New venue sets Edinb

The dearth of regular big name gigs in Edinburgh could finally be a thing of the past with the opening of a new live music venue in December. The Corn Exchange, situated on Newmarket Road in the west of the city, opens it doors on Tuesday 7 December with a concert

by Blur.

The capacity of the venue is yet to be confirmed, but is estimated to be over 2000. Flexibility comes in the shape of a moveable backdrop, which will shift forward to accommodate smaller crowds of 200—300 people upwards. The new venue will house four bars, a concourse and four smaller soundproofed rooms, which will hold shows simultaneously with those in the main hall - a feature which will come into play when the venue hosts the Edinburgh Blues Festival

next summer.

Dave Corbett, a spokesman for DF Concerts, the promoters of the Blur concert, is delighted at the prospect of the new concert venue. ’Edinburgh desperately needed a place like this and we welcome its opening,’ he says. ’It gives us, as promoters, more

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Blur: singled out for the Corn Exchange

options and gives bands the chance to play more north of the border. It’s unlikely that the Corn Exchange will have any negative effect on gigs in Glasgow. There is sufficient population to justify another venue of that size in Scotland.’

Mark Mackie, a director of Regular Music who are

promoting two Travis gigs at the venue on 20 and 21 December, is equally happy with the new venture. ‘Certain bands want to play both cities,’ he points out. ’People like Primal Scream will want to play both, where before they didn’t have the opportunity.’

The Corn Exchange’s manager, Paul De Marco also plays down fears of splitting audiences. ’We are in no way competing with the Barrowland,’ he says. ’For the first time, bands will be able to come 'to Scotland and

play both Edinburgh and Glasgow.’

The Barrowland’s management take the same view. ’It could work to our advantage,’ reckons Stan Riddet, company secretary for the Glasgow venue. ’This may even attract more bands up to Scotland, but it’s too early to tell at the moment.’ (Mark Robertson)

Dave Pearce: Millennium anthems

The countdown has begun to Glasgow’s biggest ever Hogmanay

20 THE UST 4—1 8 Nov 1999

party. Over 100,000 revellers are expected for Out Of This World, a night of dance music, street theatre, performance art and firework displays spread over the city centre.

In George Square (Arena 1), an as- yet-unnamed headliner will top a bill featuring four other bands playing pop, Celtic crossover, salsa jazz and sing-along anthems. The King Street Car Park (Arena 2) plays host to the Radio 1 Dance Party, with DJ Dave Pearce taking clubbers into the 21st century. Various themed stages in the Merchant City (Arena 3) feature underground dance, world music, trash

-cei|idh and hip hop. Street theatre

performances take place throughout the evening, and the event climaxes with the Bank of Scotland Midnight Fireworks.

No tickets are necessary for the Merchant City events, but free tickets

Glasgow Hogmanay heads Out Of This World

are required in advance for Arenas 1 and 2. A second allocation of these will be released on Tue 23 Nov in George Square from 10am—6pm, until tickets last. More information is available on the BT Scotland Hogmanay Infoline (0141 552 5599).

Meanwhile, the full programme for Edinburgh's Millennium Hogmanay is due to be revealed on Thu 11 Nov, although the call is already out for volunteers to take part in the biggest open air theatre production ever staged in the UK. Several of France's major street theatre companies are collaborating on a specific project for Edinburgh, and are looking for locals to participate in performances on Tue 28 and Wed 29 Dec. Four workshops will take place during November, and anyone interested should contact Carrie Hutcheon at Unique Events on

(5131 524 5604. (Alan Morrison)


Short and to the point

TICKETS ARE NOW on sale for Celtic Connections, the world’s first major festival of the new Millennium. Confirmed artists include The Silencers (Old Fruitmarket, 14 Jan), La Bottine Souriante (Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 15 Jan), Arlo Guthrie (GRCH, 18 Jan), Kate Rusby (Tron, 20 Jan) and Iris DeMent (GRCH, 29 Jan).

The programme of Celtic music from across the world has expanded to include more of Glasgow’s venues than before. Scottish and Irish writers, including Edwin Morgan and Christopher Brookmyre, will take part in readings at Waterstone's, while newly commissioned work will premiere in some of Glasgow's churches and cathedrals.

Celtic Connections 2000, now enjoying a three-year sponsorship deal with financial services'group Clerical Medical, runs from Tue 11-Sun 30 Jan. Tickets are available from 0141 287 5511 (subject to service charge) or in person from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Call 0141 353 4137 for information on all events.

THE SCOTLAND V ENGLAND Euro crunch game has nothing on an upcoming charity football match which pits a Brit collective against the Scots at Brentford Football Club in London. Trainspotting stars Robert Carlyle, .lonny Lee Miller and Ewen Bremner have promised to turn out, along with Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill), Nick Moran (Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels) and John Gordon Sinclair (Gregory’s Girl) in a fundraiser for drug rehabilitation and prevention project Calton Athletic. Putting on the boots from the world of literature are Irvine Welsh, Nick Hornby and Alex Garland.

The match continues the association between production company Figment Films and Calton Athletic, which began during the making of the mega-hit film. 'The work Calton do is incredibly important and we wanted more people to be aware of how essential their work is,’ says director Danny Boyle. The game kicks off at 1pm on Sun 14 Nov; gates open at noon, and entrance is free.

Team spirit: Trainspotting stars come out to play