Nero complex

I presume that the new National Arts and Media Strategy outlined in last issue’s Agenda will include a whole chapter on fiddling in front of the

smouldering ruins of contemporary

Scottish venues. Grants will be available for those wishing to Strip the Willow over the remains of the Third Eye Centre or Dash their White Sergeants on the ashes of the Fruitmarket Gallery.

In an unfortunate choice of words, Gail Boardman described the new Charter, or Strategy, or whatever it will be called as a ‘skeleton’ for organisations to put some muscles on. Surely the Scottish Arts Council has several skeletons of their own in the closet in terms of underfunded, undervalued and abandoned venues. Sheena Robertson Lawrence Street Glasgow

Style iunky

I’m tickled pink that Alan Davie, as reported by Andrew Gibbon Williams (The List 167), was given the ‘licence to let rip with the gesturalism which came so naturally to him.’ One should always let rip with one’s gesturalism I say.

And I’m absolutely gobsmacked that Davie devoted himself ‘to a wholehearted improvisational symbolism lifting potent shapes from Egyptian hieroglyphs and American petroglyphs, organising them very much in the manner ofde Chirico.’ Where would we be without the manner of de Chirico?

But all of these achievements pale into insignificance against The List’s obvious, deep-rooted determination to lift art out of the elitist cocoon it occupies and bring it back into the public domain. See you in pseud’s corner.

Colin Bartie Marchmont Crescent Edinburgh.

Scratch or snitt

Vinyl or CD; what’ll it be? I don’t prefer one or other, I’m just a music


Since CD arrived, people have said ‘CDs? Ha! No’ for me, son.’ What happened? Last year, only three per cent of albums sold were 12in black plastic.

‘They’ve stopped making vinyl, so how can I buy it?’ Rubbish. I only need one hand to count the major albums not released on vinyl last year. CD and tape only policy is so far kept for multi-artist compilations and greatest hits packages.

‘But I can’t afford a CD player.’ Well, a half decent turntable which will accurately interpret what’s in the groove will set you back upwards of three hundred quid. An equivalent quality CD player can be had for around one hundred and fifty.

‘CD prices are falsely inflated.’ Of course they are. So is everything else. Virtually nothing in the market is worth the asking price, is it? (except maybe The List).

Granted, classical music has ‘suffered’ at the hands ofCD. However, 99.9 per cent ofclassical recordings are now made digitally. Why make a digital recording then transfer it onto a sonically inferior analogue sound carrier? Most musicians will tell you they’d rather you heard the fruits of their labour as

it was intended.

‘Cassettes are of abysmal quality’. That’s why they out-sell every other format put together four to one? (Thank you Mr Walkman). DCC (Digital compact cassette) is here soon and will clean up tapes where CD cleaned up vinyl. Praise the Lord.

No one seems to point out that CD5 use less oil and paper to produce and package than vinyl, and although they (CDs) are far from

indestructible, the very act of playing I

Fed up with the over-indulgence of Retro TV? Or do you welcome the return of old favourites? Ranting at Ravenscraig or relieved over Rosyth? The opinions are yours. The best letter each issue wins a bottle of Jose Cuervo Tequila.

them does no harm, and so should last forever if treated properly. I’d call that good value for money.

Face the music; Vinyl technology peaked ages ago. It’s been around for about fifty years. Equestrians said the car would never be a success. Radiophiles ridiculed television as a non starter. No one ever thought the telephone would wipe the floor with the Royal Mail.

Vinyl will be here for loads more years. Just more specialised.

Chris McKinnie Almond Road Cumbernauld.

Funny business

Something struck me as pretty odd about the spread of photos along the bottom of your article about Scottish comedians (The List 166). Ofthe fourteen smiling, smirking, sniggering faces, only two were not men and one of those was Norman Lovett‘s dog. And the remaining one? Karen Koren not a comedian at all, but a ‘comedy entrepreneur’! If this is a true reflection of Scotland’s comedy talent, then we are an impoverished nation. Yes, the men may be very funny (though there’s several I personally can’t see the attraction of), but without a similar complement of women, we are only getting half the picture.

I was going to blame The List for being sexist, but the only names I could think of myselfwere the Alexander Sisters and Elaine C. Smith (and she seems to be more an actor), although I’m no expert on stand-up comedy. So where are Scotland’s female comedians? Women are just as funny as men (and frankly a lot of men who think they’re funny are not), so what’s

stopping more women taking to the stage? Scottish male comedians may be matching their English counterparts joke-for-joke, but we won‘t win the comedy championships until we have our own answer to French and Saunders, Victoria Wood and . . . damn it, the English have got no female comics either!

Cathy McKay,

Hyndland Street



d\ .v.

There are a few more comic women than that out there in funny land,

Cathy, but have a bottle ofthe Jose C uervo at any rate.

Reed between the lines

Part of the reason I buy The List is to be aware of the forthcoming events. Why was there no mention in your Christmas-January issue (165) of Lou Reed’s concert? By the time you told us in your last issue the event was sold out. (I phoned for a ticket on the day of publication).

Thomas Paisley

Swan Road


Because it had not been announced until after we published. Not being versed in the clairvoyant’s art, our wonderful Rock Editor was hardly in a position to forecast the gig.

Address your letters to:

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We will not print your full address or phone number, but you must include them. Long letters may be cut. The best letter next issue will win a bottle ofJose Cuervo Tequila.


(MSI’! at The List's guide to Human Guinea Pigs. (il(i(il.lz’.’ as Sam Neil (left) stars in Death in Brunswick. Sll.-ll\'l:’.' to the radical electro-grunge of The Young (Rods. (.‘lllz'lz’R! as the (‘itizens' 'l’heatre goes Inultiple\.

ALI. 'I'IIIS I’LL'S.’ a special List New iew of Barton Fink . . .

llol) lloskins and Jeff (ioldhlum together on the big screen . . . Ry (‘ooder heads a new band . . . hundreds take to the stage at Theatre \Vorkshop . . . and much. much more.

72 The List 31 J anuary- 13 February 1992

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