Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2022

Katrina Brown – Opening the Door on The Common Guild

In 2018, The Common Guild closed down its exhibition space in the Glasgow townhouse owned by artist Douglas Gordon it had called home for a decade. Beyond the move from Woodlands Terrace, ongoing off-site projects continued what had been a key component of the contemporary art organisation’s programme since being founded by Katrina Brown in 2006.    Even when forced to shut down physical events in 2020 due to Covid induced lockdown, an online strand included films by Phil Collins, Akram Zaatari and Sharon Hayes, as well as In the Open(2020-2021), two series’ of environmental sound-based commissions. Beyond lockdown, during COP26, The Common Guild presented  Mobbile  (1970/2021), a re-presentation of German artist Gustav Metzger’s modified car that collects and stores its own carbon emissions. All this pointed to an even more expansive future for the organisation.   “We were always only ever meant to be in that building on a temporary basis,” Brown explains. “What started out as a two o

Putting on The Agony, Putting on The Nightingales – Confessions of an Amateur Wanker

The Lost Plot   As The Nightingales limber up for their biggest tour in the band’s forty-year existence, it’s nice to see them becoming hottish property. This has arguably come partly on the back of the success of King Rocker, Michael Cumming and Stewart Lee’s film based around the life and work of Nightingales frontman, Robert Lloyd. It’s especially heartening to see The Nightingales 2022 UK trek being overseen by a proper professional promoter, rather than some of the ad hoc DIY fly-by-nights that have put them on over the last decade.    As one of those happy amateurs over seven Nightingales shows, I’m obviously delighted that Lloyd and co are receiving the attention they deserve. While for now at least, the band are no longer dependent on the kindness of strangers, I’m going to miss the annual round of adrenalin-charged stresses putting on a Nightingales show brought with it. Anyone who has ever put on a gig anywhere despite not having a clue how to do it will be fully aware of the

Lust for Life – The Early Days of Channel 4

Choose Life Earlier this week, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party tried to get down with the kids by co-opting the much imitated Choose Life mantra from Trainspotting. With the Scottish council elections pending in May, this was turned into an anti SNP rant. While the result suspiciously resembled an April Fool that got lost in the post, more likely it was the last gasp antics of a worn out comms team bereft of ideas. Their semantic wheeze was the press release equivalent of dad-dancing, that painful, try-too-hard shuffle by those who long lost sight of the zeitgeist, but who are still desperate to be hip.   The deliberate Trainspotting reference might arguably have also been a potential breach of copyright.  The original words are the intellectual property of Irvine Welsh, author of the era defining Edinburgh-set 1993 novel where they first appeared. Writer of the equally audacious 1996 film adaptation, John Hodge, director Danny Boyle and producer Andrew Macdonald could als