Just An Observation

At last some sunshine!
It took its time and came with an epidemic of ‘taps aff’ but it looks like it may hang around long enough for one day of The Leith Festival gala day over the weekend especially after the Meadows Festival was cancelled last Saturday due to extreme high winds. My concerns were less for the stalls blowing away however and more the fact that the god-awful tuneless racket made by the ubiquitous and inevitable bongo players would travel even further in such high velocity winds, possibly even reaching Leith. It was bad enough having to hear their incessant racket when I actually lived on the Meadows but having since moved and still having to put up with them at the other end of town would just be intolerable. Cancellation of the whole days events was therefore not only health and safety conscious but also totally necessary to my sanity!
Elsewhere this weekend the legend that is Tav Falco returns with his Panther Burns to the Athens of the North on Saturday for a gig at The Mash House. This follows on from his sell out show last year and this year it is preceded by a film screening of Falco’s very own ‘Urania Descending’ and also the possible showing of the short film he made with Kenneth Anger, ‘Masque of Hotel Orient’. The film screening starts at 5pm also at The Mash House and makes a prefect aperitif to the main gig which follows soon after. Go on, make a night of it!
I notice there a few other notable dates in the Leith Festival coming up including a series of events at Woodland Creatures including Horror Film Night on Monday followed by Blueswater , Puppetry performance and Paul Vickers and The Leg on succeeding nights.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival also kicks off next week where there are several must see films including a documentary by Bill Drummond and another on Amy Winehouse but the definite essential film-to my reckoning anyway- is ‘Big Gold Dream’ which tells the little told tale of Scottish post punk and how it infiltrated the mainstream. The premiere for this had already sold out but there are apparently a few left for the 27th June screening at The Odeon.
I certainly hope the opening and closing films of the Festival are more worthy and less bland offerings than recent years have afforded. The opening film this year is a Robert Carlyle vehicle, also starring Emma Thomson, called ‘The Legend of Barney Thomson’ whilst the film closing the proceedings is ‘Iona’ with Douglas Henshall and Ruth Negga. Admittedly I haven’t been overly impressed with the last few film festivals finding them a bit bland and forgettable and to be honest I would struggle to recall a truly great film I have seen there in the last two or three years. This year is the first term by new artistic director Mark Adams so hopes are riding high that perhaps he can restore some of the cachet of cool which has eluded the event in recent times.
The Iain Banks adaptation ‘Stonemouth’ currently showing on BBC at the moment- BBC1 on Monday and 2 on a Thursday- is certainly worth catching if you haven’t so far. An impressive cast including Christian Cooke and Peter Mullan make it a worthy retelling of the novel set in the fictional Scottish town of the title where it seems everyone has a secret they are trying to cover up and hide.
Right heading out into the sunshine while it lasts- it may be over by the time I have finished writing this- and get ready for a busy weekend ahead before throwing myself into the film festival next week.

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