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  • Alistair Braidwood

Scots Whay Hae!’s Alternative Hogmanay Night In, 2017…


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 there might be something here to your liking.

There’s audio, video, music, comedy, documentary, drama, and more involving some of our favourite folk, including Vic Galloway, Muriel Spark, Alan Cumming, Forbes Masson, Benny Lynch, Peter Mackie Burns, Vikki Reilly and Kristian Kerr, Pocket Knife, Sandie Shaw, and Hamish Imlach. How’s that for a guest list? There’s quite a lot to get through, so without further ado….

We’re going to kick off with a radio documentary from Uncle Vic Galloway all about the past, present, and hopefully the future of Glasgow’s iconic Barrowlands Ballroom, with music from Iggy Pop, Public Enemy, Franz Ferdinand and more. Click the link below for the full programme:

Next is the chance to watch the infamous film version of Muriel Spark’s novella The Driver’s Seat, which stars Elizabeth Taylor, Ian Bannen, and a cameo from Andy Warhol! You can read Ali’s thoughts on The Driver’s Seat in the latest issue of The Bottle Imp, which may help you decide if the film is for you or not – but, for better or worse, you won’t see a movie like this for some time:

A wee treat now – some rare footage of Kelvinside’s Victor & Barry performing at the Edinburgh Fringe back in the day, with messrs Cumming and Masson on the finest of form. Not the best quality, but that’s VHS for you:

One of the best films of last year’s Glasgow Film Festival was a small budget sporting documentary, Benny. It focuses on the life and times of the boxer Benny Lynch, a man who has a strong claim to be called Scotland’s greatest ever sporting hero. You can read the SWH! review here before clicking below to watch on iPlayer:

Earlier this year we spoke to Daphne director Peter Mackie Burns about that film and a whole lot more. Here’s one of Mackie Burns’ earlier short films, Stronger, based on August Strindberg’s ‘The Stronger’, and which stars Kate Dickie, Kathleen McDermott and some chancer as the mysterious barman:

If you’ve heard our recent Best Books Of 2017 you’ll be familiar with the voice of Birlinn and Polygon Books’ Vikki Reilly. She also presents The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Scottish Literature alongside her fellow Birlinner, Kristian Kerr, which SWH! is calling the best new podcast of the year, and a must listen for any book lover. The latest is on the aforementioned Muriel Spark, focusing on her debut The Comforters, as well as talking to Alan Taylor about his latest book, Appointment in Arezzo: A Friendship with Muriel Spark, and you can hear it below, then catch up on the others on Soundcloud:

We’re going to wrap things up with an alternative mini-Hootenanny. One of the best releases of the last month is Olive Grove Records Christmas compilation From Olive Us To Olive You which features songs from Carla J. Easton, Eugene Kelly, Randolph’s Leap, Woodenbox, Jo Mango, The Son(s), Henry & Fleetwood, Campfires in Winter, and this excellent track from Pocket Knife, Half The Presents:

You cannae whack a good cover version, and the following fulfils all the criteria. It’s Sandie Shaw on The Whistle Test during her mid-80s indie years (when she also covered The Smiths and Jesus And Mary Chain) doing Lloyd Cole and the Commotions’ ‘Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken’. Great singer, great song:

Talking of covers, one of the best albums of 2017 was Findlay Napier’s Glasgow, which has lots of great original songs, but also a couple of well-chosen cover versions including his take on Hamish Imlach’s ‘Cod Liver Oil & The Orange Juice’. Here’s the original from the legend himself, lest we forget:

And that was 2017. We’ve no idea how 2018 is going to pan out, but whatever happens we’ll be there reviewing, commenting, and conversation with 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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