Reading Orwell in the Age of Trump

“It was a bright cold day in April,” said Richard Blair, “and the clocks were striking thirteen.” Blair is seventy-three and the son of George Orwell. To witness him stand at a lectern and read the opening line of his father’s great final novel, 1984, is to experience a sense of completion, an equation solved…. Read more »

Boris Johnson

WHAT better occasion than a buck’s fizz breakfast for making up one’s mind about Boris Johnson? Genius or idiot, or both? Could he really be some kind of authentic political savant, or is the posh bumbler of the popular imagination entirely a self-creation? Some have called him a pretender to the Tory throne, and perhaps that word, pretender, is more… Read more »

Frightened Rabbit

Does Frightened Rabbit exist? Guitarist Simon Liddell and bassist Billy Kennedy, sitting in a Glasgow café, turn to one another for a moment then shake their heads. “No, it doesn’t exist without Scott at all,” says Kennedy. “Scott is Frightened Rabbit.” That present tense is telling. Scott Hutchison, the singer and chief songwriter of the… Read more »

James Graham on Scott Hutchison

What made Scott’s songwriting great? There was something really honest about it. Scott wasn’t trying to be anyone else apart from himself. The songs spoke for themselves, especially Midnight Organ Fight, which seemed to connect with people on another level. Scott was such a clever guy. He was writing about love and loss and things… Read more »

Runrig: The Last Dance

On a blazingly hot afternoon towards the end of June, the Cuillin ridge zigzagging above Skye like God’s own ECG, Donnie Munro stops outside his childhood home: a roughcast semi on Kitson Crescent, Portree, and points up to what had been his bedroom window. “I always said,” he smiles, “that this must be the best… Read more »