Ryan with Billy Liar & Pals for Refugee Survival Trust

January 15, 2016

I’ll be co-hosting this amazing, all-night EP launch and Refugee Survival Trust benefit show, featuring so many fantastic people. All proceeds go to the RST, and you’ll have a blast. Hope to see you there.














100% of the money raised from the EP release and benefit will go directly to the Refugee Survival Trust, Edinburgh (

The RST was set up in 1996 as a reaction to the problem of refugees and asylum claimants being made destitute in Scotland. Grants made by the RST either alleviate poverty and destitution, or help refugees and asylum claimants to overcome obstacles in accessing educational and employment opportunities.

Their work is as vital today as it has ever been.

(All proceeds go to the RST)


The nearest thing to a fatherland was a fatal accident inquiry

July 8, 2014

Guest interviewer Billy Liar talks with Deke from Gaelic punk band Oi Polloi. They discuss his decision to start singing in Gaelic – which involved having to learn it first – and some of the problems celebrating a minority language can sometimes unravel. Introduced by Ryan Van Winkle and produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions. We acknowledge the financial assistance of Creative Scotland. Culture Laser is moving over to SoundCloud – find us there.

Richard Demarco on the Culture Laser

February 4, 2014

In our first episode of 2014, we talk with the legendary Richard Demarco about culture, festivals, failure and the importance of art. Speaking at his archive at Summerhall, Richard discusses his long association with the vibrant arts scene in Scotland and shares some of his thoughts about the current scene. We also feature the new track Change by Billy Liar from his latest EP All I’ve Got, available on Bandcamp. Produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions (@culturelaser). Culture Laser acknowledges the generous support of Creative Scotland.

A small selection of Demarco’s thoughts on art, Edinburgh, and life at large:

– being a human being means you live only a very short time, you stretch your arms out they don’t go very far, you can only see up to the point of the horizon. my job is to persuade human beings that they should extend, with the language of the arts, the idea of where they are. but art is misunderstood – if you look at the history of the edinburgh festival – the model for the world’s festival – the festival is now not about art, not about culture on the highest level, it is essentially about entertainment.

– all art ascends, if it is worth tuppence, to the quality of prayer. prayer is acknowledging your limitations as a creature. we are here for a very short time but we are inextricably linked to every other aspect of ceaturedom.

– my eyes are always fixed in any race on the two or three runners who are losers. I’m not interested in the people that win. I’m interested in the poor people that have to lose so that others can win. and nobody should be told ‘you have won, you are special.’ I’m against that! I’m for the people who lose because art is about dealing with human weakness, and dealing with the fact that no matter how hard you try you aren’t going to win. there is no such thing as a winner. not in this world.

– if they are in love with their achievements they are second rate.

– unless there is a risk involved in what you do, don’t do it. don’t play a team that is going to be a walk-over, don’t run a race that you aim simply to win. be content to allow someone else to win. nobody wins a cup at Wimbledon depends on all the people who are not going to get to the final. we have to understand that. we have to stop this nonsense. winners and losers. everybody is a loser. it is our condition — mea culpa mea culpa mea maxima culpa – it is my fault, it is my fault, it is my greatest great fault. we have to see born as we are, we live for a very short time.

Do give it a listen.

Full and Heavily Edited Footage of the Golden Hour Tour

January 27, 2013

Introducing – The Golden Hour

Back in October we hit the road in the Gorilla Perfumes tour bus and made beautiful music and words happen all over the UK’s favourite cities. We furthermore cannot be held accountable for the brief and slight olfactory improvements made in those cities. It was an incredible ride, and for those of you who missed us we present a brief video journey across the island. All the films were done by Luke Flemming on our Golden Hour ‘Infused & Bemused Tour’.

Golden Hour – Manchester – Billy Liar

Golden Hour – London – Robin Grey and Collisions Dance

Golden Hour – Edinburgh – Inspace

Golden Hour – Leeds – Robin Grey and Collisions Dance

Golden Hour – Oxford – Garance Lewis

Golden Hour – Sheffield – Hailey Beavis

Golden Hour – Brighton – Hannah Moulette / Ruth Skipper

Golden Hour – Stirling – Andy McKay

Golden Hour – Newcastle – Billy Liar and Ryan Van Winkle

Golden Hour – Stirling – Lake Montgomery

Support Forest / Buy Awesome Gifts!

December 4, 2010

Buy The Forest / Buy Books

If you’ve been following the Save The Forest campaign, you know that the premises at 3 Bristo Place is up for sale. This means costly relocation, closure or The FOREST buys the building. Everyone can help the cause and I’ll hope you’ll consider buying one of these fine anthologies from Forest Publications. All proceeds will go directly to buying or relocating The Forest and you’ll get a lovely anthology of the finest new writing, and great music! Support this worthwhile cause. See below for all the details of go directly to Forest Publication’s on-line store to make a purchase!

The Golden Hour Book (and CD) Vol. II



If you enjoy words, the answer is ‘yes’. If you enjoy sounds, the answer is ‘yes’. Even if you have not answered ‘yes’, the answer is still ‘yes’. For The Golden Hour Book Volume II is not just a book: it is also a natural resource that may save your life. Its pages will burn without being consumed. It keeps tigers away.

The accompanying CD is equally essential: it can be used as a plate, or better still, sharpened and thrown like a shuriken into the throat of your enemy. Even if the end approaches, there is still the consolation of the words and sounds within — fine poems, stories, and songs from over three dozen poets, writers and musicians — all of which are guaranteed to take your mind off things.


‘There is genuine wit, deep feeling and real entertainment in this most enjoyable volume. Light-hearted and serious by turns, The Golden Hour Book Volume II contains some of the best and freshest new writing I have come across for quite a while.’

– Ron Butlin, Edinburgh Makar

Words From

  • Ericka Duffy, When We Were Broke
  • Andrew Philip, The Melody at Night, With You; The Berlin Jar; Watergaw
  • Jane Griffiths, Lessons From My First Giraffe, Laws of Physics, St Stephen Place
  • Spencer Thompson, Pancake, Am I a Bastard?
  • Julia Boll, A House in Disorder
  • Gloria Dawson, Lapse, A La Fin Tu Es Las
  • Benjamin Morris, What I Like in Fights, The Apricot Pit, Hitchin
  • Jason Morton, The Basics of Time Travel
  • Kapka Kassabova, Buenos Aires: When I Return
  • Alan Gillis, Anglican, Sifting Through
  • Kona Macphee, Leprosy, fen train
  • Phil Harrison, The Birds, Like
  • Nick Holdstock, A Golden Bowl
  • Aiko Harman, Lunch, Dragon Sculpting
  • Russell Jones, The Electric, How to Kill a Blackbird, B. 1984
  • Robert Alan Jamieson, The Commissioners Investigate
  • Jane Flett, Flamingos
  • Claire Askew, Flash; Dreaming My Mother: Tynefield, Penrith, 1974
  • Ryan Van Winkle, Open the Connections, She Says; Waiting for the Ocean; The Apartment
  • Lindsay Bower, What it’s Like When You’re Older


Music From

  • Billy Liar, It Starts Here
  • Vadoinmessico, Cave
  • Mat Riviere, FYH
  • Tuberians, Tuberians Have Landed
  • Bob Hilary & The Massive Mellow, Hear Mi
  • The Black Diamond Express, Jack
  • Asazi Space Funk Explosion, Syababona
  • Kevin Molloy, Goddess Of The Rain
  • Sarazin Blake, India Or Spain
  • Skeleton Bob, Love Song
  • Diddley Squat, Camel Song
  • Robin Grey, Women
  • Mammoth, Sunshine
  • Groaner & Heid, Massive Genius
  • Jonny Berliner, Kneeling Down
  • Poor Edward, Children Of Little Or No Importance
  • Francois & The Atlas Mountains, I’m So Glad I Met You
  • Chandra, Malaika
  • Jack Richold, Lady Of The Calico
  • Withered Hand, Takeaway Food


“The CD sounds like that tent you find in the middle of the madness of one of the larger festivals. You know the tent, the one where you have no idea who any of the people on the stage are, but you find yourself staying there all day just to see who’s on next. With over 20 contributors, including the likes of Billy Liar, Withered hand, Skeleton Bob, Johnny Berliner, Chandra and The Black Diamond Express amongst others, I can almost guarantee that your new favourite song is contained within, waiting to be discovered.

‘When we Were Broke’ by Ericka Duffy is possibly one of the most beautiful and true stories I have ever read. It’s been a long time since a story has made me choke up. Other highlights, which are hard to pick out from a book made up of highlights, include ‘The Birds, Like’ by Phil Harrison, a wickedly captivating tale told from the point of view of a frustrated bully, and the poem ‘Lunch’ by Aiko Harman, if only because it mentions peanut butter, which in my world is a condiment. All in all this collection is a superb little package that you will return to over and over, highly recommended. ” –, Nov 2009

National Post

“A very impressive literary and music anthology. A dinky little paperback packed with stories and poetry, most of which are very good indeed, and a 20 track CD full of bands I have never heard of but also mostly splendid. (****)” – Scott Pack, Dec 2009

The Beat Surrender, 18 Dec 2009

“An eclectic, experimental, gently explosive treasure trove that brings together some of the creative combustions which light up the Forest Cafe.” – Edinburgh Evening News, 2 Jan 2010

“Reviewing this collection is like trying to herd cats into a sack — beautiful cats, strangely furred rippling, not quite tamed. It is a bold and commendable venture: to give voice to a number of (relatively) unknown artists although many of the writers have been short-listed for or won prizes. The Forest is to be applauded for the originality of this project. There is simply too much to cram into this review …. Best thing to do: buy a copy. Invite some friends round. Open some bottles. Host your own Golden Hour. Dance to poetry. Then do it again next week.” – Northwords Now, Autumn 2009

Golden Hour Book Reading

October 27, 2009

elvis shakespeare golden hour

Forest Publications invites you to celebrate the Golden Hour Book (and CD) Vol. II

Where: Elvis Shakespeare

When: Sunday, 1 Nov. 2pm

How Much: Free

What else: We’ll bring beer for you!


Kona Macphee
– The graceful poet gives us a chance.
Russell Jones – Poetry not confined within the lines.
Claire Askew – white-knuckle poems for you.

Playing –

Hailey Beavis
– when Hailey sings, something inside you listens.
Billy Liar – acoustic punk with a little blood on it.
Withered Hand – the wit-full, wistfull, sweet son-of-a-bitch. Who has a brand new album of his own y’all should buy.

Buy the Book – availible at Blackwells, Word Power, The Forest Shop or, on-line, HERE!

Please support Forest Publications – a non-for-profit part of The Forest at 3 Bristo Place.

The Golden Hour – Festival Special

August 11, 2009


August 19th — The Festival Special

Readers / Writers:

Jen Hadfield – a remarkably original and inventive poet who recently won the TS Eliot prize.

Ryan Van Winkle – poems & stories from the Reader in Residence at the Scottish Poetry Library.

Nick Holdstock – short stories which grow inside you like golden crocuses.

Ericka Duffy – hot new prose from her hot new chapbook called The Succubus!

Jason Morton – stories that can eat bricks.

Music / Song Writers:

Billy Liar – Acoustic + infectious punk.

Jed Milroy – singer songwriter and hunter finally back from the Woods.

Withered Hand – intense, eccentric, bittersweet and very wry original songs.


Jonny Berliner – Joyus songs about crustaceans, exhaustion, and glucose.


The Black Diamond Express – a rocking, hell-playing, old time string band.

Visual Amazement:

Paper Cinema and Kora

A cast of hand-drawn marionettes are magically brought to life. This is what happens at the accidental meeting of inkblots, photocopies, cardboard, angle-poise lamps, the occasional table, video technology, a laptop and a banana box.

Golden Hour Tour Featured on!

May 18, 2009

The Golden Hour performs on the ferry to Amsterdam

The Golden Hour performs on the ferry to Amsterdam

Exciting news! Part one of the Golden Hour Tour diary by Jason Morton and Ericka Duffy is featured on the music and arts website Drowned in Sound! The article documents our travels through Amsterdam and Berlin as far as the Shakespeare and Co. bookshop in Paris, with the upcoming second part following our journey home. It also features a whole bunch of video footage and music from all the performers.

If you weren’t there — you can pretend you were. And if you were there — you can remember the magic.

The Golden  Hour Tour was supported by The Scottish Arts Council. Thanks!

Arts Council Logo

Golden Hour European Tour — Tell Everyone!

April 16, 2009

flyerForest Publications presents…

The Golden Hour is a literary cabaret which has played to sold-out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It is poetry and prose, original eclectic songs and visual amazement. It is physical and mental. It is a reading. It is a gig. It is stunning puppetry. It is a party. It will be in english.

Readers / Writers:

Ryan Van Winkle – poems & stories from the Reader in Residence at the Scottish Poetry Library.

Nick Holdstock – short stories which grow inside you like golden crocuses.

Ericka Duffy – hot new prose from her hot new chapbook called The Succubus!

Benjamin Morris – Poetry and life lessons from the number one gentleman.

Jason Morton – stories that can eat bricks.


Jane Flett – seamstress of most fetching stories.

Music / Song Writers:

Billy Liar – Acoustic + infectious punk.

Hailey Beavis – subtle guitar, a bed for a voice, both personal and touching.

Jed Milroy – singer songwriter and hunter finally back from the Woods.

Withered Hand – intense, eccentric, bittersweet and very wry original songs.


Jonny Berliner – Joyus songs about crustacaens, exhaustion, and gluecose.

Visual Amazement:

Paper Cinema and Kora

A cast of hand-drawn marionettes are magically brought to life. This is what happens at the accidental meeting of inkblots, photocopies, cardboard, angle-poise lamps, the occasional table, video technology, a laptop and a banana box.

Special Guests

Joining us in Berlin will be the amazing all-dancing Exploading DJ & DJ Dirk Markham

Duets: Withered Hand with Hailey Beavis

Duets: Withered Hand with Hailey Beavis


Please tell everyone you know in these cities. We hope to see you there!

29 April – Amsterdam, Cafe Sappho – Vijzelstraat 103 1017 HH (+31 6 17140296). 3 Euros Entry + Free Stolen Stories Book! 8pm – Late

2 May – BerlinStudio54, Oranienburger 54 at Tacheles – 3 Euros Entry + Free Stolen Stories Book! 9Pm – Late.

4 May – ParisShakespeare and Co – 37, Rue Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France? – 01 43 25 40 93? – Free! 7pm

5 May – LondonThe Camden Head – 100 Camden High Street, (020 7485 4019) – ? 8pm – £3 Entry + Free Stolen Stories Book! 8pm – 11pm

6 May – CambridgeCB2 – 5/7, Norfolk St, Cambridge – £3 Entry + Free Stolen Stories Book! 8Pm – 11pm

Scottish Poetry Library Podcast Number 3!

March 30, 2009


Ishbel McFarlane reads Burns' "To A Mouse"!

Listen here:

The third of our hip, techno-savvy podcasts is up and streaming at the SPL website, and features recent visitors and events hosted by the library, including the aptly-dubbed Noisy Day. There’s clips of acoustic punk Billy Liar, freelance folk adventurer Chandra, Pavel, who recorded Burns in Czech for us, also Robert Crawford and Douglas Dunn discussing the release of a new anthology Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, even more Claire Askew, editor of Read This Magazine, discusses Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” and we have Ishbel McFarlane reciting Burns’ ode, “To A Mouse“. All for your enjoyment: Listen here.