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  • Alistair Braidwood

Scots Whay Hae!’s Alternative Hogmanay Night In, 2016…

Once again Montgomery Scott raises a glass to see out the old year and ring in the new and that means it’s time for Scots Whay Hae!’s annual selection of New Year’s Eve treats. It’s an alternative to the Hogmanay telly, so if there’s little you fancy on the box this might be more to your liking.

There’s audio, video, music, comedy, documentary, drama, and more involving some of our favourite folk, including The Blue Nile, Robbie Coltrane, John Byrne, David Hayman, Ette, Peter Ross, The Primevals, and Lomond Campbell. That’s quite a lot to get through, so without further ado….

Perhaps the least surprising recommendation to regular readers will be journalist Ken Sweeney’s documentary on The Blue Nile (which he talked about in detail to the Glasgowist). He starts at the band’s very beginning, and tries to understand why, with a mere four albums to their name in 20 years, they are so beloved by some, yet unheard of or ignored by others. If you are in the latter camp and would like to know more about them then I can recommend Allan Brown’s Nileism: The Strange Course Of The Blue Nilebut not before you listen to the following – and, more importantly, their music. It just may change your life:

Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee was a one-off comedy sketch show from 1982 whose ensemble included John Sessions, Louise Gold, Ron Bain, and the mighty Robbie Coltrane who created the legend that is Mason Boyne for the show. One of the regular sketches was The Master Of Dundreich, which spoofed many of the better known novels of Robert Louis Stevenson. Here those sketches are collected together, and while the humour is broad and often bawdy,  they also display a love for, and knowledge of, the source material:

Talking of Stevenson, his continued relevance and influence on Scottish writing, (alongside that of Walter Scott and James Hogg), was the subject of a talk by writer James Robertson, a man who knows that of which he speaks. This is part of a series of videos produced by the Association of Scottish Literary Studies, which also include talks on Edwin Morgan, George Mackay Brown, and, as if this was planned, the soon to be discussed The Slab Boys. But before we get ahead of ourselves, here’s Dr Robertson:

When John Byrne and David Hayman, two legends of Scottish film, theatre and TV, meet to talk about The Slab Boys, a play written by Byrne and directed at least twice by Hayman, then it is worth listening to what they have to say. So, settle back, and enjoy:

One of our films of the year was the dumbfounding 16 Years Til Summer.. You can hear Ali talk about it in Part 1 of our end of the year podcast, and if you get the chance to see it you really should. But, to give you a flavour here’s the trailer:

As well as all of our recent run of the 24 pods of Christmas, we have loaded some olden and golden podcasts from previous years to our Soundcloud page. These include chats with Billy Letford, Karen Campbell, Vic Galloway and the aforementioned James Robertson, collected together under the name Looking Back. Another is our interview with journalist Peter Ross about his 2014 book Daunderlust: Dispatches From Unreported Scotland, the review of which you can read here. In our humble opinion this is one of the most interesting and enjoyable podcasts to date:

To finish, and as an alternative to Jools, Ruby Turner and Tom Jones on the Hootenanny, here are three clips to bring in the new year. First off is a rare TV performance from legendary Glasgow band The Primevals, taken from the much-missed FSD. If you like your rock ‘n’ roll dark and scuzzy you’re in for a treat:

We’ve banged on for some time about 2016 being a great one for Scottish albums, but just to hammer the point home one more time we’re going to finish with tracks from two of the very best. First off, Lomond Campbell’s album Black River Promise arrived late in the year, but it left a big impression. Taken from a recent Song By Toad Session, here he is with ‘Every Florist In Every Town’:

We want to leave you on a high, and as 2017 hoves into view it must be time for the dancing. Ette’s Homemade Lemonade was lauded far and wide as an instant classic, (not least on Part 2 of our end of year podcast), and rightly so. To see you into the new year with a smile on your face and a spring in your step, this is one of the singles, ‘Bonfire’:

And that was 2016. The opening lines of Ali Smith’s recent novel Autumn are “It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times.” As positive as we always are, she has a point – but I hope through those darker days we have guided you in the direction of those people who are still making great music, writing great books, and creating the sort of things which make life just a little easier for us all. We’ve no idea how 2017 is going to pan out, but whatever happens we’ll be there reviewing, commenting, and talking to some of those who are going to shape it.

From everyone involved with Scots Whay Hae!, Happy New Year and we’ll see you on the other side…


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