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.
Rory Olcayto's assessment of the Glasgow problematic is highly controversial and has been doing the rounds and garnering much critical attention. The straight-talking, complacency-busting analysis and vision for a metropolitan city cannot possibly please everyone, and that, it seems, is precisely the partisan, feather-ruffling intention of the former Architects Journal editor. It was, indeed, first delivered as a talk to the Royal incorporation of Architects in Scotland. Here it is now as a readily accessible text: a provocation to civic and urban action.
Everyone, like Samuel Johnson, has an opinion on Macpherson's Ossian, but few of us ever manage to get a hand on an actual copy of the works. Fortunately, Murdo Macdonald does the bibliographic work for us, and details the doggedness of his desultory browsings and subsequent musings which led to the composition of his own versions. (is there ever anything but versions to work through here?) So, this is the big chance to find out what it was about the versions of this poetry that set Europe aflame with romantic passion and melancholy, and, as Napoleon himself put it, 'Devour Ossian!'
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 ...
The hutters at Carbeth dwell in the forest -when they can get there. They have a history: it's a green one and a working class one; it's one of urban folk in the countryside, and they're prepared to fight for it. Greg Thomas speaks to a couple who make and remake their stand in the forest.
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.
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.
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.
Who was Tom Nairn? One of the great political thinkers of his age, we mark his passing away with an introductory examination of his work - almost a Nairn For Beginners. These reviews/summaries of some of his most important works are excerpted from Tartan Pimps, a 2010 book by Mitch Miller and Johnny Rodger, which examined how the new Scottish politics were written into being.