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Scot:Lands Edinburgh's Hogmanay

"The way to kill a song," says radical folk singer Dick Gaughan, quoting the late Labour MP, Norman Buchan, before regaling the audience with a slow version of Hamish Henderson's masterpiece, Freedom Come All Ye, "is to make it a national anthem." Gaughan had lost none of his righteous fire, nor the sense of humour that accompanies it in a glorious appearance at Scot:Lands, the nine-venue New Year's Day gadabout in Edinburgh's Old Town.

Gaughan was performing as part of High:Land, which saw Ullapool's Ceilidh Place reconstituting the venue's speak-easy vibe in the old Bristo Hall, where the likes of Nancy Nicolson and The Cast played short sets. Shetland Arts did something similar in Greyfriars Kirk, aka Shet:Land, with sessions from harpist Catriona Mackay and fiddler Chris Stout among others. Elsewhere, King Creosote formed a super-group with fellow traveller Withered Hand at Lobster:Land, the Pathhead Music Collective presented micro-gigs by Karine Polwart, Dave Milligan and others at Heid:Land and folk trio Lau transformed the Roxy into Lau:Land.

Theatrically, there were mummers plays at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, a mini-version of Cora Bissett and David Greig's after-hours music-theatre compendium, Whatever Gets You Through The Night, and contemporary dance from Smallpetitklein set to a live Philip Glass score in a paper-strewn St Giles Cathedral. Best of all was New:Found:Land, a slow-burning candle-lit musical meditation in Old St Paul's church, which saw the band FOUND combine downbeat acoustic-led vignettes with pedal-steel and analog electronics.

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