Friday, 29 August 2014

Threat Level

The Better Together / Project Fear Threat Level for Scotland has been raised to Keich Yer Breeks.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Women! Spot the Difference

I can't really.

It already has its own hilarious hashtag on Twitter: #PatronisingBTLady

Compare and contrast with Mrs Barbour's Army Lives!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Mrs Barbour's Army Lives!

Alex Salmond was much more on the ball tonight, even if I was screaming at the telly willing him to point out that oil revenues had been down for the last couple of years due to the huge investment in the massive new resources of the Atlantic Ridge.

But the stars of tonight were the 2 great Scotswomen in the audience who were taking no messing from Darling and didn't pull any punches.

Mrs Barbour's Army is alive and well!

"Yes fighting for Scotland, No fighting for their jobs"

Mary Barbour

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Scotland Yet - The revolution has been televised

I've had the trailers on the blog and the original crowd-funding appeal. Well, here's the whole shebang, complete with a stellar cast including yours truly. If you feel like a break for some light relief, you'll find it with the first 4 episodes (at the time of writing) of Dateline Scotland, an offshoot of the Rough Justice mega media conglomerate.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

3,000 Trees

I think that if I were asked to single out one specific group of men, one type, one category, as being the most suspicious, unbelieving, unreasonable, petty, inhuman, sadistic, double-crossing set of bastards in any language, I would say without any hesitation: "the people who run counter-espionage departments." - Eric Ambler, The Light of Day.
Whether it still does or not, I don't know; but a framed copy of that quote used to hang in just about every Intelligence Corps mess or office in the 1980s. The only other memorable wall decoration from those days was the missing one. In the Headquarters Officers' Mess at Ashford there were portraits of every INT Corps officer who had gone on to become notable or famous. Except one: Hamish Henderson, from whose work this blog takes its title. The presence of one and the absence of the other sums up both the braggadocio and the paranoia which pervaded the British security Establishment in the 1980s.

From before the first word is spoken on stage, memories of Hamish pervade George Gunn's 3,000 Trees playing at the Bread Street Hilton (formerly The Point) in Edinburgh. Anyone who heard Margaret Bennett sing Grioghal Chridhe at Hamish's funeral with over 1,000 voices joining in the chorus will forever associate that song with him. The song is played as the audience take their seats. Hamish's Flyting o' Life and Daith features throughout and Alison McMorland coached the very talented Helen MacKay in the singing of it.

If you're expecting an examination of the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Willie MacRae, forget it. What you get is an imaginative and marvellous piece of theatre.

Two things still intrigue me: Why George employed the slightly Pythonesque ruse of renaming his protagonist Willie MacKay (He's not Willie MacRae - he's a very naughty boy!) - bizarrely, even that thought brings back 80s memories of the hilarious encounter between the Python team and another former Intelligencer, Malcolm Muggeridge, following the Life of Brian controversy.  The second is how a playwright from Caithness managed to so accurately personify the aforementioned braggadocio and paranoia of the security services of the 1980s in the character of Oliphant, skilfully played by Adam Robertson.

Having had my own run-in with the British security Establishment, I found myself enthralled by Jimmy Chisholm's magnetic portrayal of the MacKay character. The play is worth seeing for Chisholm's stage presence alone.

Do yourself a favour and get down to the Gryphon Venue, Bread Street Hilton at 19:15 till August 24th. You won't regret it. I am indebted to my old friend Nancy Nicolson for the tip off.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Independence Day

Get a load of this brilliant song by my friend Kevin Gore.

If you're in Edinburgh for the festival, you can catch Kevin and the other musical star of Logic's Rock, Bobby Nicholson, at their show Gone Native at The Royal Oak (Venue 309) from 5 - 25 August at 18:00. Bobby also has a show Go and See the Pandas at The Jazz Bar (Venue 57) on 4 & 6 August at 14:30.