Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2019

Stefan Kassel – Goosebumps – 25 Years of Marina Records

Stefan Kassel remembers the very first time pop music had an effect on him that was physical as much as emotional.
“My mother had a copy of Dione Warwick’s album, I Know I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” says the co-founder of the Hamburg-based Marina Records of Warwick’s 1970 collection. “I heard it as a kid and got goosebumps. That never went away.”
Given that the record Warwick’s spine-tingling interpretations of songs by the likes of Jimmy Webb and composer of its title track, Burt Bacharach, Kassel’s response sealed his love of classic pop song-writing forever after. It was the same when a decade or so later he first heard the bands whose records were being released on Alan Horne’s Glasgow-based Postcard record label.
“My gateway into Scottish music was listening to John Peel on British Forces Radio,” says Kassel. “The first time he played Blueboy by Orange Juice and Pillar to Post by Aztec Camera, that was goosebumps too.”
This is presumably one of the reasons why Kassel and Marina’s …

Glasgow Girls

King’s Theatre, Glasgow
Four stars

Things have changed in the world in the six years since Cora Bissett and David Greig’s heroic musical first appeared. In terms of institutional attitudes towards immigration, to say this hasn’t always been for the better is an understatement. Telling the real life story of what happened when a group of teenage asylum seekers and their mates who dubbed themselves the Glasgow Girls took on the system and won, the show itself feels like it has grown stronger in the face of encroaching adversity since it was originally seen at the Citizens Theatre in co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland.

Revived for a timely tour by an alliance between increasingly significant production house Raw Material and gig promoters Regular Music, Bissett’s production now feels more intimate somehow. As it charts how Roza, Ewelina, Amal, Agnesa, Jennifer and Emma find common ground in a Drumchapel secondary school after one of their number is incarcerated following a …

Pete Irvine – Burns&Beyond Culture Trail

Pete Irvine is full of surprises. This has long been the case, ever since his early days putting on gigs with Regular Music, the promotion company he co-founded with Barry Wright to capitalise on a new wave of musical activity in Edinburgh and elsewhere during the late 1970s. It was the same when, as head of Unique Events, he and the company began Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, transforming the capital’s end of the year celebrations into an international spectacle.
Irvine may be flying solo these days since he departed Unique, now led by director Alan Thomson, but he’s no less interested in events which capture the creative essence of Edinburgh. So it goes with his contributions to Culture Trail, the one-night only city centre wide compendium of artistic activity that forms Unique’s newly constituted Burns&Beyond festival.
As the name suggests, Burns&Beyond is a celebration of Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns, which takes place over six days and nights, and which aims to showcase so…