Review: Museum Late – Monkey Business

Entering the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland from below through 2011’s vaulted entrance, one is stuck by the grand old space’s verticality. For the latest Museum Late, Monkey Business, the effect is heightened – if you will – by the exhibitions of aerialism that bookend the night. Accompanying the primate exhibits that run until 23 April under the same name, the performance of aerial monkeying around strikes the right opening tone.

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Ian Rankin: Thirty is a much bigger deal – why don’t we do a festival?

On a pleasant Edinburgh day in mid-March, our Ricky Monahan Brown attended the launch for the first RebusFest, which is to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the first appearance of Ian Rankin’s iconic detective.

The sunlight pouring into the mezzanine level of Waterstone’s Princes Street didn’t feel quite right for a chat about John Rebus. Wouldn’t the Detective Inspector be happier tucked away in The Oxford Bar, a couple of blocks away? Fortunately, the basement of the bookshop offered a suitable compromise, and they were able to talk about the forthcoming festival.

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Review: Catholic Action

When the headliners take the stage at The Mash House, it’s already been a good night. Openers Spectacular Primate Disaster sound like a Livingston Mclusky, and if that makes sense to you, you need to check them out. During their best bits, support Whitehill Grove are all good hair, post-punk pop and angular guitar licks – like so much of the best Scottish pop. Then Catholic Action come on, and in kicking it up a notch make it clear why they’re being tipped as the next big thing, with a recent Maida Vale session behind them and a forthcoming BBC Introducing showcase spot at this year’s SXSW.

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REVIEW: The Edinburgh Quartet – EQ: Revolution!

The audience looks very much as one would expect at a string quartet recital. But a woman gets up from the front row as we wait for the Edinburgh Quartet to take their places, enters the performance space, and flicks a page of the night’s score. That might not fly at the Queen’s Hall, but we’re sitting in an unused unit at Ocean Terminal as the Quartet takes a revolutionary turn in the way it interacts with its audience.

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