Pick of 2006 - Hot 100

100 to 51

The List’s Hot 100 celebrates the people who have made the biggest impact on cultural life in Scotland over the past 12 months. Nick Barley explains how this year’s selection was made.

I can admit it now: I was a fool to set up the Hot 100. When you think of the broad spectrum of cultural activities that we cover in The List, from film and music through to eating out, shopping and occasionally sport, it’s clear that the number of potential candidates for inclusion probably numbers in the tens of thousands. So how on earth are we to select the 100 who have made a greater impact on cultural life than anyone else? I don’t know what I was thinking of - especially when I think of all the creative people who are struggling away for success without proper recognition for what they do; without the funds to hire a PR person to win them column inches. It’s a crazy notion to try to make sure that each sector is fairly represented; to be certain that we’ve included everything from popular hits to critical successes.

Despite the flaws in the idea of making this list, I still believe very passionately that it is a good thing to do. I’ve been looking back over the same issues from the past four years, and they add up to a very accurate historical record of cultural life in Scotland - a fantastic advertisement for the quality of what surrounds us.

Sadly for me, this is the last time I’ll be editing a Hot 100 issue (I leave to take up a new job in January), but I am pleased to say that I leave the most complex scoring system ever invented, designed to add an unimpeachable scientific accuracy to the dark art that is the judging process of any such list. It blends the expert views of our judges (the magazine’s section editors) with a score for what critics said across other media, and what you the punters said in our Reader Poll (see page 128 for more). All told, it’s very complicated and very, very accurate.

Most importantly, we’ve made sure that this year’s centurions include more behind-the-scenes wünderkinds than ever before. So, as this list constitutes my farewell to a magazine which passionately wants to promote all that is great in our cultural lives, I dedicate it to Janet McBain (number 74), curator of the Scottish Screen Archive, who works tirelessly to preserve this country’s amazing cinematic history. Her presence in these pages stands for the thousands of people who work stupidly long hours to make the very notion of ‘Hot 100’ cultural superstars possible. Maybe that’s not such a foolish idea after all.

100 Liam Brennan (-)

Liam Brennan
Brennan capped another great year with his performance in Tom Fool as an intense man on a path of psychological self obliteration. This followed a splendid Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice at the Royal Lyceum, and the CATS award for best actor earlier this year for his performance in Tales from Hollywood at Perth Theatre. A gifted, brilliantly detailed actor, with a superb technique, Brennan is an ornament to Scottish theatre. (SC)

99 Popup (-)

To be fair there were a whole bunch of bands who could have filled this slot - sorry The Aliens, Dananananaykroyd, Mendeed, Frightened Rabbit, We Are The Physics and 1990s, maybe next year - but for consistency, musical charm and a way with a narrative lyric not seen since Aidan Moffat’s tales from the deep, they deserve the plaudits. From the moment we heard a demo of ‘Skidmarks’ so many moons ago there was a feeling this band were going to be special. They are. (MR)

98 Vic Galloway (84)

Vic Galloway
While his sonorous tones are well kent around these parts, whether as List columnist, or giving us respite from Zane Lowe’s psychobabble on Radio 1, his enthusiasm makes Galloway such a breath of fresh air in a critical landscape that can too often be depressingly cynical. This year he stepped up his game with a second slot for Radio Scotland - a more mainstream, Friday, drive-time gig - and co-hosting the BBC’s The Music Show with Shantha Roberts (a dead cert for next years Hot 100). If only there were more like him. (MR)

97 Mono (-)

Where else can you enjoy top-drawer vegan cuisine, get jaked on foreign lager, spend a fortune on obscure imported 7in singles then rock out to some fine local and international live talent, all under one roof? In a year where sister venue Stereo sadly closed, Mono remained the epitome of Glasgow boho cool. (MJ)

96 Tony Cownie (-)

Cownie faced probably the toughest job a director had to contend with this year in the sprawling narrative and many short scenes of Tutti Frutti, and made a triumph of the complexities within the text’s many beauties. Add this to a distinguished Tartuffe and it’s been a great year for the director, who has surely now established his credentials as one of Scotland’s leading directors. Add to this his ability as an actor, and you have a great all rounder. (SC)

95 Ashley Jensen (27)

Ashley Jensen
The lassie from Dumfries and Galloway started the year alongside Patrick Stewart in the science-based drama The Eleventh Hour but was back where she belonged beside Bowie in the second series of Extras. Like her mentor Gervais, she has now hit America with a role in hit comedy Ugly Betty. (BD)

94 Roddy Woomble (89)

Taking a brief sabbatical from Idlewild, Woomble delivered a lyrical folk album, collaborating with Kate Rusby and Karine Polwart along the way. He was also the driving force behind Ballads of the Book, a project involving Scotland’s leading literature and indie names, due for release next year. (DJ)

93 Studio 24 (-)

Studio 24
The beginning of 2006 looked bleak for Edinburgh’s clubland. Venues were closing left, right and centre and it looked like Studio 24 was going the same way due to noise complaints. Legal representatives advised licensee David McArthur that closure was ‘imminent’, but things started to turn a corner when regular clubbers banded together to help soundproof the club. Miraculously, Studio 24 got its reprieve. The owners have revamped their interior and their club roster while still sticking to their rock and techno roots. Meanwhile, their live music programme has stepped up to the next level with acts ranging from Lily Allen to Rancid playing the last few months. A true grassroots clubbing success story. (HN)

92 Franz Ferdinand (2)

Franz Ferdinand
2006 was a relatively quiet year for Franz, featuring just 104 gigs worldwide -" including support slots for U2. They did find time to drop in to the Edinburgh International Book Festival to discuss songwriting though. And frontman Alex Kapranos released a book of food critique columns. Okay, so perhaps not so quiet then. (MJ)

91 Tina Warren (-)

No one could have imagined the burlesque Club Noir would have gone on to achieve the success it has. Now housed within the massive Carling Academy (with various ventures across in Edinburgh from time to time) Tina Warren and Ian Single's night of old school cabaret, striptease and vaudeville has struck a cord with the public. Remember: 'no jeans or trainers'. (HN)

90 Meg Fraser (-)

There are moments in the theatre when a performer seems to take on a role so completely that it is difficult even for hardened critics not to be completely taken into the illusion of their character. For such a performance, in one show alone, Meg Fraser warrants inclusion in this list. Her work as the much put upon and at times self deceiving wife in Tom Fool at the Citizens’ Theatre was one that will no doubt put many critics in mind of awards time. (SC)

89 Mark Millar (-)

One of the best writers in comics, Millar’s achievements are many and varied, spearheading titles like The Unfunnies, Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four, The Authority, Swamp Thing and Wolverine. However, this year he landed perhaps his most prestigious gig to date, masterminding Marvel’s huge crossover event, Civil War (selling over 250,000 per issue), that led to Spiderman’s groundbreaking unmasking. (HN)

88 Julie Fowlis (-)

Julie Fowlis
We shouldn’t always believe the hype when people win awards, but for North Uist-born Fowlis, the hype has been justified. Her position as a talent in traditional music was solidified with her nomination for best singer at the Radio 2 Folk Awards this year. Whether it is singing solo or as part of the inimitable Dòchas, she is a graceful and beguiling a singer as you could find. (MR)

87 David McLennan (-)

After revolutionising West End lunchtimes with his A Play, A Pie and A Pint series, this year the 7:84 veteran beat Vicky Featherstone to the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award (Theatre) in December, by proving that Glaswegians will go to see Fringe shows (if they’re staged at the Oran Mor) and genteel Edinburgh residents will consume Scotch pies (provided they can wash down their gristle with some theatre). (KI)

86 XFM (-)

It’s already become such a driving force in Scottish radio that it’s easy to forget XFM only started in 2006. The home of indie radio, it’s an oasis of eclectic music, with a distinct Scottish accent. XFM has also helped reinvigorate the live scene across Scotland, with gigs, band comps and events like their Winter Wonderland. (HN)

85 Charlie Fletcher (-)

When it comes to children’s literature, a vivid imagination is required by both writer and reader. And this one has it in spades. In Stoneheart a bunch of statues come to life promising bad deeds upon the boy who awoke them from their inanimate slumber. But help is naturally at hand. (BD)

84 Tommy Sheppard (97)

Proving that a comedy venue is for life and not just for August, the Stand’s magnet-like ability to attract the top comics on the circuit has never been stronger and their eye for a pioneering idea has thrived with their all-female SiStars! and all-newcomers Red Raw nights. (BD)

83 Tom Kitchin (-)

Tom Kitchin
The fast-rising young star in the Scottish culinary scene, Edinburgh-born Kitchin returned from ten years working in highly rated European restaurants to open his own establishment in Leith in 2006. Cooking superbly with well-sourced Scottish produce he quickly impressed both diners and critics. The restaurant’s name? Simple enough: The Kitchin. (DR)

82 John Byrne (-)

John Byrne’s long and distinguished career in Scottish theatre reaped another highlight this year with a theatre adaptation of his 1987 television serial Tutti Frutti, a triumph for the NTS. The story of Danny and his sudden promotion to leading his late brother’s ailing retro band amused and moved audiences wherever it was seen. It was a reminder of Byrne’s ability, and a fitting tribute to the great man. (SC)

81 Janice Kirkpatrick (-)

As creative director of Glasgow design giants Graven Images, Kirkpatrick led a team to glory in Edinburgh by creating the swaggering splendour of Tigerlily in George Street - easily the classiest of the New Reekie style bars. But along the way Kirkpatrick also chaired the board of The Lighthouse, guiding Scotland’s design and architecture centre with a steady hand while it waited for List editor Nick Barley to take up his new post as director. (ER)

80 Martin Smith (-)

Thirty-three-year-old filmmaker Smith won the BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Short Film for the very fine Tracks. Smith's directorial CV includes music videos for Arab Strap and The Delgados, and a television show in which he portrayed Edinburgh through the eyes of its celebrity inhabitants. He is also part of The Script Factory's Writers Group, and is developing a number of feature screenplays. You will be hearing more from this man. (PD)

79 Boxwars (-)

Sometimes it’s one of those days when you just want to batter someone with a postal tube. Fortunately for this country’s angry types, Scotland is home to Boxwars; an evening of childish entertainment heralded as punk’s answer to therapy. The premise is simple: make yourself some armour using cardboard and parcel tape, being as imaginative as your life permits you. Then, in a sweaty club with a band pumping up the energy, batter those around you until you’re all left panting amongst the shredded remains of the battleground.

Founded in October 2005 by two veterans of the Australian scene, Boxwars UK has grown steadily in popularity, with events attracting large crowds of fight-hungry revellers. The atmosphere is akin to Fight Club, with the crowd roaring for more as cardboard robots headbutt dragons, while dodging the advances of a shoebox knight. Although the website carries a warning to participants, injuries are
few because of the mutual respect and acknowledgement of the boundaries.

It’s a fun way of letting off steam, not a bloodbath, and the biggest warning of all goes to that packaging you were going to chuck in the bin: fight or be recycled. The choice is yours. (SBe)

78 Mark Hathaway and Robert Jones (-)

Robert Jones
Behind the scenes at Scottish Opera, these two staff producers get up to all sorts of things that are bringing opera to a new audience. Whether as assistant directors on productions from The Ring to Rosenkavalier, or Hathaway’s work with young students at the RSAMD, they are critical figures in the success of opera in Scotland. But above all it’s for their ground-breaking Unwrapped project that Hathaway and Jones make our list this year. Watch out for more next year (CM)

77 Indian Summer (-)

Giving a Scottish music festival such a moniker was always going to tempt fate. But the drizzle did little to deter revellers, drawn to Glasgow’s leafy Victoria Park by the refreshing line-up of diverse acts, Yo La Tengo, The Fall, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Antony and the Johnsons and Hot Chip inclusive. Small in size, big in heart, we’re hoping this one will return over and over and over and over and over again. (JG)

76 Catherine Lockerbie (-)

Catherine Lockerbie
Under Lockerbie’s directorship, the Edinburgh International Book Festival continues to grow in size and reputation, enjoying its most successful year in 2006. With ticket sales up 8% and almost 60% of events selling out, highlights included sessions with Harold Pinter and Seamus Heaney, lively political debates and a brand new Autumn mini-festival, featuring Margaret Atwood and Gordon Brown. (AR)

75 Peter Capaldi (-)

Glasgow born actor/writer/director Capaldi has been as busy as ever this year. On TV he did unsurpassable work with his portrayal of the Alistair Campbell-ish spin-doctor in The Thick of It, and in the excellent drama Pinochet in Suburbia. He also made a return to Scottish cinema as a lascivious priest in low budget werewolf flick Wild Country. He has also just started work on his second directorial feature The Great Pretender starring Ewan McGregor. (PD)

74 Janet McBain (-)

Winner of this year's BAFTA Scotland Outstanding Achievement in Film award, archivist McBain finally got the recognition she deserved. For the past 25 years she has collated, curated, cleaned and organised the phenomenal Scottish Screen archive, a unique and widely used collection of over 32,000 films and videocassettes. Scotland's cultural history stands or falls on the work of great ladies like this. (PD)

73 King Creosote (13)

Kenny Anderson’s folk-flecked tunes finally broke into the mainstream, thanks to major label backing and a year gigging his ass off at every venue and festival imaginable. His own label, Fence Records, flourished, and both he and the Fife-based Fence Collective which he spawned continued to produce the coolest music in the country. (DJ)

72 Francis McKee (-)

As lecturer, curator, art writer, critic and director of the CCA, it’s hard to beat Francis McKee. He successfully began to turn round the flagging institution around after taking over the helm after a series of dodgy decisions (made by the previous governor) that had left the art world glitterati and viewing public very cold indeed. And on top of that he brought together the increasingly influential Glasgow International. (AK)

71 Phil Kay (-)

Phil Kay
He’s always been something of a big kid, albeit one with a straggly beard, but this year he wooed adults and children alike with his Fringe shows. Gimme Your Left Shoe charmed the weans while his new life by the seaside inspired more improvised derring-do after the watershed. (BD)

70 Timorous Beasties

Glasgow’s favourite textile designers are Paul Sullivan and Alistair McAuley, otherwise known as Timorous Beasties. Last year they may have been shortlisted for the Designer of the Year prize at the Design Museum in London with their Glasgow Toile fabric that included pictures of drug-addled Glaswegians among the pastoral scenes, but in 2006 the Beasties capitalised on their notoriety, designing a new collection of lace which won an Elle Deco award. Next year they’ll be even hotter, thanks to a solo exhibition at DCA. (NB)

69 Belle and Sebastian (16)

Belle and Sebastian
From a wispy folk-filled start to glam and funk-tinged offerings, these stalwarts of the Glasgow music scene just keep on improving. Their seventh album The Life Pursuit was released to critical acclaim earlier this year, affirming frontman Stuart Murdoch’s place as one of our finest lyricists and Belle and Sebastian as a formidable force in contemporary pop. (CP)

68 Triptych (-)

Triptych proves sponsorship doesn’t have to stifle creativity. Weighing in with an eclectic line-up that encompassed iconic figures like Aphex Twin, Odetta and the Sun Ra Arkestra. Refusing to bow to sheer commerciality, Triptych has proved there is a market for the leftfield while never overlooking up-and-coming Scottish acts. (HN)

67 Robbie Coltrane (-)

Melvyn Bragg had a decent fight with him over the war in Iraq on the South Bank Show but Coltrane kept smiling through realising he had just made a strong comeback in the role of Edward ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald. This year’s Cracker was a typically tense affair about a bitter ex-squaddie out for revenge. (BD)

66 Found

With the sad demise of The Beta Band in 2004 we were needing another bunch of multimedia malcontents to inspire, confuse and delight audiences with their own boundary-free pop. Found's debut album, Found Can Move, emerged this year and was a gem - replete with a colour-your-own cover sleeve. For Found though, the focus is less the music - which blends bubbling dancefloor introspection with textured folk pop - and more the overall trip. Nowhere was this more perfectly realised than in the band's 2006 Electric Proms performance. Fo this musical 'event' courtesy of the BBC's season this autumn, this Edinburgh-based quintent teamed up with comedy duo Noble and Silver to create something interactive, unpredictable and fun. Comic vignettes were nailed to musical loops while the performances splintered, and even ended up in a cupboard at one point. This makes sense from a band who once hosted a gig that centred around throwing paper aeroplanes to make music. The future is a blank canvas for them to scribble on. (MR)

65 Steven Thomson (80)

Steven Thomson
The Glasgay! director has enjoyed a triumphant year, bringing the annual celebration of queer culture to a wide audience, Louise Welsh’s The Importance of Being Alfred among this year’s many highlights. Thomson also presided over a successful first year for the Q Gallery. (AR)

64 Malcolm Fraser (-)

Things came together neatly for Fraser this year, as he completed an assured restoration and extension of the old HBOS bank in Edinburgh. Fraser’s Scottish Storytelling Centre also opened its doors shoehorning a delicious space into a tricky heritage site. Best of all, his £5m Dance City building opened up in Newcastle. There should be international work aplenty for Scottish architects of his calibre. (NB)

63 Jamie Byng (31)

Jamie Byng
The Canongate boss steered the Edinburgh-based publishing house through a year of change. Byng himself moved into a new role as publisher and MD, handing on the commissioning role to incoming editorial director Anya Serota while proving there’s life after Pi with a brace of Booker nominations for authors Kate Grenville and MJ Hyland. Behind the scenes, work progressed - in partnership with Birlinn - on a major biography of Sean Connery. (AR)

62 Mark Nelson (-)

Voted Scottish Comedian of the Year in September, Nelson has a fair job on to justify this lofty title (to be fair to him, the word New should really have been inserted somewhere). Luckily, his act so far merges the offbeat and the offensive and definitely reveals a star in the making. (BD)

61 Alan Spence (-)

Alan Spence
With The Pure Land, the Glasgow-born poet and novelist created a beguiling masterpiece. Spence’s tale of an 18-year-old Scot learning the ways of the Japanese Samurai and embarking on a tragic love affair with a courtesan is both page-turning adventure and enlightening historical epic. (AR)

60 Cabaret Voltaire (-)

Cabaret Voltaire
In the face of adversity and the harsh times Edinburgh club and gig venues faced throughout 2005 and 2006, the Cab stood out as a haven for live music and DJs. Totally committed to bringing new bands and tours to Edinburgh and constantly pushing the boundaries with an enviable club roster (including the likes of Ultragroove, Soul Biscuits, Trouble and Sugar Beat), without it the capital would be a far quieter city. (HN)

59 Simon Grohe (-)

Simon Grohe
The 28-year-old Napier University film student wrote, directed and produced what is possibly the funniest short of 2006. Run, Toni, Run!, the tale of a man who becomes bored of his life in the Highlands and decides to plan his escape, was rightly rewarded with the BAFTA Scotland for Best New Screenplay in the New Talent category. Grohe's debut was so good that we believe (after he's finished his dissertation) he will be a major force in Scottish film. No pressure, Simon, but we know you've got a few film ideas in the pipeline. (PD)

58 Nicola Benedetti (4)

She may be stunning looking, but it is her violin playing that sets Nicola Benedetti apart from other classical babes. Growing in stature all the time, it is difficult to believe that she is not yet 20. Inspirational to budding violinists and a Unicef ambassador, she’s a genuinely lovely person too. (CM)

57 Arab Strap (-)

Arab Strap
Breaking up may be hard to do, but messrs Moffat and Middleton bit the bullet with style as they brought us their Ten Years of Tears retirement tour and compilation album. But the swathe of sadness should be replaced by a pride and happiness that they have left us a fine musical legacy. (BD)

56 Andy Armour (-)

After a prodigious but diminishing career in television and small Scottish film productions Gorbals born actor Armour had returned to taxi cabbing. He made his return this year as the 'dog man' in Red Road and has been told that he is to be the lead character in the second of the 'Advance Party' trilogy Barras, in which he will play dodgy market trader Alfred. Not bad for a 68-year-old veteran: his overnight success may just be around the corner. (PD)

55 Soma Records (-)

Soma Records
What would Glasgow clubland be without Soma? Not only would headboys Slam never have released the seminal ‘Positive Education’ on the world but the likes of Funk d’Void, My Robot Friend, Alex Smoke, Silicone Soul and even Daft Punk may never have got off the ground. Celebrating their 15th anniversary in 2006, it’s been a decade and a half of the best in beats, all with a twisted Glasgow edge. (HN)

54 Karine Polwart (-)

Karine Polwart
Stirlingshire folky Karine has had a productive 12 months indeed. Sophomore album ‘Scribbled in Chalk’ scored some adoring press, BBC Radio had her in for a multitude of live sessions and she received two nominations for the Scots Traditional Music Awards - testimony to her intelligent, impassioned flair for roots songsmithery. (MJ)

53 De Rosa (-)

De Rosa
This post-folk Lanarkshire four-piece had a vintage year, particularly since it involved penning a deal with Glasgow’s leading indie label Chemikal Underground. Debut album ‘Mend’ was released to widespread acclaim, while support slots for Mogwai and Arab Strap were indicative of the musical lineage they’re tipped to extend. (MJ)

52 Keith Hartley (-)

Keith Hartley
Raves in Berlin, cocktails in New York, naked art performances in Edinburgh: welcome to the lipsmacking, jetsetting, high-octane universe of Keith Hartley. There was once a time when working as a curator in a national art collection would have meant spending years of painstaking academic research, worthily but dustily enriching the nation’s knowledge of an arcane collection of paintings. That kind of work does still go on, but there’s a new breed of Euro-curators and this year has seen the arrival of the first of them within Scotland’s National Galleries. Not that Hartley is a fly-by-night fashionista - far from it: his down-to-earth dedication and hard graft have resulted in three hugely successful exhibitions this year, including the shockingly popular Ron Mueck show and the shockingly good Douglas Gordon exhibition, both at the RSA Building in Edinburgh, as well as a shockingly demure, but quietly excellent survey of US photographer Robert Mapplethorpe at the National Gallery of Modern Art. All this while acting as a lynchpin in the bid to acquire Anthony D’Offay’s £100 million art collection for the nation. Rock on, Keith. (NB)

51 Nathan Coley (-)

Nathan Coley
With his Summer installation at Bute’s beautiful Mount Stuart, Coley showed that his essays in the overlaps of architecture and belief systems, are underpinned by a powerful insight into history, religion, tradition - and fairground lighting. By December, fresh from a major installation in Santiago de Compostela, Coley was conquering Glasgow (The Lighthouse) and Edinburgh (SNGMA). What a year. (NB)


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