The Skinny: March 2014 Editions
Summer Festivals abroad, Glasgow international comedsy festival, future islands, tom wrigglesworth, london fashion week, Hidden Door, efdemin and more...
THE SKINNY northwest ISSUE 12
Editor of The Skinny Northwest, Lauren Strain introduces issue no. 12:
Before we get on to the business of this month, let's talk about the next one: in April we'll be one year old, and we're throwing a first birthday party, because we wanna get you all in a room to say thanks and, like, dance and stuff. It's at The Kazimier, Liverpool, on Saturday 12 April, and it will be free and open to everyone, and you should come, because there will be loud noises and good people and crazy things to look at. For now, save the date, and keep an eye on our Facebook (facebook.com/TheSkinnyMag) and Twitter (@TheSkinnyNW) for more details.
As it's supposed to, spring brings with it a sense of flowering, as February – typically changeover season in the art world – gives way to, er, March, and leads to a clutch of openings and festivals. With Liverpool Art Prize 2012 winner Robyn Woolston at the helm, Threshold Festival of Music and Art's visual arts programme this year takes as its theme 'retro-futurism,' explored on page 15; the second year of exhibition-cum-exchange-programme BCNMCR opens our eyes to the work of 11 Barcelona-based design studios on p22; and Travel looks ahead to Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art in April (p29). But it's not just a fertile season in Art. Theatre, too, looks at the inaugural programme – under the artistic direction of Gemma Bodinetz – at the newly reopened Everyman in Liverpool; while Film marks the 20th anniversary of Cornerhouse's annual ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin-American Film Festival, which as ever offers debut films from first-time directors but goes the extra mile this year.
You might have noticed we've gone a bit festival mad – to explain, our next three issues will plan your summer so you don't have to. We kick off this issue with a look at the international circuit, with insights from Warpaint, St. Vincent, Daniel Avery and the top booker at Primavera, and will follow suit next issue with a survey of the UK's best fests; in May, we'll move on to our pick of the local fixtures. We're not gonna do your clashfinders for you, though. Soz. For those of you unable to throw everything into a backpack and sack off work for the next six months, Music also takes in convos with Future Islands, The War on Drugs, and Liverpool boys-doing-good Ninetails. Watch out for their EP Quiet Confidence landing this month – it's a many splendoured thing.
Frank Sidebottom fans will be pleased to know – well, you'll probably already know, to be honest – that there are two films slated for release soon; the first, Jon Ronson's Frank, is more of a fictional interpretation of Frank’s story that looks at life where a dedication to your art renders you something of an outsider; the second, pieced together by Steve Sullivan from archive footage and interviews with those who knew the man in the big fake head best, is more a straight-up documentary honouring the life and work of Frank's creator, Chris Sievey. In advance of both, our Comedy editor speaks to Ronson and assembled friends of Frank on p26; it's both funny and moving. Other folks committed to their art in this issue include Clubs' interviewees Efdemin and Willie Burns; Film's David Mackenzie, who recalls shooting his unflinching prison drama, Starred Up – starring Skins' peerless Jack O'Connell (“I'm Cook. I'M COOK!”) – in gruelling but organic sequence; and Showcase artist Lesley Guy, who's also very committed to pizza. What a bunch of interesting folk, eh?
See you in the Kaz. [Lauren Strain]
THE SKINNY Scotland Issue 102
Editor-in-Chief Rosamund West introduces this month's Scotland edition.
We’re opening with the Glasgow Comedy Festival for March, an event that offers us the opportunity to a) resurrect that old 1983 advertisting slogan of Glasgow’s Miles Better (somewhat amended on the cover) and b) compose some truly heinous headlines to run on the feature itself. With suggestions including ‘LAUGH, YA BAWBAG,’ ‘JUST FOR LOLs’ and ‘Ten Years a ROFLcopter,’ it’s no surprise the travesty that is ‘Hurricane LOLbag’ emerged as the most reasonable suggestion. We preview the programme with a glance at the highlights plus words with Doug Segal, Tom Wrigglesworth and Nancy Clench, the Yes Queen.
Last month I wrote that we were going to be tackling the old indy debate in a gentle manner, as and when the opportunity presented itself. This is borne out in our chat with Nancy Clench, Scotland’s premiere pro-independence activist drag queen, and also in our latest dispatch from resident Agony Aunt Fred Fletch, who addresses the problems of one ‘DC’ and his fear of being a 'total shitlord' on our inside back cover. It pretty much sums up the whole debate.
In Music, this month we talk to Baltimore’s Future Islands about break-ups, breakdowns and life on the road. The War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel called up from Philadelphia to discuss third album Lost in the Dream; Doves’ frontman Jimi Goodwin shares a selection of his influential riddims ahead of the release of his debut solo effort; and New Blood BDY_PRTS – aka Jill O’Sullivan of Sparrow and the Workshop and Strike the Colours’ Jenny Reeve – tell us what sparked their collaborative songwriting.
In Travel, we have carefully constructed an exhaustive guide to the best of the international festival circuit this summer complete with insight from such luminaries as Warpaint, St Vincent and one of the mysterious folk who makes the magic happen behind the scenes, Primavera Sound’s top booker.
Art draws a deep breath ahead of the creative onslaught that will be April’s Glasgow International festival, but still takes the time to inspect Dear Green, a show bringing together Glasgow and Berlin artists (the twin creative scenes officially called Berlingow according to no less an authority than Douglas Gordon) early in the month. We are also very excited at the prospect of the return of Hidden Door, the DIY pop-up multi-arts fest that memorably built a maze and a garden in the Roxy some years ago, and is now back to occupy the abandoned vaults on Edinburgh’s Market Street.
Film has had a busy month outwith the magazine, with a crack team of cinephiles squatting in the GFT to produce the CineSkinny, a daily guide to the Glasgow Film Festival. They’ve still managed to secure us some cracking interviews though, with director David Mackenzie introducing his new film Starred Up with rising star Jack O’Connell, and Ted Kotcheff celebrating the reissue of his 1971 cult classic Wake in Frightby providing some fascinating insight into the shoot in Australia’s outback, a dark netherworld of machismo and kangaroo hunting.
Fashion is already looking forward to next autumn, with a trend report from February’s London Fashion Week reliably informing us that we will be dressed in oxblood and 90s styles come September. Clubs talks to experimental electronic producer Efdemin, secures an exclusive chart from Glasgow’s Killer Kitsch posse and goes beneath the label with Horror Boogie. And Books and Theatre are both feverish with anticipation about festivals arriving in March, providing an overview of the programmes of StAnza and Behaviour respectively.
On a personal note, this marks the fiftieth consecutive time I have written a summary of The Skinny's contents. That's approxmately 30,000 words worth of saying 'You should read this magazine, it's good.'