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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…

Round-up: Ayrshire’s best foods and producers

24 Mar 2015

Discover a taste of Ayrshire and Arran with our guide to best grown, reared, land, brewed and made

The importance of Scotland’s first potatoes each year to see sunlight is being backed up by a PGI application to have the Ayrshire ‘earlies’ name protected. Girvan Early Growers Ltd are a cooperative of farmers and companies, including the mighty Albert…

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…

March DVD/VOD Review Round-up

2 Mar 2015

Including Broadchurch, Wolf Hall, The Imitation Game, '71, Horns, Nightcrawler and more

The second series of Broadchurch (Acorn) ●● has already been much discussed but unfortunately we concur: it's a mess. The courtroom drama veers all over the place while everyone involved in the old Sandbrook case suddenly seems to remember vital clues…

February DVD Review Round-up

13 Feb 2015

Including The Maze Runner, Love, Rosie, Gone Girl, Annabelle, Olive Kitteridge and more

We start this month's DVD round-up with the latest entry in the ever expanding world of young adult sci-fi. Unfortunately this burgeoning subgenre is becoming a bit formulaic and The Maze Runner (20th Century Fox) is very Hunger Games-esque but has a…

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Records Also Released

11 Feb 2015

A round-up of new releases for February

Daniel Avery’s 2013 debut album Drone Logic didn’t so much reinvent techno as present a pristine contemporary version of it, drawing from iconic influences like the Chemical Brothers and Underworld to hammer out a sound that was credible and crossover…

Singles and EPs – February 2015

10 Feb 2015

Featuring Aphex Twin, Claude Speeed, Idlewild and Shield Patterns

Does what it says on the tin, this one – serial bamboozler Richard D James has rigged up a room full of keys and percussion to be played via computer, and produced an EP of 13 typically obscure sketches. Far from the chin-scratching, fans-only affair…

2015 Highlights: Books

17 Dec 2014

Featuring: Iain Banks, Kirsty Logan, Curtis Sittenfeld, John Green and, hopefully, George RR Martin

Iain Banks’ death in 2013 has left a tangible absence in the world of Scottish books, and this new volume of poetry – including many previously unpublished poems – will be welcomed by fans of his work. They have been collected by his friend Ken MacLeod…

Christmas TV roundup

11 Dec 2014

Comedians, catastrophes and quiches dominate the festive small screen line-up

This time last year, Rik Mayall was appearing as Greg Davies’ mischievous dad in a Man Down Christmas special. Twelve months on and tragically, inexplicably, the BBC are laying on a tribute to the late, very great comedic whirlwind who died in June at…

DVD Roundup: Winter 2014

27 Nov 2014

Including François Truffaut classics, Alain Robbe-Grillet: Six Films, The Lunch Box and Frank

Most of the recent François Truffaut films released on DVD by Artificial Eye don’t need much of a recommendation: films like 400 Blows, Shoot the Pianist and Jules et Jim are masterpieces well-acknowledged. But two that might need a bit of a push are…

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Top five Book Week Scotland 2014 events

12 Nov 2014

Including the Inky Fingers Scavenger Hunt, Tales in The Tower and the Travelling Book Trolley of Joy

The Inky Fingers Scavenger Hunt Teams of four can take up the challenge of hunting down objects related to literary Edinburgh. A prize-giving will be held on Sun 30 Nov in The Forest Café with writers and live music. Various venues, Edinburgh, Mon…

Album Roundup – October 2014

15 Oct 2014

Including new releases from Flying Lotus, Adrian Crowley, Graveyard Tapes and Deerhoof

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! (Warp) ●●●●● The album you’re surely least likely to expect to find the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg guesting on this year, Flying Lotus’ fifth, You’re Dead!, is that rare monster, a record which is entirely…

Top 5 new book releases this autumn

9 Oct 2014

Including David Nicholls, Ian McEwan, Val McDermid, Ian Rankin and Lena Dunham

David Nicholls – Us (Hodder & Stoughton) Flushed by the success of the intensely loveable *3One Day*2 and creditably not put off by the poorness of the film version which followed, David Nicholls here swaps youthful romance for lived-in, mature love…

Bloody Scotland crime writing festival enjoys most successful year yet

22 Sep 2014

'Tartan noir' highlights include Christopher Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Tony Parsons and Ian Rankin

Bloody Scotland started in 2012 with the intention of showcasing the best of Scottish and international crime writing. This has been the festival’s most successful year yet, with packed out author events and less traditional happenings, such as a…

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…

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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…

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…

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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 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…

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…

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…