As The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh prepares to stage the world premiere of a major new production of Local Hero, we take a look back at seven classic moments from the film that pitted the ambitions of American oil multinational against the ways of a beautiful Highland village.
It’s never locked
On the road all night and with an injured rabbit in tow, it is at first an uncertain welcome for the oil executive Mac and his colleague Oldsen at the MacAskill Arms – not least because they appear to have interrupted the bedroom time of amorous landlord Gordon Urquhart. The encounter is smoothed, however, when Urquhart appears downstairs in his dressing gown to declare the door “is never locked” before inviting the pair in. He asks the pair to help themselves to coffee and toast – and lettuce for the rabbit – before disappearing back upstairs to finish his business. It is a rare welcome, indeed. Continue reading →
A Bob Dylan cover landed the folk heroes on TV and in the UK singles chart.
Hit singles were never the name of the game for Fairport Convention, who made (and have kept) their reputation on full-length albums and fine live performances. But there was just one exception to that rule, and it showed itself on the UK singles chart for 23 July 1969 — when Fairport translated Bob Dylan into French, with a song that landed them on Top Of The Pops.
‘Si Tu Dois Partir,’ their French version of Dylan’s ‘If You Gotta Go, Go Now,’ entered the bestsellers that week, tickling the bottom of the top 50 chart at No. 47. The very sight of Fairport in the hit parade was incongruous, especially sandwiched between Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ ‘Tracks Of My Tears’ and Tom Jones’ ‘Love Me Tonight.’ But they sensed the Island single had potential, and they were right.
(above) Si Tu Dois Partir taken from the Peel Session recorded on 18 March 1969
When the idea cropped up of covering the song in a Creole style, it was lead singer Sandy Denny that suggested they should also do it in French. She later disowned the entire idea, calling it “a load of rubbish” and adding venomously: “The people who bought that record were cheated. If they didn’t know us, they’d think we were some French group.”
MUSICIANS could be ‘shut out’ of European culture in the wake of Brexit, the leader of one of Scotland’s biggest festivals fears.
Donald Shaw, the musician and creative producer of CelticConnections, the roots, folk and traditional music festival which opens in venues across Glasgow today, said he fears that Scottish musicians will find it much harder to play in Europe after the UK severs the cord with the EU. Continue reading →
Were Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy the greatest comedy duo in film history?
Childlike, unimposing Stan Laurel was a Brit, the lantern-jawed, cartoon-faced son of a theater manager and an actress, born in Lancashire in 1890 and trained in the music hall, where he honed his skills in song, dance and comedy. For a time he worked as Charlie Chaplin’s understudy, and he arrived in the United States on the same ship as Chaplin and broke into film along with him.Oliver Hardy was an oversized, unusually graceful American. Born in Georgia in 1892, Ollie studied music and broke into early film in the East before moving to Los Angeles and being teamed with Laurel by Hal Roach Studios supervising director Leo McCarey (“Duck Soup”). As they say, it was a bowler-hatted match made in comedy heaven.Stan was the sweet-souled, easily upset man-child, while Ollie was the big, angry, pompous bully, who looked oddly like an enormous baby. “Stan & Ollie,” which was directed by Jon S. Baird (“Filth”) and written by Jeff Pope, who co-wrote “Philomena” with Steve Coogan, co-stars Manchester, England-born Coogan and American John C. Reilly, who has had a great run recently and triumphs here, as Stan and Ollie. Continue reading →
Sergeant William Bailey was a man of high renown Tooral looral looral looral loo In search of gallant young recruits he used to scour the town Tooral looral looral looral loo His face was full and swarthy, of medals he had forty And ribbons on his chest red white and blue It was he that looked the hero as he made the people stare O As he stood on Dunphy’s corner tooral loo
But alas for human greatness every dog he has his day Tooral looral looral looral loo And Sergeant William Bailey he is getting old and grey Tooral looral looral looral loo No longer youths are willing to take his dirty shilling And things for him are looking mighty blue In spite of fife and drumming no more recruits are coming For Sergeant William Bailey tooral loo
Sergeant William Bailey what a wretched sight to see Tooral looral looral looral loo His back that once was firm and straight is almost bent in three Tooral looral looral looral loo Some rebel youths with placards have called his army blackguards And told the Irish youth just what to do He has lost his occupation let’s sing in jubilation For Sergeant William Bailey tooral loo