Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

Fringe Preview: The Stand

Wow, it’s barely even April – am I really already writing a preview for the Fringe? That’s ladies and gents, Tickets have already gone on sale for August Festival shows taking place at the Stand – probably the première venue for comedy in the UK. Jumping the gun by quite a significant margin this year it seems only right to approach these shows now while the digital ink of their announcement is still fresh – and some of these shows are likely to be sold out soon, so well worth getting in there while you still can!   Big Names As usual, The Stand will play host to some of the most well respected names in comedy. Top of the list this year, as with most, will be Stewart Lee’s “Much a-Stew About Nothing” which will be working on material for Series 3 of his Comedy Vehicle, while his former double-act partner Richard Herring will once again be hosting his daily podcast from the venue. Simon Munnery returns from his curious and genre defining show last year “Fylm-Maker” with what one can only assume is the more; last year’s attempts to use live video as part of his performance was a delightful experiment in a new medium which, although still genuinely brilliant, felt like a peek into a genius trying to work out what they can do with a new toy; like an alchemist carefully measuring comedy and art there might never be the guaranteed outcome, but it will always be worth being part of just in case. Alexei Sayle, who you should recognise as the landlord from the Young Ones if nothing else, is the act this year returning from years in the comedy wilderness with his first, and much anticipated, full length stand-up hour in 17 years. Tony Law too is now a big name among those in the know, and fast becoming a recognised face from bits of TV – and is easily deserving a position alongside these greats.   Future Brilliance   Local Acts     Newer Names Katie Mulgrew and Tony Jameson both debut (I think) with shows this year, and are already regular hosts and acts at the Stand throughout the year – and important members of their recently launched Newcastle branch. Jameson’s premise this year, the equally agonising and joyous experience of Championship Manager, has already struck a chord with audiences, selling out at the Glasgow Comedy Festival, and is likely to perform equally well; I’ve not, but he is a very. Similarly, Mulgrew’s stage presence is always at home with audiences

#EdFringe Survival Guide

It’s the most wonderful, tiring and rainy time of the year! To have maximum fun at the Edinburgh Fringe 2013, follow these simple steps. Guaranteed to ward off Fringe Fatigue and Fringe Flu.

Have a wee

Before going in to see a show, a well timed wee is essential. Fringe venues aren’t made for inconspicuous exits and if you do slip out, you immediately become susceptible to audience interaction.

Freeze some dinners

It’s such a good idea. But making a cottage pie and not eating it straight away is tough.

Put something proper on your feet

Like any festival, the Fringe involves lots of walking and portable toilets. A covered and supported sole is best to avoid blisters and seeping liquids.

Allow 10 minutes for the tourist slalom

The streets are congested and slow with street performers, tourists and tourists watching street performers so allow a few extra minutes to reach your destination.

Plan…but not too much

If you don’t have an idea what you’re aiming for at the Fringe it can all be a bit overwhelming. So book a few things you really want to see but leave plenty of gaps for impulse buys.

Don’t let FOMO ruin your life

Fear Of Missing Out is inevitable at the Fringe because you are going to miss out because you need to go to bed. But if you repeatedly succumb to FOMO you will, at some point, end up sitting on the toilet, sobbing.


Have a great Fringe!

Interview: Raconteur Edinburgh


Storytelling nights are all the rage right now, and none is more welcome to the scene then the fantastic Edinburgh endeavour Raconteur. We

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grabbed one of the organizers Satnaam Dusanj for a quick chat ahead of their next event, to find out more about this innovative night. If you fancy the sound of yourself as a bit of a storyteller and reckon you have a story to contribute, all you have to do to get involved, is get in contact with Raconteur on their facebook page or drop them a tweet @RaconteurEd and they will be able to give you all the information you need.

Five Books: childhood influences


World Book Day seemed like the perfect day for us to introduce a new literature feature. Five Books will be a personal look at the reading history of our contributors. The contributors will choose random themes each week and will be exploring genre, authors, periods of history, characters and personal influences. Five short descriptions of five books we love.

For the first Five Books childhood influences seemed appropriate. Each of the following books are responsible for either getting me into reading or shaping my taste.

1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Early on in my life Scottish history was forced upon me by my Granny. For a child who’s thoughts were mostly consumed with whether the Ninja Turtles could beat the Power Rangers in a fight (I feel another feature coming on) I didn’t have time for such trivial nonsense as Robert the Bruce. However also on my Granny’s syllabus was Scottish Literature. When handed Treasure Island the promise of pirates grabbed my attention. Right enough it features pirates and pirates are cool. Pirates are cooler than Picts.

2. BFG by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl for years was the most read author on my book shelf. Mostly thanks to this book. I also have fond memories of Matilda and James and the Giant Peach. These thrilling and imaginative stories are rightfully classics.

3. Yukon Ho (Calvin and Hobbes) by Bill Watterson

Though it is indeed a comic strip Calvin and Hobbes earns a place on this list by being one of the few books that, before a number of these books on the list came along, got me reading by myself in bed at night. This book is certainly influential on my future tastes both in literary terms and general pop culture.

4. The Hobbit by JR Tolkien

Before I read The Hobbit I enjoyed the idea of fantasy literature more than I actually enjoyed reading it. Completely captivated by the world that was presented in this book I quickly searched for more, I still have the map of middle earth that I bought to accompany the book. The bloated mess of The Lord of the Rings then put me off reading fantasy for a very long time. Well until a certain boy wizard turned up…

5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

If you’re roughly my age then Harry Potter more than likely shaped your literary history. I have never read any books faster and more rabidly than this series. I could quite happily return to this series for comfort reading now.

Exhibité: Oliver Benton, The Third Man Cafe

Table In "The Third Man" cafe

Artist Of The Month, The Third Man Cafe (14 Queensferry Street)

It”s always funny trying to take a picture of someone who works in photography. Obviously, one is suddenly more aware of the photo they are about to take – and wary of the expertise with which they take it, or lack there of. But so often, and far more

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significantly, it becomes clear that the artist themselves aren”t fully prepared to become the subject of an image – despite the fact that they are incidentally have been the subject of their work so long. Oliver is no different, and shuffles a little uncomfortably when I take out my camera to take a few throwaway snaps for the article.

Exhibition of Ollie Benton

Exhibition of Oliver Benton”s Photography in the Third Man

Oliver and I have been working on some filming recently as part of my academic stuff I do, and so he approaches our very brief interview with an open-ness and honesty that might otherwise be dominated with a nervous insecurity – not because he is a nervous person, or insecure, but because unfamiliar with this kind of exposure, and not one to blow his own trumpet, it is only natural to be insecure. For our meeting however, with some reasonable prodding and a bowl of delicious butternut squash soup, he overcomes this because, dare I say it, we are friends.

But inevitably in such a situation, his work speaks with much more clarity than his mouth; one thing that strikes you is that he works with clarity. Hardly considered an exhibition, this meek installation on two walls of a smart café towards the west end of the city, is more a display of some of Oliver”s more easily accessible photography than a coherent demonstration of artistic sentiment or some provocative gesture that Oliver is equally able to create. Wonderfully composed, many of the photos show intimate experiences with friends and family, or else capture the simple beauty, and occasionally mistakes, from moments captured of his time in Edinburgh. In a similar display elsewhere, the perfectly geometric grid of images became reminiscent to some of the mechanics of social networks; walls and digital galleries, For over 40 years NUS Business has offered a rigorous relevant and rewarding business education to outstanding students around the world. collections of holiday snaps and perfectly filtered instagrammed lunches are the main stay of intimate, personal, on-line experiences – but Oliver is very quick to point out that this collection of work isn”t affiliated at all with that side of his interests, and never once had this been an intention of the style in which his work is displayed. If this were the case, he would appear to have a lot of friends who are animals, but this is unfortunately not the case.

However, as so often true with any body of work shown in volume, something is revealed that isn”t intentionally told. In this instance, it is Oliver”s sincere and individual style; he is one of those artists who sees the word as a visual aesthetic, and with every glance you can almost see him composing a shot. As such, this work demonstrates an artist maturing in how he presents the world, and is reminiscent of his recent foray into a weekly video diary, managing to capture something beautiful in the everyday but without ever being contrived, or artificial. Each shot, never linked through theme or narrative, are a collection that are coherent of Benton”s style and worldview.

This small exhibit runs throughout February and into March at the Third Man Cafe, just off the top of Lothian road, and as well as supporting local art, do a smashing bit of lunch. If there are exhibitions, whatever size, be sure to get in contact and Nanu will do our best to cover them for you. Finally, for those who are interested, here are my three pathetic attempts to capture Oliver as he sits beneath his public portfolio.

Artist: Ollie Benton Artist: Ollie Benton Artist: Ollie Benton



If you”d like to find out more about his work, or if you want to purchase a print from any of his works on display, grab a card from the display, and visit

Nanu Book Club: Frankenstein


Hands up if it was your New Year’s Resolution to read more books! Ours too. Here on Nanu, we’re starting a wee Book Club in which each month we’ll be choosing, reading and discussing new, old and favourite novels.

This month our chosen book is Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.

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We all know the jist, but surprisingly not many have already read it. At a teensy 166 pages, Frankenstein definitely comes under the category of ‘should have read’. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Every month we’ll be meeting, drinking, maybe eating (cake) and discussing what we thought of the month’s book. We’ll also be chatting about what should be our next read and then putting it to a vote on our Facebook page. We’ll be taking suggestions from the group and trying to cover a good variety of genres so that everyone can read something they like and also try something completely new.

After our Book Club social we’ll be discussing thoughts on our weekly radio show Nanu:Live (Sundays at 1pm) and maybe writing a few words for the site too.

Whether you’re a contributor on Nanu, interested in talking books on the radio or just want to read more, get involved!

Here’s the info. for this month’s Book Club:

Reading: Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
Meeting: Wednesday 27th February
Location: TBC

Click here to join our Facebook group.

Nanu’s look ahead at February

Frightened Rabbit

Week Beginning 4th


Tuesday, 18:00-19:00
HMV, Princes Street
Frightened Rabbit
Frightened Rabbit are celebrating the launch of their new album “Pedestrian Verse” with a gig at the HMV on Princes Street. Not only is this a good opportunity to see

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a good band play for free but possibly one of your last chances to see a gig in an HMV.

Wednesday, 15:30 or 18:15
£5.60 (£3.60 Students)
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Last chance to see this wonderful documentary which sold out when it was screened at the Cameo last month.

Thursday, 18:15
£9.80 (£8.30 Students)
Song For Marion preview plus in person Q&A with Terence Stamp
Because he’s Zod. Kneel before Zod.

Thursday, 21:00-23:
The Stand
£10 (£7/£5 members)
The Thursday Show (Sean Percival and Richard Melvin)
A two hour comedy showcase in The Stand, headlined by Sean Percival and Richard Melvin. Apparently Thursday night is the new Friday, spend it watching this.

Murrayfield Stadium
From £15
Scotland v Italy
Tickets are still available for this Six Nations match and students can get them for half price. It is always a fun atmosphere at Murrayfield and even if Scotland loose there is plenty of beer and hotdogs on sale to enjoy.


Week Beginning 11th

Coming Soon

Week Beginning 18th

Coming Soon

Week Beginning 25th

Coming Soon

Nanu Streets: Candlemaker Row

Candlemaker Row

Nanu Streets is a brand new feature on, taking a closer look at interesting stretches of Edinburgh that you might have missed. This week we’re featuring the wee stretch of shops on Candlemaker Row, between Greyfriar’s Bobby and Grassmarket. Candlemaker Row is home to a few independent shops perfect for completely unique, slightly unusual purchases.


At the top of the street we find Deadhead Comics. Don’t let the faded yellow paint and dusty windows put you off going in, despite a few of its aesthetic problems is the best comic book shop in Edinburgh for people who actually want to buy comics. Edinburgh’s other comic book retailer has given away huge amounts of floor space to action figures and manga seemingly at the cost of back issues. Deadhead is purely dedicated to comic books and alongside the wide range of current releases and collected editions sits a wide range of back issue comic books. If you are looking to buy books on a regular basis, Deadhead offers a pull list facility so you can guarantee you will never miss an issue. Plus if you miss a book or are looking for a particular graphic novel, it can more often than not be ordered to come in with the next week’s shipment. Opposite Deadhead Comics is another specialist bookshop which could make Candlemaker Row a one stop shop for genre fans. Transreal Fiction dedicates its considerable book shelf space to Science Fiction and Fantasy books alongside some merchandise and cuddly toys; a pleasant addition, if only a fleeting distraction, from the huge numbers of novels on display. Hours could easily be lost for any sci-fi or fantasy fans in this Edinburgh institution. Tucked slightly below ground and further along the street is Analogue Books; a tiny art bookshop crammed with design, art and lifestyle books, magazines and prints. Zines are displayed hanging from the shop’s ceiling and books are laid out in such a way that’s ideal for browsing. You’re guaranteed to find a good handful of interesting reads and not just a forgotten coffee table book. Prints from local artists are available to buy and once in a while a local artist exhibits their work in the shop too. Just next door is the lovely independent boutique Hannah Zakari. The wee shop only opened a couple of years ago, after six years of trading online and specialises in handmade, quirky pieces from independent designers. Delicate, subtle pieces of jewellery are found upon entrance to the boutique, further back a variety of prints and modern illustrations are on display and a Boiler Suited Lego Man necklace is waiting to be picked up by the perfect owner. Ideal for gifts and with a really relaxed

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shopping environment, it’s great to have an Edinburgh branch of Hannah Zakari open for business. Right at the bottom of Candlemaker Row is a very unique shop, a shop that sells dinosaurs. If you reckon owning a Spinosaurus tooth is the coolest thing in the world, and honestly who doesn’t, then Mr Wood’s Fossils is the place for you. Stocking a wide range of fossils, meteorites and minerals Mr Wood’s Fossils offers the chance to own prehistoric relics for surprisingly reasonable prices.   Just beyond Candlemaker Row is Armstrong’s Vintage Emporium. Take a look at our Vintage edition of Nanu:Maps to find out more about Armstrong’s, one of the best loved vintage shops in Edinburgh.