Take Scottish institution The Broons, put something in their tea, and you’re halfway to understanding the genius of Ivor Cutler.
I’m a wee bit late to the table here, but January the 15th marked what would have been the great Ivor Cutler ‘s 100th birthday.
Born into a Scots Jewish family, his dour, sweetly subversive comedy, songs and poetry resonate with anyone (un)lucky to have been raised in Scotland.
I first encountered his work in the early nineties on the way to gigs, with my boyfriend at the time, his band and our pals. His dolorous, lovely vocals, asthmatic harmonium and surreal lyrics kept us company through the John Peel show on the radio.
He first emerged in the sixties. Even though he worked with The Beatles and George Martin, he was very much a man out of time, and remained wonderfully so.
His hermetically sealed, oddball world is a tincture for trouble, a healing balm when the realities of city life get too much. You can hear his influence everywhere today, from Quentin Smirhes to weird animation to stand-up comedy. He’s a national trinket, indeed.