Posts Tagged ‘ FASHION ’


Just An Observation Friday April 5th


The arrival of Spring-I’m being the eternal optimist here-this week also saw the most draconian overhaul of the benefits system in recent years from a government who consistently inform us ‘we are all in this together’ but probably more so if you are on the lower end of the social spectrum. Whilst a sense of perspective is required- a ridiculous list of  taxes which didn’t exist 100 years ago did the social media circuit as a form of protest without taking into consideration that neither did a National Health System or Benefits of any sort- the so-called Bedroom Tax defies any logic whatsoever.

Especially as we still support a family who are allowed to have various palaces left standing empty at our cost and it would appear that Muslims are exempt if they keep a spare room for prayers. Whilst I have no problem with other peoples beliefs it does seem more than a little like political correctness gone mad and hardly reinforces the doctrine of us all being in it together.

There has also been a lot of speculation about the Michael Philpott case this week and a lame attempt to tie it in with benefit scroungers. Whilst there are some people out there who choose and manipulate the benefits system as a way of life treating it as a career – and do very nicely out of it- the vast majority have no choice and live on the measly amounts handed out to them whilst still putting themselves forward for every job available in a frustrating attempt to improve their circumstances. People like Philpott only represent the small minority who use any means at their disposal- children and illnesses (real or exaggerated) seem to top this list- to defraud the system and tarnish the reputation of the genuine claimants.

People such as him do not see them as benefits but an entitlement and know how to work the system. The fact that six of his children died in his latest scheme to frame someone else has nothing to do with him being in receipt of benefits and everything to do with him being a reprehensible and vile human being. It did however give George Osborne and the Daily Mail fuel for the fire to ignite further animosity towards any other benefit claimants and in the week when the system had an overhaul this went beyond opportunistic and came across as cheap, petty, vindictive and spiteful. How very unlike this government!

Elsewhere sad news was received concerning the revered Scottish author Iain Banks who announced via his website he was suffering from terminal cancer. Apparently the author of ‘crow Road’, ‘Complicity’ and ‘The Wasp Factory’ has been given only a matter of months left to live. It is however warming to learn that he is out there making the most of his time left by living the high life on his honeymoon in Italy- after a proposal which went along the lines of ‘Will you do me the honour of becoming my widow?’ in typical Banks macabre humour-and intends to fight his illness for as long as is possible. Our thoughts are all with this man who has been one of the most revered and successful authors in recent Scottish literature.

Out at the cinema the best film on the circuit at the moment has to be Compliance. Based on a true story-aren’t they all these days- concerning a case at a McDonald’s in Bullitt County the film focussed on how compliant- and utterly stupid it must be said- people become when faced with an authoritarian figure. In this case the authoritarian figure is little more than a voice on the end of a phone that claims to be a police officer and offers no evidence whatsoever to authenticate this claim. Having always had a flagrant disregard for authority I watched this film with a mixture of disbelief and discomfort. It is a very unsettling but also compelling film and surely already a contender amongst the best films of the year so far. A full review is here. I do have high hopes for the latest Ryan Gosling offering ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ due out on April 12th as pre-publicity and trailer have done their work of sparking my interest.

The big news this weekend however has to be the opening of The Breakfast Club-occupying the site formerly known as Negociants- in Edinburgh. Promising a much needed breath of fresh air its proprietor, Warren Deighan, already has impeccable credentials and having enlisted the services of a young crew with their eyes and pulses on the zeitgeist his experience and their nous look like creating a winning combination. A full look at this exciting venture can be found here.

I am now off for a weekend that will start at the Breakfast Club this evening and very likely find me up back there on Monday morning. What will have happened in between is anyone’s guess





Homesick Aldo

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Imagine a lone drifter stowed away on a freight train travelling the route of Highway 61 absorbing the works of Jack Kerouac and Hunter. S. Thomson wrapped up in the blues. Eventually emerging with impeccable rock and roll insouciance-channelled via Johnny Thunders and John Cooper Clarke-combining the licks of Sonny Boy Williamson, Jimmy Reed and, Muddy Waters accompanied only by a harmonica and primal drumbeat-so stripped back that even the White Stripes appear grandiose-then you get some insight into the force of nature which creates the musicality and myth Homesick Aldo.

A new kind of star for a 21st century which has thus far wrapped itself up in technological turgidity where so much music has lost not only its integrity and raw emotion  but also its driving forces and beliefs.

Aldo, on the other hand, takes elements of the past and his own selected musical heritage, hurling them into a musical time machine, effortlessly streaming the zeitgeist of our current climate by introducing authenticity and rawness back to a medium which languishes in hype and X-Crement Factor cheesiness evolving into our first authentic millennial self titled bluesician,

A sound both ageless and timeless; seemingly from either a hundred years ago or a hundred years into the future but most importantly very much of its own moment proving – if proof were needed- that the blues are a style that never goes out of fashion.  Beyond being yet another artist merely adopting the pose of the trendy ‘unplugged’ ethos as, despite the basic instrumentation, his act crackles with an urgent, vibrant vitality fuelled by electricity.

His raw, innovative solo live show – a lone harmonica,  an errant kazoo, an occasional singular drum all topped off with wailing bluesy vocals are his only arsenal- is an antidote to the overly rehearsed, moribund dullness of mainstream live shows with artists merely going through the motions and he instead concentrates on capturing the audience’s attention; demanding their souls whilst stealing their hearts and devotion in the process.

A live act like no other on the circuit at the moment and everywhere he plays even the sceptical and non believers have inevitably found themselves drawn into this maelstrom of a musical hybrid emerging from this singular young man. The songs are freeform interpretations of blues classics mixed with original compositions all stirred along with familiar reference points- a New York Dolls steal here or a Stones or Dylan reference there-but with a fresh approach which renders them unique and affords them freshness.

Audiences are important to Aldo and this also sets him apart. Far from expecting them to sit in awe at his exceptional talents he actively encourages their participation. Thus the dancing, clapping and banging on a tambourine which have occurred at live shows I have witnessed are immediately hastily incorporated into his act ensuring that it goes off into yet another dimension staving off any predictability or complacency from either himself or his loyal converts.

Currently in the studio recording an independent two track single to be released in the spring and whilst the A side will be a garage rock stormer the B-Side will be more of a showcase of his live stage act. Wary of drawing other musicians into the mix he has thus far shied away from this but recognises it is something he may have to consider if he is to extend his musical palette and reach a bigger audience.

For the moment though he is perfectly happy to stand a lone wolf and from the reactions he is eliciting everywhere he plays he is right to stick to his guns playing the music he loves so fervently. With live gigs lined up for early spring – mainly in his native Scotland but also including an appearance at the London’s legendary 100 Club- this may be the last chance to see him in such venues and with such low key billing as his star is on the ascendant. A showcase evening in Edinburgh at a larger venue is being arranged for the spring featuring several upcoming Scottish bands but centring on him. Homesick Aldo 2013 could be yours for the taking!

Upcoming Gigs include Nice N Sleazy Glasgow on March 23rd and London 100 Club on the 13th April.

A single is being recorded and should be available later in the Spring. Until then check out links below for some idea of what to expect.

Portrait by Gavin Evans -thanks to Gavin- who has also worked with David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Joe Strummer and a host of others. His website with full details of his rock and film star  portraits and their availability can be found here.

Evans also has a film ‘The Audition’ showing at Summerhall every day from 10am-6pm until May 18th and his work can also be found at The Institute 14 Roseneath Street Edinburgh his studio/gallery/ cafe. Details can be found here.


The Next Day- David Bowie

The Next Day 

‘Here I am not quite dying’ is a fitting opening salvo for a man who on the 7th of January 2013 was plagued by rumours of extreme ill health and possibly even impending death. At that point the next headlines surrounding the alleged ailing former star many would assume to be his obituary. But as another  song says, what a difference a day makes; by the time most were waking up the next morning–his sixty sixth birthday- Bowie was once again global news having surprised the world at large by releasing a new single, his first new recorded material in a decade.

It wasn’t so much the song which was news-although it has revealed itself to be a slow burning melancholic classic reflecting on a happy and fruitful period of his life- but the fact that this arch manipulator had connived to dupe the world’s press and his own fan-base by managing to record not just the single but a whole album without anyone knowing. In an age when the private lives of the stars are only 140 characters away from their innermost  thoughts and movements this great star- probably greater than most of them combined- had managed to keep his comeback a total secret even from his record company thus throwing the world’s media into a state of confusion and flux as to how this could be.

The great flaw in this theory however is that a comeback suggests that Bowie had ever been away and though he has been low flying on the radar his DNA courses through our lives and the 21st century in ways in which we sometimes take for granted and are thus unaware of. We now live in the future he once imagined for us so it is more than fitting that he has decided to rejoin us and remind us all of this fact.

Unveiling his new single in the way he did was simply his way of showing up modern obsessions with celebrity for the sham they really are and for a man who built a career on artifice this was a double barrelled statement. By not making a fuss he created the biggest fuss of all. Ouch! Take that Lady Gaga et al.

So to the album then.

Opening with the title track ‘The Next Day’ which snarls, and sneers its way voraciously with haughty rock and roll attitude like only Bowie can. ‘You can’t get enough of that doomsday song’ he tells us over a beat which resembles a beefed up amphetamine rush through ‘Repetition’ from Lodger and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ from ‘Heroes’. Actually those two albums are the main constant reference points- along with other aspects of his backlog- throughout The Next Day and there is a sense, confirmed slightly by the cover sleeve art which is a debased cover of the aforementioned ‘Heroes’,that this album continues and returns to the state of mind and creativity which occupied him at this time. In a sense this is perhaps the album Lodger should have been rather than the disappointing work it eventually became which no-one, including its creator, was overly enamoured with.

The second track is the sax and sex driven space age chugger ‘Dirty Boys’ which will set the feet of all those not so young dudes tapping with delight with its skewed funky motifs. Up next is second single ‘Stars are out Tonight’ which even minus its Tilda Swinton assisted video which debunks his own myth whilst self referencing with reckless abandon rocks out on its own relentless terms and of course the reassurance  ‘Stars are never sleeping/ Dead ones or the living’ just in case anyone was still in any doubt.’ Love is Lost’ continues the pace before the swirling, melancholic, plaintive ‘Where are We Now’; the single which re-awakened the world to Bowie on that Tuesday morning in early January and which has him recollecting those halcyon days in the late seventies when he found himself in Berlin with little more than his disillusion with stardom and fame for company and Iggy Pop and artistic rehabilitation as his consorts. It is one of those great Bowie songs where he assumes the mantle of a space age crooning Sinatra and the melody and chord structure recalls Lodger’s ‘Fantastic Voyage’.

‘Valentines Day’ lightens the mood and occupies the space on the album that numbers such as ‘Kooks’, ‘The Prettiest Star’ and Everyone Says Hi’ did on previous collections. It is that lovely pop melody that Bowie despite all his haughty froideur cannot help inserting to create a little humanity and warmth amongst the detached chill which surrounds it. The least said about ‘If You Can See Me’,which makes an unwelcome return to the singing vicar does jungle of Earthling, the better although it is mercifully brief and perhaps the first misstep so far. Perhaps its main drawback is that it sounds like he is simply trying too hard whereas most of the material thus far has sounded rather effortless in comparison.

‘I’d Rather Be High’ is more of return to form and gets things back on track commendably as does ‘Boss of Me’ but ‘ Dancing Out In Space’ snaps us firmly out of our moonage daydreams and provides a new routine for our space faces ‘You move like water/ You’ve got stars on your head’ and is a quirky funky little number. ‘How Does the Grass Grow’ has Bowie incorporating the guitar lines form the Shadows’ ‘Apache’ as a sung cadence and it all works rather well  whilst ‘ (You Will) Set the World on Fire’ prepares us nicely for the two official closing tracks ;of course there is a deluxe version with a further three tracks.

The penultimate track ‘You Feel So Lonely You Could Die’ filches the kiss off line from ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and revisits both ‘Drive In Saturday’ and ‘Five Years’ and is bound to be a firm favourite with long term Bowie enthusiasts. High melodrama, swirling crescendos and descending codas conspire to create a song of melancholy and beauty. Closing track ‘Heat’ is essentially a Bowie rewrite and retread of Scott Walker’s eerily spooky ‘The Electrician’ which has long been the song Bowie claims he wishes he had always written. Well here he does exactly that and it works as an update, refashioning and fitting finale to an album many thought they would never hear.

That is the album in full then and after several listens it has really taken root in my psyche in the way that vintage Bowie always also did. It is definitely his best and most consistent recording in several decades and shows that far from being washed up he was merely waiting until he had something worthwhile to give us all again.

2013 looks like being very much Bowie’s year  and his visage is everywhere from magazine covers and newspapers to television and the web almost on a daily basis whilst the upcoming V&A exhibition is already being reported as being their busiest ever. This album is  the cherry on the cake to all this attention and the fact we have a new David Bowie album at all is news in itself. The fact it is good and counts amongst some of his best is a bonus we couldn’t even have hoped for but then again when did he ever let us down? Apart from the eighties of course and as he had already created them for us in the seventies we can almost forgive him this artistically moribund era.

To hear the album in its entirety click the following link.


The Brits


February seems to be very much the month for award ceremonies and for this we should be thankful that it is the shortest month of the year otherwise how many more of these abominations would we have to suffer.

Predictable, sycophantic and self congratulatory these events are merely ego boosts for the entertainment industry whose inhabitants possess higher quantities of these than any other. Already we have had to endure the snoozefest that is the Baftas whilst the slightly more prestigious Oscars take place this coming weekend but surely as far as plumbing depths is concerned then last nights Brits ceremony –surely The Shit awards aka the Skits would be more apt- is the lowest of the low.

This was two and a half hours of embarrassment-I lasted just over one hour so I am guessing, correctly I assume, it never improved- presented by that waste of space James Corden. I am unsure why he has been chosen to handle this task  as he has nothing to do with music allegedly being a comedian although he seems to have little to do with comedy either; at least as far as being remotely even slightly funny is concerned. Supercilious, smug, humourless, false, obsequious and creepy he squeezed himself into an overly tight tuxedo- remember that weight he lost? Well, he seems to have found it again so it was obviously just temporarily mislaid- then read some badly scripted lines off an autocue with scant regard for delivery or timing.

Apparently he was worried that controversy may rear its head again after last year he cut Adele’s acceptance speech short. Surely that in itself is a deep misunderstanding as trying to get Adele to shut up is a national pastime far from controversial as it is is necessary as a noise pollution measure and also pretty impossible to boot. It would transpire it is probably his only redeeming feature and he needs as many of those as he can possibly hold onto. Anyway, controversy was much more attractive in the days when David Bowie appeared wearing what appeared to be his wife Iman’s stilettos or when ,especially, Jarvis Cocker flashed his bare arse at a messianic Michael Jackson who had surrounded himself with adoring children shortly after buying his way out of paedophile charges which had been levelled at him.

Opening with Muse-I hardly noticed to be honest- the live acts weren’t much cop either. Robbie Williams- part of the Corden Gang I believe-the professional Butlins Redcoat may have traded the red jacket for an electric blue one but he also seems to have traded his already pitiful act for that of Olly Murs which is even more baffling. Stumbling around the stage like a bumptious and unctuous father at his daughter’s wedding it reminded me of nothing more than when Noel Gallagher described him, nearly twenty years ago, as ‘that fat dancer from Take That’. In hindsight how prescient was that offhand remark? Later he was ‘interviewed’ drooling lasciviously over Taylor Swift and recovered long enough to state her song was ‘a great tune’. Like  he even knows what that is these days.

It seems that inappropriate drooling by the elders over the young folk is still totally acceptable amongst entertainment types. Thus Sharon Osbourne’s remarks about Harry Styles ‘magic stick’- ‘his willy’ she very quickly clarified for nobody who was in doubt as to what she meant- were treated as a joke much like Jimmy Savile’s perving over young ‘dolly birds’ were for decades. Perhaps the next time she goes in for her never ending round of plastic surgery she should enquire about a staple… for her mouth …which probably served her better when she was still overeating.

Justin Timberlake. Next!

The Critics Choice was the next award up and as previous winners have included Florence Welch. Adele, and Jessie J- is there a pattern for fog-horned irritants here or is it just me?- I didn’t hold out for any surprises. The winner turned out to be some Chesney Hawkes look-alike Tom Odell whose main advantage would seem to be that I hadn’t previously heard of him.

Mumford and Sons.  Anyone?

The worst was yet to come though and it hit its ultimate low point in the form in a hideously piss poor massacring by One Erection-so named as I am convinced that is about all they could muster up between them- of Blondie’s classic ‘One Way Or Another’ mashed up with the Undertones’ ‘Teenage Kicks’. Words escape me when Itry to describe just how bad this was and with both the originals freely available on iTunes there can be no reason for anyone to buy this abomination even if it is for charity. No responsible parent should allow or encourage their children to buy this horrendous criminal act-the usual excuse of ‘the kids like it’ does not wash here- over either of the originals.

Next up Coldplay were awarded Best British act. Really? I mean, Really?

At this juncture-just over one hour in- I decided I couldn’t watch anymore and then by some miracle Dave Grohl appeared out of the debris to present and receive an award for the Black Keys as Best International Act . This was a moment of lucidity as far as I was concerned- a bright spark had ignited in me briefly earlier when Lana Del Ray won Best International Female- and despite the lack of a video or musical clip by the band it was also the highlight of the night for me. It was also the point I decided to cut my losses and give up on the whole proceedings whilst they were on a high and before they killed this momentary lapse into good taste with more of the bland, trite and inconsequential.

So that was The Skits 2013 then. Obviously distancing itself from rock and roll as much as possible and instead moving further into Simon Cowell territory-incidentally the man himself took home some made up award he probably paid for- and it is clear that it is two hour promotion for Mastercard rather than anything else. The award wasn’t up to much itself even if it was designed by arguably- very arguably some would say- Britain’s currently most successful artist Damien Hirst. The whole proceedings were embarrassing and a return to ‘Seaside Special’ entertainment.

There has been a lot of good music over the last year and as I have observed before it has come from the older generation- Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith and Mark Lanegan, to name only three, turned out great works over the last twelve months-and it is time the younger generation put down their phones, switched off their laptops and moved out of the comfort of their parents homes and kicked some ass. Just saying!


Black Mirror


Admittedly I had only seen half of one episode in Charlie Brooker’s one off dramas during its first series and being decidedly non-plussed never bothered investigating any further. However last week on a rainy day I decided to check out the first episode of the second series- social media, twittering etc. had, ironically as it turns out, piqued my interest- and was pleasantly surprised by an episode which was eerily disturbing-not unlike a 21sttcentury update on the seventies classic series, fondly held in many hearts including my own, ‘Tales of the Unexpected’- which raised some thought provoking issues as well as asking us to look at ourselves and the way we live our lives today. The black mirror of its title is presumably the reflection we would see if we actually looked at ourselves properly rather than simply gazing at the contrived self conscious image we hope we reflect to others.

The opening episode ‘Be Right Back’ told the tale of a self satisfied couple. Ash and Martha, whose lives and careers are trundling along very nicely indeed although Ash’s addiction to social media infuriates Martha no end, to the point she even throws something at him to ensure he is ‘still solid’. This proves prescient as soon after he is killed in a car accident and overwhelmed with grief she discovers she can obtain a replicant replacement clone-shades of Bladerunner here- who not only looks the part but actually behaves however she wants him to.

The downside is all his responses and reactions are created by his social media profiles-one part how he actually is to nine parts of how he wants to appear- and he becomes the perfect boyfriend; even sexually as his viewing of porn makes the replicant Ash a far superior lover to the real thing who often preferred the self satisfaction followed by the old roll over and snooze routine, but eventually this inevitably becomes frustrating.

It was an intriguing story which not only showed how our emotions are now controlled by how we want to be perceived and learnt rather than felt. It was a sympathetic treatment which constantly lulled the viewer into a false sense of security whilst raising several questions as to where society is heading.

If ‘Be Right Back’ eased the viewer into Brooker’s observations then the second episode ‘The White Bear’ pulled no punches and moved at full throttle  never letting up throughout its duration.

Entering a seemingly totalitarian world where a  girl wakes up from a hazy nightmare where she is pursued seemingly with malevolent intent whilst a crowd films the whole proceedings on their phones. Terrorised and in fear for her life she escapes and is caught time and time again until eventually it transpires that she is actually a prisoner who has been involved in a child’s torture and slaying therefore the confusion, uncertainty,disorientation, pain and terror she is experiencing is perhaps indicative to the horrors she herself has previously inflicted and this is a new form of justice being meted out.

It was certainly an interesting observation on how we have all become voyeurs- Big Brother and The X-Factor auditions immediately sprang to mind- and our entertainment resembles a Coliseum where humiliation is our ritual. It also brought the recent paedophilia allegations concerning Jimmy Savile as well as others such as the Moors Murderers very sharply into focus and showed how we are sickly fascinated and attracted by the ghoulish whilst questioning how and why it has ended up this way. Perhaps it is time to put down our phones, switch off our laptops and relearn basic human emotions again.

Brooker has created an inventive series with ‘Black Mirror’ and although I was initially sceptical have since realised he is putting questions on our screens which don’t really have an answer or a solution as he is presenting things-albeit exaggerated for effect- just as they are or at the very least how they are going. I am not sure what the third episode of ‘Black Mirror’ has in store but guaranteed I am tuning in next Monday just to find out.


The Baftas

2013 Baftas

The Baftas- award ceremonies in general actually-or The Stephen Fry show as he likes to think of it are usually one long snoozefest consisting of fatuous celebrities making insincere, tearful acceptance speeches which far outstrip any performances that have given on the screen and often bettering the one they are picking up the award for. Last nights ceremony however although I did fall asleep during its duration-less to do with the results than the fact I was spotted at 6.30am the previous morning leaving a city centre hotel after a night of partying- was something of a pleasant surprise as the winners were announced I paten found myself nodding in agreement instead of my usual harrumphing in disgust.  Leaving aside Les Miserables- please do- which still makes my blood curdle at the very thought but looking to Amour, Argo, Skyfall, Searching for Sugarman, The Imposter, Django Unchained  and Silver Linings Paybook it was almost as if the judges had had an untypical lapse into good taste.

It was especially rewarding to see Christoph Waltz be awarded best supporting actor for Django Unchained but biggest surprise was Emmanuelle Riva walk off with the best actress award for the bleak, uncompromising but truly outstanding Amour.  That this film also took best foreign film proves that it is a work of class and distinction and its sensitive treatment of a subject- Riva plays a retired music teacher who suffers a stroke and the subsequent effects this has on her and her husbands life is phenomenal as his loyalty and love is fully put to the test- that many would shy away from is brave and true to life. It is as far from a feelgood film as you could imagine but you do leave the cinema having been emotionally touched and empathetic.

Conversely Searching For Sugarman is a feelgood film-it even melted my ice cold heart- but as it has the advantage of being a true story and its central character is such an unassuming and genuine character this takes it to a level far beyond the contrived lachrymose, sentimental slop we are usually served up by scriptwriters, producers and directors playing on our emotions with cheap tactics and swelling musical scores. It was therefore pleasing to hear its name being announced as the best documentary film.

With The Imposter’s creators picking up the award for best outstanding debut it was obviously a year for true to life stories- another true tale which is quite unbelievable as a missing American child is apparently found but turns out to be a foreigner five years older but still accepted by a family who seem unable to spot the difference- and Hollywood scriptwriters must be picking their brains on frustration as they try to outdo these lurid and quite unbelievable dramas. Perhaps life has started to imitate art and we are now all subconsciously living our lives as movie scripts. I have often wondered who is writing my role for me as I seem to slip further and further into some bad B- movie!

Much is made of such award ceremonies but inevitably they are just self congratulatory events for an industry whose participants need more validation than most. The fake emotions on show merely confirm this. Similarly they are mooted as some fashion and style highpoint but this has never sat comfortably with me as the dress code is ostentatious glamour for the women and standard black tie fare for the men. I cannot see how this can influence anything apart from other award ceremony attendees or future events and as this takes up a minimal percentage of our population its influence must be very limited, unless you want to look like an extra on the set of TOWIE that is.

Generally seen as a dry run for the even more prestigious Oscars the signs for that ceremony bode well but I cannot see the Americans awarding a French actress their hallowed best actress award- they still haven’t totally forgiven the French for the lack of support in the war – and it will more likely go to one of their home-grown stars. Being a celebration, essentially, of their own movie industry this is perhaps inevitable even if it is not always the right choice.

Fortunately such ceremonies do not always inform my choices when visiting the cinema-The Hunt, Untouchables Bill Cunningham New York, Martha Marcy May Marlene  and Carnage  were all notable omissions- at least this year I don’t feel they got it too wrong and quite often they were spot on. Apart from Les Miserables. Obviously!


White Rabbit


Sugar and Spice isn’t it Nice/ Luring Disco Dollies to a Life of Vice (Soft Cell)

Sex Sells! Fact!

Realising that our carnal lusts and deviances are what makes the world go round- what’s love got to do with it? – Heather Craig and erstwhile partner Jim Anderson realised that Edinburgh lacked a high end erotic boutique which catered for those who find high street emporiums, such as Ann  Summers little more than an end of the pier, oooh missus !, ‘Carry On’ nightmare  about as sexy as spam fritters, and subsequently came up with the idea of White Rabbit.

Situated in an ideal locale-the bottom end of Broughton Street- the shop which opens this weekend is an enticing labyrinth of erotica twinned with exotica cloistered between purple walls and lit by fringed red lighting which gives off the vibe of the sinister Black Lodge from David Lynch’s television outing, Twin Peaks and the claustrophobic sensual heat of the director’s earlier work Blue Velvet.     

From the moment you enter these premises it is clear you have entered into some fantastical otherworldly environment which bears little relation to the grey drabness of the outside world.  Cocooning- I stop short of using the term cosy- in its ambience  an old fashioned haberdashery counter, complete with drawers, adds further class to the whole set up.

Meanwhile shelves struggle to contain leather dog masks which jostle for space alongside erotic based literary tomes whilst see through underwear competes for attention with candles which turn to massage oil when they hit the body and quasi-religious masturbatory art works complement diamante tipped whips. A Dylan Lisle artwork dominates the wall with its commanding presence and other artworks, including pieces by Kirsty Whiten, will soon be joining it alongside an upcoming exhibition in the very near future. There is even an aphrodisiac perfume, Bijoux, which once sprayed permeates the atmosphere with its heady aroma creating an even more sensuous and semi- seedy ambience.     

Setting itself apart from its competition Craig has sourced designers not only exclusive to White Rabbit but to Scotland in general. Thus Theresa Coburn- who has provided stage outfits for  big name clients such as Siouxie Sioux amongst others- will make her exclusive designs available through the outlet. Other popular names include duo Paul Seville and Steph Aman whose stock will also only be available from White Rabbit north of the border. Tamsin Lillywhite who is a current major influence and name to drop  on the scene, due to the success of her equestrian themed pieces. will also be promoting and selling  her classy designs solely from these premises.

Other events lined up for the very near future include evening workshops covering such intriguing subject matter as Japanese Rope Bondage and burlesque dancing lessons as well as musical one offs. Whether Craig and Anderson will be deploying their own talents for the latter-they make up two thirds of the impressive local trio Her Royal Highness- is unclear but they are open to suggestions and encourage ideas as to what people may want from such an outlet and a sourcing service will be available once they are up and running and ,of course, they have an online shop in the pipeline just awaiting its final touches and amendments.

Unlike most of their contemporaries White Rabbit also cater for the male end of the market and will stock clothing and items which they can purchase for their own devices rather than just their-ahem- ‘wives’ and ‘girlfriends’. A daunting Fritzl style cellar is next on the agenda for an overhaul and will provide further space for future events but at the moment the focus of these two young entrepreneurs is fully on the main selling area upstairs on street level.

To launch the shop there is a party tonight complete with a window performance by the provocative and evocatively named Wild Card Kitty which will hopefully heat up an otherwise dark and dreary February evening.  The shop itself is open to the general public on Saturday February 2nd at around midday and every day after this for an experience which houses an environment like no other in Edinburgh at the moment.

White Rabbit 44 Broughton Street Edinburgh EH1 3SA is open from Saturday 2nd February 7 days a week from 12pm-7pm

Check out for further information and daily updates.

Visit their Facebook page here.