Showing posts with label 2016. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2016. Show all posts

Friday, 13 January 2017

2016

Blazin Fiddles

Has been a turbulent, insane, divisive and blind year and full of losses too. The words in 2016 were – fake news, post truth, we don’t know – if the news doesn’t know anymore?

Supposedly we voted in 2014 for ‘the security and safety’ of an ‘equal’ partnership with Westminster' and greater Devolution??  Mmm? As MP Mhairi Black writes - 'they ask the Scottish parliament to drive a car with only the use of the indicators. '

And Independence dreams…..
Some fearful unionists supporters put the ‘Daily Star’ on top of the independence supporting ‘National’ newspaper every day! In the vain hope that any independence hopes will simply fade away!. I like to hope in the end truth can prevail and the reality of the false lies (not promises at all) from the false Westminster wake the doubters up. 
Scotland is very defiantly a real country, with very real and very different aspirations to those of England.  In fact Scotland has a long and proud history. I hope doubters can see this and that the best hopes for Scotland’s future lie in independence in Europe. 

Just as well the Westminster elites and those bumbling idiots such as Boris and Davis are "taking back control for us all" - **phew **- I was worried there are a while too? A lot of the 'posh' folks are champagne socialists - one rule for meself, another for the plebs. My motto is - no matter if you are a no or yes, or remain or leave in these FAKE referendums – we need to 'de-centralise the UK governments' (which have been over-centralised ever since the great wars last century). And that would be really taking back control!

7 is one of my lucky numbers so I am hoping for some magic in 2017!. Things can be better if we remember first our shared humanity – and our interconnectedness – that has made us what we are.

I believe we need more Education on Modern studies and Philosophy (rather than out-dated religions that don't run countries anymore, that is why at the time of Union 1707 Scotland kept the Kirk as religions used to run countries) urgently these days to counteract all the nonsense Fake News, Post Truth and online propaganda. We have a new US President elected on sensational Twitter posts and an unelected UK PM steering this strange exit to some unknown destination. What is going on?

That is one big reason I focus on music, art and poetry – for they express what unites us and more – the Arts express our higher callings. This used to be religion. I’m not religious but I do believe in that magic at a top class gig when everyone is singing and everyone is believing. This sustains us and feeds our soul. Some of us have forgotten though….
Chieftians concert for the Easter Rising Celtic Connections 2016

2017 will be a Year of Anniversaries…..

 500 years – Martin Luther Reformation
100 years - Finland’s’ Independence
100 years – Russian Revolution
150 years - Canadian independence

Also ironically the 60 year anniversary of the Treaty of Rome;
And the 70 year anniversary of the Edinburgh International festival.



PS  It is well worth watching this recording of Nicola Sturgeon's speech to Irish Senate (Seanad Eireann) and the Senates questions and responses after. Not sure I saw this mentioned on the BBC news!??

  

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Emeli Sande Oran Mor 2016


   
Sande returns with her second album ‘Long Live the Angels’  this September and with lead single Hurts. She was the biggest selling UK artist of 2012 and sang at the Olympic ceremonies in London when she had number one singles - 'Read All About It' with Professor Green, and 'Your Beautiful' with Labyrinth. She hails from Aberdeenshire and attended medical school in Glasgow. At that time she was travelling down to London to work on song writing on her weekends.


Sande thrilled her fans with her intimate return gig! She lit up the spiritual setting of the Oran Mor Auditorium with old songs and new for the first gig of her mini tour.  The sold out crowd of fans welcomed her with open arms and sang along to the past hits and bounced to some of the new!
Emeli was in her element to be back on stage and gave her all. She greeted us with her genuine heart, soulful voice and rhythms, and warm-hearted smile.  She said it meant so much to her to have us there and to share not just in a music biz way. A more assured Emeli gave more time, space and introspection in her music.

She performed enriching, heartfelt, reaching out songs such as 'My Kind of Love' and the poignant 'Read All About it '– to what is best in us. There was the gentle haunting beauty of 'Clown' and new song 'Intermission' with only bass or piano backing her voice when she reaches soulful heights. and in contrast  the upbeat energy of songs like Rhianna’s 'Four Five Seconds', Babe and 'Next To Me'. Her band felt very much a tight knit unit and the Oran Mor auditorium a perfect setting.

Even the older songs were given a more subtle feel while keeping those strong rhythms.  She expressed both her new found confidence and her vulnerability. In her moving new single 'Hurts' she combines sadness with spiritual healing and hopeful renewals.

Sande spoke of her spiritual journey since 2012. This is in part a break up album, as her marriage to long time boyfriend Adam Gouraguine in 2012 didn’t work out. She is now in a new relationship. This is an artist who’s been through more of life’s challenges and is stronger for them.


She digs deep into her musical roots of choir singing (her father is a music teacher) her appreciation of soul, blues, R & B and of great female songwriters like Nina Simone and Carole King. Emeli combines memorable sing-along choruses, rhythmic beats along with touching lyrics and melodies sung with her magnetic soulful voice. 

It was hard to believe it was 9 years since I saw her here for her first Oran Mor gig! 


**SET
Intermission
Heaven
Give me Something
Every Single Little Price
Eight Five Seconds
This Much is True
Happen
My Kind of love
Hurts
Clown
Babe
High and lows
Next to Me
Read All About it

In December 2007 I went to see Emeli Sande play her debut gig at the Oran Mor for the launch of her first ep. Back then she had big dark hair and was known as Adele. She had a top band backing her and we thought she had an impressive voice. Little did we know she would go on to have such huge success. I met Emeli at her King Tuts gig and took photos back stage there. I am sure it must mean a great deal to her to be back at the Oran Mor this Sunday for the first gig to promote her second album Long Live the Angels and I am excited to hear her new songs. My biggest thrill in 2012 was to take photos at her Albert hall gig London!
My Emeli Sande galleries -  http://pkimage.co.uk/emelisande

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Allan Ramsay festival



New Allan Ramsay festival Carlops 14 - 16 October 2016. 

Allan Ramsay Snr Born 1684 – 1758 Leadhills Lanarkshire, was a Scottish poet who strongly influenced Robert Burns. He was one of the founders of the Easy Club, a group of like-minded men who enjoyed literary discussions over a bottle of claret. It was known for Jacobite sympathies and Ramsay was determined the Scots language would not die out in the years after the Act Of Union (1707) when “North Britishness” was all the rage.
He started to earn money for his verse collections in Scots and then decided to turn his wigmaking shop in the Old Town into a booksellers. He also decided to  rent out books, and became known as the founder of Britain’s first library.

He also composed Scotland’s first opera The Gentle Shepherd, which is a ballad opera both comedy and a homage to the joy of pastoral life, which was his masterpiece. There is monument to Allan Ramsay Snr in Princes St Gardens.

Allan Ramsay Jnr was his eldest son. He studied art in London and Italy and then based himself in Edinburgh in 1738. He established himself as a portrait painter and later moved to London. Where he was appointed official portrait painter to King George III. Earlier this year, his long lost portrait of Charles Edward Stuart, painted at Hollywood in 1745, was bought for the nation at a cost of £1m and now hangs in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. 




Sunday, 11 September 2016

Alan Cumming Sang 'Sappy Songs' at the Hub

The Seductive charmer!

Cumming has come out the other side – and used the tragedies as his strength.
 The Edinburgh Hub venue was set for a Late night Cabaret show with soft lights and drinks tables encircling the stage. The consummate performer, his first dramatic song Somewhere Only We know and Annie Lennox’s Why, set the tone for an evening of high drama with strong passions and a voice of character, sincerity and depth. His story ranged from deep tragedy to comedy relief, good humour and the fun of being on stage.

His song choices expressed the rich variety of his life, from showbiz nights with Liza Minnelli to his drama school days in Glasgow.  Some songs were from our most famous, inspired divas, others were from artistic and less well known men!

 He sang Miley Cyrus song The Climb, Adele’s Someone Like You, Goodnight Saigon, Mother Glasgow and other musical numbers. Also Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know, Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory, Kate Perry’s Firework. He said they were actually all one song!  He was well accompanied by a 3-piece band, with cello, piano and drums.

He sang Michael Marra’s song, Mother Glasgow, before which he explained Scottish words to his diverse audience. He also sang a French and a German song

Interspersed with his songs, were tales of his show biz life – of growing up in Aberfeldy, of Glasgow and his rocky family life.
He spoke of his maternal grandfather Tommy Darling, who had been a war hero, suffered PTSD disorder and died tragically in  the Caribbean, where he had a street named after him. He told fondly of these memories and said he felt he owed a great deal to his mother and to her father.

In 2015 he wrote a moving autobiography entitled, Not My Father’s Son, and tonight the pain of his bullying father was expressed with torn emotions in the Billy Joel song, Dinner at Eight.
Cumming spoke of how he began performing in Musselburgh. Thirty two years ago he played Victor and Barry show at the Fringe when he was a drama student ;Of The Café Royal NY and the Cabaret Show Broadway and of Studio 54 in1998.


He sang with drama, passions, full on emotion and sincerity, even Scottish shyness at times, with his neon sign CLUB CUMMING flashing behind him. Each song told its own vivid story. Liza told him to think of ‘every song as a play', and to have both show business and authenticity' - no mean feat. When he performed 8 shows a week he started Club Cumming in his dressing room and that is where we were tonight at those after show parties.

So where was the song for his mother? In the last song about all those special ladies and also all through the set perhaps? He spoke and sang of the importance of how we all connect – his tattoo says ONLY CONNECT, from the book Howards End. He sang for all the broken souls. 
Cumming at Edinburgh book festival