Hot music, cooling weather, warming climate

Hello, and welcome to this week’s roundup. It’s the last one of the year. As normal, we are taking the week between Christmas and new year off. However, stay tuned for a special announcement some time next week!

In the meantime, though, let’s get on with this week’s roundup.

The year in music

We are sidling up towards the end of the year — indeed, the end of the decade. I can hardly believe it. The end of the year has come so quickly, particularly since the last few months have been particularly hectic for me. I have only just got my head around the fact that we are in the same month as Christmas.

But plenty of people have been much more prepared than I. If there is one breed of blogger that loves end-of-year retrospectives, it is the music blogger. And why not? I shall certainly be publishing an end-of-year list on my blog.

But Peenko has gone one further than that already, asking a handful of Scotland’s top music bloggers to contribute to one massive end-of-year list. Good work! I have never heard of the Phantom Band, although now that they have the bloggers’ seal of approval, I may have to check them out.

More immediate is the matter of who will be today’s Christmas number 1. Personally speaking, I think both Joe McElderry and Rage Against the Machine would make good number twos (bringing a new meaning to “yule log”). But how funny would it be if Joe McElderry reached number 1? Andy Gilmour rages against the campaign to beat the X Factor candidate to number 1.

Elsewhere in music land, for those of you needing a bit of audio assistance in feeling festive, you could do a lot worse than checking out the daily run-down of Christmas songs on Aye Tunes. It certainly beats a tiny lump of choc.

The other end-of-year fixture in the music world is the predictions as to which bands will be big next year. But Ian at Have fun at dinner is a bit peeved at the BBC’s “tastemakers” (of whom only one out of the 65 is based in Scotland), who overlooked Scottish bands completely.

You can trust The Pop Cop to be more open-minded, with the latest instalment of the Music Alliance Pact, highlighting music from around the world chosen by bloggers from those countries.

Snow week

You cannot need any more reminding of the time of the year. The Christmas festivities. Long nights, dark mornings, dark evenings… and, come to think of it, dark afternoons. Jack Deighton reflected on the darkened mornings too (like father like son).

There is no doubt that it is winter. But as if that wasn’t enough, it has become rather chilly this week.

It was forecast to be comparatively mild on Islay yesterday. But Islay Info notifies us of the snow expected there in the next few days.

Predictably, Big Rab viewed this through the prism of Dumbarton Football Club. No wonder yesterday’s match was postponed.

Meanwhile, Taexalia took a peaceful exploration in an area at Burntisland in Fife. Few human tracks were to be found, though the snow prints revealed a fair bit about the local wildlife.

Of course, here at Scottish Roundup we couldn’t feature a bit of photography without including something from the ever-excellent Scotland in the Gloaming.

Speaking of photography, Gordon McLean decided to re-visit why he takes photographs.

Unpredictable environment

The world’s big-wigs have been spending two weeks in Copenhagen waggling their jaws about the environment. Predictably, the result of the Climate Change Conference has been moderate, with the predictable negative reaction following close behind. The blog coverage on all sides has been… predictable.

So here is the alternative blog coverage on environmental matters. Stuart Winton has been looking at litter. He headed out and about in Dundee to take some photographs, concluding that a recent campaign of on-the-spot fines is ineffective. And the piles of cigarette ends can be added to the list of unintended consequences of the smoking ban.

Those interested in the environment may be interested in one of this week’s nominations, The Blackbus blog. The author describes himself as “living a simple life in the Highlands”, including a quest to be “free from the grid.”

In other news…

We have covered blogging rather a lot in recent weeks, so I am reluctant to feature it again. But the fact that blogging was a central theme of this week’s First Minister’s Questions can not go unmentioned. Subrosa has a run-down of this week’s FMQs.

The mild furore surrounding Alex Salmond’s choice of Christmas card design carries on, with continued complaints about the SNP’s “politicisation” of Christmas. Stephen Glenn looks at the cards being sent out by other political leaders.

The Scottish airline Flyglobespan went into administration this week. Dave at Holyrood Chronicles is among those disappointed — he used Flyglobespan regularly.

Education-watchers in Glasgow may be interested in Metronautical College, described as “A humorous blog about the forced merger of further education colleges in Glasgow.”

And that is your lot for this week, and indeed this year. But that doesn’t mean you should stop sending in those nominations. It really helps us out in the quest to increase the diversity of blogs featured, because at the end of the day one person can’t scour the whole blogosphere to find out what’s what.

So keep those suggestions coming in. Email, or let us know via Twitter @ScottishRoundup.

The next roundup will be brought to you on 3 January by Caron Lindsay. But keep an eye right here next week, because there might just be something interesting happening before that…


  1. Scotland in the Gloaming is a site I visit when I need a quick boost. Every photograph emits Scotland as I know it. Ok, I’m just an old romantic!

  2. I know I should be inside the tent and contributing, but nothing on either the continuing saga of Montague Burton or, of slightly larger significance, Copenhagen?