200th ISSUE FEATURE THE “ST
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THE STORY of Suzi Kettles and Danny McGlone‘s unlikely love affair. gut and guttural meets glamour and grace, had an extraordinary effect when it was first shown on BBC in March I987. John Byme had written and produced a near perfect television series. He had shown that you could mix popular music and everyday life without resorting to the tricks of Dennis Potter. While Potteresque mime shows became merely more tools of the advertising trade. it took the combined talents of Dick Clement. Ian La Frenais. Alan Parker and Roddy Doyle with Tlte Commitments to come close to achieving what Byrne had seemingly conjured out ofthe blue. Katy Murphy, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Wilson and Oscar superstar. Emma Thompson never looked back. But Tutti Frutti was also exceptional because, despite its Scottishness. many of its greatest fans came from the south. They relished the humour, the music and the performances, even if as Michael Grade admitted. halfofthem couldn‘t follow the dialogue. Tutti Fruttt'. months before Glasgow's Year of Culture had even been heard of. defined a new mood. Wherever you were in Britain. it was becoming increasingly clear that Scotland was the cultural powerhouse. lllgel Blllen, co-founder and joint Editor of The List until issue 91, now Assistant Editor of Scotland on Sunday.
SEVERAL CITIES (including London) had bid for the British premiere of Peter Brook‘s The Mahabharata, but it was Glasgow that won. tempting the brilliant. charismatic director back to Britain for the first time in ten years. For those who saw The Mahabharata, it was an unforgettable. inspiring experience - a whole day spent in the company of a master story-teller. whose dazzling use of simple vrsual imagery drew gasps from the audience. In terms of theatre, the occasion put the national spotlight on Glasgow; it marked the launch of the vast Tramway as one of scotland’s most exciting venues, and the beginning of a fruitful association with Brook. who has subsequently brought many other productions to Glasgow. For those of us who work in theatre journalism, it was one ofthe highlights of our lives.
Sarah Hamming. one of the team that launched The List.joint Editor until issue 93. now resident Theatre Critic on The Independent.
THE MAHABHABATA ,
IT WAS my first ‘overseas assignment'. ie 20 hours in Hamburg to report on the Brith GoffTest Dept show Gododdt'n before it came to Glasgow in I989. And I had learned the local lingo for ‘Can I have a receipt?‘ — there’s nothing like that to make you feel like a pro. Gndoddt'n was held in a piece ofempty ground next to an arts centre called the Kampnagel. and it blew me away. What I was watching seemed less like a theatre piece than an attempt to harness the power of folk ritual — perhaps even inaugurate one. The production values. too. were endlessly imaginative. I saw it again in the Tramway and it was still great. with resonances that had been lost on the German audience. but I missed the moonlit sky and sheer scale of the Karnpnagel. (I‘d almost never made it back, anyway. Frantic hustling to change pounds into marks so that I could pay for a taxi back to the airport. Returned to Scotland with a princely £2. Close thing.)
Alastair Mabbott. one of the team that launched The List, Rock Editor for all 200 issues. Assistant Editor issues 141—1 81. now also freelance writer.
JOCK TAMSON’S BAIRNS ‘
GLASGOW’S YEAR of Culture brought a dazzling selection of theatrical wonders to Scotland. but the abstract. intuitive appeal of Communicado‘s summation of the Scottish psyche set the standard when it opened in January I990. Directed by Gerry Mulgrew with a script wrestled out from somewhere between Burns' 'lam ()‘S/tanter and playwright LII. Lochhead. Jae/r 'Iamsnn 's Bairns took over Tramway with fourteen actors. ten musicians and the large- scale paintings of Keith McIntyre. It was an intense. captivating and mesrneric experience: in its sadness. in its humour. in its song. movement and visuals. it was a thrilling expression of life‘s vigorous contradictions. It was also an assertion, if assertion was needed. that Scottish theatre could cut it at an international standard.
Mark Fisher. Theatre Editor of The List since issue 93. Assistant Editor issues l4l—l92. now also Managing Editor of Theatre Sent/and magazine and freelance writer.
THE BIG DAY
IT WAS free, therefore Glasgow loved it. The biggest music event of Glasgow‘s cultural year could have featured The Completely Unknowns and The Aspiring Hopefuls at the Dog and Sporran and still the population would have turned out in force. Sunday 3 June I990 saw a myriad of Scottish bands and performers. plus several Celtic and ethnic cousins take to a number of stages round the city centre. Deacon Blue headlined on Glasgow Green. Wet Wet Wet headed the troops in George Square. where punters took to the trees and statues for premium vantage points, Michael Stipe (eek! we're not worthy!) put in an enigmatic guest performance at the Customs HOUse Quay Bandstand. and who could forget the triumphant homecoming of wee Sheena, ex-patriate queen of Caledonia — a barrage of booing greeting Ms Easton‘s arrival on stage?
Fiona Shepherd. Glasgow Rock Editor since issue 124. now also a researcher on Scottish Television‘s NB.
THE LIS'I‘S 200 issues have witnessed a remarkable
I growth of Scottish jazz, including the launch of the
5 Glasgow Jazz Festival. In that time. almost every
i majorjazz artist still working has played here, a
} situation which looked impossible in the mid-80s. As
I a critic who hears upwards of 250jazz. classical and
; folk concerts every year. even big names can get a little routine. which is why my outstanding memory
is the first ever visit of ()rnette Coleman to a packed
and celebratory Queen's Hall in Edinburgh on 27
i April I992. ()nly John Coltrane was as crucial as
()rnette in shaping my initial love of contemporary
lIjazz, and I will never forget the sense of sheer
; excitement and anticipation as Prime Time launched into the first tune. and the saxophonist made a
suitably dramatic entry. That visceral thrill. and the
; corruscating set which followed. reminded me
‘ exactly why I do the job I love to do. and made up for
; any amount of more mundane occasions — including
‘ less atmosphericalIy-charged Coleman concerts in
; Kenny Mathleson, Jazz Editor since issue I I3 and
widely-published freelance writer.
E IN I985. more people associated Kelman with
mayonnaise than literature. But there he is in The
List‘s first issue. facially hirsute in his Sunday best snapped at Shawheld dog track at the launch of his ; novel A Chaneer. It was the idea of Polygon. his
§ publisher. to unleash the book in such auspicious
, surroundings. While James Kelman merged with the
punters. we gladhanders sipped vinegar. nibbled
sausage rolls and ccept shirt buttons as down payments. I left. skint as a wean‘s knee. in company with Jim Seaton of The Scotsman, who carried what i I've come to regard as the only currency worth bothering about — a taxi chit. Kelman. I gather. had a ; rather better run for his money. Alan Taylor. one of the team that launched The List. } Books Editor for issues l-l l l, Editor for issues l l2— I 22. now Features Editor on Sent/and on
The List 7—2l).\1a_v 1993 9