that have brought ‘Caledonia’ (not that that’s not a masterpiece). Forget Runrig rousing ex-pats around the world when they blast out their ‘Going Home’, or the Proclaimers proclaiming things in the strained Leith vowels them international fame. Hearing those simple machine beats from the Cocteau Twins, and Elizabeth Fraser’s nonsense, gauzy and otherworldly vocals – it’s basically ‘proto- chillwave’ – Scots (and fans of Scotland) will often feel an urge to sing along, despite it being so obviously impossible.
Speaking of chillwave, Boards of Canada’s era-defining Warp release, Music Has the Right to Children (1998) should supply a good dose of woozy, ambient sounds. Mogwai’s Young Team (1997, Chemikal Underground) contains some enjoyable squally, post-rock outbursts from Glasgow and showcases Scotland expertly doing the loud, quiet, loud thing, (eg ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’, ‘Like Herod’). To finish, things can go one of two ways. Either inwardly looking, and tending towards miserablism – in which case, have a cry into your whisky with Arab Strap’s The Week Never Starts Round Here (1996, Chemikal Underground). Or else, try an upper in the form of Errors’ still fresh, dance inducing EP How Clean is Your Acid House? (2006, Rock Action). (Claire Sawers)
Virtually unknown until the late 1940s The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch (to give the full name of the painting more commonly known as The Skating Minister) is now something of a Scottish cultural icon. The image was created by Enlightenment portrait painter Henry Raeburn around 1790 and is said to have inspired Catalan architect Enric Miralles in creating the abstract ‘trigger panels’ that adorn the Scottish Parliament building. Charles Rennie Mackintosh may be the most famous artist to come out of the Dear Green Place, but his contemporaries, including his wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, produced equally outstanding, groundbreaking work. The gesso panel The White Rose and the Red Rose, which can be seen on display in Glasgow’s Hunterian Gallery, was created for a setting called ‘The Rose Boudoir’, which the Mackintoshes produced for a major international exhibition at Turin in 1902 and features delicate swirls and fine lines that were piped onto the plaster-like surface, like icing.
From book jackets to the celebrated murals in the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant, the work of artist and novelist Alasdair Gray can be viewed in diverse locations across his native city. The exhibition Alasdair Gray – City Recorder, which runs at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art until June 2012, focuses on the paintings, drawings and collages Gray created while working as ‘artist recorder’ for Glasgow in 1977, including Sweeney Todd Hairdressing Salon, St Vincent Place which recreates the busy city centre salon on paper from ink, watercolour and acrylic. (Allan Radcliffe)
MUSICI Tre a s u re (1984, 4AD) by the Cocteau Twins. Because when ‘Lorelei’ or ‘Ivo’ are playing, it’s hard not to feel a surge of hairs-on-arm- raising national pride about the Grangemouth origins of such a beautiful, essential dream-pop album. Forget listening to a lone piper deep in the heather, or ballads with thick Scottish accents. Forget Dougie Maclean pining for his
ST ANDREW’S DAY ST ANDREW’S DAY EVENTS
VISIT FOR FREE As part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals, the weekend before St Andrew’s Day will be enhanced with money-off deals for some of the nation’s key landmarks. You can get cheap or free entry to Glasgow Science Centre (check out the intriguingly named ‘Science in a Sporran’ event) and the Castle, Camera Obscura, Scotch Whisky Experience, Surgeons’ Hall Museum, Royal Botanic Gardens, Dungeon, Usher Hall and National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh (26–27 Nov, times, prices and restrictions vary, see bit.ly/VisitForFree).
CEILIDHS AND PARTIES
Glasgow is hosting five days of celebrations at George Square (26–30 Nov, prices and times vary. See glasgowlife.org.uk), starting off with the Shindig (26–27 Nov, free, times TBC). The family friendly ceilidh will also have an ice rink and a storytelling zone, plus a projection of a saltire onto the City Chambers. Round the corner at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, The Royal Scottish National Opera present A St Andrew’s Day Party with Phil and Aly (26 Nov, £12.50–£34, 7.30pm), a traditional musical event with help from the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland. For smaller folks, there’s the St Andrew’s Day Baby Ceilidh at Paisley Museum and Art Gallery (30 Nov, £2 per adult, 11am) welcoming toddlers and their family members who want to celebrate the national saint.
Edinburgh University Student Association is doing a double celebration in both The Venue and Teviot Row unions, including traditional grubbings and ceilidh activities (30 Nov, £5–£6, 8pm). The National Museum of Scotland will be hosting Live Music Now, with Michael Haywood and Laura Grim performing (26 Nov, free, 3.15pm).
OTHER EVENTS Outside the cities, The Saltire 2011 is a five day festival in East Lothian (25–30 Nov, times and prices vary, see eastlothian.org.uk/thesaltire2011), kicking off with a themed raced day at Musselburgh before a special Haddington Farmers’ Market (26 Nov) and a concert at St Andrew’s High Church (30 Nov). Edinburgh Castle will host the city’s official celebrations, with two days of fire and frost themed events (26–27 Nov, free, 11am). Elsewhere in Edinburgh, St Giles’ Cathedral will open its doors for a long evening of music and lighting (29 Nov, £3, 8pm). The 26 Treasures Project 2011 (30 Nov, free, 10am) also launches its Scottish leg on St Andrew’s Day, in which 26 writers have written about objects from the National Museum of Scotland with the results on display in the galleries until Burns Night. (Lauren Mayberry)
17 Nov–15 Dec 2011 THE LIST 31