Six Questions for…. Zara Gladman!

Photo Credit: Peter McNally

Zara Gladman and the Wee Terrors will be performing and delighting at Rally & Broad: The Hangover Special, Stereo, Renfield Lane, Glasgow on Sunday 28th Dec, 2.30pm. Also features nick-e melville, Sam Small, Leo Glaister and Becci Wallace. £5

1: As a lyricist and a satirist, you are best known for alter-ego Lady Alba. How’s she been getting on post-indyref?

Waking up in bed with Nigel Farage was unpleasant but she’s coming to terms with it. Halloween was rough too.  But she’s looking forward to Christmas and sharing some eggnog with Jim Murphy.


2: You are also a scientist with a deep love of crayfish. Explain.

Some years ago, I embarked on a quest to discover the secrets of the North American signal crayfish. This lobster-like beast was introduced to the UK in the 70s and quickly spread through our rivers and lochs. My PhD explored how crayfish might impact native animals in Scotland, including salmon (yum) and the freshwater pearl mussel (rare).

Non-native invasive species like signal crayfish are the second biggest cause of species extinctions in the world (the biggest is habitat loss). So if you’re thinking of introducing that exotic plant/animal to your garden… gonnae no?

3: What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you through being involved in the Scottish arts scene?

I was introduced to the arts scene through the referendum campaign. I had never played a gig before. I didn’t even know how to hold a plectrum or what a DI box was. So it was really weird (and amazing) to suddenly be around so many talented musicians and artists, all performing for a Yes vote. RM Hubbert worked his guitar genius while I struggled to play a few chords. Dick Gaughan made people cry with ‘Both Sides the Tweed’ while I tried to find an app on my phone that would tune my guitar. It was surreal to say the least. But also inspiring – I feel very privileged to have been a part of it.

4: You probably get asked this all the time, but how important do you think satire is in terms of holding Scottish politicians to account?

To quote Jim Sillars: “In politics to be the target of aggression is something that can be handled – but getting laughed at?  Now that is devastating”.


5: What’s next for Zara Gladman?

In February, I’m hosting an “alternative” Valentine’s night at the Old Hairdressers with music, poetry, comedy, rum-fuelled declarations of love etc. The lineup features some of my favourite performers (wink wink) (thank you kindly – Ed.), from Winch-minster to Holy-rude.

At work, I’m busy preparing for Glasgow Science Festival, which runs in June. Expect lots of food and drink-themed science events this year. And dinosaurs. So many dinosaurs. I love my job.


6: The theme of this month’s Rally & Broad is The Hangover Special. How will you and the Terrors be interpreting that in yer set?

I’ve had some bad hangovers but September 19th was pretty special. We’ll be revisiting our post-No feelings through a specially-penned tune, ‘Referendum Hangover’. I’m hoping it will be cathartic.  I’ll have a few bevvies on Saturday night too, for authenticity.

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