THE HIT LIST
Art Robert Blomfield: An Unseen Archive Until March 17 City Art Centre, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Street Photography: An Unseen Archive displays a selection of around 60 black and white works from a remarkable private collection of images by Robert Blomfield, a street photographer who worked across the UK from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Blomfield moved to Scotland’s capital city in 1956. Aged 18, he’d come to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh.
While a student, Blomfield pursued his passion for photography and spent his free time capturing life on the streets and revealing and documenting the dramatic shifts taking place in Edinburgh’s urban landscape during the 1960s.
He adopted a fly-on-the-wall approach, seeking interesting or amusing scenes in the rapidly changing post-war period.
He used a pair of Nikon F SLRs to shoot his images and did his own developing and printing in a makeshift darkroom set up in his student digs. His photographs of post-war Edinburgh include candid portraits and group shots of children playing in crumbling tenements, public gatherings, student life and the changing architecture of the period.
Staged in the year of his 80th birthday, this first largescale display of his street-life scenes is also a chance for Blomfield to receive the recognition his work warrants.
Blomfield said: “After 50 years I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my pictures with the wider world.
“Edinburgh is a city that remains close to my heart, and the interaction of its residents with this most dramatic of urban stages provided me with endless inspiration as a young photographer.
“The exhibition represents a personal view of life on its streets during the 1960s.”
“This exhibition of vintage street photography will strike a chord with anyone who grew up in 1960s Edinburgh and bring back so many memories,” says Edinburgh councillor Donald Wilson.
There’s little we need more on a New Year’s Day afternoon than an invigorating walk by water. By this time in the festive break, we’ve usually consumed enough to withstand a few months of hibernation.
Our bodies and minds may say we need a proper rest, but the bank account and service suppliers would disagree.
It will soon be time to go back to work, but you needn’t start training for that summer marathon just yet. Easing yourself back into exercise with a gentle walk is a far more humane and civilised way to begin to think about getting back to reality.
Even better when there’s a good pub at the end of the walk. Try the Bridge Inn at Ratho, recently named as one of the UK’s top 50 gastropubs for 2018.
Located just 10 miles from Edinburgh’s city centre, it’s within walking distance of Fountainbridge. Journey along the Union Canal and enjoy a picturesque route through Edinburgh’s suburbs out in to countryside along tree-lined towpaths. Situated next to the canal is the Inn, which will serve brunch all day.
If you’re further north, try the bracing sea air of the sixmile coastal path walk that takes you to Elie’s Ship Inn, a pub famous for its beach cricket team in summer.
The walk will take you past the tiny harbour of St Monans and the remains of Newark and Ardross Castles. It also passes Lady’s Tower, which was built in 1760 for Lady Jane Anstruther who used it to shelter when she changed for her daily swim.
The walk will also pass Elie Lighthouse before finishing at the Ship Inn where, from noon, guests can enjoy handmade burgers and sausages and live music to keep the party atmosphere going.
Concert Hogmanay Gala December 31 Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
Established 20 years ago, the Scottish Concert Orchestra play a Hogmanay Gala at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall of classical favourites including Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz, Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No 5, Strauss’s Die Fledermaus Overture as well as renditions of Ae Fond kiss, Auld Lang Syne, Highland Cathedral and Scotland The Brave.
Michael Bawtree conducts, with vocalists including tenor Jamie MacDougall and baritone James Cleverton.
Tonight, big band leader Ray McVay conducts the Glenn Miller Orchestra in an evening that will spin back in time to wartime chart toppers such as Strike Up The Band, Moonlight Serenade and Chattanooga Choo Choo. Special guests are The Polka Dot Dolls who perform a tribute to The Andrews Sisters.
Performance La Clique Noel: Part Deux Until January 5 Festival Square Spiegeltent, Edinburgh
There are just days to capture La Clique Noel: Part Deux, a show that will leave you whooping with awe.
Hosted by Bernie Dieter, the “queen of Weimar punk kabarett”, the show this year includes gentleman juggler Florian Brooks, aerialist Stephen Williams, magician Paul Zenon, sword-swallower Heather Holliday, Mosh, a glamorous burlesque performer from Russia, and Fancy Chance, a multi-skilled artist whose signature act is hair hanging.
“It’s gobsmacking what she does, she actually flies around the room by her hair,” says David Bates, the man who introduced the Spiegeltent to the Edinburgh festival in the mid-1990s and who staged the first edition of La Clique there in 2004.
Bates says seeing Chance reminded him of those early days, when world-class adult variety and vaudeville artists lacked the platform La Clique went on to provide.
“Keeping the brand alive for the last 15 years”, Bates says La Clique Noel: Part Deux is the best version yet.
“I have to say this is most fabulous version of the show that’s been created since its inception,” he says. “I liked the show last year but this is even a few notches above that. The calibre of artists we have is just superb.”
Film Cage-a-rama 2 January 4 to January 7 CCA, Glasgow
Some think Nicolas Cage is irredeemably awful, others think him the best actor since Marlon Brando. Perhaps he’s a bit of both: compelling, confounding and never a wasted watch.
Indeed, perhaps it’s his over-the-top eccentricities and fearless enthusiasm for acting in some terrible movies that makes him loved by many in a way no-one could reasonably adore an actor like, say, Matt Damon.
For fans, it’s hard to think of a better way to spend the last weekend of the holidays than Cage-a-rama 2, a three-day festival at the CCA from Friday January 4 to Sunday January 6.
Nine films will be shown in total, beginning with recent movie, Panos Cosmatos’s Mandy, a psychedelic action horror which features one of the last scores written by Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson, who died last February.
Also featured across the weekend are The Wicker Man, Army Of One, Wild At Heart, Werner Herzog’s extraordinary Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans and Cage’s most recent release Between Worlds.
Special guests will feature throughout the weekend, as will a quiz to mark Cage’s birthday on January 7.
Bernie Dieter is the host of La Clique Noel
Scottish Concert Orchestra play the favourites
Robert Blomfield’s natural style recalls the work of the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson