68 James Robertson author

Having caused a Splash with his ambitious debut The Fanatic a few years back. James Robertson cemented his reputation as a writer of rollicking historical page-turners with the innovative Joseph Knight. This fascinating re-imagining of late- 1 8th century Scotland is based on the real- life struggle of ‘Joseph Knight. a negro of Africa' to Win his freedom from his master John Wedderburn of Ballindean. In the novel. Robertson casts his not across Scots fauna. class and dialect. even including cameo appearances from James Boswell and Dr Johnson. while creating a powerful meditation on imperialism and its aftermath. (BD)

67 Biiry Clyro

rock band

The best things come in threes. and Biffy Clyro know it. Following in the footsteps of other blistering trios (Nirvana. the Jam, the Police). the Ayshire threesome spent the last 12 months t0uring relentlessly in support of their jaw-dropping sophomore record, The Vertigo of Bliss. and turning themselves from indie wannabes into the next big UK rock outfit to explode. 2003 has seen Top 40 singles. a sell-out show at Glasgow Barrowland and humungous support gigs With the likes of Limp Bizkit and the godfather of metal himself. O/zy. And it's only going to get bigger and better. (DJ)


18 THE LIST ll Dec 9903 B Jar‘. 700“.

66 David Mark Thompson

theatre director, writer

Having returned to Scotland from the RSC some years back. Thompson set ab0ut entertaining audiences with a style that is clever and accessible. After a successful spell at the unjustly closed Brunton. a new position as the artistic director of the Royal Lyceum has created a showcase for his obvious abilities. A superb adaptation of Guy De Maupassant in his Pleasure and Pain at the Citizens added to his already well-documented abilities as a writer. A promising Julius Caesar as season opener augurs well. (SC)

65 Ashley Page

artistic director of Scottish Ballet Former Royal Ballet bey. Page arrived at Scottish Ballet in September 2002. He's taken a scythe to the ailing company. sorting out the wheat from the chaff and recruiting a host of new dance talent. After the unpleasantness of 2001. when artistic director Robert North was unceremoniously shown the door. Page has re-invigorated Scottish Ballet. Morale is high. exciting new works have been purchased. and Page himself is soon to unveil his dark new take on The Nutcracker. (KA)

64 Garry Walker


He has yet to hit 30. but Walker has achieved more than most musicians manage in a lifetime. One of the most versatile and intuitive conductors of his generation. Edinburgh-born Walker is equally at home conducting a children's classic concert as he is Mahler's fifth. Already musical director of the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra. principal conductor of the Paragon Ensemble and permanent guest conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. in September 2003 Walker was appointed principal guest conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. a position afforded plenty of prestige. (KA)

63 Arab Strap

indie rock band This year they mao'e the album they've always threatened to do since

they crawled out of Falkirk in 1996. Monday at the Hug and Pint was brilliant. taking the morose nu-beat poetry of Aidan Moffat and the simple songwriting of Malcolm Middleton and adding a maturity and an expansive

sound they'd previously orin hinted at.

They've got their live shit together too. blending rave comedown beats with a string section and a full-on rock band to create a sound that nobody else can touch right now. (DJ)

62 Tony Carter


Observational stand-up took a battering at this year's Fringe (what. no 803 soft rock pastiches?) and Will Andrews took full advantage of the tumultuous climate. His New Deal/jobseeking Geordie character. Tony Carter. invented as a quasi- postmodern ploy to recycle binned gags. found favour with the alternative Tap Water Award panel. The new

resident co-host of the Liquid Room's weekly smut-fest. Snatch Social. Andrews also dabbles in filmmaking and scriptwriting. Not overly lucratively. though. as he was investigated by the DSS followuig his admission in The List that. like his comic creation. he regularly signs on. Now that's suffering for your art. (Mb)

61 Ali Jarvis

gay rights campaigner

Ali Jarvis is the Scottish representative of Stonewall and has been a presence thrOughout the year. taking on many challenges including the fight for (IlVll partnerships. She has also helped set up Beyond Barriers. which conducted the first major research into the provision of lesbian and gay health services in Scotland. This has Culrninated in the report ‘Towards a Healthier LGBT'. produced Wlih the Scottish Executive. Jan/is alxvvays has her finger on the pulse while still maintaining her sense of humour. (JH)

60 Martyn Bennett

traditional musician

Martyn Bennett was a leading light in the fusion of Scottish traditional music with the beats-and samples ethos of club culture. His ground—breaking Bothy Culture disc in 199 /' suggested much more to come. But his life was disrupted by cancer. and an ongonig battle against the disease has resulted in his withdrawal from playing. Happily. he has continuet‘l to create music using the studio as his instrument. His latest project. Grit. combines old recordings of songs and stories from the Gaelic and traveller traditions with his sampling and sonic manipulations. (KM)