Hip Trip Edinburgh Published in Fused Magazine

Edinburgh. It’s a culture vulture’s paradise with a festival for every fandom. Bookworm? Check (Edinburgh International Book Festival is on 15th – 31st of August). Comedy fan? Check times gazillion (The Edinburgh Fringe Festival falls on 7th – 31st August) Ghost hunter? They got the ghosts busted all year round (The Edinburgh Dungeons). Punctuate your trip with great food and drinks, and decorate with some of the world class art on display at one of the galleries or museums – the blue and white cross flag doesn’t seem to do this bright and colourful city justice, but the Fused Hip Trip guide should highlight some of the best it has to offer…

Hip-Trips

WHERE TO STAY…


Wallace Art House Surround yourself with art at this reasonable priced, unique B&B and enjoy the company of Wallace Shaw, the charismatic owner. 41-4 Constitution St, Edinburgh EH6 7BG 07941 343714
The Royal Britannia Less than 2 miles from Edinburgh Castle, this west End hotel is nestled on a riverside and just across the road from the National Museum Scotland. It’s also one of the few hotels in the UK where you can still enjoy smoking rooms. Behold and inhale! 69 Belford Terrace, Edinburgh 0871 221 0243

WHERE TO EAT…


Nonna’s Kitchen Established by Gino Stornaiuolo and family, Nonna’s Kitchen offer great food with a highlight being the pumpkin ravioli in gorgonzola and hazelnuts (drool at the thought). It’s modern and airy yet homely and intimate space plus the waiting staff have an uncanny knack for reciting long specials lists off the top of their heads! 45 Morningside Road, Edinburgh EH10 4AZ 0131 466 6767.

WHERE TO DRINK…


Treacle Head here for the best Edinburgh cocktails and a drinks menu that features an eclectic list of ingredients such as egg whites, sherbet with dipping lollipops and Hibiscus. 41 Broughton St, Edinburgh EH1 3JU 0131 557 0627

THINGS TO DO…


The Edinburgh Dungeon Shiver through an 80 minute journey of 1000 years of Scotland’s haunted history with actors, storytelling, exciting rides and thrilling special effects. Features the tale of murderous twosome Burke and Hare as well as gruesome details of the plague in the city’s “Streets of Sorrow”.  31 Market St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 1DF 0871 423 2250
The Fruitmarket Art Gallery Be sure to check the current Phyllida Barlow show (on until 18 October 2015) – it’s a dreamy, pink-tinged installation that brings the artists memories of the space to life and it gives you the feeling of entering the private parts of a woman’s brain (men take note!) 45 Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DF 0131 225 2383
The Scottish National Museum of Modern Art Don’t miss the important paintings of modern art history on display here. Of note is Expressionistic artist Oskar Kokoschka’s Self-Portrait as a Degenerate Artist (1937), a long-term loan from a private collection. It was painted in response to the Nazi’s attack on modern art, which had deemed Kokoschka and others as “degenerates”. 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR 0131 624 6200

TIPS


The kindness of strangers Allow the friendly locals to show you around: ditch the guidebooks and official tours and let one or two kind strangers be your tour guides – they’ll have insider tips, doused in humour, to impart.
A Scottish tipple Get into the Edinburgh spirit with, errr….. a spirit! Try a highland dram of whisky such as The Ardmore Legacy, the perfect introduction to peated single malt whisky with notes of creamy vanilla, followed by smoky charcoal and savoury spices. Available in multiple retailers including Tesco and Morrisons (RRP £29.99).

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Belle & Sebastian preview in Fused Magazine

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Rewind to 1996, and Belle & Sebastian’s debut album, titled Tigermilk, is the staple for any art school student worth her weight in Gouache. It starts with a song called The State I’m in, and so the storytelling begins.

She makes models of the Velvet Underground in clay, she fills her pockets with pharmaceuticals to fix her brain, and only one sticks around as he’s rendered incontinent in bed. So here is the Belle & Sebastian protagonist, too uncool perhaps for the fashion brigade on Liberty Hill and steeped in tragedy.

The sound is soothing and the melody upbeat. The lyrics layer irony and teen angst, sometimes simply moments from everyday life (such as a cold cup of tea tasting of washing up liquid), over a guitar.

But we don’t want anything else from the Glaswegian band who beat Steps to a Brit award in 1999.

They’ve appeared on the soundtracks to Adam Curtis’s The Power Of Nightmares, Todd Solondz’s Storytelling, and Juno – a climax to the storytelling is a teacher looking up some girls skirt. Belle & Sebastian’s clout defies the critics’ who so often say they’re a shy and retiring ensemble.

Fast forward to 2014, and they’ve cut their ninth album called Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. Songwriter Stuart Murdoch’s lyrics have very rarely been first person – at least, they haven’t until now. The opening track is Murdoch’s life, at least the life he led just before Belle & Sebastian was born. House-bound and with chronic fatigue syndrome prior to the formation of the group, it’s a period he has drawn on before. But never has he written anything as direct as ‘Nobody’s Empire’ – side one, track one of the new album. He says it’s the most personal thing he’s ever written.

There’s a great quote last year from Bob Stanley that sum the band up: “It’s all about trusting in the restorative power of pop music. If you’d trust anyone to write a great Europop song about Sylvia Plath, you’d trust Belle & Sebastian.”

Belle & Sebastian play at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham on the 10th May 2015. Tickets are priced at £25.

For more information or to book visit www.thsh.co.uk.