A BOOK launch is usually a straightforward affair: the author reads some extracts and talks a little about the book to entice people to buy it. However, when that book is Ann Cleeves' new Shetland-based murder novel, and to discuss the plot risks spoiling the enjoyment of unravelling the mystery, what's to be done?
It's been four years since Neil Georgeson played to a Shetland audience, on the then new stage of Mareel's auditorium. On Thursday night, the prodigal son returned to an enthusiastic reception, writes Alex Garrick-Wright.
The seats were packed with eager fans, all clamouring to hear one of the isles' most talented musicians play his home turf once again. He did not disappoint.
WITH Shetland possessing its own distinct musical tradition, Richard Hawley confessed towards the end of his Mareel gig that he’d feared it’d be “a bit like selling fridges to eskimos”. On this evidence, if Hawley had been the salesman there’d be a bunch of igloos with electrical cooling appliances in them by now.
Tuesday night’s rapturously received show – part of the tenth anniversary of Shetland Arts’ thriving film festival Screenplay – can safely be added to a bulging catalogue of memorable nights in the North Ness auditorium.
AS SOON as KT Tunstall bounded on stage just after 9pm and started nattering away to the Clickimin audience like they were old pals, there was no doubt we were in for a feel-good night in the company of a class act.
Islanders snapped up tickets for the show back in May so rapidly that it was upgraded from Mareel to a bigger room across town.
But Shetlander Marjolein Robertson handles it with the professionalism of a comedian with many years experience below her belt – by cutting a deal to pet the dog at the end of the show.
Marjolein touts herself as "the UK's second most Northerly comedian" which ticked a number of boxes for this exiled reviewer...the main one being having never seen a Shetland-based comedian performing at the festival which, for the month of August, takes over the city he calls home.
AFTER a week of hectic workshops, sessions, tours and shows, another Fiddle Frenzy came to a satisfying and spirited conclusion with the slightly awkwardly-named Frenzy Sessions, Frenzy Students and Jodie Smith show in Mareel on Saturday night.
The Grammy-nominated folk/country/Americana star was accompanied by partner Barry Walsh on piano and accordion for a set of beautifully vivid songs.
En Rêve - the final concert of both the Scottish Ensemble's Shetland Season and their four-day residency. So, after all this build up, did the ensemble manage to end on a high?
WHEN Stuart Maconie set out to promote his latest book, The Pie At Night, he fully realised that a standard book-reading tour, where the audience sits and watches the author read passages from their own work, can be a little dull, writes Alex Garrick-Wright.
So Stuart began to add anecdotes and jokes. Over time, this side of the show grew and grew, and by the time he came to Mareel on Saturday night, the show had become something very unusual indeed.
A 250-plus turnout – at the start of a weekend when a fair few folkies are off to the Orkney festival – certainly goes some way to dispelling any notion that there’s no audience for English folk music in these parts.
There might be a heavenly, ethereal feel to their vocal performance, but the down-to-earth patois of the Gateshead siblings and their band saw the crowd immediately warm to the quintet.
The previous show Quintets was comprised entirely of three long compositions.
Duos for Violin and Cello was a musical anthology of shorter pieces that worked very well.
Following a concept developed by Gardner and put into action by Owens, the 'Settin' the Woods on Fire: The Songs of Hank Williams' show hit the stage at the Mid Yell Hall on Friday before playing at Mareel on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
A slimy lawyer in service to a brutal Glasgow big man. A dodgy senior cop who might be covering for her rapist son. Three deaths, another rape, extortion and money laundering.
The Might of the Myth, the new book released this week by veteran music promoter Jeff Merrifield, is by his own admission a 73-years-in-the-making magnum opus. Better known in Shetland for his JAWS work than for his fortean writing, Alex Garrick-Wright went along to the launch on Wednesday night to gain a little insight into the book.
The Might of the Myth is the culmination of decades of interest and experience, a journey first started by Merrifield and his friend Ken Campbell, the late actor and theatrical experimentalist, in the mid-1990s.
MUSIC has been an integral part of films since the silent era, when some poor soul would be employed to tickle the ivories as Buster Keaton performed Health-and-Safety defying stunts and Lon Chaney frightened people out of the theatre. Once it became possible to include sound in the films themselves, music became one of the most important aspects of the silver screen experience.
The line belongs to ‘Believe Me, I Know’, one of several superb pop songs Lynch sang in the course of a cockle-warming set as part of a loose, informal songwriter’s semi-circle.
The Mareel auditorium was packed for the 61-year-old’s maiden visit having sold out long before the festive period.
The sold-out audience looked perplexed, faces gurned inwards; Shelby - where'd he get that from?
The murder-mystery series based on the novels by Anne Cleeves is back for a third outing. Episode one suggests a darker, faster and altogether more thrilling ride than its predecessors, writes Jordan Ogg.
We last saw Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez atop a cliff on Fair Isle.
There were no trees, baubles or fairy lights - the festivities were on stage thanks to the bellowing vocal cords of Ernie Haase + Signature Sound.
There is no way to do justice to something as unusual and enjoyable as Hirda in so short a space; the amount that could be written dwarfs the amount allowed, so consider this very much a glowing review-in-brief.
THE SHETLAND Food Fair 2015 kicked off in style on Friday night with a fantastic food-filled event in the main hall of the Clickimin Leisure Centre, Lerwick. Food blogger Elizabeth Atia attended to sample the wares.
The launch of this annual celebration of all things wonderful about Shetland's food and drink scene began with an inspiring speech by Elaine Jamieson of the Highlands and Islands food sector and a talk by Peter Hutchison, customer services representative of NorthLink Ferries, who, alongside Shetland Transport, are sponsoring this weekend long event.
Stalls showcasing the finest food and drinks available in Shetland have been located around the perimeter of the hall with a cookery stage run by Promote Shetland at the front.
Having had to cancel two scheduled Lerwick performances previously, Ryder arrived in good spirits and rude health this time around.