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Free Issue 90

Leither

Gifted The Edinburgh Book Sculptures

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Romney and Ryan Peter Hook on Joy Division Leith Waterworld Fiasco Sleaze | Music | Health | Reviews | Politics | Food | Humour | Cinema


2 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90


Music Review: TeenCanteen

Contents 12

If dancing is ‘a vertical expression of a horizontal desire’ then Rodger Evans has a few tips for budding DJs

14

Colin Montgomery on possible alternative uses for Holy Loch if the Scottish Government ditches Trident

T

his is how it starts. With the facts. I’ve chosen, willingly, to see this band live more times than I’ve ever smiled (6) and they always, always, undo the math on that. To say they are the bastard offspring of the NME and Smash Hits is a lazy signifier, but I’ll say it anyway, because their formula is simple: 50% indie nous plus 50% pop sensibility = nirvana (definitely with a small ‘n’). In a packed club under a railway siding in a godforsaken corner of Glasgow on a bitterly cold October night, the girls of TeenCanteen achieve the impossible; they bring the summer back for one hour only. The four of them are ribboned across a stage that is strewn with sunflowers – a logo they should adopt – guitar, keyboard, drums, bass, left to right. Various celebrity guests pepper the stage. No need. Even this early in their gigging career, the band is palpably a gang. From the moment they spark up, they rattle out one glorious earworm – which is to say a tune you can’t get out of your head – after another. Combining the immediacy of nursery rhymes with the grittiness of the gutter. Two singers, a bunch of songs (I wasn’t taking notes) and

absolutely nailed on harmony vocals. A thing then of rare beauty. Friends rides in on an ominous organ riff, for this poppiest of bands, and a warning; “This is how it starts/The beginning of the end.” The ethereal Cherry Pie is delivered with wonderful vocal precision; “I fell into your eyes like an inky black splash.” In the audience, rogue orange balloons full of helium trap the light. The overall effect is American 60s garage band (think Nuggets) crossed with The Shangri-Las filtered through Glasgow. Crucially, and uniquely I think for an all girl pop band, they sing in their own accents, which offer a bold counterpoint to the sugar bullets that are their songs. The lyrics are by turn innocent and knowing: “I just want to share some popcorn with you”…“I’m trying so hard to fuckin’ breath.” Songs about meeting up, making up, breaking up, the proper currency of pop music. Flaws? Perhaps a little lack of self-belief. Never mind, as someone once nearly said, ‘there are flaws in everything…that’s how the light gets in’. And TeenCanteen are bathed in it. ■ Billy Gould

Port o’ Leith Bar is proud

to sponsor the decapitation of Moncur the Monkey to make a cute Jack o’ Lantern

70 years ago another show business personality found himself in trouble, Lawrence Lettice spills the beans

23

Adventures in soup: Tracy Griffen spends a week consuming the stuff and selflessly shares her recipes

Leither Published by: Leither Publishing Editor: William Gould ( 07891 560 338  billy@leithermagazine.com Sub Editors: Dot Mathie, Shelley Smith and Stephanie Malcolm Design:  design@leithermagazine.com Photography: Ryan McGoverne  info@ryanmcgoverne.co.uk Advertising: Shelley Smith ( 07908 550 118  shelley@leithermagazine.com Contacts:  info@leithermagazine.com 8 leithermagazine.com Cartoonist: Gordon Riach Illustrators: Bernie Reid Printers: Arc Printing Ltd ( 0131 555 5459  sales@arccolour.co.uk 8 arccolour.co.uk © 2012 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.

58 Constitution 0131 554 3568

If you have an interesting story we should know about, contact William Gould on tel: 07891 560 338. If you would like information on advertising or sponsorship opportunities with the Leither email: advertising@leithermagazine.com

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22

Cover: The first Edinburgh Book Sculpture photographed by Chris Scott at chrisdonia.co.uk

Issue 90 | leithermagazine.com | 3


Protempore … Will American voters unleash a right wing storm? A

s I write this, Hurricane Sandy has finally run out of its climate change-induced breath, and the Atlantic coast of America is beginning the long, hard clean-up of damage which has killed 40 people so far and will cost $30-40 billion dollars to put right. Some commentators are predicting that the storm will have a major effect on the US election which is due to take place on 6th November with thousands of voters either unable or unwilling to go out and cast their vote. It’s not clear which of the two candidates will suffer most if voters stay away from the polls and, given the absolutely neck and neck nature of the race, every single vote is going to count. The unspeakable scenario – for anyone who has a smidgeon of common sense and a justified hatred of neoconservative policies – is that the storm will see Willard Mitt Romney (yes, that’s his name) elected as the 45th President of the United States. Willard’s beliefs and polices are, to put it as mildly as I possibly can, barking mad. He doesn’t believe in man-made climate change and wants to drill for oil and gas in the Antarctic and anywhere else that hasn’t been dug up; he’s anti-abortion even in cases of rape and incest; and he’s a Mormon which means he can have as many wives as he wants but is virulently against gay marriage. But what many people don’t know and what is hard to believe, is that he’s actually viewed as something of a ‘softie’ compared to his running mate for the Vice Presidency, Paul Ryan. Ryan is 42 years old, relatively young for a vice-presidential candidate, a practising Catholic who was voted ‘prom king’ and ‘biggest brown noser’ by his schoolmates, and likes to catch catfish with his bare hands. Nothing too 4 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90

sinister there but when you begin to dig down in order to find out what really makes this lunatic tick, you uncover a neo-conservative who is so far to the right that he must have tripped over George Dubya Bush and Donald Rumsfeld to get where he is today.

Pigticians illustration by Bernie Reid

Flatten Iran

Like Willard, Ryan is a climate change denier and believes in coal, gas and nuclear power; he has consistently voted against gay marriage, gay adoption and moves to liberalise abortion laws. He actually stated that rape was “a form of conception” and has co-sponsored legislation that would declare that life begins at conception and would grant foetuses the legal and constitutional rights of people. He is violently against any form of gun control and voted to erect a barrier along the US border with Mexico. And he agrees with Willard that, if they should happen to gain office, one of the first things they would do is review America’s current foreign policy and put Iran “on notice” in relation to its nuclear programme. What “on notice” means in their minds is that they will flatten Iran regardless of what anyone else advises. Something which the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, says would be “good for Arabs”. It’s beginning to sound like a joke: “A Mormon, a Catholic and a Jew walk into the Oval Office. What happens next?” But I digress. Another particularly nauseating fact about Ryan is that in his current role as chairman of the House Budget Committee in Washington, he is best known for his controversial alternative budget framework, produced to counter President Barack Obama’s budgets in 2011 and 2012. Ryan’s plans would cut $6 trillion

What ‘on notice’ means in the minds of Romney and Ryan is flattening Iran regardless of advice. Something Netanyahu, says would be good for Arabs

dollars (that’s around £3.8 trillion pounds) from the federal budget over a decade by cutting food aid, education spending and health programmes for the poor and elderly. He would also cut taxes for himself and Willard, i.e. the rich. Ryan has dismissed accusations that this is an unprecedented attack on the poor and most vulnerable members of American society. However, Newt Gingrich, the former Republican House Speaker widely regarded as one of the most right-wing politicians in America, called Ryan’s proposals “nothing more than right-wing social engineering”. Many people, particularly on this side of the Atlantic, can’t quite believe that the race for the Presidency is so close. How did Obama manage to lose so much momentum after his historic victory in 2008? Well, the level of expectation after that victory was huge and, given the cranky way that American politics work, many of Obama’s policies were successfully blocked by Republican majorities in major votes on things like healthcare reform and equal pay. As such, people who voted for change haven’t really seen any and although the US economy is slowly picking up, the rate of progress for many Americans just hasn’t been quick enough. Willard and Ryan are finding it easy to lay the blame at Obama’s door when, in reality, it’s the Republicans who are responsible for that change being stifled at every opportunity. If a couple of climate change deniers do manage to walk into the White House as a result of a hurricane, be prepared for them to unleash a right-wing storm which may well be felt thousands of miles away from America. ■ Protempore


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Issue 90 | leithermagazine.com | 5 FREEPHONE


A reply to: We Have To Talk About Censorship

D

ear Editor, As a Leith-based political activist and documentary filmmaker who has been involved in the struggle for justice in Palestine for a number of years, I write respectfully to ask whether I may be given the chance of a published response to David Sefton’s piece, We Have To Talk About Censorship, in issue 89 of The Leither. As you rightly say, Mr Sefton pulls no punches in his spirited criticism of those who protested Batsheva Dance Company’s Edinburgh Festival appearance this summer. However, to print an article which speaks of principled demonstrators (amongst them a diminutive female middle aged Methodist minister, who subsequently filed a police complaint for being assaulted by a member of the public inside the auditorium) as ‘simplistic lefties’, indulging in ‘aggressive vandalism’, whose activities were comparable to the Nazis, without providing voice to a counter argument to set before your readership would, in my view amount to an even graver act of censorship than the one cited by your contributor. Quite apart from the insulting language and tone of the article, there is a fundamental flaw in his argument. The assumption that the views of Batsheva are regarded by boycott campaigners as synonymous with that of the Israeli government is quite wrong, choreographer Ohad Naharin even spoke to assembled demonstrators outside the venue to voice his common 6 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90

the appalling truth of Israel’s ongoing project of colonial dominance and expansion characterizes the entire mainstream public domain of both media and politics. Sadly, in fact scandalously given the pivotal, and get in the way of a good demo?= deeply e the political Also (and once again Israel no potentially catastrophic role of this fully support and endors haven’t forgotten, tic y. Right? stuff, Artis countr n, terrible that of es Sefto activiti Dave don’t, as a defence) they definitely Wrong. issue in world affairs, this means a the exclusivity on argument have second state, Director of the Adelaide the to nation on Moving le, 38 African that. There are, for examp me by the deluded mouth Festival, pulls no punches positedertohandin is illegal and g leaflets out before the public too ignorant of the reality to nations where being gay breath e you for it – so, Israeli the execut off will money them of 3 take in his response to those show: They at WOMAD t the dear protestors, see you ment so they MUST suppor properly grasp the evasiveness of an t WHY Here not…bu who protested against the govern Sigh. clearly ment. Well, govern then? that policies of targets for not? Something about safe Batsheva Dance Company we go again. favourite lefty arts article like your contributor’s. simplistic lefties? Name your run that list could of e you d Theatr al not…an Nation Surely institution: DV8? ons of human e Theatre? o begin, lets get one thing on through all the variati Scotland? Billy Bragg? Tricycl The Palestinians, as I’m sure you bad. but it’s still They planet the Tron? on The t? abuse absolutely clear. Israel is rights Entertainmen it in the neck. - so it only T Very bad. They’vande committed Forced poor old Batsheva that get all get government money all be prosubject, know yourself, have been driven (And, while we’re on the crimes against humanity goes to show that THEY must like you, dance ation are e porary justific t Ther contem a withou (just ting law isn’t boycot international government closet Tories rights abuses an ounce of sly, would company for the human 38 African or permission. No one with from their land and turned into the dear reader). But that, obviou as boycotting against that of Israel about as logical political sense will argue be ridiculous. nations the Norwegian would Pingu to protest against statement. And that line of thinking Dance world’s largest refugee population. ). va being e digress I Batshe tion wher Far Right? But OK, so…now to reduce the entire popula handed heavyrecent y to one enormous Company and the gay is illegal International of a countr …which would be (what’s The dispossessions and house Aggressive vandalism boycott of their Edinburgh from generalisation the of , 3 e seem though and They’r would At the end of the day, Festival appearances. the best word?) well…racist can be, to be Antideluded protestors outside them will Israel, right? So they must to fit the bill. demolitions are still happening every of the being ill for the an extent, forgiven for just Palestinian, Pro-Zionist lackeys Batsheva as a company are, home te execu above) (see at informed. They are wrong State. Right? record, perpetually in troubleforever if you’re by default – but line; you for it day. Those that remain, both in Israel which is to say out there So, by that same reasoning for not towing the party utter idiots able bet t of human they’re not wrong like the reading this it’s a reason so, dear demonstrating in suppor THOSE folks all Tories Occupied – inside stopping the show. you’re UK-based. So, you’re refuse to perform in the rights; and the occupied territories are , stors d r, right? prote are the REAL problem. and are genuinely oppose then, obviously? Pro-wa ries Territo about for ing All of the country Standing outside protest see you at Anti-abortion? Pro-church? Because to the political activities deluded subject to a regime of oppression that, a country - no matter how the privatisation of the NHS? they live and are from. These which in AD that WOM target of sion let the facts or ill-informed their choice resistance that’s the only logical conclu are FACTS – but, hey, why country, they might be - is an act of passive if anyone comes from the according to Archbishop Desmond gressive that is fundamentally non-ag protest of and conforms with a history makes some Tutu, who I suspect knows one or that, at the end of the day, holding contextual sense. The ticketbigger showstoppers are a much two things on the subject, is actually problem here. tickets Those bright souls who bought ium worse than the apartheid policies and bravely hid in the auditor stood and at three separate points their with of South Africa. I wonder if Mr up and stopped the show ing that’s loud protests. By my reckon in a whole you censorship and that puts Sefton would have been equally who stopped other place. Those people themselves the show three times place company withering in his condemnation of in some very unpleasant despicable and larly particu a in , indeed , bigots and unpalatable group of zealots prevent those people who ran onto rugby sively book burners who aggres own political culture because of their to all of you y pitches in the ‘80s as part of the directl say I – So . beliefs show – the g stoppin there that were with the how does it feel to be in there boycott campaign of a previous Nazis? The levels of irony are beyond s remain era. impenetrable but the fact sive aggres of act an what they did was of free Indeed, rather than merely vandalism and suppression to tion opposi te speech and is in absolu of everything the very basic principles stigmatize those sufficiently ting. they purport to be suppor Just saying. moved to act directly in the support of the Palestinians’ largely ignored struggle for justice, sympathy with the Palestinian cause. He might have also made positive This is clearly understood. suggestions for applying pressure on The problem is that the dance group Israel by other means. are platformed as part of Brand Israel, Like many people involved in this a government-sponsored PR initiative issue, I have visited the West Bank and that seeks unashamedly to use arts and seen the brutality and dehumanization culture as a means to showcase the state of Palestinians at first hand. I defy and beautify it’s international image. An anyone with a moral sense to return objective reinforced by the presence of from that land without a new an Israeli government minister on the Such neglect perspective and a vigorous desire to show’s first night. do something. Scotland’s national of the apIt’s not difficult to see why this might poet provides such an example, but Liz make Batsheva seem a legitimate target palling truth Lochead is but one of many respected to people motivated by a determination artists and public figures who have of Israel’s to raise awareness of Israeli apartheid. confirmed their explicit support to a ongoing For this, after all, is what we are talking growing international boycott campaign about... which, it should be stressed, was called project of Despite Mr Sefton’s nodded reference for in 2005 by Palestinian civic society colonial to Israel as being ‘very bad’ and guilty itself. of ‘terrible stuff’, he fails to elaborate. The list of agencies, organisations dominance And such omission is crucial in stifling and individuals aligned to the Boycott, & expansion a proper debate. There is something Divestment and Sanctions movement characterizes should be scrutinised by David Sefton. deeply unsettling to me about an article seeking to demonise direct action against the entire It’s not quite the shower of ignorant the official representatives of a criminal leftist louts he refers to in his article. mainstream Best regards, state without giving any detail of what those crimes actually are. Such neglect of media Jon Pullman ■

We Have To Talk About Censorship Batsheva Dance Company performing Max

12 | lei

Gadi Dagon

W

hen we (well I, there is no we) published an article last month on the protests surrounding the Israeli dance company Batsheva, a backlash was expected, indeed welcomed. I had hoped it would play out in the comments section of the online article. Which would, I think, have fomented wider and thus more useful debate. Unfortunately most of the (strongest) opinions popped up in my email inbox…so the toing and froing of opinion in the public domain never transpired. I’ve decided, then, to publish the most considered response in this issue. It is pertinent to point out the original article (an impassioned plea, albeit particular, against censorship in the arts) was written in the white heat of the moment by someone who is passionate about culture, indeed an arts festival director.


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Issue 90 | leithermagazine.com | 7


The Gift That Keeps On Giving: In Support of Libraries, Books, Words, Ideas Chris Scott at chrisdonia.co.uk

T

he first one was delivered surreptitiously. Workers in the Scottish Poetry Library found a ‘Poetree’ sculpture sprouting out of an old book, a golden egg beside it contained lines by Edwin Morgan. Inspired by the library twitter tag @by leaves we live, the anonymous donor’s tag on the sculpture said: we know that a library is so much more than a building full of books...a book is so much more than pages full of words... This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas. The story spread like wildfire. Libraries were under threat and folks such as Alan Bennett, Philip Pullman and Caitlin Moran were minded to defend these institutions of the intellect. Here was an intervention that stirred the heart and mind, serving the cause in a way that even well known authors could not. Who did this wonderful thing? Everyone wanted to know, even if they knew why. A second sculpture appeared at the National Library of Scotland. Made from a copy of Ian Rankin’s Exit Music this one had a gramophone playing above a coffin sliding into the book. The tag had the same exhortation but added ‘& against their exit’. The coffin itself was made from a book entitled The Casquet of Literature. A second? How wonderful. Then a third appeared at the Filmhouse. This one added ‘all things magic’ to the previous tags. And featured characters springing from the screen into and around the audience, if you looked closely enough you’d spot Ian Rankin supping a tin of Deuchar’s. Francis Ford Coppola is quoted in the text ribbon, ‘I think cinema, movies and magic have always been closely associated’. The Scottish Storytelling Centre was next, admitting they did not know how long it had been there. Sculpted from a copy of Ian Rankin’s Knots and Crosses, was a nest in which an egg had hatched with a dragon inside. Which came first the dragon or the egg? The Book Festival was next up and this time two were found. A tea cup on a stand had the words ‘nothing beats a nice cup of tea (or coffee) and a really great BOOK’ in the swirl of the tea, whilst the nearby cake was inscribed ‘except maybe a cake as well’. Meanwhile,

Unesco City of Literature received a copy of James Hogg’s Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner containing a lost figure and a quote from Robert Owen, the founder of New Lanark. What better stage than Edinburgh in full Festival mode to make a statement in support of libraries? The luvvies, chancers and exploiters had left the town to the high art of the International Festival when Central Library announced that they had been ‘donated’ a sculpture but could not say for how long. This one read ‘libraries are expensive’, but the second ‘e’ had been replaced by an ‘A’ so that it read ‘expAnsive’. Above his Collected Poems, a magnifying glass contained a line from an Edwin Morgan poem. Where would it stop? An answer revealed itself in the visitor’s book at the Scottish Poetry

In the spirit in which she donated the sculptures she wants her royalties to go to the Scottish Poetry Library

Library. Workers ran to the shelves containing Women’s Poetry anthologies, where an eighth sculpture based on Norman MacCaig’s poem Gifts had been left. It depicted gloves made from bee’s fur and a cap made from wren’s wings as mentioned in the poem. A note attached revealed the provocateur was a woman and there were ten pieces in all. Where were the other two? Well, the ninth was in the National Museum of Scotland. Distracted by preparing for the millionth visitor, workers hadn’t noticed the copy of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World, with a T-rex bursting out of foliage and tiny humans scurrying to and fro, in a corner of the museum. It said that friends @ edbookfest had suggested they might like this gift, they did. The Writer’s Museum, appropriately enough, received the last one; made from a copy of Ian Rankin’s Hide and Seek, inspired by Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (the figures appear to be from the 1931 Frederick March film version), this time the tag added ‘and writers after ideas’. All ten are to be gathered together at the Scottish Poetry Library before being returned to the places where they were found. Edinburgh publishers Polygon have produced, in my view, the book of the year, detailing this mystery. The back-story of all the sculptures is here, including an as yet unrevealed piece which has been gifted to a local author (that wouldn’t be Ian Rankin would it? – Ed). The book ends with the artist furnishing instructions on how to construct your own ‘Poetree’. She has also drawn a map of the locations where all ten were left. In the spirit in which she donated the sculptures she has asked that her royalty for each copy sold goes to the Scottish Poetry Library. Do yourself a favour, go to the exhibition or buy the book as a gift for those you love. After all you’ll be doing it ‘in support of libraries, books, words, ideas’. n Gordon Munro ÊÊInfo: Gifted: Edinburgh Book Sculptures, Scottish Poetry Library, Nov 24th to Dec 8th, www. scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk. The book is available from Polygon and usual outlets

This Month Gordon’s Been: NAG’d in Newhaven, energised, invigorated and inspired by the splendour of Leith Victoria Swim Centre, enjoying the new season at the Royal Lyceum (cheaper and warmer than the fitba’)

8 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90


Come and enjoy our 3 course set Christmas menu. Available 1st – 24th December Price £23.95 visit us at www.thecompassleith.co.uk 44 Queen Charlotte Street | EH6 7EX | Tel: 0131 554 1979

Issue 90 | leithermagazine.com | 9


Daniel Gray’s Midget Gems No.7

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker T

hese boots are made for walking. They’re not, actually. They’re made for general activity. And they’re actually smart trainers. I do walk in them a lot, though. My walking is not in a bagging Munros sense, more in a pounding pavements watching people bagging dogshit sense. I do a lot of urban walking. I can’t drive so there is no quick run to Tesco to buy biscuits or other emergency essentials, and I value my life moderately well, so at certain times of day the 49 bus is not an option. When I am feeling particularly funky, I brighten up my walks with a number of games in my head. I might slow when approaching a crossing with the aim of timing the changing lights perfectly. If this happens, and I don’t have to stop and thus I overtake static fellow crossers, I feel pretty fucking amazing. Or, I commentate, not frequently aloud, on my progress in relation to fellow walkers, ‘Gray, gradually speeding up here, his eyes firmly on the pensioner ahead. Oh! Look at the way he scowled at that cyclist on the pavement there. Wonderful. Oh and a hop over the terrible paving. The Council really should do something about that, don’t you think, Mark Lawrenson? Surely obstruction there by the young homeless man’s dog. Gray carries on though, oh a slick acceleration and he’s around her, he’s around the old lady! Well, this boy is quite majestic. What more can you say about him?’ What’s sad is that we urban walkers have no one to speak up for us (this is probably just as well, given that last bit). We have no influential lobbying groups like the cyclists, no billion pound industry behind us like car drivers and no hard-hitting advertisement campaign containing Grant Stott (killer, lest we forget, of Mr Len Dahand) like the buses. No, all we have is a world class ability to skirt around two junkies grabbing each other by the face.

Behaviour formerly known as peculiar

As a teenager, my Obsessive Compulsions veered between moderate and concerning. Getting into bed took half an hour or so as I preformed my rituals (not those rituals. Half an hour?). At various times I could not, ‘in case Mum or Dad die’: step on cracks; leave the

house without turning the door handle twenty times with my left hand and twenty times with my right; pass a towel rack without straightening edges; eat my school dinner anywhere but a certain spot. In the 1990s, we hadn’t really heard of OCD, so I just put this down to superstition and the other weird hormonal things happening in my head. By adulthood my behaviours had all but disappeared, filtered into fanatical tidiness and home owner-related anxieties - Mrs Gems loves reminding people of the time she caught me using my mobile phone to take a photo of the kitchen taps being defiantly off before we left the house. I do have occasional lapses into irrationality, but they are more of the ‘yep, I’ve definitely left the grill on and probably killed the whole street’, normal type. Similarly, there are certain things I like to do in a set order, as a poor checkout girl in Tesco recently found to her cost when she kindly started packing my bags for me. These, though, I do not see as OCDs, more the idiosyncrasies of a slightly eccentric mind. Real OCD is often harrowing and crippling. These days, you can’t even line your toilet rolls up in perfect rows of six

Our Dan talks about his childhood OCD, which was then known as ‘being a bit otherly’

without someone labelling you ‘a bit OCD’. Behaviour formerly known as peculiar is swiftly classed as OCD. ‘I can’t have the TV volume on an odd number.’ ‘I have to let my phone ring four times before I answer.’ ‘Oh, I can’t wear my glasses on the toilet’. It has become a trendy condition, unless you actually have it, and I can’t wait until the same happens with Tourette’s.

Reverse Pompidou Centre

We urban walkers have no one to speak up for us. We have no influential lobbying groups like the cyclists

‘It is raining in the house,’ says little blue eyes, and she is not wrong. The water is seeping in and dripping down. It sploshes into buckets. My heart sinks. She giggles and hops up and down, exploding with excitement. ‘Raining in the house, raining in the house!’ After a while I decide to join her rain dance. I warm to the outside on the inside thing, the reverse Pompidou Centre. I plan to move the tree into the kitchen and plot a bedroom place for the shed. Who wouldn’t prefer grass to wooden floors, I think, and a flowerbed in the dining room? Mrs Gems gets home just as we are moving a family of wrens into the bathroom cabinet. She phones a roofer. ■ ÊÊTwitter: @d_gray_writer

This Month Dan’s Been: Submitting the next book, a rip-roaring tale of derring-do, espionage and high finance in 1970s Oldham…

celebrating the fact that everything we ever thought we’d ever want/me and you/well it just came through/ it just came true…

10 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90


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142 Duke Street, Leith EH6 8HR, 0131 555 3848, info@theparlouredinburgh.com Jenny Schofield has been a customer at Real Foods since she was 10 years old and went with her mother. Today she is the Produce Buyer for Real Foods on Broughton Street and Tollcross, Edinburgh. “I’ve always been fascinated by where and how food is produced and really enjoy working with the many local producers that Real Foods buys from. Provenance and a fair deal are important to us all. My mum introduced me to Real Foods when she had a bakery and came here to buy Organic flour in bulk. As I grew up I got seriously into cooking and I always knew that if there was anything I needed for a recipe Real Foods would have it. I put lots of recipes online on the Real Foods website www.realfoods.co.uk and loads are wheat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free and I’ve my own food blog at realfoody.blogspot.com At Real Foods people are always coming in and saying “I’ve been looking for that for years! At last I have found it!” And if we don’t stock it we will try our hardest to get it for you – that is a genuine promise. Real Foods really is an Aladdin’s cave for food lovers!” Real Foods hold regular, fun and informative events, see www.realfoods.co.uk for updates Issue 90 | leithermagazine.com | 11


René Roslev

Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ… Exhorted Morrissey. Rodger Evans pleads for mercy; after all, music says something to you about your life

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ere are his 13 tips for those who would step up to the wheels of steel. The job of the DJ is to play music for girls to dance to and let nobody tell you otherwise. This is the golden rule and should you follow it the next 12 instalments will be as easy as steak ’n’ kidney. For the un-fairer sex, this one too, tend not to get into the groove (in the non-euphemistic sense) until they’re as gallon drunk as the Grand Duke of Smolensk. Save Dancing Queen for the home straight of the final furlong that should be the glorious romp home of the last half hour. Play it any earlier and you must be the member of the Morris Dance troupe waving the pig’s bladder on the end of a stick. Or putting it else-ways; hell, as JP Sartre hinted, is other people DJ-ing. It was Nietzsche who said: “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” It was me who said: never DJ at a social work Christmas party. Not even the ebullient sounds of Chic could shift them but the nadir came with this girl sidling up, after a Kylie Minogue track, to say: “you know what your problem is – you’re just too cool.”

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Never have I been so offended and yet glad of it. And don’t take any nonsense from maladjusted techno jockeys of the disc who view themselves as sonic renegades either. What do they know of choosing what to play following a performance by the Lester Bangs-adored skronk combo Half Japanese which had divided the crowd into those for and those who wanted them lined up against a wall before a firing squad? Dismiss also anyone calling you “just a fucking wedding DJ” unless they’ve ever taken to the turntables on the back of a Bhangra set that rattled the rafters. How to follow that? Fling on Young Hearts Run Free and don’t look back. Vinyl is best. And you don’t have to be a Neil Young-inspired analogue nut that writes for Gentlemen Prefer Unfeasibly Large Headphones to be a believer. Just listen to Heaven Must Have Sent You by the Elgins on CD or MP3 and then contrast with the sound of a scratchy 7”. As Berry Gordy sloganised… it’s what’s in the grooves that counts. David Mancuso, one of the few DJs worthy of the genius tag, is the purists’ purist, utterly unafraid of the silence between tracks and working from the simple credo: play the best records in the best order and play them as they were made to be played. “Music is love,” he said. Remember that instinct is everything. If you can read the crowd then you can keep them dancing and if you can keep them dancing, why, you’re fulfilling your remit beautifully. And that buzz is up there with scoring the winning goal in a cup final or the chaos

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DJ Nina Kraviz ‘reading the crowd’ beautifully

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theory in practice of that first kiss. Whatever they’re paying you, though, it’s never enough. This is art, science, choreography and, some will claim, shamanism. It’s what separates an actual DJ from those who possess a record collection/laptop and the misconception that to entertain the crowd is somehow a light undertaking. Happiness isn’t a warm gun; it’s the pursuit of a full dance-floor. Never let celebrity DJs into the booth. Yes, someday it may make for an under-cooked anecdote that you can drop into your column for a free Leith-based monthly publication. But the fact that, say, the TVP’s Dan Treacy poured beer on a pile of your records, including a Who LP and some Blur singles, is of no consolation at the time. God is not a DJ. However, it’s the understanding of this here author that Abraham, Jesus and Buddha all subscribe to Mixmag. As for Mohammed, it’s unknown (at the time of going to press) which dance-based publication, if any, typed he in faltering fashion, is the preference of the one known as the lightgiving lamp. “Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire,” wrote Robert Frost. What more can there be left to say? Other than most DJs are social disgraces whose life skills would embarrass a Proboscis Monkey and less capable of sharing or understanding the concept of time than a boy child weeing on the toilet seat while denying his bedtime. And on that basis I advise you to disregard all of the above. ■

11 The nadir came with this girl sidling up, after a Kylie Minogue track, to say: “you know what your problem is – you’re just too cool.”

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This month Rodger’s been: Obsessed with The Paris Review Interviews (who knew Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up or Dorothy Parker didn’t rate her own poetry?) and had a conniption on learning that Green Gartside is supporting Saint Etienne

12 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90


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A Farewell to Arms With the prospect of a Trident-free Scotland being raised, Colin Montgomery looks at alternative lodgers for the Holy Loch

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ears ago I lived in a cracking flat in St Bernard’s Crescent, Stockbridge. Well, in theory, a cracking flat. As in, the location, interior layout and rooms were all top notch – above and beyond what a waster of an arts graduate with on-off employment and a tendency towards self-destruction fuelled by boozy introspection could have hoped for. And the rent was buttons too. Regrettably, this delightful abode was infected with filth. The filth existed, nay flourished, both literally and metaphysically. Much of it was simply the result of chronic laziness on the part of the flatmates (although, as with most flats where five and sometimes six people share together, there was a league table of offenders, giving rise to a slow burn of simmering resentment which would eventually bubble its way to a volcanic outpouring of recriminations). But it was filth all the same. We defiled that flat. And it’s better off without us. The same could be said of other spaces in Edinburgh. Off the top of my head…the contents of Tigerlily on any given Saturday night could be emptied into a bag and buried at sea without much mourning. Similarly, to divest King George V Park of the selfregarding cliques of overly assertive yummy mummies and their brattish solipsistic offspring would not, I wager, cause consternation around the nation. Quite the opposite. I’d wear a special hat for the day. But what of Scotland at large? Well, aside from the topographical anomaly that is Braemar, a fine example of what we could call ‘Spoiled Space Syndrome’ that’s currently giving rags around the country a chance to fill their pages is the Trident base at Faslane. You know, the stockpile of nuclear hardware right on the doorstep of us Scots. During the preposterous chest beating of the Cold War era that perversely may have been a source of great comfort to some. But the world’s moved on quite a bit since then. Anyway, in his wisdom, our Eck, First Minister and Man of a Thousand Chins, has now declared that an independent Scotland would be a Trident-free zone. 14 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90

HMS Astute heading towards its home port of Faslane, like some crazy, snub nosed, hammerhead shark

Off the top of my head… the contents of Tigerlily on any given Saturday night could be emptied into a bag and buried at sea without much mourning

I personally believe that to be a good thing – unlike buffoons who believe in the myth of ‘Britain’s place at the top table’ and all that vacuous anachronistic cack. There is no table. There’s a fabricated national identity, governed by feckless toff vandals, drowning in its own irrelevance, which has become the supine plaything of rich foreigners and global corporations. But that’s an argument for another day. For now, let’s say the Nationalists did win the day in 2014 and Trident was given the heave ho – the Holy Loch would be free for other purposes, apart from being a loch that is. And, let’s face it; the new nation could do with a few extra pennies, so here are some thoughts on a replacement for Trident. Nice ones.

Turn Holy Loch into a giant hot tub

Apparently, 29% of lottery winners in the UK insist on a hot tub when they buy a swanky new home, enough of being held back by the fickle finger of fate, in the new egalitarian Scottish Republic all should have access to hot tub luxury. We shall channel the hot air of Holyrood and pump it into the icy cold Clyde to create a giant national hot tub. Now that’s what I call truly spreading privilege Cameron, you vapid, venal mountebank.

Charge gullible God botherers to swim in it

Having a faith is no bad thing. Sadly, that simple act of devotion to ‘your God/s’ has been distorted into a global clash of cultures by wicked manipulators. Worse

still are those of little resolve who see fit to proselytize viciously and relentlessly – which to my mind makes them worthy of being scammed. Again. So as partsituationist prank, part-money-spinner, let’s declare the Holy Loch to have healing powers and charge punters to swim in it. Kind of like the Ganges, but with no soul. Just residual traces of radiation.

Resurrect Take the High Road...underwater

Readers of a certain vintage who lived in Scotland through the 80s will be familiar with STV’s ‘Take the High Road’. For those of you spared the agony, it was a creaky soap based on the banks of Loch Lomond. The plots were the usual small community guff about local gossips, headstrong young ‘uns and trouble with the photo booth at the local sub-postoffice. Anyway, after a failed rebrand in the 90s, they retired it some years ago. I say bring it back but base it and shoot it underwater in Holy Loch with racy new plots about people head-butting scallops – a freakshow that would attract the tourist dollar.

Take a running jump into it

There are many people, including myself, that need to ‘take a running jump’ from time to time. Well, how about we make Holy Loch the world’s first official place to fulfill this particular request. We could start with those panjandrums at Whitehall who cling onto misguided fantasies of nuclear omnipotence. Go on you twats, take a running jump. ■


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Here are the young men, a weight on their shoulders… …Peter Hook talks Joy Division with Lucy Christopher

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ou’re from Ibiza?!” Peter Hook looks at my pale pallor, quizzically. No, Hooky. The Leither. Still in the dark, the lady from the publisher explains that I’m here for the interview. Ah! Comprehension dawns and all is well again as we are ushered into one of Waterstone’s back rooms. After splitting up in 2007, New Order reformed last year without Hooky. The group is apparently aggrieved that he has been performing Joy Division and New Order tracks with new band The Light. New Order are currently on a world tour and will play in Colorado tomorrow. Meanwhile Hooky finds himself at a book signing in Edinburgh to promote his new memoir Unknown Pleasures - Inside Joy Division. Hooky quickly addresses the ‘elephant in the room’ that is New Order. If bands are like gangs, as he says later, then their break ups are surely like divorces, but worse, and I’m glad he brings this touchy subject up first. Discussing whether he will follow up the Joy Division book with a New Order tell-all, he says that initially he wasn’t keen but now that they have reformed without him “all the gloves are off”. “Because it’s been so difficult, it’s been over a year now, there’s no reconciliation, there’s no meeting half way or anything, there’s no agreement, em...then your perception changes, and I think why not?” A New Order book would certainly be a very different beast to this book, which takes in Hooky’s childhood and teenage years at Salford Grammar before he discovers punk and forms Warsaw with Bernard Sumner. After Warsaw changed their name to Joy Division in January 1978 they would last only two and a half years before lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide on the 18th of May 1980. The book manages to reinforce how much Joy Division achieved in such a short space of time while also relating the experiences of growing up working class in 1970s Manchester. It also succeeds in conveying the youth 16 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90

and innocence of the band, “one of the nice things about doing the Joy Division book is that people said to me it’s lovely because it’s not like a normal rock and roll book, not like Motley Crue. Y’know, none of the drugs and the excess, the groupies and all that.” Which is made all the more poignant by the knowledge that their lives would soon be turned upside down with the death of their lead singer. They were also the subject of some of the most iconic images in rock but, as Hooky explains, any apparent aloofness was more likely awkwardness. “I think it’s funny because we didn’t have much of a relationship with people when we started, we were very insular, kept ourselves to ourselves and I think people saw that as arrogance but it was just shyness on our part.” The book is a wonderful mix of musical minutiae, on tour japes and colourful characters (i.e. mad bastards) who surrounded the band. There is also some amusing re-hashing of old resentments. Hooky complaining about ferrying the band from gig to gig or Barney smugly curling up in his sleeping bag while the rest of the band shivered in the van. However, no matter what disagreements they had, Joy Division were a gang united against the world. “All groups are like gangs,” he tells me, “when they are together there is camaraderie even if you’re not getting on. Your camp is always better than any other camp. You’re always in direct competition with the other groups. It’s quite weird really all groups are really competitive. Very devious and very manipulative as well.” In recent years the band has featured in the film adaptation of Tony Wilson’s autobiography, 24 Hour Party People, and Anton Corbijin’s biopic Control. I ask Hooky if other people’s depictions of the band spurred him on to write his own account. “I’ve read many accounts of the band, and also Factory. I was buoyed on, I must admit, by the success of the Hacienda book. Realising that you can do it, and you can tell the story, is nice. And what happened was I actually read my last Joy Division book. And I thought ‘oh god I’m gonna have to do it’. Middles book, actually (From Joy Division to New Order: The True Story of Anthony H Wilson and Factory Records by Mick Middles) I

Peter Hook puckers up…

The thing is you didn’t look after him because in a way he was looking after you because he didn’t give up when he was ill”

think there’s something about the overall tone that just got to me. I thought right, I’m gonna do it now.” Hooky’s writing encompasses both a nostalgia for the years when Joy Division were bashing out classics every time they popped into the studio and a regret for the way the band dealt with Ian’s epilepsy and sudden death. He writes that the book should’ve been called ‘He Said He Was All Right And We Carried On’; such is the frequency with which Ian’s various problems are put to one side for another day on the road or time in the studio. During the book signing’s Q & A session he will express his remorse that things were not handled differently; “I wish we’d have grieved and looked after people that needed looking after At the same time he is at pains to express how great it was to be a member of Joy Division. “I thought we had a great time. Really, the only problem was looking after Ian. And it wasn’t much of a problem really because you were happy to do it because you loved him so much, and he was so into the band. And I think the thing is you didn’t look after him because in a way he was looking after you because he didn’t give up when he was ill. He wanted to carry on, definitely making sure that the work you put in was valued.” While nothing came to him as a major revelation while researching the book, he admits that he has now remembered


William Ellis

some things he had forgotten. He read a lot of other books on the band and online content to make sure he wasn’t confusing any facts. “It’s an odd situation to be in,” he explains, “once you’ve celebrated the music, and thrown yourself into Ian’s lyrics completely and thrown yourself into Ian’s shoes...You became a bit of an expert. Then when I started the book I became a lot of an expert. And it’s actually quite nice. In a funny way it feels like I’ve completed a course.” While Hooky’s first foray into writing, 2010s The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club, was well received, he is aware that the Joy Division book may ruffle a few feathers. “You’re always aware that you’re popping a few balloons, but I think the thing is that you do it with the best of intentions and my intention was to celebrate it and show how much fun we had being what I consider to be normal, outside of other people’s perceptions.” It’s obvious that accusations of cashing in on Joy Division from various individuals, including his old band mates, have stung him. He stresses that the book deal he took was for much less money than the others on offer, “but I’ve got a bit of power because I didn’t take the pay off,” he tells me. “I wanted to keep creative control.” At one point he addresses the subject of ‘cashing in’ directly. “I actually got accused of cashing in on Joy Division, after thirty years. That must be the worst ‘cashing in on’ I’ve ever heard of in my whole bleeding life.” More so than the book, it has been his decision to play Joy Division songs with his new band The Light that has attracted the most derision, something he is clearly aware of. “It’s quite an odd thing really, that you’d be criticised for playing your own music.” The book suggests the band never communicated very well, and resisted reflecting on their music or indeed their relationships with each other. “The thing about Joy Division, and New Order, is that we never talked about music. It’s actually quite weird that you didn’t analyse. Ian never encouraged me to analyse, he was just really happy with what we were coming up with.” The songs themselves came from an instinctual place. “It sort of came from nowhere. It comes from God. Or the devil.” Hooky has been off the booze for sometime now and will later tell the audience that sobriety has brought with it a new clarity. It seems for him the past few years have been a time for long overdue reflection. Discussing how he and his band mates dealt with, or indeed didn’t deal with, Joy Division he says, “it just struck me that we’d underplayed it. A lot.” Not underplaying it any longer, Hooky has written a book in which he celebrates the brilliance of his old band while also making his peace with their past. ■ ÊÊInfo: Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook is available now. Peter Hook and The Light play the album Closer at The Liquid Rooms on December 6th

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Peru Without The Panpipes Dave McGuire on the underground sounds of Lima and a new record label bringing them your way

cumbias and chichas infected with a hypnotic, psychedelic charm. The sound of punk, surf and garage rock resonates through Peruvian rock venues and dub step and breakbeat belt out of the underground clubs – all these stamped with Peru’s unique mix of Andean, Spanish and African influences.

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hen you name your restaurant after you country’s national dish, you’d better be using the finest ingredients, and if you then decide to form a record label, then it goes without saying that people will be expecting the tastiest sounds to be on the menu. Martin Morales, Anglo-Peruvian former music biz high flyer, DJ and owner of the much acclaimed London restaurant Ceviche, has teamed up with Duncan Ballantyne – a Scot with an impressive pedigree in world and traditional British folk music – to form Tiger’s Milk, a new record label committed to bringing you the finest Peruvian sounds. November sees their debut 7”release featuring 2 previously hard to find and collectable tracks of Latin, Funk, Psych and Cumbia. I first heard about the label when Duncan was working for The Assembly Rooms at the Fringe, and was keen to get the full story. Martin Morales had already led an incredible life; from his family leaving politically volatile Peru for their own safety, suffering racial abuse in Thatcher’s England, to rising to the very top of the musical tree (he was a key figure in the set up and launch of itunes Europe and then moved on to Disney helping to launch and develop the careers of Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers), but suddenly it stopped being fun: “After regular visits to Peru I became inspired by restaurateurs and chefs who began creating something exceptional from Peruvian cuisine. Their presentation and concepts were incredibly exciting and I started to devise how I would create a concept and cuisine based on Peruvian food, drinks and culture that would work in the UK.”

Peru’s unique mix

In its first 6 months since opening, Ceviche has been a smash hit with punters and critics, with a cook-book on its way, and a second restaurant due to open in 2013. Customers kept asking about the music being played in the restaurant, with much of it only available as very expensive vinyl, thus came the 18 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90

60s Sex Pistols

Peruvian band Novalima, recommended by Martin Morales

Fast forward 40 years and you can hear the sound of punk, surf and garage rock resonating from clubs in downtown Lima

idea to approach Duncan Ballantyne. When Ballantyne and Morales first got together they discovered a shared passion for food, music, and theatre. Many people’s idea of Peru is simply Macchu Picchu and panpipes, the duo plan to change that. “I think if you’re going to start somewhere its best to start somewhere way back, see how the foundations were laid…these tracks were originally recorded and mastered for vinyl reproduction so it makes sense to stay true to that period,” explains Ballantyne, “and our vinyls are beautifully packages, plus the sound is crisp and warmer at the same time, it’s more real and fresher” adds Morales. In Peru, western psychedelic and rock sounds were lapped up by bands across the country. By the early 1970s, the counterculture movement was swinging, with acts like The Saicos, Los Shain’s, Los Belkings, Los York’s and Laghonia becoming widely accepted as ambassadors of the youth. Fast forward 40 years and wander the streets of downtown Lima and you can hear

“Peru is a treasure trove of music. We are pioneers and innovators and it’s one step at a time; there’s so much in Peru, so much funk, punk, techno and more that sounds so fresh; from the past and the present, so we will work with this first and foremost.” The label plan to take their time and do things ‘right’, “we want to be 100% behind everything we release; there’s no use rushing.” With the first in a series of classic 7” reissues, a re-fried and horn laden funk version of Meshkalina by Paco Zambrano plus a psychedelic, percussion heavy and dancefloor friendly cumbia from Juaneco. In the long run they plan to do more than just reissues, “old music rekindled is an amazing thing, like finding treasure but we’re keeping this up to date too – Martin has loads of musician friends all doing their thing, breaking barriers in Peru,” says Ballantyne, and Morales confirms, “yes, there is a very fresh new scene in Peru that we are representing.”
 If things take off, and I wouldn’t bet against this pair, the plan is for us to see these acts in the flesh. “That’s definitely a goal for us, transferring and adapting something from Peru over to Europe on a live scale. We’re looking forward to that already,” says Morales. Aside from their single, I asked if they could recommend any Peruvian music to us: “Carlos Pickling for Peruvian boogaloo, and Alfredito Linares is the salsa piano king, he recently recorded with Quantic’s Ondatropica, and by listening to bands like Novalima, and Los Saicos, regarded as one of the first bands ever to release punk music – before New York Dolls and Sex Pistols.” ■ ÊÊInfo: Tiger Milk Records’ debut 7”single is released on November 5th, digital downloads via Bandcamp, vinyl edition comes with MP3 download


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FoodReview Alan Bett

Here was true balance… Here is what we could have had The Golden Bridge

(Formerly) 16 Henderson Street, Leith

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won’t lie to you all, it had been a bad few days. Beginning jovially enough at a party in The Pond Bar, celebrating its survival over strong German beers. The weekend later tarnished during an early morning casino trip where I lost the contents of my pockets, and in an ill considered side bet my brand new woollen jumper. It should all be about balance you know; Life I mean. And mine was obviously lacking. Just ask any practitioner of Chinese medicine. They’ll pull your tongue out like a roller blind, peer and poke and reveal whether you’re naturally a hot or cold person. If you’re cold you need to warm those cockles, drink a whisky or two. If you’re one of those hot tempered combustible types then cool your body and mind. Balance. This is where my weekend lost its’ own. Normally I would treat my food like medicine, go see Aunty Su – Su and her husband You Ma had run The Golden Bridge on Henderson Street for over ten years, serving spicy Sichuanese fare to the good people of Leith. Su recently had more reason than most to be hot. Henderson St was closed for roadworks for four and a half months. The Fallujah vista and lack of access hit businesses hard and I hear that some shops claimed a weekly loss of over £1000. Anyway, it was enough to close The Golden Bridge down, its final evening of service Oct 6th. Maybe whoever’s responsible at 20 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90

Edinburgh Council should look inwards at their balance; perhaps they need a little heat, some Sichuan chilli in their eye. I’m sure Su would disagree; she’s always flashing a smile. Her chi is in far better order than mine. She seemed happy whenever I ate there; and so was I, the food was the greatest. Whole steamed sea bass with garlic, soy and spring onion; pork and mushroom lions head meatballs the size of your fist; shredded pork and tree fungus in a biting tangy sauce of spice and vinegar. Basically all the good things ordinarily left off Chinese menus handed to us Gweilos, we white ghosts. The Golden Bridge listed them all, meaning that you didn’t need intermediate Mandarin to order quality traditional food. And if you yearned for something truly different you could ignore the passionately flavoured boiled lamb and cabbage; the light and delicious prawn and bean curd balls; smoky BBQ aubergine with garlic. You could try Leith’s only Chinese Hot Pot. I’m told that Hot Pot originated in Mongolia many moons ago, when warriors used their concave shields to boil lamb and veg after a hard day’s pillage. It’s basically a fondue, a flavoured stock left boiling on the table for the instant cooking of meats, vegetables and seafood. I became rudely aware of it around ten years ago in Beijing after wandering unawares and unprepared into a local joint. The DIY ethos of this dining style was knocked on its head when I was hand fed by a

Score: ««««««««««

Damage: £15 a head

lovely matronly waitress; a full meal of lamb and beef dropped into my hungry gaping mouth like a squawking chick. It was an altogether disturbing scene but I took her one-on-one service as standard before realising some time later that she simply mistook me for a true incapable, a very special boy. Hot Pot, like all Chinese cuisine is a reflection of its region’s weather, culture and indigenous ingredients. Su of course served Sichuanese, an aggressively spicy style. (Its neighbour and culinary twin Hunan was the birthplace of Chairman Mao and I once read in a Hunanese restaurant that its chillis were to blame for his blistering temper – now there was true lack of balance). The Golden Bridge expressed themselves with a fiery red


and kick them in the balls. I wish I had droned on to just a few more people in my condescending drawl. “Yes, this is hot pot, but actually Sichuan hot pot, which like all Chinese foods is a reflection of...blah, blah, blah...hot pot originated from Mongolian warriors... blah, blah.” The final week of trade saw the restaurant packed with regulars, in many ways a guard of honour for Su herself. Maybe also just greedy people, like me, desperate for a final fix. Because, in an unassuming ‘front room’ restaurant on unfashionable Henderson St, hidden by the council’s unending roadworks and its own sweet humility, culinary treasures were to be found. As I stood outside smoking a cigarette (a disgusting and dangerous habit, which like coffee I feel is only acceptable in post-prandial form) I would look up at the Banana flats, strangely beautiful as they glowered down; each light a separate life. While drunken bellows echoed through the night and the rasping wind whipped my smoke around me, I still wouldn’t have swapped this place. Certainly not for the safe mundanity of ever present chain outlets, ensuring we are neither satisfied or not with their middle ground consistency, dulling edges like cultural Prozac. This unique homely gem is what we could have had. Here was true balance. ■

Alan’s Top 5 Traditional Chinese Eateries

1

Wing Sing Inn (147 Dundee St): A traditional menu of delicious juicy pork buns, steamed razor clams with garlic and the most impressive ‘morning glory’ I’ve experienced (it’s water spinach – I promise). Saigon Saigon (14 South St Andrew St): Snub the gloopy troughs of buffet fodder for their traditional menu offering delectable family sized northern dishes prepared by expert chefs from across China. Tian Tian (8 Gillespie Place): A Turkish bath of steaming hot pots alongside industrial sized trays heaped with more fresh scallop, crab and king prawn than a decent citizen can eat. Stack (42 Dalmeny St): The real deal on our own doorstep. Squeeze in for weekend lunch amongst the Chinese families munching high quality dim sum served with a smile. Imperial Palace (36 Inglis Green Rd): This mock imperial palace houses a well-stocked supermarket offering exotic ingredients for your own Chinese cooking adventures. Then simply pop upstairs for excellent dim sum and Cantonese dishes. Chilled jellyfish and pork hough anyone? ■

2 broth, the colour exuding danger, like nature’s warning. “Don’t fuck with me,” it informed. What makes this cuisine unique is the Sichuan peppercorn, a tongue tingling master ingredient inducing a mouth numbingly delicious experience. The bowl of delicious lava would sit on the table, heating through its electric hot plate. Like a campfire you gather around, staring impatiently as it nears boiling point then cooking and devouring the ingredients at your leisure. Here is the ultimate form of social eating. And earlier in the day, while lunching frugally in an attempt to preserve your hunger for the impending feast you might contemplate the evening’s drinks. The Golden Bridge was BYOB you

On unfashionable Henderson Street, culinary treasures were to be found

see. Red wine goes well with Chinese I think, a spicy rioja squares up nicely to its strong flavours. Hot Pot is intense though and balance dictates a cooling beer. You could sit there swigging merrily on a litre bottle of Tsing Tao like a 40 ouncer. With food this tasty ceremony just melts away. But Saturday 6th saw my last swig. The saddest thing is that most people I spoke to scratched their heads and mouthed, where? When told of its demise. Of course the business has a responsibility to catch your eye while we the customer hold none. But perhaps we should foster a moral conscience in supporting our local establishments, especially when the council tie one hand behind their backs

3

4

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Issue 90 | leithermagazine.com | 21


In Like Flynn Lawrence Lettice on another showbiz personality who found himself in hot water… 70 years ago

I

t was indeed three score and ten years ago that a salacious scandal of seismic proportions enveloped (sound familiar?) a famous and popular star. Even, for a time, making the public forget, momentarily, that there was the sideline issue of a World War going on all over the globe! Unlike Jimmy Savile, this particular individual was very much alive at the time when his name and reputation was placed under suspicion and investigation, for alleged lurid activities involving young girls. The star in question was none other than the romantic swashbuckling hero Errol Flynn. Tall, athletic, roguishly handsome – a man blessed with inordinate degrees of charm, wit and intelligence (it is often forgotten that he was an author before becoming a movie star), he was at the very height of his fame and success. However, dark clouds were about to engulf him and for a time his luck and invincibility would seemingly abandon him, when in November 1942, he found himself arrested and charged with the statutory rape of two under-age girls.

Unsavoury revelations

Let me add, that at that time, Californian law stipulated that it was unlawful to indulge in sex with a female under the age of 18. One of the girls (Betty Hansen) had just turned 17. During this period it was an open secret that the Hollywood community, particularly during the 20s, 30s & 40s, was a hotbed (no pun intended) of loose morals, boudoir excesses, and out of control alcoholism, that often put the reign of Caligula to shame. This was the era of the ‘casting couch’, and the abuse of power and status in pursuit of easy gratification was all too prevalent within the artistic community. So it was no great surprise that the outlandish lusts and desires of the famous stars and the studio heads were easily accommodated and catered for. And Errol Flynn would succumb to all these easy lecherous temptations. But unbeknownst to him, he was about to feel the combined fury and powers of the police, the legal authorities, and the high-minded moralists of the day. They now threatened to bear down on him like a Spanish galleon, or a rapier-yielding adversary from one of his adventure movies. In the eyes of many who abhorred Hollywood’s excessiveness he fitted the bill to perfection, the ideal 22 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90

embodiment of the ultimate hedonistic playboy, who had flouted convention, and was about to feel the full wrath of the law for his indiscretions. Coming to his rescue stage left was studio mogul Jack Warner. Fearing the adverse publicity as well as the consequent financial losses on one of his biggest investments, Warner hired the most famous lawyer of the day, Jerry Geisler, to defend his star in court and salvage as much as he could of what was amounting to a three-ring circus of potentially unsavoury revelations. Flynn vehemently protested his innocence from the very beginning and denied any form of wrongdoing. Although many felt that there were other motives at play, and that the great star was being ‘politically stitched up’ and presented as an unwilling scapegoat to be made an extreme example of. His casual recklessness when it came to bed hopping, amongst all too willing starlets, made him an easy target for such an elaborate set-up.

Image enhanced

When the case eventually came to court in early 1943, attorney Geisler ripped apart the girls testimonies, discovering during his investigation and questioning, that they weren’t quite as innocent as they first claimed. Serious doubts began to trouble the jury as to the accuracy of their exact memory of key events. Many of the details of the case contained more plot-holes than several of Flynn’s films

Errol Flynn tries a bit of chin jigsaw

Blessed with inordinate degrees of charm and intelligence, it’s often forgotten he was an author before becoming a movie star

and commentators of the day found it incredulous that someone as desirable as Flynn would have to force himself on anyone, considering women had been hurling themselves at him since his first day in Hollywood. The case eventually collapsed, with the jury finding him innocent on three counts of the charges levelled at him. As for the two girls at the heart of the story and allegations, they disappeared from public view shortly afterwards, and were never heard of again. Funnily enough, and ironic, considering his studio’s initial fears considering the worldwide press coverage and publicity that the court case generated, it didn’t affect his career as many had predicted. In fact in some way his image was enhanced and his popularity continued unabated. Although he was never quite the same man again, and the quality of his later film work never matched the lustre of his earlier output. The scent of scandal haunted him for the remainder of his life. The exuberant phrase ‘In Like Flynn!’ took on another meaning, and many now looked upon him as nothing more than a ribald figure of fun. After the controversy of the court case had died down, his drinking and drug habit took a strong grip and accelerated his demise at the age of 50. If Flynn was guilty of anything it was gross naiveté, as well as an innocent sense of his own infallibility. When the dust had settled… Hollywood would never be the same again. ■


AutumnFitness & Health Tracy Griffen

S

Some manky old carrots were cooked and zizzed with the sliced Jerusalem artichoke – often referred to as fartichoke due to its gaseous properties

oup has always appealed to me. It’s simple, cheap, nutritious, tasty the next day, and, best of all, uses only one pot. Soup in Australia was spicy Malaysian laksa that made me sweat on a hot summer’s day. Soup took on a new meaning when I moved to Scotland. Here, winters are measured in soup. Soup is a metaphorical warm fluffy safety blanket keeping the coldness out and comforting me on the dreichest of days. Even the word, soup, is somehow reassuring. So fine is the warming bowl that David Shrigley wrote an opera dedicated to sooooooooup! (Look up Pass the Spoon on YouTube.) So what better way to welcome the winter than with a week of soup? After a period of extreme busyness and eating out, a soup regime was needed to use up ancient vegetables in the fridge and a glut of potatoes and onions from the allotment. I figured if I made a pot of soup a night for a week, not only would I revisit my old favourite recipes, but I’d also go on a soup adventure. And end up with plenty to freeze. And culinary adventure it was: Day 1: Red lentil dahl – a favourite standby, quick and healthy. Basically, sauté some garlic and onion with curry spices in coconut milk, add a cup of red lentils, tin of chopped tomatoes, litre of hot vegetable stock, bring to the boil and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes. Serve with toasted wholemeal pita. Day 2: Mushroom soup - some sad looking mushrooms needed using, so we sliced and sautéed them with the obligatory onions and garlic. Added some organic chicken stock, cooked for 10 minutes then zizzed. Fancy pants Andy separately sautéed some sliced posh local mushrooms from Tattie Shaws so we added them to the zizzed mushroom base. Heated through, stirred in some organic cream from Real Foods and served with wholemeal bread from Gaia. Day 3: Cabbage soup made good - a pigeon-pecked cabbage was the pot star of the day. Once again, sauteed onions and garlic (we love garlic), cubed allotment potatoes stirred around for a bit, with some vegetable stock added before the potatoes started sticking. Cook 20 minutes, mash with a masher, add shredded cabbage and cook for another 10. In a dry pan cook off some

janetbrowntextiles.com

Adventures in Soup: From Lentil to Melon

Disclaimer: not Tracy’s allotment

sliced chorizo at a lowish heat. When soup is ready, toss in the chunks and stir through. Day 4: Jerusalem artichoke - a library cookbook informed me that saffron and thyme would go well with Jerusalem artichoke, a member of the sunflower family grown in our allotment for its knobbly roots. Some manky old carrots were cooked and zizzed with the sliced Jerusalem artichoke (often referred to as fartichoke due to its gaseous-making properties) and seasoning. Served with a squeeze of lemon. Delish! Day 5: Remembered that a beany feast qualifies as a soup (according to the soup book), so cooked black beans with a tin of tomatoes, chillies, red pepper, cumin and winter savoury (herb from the allotment). Served with a dollop of homemade guacamole. The next day, the leftover beans had absorbed all the liquid so we made a bastardised huevos rancheros (reheat beans in a frying pan with a couple of organic eggs cracked on top). Day 6: Seeking further souper variety, Andy conjured up an Asian soup of Udon noodles, with lightly stir-fried veg and his own secret blend of spices. Or you can buy a jar of tom yum or similar soup base from a Chinese supermarket. We had planned for tofu, but Hing Sing had sold out, so no tofu. Day 7: Finished the week on a fruity note, a melon and ginger soup. The

melon was roughly chopped and zizzed with white seedless grapes, ginger juice (grate or mince ginger and squeeze out juice), fresh lime and dried mint. Sieved and chilled, it was blended with some dollops of natural yoghurt and served with a spoon of combined finely chopped crystallised ginger, fresh mint and sugar. All of the ingredients for my seriously soupy week were sourced from our allotment or from independent grocery shops around Leith Walk. No one is more serious about soup than Soupquest, who has reviewed over 70 soups around Edinburgh; find his reviews on www. lunchquest.co.uk. For lots of healthy seasonal recipes, check out my Healthy Living Yearbook, available from Tattie Shaws, Real Foods, Flux, La Cerise etc and www.healthylivingyearbook.com. Women in Sport Post Script: Last issue I lamented the lack of lassies leisure activities in local lore. Mainstream media is sadly disproportionate in its representation of women’s sport. Since that article I’ve been contact by the Edinburgh Evening News, they are actively looking for results and pics from women’s sports teams. Their women’s sport contact is a certain @rubgyhack, Bill.Lothian@edinburghnews.com. Howzat!? n ÊÊ Twitter: @tracygriffen

This month Tracy’s been turbo training, endless allotment weeding, helping organise

the 2013 Edinburgh Festival of Cycling (on Twitter @edfoc), eating bowls of soup!

Issue 90 | leithermagazine.com | 23


Who’d spend £3,000 on a business ticket, surely only people with too many Air Miles or expense accounts? T

he indignity of flying is one of the main reasons why many people are opting for staycations. Pockets emptied, shoes removed, belts and wallets in the box. Now, at some airports, you stand with your hands above your head while your whole body is scanned. There is the metal-detector wand and the pat-down and all liquids in a polythene bag. Forget it! Let’s go to Scarborough. Whatever happened to the glamour of flying? The white-gloved air hostesses, the complimentary cocktails… The days when flying was an occasion and you got dressed up to travel are gone. Or are they? I discovered another side of flying when, returning from a visit to friends in the States, I got a huge surprise. “I’ve got some good news for you,” said the woman at check-in. It could mean only one thing. OMG I’ve been upgraded! In the current climate all airlines want to maximise profits. This means flying with a full passenger payload no matter what. To do this airlines constantly overbook the aircraft and that inevitably means upgrading passengers who have paid for extra legroom in ‘premium economy’. My flight had no first class cabin but the benefits of business class are welcome. First, business class passengers are called to board before everyone else. One can feel the darts of envy as you make your way to the podium. On this occasion I boarded at the front of the aircraft while the plebs entered further down to avoid any contamination. The cabin crew in business is more senior and hugely pleasant. Nothing, it seems, is too much trouble. There is a scene in one of those Titanic movies when the potato-munching peasants from steerage are making their way to the lifeboats. They encounter one of the first class lounges and stand transfixed by the luxury and indulgence. This is how I feel on seeing the seats in business. They are little space-age pods – some side-by-side some arranged like a Victorian loveseat so that you are sitting almost opposite your travelling companion. And, in between you, there is a screen which, at the touch of a button, rises up for privacy when the company gets too boring. There’s a drawer for bits and bobs, your own flip-out video screen, a cushion and blanket of significantly better quality than you get in premium economy (or, in my case, at home), a footstool and you just 24 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90

know that (at the flick of a switch) the seat will go flat so you can have a proper kip should you choose. Before take-off there is bucks fizz served in real glassware and once airborne there’s that all-important aperitif. I opt for a gin & tonic (a range of brands are available). My steward talks me into a gin martini instead although I could have had a glass of Taittinger champagne. When she comes round again I’m offered “menu and wash bag?” Menu and what? Whatever happened to “chicken or pasta”? The wash bag turns out to be a toilet bag full of free goodies – moisturiser, revitalising gel and even a truncated toothbrush and doll-sized tube of Colgate. The menu is a treat and perused over my second martini. The wine is served out of a full-size bottle. I’m told that at 30,000 feet your taste buds are shot but the wine and the food are delicious. The choice this evening is, for starters, pork rillettes & pickled vegetables or tomato tartar. For the main dish, seared fillet of beef, pan-roasted Maine jumbo scallops or black truffle tortellini. For dessert: lemon meringue pie, cheese or fruit. Afterwards I’m offered a glass of port but I decline. Any more booze and they’ll have to carry me off the aircraft feet first. I see from the menu that passengers are

I’ve got some good news for you,” said the woman at check-in. It could mean only one thing. OMG I’ve been upgraded

welcome to come to the galley if they’re still feeling peckish to help themselves to snacks and drinks including handmade shortbread, luxury ice cream and artisan pastries. It’s time for a movie. The seat goes down. The TV screen pops out. There’s a huge range of movies on demand – current ones, classic ones – too many to choose from. Halfway through I pause the film and stretch my legs and nip to the loo (where I find a real flower in a little vase mounted to the wall). By the end of the film the food and booze have kicked in so I hit the button and the seat goes flat. Normally I can’t sleep on an aircraft but here I doze off almost straightaway and wake up three hours later just in time for a refreshing glass of orange juice, coffee, a warm blueberry muffin and a bowl of diced melon. I settle in for another movie. Then five minutes into a third I discover that it’s 20 minutes to landing. How did that happen? I suspect neither Einstein nor Stephen Hawking factored in constant pampering in ‘booze-on-demand’ as ways of collapsing time, but travelling business class is the closest I’ve come to that ultimate traveller’s dream that begins with the words… ‘Beam me up Scotty’. ■ Kennedy Wilson


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Laird’sLarder ARC Colourprint ‘In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.’ – Albert Camus

Gambas al Pil Pil H

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26 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90

ullo rerr mah wee muckers! This month we are aff tae Shpain, as Big Tam Connery would say. It’s sizzling spicy prawns, a fabbie wee tapa. Usually served in terracotta ramekins in Spanish bars. Mind yi dinnae burn yir tongue their awfie hoat! Wit yi need is

3 tablespoons olive oil 1 fat clove o’ garlic 1 dried chilli pepper 10 peeled raw prawns A pinch o’ paprika Bread (tae mop up juices) Flat leaf parsley

Now wit yi dae is Add the oil, diced chilli and garlic tae yir heat proof dish o’ choice. Pit it oan the heat till quit hoat, add yir prawns and paprika and cook until the prawns turn pink and curl slightly. Mind yir bread fir dookin’. Enjoy yir belly (it says here – Ed). By the by, mah old mucker Luke Deekin ower heard a couple oh art students talkin’ in a boozer…one cried, “ahm studying Impressionism”. So Luke pipes up, “Oh aye, kin ye dae Kirk Douglas?” ■ Ching! Ching! The Laird


MOTHER AITKENS NOW OPEN!

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On the corner of Leith Links, come and visit us for: ● Home cooked bar meals from £3.95 ● Lounge bar with a wide selection of beers, wines and spirits ● Room and catering available for private parties ● And we’re dog friendly too!  Now collecting for our Silver and Jewellery Sale Saturday 24th November 2012  General Auction Diary:-

Every Saturday at 11.00am General Household, Antiques and Collectables Viewing Friday 9.30 until 5.00 and Saturday morning from 9.30 am Every Thursday at 11.00 am Traditional Lane Sale Viewing on morning of Sale from 10.00 am Free Pre-Sale Valuations

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12 Seafield Place, Leith EH6 7QP Tel. 0131 629 3298

not just for christmas and we’re already paper trained

Malcolm Chisholm MSP Constituency Office

5 Croall Place, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH7 4LT

Saturday Surgeries 10am: Leith Library 12pm: Royston Wardieburn Community Centre 52 Jane Street, Leith, Edinburgh. EH6 5HG

Tel: 558 8358 | Fax: 557 6781

info@52printsolutions.co.uk Tel: 0131 554 5006

malcolm.chisholm.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

LEITH WALK DENTAL PRACTICE P.J. Ferry B.D.S., NU.I. Dr. Ruby Ahuja B.D.S Full range of N.H.S. treatments Home visits arranged Emergencies seen Cosmetic & private dentistry also available Open 9am-12.30pm, 2pm-5.30pm Mon-Fri 0131 554 8216 83 Leith Walk, Edinburgh leithwalkdental@gmail.com Issue 90 | leithermagazine.com | 27


What’sOn entertainment

52 Canoes Tiki Den 13 Melville Place  0131 226 4732 Every Fri/Sat: Live Entertainment Boda Bar 229 Leith Walk  0131 553 5900  bodabar.com Every Sun: Wee Wii, play your favourite Wii games!; Every Mon: Chanbang; Every Fri: Free mezze 5-7pm Carrier’s Quarters 42 Bernard Street Sun: 6.30pm Jammie Devils Dalriada 77 Promenade, Portobello  0131 454 4500  dalriadabar.co.uk Every Wed: Topical Quiz 8.30 Every Thu: Freestyle with Mike 8pm Every Fri: Sing-a-Long Sesh, 9-12pm Every Sat: Sean-Paul & Pals, 3-6pm Every Sat: Live Acts, 9-12pm Every Sun: Jed & Friends, 3-6pm Donna’s 50th Queen Charlotte Rooms, 56a Queen Charlotte St  0131 555 6660 23 Nov: Carbona Not Glue, Ruby Suit and Victorian Trout Experience 7.30pm Elbow 133 East Claremont Street  0131 556 5662 Mon: Movie night, 8pm Tue: Pub Quiz, 8.30pm Fri: Selection of DJ’s & Live Music Sat: Ambidextrous, 8pm, fortnightly Embo 29 Haddington Place,  0131 652 3880  embodeli.com Exhibition: Mon/Fri 8am-4pm Sat 9am-4.30pm; Espy 62 Bath Street, Portobello  0131 669 0082 Every Mon: Film Club 8pm The Granary 32-34 The Shore Acoustic Sets: Wed 8-10pm, Thu 10-12am, Sat 10-12am & Fri Pianist 5-7pm Hemma 75 Holyrood Road  0131 629 3327  bodabar.com Every Thu: Jogging Club, 7pm. Radical Road & Arthur’s Seat!; Every Fri: DJs; Every 3rd Tues: Bake club Iso Bar 7 Bernard Street  0131 467 8904

highlight of the month

20th French Film Festival 8 Nov-2 Dec 2012 Edinburgh Filmhouse, Edinburgh Dominion frenchfilmfestival.org.uk

The event opens with a bang: the UK première of Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia followed by the likes of Renoir, Journal de France and Partners in Crime. The Festival puts a major retrospective focus on the work of the Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman, who will guest with new film Almayer’s Folly. A bumper programme, embracing French and francophone cinema in all its diversity, bursts with variety and vitality. Wed: Quiz Night 8pm Sun: Open mic with Sylvain 5pm onwards

Joseph Pearce’s Bar 23 Elm Row  0131 556 4140  bodabar.com Every Tues: Jogging Club 7-8pm

Check our website for details of all events

The Leith Beer Co. 58 The Shore  0131 554 2425 Every Thur: Pub quiz from 9pm! Nobles 44a Constitution Street  0131 629 7215  noblesbarleith.co.uk  facebook.com/noblesbarleith All free entryEvery Mon: Epic Quiz, 8.30pm; Every Tues: Open Mic with Carmelo Fats & Packets O’Shea, 9.30pm; Every Wed-Sun: Live music, 9.30pm, Fri & Sat 10pm. Check website/facebook for daily listings The Parlour 142 Duke Street  0131 555 3848 Every Mon: Acoustic Jam 8pm Every Wed: Quiz 8pm Every Fri: 60s Obscuro DJs! 8.30pm Portobello Comedy Indoor Bowls Centre, 20 Westbank St Fri 7 Dec: Keir McAllister, Ben Verth and

Eleanor Morton 7.30pm, entry £6

Pressure Valve Open Mic Night @ The Pear Tree 38 West Nicolson Street  0131 667 7533 Every Sun 8pm: Featuring a fine variety of music, comedy, magic acts & more.

Roseleaf

23-24 Sandport Place  0131 476 5268 Now till 3 Jan: Emily Hogarth Art Expo & Clare

Spence Jewellery Expo

Saturday Night Beaver 36 Blair Street 3rd Saturday of the month, 10.30-3am Shebeen 3-5 Dock Place  0131 554 9612 Live music every Saturday evening The Shore Bar  0131 553 5080 Tue: Infinite Trio 9.30pm; Wed: Folk Session 9.30pm; Thu: Kevin Gore 9pm; Sun: Jazz - Ellis & Kellock 2pm-5pm Sofi’s 65 Henderson Street  0131 555 7019  bodabar.com Every Mon: Cinema night, 8pm, £2, free popcorn 1st Tues of the month: Knitting night, 7pm 1st Sun of the month: Singer songwriter’s night, 9-11pm. Plus regular clothes swaps! The Street 2 Picardy Place  0131 556 4272  thestreetbaredinburgh.co.uk Wed: Pub Quiz, 8pm Thur: DJ LL Honky Tonk, 9pm Fri: DJ Trendy Wendy, 9pm Sat: Pre-Club parties & DJ’s Sun: A guest Club Night each week! The Royal Oak Bar 1 Infirmary Street  0131 553 7473  Rebustours.com Every Sat: Hidden Edinburgh Tour, 12-2pm Sponsored by

Chop Chop Leith, 76 Commercial Street Tel: 0131 553 1818 www.chop-chop.co.uk Now 28 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90


Secret Edinburgh Tour, 3-5pm The Third Door 45-47 Lothian Street  0131 225 6313 30 Nov: Sea Bass Kid 7pm £5/£4 6 Dec: Erin Todd & Megan Blyth 7pm £5/£4 Victoria Bar 265 Leith Walk  0131 555 1638  bodabar.com Every Mon: Language café Regular Bluegrass sessions on Mondays Plus regular singles nights!

the arts

art@37 Bernard St From 19 Nov: Christmas Exhibition Arts Complex 151 London Road  artscomplex.org 17 Nov-1Dec: Kolektyw: Scottish-Polish Art Exhibition; Mon/Fri 11-9pm, Sat/Sun 11-7pm Danish Cultural Institute 3 Doune Terrace  0131 225 7189 Until 15 Nov: Photography Exhibition, Kurt Hoppe, Mon-Thu 10-4pm Diner 7 7 Commercial Street  0131 553 0624 Ever changing Art Exhibitions Out of the Blue Drill Hall 36 Dalmeny Street  0131 555 7100  outoftheblue.org.uk 8 Nov: MCFB Art Fair 6pm-8pm free 10 Nov: Live music & brunch 11-2.30pm free 14 Nov: Wiff Waff Wednesday 6-10pm free 21-25 Nov: Mitrović Family Festival (check web for times) 24 Nov: Klezmer Fundraising Ceilidh 7.30-10pm £6, £4 (concession), 
OOTB Flea Market 10-3pm free Weekly classes: Drama, dance, yoga, martial arts, music, aerial classes and art workshops. Talbot Rice Gallery Old College
 South Bridge 17 Nov-16 Feb 2013: Zoe Beloff, A History of Dreams Remains to be Written & Serge Charchoune, The Exhibition Is Open, Tues-Sat, 10-5pm, free WASPS Studios Albion Road  0131 661 7964 1 Dec: Open Studios Day

community

Malcolm Chisholm  0131 558 8358 MSP Edinburgh North & Leith Advice surgeries every Saturday morning. Leith Library 10am, Royston Wardieburn Community Centre 12pm

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 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. 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 Aerobics Classes  Lianne on 07779064991  rorybremner@hotmail.com Tuesdays at 6pm Pilrig Church, no need to book. £3 per class, £2 concessions. Have fun and get fit Leith Library 28-30 Ferry Road  0131 529 5517 Bookbug sessions: 0 to 4 year olds and parents/carers. 1st and 3rd Tues & 2nd and 4th Wed of every month 10.30-11.15am Fri: Craft Time (ages 4-11) 2.30pm Book Group: 2nd Tues of month 6.45pm & 4th Tues of month 2pm McDonald Road Library 2 McDonald Road  0131 529 5636 Every Fri: Craft for Kids (ages 4-9) 3-4pm Bookbug Sessions: 2ND Frid of month 1-1.30pm; Last Frid of month 10.30-11am; 2ND Sun of month, 2.30-3pm; Polish Bookbug Session: Every Tues 10.30-11am; Urdu Book Group (women only): Last Mon of month 2-4pm; Book Group: Last Monday of month 6.30-7.30 Pilates Classes 3 Queen Charlotte Lane Mat classes, 1-1 sessions, 2-1 sessions and small groups. Info or to book, email team@pilatesattic.co.uk

Leither

Send your new and updated listings to  billy@ leithermagazine.com

Ramsay Cornish 15 Jane Street  0131 553 7000 Thu: 11am Traditional Lane Sale Sat: 11am General Household Auction Restalrig Lochend Community Hub 198 Restalrig Road South  thirdagecf.org.uk  0131 346 1179 Thu 2-4pm: Third Age Computer Fun! Free one week taster session to all potential members. Stockbridge Market, Kerr Street  0131 551 5633  stockbridgemarket.com Every Thurs: 1-5pm; Every Sun: 10-5pm ■

w delivering (inc. Business Lunches) to EH6, EH7 & EH8

Key Point Building services

All insurance work carried out. Free estimates. Mob. 07904 657899 Tel. 0131 555 2483 Email. keypoint@blueyonder.co.uk CREDIT CRUNCH DISCOUNT 10% OFF TO LEITHER READERS Issue 90 | leithermagazine.com | 29


CrosswordNo.65 Mal Toast The Roast 190x72 landscape Ad.pdf

1

25/05/2012

16:25

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

across 1 5 10 11 12 13 15 18 20 23 25 26 27 28

Annoy one right and back to the gallery ( 8 ) Right in moorland, ingrate! ( 6 ) If force of wealth is confusing, you may turn to him (7,2, 3,3) Lit, editing out (7) Pot pain with flair (7) Crash scary din but not F1 ( 8 ) City on the turn ( 5) Not here partly true ( 5 ) Herb lets out gossips ( 8 ) Create urge where bells are found ( 7 ) Discusses bed seat perhaps ( 7 ) Band with Tories on board, see 10 ( 15 ) Express contempt in sadder idea ( 6 ) Pagans grill birds ( 8 )

down 1 2 3 4 6 7 8

9 14 16 17 19 21 22 24 25

Symbolic veneration 198!? ( 6 ) Ref in cane thrashing so needs more lolly (9 ) Cattily scratched understood ( 7 ) Tried out beat ( 5 ) Lo! Thane drunk but not on this ( 7 ) Fire licensee in from old time ( 5 ) Last of the Mohicans and first of Dakota seen from a distance ( 8 ) Teetotal in deep snow? (3-5 ) Atmosphere of a doctor with confused niece ( 8 ) What waiter has to do and DJ needs ( 9 ) Part beast "rip", pedestrian left naked ( 8 ) At bath I splashed around in my home ( 7 ) Indicated vice den perhaps ( 7 ) Shown to their seats by decapitated drug dealers ( 6 ) Two notes stated sun ( 5 ) Twist caned! Yes! ( 5 )

crossword prize A bottle of Malmaison house wine

winner no.64 Paul Godby, Edinburgh

Email your answers to: billy@leithermagazine.com

Supplied by: www.leithlinks.co.uk

answers: crossword 64 across

1 notables 5 though 10 the daily express 11 everton 12 griddle 13 assentor 15 radii

18 realm 20 puddings 23 legends 25 recital 26 internationally 27 nodule 28 released

down

1 nutter 2 the red sea 3 beastie 4 ellen 6 happier 7 upend 8 hysteria 9 beggared

14 tapas bar 16 digitalis 17 trillion 19 mineral 21 incense 22 slayed 24 gated 25 rhine

Visit the original, mother of all Mals, find a cosy sofa in the bar and peruse the cocktail list, before heading to our Brasserie for fresh Scottish favourites and British classics 30 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 90


Well, Does Leith Really Decide? Alastair Tibbitt on the Leith Waterworld fiasco, Incredinburgh, and the Leith Decides initiative

I

n 1833, when Leith finally became a Municipal Burgh, sixteen people were nominated to govern the town. There were also parish boards with members drawn from local churches and representatives of local ratepayers. The parish boards helped skint locals – or at least the god fearing ones who had fallen on hard times – running the poor houses and dispensing aid, if they had the cash. And there was a school board run by local people too. Responsible, by 1920, for managing no less than 20 schools including one in Fife for children with special needs. And more local folk were involved in running local services like dispensing justice, and managing public works. All this largely paid for from local taxes. Even after that unfortunate referendum when Leithers voted five to one against merging with Edinburgh, only to have the result ignored, there were seven Leithers on the Edinburgh wide school board that subsequently emerged, eight Leithers on the amalgamated parish board and twelve councillors drawn from Leith on the new city council. Whilst it would be wrong to suggest that this period was some sort of democratic utopia (the number of people allowed to vote was tiny) it seems remarkable now to think just how many decisions about the running of the town were made by local folk, using money raised locally, to respond to local concerns. 

 Fast forward nearly a hundred years and Leith sends just three councillors to a city chambers, which is itself hugely,

restricted in what it can and can’t do by Holyrood. Indeed these days research from the Jimmy Reid Foundation suggests that Scotland is one of the least democratic places at a local level in all of Europe. We have the least competitive elections, elect fewer people per person, and fewer of us vote than anywhere else in Europe. So what? You might say. If no one votes, it’s because no one cares. But to see the effect of this, all you need do is watch the first ever full council meeting broadcast online from the city chambers, or if you have a life, just the bit where councillors debated the closure of Leith Waterworld.

 There, councillor after councillor – some even supposedly representing Leith – lined up to tell volunteers from the Save Leith Waterworld campaign that their offer to take over the management of the pool at a reduced subsidy wasn’t good enough for them to think about re-opening it. Despite the fact that the volunteer bid for the pool had the backing of a huge petition, and support from civic bodies representing every part of Leith. In addition to running the pool on the cheap, councillors seemed to suggest that they would only consider re-opening the pool if local volunteers can come back with an additional £1.5million in the next few months. To buy a pool that was already paid for by public taxes! All because the council needs money to pay off some of the debt they built up rebuilding an elite swimming pool in the leafy suburbs of the south of Edinburgh. But hey that’s (what’s left) of local democracy for you. 



Leith Decides

In the Spring of 2013 Leithers are to be given the chance to decide directly on how £20,000 of council cash should be allocated to local projects as part of the

Leith Waterworld, yours for a mere one and a half million quid

third annual Leith Decides event. The 2012 event saw hundreds of folk turn out to find out more about local projects and vote for the ones they thought were the most deserving of the cash. Local councillors and the officers who’ve worked on the process do deserve credit for upping the total amount of money that’s going to be allocated by public vote – and increasing the size of the grants available to £1200. The success of Leith Decides proves that if people feel they really can influence a decision they will turn out in droves to shape their neighbourhood. Maybe people do want to get involved after all? And of course there is a flipside. It also highlights the lack of real local democracy throughout the rest of the year. The Leith Neighbourhood partnership officials control far more cash than £20,000, although it’s almost impossible to find out exactly how much…
imagine if Leithers could vote on a far larger pot? 



Incredinburgh The success of Leith Decides proves that if people feel they can influence a decision they will turn out in droves to shape their neighbourhood

City councillors recently spent tens of thousands of pounds on new ideas for rebranding Edinburgh. When the award winning marketing firm they hired – ironically from Leith – came up with Incredinburgh, they ditched it in the face of a bit of Twitter mocking. If Leithers were asked to decide on whether their council tax money should be spent on rebranding the city, or on keeping a local pool open – I wonder what they’d vote for? 
■

 ÊÊInfo: Alastair Tibbitt is a trustee of Greener Leith writing here in a personal capacity. Find out more about Greener Leith at www.greenerleith.org. Find out more about the Leith Decides project at http://bit.ly/LeithDecides ÊÊTwitter: @allytibbitt Issue 90 | leithermagazine.com | 31


Leither - 90  

This is how it starts. With the facts. I’ve chosen, willingly, to see this band live more times than I’ve ever smiled (6) and they always, a...

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