Claire Sawers

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Edinburgh Tattoo: The story behind the biggest show of the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals

15 Jul 2014

The projection artist behind the state-of-the-art video used in the 2014 Edinburgh Military Tattoo

In the past, Ross Ashton has projected giant fire-breathing dragons onto Edinburgh Castle, covered the ramparts in massive white cobwebs, turned the barracks into a Gotham City skyline, and beamed intricate patterns of anchors, saltires and theatre…

Anne Archer stars in controversial show The Trial of Jane Fonda at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

15 Jul 2014

Academy-award nominated Anne Archer plays actress at the height of her anti-Vietnam protesting

Jane Fonda is famous for plenty things. Writhing around in wet-look silver as a coquettish space traveller in thigh boots for Barbarella. Lunging and reaching through aerobics workouts, shrink-wrapped in Lycra leotards and building up her own fitness…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 10 strange, site-specific venues

22 Jul 2014

Featuring phone shops, police boxes, rickshaws, caravans and a boxing gym

A boxing gym An amateur boxing club becomes the set for this verbatim theatre piece based on interviews with Muslim female boxers, using a cast of 16–18-year-olds. No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, Sandy’s Boxing Gym, Craigmillar, 226 0000, 18–25 Aug…

Music highlights from Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games programme

15 Jul 2014

City prepares for sonic summer with scheduled performances from artists including Aidan Moffat

East End Social. Chemikal Underground’s spotlight on the East End’s charms continues, with Mogwai and Hudson Mohawke playing the Last Big Weekend in Richmond Park (Sat 30 & Sun 31 Aug)

Interview: Tony Parsons and John Gordon Sinclair on why they turned to crime writing

15 Jul 2014

The controversial journalist and Gregory's Girl actor on new found love of writing crime fiction

‘I do love a bit of blood and thunder,’ Tony Parsons confesses. ‘Gore doesn’t put me off. And I like to know the proper way to slit a throat. It’s not some drunk hacking and chopping away at a neck; there’s a clinical, far more efficient way to do it.…

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Family tree: The Glasgow and Edinburgh experimental, weirdo and improv scene

24 Feb 2014

Mapping out the local music scene in Scotland, one sub-genre at a time

Glasgow improv crew, Eight Thumbs play Summerhall this month. They’re one of many Scottish acts with fingers in many musical pies, sharing their talents among various projects (7VWWVW, Isshko Taiko Drummers, Asparagus Piss Raindrop, to name a few.) But…

Music highlights from the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2014

Including Sweet Mambo, Czech Philharmonic, Ganesh Versus the Third Reich and Kronos Quartet

Sweet Mambo. Five years on from her death, Pina Bausch’s reputation as one of the most important choreographers of our age is only strengthening with time. Tanztheater Wuppertal, the dance ensemble she led from 1973, are carrying on her work and taking…

Experimental musician Matthew Herbert set to bring new show to Glasgow for one-off performance

15 Jul 2014

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall hosting artist's project sampling 20 different pianos

Matthew Herbert remembers his grandad playing church hymns at home on an art deco piano, his black patent shoes tapping out accidental percussion on the wooden pedals. That same piano was sampled for a new work by his grandson – 20 Pianos – which will…

Vintage Glasgow returns for second year to coincide with 2014 Commonwealth Games

15 Jul 2014

A weekend of fashion, music and dressing up as part of the Merchant City Festival

We predict the 2014 look du jour over at the Athletes’ Village will be going very big on Lycra singlets, tech-filled running shoes and racerback sports bras. Meanwhile, down in the Merchant City, the fashion will be feeling far more nostalgic. Over two…

Interview: Thomas Butler, composer of Elbow Room

9 May 2014

The project, comprising archive clips and field recordings, explores the psychogeography of cities

Your theme seems strangely apt in the wake of the recent Red Road flats controversy, was that deliberate? Actually, no. Red Road was coincidental. My project began over a year ago, during my residency with Red Note Ensemble, and was looking at Glasgow…

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Caitlin Moran: 'There are 3.3 billion women in the world, so potentially 3.3 billion different forms of feminism'

8 Jul 2014

The author and columnist talks to us about Tina Fey, Lena Dunham and How to Build a Girl

'Options for teenage girls can be limited when it comes to role models,’ Caitlin Moran is explaining, while battling a hangover that she says is threatening to bring on a ‘tiny ladylike vomit’ any minute. A female journalist came to Moran’s house the…

A potted guide to Demdike Stare

11 Jun 2014

Manchester electronic duo Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker bring dark visuals and tense soundtracks

How unfashionable. Mancunian dark-electronic duo Demdike Stare hate feelgood music. In fact, they’d much rather steer their music in a malevolent, unsettling but ultimately mesmerising direction. Their previous releases (a clutch of around ten…

An island guide to Islay, affectionately known as 'the Queen of the Hebrides'

22 May 2014

Or, as it’s even more affectionately known to whisky fans, ‘the one with all the distilleries on it’

For anyone who enjoys a good single malt, this island in the Scottish inner Hebrides (the most southerly one, just west of the Mull of Kintyre, and south of Jura) is essentially a very picturesque whisky theme park. There are eight working whisky…

Travel: Seaview Cottage – stay in a former master whisky distillers home on Islay

22 May 2014

Hire a self-catering cottage with some of the best views - and smells - for whisky lovers

It’s not often you pray for pouring rain on holiday, but when it helps to ease the guilt about staying indoors while you’re staying somewhere unusually picturesque, a torrential downpour starts seeming perversely welcome during a stay here. Particularly…

Crate Digging: Stephen Marshall from Moon Hop

20 May 2014

The resident at the world music dance party gives us a peek inside his record bag

Brought to you by some of the folks behind the FOUND collective (namely Ziggy Campbell and Kev Sim), with a little help from their friends (namely Stephen Marshall and his giant record collection), Moon Hop is a monthly dance party, forward slash, live…

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Interview: producer of intelligent house music Heatsick

4 Apr 2014

The DJ and producer prepares to play the Counterflows festival alongside Golden Teacher & Joe McPhee

Steven Warwick, who’ll be better known to many as the intelligent house producer, and maker of intensely danceable, cyclical-tropical, minimal disco beats, Heatsick, has ordered in lavender room sprays, hula hoops, fortune cookies and yoga mats before…

The Isle of Skye offers more arts and culture than you may think

21 Mar 2014

The island is home to a bustling calendar of visual art, live contemporary music and film events

The devastatingly good looking isle of Skye doesn’t like being patronised. ‘Please don’t call us “remote”,’ one local tells me with only half a smile, as we eat slippery langoustines and pints in the bar of the Eilean Iarmain hotel on a Saturday night.

End-of-year fashion shows display fresh talent from Glasgow and Edinburgh's Art Schools

18 Mar 2014

Names to look out for include Joanna Dixon, Natasha Samasuwo, Salwa McGill and Colleen Leitch

Syrian techno from the ultimate wedding-party DJ, Omar Souleyman, and squelchy Nigerian funk from the mysterious William Onyeabor boomed from the no-nonsense Art School’s speakers on the opening night of the GSA’s Third Year Fashion Show. There was a…

Yves Saint Laurent

13 Mar 20144 stars

The ‘official’ biopic of the couturier takes a glossy look at his fascinating, but tragic life

The impeccably styled but tragic life of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent always had ‘screen adaptation’ written all over it. On the surface, there are his glamorous, emancipating designs; the satiny, mannish tailoring and supple styles which helped…

My Name is Hmmm... (Je m'appelle hmmm...)

3 Mar 20144 stars

Artist Douglas Gordon stars in the first feature from French designer Agnès Troublé

When anyone asks what she does for a living, Agnès Troublé calls herself 'a stylist', or to be more specific, 'a perfectionist'. Troublé is much better known to the world as agnès b.; a well-respected Parisian clothes designer (she can't stand the word…

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Ladyfest Glasgow: They’re not anti-boy, they’re just pro-girl

21 Feb 2014

The annual festival is now a monthly get together promoting woman musicians and DJs

Ladyfest Glasgow aim to subvert that strange but true reality of the music world; there are still more men DJing, more men behind sound desks, more men writing music criticism; more men making the actual music. And for why? Calling bullshit on this…

Five of the best music highlights of the Glasgow Film Festival 2014

19 Feb 2014

Featuring Goblin with Golden Teacher and CHVRCHES' Lauren Mayberry introducing The Punk Singer

Partir to Live Strobes, 12-string guitar drones, skin-on-skin shots, electricity pylons – expect a chilling, confusing hour or so, at this screening of Chilean film Partir To Live. It’s beautifully soundtracked by Dutch minimalist electronic composer…

Bobby Womack - Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Mon 27 Jan 2014, part of Celtic Connections

29 Jan 20144 stars

The soul legend makes a comeback, and proves he's neither shy, or retiring

There are a few things that Bobby Womack can do, that you can’t. He can wear a head to toe red leather outfit and make it look good. He can sing things normal people would just say, without seeming ridiculous. (Eg, ‘Please can you turn up the lights/ I…

Interview: Olaf Furniss, founder of Born To Be Wide

21 Jan 2014

The Scottish music biz get-together and gig night talks pet hates, banned songs and Joe Mangle

For those who don’t know, what is Born To Be Wide? Born To Be Wide was started as a way of bringing together everyone involved in the Edinburgh music scene. We would invite musicians, promoters, record shop staff and famous people with a connection to…

Top 10 albums of 2013

20 Dec 2013

Featuring Boards of Canada, My Bloody Valentine and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Boards of Canada – Tomorrow's Harvest (Warp) Eight years on from The Campfire Headphase, the Edinburgh brothers engaged in a remarkable pre-release album campaign that had fans listening to album streams in the Mojave Desert and watching video…