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TV review: Crims

26 Dec 20143 stars

Welsh stand-up Elis James makes his TV debut in BBC Three's new prison-based sitcom

With confinement such a routine characteristic of sitcoms, trapping disparate characters in desperate situations from which they can't escape, it's little wonder that prison appeals to comedy writers. Porridge focused on Fletcher's tiny victories…

Restaurant review: The Scullery

24 Dec 2014

A bright and buzzing atmostphere offers food idesigned for casual dining

Finnieston’s latest opener is every bit as hip-looking as the numerous newish spots up and down the road, with an attractive, crisp and modern interior with big windows and period detailings, all done up in wood and brick. Time-served Ubiquitous Chip…

My Year in Clubbing: i AM

24 Dec 2014

From Walk 'N' Skank to DJ Funk, promoter and DJ Matthew Craig breaks down 2014

I genuinely cannot remember most of the nights this year because so many have been great – and, I’ve been to far too many. Subcity's Stereo 54 party was great, and the one time I managed to get a night off to attend Walk 'N' Skank was great, but in…

Preview: Musik / Reise

24 Dec 2014

German electronica appreciation with Hans Joachim Irmler and friends

Faust arguably set the template for the whole immersive living, band-as-commune, jamming-naked-in-the-kitchen thing when they encamped themselves in a house-cum-studio in rural Germany in 1970 and made some landmark recordings. Communal living aside…

Restaurant review: The Percy

24 Dec 2014

Joseph Malik cooks up a hearty storm in the Leithier suburbs

Having built a very well-deserved reputation as head chef at Leith-and-thereabouts bar establishments Joseph Pearce, Lioness of Leith and the Safari Lounge, Joseph Malik has gone it alone with his own place in the former trattoria in the side room of…

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Christmas Songwriters Club (2014)

23 Dec 20144 stars

Festive spirit and great tunes fill new location for an evening with some of Edinburgh's best

Stop Christmas right there, because the best seasonal hit you’re not likely to hear again in your life has been written. Apologising for the ‘disaster’ that apparently was his Christmas Songwriters Club appearance back in 2010 (‘I got pissed a little…

Ben Lerner – 10:04

23 Dec 20145 stars

‘Like a poem, is neither fiction nor nonfiction, but a flickering between them’

For an avant-garde poet, Ben Lerner’s first novel Leaving the Atocha Station was a surprise commercial success. Self-referential, mordantly funny, it followed a young American poet on a fellowship in Spain, and was animated less by conventional plot…

The Best Films of 2014

22 Dec 2014

As the year comes to a close here are our cinematic highlights

After much scratching of heads, pulling of hair and changing of minds, The List's film team have assembled our Christmas present to you. It’s our five favourite films of 2014. Drum roll please...

Exodus: Gods and Kings

22 Dec 20144 stars

Revisionist, highly entertaining biblical epic from Ridley Scott, starring Christian Bale

Trust Ridley Scott to give us a bold, revisionist take on the foundation story of three major world religions. Like his gritty Robin Hood his version of the epic Old Testament adventure sheds some time-honoured elements for an earnest stab at realism…

Unbroken

22 Dec 20143 stars

Angelina Jolie takes the helm of an exciting but overambitious WWII survival story

Angelina Jolie’s second film as director, following her bleak 2011 Bosnian war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey, is another conflict saga. This time, it’s the true tale of Louis Zamperini, a US Army Air Force bombardier in World War II who died last…

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Annie

22 Dec 20143 stars

Middling revival of the musical comedy featuring Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx

When the complaining tune 'It’s the Hard Knock Life' is applied to minor housecleaning, you know somebody’s been messing with the musical Annie. Director Will Gluck is at the helm of this realignment of John Huston’s 1982 film, itself based on the 1977…

Big Eyes

22 Dec 20143 stars

Fascinating if slightly flimsy biopic of painter Margaret Keane from Tim Burton

Amy Adams turns in a superb performance as artist Margaret Keane in this biopic from Tim Burton that tells the stranger-than-fiction tale of the time when her husband Walter took credit for her paintings, fooling the art world for many years. When…

Briefs: The Second Coming (2014)

22 Dec 20145 stars

Brassy yet classy, boylesque troupe Briefs returns to Edinburgh

Their outfits could out-sparkle the Jenners Christmas tree, their banter is filthier than a lump of coal. The Briefs boys are back in Edinburgh bringing, in their words, 'a little bit of butch and a fuckload of camp' to the winter market. Originally…

Review: Scottish Ballet – The Nutcracker

19 Dec 20144 stars

It’s an odd little story, The Nutcracker ballet. On Christmas Eve, Clara is given the gift of a wooden man who comes to life after midnight to lead her into a strange land. Some choreographers use it as a springboard to explore Freud, some to riff on…

Album Round-up — December 2014

18 Dec 2014

New releases from Disappears, Prosumer, Smashing Pumpkins, Darren Hayman, Yo La Tengo and Beyoncé

Disappears — Irreal (Kranky) ●●●● The ‘guitars are dead’ contingent may wish to re-evaluate upon exposure to this, the sixth album from Brian ‘90 Day Men’ Case’s Chicagoan art-rock group. It’s hard to categorise, but there’s essentially an attempt…

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K-X-P – The History of Techno EP

18 Dec 20143 stars

Insouciant, dynamic dirges from Finnish cosmic rock demagogues

Finnish people, as we have learned from studies and Aki Kaurismaki movies, are totally cracked, so it makes sense that that the country’s bands err on the side of bedlam. Here we have cosmic rock demagogues K-X-P obliging by flagrantly breaking the…

The Two Roberts: Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde

18 Dec 20144 stars

Intriguing retrospective of two charismatic artists who died young

Reading the literature which accompanies this intriguing retrospective on the work of Ayrshiremen Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde – who were students together at Glasgow School of Art in the early 1930s, lovers from then on, hugely popular…

Beauty by Design: Fashioning the Renaissance

18 Dec 20143 stars

Serious-minded show investigates how history can illuminate contemporary fashion

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is surely a treasure trove of ideas for cross-disciplinary projects linking art and fashion. This serious-minded show, devised by fashion designer Mal Burkinshaw and art historian Jill Burke, both from Edinburgh…

Victoria Morton

18 Dec 20144 stars

Self-referential explosions of colour with personal vividness

‘OPTIMUM LIVING MADE EASY’ the quasi-ironic legend just about declaims, from the second of five large-scale paintings that make up a new cycle of work by Victoria Morton. Or at least that's what it appears to say, as the poster-size message which…

Various Artists – The Travelling Archive: Folk Music from Bengal

18 Dec 20144 stars

Captivating glimpse of a diverse musical culture

The latest batch from Sublime Frequencies includes a smokin' live album from Lebanese / Egyptian guitar legend Omar Khorshid and a compilation of mesmeric Sahel folk, but this collection is of particular interest, representing the first fruits of the…

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Verckys et L'Orchestre Vévé – Congolese Funk, Afrobeat and Psychedelic Rhumba 69–78

18 Dec 20144 stars

Irrestistible Congolese grooves with a strong Latin flavour

Waiting for the delayed Ali–Foreman 'Rumble In The Jungle' in 1974, James Brown used his time in Kinshasa to check out the local bands. Above all, the artist who blew him away was Verckys, the charismatic leader of L'Orchestre Vévé. Verckys formed the…

2015 Highlights: Stage

17 Dec 2014

Featuring: Manipulate, Slab Boys, Coppelia, Cirkopolis, Kevin Bridges and Glasgow Comedy Festival

Weaving together puppetry, visual theatre and dance, Manipulate's vision is international, experimental and accessible. Kicking off with Edinburgh Festival hit Maria Addolorata, which examines the limits of physical pain and ecstatic joy, through dance…

2015 Highlights: Books

17 Dec 2014

Featuring: Iain Banks, Kirsty Logan, Curtis Sittenfeld, John Green and, hopefully, George RR Martin

Iain Banks’ death in 2013 has left a tangible absence in the world of Scottish books, and this new volume of poetry – including many previously unpublished poems – will be welcomed by fans of his work. They have been collected by his friend Ken MacLeod…

2015 Highlights: Music

17 Dec 2014

Featuring: Belle & Sebastian, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tectonics, Electric Frog and Kelvingrove

Cue euphoria for fans of Glasgow’s indie twee-pop superstars; they return in January with their new, ninth album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, before playing a hometown arena gig in the summer, joined by the Scottish Festival Orchestra...

2015 Highlights: Visual Art

17 Dec 2014

Featuring: Glasgow Open House, Scotand + Venice, Hidden Door, Edinburgh Annuale, Turner Prize 2015

The first Glasgow Open House took place in 2014 and showed the works of more than 80 emerging and established artists in 32 venues, ranging from flats, gardens, sheds and community centres. The programme for 2015 is set to expand to include more music…