Review: Pictish Trail – NEHH, Summerhall

Pictish Trail nailed it once again, this time at Edinburgh’s old veterinary college and now hip arts venue, Summerhall, performing to a crowd of fans during the mad month of the Festivals. Supported by Edinburgh stalwarts and good-time rockers, Kid Canaveral, Pictish Trail, adorned in his best glitter and pastel pinks, stunned the crowd with yet another beaming set before treating the fans to an after-party DJ battle.

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Review: Blanck Mass – NEHH, Summerhall

“Is that what you call leaving feedback?” were my companion’s final pun-tastic words on the evening, as we walked out of Summerhall and into what I felt was civilisation. UK-based electronic artist and one half of Fuck Buttons. Blanck Mass is Benjamin John Power, and along with support from Anxiety, created precisely that as we were subjected to a multi-layered wall of noise for a few hours, as my claustrophobic tendencies rose.

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Review: Solar Bones by Mike McCormack

Winner of the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize, Solar Bones is Mike McCormack’s third novel, which inspired by James Joyce, speaks of a time in Ireland, specifically County Mayo, that has a contemporary feel. Now that comes in the structure and style, as we are faced with what seems a Joycean stream of consciousness prose, corresponding to the last moments of thought, reflection, philosophical contemplation for Marcus Conway.

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Review: I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

The Edinburgh Bookshop in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, is hosting an event with Maggie O’Farrell at Summerhall to discuss her new work, I Am I Am I Am, title taken from the Sylvia Plath novel, The Bell Jar. After reading the memoir, it’s expected that O’Farrell’s event will sell out, in much the same way that the one in Charlotte Square did. It’s an astounding read, an affecting page-turner that often feels delicate and personal, concluding with tears shed.

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Review: Spring Garden by Shibasaki Tomoka

After the success of her last novel A Day on the Planet, which was adapted into a film, Shibasaki Tomoka is back with the novella Spring Garden, which excretes little in the way of emotion, affection or concern about its characters. With little in the way of narrative or plot, Spring Garden is very much a self-consciously Japanese work about Japanese architecture which incorporates characters that seem almost two dimensional, adding an unintentional element of Ghibli to this somewhat mundane yet short story. 

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