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C U LT U R A L

J O U R N A L I S M

Scotland Issue 91 April 2013

Music Kurt Vile Life Coach Neon Neon UK Summer Festivals Edwyn Collins Casual Sex Film Derek Cianfrance on The Place Beyond the Pines Antonio Campos & Brady Corbet on Simon Killer Books Aye Write! Hassan Blasim Art RSA New Contemporaries New Work Scotland Theatre Arika 13 Rob Drummond Scottish Dance Theatre Fashion ECA Degree Show Clubs Numbers turns 10 All Caps

MUSIC | FILM | CLUBS | THEATRE | TECH | ART | BOOKS | COMEDY | FASHION | TRAVEL | FOOD | DEVIANCE | LISTINGS


Let’s rethink renting – a private rented sector fit for families and fair for all

MON TER TROS Autu RACE E mn 2

ARGYLE STREET Spring 2011

S ’ W E T R D N N E A C ST RES n 2010 C utum

RH5238.

Registered charity in Scotland (SC002327)

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011

WHERE NEXT?? Winte r 2013

D A O R G N I L R STI er 2012

Support our campaign at rethinkrenting.org

Summ


Music Festival AT THE CITY HALLS & OLD FRUITMARKET

tectonicsfestival.com

GL ASGOW

ALVIN LUCIER DAVID FENNESSY

@tectonicsglas

CHARLES ROSS

facebook.com/tectonicsglasgow

FRANK DENYER ANTON LUKOSZEVIEZE JULIET FRAZER HANNA TUULIKKI IANCU DUMITRESCU ANA-MARIA AVRAM STEPHEN O’MALLEY AIDAN MOFFAT STUART BRAITHWAITE HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR OREN AMBARCHI JAMES RUSHFORD JOE TALIA STEPHEN PASTEL ASPARAGUS PISS RAINDROP CHIYOKO SZLAVNICS MARTIN SUCKLING JOHN DE SIMONE BBC SCOTTISH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ILAN VOLKOV

AD

11.–––12.

MAY2013

Box Office: 0141-353 8000 bbc.co.uk/bbcsso

Festival Passes £20/£15(conc)* *Limited numbers, only available to 3 May 2013.


THE

PROCLAIMERS PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS

GLASVEGAS

Regular Music by arrangement with X-Ray presents

Friday 08 November

Glasgow Hydro Arena

+

0844 395 4000

Saturday 09 November

Aberdeen AECC 0844 844 0444

www.ticketmaster.co.uk /www.ticketsoup.com

www.stereophonics.com

Tuesday 7th May 02 ACADEMY GLASGOW

P.70 Kurt Vile

MON 22 APR O2 ABC GLASGOW

DRUNKANDONDRUGS.COM FACEBOOK.COM/RICKYJULIANBUBBLES

the Waterboys present

PAULEleanor KELLY McEvoy

PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS

FISHERMAN’S BLUES REVISITED

SUNDAY 14TH APRIL

UK & Ireland 2013 with Full Band

GLASGOW The Arches

Sunday 12 May

GLASGOW STEREO Scott

April 2013

Thistlethwaite TUES 10TH DECEMBER

GLASGOW BARROWLAND

0141 353 8000 0844 844 0444 WWW.TICKETMASTER.CO.UK

Thursday 16th May EDINBURGH

The Voodoo Rooms

Friday 17th May GLASGOW Broadcast SUN 14TH APRIL

Nice N Sleazy Glasgow

plus special guests

Thur 18 April Edinburgh LIQUID ROOMS PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS

SAT 13 APR Glasgow Nice N Sleazy

TO TO KILL KILL A A KING KING

DICK VALENTINE (ELECTRIC SIX)

Friday 3rd May

EDINBURGH VOODOO ROOMS

plus special guests

MONDAY 6TH MAY 2013 EDINBURGH VOODOO ROOMS

Sam Bradley Joel Baker

SATURDAY 20TH APRIL

WITH JASON NARDUCY AND JON WURSTER PLUS SPECIAL GUEST NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION

SAT 18 MAY GLASGOW ORAN MOR

www.ticketmaster.co.uk www.regularmusic.com 0844 844 0444 or in person from Ticket Scotland: Argyle Street Glasgow, Rose St Edinburgh & Ripping Records and all usual outlets

Contents

Get in touch: E: hello@theskinny.co.uk T: 0131 467 4630 P: The Skinny, 3 Coates Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7AA The Skinny is Scotland's largest independent entertainment & listings magazine, and offers a wide range of advertising packages and affordable ways to promote your business. Get in touch to find out more.

E: sales@theskinny.co.uk All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit permission of the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within this publication do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the printer or the publisher.

Printed by Mortons Print Limited, Horncastle ABC verified Jan – Dec 2011: 32,162

Glasgow Nice N Sleazy

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Issue 91, April 2013 © Radge Media Ltd.

printed on 100% recycled paper

Editorial Editor-in-Chief Music & Deputy Editor Art Editor Clubs Editor Comedy Editor Deviance Editor DVD Editor Events Editor Fashion Editor Film Editor Food Editor Performance Editor Tech Editor Travel Editor Staff Writer/ Sub Editor

Rosamund West Dave Kerr Jac Mantle Ronan Martin Bernard O’Leary Ana Hine Keir Roper-Caldbeck Anna Docherty Alexandra Fiddes Jamie Dunn Peter Simpson Gareth K. Vile Alex Cole Paul Mitchell Bram E. Gieben

Production Production Manager Lead Designer

Peter Marsden Maeve Redmond

Intern

Katie Armstrong

Sales/Accounts Sales Director Sales Executive Digital Media Executive Accounts Administrator

Lara Moloney George Sully Tom McCarthy Jason Warnock Solen Collet

Head of Digital

Andy Thomson

Publisher

Sophie Kyle

THE SKINNY

Photo: Gemma Burke

02 ABC Glasgow

GLASGOW CONCERT HALL

P.38 ECA Fashion

PUBLIC ENEMY

SUN 23RD JUNE

MON 9TH DECEMBER

P.29 Numbers

New album ‘Graffiti On The Train’out now featuring the singles ‘Indian Summer’ & ‘In a Moment’

plus special guest

Wickman

P.12 Edwyn Collins

Photo: Nuria Ruis

GLASGOW THE HYDRO 0844 395 4000 WWW.TICKETSOUP.COM

Photo: Ross Fraser Mclean

SATURDAY 12TH OCTOBER


Contents UP FRONT 06 Opinion: HIYA! from the editor; Jason

Reece pays respect to his favourite record shop in Hero Worship; Shot of the Month; Skinny on Tour (you could win a god damn book); Crystal Baws; last minute news from Stop the Presses.

08 Heads Up: Your daily guide to where the action is throughout April.

LIFESTYLE 36 Showcase: Liverpool-based sculp-

tor Kevin Hunt displays some of his artworks.

38

40 Travel: In anticipation of Venezuela's

upcoming elections, a traveller's look at the country in all its contradictory glory.

FEATURES 10

The Flaming Lips: Wayne Coyne has lost his confetti gun. Turns out he didn't need one anyway.

12

Edwyn Collins: We join the Orange Juice frontman in his studio to look back on nearly 30 years in the business.

14

Director Derek Cianfrance introduces The Place Beyond the Pines, an epic tale of fate and fatherhood starring every man's bromance dream, Ryan Gosling.

15

17

A screening of short films, part of LGBT History Month, aims to reclaim the image of disabled people from being simply 'inspiration porn' for a nondisabled audience. Neon Neon: Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip return with an electro concept album about a millionaire Italian communist, and invent a new genre: Poli-Pop.

20 A weekend of events exploring radical

41

Deviance: One scholar examines the contradictions of feminist identity and sexuality, plus a look at queer poetry on the Scottish performance scene.

42

Food & Drink: Phagomania takes over the section with a page-long ode to the burger in all its forms. Plus Round the World in 20 Drinks visits the animal kingdom, and extended Food News.

REVIEW 47

We preview a few of the finest Summer festivals in Scotland, and down south.

25

Playwright Rob Drummond introduces his sinister new work, Quiz Show.

rising Glasgow label All Caps, the usual roundup of the best Scotland's clubland has to offer, and a spotlight on one of its best-loved venues, the Sub Club

56 Film: An advance gander at the latest

releases, from First Position to that Evil Dead remake, plus the best cinematic events in Scotland this April.

57

26 Glasgow's book festival, Aye Write!

returns with a line up of literary treats.

27

Jo Strømgren and Victor Quijada discuss their upcoming shows for Scottish Dance Theatre.

29

A cornerstone of Scottish clubbing and dance music, Farley and Jackmaster on 10 years of Numbers, and their new electronic music festival.

30 Shona Macnaughton and Tom Varley

Music: The Knife, Melvins, Colin Stetson and Loch Lomond in review, plus a word about Glasgow's Casual Sex (lift your mind out the gutter!).

54 Clubs: A peek behind the scenes of

black art forms comes to Tramway, Arika 13: Freedom is a Constant Struggle.

21

Fashion: We get a sneak peek at Edinburgh College of Art's 2013 graduate show.

DVD: Reviews including obscure George A. Romero biker flick Knightriders, and bizarre Hong Kong sex-fest Vulgaria. Competitions: WIN THINGS! Things like tickets to a play at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre and Stop Making Sense festival in Croatia.

58 Art: What we really thought of Mick

Peter at SWG3 and Jennifer Moon at Transmission.

59 Books: Reviews of new writing from

Hassan Blasim, Rodge Glass and David Simon. Tech: A look at techno-pedometer the Fitbit One, plus a discussion of the Sim City scandal.

introduce their New Work Scotland exhibitions.

60 Theatre: A look at The Arches 2013

31

Afterschool director Antonio Campos delivers another twisted look at American masculinity, Simon Killer starring Brady Corbet.

61

32

Life Coach: The new krautrock-influenced project from Jon Theodore and Phil Manley of The Mars Volta and Trans Am blows our minds.

35

Back for a fifth installment, RSA New Contemporaries brings its annual survey of Scottish art graduates to the Mound.

April 2013

Behaviour program, plus our Venue of the Month, The Beacon in Greenock. Comedy: So what are those sycophantic nicey-nice comedy awards shows actually for?

62 Listings: You know the score – what's

happening in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee this month.

70 Kurt Vile: The psychedelic troubadour on rock biographies, not smoking pot, and his visionary take on Americana.

Contents

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Editorial H

ello Scotland, and welcome to The Skinny’s 91st issue. You may notice one or two mentions throughout the magazine of the fact that we also have an edition in the Northwest of England now. That’s because we’re excited, aright? It’s been a lot of hard work bringing up our gender neutral younger sibling, and now that it’s turned out OK, in fact amazing, we couldn’t be prouder and we’re going to bang on about it for a little while. These developments do not affect this magazine however. The two editions are separate, maintaining our traditional focus on the local and the braw. There is some shared content, cunningly modified by our southern colleagues to remove usages of apparently confusing words like shan, bevvy and baws. Crystal Baws, for example, is called simply BALLS. in Liverpool and Manchester. Note the full stop. We will also be dutifully excising any usages of their local words, once we work out what they are. Mad fer it perhaps? There will be none of that. This April we bring you an exclusive interview with The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne as our cover story. He tells us how new album The Terror signals a departure for the band – gone are the confetti cannons and zorb balls, to be replaced with a frank appraisal of the frequent bleakness of existence. Rest assured, however, hope remains. Elsewhere in Music, we chat to Neon Neon’s Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip about second album Praxis Makes Perfect and er Italian communists. Naturally. Edwyn Collins invited us into his London studio to discuss new album Understated, while Life Coach’s Jon Theodore and Phil Manley offer us an insight into their krautrock reunion on Alphawaves. For those of you looking forward to ‘summer,’ we’ve compiled a handy pick of festivals from both north and south of the border in the coming months. Over in Art, we’re looking forward to a couple of exhibitions that focus on promoting emergent artists. Aren’t we always? We’re totally for that. RSA New Contemporaries is back with

the fifth annual exhibition revealing the brightest and best of Scotland’s fine art graduates 10 months after graduation. ‘What’re they up to now?’ you may ask. Turn to p35 to find out more. We also take a closer look at New Work Scotland, interviewing Shona Macnaughton and Tom Varley about their upcoming Collective shows. In Theatre, we talk to playwright Rob Drummond about his main stage debut, Quiz Show, which is on in Traverse 1 this month. He won’t be wrestling anyone or being shot in the face by his maw this time, disappointingly. Also in the world of performance, Arika return to Tramway with a programme focussing on radical black arts (all will be explained on p20) while Scottish Dance Theatre offer two new commissions, Second Coming and the presciently titled Winter, Again, both touring the country in April. Film manages to barely contain its excitement at a taps aff Ryan Gosling, offering an interview with the director of his new film instead of jumping the man himself. Derek Cianfrance talks The Place Beyond the Pines on p14. Director Antonio Campos and his star Brady Corbet also dropped by for a chat about Simon Killer, out this month. Books has a busy schedule this month, featuring a full preview of Glasgow’s Aye Write! festival plus an enlightening interview with Iraqi author Hassan Blasim who discusses Arabic literary language, the normalcy of nightmare in his native land and the role of the story in his writing. Continuing our unexpected engagement with foreign policy, Travel hosts a first hand account of journeying in Venezuela ahead of this month’s elections for Chavez’s successor. Clubs quizzes Jackmaster and Spencer ahead of Numbers’ 10th birthday, and in Fashion we are privileged with a sneaky preview of Edinburgh College of Art’s 2013 graduate collections. Stylish. All in all, a pretty exciting issue. And there’s even more online. And in the Northwest edition. I think I need to go for a lie down now. [Rosamund West]

Shot Of The Month Rick Redbeard at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on 12 Mar, by David P Scott

Hero Worship: Waterloo Records As ...And You will Know Us By the Trail of Dead swing into Glasgow on Record Store Day, Jason Reece salutes his favourite shop

W

aterloo Records in Austin, Texas is my jam... it’s Trail of Dead’s spot. This is an amazing place that has everything, and all the folks working there are great. We’ve had some fiery instore performances there too. When I was DJing a local bar every Saturday, I would drop by Waterloo to find the freshest new sounds on vinyl on the Friday. I would build my arsenal. I would spend my hardearned cash. I would come to discover mind-blowing albums. I would get lost for hours in a daze, in a spaced out mode, soaking it all up like a sponge. This was also a spot where the community would gather and socialize. It was a place to be seen or run in to some random friends. One day I was in looking for a new vinyl

player on a particularly hot day, when I heard an English accent – a guy asking about an obscure blues record. I turned around to see Robert Plant at the register hanging out as if he was just another local. Waterloo Records keeps the spirit of musical congregation alive and this is so vital in this day and age to have a gathering place. It is very sacred to me that the process of finding new music should bring people together – not this isolated, on a computer in the dark, all alone way that seems to be so status quo. Yes, Waterloo is one of best. ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead play Glasgow’s SWG3 on 20 Apr (Record Store Day). www.recordstoreday.co.uk

The Skinny On Tour This issue of The Skinny took another wee trip abroad, and paused briefly to pose next to this delightful building. But where is it? Name the city, not the building. To enter, go to www.theskinny. co.uk/competitions and take a punt. The competition closes midnight Fri 26 April. Winners will be notified via email within two working days of closing and are required to respond within one week or the prize will be offered to another entrant. Full details of terms and conditions can be found at www.theskinny. co.uk/about/terms This month a correct guess could win you a copy of The Humans by Matt Haig, published on 9 May, courtesy of the lovely Canongate Books.

6

Chat

THE SKINNY


Or a new, untitled 12� of new material from industrial noiseniks Factory Floor. Or new music from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Zola Jesus, BEAK>, Brian Eno and Grizzly Bear remixed by Nicholas Jaar, Django Django. Foals, Evian Christ... the list is LONG. For more info on exclusive RSD releases, visit the website. www.recordstoreday.co.uk THE SKINNY WANTS YOU! We’re looking for a new Venues Editor to oversee the writing and creation of venue profiles on our website, for our Edinburgh city section. Reckon you’re up on your food haunts, local gin joints, and jukebox dives? See theskinny.co.uk/about/ get_involved for more details.

RECORD STORE DAY As Record Store Day (20 Apr) approaches, you’ll need to meticulously plan your diary to avoid missing out on some of the fantastic in-store events happening across Scotland’s beloved independent record shops, and carefully count the contents of your wallet before deciding which of the huge stack of exclusive and limited edition releases on which to spend your hard-earned cash. Indie rock and folk fans will want to check out the in-store gigs at Vox Box in Edinburgh, featuring Incredible String Band founder Mike Heron’s new project, and Mike Hastings of Trembling Bells playing a one-off acoustic set. From local label Song, By Toad they have the rather wonderful Adam Stafford (ex-Y’all Is Fantasy Island), Lancaster’s Rob St. John, and electro-pop band Magic Eye. From FENCE Records they have Girl Canaveral (i.e. one half of Kid Canaveral) and eagleowl, the magnificent, melodic Honeyblood, and experimental vocal ninja Wounded Knee. Over at Avalanche (open 9am), they have in-store gigs from 2pm from Glasvegas and Admiral Fallow, both supporting their exclusive RSD releases.

SCOTTISH AUTISM FUNDRAISER Tune into Autism raises money for the country’s biggest autism charity, Scottish Autism. with a series of musical events. They’ve got four confirmed for this year so far. On 29 May there’s a gig in the Voodoo Rooms featuring Edinburgh’s Plum. On 1 June Glasgow’s Marriot Hotel will host Grant’s Wish featuring singers Carly Ryan, Jamie Pugh and Grant Haddow. On 6 July they head over to Falkland in Fife, with Anderson McGinty Webster Ward and Fisher. The final show currently scheduled will take place on 15 October at The Stand, Edinburgh – acts are still TBC at this point. www.scottishautism.org LAUNCH NIGHT: THE BURNING SAND Get yourself along to the launch night for The Burning Sand magazine, with contributions from The Skinny’s RSA 2012 New Contemporaries Award-winner, Romany Dear, alongside Richard Wright, Rob Churm, and various others, jollied along by a live set by The Total Jerks, spoken word from Emily Ilett, and DJs Claudia Nova and Sarah Lowndes. Poetry Club, Glasgow, 19 Apr, £5

Online Only

Crystal Baws

Eyes to the website

With Mystic Mark

As mentioned elsewhere, The Skinny Northwest launches this month, and they’ve produced a whole raft of features, columns and reviews exclusive to our sibling publication in Manchester and Liverpool. You lucky people get to read it all online!

ARIES April sees you discover a demonic real-life computer game cheat written in an ancient grimoire. Jump, jump, blink, blink, squat, step forwards, step backwards, wink. All of a sudden you no longer need a poo. This only works so many times though so use it wisely. After that it’s absolutely horrible.



Former White Zombie frontman, visionary film director and monster enthusiast Rob Zombie on his return to the silver screen, featuring witches, blood sacrifice, and all manner of weird shit. www.theskinny.co.uk/film



GEMINI You have a bad habit of believing that the Universe isn’t just a meaningless, futile void, that it should stop doing what it’s been doing for 13.7 billion years simply because you’ve turned up. The only thing that is ‘meant to be’ is that you’re a highlyevolved food tube whose every action is of absolutely no consequence to anything, doomed to one day be utterly erased from existence leaving no mark whatsoever on the pointless Cosmos you once subsisted in.



Harmony Korine, the unconventional cinematic maverick behind Gummo and Kids discusses his uber-violent, drugs-and-sex-fuelled thriller, starring James Franco. www.theskinny.co.uk/film We cast a critical ear over a raft of forthcoming releases from Depeche Mode, Ghostface Killah, Mudhoney and many more. Plus, be the first to preview a hilarious mano-a-mano exchange between Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne and Mudhoney’s Mark Arm. www.theskinny.co.uk/ music.

CANCER Maybe you should cut down on the amount of sugar in your tea. But then again, maybe you should get a job and stop masturbating through your neighbour’s letter box.



A preview of Nightwalk 2013, the forthcoming annual fashion showcase, held at The Arches, featuring the cream of Scottish designers and makers. www.theskinny.co.uk/fashion



VIRGO Foolishly you turn up to your first meeting of the Mass Debating Society with five bog rolls and a litre of lube. As it turns out, it’s just a load of people sat around arguing. Even so, you manage to crack one out over a heated discussion about military intervention in Syria.

SCORPIO Moving into that haunted house turns out to be a shrewd move on your part as you soon find a use for all the viscous puddles of ectoplasm left around the place by wailing spirits and demonic poltergeists. Starting this month you begin churning the ectoplasm into gallons of the richest, creamiest ghost cheese.



THE SKINNY EXPANDS, CONQUERS KNOWN UNIVERSE We’ve launched a new edition! Keep an eye out in the Northwest of England (particularly Liverpool and Manchester) for a brand new Skinny magazine. It can be picked up in over 450 venues, and the number will keep on rising. Read all about it, etc etc.

Photo: Kat Gollock

Photo: Ingrid Mur

April 2013

LIBRA You notice your search history contains the terms ‘sexual diseases you can get from animals,’ ‘inflatable priest,’ ‘man farming,’ ‘planning permission for tree house brothel’ and ‘abused by robot dad.’ After the routine deletion of your cache a pop-up window asks if you’d also like to delete your personality.



THE BREAKFAST CLUB OPENS News has just reached us of brand new Edinburgh venue on the block The Breakfast Club’s official opening bash on 5 Apr – a first come, first served free gig night manned by local lot Nevada Base, Machines in Heaven, and Randolph's Leap, plus myriad other promised surprises. Form an orderly queue, folks... You can find ‘em at 45-47 Lothian Street, Edinburgh. DUNDEE JEWELLERY KICKSTARTER – GET INVOLVED! Dundee final year Jewellery students need your help! They’re raising money to exhibit at the prestigious New Designers exhibition in London come June and have started a Kickstarter fund. Each donation will receive a special ‘thank you’, ranging from a group shout-out on Twitter to a piece of original jewellery from one of the artists. That, and the satisfaction of contributing to an emerging craftperson’s career. kickstarter.com/ projects/jamd13/spread-the-dundee-jamd

LEO Despite all the evidence you still believe that Robocop died for our sins.



THE SKINNY WANTS YOU! PART 2 How do you feel about burlesque? Love it? Hate it? Exist in a state of perpetual tortured ambivalence on the subject? The Skinny is looking for a new Theatre editor to look after the Scotland edition of the magazine. We need someone who’s knowledgeable and opinionated about the thespian world north of the border, particularly in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. They should also be able to write, edit and generally be friendly and encouraging to writers. Does this sound like you? If yes, drop us a line at jobs@theskinny. co.uk with a CV, a couple of relevant writing samples and a cover letter including some thoughts on theatre

Edinburgh’s Underground Solu’Shn have the cream of Edinburgh’s DJs playing back to back all day, including Fryer (Jazzman Records), House Of Traps (Firecracker / Unthank / Shevchenko), Colvin Cruickshank (Wee Red Bar / Snide Rhythms), Fudge Fingas (Firecracker / Rush Hour), G-Mac (Bass Syndicate / Xplicit) and EH1. Both shops promise some very special records, happenings and super-secret awesome stuff as well. Over in Glasgow at Love Music (also open 9am), there are in-store gigs kicking off at 2pm from Glasvegas (they’ll be loving the M8 that day), country-tinged rockers Woodenbox, ex-Endor mob Fake Major, Three Blind Wolves and the electric folk sounds of Washington Irving. There will also be a display from the Scottish Pinball Champion! Monorail meanwhile offer a slightly more family-centric day from 9am, with cakes, bands, DJs, and some kids’ activities to keep the weans happy while you browse the stacks. If all that isn’t exciting enough, there’s always the chance to bag an RSD exclusive, like a 10� vinyl of a rare EP by Dame David Bowie, 1965.

TAURUS This month, Dyson’s ‘no loss of suction guarantee’ proves fatal.

Edinburgh College of Art photocall & Glasgow School of Art 3rd Year Show – A photographic journey through the latest, most exciting work from their respective Fashion students. Read an extended version of our interview with Hassan Blasim, the trailblazing, controversial Iraqi author of our Book of the Month, and an even more extended Q&A, featuring the full text of our interview with this important new literary figure. www.theskinny.co.uk/books Phagomania! An interview with a crazy French burger sculptor, in full. Translated by George Sully – thanks George. www.theskinny.co.uk/food PLUS: A preview of the new show by Julie Brook – made, unmade, at Dovecot Studios, and reviews of exhibitions at Newhaven Station; Romany Dear at Intermedia; and 85A Chernozem.

SAGITTARIUS Unsure about what exactly your character is supposed to be feeling during the porn scene you’re shooting, the director takes you to one side and sagely whispers: “Your motivation is that you’re getting fucked really hard in your arse.�



CAPRICORN Imagining all the things you could do if you won the lottery, you fantasise about being able to pay your rent on time and buying anything you like from the chocolate aisle in Iceland. Even in your wildest dreams you’re still poor.



AQUARIUS The fact you were in the army should have dulled your senses from the roar of murder all around and left you a bitter, emotionless husk. Instead you manage to surprise everyone at a party by pulling out your acoustic guitar and singing a love song so sweet it proves you’re more sensitive than a freshly peeled bell-end.





PISCES “It’s my party and I’ll bum the dog if I want to� fails to stand up in court. twitter.com/themysticmark

Chat

7


April brings with it a many and varied box of delights, highlights of which include festival action from eclectic performance lot Behaviour, and ditto Arika, plus Fence's Gnomegame outing in Anstruther, a set from last month's cover hunk Steve Mason, and a beer-heavy Record Store Day treat on 20 April...

We start the month by enriching ourselves through learning (note: this may be a first), as mathematician Simon Pampena continues to champion numeracy by combining the principles of mathematics with the craft of standup comedy, with the singular aim of communicating the true amazingness of maths to simpletons like us. Hoorah. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1-3 Apr, 3pm, £4

Charged with kicking off Behaviour Festival 2013 is writer, director, and performer Gary McNair – who'll present his wide-eyed wander into the world of live comedy, in preparation for which he busied himself (i.e. probably went totally doolally) watching 103 stand-up performances in advance of taking on the daunting genre himself. Be gentle with him. The Arches, Glasgow, 3, 4 & 6 Apr, 7pm, £8 (£6) Gary McNair

Simon Pampena

Sun 7 Apr

Mon 8 Apr

Tue 9 Apr

The fun-loving spoken word crew that is Inky Fingers host an April special, Bletherskites!, for which they'll bring together a selection of the best in Scottish performance poetry, taking in a cacophony of words from the likes of slam specialist Rachel Amey, Poetry Prize-winner Claire Askew, Church Of When The Shit Hits The Fan frontman Ali Maloney, and a good dose more. Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, 3pm, £5

The Traverse hark back to plays past in Four Decades, a series of play readings amassed from, aye, the last four decades. They'll start with a work from the decade of their inception (1970s) before ending on 13 April with Scratch the Fifty – a night of all-new works from the Trav's current crop of 50 writers, who're helping them celebrate their 50th birthday year. Traverse, 8-13 Apr, various times, £16 (£14)

Our March issue cover hunk (resplendent in woolly jumper and scarf) Steve Mason gives his rather fine new album – Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time – the full band treatment, a catalytic call-to-arms with a mantric message sure to get the blood a-pumping. Support comes in the form of Glasgow's own Optimo tag-team, JD Twitch and JG Wilkes. King Tut's, Glasgow, 8.30pm, £17

Claire Askew

Sun 14 Apr

Mon 15 Apr

It's that time again when the best of last year's graduating art students exhibit at the RSA New Contemporaries, a unique showcase platform for Scotland's young emerging art talent. It'll feature work from some 62 graduates handpicked from across the main art colleges in Scotland – and we'll also be there as usual to pick our very own Skinny Award Winner 2013. RSA, Edinburgh, until 8 May, £4 (£2)

As part of their input to this year's Aye Write! programme, the Scottish Poetry Library host an anthology-style event unveiling the Best Scottish Poems 2012 picks, for which novelists Zoe Strachan and Louise Welsh will reveal their official choices, as well as the identity of next year’s BSP collection – when it'll mark its 10th anniversary. Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, 4.30pm, £8

Scotland's contemporary classical scene congregate for Red Note Ensemble's Noisy Night #23 – an informal showcase premiering handpicked new music submitted from around the world, with this edition taking in works by Rick Standley, Jane Atkins, and Ruth Marley. The audience can also get in on the action by penning their own piece to play during the interval. City Halls, Glasgow, 8pm, Free

Louise Welsh

Photo: Steve Lindbridge

Sat 13 Apr

Georgina Bolton

Steve Mason

Traverse brochures

Red Note Ensemble

Thu 18 Apr

Fri 19 Apr

Sat 20 Apr

Kicking off a duo of mini fests, Arika host Episode 4: Freedom Is A Constant Struggle, an exploration of radical black artforms – including free jazz, poetry, and other improvised traditions – through a series of performances and discussions with prominent black writers, musicians and thinkers, including poet Amiri Baraka, woodwind player Daniel Carter, and free jazz pioneer Henry Grimes. Tramway, Glasgow, 18-21 Apr, various times and prices

The Glasgow-based Nomadic techno and tech-house clubber's delight that is Bigfoot's Tea Party has its first airing at Sneaky Pete's turning the venue into their own little rave cave for a residents special resplendant with bespoke video-mapped visuals, all the lighting their budget can stretch to, and – of course – that lethal homemade vodka jelly. Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh, 11pm, £5

In honour of Record Store Day, local blogger Song, By Toad teams up with local brewer Barney's Beer for Beer Vs Records, launching a special eight-track vinyl – as well as a four-pack o' beer with a download code – jollied along by live sets from Le Thug, Magic Eye, Plastic Animals, and Zed Penguin. Summerhall, Edinburgh, 8pm, £6

Teresa Diaz Landscape

Plastic Animals

Bigfoot’s Tea Party

Wed 24 Apr

Thu 25 Apr

Fri 26 Apr

Sat 27 Apr

Edinburgh folk mainstay Rob St. John heads up a live outing for Folklore Tapes, an ongoing research and musical heritage project covering and soundtracking the folklore of the UK – with St. John launching his new 7-inch on the night, alongside Ian Humberstone and Malcolm Benzie's all-new collaborative work inspired by Devon witchcraft, plus myriad other delights. The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, 7.30pm, £5

Summerhall's in-house micro-brewer (let's call him Barney – for that's his name) hosts his new monthly after-hours tour of the on-site Summerhall Brewery – which occupies the oldest part of the venue, – where punter get the chance to have a wee nosey around whilst being treated to samples of a trio of Barney's Beers. To sum up: beer. Summerhall, Edinburgh, 7.30pm, £5

Having screened as part of FrightFest at this year's Glasgow Film Festival, The ABCs of Death has a one-day outing at Edinburgh's Cameo (also screening simultaneously across the UK), with the ambitious project film taking in 26 shorts about death – each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. Cameo, Edinburgh, 9pm, £7.50 (£6). Also showing at Glasgow's Grosvenor

Providing our obligatory monthly dose of post-hardcore abrasion, members of Glasgow's United Fruit curate a lively April edition of their regular big-beat alternative outing, Teenage Riot, with this edition finding 'em joined by Dundonian pop-rock-on-steroids lot Fat Goth – still riding high on the general greatness of their second LP, STUD. Bloc, Glasgow, 11pm, free before midnight

Rob St. John

Barneys Brewery

The ABC’s of Death

United Fruit

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Photo: Eoin Carey

Compiled by: Anna Docherty

Wed 3 Apr

THE SKINNY

Photo: Takeshi Sugar

Heads Up

Tue 2 Apr


Super 8 plunderers Screen Bandita host a one-off collaborative outing – Fuaim is Solas – which finds Lau accordianist Martin Green, harpist Una Monaghan, and Mystery Juice mainman Tim Matthew improvising behind delicate fabric screens, feeding off projected images that will in turn be manipulated in response to the music. Pure magic. House Concert (email douglas@soundhouse.org.uk), Edinburgh, 7.30pm, £10

Acting as a vital development programme for emerging artists – giving Scottish-based graduates their first significant project or commission – New Work Scotland continues its 2013 exhibition schedule at Collective with a double-header show from Shona Macnaughton and Tom Varley, for which both artists will display an entirely new batch of work. Collective, Edinburgh, until 5 May, Free

Any of you lucky enough to have secured tickets for Fence Records' scaleddown version of Home Game – given the moniker Gnomegame, obviously – are in for a treat, as a selection of Fence mainstays and special guests take to idyllic Anstruther for a two-day mini-fest, amongst 'em eagleowl and Kid Canaveral, airing their respective new LPs. Anstruther Town Hall, Anstruther, 6 & 7 Apr, £60 Kid Canaveral

Shona Macnaughton

Fuaim is Solas

Thu 11 Apr

Fri 12 Apr

As part of Behaviour Festival 2013, The Arches screen Efterklang's The Ghost of Piramida, a diary of sorts charting the band's expedition to the frozen ghost town of the same name – a little known former Russian settlement where they collected over 1000 sound samples for their 2012 LP, An Island. They'll then play a live set in the same venue on 20 April. The Arches, Glasgow, 7pm, Free (but ticketed)

Celebrating the launch of his new label, 1-800 Dinosaur, and the forthcoming release of his new album, Overgrown, young electronic pup James Blake takes to The Arches for a set of dubbed-out soul, hybrid electro, effects-manipulated vocals, and possible adventures in rabbit jumpers (caveat: he wore a rabbit jumper, like, once – and we've basically never recovered). The Arches, Glasgow, 7pm, £12.50

For his first solo exhibition in Scotland, Leeds-based artist Harry Meadley (aka he of the decidedly bling-looking crystal skull, silver teeth, and real gold sculptural work) will show every work conceived between receiving the invitation to exhibit, and the shipping date to David Dale Gallery – taking in over 37 works in an eclectic mix of styles and media. David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, until 4 May, Free

James Blake

Efterklang

Tue 16 Apr

Wed 17 Apr

In advance of all things Edinburgh festival taking over our world – and sanity, let's face it – come August (as in, yes, we're afraid the countdown has officially begun), comedians Daniel Sloss, Tom Stade, and Mark Nelson take to the Pleasance Theatre to roadtest a selection of new material, after which we promise not to mention the festival again until at least June. Probably. Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, 7.30pm, £3

Talented young playwright Kieran Hurley (aka he of last year's techno-led monologue piece of wonder, Beats) presents his collaborative new play-meetsgig outing, RANTIN, devised and performed with Over The Wall's Gav Prentice, actor Julia Taudevin, and experimental Glasgow muso Wounded Knee as part of Behaviour Festival 2013. Pearce Institute, Glasgow, 17-19 Apr, 7.30pm, £8 (£6) Daniel Sloss

Summerhall's warren of a venue plays host to experiential zombie-styled theatre piece, Deadinburgh, where over the course of the performance-cum-science lesson – with the help of real scientists – the audience will have to decide whether to destroy the city, kill the infected, or search for a cure. Or indeed just have a total freak-out. Summerhall, Edinburgh, 18-21 Apr, 7.30pm, £15 (£12)

Glasgow throws up a rare treat indeed, as politicallycharged Long Island hip-hop pioneers, Public Enemy, take to O2 ABC for the only Scottish date on their current European mini tour. For it, they'll reliably be delving into their rag-bag of greatest hits for a special set – fierce polemic and incendiary rhythmic patterns still very much at their core. All hail. O2 ABC, Glasgow, 7pm, £25

London-based witty indie-pop lot The Waves Pictures take up a post at Mono for a mini residency, where they'll be playing an entirely different set over three consecutive nights (21-23 April), joined by a selection of stellar live guests throughout – with Glasgow's own kings and queens of modern folk, Trembling Bells, rounding things off on the 23rd. Mono, Glagsow, 7.30pm, £6/£15 all-access

Photo: Euan Robertson

Tue 23 Apr

Photo: James Koch

Mon 22 Apr

Public Enemy

Sun 28 Apr

Mon 29 Apr

A hit down in London, the Classic Album Sundays monthly outing up our way continues to pretty much encapsulate our idea of what a Sunday evening should be all about – dipping the lights and playing a classic album in its entirety, in this case Talking Heads' Remain in Light, played via audiophile-approved hifi equipment. Natch. The Berkeley Suite, Glasgow, 5.30pm (album plays at 7.30pm), £6

Our favourite Scottish miserablist – er, that would be Malcolm Middleton – plays a special acoustic set, taking in songs from his forthcoming new album alongside tracks from his 2002 debut, 5.14 Fluoxytine Seagull Alcoholi, which Chemikal Underground will be releasing on deluxe heavyweight vinyl in celebration of its 10-ish-year anniversary (exclusively on sale at the gig). Electric Circus, Edinburgh, 7pm, £12

April 2013

Harry Meadley

Wounded Knee

Sun 21 Apr

Zombie

Photo: Euan Robertson

Wed 10 Apr

Photo: Darren Carle

Sat 6 Apr

Trembling Bells

Malcolm Middleton

Chat

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Photo: Crimson Glow

Fri 5 Apr

Photo: Stuart Reidman

Thu 4 Apr


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MUSIC

THE SKINNY


Interview: Simon Jay Catling

Fear And Coping In Oklahoma With brilliant new Flaming Lips album The Terror taking what Embryonic started to bleak new extremes, Wayne Coyne explains why he’s packing away the confetti gun and focusing on survival

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eople’s heads come into this place and they have these flesh-eating beetles [who] literally eat every molecule of flesh off of these things.” That was Wayne Coyne in 2011, describing The Flaming Lips’ morbid Halloween plans for that year – putting out a 24-hour-long song encased within a human skull. They’re one of only a few bands on the planet who could describe that as a typical sort of gimmick – subsequently there’s been the video for The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, featuring Grammy-winning Erykah Badu and her sister sat in a bath of blood and semen, an EP release inside a gummy foetus and, this year, one inside an anatomically correct chocolate heart – but as knowingly shock-baiting as that stunt was, it nevertheless made a warped sort of sense, aligned with the current trajectory of the band’s increasingly bleak thought processes. It marked a further step along the desolate road that last full-length LP Embryonic had contemplated, as they looked at life’s vitality through the spectrum of death. However not even Embryonic’s nocturnally evocative acid freak-outs indicated quite how far, as Coyne puts it, “all in” they were willing to go. The nine tracks on The Terror serve as the ’Lips’ own flesh-eating beetles; in this case it isn’t yellowing skin and rotting sinews being devoured, it’s the associations with what the group have been for the past 14 years. The Throbbing Gristle-isms of the LP’s synth transmissions are sickly tense in their unflinching repetition; they pull Coyne’s once fully-flushed vocal into tired, submissive mantra-like compliance; they feast on and tear apart memories of the singer in his giant bubble on stage, of the confetti and colour, the blister-packed progressive-psych of At War With The Mystics, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, and the grandiosity of The Soft Bulletin. The Oklahomans have always maintained touching distance with mortality – The Soft Bulletin’s Feeling Yourself Disintegrate, Yoshimi’s Do You Realize?? are just two examples – but with The Terror, humanity’s temporal state is in their central vision, the previous bombast that cloaked it discarded, in lieu of oscillating electronic death rattles and mechanised motifs. “It was getting to the point where somewhere along the road we were going to have to ask ourselves ‘are we going to do even more music that relates to giant balloons and confetti and things?’” ponders Coyne’s familiarly husky voice over the phone, “and with Embryonic there were a series of songs that could be construed as an evolution from Do You Realize?? etcetera, but at some point I was forced to say ‘we’ve got to go all the way, and we have to do it now.’” He’s just got home from SXSW when we talk (“I was

April 2013

wearing this fantastic chrome blue leather jacket, but the pants only arrived today. I’m stretching them out even as we speak,”) and gleefully relives his band’s set from the weekend, where they performed the new album in full. “It was a new version of The Flaming Lips,” he states proudly, “there’s nothing more thrilling than just going out there and going for it: a whole new look, a whole new set-up. We’ll never completely abandon the idea of playing versions of our past hits, but we had this weird record coming out and we thought ‘fuck it! This is what we want to do!’” At its bleakest, The Terror is enough to make you believe that The Flaming Lips have given up on finding life’s light, a search that, even in their most hopeless moments, they seemed to be clinging onto. Where Coyne once sang “The doubters all were stunned, heard louder than a gun, the sound they made was love,” on The Soft Bulletin’s A Spoonful Weighs A Ton, new LP opener Look… The Sun Is Rising opens anxiously: “Love is always something you should hear, when you really listen, fear is all you hear.” It feels like a hands-up submission to the abandonment of the otherworldly hope he once pursued. “I think the nature of Soft Bulletin and then Yoshimi and stuff, it almost hinted that there is always hope, there is always a way, there is always a light,” he posits, “and I think that can be an absolutely true way to think! But at the same time you have to accept that there are some things that are hopeless, that cannot be won.” However there’s some comfort in this defeat, he reasons. “I think we would all love to think that at the peak of our suffering and hopelessness that we would just disappear or there would be no next day. But the next day always happens – and that’s great news! It’s just not that dramatic.” Indeed, part of The Terror’s message lies in finding a personal emotional oneness from which you can face up to life’s coil: “It’s rare that we feel the intense emotions of something like Do You Realize??,” says Coyne. “Most of life is ambivalent and it’s only going in one direction anyway, but if you’ve ever been stuck somewhere for even a second without air, you still suddenly think ‘oh my God, I just realised how much I liked breathing!’ Sometimes just getting through the day’s enough.” Coyne is ever contradictory, though, and his own personality, he admits, dictates a permanently fluctuating state between extreme high and low. It’s from the oppressive latter that he approaches this search for emotional grounding, asking on Be Free, Away, for instance, “Did God make pain so we can know the high that nothing is?” “Early in my life I thought I got to pick my own personality,” he muses. “But then I realised that I don’t really get to pick it, I am living the

if we didn’t take it around and show everybody we’d be idiots.” As overly-critical as he claims to be over his music, though, he’s more than happy to go into plenty of gushing detail about his Jurassic pet’s attributes. So despite claiming the Heady Fwendz sessions were a “great thing,” the finished album bore the marks of a rushed finish when it emerged last year – tracks were still being put down in late January with the release date slated for April. A coherent LP was never likely, but some of it felt throwaway in its nature, with ideas stretched out too thinly to meet their purpose; even its overseer admits that a combination of the people involved, the intensity of the timescale and overriding need for everything to actually sound good was taking its toll, and so stumbling in on his bandmate’s own escape was a relief. “I think it was maybe a reaction to the Heady Fwendz stuff,” he moots, “where that was that direction and this direction, commanded by the people we were working with. It was the sheer relief of not having to deal with anybody else; we would go to the studio and make this kind of… masturbation music!” As always with Wayne Coyne, there’s a Wayne Coyne slightly evasive contrast between the infectious enthusiasm that crackles across the phone line when he talks about his group’s music, to the The Terror was borne out of one such artisbleak personal lyrical content and sonic moods tically intense endeavour, but it didn’t initially contained within. “We only made this music in stem from Coyne himself. Around January last year the final batch of Heady Fwendz collaborative the fatigue of doing the other stuff, but it really started speaking to us and we thought ‘well sessions were being put together; the rotation maybe we can make a record!’” He says, as though of musicians through the studio brought all the having this almighty eureka moment. “It was sort competing egos with them you’d expect, from Nick Cave to Yoko Ono, all as stubbornly commit- of an accident, which is the best part of it! It ted to their creative ideals as Coyne, who had no made it so real; it was something we just allowed to happen.” It’s these happy accidents that drive doubt approached them in anticipation of the the group, and have produced some of their inevitable ideological clashes ahead – conflicts greatest material – UK breakthrough 1999 single that, as Erykah Badu will attest to, he duly got. Race For The Prize, for example. “To find a release It became too much for Steven Drozd; the front away from these concentrated Soft Bulletin sesman’s creative lieutenant had suffered a heroin sions, we mucked around and ended up with this relapse around the same time and, as he told Pitchfork in February, struggled to cope with the song,” he explains. “Being tired doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make art, it just means you make this number of disparate ideas he kept having to reconfigure his mind to meet. He moved to a studio art that speaks from that dimension. It’s amazing adjacent to the Heady Fwendz hub and unwitting- how much of our ‘weaker stuff’ has gone on to ly began to put together the elements that would overwhelm the stuff we were focusing on.” But how long can they keep overwhelming ultimately form The Terror. themselves? 2013 marks their 30th year together Coyne’s insistence that “we never hold our and The Terror does, on occasion, have a tone music in any kind of reverence” is just one of a of finality. “Oh, not at all!” Coyne scorns, “We’re handful of quotes he feeds to The Skinny during making this music that makes us feel so at one our conversation that part-obscures the fierce with the universe, it’s exactly what I want to say, pride he has in everything he puts his name to, the way I feel, how I want to sound right now… and a trait that runs against his fatalistic view that what the ’Lips create isn’t of their own doing, but knowing that makes you want to live forever!” something that comes to them pre-ordained. “It’s The Terror is released via Bella Union on 15 Apr. The Flaming like owning a three-headed dinosaur,” he says in Lips play Brighton Festival on 22 May typically abstract fashion, “it’s not really ours but www.flaminglips.com

personality that my DNA and all this shit’s given me, and it doesn’t allow me to live in the middle.” That’s something you could never accuse him of – where to start? Releasing 1997’s Zaireeka on four CDs so that it had to be played simultaneously on four different sound systems? Playing Soft Bulletin shows through headphones to his audiences? Spending seven years developing low-budget movie Christmas On Mars in his back yard? He’s a vessel unfulfilled unless preoccupied by the wacky, the zany, and taking on as much of it as possible. “I’m not saying it to be cooler or braver than you,” he responds, “It’s saying ‘this joy of life that I need to overwhelm me is scary, because the pain of living this way may overwhelm me too,’ it’s the risk that you take by committing to this way of life.”

“We've got to go all the way, and we have to do it now”

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Keep On Burning Edwyn Collins invites us to his west London studios to discuss his exhilarating new album Understated and his gradual triumphs over his debilitating health misfortunes Interview: Colm McAuliffe Photography: Nuria Rius

E

dwyn Collins is perched at the recording desk of his west London studio. His new album, Understated, is about to be released, eleven tracks of storming Northern Soul refracted through the prism of punk. The album positively purrs with brio and panache, worthy of a man with Collins’ often ramshackle yet exhilarating career, “31 years in rock and roll,” as he croons on the album. And this confidence is evident in the man sitting across from me; despite his horrific health shocks – a brain haemorrhage in 2005 massively affected his main motor skills resulting in a lengthy rehabilitation period – Collins proudly sings me through as much of the album as possible and kindly dismisses his redoubtable wife Grace Maxwell in her offer to assist with the interview. Collins is not so much defiant in the face of adversity as thoroughly thriving. This flourishing of activity is not simply down to his new album. Collins is at the helm of AED Records and a much in-demand producer – recently working on Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs’ debut album Clarietta – and has been the subject of a recent documentary entitled In Your Voice, In Your Heart, focusing on the gradual re-emergence of his identity through music. “It feels great having so much at the moment,” he starts. “Mind you, I’m tired, but what can I say? The video stuff with Ed [Lovelace] is really good and, along with Seb [Lewsley, Collins’ engineer], we worked on the Charlie Boyer album which sounds a bit like the Velvet Underground. It’s coming out on Heavenly Records and is very good as well. And with the record label, it just seems to make sense, although Grace and Susan are more in control than me! [laughs]. I did another documentary maybe five years ago [Home Again] and this was when I wasn’t in control at all, stuttering and for six months in the hospital all I could say was ‘yes,’ ‘no’ and ‘the possibilities are endless.’ Slowly I recovered and I wanted to show people about the effects of having a stroke, having to deal with it and how it is difficult for me to communicate. And the language issues I struggle with a bit still. But my singing is okay, my speech is just a bit slow.” The new album is a heady miscellany of influences and to these ears, takes its cue from Orange Juice’s cover of Vic Godard’s Holiday Hymn, a stomping nouveau Northern Soul number. But Collins is quick to refute that Understated is rooted firmly in the past. “I do like Northern Soul a lot, along with garage bands – The Seeds – along with soul and indie. Back then, in the Orange Juice days, I was strictly punk… well, maybe a bit reticent. I liked certain things: Subway Sect, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols… and that was it! Nowadays, I like everything. The 60s, for me, is a great time. The 70s [pauses]… not bad. But the 80s? Shit! [laughs!] But it’s getting good again, and I’m looking forward actually. I enjoyed producing The Cribs a few years ago, that sounded amazing.” The on-going rehabilitation of Collins has seen his mobility gradually improve and on Understated, he has taken a considerably more hands-on role in the production and performing of the songs. “I work with Seb closely but on [opening track] Dilemma [breaks into the first verse], I did the trumpets, the harmonies with

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“I’m pushing on and it’s invigorating”

and it is a good line,” Collins agrees, “It means something to me, having had a stroke to deal with and having a point of view, yet I’m struggling to find the words and right sentences and to find a way forward from my position. It’s an attempt to come to terms with my stroke and the fact that a large percentage don’t survive.” Edwyn Collins However, he does use the album to reflect on his early years with Orange Juice, the NuSean [Read] the keyboard player – he said ‘Ah, Sonics and even his time as a graphic illustrator that’s good!’ and then played it. But I do it all with for the Glasgow Parks Department. “[The song] Seb and he handles the new recording desk, I use 31 Years goes back to Orange Juice’s first single it occasionally. And for the first time ever, after Falling and Laughing [again, Edwyn sings us the my stroke, I played Memphis Chords on 31 Years. initial verse]. So that’s a long time! But in 31 I can play keyboards no problem at all but just Years, I’m reflecting but by the last chorus I’m with my left hand. And harmonica.” Still a multihappy and carrying on with the future. And two instrumentalist in the studio, then? “Yeah, I bet!” years ago, I did the font for this album. It takes a he laughs. “Memphis Chords I can manage… just long time.” He laughs emphatically on recalling about! But solos are difficult. I can play rhythm the pre-fame days. “When I was 19, up in Glasgow, but solos are strictly a no-no.” I was working in the Parks Department, drawing Understated’s lyrical content is undeniably kingfishers, squirrels, buildings. I was quite shy buoyant, nay ebullient. Rather than ruminating on and I wanted to be in Orange Juice. I dobbed off experiences gone by, Collins appears to be clear- work several times! I remember giving a talk to all ing the way for his next step. “The album is upthese school children who were taken to see oak beat,” he admits. “It’s not sad music. I wanted it trees and sycamores and they asked me ‘Sir, are to be fast as music can be too slow nowadays, too you a punk?’ and I said ‘Yes, I’m nature’s punk!’ It’s ponderous. But each to their own. It’s very impor- nonsense really, what a joke!” tant to me that it’s got to be positive. I’m pushing on At that time, Collins must never have imagand it’s invigorating: the chance to sing and there ined that his career would have such indefatihas to be this positive vibe. And it is direct and to gable longevity. “No, never.” In fact, he’s quite the point, I don’t know any other way!” humble about his formative years as a musician. Despite Collins’ difficulty with language, “Originally, it was the Nu-Sonics back in Glasgow his lyricism is as eloquent as ever; honesty and but the songs weren’t any good, I was seventeen. humour muscle up to artistic expression. A senti- But gradually, I wrote Falling and Laughing, and ment in Down The Line, ‘This abstract sense of now, there’s a good song! The lyrics are, to me, being, it’s over now,’ is ripe for interpretation. reflective of me. The pleasure and the pain sup“By abstract, I mean non-specific, it’s not clear port the contrast in my life.”

MUSIC

Over thirty years on, Collins’ critical stock is as high as ever. Yet he doesn’t long for the commercial peaks of the mid-90s and A Girl Like You. “Around then, I was all around the world, for two years and six months. I was so tired. Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Europe, America… I was shattered by the end of things. But now, live performances are fine. Except, for example, a song like Ghost of a Chance, it’s terrible singing it again and analysing all the words. But I’ll get it in the end.” Collins has been resident in London since the early 80s and has worked from his West Heath studios since the 90s. However, all that is about to change soon as himself and Grace are on the verge of moving back to his ancestral home of Helmsdale, Sutherland. His grandfather was a stonemason who went to America in the 1880s to make his fortune. On his return, he built the main part of a cottage which Collins restored some years ago. “It’s right on top of the world!” Collins says proudly. “I own the place, it’s two hundred years old, a croft. Grace is eager to move there. And this studio is closing down, just another year to go. I’m quite sad really but it has to be done; I’m carrying on the tradition [in moving back to Helmsdale]. And we will have a studio there, two houses combined, one for domestic and one for rock ’n’ roll.” Domestic and rock ’n’ roll. Pleasure and pain. Northern Soul and punk. There may be contradictions at the heart of Edwyn Collins, but listening to Understated it’s fearlessness and fervour all the way. Edwyn Collins plays Aberdeen Lemon Tree on 15 Apr, Strathpeffer Pavilion on 17 Apr and Glasgow O2 ABC on 18 Apr. Understated is out now on AED Records www.edwyncollins.com

THE SKINNY


WHEN YOU’RE THE ONLY BAND IN TOWN, ANY PERFORMANCE SHORT OF TERRIBLE IS WORTHY OF AN ENCORE. When it came to making whiskey, Jack Daniel was the consummate professional. And when it came to music, Jack knew how to show people a good time. After outfitting a group of local townsmen with secondhand instruments, Mr. Jack’s Silver Cornet Band played gigs throughout Tennessee. While they were never very good, each performance allowed friends to share a night of music and Tennessee whiskey. That alone deserved an encore. For more music and Jack, visit jackdaniels.com. J A C K D A N I E L’ S

TENNESSEE WHISKEY

Not every drink deserves an encore. Please drink responsibly. ©2013 Jack Daniel’s. All rights reserved. JACK DANIEL’S and OLD NO. 7 are registered trademarks.


Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes on set with Derek Cianfrance in The Place Beyond the Pines

Cop and Robber

New American drama The Place Beyond the Pines reunites director Derek Cianfrance with his Blue Valentine lead Ryan Gosling. Cianfrance speaks to The Skinny about this epic tale of fate and fatherhood

Interview: Tom Seymour

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erek Cianfrance, the 39-year-old director of The Place Beyond the Pines, has the word ‘amigo’ tattooed across the knuckles of his right hand. They were inked a decade ago, after a long day filming; he was in a parking lot in Brooklyn messing around with a malfunctioning camera when a Latino homeless man stumbled up to him asking for help. “Hey amigo,” the vagrant said, before revealing a streaming wound under his shirt. Cianfrance stuck his hand in his pocket and handed the guy some spare change, before turning back to his work. Moments later, he realised what he’d done and turned to offer real help, but the man had already gone. It’s a fitting anecdote for a storyteller prepossessed by dramas of fate and legacy; how the most random moments can become freighted with meaning, writing themselves into lore. “I wanted to make a movie about choices that have actions that have consequences. I wanted to make a film in which the audience has to live with the aftermath of these choices, as my characters do,” Cianfrance explains. If Blue Valentine was a film about the struggle of husband and wife, then his follow-up is the struggle of fathers and sons. The Place Beyond the Pines came to Cianfrance, who released his first feature Brother Tied at the age of 23, when his wife fell pregnant with his second son, Cody, in 2007. “When you hold something so clean in your hands, it makes you realise how dirty you are,” the director says of first holding his son. Pines is, as such, a generational film: about what we bestow on those we create, about what our own creators give us to carry, about what we owe and what we inherit. “The relationships you share in your family are the most intimate relationships you will ever have,” says Cianfrance. “Families have truths they hide from the rest of the world. Cinema is voyeuristic. It allows you to peer through a window at things you aren’t supposed to see. Seeing those secrets up there on the screen; they’re the kind of films I want to make.”

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It’s a fascination that goes back a long way: “I stopped smiling for pictures when I was a kid,” he reveals. “And all I wanted to do was take pictures of people having arguments. I can remember going to Disneyland just after my parents bought me my first camera. My dad’s car got a flat in the middle of the Arizona desert. He was so stressed out, changing this tyre with traffic zipping past him at 70 miles an hour, and I got out of the car and started shooting him with my video camera. It made him so angry, but I thought the scene looked great.” In Blue Valentine, the “deeply, deeply personal” film starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling as star-crossed lovers, Cianfrance tessellated the joyous, chaotic genesis of a marriage with a tragic, guilt-ridden break-up six years down the line. Twelve years in the making and independent in every way, Blue Valentine was both stately, sincere and stirring, a film that felt immediately iconic, as if it belonged in a different, more rarefied era. Where would – where could – Cianfrance go from there? The answer, it seems, is to mine further into himself. “I wrote Blue Valentine when I was 24,” Cianfrance says. “By the time I was able to make it, I didn’t want to make it – I wanted to make Pines. Pines is more pertinent, more of a reflection of where and who I am now.” Separated into three distinct acts, the film is set in Schenectady, an outer town in New York State. Gosling plays Luke Glanton, a drifter – maybe an outlaw – who makes a living riding a motorbike at furious speed around a spherical ‘globe of death’ for a traveling carnival. Watching the show is Eva Mendes’ Romina, a local waitress he seduced when last in town. He left without a word, and she moved on – and in – with someone else. But, without Luke’s knowledge, Romina bore him a son. The discovery of this infant child ignites a dormant paternalism in Gosling’s Luke, who jacks-in the carnival to move in with Robin (Ben

Mendelsohn), a kind and generous body-part dealer, always cradling a drink and with destitution in his stare. Long ago, we learn, Robin robbed banks and Luke – with his “unique skillset” – could do the same. Suddenly on offer is a magic bullet; Luke can be the provider, the uniter, for a family he didn’t know he had. And so, without meaning to, enters Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), an honest, lonely police officer who chases Luke after a disastrous robbery. As Avery must try and plot his way through a police force riddled with corruption, he finds his life becoming evermore intertwined with Luke’s.

“I’d like to have Ryan Gosling in my life all the time, because he makes it a better place” Derek Cianfrance

“I’ve wanted to make a triptych film for 20 years, ever since I watched Abel Gance’s film Napoléon from 1927,” Cianfrance says. “It’s made me raise the bar in terms of the way I shoot movies.” Steve McQueen’s cinematographer and former war photographer Sean Bobbitt was brought on to add his sensory, tangible shooting style to the production, while many of the film’s action sequences are shot in single takes using handheld cameras: “They were inspired by America’s Wildest Police Chases,” he says. The bank robbery sequences were choreographed by a man who had spent nine years in prison for holding up his local branch: “Bank robberies in movies are always so perfect,” Cianfrance says. “What he

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impressed on me again and again is how horribly messy a real bank robbery is.” Cianfrance is, it seems, a team-builder, a leader by consensus, rather than a man intent on impressing his singular vision onto the world. “My two least favourite words as a director are action and cut,” he says. “My films are made by total collaboration, a democracy of ideas. It’s a fullon relationship, and it can take years.” Michelle Williams first got the script for Blue Valentine when she was 21, and didn’t start shooting the film until she was 29. In the months leading up to the production, Gosling and Williams rented a home together on a blue collar budget, living together as husband and wife. More than once, Gosling was forced to sleep on the sofa. Similar methods were used on Pines. Bradley Cooper lived with his on-screen wife Rose Byrne, while Eva Mendes and Mahershala Ali (who plays Kofi, the other man in Mendes’ character Romina’s life) were sent out on dates at the bowling alley. Cianfrance wants his actors to read and then junk the script, to build relationships off-screen and then, on the day of the shoot, interpret the characters through instinct. But Cianfrance’s success cannot be judged without mention of his prime collaborator – a certain Ryan Gosling. Cianfrance is one of two directors Gosling has worked with on a second occasion (along with Nicolas Winding Refn, the director of Drive and the forthcoming Only God Forgives). In Blue Valentine, Gosling even began to resemble his mentor, cutting his hair into a short widow’s peak and growing a beard. “I’d like to have Ryan in my life all the time, because he makes it a better place,” Cianfrance says. “He’s a magic person and a magic actor. I wrote this for Ryan about two years before we shot Blue Valentine. When I asked him if he wanted to play a bank robber, all he asked was to ride a motorbike. I was more than happy to collaborate on that.” The Place Beyond the Pines is released in the UK 12 Apr by StudioCanal

THE SKINNY


LGBT on Film This month a screening of short films aims to reclaim the image of disabled people from being simply ‘inspiration porn’ for a non-disabled audience. We preview the event, part of LGBT History Month

LABYRINTH OF LOVE TOUR

Words: Helen Wright

Tue 9 & Wed 10 April 2013

Exclusive UK Dates

CA R LO S AC O S TA ON BEFORE

Fri 26 & Sat 27 April 2013

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n Sandra Alland’s documentary I’m Not Your Inspiration, artist Nathan Gale recounts watching TV talent show Got to Dance when a troupe of dancers with Down’s syndrome appeared, accompanied by typically sentimental music and patronising commentary. This is what Gale refers to as ‘inspiration porn’: using disabled performers to make non-disabled audiences feel good about themselves. Alland’s film is one half of a commission from LGBT History Month Scotland to produce a work about queer and trans disabled and deaf artists. The second half was a mentorship of six emerging artists and the resultant shorts are screening in Edinburgh in April. They mix poetry, drawing, video diary, a cookery show and more in a blend of fiction and documentary, all forming a necessary counterpoint to the clichés and condescension disabled people at times experience. There’s a strong confessional mode to several of the films. The Tale of Divarov The AbsentMinded features Charles Coventry describing falling in love later in life with a man who lives in the US. Coventry shares holiday snaps and tales of their first meeting – and explains why arbitrary circumstances mean the couple can be together only on a long-distance basis – making for a bravely honest and affecting yarn. Sophie Norman shares her fears of the colour maroon and the Glasgow Necropolis in An Exploration of My Schizophrenia. She retraces a visit to the cemetery, replete with camera crew, to try to overcome her anxieties. Alison Smith’s Kettle’s Boiling offers a rhythmic contemplation of the everyday mixed with memories and existential musings. Smith, who has previously exhibited BSL (British Sign Language) poems at GoMA and Birmingham’s SHOUT festival, chooses Kelvingrove Park as a backdrop for her recital, a place of childhood significance for the artist. Luke’s Sketchbook is a similarly candid expression of pain and the quest for acceptance from trans artist Luke Murphy. He

April 2013

articulates his narrative, this time, via sketches and intermittent blasting music. Veering more towards pastiche of pop genres are Day 12,848 and Glamour Cook with DeafDiva. Alec’s Day 12,848 is an agoraphobe’s answer to a Hollywood sci-fi. Set in a tip of a flat, a reluctant protagonist hides under his duvet, makes endless cups of tea, and plots to sort out his life without much success. Clearly drawing inspiration from such curser-flashing fare as RoboCop and The Matrix, any film geek can relate to Alec’s problematic relationship with reality. Glamour Cook with DeafDiva brings out the sexy subtext barely hidden in the likes of Nigella, Jamie, and Delia’s culinary TV displays. Filmmaker Robert Malone demonstrates how to prepare a diva using simple ingredients of makeup, clothes, and wig. A possible exposition of the gender-performative nature of cisgender celebrities on the cookery show circuit, Malone has so much fun concocting his creation, you can’t help but wish Ready, Steady, Cook had more trans* chefs on its roster. Sandra Alland’s project is also designed to steer some attention towards disability within Scotland’s LGBT scene. Gale notes how body fascism amongst queer communities often results in ignorance and dismissal of people who aren’t able-bodied. The same can be said for filmmaking, with mainstream movies tending to villainise, make fun of, or marginalise characters who don’t exhibit idealised traits of body and mind. (See Javier Bardem’s facially disfigured baddie in Skyfall or the fat kid with learning disabilities in Ted for some particularly obnoxious recent examples.) This collection of shorts is thus antidote and celebration in one, staying away from inspiration-pornography and stereotypes while fostering a diverse selection of homegrown talent. Screening Queer & Trans* Deaf & Disabled Video Project, Media Education, Edinburgh, 7pm, £3 (£2)

Fri 17 & Sat 18 May 2013 DANCE CONSORTIUM presents A SADLER’S WELLS PRODUCTION

Wed 22 to Sat 25 May 2013

edtheatres.com

*

BOX OFFICE 0131 529 6000* GROUPS (8+) 0131 529 6005 *Booking fees. Registered charity SC018605.

Festival Theatre

edinburgh 13/29 NICOLSON ST EH8 9FT

www.lgbthistory.org.uk

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Get ready for a

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hoes, bags, sunglasses, scarves, jewels… a girl can never have too many accessories, and thanks to Fashion Fling, this season you really can have it all. Kicking off on Saturday 6 April and running until Sunday 21, it’s all about the accessories. Discover spring/summer’s must-wear trends, get advice from the experts on how to wear the latest looks, plus don’t miss the chance to win designer prizes in our Spring Fling competition. We only wish this fling could last forever...

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Irresistible offers Throughout Fashion Fling fortnight, some of your favourite brands will be treating you to extra-special offers and even more savings. Head to McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Swindon, listen out for announcements and make that must-have yours. Kurt Geiger: RRP £160 Outlet £29

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M&S Outlet: RRP £29.50 Outlet £21

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Livingston


The Age of ‘Poli-Pop’ Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip reconvene as Neon Neon to talk Italian communists, political pop and ‘extreme concerts’

here are some intentionally ‘extreme’ moments on this record, just to keep it in place.” Bryan ‘Boom Bip’ Hollon discusses some of the song writing techniques he and Gruff Rhys have utilised on their second collaborative album as Neon Neon, Praxis Makes Perfect. This ‘technique’ involves the liberal sprinkling of clichéd songwriting tropes into their songs, seemingly at random. In a previous interview with The Skinny, Hollon admitted that when writing their debut album, Stainless Style, the question had arisen as to why so many songs contained the word ‘Tonight’ – and so the chorus of one of the standout tracks on that album runs thusly: “Tonight, Belfast, I’m saying my goodbyes. Tonight, Belfast, the distance in your eyes.” It is, he admits, their way of keeping things fun – a sentiment the Super Furry Animals frontman agrees with, noting that Dr Zhivago is probably the closest thing to Belfast on the new album, chiming in with a deadpan: “I think having the word ‘Doctor’ in the chorus lends it an air of... emergency.” Stainless Style presented itself as a biographical musical, based on the life of John DeLorean, he of “The way I see it, if you’re going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style” fame. The 80s synth-pop album they produced was a revelation, and not just for the novelty value. The serious musical chops that went into it garnered plenty of deserved praise, even a Mercury nomination (winners, Elbow – Seldom Seen Kid). For Praxis Makes Perfect, they’ve alighted on the life of another unheralded maverick, choosing the Italian communist sympathiser and wealthy publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (Rhys: “I pronounced it wrong for the first month or so”) as their subject of choice. So what drew them to this particular subject? Rhys helpfully enlightens. “I was always into the story. The contradictions in his life appealed – there’s an endless supply of subjects for songs.” He’s not wrong there. Feltrinelli had been born into great wealth but had always taken issue with the way ordinary workers were treated. He joined, and subsequently fell out with the communist party, travelled to Cuba to meet Fidel Castro, and died in 1972 under strange circumstances (though he probably blew himself up), but not before publishing Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, having smuggled the manuscript out of the Soviet Union, whose regime were rather disapproving of the book’s less than flattering account of the Russian Revolution. “Ultimately,” Rhys continues, “the songs come from the subject. As with John DeLorean, it’s the extremes of his life that make him so easy to write about. The two come from extremely different political standpoints and places – so we made the first record about an American industrialist. Feltrinelli was a European industrialist but he was also a communist and had a huge influence by virtue of the books he published and the ideas he put out to people.” Rhys denies, despite some of the ideas broached in the album, that it’s an overt political statement. This comes despite the fact that the subject matter of some of the songs has been transposed to the modern day. For example, Mid Century Modern Nightmare uses extracts from Feltrinelli’s 1970 pirate radio exhortation to reject the forces of big business whilst suggesting that the problems from that time have shown no signs of dissipating. “I suppose it’s a good time to talk about different ideas than extreme

April 2013

capitalism,” he admits. “What’s so interesting about Feltrinelli is that he wasn’t in an ideological strait-jacket. He was kicked out of the Communist Party because he was publishing what were considered to be dissident texts, anti-communist, even though he was a socialist himself. He was close to Fidel Castro but he did question his treatment of artists and gay people, so he was a really interesting person living in an extremely violent time. I think the books he published are inspirational, so it’s because of that we decided to put out a Communist Europop album.” Turns out Communist Europop sounds a lot like the 80s synth pop of Neon Neon’s debut effort. Not a bad thing of course, but not the era with which their subject matter is associated. Hollon explains that this is because Neon Neon, with Stainless Style, had essentially established their sound. “I think we wanted to detach ourselves a bit from the story of Feltrinelli and that era. It would have been easy to take a 50s–60s library of music to set the tone but that would have felt like a departure from what we’ve established. A large part of Neon Neon is just for the pure enjoyment and entertainment value of what we’re doing and not necessarily get too deep or too earnest or too opinionated on the subjects we’re dealing with. So that’s why we have that contradiction and separation of the story from the sound. Even though we’re dealing with heavy subject matter it’s still sometimes a really shiny

synth-based package. However, with this record we have an EP which goes along with it called The Years of Lead [a period of social unrest, primarily in Italy, during the Cold War era] which deals with

“I suppose it’s a good time to talk about different ideas than extreme capitalism” Gruff Rhys

the more heavy aspects of Feltrinelli’s life. It’s something which is a first for us because we’re getting a bit more deep and heavy with the tone – that’s something which is going to be released with the new album. It’s a departure from our sound but gives it some balance, adds some weight and heaviness.” At this juncture, Rhys interrupts with his own description of the album’s sound: “Europop, Thai disco and Yugoslav New Wave.” “Yeah,” continues Hollon, “We call it PoliPop; is that, like, a new genre we can establish right now? Political pop?” The Skinny promises

to do everything it can to help spread the word [see headline], an offer gratefully received. In the meantime, Neon Neon have arranged a live show produced in conjunction with playwright Tim Price using (as well as the music, naturally) an elaborate set with actors and projections all designed to tell the story of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. At the time of writing, there are only a handful of these shows confirmed, as Rhys admits that “it’s by far the most ambitious production I’ve ever been involved with and so it’s not particularly ‘tourable.’” He does promise it’s likely that Neon Neon will add dates “in some form or other” across the whole country but those who manage to get tickets for these shows will get to see his vision of an “extreme concert” come to life. “We’re going to have the audience very much involved and hopefully contribute a lot of ideas. But the music will be the dominating aspect. On the record there’s some narration – so that’s part of the record and it will be part of the songs on stage. We’ll be involving the audience quite a bit, but they don’t have to think too much about it, or clap along or anything.” Who says you can’t clap along to Communist Europop? Praxis Makes Perfect is released via Lex Records on 29 Apr Neon Neon play Forbidden Fruit Festival, Dublin on 1 Jun neonneonofficial.tumblr.com

Photo: Mark James

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Interview: Paul Mitchell

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Once Upon A Time In Iraq Interview: Bram E. Gieben

Hassan Blasim is touring the UK to promote his new collection of short stories, The Iraqi Christ. He talks to us about censorship, the surreal and violent imagery in his work, and the future of Arabic literature

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assan Blasim’s fiction is angry, often surreal, mired in the violence, paranoia and chaos of the Iraqi occupation and its aftermath. The stories of his new collection The Iraqi Christ are not exploitative ‘sniper narratives’ told down the barrel of an invading soldier’s gun, nor are they chest-beating misery memoirs telling tales of oppression and violence. They are concerned with the humanity of their characters, expressed by Blasim in prose that is by turns brutal, mythic, grittily journalistic, fantastical and macabre. Blasim’s work refuses to flinch from the darker side of human nature, and displays a visionary flair for the symbolic, the anthropomorphic, and the supernatural. His work enters territory first mapped by Kafka, J.G. Ballard and William S. Burroughs – realms where other Arab writers have rarely set foot. Blasim settled in Finland eight years ago, after a four-year trek through Europe as an illegal migrant, facing extreme hardship, danger and depredation. For all the dark and intense imagery in his novels, and the focused, iconoclastic intelligence of his conversation, he is a warm, friendly interviewee, laughing frequently. When asked about the gulf that separates him from most Arabic writers, both thematically and aesthetically, he gives a wry smile. “They write in a different style in Iraq,” he says, citing a long list of problematic encounters with publishers and reviewers in Islamic countries. The problem is this: “Iraqi writers still care more about language. I care about story. If you want to be a writer, first you must know how to use the language, you must study it – it’s a very classical approach... when you stray from the classical language, you put yourself inside another taboo.” This problem with the language of his stories has seen Blasim’s work banned in some places, and ignored by publishers and newspapers across the Arabic world. “Many Arabic readers feel I use angry, dirty, filthy language,” he explains. “I care more about the street language, and what happens in the street. For years I wrote poems, and they were nearer to rap – many readers also felt that this was not poetry, because it was so dirty and angry.” Blasim embraced “the language of the streets,” especially in the cadences of his characters’ speech: “I just started to write dialogue how people talk – it’s not like I am doing something new, or surprising,” he says modestly. “I just hear how people talk about politics, how they talk about death. People in the street in Iraq make jokes when a bomb goes off. They joke about death because it’s normal – they have lived for a long time with war.” The stories depict a side of Iraqi culture that the West has rarely shown – one that only someone who has lived there could describe. “The problem is that there are not many publishers [in the West] who are searching for Iraqi writers,” says Blasim. Then there is the problem of Western military intervention: “If you are a writer or a journalist in Iraq, or an artist, you fight inside the culture, just trying to build something. And then the West shows up with another army and destroys everything...” Blasim’s work is far from documentary retellings of his own experiences, although he frequently crops up as a character. “I know how to tell stories in a literary way – I’m not interested in just reporting what I have seen in my life, in the war and while living in Iraq. All the while, while I was seeing these things, I was an artist on the inside,” he says. His stories are full of transformation, possession, and strange, symbolic supernatural agency – the stuff of nightmares. “Violence is nightmare,” says Blasim. “I

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remember one terrible week I had in prison in Iraq. But for me, now, it is not real. It is a nightmare... it’s ever-present – war is nightmare, violence is nightmare. Iraqi people talk a lot about nightmares. We say: ‘Every person has five nightmare stories.’ Bad stories, about his life. Because when you live for fifteen years inside the different rhythm of the war... it’s not a nightmare, it’s something real, in their life. I don’t think that there is always a very strong line between reality and dreams. I think when you have broken this line, it answers a lot of questions for me, in my work.” As editor of Iraqstory.com, Blasim praises the new generation of Iraqi writers for experimenting with new narrative forms and techniques, but says they still have much to learn. “In the next twenty years, a great many changes will take place in Iraqi literature. We’ll replace the classical Arabic concerns with feeling, with love and death as this big tragedy. People won’t be scared to use humour when talking about tragedies, or to make jokes about religion,” he predicts. Blasim’s next project is Iraq + 100, which lays down the gauntlet to Iraqi writers to describe their country in 100 years time. It is “a new kind of writing” entirely, as there is almost no tradition of speculative fiction in the Arab world. Nonetheless, says Blasim, as Iraqi writers, “People are always asking us ‘What will happen in Iraq in fifty years time? How do you see your country in the future?’ It’s a challenge first, to write something that’s never been done in Iraqi literature, but also it’s a chance to ask our literary people what they think about Iraq – how it’s going, where it is headed.” How does Blasim feel when his books are banned, as his first collection, The Madman of Freedom Square, was in Jordan last year? He laughs heartily. “It’s nothing! In Iraq, I made

“If you are a writer or a journalist in Iraq, or an artist, you fight inside the culture, just trying to build something. Then the West shows up with an army and destroys everything” Hassan Blasim

short films... I had problems all the time with the secret police. I’ve dealt with this for a long time. Getting my books banned is no surprise.” Blasim has an elegant solution – last year he e-published both Arabic versions of his collections for free. “The bans are nothing really,” he smiles. Blasim is a vociferous champion of the internet: “Many of my friends in Finland say: ‘You use Facebook too much!’ I say yes, but we don’t use Facebook all the time just for say, nice food, or ‘Oh, you have a nice dog.’ We take it seriously. We criticise politics, we criticise culture. For me the internet, when I met it for the first time in 2002, or 2003, I just said ‘YES. Now nobody can control me.’ Because people simply don’t have the imagination to figure out how to control me if I want to write an article online. No Arabic newspaper

BOOKS

around the world would publish it. Even if you are a famous writer, if you use this language, and you are free, then no-one will publish you.” His fiction is not always a comfortable place to inhabit, not as a reader, and not for Blasim himself: “I charge myself inside the story,” he explains. “I ask about myself, what I do, what I write. In this world, people die. Should I write a short story, when people die? Sometimes I feel guilty, like I’m a bad person. So all the time I have this dialogue inside so many stories, about literature, about books. It’s personal. Many times I’ve had to answer the question, ‘Okay, must I stop writing?’ It’s bullshit, nothing. But still, I want to talk about when we lived in Baghdad, and how important literature and art and theatre were for people. Because it’s a very big step to make life about peace, and art and democracy, and now it’s very difficult.” In interviews, Blasim often quotes from the 13th century poet Rumi: “The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.” Why is this quotation so enduring for him? “If you come here to Finland, a cold country, and some time you go to the forest, and you meet some old man who is drunk, he is talking about truth, also. That is what we are fighting for inside Iraqi culture – because truth is coming from everywhere. You can never say to somebody, ‘This is really the truth. This is my truth.’ Truth is still a dream. All our lives, we search for an answer to this. I don’t like people who say they have the ultimate truth.” Blasim gives another half-sad smile. “Maybe there is someone asleep somewhere, and maybe when he dreams, what he dreams is the truth. But for me, truth is everywhere.” The Iraqi Christ is published by Comma Press, out now, cover price £9.99 www.hassanblasim.com

THE SKINNY


April 2013

NEW VANS STORE 185 BUCHANAN STREET, GLASGOW

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© 2013 Vans, Inc. Anti-Flag photographed by Lisa Johnson Rock Photographer


Freedom Is A Constant Struggle From 18-21 Apr, Arika return to Tramway with a weekend of events exploring radical black art forms. What are they, we hear you ask? Allow director Barry Esson to explain...

Photo: Euan Robertson

Interview: Bram E. Gieben

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s one half of London-based hip hop collective Task Force’s sibling leadership, Chester P has already carved a niche following with his group’s series of Music From The Corner LPs. From there, Chester released 2008 debut From The Ashes to similar acclaim, and though he currently remains a cult concern, the man himself holds no qualms with his mission to make it big. “I know world domination is possible with the right push,” he recently told BritishHipHop.co.uk. “And I believe more than ever the world needs someone like me.” See Chester put his money where his mouth is at O2 ABC on 17 Apr. As someone who’s already had considerable world-wide exposure, Edwyn Collins (O2 ABC, 18 Apr) needs no introduction. Recent years have seen the veteran Scottish songsmith talked about more for his health issues than his musical output, but with the recently released Understated, Collins has cemented his return with a trilogy of well-received albums on a par with any run in his back catalogue. With a particularly rapturous welcome no doubt in the pipeline for this home territory gig, Collins’ purple patch looks set to continue. English singer-songwriter Charlotte Aitchison, better known as Charli XCX (O2 ABC2, 18 Apr), has been bubbling under for some time now. Yet while her debut album True Romance has been a year overdue already, Aitchison has hardly been laying low, notably scoring an international hit, I Love It, with Swedish duo Icona Pop. This month, however, finally sees the release of her first album proper coinciding nicely with this Glasgow appearance. It’s almost as if she planned it all! As a band who kicked off their 2009 eponymous debut album with a track called Set Guitars To Kill, Belfast’s And So I Watch You From Afar (O2 ABC, 19 Apr) are far from the wilting, Gatsbyesque voyeurs their name may suggest. Their muscular guitar fretwork has been putting the rock into math-rock for three albums now, with last month’s All Hail Bright Futures kicking off this UK tour. We suggest you get up nice and close when they arrive in Glasgow. Public Enemy (O2 ABC, 22 Apr) had already staked their claim in music history some twenty years ago with a string of polemically-charged and highly influential albums. Yet rather than rest on their considerable laurels, the hip hop collective have kept things active with no fewer than six albums since the turn of the century, with two last year alone. Socio-economic change just doesn’t rest for front-man Chuck D and his cohorts. Show your allegiance at this sure-to-be blistering evening. Yeeeah boooiiii! [Darren Carle]

facebook.com/o2abcglasgow www.o2abcglasgow.co.uk

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arry Esson is one of Arika’s directors, along with Bryony McIntyre. They devised the muchadmired INSTAL events in the early 00s, and the ground-breaking audiovisual festival at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Kill Your Timid Notion. Their new programme combines radical performance art with extended discussions, salons and lectures from key figures in a myriad of performance traditions. “We have a really developed position now as to what we think is useful, or interesting, or could be pursued around, not just music in its aesthetic sense – just reducing it to sound – but also in the way it activates us socially, or erotically. How it affects us as a community,” says Esson. Moving away from the festival format towards an episodic structure with adequate space for engagement, Esson describes Arika events as “a cross between a music or a film festival with something that is more like a live magazine.” Their next event is a meditation on freedom and the role of improvisation within radical black art forms, specifically poetry and free jazz. With daytime sessions dedicated to discussions with leading thinkers from the radical black arts movement, and evenings featuring unique performances and artistic collaborations, Esson and his colleagues hope to open up discussion in Glasgow about the rich tradition of improvisation in black culture. Two eminent thinkers and writers joining them to explore this territory are experimental poet and theorist Fred Moten, a long-term friend of Arika, and one of the intellectual heavyweights about whom he has written extensively – poet, playwright, publisher and activist Amiri Baraka. “Baraka was involved with the Beat Generation, he was a Marxist theorist, and was one of the key figures who established the Black Arts Movement, which was founded on the idea of black nationalism,” Esson explains. “He identified as gay in the 1950s, there were rumours he went out with Frank O’Hara, but then moved to be quite homophobic in the 60s. One of the areas where his position is quite controversial is on sexuality. It’s had a massive effect on his own life. He is now a prominent AIDS activist, and is very involved in queer and lesbian politics in New York. He is incredibly influential, but not unproblematic.”

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Moten meanwhile “tries to use queer theory to read through a number of important figures; to try and queer the black radical tradition, in terms of the way that queer theory understands gender and sexuality as a performance, to get to an understanding of ‘blackness’ as a performance, and race as constructed. As a white, Scottish guy, I’d be quite nervous thinking about what position I have to question the link between politics and aesthetics in the black radical tradition, but Fred is the great chronicler of that tradition. One of the things we are going to talk about is what it means to discuss that tradition from a position outside of it.” Joining the likes of Moten and Baraka are musicians Henry Grimes, a noted double-bassist, and woodwind player Daniel Carter. Both leading figures in the ‘free jazz’ movement, they will be involved in performances and discussions that explore the types of spaces created by improvisation-based art forms in black culture. “Free jazz, free verse: all of these things make specific claims on freedom,” says Esson. “We want to question whether they still live up to them, and how we can engage with these ideas.” Freedom through artistic expression with a focus on improvisation has been vital to radical black culture. “How, as an oppressed people, would you understand the idea of freedom, if you’ve never really experienced it?” asks Esson, paraphrasing Moten. “There are all kinds of social spaces which are produced which give people the ability to enact ideas of freedom – free jazz clubs, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in Chicago, the Black Arts Movement.” Key figures from these movements, such as AACM co-founder Wadada Leo Smith, and John Tilbury, a European avant garde composer associated with the AACM, will also be in attendance. “People started to embody these ideas of freedom aesthetically, via these art forms. Fred describes it as the testing out or the enacting of an idea of freedom, when you can’t actually be free. We want to ask whether, through experiencing this performance, you can engage with the ideas of freedom they are embodying. ” Tramway, 18-21 Apr Day pass: £6 / Festival Pass: £14. Book tickets at the Arika website: www.arika.org.uk

THE SKINNY


Summer Festivals: Carry Me Home

Whether the party’s in or outdoors, north or south of the border, The Skinny does not discriminate in this whistle-stop tour of the UK’s varied festival circuit

Words: Ray Philp Photography: Sol Nicol

OUTSKIRTS (20 Apr, Platform, The Bridge, Westerhouse Road, Glasgow) Glasgow-based Outskirts’ comparative modesty of size seems inversely proportionate to its artistic ambition. Entering its second year, Outskirts’ outre exploration of music, literature, visual art and performance offers a unique proposition among Scotland’s festival circuit, more concerned perhaps with beginning a dialogue than a sing-a-long. DON’T MISS: A Hawk and a Hacksaw are probably Outskirts’ most accessible proposition, but anyone familiar with their effervescent, Balkan folk-splicing handiwork know that the Albuquerque duo are hardly the craven types. Frisk Frugt evokes a dollhouse-bound Steve Reich in his pared down, rough-hewn electronic and organic textures, and amongst visual art installations from Florence To and Jasp Blonk is Dr Voxoid, who provides a soundtrack to an event that is about as playful as you could imagine. TICKETS: £15 (includes food), under 12s free, concessions apply www.platform-online.co.uk

ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES (10-11 May and 21-23 Jun, Camber Sands, East Sussex) All Tomorrow’s Parties’ will host two festivals in May and June, curated by TV On The Radio and Deerhunter respectively. Situated at Butlins in Minehead until last year, ATP has gone turncoat to a rival seaside holiday camp in Camber Sands, Pontins. Though ATP might look like a relatively civilised affair at first, it’d be hard not to feel like a cumbersome child as you drunkenly clamber into a go-kart, or pour shrapnel into the arcade. Besides the private chalets, the festival is geared to fostering a relaxed, inclusive atmosphere – there are no VIP sections onsite, and artists will happily mingle with revellers/riff-raff/ anyone with drugs. DON’T MISS: De La Soul and DOOM lead the pack for TV On The Radio’s esoteric line-up, but venturing further into the rabbit hole of the Brooklyn quintet’s furtive interest in hip-hop, you’ll find El-P and Death Grips staring back from the vortex. Having shaken off that particularly brutal, brilliant encounter, Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s loose-limbed set of lysergic grooves are worth seeking out for some respite. Deerhunter put themselves into the heart of proceedings as they perform three of their most beloved albums – Cryptograms, Microcastle and Halcyon Digest. Steve Reich, accompanied by chamber orchestra London Sinfonietta, has also been added to the bill. TICKETS: £720 for four-person chalet (£180pp), larger chalets available www.atpfestival.com

KNOCKENGORROCH (23-26 May, Galloway) Of Scotland’s alternative festivals, Knockengorroch has reasonable claim to boast the broadest array of music, in geographical terms at least. Traditional Scottish staples jostle for space alongside Balkan funk, afrobeat, hip-hop, jazz of both the swinging and corrosive nature, and countless shades of dub on the Galloway hills; a world music gathering in an otherwise rather secluded part of the country. Its roots inspiration, ahem, runs deep, as the absence of corporate regalia and Buckied teenagers “gettin’ mad wae it” will testify.

April 2013

DON’T MISS: Any act that manages to encapsulate Knockengorroch’s pan-global ethos as completely as Asian Dub Foundation’s Molotov cocktail of RATM-style hip-hop, anchor-weighted dub and serrated ragga is worth a look. And in fact, there is: Luke Vibert, a man who has turned his seasoned hand to acid house, jungle, hiphop, lounge and so much more for some of the finest electronic music labels around; Warp, Rephlex, Ninja Tune and Planet Mu, to name a few. Otherwise, just pick something with a funny name: Grandma Staflasch and the Furious Grandads seem like a laugh. TICKETS: £77-92 (£92 for four-day adult camping), under 11s free, concessions apply www.knockengorroch.org.uk

FIELD DAY (25 May, Victoria Park Road, Hackney, London) A modestly-sized field in Hackney – lined by 30ft trees and more bunting than a seaside village fete in WWII - is the setting for one of the strongest festival line-ups in the UK – that it’s only on for the one day says enough about the numerous and profound first world problems you’re going to encounter (“Django Django or Egyptian Hip-Hop?”; “James Yorkston or Bat For Lashes?”). Just please, for the love of Christ, don’t ruin it by Instagramming this eminently Instagrammable festival, which will basically look like an art school riot sponsored by the Sunglass Hut. DON’T MISS: From Bat For Lashes’ spectral, fairytale song-writing to the unhinged, tar-stained prism of Fucked Up’s exceptional hardcore, there’s an abundance of quality here curated with more craft than most festivals.

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Fence favourite James Yorkston’s tremulous folk compositions seldom fail to please, and the misleadingly-monikered Egyptian Hip Hop’s soft, prickling keyboards and Yes-echoing harmonies show impressive progress from their Hudson Mohawke-produced 2009 debut. Meanwhile, a kaleidoscope of electronic music is represented at Field Day, with Daniel Avery’s hedonistic machine funk, Daphni’s modular synth freakouts, Shed’s cavernous ‘90s warehouse techno and the flesh-stripping, Roland-powered brutality of Karenn. But, for all that, do make special effort to see Charanjit Singh. His acid house-via-Bombay jams, from his seldom-heard 1982 album, Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat, will reward an audience curious for something completely removed from the ordinary. TICKETS: £54.50 www.fielddayfestivals.com

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Best of the rest At Home

Photo: Sol Nicol

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ROCKNESS (7-9 Jun, Clune Farm, Dores, Loch Ness) RockNess touts itself as Scotland’s most picturesque festival, and, before the inevitable onslaught of johnnies, neon debris and throttled Strongbow-branded plastic, it certainly lives up to the billing. Lying on the banks of Loch Ness, the festival’s main stage is a sight to behold at sundown, whether you opt to join in with the rammy at the front or nestle yourself on the grassy slopes to observe the mayhem from afar. As the festival enters its eighth year its gradual move towards a Balado-shaped middle-ground hasn’t gone unnoticed, but it remains a strong proposition as a major festival with an emphasis on electronic music, and it does so on a scale unrivalled in Scotland. DON’T MISS: Madness are hard to beat for sheer energy and entertainment value, and much the same could be said of Basement Jaxx, whose live shows are always carnivalesque affairs. Despite some more ostensibly illustrious names, Sub Club residents Harri & Domenic are among the best very DJs on the bill; those that prefer something a little more accessible could do worse than Jessie Ware, whose excellent UKgarage/pop hybrid album of last year puts her quite a bit ahead of her contemporaries. TICKETS: £59-£229 (£139 for three-day adult camping) www.rockness.co.uk

T IN THE PARK (12-14 Jul, Balado, Kinross-shire, Scotland) For a festival that draws over 85,000, effectively making the site, for one July weekend, Scotland’s fifth most populated area, T In The Park is as polemic as they come. Earnest muso types give their canes a good shake at the festival’s brazenly populist programming, but such harrumphing is

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often about as audible as a debate on real ale at the front of the Slam Tent. In past years, TITP’s golden nuggets have been found skulking around the festival’s peripheries (alongside actual nuggets, of course), but some of this year’s biggest, shiniest jewels are given pride of place at Balado. And, as the festival celebrates its 20th anniversary, it comes with a sense of occasion few others can match. DON’T MISS: Kraftwerk’s return to Scotland is arguably worth the cost of admission alone. Otherwise, cut-glass New York trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the emotionally volatile Modest Mouse and UK indie’s answer to Bill Oddie, British Sea Power, form part of a pretty strong spine to TITP’s 20th birthday celebrations. A surprisingly considered Slam Tent line-up pulls off possibly the Scottish festival coup of the summer where electronic music is concerned: a back-to-back set from Berghain princelings Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann. An improvement on Crookers, anyway. TICKETS: £75-£194 (£194 for three day adult camping) www.tinthepark.com

WICKERMAN (26-27 Jul, East Kirkcarswell, Dundrennan) The Wickerman Festival – not to be confused with the 1973 Christopher Lee-starring horror film, after which the festival is named – has been a long-standing alternative to the omni-mayhem of Scotland’s larger jamborees, inviting around 15,000 revellers to a relatively compact, undulating piece of countryside in East Kirkcarswell, Dumfries and Galloway. The end of the festival is marked by the burning of a large straw man, around which everyone stands and imagines their worst enemy writhing in the flames, ya wee dick. DON’T MISS: Primal Scream, obviously. The Kevin Rowland-fronted Dexys add another splash of sepia to proceedings, as do Public Service

Broadcasting, although the latter go about it with a rather more radical set-up, weaving together a patchwork of archive footage, propaganda clips and other parts of salvaged nostalgia around an expansive ensemble of analogue and electronic instruments. Of the “rousing Scottish folk-pop” category, which The Wickerman Festival never seems to think it has enough of, Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire and KT Tunstall are your go-to guys (and gal). Of the Solus Tent, Fat Goth’s barbrawl shred of guitars and the expansive, hornassisted ensemble of Woodenbox are particularly eye- and ear-catching additions. TICKETS: £65-£100 (£100 for two-day adult camping), under 12s free, concessions apply

rew at the Bog’s second festival at Bogbain Farm (4 May) is lead by Miaoux Miaoux, whose rhythmic, Casio-programmed fissures are sure to open up a little more in the Inverness-shire air, and a keenly priced £30 camping ticket for a lineup that also includes Olympic Swimmers, FOUND and Kitty The Lion makes the one-day festival an ever-more tempting proposition. Eden festival (7-9 Jun) in Moffat, Dumfries & Galloway is stuffed with a relentlessly optimistic rabble, from UK jungle veteran Shy FX to Sam and the Womp, a troupe of bubble-gum-coated gypsy dub ditties. Mr Motivator also features, no doubt filling out his lycra onesie with all the grace of a sack of potatoes packed by Optimus Prime. The fuck? Sadly set to be stripped of its psychedelic mural, Kelburn Castle nevertheless remains one of Scotland’s foremost party destinations as it hosts two in consecutive months: the Psychedelic Forest Disco on 11 May, headlined by JD Twitch, John Morales, Den Haan, Mia Dora and Kris Wasabi, and the larger Kelburn Garden Party (6-7 Jul), featuring UK hip-hop stalwart Mr Scruff, as well as Hidden Orchestra and Conquering Animal Sound. Though Belladrum (2-3 Aug) have yet to announce their line-up at the time of going to print, Frightened Rabbit, Beverley Knight and Stanley Odd were among last year’s headliners, which should give you some idea of what’s on offer.

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rimal Scream, Mystery Jets and Roni Size are among the headliners plunging into Kendal Calling’s (26-28 Jul) Lake District setting, but the following month’s Green Man Festival (15-18 Aug), situated in South Wales’ Brecon Beacons, offers a more distinctive landscape in more ways than www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk one: an ensemble of acts as diverse as Erol Alkan & Daniel Avery, Band Of Horses, Edwyn Collins, DOUNE THE RABBIT HOLE Lau and Fuck Buttons rather mirror the jagged, rough-hewn plains and slopes of the Black (22-25 Aug, Doune, Stirlingshire) Mountains. Like RockNess, Doune The Rabbit Hole takes adBoomTown (8-11 Aug), a Hampshire festival vantage of a scenic lochside landscape, but otherwise the two couldn’t be more opposed. Carron with ‘districts’ that mimic a city layout (stages are called ‘Town Centre,’ ‘Chinatown Theatre,’ Valley is a popular fishing spot, and perhaps it’s ‘Bad Apple Bar’ and so on), curates something no coincidence that the festival has adopted oriented more to soundsystem music, soul, ska an approach that requires some patience. Last and reggae: dub innovator Lee Scratch Perry, year’s set-times were, to say the least, a little haphazard, and you may find the experience more funk ensemble Parov Stelar & Band and d&b leglike a dawdle through a really, really big park than end LTJ Bukem are notable headliners here. If you can wait until September - and once a 100mph vom-a-thon. Just as well, since, being you manage to divert your eyes from the Manic a family festival and all, there will be a lot of wee Street Preachers’ headline appearance – then nippers about. DON’T MISS: Meursault and Rachel Sermanni Festival No. 6 (13-15 Sep) in Portmeirion, North Wales is a connoisseur’s spread of well-heeled lead a tight, coherent programme of sinewy oddities, as evidenced by appearances from folk and soft, bruised balladry, but Galoshins, coruscating synth and guitar pop quintet returning after last year’s memorable thrash of Dutch Uncles, the reverb-on-diazepam diet of primary-coloured guitar funk sketches, will set out to prove that DTRH can step it up a gear when Hookworms and The Staves’ neat and nimble folk harmonies. Seminal Chicago house DJ and prothe mood (or axe) strikes. ducer Frankie Knuckles leads a stellar bill of DJs, TICKETS: £78-£88 (£88 for four-day adult among which disco edit master Greg Wilson and camping), under 12s free Belgian house tyro San Soda also feature. www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk

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Quiz Master

Playwright, actor and ‘amateur cosmologist’ Rob Drummond has two new plays coming up – Quiz Show and The Riot Of Spring premiere in April and May this year. We caught up with him to talk about life, the universe and wrestling

Interview: Gareth K Vile Photography: Eoin Carey

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hen he isn’t fighting muscly men or being shot at by audience members, Rob Drummond is a serious chap. “I don’t understand people who aren’t interested in big questions,” he says. “I loathe talk of mortgages and tax returns – it bores me to tears. Yes, we have to deal with these things but please don’t talk to me about them while I’m trying to live.” Now that his hit from the Traverse’s Fringe programme, Bullet Catch, is taking him to the USA, this intellectual drive has helped him to write two new pieces: Quiz Show for the Traverse and The Riot of Spring as part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Auteurs season. Since his previous successes – including the spectacular Wrestling, which had him rucking with Scotland’s finest sports entertainment grapplers – have featured Drummond in a starring role, Quiz Show almost feels like a return to the classic format of scripted theatre. “I’ve never hidden my desire to be considered a serious playwright who writes, well, plays with characters and a plot and a fourth wall and all that,” he admits. “With Quiz Show the format came first. I knew I wanted to take the structure, rules, atmosphere of a quiz show and use them to tell a story. I just didn’t know what story.” While the advertising hints at dark secrets and mysterious hosts who are offering greater prizes than a mere holiday in Benidorm, Quiz Show has that Drummond enthusiasm for big ideas. He explains that “the quest for truth was an obvious step. The story itself, you’ll just need to wait and see.” And although he claims that had he not been persuaded by an advisor of studies to study theatre at university, he could have easily become a writer for television or film, he enjoys the freedom of live performance. “Well it’s immediate, that’s appealing,” he continues. “I can pretty much say or do what I want without delay and interference.” Since he has frequently taken detours to discuss the vastness of the universe and existential despair (in Bullet Catch, nominally a study of the vaudeville trick), or childhood fantasies of macho violence (Wrestling, unsurprisingly), Drummond makes full use of theatre as a place of ideas and debate. It allows him to entertain his intellectual curiosity. “I don’t care what colour your curtains are, I care that electrons behave differently when they are being filmed by a camera!” he insists. “What the fuck is that about? I don’t understand people who are not curious, people who don’t die a little inside when they realise they will probably go to their deaths knowing on balance next to nothing about the universe they exist in.” While Quiz Show plugs into contemporary society’s anxiety about television, snatches its tired style and chucks it back refreshed and sparkling with ideas, The Riot of Spring goes back a century to the premiere of The Rite of Spring: a ballet that caused a huge fuss because of its startling originality. If Quiz Show throws down with truth, Riot hustles originality. One of the characters is an artist driven to insanity by his need to be original. Drummond has made his mark by applying unexpected juxtapositions – fighting and personal monologues, or suicide and stage magic – but he is less worried about being unique. “I used to worry about it. What’s the point in even doing this, it’s all been done before. What’s the point?” he says. “Even The Rite of Spring, which seemed to come from nowhere but Stravinsky’s soul, had its sources.” “I don’t worry so much about it now because I think there’s something quite beautiful in the

April 2013

fact that originality cannot exist.” He has found an alternative to originality, fortunately. “It’s about honouring those who have gone before and taking their gifts and making them relevant to your situation, borrowing, adding, changing and then hopefully leaving enough for the next lot.” Drummond might be looking forward to the future generations already, but he is still regarded as part of a new generation of theatre artists – the NTS Auteurs season has lined him up next to Kieran Hurley, another graduate of Glasgow University, Nic Green and Claire Cunningham: all performers who, while not necessarily sharing themes or even genres (Cunningham is most famous as a choreographer, for example), do have a common enthusiasm for new ideas and expressing a personal vision.

“I think there’s something quite beautiful in the fact that originality cannot exist” Rob Drummond

However, in presenting two works close together, Drummond has managed to both bridge the Edinburgh-Glasgow divide and the one between Live Art, traditionally more of a west coast matter, and The Script, supported in the identity of The Traverse as a theatre for ‘new writing.’ This eclecticism might come from that same restless energy that seems to have him in training for every other production he writes. “I mentioned earlier that I wanted to be just a plain old playwright, and that’s true,” he reflects. “But I also want to be an actor. And a director. And a wrestler. And a magician. And a dancer. And a filmmaker. And an astronaut.” Whether the next production will be Rob Drummond’s Gravitational Leap Of Faith, he refuses to stop asking questions and trying new things. “Why would anyone not want to do everything? We’re only here for a short time, it’s criminal not to try to get as much out of it as possible,” he continues. “At the moment people seem to be allowing me to make this type of theatre and that’s great, so for now, I’ll do as much of that as I can. But I’m still also a playwright and a husband and a football fan and an amateur cosmologist.” He is also an entertainer – willing to take a bullet to entertain during The Fringe or get beaten up by wrestlers. Quiz Show, although it is as much a thriller as a parody of celebrity culture, follows up on his interest in the way that popular culture can embody profound truths. He made Wrestling come on like classical mythology and Bullet Catch like a metaphor for free will. Yet for all of his investigations, he admits to a disappointment. “The insanity I experience when making a show is not to do with creating something new so much as creating something perfect,” he concludes. “Which I will never achieve. And much like the realisation that I will die not knowing the secrets of the universe, that fact sucks.” Quiz Show, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 2-20 April The Riot of Spring, Tramway, Glasgow, 10-11 May www.traverse.co.uk

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Glasgow’s Book Festival A

ye Write! first took shape when library staff set out to rectify the shocking fact that Scotland’s biggest city didn’t have its own book festival. Growing from the humble beginnings of the libraries’ Reader Development Programme, last year Aye Write! reached its highest ever attendance with over 42,000 participants and is already on track to beat that record in 2013. Their audience might have increased dramatically but the aim of the festival remains constant. “What we wanted to do was give everyone in Glasgow the opportunity to engage with the best local, national and international writing,” says festival director Karen Cunningham. While they’re keen to fly the literary flag for Glasgow, Aye Write! doesn’t want to define itself as a Scottish Book festival – “It’s always been our ambition to celebrate the best of Scottish writing and to give it a forum but we would never restrict ourselves to that because people in Glasgow and Scotland are wider read than that,” elaborates Cunningham. The programme is incredibly diverse and doesn’t attempt to grade the events into topics or themes, instead offering stand alone talks focused on music, war, memoir, crime, Gaelic literature and feminism to highlight just a few. This year’s programme opens with their Cookie Cabaret, a taster of the literary talent featured throughout the festival with music by Admiral Fallow and a live DJ set by Richard Colburn of Belle and Sebastian. The festival aims to address the hot topics of the year and so a debate on independence is

This April sees Aye Write! return to the Mitchell Library for its eighth year, supplying Glasgow with a wealth of literary talent Words: Rowena McIntosh

a predictable favourite. At the Independence Debate Sunday Herald diarist Alan Taylor and a panel of creative types will examine how independence could affect the arts and take questions concerning the cultural output of an independent Scotland. Also under discussion is the Leveson enquiry. At Leveson Six Months On, Brian Cathcart of the Hacked Off campaign will be joined by a variety of journalists and campaigners to demonstrate that the report might be published and the trial over but there are still big questions about the future of investigative journalism left unanswered. Other events guaranteed to draw controversy and spark debate include Howard Marks: In Conversation. The author of Mr Nice and exdrug baron is returning to Aye Write! to discuss his campaign for the legalisation of recreational drugs. John Bird, social entrepreneur and founder of The Big Issue, will be discussing his work The Necessity of Poverty – an excoriating attack on the wealth gap. As a passionate campaigner who has spent years personally working with disadvantaged people across Britain in prisons and orphanages it’s guaranteed to be one of the most poignant and politically charged appearances of the festival. In terms of fiction the festival draws big names in Scottish literature and Louise Welsh, Alasdair Gray, A L Kennedy, Christopher Brookmyre and Iain M Banks will all be discussing their most recent novels and collections. Aye Write! offers plenty of live literature events

Scottish Independance debate 2012

including showcases from the acclaimed creative writing courses at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities and the Scottish Poetry Slam Championship – where poets rhyme and rap as they compete to represent Scotland in the World Series. The festival will also see events celebrating the launch of several works including the greatly anticipated eighth addition of Gutter, Scotland’s leading magazine of new writing. Gutter never fails to produce a showcase of

challenging, innovative pieces by the outstanding new voices of Scottish fiction and Aye Write! offers an opportunity to hear them perform their work. Aye Write! Mitchell Library, 12-20 Apr Tickets for all events can be bought in person at the Mitchell Library, through the box office (on 0141 353 8000), or online www.ayewrite.com

Music, song and dance from Scandinavia and Scotland Featuring:

26 & 27 April 2013 “...something out of the ordinary” The Herald

Rona Wilkie & Marit Fält (Scotland/Norway/Sweden) Hal & Nikolaj (Denmark/Scotland) Irmelin (Sweden) 3 Men & a Bottle (Denmark) Kirsty-Jacqueline Lingard (Scotland/Sweden)

Concerts and workshops at The Pleasance (26 April) & Scottish Storytelling Centre (27 April), Edinburgh

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Tickets £5-£10; weekend £27/£21 from the SSC/Tradfest Box Office

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The TMSA is registered as a Scottish Charity SCO03819 & a company limited by guarantee No: 199976. Registered Office: The Drill Hall, 30-38 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh EH6 8RG.

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Winter Dance

investment. As for now, Winter Again is definitively a company piece, they have adapted my vision and made it their own.” Winter Again manages to be both emotionally tough and superficially stylish, with an undercurrent of pain and anguish never far from the surface. “But for the record,” he insists. “No dancers were harmed in this production.” Victor Quijada, by contrast, comes not with a history of unclassifiable work but from the hiphop scene of Los Angeles. His piece has a great deal of fun playing with the audience – Quijada even insults himself early on, and his sense of humour allows the dancers to appear to be on the very edge of chaos. To even explain the central conceit is to give away the punchline, but when the crew throw down, they strut their stuff supremely.

Jo Strømgren and Victor Quijada talk about their upcoming shows for Scottish Dance Theatre Interview: Gareth K Vile

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ver the past decade, Scottish Dance Theatre has become a national treasure. Under the direction of Janet Smith, it commissioned new works from emerging choreographers – including Hofesh Schechter, who has gone on to international acclaim – and through an annual appearance at Zoo Venues during the Fringe helped to re-establish dance as a vital strand of Edinburgh’s August overload. The arrival of new artistic director Fleur Darkin has seen the company maintain the pace. Currently touring with two new commissions – and a work for children from Darkin herself – SDT take advantage of having a permanent company in a similar fashion to Scottish Ballet: they can afford an eclectic, broad programme. And the two commissions bring two of dance’s more maverick minds to Scotland, namely Jo Strømgren and Victor Quijada. Their double bill is a sustained assault on notions of dance as dull or elitist, respectively tackling a well-worn subject with wit and irony and thoroughly deconstructing the expectation of what makes an evening’s entertainment at the dance. Strømgren’s entry, Winter Again, is perhaps the most obviously connected to classical modes of dance. It is evocative, performed immaculately

and seriously by the company, using a stark set and a lilting classical score to evoke the coldest month. Flitting between the idea of winter as a metaphor for emotional darkness – the spoken interludes hint at all manner of savage antics – Strømgren even finds time for a brief object manipulation of a toy hare, old-fashioned hunting rifles and some awkwardly passionate pas de deux. “One can do something new (which always means reinventing the wheel since everything has been done before somewhere) by theme and form and style et cetera,” he says. “But I find it more interesting to always change my own way of working, as in always looking for new tools to tell a story or what can be associated into a story.” Certainly, Winter bares scant relation to his most famous works which landed at the Fringe. While they invented new languages and often enjoyed a broad, physical humour, his choreography for SDT showcases the dancers’ technique. “The rehearsal period coincided with a knee injury of mine, and I thought why not – I’ll sit on a chair this time, and ask the dancers to provide shitloads of material,” he recalls. “A refreshing flashback to earlier days for me, and hopefully a good process for them with a lot of personal

Try Before You Buy 13 – 26 Apr Term Dates 13 Apr – 28 Jun Enrolment Closes Fri 26 Apr dancebase.co.uk I 0131 225 5525 14 –16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU

“No dancers were harmed in this production”

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Courses, drop-in classes and workshops for everyone. From ballet, contemporary and jazz to musical madness, aerial and disco

comprehensible in the light of the performance. And while hip-hop dance can often be frustrating because of its insistence on authenticity and spectacle, Second Coming impresses through the way Quijada mocks pretension and arrogance. There is even a playful reveal – coming around half way through the performance – that challenges the choreographer’s self-importance. Both of these commissions are reminders of SDT’s recent tradition of engaging with international trends in dance and playing with the audience’s expectations. That the company so readily turn their skills to the demands of hip-hop and more classical styles suggest that Darkin’s reign will capitalise on the advances made by Janet Smith. Darkin herself is already presenting her debut choreography for SDT – Innocence – which was made for a younger audience. Pulled from her own back catalogue, it introduces the poetry of William Blake to children aged up to seven, mixing up the romantic mystic’s words with the simple nursery rhymes that it sometimes imitates. If the past decade has seen the two major Scottish dance companies, SDT and Scottish Ballet, develop their international reputation and presence, the appointment and arrival of new Jo Strømgren artistic directors insists that they are not ready to rest on their laurels. With Scottish Ballet of“The work I make uses a movement vocabufering an ambitious programme in the Edinburgh lary that is influenced by my past as a young International Festival, SDT are competing with b-boy and hip-hop freestyler, and very heavily this triple offering. Darkin herself is a dynamic informed by the contemporary ballet works I and original choreographer – although Innocence performed during my career,” he says of his basic might keep the kids happy, she has more serious style. “I have developed a distinct style that (in work for adults and her Disgo, which came to the my eyes) allows a dancer to be all things: exploTraverse a few years ago, is a bold breaking of sive, acrobatic, sharp, fluid, gentle, introspective, the fourth wall that mashes up social and stage honest.” In addition to this, SDT have a great deal dance. And this double bill holds the promise of of fun as the piece cracks open expectations and more imaginative work to follow. slowly collapses in on apparent rivalries and amInnocence, Cumbernauld Theatre, 9 Apr bitions within the company. Dundee Rep Theatre, 10-11 Apr When asked about his style, Quijada is preSecond Coming Winter, The Beacon, Again 18 Apr cise, if elusive. “I would probably describe it as a Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 28-29 May ‘post-contemporary ballet-break dance-theatre’ www.scottishdancetheatre.com style,” he replies: a description accurate but only

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THE SKINNY


In Their Prime J

ack Revill and Calum Morton, better known as Jackmaster and Spencer, have been busy over the last ten years. Since getting a taste for DJing in their teens, the duo, along with a committed crew of likeminded associates, have seen their celebrated Numbers club night spawn an increasingly influential label and expand well beyond its Glasgow base. Having merged Wireblock, Dress 2 Sweat and Stuff Records under the Numbers banner in 2010, and with a stack of highly praised releases from the likes of Deadboy, Jamie xx and Mosca under their belt, they have become a dominant fixture in the UK’s clubbing landscape. The latest step in their development sees them teaming up with Dedbeat to launch Pleasure Principle, a three day festival boasting an enticing line-up encompassing a wide range of electronic genres. With preparations for the weekender well underway, Revill – who was recently added to the roster for Radio 1’s In New DJs We Trust slot ponders Numbers’ seemingly inexorable rise. “It’s kind of scary and overwhelming, but it’s really good. Everything’s been going pretty well up until now. It’s taken us by surprise, as we never really planned it to happen like this, but it grew organically and we’re really chuffed to bits about it.” For Calum, the key shift has been one of scale rather than direction. “We’re not really doing anything different from what we started out doing. It’s just that it’s got bigger and bigger and it does feel like a pretty natural progression. The festival idea is something that we have been talking about for the last five or six years, on and off. We weren’t sure how it was going to happen, but we knew it would happen eventually.” The array of sounds on offer at the weekender perfectly reflects the dynamic blend of varied but somehow congruent styles which has characterised Numbers since its inception. Most predictably, pride of place on top of the bill belongs to long-time allies and fellow Glaswegian trend-setters Hudson Mohawke and Rustie, both of whom have released albums through preeminent UK label Warp Records. Then there are the obligatory nods to the kind of house and techno which Revill and Morton fell in love with at an

April 2013

Interview: Ronan Martin

early age – acts like Detroit’s Omar S and Robert Hood being two of the prime examples. The bill also reserves space for home-grown pioneers such as UK garage selector DJ EZ, influential grime crew Ruff Sqwad, hyperactive elder statesman of reggae David Ram Jam Rodigan MBE, and early dubstep architect Loefah. Several names which have been impossible to ignore in recent years also pop up – Blawan, Joy Orbison and Floating Points spring to mind, along with in-demand DJs such as Ben UFO and Oneman. Further buttressing a stylistically diverse list, and continuing co-promoter Dedbeat’s tradition of pushing quality hip-hop, Beat Junkies’ turntablist extraordinaire J-Rocc and production maestro Just Blaze also feature. The long list of talent of course goes on, but what is clear from just a brief look is that, crucially, Pleasure Principle appears to have been devised in a manner befitting the spirit of the Numbers parties, a spirit that dates back to the days when they packed out tiny rooms in clammy Glasgow basements. While the line-up for the festival is impressive in its scope, nothing on the bill appears out of place; none of the acts stand out as being a cynical appeal to a lucrative crossover crowd. “Music-wise, it’s pretty much an extension of the clubs we put on in London and Glasgow,” explains Jack. “We tried not to book stuff purely based on ticket sales; we wanted to book artists that we liked. We don’t want to trade musical integrity just to make money from sales. We were first and foremost aiming to book people that we know would put on a good performance. The music has always got to be the most important thing.” The setting and overall atmosphere of the festival is significant too though, explains Calum. “For us, it was very much inspired by things like Bloc and Dedbeat. These were basically festivals based in caravan parks, with lots of people staying in a shared site and making their way to a main arena. It pretty much has a community vibe to it and people can come for the weekend and have a laugh. I think anyone who is making the effort to come down to Cornwall for it will be rewarded with a pretty amazing event.”

Jackmaster and Spencer reflect on a decade of the Numbers collective, and introduce the Pleasure Principle Weekender, which launches in Cornwall this month

Though Pleasure Principle seems like an ideal way for Numbers to mark their tenth anniversary in style, the festival is merely one element of what promises to be a hectic year. Last month saw the label release the double A-side, Triadzz/ Slasherr, by Rustie. The significance of Russell Whyte’s debut Numbers outing, the first of their anniversary year, is not lost on Jackmaster. “That was nice and it kind of felt like a bit of a homecoming for him almost. He’s one of the guys who started out on the labels that made up Numbers, and without guys like him, and Hudson Mohawke, we wouldn’t be such a big deal on the worldwide scene.”

“We don’t want to trade musical integrity just to make money from sales” Jackmaster

increasingly global in reach – DJ P.O.L. Style often mans a Numbers outpost in Tokyo, for instance – they remain appreciative of the rich Glasgow scene from which they emerged. For Morton, who has lived in London for many years, his hometown’s relatively contained underground community remains one of its strengths. “With other cities, as soon as they get a big bigger, the groups of people who are into the same music become a lot more disparate and a lot more spread out, whereas in Glasgow there seems to be a bit more of a vibe.” He is also optimistic that the same hotbed of creativity which nurtured Numbers will continue to enable Glasgow DJs and producers to flourish. “If you’re into buying records, you can go down to Rubadub and meet other people who are doing the same thing. “I guess everyone is pretty dedicated to what they’re doing – people like Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, that’s Kenny [Grieve] and Dan [Lurinsky] who we used to work with in Rubadub years ago. It’s great to see that label doing so well and putting out such great stuff. The same applies with Bake [All Caps] and all those boys. To us, they’re the young team, though they’re not even that young anymore and they’re now churning out pretty solid releases. I think everyone is pretty well focused in Glasgow and people are willing to get involved for the love of it.” The notion of being involved in music as a labour of love is an approach that seems to have worked well for Numbers. Rather than outlining any grandiose plans for further expansion, Jackmaster and Spencer seem committed to the same intuitive approach which has taken them this far. For now, they are set on establishing Pleasure Principle as a regular fixture in the UK’s electronic music calendar. “Beyond the festival, there are probably not any other specific big goals we have in our sights for the moment,” explains Morton. “We just want to stay true to the kind of music that we’re into and, as long as people are into that as well, only good things can happen.”

That Rustie’s luminescent, intricatelylayered productions, and those of the similarly glitzy Redinho, are so stylistically dissimilar to, say, the dark, acid-inflected techno of Italian producer Lory D is telling. Such variation reflects the label’s broad purview and the assorted tastes of the six people behind it. “We’re completely open which is probably why the label has done so well”, says Jack. “As a group, we all have very similar music tastes. In many ways we’re almost identical. But everyone has their own little nuances and it’s when all the guys come together that something special is formed.” That special something has blossomed from the earliest interactions the crew had at parties and after-parties in their formative years. Though Pleasure Principle 26-28 Apr in Cornwall many of the collective are now based in London, Read an extended version of the interview on our website and though the scope of their operations is

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Foiling the System

For Shona Macnaughton, making work is about navigating the economic and social situation she finds herself in. Ahead of her New Work Scotland show she told us why this means employing someone else to do it

Interview: Kate Grenyer

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fter last year’s experiment with collaboration and discourse, this year the New Work Scotland Programme appears to have struck the right balance between developing dialogue and supporting individual artists’ practices. The process has certainly suited Shona Macnaughton, who is preparing for her joint show at Collective in her Rhubaba studio. “I found it really beneficial,” she says. “I’ve not been in art college for four years now, so it’s really a luxury, applying with a set project and going through every single stage of it, to talk it through and articulate it.” This process means Macnaughton’s work has changed a few times since the programme began, mostly in the form the final work has taken rather than its specific content. Indeed, Every Translator is a Traitor continues to mine familiar territory for the artist as she plays with the visual and verbal language

of marketing, promotion and projected value. Her work acts as a foil to the economic and social situation she finds herself in. But she insists she is not overtly political: “I’m always trying to avoid just reflecting back,” she says, adding something more to the situation rather than simply revealing an economic or political reality. Her new work seems to have expanded in scope and ambition while being a variation on the same themes as previous pieces. One previous work in particular, Adverts from the Workplace, has informed her latest project. For Adverts the artist filmed a series of videos in the Edinburgh holiday apartments she was cleaning as a part-time job. The words spoken in the film are part of the marketing material that promotes the apartments to wouldbe holidaymakers. Recorded during work time, the form of the final piece is imbued with the

anxiety that she could be interrupted by her employer at any moment – such is the unforced yet pointed subversion which underpins much of her practice. Yet simple subversion, she explains, is not her aim. The strategy instead is to “overidentify” to find “the gap between the reality of how a situation is and how it is projected as an ideal – the reality is not reality but a projection we bring to it, because we have bought into the promotional language. If you’ve paid for it, you almost have an investment in really seeing it like that.” It is through taking apart this personal autobiography, these microcosmic moments, that Macnaughton’s work exposes the bigger picture. The more time spent with it, the more layers are revealed – though it is tempting to wonder what she would do if she was able to fully support herself through her practice without the need

to take on the part time jobs that become an integral part of it. Yet all the time we are looking through the lens of her work at the power structures and social systems that exist across society and which are far from absent in the art world. The actions of the individual worker and their place within an institution are never far from her mind. “In a sense I am making a new institution. By advertising for employees, I myself become the employer, reversing the power structures. I think in this work specifically, you then start to think of Collective as an institution and I know I am part of that.” Macnaughton impedes these divisions time and again, making her work as an artist during her time as an employee, styling herself as employer while working as an artist. Her new institution is perhaps unworkable – but then, that is probably the point.

The Sound of Silence For New Work Scotland Tom Varley is getting back to basics with words and pictures. We chat to him about violins, lemons and what silence sounds like Interview: Jac Mantle

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f you’ve ever visited a country where you had no prior knowledge of the language, it might have seemed like a completely random amalgam of characters and sounds that you were at a loss to make sense of. Tom Varley is engaged by the idea that this is exactly what language is, even as it articulates the most advanced and complex thought of modern society. “I’m interested in the ways in which sound or technology reveals the essential abstractness of language – how’s it just a collection of shapes that are only happening because there’s a consensus about them by a community of people who all speak the same language,” he says. Varley has just held a show in the Glasgow Project Room, which included a work made from audio footage of medical examinations of patients suffering from receptive aphasia. Sufferers’ speech is superficially fluent but they are unable to use or understand more than the most basic nouns and verbs. The found footage features patients repeating words after the doctor. Some have no discernible difference in pronunciation, while others replicate sounds or letters but have been morphed into a different word entirely. “Just the idea of it seemed like a really powerful reminder of how arbitrary language is and how you take it for granted,” says Varley. “There are moments when you’re reminded of what it actually is, how you’re just generating sound waves and stimulating nerves in people’s brains. It’s crazy, really.” For his show at Collective, Varley is making

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Tom Varley Mute 2 (production still) 2012 Courtesy the artist

“I’m interested in the ways in which sound or technology reveals the essential abstractness of language” Tom Varley

a film loosely based on the footage but not specifically related to aphasia. It takes the form of a filmic alphabet of words and objects, something like the picture dominoes you’ll recall from childhood. Actors recreate the spoken exchange,

the first voice naming what’s on the screen and the second repeating it, but with some skew or variation. “They’re all different but what I would like to achieve with all of them is some poetic circuit,” says Varley. “You get a sense that there’s some test or game happening, but you don’t completely understand. The first three objects are quite ‘straight,’ but as the piece develops, there’s a real slip between what you see and what they’re saying. You question if it’s accurate.” A violin becomes ‘Violence,’ becomes ‘Silence,’ referencing a work by Bruce Nauman and supplying the film’s title – Violins Violence Silence. Filmed entirely in Varley’s studio using objects he found to hand, the indexical structure of the alphabet offers a way of bringing together things he’s been reading about without necessarily suggesting concrete links between them. Shot in 16mm against a flat coloured background, the images look something like flash cards from the 1970s. Aptly, jelly features,

ART

along with a contact lens, some sheet music and a lemon. The latter references the lemon in Structuralist film Zorns Lemma (1970), which Varley cites as a key influence. The famously long experimental film by Hollis Frampton combines an epic poem with progressively more random moving images, eventually abstracting the whole alphabet into 24 arbitrary scenes. “My work will be that-meets-Sesame Street,” Varley reassures me. Unlike Varley, Frampton was without the luxury – or perhaps the obligation – of endlessly re-editing and reworking footage. “I am an artist who likes to revisit, so working with a format that doesn’t allow for that in the same way is really helpful. As for using film rather than video – it does look beautiful, and I think that’s totally fine.” New Work Scotland Programme, Shona Macnaughton | Tom Varley Project Room: James Bell Both at Collective Gallery, 6 Apr-5 May. Preview Fri 5 Apr 7pm-9pm www.collectivegallery.net

THE SKINNY


Borderline Nuts

The Skinny speaks to Antonio Campos and Brady Corbet, the director and star of Simon Killer, a twisted psychological odyssey set in a nightmarish Paris

Interview: Jamie Dunn

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ntonio Campos doesn’t go in for feel-good. The Afterschool director’s second feature, Simon Killer, focuses on a young American in Paris who falls for a local lass, but, as its on-the-nose title suggests, this is no Before Sunrise. Simon, played with a beguiling mix of vulnerability and dead-eyed psychosis by Brady Corbet, doesn’t romance his new object of affection Victoria (Mati Diop, star of 35 Shots of Rum); he insinuates himself into her life like a parasite. Some guys use pithy one-liners to chat-up women, Simon reels them in using pity. Initially their relationship is professional: Victoria works as a prostitute and, after one particularly lonely night wandering the Pigalle quarter, Simon stumbles into the brothel in which she works and quickly becomes one of her regulars. Before she knows it he’s wormed his way into her apartment and then into her bed. As onscreen relationships go, this one’s up there with Taxi Driver’s Travis (Robert De Niro) and Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) in the toe-curling stakes. Poisonous male protagonists are very much Campos’ MO. It’s what links Simon Killer to the disquieting Afterschool, which centred on Robert (Ezra Miller), a misfit teen whose chief hobby, like Simon’s, is developing unhealthy attitudes towards the opposite sex. In many ways this new work seems like that earlier high-school-set film’s unofficial sequel: these could be Robert’s college years. When I meet Campos and his star, Corbet, in a plush suite at Claridge’s during last year’s London Film Festival, they’re quick to reassure me that’s not the case. “You could make a link between Simon and Robert, but they are very different in a lot of ways. I like to think Robert is doing okay now,” chuckles Campos, laughing a little too hard, inferring there’s little credence to his statement. “Yeah,” adds Corbet while munching on a pink medallion of salmon sushi, “weirdly I think he moved on.” The suggestion of a sequel to Simon Killer is clearly appealing, though. Campos reveals we could see him on more adventures, rampaging

April 2013

through other exotic locations like a less charming Tom Ripley: “We had talked about this once or twice: we could do Simon as a series.” (The ‘Man with No Shame’ would be an appropriate moniker.) “We’d have a Simon in London, Simon in Buenos Aires, a Simon in Bangkok.” “Maybe we’ll just go and make a film over a long weekend?” suggests Corbet. “It’d be fun – we’ll go to Bangkok and make a film in four days on an iPhone.” Corbet is joking, but this off-the-cuff mode of filmmaking isn’t a million miles away from Simon Killer’s actual production. When Campos assembled his crew in Paris there wasn’t much meat on the bones of his script. “I went to Brady and said, ‘this is my idea, and this is what I was thinking, and this is where it comes from,’ and then we started talking right away about the story and we wrote a treatment for it together,” the director reveals. “There were pages and there were scenes written, but it was only an outline. Brady and Mati did most of the heavy lifting.” “I don’t mean to sound at all sycophantic,” says Corbet, “but there aren’t many people I would’ve ever signed up to work with in this way. If anyone other than Antonio told me they were going to make a movie with no script and an eight-page treatment I would have been like, ‘Well clearly the film’s going to be a sloppy mess.’ But I know what a stylist he is and I knew that was just impossible; I knew that it would be a formally rigorous experience to watch.” That it is. Simon Killer may have been largely improvised but there isn’t an image or camera move that doesn’t feel like it hasn’t been chewed over; every edit, music cue and gesture by the performers seems to be there for a reason. Shot mostly in long takes using a hand-held camera, we follow Simon around the seediest streets in Paris and become immersed in his twisted psychological odyssey. Those familiar with Campos’ earlier feature and shorts, which trade in cold, meticulously framed wide shots, might be surprised with this more virtuosic, but no less fastidious style.

“The camera, for me, has to be reflective of the character itself,” says Campos when I ask about his apparent shift in technique for Simon Killer. “Afterschool is very much about a boy who’s interested in observing the world and so a lot of times I would think about a shot in the way that Robert would see the shot. In Simon it’s about a character that’s not paying attention to the world around him, and that’s what you sort of see.”

“Just because I make a film about a guy who likes to have a finger put up his ass it doesn't mean I do” Antonio Campos

“He’s deeply internalised,” adds Corbet. “He’s always got his headphones on and the world is out of focus. I mean, he’s in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and he doesn’t look up – he’s not even listening to it.” As a result we see Paris through Simon’s blinkered, hateful eyes. Against our better judgment we become his ally; it becomes difficult not to root for the little perv. What’s so refreshing about Simon Killer is that Campos refrains from letting his protagonist, and by extension the audience, off the hook for his behaviour. So often in mainstream cinema, when confronted with a morally ambiguous character, you don’t need to wait too long for the flashback to an earlier trauma to explain their dysfunction. These backstories act as a narrative balm: they say, ‘Don’t worry about feeling sympathy for this wretched character, they’re a

FILM

victim too.’ “It’s important that he doesn’t come from some fucked-up home or anything,” explains Campos. “There are probably problems at home, like any family, but there’s a lot of love too.” By not signposting the source of his psychosis this haunting character study turns into a kind of mystery. Trying to figure out why there’s so much anger and bitterness in the character becomes part of its appeal. Simon Killer continues an impressive run of features from its production company Borderline Films. The New York outfit, comprised of producer Josh Mond, Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin and Campos, seems to have found its niche in mining the dark underbelly of America. And in Corbet, who’s now starred in three Borderline productions (Martha Marcy May Marlene, the yet to be released in the UK, Two Gates of Sleep and Simon Killer), they’ve found their talisman. Corbet’s fascinating career has taken him from pretty-boy lead in 2004’s asinine Thunderbirds movie to collaborating with some of the most interesting and subversive directors currently working – filmmakers like Gregg Araki (Mysterious Skin), Michael Haneke (Funny Games U.S.) and Lars von Trier (Melancholia). I ask the gently-spoken actor why he thinks he’s found so much success at playing outsiders and creeps. His response is pleasingly straightforward: “I feel like the majority of the acting process is just saying the words as convincingly as possible, and if the character has to say something really violent or unpleasant you just say it like you mean it – that’s all. It’s a bit like a dance; it’s like punk rock: you just scream.” Campos puts it more concisely when I ask him the same question: “Just because I make a film about a guy who likes to have a finger put up his ass [as Simon does] it doesn’t mean I do.” Simon Killer is released on 12 Apr Borderline Films will receive its first full retrospective at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 28 Jun–6 Jul www.blfilm.com

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Limitless Possibilities

Trans Am’s Phil Manley welcomes old college pal Jon Theodore into the fold for his second album as Life Coach. Ruthless advice and sublime cosmic jams ensue

Interview: Dave Kerr

“D

o stuff,” Jon Theodore instructs The Skinny as he effortlessly slips into his ‘Life Coach’ persona. “And don’t fuck up!” chimes in old college friend Phil Manley, the man who coaxed Theodore into the motivational therapy business in the first place. Of course, they’re not actually turtleneck-wearing medallion men offering pounds-per-minute advice on a more wholesome outlook; Life Coach is a meeting of minds between one of North America’s most underrated producers and one of the most prolific drummers in modern rock. Both of whom happen to enjoy a bit of krautrock. The origin of the duo’s alliance stretches back some twenty years, when the impressionable young musicians became acquainted at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. “One of my first clear memories is of us sitting on the floor of a dark room and having our minds blown by The Melvins’ Lysol,” Theodore recalls. “Tom also helped me shave my first mohawk,” he goes on, before reclining into philosophical mode: “It was an incredibly dynamic time of mind expansion, exploration, and growth; new forms of thought and function blossoming from chaos and formlessness. You know… college.” With their third eye prized wide open, the pair joined fellow Oberlin alumni Alex Minoff and Ian Eagleson to earn their stripes as Golden, a peerless experimental outfit that burned brightly over the course of five albums before disappearing (without ever officially disbanding) in 2002. Eagleson, a learned ethnomusicologist, travelled to Nairobi shortly after and formed a Benga-influenced incarnation of the band with Minoff known as Extra Golden. To be continued. Theodore has since proven himself a formidable presence behind the kit for progressive titans The Mars Volta in their most glorious era, later bringing the rhythmic thunder to One Day As A Lion, Zack de la Rocha’s furious rap, keys and drums project, plus gun for hire on the forthcoming Queens of the Stone Age LP.

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“I’ve had the good fortune to play with lots of different people in lots of different situations but I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered anything,” he modestly contends. “The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know. I’m grateful to be able to learn new things and continue to work at the process.” Manley, meanwhile, has form of his own: the founder of future-rock mavericks Trans Am and occasional guitarist for shape-shifting metal instrumentalists The Fucking Champs has also racked up production credits for a multitude of psychedelic crusaders who share his interest in pushing the form forward the old-fashioned way, from Arp to Wooden Shjips. On his 2011 solo debut as Life Coach, Manley paid homage to visionary producer Conny Plank with an ambient trip built by synthesisers, dreamy guitar codas and an old Roland 606 drum machine. Having set himself the goal of bringing a live version of the project to the stage for its sequel, last summer Manley recruited fellow krautrock pilgrim Theodore for the pair’s first collaboration since Golden’s Apollo Stars in 2002. So what is it about Kosmische Musik that keeps the pair in endless kicks? ”Krautrock was basically German progressive music – not necessarily ‘prog-rock’ in the sense of Yes or Rush, but futuristic-sounding music,” Manley clarifies. “Those bands used lots of synths. Song structure was often ignored, favouring long, druggy jams. Maybe it endures because it still sounds modern? It’s a pretty broad genre too, one that includes both Kraftwerk and The Scorpions. My first exposure to it would have been through my older sister. She had a great record collection which included Kraftwerk’s Tour de France EP. I remember listening to that over and over again.” “I was into the more psychedelic stuff like Amon Düül and Can,” says Theodore. “But it was Phil and Seb from Trans Am who first turned me on to Kraftwerk, Neu!, and later Harmonia. The abstract structures and progressive sounds

were right up my alley and when I first heard that spectacular Klaus Dinger beat I was riveted. The delicate blend of restraint, balance, precision, and Teutonic steadiness mixed with punk urgency and pure muscle blew my mind on the spot.”

“It   was ten years since we’d played a show together; this has been a great reunion” Phil Manley

The late Dinger’s influence is easy to hear in Theodore’s measured playing throughout Alphawaves; intuitive, hypnotic and propulsive, Manley’s free-floating compositions clearly played to his strengths. “The record consists of mostly first takes,” Theodore says of the experience. “It was a beautiful summer in LA, I was home with an unemployed amount of time on my hands, and I had a setup in the garage with my tubs and the professional tools, so I happily went to work immediately. I listened to the first tune once, sat down and banged around some ideas, and tracked it down. I tried it a few more times for variation but I felt like the spontaneity and enthusiasm in the first take outclassed the more considered and methodical later takes. It was such a simple and enjoyable workflow that I started the rest of the tunes the next day and put them down in the same fashion. It all happened really fast. I found out later that he’d sent the tracks to a few of our other drumming friends but I finished first so I pretty much became the drummer of Life Coach by default!”  From Manley’s point of view, is there a

Music

greater sense of completion with Theodore’s participation in the project? “Definitely, yes. I sent Jon the album with a drum machine on all the tracks. He added his parts and the album became whole. It became 100 times better with his playing on it. It had been 10 years since we had played a show together; it’s been a great reunion for us.” With “no heavy touring planned as of now” for Life Coach, focus turns to the multitude of other projects that perpetually orbit the duo. Manley ponders the possibilities: “Trans Am played some shows for the Thrill Jockey 20th Anniversary celebration recently, and we’re working on a new album. I’m always up for a Golden reunion. We’ve talked about it, but it hasn’t quite happened. Someday I’m sure we’ll do it again. Meanwhile it’s doubtful that The Fucking Champs will reunite anytime soon, but Josh Smith, one of the original Champs, has just started making music again, so that’s good news.” Theodore meanwhile is gearing up to finish off the debut by Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, a metal aficionado’s fantasy team featuring Mastodon’s Brent Hinds, Dillinger Escape Plan’s Ben Weinman, and former Jane’s Addiction/current Nine Inch Nails bassist Eric Avery. “We’ve recorded a handful of tunes that we’re all really happy with,” he enthuses. “We get together when we can coordinate gaps in our schedules, which is rare, but we’re definitely committed to finishing the record.” It seems that despite having only one EP of recorded material and a short run of live dates under their belts in five years, One Day As A Lion is still an ongoing concern. Does Theodore envisage a full length album seeing the light of day? “Yeah, we have lots of material that is in various stages of completion,” he reveals. “I really love playing with Zack and Joey and it would be a cream dream to make more records.” Alphawaves is released via Thrill Jockey on 15 Apr www.thrilljockey.com

THE SKINNY


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Episode 4

Thu 18 — Sun 21 Apr 2013 Tramway, Glasgow

06.04.13–05.05.13

New Work Scotland Programme Shona Macnaughton | Tom Varley Project Room: James Bell 22 – 28 Cockburn Street Edinburgh EH1 1NY ++44 (0)131 220 1260 mail@collectivegallery.net www.collectivegallery.net

JAZZ, IMPROVISATION, POETRY AND THE PERFORMANCE OF FREEDOM

AMIRI BARAKA / FRED MOTEN / HENRY GRIMES/ SONIA SANCHEZ /WADADA LEO SMITH / M. NOURBESE PHILIP/ WILLIAM PARKER / DANIEL CARTER/ TERESA MARIA DIAZ NERIO/ JOHN TILBURY/ HOWARD SLATER + MORE

WWW.ARIKA.ORG.UK WWW.TRAMWAY.ORG CO-PRODUCED BY

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Funded by

SUPPORTED BY

28/3/13

00:53

Image: Shona Macnaughton, Every Translator is a Traitor, video still, 2013.

Page 1

Registered Scottish Charity No.SC0 08158.

Abrupt Encounters: a new live arts programme developed by a collective of creatively engaged participants with learning disabilities. Live art projects and performances will take place at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and the surrounding Forestry Commission land, throughout April.

Mapping/Tracking:

What Lies Beyond?

Live art/drawing project

Live art project

Abrupt Encounters artists will developwork which explores GPS tracking devices as a drawing material, blending technology and creativity.

Abrupt Encounters artists explore what lies between the natural environment of the forest and the man-made architecture of Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Information exchange:

Public preview:

Ambulance Room Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert, FK5 4WR

Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert, FK5 4WR Friday 26 April, 11am – 3pm

Friday 12 and Friday 19 April, 11am – 3pm

www.abruptencounters.com

For details contact: Artlink Central on 01786 450971

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THE SKINNY


Fresh Meat

Like a pack of wolves around the back of a diner, we wait eagerly for the pickings of the degree shows, siphoned off and served up in the RSA’s New Contemporaries. A few of them kindly agreed to spill their plans for the show Interview: Emma Ewan

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t’s ten months now since the new graduates of 2012 jumped from the safety net of their respective art schools and plunged instantaneously into life as legitimate artists. Spring approaches swiftly and it’s time for the Royal Scottish Academy’s New Contemporaries show. Now in its fifth cycle, the annual exhibition plucks the most promising of Scotland’s art school graduates and proudly presents them to the masses in the splendour of the twelve RSA galleries on Edinburgh’s Mound. Sixty graduates will be showcased this year, working across every medium from installation to architecture. Petter Yxell once again takes the building and its immediate surroundings as his starting point – after graduating from Glasgow School of Art he embarked on a period of research, tracking the influence of Neoclassical and Greek Revival in Scottish architecture. His interests lie in how we “search the past for beginnings and pick out trajectories that chime with our current position.” He describes the outcome, to be shown in the RSA, as a “messy” sculptural installation, presenting interesting clashes on a number of levels. In a recent development, he has decided to embrace computerised production for this work in order to explore the act of History Writing, its artificiality and its reproducibility. Glasgow-based Theresa Moerman uses memory and narrative as a means to explore our natural inclination to preserve the past. Building on the work she recently showed at Studio 41, Moerman will investigate the tensions between holding onto and letting go of memories. “We find containers to hold our keepsakes and heirlooms, we store our knowledge in files, archives and books, we create technology to record more information for the future, we make photographs and videos lest we forget the things we’ve seen, the words we’ve said, the places we’ve been and the people we’ve loved,” she says. Moerman embodies these concepts in a variety of materials, from emotionally distanced memory sticks to heart-wrenching TrueType fonts (developed by Apple in the 1980s to allow a high level of control over how fonts are displayed) made from the handwriting of deceased relatives. With an interest in consumption as a means of seeking and digesting bittersweet pleasures, Gray’s Painting and Printmaking graduate Katie

Shambles places cigarettes and advertising among the inspiration behind her recent, sci fiesque work. For the RSA show, she has produced a series of printed advertisements, portraying “an instant culture, bent on pleasure, vaguely macabre, illustrating a ‘post-utopia’ malaise.” Alluding to grime and decay, they follow a series of characters through a fictional narrative, their neon personalities projecting “a super fake reality, an amplified self.” Shambles also orchestrates workshops where artworks, papers and propaganda are explored through the medium of the multiple. Caroline Inckle from Moray School of Art creates process-based work involving natural materials and the environment. Her pieces for the RSA will present a form of documentation which stems from material processes developed whilst working between Glasgow Sculpture Studios and Side Door Studios in Forres. Her most recent body of work investigates the relationship between the construction of traditional clinker boats and the human body, informing “a process of making which views construction within the context of a developmental relationship to both the physical body and conceptual forms of self.” Duncan of Jordanstone graduate Khalid Alsayed explores perceptions of popular media in his work. At the RSA, he will show a projection and sound piece which “challenges the notion that there is no static image.” It will investigate the possibility that everything is a moving image, informed by the use of images in society and a series of questions that probe the validity of the photograph. Utilising his background in philosophy, he aims to unearth the importance of film to the individual and the impact it has on ideas of the self. Alsayed intends to continue exploring these themes in live workshops. Also from Duncan of Jordanstone, Sylvia Law spent two months in Florence on the RSA John Kinross Scholarship. Using her voice to explore ancient baptisteries across Italy, she obtained a series of sound recordings that will be developed into a public encounter in the RSA. Her interest in the octagonal baptisteries stems from a fascination with the architecture’s inherent symbolism, including the number eight and its links to eternity. Ritual, purification and

Sarah Louise Alexander, Back Mid, Courtesy the artist

rebirth are also themes that will be manifest. The new piece will integrate sound, metal and water to produce a resonating and immersive sound installation. Georgina Bolton also embarked on the Kinross Scholarship. In response to the ornate Florentine architecture, she has created a giant freestanding exterior wall bracket for show at the RSA. Like her work in the Edinburgh College of Art degree show, it announces itself boldly in an incongruous neon orange. Bolton describes it as a spatial drawing – “a functionless yet recognisable form, a contradictory linear yet threedimensional construction hovering somewhere in between the realms of sculpture, object and line.” Accompanying this will be a “uselessly uninformative” billboard depicting Florentine street scenes, and a hyper-real photographic work. Place, surface and space are themes that run throughout. We will have to remain in eager suspense

with regard to the new work produced by Sarah Louise Alexander, also a graduate of ECA. In relation to her previous work, it considers themes of showmanship and control – however she wishes the work to speak for itself. All she will offer us is the teaser: “My work tends to explore different elements of trust and usually encourages the audience to put their trust in my work without knowing much about what they are doing or what my intentions are.” Taking on the RSA straight out of art school is a pretty daunting prospect, however it presents a major opportunity to bring the work to a wider audience. For many, it is their first exhibition in an established institution. In the past New Contemporaries has been a show of ambitious and cutting edge work by Scotland’s newest talent; undoubtedly this year’s artists will up the stakes once again. New Contemporaries, RSA, Edinburgh, 13 Apr-8 May, £4(£2)

Georgina Bolton, Hyper-Real Vista Boboli Trees, 2012, courtesy the artist

April 2013

ART

Feature

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Easy Does It, installation view David Dale Gallery, Glasgow 2013

Kevin Hunt

K

evin Hunt is a sculptor based at The Royal Standard, an artist-led gallery, studios and social workspace in Liverpool, and is a former director of the organisation. Constructing sculpture utilising the found and redundant, his works reconfigure the detritus that surrounds us into linear and increasingly minimal structures that come to balance or are propped precariously. A recent preoccupation with both handling and moving things around has come to manifest itself in an ongoing series of works that reveal an innate complexity within the simplest of actions, gestures and forms, exposing an inherent beauty in the unnoticed, whilst playfully tampering with the poetics of the found form. Kevin has exhibited widely across the UK and abroad, concurrently working on a number of curatorial projects alongside his practice as an artist including co-founding CAVE, Liverpool's inaugural contemporary art fair presented during the opening weekend of Liverpool Biennial 2012 and easy does it, a three part evolving exhibition touring key artist-led spaces across the UK throughout 2013. Kevin is currently shortlisted for the 2013 Liverpool Art Prize.

“I’m really interested in the point where an object stops being just an object and becomes sculpture, becomes art. These things, before that gesture occurred, are often considered naff or tacky or construed as defunct in some way, sourcing unwanted materials in charity shops, junkyards or on eBay. In fact the materiality and form that much of the stuff I come to use is comprised of is often really immaculate; having a certain sophistication that I believe bypasses any connotation of being just a shitty necklace for instance, and I like to think in becoming sculpture, this inherent sophistication is revealed and the objects are now free to exist as the things that they really are.”

www.kevin-hunt.co.uk

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SHOWCASE

THE SKINNY


Seeing is Believing , plastic and tempered steel, 2012

A Useful Force, plastic and tempered steel, 2013

Empty Space, wood soaked in ink, 2012

Bibelots Divers, balanced Tupperware, 2010

Held, photograph 2012

April 2013

SHOWCASE

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ECA: Ones To Watch 2013 On 25-26 April the newest crop of Edinburgh College of Art Fashion graduates will reveal their debut collections. We picked out some of the best looks to showcase here first.

MORWENNA SMITH (SHOES LAINE £60 AT TOPSHOP).

JEANIE MULDOWNIE (SHOES SOLDIER £80 AT TOPSHOP) IN FRONT OF SCULPTURE FOR FORK’S SAKE BY BECKY ASHWORTH.

Shoot Credits Photographer: Ross Fraser McLean / Studio RoRo Make Up and Hair Stylist: Kimberley Dewar @ Colours Agency Model: Bo @ Colours Agency Stylist: Alexandra Fiddes Photography Assistant: Seb Singh Garments: ECA graduating students Shoes: Topshop.com Location: Edinburgh College of Art Tickets to the ECA fashion show are £15 (plus £1.50 booking fee). They can be purchased via Hub Tickets (www.hubtickets.co.uk) #ecafashow www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/edinburgh-college-art

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FASHION

THE SKINNY


LOUIS ALDERSON-BYTHELL (SHOES SOLDIER £80 AT TOPSHOP).

April 2013

FASHION

LAUREN SMITH (SHOES LACIE £55 AT TOPSHOP) IN THE WORKSPACE OF DENNIS J. REINMÜLLER.

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Buena Suerte, Venezuela

Words & Photography: Quinten Dol

Which is to say, ‘Good Luck.’ As Venezuela mourns Hugo Chavez and prepares to hit the polls, we take a closer look at the nation in all its complexity

“Teenage girls approach you in the street for a photo and people will welcome you to their country, usually with copious amounts of rum”

San Sebastian's Walk, Henri Pittier National Park

“I

t’s all lies, whatever it is your media tells you about him. Sure, Venezuela has some issues. The biggest one is security. But he’s done great things for the country, he helps the poor, and that’s why the Americans hate him.” Miguel takes a deep breath. My friend Johan raises his eyebrows at me. Note taken – avoid the whole Chavez thing with Miguel while we’re relying on his help to cross the border into his country. “But you guys are going to love it here,” he continues. “The women, my god!” “Goddamn it, I can’t even find flour to make arepas anymore, let alone any meat! Does this happen in any of your countries?” shouts Juan two weeks later, his face going purple as he throws his four-wheel-drive off Merida’s mountain ranges towards the swamps of Los Llanos. Chavez’s price controls on staple foods have led to shortages. Big Juan soothes himself with half a bottle of cola in one gulp, and flashes a cheeky smile in the rear-view mirror. “So,” he says, addressing the men in our tour group, “how about those Venezuelan women then?” Yes, as 14 April’s election approaches and Venezuelans look down the barrel of another divisive ballot, continuing food shortages, skyrocketing inflation and life without their late Presidente, at least they can all agree that their women are smoking hot. If only that were the only thing their country was famous for. Chavismo has had a mixed impact on tourism in Venezuela: ‘mixed’ in the euphemistic sense that escalating violence (Caracas had the sixth-highest murder rate in the world in 2011), endemic corruption and a leader demonised by much of the Western media has scared most tourists away. Corrupt cops crowd the roadside, lovingly stroking the pastel-coloured Bolivars they’ve just taken from your pocket. While they’re hassling you on the highways, Venezuela’s lawless city streets remain unpatrolled: Latin America has never been the safest place to travel, but Venezuela has become decidedly more dangerous in the last 10-15 years. Ancient buses and

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Lifestyle

spare part shortages lead to a lot of tedious roadside waiting; and anti-American propaganda means if you are of European descent, you might find some Venezuelans a bit distant. Still not turned off? After 16 hours on a bus seeing nothing but ‘Chavez: Heart of my Homeland’ murals, I too was demonising the big man and his stupid flag tracksuits. But the personality cult around Chavez in Venezuela is nothing on the fanaticism that surrounds locally born liberator Simon Bolivar. The Venezuelan-born 19th century revolutionary is everywhere, from the Bolivarian University of Venezuela to Caracas’ Simon Bolivar International Airport. Following Bolivar Street or Bolivar Avenue in any given town will likely take you to Bolivar Square, past bridges and public works carrying signs pronouncing each as ‘Another work of the Bolivarian Revolution!’ The idolatry gets wearisome. Paradoxically, all the above reasons to avoid Venezuela just might translate into a compelling set of arguments to visit in the first place. Outside of Margarita Island, the mountain city of Merida and tours to Angel Falls or the swamps of Los Llanos you’re not likely to see many other backpackers. Among those Venezuelans who don’t sleep in the streets or pay attention to Chavez propaganda, a gringo will be treated like a celebrity. Teenage girls approach you in the street for a photo and people will welcome you to their country, usually with copious amounts of rum. All those beautiful Venezuelans mentioned above? They’re on the rum too, grinding away at each other in dingy clubs: it looks like someone’s taken the local social club back home and filled it with Latina supermodels. There are gorgeous beaches around Maracay and Cuyagua, everything from anacondas to caiman alligators to the world’s largest rodent on the wetlands of Los Llanos, the world’s highest waterfall at Angel Falls, and the Amazon. And for the smug travel wanker in all of us, Venezuela makes for a perfect namedrop when you’re talking travel stories at your next dinner party back

home. Stories about kids reluctant to leave their guns in the car while you go clubbing will have people clamouring for more. Finally, for the religious, those who like to walk, or those who simply find themselves around Maracay on the last Saturday of January, there’s the Caminata San Sebastian, or Saint Sebastian’s Walk. Little Juan Javier Bethancourt was born in El Playon 1983 with life-threatening complications. His father, a religious man, decided then was the time to cash in on a lifetime of belief. He trotted to the local church, slid into a pew and conjured the most achievable promise he could think of. “Look,” he prayed, “if Juan Javier reaches the age of four, I’ll walk from El Limón, near Maracay, to Ocumare on the coast. I’ll even take the kid along!” He evidently caught Saint Sebastian at a good time, and in January 1987 off went old Señor Bethencourt, up and over the jungled mountains of Henri Pittier National Park. Sr. Bethancourt and his son have returned to do it all again every year since on the last Saturday of January. Word spread. Logically, it was decided that

TRAVEL

walking 42 kilometres between two Venezuelan towns of a Saturday was the key to Saint Sebastian’s benevolent heart. So it was that 12,000 Venezuelans and I set off up the jungle road from Maracay before dawn. Rounding a corner near the halfway mark, I was confronted with the uniquely Venezuelan sight of 40 yearold women wiggling their hips as a DJ blasted Gangnam Style in the middle of the jungle. Over 20 kilometres remained ahead, but in Venezuela a few minutes can always be spared for a dance. A sloth scratching itself in a tree marked the three-quarter point, and by now there was more hobbling going on than walking. Eventually, the cheering of drunken spectators announced that we’d reached tiny Ocumare. The faithful sidled off to Saint Sebastian’s church to check on the miracle they had cooking while smoke spewed out of barbecues and across the ranks of drained bodies in the square. Resting to one side with a celebratory beer, a family approached asking to take a photo with the gringo, followed by a giggling bunch of teenagers. As I sat on the floor of a bus back to El Limon, someone asked the bus driver to turn the music up. Salsa blared and strangers compared injuries and passed around bottles of rum. Chavez, regardless of your opinion on his politics, was the most recognisable symbol of Venezuela during his rule. Unfortunately, his own personality often overshadowed the joy, the endurance, the heat, the beauty and the music of his country and its people. It’s not always comfortable or completely safe, and the coming months may prove a difficult transition. But there is a Venezuela after Chavez and it’s well worth a look.

Playa Cuyagua

THE SKINNY


Female Pleasure and Desire: ‘You’re doing a PhD in what?!’

Queer Poetry

Is there still a separation between progressive, LGBTQ poetry and Words: Nichole Edwards the more mainstream Scottish Illustration: Laura Griffin performance poetry scene?

A University of Leeds research student discusses how diaries can help women to work through the conflicting messages they receive about heterosexual desire, feminism, and sexual pleasure

Words: Katherine McMahon

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S

ometimes it’s tricky being a feminist who has sex with men. I say ‘sometimes’ in referring to myself, but the women in my research are also located on all points of that spectrum. I’m doing a PhD on how women who choose to identify as feminists experience pleasure and desire in their heterosexual practices. Up until now the pursuit of understanding female pleasure and desire has quite literally led we feminists everywhere ‘except into bed’ (to quote Kath Albury). As feminist academics, we theorise and theorise but no one is actually asking our feminist peers what they get up to in the heat of the moment. The under-theorisation of experiences of pleasure within female sexuality, particularly when engaging with the practices of feminists who have sexual relationships with men, is insufficiently studied. Better yet it is in need of being studied in order to contribute to growing dialogues surrounding female sexuality as a whole, both within and outside academia. Sexuality, on some level, impacts all of us in some way, shape or form. Why not legitimate it through research? My central question is; how do women understand and experience their own pleasure and desire? Within that I am interested in exploring how feminist values inform sexual practices and, the reverse of that, how sexual practices inform feminist values. Straightforward, right? Not a chance. What I am attempting to do in my work is use a relatively new medium within feminist sexbased research to try and aid in these understandings. If someone asked you to ‘keep a diary’ there’s a certain element of knowing what that means, a general understanding of the kinds of things you might write about. Diaries enable honesty. Openness. Reflective thinking. The diary is a safe space to actively engage with oneself, one’s

April 2013

body, and one’s experiences. As a result, it was my hope that a diary would allow participants to tell their own stories, in their own uninterrupted ways. In other words, to legitimate the body’s most intimate experiences I needed to employ a method that would match this level of intimacy. Enter the diary. Seventeen women participated in this study, aged 21-59. Each woman kept a diary of her sexual thoughts, feelings and experiences (past and present) for a period of three months. While some participants viewed the content of their sexual practices as none of feminism’s business, so to speak, others were fundamentally at odds with the relationship between their feminism and their desire to have sex with men. I used to struggle with the latter a lot in my early 20’s (this project is an extension of a master’s degree I did during that time). I found it difficult, then, to negotiate my desires in tune with a set of political values that, in the throes of passion, I often thought I wasn’t employing. Eventually I realised I was trying to justify my desires (to whom, I’m still not sure) so much so that I was denying them in an effort to embody an ideology whose underlying ‘take home message’ is, actually, that I have the right to choose. Exploring my sexuality? Essentially off the table, probably because I ‘feared’ I might enjoy something that as a feminist, or even a woman, I had been told that I shouldn’t. Most of the participants in my study are no different. Although discussions of choice are key to these women’s understandings of feminism and are present themes throughout each diary, in some instances these experiences were saturated with feelings of guilt as they questioned whether certain sexual choices placed their

personal identity as a feminist in crisis, and perhaps more importantly, open to critique. Yet, my understanding is that we need to strip away our preconceived ideas surrounding the norms of what it means to be a woman, of what we ‘should’ do in acts of sex, or in acts of gender. In other words, we need to move beyond simply addressing the constraints a woman experiences as a gendered body. Instead, we could explore what a woman is capable of as a lived body. Theoretically, this opens up the floor regarding the ways in which we can discuss sexual agency and how that agency can be embodied within these women’s experiences. The idea of having to justify certain heterosexual desires, for instance choosing to be sexually submissive and the guilt that was often found to be associated with this, is a starting point in determining what kind of relationship dominant norms have in both enabling and disabling sexual agency. As for right now, I’m knee deep in what I’ve been told for the last year and a half will be ‘the fun bit.’ I’m analysing diaries, creating lists of emerging themes, clustering those themes, making tables of those themes, starting to see how themes are related across the diaries, not reading enough theory (!) and overall, being generally astounded at the snapshots of women’s lives that I am able to experience and capture through such intimate writings. Purchasing a first sex toy, having an abortion, taking a vow of celibacy, receiving a diagnosis of Vaginismus after years of reconciling rape: these events were experienced by the women in my research during the months they kept their diaries. Women are brave. Women experience a lot: with their bodies, their partners, their politics and, most importantly, with their selves.

DEVIANCE

scar Wilde said, rather famously: “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” One of the exciting things about art is that it has a hand in creating and changing culture; it gives people the space to dream of different ways to live. One of the most electrifying things about poetry – and in particular the immediate, faceto-face of performance poetry – is its ability to communicate in a very particular way. It can connect with the listener over some feeling or experience that they recognise, or make the listener understand something that they’ve never felt before. For LGBTQ poets, queer poetry has both the potential to build community across identities through shared emotion and experience, and on the flipside, the potential to give straight allies some understanding of what it feels like to be queer, in all the varied forms that takes. But it’s also true that art – and artistic communities – imitate, to some extent, the wider cultures that they are situated in. There is a surprising paucity of queer voices in the Scottish spoken word scene. There are a few of us who are out and pretty loud about it, such as the brilliant multimedia troupe Zorras, who have been putting on excellent nights (like the queer/trans cabaret event Cachin Cachán Cachunga) and flying the flag for years. But at the regular open mic nights which are the bread-and-butter of the aspiring poet’s artistic life, it all still feels kind of straight. It’s not that the Scottish scene is homophobic by any means – the level of acceptance and support for LGBTQ people within the community is certainly a lot better than much of the wider culture it is situated in. But the reality of any artistic community is that it – at least to some extent – reflects the situation of LGBTQ people more generally. Performance poetry in particular often relies on personal experience and intense emotion, which can be pretty daunting when your experiences and emotions are regularly seen as inferior or irrelevant. In practice (in common with many other marginalised groups) queer voices talking about being queer are still heard less than others. This may be due to fear of prejudice doing harm to a career, worry that experiences specific to LGBTQ people might not resonate with a largely straight audience, or simply because it’s hard to come out in a world which is still hostile. The consequences of this invisibility (which is what silence often amounts to, when everyone is assumed to be straight) are serious: for those who might be worried about coming out, those who might be struggling with their sexuality, those who simply need a community which understands their experiences, visibility is vital. It’s not enough to just be tolerant: that’s the bare minimum. Until the rest of the world gets its act together it’s essential for communities of artists of all persuasions to consciously create spaces for queer voices through queer-focused events and through actively welcoming and celebrating diverse experience. It’s about more than just making people feel comfortable within our own communities, though. As Wilde said, Art has the potential to change the way that people see the world. If we can find a way to present a different worldview to a wider audience, then maybe that’s what we can do. It’s a case of solidarity and of finding ways of standing together without erasing difference. It’s humane, important, and, in my opinion, one of the best things that art can offer.

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RICHARD HOLLOWAY hosts

www.amuchbiggerconversation.co.uk

Online booking

Igniting debate, connections and conversations about the bigger questions in life

22ND APRIL 2013 AT 7PM THE ASSEMBLY ROXY:

2 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9SU Tickets £5 (£4 concessions) available from Waterstones George Street on 0131 225 3436

With Professor Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at Edinburgh University, chair at the BBC’s Scottish Religious Advisory Committee, and a regular on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, and Mary Loudon, prize-winning author and broadcaster and former Whitbread Prize judge.

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THE SKINNY


Phagomania: Burger me! Satanic animals, mounds of haggis, and what can only be described as ‘topical French meat art.’ Welcome to the Phagomania burger special! Words: Peter Simpson / James Lees / Lewis Macdonald

t’s just ground-up meat stuffed inside a roll, folks. That’s all there is to it. OK, sometimes there’s a bit of cheese involved, but there is a strange aura around the burger that takes it beyond just being a type of sandwich. That strange aura is what we’re going to investigate in this Phagomania special. Brace yourself for owls dressed as Jesus Christ, one man’s attempt to chronicle all the burgers in the land, and some troublesome Frenchmen.

The Editor’s Favourite We couldn’t do a page about burgers without mentioning personal favourites, and it just so happens that said favourite has a pretty odd story behind it. The weird mythos behind burgers and the bizarre culture they seem to drag with them often means that the best meat is found in the most unexpected places. Even still, ‘converted Christian mission’ probably wouldn’t turn up on the list of places you might expect to find the perfect burger until at least page three or four. And converted is the correct word to use, as MEATMission (see what they did there?) in London’s charming Hoxton appears to have made the full 180 from lovely cuddly Christianity to insane quasi-Satanist-Illuminati-animal-religion. Just look at that photo. That’s the ceiling – a stained glass collage of owls dressed as Jesus, deers in suits, psychotic bears eating chips, and some weird pyramid-eye thing. The lighting was mad, the word ‘MEAT’ was reproduced in neon in four or five different locations around the room, and the bar appeared to be housed in a garden shed from the set of Mad Max. I was confused, and entertained, and confused. Mainly confused. Then I had my mustard-cooked burger, and it was amazing. I could go into detail about juiciness of the meat and correct bun-steaming durations, but you know what a burger tastes like. Imagine that, but turned up to 11, and heavily influenced by some kind of bestial witchcraft. The best burger ever, and it’s very hard to describe because I’ve spent all my time talking about the roof. That’s the world of burgers for you. [Peter Simpson] The Blogger’s Journey “James vs Burger (jamesvsburgers.com) was born as a result of a conversation between myself and my girlfriend, Pamela. We were sitting at home one night and in the mood for a good burger. When trying to decide where to go, we turned to Google and were shocked at the complete lack of coverage of Glasgow’s burger scene [Editor’s note: our bad!]. We love burgers and have had some of the best in London, New York, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and various other places our travels have taken us, but many of our favourite burgers can only be found in Glasgow. We knew that there were chefs in the city who were producing some of the best burgers we had ever eaten and decided that we wanted to go out and find the best of the best. “It started off as a small hobby that we were doing in our spare time – I’d write the reviews

April 2013

and Pamela would take care of the photography; however, almost overnight we received 5,000 hits, then 10,000, then 25,000 and the number just kept on climbing. In less than a year, we’ve received more than 350,000 hits and the number continues to grow. People love burgers and I think that the popularity of the site just shows how good the scene in Glasgow really is. “Since starting the site, we’ve taken our love of burgers to a whole new level. We booked a trip to New York purely for burgers, drove to Manchester just to eat at Almost Famous and then come home again and taken on some of the biggest and baddest burgers that Glasgow has to offer, including the Lebowski’s ‘Burns Supper Beast’ burger. Weighing in at a monstrous 6lbs, it consisted of a giant beef patty topped with a mountain of haggis, salad and whiskey cream sauce and served on a toasted seeded bun with a side of fries. It was the type of burger that shortens lives, but we had to try it.” [James Lees]

Burger de la Renonciation (Burger of the Renunciation)

The Frenchmen’s Art Imagine we meet in the street. You ask us what interesting things I’ve seen lately, and we tell you that we’ve been following the work of two French graphic designers who spend their evenings creating complex and surreal pieces of photocollage using beefburgers as the focal point. You would be within your rights tell us that that shouldn’t exist, that we were mad for having dreamt it up, before shuffling us into some kind of padded van. Well shuffle no more, for Fat and Furious Burger is a genuine thing (fatandfuriousburger. com). What’s more, it’s bloody brilliant. The brainchild of designers Quentin and Thomas, and powered by “one love of fat, and two strong livers,” the duo’s blog is packed with a host of topical creations and some of the most bizarre food imagery since that scene in Eraserhead with the squirming roast chicken. Fancy a burger that also celebrates the coming of a new pope? These guys have made it, complete with mitre-style detail and little caviar jewels. What about a burger to commemorate the passing of astronaut Neil Armstrong? There it is, covered in coconut, with cream cheese and a little spaceman on top. A hunting-themed burger, with traditional rustic ingredients, on a placemat that makes the whole thing look like a shotgunwielding burger-headed monster? Yes. They have one of those. The world of burgers is an odd place, but when you’re looking at a 007-inspired sandwich covered in gold leaf, accompanied by an ingredients list stuffed with French puns on Bond titles, it’s hard not to smile in a slightly demented fashion. You might have a point about that padded van.

The End Burger

To find out more about Quentin and Thomas, go to theskinny.co.uk/food where Phagomania continues with a full interview with the duo, as we try to find out exactly what they’re up to. MEATMission, Hoxton Market, London N1; jamesvsburgers. com; fatandfuriousburger.com. Read the Fat and Furious interview, and our 2013 food & drink survey, at theskinny. co.uk/food

FOOD AND DRINK

MEATMission roof

Lifestyle

Photo: Mac Morrison

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Food News This month, we stick food news in a blender alongside graphic design, boating and showdowns between brewers and rambunctious record label chiefs Words: Peter Simpson Photography: Emily Wylde

F

ood is the glue that holds our fragile cultural world together. Don’t believe us? Well why do you think these pages are in the middle of the magazine? Ah-ha, see. Food is linked to everything, and we like when the two work together. For example, we like a nice bit of graphic design round these parts. And the Wine Tube Map, unleashed as part of Edinburgh’s Wine with a View event this month, is a nice bit of graphic design. The event brings together some of the capital’s top independent wine folk, along with their wine and some obligatory nibbles. The map is designed to help you navigate the globe’s various wines, and to reassure you that the wine you have in your hand will be similar to a wine you enjoy/ trust. The setting for all this is the outrageous Sky Bar atop the Point Hotel, so your wine should be accompanied by nice views and the sight of canapes flying to the pavement thanks to gusts of rooftop wind. Frankly, that and the map would have done us just fine, the wine is a bonus. Point Hotel, Bread Street, 27 Apr, £15. Next, two music and drink tie-ups to fight for your attention. In one corner, we have Beer Vs. Records, the Record Store Day collaboration/ bitter dust-up between Barney’s Beer and Song, by Toad. The concept is simple – Song, by Toad are releasing a series of vinyl records featuring new tracks from Le Thug and Magic Eye, among others. The records come with lovely artwork, etc etc, but sadly you can’t eat vinyl. Well, you can eat it once. You can drink beer though, so Barney’s are releasing the same music as digital downloads printed on the bottles of some new small-batch brews. The packages will cost the same, and you’ll get the same music either way, so it’s a choice between musty, old, obsolete records or tasty, tasty beer. This column has picked its side, and we’re sticking to it. On sale from 20 Apr, beervsrecords.com.

Round the World in 20 Drinks: Hungary Hungary isn’t all about nudist baths or floating down the Danube river – the booze (and the food) are definitely worth dabbling in too Words: Laura Forsyth

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Lifestyle

In the other corner is Brew at the Bog, Brewdog’s returning attempt to show that not only do they make better beer than the corporates, they also bankroll better music festivals. While it’s not on the scale of T in the Park, the Bog does feature a stacked line-up with the likes of FOUND, Miaoux Miaoux, Discopolis and Three Blind Wolves all making the trek to Inverness for the day. Tickets are just £30, and one assumes that there won’t be a pint of warm, watery lager to be found. Maybe some beers poured from taxidermied animals, but no piss-lager! Bogbain Farm (nr Inverness), 4 May, £30 camping. From music to books, and Glasgow’s Aye Write! festival. The festival’s top food and drink event sees whisky expert Ian Buxton plugging his book 101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die. So far so bucket list, but the fact that these are world whiskies from all over the place make this an intriguing sell. You’ll be confused, you’ll try and fail to pronounce the names of Japanese whiskies, and you’ll ask awkward questions of the author. Books! Mitchell Library, North Street, 20 Apr, £8. Now, do you like IPA? You don’t? Well, go away for just now. The rest of you, do you like IPA? You do? Well good news, because 30 Days of IPA is back! For a month, the hoppy colonial throwback will take over pubs across Edinburgh. As if that wasn’t enough, the IPA-ists are even getting in a spot of science, by popping some beer on a boat and sailing it around for a while in an attempt to find out just what made the original IPAs which sailed to and from India so tasty. Their boat is just sailing around the Forth, but the experiment stands. Music, books, art and amateur boating – food brings it all together. Various Edinburgh pubs throughout April; Beer on Boats, Counting House, West Nicholson Street, 25 Apr, £12.50 Three Blind Wolves at last year’s Brew at the Bog

30daysofipa.co.uk

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he most celebrated boozy treat is the traditional Pálinka which has been chugged by royalty since the 14th century, originally as a ‘medicine.’ Derived from the Slavonic term ‘to burn,’ your cheeks will certainly have a rosy glow after a few glasses. This double-distilled, multifruit brandy is bursting with flavours, ranging from pears, plums, apricots, and apples to other random fruit you’ve probably never heard of. Sometimes it can be made from honey but either way, you’re guaranteed the ultimate sweetly satisfying sensation. Serve at room temperature in a wide-bottom-narrow-top glass for the full fruitbased experience. Now you can’t drink without having something to eat (responsibility and all that), so you should probably check out the national dishes. As with the booze it’s important to know, or at least be able to work out, what you’re getting as it can go horribly wrong (think mouthfuls of gravy-soaked bones and gristle, the memory still haunts me). If you want to play it safe but still taste the culture, check out anywhere serving Chicken Paprikash. The flavour is in the name, the beautiful paprika cream-soaked chicken is simple yet delicious. And vegetarians should try Lescó if

FOOD AND DRINK

they want a spin on standard vegetable. This plate is bursting with the same spice as the Chicken Paprikash but is substituted with tomatoes, onion and peppers. If you are looking to clear your pallet before or after your tasty platters, then I recommend you have a swig of Unicum. Although the name may sound dodgy, do not fear: it is created mainly using herbs, over forty in fact. It’s pretty much one of your five-a-day. There are different variations of the drink, the most popular brand being produced by Zwack, which infuses the oaky undertones with a citrus flavour. This iconic drink has been around for centuries so if you fancy a zesty kick before, straight after, or even several hours after your meal, it is worth a shot. Or if you aren’t into syrupy brandies and liqueurs and just want to chill with a traditional beer then do not fear as the Hungarians have got this sorted too with German-style Borsodi or a golden Dreher. There isn’t a shortage of wines either with variations ranging from a dry yet aromatic Furmint, to a tasty Tokaji, so you are guaranteed to find a drink to suit your food and mood. You’ll never go Hungary again. Hungary or drink-ary. Crikey. That Pálinka must have burned our brains as well as our cheeks...

THE SKINNY


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THE SKINNY


Gig Highlights

Church of Noise

A roundup of the most unmissable gigs in the Central Belt, with the return of Outskirts Festival and live appearances from James Blake, Echo & The Bunnymen, Trail of Dead, Malcolm Middleton, plus the brutal sonic assault of Death Grips

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Words: Illya Kuryakin Photography: Euan Robertson

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eth Orton’s latest album Sugaring Season was well received when we reviewed it back in September last year – it is worth remembering, too, that when Orton first came onto the scene, way back in 1996 with her breakthrough album the William Orbit-produced Trailer Park, the female singer-songwriter was a rare breed, seldom gracing the single or album charts. In this bountiful age of lesser songstresses – your Laura Marlings and Paloma Faiths – Orton is a shining beacon of studied, innovative songwriting. And ye gods, that voice. Catch her at the Liquid Room, Edinburgh on 9 April. Can James Blake pull off the same crossover hit with sophomore album Overgrown as he did with his eponymous debut? He’s certainly drafted in a few big-name guests, from Brian Eno to Wu Tang’s RZA. Live, you can expect Blake to layer delicate, soulful vocals with abstract, intricately constructed post-dubstep beats – so you’ll have the chance to croon along to Limit To Your Love, and perhaps even shake a tailfeather to early hits like CMYK. Catch him at The Arches on 11 April. Two giants of ‘80s and ‘90s alternative rock unite at Glasgow’s SECC on 13 April – Manc indie mob James have an epic sweep to their joyous, emotive back catalogue that lends itself to stadium-size gigs, and you can expect at least one heart-in-the-mouth moment of nostalgia as the crowd join in to sing their biggest hit, Sit Down. Echo & The Bunnymen, Ian McCulloch’s

Liverpudlian miserablists, plough a darker furrow – The Killing Moon and The Cutter provide their most singalong moments, through a lyrical veneer of pessimistic, yearning sadness and militaristic, pounding drums. When it comes to experimental music, there are few bands with a pedigree as strong and a back catalogue as revered as Ohio’s Pere Ubu. Named after a character in Alfred Jarry’s avant garde play Ubu Roi, the band have been pushing boundaries and redefining the borders of rock, industrial and arthouse punk since 1975. Their latest album Lady From Shanghai was evidence of a band still going strong after decades together, with cryptic lyrics and brooding, deconstructed garage rock jams. Still unique after all these years – catch them live at Mono, Glasgow, on 17 April. On 20 April at SWG3, witness the return of Texan rockers ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, playing tracks from their eighth studio album Lost Songs, easily their most direct since the sublime heights of 2002’s Source Tags & Codes. As always, the fireworks come courtesy of the clash of influences at work within the band – Conrad Keely’s sprawling, epic, mystical concerns igniting on contact with Jason Reece’s firebrand punk sensibilities. Also on 20 April, a very special one-day festival is taking place at Glasgow’s Platform. Outskirts features music, poetry, audiovisual

hether it’s a brutal assault of chugging riffs, skull-piercing synth-pulses or bowelmoving bass-throbs, Church of Noise has you covered for the month ahead. The 13th Note is the place to be initially: your first assignment is to check out some Hungarian thrash-grind courtesy of Crippled Fox. The band’s side project xFxAxSxTx will also be making an appearance, as will hardcore crew xSaxoNx and your friendly neighbourhood grindcore outfit WheelchairX4 (1 Apr). If you’re seeking a truly eclectic evening, one-man avant-garde band My Empty Phantom, electronic experimentalists (a is to b), industrial dreamgazers Le Thug and solo synth-pop project Yuan Mekong will be at the Note too (4 Apr). It’s worth returning yet again for space-rock dudes Vakunoht and shoegaze worshippers The Cherry Wave, who will be playing with amplifier abusers Sunsmasher and no-wave nutters Dum & Dead Hope (7 Apr). Over at Auld Reekie’s Banshee Labyrinth, you’ll find some ultra-depressive sludge from the Netherlands’ Starve. They’ll be tearing up the venue’s tiny basement with some help from hairy Leeds fellas Wizard’s Beard. Edinburgh up-andcomers Scapegoat are up first to prove their worth (11 Apr). Alternative hip-hop fans can count on this James Blake killer lineup: Scottish MC Louie brings the drumrap shenanigans with his band Hector Bizerk performances and unique art happenings, featur- alongside playful electro-rock dudes Hanney, ing Albuquerque folk ensemble A Hawk and a Scot-hop project Truman’s Revenge and rap duo Hacksaw, plus readings from revered comic and Supa Jme and the Jazz Man at Dundee venue thinker Rob Newman and instrumental Golden Non-Zero’s (12 Apr). Alternatively, you could trek Hour / Forest Cafe organiser and poet Ryan Van over to Henry’s Cellar Bar for the sax-funk indie Winkle. The £15 ticket includes a meal, and the rock grooves of Ded Rabbit and friends on the event runs from 3.30pm in the afternoon until same night. late. Check the venue’s website (www.platformKing Tut’s is the place to be for some psychedelic jams: Rise Above alumni Astra and Purson online.co.uk) for the full running order. promise to warp your mind and corrupt your soul The last twelve months have been (17 Apr). Got a bloodthirsty streak? Don’t miss prolific for Neil Pennycook’s ever-changing troupe Meursault – playing at Celtic your opportunity to catch Swedish death metal Connections, contributing to celebrated Arches legends Hypocrisy on their only Northern date group show Whatever Gets You Through The outside London. That’s at Stereo (18 Apr). Night, and releasing their well-received third LP, Next, there’s some cinematic alternative Something For The Weakened being particular rock on the cards from promising young posthighlights. Last year’s headlining show at The rockers Penguins Kill Polar Bears and infatuating powerpop band Farewell Singapore. Indie Queen’s Hall saw the band trade synthesisiers rock quartet Model Aeroplanes provide support for a string ensemble, bringing a refreshing new scope to their sound. Get reacquainted with their at Non-Zero’s (19 Apr). If you’d rather dance away to some out there sounds, there’s also melancholic, anthemic brand of indie rock at some ethereal techno and dub from Container, Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on 26 April. Dalhous, Silk Cut and more at The Glue Factory As the month draws to a close, take the on the same night – as part of all-new electronic chance to catch Skinny favourite and king of event, Collapse. miserablist musical experimentation, Malcolm Closing up the month are high-profile doom Middleton, in an intimate gig at Edinburgh’s metal act Bongripper, who will most likely be Electric Circus on 29 April. It’s a one-off acoustic show and something of a shift away from his breaking your face in slow-motion at Bannermans recent electronic guise as Human Don’t Be Angry, alongside their cronies, fellow Satan-worshippers with Middleton promising new material, plus a Conan, Humanfly and Atragon (26 Apr). Horns up. [Ross Watson] selection of cuts from his 2002 solo debut, 5:14.

DO NOT MISS: DEATH GRIPS SWG3, GLASGOW, 30 APR The last time Death Grips blew through town, they played the tiny sweatbox environs of The Captain’s Rest. Both the punk / metal fraternity and the b-boy contingent turned up in force, turning the 100-capacity room into a dark and sweaty moshpit. As drummer Zach Hill trashed a series of drumsticks, pounding seven shades of crap out of his kit with feet bare and head down, imposing frontman MC Ride dominated the front row of the seething pit, chest bare and emblazoned with occult tattoos, staring into the middle distance and howling “I am the beast I worship.” Indeed.

April 2013

Since those formative days, they’ve been signed and dropped by Epic Records, released two visceral, intense albums, and lost a member (keyboardist Flatlander). Recent excursions into video art, alternate reality games and ontological terrorism promise a more considered, but no less skull-crushingly in-your-face performance from the band. Their fusion of punk and hip-hop is utterly unique, fulfilling the early promise of fusion bands such as Rage Against The Machine and Bodycount. Brutal, punishing, ultimately lifeaffirming, they’re the most exciting band in the world right now.

MUSIC

Preview

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Album of the Month The Flaming Lips

The Terror [Bella Union, 15 Apr]

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Billed as The Lips' ‘bleak, disturbing’ record (with suitably ominous title to match), the reality is that this, their thirteenth studio album, whilst completely lacking in any of the singalong confection (à la Yoshimi or Do You Realise??) which have engrained them in the public consciousness, is much more ambient and restless than downright moody – though it is difficult to see where they’ll be getting the zorbs and giant balloons out when it comes to their legendary live shows. The Terror represents a tighter focusing of the atmospheric psychedelia of 2009’s Embryonic (and, to an extent, their multicollaborative Heady Fwends compilation from last year). Wayne

Colin Stetson

New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light [Constellation, 29 Apr]

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Coyne’s voice, effect-laden and in high-register throughout, provides a familiar, soothing backdrop to the crescendo-building, buzzsaw guitar and syncopated beats of Look...The Sun is Rising and Always There In Our Hearts, which bookend the record. In between, the comparative energy of these tracks give way to those that join the dots, like You Lust and The Terror, which ebb and flow around sparse melodies and ethereal effects to disorienting effect. Yet, the whole is an album of august eminence; an impressive addition to an illustrious canon. [Paul Mitchell] www.flaminglips.com

Akron/Family

Life Coach

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Sub Verses [Dead Oceans, 29 Apr]

Alphawaves [Thrill Jockey, 15 Apr]

Sometime session saxophonist Colin Stetson has been blazing a strange and experimental path with his New History Warfare series, in which unique playing / recording techniques are wed to a boldly experimental tonal minimalism. Stetson’s technical mastery impresses; but save your wonder for the jarring, semi-apocalyptic mood. Like a brooding soundtrack to an as-yet unmade David Lynch film, a cloud of unease trundles throughout, relentlessly. Meanwhile, the defiant lack of structure and Steve Reichian repetition forces engagement at an almost metaphysical level. A few tracks, such as the 15-minute To See More Light, can be gruelling, and the virtual absence of anything resembling what could be called a song will lead New History Warfare: Vol 3 to be quickly dismissed by some (a guest vocal appearances from Justin Vernon may be something of a red herring). But given room to breathe, this is a curious treat: a collection of sonic mood pieces, boasting a rare, tempestuous, dreamlike beauty. [John Nugent]

On seventh album Sub Verses, Akron/Family again manage to sound both formidably outré yet instinctively graspable. No Room is a brooding beast of an opener; a groove-based colossus that stretches itself over the best part of seven minutes, all rippling tom rolls and ever-thickening walls of noise. Way Up follows, its multi-part vocals dancing atop brutish thuds of distortion to create one of the record’s most striking couplings. Its hard-edged beauty then gracefully collapses into Until the Morning’s soulful psych-folk concoction, which in turn segues to the hectic bustle of Sand Talk – and so on, through still ambience (Sometimes 1), discordant squalls (Holy Boredom) and playedstraight doo-wop (When I Was Young). This restlessly contrastive aesthetic delivers bulk brilliance, imaginatively weaving through disparate realms; never so sharply as to shake off those clinging on by fingernails and good faith alone, but vigorously enough to ensure it’s a stimulating journey throughout. [Chris Buckle]

Originally conceived as a solo outlet for Trans Am founder Phil Manley’s homage to late krautrock visionary Conny Plank, this second album as Life Coach is another bold evolution for the prolific producer. Whereas his 2011 debut was a reflective series of uplifting ambient synth passages, Alphawaves is all live instrumentation with Manley’s mantra-like vocals casually drifting in and out of every other track, recalling NEU!’s cosmic meandering as much as QOTSA’s earliest brushes with hard-hitting psychedelia. With Manley’s Roland 606 left smouldering in the skip, Earthless guitarist Isaiah Mitchell occasionally plugs in and the drum stool comes out for sometime Golden bandmate and college chum Jon Theodore, complementing the album’s improvised feel with a loose and intuitive set of parts he recorded mostly unrehearsed on the first take. As a result, Alphawaves is more naturally experienced as a fluid, singular jam on repeat, each hypnotic track reaching for its own summit in perpetuity. [Dave Kerr]

colinstetson.com

akronfamily.bandpage.com

www.philmanley.com

Neon Neon

The Melvins

Trwbador

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Praxis Makes Perfect [Lex Records, 29 Apr] Neon Neon’s auspicious debut, Stainless Style, was written in homage to ‘80s ‘icon’ John DeLorean with the sonic palette to match, but Praxis deals with the life and times of Italian communist sympathiser Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, last seen just before dying in unexplained circumstances in 1972. A different era, but not as far as the music is concerned. It appears Boom Bip (Bryan Hollon) and Gruff Rhys have grown quite fond of the studio equipment last used by the likes of Yello, Depeche Mode and, eh, Debbie Gibson but it certainly helps that the seasoned Hollon is masterfully adept with it. Rhys’ supreme pop-writing abilities (and notable sense of humour) mean that this sophomore effort is just as much fun as the original. Power pop ballads in the form of Jaguwar and Dr Zhivago are constructed with no little tongue in bombastic cheek, counterbalanced by the ‘cheery’ denouncement of capitalism that is Shopping (I Like To) featuring none other than ‘80s icon Sabrina Salerno of Boys (Summertime Love) fame. A synthesised delight. Now where did we put that Rubik’s Cube? [Wilbur Kane]

Everybody Loves Sausages [Ipecac, 29 Apr] What better way to ring in Melvins’ 30th year than this snapshot of what was going on inside the impressionable minds of a young Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover back in 1983. Everybody Loves Sausages finds the duo serving up a plate load of tasty bangers that pay tribute to childhood influences which range through proto-punk (The Kinks) and thrash (Venom) via coked-up art rock (Bowie), with an ensemble cast of their own contemporaries onboard to co-sign the love note. Echoing the experimental nature of 2000’s The Crybaby, it’s a potent reminder of their dexterity beyond the dependable sludge metal records they’ve been trading in ever since (with the exception of Freak Puke, last year’s doom jazz detour). From Jello Biafra’s alternately chilling and hilarious Bryan Ferry impression (see the ambient reworking of Roxy Music’s In Every Dream Home A Heartache), to one of the heaviest renditions of Station to Station you’ll ever get lost in, it’s a thrill to hear such eccentric moments from pop music’s past so liberally seasoned with Melvins’ own madness. Pass the sauce. [Dave Kerr]

Since forming in 2010, Carmarthenshire’s Trwbador (aka Welsh-Dutch singer Angharad Van Rijswijk and guitarist/producer Owain Gwilym) have forged a distinctive and often impressively inventive style, with whimsical vocals pinned lightly to toybox production built from glitches and loops, glockenspiel chimes and nursery rhyme melodies. Unfortunately, unless your tolerance for twee and quirk is notably high, the effect is likely to irritate more often that it bedazzles, with the monotonous lyrics of songs like Sun in the Winter and Red Handkerchiefs not helped by cutesy delivery and an over-familiarity with the upper range of audible frequencies at the expense of anything deeper (in both senses of the word). Despite these doubts, however, it’s easy to keep sight of the duo’s potential, with Rain’s sideswiping Welsh-language rap (courtesy of guesting MC Odlgymix) showcasing the more positive results of the duo’s idiosyncrasies, and the crystalline cadence of Safe best indicating their compositional talents. [Chris Buckle]

Pan American

The Knife

David Grubbs

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Cloud Room, Glass Room [Kranky, 29 Apr] Billed as an album that was ‘written to be played live,’ Mark Nelson’s umpteenth album under the Pan American moniker makes only small changes to the group’s established métier of soporific drift and shimmer. Most noticeable is the addition of fellow Labradford alumnus Bobby Donne, whose restrained basslines underpin many of these tracks; contributing a sense of weight and body whilst simultaneously adding to the cumulative narcotic effect of the music by dint of sheer repetition. Nelson’s fascination with minimal techno still heavily informs the rhythms of the music – with fleet-fingered percussionist Steven Hess giving a supple, understated performance behind his acoustic kit – but the predictable dubby throb of Glass Room at the Airport will have more than a few fans wishing that Nelson had spent a little more time investigating the looser, more organic modes that made 2004’s Quiet City such a masterpiece. [Mark Shukla]

Shaking the Habitual [Rabid, 8 Apr] Accompanied by a manifesto expressing distaste for the ‘already imagined,’ siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer’s first record as The Knife in seven years is a disquieting and structureless piece of work that speaks of an endemic dissatisfaction with most of the systems in which we both live and make art, its own insistent shapelessness being itself an attempt to – well – shake the habitual. Without You My Life Would Be Boring mixes scatological lyrics with junglist drums; Fracking Fluid Injection is a cacophony of rubbed blades, hooting vox and shrill warnings, while two sinussearing interruptions, Oryx and Crake, namecheck the titular characters of Margaret Atwood’s post-apocalyptic novel. A Tooth for an Eye and Stay Out Here are the only tracks you could really refer to as songs, and to put that in perspective, the latter is an 11-minute slice of nasty rave. This will be harrowing live. [Lauren Strain] theknife.net

www.kranky.net/artists/panamerican.html

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Trwbador [Owlet Music, 1 Apr]

Review

The Plain Where the Palace Stood [Drag City, 15 Apr] The second song on David Grubbs’ first fulllength in five years, I Started to Live When My Barber Died, is a playful meditation on the creative potency of relinquishing control. Characteristically, it’s a sentiment tinged with irony and ambivalence: throughout Grubbs’ career, his work has sought to combine obsessive attention to detail with the magic of improvisation and chance. In some ways, The Plain Where the Palace Stood continues where its predecessor, An Optimist Notes the Dusk, left off: Ornamental Hermit, for example, is a typically complex, oblique slice of avant garde guitar-pop. There is, however, an unusual sense of fragmentation here. Barring the closing Third Salutation – a hauntingly minimal landscape of feedback – none of the pieces overstep the 5-minute mark, and the LP flirts with drone-folk and math-rock. If Grubbs is resisting the urge to impose a controlling vision, he’s nonetheless created something with its own compelling logic. [Sam Wiseman] www.dragcity.com/artists/david-grubbs

RECORDS

THE SKINNY


!!!

The Thermals

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Thr!!!er [Warp, 29 Apr] Throughout their 17 years thus far, !!! have evolved from a tight, snarling punk-funk ensemble into something altogether more louche, studied and hip. What they’ve lost in youthful exuberance and attitude, they make up for with a nuanced understanding of funk and disco tropes, married to a playful indie rock sensibility, which leaves younger bands with similar influences dead in the water. When it works, the results are immaculate, as on opener Even When the Water’s Cold, with its gently pulsing cumbia guitar and flippant, menacing lyrics (“She was better off at the bottom of a river / Than in a bed with him”). Sometimes, as on Get That Rhythm Right, the results feel overly polished – you’ll miss the Joe Strummer sneer in Nic Offer’s voice; the horns and picked riffs feel too perfect. In songwriting terms, and with regards to overall structure, it’s their strongest album in years, but struggles to recapture their early peaks. [Bram E. Gieben]

Vondelpark

Desperate Ground [Saddle Creek, 15 Apr] The righteous fury of The Thermals continues to burn with intensity some ten years after their debut. The subjects that singer Hutch Harris has taken aim at over the years – from war and right wing politicians to our own complacency – are certainly worthy of debate. But such insistent moralising is not everyone’s cup of tea, particularly when the Portland band tackle a more singular theme - aggression on Desperate Ground. Then again, nobody who listens to this album - the band’s sixth - could accuse Harris of posing or posturing. His beliefs, and their desire to challenge others, clearly comes straight from the gut. On Born to Kill, he questions the blind faith of a soldier turned madman, ready to spill blood, who snarls: “I will not be denied my destiny.” Composing polemic anthems is what The Thermals do best; anyone after a more nuanced discussion would be best advised to look elsewhere. [Chris McCall]

Seabed [R&S, 1 Apr]

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When you’re stuck in the spaces in-between – on journeys home at uncomfortable dawns, in cold living rooms at the wrong end of the morning – you’ll want to know about Seabed’s low, slow groove, its humid, heavy atmospheres and its mournful way with melody, all delivered in frontman Lewis Rainsbury’s blasé yawn-sing (which sounds like it should belong to a man far older and jaded than his 21 years). This is a less ekwed offering than 2011’s intoxicating NYC Stuff and NYC Bags EP – and although a reworked California Analog Dream (from 2010’s Sauna EP) loses a lot of the fog and sense of space that made its original incarnation so evocative of the San Diego landscape Rainsbury yearns for in it – Vondelpark’s long anticipated debut is an involving, inhabitable album that spooks (see: Dracula, Come On) as much as it soothes (Always Forever, Quest). [Lauren Strain]

Sølyst

Loch Lomond

PYYRAMIDS

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Lead [Bureau B, 15 Apr] As the rhythmic powerhouse in krautrock/electronica/post-rock fusionists Kreidler, Thomas Klein has proved his chops as one of the most accomplished and creative drummers in the German music scene, and now he comes to the fore with his dub and techno-influenced solo debut as Sølyst. If krautrock as a movement was about taking organic, instrument-created sounds and building them into angular, avant garde sonic tapestries, then Klein’s reinvention of the template simply does the same with digital technology and sounds. The dub influence slows the pace to a narcotic, undulating throb on opener Pierbourg, which nods to the minimalist techno of Basic Channel and classic experimental synth music. Elsewhere, Polar combines glacial, echoing percussion with multifaceted, bubbling synths; Magellan propels the tempo upwards with intricately interlocking toms and pulsing laser sounds; while Euphorica nods to the minimal broken beat patterns of two-step garage. Understated and avoiding wilful experimentation in favour of smooth, rounded compositions, it’s a strong debut from Klein. [Bram E. Gieben]

Dresses [Chemikal Underground, 8 Apr] Now in its tenth year of existence, Ritchie Young’s Loch Lomond project has grown and receded through many guises, moving from solo beginnings to become a revolving, multi-headed ensemble with a small orchestra of instruments at its disposal. Fourth album Dresses (Loch Lomond’s second for Chemikal Underground) seems to wheel out every one of them, though never gratuitously; rather, this elegant collection elicits emotions through restraint, deploying strings, brass and the like with moderation. For the most part, Young’s powerful vocals remain at the forefront, imbuing songs like Virgin Mountain with a persuasive drama. But credit is claimed just as surely by others present – not least longstanding member Jason Leonard, whose ambient lap steel interludes boost the record’s pronounced cinematic beauty. Other highlights include the haunting choral harmonies of atmospheric opener Bells and the closing trumpet calls of Black Dresses, which supply the record with one final lift to the heavens – a fitting residence. [Chris Buckle]

Brightest Darkest Day [Paracadute, 15 Apr] PYYRAMIDS (the capitalisation and extra Y are non-negotiable, alas) are Tim Nordwind and Drea Smith – the former moonlighting from professional choreographers / occasional band OK Go, the latter formerly of He Say She Say. So not quite a supergroup, then, but a partnership with experience under its hood, and enough spark to potentially produce something exceptional. Brightest Darkest Day isn’t that something, but it has moments that come close, including Do You Think You’re Enough’s propulsive electro-rock fuzz and Paper Doll’s slow-burn indie rock – the latter strangely (and almost certainly coincidentally) reminiscent of reformed alt-poppers Drugstore. Unfortunately, these peaks only tell half the story, with songs like the noir slink of Smoke and Mirrors constituting little more than superficial zeitgeist influences which sound inviting on initial introduction but carry negligible impact. Regardless, on its debut outing, PYYRAMIDS identifies itself as a promising musical alliance; next time round, the duo may just prove it. [Chris Buckle]

Fol Chen

Dear Reader

Phoenix

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The False Alarms [Asthmatic Kitty, 4 Apr]

Rivonia [City Slang, 1 Apr]

Bankrupt! [Atlantic, 22 Apr]

In the four years of their existence, LA’s Fol Chen have held a month-long residency at the city’s Echo venue, organised collaborative workshops to re-assemble their first two LPs, and created their own instrument, the tetrafol. The collective are evidently not short of ideas or enthusiasm. That spirit is evident in their music, which marries vibrant, sharp-edged dance-pop with a keen lyrical focus. On The False Alarms, their third LP (and first with new singer Sinosa Loa), this mix is maintained, with an occasional nod to darker, industrial influences. The band have labelled the LP as ‘opera house,’ a pun which neatly captures their mixture of artsy abstraction and infectious silliness, but in truth it doesn’t mark a great sonic or structural shift from earlier work. Nonetheless, Loa’s smooth, crystalline vocals lend a sense of narrative and aesthetic cohesion; as a result, The False Alarms feels like their most accomplished effort yet. [Sam Wiseman]

Dear Reader (the nom-de-plume of South African songwriter Cherilyn MacNeil) has named third album Rivonia after the Johannesburg neighbourhood she grew up in. But the record has more ambitious lyrical themes than childhood, with the suburb having played a significant role in the country’s unhappy history of Apartheid: it was there, at a farm called Liliesleaf, that several ANC members were arrested, with the subsequent Rivonia trials leading directly to the imprisonment of numerous key figures (Nelson Mandela included). It’s an ambitious subject to set down in song, but MacNeil finds effortless ways in, tackling politics with suspicion through (imagined) recollections and oblique poetry. The music to which these tales are set, meanwhile, is vivid and puissant, with 26.04.1994 (the date prior to the elections that took Mandela to the presidency) a silvery, soaring highlight and Man of the Book’s dancing, wheezing melodies affirmation of talents finally finding full voice. [Chris Buckle]

Phoenix’s first LP in four years promises more experimentation than on their breakthrough, 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and sure, there’s a few changes to their palette which are apparent right from the get-go with Entertainment, the album’s hooky opening statement. There’s a heavier dependence on retro synthesizers and tinny, artificial-sounding drums, making this their most explicitly synth-pop outing to date. The left-turn of Love Like a Sunset from their last record has a counterpart here in the title track, which initially toys with abstract electronics up until Thomas Mars’ smooth vocals are reintroduced and the song soars calmly to its end-point. Despite the slight shift in sonics, each track here is as harmonious and inviting as ever: Bourgeois and The Real Thing both radiate joy and melancholy in equal measure. The band makes this kind of balancing act look effortless on an album bursting with treasures. [Ross Watson]

www.folchen.com

www.dearreadermusic.com

Playing T in the Park, Kinross, on 12 July

Major Lazer

Roddy Woomble

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Free The Universe [Downtown, 15 Apr] Once upon a time Diplo made visionary, psychedelic hip-hop music infused with ragga vocals, artfully distressed samples, and a mercurial approach to beats that saw him nod to baile funk, electro and nascent dubstep sounds. Then Diplo got famous, and founded Mad Decent. Next came Major Lazer. Their sophomore album, delayed due to a range of factors including the permanent departure of Switch, comes on the back of world tours, and remix work for a plethora of mainstream artists. Unfortunately, it’s a victim of Diplo’s success. The beats are faultless club bangers, although with perhaps a tenth of the imagination found on 2004’s Florida. They are ruined, however, by insipid, flat, character-less vocals from the likes of Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors, and the decidedly less scintillating likes of Bruno Mars, Wyclef, and, erm, Shaggy. Shamelessly catering to lowbrow tastes, this is a bloated, humourless, vapid album that will probably soundtrack the Spring Break of a million douchebags. Creatively bankrupt. [Bram E. Gieben]

April 2013

Listen to Keep [Reveal, Out Now] The sleeve for Listen to Keep includes a snap of Roddy Woomble relaxing by a fireplace, shoes off and feet up. The music, meanwhile, evidences Woomble’s continued retreat from erstwhile noisiness, entrenching its maker deeper in the warm and familiar folk territories explored on predecessors My Secret is My Silence andThe Impossible Song & Other Songs. In short, not only does the former Idlewild frontman look comfortable on his third solo release; he sounds comfortable too. This can be taken two ways. If you were to insist on looking for negatives, it’d be relatively simple to make a claim for the album’s pedestrianism, with smooth easy-listening melodies offering few surprises. But comfort needn’t imply complacency. While the components are often stock, their arrangement is consummately considered throughout, with tracks like The Last One of My Kind possessing a pronounced pop bent and housing some of Woomble’s most striking lyrics to date. [Chris Buckle]

The Top five 1 2 3 4 5

The Flaming Lips

The Terror

Akron/Family

Sub Verses

The Knife

Shaking the Habitual

Colin Stetson

New History Warfare III

Life Coach

Alphawaves

www.roddywoomble.com

RECORDS

Review

49


Wild Honey

Ghost Capsules

Kurt Vile

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Big Flash [Lazy, 15 Apr] The second LP from Madrid’s Wild Honey – essentially the work of multi-instrumentalist Guillermo Farré – is an unashamedly kitschy, backwards-gazing collection, drawing heavily on dreamy ‘60s outfits like the Zombies and Os Mutantes; a love of tropicalia and lounge is clear on songs like My Memory May Also Be a Wish. The influence of vintage pop throughout also brings Stereolab to mind – fittingly enough, since Tim Gane is on production duties, and has done an admirable job of giving Big Flash a sepia-tinted sheen. The LP is saved from being a mere exercise in nostalgia by a plethora of instantly catchy melodies, combined with Gane’s deftness in moulding Wild Honey’s influences together: Farré himself notes that Gane managed to expand the ‘colour and rhythm palette’ of his songs in the studio. As a result, while the emotional range of Big Flash is fairly limited, its smoothness and cohesion make it immediately likeable. [Sam Wiseman]

Album five brings with it a watershed moment in Kurt Vile’s career. Before even pressing play, the vivid colour saturation of the cover and extended track lengths underline a change of tone and pace from 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo. Less credence is given to the more tightly wound pop structures of yore, with Vile in a form that’s never overtly concerned with immediacy; here he operates on a more panoramic plane. Throughout the LP, his psychedelic abstraction manifests itself in a more freeform, shimmering haze than before. The result is a record imbued with the mood of a mellowed songwriter relaxing into his own groove, amid his rich heartland heritage. The engulfing vibe of blissed-out simplicity present in lead single Wakin’ On a Pretty Day is a perfect introduction to the warm glow of its parent. An irresistible distillation of Vile’s poetic and beautifully hypnotic songcraft. [Sam Briggs]

Bonobo

Oliver Deutschmann

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Another Wiley album, another threat from perhaps the last surviving well-known grime rapper with any credibility left to retire – leaving us to the tender mercies of fashionable sell-outs like Tinie Tempah. Wiley has always had trouble making consistent albums, despite highlights on each release. Unfortunately, The Ascent doesn’t address these problems. It begins well, consistently dark and brutal (the intense, macho-as-fuck First Class and Skillzone). Then, predictably, it all goes wrong – Hands in the Air is a limp crowd-pleaser with an execrable X-Factor chorus; Reload is all hideous, unlistenable trance synths and tired drum & bass rhythms. Heatwave’s repellent, Cheeky Girls-aping chorus is nauseating. Album closer Humble Pie offers light relief from the chart-aimed, pandering pop hooks, but it’s too little too late. Still a superb producer and rapper, Wiley’s instincts are too frequently off base on The Ascent, making for a disappointing, unrewarding slog. [Omar J. Kudos] www.wileymusic.co.uk

Stone Sour

House of Gold & Bones Part II [Roadrunner, 8 Apr]

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The extent to which Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor’s “other band” Stone Sour have evolved and matured over the years is undoubtedly impressive; there are undercurrents of melancholic folk and country subtly flowing throughout House of Gold and Bones Part II, the second part of an imaginative, sprawling concept album. The story behind the lyrics isn’t particularly vital, especially when said lyrics contain a multitude of throwaway clichés like “I’m such a shitty mess” or “this is all the pain a man can take.” The project’s real strength lies in Taylor’s knack for working melody into heavy songs; a tender acoustic passage often turns into a solo-plastered freakout without warning, and the transition feels natural. With tracks like ‘82 and Sadist, the band’s pop sensibilities are pushed to the forefront – a fitting counterbalance to the album’s more aggressive moments. The kind of artistry on display here makes this their strongest outing by some margin. [Ross Watson] Playing Download Festival, Derby on 14 June www.stonesour.com

Letherette

Letherette [Ninja Tune, 15 Apr]

rrrrr

Fitting nicely into the genre of smooth, immaculately realised, emotionally-driven electronic music from which so many strong albums have emerged in recent months (Lapalux’s Nostalchic, FaltyDL’s Hardcourage), Wolverhampton’s Letherette deliver a satisfying slew of deep, house-influenced, melodic cuts on their first fulllength offering. Album opener After Dawn has a gorgeous chord progression; melancholic and beautiful. D&T is sunnier; sidechained synths and echoing vocals come on like robotic 80s funk with a warmer palette, whereas Warstones is driving electro with a Gallic feel. Elsewhere, Restless combines an R&B hook with polished, bassheavy disco, while the chopped hip-hop beats and time stretched vocals of I Always Wanted You Back and Cold Clam vary the tempo. The more reflective moments, like the electronic shoegaze of Gas Stations and Restaurants, or Boosted, are equally well constructed. A clear standout, Hard Martha, twins double-time, skittering rhythms with spacious dubstep beats and yet more delicate synth washes. A satisfying debut. [Bram E. Gieben]

Review

On the face of it, Ghost Capsules should work a treat, given that they are masterminded by venerated UK music producer and electronic innovator Tim Simenon of Bomb The Bass, backed by a drummer and synth player, and a singer, Laura Gomez, who is decent enough. Their lyrical concerns – from twilit fantasy weirdness to futurist SF love poems – are just odd enough to justify the shamelessly pop sheen of Simenon’s production. Rooted in classic electro, tracks like Game of Thrones and Inside just have no staying power. More interesting by far are the album’s more reflective cuts – Magnetic Fields explores similar territory to Goldfrapp, while Time and Matter flirts with Purity Ring’s dark-but-saccharine aesthetic. Morgan Le Fay is like polished, radio-friendly witch house. But the bulk of the album, by focusing on four four beats, misses a trick and ends up average. Not dark enough – must try harder. [Bram E.Gieben]

Wakin On a Pretty Daze [Matador, 8 Apr]

Wiley

The Ascent[Warner / Boy Better Know, 1 Apr]

50

Ghost Capsules [O*Solo, 15 Apr]

The North Borders [Ninja Tune, 1 Apr] The fifth LP from Brighton’s Bonobo (aka Simon Green) opens in understated style, as Grey Reverend’s brooding vocals overlay the gently shimmering dubstep of First Fires. It’s characteristic of an artist who has patiently honed a distinctive sound, drawing on elements of jazz and garage; the success Green has quietly assimilated is evident in the presence of Erykah Badu, whose voice is merged with a cluster of harp, strings and brass on the melancholy Heaven for the Sinner. Even by Bonobo’s standards, the shadowy atmosphere of such pieces is particularly pronounced on The North Borders; but Green still finds space to indulge in more uptempo moods: Emkay marries garage beats and vocal samples with mellow brass chords, while the percussive bells of Cirrus recall the melodic, layered shuffles of Four Tet. Ultimately, however, this is another exercise in delicacy and restraint, and it amply demonstrates the value of both. [Sam Wiseman] Playing The Picture House, Edinburgh on 23 May www.bonobomusic.com

Out of the Dark [vidab, 1 Apr] Where Detroit techno meets its modern descendants, being made and played in techno’s current spiritual heartland of Berlin, you’ll find producer/ DJ Oliver Deutschmann, and his vidab label. A regular favourite at Berlin’s Berghain and Panorama Bar, his take on techno is clean, expansive and just the right side of minimal. Out of the Dark is his debut full-length release, after a string of 12”s on vidab and other labels. Opening with a nod to bleeding-edge retro-futurist vibes on Fever, he quickly drops into 4-4 territory with the mellower, brighter Junglo. New World Order is fantastic, with distorted dragged vocal samples and muted synths building towards a jacking, propulsive climax. Sadness Descends has a glacial, gloomy melodic beauty, while his classic cut Siem Reap is given a satisfying re-rub with extra dub-bass on the kicks. By the time the subtly acid-tinged They Bleed Glitter peaks and the album closes, you’ll be making a special place in your record bag for Mr Deustchmann. [Bram E. Gieben] soundcloud.com/oliverdeutschmann

Aidan Baker

The Haxan Cloak

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Already Drowning [Gizeh Records, 15 Apr] Those coming to Already Drowning via an interest in Aidan Baker’s work with ambient drone duo Nadja be warned: here be an altogether gentler creature, with only the slightest notes of distortion and discord occasionally wading in. Billed as a “a song cycle inspired by various myths and folklore about female water spirits,” Baker’s atmospheric slowcore opus is insidiously immersive. An international cast of collaborators contribute vocals (and on occasion, translations into French and German) to compositions that are sometimes straightforwardly beautiful (for instance, the string-led sweep of 30 Days/30 Nights), while others are challengingly veiled (e.g. the insectoid, free-jazz cymbal ripples of Mélusine), but always hauntingly evocative – provided its approached with the right level of patience. Otherwise, much of Baker’s hard work will be for nought. Already Drowning is too carefully measured to impose itself on errant attentions, but liberally rewarding for those that commit time to its chilly virtues. [Chris Buckle]

EP Reviews

Excavation [Tri Angle, 15 Apr] The Haxan Cloak’s self-titled 2011 album on Aurora Borealis brought Bobby Krlic, aka The Haxan Cloak, to the attention of the ultra-hip and experimental Tri Angle label. Krlic’s atmospheric, cinematic productions are closely allied to acts like Demdike Stare or Raime, bringing to mind post-industrial landscapes; ruined cities, corpse-ridden battlefields, abandoned warehouses. A washed-out, funereal 2-step underpins Excavation Part 1, while the textured, Lovecraftian sub-bass squelches of Excavation Part 2 owe as much to dubstep dynamics as they do to ambient soundscaping. Moments of Lynchian menace and domineering static build to the violin-inflected crescendo of The Mirroring Part 2; Dieu brings the rhythmic propulsion back for a syrupy slice of mutant electro, while magisterial 13-minute closer The Drop comes on like a lost Bladerunner-era Vangelis cut, vanishing into heavenly static. The Haxan Cloak’s crepuscular nightmare-scapes are hypnotic, compelling, and in their understated, minimalistic way, exquisitely beautiful; revelling in profound darkness. [Bram E. Gieben] haxancloak.tumblr.com

WALL

Darren Hayman

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rrrrr

Shoestring EP [Big Picnic, 1 Apr]

Four Queens EP [Fortuna POP!, 22 Apr]

WALL made her debut last year with a cover of Karen Dalton’s Something On Your Mind, a sparse, understated, synth-led number which showcased her subtle vocals in an intimate, twilit, nocturnal soundscape. Her new EP starts out in similar territory, with the title track and Place Too Low pairing barely-there beats and synths with her breathy vocals. It works, although the twee factor is dangerously close to overload, and in fact spills over into saccharnine tweeness unashamedly with the whimsically depressed Valentine. All Alone is the strongest track, with washed out hip-hop beats, what sounds like an oboe, and her vocals pushed underneath a crackling filter of analogue tape hiss. [Bram E. Gieben]

More than ten years since Hefner’s demise, Darren Hayman continues to produce the kind of wry, winsome indie which invariably featured heavily in John Peel’s Festive 50 in the late 90s. The Four Queens EP takes one song from last year’s The Violence and features three other songs about (you guessed it) queens. Henrietta Maria, sung from the perspective of Charles I, has the combination of jaunty, lo-fi pop and awkward sadness which characterised Hefner’s best moments; on the other contributions, Hayman’s deft lyrical touch remains in evidence, but their wispy arrangements and doleful mood feels less assured. [Sam Wiseman]

soundcloud.com/wall100

www.hefnet.com

RECORDS

THE SKINNY


Wild Honey

Ghost Capsules

Kurt Vile

rrrrr

rrrrr

rrrrr

Big Flash [Lazy, 15 Apr] The second LP from Madrid’s Wild Honey – essentially the work of multi-instrumentalist Guillermo Farré – is an unashamedly kitschy, backwards-gazing collection, drawing heavily on dreamy ‘60s outfits like the Zombies and Os Mutantes; a love of tropicalia and lounge is clear on songs like My Memory May Also Be a Wish. The influence of vintage pop throughout also brings Stereolab to mind – fittingly enough, since Tim Gane is on production duties, and has done an admirable job of giving Big Flash a sepia-tinted sheen. The LP is saved from being a mere exercise in nostalgia by a plethora of instantly catchy melodies, combined with Gane’s deftness in moulding Wild Honey’s influences together: Farré himself notes that Gane managed to expand the ‘colour and rhythm palette’ of his songs in the studio. As a result, while the emotional range of Big Flash is fairly limited, its smoothness and cohesion make it immediately likeable. [Sam Wiseman]

Album five brings with it a watershed moment in Kurt Vile’s career. Before even pressing play, the vivid colour saturation of the cover and extended track lengths underline a change of tone and pace from 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo. Less credence is given to the more tightly wound pop structures of yore, with Vile in a form that’s never overtly concerned with immediacy; here he operates on a more panoramic plane. Throughout the LP, his psychedelic abstraction manifests itself in a more freeform, shimmering haze than before. The result is a record imbued with the mood of a mellowed songwriter relaxing into his own groove, amid his rich heartland heritage. The engulfing vibe of blissed-out simplicity present in lead single Wakin’ On a Pretty Day is a perfect introduction to the warm glow of its parent. An irresistible distillation of Vile’s poetic and beautifully hypnotic songcraft. [Sam Briggs]

Bonobo

Oliver Deutschmann

rrrrr

rrrrr

rrrrr

Another Wiley album, another threat from perhaps the last surviving well-known grime rapper with any credibility left to retire – leaving us to the tender mercies of fashionable sell-outs like Tinie Tempah. Wiley has always had trouble making consistent albums, despite highlights on each release. Unfortunately, The Ascent doesn’t address these problems. It begins well, consistently dark and brutal (the intense, macho-as-fuck First Class and Skillzone). Then, predictably, it all goes wrong – Hands in the Air is a limp crowd-pleaser with an execrable X-Factor chorus; Reload is all hideous, unlistenable trance synths and tired drum & bass rhythms. Heatwave’s repellent, Cheeky Girls-aping chorus is nauseating. Album closer Humble Pie offers light relief from the chart-aimed, pandering pop hooks, but it’s too little too late. Still a superb producer and rapper, Wiley’s instincts are too frequently off base on The Ascent, making for a disappointing, unrewarding slog. [Omar J. Kudos] www.wileymusic.co.uk

Stone Sour

House of Gold & Bones Part II [Roadrunner, 8 Apr]

rrrrr

The extent to which Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor’s “other band” Stone Sour have evolved and matured over the years is undoubtedly impressive; there are undercurrents of melancholic folk and country subtly flowing throughout House of Gold and Bones Part II, the second part of an imaginative, sprawling concept album. The story behind the lyrics isn’t particularly vital, especially when said lyrics contain a multitude of throwaway clichés like “I’m such a shitty mess” or “this is all the pain a man can take.” The project’s real strength lies in Taylor’s knack for working melody into heavy songs; a tender acoustic passage often turns into a solo-plastered freakout without warning, and the transition feels natural. With tracks like ‘82 and Sadist, the band’s pop sensibilities are pushed to the forefront – a fitting counterbalance to the album’s more aggressive moments. The kind of artistry on display here makes this their strongest outing by some margin. [Ross Watson] Playing Download Festival, Derby on 14 June www.stonesour.com

Letherette

Letherette [Ninja Tune, 15 Apr]

rrrrr

Fitting nicely into the genre of smooth, immaculately realised, emotionally-driven electronic music from which so many strong albums have emerged in recent months (Lapalux’s Nostalchic, FaltyDL’s Hardcourage), Wolverhampton’s Letherette deliver a satisfying slew of deep, house-influenced, melodic cuts on their first fulllength offering. Album opener After Dawn has a gorgeous chord progression; melancholic and beautiful. D&T is sunnier; sidechained synths and echoing vocals come on like robotic 80s funk with a warmer palette, whereas Warstones is driving electro with a Gallic feel. Elsewhere, Restless combines an R&B hook with polished, bassheavy disco, while the chopped hip-hop beats and time stretched vocals of I Always Wanted You Back and Cold Clam vary the tempo. The more reflective moments, like the electronic shoegaze of Gas Stations and Restaurants, or Boosted, are equally well constructed. A clear standout, Hard Martha, twins double-time, skittering rhythms with spacious dubstep beats and yet more delicate synth washes. A satisfying debut. [Bram E. Gieben]

Review

On the face of it, Ghost Capsules should work a treat, given that they are masterminded by venerated UK music producer and electronic innovator Tim Simenon of Bomb The Bass, backed by a drummer and synth player, and a singer, Laura Gomez, who is decent enough. Their lyrical concerns – from twilit fantasy weirdness to futurist SF love poems – are just odd enough to justify the shamelessly pop sheen of Simenon’s production. Rooted in classic electro, tracks like Game of Thrones and Inside just have no staying power. More interesting by far are the album’s more reflective cuts – Magnetic Fields explores similar territory to Goldfrapp, while Time and Matter flirts with Purity Ring’s dark-but-saccharine aesthetic. Morgan Le Fay is like polished, radio-friendly witch house. But the bulk of the album, by focusing on four four beats, misses a trick and ends up average. Not dark enough – must try harder. [Bram E.Gieben]

Wakin On a Pretty Daze [Matador, 8 Apr]

Wiley

The Ascent[Warner / Boy Better Know, 1 Apr]

50

Ghost Capsules [O*Solo, 15 Apr]

The North Borders [Ninja Tune, 1 Apr] The fifth LP from Brighton’s Bonobo (aka Simon Green) opens in understated style, as Grey Reverend’s brooding vocals overlay the gently shimmering dubstep of First Fires. It’s characteristic of an artist who has patiently honed a distinctive sound, drawing on elements of jazz and garage; the success Green has quietly assimilated is evident in the presence of Erykah Badu, whose voice is merged with a cluster of harp, strings and brass on the melancholy Heaven for the Sinner. Even by Bonobo’s standards, the shadowy atmosphere of such pieces is particularly pronounced on The North Borders; but Green still finds space to indulge in more uptempo moods: Emkay marries garage beats and vocal samples with mellow brass chords, while the percussive bells of Cirrus recall the melodic, layered shuffles of Four Tet. Ultimately, however, this is another exercise in delicacy and restraint, and it amply demonstrates the value of both. [Sam Wiseman] Playing The Picture House, Edinburgh on 23 May www.bonobomusic.com

Out of the Dark [vidab, 1 Apr] Where Detroit techno meets its modern descendants, being made and played in techno’s current spiritual heartland of Berlin, you’ll find producer/ DJ Oliver Deutschmann, and his vidab label. A regular favourite at Berlin’s Berghain and Panorama Bar, his take on techno is clean, expansive and just the right side of minimal. Out of the Dark is his debut full-length release, after a string of 12”s on vidab and other labels. Opening with a nod to bleeding-edge retro-futurist vibes on Fever, he quickly drops into 4-4 territory with the mellower, brighter Junglo. New World Order is fantastic, with distorted dragged vocal samples and muted synths building towards a jacking, propulsive climax. Sadness Descends has a glacial, gloomy melodic beauty, while his classic cut Siem Reap is given a satisfying re-rub with extra dub-bass on the kicks. By the time the subtly acid-tinged They Bleed Glitter peaks and the album closes, you’ll be making a special place in your record bag for Mr Deustchmann. [Bram E. Gieben] soundcloud.com/oliverdeutschmann

Aidan Baker

The Haxan Cloak

rrrrr

rrrrr

Already Drowning [Gizeh Records, 15 Apr] Those coming to Already Drowning via an interest in Aidan Baker’s work with ambient drone duo Nadja be warned: here be an altogether gentler creature, with only the slightest notes of distortion and discord occasionally wading in. Billed as a “a song cycle inspired by various myths and folklore about female water spirits,” Baker’s atmospheric slowcore opus is insidiously immersive. An international cast of collaborators contribute vocals (and on occasion, translations into French and German) to compositions that are sometimes straightforwardly beautiful (for instance, the string-led sweep of 30 Days/30 Nights), while others are challengingly veiled (e.g. the insectoid, free-jazz cymbal ripples of Mélusine), but always hauntingly evocative – provided its approached with the right level of patience. Otherwise, much of Baker’s hard work will be for nought. Already Drowning is too carefully measured to impose itself on errant attentions, but liberally rewarding for those that commit time to its chilly virtues. [Chris Buckle]

EP Reviews

Excavation [Tri Angle, 15 Apr] The Haxan Cloak’s self-titled 2011 album on Aurora Borealis brought Bobby Krlic, aka The Haxan Cloak, to the attention of the ultra-hip and experimental Tri Angle label. Krlic’s atmospheric, cinematic productions are closely allied to acts like Demdike Stare or Raime, bringing to mind post-industrial landscapes; ruined cities, corpse-ridden battlefields, abandoned warehouses. A washed-out, funereal 2-step underpins Excavation Part 1, while the textured, Lovecraftian sub-bass squelches of Excavation Part 2 owe as much to dubstep dynamics as they do to ambient soundscaping. Moments of Lynchian menace and domineering static build to the violin-inflected crescendo of The Mirroring Part 2; Dieu brings the rhythmic propulsion back for a syrupy slice of mutant electro, while magisterial 13-minute closer The Drop comes on like a lost Bladerunner-era Vangelis cut, vanishing into heavenly static. The Haxan Cloak’s crepuscular nightmare-scapes are hypnotic, compelling, and in their understated, minimalistic way, exquisitely beautiful; revelling in profound darkness. [Bram E. Gieben] haxancloak.tumblr.com

WALL

Darren Hayman

rrrrr

rrrrr

Shoestring EP [Big Picnic, 1 Apr]

Four Queens EP [Fortuna POP!, 22 Apr]

WALL made her debut last year with a cover of Karen Dalton’s Something On Your Mind, a sparse, understated, synth-led number which showcased her subtle vocals in an intimate, twilit, nocturnal soundscape. Her new EP starts out in similar territory, with the title track and Place Too Low pairing barely-there beats and synths with her breathy vocals. It works, although the twee factor is dangerously close to overload, and in fact spills over into saccharnine tweeness unashamedly with the whimsically depressed Valentine. All Alone is the strongest track, with washed out hip-hop beats, what sounds like an oboe, and her vocals pushed underneath a crackling filter of analogue tape hiss. [Bram E. Gieben]

More than ten years since Hefner’s demise, Darren Hayman continues to produce the kind of wry, winsome indie which invariably featured heavily in John Peel’s Festive 50 in the late 90s. The Four Queens EP takes one song from last year’s The Violence and features three other songs about (you guessed it) queens. Henrietta Maria, sung from the perspective of Charles I, has the combination of jaunty, lo-fi pop and awkward sadness which characterised Hefner’s best moments; on the other contributions, Hayman’s deft lyrical touch remains in evidence, but their wispy arrangements and doleful mood feels less assured. [Sam Wiseman]

soundcloud.com/wall100

www.hefnet.com

RECORDS

THE SKINNY


My Bloody Valentine

– released last month after a mere 22 year wait – the standout is Only Tomorrow, with New You rrrrr sounding far more sparse than it does on record. The punters milling around the Barrowland The crowd roar their approval for every song, but before tonight’s show are asking only one questhis is far from a flawless performance. There are a tion – just how loud will they be? My Bloody couple of false starts, and Shields can’t disguise his Valentine reformed to play a brief UK tour in discomfort every time he’s required to sing – not 2008, including a dazzling show at this very venue, that his vocals can often be heard over his guitar. but many of the crowd were unlikely to have even Just as the crowd begin to wonder whether started school when the Anglo-Irish band last My Bloody Valentine really are human like the completed a major tour in 1992. rest of us, along comes You Made Me Realise. Since then, the group have acquired a It’s middle section, which has long since been reputation as ear-destroyers par excellence. dubbed The Holocaust, is the stuff of legend Admittedly, Kevin Shields amp stack does look – ten minutes of pure feedback and white noise. intimidatingly large on the Barrowland stage. Yet Even if you’ve experienced it before, tonight it opening song I Only Said is hugely enjoyable, and still has a deeply unsettling effect. The band far from any kind of sonic endurance test. When close with Wonder 2 – the final, and most intriguYou Sleep explodes into life exactly as you would ing, track on m b v. A majestic finish to a show expect, and it’s thrilling to hear older songs such which proves that, as far as live experiences go, My Bloody Valentine remain peerless. as Slow make a return to the set, still a worthy [Chris McCall] precursor to the lush ambience of Loveless. Of the new songs played from m b v www.mybloodyvalentine.org

Photo: Kat Gollock

Barrowland, 9 Mar

Frightened Rabbit / Wintersleep / Three Blind Wolves Barrowland, 28 Feb

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frightenedrabbit.com

CHVRCHES / Young Fathers

The Arches, 2 Mar

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Young Fathers’ periodic reinventions have seen them try on many different styles and sounds. Their latest incarnation – as postmodern Afrocentric rappers – works well, and they tear into their live set with gusto. Mixing tribal rhythms with harmonised R&B hook-lines, quickfire couplets and grinding synth and bass, the highlights from their Anticon-released Tape One almost win over the crowd, but lacklustre applause leeches some of the energy from their set. Their drummer, augmenting a backing track with live percussion, seems like an afterthought. As a statement of intent, their set is strong, but doesn’t quite deliver on all of its promise. Scottish rising stars du jour CHVRCHES only have a handful of tracks currently out in the public domain – curiosity has drawn much of

April 2013

tonight’s crowd. Journos, radio presenters and bloggers abound, along with a healthy dose of starry-eyed kids. The trio’s take on synth-pop in early opener Lies is devastatingly effective – taking its lead from The Knife, the band shore up Lauren Mayberry’s appealing, syrup-sweet vocals with walls of shimmering synth noise, nodding to techno and glitchy electronica. As their set progresses, there are a few more retro flourishes – moments which echo the lush neo-Italo sound of Chromatics, and some slightly more predictable 80s synth-pop beats. A slightly drearier number fronted by Martin Doherty is nonetheless greeted rapturously by the crowd, who soon get exactly what they came for as the “Oh-oh! Oh-oh! Oh-oh!” chorus of The Mother We Share kicks in. At times CHVRCHES might appear almost too perfect, but tonight they deliver a polished and convincing performance. [Bram E. Gieben] chvrch.es

Photo: David P Scott

Photo: Ann Margaret Campbell

Tonight’s the final UK date of what Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison will later describe as “one of the best tours we’ve ever had.” Furthermore, it comes a fortnight after fourth album Pedestrian Verse wound up plonked between Rihanna and Calvin Harris in the album chart top ten – a valedictory confirmation of just how broad the band’s appeal has grown. This heightened buzz is reflected in tonight’s turnout. The fact the gig sold out well in advance was to be expected, but less anticipated is how quickly the room fills on the night, with the ballroom bustling well ahead of the headliners. Maybe it’s pure anticipation that brings folk out so early. Or maybe they just caught wind of how good first support Three Blind Wolves are sounding these days, with sprawling new single In Here Somewhere building nicely and boding well for their future. Wintersleep fare less well – proficient, but mostly ignored by the now-heaving Barrowlands (save for the straightforward folk

stomp of Weighty Ghost, which prompts the odd whoop). For the pockets paying attention, however, they hit their marks, with expansive closer Nerves Normal, Breath Normal making the most distinct impact. Frightened Rabbit know a thing or two about impact, with the scream that greets their arrival deafening and shrill. They explode out the traps with Holy and The Modern Leper, and though the latter’s dampened by temporarily poor sound, any cracks are patched by the crowd’s amplified enthusiasm. Highlights of albums 2-4 (it seems Sing the Greys has been resigned to history, unfortunately) are plentiful: My Backwards Walk is more majestic than ever; Nothing Like You rattles along at an invigorating clip; while a hypnotic Acts of Man rounds out the main set. As is customary, Scott delivers Poke solo and sparks a bellowing sing-along – a favourite set-trick that seems to trigger an even more pronounced response than usual. Scott looks genuinely moved, even teary. “You’re fucking wonderful” he says with a slightly breaking voice as the room takes over – right back at you, Frabbits. [Chris Buckle]

Ulrich Schnauss / Remember Remember Nice ‘N’ Sleazy, 16 Mar

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Remember Remember’s multilayered instrumentals shouldn’t really lend themselves to a stripped-down approach; Graeme Ronald’s compositions, on the face of it, are more about texture and atmosphere than songcraft. Yet with just one guitar – and dextrous deployment of a loop pedal – he manages to recreate some of the full band’s melodic density. Moreover, the fragility of pieces like One Happier is emphasised by this approach: Ronald’s overlapping, descending arpeggios acquire a tenderness and subtlety that is sometimes lost with the full live band. Ulrich Schnauss, by contrast, performs a set which gradually builds into swirling, intense walls of noise. While his compositions, like Ronald’s, have sweetly melancholy melodies at their centre, Schnauss is less influenced by the epic

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grandeur of Mogwai-style post-rock. Instead, from 2001’s Far Away Trains Passing By onwards, the Berliner has honed a variant of dense, dreamy electronica that connects to the more hallucinatory reaches of 90s shoegaze, while also placing him alongside contemporaries like Pantha du Prince. In conjunction with some hypnotically effective visuals (aerial views of nighttime cityscapes, silhouetted forests), it’s an entrancing blend in the live context. On tracks like Borrowed Time, which meshes oscillating, phased beats over Tangerine Dream-esque synth chords, Schnauss’ sound even acquires a danciness only hinted at on record. It’s that rhythmic complexity, combined with a sensibility that draws on alternative rock’s outer limits, which makes him so distinctive. Schnauss may be a techno artist, but as his reception tonight proves, he’s unusually adept at transcending the constraints of genre. [Sam Wiseman] www.ulrich-schnauss.com

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Casual Correspondence With a new single out on Moshi Moshi and an album on the horizon, we sit down with Casual Sex to discuss the Glasgow band’s past, present and why winging it can yield the best results

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ranted it’s usually intentional, but some band names make innuendo nigh impossible to dodge – Throbbing Gristle (snigger!); Helmet (tee hee!); The Strokes (OK, that’s enough…). The latest act of naughty nomenclature to trigger titters is Glasgow-based four-piece Casual Sex – a straight-up mono entendre that’ll leave the bashful sheepishly clearing their search history after every Googling. So, lest smut run rampant, we’ll get it out of our system upfront: recently, The Skinny has been getting into Casual Sex. In fact, The Skinny finds the sounds of Casual Sex most enjoyable. So much so, that The Skinny decided a first-hand introduction to Casual Sex was in order. “I think when we picked the name we kind of knew that, well, obviously we’d get some kind of jokes,” says vocalist, guitarist and Casual Sex-instigator Sam Smith (known in a former life as Mother, of disbanded art-punks Mother and the Addicts). “I suppose with a lot of people, you say it to them, they go ‘hahaha’ and you’ve got their attention, so it serves its purpose at that level. My sister hates it though,” he laughs. “She’s a mother of two young children. She said ‘Sam, why can’t you call a band something nice like ‘The Village’, which I think sounds bloody creepy… So yes, puns around the name are always taken in good humour, but we just hope that when people eventually get over the ‘ho ho, Casual Sex!’ reaction, they’ll actually listen to us.” There’s plenty of incentive to do so. Across their slim-but-ace catalogue of available tracks, the band have synthesised a thrilling mix of sounds, including rockabilly, post-punk, glam rock and shades of dub-indebted new wave in the Police/Clash mould. This medley is reflective of the diversity of tastes amongst the members (in addition to Sam, Edward Wood on guitar, Chris McCrory on drums and Peter Masson on bass), with dozens of acts and scenes dropped into conversation across our interview: from Sparks to PiL; Detroit electro to northern soul. Their tunes present a rich soup of influences, recut in vibrant ways: from the crisp space-surf of North to the strutting, sleazy come-on of We’re All Here Mainly for the Sex; the spidery guitars and motorik rhythms of National Unity to the discotinted groove of The Bastard Beat. Lean, arch and assured, the band’s appeal is immediate and infectious. Casual Sex began life as a series of demos that Sam had worked on with colleague Emily MacLaren, a fellow engineer at The Green Door recording studio in the city’s West End. “We just muddled it together really,” says Sam, “and afterwards she was like ‘you’ve got a body of work here, it’d be a shame not to get a band together.’” Ed was brought in first, initially to do a drum session but soon switching to his six-stringed comfort zone. Chris and Peter, meanwhile, came into the fold via a course they were both enrolled on at Green Door. “When I was in the studio doing my session, someone let me hear what he was working on,” says Peter, “and then basically, whenever I’d see Sam out I’d be like ‘oh come on, let me come and play guitar.’” With that corner already covered, the position of bassist was offered instead. “I just said ‘aye’ and then learned really quickly” says Peter. “I could play guitar, and imagined it would be about the same, but I remember at the first practices my fingers were getting really sore but I’d kid on they weren’t…” Almost immediately, Casual Sex shifted from being purely an outlet for Sam’s solo ideas to a

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Interview: Chris Buckle Photography: Kat Gollock

fully-fledged collaborative affair. “As I started working with these guys, the majority of what I’d done on my own got pushed aside,” says Sam. “Originally, Ed was just coming in to learn the parts, but very quickly I thought ‘actually, this is fucking boring, all this stuff’s really old.’” As a result, “warm-up sessions became writing sessions,” with new material coming together fluidly. “One of the keys to our writing,” reckons Ed, “is we’ve got such a strong rhythm section – like, Chris can pretty much play any style of drumming, whether he likes the style or not. So Pete will throw out a bass line and Chris will immediately pick up on the style, and then it gets embellished with guitars and Sam just drops lyrics on it – it seems to flow like that every time. Plus, our rehearsal room is a studio, so when an idea gets formulated it’s really quickly recorded and set in stone. I’d say that the majority of the tracks we’ve done in the last few years have been written and recorded in the same day.” Ed credits Sam’s foundational material as key to this healthy creativity. “The narratives of Sam’s early songs have pretty much been the platform for everything up to now,” he states. “There’s a definite theme. Speaking for Sam, the majority of the songs are about past relationships and, well, casual sex…” He pauses, allowing Sam time to interject. “Not always...” the singer counters. “Sometimes I do just make stuff up…” New single Stroh 80 certainly seems to have a few near-the-knuckle truths at its core, however. “It’s a very brutally honest track,” says Sam. “There are people that at times think they know what it’s about, and I just kind of have an interior cringe.” If there’s a line between being honest and being a little too honest, Sam’s walking it gingerly. “Those are the trials and tribulations of dating people who write songs – the good stuff, sadly, is the stuff where you go, ‘I shouldn’t really write that, oh wait that works…’”

“Sometimes I do just make stuff up…” Sam Smith

The track – a lascivious blend of wiry guitar, louche lyrics and handclaps – is available now as a limited edition 7”, released as part of Moshi Moshi’s singles club and due to receive a formal launch later this month at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy. The night will be hosted by Mao Disney, a branch of Glasgow promoters/label/arts collective We Can Still Picnic with whom the band has a “really good relationship.” Run by brothers Bjorn and Erik Sandberg (of Wake the President), We Can Still Picnic have put out Casual Sex songs in the past, and Sam says the band are “still very much involved” with the WCSP network. Indeed, later this year Casual Sex will again tour with Wake the President and fellow picnickers POST – an arrangement that has some obvious logistical advantages (i.e. shared costs) but which seems just as driven by mutual enthusiasm for each other’s work. When it comes to the launch gig, we ask whether the sense of occasion creates any additional pressure, or if, from their point of view, it will just be like any other show. “It is a bit more pressure, yeah,” says Sam, “because you do get a bit more profile – and of course, as soon as you

put something out to the public there are expectations, so you naturally think ‘oh shit, don’t fuck it up’… But I think the main thing is, if you feel that pressure, to just keep on doing it, keep on enjoying it.” Chris agrees. “We’ve put in so much work over the years, and I mean, we could be all rock star about it, but it’s nice just to get any sort of recognition. And that may make you nervous – it might, you know, put additional pressure on us – but ultimately, it’s just really great that people appreciate things that we’ve worked hard on.” Having in-band producers and access to a full studio and mastering suite means that Casual Sex are ahead of the curve when it comes to putting together an album, with enough tracks for two already in the can. You’d think that might allow them to ease off the accelerator a little, but already they’re anticipating the next, hopefully more extended, period of writing: in an ideal world, two weeks in a cottage in the south of France with an 8-track recorder (“I just remember seeing footage of Brian Eno’s studio and thinking,

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‘You lucky bastard’…” says Sam), though they’d settle for anything longer than the odd evening here and there. “But then again,” Sam ponders, “if you give a band too much time and you take away a certain amount of pressure, people just dig in. They start overthinking, and before you know it you’ve had six weeks in the studio and done nothing.” He stops and reflects. “Of course, there’s an argument that bands should never own their own studio for the same reasons…” In that case, received wisdom can do one: for Casual Sex, the regular recording time afforded by Sam’s day job is paying major dividends, and we look forward to hearing further fruits of their labours later in the year. In the meantime, we take Casual Sex outside to have their photographs taken: first up against a wall, and then down an alley. Oh, grow up… Stroh 80 is released via Moshi Moshi on 1 Apr. Casual Sex play Glasgow’s Nice ‘N’ Sleazy on 5 Apr www.facebook.com/casualsexmusic

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Spotlight on... Sub Club

In the first of a regular feature for the Clubs section, we’ll be taking a look at some of Scotland’s best nightclubs. Where better to start than with the world-famous Glasgow institution, the Subbie... Words: Omar J. Kudos Photography: Michael Gallacher

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Beneath The Label: All Caps Beginning a new series exploring some of the best club labels around, we quiz Glasgow-based selector, Bake, on the stable he co-runs with Ryan Martin and Matthew Muir Interview: Jean-Xavier Boucherat

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hile some of us were busy wasting our youth on humanities degrees, others were putting in work on the things that actually matter. In this case it’s Glasgow-based label and DJ collective All Caps, a fledgling trio who’ve been getting all sorts of attention from UK club royalty in spite of having had just two releases. Yet anyone familiar with AC002, Helix’s Stacks Riddim, won’t have a hard time believing the hype. With a genuine love for what they do, and with their third release, Kowton’s hotly anticipated TFB, dropping in April, All Caps’ star is definitely on the rise. Then there’s Bake, who despite a relatively short time in the game has produced a muchhailed mix for LuckyMe, gone back to back with Ben UFO on Rinse FM, and been featured on everyone’s favourite online-sweatbox tweetparty, Boiler Room. He spoke to us ahead of this month’s Pleasure Principle festival, where he and All Caps partners Ryan and Matt will be playing alongside a troupe of seasoned Weegie taste-makers including Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, Jackmaster and Spencer. All Caps started out as a radio show on Subcity. Later you took it forward as a label. Was there something in particular that you spurred you on? Ryan and Matt were the driving force behind the radio show. I’m not sure whether there was a particular reason to move on to a label format, other than that we wanted to contribute to something we loved, and we were getting sent the right music at the right time. Was there a particular sound you were excited about at the time, or was it more of a general conflation of influences? I don’t think there was any one particular sound. We all came from a dubstep background, but then as UK tastes began to shift around 08-09, we found ourselves catching up with 30 years of electronic music. So it was definitely more this bombardment of different sounds, many of which were new to us. Stacks Riddim and the new Kowton record both have a pretty militant feel to them. Is this intentional? Can you see yourself going in a specific direction style-wise? It’s hard to say because I don’t really know, but you’re right about that militant aesthetic. I’d say it runs through the Helix and Kowton

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“We all came from a dubstep background, but then as UK tastes began to shift around 0809, we found ourselves catching up with 30 years of electronic music” Bake

tracks because they stem from this relationship between grime and techno – two genres which share qualities that make for easy and effective crossovers. Then there’s the record coming up after Kowton by a dude called Guy Evans, which are all tracks made in the early 90s. I think the recording style lends itself to that rough, rugged nature you find in Stacks and TFB. Any names out there who you’d be really keen to work with? I guess an early ‘A&R tip’ would be these guys out of Vancouver that operate under the name Mood Hut. It’s a group of guys all producing under different names, sharing studio space. The stuff they come up with is amazing. There’s also one guy from the past I would have loved to have worked with, this cat from Chicago called Gemini. He was a genius. Nobody in Chicago was doing what he was doing in the 90s. You’re often praised for you esoteric combinations while DJing. Any thoughts on the logic behind that? Haha, you know what, as kind as that is, I think that logic is something I’m still trying to figure out!

he rich and fertile dance music culture in Glasgow exists in no small part thanks to a basement venue on Jamaica Street, just around the corner from the city’s main thoroughfare. Opening its doors for the first time in 1987, just in time to embrace the wave of acid house culture sweeping the UK, the Sub Club quickly became a well-loved venue, its square dancefloor and sweatbox atmosphere the setting for some legendary parties. Two figures who loom large in the Sub Club’s story are Harri & Domenic, founding residents of the club’s flagship night, Subculture, still going strong after more than twenty years. The residents are as beloved by their loyal crowd as the frequent big-name DJs who regularly grace the Sub Club’s decks. This is a common theme with the Sub Club’s most successful promoters – they all have top-notch residents who give their nights a strong identity, inspiring loyalty in fans, and often creating globally in-demand clubbing institutions in the process. Many legendary nights at the Subbie have come and gone – those from the 90s may remember TEST, Tangent, Atlantis... if you’ve ever been a regular, you’ll have your favourites. One such success story is Optimo. The Sunday night club, which started in 1997, has seen residents JD Twitch and JG Wilkes adopt an ‘anything goes’ policy on the turntables, spinning everything from house and techno to film soundtracks, raucous punk to Italo disco, and everything in between. Optimo is now a globallyrecognised clubbing brand with its own record label, its residents now long-seasoned fixtures on the global clubbing scene from London to New York and beyond. Optimo still attracts an almost cult-like devotion from its fans, still causing roadblock queues when they come to the Sub Club – this month’s residents, ’special on 5 April should be no exception. In the years since the venue’s re-opening, following a catastrophic fire and long period of refurbishment, a select few brand-new and established regular nights have come under the Sub Club’s wing – residents Beta & Kappa’s bassmusic-driven mid-weeker iAM has established itself as a student-friendly, unpretentious and hedonistic highlight of the monthly calendar, while the Numbers collective, one of Glasgow’s biggest musical exports of recent years with their own label, and internationaly-acclaimed artists like Jackmaster, Hudson Mohawke and Jamie

xx, now call the Subbie their home too. Slam have their regular Return to Mono parties at the club, and now Highlife, which sees in-demand residents Auntie Flo and Esa playing a diverse range of house, garage and Afrobeat-influenced sounds in association with record label Highlife, has become one of the city’s most talked-about nights.

“The Sub Club is frequently mentioned in the same breath as London’s Fabric, or Berlin’s Berghain” What is it that makes the Sub Club special? Is it the custom-built HIT Bodysonic Dancefloor, with sub bass speakers embedded in the very fabric of the building? Is it the wide range of clubbing tastes to which the club has always catered? These things have all helped towards making the Sub Club one of the best-loved venues, not just in Scotland, but in the world, for everyone from its regulars to international superstar DJs. The Sub Club made Resident Advisor’s top ten list of the best nightclubs in the world in 2012, and it maintains its strong reputation, frequently mentioned in the same breath as London’s Fabric, or Berlin’s Berghain. For our money, what makes the Sub Club special is their focus on and support for club nights and promoters who create strong identities, and have residents whose decksmanship can rival anyone from a Detroit techno legend to a New York house supremo, and then some. And, of course, there is the energy, style and hedonism of its regular punters. The Sub Club – without it, clubbing in Scotland just wouldn’t be the same. APRIL HIGHLIGHTS @ SUB CLUB Return to Mono with Craig Richards, 12 Apr Subculture with Will Saul, Telford and Midland, 13 Apr iAM with Juan Atkins, 26 Apr iAM with Jackmaster, 30 Apr Subculture with Deetron, 27 Apr www.subclub.co.uk

Decide for yourself – thisisluckyme.com/category/mixtapes/ Kowton’s TFB drops on All Caps in April soundcloud.com/allcaps_glasgow

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Clubbing Highlights Our monthly look at the leading nights in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with Juan Atkins, Carl Craig, Vitalic, Ivan Smagghe and more Words: Omar J. Kudos Illustration: whoisjamiejones.com

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pril’s clubbing highlights offer a heady and intoxicating mixture of homegrown techno selectors and international legends, French electro superstars, hardtek and house troublemakers and eclectic beats du jour. We kick off on 2 Apr with those cheeky chappies iAM, who offer some Tuesday techno shenanigans with Sub Club stalwart Harri taking on Jasper. Get on down to Henry’s Cellar Bar for an explosion of hardtek and breakcore from local lads Zonk, Alias23 and friends at Wonky. On 5 Apr, Animal Farm take on La Cheetah for an evening of techno headed up by Berlin’s Mike Denhert, head honcho of Fachwerk Records. Over in Edinburgh at the Liquid Room, Pulse and Karnival unite to bring you the maestro of French electro, Vitalic. Over at Studio 24, Dogma mainstay Nomad joins the Unseen crew for a bout of pitch-dark techno. On 6 Apr, always-excellent Detroit legend Carl Craig joins the Musika crew for a session of deep, classic techno, while the Melting Pot crew return to their regular spot at The Admiral for a very special tribute night to the DJ behind the seminal Paradise Garage, Larry Levan – expect extended house and disco edits and a permissive, anything-goes atmosphere. On 12 Apr, Kapital welcome former Black Strobe member and seminal electro producer Ivan Smagghe, who is joined by Fabric / Phantasy regular Daniel Avery. The hedonistic chaps at Nosleep celebrate their third birthday at Make Do with DJs Mr G and Organ Grinder, while Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston go

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back-to-back at their revered A Love From Outer Space night at The Berkeley Suite. Over at the Subby, Fabric’s Craig Richards joins the Return to Mono crew for some tech-house shenanigans. Amsterdam deep house maestros Tom Trago and Detroit Swindle join the Naïve crew at The Berkeley Suite on 13 Apr, while on 19 Apr respected house and techno purveyors Slabs of the Tabernacle return to Glasgow for a night at The Big Joint, with a headline set from Madrid’s Svreca. On 20 Apr, join the Italo-loving Gasoline Dance Machine crew at Edinburgh’s Cabaret Voltaire for a set from synth-lover Stephen Fassano, better known as The Magician. On the same night, Notsosilent welcome rising house music stars Huxley and Sei A to Make Do, alongside local heroes Mia Dora. Saint Judes meanwhile welcome Germany’s Session Victim, mixing up house with disco, hip-hop and soul influences. As the month draws to a close, don’t miss the chance on 26 Apr to catch another Detroit legend, Juan Atkins, joining the iAM boys at the Subbie. If you prefer your four-four beats progressive and dreamy, head down to Musika for an appointment with deep house supremo Sasha. Alternatively, check out Jackhammer at the Liquid Room, who have Gary Beck and Dustin Zahn manning the decks. Finally, a quick shout out to the dedicated Subculture faithful – on 27 Apr they welcome Deetron, a veteran Swiss DJ with releases stretching back to the late 90s, who plies a Detroit-influenced techno seam. That’s it for this month – and we even resisted using any Easter egg puns. See you down the front...

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April Events

This month Dead by Dawn celebrates its 20th anniversary the only way it knows how: with horror, lots of horror. Elsewhere, the Italian Film Festival returns to Scotland and Pedro Almodóvar is back with a raunchy comedy Words: Becky Bartlett First Position

First Position

Bernie

Director: Bess Kargman. Starring: Aran Bell, Rebecca Houseknecht, Joan Sebastian Zamora. Released: 12 Apr Certificate: 12A

Director: Richard Linklater. Starring: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey. Released: 26 Apr Certificate: PG

Adopting a similar format to 2002’s spelling bee doc Spellbound, First Position is a gripping documentary that follows seven children between the ages of ten and seventeen as they prepare for and compete in the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition. The filmmakers are unobtrusive; voice-over is kept to a minimum, allowing the children and their talents to largely speak for themselves, while a classical score accompanies both the routines and the preparation. The entrants at the centre of Bess Kargman’s documentary are diverse in their backgrounds – from a pampered blonde, to a foster child from wartorn Sierra Leone, to a teenage boy from Colombia, each have their own challenges to face. Most impressive, however, is the dancing; the enormous toll it takes on these young bodies, and the dogged determination and dedication each contestant has. First Position will appeal to more than just ballet aficionados – fast-paced and fascinating, it reveals just how difficult it is to make something look utterly effortless. [Becky Bartlett]

Indie darling Richard Linklater returns home with Bernie, a bizarre true story of murder and community spirit in a small Texan town. Jack Black (in superb, restrained, creepy form) plays the titular funeral director, unfalteringly chirpy and beloved by all. Bernie befriends Marjorie (the indomitable Shirley MacLaine), a monstrous, not to mention monstrously wealthy, widow who is unwaveringly foul and despised for it. This odd couple become near inseparable, marking their time together with lavish spending and luxury holidays... until Bernie snaps and offs the old dame. There’s a delicious matter-of-fact absurdity here; the overwhelming strangeness of what unfolds heightened by a lack of sensationalism. While actors portray key players, some real townsfolk offer their accounts to camera. These eccentric contributions of folksy wit and wisdom provide real colour, and are treated warmly by Linklater when they could so easily have been sneered at. A beautifully constructed, smartly scripted and very funny tall tale of down-home values and darkness in the most unlikely of places. [Chris Fyvie]

Spring Breakers

The Place Beyond the Pines

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Director: Harmony Korine. Starring: James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine. Released: 5 Apr Certificate: 18

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Director: Derek Cianfrance. Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Dane DeHaan, Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn, Ray Liotta. Released: 12 Apr Certificate: 15

This neon-lit delirium opens with a montage of young women gyrating in slow motion as Neanderthal jocks cascade lager over their naked breasts. Knowing this you may struggle with the next statement: Korine’s film is the smartest, most daring and aesthetically gorgeous deconstruction of narrative cinema you’ll see all year. Just when it looks like you’re in a Larry Clarklike teenage wasteland you’ll suddenly find yourself in Deliverance country. But wait – now we’re in a Tony Scott movie; keep your wits about you or the film will give you whiplash. Spring Breakers reaches an ecstatic and comedic crescendo with James Franco, as Alien, a gold-toothed gangsta rapper, playing a white baby grand piano and crooning a Britney Spears ballad to three blonde airheads, played by former Disney child stars. The WTF factor is compounded by the fact the girls are wearing pink, unicorn embroidered balaclavas and brandishing submachine guns. If Michael Mann was to take a load of hallucinogenics and shoot a Girls Gone Wild video, it might look something like this. [Jamie Dunn]

While the brutal intimacy of Derek Cianfrance’s debut, Blue Valentine, owed a great deal to John Cassavetes, this epic follow-up of family, fate and corruption recalls Michael Cimino and Sidney Lumet. And not entirely successfully. Anchoring a great cast in top form, Ryan Gosling is supercool stuntman Luke, breezing from town to town with his high-wire motorcycle show. Returning to Schenectady on tour, Luke discovers he fathered a child with Romina (Eva Mendes) during a previous visit, and resolves to stick about and play daddy. With the aid of crook Robin (Ben Mendelsohn), Luke utilises his skills in a series of bank robberies to support his broken family. A collision with Bradley Cooper’s rookie cop is inevitable. Beautifully shot, moodily scored and bold of technique, Cianfrance’s picture buckles under its own ambition. Hamstrung by structure, the final act is predictable and rushed; the necessity to neatly tie-up big themes undoing all the impressive, nuanced groundwork. With an extra hour runtime, this could have been a masterpiece. As things stands, it’s an admirable curiosity. [Chris Fyvie]

Evil Dead

Promised Land

Director: Fede Alvarez. Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas. Released: 19 Apr Certificate: 18

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Director: Gus Van Sant. Starring: Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Frances McDormand, Rosemarie DeWitt, Hal Holbrook. Released: 19 Apr Certificate: 12A

Few 1980s horrors have escaped the unflinching gaze of the ruthless Hollywood remake machine. But some thought The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi’s scrappy, much-loved debut, too sacred a cow to receive such treatment – especially since Raimi effectively remade it himself six years later with Evil Dead II. And yet here we are. Fede Alvarez’s re-imagining, flat and witless, doffs a deferential cap in all the wrong places. Present and correct is the bloody chainsaw, and that aggressively libidinous tree. But gone is the innovative camerawork and B-movie charm; instead we get slick, dull production values and glossy over-lighting. Gone, too, is the cheeky sense of humour; in its place, a peculiarly po-faced script. And most conspicuously of all, gone is Bruce Campbell. A bland cast of expendable twenty-somethings are scant substitute for Campbell’s angular jaw, arched eyebrow and groovy one-liners. Like most remakes, Evil Dead makes a miserably weak argument for its own existence – especially when stacked against a superior original. [John Nugent]

Fracking is a hot-button issue, but you wouldn’t know it from Promised Land, which barely stirs any passions as it trundles through a mundane plot. Matt Damon and Frances McDormand are the gas salespeople who arrive in a small town confident in their ability to persuade its inhabitants to sign over their land for a small fee. However, they haven’t reckoned on pugnacious pensioner Hal Holbrook, environmental activist John Krasinski and schoolteacher Rosemarie DeWitt, who catches Damon’s eye. With these actors and the talent behind the camera (Gus Van Sant directs; Krasinski wrote the script with Dave Eggers), the lack of impact is bewildering. Before it entirely collapses with a climactic revelation, the screenplay relies on familiar dramatic beats and confrontations, while Van Sant directs with the detached air of someone who knows he can make a film like this in his sleep. Worst of all is the way Promised Land uses the fracking theme to earn it some secondhand import, while never bothering to dig beneath the surface itself. [Philip Concannon]

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I'm So Excited!

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orror festival Dead by Dawn returns to the Filmhouse in Edinburgh from 25-28 Apr – it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary, so the line-up is sure to be extra special. The full selection of movies has yet to be announced, but Jug Face, a supernatural thriller about a hick community and a mysterious pit that requires human sacrifice, has been confirmed. Also a dead cert is the attendance of Frank Henenlotter, the man behind twisted gore flicks Basket Case and Frankenhooker, while guests are invited to participate in the Shit Film Amnesty – bring your worst movie along, and see if you can win everyone else’s. If you still haven’t had your fill of horror after that, the Filmhouse in Edinburgh is also screening Sam Raimi’s nasty classic The Evil Dead on 30 Apr. With the remake hitting cinemas this month, see how it compares to the original, in which a group of college kids arrive at an isolated cottage in the woods, only to be terrorised, possessed and turned into zombies. Starring cult favourite Bruce Campbell, Raimi’s gore flick is low-budget, trashy, dated, and seriously twisted. The Italian Film Festival returns to Scotland this month, screening fourteen films, both old and new, at the GFT in Glasgow, with certain events also showing in Edinburgh, Dundee, and Inverness. Running from 12-21 Apr, the lineup includes two Roberto Rossellini films: The War of the Volcanoes (in which he stars with Ingrid Bergman) and Stromboli (which also stars Ingrid Bergman; Rossellini is in the director chair) – both 17 Apr. The latter will be introduced by Dr Pasquale Iannone from the University of Edinburgh. See www.glasgowfilm.org for more details. The Cameo in Edinburgh and the GFT are screening a special preview of I’m So Excited! on 23 Apr, with a satellite Q&A session with the film’s director, Pedro Almodóvar. Featuring regular collaborators Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas in minor roles, this unlikely comedy, set on board a plane suffering from potentially catastrophic technical problems, sees the prolific Spanish director return to his more lighthearted roots. Finally, Pixar fans should head to the GFT on 16 Apr for An Audience with Pixar’s Mark Andrews. The event marks the only public appearance of the director of the recently Oscarwinning, Scottish-set Brave. As well as taking questions from the audience, Andrews will be showing clips from a number of his films, including The Incredibles and Ratatouille. The event is free, but ticketed – get yours early so you don’t miss out.

THE SKINNY


The Collection

Knightriders

Vulgaria

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Director: Marcus Dunstan. Starring: Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick, Christopher McDonald. Released: 29 Apr Certificate: 18 A sequel of sorts to The Collector from 2009, The Collection opens with an entertaining scene in which a gimp-masked serial killer takes out an entire nightclub-full of particularly objectionable revellers with a series of gruesome traps. But then he picks the wrong girl for the collection of victims he keeps in the sort of steamer trunks last seen at Hogwarts. With little further ado – and even less plot – a team of badasses arrive at his house of horrors to rescue the girl. But can they survive the endless traps, the petting zoo of gurning victims, the bad taxidermy, the even worse art, and all the other familiar slasher tropes that fill the rooms of the abandoned hotel? Director Marcus Dunstan makes little attempt to create either narrative tension or characters that we might care about, instead relying on buckets of blood to keep our attention, mostly leaving us wondering where the killer finds the time to pursue his multifarious hobbies. [Keir Roper-Caldbeck]

Director: George A. Romero. Starring: Ed Harris, Tom Savini, Gary Lahti. Released: 22 Apr Certificate: 15

Knightriders opens with a wonderful visual gag. Through a gauzy lens we see a naked Ed Harris awaken with his lady friend in sylvan glade. After bathing in the river, they don their clothes – he, the armour of a knight; she, the the dress of a medieval maiden – before mounting their steed. Only then does the camera pan down to reveal that their mode of transport is not a noble horse, but a six-cyclinder Honda superbike. George A. Romero’s previously hard-to-find 1981 story of a travelling troupe of motorcyclists who stage mock Arthurian jousting tournaments is now available in a beautifully restored version on Blu-ray. Like the shows the biker-knights put on, the film is hammy, over-earnest, and often ridiculous; but, like them, it’s also a lot of fun. In the same way that Easy Rider foreshadowed the cultural struggles of the 1970s, Romero uses the motorcycle epic to dramatise the conflict between community and commercialisation that would come to characterize the Reaganite 1980s. [Keir Roper-Caldbeck]

Ten Years

Director: Stuart Urban. Starring: Kevin Bishop. Released: 15 Apr Certificate: 15

Director: Jamie Linden. Starring: Channing Tatum, Justin Long, Rosario Dawson, Kate Mara. Released: 8 Apr Certificate: 15

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A bash on the head turns a mild-mannered London bobby into a serial killer, albeit one who only targets those who break the law and agree to be killed. Writer/director Stuart Urban’s low budget black comedy isn’t quite sure what it wants to do, but it certainly has its moments of dark release as the reborn vigilante works his way through some thoroughly deserving scumbags. That said, Maniac Cop this ain’t and even as he cleans up the streets and develops a cult following on Twitter and YouTube, he never quite manages to shake off a distinctly British ineptitude. Kevin Bishop (an unrecognisable grown-up Jim Hawkins from Muppet Treasure Island) is fine as the dim-witted Officer Baz, but Urban’s script doesn’t really go anywhere or ultimately decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a serious depiction of a psychotic. The concept of a sociopathic policeman has a lot of potential, but this fails somewhat in the execution. [Scotty McKellar]

Win Tickets to Stop Making Sense! A music event without pretension, full of warmth and a strong sense of community, Stop Making Sense in Croatia is all about the sunshine, the people, the boat parties, the music, the escape. Bringing some of the most diverse and in-demand acts in electronic music to beautiful Tisno, with Âme & Dixon, Steve Bug, Lindstrøm, Radio Slave, T.Williams, Sebo K, Prins Thomas, Will Saul, Midland, Mano Le Tough, San Soda, Appleblim and more, SMS is a festival, a sun-drenched holiday and a thrilling mini-break all rolled into one. Come and party with Stop Making Sense, 1-4 August 2013!

A gross-out comedy from Hong Kong, the well named Vulgaria pushes the boundaries of taste in its dialogue and storyline while coyly keeping what appears on screen comparatively chaste. To Wai-Cheung is a hapless film producer who, desperate for money, travels from Hong Kong to the mainland to meet with Tyrannosaur, a blinged-out mob boss, who wants To to remake his favourite porn film. After offending the gangster and his crew by refusing to eat the unspeakable dishes they serve him at a banquet (genitals feature prominently on the menu), To must make amends by having initimate relations with a mule. Made at breakneck speed in 12 days, Vulgaria zips along at a refreshing pace buoyed up by a number of nice performances from an enthusiastic cast led by the pitch-perfect Chapman To (Infernal Affairs). If some of the gags are too culturally specific to travel well and many others simply fall flat, there are enough that are extremely funny to make this a diverting watch. [Keir Roper-Caldbeck]

May I Kill U?

Zaytoun

Director: Eran Riklis. Starring: Stephen Dorff, Abdallah El Akal, Tarik Kopty. Released: 8 Apr Certificate: 15 A cross-conflict road movie set during the 1982 Lebanese war, Zaytoun gets plenty right. For one, it looks fantastic, with cinematographer Dan Laustsen lensing war-blasted cities and malignly mine-strewn countryside in ever arresting ways. Also earning kudos are the strong central performances: Stephen Dorff overcomes minor miscasting and an awkward accent to deliver a nuanced turn as downed Israeli pilot Yoni, while Abdallah El Akal out-thesps his older co-star as Palestinian orphan Fahed, assuredly segueing from childish bravado into confusion and sadness. Director Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree, The Syrian Bride) too earns commendation for tactfully handling Palestinian/Israeli tensions without pointing fingers or resorting to easy villains. But while there’s no doubting Zaytoun’s good intentions, the parts don't hang together as a believable whole with characters becoming conduits for unsubtle and corny moralising. [Chris Buckle]

Director: Pang Ho-Cheung. Starring: Chapman To, Lam Suet. Released: 15 Apr Certificate: 15

To be in with a chance of winning a set of FOUR tickets, head along to www.theskinny.co.uk/competitions and answer this question:

Middle age bites early in middle America if this Big Chill-esque film is to be believed. A group of friends attend their ten year high school reunion and, over a night of drunken revelry, must confront the decisions they have made in life and love in the intervening years. Or, perhaps more usefully, try and have it off with that girl they fancied in chemistry. Ten Years is a decent, if underwhelming ensemble piece which usually manages to keep on the right side of sentimentality. Its greatest pleasure comes from spotting all the familiar faces in the cast, led by the increasingly ubiquitous Channing Tatum (who also produced). It is not unlikely that we’re watching a roll call of actors who will come to dominate our screens over the next decade. Chris Patt is particularly good as Cully, the high school bully determined to atone for his past behaviour, who manages only to prove that none of us ever change. [Keir Roper-Caldbeck]

Win Tickets to The Sash at King's Theatre

Stop Making Sense is held in which European country? A) Czech Republic B) Cyprus C) Croatia Entrants must be 18 or over. Prize is festival tickets only and does not include travel, accommodation, transfers or boat parties. Competition closes midnight Fri 3 May. Winners will be notified within two working days and are required to respond within one week or the prize will be offered to another entrant. Full details of terms and conditions can be found at www.theskinny.co.uk/about/terms facebook.com/stopmakingsensefestival mixcloud.com/stopmakingsensefestival/ stopmakingsense.yokaboo.com

Rapture, Scotland’s leading contemporary touring theatre company, are proud to present the Scottish theatre classic by Hector MacMillan, in a thrilling new production. Set on the day of the Orange Walk, Bill MacWilliam is determined that his son, Cameron, will join him on the walk. However, prompted by his mother’s recent death, Cameron has started to question his father’s beliefs. This will be the fortieth anniversary of this political comedy, which still resonates in a Scotland where sectarian chants are heard on football terraces and nail bombs are sent through the post. To be in with a chance of winning tickets to see The Sash at the King’s Theatre Edinburgh,

April 2013

FILM / COMPETITIONS

running from Tue 30 April to Sat 4 May 2013, head along to www.theskinny.co.uk/competitions and answer this question: Who wrote The Sash? A) Hector MacMillan B) Victor MacVillain C) Teuchtar MacTillan Competition closes midnight Wed 24 Apr. Winners will pick which performance they wish to attend. They will be notified via email within two working days of closing and are required to respond within 48 hours or the prize will be offered to another entrant. Full details of terms and conditions can be found at www.theskinny.co.uk/about/ terms www.edtheatres.com

Review

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Jennifer Moon

Transmission, until 27 Apr rrrrr

Unlike her domineering portrait suggests, Jennifer Moon is mild, almost apologetic, in person. As she explains her theories on the unifying potential of love between all people, it’s very difficult to imagine that once upon a time she used pepper spray to rob people at ATMs in order to feed her heroin addiction. She freely admits her crime and the story of her subsequent incarceration because it makes her vulnerable, and being vulnerable leads to love. On the first floor of Transmission are a series of photographs and correspondents from Moon’s time in prison that make for a fascinating insight into the U.S. prison system. In the centre of the room are Moon’s prison typewriter and a large pile of pamphlets that contain her manifesto for ‘revolution.’ The downstairs space is arranged as a Boot Camp for Revolutionaries, where the vulnerable artist will make volunteers into a vulnerable audience through a series of trust exercises designed to strip back their beliefs. Through this process they will reach a place of ‘abundance.’ It’s unusual to find such a cultish recipe for happiness presented through the context of contemporary art. While Moon resists the label of ‘irony,’ she does admit to her work’s playfulness. The result is an excursion into the redemptive quality of love and one artist’s attempt to systematise its transformative potential. Sure, it’s a little messianic in a way that borrows heavily from Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but its honesty alone makes it worth an afternoon’s curiosity, if not a lifetime’s commitment. After all, it’s just contemporary art. [Peter Drew]

Mick Peter, Trademark Horizon

Mick Peter

www.transmissiongallery.org

Jennifer Moon, There is Nothing Left but Freedom, 2013

SWG3, until 27 Apr rrrrr Mick Peter takes a certain hard-line approach to making art that has its origin in 20th Century experimental literature. A fan of novelist and poet B.S. Johnson, who believed narrative fiction was a form of lying, Peter has been quoted as saying, “you cannot write fiction any longer, but you can write about writing fiction.” The implications are profound to say the least. All literature written after, say, James Joyce can only ever be a commentary on fiction and never fiction itself – a mere post-script to the devastating paradigm shift enacted by modernist writers in the first half of the last century. No form of realism, he suggests, can possibly survive in the arid wastelands left in the wake of these titans of literature. Consequently, Peter’s installation at SWG3, Trademark Horizon, is a barren landscape inhabited by the stark remnants of a lost culture. The five large sculptures, each depicting what seems to be a trademark or logo, reference 1960s and

70s graphic design. They are sculpted unconventionally, made from folded flat plawnes – as one might sculpt using paper – and look more like their two-dimensional forebears than solid forms. Other than this, these flat, rudimentary sculptures give little away. Enacting Peter’s view that fiction cannot be written and only a metafiction is feasible, the installation makes little attempt to allude to anything beyond itself. The graphic design references are a dead end; the materials used are modern, efficient and economical; the works’ titles are at times playful but largely perfunctory. A stark, more or less meaningless collection of objects, these works will disappear without a trace, forgotten forever. Like the rest of culture, they will be devoured by the event horizon left by dear departed fiction. [Andrew Cattanach] www.swg3.tv

ADVERTISING FEATURE

Own Art: RSA New Contemporaries Words: Jac Mantle A grand and stately building on Edinburgh’s Mound, the Royal Scottish Academy looks every inch the beacon of intellectual brilliance that the term ‘academy’ originally denoted. What you can’t tell from the outside is that these days the RSA is ‘down with the kids,’ playing host to the art stars of the future, most notably in its annual New Contemporaries show. New graduates from the Scottish art schools are selected on the basis of their degree shows, for many of them their first major exhibition since graduating. With work in every medium from painting to performance, New Contemporaries is superficially similar to a degree show – the key difference being that a panel has selected the cream of the crop to exhibit. Having had a few months to regroup, consider their work in cold light and firm up their interests, the artists are at some kind of emergent peak, on an exciting precipice. It’s a no-brainer that this show seems a harbinger of new talent. A case in point is Gray’s graduate Stephen Thorpe, who featured in the show in 2011 and won the RSA New Contemporaries Award and The Skinny Award. Since then he has exhibited widely,

including at The Saatchi Gallery in London, as the recipient of the prestigious worldwide competition held by Saatchi Online. His winning work, painted in oils on a massive canvas, shows an interior landscape of a room where an ominous figure appears to be approaching the viewer amid optical illusions that play with your perceptions of space. Typically busy and overworked in both plane and surface, Thorpe’s paintings seem to refer at once to literal everyday life and the abstract. His recent solo show at Summerhall was titled ‘Once it is in you it never goes away’ – with any luck, an unwitting reference to his continued success? If sales of his work are anything to go by, it seems likely – he has already sold well through the Own Art scheme, including at Gallery Heinzel in Aberdeen. Thorpe now works full-time as an artist as well as moonlighting as an Assistant Curator at Summerhall. Another raging success of New Contemporaries is Duncan of Jordanstone graduate Chloe Gough, whose show in 2010 was a sellout. She was quickly snapped up for the RSA’s online Culture Label collection, and two years later,

Stephen Thorpe, House of Bamboo, 2010

was chosen for their first-ever online exhibition on Culture Label. This included a new series of paintings and prints and two specially commissioned films about the artist and her printmaking process, shot in Peacock Visual Arts, where she created the works. Borrowing from traditional portraiture and then subtly drawing the viewer away from a prescribed way of looking, Gough’s work is heavily backed up by a strong theoretical process. A graduate of fine art and philosophy, she cites Sartre, Lacan and Barthes among her influences – a weighty roll call that informs but doesn’t burden her works, which appear as light-hearted

studies of ordinary bodies in a way more reminiscent of art of the past. “By removing the gaze and also perhaps the face, I hope to draw more attention to the details present in posture, pose and physical quirks that appear in a person’s stance,” says Gough. One of Culture Label’s best-selling galleries, the RSA offers a great opportunity to get your hands on the work of emerging artists who will fast become household names. RSA New Contemporaries is supported by the Own Art scheme. www.ownart.org.uk

Galleries across Scotland are members of the Own Art scheme. By offering interest-free loans of £100-£2,000 through Own Art, buying an original piece of quality contemporary art or craft couldn’t be easier. For more information about Own Art and a list of participating galleries see the Own Art website: www.ownart.org.uk

Offer subject to age and status. Terms and conditions apply. You will need a UK bank account that can handle direct debits, proof of identity and address, and you will also need to be over 18. Own Art is operated by ArtCo Trading Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arts Council. Registered address: Arts Council England, North East, Central Square, Forth Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3PJ

Look for the pink logo. (representative 0% APR)

249 West George Street Glasgow G2 4QE

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Review

ART

THE SKINNY


Book of the Month:

The Iraqi Christ

An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful

By Hassan Blasim rrrrr

J. David Simons’ new novel is primarily noteworthy for the ambition it shows in tackling difficult, often uncomfortable themes. Flitting between the youth and old-age of a celebrated writer, we gradually uncover the defining moments of his life and the influence of his times in Glasgow, London and Tokyo. His first visit to Japan is not long after WWII and leads to the writing of The Waterwheel; an exploration of the inhumanity in America’s dropping of the second atom bomb on Nagasaki. As well as the global, we have the universal in the relationships between the writer and his American and Japanese loves. The book offers a complex portrayal of the differing ways one can be with another person and the difficulties in balancing these with the inherently selfish enterprise of being an artist. Handled with intricacy and care, these themes are bravely complicated by a sometimes deliberately unlikeable protagonist. Although the book never feels like it is taking on too much, and the relatively simplistic structure of alternating past-present chapters complements the thematic content, it does have the tendency to wander. The way in which Simons’ smallest moments are exemplary of larger, universal concerns gives the novel almost parabolic qualities and therefore when it loses focus the effect is jarring, leaving one wondering what the book could have achieved with a tighter, more economical discipline. [Ryan Rushton]

Out now, published by Comma Press, RRP £9.99

Out now, published Saraband, RRP £8.99

Stepping Up: The Fitbit One

Words: Alex Cole

Words: Alex Cole

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t’s a weird technology – a device that doesn’t play music, check Facebook, or have a 4G connection. In fact, all it does is follow you around all day and record everything your body does (not your thumbs on your mobile). It’s the Fitbit One, a pedometer on steroids, tracking your steps, distance covered, stairs climbed, calories burned, and sleep, all on a device as big as a USB drive. It clips onto your pocket during the day and goes onto a wristband at night, and its goal is to assemble a complete picture of your habits every day. It does give you daily targets to shoot for, and sends regular emails about your progress if you want, but its real strength is in the web dashboard that displays your results. It’s a testament to great data visualisation, mapping spikes in activity and exactly how rubbish your sleep consistency is (I stay above 91% efficiency, but I can’t help but feel cheated out of 9% of my nap time). While the marketing makes some modest claims about what the goals of the device are, the strange thing is, just having the Fitbit clipped to your pocket seems to encourage you to walk and move more. I felt annoyed if I left it at home

April 2013

Love Sex Travel Musik By Rodge Glass rrrrr

Sharing a theme of cheap air travel, these short stories reflect on a world lubricated by flights that cost less than lunch. Far from realising their dreams of far-flung countries, the characters find a globalised world where cultures spill over and leak into one another. Buried in each story is the same quote from André Gide, exploring the idea that, although expectations of grand discovery are always thwarted (a character in Uruguay remarks that ‘it’s hardly Columbus territory’), there is always ‘an unexpected education’ to be found in the disappointment that follows. Whether that is a major epiphany or minor clarification, ‘you’ll be glad you didn’t stay at home.’ Rodge Glass uses first, second, and third person narration for these stories, launching each one in a different style only to arrive at a voice that lands in the same place. As the world slips towards an homogenous gloop of love sex travel music, the only truly exotic place left on earth is inside your head. [Galen O’Hanlon] Published 22 Apr by Freight, RRP £8.99

The SimCity Scandal: When Good Games Go Bad

Our Tech editor takes a look at the Fitbit One, an Orwellian health-monitoring device that is basically a cross between a pedometer and a panopticon

Feed

By J. David Simons rrrrr

Calling Hassan Blasim’s second short story collection a ‘tour de force’ seems tactless – a tour by the Allied Western armies, involving deadly force, was what brought his native country of Iraq to its knees the last time, after all. Blasim’s fiction deals not just with the aftermath of war and struggle – the horrors that become commonplace in a culture which has seen its ruling elite routed, exiled or killed, and its citizens murdering each other daily in the streets – but also with historical detritus: decades of colonial rule, followed by years of oppressive dictatorship, bleeding into the chaos and civil war of the present day. Blasim does not mince his words, so neither shall we – Iraq is a fucked up place. Blasim brings this chaos vividly to life, not through chest-beating, emotionally wrenching verité journalism, nor through the pejorative, rifle-sight perspective of invading soldiers. Rather he explores the dark, uncomfortable psychological territory within the minds and histories of ordinary Iraqis – all of whom are exquisitely realised literary creations, but who offer a verisimilitude of character which is unmatched in any other fiction about Iraq. His tales are not ‘realist’ in a literary sense either – far from it. They are phantasmagorias involving djinni, sentient dogs, feral wolves trapped in city blocks, doomed soldiers with latent psychic talents. There are stories within stories, clever metafictional tricks which recall Kafka, JG Ballard and Paul Auster. His work never flinches from gore, sex, violence, blasphemy or misery – nor do these tropes ever feel exploitative. The rich combination of pitch-black gallows humour and fantastical flights from reality are utterly compelling – more real than anything you have read before about Iraq. [Bram E. Gieben]

because my walking wouldn’t be counted. I took stairs that I might not have otherwise, or skipped buses that I would have caught just to be lazy. It’s tiny enough that it’s easy to lose, but the battery lasts for nearly a week, synchs to your laptop or newer-model smartphone (not all of them), and sits on your metaphorical shoulder dutifully tracking everything. It would be easy to call it a perfect example of nagging and guilt-tripping you into doing what you’re supposed to do anyway, but it’s hard to fault the device that just passively records everything, presents it beautifully, and lets you make up your own mind about getting off your ass.

he complaints were early coming in. Months in advance of the game release, developers took to Reddit to have the public ask about the highly-anticipated new SimCity game. Things started off promisingly enough, with lots of oos and ahhs at the shiny new graphics engine. But quickly, a pesky little detail came to light that shut down all the praise: SimCity needed to be connected to the internet at all times to play. No single player offline mode, no working on a city while at the airport. No internet, no game. It got worse from there, as the city sizes were set artificially small, forcing you to rely on other cities for big projects or zoning that your city didn’t have room to fit. The ‘agent’ mechanic, giving every individual citizen a motivation allowing you to follow them around all day, never lived up to the early ambitions, and tracking inhabitants all day revealed an AI on par with that of a gerbil. The curved streets are great once you figure out how to lay them, but even that can take ages. And then came launch day, and with thousands of pre-orders ready to go, the servers, predictably enough, crashed under the weight, and, without an offline mode, no one was playing anything. Weeks later, and the servers are still a massive problem, putting players into queues

How EA took the beloved, venerable SimCity franchise and made it a joke

of nearly an hour, making them rely on regions where other players might screw you over if they detonate their power plant. All in all, the socalled ‘vision’ of taking a single-player game and making it online and multiplayer only, and then making that multi-player experience so painful, has cost EA dearly. Already EA’s CEO has resigned amidst the outcry, the company has released several of its existing titles for free to buyers by way of apology, and yet still, the bad PR keeps coming in. It’s clear now that multi-player was never part of a grand dream, just a harsh way of cracking down on piracy by forcing all gameplay online. And in light of a hacker demonstrating a quick fix that lets players go offline without a problem, as well as a recent report that shows piracy has no effect on sales, the game looks increasingly emblematic of why online-only DRM isn’t a solution to anything, even profits, for EA. I’d love to review and recommend this game, but at present, there’s not much to review or recommend. If things are patched and the limitations of the game are removed, it may be worth revisiting. But as it stands, a great brand and a great ambition have been utterly sabotaged by misplaced and ineffective greed.

Google Keep aims to beat out Evernote, Pocket, by actually storing stuff and being last to the party ◊ South Korean banks hacked, North stands around whistling and staring off into space ◊ Canadian man planning to sell entire house for Bitcoins, hoping for virtual property in Second Life ◊ Tons of lock screen bypasses for iPhone and Samsung phones, hotfix just says “please don’t peek” ◊ Apollo 11 engines hauled up from the ocean floor, in totally badass revisiting of badass history

BOOKS / TECH

Review

59


The Beacon

Our venue of the month is the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock, a creative hub for the Renfrewshire region attracting major touring productions Words: Gareth K Vile

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Taylor Mac

Behave Yourself

The Arches’ artistic director Jackie Wylie talks us through Behaviour 2013’s politicised programme Interview: Gareth K Vile

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lthough the transition from The Arches Theatre Festival into Behaviour has seen it expand past its original vision of a sudden burst of creativity into a longer season of intriguing performance on the boundaries of theatre, dance and live art, it remains the flagship brand for The Arches’ distinctive identity. Now that the National Theatre of Scotland has become involved – showcasing their Auteurs’ project – and off-site events are common (Brick Award winner #Torycore is visiting the Southside’s Glad Cafe), The Arches’ status as Glasgow’s home of innovative theatre is clearly recognised. The NTS Auteurs programme takes five emerging performers and support them to create new work that follows on from their earlier successes, with four of the performers already enjoying strong associations with the venue (Gary McNair, Kieran Hurley and Nic Green are all previous winners of the Platform 18 award, an annual prize that encourages young artists to be more ambitious, while Rob Drummond knocked out his Wrestling there in 2011). “They are all also connected to the NTS,” says Jackie Wylie, The Arches’ artistic director. “When we selected the artists, one of the criteria was this connection: artists who have gone through their development programme but were a stage beyond that – beyond Platform 18 or Arches Live! “These artists need a platform because they work with their own energy and determination,” she continues. “There has been a change in the way that artists develop. The auteurs are capable of driving things forward – not necessarily all of the areas all of the time – but in an overlapping combination of areas.” This independence, however, is not the only thing that they share. “I wonder if there is something about

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Preview

ven though the Beacon Arts Centre is still a new venue in Greenock – it began its inaugural season in January – it has a programme for April that is the envy of many venues located in both Glasgow and Edinburgh. Perhaps its location is off the beaten track, although it is a short train journey out along the west coast, but its ambitions are huge. Despite visits from The Bon Jovi Experience and a Bee Gees tribute night, The Beacon is shaping up as a serious contender to the Glasgow venues. Communicado’s excellent The Government Inspector arrives on its tour at the start of the month, Fringe award winner The Agony and Ecstacy of Steve Jobs is popping in, and the month ends with Visible Fiction’s Mark of Zorro. The Beacon has the full range of performance styles, from provocative contemporary dance (SDT’s double bill) through opera (Madame Butterfly) to children’s theatre (in aformentioned Mark of Zorro). In many ways, the venue expresses the current state of Scottish theatre. Even the National Theatre of Scotland are bringing their adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish, but the rough mixture of different genres and styles is impressive. It follows in the footsteps of centres like Glasgow’s Platform, emphasising its importance as a community hub (the cafe is elegant and accessible), while ensuring that the productions are appealing and professional. The appointment of Julie Ellen as artistic director made the connection to Scotland’s existing theatre community clear. Formerly the boss

at Playwright Studios, she recently directed In An Alien Landscape for Birds of Paradise and has a strong awareness of contemporary trends in performance. The appearance of Communicado’s The Government Inspector alongside new plays in collaboration with Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint production house ensures that Greenock will have an easy chance to see some of the highlights that might otherwise remain in the major cities. Since The Beacon follows on from the tradition of The Arts Guild Theatre – which served Greenock for over half a century and was kept open by the energy of an independent body – it has firm links with the local community and is very much an expression of the town’s needs and enthusiasms. The main auditorium matches a practical, modern space with a traditional elegance, and the presence of a smaller stage ensures that the range of programming can accomodate boutique performance. Certainly, its location – in the harbour, with beautiful views of the Clyde from both bistro and rehearsal rooms – won’t hurt its attraction. There is a tendancy to regard Edinburgh and Glasgow as the most important locations for theatre, but The Beacon is part of a web of venues across the country that are crucial for the ongoing health of Scotland’s touring network. It is companies like Communicado, or Birds of Paradise, who take theatre outside of the central belt, and The Beacon is a welcome statement that towns can provde as beautiful and accomodating a space as the cities. www.beaconartscentre.co.uk

all of them starting with a conceptual spark,” adds Wylie. “What is special about all of them is their ability to come up with original, pioneering ideas.” These performances form the backbone of Behaviour, simultaneously expressing The Arches’ committment to local artists and experimental techniques. This combination of themes is supported in the two winners of this year’s Platform 18 – Amanda Monfrooe and Peter McMaster. They come from very different backgrounds: Monfrooe is, amongst other things a puppeteer and a prophet of enlightenment through post-modern pessimism, while McMaster is a graduate of The RCS and enjoys tinkering with classic texts – in this case Wuthering Heights – to examine assumptions about masculinty. And while they both grapple with serious topics – Monfrooe’s Poke parallels the escalating sexual violence of the early twenty-first century and McMaster prods at the nature of men in feminist times – neither are afraid to entertain. Looking across Behaviour, Wylie identifies the quality that makes the Arches’ seasons distinctive. “A lot of the work is politicised, even if we define political in a broad way. #Torycore is Political with a big P, but something like Peggy Shaw is political with a small p. Both of the Platform 18 shows are looking at identity politics, gender in very specific contemporary frameworks.” This mixture, present in all of the Behaviour programme, from Gary McNair’s look at standup comedy through to Taylor Mac’s political songbook, encapsulates The Arches’ attitude to the possibilities of performance. Behaviour runs from 3 Apr-11 May: see the website for details of events, www.thearches.co.uk

THEATRE

THE SKINNY


The Loveliest Revolution Comedy has changed of late – stand up Juliette Burton takes a close look at the rise of loveliness

B

ack in the late 90s, Foster’s Comedy Award nominees at Edinburgh Fringe were those traditionally cruel comedy knights (Rich Hall, Johnny Vegas, Al Murray). In the early noughties though, loveliness crept in; sometimes musically (Flight of the Conchords), sometimes surreally (Noel Fielding, Demetri Martin), sometimes in stories (king of loveliness Daniel Kitson). In the last five years, nominees have been an increasingly long list of loveliness: 2009 – Tim Key, Idiots of Ants; 2010 – Josie Long, Sarah Millican; 2011 Josie Long (again), Meanwhile by Sam Simmons. But in 2012 loveliness landed with a nominations list more lovely than a bubble bath filled with puppies: Pappy’s, Tony Law, Josie Long (again!), Claudia O’Doherty, James Acaster and, the winner, the slightly menacing, but still oddly lovely clowning genius Doctor Brown. This style of comedy doesn’t ‘get one over’ on the audience. It’s a pathos-fuelled ‘come with me on this journey’ escapism where the hero isn’t the comedian alone but the whole audience with them. The performer isn’t in conflict with the audience, rather befriending them. The herald of this loveliness was the recession. Since it hit in 2008, we want to be not just diverted by comedy, but fully escape from the terrifying, double-dip-filled world we’re living in. We want to go on an adventure with our comedy hero – like Claudia O’Doherty in Telescope, Sam Simmons in Meanwhile and Pappy’s in their Last Show Ever. We want to be welcomed into an imagined world that helps us feel safe, uplifted and renewed. The recession also caused us to re-consider

April 2013

Illustration: Essi Kimpimäki

what and who we can trust. We can’t trust banks, we can’t trust the economy, we can’t trust to keep our jobs; but we can trust loveliness. Last year The Boy with Tape on His Face kept on selling out his 700 seat venue at the Edinburgh Fringe. When his show ended with hundreds of red balloons falling on stage, I came away so gleeful I felt like a child again. And children have an untainted ability to trust: right now we need to cling on to whatever helps us rediscover that. There are still the traditional knights of course. Adam Riches and Nick Helm were both Foster’s Award nominees in 2011 and both are brash, bullish and confrontational. And of course, there’s the cruelty comedy king; Frankie Boyle. We do need them. We need those brave knights to attack politics, religion, racism, the recession and deal with our anger for us. Lovely Comedy deals with what lies beyond anger. The Boy With Tape on His Face may not attack politics, religion, racism, the recession or anger directly but he shows us the alternative. He brings an audience together in childlike joy. Traditional standups can rip things apart but lovely comedy pulls us together again. It can help us remember our gleeful selves and rediscover that part of us that believed in knights, didn’t know what a recession was and trusted anyone who gave us a bright red balloon. All hail the new comedy cavalry. Long live loveliness. Mace & Burton’s Rom Com Con, Frog & Bucket, Manchester, 3 Apr, 7pm, £6(£5)

FEATURING BRUCE FOXTON SUPPORT DAVID BATEMAN Thu 4 April, 7:30pm £20 Booking: 01324 506850 www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org FTH, Westbridge St, Falkirk FK1 5RS

www.maceandburton.com

COMEDY

Preview

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Glasgow Music Tue 02 Apr

Debrasco (Scott Cowie, Moon Party)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £5

The Scottish rock lot bring the driving rhythms, wild guitars and high-energy punk rock’n’roll mentality. Cinema Soloriens (Marshall Allen, Daevid Allen)

Stereo, 19:30–23:00, £15 (£12)

Multi-media, film and music project featuring Marshall Allen, leader of the Sun Ra Arkestra, and Daevid Allen of psychedelic rock legends Gong and Soft Machine.

Wed 03 Apr The Gillyflowers

King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £6

Alternative country faves featuring the daughter of the late Skids and Big Country guitarist, Stuart Adamson. Tangled Thoughts of Leaving

Bloc+, 21:00–01:00, Free

Perth (Oz, not Scotland) outfit taking in an intense piano-led amalgamation of prog, post-rock, jazz, noise, metal and classical film soundtracks, Ice, Sea, Dead People (Great Cop, World Peace) Stereo, 20:00–23:00, £5

The post-punk Bedford and London-straddling noisemakers return to a live setting armed with their second LP, It If’s Broken, Break It More.

Thu 04 Apr

My Empty Phantom ((A is to B), Le Thug, Yuan Mekong)

13th Note, 19:30–23:00, £5.00

Moniker of Austin-based one-man band and multi-instrumentalist Jesse Martin Beaman. The Wildhearts

O2 ABC, 18:30–22:00, £20

The British rock veterans play a series of shows throughout the UK, marking the 20th anniversary of their debut LP, Earth Vs. Semperfi

O2 ABC, 18:30–22:00, £5

The Aberdonian alternative metal quartet come oot all guns blazing, as per. A Band Called Quinn (Suspire, Mummy Short Arms)

Stereo, 19:00–22:00, £5

The Glasgow art-pop quartet do their thing in style, playing a special live recorded and filmed gig.

Fri 05 Apr The Imagineers

Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £7

Glasgow four-piece offering an intriguing blend of 50s rock’n’roll, Scottish twang and cinematic flair. The Serious Men

13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc

Happy-go-lucky Glasgow quintet, fueled on their relentless pop sensibility and incessant, thrashy beats.

Bombskare (The Skarsoles, The Girobabies)

King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £6

Edinburgh’s original nine-piece ska juggernaut – known for reaching zero to 60 in the space of three chords, or something impressive like that – tour their second LP, The Day The Earth Stood Stupid. Proud Mary (The Lonely Souls, Strange Empire, The Kitsch)

Maggie May’s, 19:30–22:00, £6

LA-based (by way of Manchester) rock quintet, currently gearing up for the launch of their fourth album. Misfits (Goldblade, Dirt Box Disco)

O2 ABC, 18:30–22:00, £17.50

The longstanding American rock lot get back on the live circuit, playing a selection of horror and sci-fi hits from their bulging back catalogue. Most likely facepainted as skulls. The House Of Love

The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £17.50

Guy Chadwick-led alternative rock outfit that rose to prominence in the late 80s and early 90s with their post-Smiths guitar pop sound.

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Listings

Disguise Your Beauty Classic Grand, 18:30–22:00, £6 adv.

Metal-styled Glasgow quartet built on heartfelt lyrics, powerful choruses and hateful breakdowns, showcasing their latest EP. The Ataris

Classic Grand, 18:30–22:00, £14 adv.

Indianapolis alternative indierockers who record all their songs in one take, using vintage 1940s ribbon microphones and a 1948 Gibson J-45 guitar.

A Sudden Burst Of Colour (Clockwork Social) Vale Bar, 20:00–23:30, £5

Instrumental rock quartet hailing from the fiery musical furnace of Motherwell, launching their new EP on the night.

Solas Festival: Festival Preview (Siobhan Wilson, Kite and the Crane, William Letford)

The Glad Cafe, 19:30–22:00, £4

Solas Festival present a selection of their favourite acts as a prelude to the festival proper come June, including indie-folk lot Kite and the Crane and poet Willian Letford. Failed At Sea, Salvation Lies Within, Ludovico, Shores Of Attica

The Garage, 19:00–22:00, £6

Four-strong selection of metal acts pooled from Glasgow’s unsigned scene. Casual Sex (The Amazing Snakeheads, Asian Babies)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £5

Sleazy-styled Glasgow indie quartet – the brinchild of Sam Smith – all spiky and poppish in their approach. Mono’s Late Night Counterflows

Mono, 22:00–01:00, Free

Mono’s addition to Counterflows Festival 2013, featuring a duo of diverse performance – taking in a meeting of minds between Finland’s Jarse and Glasgow’s Hector Bizerk.

Sat 06 Apr

Deathkill4000 (RUNGS)

Bloc+, 23:00–03:00, Free (£2 after 12)

Industro-rock noise party with live players and bespoke visuals to boot.

A Quiet Night In (Song of Return, Capitals, Campfires in Winter, The Little Kicks) Nice 'n' sleazy, 18:30–22:00, £10

Self-proclaimed ‘loud as fuck’ multi-venue musical all-dayer, taking to a quartet of venues across Glasgow with plenty noisy musical misfits in tow.

A Quiet Night In (Pronto Mama, Lady North, IndianRedLopez, Male Pattern Band) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 18:30–22:00, £10

Self-proclaimed ‘loud as fuck’ multi-venue musical all-dayer, taking to a quartet of venues across Glasgow with plenty noisy musical misfits in tow.

A Quiet Night In (Crusades, Vasa, Machines in Heaven, Coco Bryce) Broadcast, 18:30–22:00, £10

Self-proclaimed ‘loud as fuck’ multi-venue musical all-dayer, taking to a quartet of venues across Glasgow with plenty noisy musical misfits in tow. The LaFontaines

Classic Grand, 19:00–22:00, £7 adv.

Motherwell outfit deftly combining portions of hip-hop, pop, rock and electro into one melodic block of noise. This Feeling (Dexters, The Holy Ghosts, Dirty Diamond, The Gun Slingers, Rose Parade, Greg Pearson) Maggie May’s, 19:30–22:00, £6

Imagine Dragons O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £sold out

Beat-heavy indie-rock, laced with raspy vocals and infectiously catchy lyrics, as the Las Vegasdwellers embark on a Europe-wide tour with their latest album, Night Visions. A Quiet Night In (More Than Conquerors, Song of Return, Crusades, Pronto Mama) O2 ABC, 18:30–22:00, £10

Self-proclaimed ‘loud as fuck’ multi-venue musical all-dayer, with O2 ABC’s offering headered by Smalltown America Records’ signees More Thank Conquerors, doing their bright and magical post-hardcore thing. The Sheepdogs

King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £7

Canadian Southern rock-meetsblues four-piece touring in support of their new album, produced by The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Austin Scaggs. Cry Parrot’s Late Night Counterflows (Jandek, Kan Mikano, JD Twitch, lll?, Ghana Soundz) Stereo, 21:00–03:00, £10 adv.

Cry Parrot’s addition to Counterflows Festival 2013, featuring idiosyncratic sing/songwriter outsider Jandek – joined onstage by Richard Youngs and Alex Neilson – amongst a selection of eclectic others. The Deadline Shakes (Curiosity Shop, Chris Devotion and the Expectations)

13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £6

Powerpop Scots currently causing a bit of a stir with their chiming euphonics, taking to 13th Note to launch their latest single, Boy.

Sun 07 Apr

Vakunoht (Cherry Wave, Sunsmasher, Dum and Dead Hope)

13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc

Mysterious experimentalists playing a set of their trademark progressive space rock. British Sea Power

Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £14

The Brighton indie-rockers do their romantic, pastoral longing thing to suitably fine effect. White Hills

Broadcast, 20:00–23:00, £8

Expect psychedelia grooves, otherworldly bleeps and huge chunks of gnarly formless noise from the fuzzed-oot New York rockers. George Barnett

King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £7

Multi-talented young English singer/songwriter who started making music at the tender age of three. Meat Loaf

SECC, 18:30–22:00, From £45

Mr Loaf takes to the UK as part of his farewell tour, playing a show of two parts – with a set of greatest hits followed by classic album Bat Out Of Hell being played in its entirety. Fuaim is Solas (Martin Green, Una Monaghan, Tim Matthew)

The Glad Cafe, 18:00–23:00, £10

Super 8 plunderers Screen Bandita host a one-off collaborative outing with Lau accordianist Martin Green, harpist Una Monaghan, and Mystery Juice mainman Tim Matthew improvising behind fabric screens, feeding off a series of projected images.

Mon 08 Apr

The Glasgow Slow Club

Bloc+, 21:00–01:00, Free

The favourited London rock’n’roll night takes a trip to Scotland, with a selection of live bands taking to the stage.

Relaxed music night soundtracked by a selection of live guests from the local scene, completed by mood lighting, candles and cake. Could it be any bloody lovelier?

The Poetry Club, 19:30–02:00, £8 adv.

Tue 09 Apr

TeenCanteen (Ross Sinclair)

The all-girl pop kids on the block (formed from the ashes of Futuristic Retro Champions) play a special set in Jim Lambie’s unique venue, bolstered by an specially-made installation and rare musical performance by artist Ross Sinclair.

Steve Mason (JD Twitch and JG Wilkes)

King Tut’s, 20:30–23:00, £17

Beta Band frontman and our Scotland issue March cover hunk (photographed resplendent in woolly jumper and scarf) takes his rather fine new album to a live setting; a catalytic call-to-arms with a mantric message sure to get the blood a-pumping.

Il Divo and Katherine Jenkins

The Funkadelic Experience

North of the Wall Festival

SECC, 18:30–22:00, From £35

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £12.50

Queen Margaret Union, 14:00–00:00, £15

The classical crossover quartet and the mezzo soprano songstress unite; hearts break. H.E.A.T (The Toi)

Stereo, 19:00–22:30, £6

Swedish melodic rock ensemble led by vocalist Erik Gronwell. Bob Log III (Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lock Pickers, The Creeping Ivies)

Mono, 19:30–22:00, £9 adv.

The one-man blues punk dynamo and slide guitar legend that is Bob Log III takes to the stage, most likely avec crash helmet.

Beezer Records Showcase (Kensho, Evolution/Flashback, Ippykiyay) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £3

The independent Glasgow-based record label solidify their place in the underground bass scene with a mini label showcase down’t Sleazy’s. Little Hands of Silver (The Hardlines, Gerry Cinnamon)

13th Note, 19:30–23:00, £5

Noisy Glaswegian trio if the alternative rock variety.

Wed 10 Apr King Creosote

Oran Mor, 19:30–22:00, £12.50

One-half of the inimitable Fence Records (alongside Johnny Lynch, aka The Pictish Trail), Fife-based singer/songwriter KC – otherwise known as Kenny Anderson – takes to the road for a wee jaunt of the UK. Apollo Gets The Girl

The Art School Union, 20:00–23:00, £3

Jack Violet’s solo bedroom project emerges as a fully-fledged cinematic synth three-piece (bolstered by brother and best pal), launching their self-released new single, Kitten, on the night. Danny Vaughn

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £13

The Tyketto frontman takes to the road for a solo set of his trademark melodic rock. Starve

Bloc+, 21:00–01:00, Free

Heavy-as-hell Dutch stonermeets-doom noisemakers.

Touring Barcelona (The Sweet Melindas, The Preventers) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £4

The Ayr-formed alternative rockmeets-funk outfit play in advance of the release of their debut EP. Team Ghost

Broadcast, 20:00–23:00, £6

Paris-based five-piece blending caustic indie-rock with ambient synth textures, led by ex-M83 frontman Nicolas Fromageau.

Thu 11 Apr

Mechanical Smile (Culann, Shelf:Life)

Bloc+, 21:00–01:00, Free

Two guys and two girls from Ayrshire, combining rock, pop and grunge to create their own melodic and pulsating sound. James Blake

The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £12.50

The singer/songwriter and electronic producer presents his unique brand of dubbed-out soul, hybrid electro, effects-manipulated vocals and adventures in rabbit jumpers. Josephine (Bronagh Monahan)

King Tut’s, 20:30–23:00, £9

Manchester-based singer influenced by the sounds of the city and her family roots in West African culture. Belter (Parallax Faction, Vendors, Jack Ruby’s Revolver)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £5

Fledgling Glasgow rock’n’roll outfit, reliably hard-hitting and energetic in a live setting.

Fri 12 Apr Big Country

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £22.50

Dunfermline-born 80s rockers formed when Stuart Adamson left The Skids in 1981 and recruited guitar partner Bruce Watson, now back and touring under their new line-up. Ben Montague (Josh Record, Kerri Watt)

King Tut’s, 20:30–23:00, £8

Tousle-haired acoustic singer/ songwriter blessed with an acute sense of melody.

Original bass player and Funkadelic co-founder Billy ‘Bass’ Nelson plays a set of the band’s early tunes. Fang Island

Broadcast, 20:00–23:00, £7

Rhode Island-based alternative rock trio – self-described as ‘everyone high-fiving everyone’, which pretty much covers the stadium-sized guitar-shredding, clattering, upbeat drums and infinite “whoas” that emanate.

Electric Company Records: Launch Party (The New Fabian Socierty, The KVB, The Cherry Wave) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 20:00–23:00, £6

Non-profit, one-day festival celebrating Scottish metal bands, featuring influential NWOBHM legends Holocaust, underground blood metal heroes Achren and renowned death metallers Scordatura, amongst myriad others. Delta Mainline

The Art School Union, 19:30–22:00, £6

The alternative Edinburgh ensemble ride their own sonic wave of lush instrumentation and layers and layers of psychedelic goodness – creating a hugely textural and almost space-age sound as they go. Scott H. Biram

Broadcast, 20:00–23:00, £tbc

Electric Company Records host their official ‘hello world’ party, headlined by post-industrial punk Glaswegian duo The New Fabian Society, who’ll be launching the label’s maiden release.

The self proclaimed ‘Dirty Old One Man Band’ successfully mashes blues, hillbilly and country precariously to raucous punk and godless metal. Amen.

The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £11 adv.

Paul Kelly

Adam Green and Binki Shapiro

The former Moldy Peaches man tours his collaborative new LP of 60s-inspired duets with multi-instrumentalist rocker Binki Shapiro (of Little Joy). Eat Dr. Ape (The Mathletics Team, The Dead Certs)

Stereo, 19:00–23:00, £8 (£6)

Glaswegian quartet firmly of the alternative heavy rock variety. The Core

Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £10 (£8)

Glasgow-based five-man rock juggernaut, built on foot stomping songs, instant lyrical hooks and a fine line in haunting melodies. David Toop, Scanner

Tramway, 20:00–22:00, £10 (£8)

Double bill of music from two of the UK’s most enduring electronic and experimental musicians.

Sat 13 Apr

To Kill A King (Spring Offensive)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £9

Leeds/London quartet fronted by the brooding vocals and densleycrafted songwriting of Ralph Pelleymounter. Tracer

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £12

Rock trio with a sound reminiscent of 90s grunge and stoner rock, mixed with some classic 70s rock, as per the law. Fervour

13th Note, 19:00–21:00, Free

One-off art-meets-music event featuring new large scale paintings from Michael Corr, complimented by a specially-composed acoustic set from Jamie Cameron – both responding to the theme of ‘fervour’. Neu! Reekie!: The Holy Show

The Poetry Club, 19:00–22:00, £6 adv.

The stellar night of avant-garde poetry, music and film takes to the Jim Lambie built poetry club with Alan Bissett, Kirsty Logan and Jesus, Baby! in tow, plus an extra-special guest to be revealed in The Skinny’s e-newsletter nearer the time. Rachel Zeffira

The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £10 adv.

The Canadian composer and multi-instrumentalist brings the ethereal soundscapes, also known as one-half of goth-pop duo Cat’s Eyes, alongside The Horrors’ Faris Badwan. John Fullbright

King Tut’s, 20:30–23:00, £15

Hailing from Woody Guthrie’s hometown, the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter heads out on the road to promote his debut album, From The Ground Up. James, Echo and the Bunnymen

SECC, 18:30–22:00, From £36

Long-running Manchester act James enlist the fine musical chops of Echo and The Bunnymen for a 10-date tour of the UK at which they’ll be celebrating the release of their new career-spanning box-set. Father Sculptor

Stereo, 20:00–20:00, £5 (£4)

Glaswegian five-piece formed in early 2012 – but with a sound that’s like they just stepped out of the 80s – launching their new EP on the evening.

Sun 14 Apr The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £17 adv.

Australian singer/songwriter with a gift for perfectly encapsulating his homeland, with recent shows drawing from his massive box set, The A-Z Recordings. Kate Nash

Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £12.50

Ms Nash keeps it reliably chirpy with her vocally-loose melodic ramblings, touring in support of her third album. Missing Andy

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £7

Mod-influenced Essex lot led by Alex Greaves, shoehorning genres of indie, Brit rock and pop into their mix. Comanechi (Divorce)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £8

Out-of-towners (as in, fae London) beloved for their balls-out take on powerpsych strangeness, with support from their regular coconspirators, Divorce. Bacchus Baracus

13th Note, 20:30–23:00, £4

The heavy rockin’ Glasgow lot play their first gig showcase for their new LP.

Mon 15 Apr

The Glasgow Slow Club (Darreb Eedens)

Bloc+, 21:00–01:00, Free

Relaxed music night soundtracked by a selection of live guests from the local scene, completed by mood lighting, candles and cake. Could it be any bloody lovelier? A Hundred Black Kites

13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc

Experimental Brighton duo combining the atmosphere of postrock and ambience of shoegaze Patent Pending (Erik Chandler)

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £10

Infectious and energetic punk-rock outfit hailing from Long Island, New York – chock with fist pumps and pop hooks, as standard. Noisy Night

City Halls, 20:00–22:00, Free

Red Note Ensemble’s long-running new music club returns, premiering short pieces of new music submitted from all around the world.

Tue 16 Apr

Trongate Rum Riots (Darren Eedens, Jen and The Giants)

13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc

Scottish ensemble comprising seven lads and one lass making their own brand of folk-punk songs, or ‘hyper-sea shanties’ as they call ‘em.

Fearless Vampire Killers (Revolution Reload) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £7

London-based rockers who describe their sound as ‘death pop’, taking their name from the 1967 comedy horror film they grew up watching. Peace

The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £8 adv.

Alternative indie up-and-comers who describe their sound as ‘music to fuck you in the heart’, which is nice. Masked Intruder (The Jackhammers, The Lemonaids) Bloc+, 20:00–23:00, Free

Skittle-hued punk pop four-piece hailing from Wisconsin.

Wed 17 Apr Archive

Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £15

The London-based trip hopmeets-rock group take a break from the studio to play one of three UK dates. Astra (Purson)

King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £10

Progressive psychedelic rock fivepiece from San Diego known for their ethereal, sublime and truly visionary musical soundscapes.

Albert Hammond Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £18

The legendary songwriter (aka papa to The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr) brings his inimitable songbook to Glasgow. Bleech (The Zips, Halfrican)

King Tut’s, 20:30–23:00, £6

London rock-meets-grunge trio, chock with heavy drums and howlin’ vocals. The Fratellis

Barrowland, 19:00–23:00, £20.50

Mono, 19:30–22:00, £15 adv.

Glasgow indie-rockers led by lead vocalist and guitarist Jon Fratelli, who’s also forged a solo career for himself of late.

Penguins Kill Polar Bears, Farewell Singapore (Harry George Johns)

The Belfast-based punk-rock trio embark on their Europe-wide tour to promote their latest LP, All Hail Bright Futures. (Also winners of our creepiest band name award that we just made up.)

Pere Ubu (Gagarin)

Ever-experimental rock outfit hailing from Cleveland, led by charismatic vocalist David Thomas – back on the road touring their new LP, Lady from Shanghai.

Broadcast, 19:00–22:00, Free

Double headline tour which’ll find Linlithgow dense rockers Penguins Kill Polar Bears squaring up to recently-returned Elgin powerpop quartet Farewell Singapore.

The Physics House Band (Cutty’s Gym, Lady North)

Bloc+, 21:00–01:00, Free

Brighton-based math-rock trio with a hardcore following of loyal fans, out touring their latest LP. Delfino (The Aboriginals, Caroline Gilmour)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £10 (£8)

Glasgow indie quintet led by freshfaced Motherwell lad Fraser Joyce.

Thu 18 Apr

New Life (Axis Of, Clockwork Social, Owls In Antartica)

Bloc+, 21:00–01:00, Free

Delightful clubber’s mash-up of alternative pop, indie and electro, with Belfast hardcore outfit Axis Of joining proceedings to no doubt bore a hole through the stage. KMFDM

Classic Grand, 19:00–22:30, £15 adv.

German beatmasters endorsing the crossover between techno/ dance and heavy metal with their signature industrial sound.

Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls O2 Academy, 19:00–22:00, £18.50

The former Million Dead singer turned folk troubadour does his thing – full of his usual rockabilly charm – backed by his live band, The Sleeping Souls. Quilapayún

Oran Mor, 18:30–22:00, £20 (£16)

Chilean instrumental and vocal ensemble, hailed as longstanding ambassadors of the Neuva Canción Chilena movement. Edwyn Collins

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £18.50

The former Orange Juice frontman finally takes his much-praised new LP, Understated, on the road – sounding as fresh as bloody ever, now impressively in his fourth decade of recording. Charli XCX

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £8

The much-hyped singer/ songwriter delivers intricate, post-apocalyptic pop in her own multi-layered performance style.

The Front Bottoms (Lovers Turn To Monsters, Fraser Ross)

King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £7

American acoustic-cum-indiecum-dance-cum-punk outfit hailing from New Jersey – hookheavy with a knack for anthemic choruses, natch. Hypocrisy

Stereo, 19:00–22:30, £15

The Swedish death metallers hit up Stereo for their only northern date outside London. Night Beds

Broadcast, 20:00–23:00, £7

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Winston Yellen heads out on a Europe-wide tour with his latest album Country Sleep – penned in Johnny Cash’s old digs, no less.

Fri 19 Apr

Russian Ninjas (Blue Nova, Lost Ghosts)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £5

The Glasgow-based indie rockers kick off their Scottish tour with a high-octane home date.

And So I Watch You From Afar

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £9

Hadouken!

The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £12.50 adv.

Genre-bending dance-punk grindie band based in London, on tour to promote their latest album, Every Weekend. Serafina Steer

CCA, 20:00–23:00, £8

Last seen at Glasgow Film Festival (where she was backed by the fairytale animations of brother Sam), Peckham-born multiinstrumentalist Serafina Steer performs her own live scores using harp and vocals, touring her latest, Jarvis Cocker-produced, LP. Button Up

Stereo, 19:00–22:00, £6

Musical brainchild of Garry John Kane, perhaps better known as the bass player with Scottish legends The Proclaimers. The Wankys (ThisClose)

13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc

The kings of noise punk revival return to Scotland for the third time, ear splitting guitar tones, bouncy bass lines and thundering drums all well and in place.

Sat 20 Apr Outskirts Festival

Platform, 15:30–23:00, £10

The multi-artform festival returns after its debut last April, featuring a dynamic array of performers – with A Hawk and a Hacksaw, The Crying Lion and Frist Frugt providing the musical soundtrack alongside performance, art installation and poetry. Efterklang (Anna Von Hausswolff)

The Arches, 19:00–22:00, £12.50 adv.

Still riding high on their newest LP, Piramida – incorporating over 1000 sound samples taken from the former Russian Settlement – the Copenhagen arthouse exports perform a special set for which they’ll be bolstered by a six piece band. And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead

SWG3, 20:00–22:30, £13.50

The alternative rock veterans return, defined as ever by the push and pull of Conrad Keely’s epic mysticism and Jason Reece’s primal punk surge, back-andtouring their latest album, Lost Songs – which they’ve dedicated to Pussy Riot. Beecake (Dead Electric, Sunshine Social, Now Wakes The Sea)

The Art School Union, 19:00–22:00, £5 adv. (£7 door)

Fundraiser night headlined by Billy ‘Pippin’ Boyd-led Glasgow alternative rock quartet Beecake. Profits go to the Scottish Association for Mental Health. Indievous (21st Century Breakdown Blues Band, Faithful Stranger, Perpetual Motion, An Hero, David Quarrie) Maggie May’s, 19:30–22:00, £6

Live music showcase featuring an indie-centric selection of bands. Paul Rose (Jack Moore)

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £15

English blues and rock virtuoso, known for his experimental takes on ways of recording his own music.

THE SKINNY


Ryan Keen (Sam Bradley, Joel Baker) Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £8

Totnes-based singer/songwriter doing his acoustic, folksy blues thing with highly rhythmicpercussive guitar playing and heartfelt lyrics. The Leisure Society (Keston Cobblers Club)

King Tut’s, 20:30–23:00, £12

Lovely folk-pop lot lead by Nick Hemming – of early 90s indie fame with former group She Talks To Angels – drawing comparisons to the Fleet Foxes, which is never a bad thing. Lene Lovich

Broadcast, 20:00–23:00, £tbc

Detroit-born legendary post-punk pop singer Lene Lovich leads a live band outing.

Sun 21 Apr The Feeling

Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £18.50

Harmless indie-popsters led by Dan Gillespie Sells’ wishy-washy vocals. Saxon

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £18.50

Power metal five-piece riding along on frontman Biff Byford’s howlin’ squawk of a vocal. Bromheads

King Tut’s, 20:30–23:00, £8

Sheffield-based 50s inspired garage outfit known for their raucous, out-of-control live outings. Matchbox Twenty

O2 Academy, 19:00–22:00, £sold out

The Orlando pop-meets-rock outfit showcase their latest LP, North, in a live setting.

Rudimental

Counting Crows (Lucy Rose)

Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £12

O2 Academy, 19:00–22:00, £33.50

The Hackney-based quartet hit the road on the run up to the release of their new album, blending drum and bass with soul-drenched lyrics along the way. Frank Hamilton

The Wave Pictures: In Residency (Trembling Bells)

Double-header showcase of loveliness, featuring Largs folk-pop trio Brown Bear and the Bandits alongside Stirling indie-pop foursome Miniature Dinosaurs.

A hit down’t London way, Classic Album Sundays do what they do best: dip the lights and play a classic album in its entirety – in this case Talking Heads’ Remain in Light.

SECC, 18:30–22:00, From £35

Mon 29 Apr

London-based singer/songwriter known for his highly successful EP, You, Your Cat and Me, produced at the bargain price of £800. Mono, 19:30–22:00, £6 (£15 all-access)

The London-based indie-popsters take up a mini three-night residency at Mono, playing a different set every night, joined by a selection of stellar guests – including Glasgow’s own Trembling Bells on 23 April.

Wed 24 Apr The Enid

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £10

Powerful music-makers formed in 1974, who set out with the aim to avoid all the contraints and templates of genre. Praise be.

Luke Sital-Singh

The Art School Union, 20:00–22:30, £7

Promising young London singer/ songwriter with an innate ability to capture the raw emotion of a moment in song. Stanley Brinks, Randolph’s Leap, Mike Hastings

Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 18:00–22:00, £7.50

Doune The Rabbit Hole festival host an intimate gig night down’t TchaiOvna, featuring a headline set from former Herman Dune man Stanley Brinks – playing a set of future classic songwriting, equal parts vintage pop and anti-folk.

Mon 22 Apr Public Enemy

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £25

The US hip-hop pioneers delve into their rag-bag of greatest hits, fierce polemic and incendiary rhythmic patterns still very much at their core. All hail. Dog Is Dead

King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £10

Nottingham-based quintet led by Robert Milton, doing a rather fine line in uplifting pop harmonies. The Waves Pictures: In Residency

Mono, 19:30–22:00, £6 (£15 all-access)

The London-based indie-popsters take up a mini three-night residency at Mono, playing a different set every night, joined by a selection of stellar guests – including Glasgow’s own Trembling Bells on 23 April. Will Johnstone (Bobby Holly, Damien Johanssen)

13th Note, 19:30–23:00, £5

Scottish man o’ many talents Will Johnstone (of the Corvus Experiment) transforms pieces of well worn popular music into his own flavour of acoustic exploration, as is his merry way.

Tue 23 Apr Walter Schreifels

King Tut’s, 20:30–23:00, £9

New York-based musician, songwriter and producer with fingers in many pies; he’s the principal songwriter for Gorilla Biscuits, Moondog, Quicksand and Rival Schools for starters.

April 2013

Leona Lewis

The third X-Factor winner returns to a live setting, probably still Bleeding Love. The joys.

Post (The Yawns, Spread Eagle)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £5

The Glasgow garage-popsters launch their new album official.

The Glue Factory, 21:00–03:00, £5

The Arches, 19:30–22:00, £9 adv.

Sat 27 Apr

Little Comets

King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £11

Matthew E White

Gospel-influenced singer/songwriter and producer hailing from Virginia Beach, VA – with enviable hair genes.

Ongoing research and musical heritage project covering and soundtracking the folklore of the UK, with Rob St. John launching his new 7-inch, alongside Ian Humberstone and Malcolm Benzie’s collaboration inspired by Devon witchcraft, amongst other delights.

Nateley’s Whore’s Kid Sister (Fatalists, Young Philadelphia) Bloc+, 20:30–23:00, Free

Newcastle-based quintet comprising of members of Grandfather Birds and Flowers of Evil, making dark, sludgey and downright noisy pop of the face-slicing variety.

Thu 25 Apr

King Charles (We Were Evergreen, Jessica Tonder) King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £6

Charming longhaired folkster and winner of the the 2009 International Songwriting Competition over America-way. Brian Kennedy

Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £15

Belfast-based songwriter known for his belting ballads and his role as one of the four coaches on The Voice of Ireland TV show. Gregory Kapolka Trio

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £10

Polish blues-rock guitarist Gzregorz Kapolka – a graduate of the Jazz and Entertainment Faculty of Musical Academy in Katowice – tours with his live jazz ‘n’ blues band. The Cold War Legacy Spring Arms Race (Bellow Below, Citagazi, Pinact)

Bloc+, 21:00–01:00, Free

Diminutive Glasgow label Cold War Legacy Records bring a selection of talent to Bloc, including energetic ensemble Bellow Below – full of hooks, shouts and angular, progressive guitar lines. Withered Hand with Pam Berry

The Glad Cafe, 19:30–22:00, £8.50

DIY folk fairytales are the order of the day as Dan Willson (aka Withered Hand) performs a special set alongside Pam Berry of seminal 90s US noisepop outfit Black Tambourine.

Fri 26 Apr Bleed From Within

Cantebury

Edinburgh Music Thu 04 Apr

The Machine Room (Blank Canvas, Fridgemaster)

Wee Red Bar, 19:00–22:00, £5

Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £sold out

Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £10

Matt Cardle

X-Factor winner done good(ish), touring on the back of his debut LP – playing a stripped-down unplugged set. Rolo Tomassi (Crusades)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £5

The electronica-tinged spazzcore kids bring the chaos to a live setting near you. Amen. Minus The Bear

King Tut’s, 20:00–23:00, £11

Seattle indie-rock lot made up of ex-members of Botch, Kill Sadie and Sharks Keep Moving.

Jiezuberband, Preacher (Sonic Templars) O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £7

Raggle-taggle Scottish tribal psychedelic rockers Jiezuberband play a double-headline set with Ayreshire melodic rockers Preacher. Hellbound Hearts

Classic Grand, 18:30–22:00, £6 adv.

York-based rock’n’rollers founded by singer and guitarist Danny Lambert, after his tenures as bass player in Bradford outfits Terrorvision and Everyneed. Low

Classic Grand, 19:00–22:00, £19.50

Minnesota-formed indie-rock ensemble composed of founding members and married-withkiddies coupling Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, joined by Steve Garrington on bass guitar. Teresa Banks (The Larch?, Pilljaw)

13th Note, 20:00–23:00, £tbc

Alternative rock/prog/metal/ post-grunge collision featuring ex-members of You Already Know.

Sun 28 Apr Ian Siegal

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, £12

Contemporary blues singer/songwriter rich with passionate guitar playing and soul-infused vocals. Dingus Khan

King Tut’s, 20:30–23:00, £6

London-based rock’n’rollers upping the ante (read: noise levels) with a trio of drummers in their make-up. Southside Americana (The Rodney’s, Jim Byrne, Kevin Young)

The Glad Cafe, 20:00–22:00, £5

Showcase night of acts with, yep – you guessed it – a distinct Americana flavour.

OneRepublic

Originally of jazz-fusion band L.A. Express, blues guitarist Robben Ford plays a seated solo show – how very civilised.

O2 ABC, 19:00–22:00, £22.50

Outlet for the pop infatuations of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Karl Wallinger, previously best known for his tenure with the Waterboys.

Melodic rock quartet playing the first of three album release specials.

Robben Ford (Tristan Mackay)

Colorado Springs experimental pop ensemble fronted by Ryan Tedder, who formed the band back in 2002 with pal Zach Filkins.

World Party

Oran Mor, 19:00–22:00, £22.50

Expect dazzling synth and sugary guitar pop noises as The Machine Room celebrate the forthcoming launch of their new EP.

Stereo, 19:00–22:00, £8

Cathouse, 19:00–22:00, £7.50

Glaswegian metal band led by shouty vocalist Scott Kennedy.

The Berkeley Suite, 17:30–20:30, £6

Cry Parrot’s 6th Birthday (Sacred Paws, Hector Bizerk, Tut Vu Vu, Ela Orleans)

Kitchen sink-styled indie-rock quartet led by the somewhat dynamic Robert Coles.

The Glad Cafe, 19:30–22:00, £5

Mono, 19:30–22:00, £6 (£15 all-access)

King Tut’s, 20:30–23:00, £6

Inimitable DIY nurturers of a wealth of left-field talent (and party-throwers extraordinaire), Cry Parrot celebrate their sixth birthday in style – joined by a wealth of local bands and DJs, amongst ‘em Sacred Paws and Hector Bizerk.

Reverieme

The London-based indie-popsters take up a mini three-night residency at Mono, playing a different set every night, joined by a selection of stellar guests – including Glasgow’s own Trembling Bells on 23 April.

Classic Album Sundays: Talking Heads

Brown Bear and The Bandits, Miniature Dinosaurs (Junebug)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 19:30–23:00, Free

The Waves Pictures: In Residency

Stereo, 21:00–00:00, £5

Psych-pop offerings from San Franciso’s Mara Barenbaum, in town touring her new LP, Out of Time.

Broadcast, 19:30–23:00, £5

Folklore Tapes (Rob St. John, Ian Humberstone, Malcolm Benize & Tom Western, David Orphan)

Airdrie and Glasgow-straddling indie-pop lot.

The San Fransico rock unit return to the UK some four years after their last outing, touring their 2012 release, Underwater Sunshine.

Group Rhoda (Ben Butler and Mousepad)

The Arches, 19:30–22:00, £25 adv.

SCO: Ticciati conducts Berlioz

Solo viola performance from Antoine Tamestit, taking in Weber, Schumann and Berlioz – each a key figure in the Age of Romanticism.

Jules and the Blue Garnets (Tom and Dan Vevers, Cosmo)

Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £5

Talented songstress Julia Hoare leads her live band in an acoustic folk-pop singsong. Where’s Strutter

Bannermans, 20:00–23:00, £5 (£4)

Manc psych-pop rockers finding acute satisfaction in extreme dynamics and a wavy euphonious guitar sound. Fuaim is Solas (Martin Green, Una Monaghan, Tim Matthew) House Concert, 19:30–22:30, £10

Super 8 plunderers Screen Bandita host a one-off collaborative outing with Lau accordianist Martin Green, harpist Una Monaghan, and Mystery Juice mainman Tim Matthew improvising behind fabric screens, feeding off a series of projected images.

Fri 05 Apr Koreless

Sneaky Pete’s, 21:00–23:30, £6

Late ‘n’ live set from the talented producer whose beatless, deconstructed take on garage and house makes for a beast of a live show. Pussy Whipped (King Queer, Ladies of Midnight Blue, Ste McCabe)

Wee Red Bar, 19:00–22:30, £3

Pro-queer, pro-female band night for Edinburgh, featuring all-female sets from King Queer, Ladies of Midnight Blue and Ste McCabe. Panda Su (Fake Major, Carrie Mac)

Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £6 adv.

Scottish-based musician Panda Su does her bittersweet acoustic folk-pop thing – we defy you not to love her, what with her adorable painted-panda face an’ all. Eric Johnson

The Queen’s Hall, 18:30–22:00, £25

The electric guitar-playing legend takes to the UK as part of his globe-trotting 2013 tour. This Feeling (Dexters, The Holy Ghosts, William Douglas and The Wheel, The Gillyflowers)

The Voodoo Rooms, 20:00–22:30, £6 adv.

The favourited London rock’n’roll night takes a trip to Scotland, with a selection of live bands taking to the stage. Uniforms, Loaded 45 (Mark McCabe, Maxwell’s Dead)

The Banshee Labyrinth, 23:00–03:00, £5

Late night double-headliner set from east coast of Scotland melodic punk-rockers Uniforms and Colorado rock’n’roll-styled brother duo Loaded 45.

Edinburgh Music The Legendary Graeme Mearns Band Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:00, £4

The bluesy rock trio take to Henry’s sweatbox of a basement. Uncontrolled Substance (Ill Papa Giraffe, MasterSystem, Stachka, Twelve Original Players) Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–03:00, £3

Ghost Groove Records host a live hip-hop and breaks showcase, featuring a selection of live players alongside the Twelve Original Players DJs melting some wax. Dog Tired (Roll on 111, Skeleton Verse) Bannermans, 20:00–23:00, £5

Penicuik metal quartet led by vocalist Chris Thomson.

The Breakfast Club: Opening Night (Nevada Base, Machines in Heaven, Randolph’s Leap)

The Breakfast Club, 20:00–23:00, Free

Brand new venue on the block The Breakfast host their official opening bash – a first come, first served free gig night manned by local lot Nevada Base, Machines in Heaven and Randolph’s Leap, plus myriad other surprises. Form an orderly queue, folks...

Sat 06 Apr

Bad Fun (Magic Eye, Fur Hood)

Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:00, £5

Music blogger Song, By Toad hosts his occasional music night, this time featuring a stint from Magic Eye and Fur Hood, currently on a joint headline tour – rich with dreamy pop and eccentric guitar rock sounds, respectively. Uniforms, Loaded 45: Acoustic Hangover Show The Forest Cafe, 14:00–17:00, Free

Chilled afternoon acoustic show from east coast of Scotland melodic punk-rockers Uniforms and Colorado rock’n’roll-styled brother duo Loaded 45, following their late sets the previous evening at The Banshee Labyrinth. Naledi

Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £6

Impressive Edinburgh-based singer/songwriter who’s taken her husky modern soul in a contemporary direction, bolstered by production from local hip-hop legend Nasty P.

Another Blurry Photo (Fuzzy and the Peaches, The Aftermath, Mothertone) Bannermans, 20:00–23:00, £5

The Auld Reekie-dwelling skanky garage-folk ensemble do their thing. Collar Up (Jordan Yorkston, Errant Boy) Wee Red Bar, 19:00–22:00, £5

Dream-pop Edinburgh trio signed to local Permwhale label, rich with sweeping pianos and dreamy vocals. Nettles (The Kiks, Friend Of A Friend, New Romantics Club)

The Cabaret Voltaire, 19:00–22:00, £6

The heart on the sleeve, hip-hop infused guitar quartet launch their new EP with a hometown set at Cab Vol. Delta Mainline

The Voodoo Rooms, 19:30–22:00, £7 adv.

The alternative Edinburgh ensemble ride their own sonic wave of lush instrumentation and layers and layers of psychedelic goodness – creating a hugely textural and almost space-age sound as they go.

Sun 07 Apr Tribes

The Liquid Room, 19:00–22:00, £13

Camden town indie kids out on their own playing the obligatory indie-rock soundcapes.

Another Blurry Photo (Pirate Sons, Wave The Flag, Insulito) Henry’s Cellar, 19:30–23:30, £4

The Auld Reekie-dwelling skanky garage-folk ensemble do their thing.

Tue 09 Apr Beth Orton

The Liquid Room, 19:00–22:00, £20

The Norwich-born chanteuse showcases her latest album, Sugaring Season, the long-awaited (but bloody worth it) follow up to 2006’s Comfort Of Strangers.

Thu 11 Apr Michael Schenker

Picture House, 18:30–22:00, £22.50

The German metal guitarist – best known as lead guitarist with UFO – returns to a live setting with his classic rock outfit, Temple of Rock. Dead Echoes (Mothertone, Disposable)

Wee Red Bar, 19:00–22:00, £5 (£4)

Multi-influenced hard rock, progressive and grunge quintet hailing from the ‘burgh. Blues Review (The Jensen Interceptors, Stevie Hay’s Shades of Blue)

The Voodoo Rooms, 19:30–22:00, £10 adv.

Live blues night featuring a selection of Scottish players. Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Sinfonia Concertante

The Queen’s Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £10

The favourited Scottish Chamber Orchestra take in Haydn’s symphony and concerto solo piece, Sinfonia Concertante, amongst others. Addictive Philosophy (Big Fat Panda) Bannermans, 20:00–23:00, £tbc

Derby-dwelling ska-meetspunk-meets-thrash racket of an ensemble led by ‘Gez Addictive’ on vocals and lead guitar.

Fri 12 Apr

The Sound Project

Wee Red Bar, 19:00–22:00, £6 (£5)

Bi-monthly music night, this time headed by Edinburgh-based postrock popsters My Electric Love Affair – who’ve been building their inimitable wall of shoegaze noise for over a decade. The 23’s

Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £6 adv.

Good ol’ indie rock’n’roll from the Musselburgh five-piece, launching their new EP on the night. RSNO: Concierto De Aranjuez

Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £11.50

Guest conductor Gilbert Varga and Montenegrin guitar hero Milos Karadaglic take in a distinctly Mediterranean selection from the likes of Rodrigo and Respighi. Dropkick (The Sunshine Delay)

Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £5

Powerpop spirit channeled through classic Californian songwriting, with a touch of the obligatory C86. Ded Rabbit and Friends

Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:30, £3

Band of brothers playing an eclectic mix of indie and sax funk at their monthly curated night, joined by a selection of handpicked bands.

The New Fabian Society (The Incendiary Bats, Volitantes) Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:30, £5

Glaswegian post-industrial punk duo trading in loud, shambolic and frantic notes, balanced with the odd slow and euphoric moment. The Rattells

The Cabaret Voltaire, 19:00–22:00, £6

Sheffield alternative indie-rock ensemble let by Ashley Holland on lead vocals and bass guitar.

Sun 14 Apr Rival Sons

Picture House, 19:00–22:00, £12.50

Long Beach-hailin’ Californian band of heavyweight rock’n’rollers, touring their latest LP, Head Down. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde

Usher Hall, 16:00–19:00, From £10

Act III of Wagner’s passionate love story, Tristan and Isolde, is given a reworking by BBC SSO chief conductor Donald Runnicles. Bad Fun (North American War, Furrow, Deathcats) Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:00, £5

Music blogger Song, By Toad hosts his occasional music night, this time featuring Glasgow’s squalling noise-rockers North American War on tour with their slightly more shoegazey Shropshire pals, Furrow, and Glasgow guitar popsters Deathcats. Ben Montague

Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £7 adv.

Toustle-haired acoustic singer/ songwriter blessed with an acute sense of melody.

Mon 15 Apr Fun

Picture House, 19:00–22:00, £sold out

NYC indie-pop trio made up of former The Format chap Nate Ruess, alongside Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff. Edinburgh Youth Orchestra Golden Jubilee Gala Concert

Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, £20 (£15)

The Edinburgh Youth Orchestra play their annual spring concert, featuring a line-up of guest conductors and soloists. Sanity Ward

Bannermans, 20:00–23:00, £4

Edinburgh heavy rock outfit made up of four dudes and a lot of thrashing.

Tue 16 Apr Ludovico Einaudi

Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £20

Bannermans, 20:00–23:00, £5

Newcastle quartet of the indiemeets-pop-meets-rock variety.

The Italian classical pianist tours his latest LP, perhaps best known in recent years for scoring the poignant end scene of This Is England (i.e. we wept).

Sat 13 Apr

Wed 17 Apr

Emergency Door Release

Quiet As A Mouse (The Bare Bones, The Cracklin’ Void) Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £7 adv.

Edinburgh indie-meets-country quartet riding along on mainman Alex Moran’s vocals, guitar and harmonica-playing. The Saccharines (Ryan Morcombe)

Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £5

Fledgling Edinburgh rock quartet who started playing together at the end of June 2012 and released their debut single in November 2012. Donnie Munro

The Queen’s Hall, 20:00–22:00, £16 (£14)

The former Runrig mainman plays a solo acoustic set. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Usher Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £10

The Czech orchestra celebrate the return of music director Jiri Belohlavek as Chief Conductor.

Limbo (Comanechi, United Fruit, Vasquez)

The Voodoo Rooms, 20:00–01:00, £8 adv.

Beloved gig-in-a-club night, this time boasting a co-headline set from visceral post-millennial punk lot Comanechi, going head-to-head with the weege’s own United Fruit – known for their all-out post-hardcore abrasion served at F1 velocity.

Peace

Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £8 adv.

Alternative indie up-and-comers who describe their sound as ‘music to fuck you in the heart’, which is nice. NHK’Koyxen

Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £6

Osaka-born musician and illustrator on the PAN roster, currently taking minimal techno into uncharted ambient bass areas and altered state reflection. Passion Pusher, Hot Tin Roof, The Riff Kings

Wee Red Bar, 19:00–22:00, £4

Funkadelic-styled night featuring a live set from the one-man psych noisemaker that is Passion Pusher (aka James Gage on guitar, banjo, koass, keys, noise and vox).

Thu 18 Apr

The Click Clack Club (Kicker In Tow, Ill Papa Giraffe, Mood Idaho) Henry’s Cellar, 20:00–23:30, £5 (£3)

Occasional experimental music club bringing the good times with their Beefheart-inspired experimental funk. I Am Kloot

The Liquid Room, 19:00–22:00, £16

The Mercury-nominated Manchester trio tour their latest album, Let It All In, the new single offa which finds John Simm attending his own funeral (in a happysad way).

Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Britten 100 The Queen’s Hall, 19:30–22:00, From £10

The SNJO pay tribute to late, great jazz visionary Stan Kenton, celebrating the power and contrasts in his vast repertoire. Crossing Giants

Bannermans, 20:00–23:00, £4

Acoustic Celtic folk-punk duo hailing from the fiery musical furnace of, er, Livingston.

Chster P, Richie Ruftone, Ramson Badbonez, M.A.B., Twizzy, Jinxsta Jx, Jca Abnoxshuz The Bongo Club, 20:00–00:00, £8 (£5)

UK hip-hop chap Chester P leads a raggle-taggle cast, joined by Edinburgh’s own Ritchie Ruftone, Planet-Mu’s Beatwife direct from Miami, and a good tonne more local supports.

Fri 19 Apr A Torn Mind

Henry’s Cellar, 19:00–22:00, £5

Four Scottish dudes pretty much obsessed with loud noises and progressive rock soundscapes.

Rally & Broad (Turtle Lamone, Ewan Morrison, Liz Cronin, Alice Tarbuck, TeenCanteen)

The Bongo Club, 19:30–22:00, £5

The celebration of spoken word, music, and other such lyrical loveliness returns for 2013, taking in spoken word from Ewan Morrison, Liz Cronin and Alice Tarbuck, plus live music from Turtle Lamone and TeenCanteen. Quilapayún

Picture House, 18:30–22:00, £tbc

Chilean instrumental and vocal ensemble, hailed as longstanding ambassadors of the Neuva Canción Chilena movement. Art of Privilege (Afterlife)

Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £5

Edinburgh-based grunge-rock foursome led by Martin Gray on vocals and rhythm guitar. Mechanical Smile (Culann, Aperture, Art of Privilege)

Electric Circus, 19:00–22:00, £5 adv.

Two guys and two girls from Ayrshire, combining rock, pop and grunge to create their own melodic and pulsating sound. KGD Project, The Changes, The Untitled

Wee Red Bar, 19:00–22:00, £5 adv. (£6 door)

Mixed band charity showcase night raising funds for Mental Health Foundation. Paper Beats Rock (Goat Leaf, Zodiac In Black)

Bannermans, 20:00–23:00, £5

The Edinburgh alternative punkrock foursome launch their new EP down’t Bannermans.

Sat 20 Apr

Beer Vs Records (Magic Eye, Le Thug, Plastic Animals, Zed Penguin)

Summerhall, 20:00–22:30, £6 (£4 with record store receipt)

Music blogger Song, By Toad teams up with Barney’s Beer for a special Record Store Day outing, for which they’ll release an eight-track vinyl, as well as a four-pack o’ beer with a download code – pitting beer against tunes in a battle to the death. BRINKFEST (Stanley Brinks, The Waves Pictures, Freschard, The Occasional Flickers, Saint Max and the Fanatics)

Henderson Halls, 18:00–23:00, £9 adv.

Half-day festival of independently-minded music, featuring headline sets from the alternative folk trinity of Stanley Brinks, The Wave Pictures and Freschard, bolstered by a selection of food, craft and zine stalls.

Sun 21 Apr Lene Lovich

The Voodoo Rooms, 19:30–22:00, £12.50

Detroit-born legendary post-punk pop singer Lene Lovich leads a live band outing.

Mon 22 Apr

Communion (High Highs, George Ezra)

Sneaky Pete’s, 19:00–22:00, £5

Ben Lovett (of Mumford & Sons) brings his touring night Edinburghway, featuring acts from around the UK. Mama’s Baby

Bannermans, 20:00–23:00, £4

Unsigned all-female Dundee trio known for their high energy, harmony vocal led performances.

Listings

63


Edinburgh Music Tue 23 Apr BLUEFLINT

LEITH FOLK CLUB, 19:30–22:00, £7

INDEPENDENT FESTIVAL & COACH TRAVEL since 1996

T IN THE PARK ROBBIE WILLIAMS WICKERMAN ROCKNESS DOWNLOAD COLOURSFEST STONE ROSES EMINEM HYDRO SECC REWIND FALKIRK STADIUM BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

The Edinburgh outfit layer their crisp, vaporous vocals in understated two-part harmonies, currently on the road for their spring/summer 2013 tour.

Wed 24 Apr

KING CHARLES (WE WERE EVERGREEN, WAITING FOR GO)

ELECTRIC CIRCUS, 19:00–22:00, £10 ADV.

Charming longhaired folkster and winner of the the 2009 International Songwriting Competition over America-way. NIGEL KENNEDY

USHER HALL, 19:30–22:00, FROM £22.50

Violinist Nigel Kennedy presents a special musical programme celebrating the music of Bach and Fats Waller.

Thu 25 Apr DANTE (ROD JONES)

ELECTRIC CIRCUS, 19:00–22:00, £5 (£2)

Having spent the last two year’s working on their debut LP (with F’Rabbit guitarist Andy Monaghan), Dante bring their folk-flecked indie gems to a live setting. DINGUS KHAN

WEE RED BAR, 19:00–22:00, £6

London-based rock’n’rollers upping the ante (read: noise levels) with a trio of drummers in their make-up. TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB

CORN EXCHANGE, 19:00–22:00, £18.50

Bangor indie-rock outfit comprised of Alex Trimble, Kevin Baird and Sam Halliday, built on a bed of angular guitar pop with electro undertones. SCOTTISH NATIONAL JAZZ ORCHESTRA: STAN KENTON

Please check site for full listings

www.happybus.co.uk www.yourockweroll.co.uk

THE QUEEN’S HALL, 19:30–22:00, £17.50 (£12.50)

The SNJO pay tribute to late, great jazz visionary Stan Kenton, celebrating the power and contrasts in his vast repertoire. FOLKLORE TAPES (ROB ST. JOHN, IAN HUMBERSTONE, MALCOLM BENIZE & TOM WESTERN, DAVID ORPHAN)

SCOTTISH STORYTELLING CENTRE, 19:30–22:00, £7 (£5)

Ongoing research and musical heritage project covering and soundtracking the folklore of the UK, with Rob St. John launching his new 7-inch, alongside Ian Humberstone and Malcolm Benzie’s collaboration inspired by Devon witchcraft, amongst other delights. DRENGE, TEMPLES

SNEAKY PETE’S, 19:00–22:00, £6.50 ADV.

Double-header set where grunge meets psyche (aka Drenge lock horns with Temples).

Fri 26 Apr

HIT THE ROAD (THE MERMAIDS, VAGABOND POETS, KAPAULDIES GARAGE)

ELECTRIC CIRCUS, 19:00–22:00, £3 ADV. (£5 DOOR)

Live music project run by the Scottish Music Centre, giving young performers between the age of 14 and 19 the opportunity to learn more about performing and touring across Scotland. RAINTOWN

SNEAKY PETE’S, 19:00–22:00, £5 ADV.

Glasgow contemporary countryfolk duo made up of Paul Bain and Claire McArthur. BONGRIPPER (CONAN, HUMANFLY, ATRAGON)

BANNERMANS, 20:00–23:00, £10

The Chicago-based four-piece doom metal band bring the heaviness. MEURSAULT AND FRIENDS

THE LIQUID ROOM, 19:00–22:00, £10

Haddow Fest – Edinburgh’s multivenue annual music festival – branch out with the first in a series of gig nights, with the launch edition headered by the howlin’ tones of Neil Pennycook and his Meursault cohorts, who’ll also be handpicking the supports. THE FUREYS AND DAVEY ARTHUR

THE QUEEN’S HALL, 19:30–22:00, £18

The longstanding folk-based outfit play a selection of classics spanning their 35-year career.

64

Listings

SCREEN BANDITA AND THE ONE ENSEMBLE SUMMERHALL, 20:00–21:00, £8 (£6)

Those inspired plunderers of abandoned super 8, Screen Bandita, show a selection of recovered analogue clips that piece together to create an imagined road trip, backed by a custom-composed score from Daniel Padden’s freefolk outfit, The One Ensemble. HELLBOUND HEARTS (THE NUMBER 9S, CUDDLY SHARK) WEE RED BAR, 19:00–22:00, £5

York-based rock’n’rollers founded by singer and guitarist Danny Lambert, after his tenures as bass player in Bradford outfits Terrorvision and Everyneed. NEU! REEKIE! (JOCK SCOT, AIDAN MOFFAT, PANDA SU)

SUMMERHALL, 19:00–22:15, £7.50

First or two April outings for the stellar night of avant-garde poetry, music and film, with spoken word from poet Jock Scott, alongside live music from the wily lyrical powerhouse that is Aidan Moffat and acoustic popstess Panda Su. THE ROUGHNECK RIOT, OI POLLOI, FAINTEST IDEA, CRITIKILL + OVERSPILL, THE CUNDEEZ, BUZZBOMB, SEAFIELD FOXES, MAXWELLS DEAD, RANDOM SCANDAL

HENRY’S CELLAR, 18:00–03:00, £8 ADV. (£10 DOOR)

Raggle-taggle cast of local players take in a mostly punk-rock set of sounds. BANG BANG BETTY (EXIT THE THEATRE)

THE CABARET VOLTAIRE, 19:00–22:00, £6

Young Glenrothes alternative indie-rockers taking time out from Biology class.

Sat 27 Apr

SEA BASS KID (JADE AND THE JACKS) THE VOODOO ROOMS, 19:00–22:00, £7 ADV.

The Edinburgh-based indie/ska/ reggae/blues/rock/anything they damn well fancy lot launch their new LP, which will be given out to all ticket-holders on entry.

Sun 28 Apr

EDINBURGH ACADEMY SPRING CONCERT

THE QUEEN’S HALL, 19:00–22:00, £7 (£4)

Varied programme of music for choirs, orchestras, concert bands and big band, featuring solos from a selection of Edinburgh Academy final year pupils. BROWN BEAR AND THE BANDITS, MINIATURE DINOSAURS (JUNEBUG)

ELECTRIC CIRCUS, 20:00–23:00, £6 ADV.

Double-header showcase of loveliness, featuring Largs folk-pop trio Brown Bear and the Bandits alongside Stirling indie-pop foursome Miniature Dinosaurs.

Mon 29 Apr HUEVO AND THE GIANT

HENRY’S CELLAR, 19:00–23:00, £TBC

More suitably sweet indie-pop soundscapes from the Glasgow foursome. MALCOLM MIDDLETON

ELECTRIC CIRCUS, 19:00–22:00, £12 ADV.

Our favourite miserablist plays a special acoustic show, taking in tunes old and new – including songs from his forthcoming 2013 album, and tracks from his 2002 debut (to be re-released in heavyweight vinyl this year). NOISY NIGHT

TRAVERSE THEATRE, 20:00–22:00, FREE

Red Note Ensemble’s long-running new music club returns, premiering short pieces of new music submitted from all around the world.

PARTY FEARS THREE

ELECTRIC CIRCUS, 19:00–22:00, £8 ADV.

The Edinburgh-based 80s tribute act present a special night of music from the era. BROTHER AND BONES

Dundee Music

SNEAKY PETE’S, 19:00–22:00, £6 ADV.

Blues-meets-folk-meets-rock quintet moving from the delicate to the, well... let’s just say they’ve got two drummers. SCOTTISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: BRITTEN 100

THE QUEEN’S HALL, 19:30–22:00, FROM £10

The SNJO pay tribute to late, great jazz visionary Stan Kenton, celebrating the power and contrasts in his vast repertoire. FIELDHEAD, A-SUN AMISSA

THE BANSHEE LABYRINTH, 20:00–23:00, £5 ADV. (WITH THREE-TRACK DOWNLOAD)

Joint headline show from two of Gizeh Records’ finest: ambient/ electronic lot Fieldhead and the dense, drone-like atmospheres of A-Sun Amissa = pretty much unmissable. LEONA LEWIS

EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE, 19:30–22:00, FROM £35

The third X-Factor winner returns to a live setting, probably still Bleeding Love. The joys. WHITE LIGHTNIN’ (DIRTY RED TURNCOATS, HAILEY BEAVIS)

HENRY’S CELLAR, 19:00–22:30, £4

The new blues-rock Edinburgh trio on the block play a headline set.

LE LOUVRE (KIRSTEN ADAMSON, HAYES PEEBLES, CALVIN ARSENIA, MARIE COLLINS, FIONA REID AND THE ADDICTIONS, QUINNY, FEBRUUS)

WEE RED BAR, 18:00–22:00, £4

House concert-styled acoustic evening (based on the Le Louvre nights in Paisley), where punters are invited to sit on the floor and take in the intimate loveliness of myriad performers. LUCA

THE CABARET VOLTAIRE, 19:00–22:00, £6

Glasgow-hailing post-punk lot led by Mark Rankin, fresh from a set at Glasgow’s Tenement Trail mini-fest. OI POLLOI (DR TIM WILLIAMS)

ELVIS SHAKESPEARE, 14:30–16:00, FREE

The Edinburgh anarcho-punk quartet celebrate over 30 years of hard drinking, hard partying and hard politics with an intimate set of classics in-store at Elvis Shakespeare, warming up for their spring/summer international dates.

Wed 03 Apr

DISGUISE YOUR BEAUTY (SECONDS APART, PRIMAL VISIONS, ALETHA, TWIN PARADOX)

NON-ZERO’S, 19:00–22:00, £6

Metal-styled Glasgow quartet built on heartfelt lyrics, powerful choruses and hateful breakdowns, showcasing their latest EP.

Thu 04 Apr THE FIRE AND I

20 ROCKS, 20:00–23:00, FREE

Experimental rock duo from Bathgate, combining catchy punk riffs with post-hardcore intensity.

Fri 05 Apr

MORE THAN CONQUERORS (LINCOLN RIME, PHANTOM BRAKE PEDAL)

20 ROCKS, 20:00–23:00, FREE

The Smalltown America Records’ signees do their bright and magical post-hardcore thing. WHO’S NEXT

Wed 10 Apr

CONTINENTS (WHEN WE WERE WOLVES, ALETHA, LOST IN INSOMI)

BEAT GENERATOR LIVE!, 19:00–22:30, £6 ADV.

The Welsh hardcore metal outfit bring their energy-filled soundscapes, complete with obligatory low-end growls.

Fri 12 Apr

HECTOR BIZERK, HANNEY, TRUMAN’S REVENGE, SUPA JME AND THE JAZZ MAN

NON-ZERO’S, 19:30–22:00, £TBC

Mixed showcase night of talent, bringing the delights of Glasgowbased alternative hip-hop duo Hector Bizerk Dundee-way, amongst myriad others. BOMBSKARE

DUKE’S CORNER, 20:00–23:30, £5 ADV. (£7 DOOR)

Edinburgh’s original nine-piece ska juggernaut – known for reaching zero to 60 in the space of three chords, or something impressive like that – tour their second LP, The Day The Earth Stood Stupid. LAY SIEGE (LETTERS FROM ABOVE, KAOSS THERY, PRINAL VISIONS, XENO)

BEAT GENERATOR LIVE!, 19:00–22:30, £5 ADV.

The metal-styled Northampton rockers tour their debut minialbum, rich with the obligatory heid-crushing riffs and brutal breakdowns.

Sat 13 Apr

THE MANDRAKES (INFERIOR PLANET, GUTTERGODZ)

NON-ZERO’S, 19:00–22:00, £3 ADV. (£4 DOOR)

The Montrose quintet blast oot their inimitable brand of no-nonsense rock at high volumes, making their Non-Zero’s debut to boot. SKEEM FEST (THE ROUGHNECK RIOT, ROOT SYSTEM, THE CUNDEEZ, THE EDDIES, CRITIKILL, HATED TIL PROVEN, SALEMSTREET)

BEAT GENERATOR LIVE!, 17:00–00:15, £7 ADV.

HOOKERS FOR JESUS (BLOOD INDIANS, BEHOLD, THE OLD BEAR, PLAYGROUND TACTICS)

BEAT GENERATOR LIVE!, 20:00–22:30, £4

Dundee art-pop mischief makers Hookers For Jesus launch their debut EP, Hymns for Beautiful Losers, with support from sometime Mitchell Museum luminaries Behold, the Old Bear, plus local acts Blood Indians and Playground Tactics.

Sun 07 Apr DEATHCATS

20 ROCKS, 20:00–23:00, FREE

The Glasgow guitar popsters bring their fiery post-surf brand of hardcore to the depths of Dundee.

THE TWILIGHT SAD (UNITED FRUIT, VLADIMIR)

20 ROCKS, 20:00–23:00, £10 ADV. (£12 DOOR)

The Sad boys return fresh from touring with F’Rabbit in the US-ofA, taking to a quartet of Scottish backwaters (we jest, Aberdeen, Dunfermline, Stirling and Dundee) still riding high on 2012’s No One Can Ever Know and the remix album it spawned.

ELECTRODE (PIG & DAN)

READING ROOMS, 22:30–02:30, £13 ADV.

Following their birthday bash with Swedish electronic specialist Jeremy Olander, Electrode again up the ante some more – this time welcoming producing duo Pig & Dan (aka Igor Tchkotoua and Dan Duncan, most likely in sunglasses) to the fore. FAT SAM’S SATURDAYS

FAT SAM’S, 21:00–03:00, £6

Massive Saturday night party spreading its wares over three floors and no less than six rooms. ASYLUM

KAGE, 23:00–02:30, £4

Best of selection of rock, metal and alternative.

Wed 17 Apr FRIENDZY

FAT SAM’S, 22:30–03:00, £3.50

Dundee Clubs Wed 03 Apr FRIENDZY

FAT SAM’S, 22:30–03:00, £3.50

Messy student midweeker of party tunes and jelly shots.

Fri 05 Apr

GRAEME PARK (DANNY WALSH, ALAN LIVIE, BAXTER PARK SUNBATHER)

READING ROOMS, 22:30–02:30, £10

Former Hacienda resident and Granite City-born Graeme Park does his house-focused thing, being one of the first DJs to champion the sound in the UK. FAT SAM’S FRIDAYS

FAT SAM’S, 20:00–03:00, £8

Messy student midweeker of party tunes and jelly shots.

Fri 19 Apr

READING ROOMS: RESIDENTS' PARTY

READING ROOMS, 22:30–02:30, £TBC

The Reading Room residents very capably hold the fort for the evening. FAT SAM’S FRIDAYS

FAT SAM’S, 20:00–03:00, £8

Party-styled Friday nighter soundtracked by beat-heavy house and electro playlists. GORILLA IN YOUR CAR

KAGE, 23:00–02:30, £4

Hardcore, emo, punk and scenester selections. Also perhaps the best-named club night in Dundee’s existence.

Sat 20 Apr LOCARNO

READING ROOMS, 22:30–02:30, £5 (£7 AFTER 12)

Fri 19 Apr

KAGE, 23:00–02:30, £4

FAT SAM’S, 21:00–03:00, £6

PENGUINS KILL POLAR BEARS, FAREWELL SINGAPORE (MODEL AEROPLANES)

NON-ZERO’S, 19:00–22:00, £5

Double headline tour which’ll find Linlithgow dense rockers Penguins Kill Polar Bears squaring up to recently-returned Elgin powerpop quartet Farewell Singapore. THE LITTLE KICKS (OUR FUTURE GLORY)

20 ROCKS, 20:00–23:00, FREE

Upbeat and catchy indie-pop from the Scottish four-piece. Can’t say fairer.

Sat 20 Apr URANG MATANG

BEAT GENERATOR LIVE!, 20:00–22:30, £4

Experimental ska-meets-reggae ensemble led by vocalist and guitar player Al James.

Sun 21 Apr AXIS OF

20 ROCKS, 20:00–23:00, FREE

Fri 26 Apr

The Glasgow blues-rockers skip across to Dundee for the evening.

Sun 28 Apr

Sat 13 Apr

Rockabilly, doo-wop, soul and all things golden age and danceable with the Locarno regulars.

Sat 06 Apr BLINDFOLDS

Two-day mini festival housed in the upstairs space of Beat Generator Live!, featuring a selection of stellar Scottish talent over the course of the weekend – with Rolo Tomassi headlining on Friday, and We Were Promised Jetpacks heading up Saturday night.

The Crayon DJs take up their monthly post, spinning an anything-goes mix of tracks, playing everything from gospel to dub.

Party-styled Friday nighter soundtracked by beat-heavy house and electro playlists.

The Who tribute act.

20 ROCKS, 20:00–23:00, FREE

BEAT GENERATOR LIVE!, 16:30–23:00, £15 WEEKEND

CRAYON THE ART BAR, 21:00–00:00, £TBC

Eclectic mini festival outing, featuring the folk-rock soundscapes of The Cundeez and Critikill’s punkrock fusion, amongst others.

The Belfast hardcore outfit bore a hole through the stage as per, fresh from supporting The Bronx on tour.

BEAT GENERATOR LIVE!, 20:00–22:30, £8 ADV.

JUTEOPOLIS FESTIVAL (WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS, THE MIRROR TRAP, ARCHES, COPPER LUNGS, CRAYONS, COURTNEYS CHAIN, BROKEN BOY)

JUTEOPOLIS FESTIVAL (ROLO TOMASSI, VUKOVI, GRADAR, SUNSET SQUAD, AUTHORS)

BEAT GENERATOR LIVE!, 19:30–23:00, £15 WEEKEND

Two-day mini festival housed in the upstairs space of Beat Generator Live!, featuring a selection of stellar Scottish talent over the course of the weekend – with Rolo Tomassi headlining on Friday, and We Were Promised Jetpacks heading up Saturday night.

Sat 27 Apr HEART OF A COWARD

20 ROCKS, 20:00–23:00, £TBC

UK groove metal outfit with Jamie Graham at the helm. MILLSYECK, GUTTERGODZ, BLOODSHOT, ISAK

KAGE, 19:30–22:00, £5

Noisy-styled showcase night moving from the classic-styled rock of Millsyeck to the stoner rock racket of Dundee’s own Isak.

WARPED

Ska, screamo and pop-punk offerings, featuring additional live performances from a selection of choice noisemakers.

Sat 06 Apr

AUTODISCO: 6TH BIRTHDAY (RAHAAN) READING ROOMS, 22:30–02:30, £10

The electro-funk, house and disco night celebrates its 6th birthday, with a special appearance from Chicago’s über-talented DJ Rahaan – who famously started out playing house parties alongside The Chuck Brothers in the late eighties. FAT SAM’S SATURDAYS

FAT SAM’S, 21:00–03:00, £6

Massive Saturday night party spreading its wares over three floors and no less than six rooms. ASYLUM

KAGE, 23:00–02:30, £4

Best of selection of rock, metal and alternative. AUDACITY (JOHN AND JASE GALLCHER, AUDIO PERVERSION, IVAN LATTA, STEVIE WEBSTER, BAGEERA, ROBERT MACDONALD)

MAINS CASTLE, 13:00–01:30, £20

Mighty 12-hour techno blow-out in the unsuspecting surrounds of Mains Castle, with sets from the likes of John and Jase Gallacher, Audio Perversion and Ivan Latta.

Wed 10 Apr FRIENDZY

FAT SAM’S, 22:30–03:00, £3.50

Messy student midweeker of party tunes and jelly shots.

Fri 12 Apr MUNGO’S HI FI

READING ROOMS, 22:30–02:30, £5 (£7 AFTER 11.30)

FAT SAM’S SATURDAYS

Massive Saturday night party spreading its wares over three floors and no less than six rooms. ASYLUM

KAGE, 23:00–02:30, £4

Best of selection of rock, metal and alternative.

Wed 24 Apr FRIENDZY

FAT SAM’S, 22:30–03:00, £3.50

Messy student midweeker of party tunes and jelly shots.

Fri 26 Apr BLEEP

READING ROOMS, 22:30–02:30, £5 (£7 AFTER 11.30)

Ear-bleeding electronic beats ‘n’ bleeps from the residents, joined by a selection of local talents. FAT SAM’S FRIDAYS

FAT SAM’S, 20:00–03:00, £8

Party-styled Friday nighter soundtracked by beat-heavy house and electro playlists.

Sat 27 Apr THE BOOK CLUB

READING ROOMS, 22:30–02:30, £4 (£6 AFTER 11.30)

Selection of DJs on rotation all night, covering genres of electro, disco, techno and anything else they damn well fancy. FAT SAM’S SATURDAYS

FAT SAM’S, 21:00–03:00, £6

Massive Saturday night party spreading its wares over three floors and no less than six rooms. ASYLUM

KAGE, 23:00–02:30, £4

Best of selection of rock, metal and alternative.

More heavyweight selections from Mungo’s Soundsystem, playing a full soundsystem set joined by Chungo Bungo and Miss Dlove. FAT SAM’S FRIDAYS

FAT SAM’S, 20:00–03:00, £8

Party-styled Friday nighter soundtracked by beat-heavy house and electro playlists.

THE SKINNY


Glasgow Clubs Tue 02 Apr

Killer Kitsch (Proxy)

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5

The Killer Kitsch residents take charge – eight years old and still offering up the best in house, techno and electronic. Voodoo Voodoo

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

Duncan Harvey plays a mix of vintage rock ‘n’ roll, sleazy R’n’B, swing, soul, surf and pop from a bygone age. TV Tuesday

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

New Tuesday nighter with DJ Garry playing a selection of dancefloorfriendly anthems. i AM (Harri Vs Jasper)

Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (free via iamclub.co.uk)

Resident young guns Beta & Kappa play the usual mix of electronica and bass, joined by a back-to-back set from the father and son pairing of Harri and Jasper.

Wed 03 Apr Octopussy

The Arches, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Take It Sleazy

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

An unabashed mix of 80s pop, electro and nu-disco. They will play Phil Collins. Funk’d

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3)

All-new Wednesday nighter with Sean Chan playing bangin’ house only. Sesame Street Wednesdays

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Craig McGee spins a selection of danceable tunes at The Garage’s new Sesame Street-themed night, jollied along by a cookie eating competition. Obvs. Two Zebras and a Giraffe

Saint Judes, 23:00–03:00, Free

All-new midweek party night filling yer ears full of garage, UKF, house, bass and bashment.

Thu 04 Apr Misbehavin’

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£2)

Monthly mish-mash of electro, dance and dirty pop with DJ Drucifer. Danse Macabre

Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £4

The Danse Macabre regulars unite those two happiest of bedfellows, goth rock and, er, classic disco, in their new home of Classic Grand. Cryotec

Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £3

Monthly dose of industrial, EBM and electronic. We hear it’s very danceable. Jellybaby

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £3 adv. (£5 door)

Chart, disco and party tunes. Can’t say fairer. Boom Thursdays

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Chart and indie anthems, plus a live Twitter feed where you can log tune requests (#Garagelive). Shore

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

Eclectic new party night playing everything from the electronic aquatic funk of Drexciya to the outer-space jazz of Sun Ra. R.U.IN Thursdays

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£2)

A floor of rock and metal, plus guest DJs mixing it up in the Jager Bar. Hip Hop Thursdays

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £3

Early weekend party starter, with Euan Neilson playing the best in classic R’n’B and hip-hop.

Fri 05 Apr Old Skool

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£6)

Connoisseur’s mix of old-school jazz, funk and soul. Damnation

Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £6

Two floors of the best in punk, metal and alternative tunes. Propaganda

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £5

Student-orientated night playing the best in new and classic indie music.

April 2013

Cathouse Fridays

Strange Paradise

Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3

Rock, metal, punk and emo over two levels, with the residents manning the decks. Booty Call

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Mixed bag of indie, rock, underground hip-hop and chart classics across four rooms. Jamming Fridays

Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free

Indie rock’n’roll from the 60s to the 00s, with resident tune-picker DJ Jopez. Optimo

Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc

JD Twitch and JG Wilkes take to the decks for their monthly night of pure Optimo goodness, with guests kept tightly under wraps for now. Liquid Sky

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3

Formed from the ashes of Pandemic, Chad Palestine plays everything from vintage rock’n’roll to soul, leftfield pop to the best in alternative indie. Yes!

The Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 12)

New gay indie night on the block, with a playlist that mixes classic Bowie, The Smiths, Blondie et al alongside new kids iike Django Djanjo and Grimes. The Faktory: Launch Party

The Faktory, 23:00–02:00, Free

The all-new bar-meets-clubmeets-canteen venue on the block opens its doors in the timehonoured way – with a party! Bondax

The Berkeley Suite, 23:00–03:00, Free (£6 after 12)

The boundary crossing teenage duo play their inimitable house-meetsgarage-meets-pop selections.

La Cheetah Club Vs Animal Farm (Mike Denhert) La Cheetah Club, 23:00–03:00, £10

La Cheetah team up with Glasgow’s own techno specialists, Animal Farm, to present a live set from Berlin-based techno heavyweight and don of the warehouse sound, Mike Dehnert.

Sat 06 Apr Nu Skool

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£6)

Nick Peacock spins a selection of vintage disco, soul and funk. Absolution

Classic Grand, 22:30–03:00, £6

New night from Wild Combination man David Barbarossa, specializing in leftfield disco, post-punk and far-out pop. Melting Pot: Tribute to Larry Levan

The Admiral, 23:00–03:00, £8 adv. (£10 door)

Annual tribute to legendary club The Paradise Garage, and its equally legendary resident, Larry Levan – playing DJs Funktifeyeno and Piacentini playing tracks from the club’s top 100 records list, as featured in the Last Night a DJ Saved My Life book. Andre Londemann (J Func, Jane Jaya Ayres, Frazer Devine)

The Berkeley Suite, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£7 after 12)

The Berlin deep house specialist makes his way to Glasgow, with some 20 years experience in the ol’ deck-spinning field.

Sun 07 Apr Sunday Roaster

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Garry and Andrew Kilgour incite more mayhem than should really be allowed on the Sabbath. Renegade

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1)

Rock, metal and punk playlists all night long, selected by yer man DJ Mythic. Imported

Shed, 22:30–02:00, Free (£3 after 12)

The Shed open their doors on the day of the Lord once more, with an all-new global house night manned by DJs David Owens and Dave Space.

MUTHA F**KIN’ UV PARTY: Part 2

Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £4

The second incarnation of Classic Grand’s UV party, complete with UV face paints, glowsticks, UV bubbles and all the electro your nuggin’ can handle.

Mon 08 Apr Burn

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3/Free with wage slip)

Long-running trade night with Normski, Zeus and Mash spinning disco beats. Space Invaders

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Andy R plays chart hits and requests past and present, with DJ Muppet holing up in The Attic.

Metal, industrial and pop-punk over two floors.

Tue 09 Apr

Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £10

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Subculture

Long-running house night with residents Harri & Domenic manning the decks. Cathouse Saturdays

Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5)

Punk, rock and metallic beats with DJs Billy and Muppet. The Rock Shop

Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free (£5/£3 student after 12)

Rock, indie and golden indie classics with resident DJ Heather McCartney. Love Music

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 11.30)

Saturday night disco with Gerry Lyons and guests. Deathkill4000 (RUNGS)

Bloc+, 23:00–03:00, Free (£2 after 12)

Industro-rock noise party with live players and bespoke visuals to boot. I Heart Garage Saturdays

The Garage, 22:30–03:00, £7 (£5)

Student superclub playing everything from hip-hop to dance and funk to chart. Freakbeats

The Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, £5

Mod, soul, ska and groovy freakbeat 45s, with DJs Jamo, Paul Molloy and Gareth McCallum. Luska (SIAN)

La Cheetah Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 adv.

Excelling in slow, hypnotic techno sounds, Dublin-born electronic talent Sian takes over deck duty at Luska for the evening.

Killer Kitsch

The Killer Kitsch residents take charge – eight years old and still offering up the best in house, techno and electronic. i Am

Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (free via iamclub.co.uk)

Resident young guns Beta & Kappa play the usual mix of electronica and bass, playing their only residents date of the month. Voodoo Voodoo

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

Duncan Harvey plays a mix of vintage rock ‘n’ roll, sleazy R’n’B, swing, soul, surf and pop from a bygone age. TV Tuesday

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

New Tuesday nighter with DJ Garry playing a selection of dancefloorfriendly anthems.

Wed 10 Apr Octopussy

The Arches, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Weirdo Wednesday

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

Rock’n’roll party with live bands playing on the floor. Funk’d

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3)

All-new Wednesday nighter with Sean Chan playing bangin’ house only.

Sesame Street Wednesdays The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Craig McGee spins a selection of danceable tunes at The Garage’s new Sesame Street-themed night, jollied along by a cookie eating competition. Obvs. Two Zebras and a Giraffe

Saint Judes, 23:00–03:00, Free

All-new midweek party night filling yer ears full of garage, UKF, house, bass and bashment.

Thu 11 Apr Jellybaby

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £3 adv. (£5 door)

Chart, disco and party tunes. Can’t say fairer. Boom Thursdays

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Chart and indie anthems, plus a live Twitter feed where you can log tune requests (#Garagelive). R.U.IN Thursdays

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£2)

A floor of rock and metal, plus guest DJs mixing it up in the Jager Bar. Hip Hop Thursdays

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £3

Early weekend party starter, with Euan Neilson playing the best in classic R’n’B and hip-hop. EDAN (Pro Vinylist Karim, Masha)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £5 adv.

The US-of-A rapper treats Sleazy’s to a DJ mix of heavy and frantic late 80s/early 90s hip-hop.

Fri 12 Apr Old Skool

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£6)

Connoisseur’s mix of old-school jazz, funk and soul. Damnation

Sat 13 Apr Nu Skool

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£6)

Nick Peacock spins a selection of vintage disco, soul and funk. Absolution

Classic Grand, 22:30–03:00, £6

Metal, industrial and pop-punk over two floors.

Student-orientated night playing the best in new and classic indie music. Cathouse Fridays

Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5)

Rock, metal, punk and emo over two levels, with the residents manning the decks. Common People

The Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 11)

Celebration of all things 90s, with hits a-plenty and a pre-club bingo session. Booty Call

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Mixed bag of indie, rock, underground hip-hop and chart classics across four rooms. Jamming Fridays

Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free (£5/£3 student after 12)

Indie rock’n’roll from the 60s to the 00s, with resident tune-picker DJ Jopez. A Love From Outer Space

The Berkeley Suite, 22:30–03:00, £8 adv.

Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston’s rather ace London night makes its now regular trip north, with the mighty duo playing backto-back all night long. Gays In Space

Bloc+, 23:00–03:00, Free (£2 after 12)

The intergalactic gay disco party returns, spinning a selection of 70s, 80s, Nu, Italo and, o’course, space disco tuneage. With added pizza! No Sleep: 3rd Birthday

Make Do, 23:00–04:00, £7 earlybird (£10 on the door)

The No Sleep crew spin some choice house and techno in celebration of their third birthday, joined by a whole load of guests in the form of Mr G, Organ Grinder, James Welsh, Animal Farm and Wax Works. Phew!

Return To Mono (Craig Richards)

Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £12 (£10)

Monthly night from Soma Records, with producer/DJ duo Slam (aka Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle) joined by Fabric’s resident techhouse DJ and musical director, Craig Richards.

Space Invaders

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

The Rock Shop

Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free (£5/£3 student after 12)

Killer Kitsch (Accents)

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Love Music

The Killer Kitsch residents take charge – eight years old and still offering up the best in house, techno and electronic.

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 11.30)

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

Rock, indie and golden indie classics with resident DJ Heather McCartney.

Saturday night disco with Gerry Lyons and guests. Back Tae Mine

The Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, £5

House-party styled night with residents Gav Dunbar and Sci-Fi Steve. Plus free toast for all. I Heart Garage Saturdays

The Garage, 22:30–03:00, £7 (£5)

Student superclub playing everything from hip-hop to dance and funk to chart. Fantastic Man (Bad Guys)

Bloc+, 23:00–03:00, Free

Messy Saturday night uber-disco featuring a rotating schedule of live talent, this time featuring a live set from Bristolian power riff outfit, Bad Guys. Work For Love (Timothy J Fairplay)

La Cheetah Club, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 12)

Propaganda

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £4

Blackfriars Basement, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£5 after 12)

Long-running trade night with Normski, Zeus and Mash spinning disco beats.

Tue 16 Apr

The legendary Teamy and Dirty Larry spin some fresh electronics for your aural pleasure.

Genre-spanning mix of 60s psych, leftfield pop and Krautrock with resident Charlotte (of Muscles of Joy).

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3/Free with wage slip)

Burn

Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5)

Punk, rock and metallic beats with DJs Billy and Muppet.

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3

Kino Fist

Argonaut Sounds Reggae Soundsystem (Dub Boy, MC Tenja)

Andy R plays chart hits and requests past and present, with DJ Muppet holing up in The Attic.

Cathouse Saturdays

More 80s boogie and disco burners from the Work For Love Crew, bolstered by a debut appearance from London-based producer Timothy J Fairplay.

Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £6

Two floors of the best in punk, metal and alternative tunes.

Mon 15 Apr

Wrong Island

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3

Revealed (Dannic, Firebeatz)

The Arches, 22:00–03:00, £15 adv.

Label showcase night from Revealed, bringing with ‘em two of their finest Dutch talents in the form of DJ/producer and bootleg legend Dannic and electro house duo Firebeatz. Pretty Ugly: Jump Around

The Admiral, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£6 after 12)

Favourited indie night headed up by a trio of female DJs, this month spinning all their favourite hiphop, R’n’B, urban, ska and grime tunes – with guest slots from The LaFountaines and Ally McCrae.

Tom Trago and Detroit Swindle

The Berkeley Suite, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£7 after 12)

Double header outing featuring back-to-back sets from two of Amsterdam’s finest deep house exports; Tom Trago and Detroit Swindle.

Signs of Life (Jace, Gusbo, Peter Collins, Chris and Hamish, Doowhotchalike, Vibes RDRK, Foliage)

Stereo, 23:00–03:00, £7

Founding members of the Soundhaus resurface collectively to replicate the ‘big’ room in a new venue, featuring many Soundhaus acts old and new.

Subculture (Will Saul, Midland, Telford)

Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £12

The long-running house night arrives manned by one of their regular number, Telford, alongside Will Saul and Midland.

Sun 14 Apr Sunday Roaster

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Garry and Andrew Kilgour incite more mayhem than should really be allowed on the Sabbath. Renegade

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1)

Rock, metal and punk playlists all night long, selected by yer man DJ Mythic. Imported

Shed, 22:30–02:00, Free (£3 after 12)

The Shed open their doors on the day of the Lord once more, with an all-new global house night manned by DJs David Owens and Dave Space.

Voodoo Voodoo

Duncan Harvey plays a mix of vintage rock ‘n’ roll, sleazy R’n’B, swing, soul, surf and pop from a bygone age.

Roots reggae, dancehall and rocksteady in original soundsystem stylee, with special guests Dub Boy and MC Tenja. Propaganda

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £4

Student-orientated night playing the best in new and classic indie music. Cathouse Fridays

Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5)

Rock, metal, punk and emo over two levels, with the residents manning the decks. Bottle Rocket

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3

Indie dancing club, playing anything and everything danceable. Balkanarama (Sheelanagig, Tanz Tanz) Make Do, 22:30–03:00, £8

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

All singing, all dancing Balkanstyled clubber’s orgy, with live guests, belly dancing, bespoke visuals and free plum brandy for all. As in, we’re sold.

I AM (RIP Productions)

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

TV Tuesday

New Tuesday nighter with DJ Garry playing a selection of dancefloorfriendly anthems. Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £5

Resident young guns Beta & Kappa invite garage house producer RIP Productions for a special guest slot on the decks.

Wed 17 Apr Octopussy

The Arches, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. Not Moving

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

South African house, grime, jungle, R’n’B and hauntology. A tropical mix, ayes. Funk’d

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3)

All-new Wednesday nighter with Sean Chan playing bangin’ house only. Sesame Street Wednesdays

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Craig McGee spins a selection of danceable tunes at The Garage’s new Sesame Street-themed night, jollied along by a cookie eating competition. Obvs. Hex

La Cheetah Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc

All-new Wednesday takeover form the Hex lot, with guests being kept under wraps for now. Two Zebras and a Giraffe

Saint Judes, 23:00–03:00, Free

All-new midweek party night filling yer ears full of garage, UKF, house, bass and bashment.

Booty Call

Mixed bag of indie, rock, underground hip-hop and chart classics across four rooms. Jamming Fridays

Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free (£5/£3 student after 12)

Indie rock’n’roll from the 60s to the 00s, with resident tune-picker DJ Jopez. Flash Mob (Trevino)

Saint Judes, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

The Flash Mob mob lot host a night of disco, techno and house, joined by heavyweight sonic producer Trevino, making his Glasgow debut. Spangled Cabaret

The Flying Duck, 21:00–03:00, £5

Eclectic (read: chaotic) night of variety acts, live music and danceable beats from DJ Paul Puppet. Blank Inside

Stereo, 23:00–03:00, £3

Weekend party night playing a mix of house, disco, acid, garage, techno, groove, R’n’B and hip-hop. That do you? Music Is The Answer

The Vic Bar, 20:00–00:00, Free

Pre-club styled session in the Art School’s Vic Bar, with WTW playing an eclectic selection traversing the line from folk to techno. Music, Please!

The Berkeley Suite, 23:00–03:00, £3

Yer man Hushpuppy plays a rich mix of jungle drums, new wave, foreign disco and funk, with Joe Crogan providing the live visual accompaniment.

Thu 18 Apr

Collapse (Container, Dalhous, Silk Cut, The Orpheus Choir, Mother)

Bloc+, 21:00–01:00, Free

The Glue Factory, 22:00–03:00, £5 adv. (£7 door)

New Life (Axis Of, Clockwork Social, Owls In Antartica)

Delightful clubber’s mash-up of alternative pop, indie and electro, with Belfast hardcore outfit Axis Of joining proceedings to no doubt bore a hole through the stage. Jellybaby

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £3 adv. (£5 door)

Chart, disco and party tunes. Can’t say fairer. Boom Thursdays

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Chart and indie anthems, plus a live Twitter feed where you can log tune requests (#Garagelive). Shore

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

Eclectic new party night playing everything from the electronic aquatic funk of Drexciya to the outer-space jazz of Sun Ra. R.U.IN Thursdays

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£2)

A floor of rock and metal, plus guest DJs mixing it up in the Jager Bar. Hip Hop Thursdays

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £3

All-new night of live electronic music, DJs and visual electronic art that celebrates the dissolution of boundaries between the dancefloor and the gallery, playing host to Nashville techno producer Container’s UK debut, amongst other live sets. Sensu (ZIP)

Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc

Barry Price and Junior provide the cutting edge electonic from across the globe, joined by Perlon co-founder ZIP (aka Thomas Franzmann). Offbeat (Amir Alexander)

La Cheetah Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc

The Offbeat crew welcome Amir Alexander to the decks – who also works under the pseudoym of Guerrilla Soul – known for his raw and gritty modern spin on classic Detroit, Chicago and New York underground sounds.

Sat 20 Apr Nu Skool

Early weekend party starter, with Euan Neilson playing the best in classic R’n’B and hip-hop.

Nick Peacock spins a selection of vintage disco, soul and funk.

Fri 19 Apr

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3

Old Skool

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£6)

Connoisseur’s mix of old-school jazz, funk and soul. Damnation

Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £6

Two floors of the best in punk, metal and alternative tunes.

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£6)

Black Tent

Indie, electro and anything inbetween with Pauly (My Latest Novel), and Simin and Steev (Errors). Absolution

Classic Grand, 22:30–03:00, £6

Metal, industrial and pop-punk over two floors.

Subculture Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £10

Long-running house night with residents Harri & Domenic manning the decks. Cathouse Saturdays

Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5)

Punk, rock and metallic beats with DJs Billy and Muppet. The Rock Shop

Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free (£5/£3 student after 12)

Rock, indie and golden indie classics with resident DJ Heather McCartney. Love Music

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 11.30)

Saturday night disco with Gerry Lyons and guests. I Heart Garage Saturdays

The Garage, 22:30–03:00, £7 (£5)

Student superclub playing everything from hip-hop to dance and funk to chart. Singles Night

The Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, £5

Andy Divine and Chris Geddes’ gem of a night dedicated to 7-inch singles from every genre imaginable. Symbiosis

Audio, 22:00–03:00, Free

Innovative D’n’B beats in a relaxed, bass-rich environment complete with a guest set from respected local DJ NoFace. TYCI

Bloc+, 23:00–03:00, Free

The all-female collective, blog and fanzine brings together a selection of live acts and DJs for their monthly electro party night. Signs of Life (By Demand, Pussypower, Monox, ICA, Up4it, Fresh Lick, Kalision Kalektive, Dirty Basement, Camouflage, Symbiosis, Squelch, Monkey Business, Froot, Point 4) Stereo, 23:00–03:00, £7

Founding members of the Soundhaus resurface collectively to replicate the ‘big’ room in a new venue, featuring many Soundhaus acts old and new. Adventures In Paradise

The Admiral, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£7 after 12.30)

Wayne Dickson, Malcolm McKenzie and Roddie Gibb launch their allnew night, fuelled on uptown funk and soulful disco tuneage. #notsosilent (Huxley, Sei A, Mia Dora) Make Do, 23:00–03:00, £8

Fresh Edinburgh party crew #notsosilent host a special night with a double booking of DJ guests in the form of Huxley and Sei A, bolstered by a live set from Glasgow-based pruduction duo Mia Dora (aka Rob Etherson and Al Quinn). Void (Big Strick)

La Cheetah Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc

The Void lot present a set of deep house at its finest, with respected underground DJ Big Strick taking to the decks for a guest slot.

Sun 21 Apr Sunday Roaster

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Garry and Andrew Kilgour incite more mayhem than should really be allowed on the Sabbath. Renegade

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1)

Rock, metal and punk playlists all night long, selected by yer man DJ Mythic. Imported

Shed, 22:30–02:00, Free (£3 after 12)

The Shed open their doors on the day of the Lord once more, with an all-new global house night manned by DJs David Owens and Dave Space.

Mon 22 Apr Burn

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3/Free with wage slip)

Long-running trade night with Normski, Zeus and Mash spinning disco beats. Space Invaders

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Andy R plays chart hits and requests past and present, with DJ Muppet holing up in The Attic.

Tue 23 Apr Killer Kitsch

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

The Killer Kitsch residents take charge – eight years old and still offering up the best in house, techno and electronic.

Listings

65


Glasgow Clubs Voodoo Voodoo Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

Cathouse Fridays Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5)

Duncan Harvey plays a mix of vintage rock ‘n’ roll, sleazy R’n’B, swing, soul, surf and pop from a bygone age.

Rock, metal, punk and emo over two levels, with the residents manning the decks.

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Clubber’s delight dedicated to allSwedish indie, pop and rock. They will play ABBA.

TV Tuesday

New Tuesday nighter with DJ Garry playing a selection of dancefloorfriendly anthems. I AM (P.O.L. Style)

Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (free via iamclub.co.uk)

Resident young guns Beta & Kappa welcome one of Numbers founding members, P.O.L. Style, for a special guest slot – all the way from Tokyo, no less.

Wed 24 Apr Octopussy

The Arches, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

Chart, indie and electro student favourite, with a bouncy castle an’ all. So Weit So Good

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

One-off free party featuring the party sounds of Ean, Smiddy and Kenny White on decks. Funk’d

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£3)

All-new Wednesday nighter with Sean Chan playing bangin’ house only. Sesame Street Wednesdays

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Craig McGee spins a selection of danceable tunes at The Garage’s new Sesame Street-themed night, jollied along by a cookie eating competition. Obvs. Two Zebras and a Giraffe

Saint Judes, 23:00–03:00, Free

All-new midweek party night filling yer ears full of garage, UKF, house, bass and bashment.

Thu 25 Apr Counterfeit

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£2)

Full-on mix of nu-metal and hard rockin’ tunes, with yer man DJ Muppet. Jellybaby

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £3 adv. (£5 door)

Chart, disco and party tunes. Can’t say fairer. Boom Thursdays

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Chart and indie anthems, plus a live Twitter feed where you can log tune requests (#Garagelive). Shore

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, Free

Eclectic new party night playing everything from the electronic aquatic funk of Drexciya to the outer-space jazz of Sun Ra.

Frogbeats: Unleash The Beast (Pharo, RIZE) Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £4

Frogbeats and residents host their D’n’B and jungle showcase night, transforming Subbie into their own concrete jungle for the evening. Hip Hop Thursdays

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £3

Early weekend party starter, with Euan Neilson playing the best in classic R’n’B and hip-hop. R.U.IN Thursdays: Zombie Party

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£2)

Super Trouper

The Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4)

Booty Call

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Mixed bag of indie, rock, underground hip-hop and chart classics across four rooms. Jamming Fridays

Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free (£5/£3 student after 12)

Indie rock’n’roll from the 60s to the 00s, with resident tune-picker DJ Jopez. Crimes Of The Future

The Berkeley Suite, 23:00–03:00, £6

Scott Fraser and Timothy J. Fairplay host their favourited music club playing a decidedly left-field selection of Krautrock, electronic, dub and everything inbetween. Catch 22 (Ethyl)

La Cheetah Club, 23:00–03:00, £6

Chicago, Detroit and acid-heavy night manned by Zachary and JT, boasting a live set from Ethyl (aka Tom Hopgood) – known for his deep groove soundscapes, with nods to early 90s US house and garage.

ReFrame (Lindsay Green, Kendal Baird) Basura Blanca, 22:00–02:00, £5

ReFrame returns to The Brunswick Hotel’s basement club for a night of electro, house and techno, welcoming White Noise gals Lindsay Green and Kendal Baird for a guest set. Shake Appeaal

Bloc+, 23:00–03:00, Free

Damn fine evening of hip shakers and neck breakers, combining everything from Buddy Holly to Motorhead.

The Hot Club

Tearin’ it up with 60s psych-outs and modern sleaze, provided by Rafla and Andy (of The Phantom Band). Damnation

Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £6

Two floors of the best in punk, metal and alternative tunes. Propaganda

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, £4

Student-orientated night playing the best in new and classic indie music.

66

Listings

West Coastin’

The Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, £5

Wolfie and Scruff Rebel play the best in LA hardcore, west coast jazz, surf beat, riot grrrl and more. Just close you eyes and imagine sunshine. Subculture (Deetron)

Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £12

Long-running house night with residents Harri & Domenic joined by Swiss melodic techno genius Deetron. Let’s Go Back... Way Back Vs Pussypower

La Cheetah Club, 21:00–03:00, £8

Mighty versus night, with Bosco and Rob (of Let’s Go Back...) facing off with Terry and Jason (of Pussypower) across a four-hour back-to-back set. Two Zebras and a Giraffe

Saint Judes, 21:00–03:00, Free

All-new midweek party night filling yer ears full of garage, UKF, house, bass and bashment.

Sun 28 Apr Slide It In

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£2)

Nicola Walker plays cult rock hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Trash and Burn

Classic Grand, 23:00–03:00, £4

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Innovative Detroit techno master, founder of Metroplex, Infiniti and Cybotron, and all-round talented bugger Juan Atkins joins i Am’s Beta & Kappa for a special Friday set down’t Sub Club.

Bleed From Within: After Party

Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5)

Official after-bash for Bleed From Within’s set in Catty earlier in the evening, with Dazzy, Deth and Steve from the back taking to the decks.

Sat 27 Apr Nu Skool

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£6)

Nick Peacock spins a selection of vintage disco, soul and funk. Absolution

Sunday Roaster

Garry and Andrew Kilgour incite more mayhem than should really be allowed on the Sabbath. Renegade

Cathouse, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£1)

Rock, metal and punk playlists all night long, selected by yer man DJ Mythic. Imported

Shed, 22:30–02:00, Free (£3 after 12)

The Shed open their doors on the day of the Lord once more, with an all-new global house night manned by DJs David Owens and Dave Space.

Mon 29 Apr Burn

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3/Free with wage slip)

Metal, industrial and pop-punk over two floors.

Long-running trade night with Normski, Zeus and Mash spinning disco beats.

Cathouse, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£5)

The Garage, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£3)

Classic Grand, 22:30–03:00, £6

Cathouse Saturdays

Punk, rock and metallic beats with DJs Billy and Muppet. The Rock Shop

Maggie May’s, 22:00–03:00, Free (£5/£3 student after 12)

Fri 26 Apr

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3

Members of Glasgow’s posthardcore noise-masters, United Fruit, curate their lively monthly event of big-beat alternative indie – with Dundonian pop-rock-onsteroids lot Fat Goth amongst their live guests.

I AM (Juan Atkins)

O2 ABC, 23:00–03:00, Free (£5 after 11.30)

Buff Club, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£6)

Teenage Riot (Fat Goth)

Bloc+, 23:00–03:00, Free

Sub Club, 23:00–03:00, £10 adv. (£12 door)

Rock, indie and golden indie classics with resident DJ Heather McCartney.

Connoisseur’s mix of old-school jazz, funk and soul.

The Flying Duck, 23:00–03:00, £5

Resident DJs Jer Reid, Martin Law and guests play music from, and some music inspired by, 1970s and early 80s NYC.

Monthly glam trash and sleaze tease party, with guest burlesque performers, magicians and a bit o’ belly dancing.

Zombie-themed edition of the rock and metal Thursday nighter, in honour of 2.8 Hours Later in Glasgow. Free entry in zombie get-up. Old Skool

Houndin’ The Streets

Love Music

Saturday night disco with Gerry Lyons and guests. Chase and Status (MC Rage)

The Arches, 23:00–03:00, £17.50

Manc DJ duo and dance music’s hot property, effortlessly marrying liquid funk with rich ragga sounds, much to many a clubber’s delight. I Heart Garage Saturdays

The Garage, 22:30–03:00, £7 (£5)

Student superclub playing everything from hip-hop to dance and funk to chart. Thunder Disco Club

Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, 23:30–03:00, £3

The Thunder Disco Club residents churn out the 90s house, techno and disco hits.

Space Invaders

Andy R plays chart hits and requests past and present, with DJ Muppet holing up in The Attic.

Edinburgh Clubs Tue 02 Apr Antics

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Alternative anthems cherrypicked from genres of rock, indie and punk. Soul Jam Hot

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Fresh mix of funk, soul, disco and hippity-hop from the Soul Jam Hot DJs. I Love Hip-Hop

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £2

Selection of hip-hop classics and brand-new classics to be. Hector’s House

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£5)

Electronic basslines allied with home-cooked house beats.

Wed 03 Apr Bangers & Mash

The Hive, 22:00–05:00, £1 (£3 after 11)

Midweek student rundown of chart and cheese classics. Witness

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Sneaky’s resident bass spectacular of garage, dubstep and bassline house. Zoot

Studio 24, 23:00–03:00, Free

DJs Swank’n’Jams seamlessly mix tropical beats and swing rhythms, mashed up with some well-kent classics. SuperSub

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2)

Napier University student night, playing a fine mix of electro, dubstep and house across both rooms. Champion Sound

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free (£3 after 12)

Brand new midweek dub, jungle, reggae and dancehall happening at the all-new Bongo. #YOLO

Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

All-new midweek party night for the energised amongst y’all who live life by the YOLO rule (aka students).

Unseen (Nomad) Studio 24, 22:30–03:00, Free (£5 after 11)

Stripped-down techno with a back-to-basics warehouse style, joined by Dogma mentalist Nomad for a set of blistering hard techno, as per the law. Karnival Vs Pulse (Vitalic)

The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £17

Two of Edinburgh’s biggest house and techno crews join forces, throwing up a headline set from dance trippin’ party crew Vitalic.

Tue 09 Apr Antics

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Alternative anthems cherrypicked from genres of rock, indie and punk. Soul Jam Hot

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Fresh mix of funk, soul, disco and hippity-hop from the Soul Jam Hot DJs. I Love Hip Hop

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £2

Sat 06 Apr

Selection of hip-hop classics and brand-new classics to be.

Wee Red Bar, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£4 after 12)

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£5)

The Egg

Art School institution with DJs Chris and Paul playing the finest in indie, garage, soul and punk. Bubblegum

The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10)

Handpicked weekend mix of chart and dance, with retro 80s classics as standard. Propaganda

Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

Student-orientated night playing the best in new and classic indie music. Big ‘N’ Bashy

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£6 after 12)

Hector’s House

Electronic basslines allied with home-cooked house beats. Best Intentions

Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–03:00, £tbc

Tuesday-bothering mix of house, nu-disco and techno.

Wed 10 Apr Bangers & Mash

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, £1 (£3 after 11)

Midweek student rundown of chart and cheese classics. Indigo

The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (Students Free)

Thu 04 Apr

Mighty mix of reggae, grime, dubstep and jungle, coupling as the Edinburgh Outlook launch party.

Indie, pop and alternative favourites with a danceable beat, from LCD Soundsystem to The Ting Tings.

The Hive, 22:00–05:00, Free

Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £5

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Frisky

Chart, dance and electro fare, plus punter requests all night long. Wonky (Zonk, Alias23, Jamin Nimjah, Phonograph)

Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£5 after 12)

A cast of players take care of all your hardtek, breakcore and hardcore needs. i AM Edinburgh

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £4 (free via iamclub.co.uk)

Resident young guns Beta & Kappa make their now regular trip east, playing the usual fine mix of electronica and bass. Juice

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

All-new Thursday nighter for Sneaky’s, playing a mighty mix of everything from The Stooges to ODB. No Globe Vs Zzzzap (Frikstailers, Sega Bodega) The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £5

Two of Edinburgh’s best-loved party crews join forces for a night of inter-planetary dance, featuring a dual headline bill from Argentina’s Frikstailers, showcasing their digital cumbia live show, alongside rising star of Glaswegian bass, Sega Bodega.

Fri 05 Apr Misfits

The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10)

Chart, electro, indie-pop and alternative anthems over two rooms. Four Corners

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£5 after 12)

Soulful dancing fodder, from deep funk to reggae beats with your regular DJ hosts Simon Hodge, Johnny Cashback, Astroboy and Wee-G.

Speaker Bite Me

The Evol DJs worship at the alter of all kinds of indie-pop, as long as it’s got bite. Pocket Aces (Thunder Disco Club)

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

Dance-inducing party with an anything goes attitude and rotating rota of guest DJs, with TDC making their monthly journey to the capital for a night of discoinfused house. Musika: Carl Craig (Heidi, Wildcats)

The Liquid Room, 23:00–03:00, £19.50

Musika play host to a special guest slot from mighty Detroit legend that is Carl Craig, known for his tireless quest of new ways to explore the sonic landscape. The Go-Go: 13th Birthday (Les Bof!)

Studio 24, 22:30–03:00, £4 9£6 after 11.30)

Long-running retro night with veteran DJs Tall Paul and Big Gus, celebrating their 13th birthday with a special 60s party covers set from Edinburgh’s French garagebeat maestros Les Bof! We Own (HNQO)

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £5 (members free)

The We Own clothing crew bring a concentrated version of their famed party blowouts to Sneaky Pete’s, joined by Hot Creations world-travelling Brazilian, HNQO, doing his deep house thing.

Sun 07 Apr The Sunday Club

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Two rooms of all the chart, cheese and indie-pop you can think of.

This Is Music

DM Lovers (Mr Pink, Charles F Asson)

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £3 (members free)

The Cabaret Voltaire, 22:30–03:00, £4 (£3)

Indie and electro from the Sick Note DJs. Cream Soda

Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£4 after 12)

Retro pop stylings from the 50s to the 70s. Hot Mess

Wee Red Bar, 23:00–03:00, £5

DJ Simonotron hosts the gay disco party like no other, playing disco, house and acid on vinyl only. Supersonic Vague

Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

All-new student Friday nighter, blasting oot an eclectic mix of indie, dance, pop, dubstep and electro playlists. Stay Fresh Vs Stay FLY

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

FLY are joined by Glasgow’s Stay Fresh for a one-off versus night of residents and friends.

New alternative monthly night taking its inspiration from the skinhead and punk movements, with discounted entry in Dr. Martens. Obviously.

Mon 08 Apr Mixed Up

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Request-driven night of pop-punk, chart, indie and good ol’ 90s classics. Nu Fire

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

DJ Fusion and guests move from hip-hop to dubstep with a plethora of live MCs. Neighbourhood

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free (£3 after 12)

All-new night for The Bongo, with Taz and Jaylaxx spinning a firmly garage, 2-step and future bass mix.

Witness

Sneaky’s resident bass spectacular of garage, dubstep and bassline house. SuperSub

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2)

Napier University student night, playing a fine mix of electro, dubstep and house across both rooms. Champion Sound

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free (£3 after 12)

Brand new midweek dub, jungle, reggae and dancehall happening at the all-new Bongo. #YOLO

Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

All-new midweek party night for the energised amongst y’all who live life by the YOLO rule (aka students). Boom

Studio 24, 23:00–03:00, Free

Midweek stramash of music from around the world, taking in funk, hip-hop, soul, disco, ska and any other genre they damn well fancy.

Thu 11 Apr Frisky

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Chart, dance and electro fare, plus punter requests all night long. i AM Edinburgh

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £4 (free via iamclub.co.uk)

Resident young guns Beta & Kappa make their now regular trip east, playing the usual fine mix of electronica and bass. Juice

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

All-new Thursday nighter for Sneaky’s, playing a mighty mix of everything from The Stooges to ODB.

Fri 12 Apr Misfits

Supersonic Vague Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

All-new student Friday nighter, blasting oot an eclectic mix of indie, dance, pop, dubstep and electro playlists. FLY (High Sheen)

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

A powerhouse of local residents take over Cab Vol for their all-new Friday nighter, with occasional special guests dropping by. Kapital (Ivan Smagghe, Daniel Avery)

The Caves, 23:00–03:00, £12

The Kapital crew return with a beefed-up new soundsystem and an exclusive double-whammy set from French composer/producer Ivan Smagghe and forward-thinking electronic chap Daniel Avery. Confusion Is Sex: 4th Birthday

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£6 after 12)

The glam techno and electro night takes over Bongo HQ for its 4th birthday bash, pulling out the stops with a superstar theme (i.e. dress glitzy).

Sat 13 Apr The Egg

Wee Red Bar, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£4 after 12)

Cosmic

Monthly club bringing the spirit of the psychedelic trance dance ritual to the floor, with live acts, VJs and colourful fluoro decor. Stepback

Wee Red Bar, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4)

Mixed bag of electronic bass, from Baltimore to dubstep. Cream Soda

Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£4 after 12)

Retro pop stylings from the 50s to the 70s. Bad Robot

The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £5 (£3)

The Bad Robot lot invade once more, armed with an intergalactic mash-up of electro party tunes.

Fresh mix of funk, soul, disco and hippity-hop from the Soul Jam Hot DJs. I Love Hip Hop

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £2

Selection of hip-hop classics and brand-new classics to be. Hector’s House

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£5)

Electronic basslines allied with home-cooked house beats.

Wed 17 Apr Bangers & Mash

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, £1 (£3 after 11)

Midweek student rundown of chart and cheese classics. Indigo

The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (Students Free)

Indie, pop and alternative favourites with a danceable beat, from LCD Soundsystem to The Ting Tings. Witness

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Studio 24, 23:00–03:00, Free

Bass Syndicate

The regular Edinburgh breaks and bassline Manga crew takeover. Bubblegum

The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10)

Handpicked weekend mix of chart and dance, with retro 80s classics as standard.

Zoot

DJs Swank’n’Jams seamlessly mix tropical beats and swing rhythms, mashed up with some well-kent classics. SuperSub

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2)

Studio 24, 22:30–03:00, £2 (£5 after 11)

Napier University student night, playing a fine mix of electro, dubstep and house across both rooms.

Propaganda

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free (£3 after 12)

The Green Door

Surf, blues and rockabilly from the 50s and early 60s, plus free cake! Nuff said. Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

Student-orientated night playing the best in new and classic indie music. Soulsville

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £5

Champion Sound

Brand new midweek dub, jungle, reggae and dancehall happening at the all-new Bongo. #YOLO

Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

Swinging soul spanning a whole century with DJs Tsatsu and Fryer, plus live dancers a-go-go.

All-new midweek party night for the energised amongst y’all who live life by the YOLO rule (aka students).

The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £5

Thu 18 Apr

Rewind

Journey back through the ages, digging out anthemic gems from the last 40 years. Torture Garden

The Caves, 21:00–03:00, £18

Infamous fetish club spread over three dungeon-themed playrooms in the glorious cavernous surrounds of The Caves. Fantasy dress code, i.e. everything from circus freakshow to Venice carnival. And PVC, loadsae PVC. Beep Beep, Yeah!

Frisky

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Chart, dance and electro fare, plus punter requests all night long. i AM Edinburgh

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £4 (free via iamclub.co.uk)

Resident young guns Beta & Kappa make their now regular trip east, playing the usual fine mix of electronica and bass. Juice

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Retro pop stylings from the 50s to the 70s.

All-new Thursday nighter for Sneaky’s, playing a mighty mix of everything from The Stooges to ODB.

Studio 24, 22:30–03:00, £3

Fri 19 Apr

Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£4 after 12)

Decade

Fresh playlists spanning pop-punk, emo and hardcore soundscapes. Think Twice

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

Sun 14 Apr

Studio 24, 21:00–03:00, £3 (£6 after 10)

Soul Jam Hot

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £3 (members free)

This Is Music

Indie and electro from the Sick Note DJs.

Alternative anthems cherrypicked from genres of rock, indie and punk.

Sneaky’s resident bass spectacular of garage, dubstep and bassline house.

Resident Craig Smith brings a rotation of stand out guests from around the world to the dancefloor.

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £3 (members free)

Antics

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Art School institution with DJs Chris and Paul playing the finest in indie, garage, soul and punk.

The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10)

Chart, electro, indie-pop and alternative anthems over two rooms.

Tue 16 Apr

The Sunday Club

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Two rooms of all the chart, cheese and indie-pop you can think of.

Mon 15 Apr Mixed Up

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Request-driven night of pop-punk, chart, indie and good ol’ 90s classics. Nu Fire

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

DJ Fusion and guests move from hip-hop to dubstep with a plethora of live MCs. Neighbourhood

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free (£3 after 12)

All-new night for The Bongo, with Taz and Jaylaxx spinning a firmly garage, 2-step and future bass mix.

Misfits

The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10)

Chart, electro, indie-pop and alternative anthems over two rooms. Animal Hospital

Studio 24, 23:00–03:00, £5

The Animal Hospital troops continue to medicate Edinburgh with their unique blend of techno, house and minimal. Bigfoot’s Tea Party

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £5 (members free)

The Nomadic techno and techhouse night has its first outing in Sneaky’s bijou confines, armed with their video-mapped visuals and lethal homemade vodka jelly. Audacious (Beatwife Acid, Tactus, Dr Breakenstein)

The Banshee Labyrinth, 23:00–03:00, Free

Hardstyle Edinburgh breakcore night, featuring special guest all the way from the US-of-A, Beatwife Acid, ripe with tearing breaks and acid noisescapes. Cream Soda

Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£4 after 12)

Retro pop stylings from the 50s to the 70s.

THE SKINNY


Edinburgh Clubs Mambo Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£5 after 12)

Old school hip-hop, r’n’b, reggae, dancehall, afro beats and plenty more eclecticness besides. Bad Robot

The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £5 (£3)

The Bad Robot lot invade once more, armed with an intergalactic mash-up of electro party tunes. Supersonic Vague

Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

All-new student Friday nighter, blasting oot an eclectic mix of indie, dance, pop, dubstep and electro playlists. FLY

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

A powerhouse of local residents take over Cab Vol for their all-new Friday nighter, with occasional special guests dropping by.

ETC16: Mythological Beasts (Neil T)

Teviot Underground, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5 in fancy dress)

Edinburgh Tekno Cartel bring the sleazy bass and techno beats, this month with a mythological beasts theme (aka make like a centaur) – bolstered by a guest set from Unseen and Dogma chap Neil T. Substance

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc

The Substance crew provide the usual techno blizzards, with resident Gavin Richardson and an as-yet-unnamed live guest.

Nuklear Puppy (Lisa Lashes, Anne Savage) The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00

Art School institution with DJs Chris and Paul playing the finest in indie, garage, soul and punk. Bubblegum

The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10)

Handpicked weekend mix of chart and dance, with retro 80s classics as standard. Propaganda

Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

Student-orientated night playing the best in new and classic indie music. Dr No’s

Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–03:00, £4 (£5 after 12)

Danceable mix of the best in 60s ska, rocksteady, bluebeat and reggae. Gasoline Dance Machine (The Magician)

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £7 adv. (£10 door)

Classic Italo and straight-up boogie allied with contemporary house and disco, joined by a special guest set from the Magician (aka synth wizard and pace-setter Stephen Fassano). Balkanarama (Sheelanagig, Tanz Tanz)

Studio 24, 21:30–03:00, £8 (£9 after 10)

All singing, all dancing Balkanstyled clubber’s orgy, with live guests, belly dancing, bespoke visuals and free plum brandy for all. As in, we’re sold. Messenger

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£7 after 12)

Sweet reggae rockin’ from the original sound system, plus MC Ras Ista Lion on special guest duty. Wasabi Disco

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £3 (members free)

Heady bout of cosmic house, punk upside-down disco and, er, Fleetwood Mac with yer man Kris ‘Wasabi’ Walker. Pop Rocks!

Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £4 (£5 after 12)

Pop and rock gems, taking in motown, 80s classics and plenty danceable fare (well, the Beep Beep, Yeah! crew are on decks after all).

April 2013

Propaganda

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Castle Club, 22:00–03:00, £7

Sneaky’s Thursday nighter crew welcome LuckyMe’s own Eclair Fifi (aka Clair Stirling) to their fold for her first ever outing in Sneaky’s inimitable sweatbox.

Monthly favourite of indie classics and baggy greats, from Primal Scream and the like.

Musika (Ben Pearce)

The favourited ‘burgh house night host a one-off intimate outing at Castle Club, joined by rising Manchester DJ and producer Be Pearce – who brings the hot electronic, as per.

Sun 21 Apr The Sunday Club

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Two rooms of all the chart, cheese and indie-pop you can think of.

Mon 22 Apr Mixed Up

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Request-driven night of pop-punk, chart, indie and good ol’ 90s classics. Nu Fire

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

DJ Fusion and guests move from hip-hop to dubstep with a plethora of live MCs. Neighbourhood

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free (£3 after 12)

Tue 23 Apr

The Egg

Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

Student-orientated night playing the best in new and classic indie music.

The Caves, 23:00–03:00, £4 earlybird (£6 thereafter)

Wee Red Bar, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£4 after 12)

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £4 (free via iamclub.co.uk)

Resident young guns Beta & Kappa make their now regular trip east, playing the usual fine mix of electronica and bass.

Flex (Marco Del Horno)

Sat 20 Apr

i AM Edinburgh

Ride girls Checkie and Lauren play hip-hop and dance, all night long – now in their new party-ready Saturday night slot.

The underground dance spectacular returns to the capital, armed with a double dose of hard dance legends in the form of Lisa Lashes and Anne Savage.

All-new night for The Bongo, with Taz and Jaylaxx spinning a firmly garage, 2-step and future bass mix.

With the aim of expanding Edinburgh’s nightlife, Flex take to the fore with their bass, garage and house-styled night manned by veteran of the UK bass scene, Marco Del Horno.

Ride Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Antics

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Alternative anthems cherrypicked from genres of rock, indie and punk. Soul Jam Hot

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Fresh mix of funk, soul, disco and hippity-hop from the Soul Jam Hot DJs. I Love Hip Hop

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free

Selection of hip-hop classics and brand-new classics to be. Hector’s House

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £6 (£5)

Electronic basslines allied with home-cooked house beats.

Wed 24 Apr Bangers & Mash

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, £1 (£3 after 11)

Midweek student rundown of chart and cheese classics. Indigo

The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £3 (Students Free)

Indie, pop and alternative favourites with a danceable beat, from LCD Soundsystem to The Ting Tings. SuperSub

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£2)

Juice (Eclair Fifi)

Fri 26 Apr Misfits

The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10)

Chart, electro, indie-pop and alternative anthems over two rooms. Xplicit

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £tbc

Heavy jungle and bass-styled beats from the inimitable Xplicit crew and guests. JakN

Teviot Underground, 22:30–03:00, £5 (students free/£2 after 12)

The JakN crew provide the usual three-deck mix up of techno in all its forms in their new home of Teviot Underground, with special guest J-T Kyrkes providing the tough and uncompromising warehouse grooves. Cream Soda

Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £3 (£4 after 12)

Retro pop stylings from the 50s to the 70s. Supersonic Vague

Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

All-new student Friday nighter, blasting oot an eclectic mix of indie, dance, pop, dubstep and electro playlists. Musika: Sasha

The Caves, 21:00–03:00, £15 earlybird

Musika play host to the launch of the third episode of mighty Welsh DJ and record producer Sasha’s Involv3r album. Rescheduled date. FLY (Bondax)

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

A powerhouse of local residents take over Cab Vol for their all-new Friday nighter, with occasional special guests dropping by. Jackhammer (Gary Beck, Dustin Zahn)

The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £10 adv.

The Jackhammer crew up our dose of all things techno with a doubleheader set of the stuff from those young chaps in the know, Gary Beck and Dustin Zahn. Defcon: 1st Birthday

Studio 24, 23:00–03:00, £3 (£5 after 12)

Jungle, jungle and, er, more jungle with the residents and a host of birthday guests – including Jungle Cat Records’ chap Dub Liner. #notsosilent: Dimensions Warm-Up Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, £5 (members free)

Napier University student night, playing a fine mix of electro, dubstep and house across both rooms.

Edinburgh’s #notsosilent house specialists host a special warm-up party for Dimensions Festival, teasing us with an as-yet-unrevealed secret guest.

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free (£3 after 12)

Sat 27 Apr

Champion Sound

Brand new midweek dub, jungle, reggae and dancehall happening at the all-new Bongo. #YOLO

Picture House, 23:00–03:00, £4

All-new midweek party night for the energised amongst y’all who live life by the YOLO rule (aka students). Boom

Studio 24, 23:00–03:00, Free

Midweek stramash of music from around the world, taking in funk, hip-hop, soul, disco, ska and any other genre they damn well fancy. Big’n’Witting

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

Resident bass crews Big’n’Bashy and Witness form an unholy alliance of bassbin battering for one-night only.

Thu 25 Apr Frisky

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Chart, dance and electro fare, plus punter requests all night long.

The Egg

Wee Red Bar, 23:00–03:00, £2 (£4 after 12)

Art School institution with DJs Chris and Paul playing the finest in indie, garage, soul and punk. Mumbo Jumbo

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

Party soundtrack of funk, soul, disco and house with Trendy Wendy, Steve Austin and guests, jollied along by the techno-friendly Bubble DJs in room two and Bongo Dave on live congas and percussion duty. Bubblegum

The Hive, 21:00–03:00, Free (£4 after 10)

Handpicked weekend mix of chart and dance, with retro 80s classics as standard. Magic Nostalgic

Electric Circus, 22:30–03:00, £6 (£7 after 12)

A hodgepodge of quality tracks chosen by JP’s spinning wheel. Expect anything from 90s rave to power ballads, and a lot of one-hit wonders.

Madchester

The Liquid Room, 22:30–03:00, £6

Betamax

Studio 24, 23:00–03:00, £5 (£4)

Monthly offering of new wave, disco, post-punk and a bit o’ synthtastic 80s with your hosts Chris and Big Gus. Papi Falso

Henry’s Cellar, 23:00–03:00, £5

Sci-fi pop, outsider folk, soulful r’n’b, machine funk and a whole lot more. Pocket Aces (i AM)

The Cabaret Voltaire, 23:00–03:00, £7 (£5)

Dance-inducing party with an anything goes attitude and rotating rota of guest DJs, with I AM residents Beta and Kappa showing their versatility with a monthly appearance.

Sun 28 Apr The Sunday Club

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Two rooms of all the chart, cheese and indie-pop you can think of.

Mon 29 Apr Mixed Up

The Hive, 22:00–03:00, Free

Request-driven night of pop-punk, chart, indie and good ol’ 90s classics. Nu Fire

Sneaky Pete’s, 23:00–03:00, Free

DJ Fusion and guests move from hip-hop to dubstep with a plethora of live MCs. Neighbourhood

The Bongo Club, 23:00–03:00, Free (£3 after 12)

All-new night for The Bongo, with Taz and Jaylaxx spinning a firmly garage, 2-step and future bass mix.

Theatre Pearce Institute RANTIN

17–19 Apr, 7:30pm – 10:30pm, £8 (£6) or £45 (£35) festival pass

Talented young chap Kieran Hurley presents his collaborative new play-cum-gig session devised and performed with Gav Prentice, Julia Taudevin and Drew Wright. Part of Behaviour Festival.

SECC

Singin’ I’m No A Billy, He’s A Tim

17–21 Apr, times vary, £20

Oft-poignant snapshot of the sectarian divide, that finds a Celtic supporter banged-up in the same cell as a Rangers supporter on the day of an Old Firm match. Walking With Dinosaurs

various dates between 4 Apr and 21 Apr, times vary, From £25

The theatrical live event returns to the stage, a £10,000,000 production featuring 20 life-size dinosaurs. Fans of Jurassic Park unite.

The Arches Wuthering Heights

23–27 Apr, times vary, prices vary

Peter McMaster presents his bold all-male take on the landscapes and lives of the characters from Emily Bronte’s classic novel. Part of Behaviour Festival. Gary McNair: Donald Robertson Is Not A Stand Up Comedian

3 Apr, 4 Apr, 6 Apr, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, £8 (£6) or £45 (£35) festival pass

Writer, director and performer Gary McNair presents his wideeyed wander into the world of comedy, for which he watched 103 stand-ups to prepare for taking on the genre himself. Be gentle with him. Part of Behaviour Festival. RUFF

10 Apr, 8:30pm – 9:45pm, £12 (£10) or £45 (£35) festival pass

Peggy Shaw presents her latest solo performances – written with long-term collaborator Lois Weaver – a meditation on her 68 years of existence. Part of Behaviour Festival. Poke

23–27 Apr, 7:00pm – 8:15pm, prices vary

Glasgow CCA

Candy Shop

6 Apr, 7:15pm – 8:00pm, £12 evening pass

Lina Lapelyte explores the dark and oft-disturbing male dominated language of hip-hop via a powerful group of female artists, who each add their own distinct voice to the piece. Part of Conterflows.

Citizens Theatre Doctor Faustus

various dates between 5 Apr and 27 Apr, times vary, prices vary

Christopher Marlowe’s mythic tale of mankind’s greed for power is given a modern day twist, as Faustus’ insatiable desire for notoriety drives him to make a pact with the devil in return for the power to perform the black arts.

Paisley Arts Centre 1984

19 Apr, 7:30pm – 9:30pm, £10 (£6)

Matthew Dunster’s faithful adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel, set in the oppressive Oceania where Winston spins between hopes of love and threats of torture, as his every movement is tracked. The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

12 Apr, times vary, prices vary

A both funny and harrowing tale concerning Steve Jobs and Chinese workers toiling to make our beloved iPhones (as in, prepare to feel very guilty).

Amanda Moonfrooe presents her allegorical new performance project, darkly paralleling the escalating sexual violence and environmental destruction that’s marked the first part of the 21st century. Part of Behaviour Festival. Pink Mist

25–27 Apr, times vary, £8 (£6) or £45 (£35) festival pass

Claire Cunningham presents her all-new work-in-progress collaboration with sound artist Zoe Irvine, taking its cue from research into the subject of landmines and conversations with survivors. Part of Behaviour Festival.

The King’s Theatre

Goodnight Mister Tom

2–6 Apr, times vary, From £10

Happysad tale set in the build up to the Second World War, following a sad wee lad who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and builds a moving friendship with the elderly recluse Tom Oakley. Birdsong

8–13 Apr, times vary, From £10

Sebastian’s Faulks’ acclaimed story of love, courage and sacrifice during wartime is brought to the stage in a critically-acclaimed new adaptation.

Theatre Royal

Scottish Opera: The Flying Dutchman various dates between 4 Apr and 19 Apr, 7:15pm – 10:00pm, prices vary

Scottish Opera’s grand retelling of Wagner’s famed one-act opera, telling of a tormented soul cursed to roam the seas until he finds a women that will love him until death. Bids Of A Feather

16–20 Apr, times vary, From £10

The much-loved BBC sitcom comes to the stage with all three of its original leading cast members.

Scottish Ballet’s Highland Fling

27 Apr – 4 May, not 28 Apr, 29 Apr, times vary, From £7

Romantic ballet outing choreographed by Olivier Award-winning Matthew Bourne, following the antics of James – a young Scot with sex, love and rock’n’roll on his mind.

Tramway

Arika13: Wadada Leo Smith

19 Apr, 7:30pm – 8:00pm, £6 evening pass (£14 festival pass)

Jazz trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser and educator Wadada Leo Smith plays music, grounded in a historical poetics, that suggests what can be done as racism, poverty and justice intersect. Arika13: John Tilbury

19 Apr, 8:15pm – 8:45pm, £6 evening pass (£14 festival pass)

Avant-garde pianist John Tilbury plays a special set, continuing to affect audiences with his thinking on music, politics and ideology. Arika13: Wadada Leo Smith and John Tilbury

19 Apr, 10:15pm – 11:00pm, £6 evening pass (£14 festival pass)

Duo performance by AACM member and jazz multi-instrumentalist Wadada Leo Smith and freeimprovisation pianist John Tilbury. Arika13: No-Total 20 Apr, 7:15pm – 8:15pm, £6 evening pass (£14 festival pass)

Freeform performance which will unfold on the night, acknowledging a chasm between the everyday practices of performance, music and/or activism in situ and the abstracted world of the arts festival.

Sonemics 13 Apr, 7:30pm – 9:30pm, £10 (£8)

New commission from fimmaker Kate Burton and composer Nick Fells using performed sound and film to explore sense of place through the layering of the surfaces, textures and resonances. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Tramway’s opening night. Museum of Postmodern Art

10 Apr, 7:45pm – 10:00pm, £10 (£8)

International performance group Oblivia present a new philosophical and humourous project piece placing postmodernism in a fictitious museum to attempt to explore issues of today, the past and the future. Open For Everything

26–27 Apr, 7:30pm – 9:30pm, £14 (£10)

Unique journey of a piece using music and dance to lead us through the lives of the European Roma of today.

Tron Theatre April In Paris

3–13 Apr, not 7, 8, 7:45pm – 10:00pm, From £7

A couple whose marriage is on shaky foundations win a holiday to Paris in a magazine competition, where together they bicker their way through the sights, cuisine and sleazy underbelly of Paris... And quite possibly fall a little back in love. Viota

3–6 Apr, 8:00pm – 10:00pm, From £7

Inspired by the lives of Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf and Violet Trefusis, Theatre Revolution present their story of the relationships between three women living in London in 1969. Stitching

9–11 Apr, 8:00pm – 10:00pm, From £7

Arika13: Teresa María Díaz Nerio

Meditation on how far people will go in the name of ‘love’ to fix what is beyond broken, as we witness a couple pick their relationship apart, stitch by painful stitch.

20 Apr, 8:45pm – 9:30pm, £6 evening pass (£14 festival pass)

12 Apr, 13 Apr, times vary, prices vary

Performed film lecture exploring how the ‘Rumberas’ of Caribbean cinema of the 40s/50s subverted demeaning images of themselves through dance, sound and a sociality. Arika13: Daniel Carter and William Parker

20 Apr, 10:00pm – 11:00pm, £6 evening pass (£14 festival pass)

Collaborative jazz performance exploring the role of the artist to incite political, social, and spiritual revolution. Arika13: Unfree Improvisation/ Compulsive Freedom

21 Apr, 7:15pm – 8:00pm, £6 evening pass (£14 festival pass)

Freeform piece with Ray Brassier and Mattin asking if perhaps autonomy couldn’t simply be the freedom from false choices, and how might this thinking turn into an enabling condition in the context of noise? Arika13: Zong!

21 Apr, 8:30pm – 9:30pm, £6 evening pass (£14 festival pass)

Collective performance of M. NourbeSe Philip’s poem of black life, considering whether as it exceeds containment it can enact alternative forms of selfhood that emerge in and out of African diasporic experience?

Timely look at how in a world dominated by computers and online gaming, some of us have forgotten how to create our own entertainment – step us the ‘woolgatherers’, whose job is to open up the door to your imagination...

Edinburgh

The Woman In Black

22–27 Apr, times vary, From £14

Stage adaptation of Susan Hill’s best-selling novel combining the power and intensity of live theatre with a cinematic quality inspired by the world of film noir. Birds Of A Feather

9–13 Apr, times vary, From £14

The much-loved BBC sitcom comes to the stage with all three of its original leading cast members in tow. Translations

15–20 Apr, times vary, From £14

Irish-set drama telling the story of members of the British Army tasked with translating place names from ancient Irish Gaelic to the King’s English – with the underlying lesson being that without a shared method of communication, chaos will prevail.

Royal Lyceum Theatre A Doll’s House

16 Apr – 4 May, not 21 Apr, 22 Apr, 28 Apr, 29 Apr, times vary, From £14.50

HeLa

4–6 Apr, 6:00pm – 7:00pm, £8 (£6)

Performance based on the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cancer cells – taken without permission in 1951 – provided raw material for some of the most important scientific discoveries of the past 100 years. Part of Edinburgh International Science Festival. How a Man Crumbled

12–13 Apr, 7:30pm – 8:30pm, £10 (£8)

Edinburgh Playhouse That’ll Be The Day

9 Apr, 7:30pm – 10:00pm, From £22.50

Rock’n’roll variety show crammed with musical favourites from the 50s, 60s and 70s (i.e. you WILL singalong to Buddy Holly). Carmen

12–13 Apr, 7:30pm – 10:00pm, From £10

16–20 Apr, times vary, From £10

Sleeping Beauty on Ice

The Imperial Ice Stars return to the UK with a new production of the fairytale favourite, where wicked fairy meets beautiful princess: on ice.

21 Apr, 3:45pm – 4:45pm, Free

Festival Theatre

Double bill of dance works from Indepen-dance, offering creative movement classes to people with diverse abilities, their carers, family members and volunteers.

King’s Theatre

Summerhall

The Woolgatherers

Dialogical meeting of America’s great radicalised poet Amiri Baraka and Henry Grimes’ bass sound of syncopation and anarchic organisation.

Now. No. Now!/Goldfish

The Cuban ballet dancing talent builds on his existing inspired dance vision with a new work taking in collaborations with a number of UK and international dance stars, most notably Royal Ballet’s principal dancer Zenaida Yanowsky.

20 Apr, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, £7

21 Apr, 10:00pm – 11:00pm, £6 evening pass (£14 festival pass)

5–6 Apr, 7:30pm – 9:30pm, £9 (£6)

Carlos Acosta

26–27 Apr, 7:30pm – 9:00pm, From £16.50

Hard-hitting duo of plays that draw on knife culture in Glasgow and look at lives shattered by gang violence.

Arika13: WordMusic

A seminal figure in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, poet, playwright and activist Sonia Sanchez reads from a body of work that combines a jazz-like improvisational rhythm with black dialect as a poetic medium.

various dates between 13 Apr and 19 Apr, 7:15pm – 10:00pm, prices vary

Scottish Opera’s grand retelling of Wagner’s famed one-act opera, telling of a tormented soul cursed to roam the seas until he finds a women that will love him until death.

Henrik Ibsen’s inspired piece – which caused outrage both in its style and content when first staged in 1879 – is given a reworking, telling the story of a ‘perfect’ marriage unravels as a series of lies are exposed.

Fleeto/Wee Andy

Dazzling production of Carmen with Ellen Kent at the creative helm – also featuring an Andalucian stallion, fountains and orange trees for your general wonderment.

Arika 13: Sonia Sanchez

Scottish Opera: The Flying Dutchman

The Winter’s Tale

2–6 Apr, times vary, From £11

The Royal Shakespeare Company present their latest reworking of a Sheakespeare classic, taking in the great man’s uplifting tale of reconciliation and forgiveness. Rambert Dance Company: Labyrinth of Love

9–10 Apr, 7:30pm – 10:00pm, From £13.50

The award-winning Clout Theatre company present their bizarrely wonderful new piece about Russian poet Daniil Kharms, plunging the audience into a world where clocks have no hands and a cucumber can kill a man. Deadinburgh

18–21 Apr, 7:30pm – 10:00pm, £15 (£12)

Experiential zombie epidemicstyled performance piece, at which – with the help of real scientists – the audience will have to decide whether to destroy the city, kill the infected, or search for a cure.

Traverse Theatre Quiz Show

2–20 Apr, not 7, 8, 14, 15, times vary, From £15.50 (£11.50/£6 unemployed)

After terrifying us with his last outing, Bullet Catch, talented Scottish playwright Rob Drummond returns to push the boundaries once more, with a new production set inside a quiz show offering contestants the chance to play for the ultimate prize... Scratch the Fifty

13 Apr, 8:00pm – 10:00pm, £6 (£4)

Writers’ Morna Pearson and Stef Smith curate a night of all-new works from the Trav’s current crop of 50 writers, who’re currently helping them celebration their 50th birthday year.

The British dance company returns with a quartet of new works, at the heart of which is a brand new commission, Labyrinth of Love, by Irish choreographer Marguerite Donlon and Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty.

Listings

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Dundee Dundee Rep

The Government Inspector

various dates between 26 Mar and 19 Apr, times vary, prices vary

Retelling of Nikolai Gogol satirical play in which a penniless nobody from the big city arrives in a small town, where he is mistaken for the all-powerful government inspector by its corrupt and self-serving officials. The Thing About Psychopaths

18 Apr, 19 Apr, 25 Apr, 26 Apr, times vary, prices vary

Comedy Sat 06 Apr

Tue 16 Apr

The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15

Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands dropping by to roadtest new material.

The Saturday Show (Paul Sinha, Jo Enright, Chris Henry, Andrew Learmonth)

Packed Saturday evening bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes to jolly along your weekend.

Sun 07 Apr

Michael Redmond’s Sunday Service

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1)

A harsh portrayal of modern day Britain, young and ambitious Noel finds himself caught up in corporate fraud.

Chilled Sunday comedy showcase with resident Irish funnyman Michael Redmond and guests.

23 Apr, times vary, prices vary

Improv Wars

Fleeto/Wee Andy

Hard-hitting duo of plays that draw on knife culture in Glasgow and look at lives shattered by gang violence. How to Make a Killing in Bollywood

4–6 Apr, times vary, From £12

Funny new play about two best pals and their hopeful journey to Bollywood in search of fame and fortune.

The Gardyne Theatre Cabaret

4–6 Apr, times vary, From £17.50 (£15)

New production of Kander and Ebb’s iconic musical set in the Kit Kat Club in early 1930s Berlin during the rise of the Nazi party, centred around the story of a cabaret singer (Sally) and an American writer (Clifford). Madame Butterfly

21 Apr, 7:30pm – 10:00pm, £12 (£10)

Following recent productions of La Bohème and Lucia di Lammermoor, Opera Bohemia return with a retelling of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, set in modern day Japan. The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

12 Apr, 18 Apr, times vary, prices vary

A both funny and harrowing tale concerning Steve Jobs and Chinese workers toiling to make our beloved iPhones (as in, prepare to feel very guilty).

Glasgow Tue 02 Apr Red Raw

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2

Mon 08 Apr The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £4 (£2)

Improvised comedy games and sketches, with an unpredictable anything-goes attitude – just how we like it.

Tue 09 Apr Red Raw

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2

Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands dropping by to roadtest new material.

Wed 10 Apr The Fun Junkies

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £5 (£4/£2.50)

Diverse offerings from the comedy spectrum, featuring stand-up, variety acts, sketches, musical comedy and, yes, magicians! New Material Night

Vespbar, 20:00–22:00, £3

Resident host Julia Sutherland introduces a variety of stand-up comedians from the Scottish circuit delivering, yes, all new material.

Thu 11 Apr

The Thursday Show (Addy Van Der Borgh, Steven Dick, Bruce Fummey, Elaine Malcolmson) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£7/£5)

Weekend-welcoming selection of handpicked headline acts and newcomers over a two-hour showcase.

Fri 12 Apr

The Friday Show (Addy Van Der Borgh, Steven Dick, Bruce Fummey, Harriet Dyer) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £12 (£10/£6 members)

Prime stand-up from the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts.

Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands dropping by to roadtest new material.

Sat 13 Apr

Wed 03 Apr

The Admiral, 20:00–22:30, £14 (£10)

Wicked Wenches (Jo Enright, Bethany Black, Becky Price, Julia Sutherland) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£3 members)

All-female stand-up, with a suitably varied mix of headliners and newcomers taking to the stage. New Material Night

Vespbar, 20:00–22:00, £3

Resident host Julia Sutherland introduces a variety of stand-up comedians from the Scottish circuit delivering, yes, all new material.

Thu 04 Apr

The Thursday Show (Paul Sinha, Jo Enright, Chris Henry, Andrew Learmonth) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£7/£5 members)

Weekend-welcoming selection of handpicked headline acts and newcomers over a two-hour showcase.

Fri 05 Apr

The Friday Show (Paul Sinha, Jo Enright, Chris Henry, Andrew Learmonth) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £12 (£10/£6 members)

Prime stand-up from the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts.

Enterteasement (The Colour Ham)

Live stand-up, magic and burlesque dancing combined in one heady (read: riotous) whole, with a different headline act each edition – this time in the form of The Colour Ham. Hosted by Billy Kirkwood. The Saturday Show (Addy Van Der Borgh, Steven Dick, Bruce Fummey, Harriet Dyer) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15

Packed Saturday evening bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes to jolly along your weekend.

Listings

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2

Wed 17 Apr

Cosgrove Care Benefit

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £8 (£7)

Comedy fundraiser in aid of Cosgrove Care, with Davey Connor and Pauline Goldsmith amongst the live guests. Hosted by Billy Kirkwood. New Material Night

Vespbar, 20:00–22:00, £3

Resident host Julia Sutherland introduces a variety of stand-up comedians from the Scottish circuit delivering, yes, all new material.

Thu 18 Apr

The Thursday Show (Mark Nelson, Andy White, Kelly Kingham, Owen McGuire) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£7/£5 members)

Weekend-welcoming selection of handpicked headline acts and newcomers over a two-hour showcase. The Comedy Explorers

The Flying Duck, 20:00–22:00, £3

The all-new alternative comedy club pitches up at The Flying Duck, bringing with ‘em an off-beat selection of stories and jokes.

Fri 19 Apr Jimeon

The Garage, 19:00–21:00, £14.50 adv.

More inspired ramblings from the stand-up Northern Ireland comedian and actor (aka Jimeon McKeown).

The Friday Show (Mark Nelson, Andy White, Kelly Kingham, Owen McGuire)

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members)

Chilled Sunday comedy showcase with resident Irish funnyman Michael Redmond and guests.

Mon 15 Apr Improv Wars

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £4 (£2)

The Thursday Show (Sean Percival, Totally Wired, Charlie Ross, Christian Talbot)

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£7/£5 members)

Weekend-welcoming selection of handpicked headline acts and newcomers over a two-hour showcase. The Comedy Explorers

The Flying Duck, 20:00–22:00, £3

The all-new alternative comedy club pitches up at The Flying Duck, bringing with ‘em an off-beat selection of stories and jokes.

Fri 26 Apr

The Friday Show (Sean Percival, Totally Wired, Charlie Ross, Christian Talbot)

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £12 (£10/£6 members)

Prime stand-up from the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts.

Sat 27 Apr

The Saturday Show (Sean Percival, Totally Wired, Charlie Ross, Christian Talbot)

The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15

Packed Saturday evening bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes to jolly along your weekend.

Sun 28 Apr

Michael Redmond’s Sunday Service

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members)

Chilled Sunday comedy showcase with resident Irish funnyman Michael Redmond and guests.

Sat 20 Apr Russell Peters

Bright Club

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £5

SECC, 19:00–22:00, From £36.50

The Indo-Canadian comedian and actor tours his latest show, as affectionately mocking as ever.

Edinburgh

The Garage, 19:30–21:30, £12.50

Tue 02 Apr

Rubberbandits

Irish hip-hop duo who perform with plastic bags on their heads, as you obviously do. Rescheduled date from Glasgow Comedy Festival. The Saturday Show (Mark Nelson, Andy White, Kelly Kingham, Owen McGuire) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15

Packed Saturday evening bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes to jolly along your weekend.

Sun 21 Apr

Michael Redmond’s Sunday Service

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members)

Chilled Sunday comedy showcase with resident Irish funnyman Michael Redmond and guests. Jimeon

Old Fruitmarket, 20:00–22:00, £14.50

Mon 22 Apr

Michael Redmond’s Sunday Service

Thu 25 Apr

A selection of comedic academics do a stint of stand-up for your entertainment and enlightenment. Laughs and learning in one neat package: tick.

Prime stand-up from the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts.

The King’s Theatre, 20:00–22:00, £18.50

The multi-Edinburgh Comedy Award winner gives birth, live on stage, and then raises it in the space of two hours, in an effort to make baby-raising an accessible male subject too.

Resident host Julia Sutherland introduces a variety of stand-up comedians from the Scottish circuit delivering, yes, all new material.

Mon 29 Apr

Sun 14 Apr

Russell Kane: Posturing Delivery

Tony Law: Maximum Noise The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £10 (£8)

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £12 (£10/£6 members)

More inspired ramblings from the stand-up Northern Ireland comedian and actor (aka Jimeon McKeown).

Improvised comedy games and sketches, with an unpredictable anything-goes attitude – just how we like it.

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Red Raw

New Material Night Vespbar, 20:00–22:00, £3

Improv Wars

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £4 (£2)

Improvised comedy games and sketches, with an unpredictable anything-goes attitude – just how we like it.

Tue 23 Apr Red Raw

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2

Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands dropping by to roadtest new material.

Wed 24 Apr Best Of Irish Comedy

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £7 (£6/£3 members)

A selection of top comics from the contemporary Irish circuit do their thing.

Grassroots Comedy

The Pleasance, 19:30–23:00, £1

Showcase night featuring the best in fresh, local talent – bringing together first-time and upand-coming comics in a series of quickfire 10-minute slots. The Maths Olympics

National Museum of Scotland, 15:00–15:45, £4

Stand-up mathematician Simon Pampena fuses sport, music, comedy and numbers into one not-atall geeky evening of maths-based comedy (p.s – we lied about the not geeky part). Part of Edinburgh International Science Festival. Burger, Beer and Comedy Night

The White Horse, 19:30–21:30, £1 (or £6 with a beer and burger)

Rick Molland introduces a selection of comedians from the Scottish circuit, while you eat a burger and swill a pint, naturally. Wicked Wenches (Jo Enright, Bethany Black, Becky Price, Julia Sutherland) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£3 members)

All-female stand-up, with a suitably varied mix of headliners and newcomers taking to the stage.

Wed 03 Apr The Maths Olympics

National Museum of Scotland, 15:00–15:45, £4

Stand-up mathematician Simon Pampena fuses sport, music, comedy and numbers into one not-atall geeky evening of maths-based comedy (p.s – we lied about the not geeky part). Part of Edinburgh International Science Festival.

The Canadian comic tours his new show, hopefully with new tales of his sausage dog, Cartridge, whom we’ve grown to love almost more than life itself. Wednesday Notebook

Beehive Inn, 20:00–22:00, £2 (£1)

A mixed batch of stand-up rookies take to the stage to cut their teeth. Be gentle on ‘em.

Wed 10 Apr

Katherine Ryan: Nature’s Candy

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £12 (£10)

The star of Channel 4’s Campus does her solo thing, deft at taking the things in life that make us bitter and turning them into humourous skits. Wednesday Notebook

Beehive Inn, 20:00–22:00, £2 (£1)

Henry’s Cellar, 19:30–23:00, £5

A mixed batch of stand-up rookies take to the stage to cut their teeth. Be gentle on ‘em.

Thu 04 Apr

Spoken word maestro Lach curates his own comedy show, featuring live stand-up and musicians presented in the style of old time radio shows – recorded live on the night for podcast.

Lach’s Antihoot Radio Night

Spoken word maestro Lach curates his own comedy show, featuring live stand-up and musicians presented in the style of old time radio shows – recorded live on the night for podcast. The Thursday Show (Reverend Obodiah Steppenwolf III, Bethany Black, Ray Bradshaw, Cameron Davis) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £10 (£7/£5 members)

Weekend-welcoming selection of handpicked headline acts and newcomers over a two-hour showcase.

Fri 05 Apr

Festival of the Spoken Nerd

Teviot Underground, 20:00–22:15, £10 (£8)

Live comedy for the sci-curious, with geek songstress Helen Arney, science expert Steve Mould and stand-up mathematician Matt Parker. Part of Edinburgh International Science Festival. The Friday Show (Reverend Obodiah Steppenwolf III, Bethany Black, Ray Bradshaw, Cameron Davis) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10/£6 members)

Prime stand-up from the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts. Mickey Flanagan: Back in the Game

Edinburgh Playhouse, 20:00–22:00, £24.50

Yer man Flanagan does his dodgy East End geezer thing, chock with anecdotes stealing mini pork pies from motorway service stations, and the like.

Sat 06 Apr

The Saturday Show (Reverend Obodiah Steppenwolf III, Bethany Black, Ray Bradshaw, Cameron Davis) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15

Packed Saturday evening bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes to jolly along your weekend. Mickey Flanagan: Back in the Game

Edinburgh Playhouse, 20:00–22:00, £24.50

Lach’s Antihoot Radio Night

Henry’s Cellar, 19:30–23:00, £5

Thu 11 Apr

The Thursday Show (Lloyd Langford, Ro Campbell, Iain Stirling, Waybe Mazadza) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £10 (£7/£5 members)

Weekend-welcoming selection of handpicked headline acts and newcomers over a two-hour showcase.

Fri 12 Apr

The Friday Show (Jason Cook, Lloyd Langford, Iain Stirling, Waybe Mazadza)

The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10/£6 members)

Prime stand-up from the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts.

Portobello Comedy Night (Billy Kirkwood, Susie McCabe, Eddie Cassidy, Martin Bearne, Steven Davidson) Portobello Indoor Bowls and Leisure Centre, 20:00–22:45, £7

The official Porty comedy crew return with their fourth showcase night of laughs by the sea, featuring a headline set from Ayrshireborn funnyman Billy Kirkwood. Held upstairs in Mum’s Cafe.

Sat 13 Apr

The Saturday Show (Jason Cook, Lloyd Langford, Iain Stirling, Waybe Mazadza)

The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15

Packed Saturday evening bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes to jolly along your weekend.

Sun 14 Apr

Festival Theatre, 19:30–22:00, £21.50

The Manc star of The Thick of It returns to the live circuit with his twice extended critically acclaimed new show (as in, go see it.

Mon 08 Apr Red Raw

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2

Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands dropping by to roadtest new material.

Tue 09 Apr

Electric Tales (Mark Nelson, Tom Harlow, Ari Cass-Maran, Susan Calman) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £5 (£4)

Stand-up comedy meets live storytelling, with the tease of a promise of robot badges for all (as in, we’re there).

Henry’s Cellar, 19:30–23:00, £5

Chilled comedy showcase to cure your Sunday evening back-towork blues.

Mon 15 Apr Red Raw

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2

Tue 16 Apr

Belushi’s, 20:00–22:30, Free

Occasional Tuesday comedy event with resident host Rick Molland introducing a variety of stand-up comedians and comedy acts. The Good, The Bad and The Unexpected

The Thursday Show (John Moloney, Paul Pirie, Jojo Sutherland, Martin Bearne)

The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £10 (£7/£5 members)

Weekend-welcoming selection of handpicked headline acts and newcomers over a two-hour showcase.

Fri 19 Apr

The Friday Show (John Moloney, Paul Pirie, Jojo Sutherland, Martin Bearne)

Henning Wehn: Henning Knows Best

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £12 (£10)

Jolly stand-up German comic, who pretty much seems to have self-appointed himself German Comedy Ambassador to the UK, mores the joy.

Absolute Improv

The Tron, 20:00–22:00, £5 (£4)

The Saturday Show (Paul Sinha, John Ross, Janice Phayre, Phil Chapman) The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15

Absolute Improv

The Tron, 20:00–22:00, £5 (£4)

Monthly improv-styled comedy show in the vein of Whose Line Is It Anyway.

Sun 28 Apr

The Sunday Night Laugh-In

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members)

The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10/£6 members)

Chilled comedy showcase to cure your Sunday evening back-towork blues.

Sat 20 Apr

The It’s Funtime jokers present a free, fun, table tennis evening, with dancing discs from DJ Ding Dong (ahem).

Prime stand-up from the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts. The Saturday Show (John Moloney, Paul Pirie, Jojo Sutherland, Martin Bearne)

The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £15

Packed Saturday evening bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes to jolly along your weekend. Jimeon

Rock and Roll Ping Pong

The Bongo Club, 18:00–22:00, Free

Mon 29 Apr Pandamonium Comedy

The Cabaret Voltaire, 19:30–23:00, £4

Brand new platform for new comedians, with an additional featured headliner each edition. Red Raw

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2

The Queen’s Hall, 20:00–22:00, £16

Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands dropping by to roadtest new material.

Sun 21 Apr

Dundee Art

More inspired ramblings from the stand-up Northern Ireland comedian and actor (aka Jimeon McKeown). The Sunday Night Laugh-In

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members)

Chilled comedy showcase to cure your Sunday evening back-towork blues. Red Raw

Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands dropping by to roadtest new material.

Wed 24 Apr

Best of Scottish Comedy (Mark Nelson, Gus Lymburn, Owen McGuire, Jay Lafferty) The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£3 members)

A selection of top comics from the contemporary Scottish circuit do their thing, aye. Wednesday Notebook

Beehive Inn, 20:00–22:00, £2 (£1)

A mixed batch of stand-up rookies take to the stage to cut their teeth. Be gentle on ‘em. Mick Foley: Tales from Wrestling Past

The Queen’s Hall, 19:30–22:00, £22.50

Henry’s Cellar, 19:30–23:00, £5

Wed 17 Apr

Sat 27 Apr

Packed Saturday evening bill of stand-up headliners and resident comperes to jolly along your weekend.

Pleasance Theatre, 19:30–22:30, £3

Afore the festival kicks off (yes, we’ve muttered the unmentionable), a trio of comics take to the Pleasance Theatre to hone their skills and test some new material.

The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £12 (£10/£6 members)

Prime stand-up from the Scottish and international circuit, hosted by a rotating selection of Stand stalwarts.

Thu 18 Apr

The former WWE championturned-comedian takes his debut stand-up tour on the road, putting his inimitable humourous spin on tales of his 27-year wrestling career.

Work In Progress: Daniel Sloss, Tom Stade and Mark Nelson

The Friday Show (Paul Sinha, John Ross, Janice Phayre, Phil Chapman)

Monthly improv-styled comedy show in the vein of Whose Line Is It Anyway.

A bright collective of comedians experiment with the medium of stand-up, under the ever-watchful eye of Jo Caulfield.

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £5

Fri 26 Apr

Spoken word maestro Lach curates his own comedy show, featuring live stand-up and musicians presented in the style of old time radio shows – recorded live on the night for podcast.

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £2

Belushi’s Tuesday Night Comedy Jam

Chris Addison: The Time is Now, Again

Lach’s Antihoot Radio Night

Mon 22 Apr

Sun 07 Apr

Chilled comedy showcase to cure your Sunday evening back-towork blues.

Wednesday Notebook

Beehive Inn, 20:00–22:00, £2 (£1)

A mixed batch of stand-up rookies take to the stage to cut their teeth. Be gentle on ‘em.

The Sunday Night Laugh-In

Open-mic style beginners showcase, plus some old hands dropping by to roadtest new material.

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members)

A selection of comedic academics do a stint of stand-up for your entertainment and enlightenment. Laughs and learning in one neat package: tick.

The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £6 (£5/£1 members)

Yer man Flanagan does his dodgy East End geezer thing, chock with anecdotes stealing mini pork pies from motorway service stations, and the like. The Sunday Night Laugh-In

Bright Club The Stand, 20:30–22:30, £5

Lach’s Antihoot Radio Night

Spoken word maestro Lach curates his own comedy show, featuring live stand-up and musicians presented in the style of old time radio shows – recorded live on the night for podcast.

Thu 25 Apr

The Thursday Show (Paul Sinha, John Ross, Janice Phayre, Robin Grainger)

The Stand, 21:00–23:00, £10 (£7/£5 members)

Weekend-welcoming selection of handpicked headline acts and newcomers over a two-hour showcase.

Cooper Gallery Dear Lynda...

26 Mar – 5 Apr, not 31 Mar, times vary, Free

International touring exhibition that considers the maverick British curator, writer, art historian and patron Lynda Morris’ ongoing endeavours and contributions in contemporary art since the 60s.

DCA

Jutta Koether: Seasons and Sacraments

26 Mar – 21 Apr, not 1 Apr, 8 Apr, 15 Apr, times vary, Free

Solo show by painter, performance artist, musician, critic and theoretician Jutta Koether, who’ll incorporate elements of underground culture and works inspired by Nicolas Poussin’s Seven Sacraments into what will be her largest UK exhibition to date.

Generator Projects Land Odyssey

various dates between 29 Mar and 21 Apr, times vary, Free

Mixed group exhibition featuring a selection of new works from Dave Evans, Aaron Guy, Hannah Imlach and Erik Osberg, each taking the viewer on a journey through contemporary approaches to ‘landscape’ and our relations to it.

Hannah Maclure Centre Synchronise our Eyebrows

26 Mar – 26 Apr, weekdays only, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Free

Major exhibition of unseen works from late Scottish artist Vincent Rattray, known for creating ambiguous scenes and theatrical settings for his painted characters – rich with symbolism and clues to a secret narrative.

THE SKINNY


Art Glasgow CCA

Mariana Castillo Deball

various dates between 6 Apr and 18 May, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

The Berlin-based artist presents the result of research conducted at the British Museum (and residencies at Cove Park), guiding viewers through the work of explorer/ archaeologist Alfred Maudsley, artist Eduardo Paolozzi and anthropologist Alfred Gell. Katherine MacBride: The Obliging, The Obliged

6–20 Apr, not 7, 14, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

New installation work combining video, sculpture and text-based work, taking as its starting point a critical examination of constructs of the self in the present and recent past. In the Intermedia Gallery.

Cyril Gerber Fine Art

Peter Thomson: Cobalt Wall

4–27 Apr, not 7, 14, 21, times vary, Free

New body of solo work from the Glasgow-born artist – known for his robust artistic imagination and infusing his work with a sense of Scottish history and social commentary.

David Dale Gallery and Studios

Harry Meadley: Play It as It Lies

various dates between 12 Apr and 4 May, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, Free

For his first exhibition in Scotland, Leeds-based artist Harry Meadley will exhibit every work conceived between receiving the invitation to exhibit, and the shipping date, taking in over 37 works in an eclectic mix of style and media.

Gallery of Modern Art

Niki de Saint Phalle: The Eric and Jean Cass Gift​

26 Mar – 16 Nov, times vary, Free

Exhibition of 13 sculptures, one lithograph and other related ephemera by French sculptor, painter, and film maker Niki de Saint Phalle, gifted to Glasgow Museums through the Contemporary Art Society. Rachel Mimiec: Plough

26 Mar – 27 May, times vary, Free

Glasgow-based artist Rachel Mimiec presents her current installation – working with paint and appropriated images to document landscapes and nature, including works made by children during workshops at the Red Road Family Centre Nursery.

Glasgow Print Studio Calum MacKenzie: Tableau Vivant

various dates between 26 Mar and 5 May, times vary, Free

Showcase exhibition of digital prints by late artist, printmaker and raconteur Calum MacKenzie, a former director of Glasgow Print Studio.

Glasgow School of Art Marmite Prize

26 Mar – 6 Apr, not 29 Mar, 5 Apr, 10:30am – 4:30pm, Free

Biennial open submission painting prize and touring exhibition that aims to showcase the best in contemporary painting from the UK and abroad. And has nothing to do with actual Marmite, FYI. In the Mackintosh Museum.

April 2013

Glasgow Sculpture Studios @ The Whisky Bond

Roger Billcliffe Gallery

27 Mar – 6 Apr, not 31 Mar, 1 Apr, 2 Apr, 11:00am – 5:00pm, Free

Award-winning Bulgarian jeweller Nikolay Sardamov exhibits a solo exhibition of his new jewellery design developments, using circles as components to build three dimensional forms using only six different circle sizes.

The Objects

Group exhibition identifying an area of interest among artists who have created ‘portraits’ or vignettes of inanimate objects using film and video, offering the viewer a different way of looking, examining and critiquing sculptural work.

Good Press WAR NEWS

26 Mar – 6 Apr, 11:00am – 7:00pm, Free

Extensive body of work from LA-based artists Cali and Jenna Thornhill DeWitt, using photography, collage, print, video and other ephemera in their gallery installation takeover – with many works being displayed for the first time.

Kendall Koppe Ella Kruglyanskaya

various dates between 29 Mar and 11 May, times vary, Free

Showcase collection of paintings from the Latvia-born, NYC-based artist, depicting women in unresolved, sometimes combative situations – marking her first solo exhibition in Europe.

Mary Mary

Alexis Marguerite Teplin: He, Ho, HA, hmmm…

26 Mar – 13 Apr, not 31 Mar, 1 Apr, 7 Apr, 8 Apr, 12:00pm – 6:00pm, Free

The California-born, Londonliving artist – best known for her abstract, visually-arresting paintings – takes over the gallery space with a new selection of solo paintings and sculptures.

Offshore

Michael Gallacher: Chasing Light, Dodging Shadows

5–19 Apr, times vary, Free

Glasgow-based music photographer Michael Gallacher displays a series of gig images, mostly taken in Glasgow over the last seven years.

Project Ability Big Skies

various dates between 26 Mar and 20 Apr, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Free

Scandinavian exchange showing works by artists from Finland, Norway and Sweden alongside a selection of Project Ability artists – all exploring themes of weather, its changeable nature, our fascination with it and its oft sublime beauty.

RGI Kelly Gallery

Anna King and Rebecca Sharp: Unmapped

26 Mar – 6 Apr, not 31 Mar, times vary, Free

Double-header exhibition from contemporary landscape painter Anna King and writer and interdisciplinary artist Rebecca Sharp, featuring paintings and poems investigating juxtaposition of absence and presence. The Conveners

11 Apr – 4 May, not 14 Apr, 21 Apr, 28 Apr, times vary, Free

Exhibition of work from RGI Conveners and Honorary Secretaries past and present, including works by Norman Kirkham, Christine McArthur, Gordon K Mitchell, Simon Laurie and Hazel Nagl.

Recoat Gallery Kirsty Whiten: Westend Bestiary

26 Mar – 7 Apr, not 1 Apr, 12:00pm – 6:00pm, Free

Selection of drawings, paintings, paste-ups and mural works from the Scottish painter and illustrator, taking in a selection of her halfhuman beasts of legend – from centaurs to buxom sphinxes.

Nikolay Sardamov: Intersections

26 Mar – 2 Apr, not 31 Mar, times vary, Free

Susan O’Byrne: Spring Collection

26 Mar – 20 Apr, not 31 Mar, 7 Apr, 14 Apr, times vary, Free

Irish-born ceramic artist Susan O’Byrne takes over the Roger Billcliffe window for a special spring display of her ceramic animal sculptures – including the cutest of little lambs. It must be spring!

SWG3

Mick Peter: Trademark Horizon

26 Mar – 27 Apr, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

New large scale installation work from the Glasgow-based artist, taking literature, the world of ‘commercial’, illustration and graphic design as the starting point to create something that plays with our imagination.

St Mungo Museum

Under Gods: Stories from the Soho Road various dates between 26 Mar and 27 Jul, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Free

Unique photograph project by artist Liz Hingley exploring everyday religious experiences of the different communities that live around a single road in Birmingham, home to people from more than 90 countries.

Street Level Photoworks

Willy Römer: Life in the City of Berlin (1919-1933)

various dates between 5 Apr and 19 May, times vary, Free

International touring exhibition of historic photographs by Berlin-based photojournalist Willy Römer, whose work is noted for documenting the tumultuous political events of his era, as well as everyday life in the streets of Berlin.

The Arches

Natalie Wilson: 3.9.25

26 Mar – 8 Apr, 12:00pm – 11:00pm, Free

The ECA graduate showcases a collection of new, predominantly 2D, works taking their inspiration from a collection of found photographs dating back to to the 20s and 30s.

The Common Guild

Carol Bove: The Foamy Saliva of a Horse

various dates between 20 Apr and 29 Jun, times vary, Free

Solo exhibition by New York-based artist Carol Bove – marking the first presentation of her work in Scotland – comprising of the re-arrangement of her acclaimed installation, The Foamy Saliva of a Horse, which was presented at the 54th Venice Biennale.

The Duchy

Ross Sinclair: I Tried to Give Up Drinking with Guitars instead of God

various dates between 29 Mar and 13 Apr, 12:00pm – 6:00pm, Free

A show about an album by Ross & The Realifers, for which Ross Sinclair will release a new LP he’s been working on over the past few years, accompanied by an exhibition reflecting the story of each of the songs in a visual and melodic reverie. Zara Idelson

26 Apr, 27 Apr, 3 May, 4 May, 10 May, times vary, Free

All-new selection of solo work from the London-based former GSA graduate, presenting new egg tempera paintings and ink drawings.

The Lighthouse

Critical Dialogues: Scotland + Venice 26 Mar – 10 Apr, times vary, Free

Resulting work of last year’s Scottish contribution to the Venice Biennale, showcasing projects from four practices that responded to the Biennale’s theme of ‘Common Ground’. Wim Crouwel: A Graphic Odyssey

12 Apr – 30 Jun, times vary, Free

Retrospective exhibition spanning Dutch graphic designer and typographer Wim Crouwel’s career – known for embracing a new modernity to produce typographic designs that captured the essence of the emerging computer/space age of the early 60s. AS 02: Review Gallery

9 Apr – 12 May, times vary, Free

Analogue Social stage a unique collaboration with The Lighthouse of works based around a single material – Paper – for which the Scottish design community was invited to interpret ‘paper’ in any way they choose, with the eight winners chosen to exhibit.

The Modern Institute @ Airds Lane William E. Jones

various dates between 28 Mar and 15 Jun, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, Free

The LA-based artist, filmmaker, photographer and writer takes to Aird’s Lane for his first major exhibition in Scotland – presenting a three-way film installation calling upon moments of political and cultural upheaval in America during his childhood.

The Virginia Gallery Wallflowers

various dates between 5 Apr and 3 May, times vary, Free

A showcase collection of botanical images by photographer Simon Robinson, shown alongside quirky observations from the perimeter by illustrator and printmaker Jenny Rose.

Tramway

Human Rights and Wrongs

26 Mar – 7 Apr, not 1 Apr, times vary, Free

Two-part exhibition juxtaposing ethereal images by Angela Caitlin with the real-life stories of ordinary people and their experiences of torture, poverty and discrimination, told via Billy Briggs’ accompanying text.

Jack McConville: Tutti Fertiti

29 Mar – 21 Apr, not 1 Apr, 8 Apr, 15 Apr, times vary, Free

The Edinburgh-born artist showcases a colourful series of paintings inspired by events mined from t’internet, musing the manipulative power of images and the way they often come to define the power relations at work within a wider social context. To Gypsyland

26 Apr – 19 May, not 29 Apr, 6 May, 13 May, times vary, Free

Project by Delaine Le Bas exploring ideas and myths of gypsies and travellers, featuring site-specific re-enacted performances presented as video and photographs, alongside archival material from the artist’s collection.

Transmission Gallery

Jennifer Moon: There is Nothing Left but Freedom various dates between 26 Mar and 27 Apr, 11:00am – 5:00pm, Free

The first UK exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer Moon, for which she’ll present an existing work – Phoenix Rising, Part 1: This Is Where I Learned Of Love – alongside a newly-commissioned photograph.

Veneer

Jonny Shaw: Figures

various dates between 26 Mar and 20 Apr, 12:00pm – 6:00pm, Free

Solo exhibition of photo-realist drawings from Glasgow-based artist Jonny Shaw, whose show also acts as the official opening exhibition for all-new contemporary west-end gallery on the block, Veneer.

Edinburgh Collective Gallery

New Work Scotland Programme: Shona Macnaughton and Tom Varly

5 Apr – 5 May, not 8 Apr, 15 Apr, 22 Apr, 29 Apr, times vary, Free

Double-header exhibition of allnew work from Shona Macnaughton and Tom Varly, as part of the New Work Scotland Programme – giving Scottish-based graduates their first significant project or commission.

Dovecot

Julie Brook: Made, Unmade

various dates between 26 Apr and 1 Jun, 10:30am – 5:30pm, Free

British artist Julie Brook displays her first solo work since the return from her travels in Libya and North West Namibia, taking in a series of document-style films, drawings and a specially-commissioned rug produced by Dovecot weaver Jonathan Cleaver.

Edinburgh Printmakers

Marilène Oliver: Confusao

various dates between 26 Mar and 11 May, 10:00am – 6:00pm, Free

Having worked for many years with medical imaging data to create sculptures and installations, Marilène Oliver showcases her first solo exhibition since moving to Sub Saharan Africa – taking in a new series of dark and haunting etchings.

Embassy Gallery Embassy: Residency Exchange

various dates between 12 Apr and 28 Apr, 12:00pm – 6:00pm, Free

Collaborating with Mexico Project Space in Leeds, Embassy Gallery play host to a specially-chosen Leeds artist, before sending a Scottish artist down to the Mexico Project Space come July.

Fruitmarket Gallery Massimo Bartolini

26 Mar – 14 Apr, times vary, Free

The Italian-born artist, known for his immersive and experiential work, presents a special work made outside of the studio in La strada di sotto – a field of coloured lights of the kind used during street celebrations in Sicily.

Gallery TEN

Alchemia: Alfons Bytautas

26 Mar – 21 Apr, not 1 Apr, 8 Apr, 15 Apr, times vary, Free

Selection of new works on paper by Selkirk-born artist Alfons Bytautas, created using imagination and the power of the unconscious to transform observations and memories. So says he.

Inverleith House Derek Roberts: Northern Paintings

26 Mar – 14 Apr, not 1 Apr, 8 Apr, 10:00am – 5:30pm, Free

Major exhibition of new and recent paintings by Scottish artist Derek Roberts, selected and installed by the artist for the seven rooms of Inverleith House – where they will be shown in natural light.

McEwan Hall ECA Fashion Show 2013

25–26 Apr, times vary, £15

The ECA’s Fashion, Performance Costume, and Textile graduating students host their annual run of shows, taking their alwaysinspired creations to a catwalk setting.

National Museum of Scotland Art From Iran

26 Mar – 28 Apr, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Free

A selection of highlights from the National Museum of Scotland’s collection of exquisite Iranian treasures spanning the 12th to the 21st century. Part of Edinburgh Iranian Festival.

Pisces 26 Mar – 14 Apr, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Free

New York-based artist Jason Hackenwerth takes up residency in the museum (23-29 March), weaving together hundreds of balloons into an intricate visual structure – which will then go on show for the duration of Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Out of the Blue Drill Hall Out of the Blue Arts Market

20 Apr, 11:00am – 5:00pm, 80p

A chance to buy unique art and crafts directly from the artist with over 45 artists and makers selling their wares, including a selection of fashion, textiles, jewellery, art and more. Place: Part 1

22–26 Apr, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Free

Part one of a two-part photography exhibition from the students at Napier University, with exhibitors exploring the themes of identity, time and place. Place: Part Two

29 Apr – 3 May, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Free

Two-part photography exhibition from the students at Napier University, with exhibitors exploring the themes of identity, time and place.

Royal Scottish Academy (RSA)

RSA New Contemporaries 2013

13 Apr – 8 May, times vary, £4 (£2)

Now in its fifth year, New Contemporaries offers up the pick of last year’s degree shows, with works from promising graduates in fine art and architecture jostling for attention in the grand neoclassical gallery. And we’ll pick our very own Skinny winner!

Scottish National Gallery Ink

26 Mar – 9 Jun, times vary, Free

Mini exhibition exploring the versatile drawing medium of ink, comprising 35 works from the Gallery’s world-class collection of artists – including Rembrandt, Tiepolo and Poussin – with a number of drawings being exhibited for the very first time.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art The Scottish Colourist Series: SJ Peploe

26 Mar – 23 Jun, 10:00am – 5:00pm, £7 (£5)

The second in the Scottish Colourist Series of exhibitions takes in a retrospective of Samuel John Peploe (1871-1935), the eldest of the four artists popularly known as The Scottish Colourists. From Death to Death and Other Small Tales

26 Mar – 8 Sep, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Free

Selected masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the D.Daskalopoulos Collection, taking in some 130 works that each highlight the significance of the body as a theme in 20th and 21st century art practice.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery Lucknow to Lahore

26 Mar – 7 Apr, times vary, Free

Series of photos by Scottish commercial photographer Fred Bremner spanning his travels in the Indian subcontinent from 1882 to 1922, exquisitely detailing the people and places of Imperial India. Tickling Jock

26 Mar – 25 May, times vary, Free

Photography showcase featuring key figures of 20th-century Scottish comedy, bringing together images of over 50 stars including Sir Harry Lauder, Rikki Fulton, Stanley Baxter, Ronnie Corbett and Billy Connolley.

Edith Tudor-Hart: In the Shadow of Tyranny

Paul Robertson: Periodic Tables and Other Science

26 Mar – 26 May, times vary, Free

27 Mar – 7 Apr, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

Migration Stories: Valentina Bonizzi

Talbot Rice Gallery

Retrospective showcase of the Austrian-British photographer, communist-sympathiser and Soviet Union spy – taking in black and white images of a politicallycharged interwar Vienna and penetrating imagery of children during the post-war years. 26 Mar – 22 Sep, times vary, Free

Digital artist Paul Robertson creates the illusion of scientific relationships, where Periodic Tables, molecules and DNA strands become vectors for a pseudo-scientific mapping of the worlds of celebrity, philosophy, art and music.

Drawn Away Together

Having lived in Scotland for eight years, Italian-born artist Valentina Bonizzi uses photography and video to create what she terms the ‘image document’, exploring migrant experiences from 1850 to today.

26 Mar – 4 May, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Free

26 Mar – 5 Jan, times vary, Free

Anthony Hatwell: Sculpture and Drawing

Minette: The Life and Letters of a Stuart Princess

The youngest sister of Charles II comes under the spotlight, with a mini exhibition centred around a full-length portrait of Henriette Anne (aka Minette) by the French artist Jean Nocret. The House of Annie Lennox

26 Mar – 30 Jun, times vary, Free

Curated in partnership with the V&A, Annie Lennox presents a three decade-spanning review of her work as a performer, singer/ songwriter, recording artist and political activist, taking in an array of photographs, videos and costumes.

Stills

Economy @ Stills

26 Mar – 21 Apr, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

Stills’ Social Documents programme concludes with a twovenue group exhibition examining the impact of the economy upon life, with Stills’ playing host to works by Tracy Emin, Andreas Gursky, Mitra Tabrizian and Paolo Woods, amongst others.

Summerhall

Agnieszka Polska: Sensitisation To Colour

26 Mar – 18 May, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

The Polish video and animation artist – known for using appropriation and found film footage in her work – presents a series of photography and sound installations, alongside a new in-situ work. Karen Lauke: Re/Sonant

26 Mar – 15 May, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

Composer, sound artist and sound designer Karen Lauke uses Summerhall’s former large mammal demonstration room (where cows and horses were dissected) as the setting and inspiration for a new series of site specific noisescapes. Jack Smith: The Beautiful Book

26 Mar – 18 May, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

Exhibition of influential late American filmmaker, actor and photographer Jack Smith’s one-and-only photographic book, The Beautiful Book, displaying a very rare first edition of the book alongside reproductions of all the pages. Graham Miller: 6% Down’s Syndrome – My Photographs, Their Words

26 Mar – 18 May, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

Graham Miller presents his documentary photography project – completed over two years in partnership with Down’s Syndrome Scotland – providing insight into the diagnosis, birth and experience of living with the condition. Flickering Lights

26 Mar – 18 May, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

Summerhall showcase a selection of looped films from a trio of British artists – David Bellingham, Maris and Rachel MacLean – with various loops being shown in different rooms across the venue.

Group exhibition featuring work by 11 different Scottish artists: Rachel Barron, Miranda Blennerhassett, Kevin Henderson, Paul Keir, Lorna Macintyre, Andrew Mackenzie, Jo Milne, Neil Nodzak, Malcolm O’Connell, Eric Schumacher and Alan Shipway. 26 Mar – 4 May, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Free

Talbot Rice play host to the first solo exhibition from Scottish sculptor Anthony Hatwell, containing a selection of works never (or rarely) seen before by public eyes.

Tent Gallery

The Clipperton Project: Conflict of Interest

26 Mar – 6 Apr, times vary, Free

View from the street-style exhibition by The Clipperton Project sculptor Charles Engebretsen, known for examining notions of isolation and man’s releationship with extreme environments. Part of Edinburgh International Science Festival.

The Old Ambulance Depot

Andrew Tough: Weird is Beautiful

26–28 Apr, times vary, Free

Mini exhibition from Glasgow School of Art graduate Andrew Tough, venturing through his inner thoughts as he evolves through dark ideas, hyper-real fixations and all-new takes on the landscape form.

The Scottish Gallery

Joanne Thompson: 12 Necklaces

3–27 Apr, not 7, 14, 21, times vary, Free

The ECA graduate showcases a new collection of twelve necklaces, each taking the simple form of the circle as their starting point. Michael Brennand Wood: Restored and Remixed

3–27 Apr, not 7, 14, 21, times vary, Free

Solo exhibition of work from revered textile artist Michael Brennand Wood, for which he’ll take a dip into the archive to present a selection of personal favorites and seldom seen works. Grant McCaig: (out of) Focus

3–27 Apr, not 7, 14, 21, times vary, Free

The Scottish-born metalwork artist showcases a new body of work acting as an investigation into the space around the finished object, inspired by a trip to research large scale metal casting in a foundry in Colombia. Joan Eardley

3–27 Apr, not 7, 14, 21, times vary, Free

Retrospective showcase of work from the Sussex-born artist timed to complement a new publication by Christopher Andreae – featuring works from Townhead to Catterline, and from studies abroad in France and Italy.

Julie Duffy: Coral Canyon

26 Mar – 18 May, 11:00am – 6:00pm, Free

First solo show from artist Julie Duffy since graduating from DJCAD in 2011, bringing together a sculptural new body of work exploring the poetics of how we engage with the space around us.

Listings

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Strange Daze

Philadelphian folk troubadour Kurt Vile waxes poetic on rock biographies, giving up drugs, and why loving your couch doesn’t make you a slacker

Interview: Sam Briggs Photography: Gemma Burke

W

hen born with a name like Kurt Vile, you’d assume his destiny as a star-spangled punk rocker would be a formality. That, or a career as a lauded super villain. Delving any deeper into the now-decade long musical exploits of this particular Philadelphian reveals a trajectory that might not quite reconcile with the pugnacious threat of his moniker. He revels more in a distillation of his myriad influences, channeling stateside guitar traditions into his inimitable brand of hypnotic, magnetic Americana. The Skinny catches up with Vile as he unwinds back home in the aftermath of a whirlwind UK press trip to promote Wakin’ on A Pretty Daze, his fifth solo album in as many years. Surrounded by what he calls the “beauty in the general urban decay” of his hometown, he strikes a witty, endearing presence, at once humble and amusing, and speaks with a sensitive awe about his progression from forklift driver to father, and introspective troubadour to international touring success. Vile initially entered the spotlight through his role in Pennsylvanian indie rockers The War on Drugs, but speaks of his occasional frustration at the lip service paid to it. “In the blogosphere people say I was a bigger part,” he explains, “but it was always Adam [Granduciel]’s thing. He’s involved in every one of my records bar the new one. He’s my favourite person of all time. But I just remember people started calling me Kurt Vile from The War on Drugs, when I had so many CD-Rs of my own, and I knew I couldn’t be in this band anymore. It didn’t bother me, it was just that the illusion was that I came out of this band. But my music was my own focus.” His friendship with Granduciel and their mutual influence is something Vile is keen to pay testament to, that without each other, “neither of us would be making the same music that we do today.” While he was paying the bills as a forklift driver, Vile’s DIY CD-Rs attracted the attention of the prolific Matador label in 2009. Critical acclaim

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and a cult fanbase was soon to follow, hallmarked by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, who described his second album of that year, Childish Prodigy, her “guilty pleasure. Guilty because I listen to it too much!” Vile is no stranger to the details of musical histories besides his own. A self-professed rock biography nut, he speaks with vigour about the musicians he idolises himself. “I can read into my own life, it just inspires me to keep making music. It’s the same effect for me as listening to music,” says Vile, “I just start idolising them even more.” He remains refreshingly humble when talking about his own career, and how he might be remembered in his own biography. “Things just aren’t as exciting as the 70s,” he jokes, “I feel like it would be a pretty boring book. I think there’s so much static in the air nowadays, but hopefully I’m still remembered and perceived with much love and respect. My career is still a bit young. I could still fall out, I could start sucking. Years would have to go by. The whole mystique of not having been there, you know? Things weren’t always as glamorous as they seem when they’re described by somebody.” In the context of his discography, Vile can be viewed as no stranger to nostalgia. His records feel filtered through the lens of an older age, as if the psychedelic haze of their delivery is inherently hued with reminiscence. Though he talks of being aware of his older influences, he resists that his music never “comes out retro. I still think it’s music of today, if not some hip style.” Similarly, his reverence for American folk greats is undermined by his insistence on having “a million influences all the time,” from his homeland or elsewhere; that “these things pound through your brain from constant consumption.” He elaborates on his recent shift in perspective: “Maybe for a while I was influenced by the loose idea of ‘Americana,’ you know, the heartland music… for a while, I had this idea that it was the purest, that the general idea came through osmosis into my

music, my own version of it.” Vile jokes about the music media’s portrayal of his persona as the wistful slacker, content on the couch: “They get really literal. It’s more that when you’re effected by some parts of the world that smush your brain and weigh down on you for a sec, and that it’s just in the moment. I think the way I write about that kind of stuff, like wanting to lay down, is because I’m never allowed to do that. It’s not like I’m making a million albums and touring all the time to prophesise – ‘we should all just be laying down.’” The misty melodies of his previous albums might suggest that their inspiration came from cannabis-induced reverie, but Vile maintains that the influence of the philosopher’s blend is currently negligible. “I’ve been anti myself smoking pot for the longest time, because I just get kind of... weird. I definitely won’t accomplish anything and just get really paranoid that people are laughing at me.”

“Things just aren’t as exciting as the seventies” Kurt Vile

Instead, it’s an entirely different seismic shift in Vile’s recent personal history that comes to bear on his current state as a songwriter. The mixing of his latest release was interrupted by the early arrival of a new addition to the Vile family, when he and his wife welcomed their second daughter into the world. As a result of his status as family man, Vile admits to having “all kinds of pressures with this record. My daughter had just been born, I had to better myself. Ultimately that pressure is a good thing, even if it does eventually kill me.” With two children to take care of, Vile

MUSIC

notes a change in his outlook. “It’s the opposite of looking back, I’m atching them move forward.” The video for latest single Never Run Away, distributed as an advert on a local Philly TV channel, is a three minute insight into the Vile living room, and the heartwarming affect his adorable daughters have on him. This lightening in mood is abundantly clear from the very cover of his new LP. Moving from the grit of the black and white introduction to 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo, Vile is now pictured in saturated colour against the clear blue sky. It’s an overall indication of the album’s feel; whereas previous records came soaked in a lo-fi smog, here we see Vile in a higher resolution, on a grander scale carried through to the closing bars of the album’s closer Goldtone. “I had these songs that dealt with more epic proportions,” describes Vile, “and I wanted to explore every kind of nook and cranny of space; filling every gap with a kind of hypnotic, pretty vibe. Once I stopped bobbing my head, I knew when a song wasn’t working. Lyrically, it’s very comfortable with itself, and very me.” Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze is a bold recording, one which sees Vile take another assured step towards staking out his own turf within the great heritage of classic American songwriting. Would he venture that it's the realisation of that cheeky confidence he has consistently offered snatches of throughout his career so far? “I go through being super confident, and then paranoid,” he replies. “I just aim towards what The Band did, where ego is always a good thing. It’s still just the idea of the early days – coming out swinging, and aspiring to be one of the greats. Making the ultimate pop song, making it totally unique, that’s always been something I aspire to. You change a little bit, the older you get…but I’m still the same guy.” Wakin on a Pretty Daze is released via Matador on 8 Apr. Kurt Vile plays Field Day at London’s Victoria Park on 25 May www.kurtvile.com

THE SKINNY


SAT APRIL 6TH

SAT APRIL 20TH

SAT MAY 4TH

HEIDI’S FIRST EVER EDINBURGH SHOW

MUSIKA’S CASTLE CLVB TAKEOVER

MUSIKA DOES EXIT 2013

FEAT.

FEAT.

FEAT.

HEIDI

BEN PEARCE (WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BENPEARCEMUSIC)

EWAN SMITH KIRK DOUGLAS

LAURIE NEIL KOTTIS (WEOWN) STEWART CLASON DICKIE DRYSDALE GAVIN MILLER (SYNDICATE)

THE LIQUIDROOM, VICTORIA STREET, EDINBURGH TIME: 10PM - 3AM EARLY BIRDS SOLD OUT / ADV TICKETS £15

CASTLE CLVB, QUEENSFERRY ST LANE, EDINBURGH TIME: 10PM - 3AM ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY £7

(RADIO 1)

WILDKATS (SANDEMAN & DICKIE)

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/EXIT.FESTIVAL

MAYA JANE COLES DUSKY LAURIE NEIL JAMIE MCKENZIE

THE LIQUIDROOM, VICTORIA STREET, EDINBURGH TIME: 10PM - 3AM EARLY BIRDS £15 (SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY)

FRIDAY APRIL 26TH – SASHA INVOLV3ER PARTY @ THE CAVES - SOLD OUT PRECLUB PARTY FOR ALL EVENTS @ BAR SOBA, HANOVER STREET FROM 8PM TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM: EDINBURGH: TICKET SCOTLAND / RIPPIN RECORDS GLASGOW: TICKET SCOTLAND, ARGYLE STREET. ONLINE: TICKETWEB.CO.UK / SKIDDLE.COM / RESIDENTADVISOR.NET

April 2013

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The Skinny April 2013  

The Skinny is Scotland's leading entertainment and listings magazine

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