I think it’s a pretty comprehensive selection, with something for all tastes. Today’s favourite is the magical promo for Sigur Ros’s Glosoli from 2005’s taak… album:
The journal can be found at spinningscotland and makes for interesting reading.
The reasons for this situation will know doubt be financial, but after watching Peter McDougall’s Down Among the Big Boys (1993) and the Michael Caton Jones directed Brond (1987), I realised that this was not an excuse during previous recessions. Both of these films were filmed and are set during times of poverty in Glasgow that were far greater than that in which the city, or country, currently finds itself. That also applies to the early 80’s set Looking after Jo Jo (1998) and the sadly forgotten Jute City (1991), which, unusually, was set outside of the central belt in Dundee, something that occurs all too rarely. It boasts a great cast, although the standout for me is John Sessions which makes me wonder why did he not do more straight acting? They’re helped by a fantastic script by David Kane who went on to write and direct the films This Year’s Love (1999) and Born Romantic (2000) as well as perhaps the most recent Scottish ‘drama’ Sea of Souls (2004-07).
The following is from Brond. As well as ‘introducing’ John Hannah to the world Brond had a fantastic cast including James Cosmo, Russell Hunter and the statuesque Stratford Johns. Brond is a really interesting drama, and would be well worth repeating (although Channel 4 tend not to do repeats from their early glory days). There are overtones of James Hogg’s novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824), and it unusually, and successfully, sets a supernatural thriller in a modern urban landscape. The following is not the most dramatic clip, but it is the only one I can find. If you are lucky enough to have a copy of the series then I hope you share it around:
I also wonder if the perceived worth of the art, and therfore the artist, has a bearing on how we view the ‘crimes’ of the artist? Apparent objective moral probity often seems fairly random. Jerry Lee Lewis is still the butt of jokes concerning his relationship with his 13 (or 15 depending on who you believe) year old cousin Myra Gale Brown, while Elvis Aaron Presley, who at the very least was dating the 14 year old Priscilla, escapes most people’s opprobrium. Perhaps the ultimate example of this is to ask ‘How would the world have treated Gary Glitter if he had been in The Beatles rather than fronting The Glitter Band?’ I would hope such things don’t matter, but the example of Roman Polanski, and those who have vocally supported him, suggests they do.
The Pixies were more than ably supported by Sons and Daughters, and I want to ask why it is that Glasvegas are lauded yet Sons and Daughters are rarely seen or heard? Both deal in west coast influenced rock, both California and East Kilbride, but there is a sense of humour and style in the latter that is clearly absent from the former. Maybe it’s a case of familiarity breeding contempt but my heart has begun to sink whenever I hear James Allen’s honking vocals (in both senses of the word), and I would go for Sons and Daughters every time.
Donegan has been cited as an important early influence on The Beatles, amongst many others, and the ferocity and verve of his music hinted at the energy that would fuel rock n’roll.
From the sixties here’s a clip of the one and only Donovan. Perhaps the only man to come out of Maryhill declaring love and peace, at least until Alan Rough played for Partick Thistle. There was none more sixties than Donovan, and he was an influence not only on the hippy movement, but on the second summer of love in 1988. Sean Ryder was so impressed that he sampled Donovan’s music, appropriated his lyrics, and married his daughter Oriole.
Donovan is oft derided as a hippy who spent his time trying to get high on smoking banana skins. In reality he is a fascinating musician whose music endures.
And so to Alex Harvey and his Sensational Band. The following clip is one of my favourites. It’s from a 1973 Old Grey Whistle Test performance, and it is their cover of Jacques Brel’s Next:
Alex Harvey’s story is a fascinating one, from his childhood in Govan in the 1930’s and 40’s, to being cast as Scotland’s answer to Tommy Steele, to fronting one of the most individual and interesting bands of any time. The above clip shows Harvey’s ability to mix touching vulnerability with the threat of impending violence. For those interested you should check out John Neil Munro’s biography The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Harvey fronted a fantastic band, but he was the one who made them great. I cannot think of a more charismatic front man. Sensational.