Opinion: #jc4pm comes to Edinburgh

The List, February 9 2016

If your idea of a big night out is an evening with Mark Serwotka, John McDonnell and Charlotte Church then you’ve got a treat coming up. If it’s not (and who wouldn’t find the prospect of a heavy session with the general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Valleys’ favourite set of pipes totally amazing?), then bear with me. Edinburgh Festival Theatre, a venue not known for its pulling power with the bigger stars of the rock n’roll firmament, will be playing host in March to Jeremy Corbyn’s touring roadshow #JC4PM.

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Review: Plastic Animals “Pictures From The Blackout”

The List, February 8 2016

Translation is a slow and torturous process. Given a raw text, it takes painstaking concentration to go through line by line, word by word, and decipher the patterns and systems holding it altogether. There’s often no single point at which a gloss suddenly becomes a translation, no visible click of puzzle pieces fitting together to reveal a whole; rather a sense of increasing understanding about the invisible logic beyond the marks and curves on the paper in front of you.

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Review: Hanne Kolsto “While We Still Have Light”

The List, January 12 2015

Norway has real winters. It’s -6° on the streets of Oslo right now, and in Tromsø, the sun won’t rise again until the end of January. Those conditions are usually only cited as helping to produce two things; an excellent cross-country skiing scene and some very antisocial black metal bands. Well, all that time spent indoors has clearly helped Hanne Kolstø, the hardworking alt-pop songwriter who’s just released her fifth album in five years.

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Review: Tariverdiev “Film Music”

The List, December 1 2015

Back when St Petersburg was called Leningrad and film directors defected to escape censors, composer Mikael Tariverdiev was the Danny Elfman of his day. Spurred by a long-standing collaboration with director Mikhail Kalik, Tariverdiev scored some of the most popular Soviet films of the day, from Goodbye, Boys to rom-com Irony of Fate and the cult TV spy series Seventeen Moments of Spring – yet, until now, none of his music has been available in the West.

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Night at the Museum

Bdy_prts and Honeyblood made a lot of noise at a Victorian-themed night out at the National Museum of Scotland. Amongst the thaumotrope workshops, sketching stations and Victorian selfie booth, Bdy_prts appeared, dressed up in jumpsuits bearing the livery of the Swizzel Mattlow company and acting out dance routines. It worked; Bdy_prts sound like a rock band from the future, so it was fitting that they were staged alongside thousands of objects from the past.

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Sofar in Edinburgh

After missing out, for various reasons, on previous shows, I finally managed to score tickets for Sofar in Edinburgh. I’ve always been fan of Sofar’s ethos; secret bedroom gigs for the musically discerning, concerts held in close spaces far from the din and clatter of busy bars and pub back rooms. They don’t tell you the address or the names of any of the acts before you arrive, a policy which went some way to creating a sense of anticipation about the show.

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Review: Chvrches

The List, 25/09/2015

After capping an intense two-year campaign to conquer the known world with a post-tour sojourn in their Glasgow studio, Chvrches are back. Happily, they’re still plucking nuggets of gold from their particular seam of edgy, empowered electro, and from the evidence presented on the new album Every Open Eye, the band haven’t lost their penchant for aggressively catchy, smart pop music.

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Preview: The Pleasance Sessions

The List, 08/10/2015

This weekend sees the 2015 Pleasance Sessions kick off, featuring gigs from RM Hubbert,Withered Hand and PAWS.

Together with Nothing Ever Happens Here, the series of gigs staged at Summerhall’s renovated Dissection Hall, the Sessions are a key art of the campaign to stage more live music events outside of the August festival umbrella. Now in their third year, the Pleasance Sessions are hosted by Dusty Moose, Edinburgh University Student’s Association’s (EUSA) listings and events vehicle. I caught up with Rae Baker, events manager at Dusty Moose, to discuss the Sessions’ place in Edinburgh’s cultural calendar.

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