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Singles round up – September 2014

16 Sep 2014

Including new releases from Garden of Elks, Rozi Plain and Rachel Dadd, Baio and Night Noise Team

Garden of Elks – Yoop EP (Self-released) ●●●● Something of a Glasgow rock supergroup with members of Bronto Skylift, Paws and the late Dananananaykroyd in their number, Garden of Elks release an EP which is pleasingly not at all what might be expected…

Anne Holt, PJ Tracy Quintin Jardine - spring 2013 crime fiction round-up

22 Jan 2013

Shuichi Yoshida, Elly Griffiths and Anna Smith are also among releasing novels in coming months

Anne Holt certainly has an intriguing background for a prominent career in crime writing. A law graduate and anchor woman on a TV news programme, she worked in the Oslo police department before setting up her own legal practice and then taking on the…

Top 5 winter reads, featuring Philip Pullman, Peter Høeg and Brian Selznick

12 Dec 2013

Craig Thompson's Blankets and the complete Calvin and Hobbes round out our winter reading selection

Ray Robinson’s new novel, Jawbone Lake, is ideal reading for the dark nights: a gripping, thought-provoking tale opening on the frozen landscape of its title. Here are five more recommendations for the season of ice and wonder. The Invention of Hugo…

A Fife food round up

26 Jul 2012

Whether you're looking for venison, chocolate or whisky, Fife's got it - start the search here

An introduction to Fife's menu: what’s grown, reared, made and landed in the region, and where to find it.

An overview of the food and drink of Angus

11 Jul 2012

Get an introduction to the region's menu with our round-up

From fruit and veg to whisky and beer, our round up will take you through Angus' larder. What to buy, where to buy it and who grows, rears, makes or lands it, this summary is a starting point for the region's food and drink.

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New historical books round-up

24 Apr 2012

Kate Summerscale, Paul French, Andrew Martin, Sarah Fraser and John Romer all to release new works

How do you follow up a mind-blowing success like The Suspicions of Mr Whicher? Well, if you’re Kate Summerscale, you understandably get right back onto that period saddle with Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady (Bloomsbury).

Bare Behind Bars, Sea Purple, Here Come the Girls 3 and Dare

27 May 2011

LGBT DVD Roundup

If it’s a quiet night on the sofa you’re after, beware Bare Behind Bars (Arrow Video ●●●●). Described as a ‘chicks in chains grindhouse explosion’, we’re given sadistic lesbian guards, a permanently aroused screwball nurse and convicts with cabin fever…

Singles and downloads - August 2014

28 Aug 2014

Featuring Nozinja, Franz Ferdinand, Rustie and Mark Lanegan

Nozinja – 'Tsekeleke' (Warp) ●●●● South African beat maker Nozinja (aka Richard Mthetwa) makes his debut on Warp Records, coming out the blocks like a demented circus theme tune before morphing into hyper-speed afrobeat. This amalgam of traditional…

Albums round-up - June 2014

27 Jun 2014

New releases from How to Dress Well, Drcarlsonalbion, Phantogram, How to Swim, Bad Aura, Julie Byrne

How to Dress Well – What Is This Heart? (Weird World) ●●● A third serving of intimate, largely downbeat, so-called ‘indie’ R&B from Tom Krell, whose yearning tenor set against a minimal, manicured electronic backdrop bears comparison with a less…

Albums and EPs round-up - March 2014

14 Mar 2014

New releases from Chain & the Gang, Shonen Knife, Shit Robot and The War on Drugs reviewed

Chain & the Gang – Minimum Rock N Roll (Fortuna POP!) ●●●● The latest missive from Ian Svenonius, the Gore Vidal of garage, and his ‘crime rock’ reprobates Chain & The Gang is guaranteed free of ‘unnecessary sounds, extraneous words, too many…

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Horror DVD round-up - February 2014

27 Feb 2014

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, Nothing Left to Fear, Skinwalkers, In Fear & Kiss of the Damned reviewed

We’ll start our quick run through some recent horror DVD releases with the first flesh eating virus to have its own franchise. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (Signature) ●● (the third CF movie) is surprisingly entertaining even if the plot doesn’t quite hang…

Albums round-up - January 2014

22 Jan 2014

New releases from Ásgeir, MC Almond Milk, Seneka and Thee Silver Mt Zion reviewed

Seneka – Man Made Earthquake (Self-released) ●● An Englishman, an Irishman and two Scotsmen walk into a studio. They pick up their instruments, rattle out a solid rock album and head home. Unfortunately, that feels like all it's ever going to be…

TV review: Uncle, Mom, House of Fools

21 Jan 2014

Three new sitcoms featuring the comedic talents of Nick Helm, Chuck Lorre and Vic & Bob

If ever there was evidence that you should quit while you’re not as ahead as you once were, House of Fools (BBC Two, Tue, 10pm ●●) provides it by the bucketload. The inexorable decline of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer was pretty apparent during their…

Top 13 books of 2013

12 Dec 2013

The best books of the year, featuring Donna Tartt, Shaun Usher, Rodge Glass, Kate Atkinson and more

It’s been a great year for books – we’d pick 2,013 of our favourites if we could… Life After Life – Kate Atkinson A woman relives her life, again and again, until she gets it right – but what is ‘right’? The Hat-Stand Union – Caroline…

Top 5 circus books, inspired by Rosie Garland's The Palace of Curiosities

22 Mar 2013

Geek Love, Death-Defying Acts and Something Wicked This Way Comes among our favourite big top tales

Rosie Garland’s debut The Palace of Curiosities is a luminous, gritty novel set in a Victorian circus. Try our favourite circus books to bring some glitter and greasepaint into your life. Geek Love – Katherine Dunn Art and Lily Binewski create their…

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Top 5 watery thrillers, inspired by Doug Johnstone's Gone Again

22 Feb 2013

John Burnside, Jules Verne and Nicci French have all taken inspiration from the sea

In Doug Johnstone’s latest thriller Gone Again, Mark Douglas is photographing whales stranded in the waters off Edinburgh’s Portobello Beach when he discovers that his wife has disappeared. Like Johnstone, these authors all found their inspiration from…

LGBT History Month 2013 - programme highlights

23 Jan 2013

Project coordinator Amy Murphy shares some highlights from the event's biggest cultural programme

LGBT History Month returns in February with a packed programme of events in Scotland. The festival, which began in Scotland in 2003, aims to get people engaged with LGBT issues through art, music, theatre, film and literature, encouraging people of all…

Also published: self-improvement books

13 Dec 2012

Gok Wan, Paul McKenna and more release self-improvement books for the new year

It’s a time of year we both love and dread. Naturally, it’s only polite to stuff as much food and drink into your system as humanly possible (and beyond) but there will be an inevitable payback somewhere down the line. Little wonder that publishers pick…

Books round-up winter 2012: new music books

12 Nov 2012

Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen and Kylie Minogue are among the subjects of newly-released books

If music be the food of love, then play on, they say. Or, in this case, read on, as a flood of books about various areas of the music industry are upon us in the run-up to festive time. For fans of the dour and droll songwriting legend Leonard Cohen…

Books round-up winter 2012: new paperbacks

16 Oct 2012

Aimee Bender and Joanne Harris among the authors releasing paperback editions this winter

With the recession still biting hard, a hardback option is still not open to everyone, so thank the heavens that some quality softer reads (in form rather than content) are about to hit the shelves. Aimee Bender (pictured) certainly knows how to name a…

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Autumn books round-up: celebrity memoirs

19 Aug 2012

Salman Rushdie, Paul Auster, Danny Baker and Jack Straw pen biographical tales

Why has Salman Rushdie penned an autobiography entitled Joseph Anton: A Memoir (Jonathan Cape), you’re definitely thinking? Well, because that was the moniker he chose for the police to call him during the time under the Ayatollah’s fatwa and this book…

August 2012 books round-up: travel

12 Aug 2012

Travel books from Dom Joly, Tom Feiling, Guy Delisle, Cathy Birchall & Bernard Smith and Dan Smith

In Trigger Happy TV, Dom Joly filmed people dressing up as animals and upsetting or confusing the public at large. Whether this has any link whatsoever to his new book is wholly unclear. Scary Monsters and Super Creeps (Simon & Schuster) is not the…

August 2012 books round-up: debut fiction

29 Jul 2012

First time authors this month include Paolo Sorrentino, Ariel S Winter and Sabina Berman

Whether you’re lazing on a beach or stuck indoors from the rain, there’s a host of exciting new debut fictions out in August for you to tear through. Film buffs will know Paolo Sorrentino from his directorial work on the likes of Il Divo and This Must…

Crime books round-up – March 2012

17 Feb 2012

Doug Johnstone, Alex Gray and Mari Jungstedt deliver new crime novels this month

As if to show that fiction readers love a good bit of murder and mystery, death and deceit, blood and booze, there’s acres of it about to be scattered around the nation’s book shelves. Doug Johnstone (of this parish) parks his Hit and Run (Faber) at our…

Rules of Civility, Queen of Kings, Spartan, The Submission and America Pacifica

21 Jul 2011

Debut novels round-up

Described by David Nicholls as ‘a smart, witty, charming Dry Martini of a novel’, Rules of Civility (Sceptre) veers from a photographic exhibit in 1966 to a jazz bar on the last night of 1937. In this fizzing debut by Amor Towles (pictured), both places…