Book: How Winston Delivered Christmas by Alex T Smith
Illustrator and writer, Alex T Smith, has conjured up the warmest, most heartfelt and giving of books you are likely to see this season in this advent-style delight, How Winston Delivered Christmas. Packed with Christmas gift ideas, recipes, and Christmas songs, this book is more than just a story, it would turn even the most Scrooge-bah humbug types. How Winston Delivered Christmas will light up many homes this Winter, and not just those with small people in them.
Album: Adam Stafford
Falkirk has some interesting creative exports if we consider it’s arts scene. Adam Stafford is no exception as his music touches upon the likes of Steve Reich, Ingram Marshall and Meredith Monk, but also rekindles my own personal enjoyment of Mike Oldfield’s building and layering. Releasing his new LP, Fire Behind The Curtain, an eight year labour of love, and significance, a documentation of a mental health struggle, this LP is frenetic, mystical, discordant and yet melodic at moments.
Gig: Young Fathers
If you meander through the internet searching Young Fathers and Glasgow’s Barrowlands certain words come up like “massive,” “gig of the year” and “amazing” and seeing the band in Glasgow’s top notch venue, I can conceive why. Young Fathers, formed in Edinburgh and with recent release, Cocoa Sugar, out, were on top form at this gig in rival city, Glasgow. in fact, they contentiously exclaimed, “I know we’re from Edinburgh, but tonight we’re not,” psyching up this diverse, energised crowd, adorning both beanies and pork pie hats. There was a bonding admiration for the four on stage, as they ploughed through their albums, focussing on their most obvious release.
Theatre: Hymns For Robots
It really is true what they say about the Fringe in that some of the best shows you will see you go into blindly. Having randomly opted for something that screamed out the words “electronic music”, “Doctor Who” and “Hymns for Robots” curiosity got the better of me and I think the Fringe is the one time of year where the cat does not get killed. Or certainly shouldn’t.
Somewhat of an obtuse piece using binary digital and analogue music to culminate a show that dedicated it’s time to Delia Derbyshire, best known for her time with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and her much adored and now populist electronic theme for Doctor Who.
Gig: Meursault’s 10th Anniversary Show
So, Meursault just celebrated ten years since their first album release, Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing with Tongues. On this ‘Small Stretch of Land’ we call Scotland, why the f**k, have more folk not heard of this outstanding home-grown talent!?
Performing to a packed crowd at Edinburgh’s Summerhall, supported by an ensemble of local talent, Neil Pennycook’s poetic story-telling, weaves a mesmerizing mesh of electronic folk rock, cast over a captivated crowd.
Leith band, Eagleowl, kicked the evening off, silencing the room with their melodies whilst the last few patches of floor space were claimed. Clarissa on bass, Malcolm on violin, warmly accompanying Bart Owl’s distinctive, velvety vocals, likened to Elvis Costello and Van Morrison. Eagleowl are a staple on the Edinburgh gig circuit, growing in popularity, this talented trio produce some beautiful music. Often accompanying other local acts such as Withered Hand or Kid Canaveral. Eagleowl are well worth a listen.
After a brief intermission, Pennycook humbly took his place on stage; the crowd applauded his appearance, nostalgically swaying, eagerly awaiting the magic of Pennycooks’ art. The evening plays witness to him switching smoothly between instruments, accompanying his instantly-recognizable vocals.