The Herald. August 2007
Devolution and the punk revolution
At face value, the hesitant pro-democracy Scottish revolution and the naïve UK punk revolution appeared to be at fairly polar extremes. Punk's nemeses were legion but overlapped the devolution 'Yes' camp in many aspects. Read on ->
The Point. December 2010
Creative writing and mental health
One in four adults will experience mental health
problems. Telling these stories, in order to explore and improve mental health, has never been healthier. Read on ->
The Leither. February 2011
Bring back hanging from your armchair.
There is a theory that if infinite monkeys were given infinite typewriters, they’d eventually produce the entire works of Shakespeare. They’d also create every form of literary poison, from DIY instructions for bombs to Mein Kampf. Read on ->
The Leither. October 2011
Power to the People.
Edinburgh has an illustrious history of mass protest (or as Joe Strummer might have put it, rioting on our own). The capital mob frequently took to the cobbled streets to vent their outrage over council corruption or religious hypocrisy. Read on ->
The Leither. June 2012
Tragedy House, Cables Wynd, EH6 6AJ.
How many faces does Leith have? Simple. Edinburgh’s port is multifaceted - although older Leithers balk at referring to it as Edinburgh’s anything, given the notorious 1920 vote against merging with the capital went 26,810 to 4,340. Read on ->
The Leither. August 2012
Quadrophenia - a nostalgic road trip.
‘Hope I die before I get old’ was never meant literally, but you suspect if they'd seen 50 years into the future they would have been appalled at the extent of the irony ... Read on ->
Forbes website. February 2013
Why rock aristocrats are dead as the Romanovs
Post-gig shenanigans might’ve been seen to epitomize rock n roll but what was glamorous about being coerced into sex acts with drug-addled men old enough to be their fathers? Read on ->
The Leither. May 2013
There will be Blood - welcome to Game of Thrones
Braveheart was entertaining in its day, but compared to Thrones its battle scenes are as vicious as two portly guinea pigs jostling over a bowl of nuts. Read on ->
Louder Than War website. August 2013
There is no golden age of rock n roll
Going back to my own youth, the most exciting aspect of punk was its refusal to stagnate. It was all about encouraging people to make their own statements and experiment musically. Unfortunately self-parody quickly crept in. Read on ->
The Leither. February 2014
Lions, donkeys and an ass.
An impromptu truce broke-out, with British and German soldiers inspired to drop their weapons and behave like human beings, if only for the few hours it took for the news to filter back to their incandescent commanders. Read on ->
The Leither. July 2015
Into that darkness.
In the 1970s some adults had dodgy reputations. There was a tacit acceptance of their weirdness, and that they should be kept at arm’s length. It never crossed anyone’s minds that these disgraceful figures should be reported.. Read on ->
The Leither. February 2016
Legacies of Empire
The Times described James Kelman's poignant story of a man blinded by police officers, and written in Glaswegian vernacular, as ‘literary vandalism’. One Booker judge, Rabbi Julia Neuberger, called his award “a disgrace.”.. Read on ->
The Leither. August 2016
Surgeons' Hall and the Edinburgh Seven
At a time when warfare was reflected in art in all its pomp and circumstance – bright uniforms, heroic sacrifice, colourful Imperial flags – these paintings expose the carnage lumps of metal travelling at high velocity inflicted on skin and bone... Read on ->
The Leither. September 2017
One of Edinburgh's best kept secrets
t has been a momentous 12 or so months for DOK Artist Space, an arts venture centred on the last standing building of the Henry Robb shipyards... Read on ->
(Gig) The Stranglers, Edinburgh Picture House, 1/3/13
With such an awesome back-catalogue, not to mention recently-penned songs that are up there with anything they’ve released, their biggest headache must be deciding the set list. Read on ->
(Album) Wire, Change Becomes Us
Luscious pop melds with ambient soundscapes and post-punk outbursts. They have always been masters of catchy song writing. Map Reference contains more hooks in 3 minutes 41 seconds than most bands manage in a career. Read on ->
(Gig) Wire, King Tut's, Glasgow, 27/4/15
Wire came to prominence during the original wave of punk, but even then they were gloriously insular. They have been consistently interesting and arresting, and their most recent releases have been amongst their most satisfying listens. Read on ->
(Book) Ostland, David Thomas
The Third Reich is rife with twisted ironies. The price of success in rooting out a spree killer in Berlin is promotion to the police forces administering Nazi policy in the conquered Soviet territories.
Read on ->
(Books) 2016: literary overview
From the bedroom athletics of Edinburgh taxi driver Juice Lawson and trainwreck of a PI Gus Drury to the legend of Sawney Bean and the legendary Jock Stein. Some brilliant books read in 2016.
Read on ->