Author Archive

The Rezillos at the Picture House

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

This was on 22 December 2008. The Rezillos are always good value and, it must be said, few women of mature years can carry off a PVC dress like Fay Fife.  There was a last minute change of venue – the water used to put out the fire in Kushis having made the Liquid Rooms a little too liquidy. So the gig was shifted to the rather swish Picture House in Lothian Road – a plush art deco-y gem. It’s the first time I’ve seen staff moving through the crowd mopping up spilt beer while the band were playing. That’s how classy the Picture House is.

The actual gig itself was sublime. We left grinning from ear to ear.

Here’s a youtube clip for your delectation.  Just follow the links for a few more…

The world’s only sarcastic war memorial (probably)

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

The Valour of German Culture 1914

This little-known gem is found in Pitt Street, Leith.  It consists of what looks like a terracotta panel, with the words “The valour of German culture 1914” at the top. The image itself has been fairly badly damaged over the years, with an arm and a head knocked off of one of the central figures. The general idea is still pretty clear though: it depicts German soldiers bayoneting women and children.  It’s a somewhat unsettling window onto another age. Thank goodness that sort of demonisation of a particular group couldn’t happen these days!

Keep the heid

Keep the heid! This baby-stabbing boche has lost his head and arm – not his stabbing arm, unfortunately

Detail of panel

Grim-faced boche attacking romanesque maiden and infant

Further detail of memorial

Imploring woman can only look on helplessly as the boche go about their grisly work. That’s it – I’m enlisting right now!

Presumably it was intended as a piece of propaganda, to incite anti-German feeling. Much as I would like to say “Only in Leith…” I believe that there were a number of these panels produced and erected around the UK. There may even be others that have survived.

However, as of now, this remains the only known instance of a sarcastic war memorial – unless, of course, you know differently…

German retreat

“Back lads – they’re using…sarcasm!”

PS More on this memorial, including a contemporary newspaper report, here. I’ve been fascinated by this panel for years and not found much out about it – looking just now I found that web forum discussion from last month. Synchronicity eh?

Embra – the blog

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Edinburgh from Calton Hill

A blog dedicated to living and working in Edinburgh. I’ll be adding comments about places, gigs, schools, restaurants pubs etc. Probably a bit about the general ineptitude of the city’s council too.  Feel free to add your own!