History

21st February 2024

Made in Scotland:
Studies in Popular Music
Frith, Cloonan & Williamson
reviewed by Sheena Macdonald

A history of seventy years of popular music in Scotland by Simon Frith, Martin Cloonan and John Williamson is fascinating and comprehensive in its introduction to the story , writes Sheena Macdonald in review.
7th February 2024

SENSE AND SENSITIVITY:
Killing History
Owen Dudley Edwards

Putting the writing and rewriting of state affairs by politicians in a long and broadly detailed context, Owen Dudley Edwards wonders if 'The self-destruction of the would-be partisan is becoming a literary form in UK political life'? Reviews of new books by Theresa May, Chris Bryant and Rory Stewart.
9th January 2024

THE PARTISAN NECROPOLIS by Chris Leslie

Mostar’s Partisan Memorial Cemetery - The most significant anti-fascist architectural landmark in the former Yugoslavia has been neglected and left as a ruin for decades. Having survived the 1990s Bosnian war, the Partisan Memorial Cemetery in Mostar now faces its biggest threat – and possible disappearance – as neofascists are intent on destroying the necropolis and all it stands for....
2nd November 2023

LAOCOON AND LOSS
by
Murdo Macdonald

From Classical Antiquity through Michelangelo to Verlaine, via Godard and Tarkovsky and an essay-load of other makers, Murdo Macdonald shows us how the whole gang of western clever clogs in turn feel the pain of Laocoon - for if art shows us anything it is this: that nothing exists for sure, except the torture of the knowledge that is so, and will be so forever.
29th September 2023

SINGING FROM THE SAME HYMNBOOK by Louise Rodgers

Music to galvanise and control: a sonic authoritarianism? Louise Rodgers examines how powerful groups, institutions and individuals throughout history have hitched music to their social programmes.
9th May 2023

JOCKLAND RESULTS
An ODE as from 3000AD
by
Owen Dudley Edwards

Scotland's foremost Irish historian and Ireland's finest Jockstorian, Owen Dudley Edwards, finds a textless chronicle of the farcical and chaotic politics of Jockland in the 2020s. It's to be sung swiftly, though it's no song of Solomon. The rulers from Laputa assume they have (in the jargon of the period) 'taken back control', but none of them can actually determine where Jockland is, or if it even exists ...
30th March 2023

THE REVELATOR by Chris Leslie

Nights when people, places and stars align to create an unforgettable experience very rarely happen. A few weeks ago I attended a unique event in The Revelator in the historic Barclay Curle Shipyard. In this extraordinary space – a handmade Wall of Death – I watched a live gig from the band The Tenementals and listened to a rectoral speech from RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch. Nights like this are never to be repeated.
29th March 2023

A BALCONY IN CHICAGO
by
Murdo Macdonald

Is 'dwelling' always an invasion of some type? In the stoical approach, which is the inescapable ethos of our contemporary of the ecological and the sustainable, it seems so, yes. Here, in appropriately ossianic mode for these end-of-times, a paratactical Murdo Macdonald muses on the hybrid in Chicago.
31st January 2023

UK-SCOTTISH POLITICS in a UK-IRISH CENTENARY by Owen Dudley Edwards

From the sophistry of the Saorstat to the solecism of Saor Alba - what, if any, are the parallels between Irish Revolutionary relations with the UK, and the relations between the current crop of Scottish and UK politicians? Owen Dudley Edwards addresses an independent question.