Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014: Scotland’s High Profile Year

The Hydro Glasgow

2014 has proved a dramatic year of change with big highs and lows and expectations.
Winds of change have swept away old orders with a tide of political engagement in Scotland the like of which I have never experienced in my lifetime. Scotland 2014 proved to be a world record in democratic voting, with over 82% turned out to vote.
Iain MacWhirter writes Sunday Herald 28.12.14, comparing 2014 to the Summer of Love in 1967 - when social and political landscapes were changed forever, ' The old order of deference, conformity, convention was swept away by a colourful tide of positivity and sometimes wacky togetherness.'

Scottish Independence is a journey we have taken massive leaps towards. As it becomes clearer and clearer how unworkable devolution is, and with the SNP, Greens and others now holding the narrative it is only a matter of time on the road to Independence. 
Ten years ago I wondered was devolution enough but not today. Scotland's voice has woken up from centuries of silence and apathy and of believing our voices made no difference - and will not now be easily silenced. Many now realise they can have a voice and can shape their future.  

Glasgow hosted an ecstatic summer of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Later in October Gleneagles held the golfing highlight of the Ryder Cup amid the splendour of the Perthshire countryside.

The Glasgow Hydro brought in 130m for Glasgow with big acts like Beyonce, Rod Stewart, Justin Timberlake.  
Del Amitri
There was great tragedy too with the fire at the iconic Rennie MacIntosh Glasgow Art School which left the beautiful library destroyed. We hope the building can be rebuilt. Then also just three days before Christmas tragedy struck in George Square Glasgow when a bin lorry lost control and ploughed through shoppers, sadly killing six and injuring seven. Glasgow grieved again just a year after the Clutha tragedy when a helicopter landed on the bar. We are reminded of the fragility of life. 

MUSIC 2014
Music icons tended to over shadow younger artists this year.
Bob Dylan released his Basement Tapes of 1967 (also the Summer of love) Kate Bush performed a month of theatrical sold out shows in London.
Sometimes it is no easy task to rediscover innovative creativity with clear, meaningful messages.  I also enjoyed this year - Mary Chapman Carpenter, White Denim, Sarah McLachlan, Head and Heart, Hozier,

The Big Dish

SCOTTISH MUSIC 2014 - produced many top quality and award winning albums, completely ignored by the London mainstream Record Labels and the BBC Sound of Poll.
There was rather bland London singer songwriters like Ed Sheeran, I am no fan of, and he received a lot of attention this year – but for myself give me these Scottish singer songwriters to listen to -  Withered Hand, King Creoste, Hazey Janes, RM Hubbert, Poalo Nutini, Julie Fowlis, Chvrches, Biffy Clyro.   

Alan Morrison, writing in the Herald lists his top Scottish albums of 2014 here –

I attended many top quality gigs art Celtic Connections and at my local folk club.

The National
A new newspaper was launched in Scotland offering a new voice and democracy of press. Great to see.
99% of the Scottish media and press during the Scottish referendum questions was controlled by a hostile Westminster - this was anti-democracy.  In Scandinavia it is illegal not to have a balanced press.