Category Archives: Music

Plantastic

For anyone with an interest in plants, art or indeed both, below is a link to the degree show at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.  They offer training in botanical drawing, a uniquely special method of documenting the life story of a plant.  I have long been in awe of this, and its practitioners.  There is a short film at the bottom of the page, and with all that’s continuing to happen in the world I can think of worse ways to spend 9 minutes, while waiting for the solstice and the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

Thanks to Fife Contemporary for the nod.

Whilst we’re on the subject of links, it will come as no surprise to anyone if I point you, gently, in the  direction of the Christmas shows on line from the Lyceum theatre.  Well, who knew, Karine Polwart has made one…..

 

 

 

 

Toothsome

I think most of us are experiencing sleep issues during lockdown.  For me, it’s a mix of wakefulness, wild dreams, dozing instead of non REM, sensitivity to the early dawn, and so on.  One aspect is that I wake up, frequently, singing. Many tunes wash through my cerebral cortex, I would love to say that each one is a celestial aria, worthy of the greats, but in fact they are usually monotonous three note riffs which would not occasion any loss of sleep for a Novello nominee. You may experience something similar.

However, I defy anyone to tell me that they also sprang  to wakefulness today at 03:15, singing “Hey, hey!  I’m a bicuspid!” * Takes that dream about all your teeth falling out to a whole new level.

I was laughing so hard I had to decant to the spare room.

*tune available on request.

 

 

 

Notes from my perch

Occasionally my wanderings on the internet surprise even me.  Today I found out that James Dick, a successful business man who was born in Kilmarnock and moved to Glasgow, developed the school gym shoe known by various names over the UK.  He and his brother had experimented with using Gutta-percha to cover the soles of existing shoes.  This extremely useful form of latex, brought over from Malaysia, was responsible for the central Scotland name of gutties, or plimsolls if you were being posh.  I know that when Elspeth went to teach in Gloucestershire, she found out that they were called daps.  My research suggests that the shoes were developed by several manufacturers but our man became a wealthy philanthropist, while an institute in his home town bears his brother’s name.

From Wikipedia:-

The word gutta-percha comes from the plant’s name in Malay: getah translates as ‘latex‘. Percha or perca is an older name for Sumatra.

In other news, the magnificent Elbow continue to release a new live track every Friday at 12 noon, this week it’s Lippy Kids with the backing proved by alumni of Manchester’s Halle Youth Chorus.  The Halle Orchestra is the band’s first choice for string accompaniment etc.  Rosemary recalls going to their concerts when she lived in Longton.

Elbow’s frontman and lyricist Guy Garvey is amongst other things a keen ornithologist, and he would doubtless be the first to spot the link here, which is in Passerines, or perching birds.  Although the birds referred to in Lippy Kids are crows, I feel sure that sparrows are just at the edge of the picture here.

The terms “passerine” and “Passeriformes” are derived from the scientific name of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, and ultimately from the  Latin passer, which refers to sparrows and similar small birds.

….and if you think all that is convoluted, wait until you hear about last night’s dreams.  Here’s a nice osprey  to make everything better.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/osprey-cam/

Lastly, welcome to the family Leo Thomson, a wee brother for Ellie.

 

 

 

Balladeers

It’s Fife’s worst kept secret that the 100th new Lidl* store in Scotland will be opened here.  In a marketing coup they have nobbled Burns’ Night (Day?) for the occasion, and have also, allegedly, secured the services of musician KT Tunstall for the event.  KT is indeed currently working with the brand Lidl Live, and is performing in Edinburgh that same night, so the signs would appear to be in alignment.  If it were needed, this is a reminder of her first performance on Jools Holland …Later.

*other supermarkets are available.  Aldi’s nearest store is giving away £5 vouchers in the Press.   Lastly, a song which is relevant.

December birds

In the interest of sharing musical gems, absolutely no apologies for reposting this.

Anent nothing, walked past 60+ curlew feeding on the local football pitches, alongside oyster catchers, lesser black backed gulls, wood pigeons and carrion crows.

20th anniversary of the folk club tomorrow.  Looking forward to it.

Random

So, à propos of nothing, here is a picture of Barbie as Darth Vader.

 

Barbie Doll dressed to look a little bit like Darth Vader from Star Wars
Barbie x Star Wars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sold by a firm in Dalgety Bay called darksidetoys, found when looking for something completely different.  That might be serendipitous.

A conversation with my cousins recalled this song. it’s great when a childhood memory is corroborated, although quite why I would have fixated on this song is anyone’s guess, when at 6 years old this was my party piece.   Sung with the excellent acoustics of the hall in Shieldhill schoolhouse,  it must have been quite the venue emptier.

Play well

The word “lego” is derived from the Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”.  Really enjoyed seeing these Lego sculptures at Edinburgh Zoo, on a rather close and muggy summer’s day.

All the models were of sea creatures, which brought this tune to mind.  Stick with it for the chorus harmonies.

Eye of Squid
Ray

 

Confluence

For some reason I have been singing this in my head for the past few days.  I happen to think that the Blue Nile were peerless in their heyday,  I even managed to see them perform live once.  Inadvertently they were the reason why we went to hear Karen Matheson last  month,  and when Paul Buchanan appeared on the David Bowie tribute I was both surprised and delighted, although sad, because his vocals were a superb foil for Bowie’s work.