The Cairngorms in Winter

I was at Eden Court earlier this week to see the film The Cairngorms in Winter, featuring outdoors writer Chris Townsend and directed by Terry Abraham. The film is an intriguing mix of geographical documentary, “how to” guide to winter walking and camping, introduction to the Cairngorms (Townsend’s home area), beautiful advert for the Scottish Highlands…

World War Z – a film review

When I read Max Brooks’ magnificent book World War Z, I knew there were plans for a film, and I knew they wouldn’t work. As I described in my review of it, World War Z is a fictional account of interviews conducted by a UN official with survivors of a great zombie war that decimated…

Some fleeting fluttery music reviews

Since finding myself on the press list for the marvellous post rock and electronica label Fluttery Records (and if you’ve not yet listened to Ana Never’s Small Years, stop reading this and go have a listen), I’ve enjoyed receiving their occasional updates about recent releases. Given I’m getting the music for free, I feel somewhat…

New post rock discoveries

I hate it when you get spam emails you don’t want. Particularly from mailing lists which somehow you’ve found yourself on, don’t remember signing up for, and to unsubsribe from can often be fiddly. Such irritation was to the fore again the other day when I received an email from a record company called Fluttery…

Summer reading

I’ve been pretty diligent at reading lately, and I’ve read quite a diversity of books for various reasons. Here are some reviews of what I’ve been getting through this summer when not travelling, writing, working and being lazy. Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth…

Anthrax and the SPL

Nicole and I spent our first Saturday afternoon since getting back from holiday on a wee expedition to Gruinard Bay, a lovely little beach – well, two adjacent beaches, really – on the Wester Ross coast. Sheltered from the road by a small, thick forest and then a longish walk over dunes, it presents a…

My life as an actor

I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about the pinnacle of my acting career.  It happened towards the end of my time at university. Well, I say “pinnacle”; “totality” would be more accurate. A group of friends of mine were active in a drama society during my last year at Aberdeen University, when I was undertaking…

Fields in motion

You know you’re in a unique place when you’re watching an exploration of gay experiences of spirituality told through the mediums of poetry and dance, and where one of the poems has the quite magnificent title of: “The visit of the Queen of the Lesbians to the gay men’s prayer group in West Belfast”. Not…

A Method Actor’s Guide to Jekyll and Hyde

You’ll want to read Kevin MacNeil’s A Method Actor’s Guide to Jekyll and Hyde twice. Not because it’s an excellent read (though it certainly is that), but because something happens towards the end that casts confusion and doubt over everything you’ve read so far. And when you do read it again, you realise just how…

The Last Projectionist

MinionTV, about whom I’ve blogged before, will be releasing a new album in July.  I’m a big fan of their music, and absolutely love their first, self-titled, album and their magnificent EP Arecibo. Called The Last Projectionist, it’s something of a departure for them.  The Liverpool-based purveyors of beautful, arty post-rock have produced their first…

The Legend of Ivan

I blogged some time ago about a book by American science fiction author Justin Kemppainen called Haven, a dystopian action story. Since then I have read some of his other stories, not least the recently-published sequel to Haven.  It followed on the story from the cliffhanger ending to the first one, and while enjoyable I found…

Calamateur house concert

I was at a gig tonight. Well, last night, as you’re probably reading this tomorrow. I’m writing this tonight but it’s just turned into tomorrow, which will be today for you. As it is for me too, come to think about it. Anyway, I was at a gig. Not just any gig, but a house…

The Iron Lady

Such was the long shadow cast over the 1980s in the UK by the government of the time, that when I was growing up as a boy I thought the purpose of General Elections was to decide who would form the Conservative Party. Their impact on the country was embodied and dominated by the Prime…