Three Is The Magic Number: The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Talks To Louise Welsh…


The latest podcast is an interview with one of our favourite guests, the writer Louise Welsh. Previously she has been on to talk not only about her earlier fiction, but also the joys of reading Robert Louis Stevenson, and all thing Empire Cafe. Her latest novel, No Dominion, is the final part in her Plague Times Trilogy which began back in 2014 (not, as Ali suggests, five years ago) with A Lovely Way To Burn, and continued in 2015 with Death Is A Welcome Guest.

The conversation focuses on the central themes in the trilogy, which include family, Louise_400x400morality, society, and what could happen in the face of a global pandemic threat. Just the usual. Louise also reveals the influences on each book, including the Scottish literary connections in part three, and admits that recent political events, at home and abroad, had some bearing of the final draft No Dominion. There is also talk of ghost stories and opera. What more do you want from a podcast? Continue reading

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:

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One Green Bottle: A Review Of Scottish Opera’s The Devil Inside…

In 2013, Scots Whay Hae! and the Association Of Scottish Literary Studies collaborated in a series of recordings to commemorate Robert Louis Stevenson Day. Writers Alan Bissett, James Robertson and Louise Welsh read a Stevenson short story each; ‘Thrawn Janet’, The Tale Of Tod Lapraik’ and ‘The Bottle Imp’ respectively. ‘The Bottle Imp’ was already a favourite for Welsh, but reading it aloud must have bonded her more closely with the malevolent sprite as it appears she couldn’t leave it alone for long. She had to return to it at least one more time.

The result, in collaboration with composer Stuart Macrae, is Scottish Opera’s co-production with The Music Theatre of Wales, The Devil Inside, a dark, unsettling and unexpectedly moving production, which opened in Glasgow’s Theatre Royal this week. It is mesmerizing from start to end as words, music, performance and setting all work together to present this deceptively simple tale in such a manner so that the unfolding horror is heightened rather than unnecessarily distracted from.

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RLS With Ronnie, Louise & Scots Whay Hae!: The Podcast Celebrates The Life & Work Of Robert Louis Stevenson…

The latest podcast is yet a further celebration of all things Stevenson on the day of his birth, as if that were needed. By now I hope you’ve managed to at least have a look, and a listen, to Stevenson’s Strange Tales, a project we have been involved with alongside the Association for Scottish Literary Studies.

But, with the podcast, we wanted to put Stevenson into a wider perspective in terms of his literary importance, how he was viewed when he was alive, and his continuing fame and influence.

To do so, Ali and Ian were joined by writer Louise Welsh and Scots Whay Hae! regular, Ronnie Young.  The discussion starts with a chat about their favourite Stevenson stories, and soon meanders back to childhood, takes in the the importance of light(houses), hears of the influences on RLS, and considers just how many Stevenson’s there were. From Braemar to the South Sea Islands; from supposed children’s tales, through essays about home and abroad, to psychological nightmare and addiction, the conversation throws up many interesting tit bits of Stevenson legend and lore. There’s also an hidden extra treat, but you’ll have to listen to the very end to hear that, (or fast forward, I suppose).

We hope everyone will find something of interest here, and that you will listen to the Strange Tales our readers Alan Bissett, James Robertson and Louise herself have recorded with just a little more insight than you may have done before. If you haven’t heard them yet, you can do so on our Stevenson page, but there are other ways.

The podcast can be found by going to iTunes, where you will also be able to download all three tales. If you subscribe you can get all our previous podcasts, three of which feature our guest readers, and you can also listen on RSS.

And that is all from us on Robert Louis Stevenson Day. It’s been emotional, but fantastic. It is said about Tam Dale, in the ‘Tale of Tod Lapraik’, that he was “fond of a ran-dan”, and in that spirit we’re off out to raise a glass to RLS. Cheers!