Bill Ryder-Jones at Room 2, Glasgow, March 12 2024

“You’ve listened to my music,” said Bill Ryder-Jones. “You know who I am.” We have. We do. The co-founder and former guitarist with The Coral, he left that band in 2008, suffering a breakdown, the result of childhood trauma. He is 40 years old. He has on-going problems with agoraphobia. He writes beautiful songs full… Read more »

On Toby Jones

IN a year notable for strong performances – Mark Rylance in Wolf Hall, Vicky McClure in This Is England, Stellan Skarsgård and Nicola Walker in River – there is one man who, curiously, stands out. Curious, because standing out should not be his thing. He should, by rights, be a character actor, a comic player… Read more »

Outlander (Amazon Prime)

BECAUSE it is huge in America, because it boosts tourism in the Highlands, because it has given more work to more Scottish actors than any show since the golden age of Taggart, there is a tendency within Scotland’s media to look kindly upon Outlander. Well, let us now bring that to an end. Outlander is… Read more »

Wolf Hall (BBC2)

IN 1532, 1533, somewhere deep within those unchancy years, the painter Hans Holbein worked upon a likeness of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s “fixer”, the man credited with engineering the annulment of the king’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon and the subsequent break with the Church of Rome. One can visit the painting in New York’s… Read more »

Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks

THREE years ago, on a bright cold morning in May, I walked out into the Lewis moor for a day at the peats. I was meeting islanders who had dug each summer for years, had grown up with the annual toil, had grown to love it, and who were able to teach me some of… Read more »