Young Fathers in Glasgow

A Young Fathers gig is a controlled explosion. They are masters of intense joyous aggression. The opening night of their UK tour – at Glasgow’s O2 Academy – lasted little more than an hour but was deeply satisfying, viscerally and intellectually. They don’t half bash you about the head. They don’t half make you think…. Read more »

A garden in Govan

Look at Wee Jackie go. Four-foot-nine, 43 years old, gabbing non-stop, grafting non-stop, her Sunday name – Jacqueline – tattooed on the back of her neck, she shoves that wheelbarrow around the garden like Glasgow’s own Sisyphus. She’s a force of nature in whose life nature has become a positive force.

The Forth Bridge

IT is Saturday night, almost Sunday morning, and 150 feet above the chill, black water of the Forth, in a sheet-metal bothy the colour of blood, the men of the bridge are waiting to begin work. “Sweetie?” Someone offers a barley sugar. “That’s what gets you through these shifts. Better than a hip flask.” The… Read more »

Lou Reed

IT was a bright cold day in March, and the clocks were striking one when I learned I was to interview Lou Reed. Lou Reed! My immediate reaction was elation, swiftly followed by doubt, then dread. Reed is notoriously difficult; he is to journalists what Cape Horn was to 18th century sailors – a vicious… Read more »

Tilda Swinton

TILDA Swinton is standing on the beach at Nairn, the beige sand dotted with worm-casts, bladder-wrack and mussel shells the shape and colour of bruised eyes. She is wearing a fuzzy orange coat, her red hair is dyed blonde, and she is being photographed with her back to the Moray Firth. Swinton has called this… Read more »