Just An Observation Friday March 29th


A white Easter is not exactly what I have been dreaming of but for many, this weekend it is an actual reality. Here in Edinburgh we have been lucky in avoiding the worst of the recent weather and so far have only had to endure biting arctic winds and dropping temperatures and although there have been several nights of overnight snow usually by 11am the next morning it has melted into little more than a memory. Certainly we have been luckier than the inhabitants of Arran who have been snowed under and were without power for many days and with TV footage showing dead lambs being lifted out of the snow has been quite heartbreaking over the last few weeks.

This late winter has pleased absolutely no-one apart from energy suppliers who must have been cursing the so far mild winter and seen their profits and bonuses plummeting –up until last month I was in credit on my monthly payments and coming out of a winter with Scottish Power actually being in debt to me is previously unheard of and was looking forward to a rebate- and this late cold snap will have boosted their income at the last moment as the coldest March in fifty years draws to a close with little respite likely in the first weeks of April.

Despite this cold start to spring things will be hotting up at Neu! Reekie’s Easter special tonight with an amazing line up including Douglas Dunn, David Kinloch, my new fave raves Teen Canteen –think Arcade Fire meets the Shangri La’s- and a rare appearance by  Vaseline’s frontman Eugene Kelly. This looks like being a memorable night for the dynamic Neu! Reekie duo to put under their utility belts and having sold out several days ago anyone who has a ticket should consider themselves lucky and more than a little smug.

A buzz is also circulating around a new venue opening next week in the space formerly known for decades as Negociants and soon to be renamed The Breakfast Club. If you have seen the clever and provocative ad and billboard campaigns in various parts of the city over recent weeks which feature the phrase TBC with little explanation, then all will become clear very soon. The brain child of Warren Deighan-formerly of the Honeycombe, Pop Rokit and involvement in many other venues in and around Edinburgh-this new venue has the appeal of providing a mid sized area for live music sadly lacking in the city centre at the moment.  I will take a more detailed and in depth look at this upcoming venture before its opening next Friday.

In the cinema the new Danny Boyle film Trance is the big film on release this weekend. I must admit to feeling a little let down by it however as it is following the recent incoming tide of movies which feel the need to be a little too clever for their own good and then have to resort to having the plot laid out in laborious detail merely to clarify what has been unfolding on the screen.

Part of the fault lies in the casting of James McAvoy in the lead role  as he never convinces as a leading man and has neither the presence nor charisma to carry off such a demanding role. Michael Fassbender was originally pencilled into play the role of underworld type Franck- a role which eventually went to Vincent Cassel- and I can’t help thinking it would have been a different and possibly superior piece of work with his presence. As it stands it is still a well crafted movie –a little heavy on the stylisation but that is not always a bad thing- with a great soundtrack by Boyle stalwart collaborator, Rick Smith of Underworld, which builds to appropriate climatic swells in conjunction with the action unfolding. It is also never dull but as said before the plot has to be explained and even then there are still considerable holes which don’t make sense. It makes sense only in a film world and therefore in that department I suppose it lives up to its expectations even if it falters in other ways. A full review here.

That is it for this week then and more details to follow soon about The Breakfast Club but in the meantime have not just a Good Friday but a truly outstanding one and for those of you who are so inclined, Happy Easter!

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