Under a Banner Rocks (or Folks)!

When I listened to Under a Banner’s free sampler, I felt I was hearing shades of The Smiths intermingled with Fairport Convention, The Saw Doctors and an indefinable other thing. In any case, I’m hooked by the music – which can be plangent or pumping, to suit different moods. I absolutely want to see them live.

The band, well known for their catchy and lyrical folkish rock anthems, have recently moved their sound into heavier territories.

“Our recent album Close to the Clouds hinted a bit at our more rocking direction”, remarks lead singer and guitarist Adam Broadhurst. “We’ve just gone that little step further this time.”

From the opening notes of the celtic-tinged Magic is Real to the Deep Purple-esque Leaving Here to the pumped up Foo-ish reinterpretation of fan favourite Summer Skies, every song is delivered with a drive, gusto and energy that is built for the live setting.

Get the sampler here. Better yet, go ahead an buy their albums.



Art Dolls an Italian experience


Travelling to Italy with doll making on my mind,

I stayed in a Magical Art House, my doll to find.

Butterfly exhibits, markets full of scarves,

Italian wine and cheese, Italians do nothing by halves.

Trip to Niki De Saint Phalle sculptures all around,

creativity, inspiration and the Empress crowned.

Now back in Scotland with an alchemists  haunt,

I place fabric and colour from my Italian jaunt.

Empress here she is The Empress of the park

Fountainlady on the mountainPENTAX ImageIMG_20150403_145439591_HDRIMG_20150404_104006754_HDRIMG_20150404_102726284IMG_20150404_102850106

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Between the Cracks: Interstitial Arts

InterIf, like me, you enjoy creative arts that fall between the cracks of conventions and genres, I’d like to recommend the Interstitial Arts Foundation, and their latest anthology, Interfictions 2.

The anthology showcases twenty-one writers from six countries.

From the Amazon book description: “Newcomers such as Alaya Dawn Johnson, Theodora Goss, and Alan DeNiro rub shoulders with established visionaries such as Jeffrey Ford (The Drowned Life), Brian Francis Slattery (Liberation), Nin Andrews (The Book of Orgasms), and M. Rickert (Map of Dreams). Also featured are works by Will Ludwigsen, Cecil Castellucci, Ray Vukcevich, Carlos Hernandez, Lavie Tidhar, Elizabeth Ziemska, Peter M. Ball, Camilla Bruce, Amelia Beamer, William Alexander, Shira Lipkin, Lionel Davoust, Stephanie Shaw, and David J. Schwartz. Colleen Mondor, of the well-known blog Chasing Ray, interviews the editors for the afterword. Henry Jenkins, ex-director of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program and now a member of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and School of Cinematic Arts, provides a fantastic introduction sure to set readers’ imaginations alight.”