magictgle hang-up?

As Celtic Connections celebrates all that is great about indigenous musics, it’s about time Scottish audiences got wise to what's on their own doorstep.

‘i.‘.’or'cls Stan Reeves

OK, so it's a Tuesday night and there rs a slight drizzle, but the gig was rn The List and it's about 50 yards from Edinburgh Castle. So why the empty pub7 Here I am listening to Simon Thoumrre and Kevrn McKenzie, by any standards two of Scotland’s most talented musicians If this pub was in Dublin it would be thick wrth folk, but here there are a couple of guys hanging on the bar and two middle-aged, middle Arriericans They can't believe their luck. Brilliant, last and Inventive music, reels tumbling out of jigs, flurrres of notes expanding the auld Scots tunes and the sharp, chopped jazzy chords surprising at every turn

’Don’t y0u people like Scots music here in Scotland7’ one of them asks, noticing the lack of punters. What can I say? How do you explain the twrsted, ambiguous, apathetic relationship we have wrth our own music7

I had a holiday in Spain. Woke up, put the telly on. the sound of GalaCra the Grata bagpipes at 10am A wake-up call to a 'Day for Santrago' All day the TV was full of traditional music from Santiago de Compostela. People were p0uring into the Crty for the fiesta and, that night, 100,000 jammed the square to watch a fireworks display that equalled anything at the Edinburgh FGSllVal.

The music, however, was of the place. Nae old ClaSSICS, nae insulting, colonrsrng 'Land Of Hope And Glory’, just GalaCrarn tunes on Galacran instruments, played as they had been over the past 1,000 years, Beefed up With bass and beats, this was the mu5rc of these people and they loved rt As the spectacle came to a climax, the Gratas were jorned by the great Highland bagpipes rn ’lvlurdo McKen2ie Of Torrrdon’.

The next night Martyn Bennett was top of the bill, playing to 10,000. Here, he can scarcely frll Edinburgh’s Belle Angele. Want to hear Shooglenrfty.7 Go to a stadium rn Sydney or the Shore Bar in Lerth. Any Friday night in Sandy Bells you can see musicrans who regularly fill huge audrtorra around the world


How do you explain the twisted, ambiguous, apathetic relationship we have with our own

Martyn Bennett plays to 10,000 abroad, so why not at home?

being rgnorecl by the punters

Balrrarn House in Inverness goes down the tubes, joining Aberdeen Alternative Festival, the Edinburgh Folk Festival and the Assembly Rooms cerlrdhs Meanwhile the Bongo Club hangs to good live music by the skin of its teeth We celebrate a new venue for 300 in Glasgow, just after a vrsrt by a Breton musician who plays the free 12,000-head open arr shows every Thursday on the docks in Brest.

It's not as if we have any shortage of acts Loads of people want to play the music, but we as a c'ornrrrunrty don’t have a notion of how to promote or celebrate it,

The meclra are mostly indifferent. I saw more well presented traditional music in a week On Galrcran Televrsron than I would see in a year on STV. The Scotsman (note the namei sacked its trad music reViewer, ex-Lrst writer Sue Wilson. After years of lobbying, arts funding rs trickling in at around 1%. Two or three local authorities are getting the message that supporting the indigenous musicians can have benefits The Tocirrst Board studies how traditional music could benefit trade and yet I have a row in a hotel in Aberdeen because the manager backs four punters who want to watch golf on TV and not 30 folkres who want to play a prearranged session

What rs gorng on? MusrCrans, get yer heads up. Jocks, get off yer knees. Funders, cast aside the king’s new clothes, Open yer ears. Get out. Get dancrn'. Give yourselves and the music, song and dance of this place some respect and you’ll get rt back a thousand fold.

:‘e Disagree? react@/ist. co. uk

The Pipeline Coming quite soon . . .

The Quotes

'I'll let her do the talking.’ Describing the most unlikely/clrsturbrnc; relatronshrp rn shoubr.‘_ Chris Evans rexeals that Billie wll be keeping hrnr guret If only he (l the! her years ago

’We had days where we played 48 holes.’

Will Smith proxes that he can be a method 'rrah \'~.'l‘rll(‘ (llsc ussrng hrs upcoming golf movie, The legend Of Baqger Vance 'All I’ve been doing is getting drunk and watching Watercolour Challenge.’

Anna Big Brother' Nolan takes a different career route from the media— whoring existence of her former flatmates

'It goes off in two ways: one is like broken machinery, the other is really fat and dark.’

Yup, you guessed rt, it's Thom Yorke clescrrbrng the forthcoming Radrohead album

'Hitler would have been proud of those nasty nationalists.’ Brlly Connolly continues hrs long-standing feud With the SNP and ex- buddy Sir Sean.

It's going to be a very busy year indeed for those intrepid folks at Glasgow’s Suspect Culture. Still, they’ll be finding time to get on their bikes and trek to Ireland with the opening performance of the Dublin Fringe Festival in the autumn. The project is a large-scale installation which will see lights and cranes filling the Fair City's skyline as a response to the boom in construction sites there. If you fancy taking the trip to see it, it’ll occur some time in the autumn and details on 00353 1 677 8439 . . . More large-scale projects ahead include the BBC’s The Lost World, an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's epic adventure about a bunch of explorers who discover prehistoric animals living on a plateau in South

“Rib: tonight Josephine. ya mook

3 THEUST 5-18 Jan 2001

America. If you can imagine a combination of the technical wizardry employed in Walking With Dinosaurs with the lavishness of a period drama, then you’ll be getting close to the feel of it. Telly-watchers should prepare to be amazed sometime in 2002 . . . On a somewhat smaller scale, but no less impressive will be the next project from

TV's finest drama scribe, Tony Marchant.

Having looked at attention deficit disorders with Kid In The Corner, insurance companies and their ways of making you pay in Never, Never and bitter old hags in Great Expectations, the Londoner is processing words to analyse the baddies in the pharmaceutical industry for a 2002 Channel 4 project . . . Hollywood

continues to plan more grandiose historical dramas for 2002 as Napoleon gets the big screen treatment in Betsy And The Emperor with Al Pacino playing the diminutive dictator . . . Smaller but no less intriguing is Buffalo Soldiers as Joaquin Phoenix removes his toga and grabs a hammer to star with Anna Paquin in this dark comedy set around the collapse of the Berlin wall . . . Distinctly in the past, but not quite so factual is Scooby 000 with Rhys Ifans believed to be earmarked for the role of Shaggy . . . The other big live action conversion is that of webbed wonder Spiderman, whose return to cinema has been much delayed. Tobey Maguire is getting set to don the red and blue suit.