Burnistoun “Mad Uncles”

BBC Scotland and BBC One Scotland and BBC Two Scotland sketch show from Robert Florence and Iain Connell. 22 episodes 2009 – 2019.

Robert Florence and Iain Connell write and perform this sketch show set in a fictional Scottish location that somehow seems eerily familiar. Burnistoun has its own newspaper, furniture store, gym, pub and all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant, radio station and even an ice-cream van.

Characters include Uncle Willie the man who insists on having his own funeral before he dies, wannabe girl-band singer Jackie McGlade who can make any tune sexy except football songs, and John and Terry two pub pals who insist they do not fantasize about each other sexually.

Other Burnistoun characters include disgruntled serial killer The Burnistoun Butcher, and snippy siblings, Paul and Walter, who share high drama inside their ice cream van.

More about Burnistoun at Comedy UK

Q&A: Anna Meredith

Following her 2020 Mercury Prize nomination for new album FIBS, Anna Meredith takes some time out to tell us what she’s been up to during lockdown, what scares her the most, and lets us in on a little secret

Feature by Tallah Brash |  The Skinny

What’s your favourite place to visit?
Probably something like Brighton Pier arcades; I love the lights, the greasy food, the smells. But the games – I like those two-person, get-in-a-booth games like Jurassic Park, and I’ve been known to spend a good twenty, thirty quid of hard-earned pound coins, pumping it in and shooting dinosaurs with a giant gun.

What’s your favourite colour?
The most basic answer is just blue. But for specificity I would say I’m drawn to, for maximum pretension, Vermeer blue.

Who was your hero growing up?
I had these amazing twin babysitters called Debbie and Lyneke, and they were just the coolest… [we’d] do blind food tastings and try and feed my little brother cat food, and make mud pies, and slide down the stairs in sleeping bags.

Whose work inspires you now?
You know those videos where people touch something and a marble falls, and that triggers a ruler that rolls, and then a fork tips off a table and it lands on a cat, you know those huge big long chain of event things? People who do those. That’s my jam.

How have you stayed inspired during the lockdown?
I would say I haven’t felt hugely inspired and I’ve really struggled… for ages I just couldn’t get my ass off the sofa and didn’t really want to… so ‘with great difficulty’ is probably the answer to that.

What has been your favourite food to cook during lockdown?
Well, it’s a bit boring, but I’ve mastered a really good dal… I’ve really fucking gone for it, all my meals have been unbelievable, if I say so myself, but yeah, I make a really quite exceptionally good dal, with homemade roti breads.

What three people would you invite to your virtual dinner party and what are you cooking?
I’d make my aforementioned award winning dal but I’d make it the day before. In terms of guests, I really have enjoyed The Great British Sewing Bee [with] Joe Lycett, so maybe he’d be fun to have there, and I’ve always wanted to hang out with Björk… I think she’d be good company, and for pure ticking all lifetime ambitions, Keanu Reeves, just to be there looking handsome in a suit, perhaps serving drinks.

What have you enjoyed listening to during lockdown?
So during lockdown I’ve only listened to audiobooks, which is probably not what you want to hear… I really like the new Philip Pullman books, I’m listening to Adam Buxton’s one just now, that’s all great. Music-wise, Owen Pallett’s new album’s nice, he’s always good, so I’m enjoying that at the moment.

What’s the worst film you’ve ever seen?
Relatively recently, for the first time, I saw Big Trouble In Little China, but I can’t really say that was bad because I absolutely loved it, it was ridiculous and hilarious. And, you know, sure, insane […] I think The Last Airbender wasn’t great and I really loved those cartoons… That’s a bit of a shame when you’ve seen something and you’ve loved it as a book or a TV thing and it turns into a film and it’s not at all how you thought it’d be.

What book would you take to a protracted period of government-enforced isolation?
Maybe something, you know, self-improving […] some sort of DIY manual. I could finally learn how to make a wooden bracket properly, or drill something correctly, as opposed to just slamming it up. A bit of home improvement, I think that’d be useful.

Who’s the worst?
Wow. There’s a lot of contenders right now. I mean, who’s worse, Boris or Trump? Let’s just say it’s a battle between the two big blonde men in our lives.

When did you last cry?
Oh, I cried yesterday watching the trailer for a documentary that’s coming out soon about the Paralympics (Rising Phoenix). I even had the sound off… and I was just looking at it on my phone, but just watching people do amazing things… I was blubbing.

What are you most scared of?
I’m scared of the idea of being scared. So I can’t watch horror films because the intention that I’m going to be scared is almost worse than the thing itself, so as soon as [there] is scary tense music, I can’t bear it. It could be tense scary music showing some raccoons playing with a bit of grass, for example.

When did you last vomit?
Wow. Jeez. That’s been a while. I drank too many Dragon Soops, a potent tin of fizzy caffeinated horror, and nearly spewed in a cab in Edinburgh.

Tell us a secret?
I am the only member of my family that can roll my tongue, and it made me for a long time be absolutely convinced that must mean I’m adopted. And perhaps it still does. Real mum, if you’re out there, come and claim me.

Which celebrity could you take in a fight?
I’m a total wuss. I remember at primary school, one day [a girl] grabbed my hair and it hurt so much I immediately burst into tears… I don’t really think I could take anyone… maybe somebody who’s asleep, a child or a drunk, a drunk old lady, someone like that.

If you could be reincarnated as an animal which animal would it be?
You’ve just got to wanna do the flying, right? … But if you’re gonna do the flying, maybe you want to be looking fucking great while you’re doing it. Maybe you’re just a straight out the door Golden Eagle. No problem. Looking great. Big head. Big wingspan. Lot of respect.


FIBS is out now via Moshi Moshi Records

Source The Skinny

Edinburgh International Festival: The 2021 line-up

Anna Meredith
Anna Meredith

Laura Mvula, Nadine Shah, Anna Meredith, Damon Albarn, Karine Polwart, Floating Points, Kathryn Joseph, Caribou and tUnE-yArDs are just some of the highlights from the eclectic lineup of music coming to Edinburgh as part of the International Festival

by Jamie Dunn | 02 Jun 2021
Oh, how we’ve missed the electricity and communal thrill of live performance. After over a year of empty stages, we’re tremendously excited to see the festivals and venues we love revealing their plans to make the tentative steps back to something close to normality. We’re particularly excited for Edinburgh to once again overflow with art with the return of the Edinburgh International Festival this summer, which is back with a global celebration of music, theatre and dance taking place 7-29 August.

“The programme we are announcing today represents a carefully organised return to live performance,” says Fergus Linehan, EIF’s director. “It is a collaborative effort between those who live in our city, our artists, the team at the festival, our donors and stakeholders and all who will be coming along to our performances.”

The Comet is Coming by Fabrice Bourgelle
The Comet is Coming by Fabrice Bourgelle

As ever, Linehan and his team will be bringing a world-class selection of work to the Scottish capital, with 170 performances announced this morning, covering everything from classical music and opera to star-studded theatre, dance and spoken word. We’re particularly excited about the eclectic contemporary music lineup, which features an enticing blend of brilliant Scottish artists alongside international talent.

Anna Meredith, Damon Albarn

First to catch the eye are two recent Scottish Album of the Year Award-winners and Skinny favourites: Anna Meredith and Kathryn Joseph. Meredith helped open EIF back in 2018 with the stunning audiovisual piece Five Telegrams, and the composer will be back again this year to perform music from her second album, FIBS. Meanwhile, Joseph will provide beautiful ballads from her debut Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled and its follow-up, From When I Wake the Want Is.

You’ll find more uber talented female voices on the bill with the soulful Laura Mvula, who’ll be bringing her brand of 80s new wave-inspired dance-pop, and Nadine Shah, who’ll be getting the chance to perform tracks from her fourth album, Kitchen Sink, in Scotland for the first time. Widely regarded as the voice of young African womanhood, Malian actress, musician and social activist Fatoumata Diawara, we’re told, will be tackling subjects such as “the pain of emigration, the struggles of African women and life under the rule of religious fundamentalists” with her first EIF performance.

Damon Albarn will be back at EIF this year accompanied by a band and string section. Expect performances of some of the iconic songs he’s recorded as part of Blur and Gorillaz, as well as from The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, his current musical project inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, which he completed during lockdown and we’re tod explores “themes of fragility, emergence and rebirth”. And electronic music producer, DJ, and musician Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points will bring his euphoric live show to Edinburgh.

Folk, jazz, dance and trip-hop

Modern UK jazz will be well-represented at EIF this year with performances from KokorokoMoses Boyd and The Comet is Coming – the latter returning to Edinburgh with their explosive cosmic jazz rave. Scottish trad-heads, meanwhile, can look forward to Inverness-born fiddle player and composer Duncan Chisholm, Glasgow instrumental folk band RURA, instrumental trad trio Talisk, Gaelic supergroup Dàimh, all-female Scottish-English collective the Kinnaris Quintet, and Glasgow’s Breabach, who’ll be bringing their double bagpipes, Gaelic vocals and step dancing to EIF.

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Karine Polwart talks songwriting at Edinburgh International Festival

Karine Polwart

Inspired by our Digital Composers series and developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in consultation with music educators, this project looks to help senior pupils who are looking at creating their own music, by providing them with insight into the song writing process from a variety of musicians, singers, and songwriters.

Multi-award-winning Karine Polwart has built a hugely successful career out of songs that tell stories and is one of Scotland’s best-known folk talents. In this conversation our host Lucy chats with Karine about the depth and breadth of her career, from starting out in bands through to making music for theatre and beyond. They explore her inspirations, her passions and her songwriting techniques.

Listen to the interview with Karine Polwart at: Digital Songwriters | Edinburgh International Festival