Thursday 30 April 2015

Scottish summer festivals 2015

 - Party at the Palace, Linlithgow -  8th to 9th August. Headliners - Travis, Nile Rodgers, Julie Fowlis, Justin Currie, The Feeling, 

- The Stopover Festival, Rothiemurchus Cairngorms (NEW) - 31st July and 1st August.  Headlined by Mumford & Sons and their new album. Also with Primal Scream, The Maccabees, Ben Howard, Lianne La Havas and Honeyblood will also be performing at the 25,000-ticket event.

Boswell Book Festival -  the World's Only Festival of Biography and Memoir. May 10th at Dumfries house  Ayrshire. Jung Chang, author of international bestseller Wild Swans (yet to be published in China) will talk about her remarkable life, family and works. Plus many more authors.
'Moa ordered the flowers pulled up from the ground; Empress Cixi wore them in her hair.'

- Mugstock Festival (new), at Mugdock country park north of Milngavie - 7th to 9th August.  Orkestra del Sol, Preston Reid, Siohban Wilson.

- Pittenweem Arts festival, 1st to 19th August.


Other festivals include  -  Belladrum Tartan heart festival 6th - 8th August west of Inverness.  Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preacher, Proclaimers.

 Wickerman in Ayrshire with the Waterboys. Sadly no Rockness in 2015. 

T In The Park, the biggest weekend Scottish summer festival, has now moved to a new site at Strathallan Castle, while there are problems with ospreys nests.


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'. 

Clare Maguire

I saw a fun very young singer songwriter Clare Maguire supporting the pop duo Hurts at the Oran Mor in 2011. She was wearing quite an outlandish scarlett outfit and head dress and sang with a big voice. She is now being touted as the new Adele. In a recent article in the Sunday Times magazine, Clare says she was unhappy with the ‘image’ the Label gave her  - of an emo power ballad singer - now she sings her own style of soul, pop and funk and has her own brand of indie style.  

My 2011 blog -

So many young singers can get Label attention and then nothing happens. Interesting to hear she now at 27 gaining attention at Burberry Fashion shows no less, via Christopher Bailey who likes to showcase new musical talent.

Friday 17 April 2015

Record Store Day

Support Record store day 18th April - wonderful one off specials and vinyls and more! Seasick Steve at Love Music record store Glasgow.