Claire Sawers

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Heatsick and Optimo DJs to kiss the Edinburgh Fringe goodbye at Summerhall's Festival Closing Party

10 Aug 2014

Summerhall, formerly a veterinary hospital, now an excellent, if shambolic, hub of weird performance, experimental art and outdoor drinking, opened the festival in sublime, high-energy style with a live set of trance-inducing dancefloor euphoria from…

Interview: Michel Faber discusses his new book The Book of Strange New Things

9 Oct 2014

Author explains the deeply personal circumstances surrounding the writing of his last novel

When Michel Faber began writing his latest novel, The Book of Strange New Things, he knew it would be his last. What he didn’t know is that it would end up being not just a farewell to his career as a novelist, but also to his other half, Eva Youren (in…

Peter Ross on his new book Daunderlust ahead of 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

17 Aug 2014

Scottish journalist talks about his storytelling style and hidden spots in Scotland

Five words to describe your storytelling style. Rather than high-five myself, I'll quote the reviews of my book: ‘Funny’; ‘Beautiful’; ‘Full of heart’. None of those were written by my mum, the landlord of my local, or anyone else who has cause to be…

Edinburgh International Festival 2014 interview: Jonathan Mills on his Sandakan Threnody

15 Aug 2014

The outgoing artistic director of the festival discusses his WWII memorial piece

Back in March, Jonathan Mills announced the theme for this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. He wanted the programme to look at the relationship between conflict and culture – how war and political unrest leave their mark on art. It probably…

Edinburgh Art Festival 2014 interview: Yann Seznec on his fan-based work, Currents

15 Aug 2014

'I had to call it the Yann Seznec Fan Club, because I’m basically a giant dork’

‘At its most basic, sound – whether it’s someone making music, or the act of speaking – is basically the physical movement of air. What we hear, is the motion of air molecules.’ To explain his latest project, Currents, Edinburgh-based sound artist…

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Edinburgh International Festival 2014: exploring death camps through music

15 Aug 2014

Holocaust survivor Samuel Pisar and the Pavel Haas Quartet among contributors to EIF's music strand

Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony The man who wrote West Side Story also wrote this sweeping, tense work for a narrator, choir and orchestra, his tribute to Kaddish – a hymn traditionally sung in the synagogue at times of mourning. Holocaust survivor Samuel…

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 interview: Natalie Haynes on her debut novel

14 Aug 2014

The comedian turned author promises The Amber Fury is 'not funny. I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone'

‘It had to be set in Edinburgh,’ says stand-up comedian turned author, Natalie Haynes, about her debut novel, The Amber Fury, a story of grief, interwoven with the Greek tragedies, published earlier this year. ‘It sets the right tone for a thriller.

Exposure: General Ludd

21 Oct 2014

All you need to know about electronic Glasgow duo Tom Marshallsay and Richard McMaster

General Ludd fuses the talents of a bunch of Glasgow music acts we already loved. The duo of Tom Marshallsay (aka Dam Mantle), and Richard McMaster (from Golden Teacher, Lovers Rights and Silk Cut) was a shoo-in for good things, and recent DJ mixes and…

A guide to the top music events and gigs this autumn

14 Oct 2014

Including The Pleasance Sessions, To Rococo Rot, Simple Things, Chvrches and Future Islands

The Pleasance Sessions The mini-festival continues with gorgeous Italo-synths and swooning, keening folk from Ubre Blanca and Two Wings (Thu 16 Oct), plus Glasgow’s excellent ‘proto-robo-folkers’ the Phantom Band and ambient vista-makers Remember…

The best gigs to celebrate Hallowe’en 2014

14 Oct 2014

Including Goblin, Zola Jesus, Nightrave, Pressure and Hot Mess

Gory gig options are in good supply this Hallowe’en. Fans of the tits + terror school of Dario Argento giallo horror movies can watch 70s Italian prog rock legends Goblin perform their live soundtrack to a screening of Suspiria at SWG3 Warehouse. Which…

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Peter Zummo 6tet

8 Oct 2014

Arthur Russell tribute band reinvents cult composer's work for the 21st century

’Let’s just say, I can sometimes have an attitude about the cellist who’s going to play Arthur Russell’s music. When we were choosing the right musician, I think it’s fair to say I expressed a few opinions,’ Peter Zummo confesses, laughing quietly down…

Experimental alt.pop duo Conquering Animal Sound set to release EP Talking Shapes

19 Sep 2014

Themes explored on the new record include musical languages, gender, feminism and football

Giddy, gorgeous, cacophonic, experimental – the music of duo Conquering Animal Sound is all-over-the-shop-pop, in the best way. The Glasgow two-piece (Anneke Kampman and Jamie Scott, who also perform as solo artists ANAKANAK and MC Almond Milk) return…

Interview: Esther Freud, daughter of Lucien Freud, on her latest novel Mr Mac and Me

11 Sep 2014

The author's latest work takes inspiration from Charles Rennie Mackintosh

‘I don’t think I can have a cogent thought without it coming out through my fingers,’ jokes Esther Freud, wrapping said fingers around a cup of herbal tea. The author is in a tent at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, explaining her borderline…

Student Guide 2014: three of the best independent shops in Edinburgh

10 Sep 2014

Recommendations on where to spend your loan, including Herman Brown, Real Foods and Oxfam Music

Herman Brown This remains one of Edinburgh’s best spots for secondhand clothes - there’s an abundance of excellent charity shops in town, but for uncluttered, reasonably priced, hand-picked vintage shoes, jewellery and clothes, Herman Brown (and…

Student Guide 2014: three of the best independent shops in Glasgow

10 Sep 2014

Recommendations on where to spend your loan, including Artstore, Circa Vintage and Voltaire and Rous

Artstore Load up with oil paints, stationery, sketchbooks and materials for lino prints, screen prints, sculpture and illustration in this Aladdin’s cave of art supplies, which offers 10% off for students. There’s a city centre branch opposite the…

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Legendary D&B producer Goldie turns his hand to medieval liturgy with Fragments of Gold

27 Aug 2014

The classical/electronica project is inspired by historic document the Hawick Missal Fragment

It’s an unexpected fusion of tweed blazers and gold grills, where medieval chants meet clubland, but that’s where you will currently find Goldie, the drum and bass producer turned composer for his latest project, Fragments of Gold. Goldie, or…

Jim Holland: Shoegazing

20 Aug 20142 stars

Entertainingly awkward shuffle around comedian's quirks at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘Anything an extrovert can do, an introvert can do more awkwardly.’ That’s the mantra of Jim Holland, Portsmouth-born shy guy. He also believes that real integrity is persevering with a thing you love, even if no one else will like it. He drops in this…

Kirsty Logan: author of ‘quirky, vivid, lush, wild and magical' fairytales

14 Aug 2014

The Scottish author is set to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

What a difference a year makes. Last year, Kirsty Logan was living in Glasgow, publishing the occasional short story and poem online and in literary magazines, and she’d just been appointed books editor at The List. Fast forward 12 months and a bit, and…

Take Five interview: Glasgow author Kirsty Logan

14 Aug 2014

The fairytale creator is due to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

Five words to describe your storytelling style Quirky, vivid, lush, wild, magical. Four authors who we should really know about, but probably don't (yet) Emily Mackie. Elaine di Rollo. Dawn West. Caroline Bird. Three themes you find yourself…

Dead Ghost Star

12 Aug 20143 stars

Alternative child-friendly comedy is space oddity lost in a vacuum at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This hour of nonsense clowning in space is a bit like Spike Milligan on MDMA, or Edward Lear doing a guest appearance at the Hacienda. Cheekykita and Mr Dinner bring their odd space odyssey to a hidden room in the flyer-covered maze of Cowgatehead…

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Interview: Irma Kurtz set for appearance at 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival

12 Aug 2014

Cosmopolitan magazine’s agony aunt shares wisdom in her memoir, My Life in Agony

Irma Kurtz has been dispensing advice to readers of Cosmopolitan’s problem page for 40 years now, counselling successive generations through the changing playing fields of sex, work and relationships. She’s pulled together some of the things she’s…

KlangHaus

10 Aug 20144 stars

The Neutrinos present a part gig, part promenade sound installation at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

KlangHaus, the House of Sound, smells of antiseptic, is dimly lit, and echoes with the sounds of dark lounge music and clattering snare drums. Part gig, part promenade sound installation, KlangHaus is presented by The Neutrinos, ‘a female fronted…

Rhys James: Begins

10 Aug 20142 stars

Underwhelming début lacks humour and fails to find niche

Rhys James wants badly to make it as a comedian. He plays a video at the start of his show, about choosing the right title with help from his agent, and agreeing on buzzwords to put in the press release about it. (He settles on ‘ Begins ’ for a title…

An Evening With Patti DuPont

10 Aug 20144 stars

Parody of the fawning biopic and celebrity documentary from member of The Boom Jennies

Anna Emerson’s debut solo show is the bottled essence of the Fringe. Not in the smug-bongo-drummers-tackling-racism-through-mime sense. In the best sense. Her show happens up a stairway, in a makeshift theatre during a restaurant mid-renovation. The…

Luisa Omielan

9 Aug 20143 stars

Party girl’s hybrid of winner v loser spills over at Edinburgh Fringe

Last year, we fell in love with Luisa Omielan, and this year she’s gone off us, because we’re not paying to see her (free) show. Like a restaurant owner slopping down plates grudgingly in front of Groupon customers, Omielan seems to resent her crowd…