Stranger Than Fiction: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Documentary Maker Lou McLoughlan…


The latest podcast has Ali talking to director and cinematographer Lou McLoughlan. We could pretend that it has been perfectly timed to coincide with the first week of this year’s Glasgow Film Festival, but in all honesty it’s an interview we’ve been trying to organise ever since watching Lou’s fantastic feature documentary 16 Years Till Summer, one of the best films of 2016.

You can read the Scots Whay Hae! review here, and see the trailer at 16-years-till-summerthe foot of this post, but it’s worth listening to the director talk about the making of it first as it will add to the viewing experience, and spoilers are carefully avoided.

The two also talk about the practicalities and difficulties of making documentaries, and then with getting them to an audience, particularly a Scottish one.

There is also chat about Scottish storytelling, the Highlands and Islands as a ‘seductive space’, the importance of music to a film, how filming real life will always offer up the unexpected, and much, much more.

It was recorded in Glasgow’s Project Cafe (without Ian to keep a professional ear on such things), which means there is quite a bit of “ambient noise”, particularly at the very beginning, but hopefully not enough to affect your enjoyment of what is a must listen for anyone involved with, or interested in, film and film-making.

There is plenty other film related content elsewhere on SWH! at the moment, including our preview of Glasgow Film Festival 2017 and an interview with another Scottish documentary maker, David Graham Scott,  and there will be further interviews and reviews throughout the festival’s run.

If you aren’t yet a subscriber to the SWH! podcast you can do so, (or simply listen) at iTunes or by RSS. You can also download it by clicking on the relevant link to the right of this post, or, if you want it right here, right now, you can listen on


..or on YouTube:

And, as promised, here is the trailer for 16 Years Till Summer:

With another podcast already in the bag, we know it’s going to be good, and we’ll hopefully see back here for that very soon…

For Jean: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Catherine Czerkawska About The Jewel & Jean Armour…


Jewel_Cover-HighresFor the latest edition of our now annual Burnscasts, Ali and Ian travelled to the Bard’s own country in South Ayrshire to talk to the writer Catherine Czerkawska about her latest novel, ‘The Jewel’. It’s a historical novel which examines Robert Burns’ relationship with his wife, Jean Armour, and does so from Jean’s point of view.

It’s a fascinating book which looks at a story rarely told, and Catherine talks in detail about how she approached the not inconsiderable task of getting to know more about Jean and Robert’s family life, and to try and get Jean’s ‘voice’.

As well as historical research Catherine went to Burns’ poetry, songs and letters to get a better sense of their relationship, and her publisher, Saraband Books, have also published an accompanying collection of the relevant ForJean_cvrwritings.

Taking the above as a starting point, what follows is an hour of fascinating chat which touches on the reality of family life rather than on the mythology which surrounded, and continues to attach itself to, Burns. Catherine also talks about her previous novels and why history appeals to her as a writer of fiction.

But if that’s not enough for you there’s also a little bit of poetry and song. It is Burns Night after all. You can also find out more about Catherine Czerkawska and her writing at A Writer’s Life, and by following her on Twitter.

If you aren’t yet a subscriber to the SWH! podcast you can do so, (or simply listen) at iTunes or by RSS. You can also download it by clicking on the relevant link to the right of this post, or, if you want it right here, right now, you can listen on


..or on YouTube:

For your Burns Night needs, you can still find all you require at the BBC’s exhaustive online resource.

The podcasts are coming thick and fast this year, so watch out for our next one appearing in your inbox some time soon. In the meantime, happy Burns Night, and sae the Lord be thankit…

Last Night, They Said: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Last Night From Glasgow…



Mark W. Georgsson: The Ballad Of The Nearly Man

In our first podcast of 2017, Ali talks to Ian Smith and Murray Easton, two of the founding members of record label Last Night From Glasgow.

Starting with their first release, Mark W. Georgsson’s single ‘The Ballad Of The Nearly Man’, they went on to give us some of the best records of 2016 from the likes of Emme Woods, Stephen Solo, Teen Canteen, Be Charlotte and BooHooHoo.

Along the way they have built up a loyal and faithful following all of whom who are made to feel part of the ever-growing LNFG family.


Emme Woods: I Don’t Drink To Forget

They have done so by approaching the music business with new ideas, and some old ideas presented in a new way, and Ian and Murray discuss these in detail, and how they put them into practice.

It’s a fascinating chat which will be of interest to those involved in all areas of culture as they offer thoughts on how, in an ever changing and increasingly on-line world, the arts, and specifically music, can be supported and promoted.


Stephen Solo: Pii

What comes across is a passion bordering on obsession, but combined with a professionalism and determination which means that there’s is a success story which is looking long term and shows no signs of slowing.

But, if that isn’t enough for you, there’s also some music to boot with an exclusive play of ‘Stay’ from Mark W. Georgsson’s forthcoming debut album, and trust me that it is worth listening out for.


Teen Canteen: Say It All With A Kiss

If you aren’t yet a subscriber to the SWH! podcast you can do so, (or simply listen) at iTunes or by RSS. You can also download it by clicking on the relevant link to the right of this post, or, if you want it right here, right now, you can listen on


..or on YouTube:


Be Charlotte: Machines That Breathe


BooHooHoo: DebutHooHoo

We’ll actually be back sooner than you think with our Burnscast 2017, so see you back here soon…

Scots Whay Hae!’s Alternative Hogmanay Night In, 2016…

Once again Montgomery Scott raises a glass to see out the old year and ring in the new and that means it’s time for Scots Whay Hae!’s annual selection of New Year’s Eve treats. It’s an alternative to the Hogmanay telly, so if there’s little you fancy on the box this might be more to your liking.

There’s audio, video, music, comedy, documentary, drama, and more involving some of our favourite folk, including The Blue Nile, Robbie Coltrane, John Byrne, David Hayman, Ette, Peter Ross, The Primevals, and Lomond Campbell. That’s quite a lot to get through, so without further ado….

Perhaps the least surprising recommendation to regular readers will be journalist Ken Sweeney’s documentary on The Blue Nile (which he talked about in detail to the Glasgowist). He starts at the band’s very beginning, and tries to understand why, with a mere four albums to their name in 20 years, they are so beloved by some, yet unheard of or ignored by others. If you are in the latter camp and would like to know more about them then I can recommend Allan Brown’s Nileism: The Strange Course Of The Blue Nilebut not before you listen to the following – and, more importantly, their music. It just may change your life:

Continue reading

That Was The Year That Was: It’s The Best Of 2016 Podcast – Part Two (Music)…


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year From Scots Whay Hae!

In this, Part II of our end of year podcast Ali, Chris and Wesley concentrate on the best music of 2016, both recorded and live. Even our sound-guru, Ian, chips in. It’s been a cracking year for new music. As you may suspect, we start with the best from Scotland before beginning a wide-ranging discussion as to what has been on offer from elsewhere.

As well as our personal choices we talk about the rise of rise of indie record labels and how important they have become. Names such as Olive Grove Records, Song, by Toad, Errant Media and Last Night From Glasgow are home to a lot of the music and musicians under discussion, which sort of makes our point for us. There is some annual Kanye chat, a tribute to Bowie, and we name Teen Canteen and Ette singer/songwriter Carla J. Easton as our Woman Of The Year for being involved in not one, but two of the best records of 2016. If you want to hear a lot of the music that we talk about, there is a Scots Whay Hay Best of 2016 Spotify Playlist.

In case you missed it, Part I looked back at film and books from the last 12 months, and you can still hear that now, as well as indulge yourself in our extensive back catalogue of over 70 podcasts.

If you aren’t yet a subscriber to the SWH! podcast you can do so, (or simply listen) at iTunes or by RSS. You can also download it by clicking on the relevant link to the right of this post, or, if you want it right here, right now, you can listen on SoundCloud

..or on YouTube:

And that’s all from us in terms of podcasts for the year, although we are crossing the ‘t’s and dotting the ‘i’s on a few exciting ones for the new year. Before then there will be our alternative Hogmanay Hootenanny which will offer something different from the usual TV fare. All the best from Ian, Ali, Chris & Wesley. God bless us, everyone…

That Was The Year That Was: It’s The Best Of 2016 Podcast – Part One…


Three Men & Some Books

For our end of year podcast, Ali and Ian were once again joined by irregular podcast guest and resident film expert Chris Ward and Scottish music man manager Wesley Shearer. As the coffee flowed so did the chat and in the end we ran well over the two hour mark, so we’ve decided to split the podcast into two parts.

This is Part I, where we concentrate on the films and books of 2016, and give you recommendations about the best of both. We also talk about the marketing of movies, why films and buffets don’t mix, the career of Isabelle Hupert, the importance of independent publishers, the welcome return of Alasdair Gray, James Kelman at 70 and much, much more.  We also name Booker shortlisted writer Graeme Macrae Burnet as our Man Of The Year. All that in just over an hour.

Part II will concentrate on all things musical, and will be in your inbox by Christmas Eve. Think of it as an early Christmas pressie – perfect for wrapping last-minute gifts to.

If you aren’t yet a subscriber to the SWH! podcast you can do so, (or simply listen) at iTunes or by RSS where there’s a sizeable back catalogue waiting for your listening pleasure.

You can also download it by clicking on the relevant link to the right of this post, or, if you want it right here, right now, you can listen on SoundCloud

..or on YouTube:

We hope you enjoyed that and I’ll see you back here soon for Part II…

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out: *A Review Of Iain Maloney’s The Waves Burns Bright…

ezeod21rWriting about real life in fiction is fraught with danger, but when the background to your book is a notorious disaster then an author not only has to be sure of themselves and how they are going to approach it, they must do so with conviction. Research and point of view is vital if you are not to be accused of disrespect or worse, and even then you have to be prepared for unfounded opprobrium such as James Robertson had with the reaction from some to his writing the 2013 novel The Professor of Truth. Not to the book itself, but simply the writing of it.

Iain Maloney risks similar strong reaction to his latest novel The Waves Burn Bright which has 1988’s Piper Alpha North Sea oil platform disaster as its major event. Maloney is obviously well aware of the duty of care he has to all involved and this shows in his writing which is never sensationalist, and which clearly has the backing of rigorous research. This approach stands him in good stead as Maloney takes on more than one controversial and emotive subject. Continue reading

Creative Industry: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To David F. Ross…

david-rossIn the latest podcast Ali talks to writer David F. Ross ostensibly about his novels The Last Days Of Disco and The Rise & Fall Of The Miraculous Vespas and the forthcoming The Man Who Loved Islands, but the conversation veers off in many interesting directions.

They discuss the motivation behind this relatively new career as a writer, what inspired him to set his novels in Kilmarnock, the importance of remaining true to people and places, the golden years of mobile discos, the central importance of music in his work, architecture, and morality – and I don’t mean the 1981 OMD album.

All writers take different paths, but some are more different than others and it’s fair to say that David’s is unique. Any one who is interested in writing will find what he has to say on the subject fascinating. But there is something for everyone here, including tips for any budding DJs, a mutual love-in about Postcard Records, and the importance of creative subjects in education. Social, political, cultural, and artistic – all those boxes are ticked in this podcast. Continue reading

All Whyte On The Night: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Ross & Alasdair Whyte…


In the latest podcast Ali and Ian are joined by musicians Ross and Alasdair Whyte who, under the moniker WHYTE, have collaborated on the excellent album Fairich. What’s it like? It’s brilliant, but for a more considered explanation you’ll have to listen to the podcast, which not only has the word from the horses’ mouths, but also features an exclusive play of two tracks…at least we’re claiming it as such.


For regular listeners Ross will be a familiar voice as he has been a guest previously, appearing alongside Alasdair Roberts live from Braemar. It seems he finds collaborating with Alasdairs fulfilling, and Fairich suggests this is a strategy which works as it is a wonderfully evocative collection of Gaelic traditional songs sung by singer/songwriter Alasdair and backed by Ross’s ambient electronica. The term ‘Gaelictronica’ is mentioned, to a mixed reception, but in this case I think it works as a useful description of the music they have made. The two also discuss how, as well as the what and why, and for anyone interested in the making of music and the nature of collaboration this podcast is a must. Continue reading

Transatlantic Session: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Kevin Brown About Songs For Scotland 2…

cwkyjtixzem1xxdiss76For our latest podcast we go transatlantic with Ali talking to Kevin Brown, producer and the driving force behind, Songs For Scotland 2. Even if you’re aware of the original Bella CaledoniaSongs For Scotland you’ll find the story behind the sequel fascinating. Kevin’s passion for the project is infectious and inspiring, and you’ll also want to know what role Alasdair Gray has to play and all about The Alasdair Gray Scholarship Trust.

You can find out how to lend your support to Songs For Scotland 2 at Indiegogo, where, among other great items on offer, you can purchase one of three original Alasdair Gray prints, or all three should  you feel so inclined (although, hurry as they are going fast).

As Kevin explains, there’s a lot going on and you can keep up to date by following on Facebook and Twitter. For even more info, there is also this article from The National which is all about the project and why they support it, as well as Kevin’s own Bella Caledonia article on ‘The Possible Worlds of Alasdair Gray’. Continue reading