DEHIID THE SCENES CONT
was insured for 34 million pounds.‘ grins Robin, ‘1 think they wanted us to be extra careful.‘ ‘But our only problems,‘ Scotty points out, ‘were the carpenter‘s vertigo and Caroline‘s fear of birds.‘
Caroline pales at the memory. ‘I don’t mind heights or aerial shells exploding around me — but pigeons’. Yuck!‘
For the past five years this enclave of SYT have been operating independently as Scotland‘s only pyrotechnic specialists, scouring the land for tin cans and driftwood to create outdoor extravaganzas which add sparkle to arty bashes all over Scotland. They‘ve constructed fire sculptures (including a 30ft high pyramid at the Garden Festival); sculpted bonfires (Dunbar Harbour was host to a huge octopus with moving tentacles and exploding head) and they've frightened the wits out of Livingstone children with animated ghosts and ghoulies in Howden Park at Halloween.
All express a fascination with fire but Scotty alone possesses a pyromaniacal problem.
‘Before I got into the theatre I wanted to be a fireman — but they wouldn‘t have me,‘ he sobs. ‘Now I‘m a qualified arsonist.‘ he beams, with a disconcerting mad glint in his eye.
Life as a ‘qualified arsonist‘ may sound dangerous but safety is always paramount; they‘re proud that not a single person has ever been injured at any oftheir events.
‘We have a quiet respect for fire.‘ says Scotty firmly. ‘Fire is only frightening if it gets out ofcontrol,‘ Caroline agrees. ‘We always work in co-operation with the Fire Brigade,‘ adds Robin.
Working together in tight-knit projects they have become a respectful and familiar team. ‘Scotty‘s had lots ofexperience with fire — he tried to burn his nursery down‘, explains Caroline. ‘Eh?‘ queries Scotty. ‘I do all the work and Scotty gets the fish suppers‘, Robin confides.
They don‘t wish to be thought of as a fireworks display team and their adventurous aspirations are increasingly rewarded by imaginative commissions. A glowing future seems assured and opportunities are booming for 1990; including projects planned for the festive jamboree Big Noise, TAG‘s monumental epic City and dubious ‘industrial experimentalists‘ Test Department. Meanwhile they have to return to the City Chambers roof to dismantle their equipment - a perfect photo opportunity?
‘Great idea‘, enthuses Scotty. ‘We‘ll put fireworks on our helmets.‘
‘We can‘t stick fireworks on top of our heads!‘ wail his aghast partners.
‘Course we can,‘ he retorts, nonplussed. ‘I had one in my Christmans Pudding.‘
I leave them pondering the logic of his reply and contemplating the next job and the pleasures of seeing all their hard work go up in smoke. Such is the transience of art. (Sara Villiers)
66 The List 26 January - 8 February 1990
Loon Furry-I Glasgow’s choice.
‘ O O :
Wizards ofthe Wok
The best guide to eating in foreign restaurants is to seek advice from natives ofthe country. We asked Chinese restaurateurs for their recommendations; there were two clear favourites.
I The Loon Fung 417 Sauchiehall Street, 332 1240. The Loon Fung is somehow different from most other Chinese restaurants in Glasgow. The decor is rather bland with green walls and table-cloths. Near the entrance a huge fish tank is home for overgrown, ugly goldfish which thankfully do not appear on the menu. Chinese lanterns illuminate ornate wall decorations depicting fighting dragons. Proud owners of an Egon Ronay seal of approval, it‘s the haunt of many Chinese people, its community centre atmosphere emphasised by a job vacancy board in the reception area.
This is one restaurant which will be celebrating Chinese New Year. Manager Andrew Wong will be busy making sure most of his Chinese diners are happy and well fed with dishes ranging from Wun Tun Soup, which includes prawns and meat wrapped in pastry, to Chow Mein Rice Stick and sizzling dishes of fried rice and fish. Andrew Wong seems
proud that his restaurant is so popular with Chinese people. however he would probably go out for an Italian meal if the occasion arose, Reluctant [0
recommend another Chinese restaurant, he eventually opted for Ho Wong.
I H0 Wong 82 York Street, 221 3550. The Ho Wong is a tastefully decorated and predictably dark Cantonese restaurant with an air of sophistication and grandeur. The entrance leads into a plush elegant cocktail bar. reminiscent of hotel reception, where you can relax with a drink in deep, comfortable leather chairs. The smells ofChinese spices prompt a preview of the expensive menu - Dim Sum. Satay dishes and Bird‘s Nest delicacies of king prawns surrounded by shredded, marinated and deep fried yam. The manager. David Wong, like most other restaurateurs, expresses deep pride and loyalty to his restaurant though he recommends the Loon Fung as a possible alternative. ‘The Loon Fung would be a good restaurant to go for Chinese New Year. Many Chinese go there and it has a lively Chinese atmosphere.‘
I The Peking Inn 191 Hope Street, 332 7120. A cosy but lively restaurant with tranquil
HanryTse. manager“ amboo Edinburgh’s choice.
SCCHCSOf China on the walls. The restaurant‘s menu welcomes its dear valued customers preparing them for a short wait between courses. Manager Gerry Wan considers that ‘Colour. aroma, taste and the way that food is displayed on the dish is very important when eating Chinese food.‘ His menu contains a spicy mixture of Pekinese and Cantonese cuisine. Specialities range from braised scallops. Kung Po roast duck. a marinated mixture ofduck. green pepper, onion. cashew nuts and chilli. and the famous Sze Chuen hot and sweet dishes. subtly flavoured with ground bean sauce. leek and garlic. However only the restaurant‘s staff and friends will be enjoying these delicacies on the 27th as the chef has refused to work over New Year! He will. no doubt. be painting the city red with famin and friends. Gerry Wan on the other band would recommend a night out at Loon Fung — if he got the chance. I Jlmmy Hos l781ngram Street. 552 0488. Recently opened. Jimmy Hos serves Cantonese and Pekinese cuisine. It has room for about 60 diners. You can absorb the lively atmosphere over a drink at the bar. The menu is the creation ofchef John Yau. Specialities include crispy Peking Duck and Cantonese spare ribs which he says are popular. The restaurant is favoured more by Westerners than by the Chinese. ‘Chinese people like Dim Sum, a pastry delicacy which we do not serve, mainly because it is difficult and time-consuming to make,‘ confides John Yau. Whether you are after Peking duck or Dim Sum you won‘t be able to get it at Jimmy Hos over Chinese New Year as it will be closed. ‘We need to go home and rest. Most of as worked over Christmas and New Year,‘ remarks John Yau. He recommends a night out at the Loon Fung.