The Hot 100 2011: 100-50

The definitive list of Scottish creative talent

The Hot 100 2011: 100-40

The Hot 100 is the definitive list of Scottish creative talent. From fashion designers to performance artists, everyone who has made a sizeable splash in 2011 has a place in this countdown. It’s for people who’ve created a buzz, but it’s also about great work, and there’s enough artistic achievement here to convince even the strongest cynic of Scotland’s creative clout

Return to The Hot 100 2011: The definitive list of Scottish creative talent

100 Gordon Ferris

Kilmarnock crime author makes good
The already packed Scottish crime writing field has finally found a bit of elbow room for another burgeoning talent. Joining the likes of Rankin, Brookmyre, McDermid and co is this Ayrshire-born scribe whose chosen setting is post-war Glasgow. This year’s The Hanging Shed was his breakthrough publication, picking up rave reviews in the press and avid readers aplenty. (BD)

99 Johnny McKnight

Actor, writer and Great Dame
Random Accomplice co-founder McKnight showed his versatility in 2011, conceiving and co-writing the portmanteau schlock horror Smalltown, writing and directing pitch black comedy Love Hurts and opening the doors to his Big Gay Madonna-Themed Restaurant. He ends the year in high heels and frightwig as the writer and star of hit macrobert panto Jackie and the Beanstalk. (AR)

98 Elizabeth Blackadder

Painting legend
Arguably Scotland’s most popular female painter and printmaker, Elizabeth Blackadder celebrated her 80th birthday in 2011 and was honoured with a major retrospective of her work at the National Galleries. The acclaimed exhibition showed off her versatility, including portraits created while a student, botanical works, her interpretations of Japanese Zen art, as well as her much-loved still lifes. A Celebration of the Life of Elizabeth Blackadder can also currently be seen at Falkirk’s Park Gallery. (AR)

97 Regular

King of the Castle (concerts)
Public Enemy, Brian Wilson, Wilco, Glasvegas, Mogwai and Primal Scream were just a few of the acts that Regular brought to Glasgow and Edinburgh over the course of 2011. However, special credit must go to the big gig promoter for staging the great Arcade Fire at Edinburgh Castle. The balustrades, braziers and cannons proved the perfect counterpoints to the band’s achingly beautiful songs of alienation and fragility in the modern world. Tinariwen and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are scheduled in for Regular shows in 2012. (JE)

96 Robbie Coltrane

Acting heavyweight
The ever-industrious Robbie Coltrane graced screens small and large this year, reprising his role as Rubeus Hagrid in the final Harry Potter film and stealing the show as the Inspector in the Comic Strip’s The Hunt for Tony Blair. He topped 2011 in style, receiving the Bafta Scotland award for Outstanding Contribution to Film. (AR)

95 Panel

Excellent exhibitionists
Three influential projects from these supercool new curators this year. Exhibition The Inventors of Tradition took over a disused shop to examine Scottish fashion history, O! And Other Letters was a fascinating celebration of Optimo’s branding, and they’ve involved FOUND, artist Lucy McKenzie and Tunnock’s Teacakes in their ongoing Scotland Can Make It! competition. (CR)

94 Jo Clifford

Enlightened playwright
For over 20 years one of Scotland’s leading playwrights, Jo Clifford’s creative audacity can currently be experienced at the Traverse with Enlightenment drama The Tree of Knowledge, while her adaptation of Anna Karenina formed the basis for an acclaimed show at Dundee Rep in the spring. (AR)

93 Ellie Harrison

Art for the age of information
Money. No other artist tackled this dominant topic as directly as Ellie Harrison in 2011, whose A Brief History of Privatisation summed up decades of government outsourcing in a neat video installation. This year she exhibited at Briggait art fair Vault, and very many other exhibitions (including a Newcastle collaboration with Josie Long). Her statistical simplications put her work in the same clever-but-accessible bracket as David Shrigley’s. (JE)

92 Bill Wells

Justly praised jazz collaborator
First there was a deserved critical love-in for his Aidan Moffat collaboration Everything’s Getting Older on Chemikal Underground, then Falkirk’s premier (only?) jazz composer ended up indulging his love for Japanese art-rock with the Tenniscoats and Jim O’Rourke guest-starring Lemonade album on Double Six. (DP)

91 Red Note Ensemble

Fearless classical group loving new music
Besides touring Infinito Nero, celebrating John Cage and Rory Boyle, playing Brian Eno’s Music for Airports with Bang On A Can at Glasgow’s Minimal festival, and encouraging new music with the ongoing Noisy Nights, they brought to delirious life David Fennessy’s score for the David Shrigley-penned opera Pass the Spoon. National treasure status beckons. (AJ)

90 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Treasure trove of famous faces
The national portrait collection reopened in November following a two-and-a-half year refurbishment. As well as dusting down the celebrated likenesses of Burns, Scott, Robert the Bruce and Mary, Queen of Scots, the gallery unveiled a photography space, state-of-the-art education centre and rolling exhibition of contemporary portraits, entitled ‘Hot Scots’. (AR)

89 Cry Parrot

Local and leftfield music promoters
Outwith his music programmer day-job at Nice 'n' Sleazy, Fielding Hope heads up DIY music collective, Cry Parrot. In 2011, CP brought Lucky Dragons to the Glasgow Film Festival, put on Ducktails, threw Muscles of Joy’s album launch, and co-founded inspired experimental festival, Music is the Music Language. (CS)

88 Torsten Lauschmann

Startling artist
Film artist Lauschmann has created some fascinating exhibitions in the past, but none so large or impressive as Startle Reaction, currently at Dundee Contemporay Arts, which draws on his love of technology old and new. The Glasgow-based artist also received the inaugural Margaret Tait Award and a Vital Spark commission from Creative Scotland earlier this year and also made the shortlist for this year’s Jarman Award. (AR)

87 Rod Jones & Emma Pollock

Five-star Fruit Tree founders
Long associated with the music strand of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, Jones and Pollock teamed up to coordinate First Edition by The Fruit Tree Foundation, a charitable collaboration with musicians including Twilight Sad’s James Graham, Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, Karine Polwart, Alasdair Roberts and James Yorkston. (DP)

86 Julia Donaldson

The kids never had it so good
Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson succeeded Anthony Browne as the UK’s children laureate this year, and has picked up on his message to do ‘everything [she] can to save the libraries’. She was a particularly active participant in this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival, and even paid a visit to the Queen to pick up her MBE. (JE)

85 Lung Ha’s

Enabling great performances
Scotland’s most prominent theatre company for performers with learning difficulties continues to win acclaim and challenge audiences, this year serving up an exhilarating production of Around the World in 80 Days as well as a haunting adaptation of Medea’s Children. (AR)

84 Martin Wishart

Trophy Chef
Dr Wishart – the first chef in 428 years to be given an honorary degree by Edinburgh University – now has a Michelin star at both Loch Lomondside and Leith restaurants, while smart brasserie The Honours was this summer’s big opening in Edinburgh. Interview: Martin Wishart (DR)

83 Death Disco

Disco’s not dead
It’s hard to find a club that is so consistent in its line-ups and good time party vibes as The Arches’ flagship night. Among the multitude of excellent guests this year – Peaches, Crookers, Jacques Lu Cont – their September team-up with SWG3 for a Trans-Europe Expressway special, featuring Factory Floor, Lindstrom, Prins Thomas and Feadz, stood out as a highlight of the clubbing year. (HN)

82 Sophie Martin

Fantastic fantasy thesp
Not only did the brilliant and beautiful Sophie Martin shine on stage, playing Alice in Ashley Page’s Lewis Carroll-inspired production, the French-born principal dancer also did a fine job as Scottish Ballet’s poster girl – both for Alice and Christmas show, Sleeping Beauty. (KA)

81 Discopolis

Youthful party-starters
The clue is right there in those first two syllables: this Edinburgh trio of electronic music-loving teenagers want to make you dance. And they managed, too, with their throbbing synths and chiming house-pop beats entertaining crowds at this year’s T in the Park (where they played the T-Break stage), Reading festival (where they placed the BBC Introducing Stage) and closer to home, with Devil Disco Club in Edinburgh. (CS)

80 Catherine Wheels

Doin’ it for the kids
Children and young people’s theatre company Catherine Wheels had a breakthrough year in 2011. Their witty, stylish Fringe show White scooped three awards from the CATS panel and was performed in Denmark, New York and London, while Kes, a moving adaptation of Barry Hines’ A Kestrel for a Knave, was also enthusiastically received. (AR)

79 Axis Animation and Savalas

Rise of the dead
The Glasgow-based animation and soundtrack team produced one of the most stunning videogame trailers of all time with Dead Island – a strangely touching ballet of zombies and gore all backed by lush classical strings – that went global (as a top worldwide trend on Twitter, with over four million views in four days). But it’s just the tip of the iceberg of the fine work they produce every year. (HN)

78 Les Garçons de Glasgow

Fashion photo bloggers
Daniel and Jonathan – the photography and fashion lovers behind this style blog – celebrated two years of being Les Garçons de Glasgow in November. Besides documenting hot looks in the streets of Paris, London, and of course, Glasgow, the boys’ services as ‘creative communications consultants’ were also called upon for projects with H&M, ‘Superior Interiors’, Burn at the Buff Club and others. (CS)

77 Superclub

Multi-purpose gallery space
Superclub opened in March 2011 with the collective’s first exhibition Stealth Cowboy by Glasgow illustrator Lachlann Rattray. Psychedelic, candy-coloured visuals, zine fairs, cheap beers and DIY parties ran through the first year’s programme – including a show of drawings by brothers Jamie and Rickie McNeill, paintings by co-director Callum Monteith and live sets by Ben Butler & Mousepad and 7VWWVW’s Rhododendron. To finish? A Christmas party featuring Fox Gut Daata and the mysterious Artist Formerly Known As Mince. More please! (CS)

76 Cathal McAteer

Forward thinking fashion for fashion forward Folk
Named Fashion Designer of the Year at this year’s Scottish Style Awards, quirky Cumbernauld lad Cathal McAteer knows how to put his best foot forward, with hipster shoe company Shöfolk, and as creator of the mighty, globally admired, London-based brand, Folk. (AM)

75 The Arches

Multi-functional, consistently cool arts venue
A recurring re-entry to the Hot 100, The Arches showcased new theatre talent at Arches Live!, was a major venue at Glasgay!, and booked heaps of great music acts. Battles, Peaches, Goblin, WU LYF, Lykke Li, Stephen Malkmus and Thurston Moore. Crikey. (LM)

74 Jonnie Common

Can’t skateboard to save his life
Mr Common (formerly of Down The Tiny Steps) is the wordsmith behind 2011's delightful electronica album, Master of None (sample lyric: 'I can't skateboard to save my life. But I like to imagine what kind of bizarre scenario might involve me having to do so.') The remix album, Hair of the Dog, has given him his second four-star record review in The List this year (see page 97). (JE)

73 Peter Capaldi

A truly talented Tucker
Capaldi may have appeared higher had The List’s favourite potty mouth Malcolm Tucker made an appearance this year; alas, ’twas not to be. He was, though, rather good in the largely forgettable The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and currently as the moustache-twiddling villain, on stage, in The Ladykillers. (AM)

72 Mark Cousins

Cinema not in a nutshell
The Edinburgh-based writer, broadcaster and filmmaker upped his game with the decade-in-the-making TV adaptation of his book, The Story of Film: the whole world history of cinema in 15 epic episodes . (MF)

71 Optimo

Great club and great records from Twitch and Wilkes
It’s been a comparatively quiet year for Optimo. Of course their parties have still been fantastic and Twitch and Wilkes have been DJing across the world. They hung up their weekly Hung Up! session for a new event/guest-based irregular ‘Optimo Presents’ night (guests have included Ivan Smagghe and Horse Meat Disco) while their record label definitely deserves recognition with some sublime releases from Factory Floor, Chris Carter and Naum Gabo. (HN)

70 Chris Young

Helping put clunge on the big screen
The Hebrides-based producer of such gentle British movies as Venus Peter and Gregory’s Two Girls hit filthy paydirt this year with The Inbetweeners. While some script meetings with the writers may have taken place in Skye via Skype, it all came together seamlessly as the laddish quartet ran roughshod across the continent. (BD)

69 Take One Action!

Powerful politicised film fest
Patrons Ken Loach and Paul Laverty’s social agendas are well served by the Take One Action! film festival, promoting political awareness and global change. 2011 highlights ranged from Zoya Phan on Burma to Clare Short on poverty, with a regional tour planned for 2012. (EH)

68 Admiral Fallow

Glaswegian beard-folk breakthroughs
Beards – check. Folk-influenced songs full of raw emotional content – check. Check shirts – check. Yep, it seems Admiral Fallow's credentials as the indie darlings of the moment are all in order. Debut album Boots Met My Face was a List-reviewed four-star highlight this year, and there have been major gigs for the group formley known as Brother Louis Collective, including a slot at the Texas SXSW showcase festival. (JE)

67 RockNess

Booming dance fest shows its indie side
RockNess' increasing number of concessions to the indie side of things meant that Kasabian and Paolo Nutini appeared as headliners on the 2011 bill. Thankfully therefore, Chemical Brothers also played (and killed it). Further respite was found in the Sub Club Arena – a brilliant addition for 2011 that hosted Modeselektor, Matthew Dear and man of the moment Jamie XX. (JE)

66 Vicky Featherstone

Wooing new theatre audiences
As artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland, Vicky Featherstone presided over another action-packed programme, which included play-cum-ceilidh The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, a radical reworking of David Harrower’s Knives in Hens and an adaptation of Andrew O’Hagan’s The Missing. Featherstone also helmed Zinnie Harris’s The Wheel and provocative neuroscience drama, 27. (AR)

65 James Yorkston

Memoir-penning fencer
The quiet man of the Fence Collective, perhaps, but no less productive for it, whose exploits in 2011 included a foray into writing as witty and articulate as any of his deliciously dark folk songs, a credit on the commendable Fruit Tree Foundation album and a clutch of pin-drop live shows. (LE)

64 Grainne Braithwaite

Nasty G knows nice music
A fierce force in Scottish music promotion, the brains (and legs) behind Synergy Concerts, in 2011 music obsessive Braithwaite brought live Scottish performances by Thurston Moore, Omar Souleyman, Battles and Rakim amongst others. In the run-up to Glasgow Art School closing, Laurel Halo, D/R/U/G/S, Mi Ami and oOoOO all played her club night Knock Knock, plus the Electric Frog festival benefitted from Synergy’s midas touch. (CS)

63 Barry & Stuart

Mischievous magicians
Known for their subversive sorcery (last year's Edinburgh Fringe seance prompted walk-outs), Baz and Stu broke the ultimate taboo this year when they gave away the secrets behind all of their tricks in a special Edinburgh 'tell' show. Audiences and critics loved it, and it went to show they've lost none of their mischievous charm, despite breaking onto telly on BBC1's The Magicians. (JE)

62 Denise Mina

Tellytastic year for Glasgow author
Mina’s Field of Blood made it onto the small screen and a new DS Morrow mystery was unleashed. She also cropped up as the voice of reason on The Review Show and investigated Edgar Allan Poe’s relationships with women for a BBC Four doc. (BD)

61 Karen Gillan

Blubbing student of the doctor
Was this year’s Doctor Who too complex? Too scary? Too tear-jerking? Despite the questions, the truth is, everyone still loves it, particularly its feisty heroine, Amy Pond. Even after all that crying Gillan’s still a hot Scot face. (JE)

60 Trouble

Clubs, music and more
Before you accuse us of nepotism (and we do love Trouble man Hobbes’ Clubber’s Decktionary column, the Trouble DJs are included on their own merit hosting two clubs in Edinburgh with Wonky and Devil Disco Club (and are also key in live music night Limbo) covering everything from dark disco, new wave, Afrobeat and indie rock. We can’t wait to get deeper into Trouble next year. (HN)

59 Muriel Romanes

Theatre visionary
Having been at the forefront of Scottish theatre for the past two decades as artistic director of Stellar Quines, Muriel Romanes scored a particular triumph in 2011 with The Age of Arousal, a ‘wild adaptation’ of a George Gissing novel about the first stirrings of female emancipation in late Victorian Britain, for which she was named Best Director by the Critics Association for Theatre in Scotland. (AR)

58 Ewen Bremner

A Spud we like
This Edinburgh native picked some fine supporting roles this year, first in David Mackenzie’s decent sci-fi romance Perfect Sense, and then with his delightfully understated turn in Page Eight. He also shared some of his favourite National Museum of Scotland memories with us earlier this year. He might not be scaling the resurgent career highs of his contemporary Ewan M, but we say less, Mr B, is most definitely more. (AM)

57 Lock Up Your Daughters

Creative LGBT club creeps
Lock Up Your Daughters (or LUYD if you’re into that sort of thing) is Glasgow’s ‘network for creative queers’. This year they continued their club nights at The Flying Duck and started their own film club, with monthly showings of well-chosen cult classics at the Glasgow Film Theatre and weekly mentoring workshops for aspiring filmmakers. A force to be reckoned with. (LM)

56 Freya Mavor

Skirts and Skins
Interview: Moving on after being Mini McGuinness in Skins

55 Mogwai

International (guitar) play(ing)boys
A sold-out show at the Barrowland wraps up another solid year for the Lanarkshire/ Glasgow post-rockers. They put out album number seven, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will plus the ‘Earth Division’ EP, toured their way round festivals in Naples, Shanghai and Mexico City (including a booking in Athens for someone called ‘Spicy Entertainment’), performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and generally kept adrenaline levels soaring amongst their fans. (CS)

54 Summerhall

Fringe veterinarians
Interview: Venue director Rupert Thomson on the next stage for the breakout performance space.

53 Paul Laverty

Waterboarding for beginners
The go-to guy whenever Ken Loach needs to go to a guy for a conscience-stirring script, the Spain-based lawyer and screenwriter did it again this year with Route Irish. The war in Iraq acts as a backdrop for this latest tale of state-sponsored terror and exploitation of the weakest. (BD)

52 DF

Their gigs are too bootylicious for you
Among all their concert promoting achievements we are going to single out one of DF’s gigs this year – Beyoncé at T in the Park. Seeing Bey do her perfectly proportioned thing at Balado was a highlight of our year. Inevitably T sold out within 0.045 seconds, and it lived up to its promise to be a bigger, more diverse festival than ever. Added to which their programme of shows, big and small (from The Who to WU LYF) kept us excited all year. (JE)

51 SWG3

Arts warehouse venue
If Lloyd Grossman peeked through the keyhole of this warehouse in Glasgow’s West End, depending on when he showed up, he’d find visual artists and photographers at work in the studio spaces; clubbers grinning and sweating through a weekend festival; walls adorned with exhibitions from local artists and visiting collectives … all-in-all, a colourful, multi-purpose space, innnovatively made use of by the city’s creatives. (CS)

50 Dananananaykroyd

Posthumous honour for the pop premiers
The notoriously frantic Glasgow hardcore pop outfit released their sophomore album There is a Way in June, picked up a five-star review in The List, then split following a November UK tour. ‘For a band called Dananananaykroyd,’ they mourned, ‘we’ve done more than we ever expected.’ (DP)

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