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The great Ivor Cutler


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very sad news about a great Scottish talent.

Apart from Peel and Kershaw did any other radio shows play his stuff?


he had quite a lot of stuff broadcast on radio 3 and 4

i used to play his stuff when i was doing community radio, i'm pretty sure i spun the odd cutler tune on northsound though i'd need to check me playlists.

poor old ivor, i'll miss him - a unique one off. had a good innings mind.

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Bugger...just found out about this just now!!!

I loved Ivor.

He didn't look well when BBC 4 showed his last concert' date=' so I knew he didn't have long to go, but I'm still upset.

I just agreed to do an Ivor tribute in Glasgow...it'll be a hard night to get through.[/quote']

I know alan sad news. He didnt look that well on BBC4 docu, im sure it will be shown again very soon.

What about a Cutler tribute night in the deen?? Who'd be interested?

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I heard about this yesterday on the radio. I only bought my first Ivor Cutler album last year as a result of a conversation I had with a jolly old man when I worked in Silverscreen. The old man told me that Ivor Cutler was a 'feel aul' manny fa wis in i' Beatles fir a whiley'. Not really true I realise, but still an interesting description I thought. When I listened to him for the first time it was a revelation, probably the funniest songs and poetry I had ever heard. He was just such a fascinating character, it's really sad news.

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The dignity of Ivor Cutler

Mark Radcliffe

Wednesday March 8, 2006

The Guardian

A few years back, I was producing a Saturday afternoon show on Radio 1. I would try to book an odd mix of guests - one week we had David Cassidy on with Karlheinz Stockhausen - and so I got Ivor Cutler in. Ivor arrived with his harmonium, and sat in the corner, forcing all the other guests to make their way around him when they came into the studio. Then, when the time came for him to perform his song, Richard Skinner, who was presenting, turned to him and said: "Take it away, Ivor!" Ivor looked up at him, puzzled, and instead of starting his song, said: "Take what away?"

That was a perfect example of how Ivor, who died last week, aged 83, lived in his own world and time. But I would not describe him as an eccentric. I'm a great believer that we are all eccentric: we just accept or reject our own eccentricities. Ivor embraced his. He had no truck with informality - when I met him he was scrupulously polite, to an almost mannered degree - but he possessed a kind of dignity that we are in danger of losing.

Ivor bucked received wisdom in so many ways. He proved it was possible to connect with young people even when you were old - like many people, I guess, I first heard him on John Peel's show. He was proof that the obsession with age demographics that dominated British broadcasting for so long - and which we now, thankfully, seem to be moving away from - was a waste of time, because he was as at home on Radio 1 as Radio 4. It's very sad that so many people in their 20s and 30s don't have friends of 60 or more, with different experiences, from whom they could actually learn things. And in the kind of work Ivor did - comedy, broadly - age is surely an advantage, because you know more as you get older.

He also showed that the child of eastern-European Jewish immigrants could come to embody a kind of Britishness. I've become quite interested in the idea of Britishness, and Ivor's works about growing up in a grimly surreal Scotland were part of that: he spared no punches about how bad things were, but spun it into something magical. Arguably, you can hear something similar in Pete Doherty - although I'm not convinced by the quality of all his work - and his interest in his concept of "Albion".

And Ivor also proved you can be a success without having to try to do everything. He didn't try to write TV series, or branch out into directing operas. Not everyone is a renaissance man, and you don't hire a plumber to do your painting. Being special at one thing is far better that being not bad at a ton of things, though I would settle for being not bad at one thing.

Mark Radcliffe was talking to Michael Hann

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