thu 17/04/2014

Scotland

Shetland, Series 2, BBC One

Crime drama at its best not only offers a satisfying mystery and characters with whom we want to spend time, but a strong sense of place, a location that captures our imagination and makes us want to know more. Little wonder then that the BBC...

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theartsdesk in the Shetlands: Seasick Vikings

“Would we be able to prosecute the Vikings today, should we? I mean are there parallels between what the Nazis did by plundering art and gold, or what the German soldiers did who raped Norwegian women when they occupied Norway?” Silke Roeploeg might...

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Pires, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

This is more an excuse for celebration than a review. Six years after the Scottish Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1974 – the birth year we were marking last night – I rolled up in a foggy Edinburgh one February day and chose it as my alma mater on...

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Power, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

Baleful prophecies were rife before the concert. Was Vladimir Jurowski right to let Mahler’s only total tragedy among his symphonies, the Sixth, share the programme with anything else, least of all a new viola concerto in which the solo instrument’s...

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CD: Duncan Chisholm - Live at Celtic Connections

Chisholm was born and raised in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, and was tutored by great fiddler player, composer and instrument maker Donald Riddell. He's a regular player with Julie Fowlis and with his own band Wolfstone, and this is a live...

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Andrew Maxwell, Soho Theatre

When Andrew Maxwell premiered Banana Kingdom at the Edinburgh Fringe earlier this year, its title made a lot more sense. The show was a coruscating examination of what Scotland might be if the independence vote next September goes Alex Salmond's way...

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CD: RM Hubbert - Breaks & Bone

The debates that come with music awards tend to be more interesting than the institutions themselves, which is why it was so novel to see this year’s SAY Award - the Creative Scotland-backed equivalent of the Mercury Prize - go to a work that was...

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Filth

Not long ago James McAvoy finished a brutal run as Macbeth, and he’s back in Filth as another manic Scotsman hurtling towards self-destruction. The setting is Nineties Edinburgh, and his character, dodgy policeman Bruce Robertson, has a...

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The Wicker Man

Created in a time when we could be shocked, The Wicker Man shows its power by being shocking still. Conceived by its director Robin Hardy, writer Anthony Shaffer and star Christopher Lee as a reaction to New Age-ism, The Wicker Man delights, thrills...

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CD: Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

When the best thing you can say about a band’s comeback album is that it sounds vaguely like their era-defining punk funk debut, you can either wonder why they bothered or admire their dogged devotion to a single sound. The music world has moved on...

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CD: Travis - Where You Stand

It's a lottery. There are writers who’d see something in the return, after five years away, of this multi-million-selling Scottish four-piece. These writers, however, didn’t step in so Travis have been thrown to the dogs, a non-starter for both of...

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The Culture Show at Edinburgh: Leonardo da Vinci - The Anatomist, BBC Two

When Leonardo da Vinci went for a job in Milan, he wrote ahead mentioning his bridge-building skills and then turned up at court with a lyre he had made in the shape of a horse’s skull. But had he finished compiling his illustrated treatise on the...

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