Thursday, 25 February 2016

Where Do We Go From Here?

Last night I went to see this:

Still thinking about it. It wasn't 'greenlit' by a big studio. Writer/director John McPhail could have not written it, or written it but never got around to making it. But he assembled a great team (to whom he paid generous tribute) and somehow made it happen, and at the premiere at the GFT as part of Glasgow Film Festival I laughed and cried and was inspired. It's a sweet film with heart and soul and wit and engaging performances. And the opening montage - well, I won't go on. But I liked it...

I wasn't involved in it in any way, but I know some people who were. And I know other local  filmmaker types trying to do their own creative and artistic stuff in stolen moments with zero funding who moseyed along to give their support. And somehow this made me feel some kind of unearned, irrational pride in attending a heartwarming Scottish debut feature in a room full of positive spirit and - I'll say it - love. I might be wrong because I am still getting a handle on it, but there seems to be a real sense of camaraderie among the Glasgow (Scottish?) filmmaking community that rivals the music scene. I am sure there is competition and jealousies, etc., but there also seems to be a lot of goodwill and support - people pulling together or sharing resources, etc. Fellow filmmaker types there to cheer for one of their own. That's heartwarming before the film's even started. Then again maybe only a copper-bottomed oaf would feel bitter about talent, hard work and a 'can do' spirit.

Here's a review I spotted on-line.

What else?

I vote Sarah Lancashire. Not quite sure what for specifically, but I think she is great in Happy Valley.  Then again writer Sally Wainwright sure gave her some good lines....

Sarah Lancashire, yesterday.

Popmatters in the US reviewed my "Music For String Quartet, Piano & Celeste":  “Ghent is a dark, lovely moment…17 Days breathes beautifully…" makes you want to buy it right?

An album, last weekend.

Right. I've been writing music all day and now I'm off for a...

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Baloney Feb 2016

So yay for Deutschland '83. All the way through the second last episode I was thinking "this feels" like the finale. Turns out it was the last episode. Whoops. Bring on the Deutschland '86..

Digging Happy Valley now. Great writing and Sarah Lancashire is brilliant.

I crossed another Paolo Sorrentino film off my list. Two thumbs up for this:

Over 2.5k plays for this ditty:

Album available here...

I pitched music for an ITV pilot and looks like I'm in. I'll keep my eyes crossed that things move forward ("We love it - it's commissioned - just get another composer...." *ahem*)

In Teenage Fanclub News - I'll plead The Fifth. And no that's not a clue or anything.

Right that's me.

Friday, 12 February 2016

15 Seconds

Last night I attended The Bare Facts event on Human Rights at Cottiers in Glasgow. Great night. David Hayman was a brilliant host with moving, articulate stories and wisdom. Karine Polwart sang this beautiful song and this short film (and director Felipe's talk) was quite something:

Still processing it all.

David Hayman fundraises for Spirit Aid giving, to paraphrase him, "a hand up not a hand out".

In other news, I took up the challenge to write a 15 second piece for harp...

And finally, Esther...

I saw some good BAFTA-nominated short films this week including this, this and this.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Pan Cakes

Happy Cake In A Pan Day.

Hooray for the Beeb's "War And Peace", right? I'm also still grooving to Deutschland '83, with the Return Of Happy Valley to come. Yay.

Recently I provided the music for "When A Man Loves A Woman", a short film written by Katie Write and directed by Charlie Francis. Last Thursday I moseyed along to Cafe Flicker in Gmac, Trongate (Glasgow) to watch it being screened with some other short films. We won the audience award. High 5, Charlie and Katie.

Last Friday I employed my "lightly applied directional touch" (so says The Herald  - so it's official) to Snowgoose at the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh. Twas a fun evening. Anna Sheard is quite a singer...

Feel free to vote for this: the Classic FM Hall Of Fame - here.

Seen these nice Dylan shots from 1975?

What you up to this Thursday?

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Cartel Land

So I saw this at a BAFTA Scotland screening this week:

Amazing, documentary. Not for the faint-hearted but what a brave piece of filmmaking. I won't blabber on but, for what it's worth, I recommend it.

I stuck the radio on late last night and heard this. Spooky soundtrack for the dark:

Glasgow filmmaker types - I've just booked for this.

Tomorrow I will be stand-in drummer with Snowgoose for a show in the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh. Eek.

Carey Lander's Sarcoma Just Giving Page is closing in on £87k as I type. Fell free to help nudge it over the line and onwards.

Oh and I still recommend this:

Monday, 1 February 2016


A while ago I saw The Great Beauty. I knew nothing about it beforehand and I sat there in the cinema drinking it up and loving it. I saw Paolo Sorrentini's follow up at the good ol' GFT on Saturday and I loved that too - the music, the cinematography, the editing - the whole shebang...

Meanwhile I am still digging War And Peace.

And I have just seen the first episode of Deutschland 83: I'm in.

This week I'm guest-drumming with Snowgoose at their show in Edinburgh. Wish me luck.

Last Wed I saw Teddy Thompson at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Best Heckle award goes to the chap behind me who, when TT referred to Glasgow being possible the wittiest audience in the world, quoth the riposte "What do you mean 'possibly'?!" Twas a nice show. Teddy has a voice. And his song about family at the end was quite something. I believe his mum was in the audience.

On Fri I was back for another Celtic Connections show: The Transatlantic Sessions featuring my pal John Mccusker on the fiddle. He's been on the fiddle as long as I've know him...

(OK that's enough - settle down.)

Celtic Connections festival is one of the best things about Glasgow.

Before I go, I recommend this:

David Hayman, Karine Polwart and a great short film called Nae Pasaran + more. See you there...