Category Archives: Videos

Record Store Day at Tenement TV, Glasgow – 16th April 2016

DSC05225.jpgRecord Store Day, an event to honor the UK’s independent record shops was founded in 2007. It’s held on the third Saturday of April. This year Glasgow’s Tenement TV opened their doors and put on a great collection of bands to celebrate.

With a line-up that included Crash Club, Barrie-James O’Neill, aka Nightmare Boy, Other Humans, The Bar Dogs, Gangs and Strawberry Wine – the tenement was rocking its foundations all day. Here’s a selection of photos and videos from the day.

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For a list of the records released for Record Store Day 2016 – see Record Store Day Website


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Filed under Events, Glasgow, Live Music Reviews, Music, Photography, Record Store Day 2016, Tenement TV, Videos

Christmas Concert for Maggie’s Glasgow Oran Mor, Glasgow, December 7, 2014

Maggie's Glasgow Christmas Concert, Oran Mor, 7th Dec 2014

It’s the first time a Christmas concert has been organised for Maggie’s and I hope it becomes an annual event. It was well organised with a great collection of choirs, singers and musicians, and with a focus on Christmas, it was a heart-warming, inspiring and uplifting afternoon.

Kirsty Wark as Patron announced the proceedings, followed by Gillian Hailstones, the Centre Head for Maggie’s at Gartnavel. Some of the people in the audience have had some experience of Maggie’s and most of us know of someone who has had cancer.

The programme reminds us of a message from Laura Lee, Maggie’s Chief Executive:

“Our Centres are here for anyone with any type of cancer and their families and friends, offering the practical, emotional and social support that people with cancer need”

Maggie's Glasgow Christmas Concert, Oran Mor, 7th Dec 2014

The day started with a choir from Maggie’s, who we were told, had been practising fervently, and it showed. A surprise was a lovely crafted song called Sancta Maria.

Next up was the BBC Pacific Quire – which as the name suggests was made up with employees from the BBC, and they seem to be harbouring a few workers with hidden talents as their renditions of Gaudete, Silent Night and Away In A Manager ensured people captured the Christmas spirit. Their version of Wham’s Last Christmas showed an impressive solo vocal performance and some gorgeous harmonies.

Jerry Burns shimmered on the stage as she wore a silver glittery outfit and lovely skyscraper heels, and coming from a talented background of creatives and artists, she was joined by a younger member of the Burns family, her nephew Ryan Joseph Burns. And it’s such a treat to hear Jerry Burns sing, she has one of the country’s most beautiful voices. She accompanied Ryan on a few of his songs, including the dreamy melody Where She And I Were Born.

Then taking centre stage Jerry sang A Softer Place To Fall (After All), accompanied by Ryan.

Ryan also performed with  singer/songwriter Tommy Reilly on Old Habits Die Hard.

An interval allowed for some time to visit the tombola while having some mulled wine and mince pies – the sweet pasties that had survived a stealthy theft and swift snaffling from some greedy labradors. It seemed that someone’s pets had infiltrated the homemade mince pies – thankfully there were still lots to go around.

The second half introduced the music impresario Craig Armstrong. For someone who has composed movie scores for some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, he seemed humble and unassuming.  He sat at the piano and was joined by the McOpera Ensembles – a string quartet from Scottish Opera, and played the theme from the movies Love Actually and The Great Gatsby.

Craig Armstrong and Jerry Burns go back a long way and there’s an obvious friendship and mutual respect. They have collaborated recently on Armstrong’s latest album – the excellent It’s Nearly Tomorrow and Jerry joined him to sing the haunting Powder.

Then it was the turn of Alistair Ogilvy to join Armstrong on stage for Wake Up In New York.

Closing the day was the West of Scotland Military Wives Choir and this collection of women were an inspired addition to the day. With the focus very much on Christmas, we were reminded that for various reasons some people may be facing a festive season worrying about their loved ones.


The West of Scotland Military Wives Choir at Maggie's Glasgow Christmas Concert, Oran Mor, 7th Dec 2014

Their version of the Karine Polwart song The Good Years was especially poignant and affecting. There were some lovely solo performances on On My Own from Les Miserables, Let It Go from Disney’s massive hit movie Frozen was a popular choice and Pharrell Williams’ Happy got the crowd clapping and singing.

The day ended with everyone on their feet trying to remember the order and actions of the 12 Days of Christmas and ensured that everyone left in a festive and good-natured mood with their hearts a little lighter.

Maggie's Christmas Music with Craig Armstrong and Friends


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Filed under Charity, Gig Reviews, Glasgow, Music, Videos

Goldfrapp, Royal Albert Hall, London, 18th November, 2014

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The diminutive Alison Goldfrapp surrounded by the impressive London Contemporary Orchestra in the majestic setting of the cavernous Royal Albert Hall looked uncertain, somehow frail and nervous – displaced perhaps, like some Hollywood star brought back to life in the shaft of light that bathed her. She looked a bit like Marlene Dietrich. Staring out into the crowd,  she admitted she was nervous, it showed a charming vulnerability.

She is a true chameleon, you’re never sure what Alison Goldfrapp you will see. She displays the whole gamut of innocent childlike naivety, angelic otherworldliness, then she’s the sweet seductress, a screaming siren and a whirling dervish. In whatever form, her tiny frame with its powerhouse voice totally commands and captivates.

I’ve seen Goldfrapp many times and I imagine them to be sound perfectionists, every gig is note perfect, and this one was no different, apart from the feeling of occasion. While it may not be a “Last Hurrah” – it had the makings of one. Everything was pulled in, an orchestra, an amazing band, at one point the Lips Choir – made up of 54 female voices, and a special guest appearance by John Grant. Alison Goldfrapp and Grant proved an impressive double act as they sang the Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra hit One Velvet Morning, with Alison’s girly teasing a perfect foil for Grant’s deep throat masculinity.

The bulk of the night was a play through of latest album Tales of Us. The album is a departure from their electro-disco pop and very much a return to the vibe of Felt Mountain. So additional older songs such as Utopia fitted seamlessly into the set list. The carefully crafted and haunting songs of Tales of Us lent itself easily to the wonderful strings and arrangements of the orchestra.

Stranger is particularly beautiful. It’s a song to lose yourself in as you can feel the harmonies swirling around you, but watch the video which accompanies it and it’s a macabre and twisted contradiction.

It’s also begging to be used in a James Bond soundtrack. Goldfrapp should be creating movie soundtracks with their ease for crafting vast sweeping cinematic landscapes.

There were special programmes on the night, only 500 were made and each one was hand-stitched. They were numbered and signed by Alison and Will Gregory.

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The nerves, although apparent at the beginning of the night, soon subsided, and Alison need not have worried. The audience were in the palm of her tiny hand and this was a truly memorable gig that captivated from start to finish.





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Enchanted Forest, Perthshire, Scotland – October 2014

The Enchanted Forest, Perthshire, Scotland, 2014

This year’s Enchanted Forest show attracted over 46,000 people to Faskally Wood near Pitlochry, Perthshire to see the spectacular light and music display. Here’s a few highlights.

The Enchanted Forest, Perthshire, Scotland 2014

The Enchanted Forest, Perthshire, Scotland 2014




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Gigs in Glasgow, April 2014, reviews: Goldfrapp, Justin Timberlake, Elbow


Alison Goldfrapp

Alison Goldfrapp

Goldfrapp, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, April 4th, 2014

Alison Goldfrapp

Alison Goldfrapp

If you could describe Alison Goldfrapp in one word, it would be chameleon. The slight and striking singer flits easily between coy and coquettish to wailing banshee to ethereal angel, depending upon the mood and probably which of their albums she is focusing on. Their most recent album Tales of Us is a very stripped back affair and feels as if Alison and her musical partner Will Gregory have returned to their debut Felt Mountain, and it was a bold move to play almost all this album straight from the off. Those waiting for the more uplifting and dancey Number 1, Ride A White Horse and Train had to sit quietly in their seats till near the end of the gig. But there’s a sense that the band are confident enough in their work and how they deliver it, and they should be. They got everything spot on. The sound was astounding, the power behind the quieter songs was spellbinding, courtesy of Alison’s vocals which soared and were perfectly showcased on the likes of Jo and Annabel. The stage lighting was simple but effective and the overall result was a stunning performance from a band that know how to keep mixing it up and are constantly changing and evolving into something new and exciting.

Justin Timberlake, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, April 5th 2014

As exuberant as a puppy, Justin Timberlake gave the crowd what they came for and this gig left you thinking – is there anything he can’t turn his hand to? He can sing, dance, play instruments, act, look smooth and just put on a highly entertaining show. He looked like he was loving every minute – the crowd certainly were. The show was slick and polished right down to his shiny shoes which slid effortlessly throughout songs like Rock Your Body.

He made good use of the space, ensuring that all sections of the Hydro could see the full Justin experience – as at one point the huge hydraulic runaway bridge traveled across the Hydro as Justin ran from end to end during a rousing Let The Groove Get In.

The dancing and razzmatazz took a backseat when he sat at the piano and played a rendition of My Love. Two unexpected covers were aired, Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel, when he took to a b-stage with a guitar, and Michael Jackson’s Human Nature. 

A shortened version of the Jay Z collaboration Holy Grail segued into the soulful Cry Me A River which produced a massive sing-along from the Glasgow crowd. Take Back The Night ensured the crowd kept dancing and they had long ago reached fever pitch by the time he got to the finale which included the steamy Sexyback.


Elbow, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, April 6th, 2014

Guy Garvey, the amiable Elbow front man from Bury managed to make a gig at huge SSE Hydro feel like an intimate house party and we were all invited. Even the gatecrashers would get a pint, as long as they weren’t causing bother. He wished his niece a happy birthday, admitted he didn’t buy her a present, then sang her the wrong song. He outed couples on a first date and even got the male sector of the audience to say “I love”.  Justin Timberlake, the Hydro’s guest from the night before, he is not, but nonetheless in his own way Garvey has a knack for making the ordinary extraordinary. None more so than in his songs – where the lyrics are romantic paeans to rain-soaked pavements, glittering street lights and dark, dingy, deserted alleyways. It’s no surprise he cited Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile as an influence. The parallels with Manchester and Glasgow, historically northern industrial towns with a hard, gritty but often creative edge can also be seen.

We got a batch of songs from their sixth album, The Take Off and Landing of Everything, and they went down well with the crowd. The mood was relaxed, perhaps slightly safe but with a genuine warm fuzzy feeling of love and affection.

A constant throughout was the vocal performance of Garvey, world-weary on the ode to lost drinking companions, My Sad Captains, rousing on Grounds for Divorce and angelic on The Night Will Always Win,  Great Expectations and The Blanket of Night which was sung from a b-stage in the centre of the audience with Craig Potter on piano.

Mirrorball and The Bones of You emphasized further the band’s unashamedly romantic side. Garvey always seemed to make himself available for the crowd and if you were standing anywhere near the front you probably felt as if  Garvey was singing just for you.

There seems to be no other song to end an Elbow gig than One Day Like This. And if they’ve got fed up with this track’s exalted status to some kind of anthemic utopia, it doesn’t show. Garvey was thrilled by the massive crowd sing-along which eventually ended with the friendly front man surrounded by gigantic coloured bouncing balls.


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Inshriach Nursery & The Potting Shed, Near Aviemore, Inverness-shire April 2014

2014-04-12 16.46.55 I love a hidden gem and the Inshriach Nursery and The Potting Shed is one such jewel. The Potting Shed made it onto Dan Lepard’s list of Britain’s Best Cake Shops, published in The Observer, and it turns out that Dan is a master baker, so he obviously knows a good sponge when he sees one. As a lover of a fine tearoom and not being adverse to a mouth-watering confection of cakes, it was something I had to check out.

Finding cake heaven proved a bit tricky, as there isn’t an address as such and is listed as “Aviemore” but in reality it is some 10 minutes or so outside the town. The drive is scenic but after a while you are tempted to think you are on a wild cake chase, but persevere, it’s a place you will return to again and again, which was quite apparent by the number of visitors. 2014-04-12 16.46.32 And if there is an award for “best-view-from-a-tearoom” surely this must be a contender? Where else can you sit with a huge slab of cake and watch over a Scottish Highland forest? This giant open air aviary with its array of constantly darting and swooping chaffinches, blue tits, great tits, and siskins who fed on giant swinging bird feeders was an ornithologist’s dream. But it’s not just for bird-watchers, the effect was mesmerising and relaxing. A quick cuppa can easily turn into two hours. 2014-04-12 15.54.54 Red squirrels are rare in certain parts of Scotland, but you can see them in some areas around the Highlands and some appeared and gnawed eagerly on the nut feeders. 2014-04-12 15.52.47 Undoubtedly, this is an amazing view for a sweet treat, but what of the actual cakes? Yes, they lived up to the hype. Thick and generous, light and fluffy, sweet and tasty. There’s also a large and unusual selection, with everything from lemon custard and raspberry, plum and apple to strawberry and redcurrant to chocolate cake with blueberry. On the menu also is an extensive list of wheat free cakes.

Inshriach Nursery and The Potting Shed – Menu

Apart from The Potting Shed tearoom, the Inshriach Nursery is a delight to potter around. Wander about the beautiful gardens, admire the quaint features, sit on a bench and watch the chickens as they strut and coo.

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The Potting Shed Website

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Filed under Hidden Gems, Photography, Scotland, Tea Rooms, Travel, Videos

Electric Glen, Rouken Glen Park, Giffnock, Glasgow – February 2014

Electric Glen

Enchanted forests show how effective light and sound can be. In Scotland we’re lucky to have lots of areas at our disposal that can easily be transformed into something entirely different and magical. One such place is Rouken Glen Park in Giffnock, Glasgow. Its first foray into forest fairyland was in 2013 and this year it returned to a resounding success as its two week run in February 2014 was sold out.

Here’s some photos and a little snapshot video from this year’s show.

Electric Glen




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Filed under Glasgow, Photography, Travel, Videos