For the latest SWH! podcast Ali caught up with an old friend of the podcast, writer and musician Doug Johnstone - the fourth time he's been a guest, but the first time since 2015. A lot has happened in the meantime and Doug talks about his new solo album 'Crow Hill' and the third in the Skelf series, 'The Great Silence'.
The two also discuss the stroke Doug had at the beginning of Lockdown, his recovery from it and how it affected both new releases, his move to Orenda Books, his musical past and present - including the story of the Fun Lovin' Crime Writers - the joys of the Skelf novels, and a whole lot more. It's a cracking conversation, as it always is with Doug, and it was great to have him back.
The latest podcast is all about this year's Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, and Ali caught up with the festival's strategic and creative director Melanie Purdie, and Neil Gore from Townsend Theatre Productions, to discuss it. After having to postpone last year the festival is back with a fantastic and varied programme, and Melanie takes us through what to expect, where to find it, and how everyone can take part no matter where they are. She also explains this year's theme of 'Hame'll Dae Me' and how that has driven the programme.
Townsend Theatre's 'Talking Horse' venue is at the heart of what is going on, and Neil gives some background to the company and their work, explains how 'Talking Horse' works, and what audiences can expect. The three also discuss how exciting the return to live events is, the challenges faced, the necessary changes made, and what they are looking forward to. It's a lively and uplifting conversation which is a reminder of why such arts festivals are so important and that they have been sadly missed.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to musician Man of the Minch (AKA Pedro Cameron) and poet Peter Mackay about Sradagan Na Sràide / Street Sparks, the EP they have collaborated on marrying the latter's lyrics with the former's magical music. The result is a collection of songs which celebrate and reflect on the lives of contemporary Gaels in the urban environment. They discuss why they came to work together, and how the process worked, the importance of incorporating their respective cultural traditions to create something new, working with Ceòl is Craic and The Bothy Society, and a whole lot more. And stay to the very end to hear a fantastic example of the music they have made.
For the latest podcast - it's all about HANG, Scotland's first ever Hip Hop & Grime Music Conference, presented by the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) in partnership with Creative Scotland. Ali talks to producer of the SAMAs Richy Muirhead who talks about the HANG programme and how you can join in and get involved. He then catches up with one of the guest speakers, Jill Brown, who talks about her own music, her involvement with record label Conviction Records, the importance of telling stories, and a whole lot more. It's a podcast to whet the appetite for the inaugural HANG which promises to the first of many.
For our first video podcast (or vodcast, as no one is calling it) in some time, SWH! made a welcome trip Doon the Watter to Dunoon Burgh Hall to talk to previous podcast guest Kirsty Law about 'Exposure' - an exhibition which is a result of a collaboration between Gilles Perring and Andy Metcalf. Focusing on the two artists' relationship with the Isle of Jura, 'Exposure' is a multi-media production it features music, painting, poetry, photography, sound sculpture, installation, and film.
Produced by Kirsty's multi-disciplinary production company and artist support service, Helm Arts, it's a thought-provoking and emotionally exciting exhibition which stimulates the senses as you lose yourself in Perring and Metcalf's Jura. Ali talks to Kirsty about how the project began, the differing, almost opposing, perspectives on the subject, each aspect of the final show, the plans for taking 'Exposure' around the country, her own role in proceedings, and a whole lot more.
As the arts begin to open up again it's a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes of such an exhibition, and is a reminder as to how much the arts need an audience, and how the two have missed each other.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to musician Roberto Cassani about his sensational album 'Ansema We Stand', his incredible life in music, and how he came to settle in rural Perthshire. The two also discuss how the young Roberto discovered the double bass was 'his instrument', how he became the darling of Italy's musical royalty, the importance of his Lombardy childhood to this album, the importance of travel, writing and recording the album against the constraints of COVID, his love of Scottish music and musicians, and and a whole lot more. 'Ansema We Stand' is undoubtedly one of the best records of 2021 and it was fascinating to hear Roberto's journey to making it, and the stories behind it.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali talks to Guy Peploe, director at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, about their forthcoming exhibition 'Joan Eardley | Centenary'. Since her untimely death in 1963 Joan Eardley has gone on to become one of Scotland's artistic national treasure's and Guy talks about her life and work, as well as her special relationship with The Scottish Gallery.
The two also discuss Eardley's iconic 'Glasgow' paintings and the stories behind them, her 'Catterline' work which explores the wild coastal landscapes of North East Scotland, and so much more. It's a fascinating insight into an artist who helped define how we have come to think of 20th century Scotland and beyond.
For what we now realise is the 200th SWH! Podcast, Ali spoke to musician, filmmaker, photographer, and broadcaster Adam Stafford about his forthcoming album 'Trophic Asynchrony', the current single 'Threnody for February Swallows', and the themes and inspirations behind both. The two also discuss the importance of film and photography in the project, his previous album 'Diamonds Of A Horse Famine' and returning to Adam's musical past, making music - and adapting - during COVID, the dangers of not learning lessons from history, and so much more. Adam has long been one of our favourite musicians and it is apt that he guests on this landmark pod. 201 is coming soon...
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to rapper, poet, and songwriter Conscious Route. The two talk about his life in music, and the music of his life, including his recent collaboration with producer Tzusan on 'Father & Son'. They also discuss the differences between being part of a band and going solo, the hip-hop and dance scene in Scotland, constantly learning and changing through music, and a whole lot more. There are some sound issues on this one, but we hope they won't affect your enjoyment of what we think is a fascinating conversation.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to Carla J. Easton about 'Since Yesterday: Unsung Pioneers of Scottish Pop', the feature-length documentary which she is working on and which you can support by going to the Kickstarter page - www.kickstarter.com/projects/sinceyesterday/since-yesterday-music-documentary
The two talk about the inspiration behind the film, the bands featured, the importance of alternative histories, the surprising practicalities of making movies, the uplifting wave of support for 'Since Yesterday', and a whole lot more. It's a conversation which will hopefully encourage you to explore further and convince you to take part in what promises to be a defining documentary about Scottish pop.
The latest SWH! podcast is about all things Rymour Books as Ali talks to founder Ian Spring, and two of their authors Kirsti Wishart and, previous podcast guest, Graham Lironi. Rymour are a new(ish) small independent publisher and Ian tells us all about how it came to be, the ideas being Rymour, and their publications to date. Kirsti and Graham then give us the story from a writer's point of view, talking about their new books, 'The Knitting Station' and 'Fake Flowers' respectively, as does Ian who as well being a publisher is also a writer, with his collection of short stories 'The Stone Mirror' out now. It's an inspirational story which proves that despite all obstacles new publishers are emerging.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to writer Alan Gillespie whose novel debut 'The Mash House' is out now, published with Unbound. The two talk about Alan's life as a writer from the early days through to the writing and publication of 'The Mash House', his inspirations and influences, the interaction between people and place in the novel, working with Unbound, what he's planning next, and a lot more. It's an honest and insightful conversation which will be of interest to readers and writers alike.
The latest SWH! podcast is an interview with director & theatre-maker Beth Morton and playwright Morna Young who tell us all about Braw Tales - five short animated stories by some of Scotland’s most exciting writers and animators, presented by An Tobar & Mull Theatre. They talk about the process of collaborating with animators, musicians, performers, and the move to theatre online. Morna's 'Stella' is the first of the Braw Tales, which will be available from 1pm on Monday 10th May, and she takes us through her experience of this new way of working, while Beth talks about all the other productions and her role in the project as a whole. All of this and a whole lot more!
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to singer/songwriter, composer, and arranger Debra Salem about 'In A Sma Room', the musical project inspired by the life and poetry of William Soutar. The two talk about what drew Debra to Soutar's work, how the project began, its theatrical roots, the involvement of writer Ajay Close, the incredible musicians Debra brought on board, adapting poetry to music, and a lot more. They also discuss Soutar's part in, and influence on, the Scottish literary renaissance of the early 20th century, and why he isn't better known. It's an entertaining and enlightening conversation which is a must for all music and poetry lovers.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to writer Linda Cracknell about her latest novel, 'The Other Side of Stone' (or is it a novella, or a short story collection?). As well as the format, the two discuss the importance of place in Linda's work, her fascination with derelict buildings, how and why she picked these stories to tell, the unusual starting point for 'The Other Side of Stone', the physical aspect to her writing, and a whole lot more. It's a fascinating insight into the life and work of a writer who avoids easy categorisation, and who is all the better for it.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali caught up with poet, spoken word artist, and scriptwriter Cat Hepburn to talk about her latest published collection 'Dating & Other Hobbies'. Cat is someone we've wanted on the podcast for a while, and it's fascinating to hear about the new poetry, her first published short stories, the way she approaches different forms of writing, using the personal to examine more universal themes, how things have changed since her previous publication '#GIRLHOOD', and so much more.
For the latest SWH! Podcast Ali spoke to rapper. poet, songwriter, and producer, Dave Hook (better known to many as Solareye). The two discuss the history of Stanley Odd and the band's new album 'STAY ODD: The Magic of Everyday Things', why they decided to publish a book of lyrics to go with it, some of the individual tracks and themes, the collaborative, supportive, and enduring nature of the Scottish Hip Hop community, and a whole lot more.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to writer Aidan Martin about 'Euphoric Recall', a memoir which deals with his recovery from extreme trauma and addiction. The two discuss why he wrote the book - and why he chose memoir over fiction, how it felt to return to these traumatic events, how writing helped his recovery, the inspiration for the book's structure, the reaction from friends and family, his involvement with recovery support, the kindness of strangers, his love for his home town of Ladywell, and so much more.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke folksinger Iona Fyfe about her exceptional musical career, as well as her work in support of Scots language. They talk about her unconventional time at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the inspirational lecturers she encountered, her deep roots in traditional music, the recent changes she has seen in Folk, as well as her work with 'Oor Vyce - the campaign for the legal recognition of the Scots language', translating songs into Scots, the importance of representation, and a whole lot more. It's an insightful conversation with someone who is at the heart of many of the current cultural discussions and debates.
For the latest SWH! podcast we welcome back writer John D. Burns to talk about his latest book, 'Wild Winter - In Search of Nature in Scotland's Mountain Landscape'. Originally proposed as an account of Winter in the wilds of Scotland, the arrival of the COVID 19 pandemic threw those plans into disarray and the result is a very different book to the one John intended, but it's one which captures the relationship between man and the natural world in a manner which is entirely relatable, and in many ways comforting.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to Martin Metcalfe who has been in a variety of bands over the years, but who is best known to many as the frontman of Goodbye Mr Mackenzie - one of Scotland's finest bands. Martin talks about the early days of the band, the music scene in Edinburgh in the '80s, the bands who influenced them and those they admired, their reformation and sell-out tour of 2019, the new live album, the forthcoming DVD documentary about the band, and a whole lot more. It's a fascinating chat with one of Scottish music's most intriguing characters.
For the latest SWH! Podcast Ali spoke to Dr Craig Lamont about his fascinating book The Cultural Memory of Georgian Glasgow which gives new insight into Scotland's largest city during what was known as the long 18th century, merging historical, literary, and memory studies. The two discuss the Scottish Enlightenment, the emerging print culture, the transatlantic slave trade, and how the philosophy, science, art, and religion, all helped to shape the city as it moved into its better know Industrial period.
For the latest of our Glasgow Film Festival Podcasts Ali spoke to Australian filmmaker Heather Croall about her documentary 'Yer Old Faither' which, as the title suggests, is about her Glaswegian born Dad who took the family to settle in the infamous industrial city of Whyalla, Australia. It's a deeply personal film which will be nevertheless be relatable to all, and which uses home movies, family pictures, animation, and Heather's own footage, to tell a tale about one man's apparently ordinary life yet one which touched the lives of a whole community in extraordinary ways. It's a fascinating conversation about a fantastic film, one which we hope will persuade you to see the film for yourself.
For the latest of our Glasgow Film Festival Podcasts Ali spoke to a previous guest, Anthony Baxter, this time around to talk about 'Eye of the Storm', his documentary about the landscape artist James Morrison. Anthony discusses why he chose James as his subject, the use of mixed media - especially Catriona Black's animation, the soundtrack and what it brings to the film, the importance of storytelling, how the art influenced his own work, and a whole lot more.
For the second in our series of Glasgow Film Festival 2021 podcasts Ali spoke to Maya Medvesek, better known as internationally renowned DJ Nightwave, to talk about the music documentary 'Underplayed'. The film shines a light on gender inequality in the electronic dance music scene, and Maya, who features in the film, talks all about her experiences as a DJ, the challenges and discrimination she has faced, the women who were early pioneers for electronic music, the Producer Girls project, her hopes for the future, and so much more.
For the latest in out series of Glasgow Film Festival podcasts Ali spoke to director, producer, and cinematographer Alastair Cole to talk about his film 'Iorram (Boat Song)', which is the first cinema documentary entirely in Scots Gaelic. Alastair talks about the unusual structure of the film, the vital importance of audio archive, the different types of cinematography used, the problems with filming at sea, connecting stories across time, and so much more.
For the latest SWH! podcast, Ali caught up with Sorcha Dallas, the custodian of the Alasdair Gray Archive, to talk about the plans for Gray Day, which is the 25th February 2021 - the 40th anniversary of the publication of Alasdair's debut novel 'Lanark', a book which had a profound impact on Scotland's literature and culture. They talk about the day itself and what's happening to mark it, the wide-range of people involved, the 'Lanark' readings which have been posted in the run up to the 25th, the 'Gray Matters' podcasts which will be available on the day and beyond, the Alasdair Gray Archive itself, and a whole lot more. They also share some personal memories of Alasdair, and discuss why his work is so iconic. If you want to know more go to - thealasdairgrayarchive.org
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali caught up with filmmaker, DJ, and comic book creator Etienne Kubwabo to talk about 'Beats of War' his comic book series which is so much more. The two discuss the inspiration behind the book, the importance of place and why Etienne wants to put Scotland on the page, and hopefully on the screen, the influences from his own life that came together to create the characters and stories told, the musical side to the project, the importance of collaboration in all his work, his experience of Scottish culture, his hopes and dreams for what is to come, and a whole lot more. It's a fascinating chat with a man who creates his art across different genres and forms. To learn more go to https://mileawayfilms.com/product/beats-of-war-comic-book/
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to Young Adult author Ross Sayers about his latest novel 'Daisy on the Outer Line', as well as his previous work 'Mary's the Name' and 'Sonny and Me' (all published by the YA publisher Cranachan). Ross is one of our favourite writers, and there are none better writing in the field of YA fiction today. It's a fascinating conversation about finding the voice, language, getting "into character", the challenges when writing a time travel plot, and a whole lot more.
For the latest podcast Ali caught up with writer and performer Alan Bissett, who was one of our earliest podcast guests back in 2011. That was the year of his last novel 'Pack Men' and the two talk about his first book of published prose since, the novella 'Lazy Susan'. They discuss the character of Susie 'Q' Martin, the return to writing fiction, the novella as a format, the book's inventive structure, the relationship between author and reader, new ways to tell old stories, and so much more. It's a fascinating chat with one of Scotland's finest writers, and there's also the bonus of readings from Alan (as God!) and Rosalind Watt as 'Lazy Susan'.
The latest podcast is all about the forthcoming Paisley Book Festival, and Ali spoke to co-producer Keira Brown and writer-in-residence Imogen Stirling all about the festival, the necessary move to online, the theme of 'Radical New Futures', and a whole lot more. Keira talks us through the programme, and how people can get involved, and Imogen explains her role and some of the workshops she is running, and the events she has created. It's the perfect introduction to what promises to be a one of the must attend events of 2021.
For full details go to paisleybookfest.com
For the first SWH! podcast of 2021 Ali spoke to writer David F. Ross about his latest novel 'There's Only One Danny Garvey' (out now, published by Orenda Books). The two try to avoid all spoilers as they talk about the inspiration behind the book, and Danny himself, as well as the setting of Scottish junior football, a different approach to writing this time around, the importance of music and mixtapes to the plot, and a whole lot more. It's always a pleasure to catch up with David, and we think this podcast kicks off the new year in fine style!
This is a bonus podcast for the end of this difficult year. During Lockdown 1 Ali recorded podcasts with his brother Andy to discuss their favourite albums from the 1980s to the last decade, which you can still find at scotswhayhae.com. Recently they got together once again to discuss their cultural year, and the things which have helped them through the last 12 months. They talk books, music, podcasts, art, anniversaries, festivals, opera, literary giants, ghosts, beer, the comfort of nostalgia, and more. This is our last podcast of 2020 so we wish all our listeners the very best over the festive period, and that you have a great 2021.
The final podcast for this year is our roundup of the Best Music of 2020, where Ali is joined by Richard Bull, the producer of BBC Radio Scotland's Roddy Hart Show. They each pick 10 releases to talk about, but take a few detours and diversions along the way. We hope you enjoy their musical memories of the past 12 months, and find something of enough interest to investigate further.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to artists Frances Macdonald and Ross Ryan about their current exhibition at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh. Frances and Ross are mother and son, so the exhibition's title of A Family Affair is apt. They explain their working methods, how the were first drawn to art, how they approached this collaborative exhibition, the importance of their home in Argyll in their work, (specifically Crinan where the family run the Crinan Hotel) and the local islands, and their differing approaches to capturing and portraying the natural world. They also describe how they view each other's work, style, and technique, and working during the strange year of 2020.
In the year when cinemas were closed for most of it, and films schedules were pushed back to who knows when, you might think it would be tough to talk about the Best Films of 2020 for any length of time. Well think again, as Chris, Wesley, and Ali reunite for their annual chat about their favourite movies of the past 12 months. Picking five each, they share their enthusiasm for films you may have missed first time around, and we're sure you'll find something to tickle your fancy.
This year was such a great one for Scottish writing that we had to split our Best Books of 2020 podcast into two parts to allow time for everything we had to talk about in. For both parts Ali was once again joined by Publishing Scotland's Vikki Reilly, who became a published author herself this year. The two pick their favourite books from the last 12 months, and take many detours and diversions along the way. We hope you find something of interest in their chat. Part I is already available at scotswhayhae.com.
This year was such a great one for Scottish writing that we had to split out Best Books of 2020 podcast into two parts to fit everything we had to talk about in. For both parts Ali was once again joined by Publishing Scotland's Vikki Reilly, who became a published author herself this year. The two pick their favourite books from the last 12 months, and take many detours and diversions along the way. We hope you find something of interest in their chat, and Part II will follow soon.
The latest SWH! Podcast is an interview with filmmaker Anthony Baxter who talks all about his latest documentary 'Flint', which premieres on BBC Scotland this Tuesday at 10pm (1/12/20) and will be available on iPlayer afterwards. The two talk about the tragic ongoing story behind the film, how and why Anthony became involved, the themes explored and the lessons to be learned, the timely nature of its release, the problems promoting a film in 2020, and a whole lot more. It's a fascinating chat about one of the most important and hard-hitting films of the year.
For the latest SWH! Podcast Ali spoke with The Bathers' founder and frontman, Chris Thomson, initially to discuss the remastered and reissued 'Marina Trilogy' of the 'Lagoon Blues', 'Sunpowder', and 'Kelvingrove Baby' albums, but the conversation also turns to Marina Records, the story behind the influential Friends Again, how The Bathers helped to capture and create the mood of Glasgow in the '90s, the importance of the band's style and image, the promise of new music, and a whole lot more.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to writer Angela Hughes and her husband Paul about her memoir 'My Heart's Content: A Journey to Transplant'. Angela sets out not only why she wrote the book, but how it came to publication and the vital role that Paul, and their family and friends, play in the story. A searingly honest read, it is as much about love, and hope, as it is about Angela's specific journey, and, as a result, it is perhaps the most timely publication of recent years.
For the latest podcast Ali caught up with writer and presenter Damian Barr to talk all about the second series of The Big Scottish Book Club which airs on BBC Scotland this Sunday (25th). It's a welcome return to one of the all too few TV shows which unashamedly celebrates and discusses all aspects of the book world and those who love it, and it's great to get such an informed and personal insight into the show, and hear who Damian has lined up to appear this time round. If you love books, and I know you do, then this podcast, like The Big Scottish Book Club itself, is an absolute must.
For the latest SWH! Podcast Ali spoke to Jenny Sturgeon about her latest project 'The Living Mountain', which is not only the name of her new album but her series of podcasts, and the audio/visual live show which she hopes to tour, all of which are inspired by, and infused with the spirit of, Nan Shepherd's wonderful novella of the same name. Jenny Sturgeon is among SWH!'s favourite musicians - one steeped in the folk tradition as in evidence not only in her solo work, but also as a member of Salt House and Northern Flyway, and it was a real treat to talk to her about her work, and how she views the relationship between nature and art.
For the latest SWH! Podcast Ali spoke to singer and songmaker Kirsty Law about her latest project, Helm Arts - the multi-disciplinary production company and artist support service. The two talk about the ethos and ideas behind Helm, and the need to support, advise, and offer help to artists of all kinds. Kirsty relates Helm Arts to experiences in her own career, including the numerous collaborations, multi-disciplinary events, and other projects with which she has been involved over the years wether as producer, curator, or artist, and sometimes all three. It's a fascinating insight into a life lived in the arts, a role which is vital to the well-being of any culture and its people.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to artist and broadcaster Lachlan Goudie about his forthcoming exhibition 'Once Upon A Time', which is at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, Oct - Nov 2020. Lachlan explains the thoughts behind the show, and why his original plans had to be scrapped. 'Once Upon A Time' is partly inspired by reading fairy tales to his daughter, and he discusses the importance of the imagination (especially in periods of isolation) and the enduring influence of the supernatural in Scottish art. The two also discuss Lachlan's superb and comprehensive book 'The Story of Scottish Art' which will have its launch at the Gallery on 16th November. It's an engaging and enlightening conversation with a man who is at the very centre of Scottish Art.
For the latest podcast Ali catches up with Robert Kilpatrick who tells us about his role as General Manager at Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), the process involved in the Scottish Album of the Year Award (SAY) as it reaches the Longlist stage, and his involvement with new record label ICEBLINK LUCK whose debut release with Ruby Gaines you can also hear. Robert is central to so much of what goes on in and around Scottish music and it was fascinating to talk to him about it all.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to writer Graeme Armstrong about his novel 'The Young Team' and a whole lot more. 'The Young Team' is not just one of the books of the year, but one of the best in many a year, and it was fascinating to get an insight into how it came to be and hear how Graeme's life as a writer has developed. The two talk about literary influences, the importance of language, relating the personal in fiction, why the moments between 'events' are vital to any story, the relationship between the writer and reader, and many other aspects of this writer's life. Graeme even teases us with the possibility of things to come. If you love writing, reading, or both, then this podcast is a must listen.
For the latest podcast Ali was joined by writer and journalist Peter Ross to talk about his latest book 'A Tomb With A View'. It was the first one recorded face-to-face since Lockdown began (maintaining the required distance, of course) and it was a real pleasure to be able to chat to Peter in person. If you want to know about the book you'll have listen to the pod, but suffice to say it's a lovely conversation on a subject which touches upon us all.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to writer John Scott about his memoir 'To The Woods: A Journey Along The Appalachian Trail', which could be described as 'Zen and the Art of Trail Walking' such is the thought and detail involved. John's long walk was 20 years ago, and he reflects on the reasons for taking time out to undertake such a challenge, his complex love/hate affair with the USA, the characters and challenges he met along the way, and how he views his journey 20 years on. Talking to John was as interesting and inspirational as the book itself, and it proves once again that truth can be stranger than fiction.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to writer Kirstin Innes about her latest novel 'Scabby Queen'. The two discuss the origins of the title and why it fits with the structure of the book, where the initial idea came from, the importance of close-editing in a non-linear narrative, and how the central character of Clio Campbell drives events despite being absent for much of the book. Kirstin also talks about her experience of publishing a novel while Covid19 plays out, and how it has been received. 'Scabby Queen' is destined to be one of the most talked about novels of 2020 and it's fascinating to hear about it from the perspective of the author.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali caught up with the composer and producer Paul McGeechan to talk about the latest Starless album Earthbound, out now with Last Night From Glasgow. Paul explains the origins behind Starless and how it has developed through the initial spark, through the recording of 2016's Starless album, bringing it to the stage, how it has progressed into Earthbound, and the plans for the future.
For the last of the Braidwood Brothers podcasts Ali caught up once more with brother Andy to discuss their favourite music on the 2010s, (following previous podcasts looking at the '80s, '90s, '00s). It's a fascinating chat about the records that have meant the most to them over the last ten years (at least on the day of recording) and they both pick a bonus album which they would put forward for the SAY Award 2020, cos this podcast goes up to 11!
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to the writer Tom Gillespie about 'The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce', which is published this month. It's one of the most inventive and involving novels SWH! has read in some time, and it was fascinating to talk about what inspired Tom to write this book, and the themes and ideas it addresses (all the while carefully avoiding spoilers!). The two discuss the importance of having a firm hold on people and place, the writers, and artists, who inspired Tom, the educative nature of the best fiction, the different levels of deception in writing such a novel, and so much more. 'The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce' promises to be one of the most discussed and celebrated books of the year, and if you want to understand why then this podcast is a great place to begin.cess.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to writer Reyah Martin, who was the winner of the Canada & Europe region of the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Reyah gives us some background to the prize and how she got involved. She also discusses the inspiration behind her winning story 'Wherever Mister Jensen Went', and why it caught the eye of the judges.
The two also discuss the novel she is working on, the approach to different forms of writing, how characters can surprise their creators, the importance of support for any writer, and a whole lot more. For those with an interest in writing this is a must listen, but even if that's not you then it makes for a fascinating discussion on the creative process.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to author, poet, and academic Mandy Haggith about 'The Lyre Dancers', the third and final novel of the Stone Stories Trilogy, which was recently published with Saraband Books. Mandy talks about the historical origins of the trilogy, the incredible story of Pytheas, what inspired the books, why they were always going to be set in the Iron Age, and the importance of character. The two also discuss the themes across all three novels and their relevance to the present day, and why, if you want to get a different perspective of the land, you should get on the water. It's an utterly fascinating conversation about one of the most gripping series of recent times and we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did recording it.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali caught up with Warren McIntyre, frontman and leader of Starry Skies - one of our favourite bands. He was on to talk about their forthcoming album, and the release of the second single 'Here Comes The Moon'. Warren is a man steeped in music, and he discusses his own career, as well as why he loves to promote and support live music. He even gives us a couple of acoustic versions of brand new songs. If you love music and those who make it then this podcast is for you.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali caught up with Scott Hames who lectures in Scottish Literature at the University of Stirling. The reason was to talk about Scott's fascinating book 'The Literary Politics of Scottish Devolution', and look in some detail at the themes and ideas he addresses. The book's subtitle is 'Voice, Class, Nation' and Scott sets out the relationship between the three. It's a fascinating conversation about Scotland's recent social, political, and cultural history. You can get your own copy of 'The Literary Politics of Scottish Devolution' from Edinburgh University Press.
For the latest Scots Whay Hae! podcast Ali and his brother Andy got back together once again, virtually speaking, to talk music. Following previous pod chats about their favourite Scottish records of the 1980s and ’90s, this time round it's the '00s, and they each pick 10 Scottish records from that decade and discuss what they mean to them, and why.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to writer and journalist Olga Wojtas about her novels Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Golden Samover and Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Vampire Menace (both published on the Contraband imprint of Saraband Books). Olga is one of warmest, wittiest, and downright readable writers around, and it was such a pleasure to be able to chat about her writing, the influences and inspirations behind the 'Miss Blaine's Prefect' books, how she feels about Muriel Spark and The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, the importance of a good mentor, and of a supportive publisher, the joy of writing about other times, people, and places, and the why proper research is not just vital, but a pleasure.
For the latest podcast we spoke to journalist and writer Joe Donnelly about his book 'Checkpoint: How Video Games Power Up Minds, Kick Ass, and Save Lives'. Joe is a gaming enthusiast and mental health advocate and 'Checkpoint' considers the intersections of video games and mental health, and explores his belief that the interactive nature of games makes them uniquely placed to educate and inform. Joe and Ali discuss this thesis, as well as the personal story that underpins the book. It's a fascinating, honest, and insightful discussion which will be of interest to everyone, whether you consider yourself a gamer or not.
For the latest SWH! podcast we welcome back writer, storyteller, and mountaineer John Burns who was a guest previously when he talked about his novel 'Sky Dance' as well as his fascinating life. During that chat he mentioned his one-man show about infamous occultist Aleister Crowley, and we thought we had to talk to him again to learn more about this controversial historical figure. If you thought you knew about Crowley, then this may change your mind. If you have no idea who he is, prepare to be intrigued.
For the latest SWH! podcast the Braidwood brothers got back together following their previous chat about their favourite Scottish records of the 1980s to talk about what they were listening to in the 90s. Once again they pick 10 records from the decade and discuss what they mean to them, and why. With one in Aberdeen for much of that time, and the other in Glasgow, it's interesting to learn how their listening habits were influenced by where they lived, and what they were up to.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to writer Alan Parks about his latest Harry McCoy thriller, Bobby March Will Live Forever. The two discuss the world of Harry McCoy and those who share it, the importance of returning characters, why he set the novels in 1970s Glasgow, the city's complex relationship with crime and its criminals, the inspirations for Bobby March, and why he is unlikely to write a novel based in the music business.
The Harry McCoy novels are among the most exciting of recent times, and it's fascinating to get an insight into the influences and ideas behind them. With a fourth on the way, and hopefully many more to follow, Alan Parks is set to deliver a crime series which will stand the test of time.
Please forgive the indulgence, but for our first podcast using Zoom Ali caught up with Braemar Gallery owner and gig-promoter Andy Braidwood, who just happens to be his brother. The primary reason was to see if this worked as a way to podcast, but also for the two to catch up and talk about the most influential Scottish music of their formative years. Each pick ten albums or EPs from before 1990 which mean something important to them, and they discuss who, what, when, and why. We hope it's as enjoyable for you to listen to as it clearly was for the brothers to record. If nothing else it proves we can continue with the SWH! podcasts in these peculiar times.
For the latest podcast SWH! spoke to documentary filmmaker Darren Hercher about his film Dooman, which airs on BBC Scotland on Tuesday 31st March, 10pm. Shot against the striking backdrop of Inverclyde, Hercher looks at the world of 'doo-flyers' in Greenock, and he explains why he took on the project, the relationships involved, the importance of getting beyond his own - and viewers - initial expectations to uncover the individual stories, explains that time spent filming is never wasted, why each film has to develop its own life and character, suggests that less is often more when it comes to soundtrack, and a whole lot more.
For the latest podcast SWH! caught up with writer Vicki Jarrett to talk about her latest novel Always North (out now, published by Unsung Stories). As Vicki explains, it's a story that has been over 10 years in the telling from the inspiration of an unforgettable video to final publication. She discusses the themes and ideas which are at the book's heart, the vital role of her central character and the moral dilemmas she faces, the coincidental yet prescient timing of publication, the speculative writers who have inspired her, and a whole lot more.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to Cammy and Raindeer from one of SWH!'s favourite bands, Mitchell Museum. The two were on to discuss their latest album Skinny Tricks, which is out on Scottish Fiction on the 15th May. With bassist Kris unfortunately sidelined, the brothers talked about the themes and inspirations behind the album, the dangers of unexpected national radio play, the collaborative nature of how they work, the changes witnessed over 10 years releasing music, the importance of albums having a strong individual identity, how they manage to sound different on each record yet still undeniably like themselves, and so, so, much more. It's a fascinating insight into the band and the making of what we're saying is destined to be a classic.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to actor and producer Carina Birrell all about 'Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love & War' ahead of its broadcast on BBC Scotland on 17th March. The film was a labour of love for Carina as Harry is her grandfather, and the film centres on his astonishing film footage and diaries.
The conversation touches on how the film came to be, Harry's love of film and his amazing life, his time in and out of the army, the important role of director Matt Pinder, how actor Richard Madden became involved, what it means to Carina that it has made it onto screens, and the amazing synchronicity that seems to be attached to the film.
It's a poignant and heart-warming half hour that gives insight and context to what is an incredible documentary of the 20th century through one man's eyes.
For the latest of our podcasts in collaboration with Scottish Opera we spoke to Associate Chorus Master and repetiteur, Susannah Wapshott. Susannah joined the company in 2008, and there are few people better placed to give an insight and overview to the workings of Scottish Opera. She discusses her various roles and the extensive collaboration involved. She also explains how her career has unfolded from a young age, her musical background and training, the challenges she has faced, the personal highlights of her time with the company, and offers advice for anyone interested in working in opera.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali caught up with previous guest, writer Iain Maloney. A visit from Iain is always a special occasion as he resides in Japan, and his latest book, The Only Gaijin In The Village, is all about his experiences of moving to and living in another country, and coming to terms with the resulting clash of cultures. Maloney may be better known as a novelist, but the The Only Gaijin In The Village is a fascinating book, and arguably his best yet and it was illuminating to talk to Iain about why he decided to write it and dig a bit deeper into many of the themes and ideas contained.
For the latest in our series of Glasgow Film Festival 2020 podcasts Ali spoke to director Josh David Jordan, actor & producer Jessica Marie Jordan, and actor & musician Greg Schroeder about their film 'This World Won't Break'. As you'll hear, this is an incredibly personal film for all of those involved, and they explain why this is, why no-one but Greg was going to play the central character of Wes, discuss the complex relationship between fathers and sons, the problem of loneliness, the marriage of blues and booze, how place and space play an important part in the film, the way in which the music is a character in its own right, and so much more. You get the feeling that the sublime 'This World Won't Break' could not, and would not, have been made by any other group of people, and this shared vision is as clear in our conversation as it is in the film itself, about which you can find more at https://www.thisworldwontbreak.com/
For the latest in our series of Glasgow Film Festival podcasts, Ali spoke to director Scott Graham, about his latest feature 'Run', which follows on from the success of previous films 'Shell' and 'Iona' and which shares some of their themes. Graham talks about those themes, as well as what inspired 'Run', the influence of the music of Bruce Springsteen, the challenges of family life, the escape of joy-riding, the practicalities of filming in and out of cars, and the peculiar dynamics of small towns. 'Run' is an exceptional film, with memorable performances from all, and it is fascinating to hear the thoughts of the director now the film is being shown to audiences. It is a conversation which lends the film itself further dimensions.
For the latest of SWH!'s Glasgow Film Festival 2020 podcasts Ali spoke to a previous guest, director Peter Mackie Burns, who told us all about his latest feature 'Rialto', which will be at the festival on 27th Feb (with a Q&A) and, if you miss that, on the afternoon of the 28th. Peter explains the story of the film's title, why it's set in Dublin, the themes and thoughts behind the film, the importance of 'Rialto's' score, and just what, and who, drew him to the project in the first place. It's always a pleasure to catch up with Peter, and this was no exception as he gives a fascinating insight into his film making process, and a whole lot more.
For the latest of SWH!'s Glasgow Film Festival 2020 podcasts Ali spoke to a previous guest, director Peter Mackie Burns, who told us all about his latest feature 'Rialto', which will be at the festival on 27th Feb (with a Q&A) and, if you miss that, on the afternoon of the 28th. Peter explains the story of the film's title, why it's set in Dublin, the themes and thoughts behind the film, the importance of 'Rialto's' score, and just what, and who, drew him to the project in the first place. It's always a pleasure to catch up with Peter, and this was no exception as he gives a fascinating insight into his film making process, and a whole lot more.
For the latest podcast Ali caught up with poet, performer, and story-teller Leyla Josephine to talk about her show 'Daddy Drag' which is going to be at Glasgow's Tron Theatre (26-29th Feb) after it's acclaimed run at this year's Edinburgh Fringe. This is a show which "asks audiences to consider how relationships (or lack of) with our fathers affect us, and, to reflect on the imprints they leave behind", and Leyla discusses the origins of the show, the vital role her mum plays, the challenges of an Edinburgh run, the details of drag, how theatre differs from her spoken word, the importance of the latter in her life, story-telling, and loads more.
For the latest of our podcasts in collaboration with Scottish Opera we spoke to the company's General Director Alex Reedijk, and it proved to be a fascinating conversation - one which adds extra context to the other podcasts in the series. Alex talks about how he came to the role, what makes it so special, the challenges faced when he joined 14 years ago, the four central strands that run through the company's ethos, and what he is most proud of from his time with Scottish Opera. It's a must listen, not only for opera fans and followers, but for anyone involved in the arts as Alex gives a rare insight into what is involved in the organisation and running of such a prestigious company.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke with Keira Brown about the inaugural Paisley Book Festival (20th-29th Feb). As well as hearing all about the fantastic programme of events, Keira explains the festival's theme of 'radical voices and rebel stories', the celebration of local hero John Byrne, the wide and varied range of what's available, some of the many, many highlights, the importance of place as well as people, and just what it takes to organise and plan such a festival. As well as this she takes time to talk about The Fountain, one of the best cultural review websites around which is a must read for all visitors to SWH!. All in all, it's a conversation you don't want to miss.
For the latest podcast Ali met up with one of SWH!'s favourite writers, M.J. Nicholls, to discuss in detail his latest novel, 'Scotland Before The Bomb' - one of the most inventive, and funniest, books of recent years. The conversation touches upon Nicholls' reasons for writing, the themes and form of his previous work, how he came to have an American publisher, his approach to being a writer, his influences, the importance of not being overly earnest, and loads more. This is an interview we've been looking forward to for some time, and if you are a reader, writer, or book lover of any kind, then you'll find this a fascinating listen.
For the first of our podcasts celebrating this year's Glasgow Film Festival we spoke to festival co-directors Allison Gardner and Allan Hunter. What unfolded was a warm, fun, and fascinating chat about this year's programme, the challenges of programming a festival, the GFF ethos, the multiple strands, how the festival has grown, and some memories of past galas and glories. It's a lovely conversation with two film-lovers, who are clearly great friends, and who believe they have their ideal jobs. Talking to them, and considering festivals past as well as the amazing programme for 2020, we would have to agree.
For the latest Scottish Opera podcast we spoke to one of the company's Emerging Artists, Arthur Bruce. The SO Emerging Artist programme is now in its 10th year, and, as Arthur explains, it is hugely important in developing and supporting all areas of opera, helping to ensure the future remains bright. He also discusses how his interest in opera began, his musical background, the challenges of acting, the productions he has been involved in, and why this programme has been so important to him on a personal level. Arthur is the first performer we have interviewed for these podcasts and this makes for a fascinating insight into the role, both onstage and off.
For the last of our Best of 2019 podcasts Ali is joined once more by annual regulars Wesley Shearer and Chris Ward, with SWH! sound guru Ian Gregson also in the house (which turned out to be lucky for all). This time around they are looking at the best films of the year, and Ali's role becomes more host rather than participant as his own movie going has been admittedly lacking this year. Luckily the other three more than make up for it as they talk about the best Scottish films, their personal favourites, and pick their best film of the decade. Listen in and see if you agree.
For our Best Books of 2019 podcast Ali was once again joined by Publishing Scotland's Vikki Reilly to discuss their year in books. As well as discussing in detail their personal favourites, they look at the writers who have left their mark, awards and award winners, festivals old and new, the healthy state of Scottish poetry, what's happening in the publishing world, the prevailing trends and themes of 2019, what to look forward to in 2020, and a whole lot more. It's always one of the most pleasant podcasts to record as the two geek out on their love of books, and we hope you enjoy listening as much as we did recording it.
For this year's Best Music 2019 podcast Ali spoke to Mark McNally and Gary Bannatyne from Cumbernauld FM's Postcards From The Underground radio show. The two are among the finest champions of Scottish music and beyond, playing old songs and new, and having regular live sessions and guests. As well as hearing all about the Postcards From The Underground show, the three discuss their favourite tracks and gigs of the year, and try to avoid talking about their favourite albums of the year as Ali will be joining the chaps on their show on Sunday 8th, 8-10pm to do just that, so do listen in to see what they pick http://cumbernauldfm.co.uk/. But before all that here is the SWH! Best Music of 2019 podcast, and see if you can spot Ali's deliberate mistake in the first 5 mins.
For the latest podcast Ali was back in Edinburgh to talk to mountaineer, storyteller, and writer, John D. Burns, and the story he has to tell is a fascinating one. He talks about how he first discovered the delights of hillwalking in the Lake District in his youth, his thoughts on how we should treat, view, and interact with nature, why he fell out and then back in love with the hills, the politics of the wild, his forays into poetry and stand-up, and so much more. It's one of the most interesting and informative podcasts yet, and I know you'll come away with a new view on our landscape, and on life.
For the latest in our series of podcasts in conjunction with Scottish Opera SWH! spoke to Gordon Grant, the company's Music Librarian. What unfolds is a fascinating insight into a role which few consider when they think of opera but which, as you will hear, is a vital one. Crucially involved in productions from the very beginning to the final curtain fall, Gordon explains what the role entails, how he came to it, the importance of close collaboration, and what are the challenges and constrictions when it comes to the musical score. As well as being SO's librarian Gordon is also in charge of their supertitles, the written translations and text which have become an important part of opera and he explains the technicalities faced. Overall it's an engrossing conversation which looks in detail at an individual role but which will give you a greater insight into Scottish Opera as a whole.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali headed to Edinburgh to chat to writer Jemma Neville all about 'Constitution Street: finding hope in an age of anxiety' (published by 404 Ink), her fascinating and inspirational book which SWH! described as, "a socio-political work with humanity at its heart, and a timely reminder that there is more that unites than divides us." Talking in the welcoming surroundings of The Hideout Cafe on the very street itself the two discuss the ethos behind the book, the way it is structured, and how both are reflected and inspired by the place and the people who live and work there as well, as well as the way that the issues and themes of 'Constitution Street' relate to communities of all sizes, and a whole lot more. You'll never look at your own locale in the same way again.
For the latest in our series of podcasts in conjunction with Scottish Opera Ali spoke to John Duncan, the company's Resident Stage Manager. Over the course of their conversation John provides a fascinating insight into a role which is vital to all theatre, but which rarely gets discussed. He talks about how he fell in love with the theatre, his early years in the role, how the team dynamic works, the different productions he has worked on, the challenges he has faced over the years, a horse named George, and much more. If you have ever wondered what goes on behind the curtain then John has many of the answers.
For number 6 in our series of podcasts in conjunction with Scottish Opera Ali spoke to Staff Director, Roxana Haines. It's a fascinating and informative discussion with someone whose job brings her into contact and collaboration with most areas of the company. She explains her journey to the role, her training in theatre and the specific demands of opera, her role in terms of productions and the challenges that different ones bring, with particular reference to the current 'Opera Highlights Tour' and the opera for young children 'Fox-tot!', and a lot more. Through it all Roxana's enthusiasm and love for what she does shines through, and we hope you enjoy listening to the conversation as much as we did recording it.
For the latest podcast Ali caught up with Richy Muirhead, the founder and creative director of the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAS) which is celebrating its 10th year. It's a fascinating chat which covers the origins and history of the awards, an explanation of the criteria, the categories, this year's nominees, notable previous winners, the importance of the live show (this year on October 25th, St Luke's, Glasgow), and lots more. There are also 5 tracks from some of last year's winners, including Declan West and the Decadent West (Rock/Alternative), Lylo (Live Act), The Dunts (Newcomer), Solareye (Hip Hop), and Megan Airlie (Acoustic). Ali also offers the point of view from a SAMAs nominator, so hopefully you'll end up with a better understanding not only of how these awards work, but the aims and ideology behind them.
For the fifth of our series of podcasts with members of Scottish Opera we spoke to Marian Colquhoun, the Head of Props. If you have ever been to a Scottish Opera performance, no matter the scale of the production, you'll know what an integral, important, and creative part the props department have to play. Marian discusses her approach to the role, the collaboration with other departments, the joy in creating memorable moments, the demands of different productions, the practicalities and problem solving involved, and the culture of prop making in Scotland and beyond. It's a fascinating insight into an area of the arts that is rarely discussed but which is crucial.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali headed to Edinburgh to speak to the American writer Elle Nash who was over for a couple of events at the Book Festival. The conversation focused on her powerful novel 'Animals Eat Each Other', which is published by 404 Ink. The two discuss the novel's themes and content, Elle's intentions for the novel, how her style developed, the importance of names and language, the psychology of desire, the quest for identity, and much more. You'll also hear 404 Ink's Laura Jones discussing why they felt they had no choice but to publish Elle once they had read her book. We consider it an instructive and insightful discussion which will interest writers, readers, and book lovers of all kinds. Have a listen and see if you agree.
For the fourth of our series of podcasts with members of Scottish Opera we spoke to Jane Davidson, their Director of Education & Outreach. She explains what the job entails, the company's education strategy, their partnerships at home and abroad, the challenges faced in the role, how they reach out to all areas of Scotland, and work with all ages groups. It's a fascinating insight into the work Scottish Opera does off stage and often away from the public eye. As the conversation unfolds you are left in no doubt of the love that Jane has for her job, and how passionately she believes that art and performance have a vital role to play in a nation's education. And so say all of us!
For the third of our series of podcasts with members of Scottish Opera we spoke to the Programme Editor, David Kettle about his role and what it entails. He explains how he came to the job, the approach to writing a programme, the balance required between information and other articles and content, the importance of design, the collaboration required with the rest of the company, and much more.
For the latest podcast Ali headed through to Edinburgh to talk to Edwin and Morgan, two members of Half Formed Things (unapologetically one of SWH!'s favourite bands, as you'll quickly be able to tell). They talk about their album 'To Live In The Flicker', the origins of the band, what it's like to work with such close friends and family, the importance or otherwise of place, their shared philosophy, themes, influences, and a whole lot more. You'll also get two tracks from the album which will give you a clear idea as to just how good it is. And if the other two members of the band, Nici and Matthew, disagree with any of it Ali is more than willing to record a follow up to give their side of the story.
For the latest podcast Ali headed to Glasgow's Tron Theatre to talk to poet and polymath Kevin P. Gilday about his Edinburgh Fringe show 'Suffering From Scottishness', his new collection of poetry 'Sad Songs For White Boys', his work with Cat Hepburn as the instigators and organisers of spoken word house party Sonnet Youth, his band Kevin P. Gilday & the Glasgow Cross, and a whole lot more. It's a fascinating chat, one which, when taken as a whole, is an instructive insight into what it takes to make your living as an artist today. All that and poetry as well - we always aim to please!
For the second of our series of podcasts with members of Scottish Opera we spoke to the Head of Music, Derek Clark about his role and what the job entails. It's a fascinating insight into the working life of someone central to Scottish Opera and their productions.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali spoke to Chief Executive of Ringwood Publishing Sandy Jamieson, one of their authors Dr Anne Pettigrew, and their Assistant Managing Director Laure Camail. Celebrating their 20th birthday this year, Glasgow's Ringwood show that it is possible to publish and survive in a city which has notoriously had problems sustaining and maintaining a publishing culture in recent years. The discussion touches on the reasons for starting Ringwood, their co-operative business model and how that has evolved, Anne's novel 'No The Life Imagined' and the publishing process from the writer's point of view, how Ringwood has had to adapt the changes in the marketplace, and their plans for the future. It's a must listen for anyone interested in publishing as they talk about many aspects of the process and the industry, both positive and negative.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to the writer and producer Henry Bell about his biography of John Maclean. If you haven't heard of Maclean then this is a perfect place to start, and if you do then I'm sure you'll learn something new about the man dubbed both "Hero of Red Clydeside" and "the most dangerous man in Britain" depending on which newspaper you read. Henry explains how Maclean came to achieve such fame, the sacrifices he made, and how he managed to hold both nationalist and internationalist outlooks, views which are still prevalent in Scottish politics today. It's a fascinating discussion about one of Scotland's most important historical figures which you won't want to miss.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to writer Claire MacLeary about her trilogy of Aberdeen set crime novels, 'Cross Purpose', 'Burnout', and her latest, 'Runaway'. They discuss the central characters of Maggie Laird and 'Big' Wilma Harcus and how they are a refreshing change from the norm, the importance of research, the themes of her work, the importance of being different, Aberdeen as a setting, and the distinctive way she approaches her work. It's a must listen for anyone with an interest in books - crime or otherwise - one which gives a fascinating insight into the life of a writer.
For the latest podcast Ali headed to the home of Scottish Opera in central Glasgow to talk to Jonathon Swinard, the new Artistic Director of the Scottish Opera Young Company (SOYC). Over the years Scots Whay Hae! has reviewed many of Scottish Opera's productions so it was a pleasure to talk to someone at the heart of the company, especially one whose concentration is on youth and the talent of tomorrow. The two discuss the aims of SOYC and Jonathon's role in achieving those, overcoming preconceptions, and how Scottish Opera is managing to reach out to all ages and areas in Scotland. It's a rare and fascinating insight into one of Scotland's cultural institutions which we hope will encourage you to give Opera a try if you haven't already.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to the poet Nadine Aisha Jassat about her new collection of poems, 'Let Me Tell You This'. It starts with a reading from Nadine, and the conversation is interspersed with further examples throughout which should give you a clear idea as to what makes this book so special. During their discussion the two touch on narrative, family, the possibilities for poetry, the importance of rhythm, voice & language, why she is glad to be published by 404 Ink, and what these poems mean to her, and others. It's one of the most engaging podcasts to date, and we hope you will be inspired to investigate Nadine's work for yourself, and consider it with the care and attention it deserves.
Last month in Mono there was the Glasgow launch of David Keenan's latest novel 'For The Good Times'. A night of two-halves, SWH!'s own Ali Braidwood was on chairing duties as first fellow writer Chris McQueer (below) then David himself (above) read from 'HWFG' and 'For The Good Times' respectively before talking in depth about their latest work. It was a really special night and if you weren't able to make it we hope what you are about to hear is the next best thing.
For the latest podcast, a Glasgow Film Festival special, Ali met up with film-director Andrew Peat at the city's CCA to talk about his documentary 'Scotch: The Golden Dram'. Andrew has roots in the city and he was delighted to be bringing his film "home" as he put it. 'Scotch' is a film which follows the making of whisky from "grain to glass", and Andrew talks about how he presents that journey, the characters he met along the way, the emotional connection between the drink and the country, and the financial one. The film is for everyone, whether you are interested in whisky or not, and we'd like to think the podcast is the same. In the meantime, your health!
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to Lily, Gordon and Dickson from L-space who are, as regular readers of SWH! will know, one of our favourite bands. Their album, 'Kipple Arcadia' (LNFG) was one of the best in recent years and no discerning home should be without it. The talk turns to expectation versus reality, how their sound and songwriting developed, the thinking behind the themes explored in the music, and what the future may hold, bit just for the band but for all of us. The sign of a good podcast is that time flies, either when recording or listening, and if this theory holds up then you are in for a treat. The pod opens with their song 'Home Sweet Home' and closes the exclusive play of two new tracks, 'Moving Traffic Overhead' and 'Waking Up Bathed In The Light Of Things You Can't Afford'. A podcast not to miss.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to writer David Keenan about his latest novel 'For The Good Times'. After the success of his previous book 'This Is Memorial Device', (Scots Whay Hae!'s Book of 2017), it was always going to be fascinating to see how he would follow it, but he has done so in fine style. The two discuss why it is set in Belfast in the '70s, the personal connections Keenan has to that time and place, the themes which he addresses, as well as magic, masculinity, Irish Modernism, and a whole lot more. It was a pleasure to once again spend time in Keenan's company as there are few writers who talk with the insight, honesty, and passion about their work as he does. This is a podcast not to be missed.
For the latest podcast Ali caught up with Peter Kelly, better known as singer/songwriter Beerjacket, to talk about 'Silver Cords' which is not only the name of his latest collection of songs, but also of the accompanying book of short stories, (a review of which you can read over at Scots Whay Hae!). The two talk about the project from its early days through to completion, how the stories work with the songs, the reason Peter chooses to work under a pseudonym, and why Beerjacket is now back after some time away. It's a conversation which will appeal to anyone interested in the artistic process, whether making music or writing, and just how important collaboration is.
For our final Best Of 2018 podcast Ali, Chris Ward, Wesley Shearer, and our very own Young Father, Ian, discuss their favourite records of the year, and the best gigs of 2018. What do they choose? Well you'll just have to listen to find out, but we can say that there are a hell of a lot of winners, and nary a loser in sight as they decide that the year in music was a rather fine one.
For our review of the year in film Ali & Ian were joined once more by Chris Ward and Wesley Shearer to discuss their favourite film of 2018, the year in Scottish film, any themes and trends which could be uncovered, and if Mel Gibson films are better or worse for the involvement of Mel Gibson. It's an enjoyable hour where all three have some shared choices, and some which are new to everyone else, and possibly to you.
For our Best Books of 2018 podcast Ali was once again joined by Book Vikki herself, Publishing Scotland’s Vikki Reilly to discuss their favourite books of the year and the state of Scottish publishing, try to identify the themes and trends of the last 12 months, forget the names of things (mostly Ali, to be fair), look into what's coming in the new year, and explain why 2018 belonged to Muriel. It was quite the year in Scottish writing and hopefully we go some way to summing it up and rounding it off for you.
For the latest podcast Ali visited LP Records in Glasgow's West End to talk to LP himself, Lorenzo Pacitti. The two talk about the history of his LP Record store, the move into becoming a label, (releasing music from Wesley A. Chung, American Clay, and Codist), and his plans to start LP Radio, a station which will be based in the store. There are also tales of Nicki Minaj, the vital role of darts in the LP story, time spent in Texas and Seattle, the pros and cons of the vinyl resurrection, and his vision of the perfect radio station. For anyone interested in the record business - the records and/or the business - it's a must listen.
For the latest podcast Ali met up with poet and writer Donald S. Murray to talk about this novel 'As The Women Lay Dreaming' which examines the Iolaire disaster of 1919 and why the story of one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters remains largely unknown outside of the Highlands & Islands. The two discuss the impact this terrible event has had on a community through the generations, and also the main themes of the novel which include language, religion, class, art, guilt, and family. It's an utterly fascinating conversation about one of Scotland's defining moments in history. With the centenary of the sinking of the Iolaire imminent this is a podcast you won't want to miss.
"For the latest podcast Ali went through to Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh to talk to musician David Luximon-Herbert, better known as Vive La Rose, about his latest album 'For She Who Hangs The Moon', which is destined to be one of the best records of 2018. The two talk about the making of the record, influences, themes, tone, the expectations David has, and the critical reaction so far. As well as the usual chat you also get two bonus tracks in the shape of 'Night Terrors' and the current single 'Schiehallion' which give you just a taste of what is an impeccable collection of songs.
"For the latest podcast Ali spoke to the writer Chris McQueer about his latest collection of short stories, 'HWFG'. If you haven't heard of or read Chris' work, where have you been? His previous book, 'Hings' took the world of Scottish writing by storm announcing a fresh and exciting new voice. 'HWFG', ('Here We Fucking Go', if you haven't worked it out yet), sees him build on the success of 'Hings' introducing readers to new characters as well as bringing back fan favourites. It was fascinating to hear what inspired Chris to write, his influences, the difficulty in following a hit, the highs and lows of being reviewed, and his plans to branch out from writing fiction. He also kindly reads one of his stories which gives the uninitiated a great introduction to Chris McQueer and his work.
For our 100th podcast we thought long and hard about who to ask and we kept coming back to one name, Mr Vic Galloway. With the recent publication of his superb book Rip It Up: The Story Of Scottish Pop, written to coincide with the National Museum of Scotland’s exhibition and the TV show of the same name, it seems fitting to talk to a man who helps shape the nation's musical tastes.
For the latest SWH! podcast Ali caught up with musician Carla J. Easton to talk about her new album 'Impossible Stuff', which is released on the 5th October on Olive Grove Records. As well as explaining the Canadian roots of the record Carla talks about the importance of home, her many collaborations, her musical history, Teen Canteen, and the documentary she is working on with Blair Young about women pioneers of Scottish pop. Carla is one of the most innovative and interesting musicians working today and it was great talking to her. If you love music you just have to take a listen, but it's also a fascinating insight as to what is involved in the artistic process.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to writer & director May Miles Thomas about her incredible film 'Voyageuse' and the issues and themes it addresses such as family, ageing, grief, and much more. However, the two also discuss different approaches to making film, May's previous projects, using setbacks as inspiration, the problem in getting heard in a crowded market, and the primary importance of story in her work. It's a fantastic listen which will be of interest to anyone who is interested, not only in the process and reality of filmmaking, but in all aspects of creating art in Scotland. There is also mention of Hitler, satanism in Glasgow, and the CIA. What more could you want from a podcast?
For the latest podcast Ali met up with the American novelist Andy Davidson before his event at The Edinburgh International Book Festival. In an ironically dreich Charlotte Square the two discuss Andy's terrific debut novel 'In The Valley Of The Sun' which is out now on the Contraband imprint of Saraband books, and which is one of the best of the year so far. It's a fascinating chat about influences and ideas, genre fiction vs literary fiction, horror writers and films, the importance of character, and why, in terms of writing, there really is no place like home. They also talk about the differences in publishing in the US as opposed to the UK. For anyone with an interest in writing, or reading, it's a must listen.
After our Dundee podcast Ali moves up the coast to Aberdeen to talk to Charley Buchan from Fitlike Records, writer Shane Strachan, and Mood Of Collapse blogger Jon Reid. The three talk about the changes in Aberdeen's arts and cultural community, the influence of the city's educational and civic insitutions, the importance of spaces and places, graduate and talent drain, what inspires them to do what they do, and their hope for what happens next. It's an impassioned and inspiring chat about past, present and future for the arts in Aberdeen.
For the latest podcast Ali visited Dundee to talk about all things artistic and cultural in relation to that great city. To do so he was joined by the co-founding director of Creative Dundee Gillian Easson, the writer and playwrite (and long term supporter of SWH!) Anna Stewart, and the TV and theatre actor, (currently on the brilliant 'The Terror' on AMC) Gordon Morris. All three are proud Dundonians and have a long and vibrant connection with the city's culture. They talk about the past, present, and their future hopes for the city and its artistic community, examining how it has become an internationally renowned centre for the arts while remaining determinedly committed to engaging with its citizens. It's a fascinating discussion which gives a great overview of a place, its people, and its culture.
In the latest podcast we look at the life and work of Muriel Spark with our guest Dr Colin McIlroy who is the Muriel Spark Project Curator at the National Library of Scotland, and who was instrumental in their recent The International Style of Muriel Spark Exhibition. This year is the centenary of the birth of Spark, and the exhibition was just part of the #MurielSpark100 celebrations which are ongoing throughout 2018. Colin tells us all about the exhibition, before he and Ali talk about the novels, Spark's life, her other writing, and so much more. If you are a newcomer to Muriel Spark, or think that she begins and ends with The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, this is the perfect podcast to persuade you to investigate further. If you are already a fan, then you're bound to find something new to you.
For the latest podcast Ali met up with writer Helen McClory at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery to talk about her life as a writer to date - and a very interesting story it proves to be. From studying creative writing in Sydney and Glasgow, to winning awards for her debut short story collection 'On The Edges Of Vision', walking Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson's dog, the difficult publication of her novel 'Flesh Of The Peach', writing about Jeff Goldblum, to her latest collection of short fiction 'Mayhem & Death', it is fascinating tale, and one which will be of interest to anyone who loves writing and reading.
For the lastest podcast, Ali spoke to Aye Write! Book Festival programmer, Bob McDevitt in Glasgow's CCA (which explains the background 'atmosphere'). They discuss the history of the festival, what to expect this year, Bob's personal highlights, the challenges of festival programming, his similar role for Bloody Scotland and the Pitlochry Winter Words Festival, and much, much more. There is also mention of 'Men In Kilts'. As a precursor to Aye Write! 2018 it's the perfect listen, especially when married to the SWH! preview which is over at the website right now. SWH! is delighted to be involved in some of this year's events, so hopefully see you there.
For the first podcast of 2018 Ali went to Edinburgh to talk to Heather McDaid and Laura Jones who are behind the innovative and acclaimed publishers 404 Ink. They talk about their inspirations and the reasons for starting working together, the phenomenon of their first book 'Nasty Women', the desire to publish new voices, the importance of social media and different methods of funding, the role of music, mixing content and contributors, and why the live experience is increasingly important for writers and publishers. For anyone interested in books, writers, writing and culture in general, which surely must be all of you reading this, it is a must listen. All this, and Jeff Goldblum too.
For latest podcast Ali met writer, broadcaster and food expert Rachel McCormack at Glasgow's Iberica restaurant to talk about her recent book on whisky and Scotland, the excellent 'Chasing The Dram: Finding The Spirit Of Whisky'. Over a glass of wine, the two discuss Rachel's book, their first memories of whisky, the perception of the drink at home and abroad, the mythology which has grown around it, and how it relates to Scotland, and a whole lot more. Put simply, she separates the truth from the fiction, and there is plenty of both when it comes to our original national drink.
This year we are recording three separate Best Of 2017 podcasts, one each for film and music, (which you can still hear), and this, Part III, which concentrates on the best books of the year, and all things literary. Catching up at the fabulous Lighthouse Bookshop, Ali chats with Birlinn Ltd and Polygon Books' very own Vikki Reilly about the highs-and lows of the year in Scottish publishing, as well as offering their recommendations and suggestions for the best books 2017.
This year we are recording three separate Best Of 2017 podcasts, one each for film, music, and books. For the first two, Ali and Ian are once again joined by irregular podcast guest and resident film expert Chris Ward, and Scottish music man & manager, Wesley Shearer. In this, Part II, we concentrate on the year in music, beginning with the best Scottish music of 2017 (many of whom appear on Track Of My Year: SWH!'s 10 Best Songs Of 2017 or on SWH!'s Best of 2017 Spotify list), before we discuss what else tickled our fancy and made our hearts fly.
This year we are recording three separate Best Of 2017 podcasts, one each for film, music, and books. For the first two, Ali and Ian were once again joined by irregular podcast guest and resident film expert Chris Ward, and Scottish music man manager Wesley Shearer. In this, Part I, we concentrate on the films of 2017, and give you some recommendations. As usual, Ali kicks things off talking about his favourite Scottish films of the year, including T2: Trainspotting, Daphne, Benny, The End Of The Game, Lost In France before Chris and Wesley widen the discussion out to talk about the best films they have seen in the last 12 months.
For the latest podcast Ali talks to Peter Mackie Burns, the director of critically acclaimed new British film 'Daphne', starring Emily Beecham in the title role, and which has Geraldine James among the support. The two talk about the film, the collaborative process of building the central character, the importance of place, the influences on the film, Burns' earlier work, and how he got to this stage in his career. It's a fascinating insight into the film-making process and much more.
On the latest podcast Ali spoke to journalist Peter Ross about the follow up to his 2014 book, 'Daunderlust: Dispatches From Unreported Scotland', 'The Passion Of Harry Bingo: Further Dispatches From Unreported Scotland'. Peter goes into some of the dispatches in detail as the two discuss how Scottish football may be a microcosm of Scottish life, the importance of tradition, how to be accepted in as diverse places as a grouse shoot and a sex shop, and so much more. Even then they only touch upon a handful of the stories told, so if you want to know the rest you're going to have to read the book.
The latest podcast is an interview with one of our favourite guests, the writer Louise Welsh. Her latest novel, 'No Dominion', is the final part in her Plague Times Trilogy which began back in 2014 (not five years ago as Ali suggests) with 'A Lovely Way To Burn', and continued with 'Death Is A Welcome Guest'. The conversation touches on the central themes in the trilogy which include family, morality, society, and what could happen in the face of a global pandemic threat. Just the usual. There is also talk of ghost stories and opera. What more do you want from a podcast?
In the latest podcast Ali talks to writer J. David Simons, initially about his latest novel 'A Woman Of Integrity' but also his 'Glasgow To Galilee' trilogy and one of Ali's favourite novels, 'An Exquisite Sense Of What Is Beautiful'. Talk also turns to life as a writer in the present day, the problems with publishing and promotion, and there are questions from a very special reader/listener. All this and much more on what is podcast #82.
For the latest podcast, Ali headed to Edinburgh to talk to poet, writer and musician, Andrew Greig. The first topic of conversation is 'Clean By Rain', the CD of spoken word and music Andrew has recorded with musician Brian Michie. As you'll hear, music has played a large part in Andrew's life, and this latest project (& his next) provide a wonderful symmetry to his life so far. The two also talk about his poetry and prose, particularly 'Fair Helen', which prompts a musical interlude. It was an absolute pleasure talking to Andrew, and we hope you have similar feelings listening to him.
The latest podcast is a fascinating conversation with two previous podcast guests, the writer and artists Alasdair Gray, and the driving force being Songs For Scotland, Kevin Brown. Kevin is curating an exhibition of Alasdair's art at London's Coningsby Gallery, and he tells us all about it, while Alasdair discusses what inspired him to illustrate his writing, his previous exhibitions, the importance of public art, and much more, including his latest project. As always, it's a pleasure to spend time in both men's company, and we hope you think the same.
In the latest podcast, Ali and Ian met up with writer Douglas Skelton to talk initially about his Dominic Queste novels, "The Dead Dont Boogie" and "Tag - You're Dead", but the discussion touches upon so much more. They talk about Douglas's Davie McCall series, his journalism and non-fiction, the importance of secondary characters, Glasgow's fascination with crime, the influence of Ed McBain, Shane, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and the greatest TV show of all time (TM), Hill Street Blues. It is a must hear for anyone with an interest in crime writing, but will also appeal to a much wider audience, just as Douglas Skelton's novels do.
The latest podcast is a sister to our recent interview with Pat and Jim Byrne and Samina Chaudry about Ten Writers Telling Lies. It is a live recording of the launch of the book featuring readings and music. We were going to edit it but could not bring ourselves to leave any one or any song out, so this is the full director's cut. Enjoy.
In the latest podcast Ali talks to Jim and Pat Byrne and Samina Chaudry about Ten Writers Telling Lies, a music and literary project which has writers and poets collected together as well as collaborating with Jim on accompanying songs. You'll not only hear all about the project, its beginnings and how it has grown, but there are also a couple of examples of the songs as well as Samina reading her short story, Taxi. It is a fascinating undertaking which deserves to be read and heard by as many people as possible.
For the latest podcast Ali spoke to writer David Keenan about his novel This Is Memorial Device. Anyone who has read the Scots Whay Hae! review of the book (on the website now) will know how highly we rate it, and it's fascinating to hear David talk about the influences behind it, why it was always going to be an Airdrie novel, the reasons the book is structured as it is, and so much more. We're calling it one of the most interesting and engaging podcasts yet, but listen for yourselves and see if that's a bold claim or not.
The latest podcast is a timely one as Ali talks to director and cinematographer Lou McLoughlan in the week this year's Glasgow Film Festival begins (and there's a preview of that over at Scots Whay Hae!). Lou discusses her film '16 Years Till Summer', an astonishing documentary which was critically acclaimed by audiences and festival panels alike. She then discusses the pros and cons of documentary making in Scotland, and how the reception abroad can differ widely from that at home. It all makes for a fascinating listen for anyone interested in film.*Recorded in Glasgow's Project Cafe, there is quite a bit of background noise to being with and we hope that doesn't impede your enjoyment.
In our Burnscast for 2017, Ali and Ian travelled to the heart of Burns' country in Ayrshire to talk to the writer Catherine Czerkawska about her novel, 'The Jewel', which examines Burns relationship with his wife Jean Armour, from Jean's point of view. It is a story rarely told, and what follows is an hour of fascinating chat about Jean and Robert which focuses on the reality of family life rather than in the mythology which surrounded, and continues to attach itself to, Burns. There's also a little bit of poetry. It is Burns Night after all.
In our first podcast of 2017, Ali talks to Ian Smith and Murray Easton, two of the founding members of record label Last Night From Glasgow. In under a year they have released some of the best records of recent times, and have built up a loyal following in the process. Approaching the music business with new ideas, or old ideas presented in a new way, LNFG are a success story that shows no sign of slowing, and anyone with a love of music, or any other area of the arts, will find something of interest in their conversation. There's also some exclusive music to boot.
In this, Part II of our end of year podcast Ali, Chris and Wesley concentrate on the best music of 2016, both recorded and live. Even our sound-guru, Ian, chips in. It's been a cracking year for new music. As you may suspect, we start with the best in Scottish music before a wide-ranging discussion as to what has been on offer from elsewhere. In case you missed it, Part I looked back at film and books from the last 12 months, and you can still hear that now at http://bit.ly/2hnpEjD, as well as indulge yourself in our extensive back catalogue of over 70 podcasts at http://apple.co/2hCJaVw
For our end of year podcast, Ali and Ian were once again joined by regular pod guest and resident film expert, Chris Ward, and Scottish music man, Wesley Shearer. As we ran well over the two hour mark we've decided to split it into two parts. In Part I we concentrate on the films and books of 2016, and give you recommendations about the best of both. We also talk about the marketing of movies, the career of Isabelle Hupert, the importance of independent publishers, the welcome return of Alasdair Gray, and James Kelman at 70. We also name writer Graeme Macrae Burnet as our Man Of The Year.
In the latest podcast Ali and Ian are joined by musicians Ross and Alasdair Whyte who, under the moniker WHYTE, have collaborated on the excellent album “Fairich”. What is it like? You'll just have to listen to the podcast, which not only has the explanation from the horses' mouths, but also features an exclusive play of two tracks...at least we're claiming it as such. This was a really enjoyable chat and we hope you get as much from it as we did on the day.
For our latest podcast we go transatlantic with Ali talking to Kevin Brown, producer of, and the driving force behind, Songs For Scotland 2. Even if you are aware of the original Songs For Scotland you'll find the story behind the sequel fascinating. Kevin's passion for the project is infectious and inspiring, and you'll want to know what role Alasdair Gray has to play. Stay with us right to the end as we have an exclusive play of one of the featured songs just for you. Cos we're like that...
For the latest podcast, Ali headed down the Clyde Valley to Biggar to talk to writer and actor Pauline Lynch. Pauline's debut novel, 'Armadillos', is out now, and you can read the Scots Whay Hae! review on the website. It's an unforgettable book and the two discuss it at length, but also tough on writing courses, treading the boards and touring the world, and being part of a cultural phenomenon. Sounds like something that would interest you? Of course it does.
For the latest podcast, we went to Edinburgh to meet writer Rebecca Monks in the very apt Circus Cafe and talk about the forthcoming Fringe play Tyke, which is based on a tragic and true tale. He also speaks to co-directors Madison Maylin and Madeleine Cunningham on the phone to learn about the practicalities of staging the show. You can learn more about Tyke at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tyke#/, but not until you've listened to the SWH! podcast.
In our latest podcast Ali talks to Japan based Scottish novelist Iain Maloney - in the pub. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the chat was a fascinating and illuminating one. Iain was just about to start a whirlwind book tour of the UK to promote his third novel, The Waves Burn Bright, but thankfully took time out to talk to Scots Whay Hae! about that book, his previous work, his life as a writer, and what living abroad has taught him about his homeland.
For the latest podcast Ali caught up with musician and poet Roy Moller to talk about the forthcoming Dunbar CoastWord Festival. You can read the full details of the programme at http://www.coastword.co.uk/, but Roy gives you the insider information you just won't get elsewhere, and talks about the festival's genesis and ethos. If you're not booking your tickets by the time the podcast ends, we will be very surprised - and a little disappointed.
After a short Spring break the Scots Whay Hae! podcast is back for Series 3 with a whole new line-up of guests and themed specials for your pleasure. This first episode sees Ali head down Leith Walk to talk with Sean Ormsby and Stephen McLaren from Edinburgh record label Errant Media. They talk about the pleasure of collaboration, the importance of songs, and why melancholy and euphoria are the perfect musical partners. These two have made some of the best music of the last few years, and continue to do so. If you are interested in the reality of not only writing great songs, but getting them released, then this is a must hear.
After a year off, the Scots Whay Hae! annual Burnscast returns in style with Ali and Ian joined by our very own Ronnie Young to talk all things Rabbie, particularly the Futurelearn on-line course, “Robert Burns: Poets, Songs & Legacy”, which is open to all, and is entirely free. You can hear all about it on the podcast, but further details can be found at https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/robert-burns/1 . They also talk about Burns the Icon, and how this Ayrshire poet became one of the most recognisable faces around the world. It’s the perfect accompaniment to Burns Night – but then, we would say that.
For our “Best of 2015” podcast, Ian and Ali were joined by regular, Chris Ward, and Scottish music man, Wesley Shearer (manager for Campfires In Winter, Michael Cassidy and I Am David Laing) to talk about what floated their collective boats in the last 12 months. Add in the usual festive missive from friend of SWH!, Ronnie Young, and you end up with an epic podcast which approaches the 2 hour mark. But never mind the length, feel the quality.
In the latest podcast, Ali talks to writers Graham Lironi and Graeme Macrae Burnet about their latest novels (Oh Marina Girl and His Bloody Project respectively), both of which have been published on Saraband Books crime imprint, Contraband. They discuss crime fiction and subverting readers’ expectations, genre fiction and the problem with labels, the importance of editing, unreliable narration, the health or otherwise of the Scottish writing community, and what’s really important in the life of a writer. The hour or so just flew by, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did recording it. We’re calling it "a must listen for anyone interested in writing and books”, and we wouldn’t lie about something like that.
In the latest Scots Whay Hae! podcast, Ali talks to broadcaster, journalist and TV executive Stuart Cosgrove about his terrific new book Detroit 67: The Year That Changed Soul. As Stuart explains, it's so much more than a book on music, and what follows is a fascinating chat about how Detroit in 1967 influenced and reflected America and the times.
Ali was in Edinburgh for some Festival shenanigans but took time out to talk to SWH! favourite Doug Johnstone to talk about his new novel 'The Jump'. A difficult novel to discuss in terms of plot, the chat concentrates on the themes in the novel, family dramas, domestic noir, the best use of research and the importance of being honest. As a sort of bonus extra, Doug also gives his advice to all those who want to write, which alone makes this a must listen.
Scots Whay Hae! recently made the trip to the World Heritage Site that is New Lanark for their inaugural Live At New Lanark music festival to listen to the tunes and talk to the musicians. This podcast is the result of our day, and features M.E.G, Steven Telfer, Light Arrows, Patersani, Fingerhalo Kelvin, The Begbies and more. The festival was a celebration of the best Scottish music, and it was a pleasure to be able to share in what was a hugely successful event.
In the latest Scots Whay Hae! podcast, Ian and Ali are joined by Stuart and Karn David. It's a timely chat as we discuss Stuart's recent book In The All-Night Cafe about the early days of Belle and Sebastian, as well as Looper's handsome 5 CD box-set, These Things, which has just been released. However, as usual we stray from topics to talk about such diverse things as the art of letter writing, musical influences and the problems that face the introverted artist. It’s 40 mins well spent in excellent company.
For the latest podcast Ian and Ali headed east to talk to The Corries’ Ronnie Browne about his recently published autobiography. What unfolds is one of the most entertaining podcasts yet as Ronnie talks about his young life in Edinburgh, his career as an artist, the strength he gained from his family life, and, of course, his time as one of Scotland’s most iconic musicians. But, as Ronnie makes clear, this is his life story, not The Corries, and the resulting interview is moving, funny and informative. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did recording it.
For the latest podcast, Ali talks to writer Andrew Raymond Drennan about his new novel, ‘The Limits Of The World’. They talk about the reason for setting the book in North Korea, the influences on Andrew’s writing, the role of art in society as well as its importance on an individual level, and why, in the end, perhaps all you need is love and courage. Both men are in their element as they get to talk about things which mean a lot to them, and we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as they clearly did recording it.
In the latest podcast, Ali talks to historian Dr Stephen Mullen about the inspiration behind his work, his seminal book It Wisnae Us: The Truth About Glasow and Slavery, the importance of last year’s Empire Café, and his plans for future research. We’ve been trying to get Stephen on for some time, and we hope you’ll agree it was worth the wait.
The latest podcast is one of two halves. In the first, Ali talks to writer Zoe Strachan, who is wearing her editor’s hat as she talks about all things ‘Out There’, the anthology of LGBT writing which was published late last year, and which Scots Whay Hae! reviewed on the 18/01/15. Zoe goes into the influences and inspirations behind the book’s conception, and talks about the process of bringing so many writers together. The second half is made up of some terrific readings from ‘Out There’, which were recorded at the launch of LGBT history month at the Tron Theatre. Put the two together, and you have a podcast which informs as well as entertains, which is what we ideally aim for in these recordings.
It’s time for the best of 2014 podcast, and it is a whopper, coming in around 1hr 40mins long. With that in mind we’ve split into three more manageable sections with the usual SWH! guitar sting to signal a break. The reason for this length? Well, Ian, Chris and Ali hadn’t been together for a while, and had a lot of films, music and books to talk about. Add in the yearly Falkirk missive from Ronnie Young to kick things off, and what you end up with is a fairly comprehensive round up of the best things from 2014.
Scots Whay Hae! made the trip to Summerhall in Edinburgh to talk to writer, poet, playwright and polymath, Ron Butlin about his life and work. The result is just under an hour of informative and entertaining chat that is a must listen for anyone interested in writing. Of course, we would say that, but it doesn’t make it any less true. If you have never listened to a Scots Whay Hae! podcast before then we suggest this is the perfect place to start.
Ian and Ali have been trying to get Lloyd Meredith on the podcast for some time, and this month they get their man. As music blogger Peenko he was one of Scottish music’s greatest champions, and, alongside Halina Rifai, he founded Olive Grove Records, who are home to Jo Mango, Woodenbox, The Son(s), Call To Mind and more. He also manages Randolph’s Leap as well. All of the above are some of Scots Whay Hae!’s favourite bands and musicians, and what unfolds on the pod is basically one fanboy talking to another about Olive Grove and much more.
Back in the early summer Ali went to talk to Alasdair Gray about his love of reading and the importance of being carefully taught from an early age. The conversation formed the basis of an article for the NLS magazine, Discovery, and you can read the longer version at Scots Whay Hae! now. Ian couldn't be there to record, so apologies if the sound is a little erratic.
Ian and Ali made the picturesque trip to Braemar to talk to Alasdair Roberts and Ross Whyte about their collaborative project as musicians in residence. The chat takes place in one of Braemar’s churches where the two have been recording, and which lends a certain atmosphere to matters which you wouldn’t normally get in the Scots Whay Hae! kitchen. After an initial discussion about their time in Braemar, talk turns to the nature of collaboration, how to marry different styles of music, and how to convey a sense of place artistically.
The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast makes a timely return as the latest is all about the forthcoming Empire Café. Ali talks to Louise Welsh and Jude Barber, the driving forces behind the series of events, and matters are rounded off by a reading from one of the many contributors, Glasgow's new Poet Laureate, Jim Carruth.
In the latest podcast, Ian and Ali are joined by journalist Peter Ross to talk abut his life as a writer, and the publication of his collection of articles ‘Daunderlust: Dispatches From Unreported Scotland'. The chat touches upon chippies, pub-life, the shows, Dashing White Sergeants, the strange traditions of some Scottish towns and the suspicious nature of the ‘Doo Men'. It all adds up to one of the most enjoyable hours we have had in some time, as one of Scotland's best journalists takes us on an alternative tour of Scotland.
Ian and Ali took a trip to Bridgeton to talk to Dr Adele Patrick, co-founder of and Lifelong Learning and Creative Development Manager for Glasgow Women's Library. The interview takes place in the old public library on Landressy St, which is the latest home of the GWL, and, having seen their plans, will be for the foreseeable future. Adele talks about the inspiration behind the formation of the library, the difficulties of the early days, and their often nomadic history. She also talks about the terrific 21 Revolutions, the recent publication of new writing, essays and prints inspired by the collection at the library. If you listen to a more interesting and engaging podcast this year, you'll be a very lucky person.
Ali and Ian headed down Leith Walk to talk to broadcaster, writer, journalist and all round gent, Vic Galloway, who talks about his book 'Songs in the Key of Fife' and so much more all recorded for your pleasure.
On the latest podcast Ian, Chris and Ali were joined by Ryan Drever, music journalist and bass player with the mighty PAWS, to talk about the great and good, and not so good, of the last 12 months. WARNING: may contain the views of Ronnie Young
The latest podcast is one we've been promising for some time, but I'll think you'll agree it was worth the wait. We first spoke to Billy Letford about being a guest way back at the Margins Festival in February of 2012, and we have finally worn him down, with Ali, Chris and Ian catching up with him just before he recently departed for India. Right from the off, Billy charms and disarms as he takes us through his life as a poet, before the chat widens out to talk about the role poetry plays in everyone's life.
The Bottle Imp by Robert Louis Stevenson is read by Louise Welsh“The Bottle Imp” is usually found in the short story collection Island Nights' Entertainments, also know as his South Sea Tales.Louise Welsh is a writer based in Glasgow. She is the author of The Cutting Room (Canongate, 2003), Tamburlaine Must Die (Canongate, 2004); The Bullet Trick (Canongate, 2006); Naming the Bones (Canongate, 2010); and The Girl on the Stairs (John Murray, 2012). Her new book, A Lovely Way to Die (John Murray), will be published in March 2014. She wrote the libretto for Ghost Patrol (composer Stuart MacRae), an hour-long opera produced by Scottish Opera and Music Theatre Wales, which won a South Bank Award and was shortlisted for an Olivier Award (2013). Louise was a visiting fellow on the University of Iowa's International Writing Program (2011) and was writer in residence at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art (2010–2012).Produced by Alistair Braidwoodand Ian Gregson at Scots Whay Hae! on behalf of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies.
Thrawn Janet by Robert Louis Stevenson is read by Alan Bissett.“Thrawn Janet” is usually found in the collection Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables and is one of Stevenson's finest supernatural stories.Alan Bissett is a writer, dramatist and performer, born and raised in Falkirk and now resident in Glasgow. He is the author of the novels Boyracers (Polygon, 2001); The Incredible Adam Spark (Headline, 2005); Death of a Ladies' Man (Hachette, 2009); and Pack Men (Hachette, 2011). His dramatic works include The Ching Room and The Moira Monologues (both 2009). Most recently he enjoyed considerable critical success at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe with his one-man show, Ban This Filth!Produced by Alistair Braidwoodand Ian Gregson at Scots Whay Hae! on behalf of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies.
The latest podcast is a bit of cross promotion as it is a Robert Louis Stevenson special which has Ali talking to Louise Welsh and Ronnie Young about the great man, as well as a pre-recorded interview with James Robertson. It's all part of our celebration of Stevenson, and you'll be able to hear Louise join James and Alan Bissett reading three of RLS's finest supernatural tales in our special podcasts. If you subscribe, you'll get them all.
The Tale of Tod Lapraik by Robert Louis Stevenson is read by James Robertson“The Tale of Tod Lapraik” is from Stevenson's novel Catriona, his sequel to Kidnapped, where it is told by the character Black Andie.James Robertson is a novelist and poet who grew up in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire. He is the author of several short story and poetry collections, and has published five novels to date: The Fanatic (Fourth Estate, 2000); Joseph Knight (Fourth Estate, 2003); The Testament of Gideon Mack (Hamish Hamilton, 2006); And the Land Lay Still (Hamish Hamilton, 2010); and The Professor of Truth (Hamish Hamilton, 2013). He also runs the independent publishing company Kettillonia, and is a co-founder (with Matthew Fitt and Susan Rennie) and general editor of the Scots language imprint Itchy Coo, which produces books in Scots for children and young people.Produced by Alistair Braidwood and Ian Gregson at Scots Whay Hae! on behalf of the Association of Scottish Literary Studies.
The latest Scots Whay Hae! Podcast saw the editors of three of Scotland's finest literary magazines climb the stairs to talk to Ali about the how, whys and what next's, and their hopes and dreams, for the respective publications. They are Helen Sedgwick from Gutter Magazine, Gabriella Bennett from Valve Journal and Samuel Best from Octavius, and the talk ranged from influences, inspirations, themes, writers, readers, design, editorial decisions, live events and the importance of a mutually supportive literary community.
The latest podcast is a fascinating chat with author James Robertson who talks Scott, MacDiarmid and Hogg, the importance of recognising a native language to any culture and learning lessons from history, as well as talking us through all of his own work. May I humbly suggest that if you only listen to one Scots Whay Hae! podcast, this is the one to choose. It's certainly the most interesting afternoon Ali and Ian have spent in some time.
The latest podcast is one of our mildly popular musical themed recordings and it has live music and chat from Jack James, a singer/songwriter who has made one of the albums of the year so far with Is That The Rain On? He plays us three songs in what has come to be known by almost nobody as the Live Lounge, before he joins Ali, Chris and Ian in the kitchen for a chat about the best Scottish albums of last year, and the value or otherwise of the Scottish Album of the Year Awards.
The latest podcast saw writer Karen Campbell pop in to talk about her latest novel This Is Where I Am. It's a great chat about some problems with publishing, why the saying, “you can't judge a book by its cover” holds true, the importance of a writing community, and the balance between using research and your own voice. If you're interested in writing, or reading, then it is a must listen.
Ali and Ian make their now annual pilgrim east to meet novelist Doug Johnstone. As usual the most interesting stuff happens off mike, but there is enough good chat on life, death, family and more death to satisfy the most demanding listener.
In this, the second of our podcasts celebrating Glasgow and film, Ali and Ian are joined by film critic, blogger and editor Nicola Balkind to talk about ‘World Film Locations: Glasgow', which she has edited. The chat is an amiable and informative ramble around that city talking film before Nicola takes us through five of her favourite things. What more can you ask for?
In this, the first of two podcasts to celebrate Glasgow and/on film, Chris and Ali both review and preview their personal highlights of this year's Glasgow Film Festival. Chris deals with the arthouse, while Ali mainly stays in the mainstream, a division which reflects the diversity of the festival itself.
The latest Scots Whay Hae! podcast was a real treat to record. Jo Mango, who made one of the best albums of last year with Murmuration, climbed the stairs to play a couple of songs before chatting about the making of the album and the artists who influence her work. Chris listens intently, Ali gets emotional, and happily Ian is there to record it all.
It's that time of year where Ali, Ian and Chris park themselves round the kitchen table on the High St and ponder the past 12 months in terms of book, film, music and other miscellany. There is the annual missive from Scots Whay Hae's Dr Books, Ronnie Young, who pokes Chris with a Thor shaped stick, and once more give us his list of the best of the blockbusters of the year. Where else could you find and hour or so of discussion that touches upon Alan Warner, Johnny Greenwood, the use of Doric in a Pixar movie, electro/pop, David Byrne and the joy of silence.
The latest podcast sees Ian and Ali joined by writer Catriona Child who talks about her terrific debut novel Trackman. During the chat they cover the healing power of music, the brilliance of Watership Down, the importance of a good name, and the enduring appeal of The Great Escape. Ali also details how he psychologically scarred his wee brother when they were kids. So, something for everyone!
The second series of Scots Whay Hae! podcasts kicked off with live music and chat from one of Ian and Ali's favourite musicians, Eugene Twist. He played a couple of tracks, including one exclusive, before joining Ali and the returning Chris Ward to tell us about his new album, his endless search for new sounds, and the importance of a musical education, before the chat turned to the joy of soundtracks. All this and a mention for The Wild River Apples! | Tracks by Eugene Twist are Halloween Drama Queen and It's Down To You. http://www.eugenetwist.com
The latest Scots Whay Hae! podcast sees man of the moment, Ewan Morrison, join Ali to ostensibly talk about his latest book ‘Tales From the Mall', but as expected the conversation turns to many topics which are troubling the Morrison mind. Publishing, the myths of social media, the future for the novel, the behemoth that is Wamazon are all discussed, and much more besides. So strap yourself in for a breathless podcast that'll get you thinking. And that's got to be a good thing; right?
After a brief break to gather our thoughts and set up new guests, the Scots Whay Hae! podcast returns. Number 18 sees Ali talking to TV's Colin McCredie about the best from Scottish Telly past. It's a big subject to cover, but we manage to touch on programmes from the 1960s to the present day. I'm sure we missed many people's favourites, but hopefully there's enough of interest to please everyone from casual watchers to Telly Addicts.
For the latest podcast Chris, Ian and Ali are joined by the fabulous Arran Arctic who played live for us, and you, before joining in with a chat about the importance of Record Store Day, memories of early music purchases, and those ‘lost' albums which didn't fit the neat narratives of popular culture. But the main reason for listening is to hear Arran play and sing, something very special indeed. Music by Arran Arctic: 1st track is 'All That I Can Do', 2nd track 'Always About You' and the final track is 'Keep'.
The 16th podcast is our second attempt at an interview with writer Rodge Glass. We initially tried to do so at the launch of his latest novel ‘Bring Me the Head of Ryan Giggs' but electronic gremlins got the better of us. What we have following the interview is some live footage from that night of Rodge reading from the book and it makes for a great listen. But then I would say that.
Scots Whay Hae! went on the road to Portobello to interview writer, journalist and musician Doug Johnstone for podcast number 15. Once we made it through the Haar we talked indie music, art versus craft, and novels old and new, while avoiding being bitten by the patrons of The Espy.
*No animals were harmed in the making of this podcast...
In this, the epic 14th podcast, Ali and Chris are joined by Scots Whay Hae's favourite music journalist Nicola Meighan to help them come up with a final five top Scottish albums of all time. Hear accusations of ungallant ganging up, feel the pain as Chris grits his teeth so much they squeak, and sit back, pour yourself a drink, and relax as the running time is a record 1 hour 40 mins plus. All this and so much more. If you disagree with us let us know, unless you are going to be abusive, in which case don't bother.
Lucky for us podcast 13 has Ali in conversation with writer Kapka Kassabova. They talk tango, travel, Bulgaria, broken hearts and belonging as Kapka takes us through her physical and psychological journey's around the world before finding contentment in Edinburgh. It's the most interesting hour that we've had in some time, and we hope that you agree.
Welcome to Scots Whay Hae's first 'Burnscast' which has Ali talking to Ronnie Young about the man, the myth and the poetry and Cammy Goodall on the phone to explain how celebrations the of the Bard have changed and grown over the years. Add in some poetry and a wonderful version of 'Green Grow the Rashes, O' sung by Jennifer Scammell then I hope you'll agree that this is one of the most entertaining podcasts yet.|| http://ScotsWhayHae.co.uk ||
The first podcast of 2012 is No11 and sees Ali chatting with Cargo Publishing's Grand Poobah Mark Buckland. They talk about the past, present and future of publishing, what Cargo has planned over the next 12 months, and Mark confirms the line-up for this year's Margins Festival.
The 8th Scots Whay Hae! podcast sees Ali interview writer Louise Welsh about her writing, other people's writing, silent movies, the importance of collaboration, the genius of Psycho, and a shared love of Asterix. You want to know her favourite book, writer, film etc? You're just going to have to listen. https://scotswhayhae.com
Lucky number seven for the Scots Whay Hae! podcast sees Ali Braidwood talking to Kirsty Neary about her latest novel 'Abstract/Concrete' and editor Sam Best about the new literary magazine 'Octavius'. Whose favourite film has an Elton John soundtrack? You'll have to listen to the very end (or scroll ahead) to find out.http://scotswhayhae.co.uk
In the 6th Scots Whay Hae! podcast Ali Braidwood and Chris Ward are joined by the good Dr, and friend of the pod, Ronnie Young to help them settle on the five greatest Scottish Novels ...Ever. Listen as they agree, disagree, then agree to disagree, before deciding it's not worth taking it outside. http://scotswhayhae.co.uk
The fifth Scots Whay Hae! podcast is an hour of interview with novelist, playwright, and performer Alan Bissett who talks about his novels Boyracers, The Incredible Adam Spark, Death of a Ladies Man and, particularly, his latest novel Pack Men before moving on to a fascinating discussion about contemporary Scottish writing. There are discussions on sectarianism, gender, class and the merits of the musical career of Bruce Willis. Where else would you get all this?http://scotswhayhae.co.uk
In the 4th Scots Whay Hae! podcast Ali interviews author Allan Wilson about the publication of his collection of short stories ‘Wasted In Love' and along the way they talk Trocchi, Kelman, Bukowski, Arab Strap and the current Scots literary landscape. Hear Ali's brain melt as he realises that he can no longer function after only four hours sleep, try and work out who says the phrase ‘I think' the most, and, if you're name is Alan Bissett, blush as you are praised to the heavens. http://scotswhayhae.co.uk
In this, the 3rd Scots Whay Hae! podcast, Alistair and Chris are joined on the phone by Alex Scroggie as they discuss the life and work of Iain (M) Banks. See if you can spot the deliberate mistake in the first 10 minutes. The first person who does wins a copy of Ron Butlin's 'Night Visits' from the Scots Whay Hae! prize cupboard. http://scotswhayhae.co.uk
The second Scots Whay Hae! podcast has film expert and writer Kirsty Neary joining Ali Braidwood and Chris Ward in an attempt to come up with the top 5 Scottish films of all time. Includes pre-pod waffle, deliberate mistakes, 'Bill' confusion and the threat of at least one hissy fit as the three manage to fulfil their task in just under an hour.http://scotswhayhae.co.uk