into that live set; it sounded perfectly placed) and expect perfect CD sounds of the sort your mum would like. That, by the way, is not necessarily a Bad Thing.


In classical orchestral music, most of the attention tends to fall on composers, conductors and soloists, but the orchestra itself remains firmly at the core. A good orchestral leader should not only be a first-class violinist, but also have the ability to rally the troops and give direction to those around him. The ebullient, down-to-earth James Clark has done that and much more for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and

i the news that he had decided to stay

' with them rather than move to London last year was greeted with great jubilation. Clark and the SCO are now firmly in the centre of Scottish musical life, and likely to remain there. The violinist is also a member of the excellent contemporary chamber group, the Hebrides Ensemble.


Not everyone can claim to have been a cultural icon at the age of 22. But this Aberdeen farmer's son hit the British dance world in the early 80s like a dazzling explosion of fireworks, bringing a terrace mentality and a punk aesthetic to a traditionally stuffy setting. His Modern Masterpiece, which he brought to Tramway last summer. marked a welcome return to form after a complicated period of creative fatigue, personal reassessment and drug dependency. While the critical establishment may despair at the shock tactics he employs of bare-bummed

10 The List 12—25 February 1993

costumes, giant dildos and getting his Mum to cavort semi-naked, even they cannot resist being entranced by the

sheer brilliance of his dancing and his

increasingly mature choreography.

Joint curran '; A playright with a long association with the Traverse Theatre, Clifford has

Eiiafi.u‘£n-$1i~s¢ « Bar A.

in recent years started to pull in commissions from all over Britain including the National Theatre and the BBC. As well as his original works Losing Venice, Lucy's Play, Ines de Castro, Light in the Village Clifford is

a frequent translator of Spanish Golden E

Age plays and an adaptor of novels including Great Expectations. Despite

an occasional tendency towards woolly

liberalism, his plays at their best are well-made dramas with big, ambitious, humanitarian ideas. A collaboration with Craig Armstrong on an opera, Anna, will be seen at this year's Edinburgh Festival.


The Big Man’s profile in his homeland waxes and wanes, but his popularity seems to remain untainted. Highlights of recent years were his starring role in Tutti Frutti (you will believe a fat man can woo Emma Thompson) and his witty stage adaptation of Dario Fo‘s Mistero Bszo. Less impressive have been a succession of roles in knockabout comedy movies, not all'of which have made it over to this side of the Atlantic. Nuns On The Run sadly did. 1993 sees him polish up his Dr Johnson for a two-handed film with John Sessions, plus a trek across the States in a large (very large) automobile. He recently signed up to

i ' play psychological profiler 'Fitz‘ for Granada Television.

CALLUM COLVIN ! Initially a student of painting at Duncan ! of Jordanstone College in Dundee. Colvin moved to sculpture and then to photography. All three elements are _ combined in his current works unique installations in which all manner of junk objects are incorporated into a complex three-dimensional ‘painting', which is then photographed by Colvin. The objects usually bits of kitsch are carefully chosen for their symbolic significance, so that the end product can be read on various levels. Recurring Scottish objects include kilt- clad Action Men and cans of McEwan’s beer, and a constant theme seems to be men‘s fantasies and heroes.

STEPHEN CONROY Born in Helensburgh in l964, Conroy won first prize for painting at the Royal Academy‘s British Institute Fund Awards in 1986 and he was quickly hailed as the new prodigy of British art. His claustrophobic images are painted in a classical style remniscent of Degas and Seurat, but they evoke a bizarre world of Edwardian repression. In the last two years Conroy’s work has seemed to change direction, drawing inspiration from Goya, Velazquez and Bacon, and his talent has been the subject of mounting controversy. A recent exhibition at Marlborough Fine An prompted critic David Lee to suggest that ‘his marketing boys have led us to believe he is capable of more than he serves up'.

ALAN CUMMING He made his mark as one half of Kelvinside thespian double-act Victor

and Barry, and gained his serious stage reputation with starring roles in Great Expectations. Conquest of the South Pole and other late-80$ small-scale theatre hits. Before long he was landing plum roles at the National Theatre, winning the Olivier Award for Comedy Performance of the Year in Accidental Death of an Anarchist, starring on the big screen in films including Prague. and opposite Lenny Henry on the telly. Having worked himself silly on the stage over the past couple of years, he has resolved to concentrate on the less manic pace of film and TV in future.


Pressure of work means that Phil Cunningham has had to withdraw from a headlining concert at April's Edinburgh Folk Festival with his celtic/jazz/funk session band Na Seoid. Since joining his fiddler brother Johnny in world-travelling Scots music group Silly Wizard, multi-instrumentalist Phil continues to re-defme the art of what's possible on the accordian, and still tours regularly with Aly Bain. Now writing and composing in his Highland studio, Phil is heard a lot on screen (part of the sound track of Last of the Mohicans), and tube (Talia a Bhaile. the Hogmana)‘ Show etc) as an album producer (Dolores Keane, Capercaillie, Wolfstone) and is currently working with Roger Daltry and the Chieftains.


Currie's early works were galvanizing, political treatises, painted in the style 0 the Socialist muralists of the l930s. Particularly well-known is the eight- pan mural, commissioned by the People‘s Palace, which gives a potted history of Scotland’s working-class struggle. But in 1988 Currie toured Eastern Europe and, profoundly disillusioned with Soviet socialism, experienced a ‘painful, philosophical crisis'. His art took an entirely new anc to many eyes, very pessimistic change of direction. Recent works are inspired by the bleak 19th century literature of Russian and French writers and by the fear and poverty he witnessed in Eastern Europe.

l a

With Fellow Hoodlwns, their third album proper, Deacon Blue clawed back some credibility, shying away from the cloying sincerity that characterised their earlier work. Now, with the drafting in of clubwise producers Oakenfold and Osbourne for the forthcoming Whatever You Say, Say? Nothing, the re-evaluation goes one step further and Deacon Blue are predictably getting it in the neck. ‘Cynical bandwagonesque behaviour . . Deacon Blue do U2-style rebinh . . .’ Which is fair dos to an extent, although these dancemeisters will never negate Ross’s deft songwriting touches. Those ‘woo woo woo's’ seem a long way off now.