By Isabella Fraser
Named after Bowie’s publicised plea for Scotland to stay within the UK, David Greig’s show invites a range of guests to discuss and debate themes within the independence referendum. Every day is different as it leads a gentle lunchtime foray into the differences between Yes, No, Maybe. This means the feel of this show will vary depending on those guests, a list of whom can be found here. Held in a yurt at Stand in the Square at St Andrew Square, this venue is the imaginary home of David Bowie in Manhattan.
On the day reviewed, Sunday 3 August, the show was entitled Wham! Bam! Thank you Ma’am! – Gender Politics and Indyref. It featured Jo Clifford, Pasta n Chips, Kate Higgins, Harry Giles, Julia Taudevin, Kirstin Innes, Rachel Amey and Gordon McIntyre of Ballboy. Part of the joy of the range of different guests is that there are no preconceptions, no judgments and therefore no expectations which allows an openness to the discussions and debate. Guests are deliberately not asked to declare their votes; however, it is usually clear from the way the debate unfolds which way they are swayed. Nonetheless, it is an excellent opportunity to have the subject discussed without the fire and brimstone which some debaters elsewhere bring to the fore.
Hosted by a cheerfully jesting duo Julia Taudevin and Kirstin Innes, jokes abounded about David and Iman. Opening with the pleasing tones of Gordon McIntyre, the talking began with Jo Clifford who gave a polemic on her viewpoint of gender politics in Scotland. A personal and touching speech, she talked about allowing people to see the ‘light within them’, a thought which is still resonating.
The debate section introduced a good mix of guests: Kate Higgins was a feisty commenter, Harry Giles an anxiously self-questioning (and deep) thinker, Nadine from Pasta n Chips a thoughtful speaker. In a quick-fire response during the debate, guest Kate Higgins managed to quote Bowie lyrics to appreciation from the audience – maybe David Bowie is more of an influence than we realise…
The event rounded off with a great couple of poems from Rachel Amey and another tune from Gordon McIntyre.
The gentleness of the tone in this show is perfect for those who want to know more about independence (or otherwise) but have been afraid of discussing the subject with those who have definite opinions on the subject. Greig has managed to strike the middle ground that others are struggling with, in the range of questions posed and guests invited to be part of the show. Podcasts of the shows will also be available after the event for those who missed it.