SACRED PAWS Rachel Aggs and Eilidh Rodgers – 2017 Scottish Album of the Year Award winners – returned with Run Around the Sun. Released on Mogwai’s Rock Action label, it consolidated their skill for dreamy indie-pop anthems with a subtle West African influence. (DP)
KATHRYN JOSEPH After winning the Scottish Album of the Year Award in 2015 and creating the soundtrack to Cora Bissett’s Room, the singer-songwriter’s follow-up album was anxiously anticipated. Thankfully, From When I Wake the Want Is was recognised with another SAY nom nod. (KG)
JAMES YORKSTON After the success of his collaborations with Jon Thorne and Suhail Yusuf Khan, James Yorkston returned as a solo artist with The Route to the
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Harmonium. The Tae Sup Wi’ a Fifer series, which Yorkston hosts and programmes at Kirkcaldy’s Adam Smith Theatre, is consistently one of Scotland’s most interesting nights out. (CA)
MATTHEW WHITESIDE Composer and sound designer Matthew Whiteside capped a busy year of commissions and collaborations with his second album Entangled, a collection of string quartets. As director of The Night With . . . , Whiteside helps bring new music to informal spaces across Scotland. (SS)
SEAN SHIBE Blending old Scottish lute tunes with the likes of Steve Reich’s ‘Electric Counterpoint’, Sean Shibe’s Scottish Album of the Year-longlisted softLOUD is a beautiful and inventive merging of acoustic and electric guitar. This rich and eclectic fusion proves exactly why he’s
considered a rising star in both the classical and contemporary worlds. (AQ)
T H I S M U S T B E T H E P L A C E
Murray Robertson takes a look at unique venues we love across the country
Formerly the veterinary school of Edinburgh University, Summerhall is a network of halls, galleries and lecture theatres that form a warren of fascinating spaces. As well as a year-round centre for the arts, it has firmly established itself as one of the Fringe’s most significant venues. For more than two decades, The Stand has been hosting comedy every night from its cosy wee basement off Edinburgh’s Queen Street, its famously tiny stage hosting some of the biggest names in stand-up. A relative newcomer to the capital’s comedy scene, Monkey Barrel has quickly established itself as a serious contender for week-round hilarity in a characterful Old Town setting.
Stills has been a vital champion of photographic art since 1977 but its position in the Old Town is under threat
after the council elected to hike its rent over the next five years. As the number of live music venues in Edinburgh further dwindles, Leith Depot’s position on the scene is vital. A recent second stay of execution has secured short-term survival, although its landlord developer is determined to demolish the block on which it stands.
Another much-loved music venue, Dundee’s Reading Rooms sadly closed after 17 years following pressure from the council’s licensing board, a situation not dissimilar to the fate that befell Glasgow’s Arches in 2015.
Elsewhere, the city’s
booming cultural renaissance continues: the DCA celebrated its first two decades, while Dundee Rep commemorated 80 years of entertaining audiences. Up in Stornoway, An Lanntair is flourishing, with a diverse programme of entertainment year-round in its stunning harbourside surroundings.
Dundee Contemporary Arts
Over in Glasgow, Glad Café opened in 2012 and is a thriving community centre, music venue and café (as suggested in the name) all rolled into one award-winning space. The Sub Club remains a nirvana for electronic music aficionados, more than three decades since it first opened. The Art School offers support for art and music, with profits invested into student projects, while in the Southside, Tramway continues to champion the arts inside its unique building.
In the Merchant City,
The Tron remains one of Scotland’s leading mid-scale producing and presenting theatres. So central is the CCA to Glasgow’s cultural scene, that not even two devastating fires at its Glasgow School of Art neighbour could bring it down. This arts hub is a constantly bubbling cauldron of creativity, as well as being home to a number of the country’s smaller cultural and artistic organisations.
1 Nov 2019–31 Jan 2020 THE LIST 31