Review: Lyle Christine – Duff Steer

Cards on the table: I am a friend of this artist’s mother-in-law. If that bothers you read no further. Regardless of your opinion on my journalistic integrity, I would urge you to give this album a listen anyway. Because it’s very good. And it’s also refreshingly funny. Now read on…

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Review: Imaginary Tricks – Skommel

A magpie, we are told, will steal anything that attracts its eye, and take it back to adorn its nest. Imaginary Tricks do that too, collecting and assembling components in ways that no one would anticipate, to create something beautiful. Their new album Skommel is a delightful pick’n’mix of influences and noises, which constantly remind the listener of other artists, and also combine to create something unique and rather wonderful.

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Review: The Long Drop by Denise Mina

Peter Manuel was Scotland’s first convicted serial killer, hanged in 1958 for the brutal murders of teenager Isabelle Cooke, three members of the Watt family, and three of the Smart family. He was a lifelong criminal who committed his first rape when he was twelve years old. Manuel’s horrifying crimes are well documented but Denise Mina’s haunting The Long Drop has taken a different approach, using the Manuel case to tell the story of a city in transition. 

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Review: Salt & Fire, Glasgow Film Festival

Werner Herzog’s reputation perhaps owes more to his adventurous approach to film making than to his actual output. Whether making feature films or his excellent documentaries, he has repeatedly risked life and limb (and not just his own) to create work that is sometimes frustrating but always beautiful. Salt & Fire, which received its UK premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival, is no exception.

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Review: DC Thomson

Dundee is known for the three J’s – Jam, Jute and Journalism, but I’ll make the case for a fourth: Joy.

From the 1940s until the 2000’s, the Dandy and Beano comics were must reads for British kids. The publisher DC Thomson backed them up with a host of more gender specific titles such as Bunty, Jackie, Commando and in Scotland, The Broons and Oor Wullie. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of these joyful and much beloved creations DC Thomson have given six Scottish artists access to their archive and commissioned them to produce artistic responses. There isn’t much joy in it.

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