Showing posts with label Muse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Muse. Show all posts

Thursday 30 April 2015

Poet Robert Fergusson

Robert Burns wrote of Robert Fergusson - 'My elder brother in misfortune, By far my elder brother in the muse.'

When Burns first arrived in Edinburgh in 1787, after two days pony ride, he went to find Fergusson's grave in the Canongate graveyard and he found there was no grave for his poetic mentor and so he paid what money he had to lay a commemorative stone of his own design on his grave.  When Burns first read Fergusson’s poems in the Scots dialect, he realised that he too might write in this way.

In a recent TV documentary author Andrew O'Hagan said that - ' without Burns we might never have known about Robert Fergusson and without Fergusson there might never have been our national bard Robert Burns.'

Unlike Burns, Fergusson was well connected and highly educated.  Fergusson was tutored at home and at fourteen he gained a bursary to a Dundee Grammar school. After which Fergusson attended St Andrews university to study Maths and Philosophy. Scotland believed in offering all a good education as a route out of poverty and so boys could read and interpret the Bible.

When he returned to Edinburgh, at the height of the Scottish Enlightenment, he worked as a legal copyist and he was part of the literary circle in Edinburgh called the Cape Club.  He began to write poems about the Edinburgh people and he wrote some poems in the Scottish dialect.  He had poems published in Walter Ruddiman's Weekly Review. His masterpiece is a poem entitled Auld Reekie.

He had his one poetry book published in 1773. Then his poems stopped and after he had a fall he was committed. Shortly after he died at the young age of 24.   

Fergusson is one of 16 poets depicted on the Scott Monument and he appears beside Robert Burns.  Several of Burn's work has traces of the impact of Fergusson's work - 'Leith Races' was a model for Burn's 'Holy Fair'; 'On Seeing a Butterfly' has similarities to 'To a Mouse'. 

Monday 25 February 2013

Brits 2013

Muse opened the show with a big production behind them of attractive ladies paying violins. Considering Mumford are the big thing, it might have been cooler to have them open and have Muse playing a more real band set later in the show. Mumford's dance vibes mixed with folk offer a real fun energetic set. I saw Mumford in Glasgow in April 2010 and they certainly got the crowd dancing and singing. The sets were spot on though and a lot of thought had gone into Robbie Williams chequered backdrop!
American artists Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift performed, as did the pop boy band One Direction who have taken the teenage pop market by storm and have had several number ones worldwide – hugely successful and X factor graduates no less.

*The Critics Choice award this year went to Tom Odell – a guy for a change - and another piano playing singer songwriter.  He sounded promising when he sang acoustically at the after program, although perhaps sounding a little bit too much like Mumford or Bright Eyes. I am not sure at all where the great male singers are these days - except in bands...None of them have anything new to say to me, I have heard it all before.  

*Ben Howard won – Best Male and Breakthrough.  
*Lana Del Rey won Best International Female. Frank Ocean (who my son has been raving about) won Best International Male.

*The highlight of the night was Emeli Sande who won Best Female and the MasterCard Award for Best Album.  
Emeli Sande is the genuine article and she commented after winning the album of the year award, that she was 'an unlikely popstar.' I was very happy for her as I have been following her career since I first heard her sing in 2007 at her cd launch gig here at the Oran Mor Glasgow. 

The music business makes little sense though I must admit!?  Look at the guys - Ed Sheeran, the new James Blunt? or Robbie Williams even who has won the most Brits ever!!??  Oh well at least One Direction are out there!  The problem is the mainstream is not really where the best music is.    

The BRIT awards began in 1977 as part of the commemoration of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and as an annual event in 1982 under the auspices of the British record industry's trade association, the BPI. The 2011 Brit Awards were held at The O2 Arena in London for the first time in its history, moving from the original venue of Earls Court.