 0131 554 2578 volunteeredinburgh.org.uk 11am Every Thursday, Find out about doing volunteer work in Leith. Perc U Up Café opening times: Mon to Fri 10am2pm Fairtrade goods for sale Weekly Food Market @ Out of the Blue Every Saturday from 6 Aug. 10-2pm. ■ Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 29
Our summer a la carte menu has launched and the BBQ is out every weekend - weather permitting! Every Friday is ‘Champagne on the Shore’ night, get free chefs selection of Mal Munchies
across 1 5 10 11 12 13 15 18 20 23 25 26 27 28
Look at fair and adapt (8) Drinks, locks that change one for another first (6) Jeffrey Archer loosely or Beatle’s song (9,6) Watson perhaps loses a railway for basic part (7) Nicked out of techno dance primarily (7) A bomb was discovered in bland mineral (8) Bakers possibly sleep to the north (5) Bury short season (5) In forest apes try to weave design (8) Could be a German boss (7) Vouchers firm up on shows primarily (7) Another ten shows coward under sea (9,6) Sancerre perhaps? In a quandry I should think (6) Mastered maybe after going through this (8)
down 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 14 16 17 19 21 22 24 25
Right paper trashed by hip-hop man (6) Part petal maybe but sweet (5,4) Shock to the brain by marine (7) Begin, begin sweet second part of two (5) Nude tar stripped will not get a certificate (7) Carry loud alien to church (5) Forceful southern missile (8) Superficial kind in home counties record (4,4) 18 across establish legal concern (8) 11 across zinc, I or um? Confused (9) Distressed early Summer month died without (8) Reigns haphazardly without love in these areas (7) Banger, South African and American for example, backed (7) Rise up with sand blown around church (6) Sick in New York usually follows Bill (5) Measure copper piece (5)
crossword prize A bottle of Malmaison house wine
winner no.52 Sharon Ramponi, Edinburgh
Email your answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org 30 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 78
Supplied by: www.leithlinks.co.uk
answers: crossword 52 across
1 Chambers 5 Effort 10 Hibernian nation 11 Ragtime 12 Chianti 13 Bought In 15 Grass
18 Easel 20 Trembled 23 Enamour 25 Routine 26 Butternut squash 27 Ripest 28 Freehand
1 Cohere 2 Ambiguous 3 Burning 4 Raise 6 Flaming 7 Onion 8 Tangiest 9 Ensconce
14 Tutoring 16 Americana 17 Remember 19 Looters 21 Brusque 22 Meshed 24 Act Up 25 Rotor
Leither in London Carrie Mitchell …
Carrie considers whether to buy two men for £30
I love 80s music, red lipstick, right angles, second-hand bookshops, mashed potatoes and being quiet
o I said my relationship with internet dating was over. I may have jumped the gun. Having spent an evening with my flatmates taking another look, I have found one, possibly even two men who seem to be a) sane b) not bad looking and c) over 5ft 7. Would I like to date them? Possibly. Am I willing to spend £30 to sign up so I can actually communicate with them? Hmm, not so sure. £15 per man seems like a pretty high price to pay to send an email essentially saying: “Hey, I like the look of you, do you like the look of me?” Particularly when the answer to that question could be: “Actually, no – thanks for the offer but I’m not into blondes myself.” But then, as Liv (ever the romantic) pointed out, one of these men could be my soulmate and what’s £30 if it buys you a lifetime of happiness? Indeed. “I’ll stick it on my credit card for you right now, if you like,” piped up Carine. “But what on earth are you going to say in your profile?” Good question. The only reason I’d decided these two candidates had potential was largely thanks to the wit displayed in their ‘About Me’ files – but how would my own go… <Hi, I’m a budding writer, who hails from Scotland, now lives in Hackney and currently works on a wedding magazine. None of these things will really tell you that much about me as a) I’m nowhere near cool enough to live in the East End b) I have almost zero interest in weddings and c) I’m not all that patriotic. In fact, the only things really ‘Scottish’
about me are my accent, my penchant for haggis, Deacon Blue and tablet, and my firm belief that Irn Bru is a wonder elixir that can cure all known ailments from hangovers to stomach flu> Not really working, is it? All I’ve done is tell people what I’m not, perpetuate a few Scottish clichés, and probably sent most single men running for the hills by including the word ‘wedding’ in my opening gambit. “Maybe it’d be better to keep quiet about the wedding stuff until you actually have a face-to-face encounter,” suggested Carine. “Why not talk about what you do like instead?” Okay. Here goes… <Food, music and words are my three passions. I love to eat, I love to read, and I love good music. I don’t have very specific tastes in these areas – I will generally eat, read and listen to anything but if you pushed me, I’d have to confess that my greatest passions would be for any dish involving potatoes, any tune with an electronic 80s beat, and any writing which provokes a strong reaction. I have a really great group of friends, who are very important to me – mainly because it took me so long to find real, genuine people here in London. And if you were to ask me what my hobbies were, I’d have to say socialising with them. I don’t go to the gym, I don’t play any sports, and I’m not a member of any clubs or groups. I like pubs, I like parks, and I like holidays – do they count as hobbies?> Right, how’s that? Hmmm, I seem to have painted myself as a lazy, wishywashy, possibly over-weight bore who
has an unhealthy dependence on her friends and an inherent dislike for most people in London. Possibly not a winning formula. One last try… <I moved to London from Scotland five years ago to pursue a writing career and am still eternally surprised I am actually paid to write. I guess that makes me modest, or perhaps lacking in confidence, either way, I am very happy I get to write for a living, and happier still that it allows me to live here in London, which I love more than I ever thought possible when I first stepped off the train from Edinburgh. I’m open, honest (sometimes too honest), laid-back (that’s calm not lazy) and often sarcastic (is it really the lowest form of wit?). I love words and all the ways they are used - music, books, magazines, films, and of course talking, though I’d probably describe myself as more of a listener than a talker. I love to laugh, sing out loud and dance – whether that be in a pub, at a gig, or in my kitchen at 4am when I should really be in bed. I stay up later than I should, drink more than I should and don’t really exercise unless you count my daily walk along the canal to work or the aforementioned kitchen dancing I love 80s music, red lipstick, right angles, second-hand bookshops, mashed potatoes and being quiet. I also like to make a noise. You could say I’m a little contrary – but I’d probably disagree with you> How’s that? Yep, I sound like a mental person. Oh dear. ■ Issue 78 | leithermagazine.com | 31