Have meat, can eat

Have meat, can eat

Kirstin Innes rounds up our pick of tartan tomfoolery ahead of Burns Night

Just when you thought it was safe to crack open your haggis... BURNS IS BACK. Yes, no sooner has the Year of Homecoming been safely consigned to the tartan time capsule than Burns Night 2010 rolls around, with the usual mix of traditional suppers, hardcore ceilidh action and the odd wee rebel event staying true to the Other Bard’s own spirit. (Disclaimer: events may not occur on actual Burns Night...)

In the first category this year, Glaswegians can choose to toast the lassies and laddies with a few more sniggers than normal as funny folk Karen Dunbar and Jonathan Watson perform The Immortal Memory at Oran Mor’s Burns Night (Sat 23 & Sun 24 Jan) underneath Alasdair Gray’s amazing murals, or by honouring all the relevant traditions at House for An Art Lover’s Burns Evening (Mon 25 Jan), where the supper is accompanied by piping, poetry and music from Dennis Haggerty.

Edinburgh’s supper-seekers might fancy High Street stalwart Whiski’s traditional Burns Night Supper (with music from Footstomping, Sun 24 & Mon 25 Jan) or a slightly more unusual version down the road at the Tass (that’ll be Supper With Burns, then, Mon 25 & Tue 26 Jan), where storytellers Linda Bandelier, David Campbell and Donald Smith stir something unco weird into your neeps. Not as uncomfortable as it sounds, that.

If you’d rather dance to help digest your sheep’s stomach, there are a number of great ceilidh options around. Eddi Reader’s headline set at Paisley Abbey is already sold out, but you can still get a wee bit of Celtic stardust at Conrad Molleson’s Burnt Offering (Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Sun 24 Jan) – the the cheeky ex-Shooglenifty guitarist/bassist/singer has roped a few friends in for a jam session. Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange is all booked out in the name of charity: MSP Margo Macdonald hosts St Columba’s Hospice Burns Supper and Ceilidh there on Fri 23 Jan, and the following night the ever-popular Burns Reloaded does it all over again to raise funds for Children 1st. Meanwhile, all the cool kids will have shuffled off down to King Tut’s Birthday Burns Night Celebration (Sun 24 Jan), for a special night of aspiring and inspiring Scottish bands. Broken Records headline, there’s ceilidh from Whisky Kiss, and you still get your haggis, too.

Edinburghers more interested in the cerebral aspects of the celebration might enjoy in ‘Ev’n Winter Bleak has Charms to Me’, a lecture with Dr Patricia Andrew, taking Burns’ words as a starting point to examine artistic interpretations of ice and snow from the National Galleries’ collections (Fri 22 Jan, National Galleries). Glaswegians more interested in burning their feet off in the name of charity might enjoy the Third Degree Burns Night Firewalk (see what they did there? Mon 25 Jan, St Enoch Square) which raises funds for Enable.

Finally, the event we reckon the boy Burns himself would approve of the most is hosted by rabble-rousing literary magazine The Drouth: The Anti-Burns Night III: For Make Benefit of Glorious Magazine of Drouth (Fri 22 Jan, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow), promising poetry, theatrics, alt-gothic-country from The Dirt, with boozing and feeding (and possibly some wenching), and all for free!

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