Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Cacio e Pepe

As I type I am reflecting on last night's live performance of "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite". What a privilege to hear my music played by great musicians in an amazing venue!

Sincere thanks to the musicians, punters, Hamilton Low Parks Museum staff and, well, everyone who has been supportive of my notion which became an idea, then a concept and then a thing.

Here is a wee handheld, lo-fi taster; "Stone Lions Lullaby" (violin & harp) and "The Mausoleum" (string quartet)...

Felt like a culmination of something. Although we are doing it again next month in Helensburgh...
To book tickets go here and click Live On Screen

More info on the "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" album at www.francismacdonald.com

I was on BBC Radio Scotland's "Classics Unwrapped" the other night. I'm blethering from 4 mins 43 seconds. You can listen here.

In other news...

I just had a pleasant city break (as they call it) in Belfast. The Titanic Exhibition was fandabbydozy (sp?). The Gilbert & George Exhibiton at The Mac provoked one of my children to announce that it "hurts my brain". G&G might claim this as a victory.

Elle is pretty dark and dramatic. By the end I felt like I'd binge-watched an entire series of a disturbing French psycho-drama.

Lady Bird = brilliant.

I loved "Loveless". I'm all for a long slow film in the hands of an intelligent, confident filmmaker, that keeps me thinking about it days later.

"Young Offenders" is a hoot - the film on Netflix AND the series on BBC One.

Pity Paddington 2 didn't do better at the BAFTAS. Loved that film.

Recipe Corner - this was a revelation...

And finally, Esther....

The Teenage Fanclub bandwagon is starting to roll...

Monday, 5 February 2018

New t-shirt Design: "Comfortingly Orthodox" (The Guardian); "An Artist Of Stature" (The Peterborough Telegraph)

"Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" just got honourable mentions in The Scotsman...

"Fragrant pastoral passages"
...and the Guardian...

"Bach-like harp...pastoral exploration...comfortingly orthodox"
...and the Peterborough Telegraph...
And it entered the Top 50 Classical Artist Charts at Number 30.

Max, Andre & Francis - the Dream Team
In other news I saw Scottish Opera's production of Greek and loved it and The Transatlantic Sessions at Celtic Connections and loved it too. Julie Fowlis always a highlight. John McCusker was there too.

Fortune cookie song idea...
I have mastered Panettone bread and butter pudding, btw - so watch out.

This New Yorker article on women and the mafia is nuts...

What else? Oh! Don't forget "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" LIVE performance in The Tower, Helensburgh next month. The Helensburgh Advertises are excited...

You can order "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" here - or at all good physical and digital music retailers....

Tinkety-tonk, old fruit, and down with the nazis.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Helensburgh, Here We Come...

Hello - it's yourself.

Classic FM just premiered an exclusive video for "Stone Lions Lullaby" from "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite. The video was shot by Mark Boggis and Charlie Francis. The soloists are Sharron Griffiths (harp) and Justine Watts (violin)...

(I wonder if that's the first time The Pastels have had a passing namecheck by Classic FM...)

Our live premiere of The Suite in the Mausoleum itself was 'sold out' the day it was announced. However, we have one (just one) more special live event in the diary. 

*drum roll* Ta-dah!...

See you in Helensburgh on 13th March? For tickets go here and click on Live On Screen.

If you haven't bought it yet, the album is available NOW - Digitally, on CD and on limited heavyweight vinyl (with download code) from all good record shops and from here.

In other news, you might enjoy Ciara MacLaverty being interviewed and reading some of her poetry:

If you like it you can order Ciara's new pamphlet here.

Two films I'd recommend - and not for their feel good fun - "First They Killed My Father" and...

Friday, 26 January 2018

Today's the day...

*cheers, applause, trumpet fanfare*

My "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" is finally released...

Available from all good record stores, digital stores and from www.francismacdonald.com

Earlier this week I was interviewed by Janice Forsyth on BBC Radio Scotland . You can listen from 6 mins 35 seconds (btw - Teenage Fanclub don't really waste time playing video games when recording - I'll burble anything when I'm live on radio...).

Nice review from hi-fi news:

Also I thought this review was pretty insightful and (*coughs*) positive.

And here's another incriminating interview, courtesy of Test Pressing webzine...

The live premiere in Hamilton Mausoleum itself next month  is oversubscribed, but soon we'll be announcing another performance in a beautiful venue in Helensburgh. Keep March 13th free in your diary if you're interested.

I'll leave you with that time Rembrandt painted my portrait...

photo by David Boni

Monday, 22 January 2018

Neoclassical Cardigan Baroque Pop

Exciting weekend.

On Friday night Margherita Taylor gave a track from my "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" album a spin on Classic FM.

On Saturday I got to show off my line in knitwear in The Herald newspaper:

Woolly tie & cardigan by Next & River Island, coat by Cancer Research UK shop, Byres Rd, Glasgow.
Link to article here

Earlier in the week Clash Magazine premiered "Beam" from the album citing "innate invention and sweet emotional pull". Ocht. Nice of them.

Next Wed 24th Jan I'll be on BBC Radio Scotland talking to Janice Forsyth (forsooth!)

And next Friday Jan 26th the album will finally be released...

You can still order (signed) CDs or limited heavyweight vinyl LPs -  and Digital Download - here.

In other news, you can order Ciara Maclaverty's new poetry pamphlet here.

The esteemed Liz Lochhead says of Ciara's work:
These poems – in the voice of a woman, a mother, a good neighbour of the here-and-now are light-but-deep, often funny, always generous, accessible, inclusive, deeply humane, celebrating small things that say some very big things indeed.
(Liz's own Desert Island Discs episode is a crackin' listen btw.)

I recently re-watched "Raiders Of The Lost Ark". Something jumped out at me.

I keep listening to this after hearing it on Classic FM.

And before I go, click here to find the secret of eternal happiness.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

To Tom Cruise...Signed, Squiggle MacSquiggle

Yikes. I've been signing some Hamilton Mausoleum Suite LPs (limited edition, heavyweight vinyl) for mail order...

You can still click to order CDs/LPs here.

My interview with the Skinny is now on-line here.

The other day I was interviewed by John Toal on BBC Ulster's Classical Connections Show. You can hear me gab from around 1 hour 27 mins - link here.

And if you have the STV player app, you can watch my interview on STV2's "Live At 7.30" show here (from around 3mins 30). Learn the truth about my phone calls with Tom Cruise.

But enough about me.

The other day I attended the Blueprint night of Scottish DIY short films at the good ol' GFT. OK, OK - I was there because this was being shown, but the whole night was great. Special mention goes to Daniel Cook's indescribable "The Kind And I". Here's a clip  - but if you ever get the chance to see the whole shebang on a big screen - see it.

Oh - if you missed The Story Of Scotdisc, it's a hoot. There are 17 days left to watch as I type...

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

"Sounds Like A Record"

On Friday 12th Jan I'll be on STV 2's "Live At 7.30" yakking' about my (released on Jan 26th).

"Sublime" 7/10 (Uncut)
"Stirring, solemn beauty"     (Mojo)
“Exquisite” (The Skinny)
“Captivating” (Vents Magazine)
“Wonderful” (A Closer Listen)

Pre-order it on CD/LP here.

In other news, I saw The Beguiled and dug it.

Inside Number 9 - Bernie Clifton's dressing Room = wow.

The hits just keep on coming.

I caught up with some vintage Tom Baker Dr Who-ing recently with this curio. Hooray for those 70s TV production values.

Bob has so many gems you forget for years and then trip over. Like this.

Talking of Bob - I love this kind of stuff:

Twitter introduced me to this Seamus Heaney poem.

Btw - here's a wee interview I did with The Skinny...