Field Work / Scots Trad Music Awards

This post concerns the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2018,
and why we’d appreciate your nominations.
You’ll find the nominations form of the bottom of the page. Thanks‽

To find out more about MG ALBA, head over here.

INTERROBANG‽ has always quietly prided itself in showcasing some of the best contemporary storytelling, poetic, and musical talent based in Scotland. At the same time, we’re very aware that we’re undertaking that task while standing on the shoulders of giants.

That’s why it was such a huge pleasure to present Field Work with the support of a Tasgadh grant from Fèisean nan Gàidheal at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in April of this year.

The genesis of Field Work was some interstitial music composer Paul Walker created for our Ghosts of the Citadel show at the 2017 Hidden Door festival. Long story short, he researched the field recordings that legendary American ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax had made in collaboration with people like

Jeannie Robertson, John Burgess, John Strachan, Jimmy MacBeath, Flora MacNeil, Isla Cameron, Ewan MacColl, and Hamish Henderson

not far from the Leith Theatre in the 1950s.

Paul then created a suite of music bringing those old Scottish songs, sung onto tape in the 50s, echoing through the early Eighties Scotland where part of the show was set, into contemporary times – in a combination of those influences and some of the composition trends Paul sees in contemporary work.

After INTERROBANG‽ had these beautiful pieces of music in hand, it seemed a shame not to be able to use them again. So, we reached out to some of the best poets, singers, and storytellers in contemporary Scotland and asked them to create some new stories and words to go with this music.

That’s how we came to present INTERROBANG: Field Work‽ at the Storytelling Centre, where we were joined by multiple award-winners Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, Katharine Macfarlane, and Stuart A. Paterson.

Together with Paul and INTERROBANG‽ co-founder Ricky Monahan Brown, these brilliant performers put these traditional songs through another stage of reinterpretation that found them addressing contemporary topics ranging from modern migration to the #metoo movement to the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.

And somehow, we ended the night with a joyful audience on their feet, flinging glow sticks, and enjoying Paul and Marcas’s reinterpretation of Marcas’s Òran Ùr a’ Chomainn as Dùn Èideann.

INTERROBANG‽ would love for the beautiful work that Paul and Marcas and Katharine and Stuart created for Field Work to be recognised. Please check out more of the music Paul created here, and if you’re so inclined, head over to the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2018 Nominations Form and give INTERROBANG: Field Work a nomination for Event Of The Year on p.2.

And while you’re there, please also remember that Marcas is eligible in the Gaelic Singer and New Singer categories, Bothan Dhùn Èideann and The Heretics for are eligible for Club of the Year. We’re sure they’d all be grateful for your support!


How Was It For You?!

We’ve had our First Time, and let us tell you, it was pretty memorable!

CUE: Applause!
Can’t wait for more Interrobang?! Scroll down for details about our forthcoming appearance at the Oxjam Edinburgh Takeover!

Thanks to our featured guests, Stuart A. Paterson, Kaite Welsh, and Ross McCleary. Thanks to our brilliant volunteer performers. Thanks to our intrepid “Margery” and “Gerald” for submitting to Jacques’ Big Two-Hander.

Thanks to Jacques Tsiantar for gently initiating Gerald and Margery into our recurring bit, and for handling the sound desk. Thanks to Ricky’s bandmate in Nerd Bait, Paul, for providing music. Thanks to Andrew Perry for these awesome photos, and for mucking in at the door. Thanks to the folks at Woodland Creatures for taking such good care of all of us.

Weren't they brilliant?!
“Gerald” and “Margery” prepare to shake hands vigorously for THE FIRST TIME!

Most of all, thanks to our audience for taking a chance on our first time as Interrobang?! – your enthusiasm really made the night for us! We think Stuart put it best:

Not a single appreciative, reverential ‘mmmm’ was heard after any poem. Great crowd, loud crowd, love it!

Now Interrobang?! is booked in for two more preview shows at Woodland Creatures on the first Friday of November and December. Keep checking in here or on our Twitter or Facebook for more details as they emerge. A cracking second night is already taking shape!

Do they like us?!
Great crowd! Except beardy speccy at the back!

But first, Beth and Ricky will be performing in a half-hour slot at the Oxjam Edinburgh Takeover this Friday, 15 October. Their set will take place at the Grassmarket Community Project, and begins at 2:45pm.

For its spoken word strand, Oxjam is particularly interested in

poetry and writing that experiments with music and material that addresses feminism or poverty

and we can exclusively reveal that Ricky Interrobang’s bit will hit at least two of these bases with the help of Nerd Bait. Beth Interrobang has some awesome stuff up her capacious creative sleeves, too!

But keep the JAAMs – they're fab.
Kick out the jams – it’s Interrobang?! time!

As a friend of Interrobang?! you can take advantage of discounted tickets at this link. And your ticket will give you complete access to five venues around Old Town and 30+ acts from Edinburgh’s music and spoken word scene!

All the money raised will go to support Oxfam’s Emergency Fund, which provides clean drinking water and sanitation to communities hit by disaster.

Big round of applause for you!
We hope to see you there!





The Interrobang Interrogation – Stuart A. Paterson

The next of our featured guests for Interrobang – The First Time, Stuart A. Paterson, has also taken a few minutes to complete The Interrobang Interrogation. Nice one!

And looks quite happy about it?!
Stuart A. Paterson submits to the Interrobang Interrogation

Multi-award-winning poet Stuart A. Paterson’s honours include an Eric Gregory Award from the UK Society of Authors and a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship from the Scottish Book Trust. Described by Alan Bold in The Sunday Times as “McGough by way of Morgan,” his latest collection, Aye, is available on Tapsalteerie.

And here’s how he answered our questions:

?!:  The theme of Interrobang #1 is The First Time. When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

SAP:  I’ve never wanted to be a writer. I’ve written poetry since I was about 12 or 13 & still love doing so, but I wouldn’t describe myself as a poet or writer. I don’t like the stereotyping or pigeonholing such descriptions bring, & besides, I don’t live in a garret. Although I am broke.

?!:  And what’s the first book you remember reading?

SAP:  Rupert The Bear & the Cloud Pirates. Or maybe The Bible. They’re both pretty intertwined in my memory, which, given the subject matter, is unsurprising really.

?!:  What song would you like as your entry music? Or should we just choose something?

SAP:  Jarama Valley/Bandiera Rosa by The Laggan, from 3.20 in as Bandiera Rosa begins.

?!:  What are your favourite and least favourite words?

SAP:  Favourite – ‘aye’. Least favourite – ‘naw’

?!:  Anything else you’d like to share with us?

SAP:  Allergic to mushrooms. Feeds badgers. Was born in a convent & raised by nuns.

Thanks a lot to Stuart for indulging Interrobang’s Interrogation. Come along to Interrobang – The First Time on 7 October and have a right good jig as Stuart takes the stage!








The First Time?!

7th October sees the first preview of a new monthly spoken word and music night in Edinburgh that has a slightly different flavour. What is INTERROBANG?!

Thanks, Sparta BlokeWell, not exactly. Read on…

INTERROBANG?! is a new spoken word and music night in Edinburgh. It’s not in competition with anyone – we’re fans of the Edinburgh spoken word scene. But, like we say, it’s a new thing with a new flavour. And you can participate!

INTERROBANG?! is democratic spoken word & music and meritocratic prizes. It’s a land of exclamation and question making and all the nuances in between.

Interrobang 0.1 is a preview. A warm-up. A soft opening. Your chance to let us know how we can make INTERROBANG?! something special to you.

Or in a field, in Hampshire.
I’ve left a very important part of my brain somewhere on Leith Walk

Interrobang 0.1 is three invited and established writers and spoken word performers, as well as three audience members who have brought along 5 minutes of material and been pulled out of the hat. They’ll all be entertaining us on the topic of THE FIRST TIME. And Interrobang 0.1 will also the first outing for what may be recurring bits.

Your hosts Beth Cochrane and Ricky Monahan Brown will be introducing, among others, ROSS McCLEARY, STUART A. PATERSON, and KAITE WELSH. But we need you, too – INTERROBANG?! is your show, and we’d love your feedback on how we can make it what you want to see.

Connect with us here, at Twitter @InterrobangEdin, on Instagram, on Facebook, and on Eventbrite.

And we’d love to hear your pieces on THE FIRST TIME!!

A TARDIS holds the capacity of Odl Trafford, 1976
A bunch of interrobangers

Interrobang 0.1 will be Edinburgh’s version of the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. You’ll want to say you were there. Bring a friend. Bring many friends. We can’t wait to introduce you all to INTERROBANG?!