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

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How Scotland’s music scene is surviving COVID-19

A look at the Scottish music scene’s coronavirus response, with Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale, Sneaky Pete’s owner Nick Stewart and SMIA’s Robert Kilpatrick

A feeling a lot like Doomsday fell about town last weekend. Up until then it had felt like business as usual, but while Boris Johnson told the public that schools would stay open and sporting events could go ahead, Nicola Sturgeon seemed to confirm on Thursday afternoon what Scottish promoters had feared for weeks – that large gatherings of more than 500 people would be banned in Scotland, starting Monday.

Events that were scheduled that weekend could still go ahead, and at Wee Dub Festival the room was full. That’s not to say there weren’t lingering signs of the coronavirus pandemic – events colleagues opted for the more hygienic elbow bump over hugs, and MC Natty Campbell shared on the mic how nervewracking passing through Edinburgh Airport had been. “It’s scary out there,” he said, “but tonight is about the music.”

“The show must go on” seems to be the operating mantra amongst promoters, though with each passing day that is becoming an ever more daunting task. In Edinburgh, the lack of large venues initially felt like a benefit. Smaller clubs, like the 100-capacity Sneaky Pete’s, could technically still keep their doors open, while nights like Church Edinburgh said that they would cap numbers for their night in the Liquid Rooms (now cancelled) to stay under the 500 limit.

But come Monday, it materialised that Sturgeon’s message was not an outright ban, just strongly-worded advice. In his first daily briefing to the public, Johnson avoided ordering a ban, in favour of discouraging people from communing in clubs, pubs and restaurants, and said that emergency services would no longer be in attendance at large gatherings. It is left to the musicians, promoters, and venues, then, to decide whether to press forward with their events.

Whether these individuals ethically feel that they can keep bringing people together is one thing. On Saturday, EH-FM resident DJ Andrea Montalto announced that a night he was supposed to play in The Jago in Dalston was cancelled. “Due to the lack of measures taken by the British government it’s very important to take responsibility and act in any way to protect the weakest,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “What is happening at the moment in Italy is a warning that we can’t avoid looking at.”

‘Closing venues for a few weeks could be a disaster’

But many who have staked their careers on live music have little other choice. A lot of these events are built by an army of freelancers, who must all now rely on the generosity of their clients to pay for work that might not go ahead. This line of work is already famously hand-to-mouth, and with a rapidly emptying calendar many have found themselves cut off.

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Jill Lorean “Eyes on the Bird”

While you might not be too familiar with Glasgow-based musician Jill Lorean yet, many of you will know the woman behind the moniker. Jill O’Sullivan’s previous work includes Sparrow and the Workshop, BDY_PRTS and most recently, Broken Chanter.

For her latest project, O’Sullivan is stepping out alone and plans to release her debut EP under the name Jill Lorean this spring, on 4 May to be precise. Recorded, mixed and produced by Andy Monaghan (Frightened Rabbit), who also plays bass on the record, with drums by the talented Peter Kelly (who you’ve perhaps seen playing with Jonnie Common in the past), Not Your First features six muscular tracks that really see O’Sullivan let rip.

The Skinny is delighted to be premiering the music video for Eyes on the Bird, the first Jill Lorean single. Made up of found footage, you can watch the video in the above YouTube player (click here if it’s not displaying correctly). “The video for Eyes on the Bird is compiled of edited footage found in the internet archives of a model village constructed for an operatic performance of Faust,” O’Sullivan tells us. “I sort of stumbled across the footage when I was looking through the archives.”

She continues: “I was really excited because the song alludes to a bird at a crossroads. The bird in a way represents choice, it can observe things from a distance but equally is not impervious to danger. So it’s a moral dilemma: Which path do you choose? And will you get hurt or succumb to temptation along the way? Which reminded me of Faust’s dilemma and the bargain he made with the devil, who asked for his soul in exchange for worldly pleasure. I’m happy to report that the bird in this song does not succumb to such temptation. I think.

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The Hobbledehoy needs your help today

On the day England leaves the European Union and The Trump Crime Family pisses all over the U.S. Constitution – The Hobbledehoy needs to do something – anything – to help somebody out.

We heard Scottish musician Kris Drever had his equipment stolen the other night at Celtic Connections in Glasgow. The Hobbledehoy loves folk music from Britain, and Kris’ music brings people much happiness.

There’s a GOFUNDME page set-up to help Kris purchase new equipment. Let’s help him out, please. Music and the arts will help us all find a way out of these dark times.

And fuck Donald Trump.