C Duncan to star at New Year’s Day Scot:Lands festival

C Duncan will be appearing at the Scot:Lands festival. Picture: Contributed
C Duncan will be appearing at the Scot:Lands festival. Picture: Contributed
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MERCURY Prize nominee C Duncan, Scottish Album of the Year winner Kathryn Joseph and a 70th birthday celebration for the Edinburgh International Film Festival will be part of the city’s biggest New Year’s Day festival yet.

Twenty years of record label Chemikal Underground, a collaboration between a beat boxer and a leading Gaelic singer, and BBC Scotland’s new poet-in-residence Rachel McCrum will all take centre stage in the free multi-arts event.

Live music, dance, visual art, film and spoken word will be hosted in 11 “pop-up” venues created in secret locations in and around the Old Town.

The event – which sees ticketholders spin a wheel to decide their next destination – will get under way at Edinburgh University’s historic Old College Quad for the first time, feature four new venues in total and run for an extra hour.

Composer and musician Christopher Duncan, who performs under the name C Duncan, was shortlisted last month for the Mercury Prize for a debut album he recorded at his home in Glasgow.

He is one of several high-profile musical acts in the Scot:Lands line-up, which also includes singer-songwriter Kathryn Joseph, who won her title in June, another previous Scottish Album of the Year winner, guitarist RM Hubbert and rising star Ross Wilson, who is better known as Blue Rose Code.

The latter will be part of a Scot:Lands show put together by Aviemore’s boutique Insider Festival, which also includes indie-folk favourites Admiral Fallow and Findlay Napier, as well as food from highly rated new Argyll restaurant Inver.

Highland outfit Blazin’ Fiddles will revive their “With Strings Attached” collaboration with young singers Rachel Sermanni and Adam Holmes, while Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble and ex-Delgados singer Emma Pollock will appear elsewhere in the programme.

McCrum, whose BBC Scotland role was announced last month, will join forces with Jenny Lindsay, her collaborator on hit cabaret show Rally & Broad, for a one-off Scot:Lands event.

Dundee-based visual arts duo Dalziel and Scullion will team up with musicians Aidan O’Rourke, Graeme Stephen and John Blease for a live performance of a multi-media installation they created for two venues in Stornoway and Edinburgh.

Leading beat boxer and “vocal sculptor” Jason Singh and Gaelic songstress Anne Martin will perform the UK premiere of a piece they have created as part of a showcase of artists and musicians from the Isle of Skye. A labyrinth of mini-cinemas will be created for a showcase which will start the film festival’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

Around 8,000 revellers have taken part in the event in its previous three incarnations. A new version of Scot:Lands suitable for families and children will be staged at the National Museum of Scotland, which will host the event’s ceilidh dance finale.

Pete Irvine, director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebations, said: “The reason we want to keep doing Scot:Lands is that it works so well. It brings culture and artists from all over Scotland to the city, where we have a mix of visitors and a local audience, some of whom don’t want to go, or even know about, the street party.

“Artists want to be part of it, there is no problem finding people to do it. It was perhaps a difficult sell when we first thought of it, but it isn’t now. The only thing that’s difficult is they don’t get a chance to see anything else.”• • • Tickets for Scot:Lands are free and can be booked on edinburghshogmanay.com.