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Dundee music fans urged to avoid ticket touts for Slessor Gardens gigs

May 16 2017

Those looking to buy tickets for Dundee's upcoming gigs at Slessor Gardens are being advised to steer clear of ticket touts. As yet, tickets to see UB40 and Olly Murs are still available to purchase and Leisure & Culture Dundee (LACD) are encouraging anyone still interested in attending to get them from directly from Dundee City Box Office. There have been various reports of ticket touts selling tickets for the gigs for hugely inflated prices, sometimes by as much as 400% — despite them not being sold out. Websites such as GetMeIn, owned by box office firm Ticketmaster, were advertising premium tickets for sale for UB40 — which have a face value of £55 — for up to £268.06 including fees. It is not illegal to resell tickets but LACD are urging people to ensure they are paying the standard price for their ticket. A spokesperson said: "Following recent press articles in relation to ticket touts, Leisure & Culture Dundee would strongly advise members of the public to purchase tickets for the UB40 Concert and the Olly Murs Concert at Slessor Gardens from Dundee City Box Office direct. "A supply of tickets for both concerts are still available at the best price, with minimal booking fees." Thousands of fans are set to descend on the city centre on Saturday May 20 for UB40, the first act to perform at the city's new outdoor public space, with Little Mix set to hit Dundee on June 29 and Olly Murs on July 20. The council recently released details of temporary road measures for the concert, with many streets surrounding the venue set to be closed off entirely. Drivers approaching the Tay Road Bridge from Riverside Drive will be diverted up South Marketgait and forced to complete journeys around the city centre before reaching the bridge. The diversions will be in place from 2.30pm until midnight on the day of the concert. Earl Grey Place East and West, South Crichton Street and South Castle Street will all be closed from Wednesday May 17 until 6pm on Sunday May 21 to allow the stage to be set up and then cleared. Castle Street South and Dock Street, between Whitehall Crescent and Commercial Street, will be closed on the day of the concert.  


Rep plays its part for Halloween

October 27 2016

Dundee Rep staff are celebrating Halloween with a new re-telling of Frankenstein. It will play for two nights in Dundee – on Friday and Saturday – as part of a UK-wide tour and will see the box office staff dress as Frankenstein and his monster. Andrew Manzi, visitor services supervisor, said: “We couldn’t help but get into the swing of Halloween with the cast and crew of Frankenstein. “It’s so close to Halloween we think it is perfect timing for this wonderfully Gothic show to be here.” The show is touring with the Blackeyed Theatre Company in association with South Hill Park.

Angus & The Mearns

Man sacked for attending gin festival while off sick with stress

January 9 2018

A Dundee man was sacked while on sick leave following the murder of one of his friends and the disappearance of a close friend's son when his bosses found out he had gone to a gin festival. Stan Reid was off work due to stress associated with the hunt for teenager Ralph Smith, who had fallen from cliffs near Arbroath, and the subsequent killings of Julie McCash and David Sorrie following a vigil at the teenager's family home in Whitfield. However, bosses at the city's Michelin factory learned he had attended a gin festival  and fired him for gross misconduct. An employment tribunal in Dundee yesterday heard the company was alerted to a Facebook post, in which Mr Reid was tagged, that suggested he was at the event in Glasgow. A comment from him, stating "I'm not there", was followed by a comment from his girlfriend which said "shhh...." The factory's production manager and joint disciplinary committee (JDC) chairman David Ashforth said the messages suggested Mr Reid was not as sick as his employers had been led to believe. He said: "For me and the panel, we felt that if he could go to a gin festival then he could go to his work. "I understand the circumstances around this were difficult but why was going to a gin festival a good idea?" The tribunal, heard by Peter Wallington QC, was told Mr Reid had been certified as sick due to stress as a result of the disappearance and murders. Mr Reid was a major part of the search effort for 18-year-old Ralph Smith— who he had known since his birth — in circumstances described by his solicitor Ryan Russell as "incredibly distressful." The tragedy was compounded when Ms McCash and Mr Sorrie were murdered. One month later, Ralph's death was confirmed after his body washed up on the town's Victoria Park. A second witness, Michelin's development manager Stuart Duncan, said he did not believe Mr Reid was sick but did not question the authenticity of his certification. Mr Russell questioned this rationale and  criticised Mr Duncan's failure to follow company procedure when he dismissed Mr Reid. Mr Duncan said he had already made the decision to dismiss him following the JDC, despite Mr Reid being told he would be given the opportunity to argue his case. Mr Russel said: "I would put it to you that this is shocking. "It's a complete and utter disregard for all proper process. You just dismissed Mr Reid before he had even uttered a word. He was not given a fair crack of the whip." Mr Duncan responded that his understanding was that the meeting was simply to "deliver my decision". The tribunal continues today.


VIDEO: Heavy lifting ahead of McManus Gallery’s Festival of Museums events

May 18 2018

The McManus Museum in Dundee is getting ready to host its biggest day of the year. A linotype machine from DC Thomson’s archives was hauled into place on Thursday as organisers set-up for the annual Festival of Museums on Saturday. https://www.facebook.com/McManusDundee/videos/10155222544246193/ The theme for 2018 is Generation Dundee, inspired by the museum’s portraiture exhibitions from Dundee’s permanent collections and Scotland’s Year of Young People. There is a packed programme, highlights include performances from local young musicians, dancers, and poets. There will also be curator and conservator gallery talks, with theatre performances that will take us back in time to reveal the lives of past generations of young people. See more here.


Dundee tattoo artist inking customers with iconic Manchester bee in fundraising campaign

May 29 2017

A Dundee tattoo artist has joined the nationwide fundraising campaign to ink customers with the iconic Manchester bee — in aid of victims of the recent terrorist attack. Hue Nguyen, who runs the Hue tattoo parlour on the city's South Tay Street, will have tattooed around 20 people with the image after she finishes her remaining customers today, having begun the effort yesterday. The UK-wide campaign, the Manchester Tattoo Appeal, sees those taking part donate £50 to help the families of those killed and injured in the attack. Thousands of people are expected to get the tattoo of the worker bee, which has been a symbol of Manchester since the Industrial Revolution and signifies the working-class roots of the city. 34-year-old Hue, who is originally from London but has lived in Dundee for the past 13 years, said: "I registered a few days ago after seeing it take off in Manchester. "The attack was just the saddest thing ever and I wanted to support the cause and help in any way I can. "We need to stand together and show unity in times like this and I think it's really important to remember the victims and their families." Tattooists across the country are giving their time to help fund the effort, which was started when Manchester-based artist Samantha Barber launched a Justgiving page. 22 people were killed and around 60 people were injured in UK-born Salman Abedi's suicide attack outside an Ariana Grande concert at the city's Manchester Arena. And Hue believes the tattoo is a simple way for people to express solidarity with the victims. "So many people have been saying 'oh this is amazing' because it is such a good way to show your support, " she said. "A lot of people want to do something but they just aren't sure what or how to do it and this just provides a way for them to express it. "People are asking for different sizes with most between 3cm and 6cm. I want to do as many as I can over the two days so that we raise as much money as possible." So far, the Justgiving page has raised over £35,000 with this expected to rocket in the next few days after funds are officially donated.


Dundee police descend on city centre flat after sudden death

May 23 2017

Dundee police descended on a flat in the city centre after the sudden death of a man  on Tuesday morning. A street cordon was in place outside Blu Hair & Beauty, on South Tay Street, with several officers seen to enter a flat above the shop at around 11am. There does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death. https://twitter.com/C_JKeith1/status/866972492023439364 A statement from Police Scotland said: "Police Scotland is carrying out enquiries in relation to a sudden death of a man , there does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances."

Perth & Kinross

Perth barber backs down in Peaky Blinders trademark row

April 20 2018

A Perth barber who was threatened with legal action after trying to re-brand as the Peaky Blinders says he has given in to demands from TV bosses. Will Robertson had tried to change the name of his South Street barber shop from Sweeney Todd but was threatened with legal action by the makers of the hit BBC show. Chiever Brand Protection, working on behalf of production company Caryn Mandabach, claimed he was trying to "free-ride" on the reputation of the TV show under the English law of 'passing off'. As well as the name-change, Will had ordered 20,000 Peaky Blinders-branded hair gel tubs, which he will now have to repackage. The TV show is based on the Victorian-era gang which terrorised the English West Midlands over two decades in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It has spawned a youth sub-culture who wear flat-caps and high-fade hair-styles similar to central character Tommy Shelby, played by Irish actor Cillian Murphy. Caryn Mandabach claimed trademarking the name for use as a barber shop would "mislead the public" into thinking the shop was associated with the show. Will, who filed his claim in December, has now withdrawn his application amid fears he could lose everything if he pursued the trademark. Will said: "I don't think it is worth it to be honest. "It would have been good to get the name change but it is what it is. They are a big company and it was always going to be difficult. "I have had to remove all the associations to the Peaky Blinders characters. I'll just count my losses. I'll need to re-label the hair gel that I ordered but that shouldn't cost much more than a few hundred pounds. "I guess if I had stuck to my guns we may have come to some sort of an agreement but it is done now." Chiever BV, who filed a trademark claim at the start of March, are awaiting a final decision from the UK Government's Intellectual Property Office.


‘Everyone did an incredible job’ — autopsy carried out on beached sperm whale in Tayside could be world first

March 26 2018

An autopsy carried out on a 45-foot sperm whale beached in Tayside could be a world-first, a researcher involved in the effort has claimed. The infant whale, which was found dead on Barry Buddon beach near Monifieth on Thursday night, was examined by experts on Friday and Saturday before being buried under a large mound of sand. Due to the incredible skill of digger operators from Cupar-based FTM Plant Hire, a brain sample was taken from the huge mammal before it reached decomposition. According to Dr Andrew Brownlow, head of the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme, this may never have been done before following the death of a beached whale and may lead to greater understanding of the fascinating creatures. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/angus-mearns/624142/video-how-did-45ft-sperm-whale-which-washed-up-near-monifieth-die/ He said: "I have been doing this for 10 years and have never seen this. "It's more than likely it has not been done before this quickly anywhere in the world. "It may have an impact on future research worldwide. It's so very rare to manage to do this. "The digger operator, Martin Smith, used the shovel of the digger with the precision of a scalpel to crack open its skull in the exact location we needed." https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/angus-mearns/624009/video-watch-as-complex-operation-to-probe-death-of-and-bury-tay-sperm-whale-gets-under-way/ Dr Brownlow was joined by a number of students from the St Andrews Sea Mammal Research Unit and fellow marine rescuer volunteers. It is hoped the autopsy will allow experts to understand how the whale came to be stranded on the beach, which is both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an EU Special Area of Conservation. He added: "It's just amazing to gain greater insight into these incredible animals. "They decompose ridiculously quickly and the whale was already falling apart on Saturday. "A post-mortem on a sperm whale is just so difficult logistically. The head is massive. "We will be able to rule out a few possible reasons for its beaching from this sample. "It can now be analysed for any possible issues in its brain function which could have caused it to navigate off course. "I want to thank everyone involved in the effort. Everyone did such an incredible job."


Dundee Jazz Festival set to bring city to life

November 16 2016

Dundee's 38th Jazz Festival will see a range of homegrown and international talent bring the city to life. Running from Wednesday to Sunday, the event will see venues across the area host an eclectic mix of the famous musical style - which has its roots in the African-American community of New Orleans. Main venues include the Gardyne Theatre, which will host four concerts, the Reading Rooms, which is set to welcome double MOBO Award winner Soweto Kinch, and - after a gap of many years - the Rep, which will again host The Late Night Session. Some of the different types of jazz to listen out for will be nostalgic swing, cutting edge modern jazz, bebop, hip-hop, and rootsy blues rock. Big international names are set to feature including Americans Nikki Hill and Aaron Diehl, supplemented by local artists such as Dundonian stars Gordon McNeil and Vardo. As in the last three years, the fun is again spreading outside the city's boundaries, with Jazz in the Ferry on Sunday providing a taster menu of the many different sub-genres of Jazz. Festival producer Agnese Daverio said: “We are delighted to invite so many great international and local musicians to play in Dundee. “We’re also very excited about our new collaboration with the Reading Rooms and our return to the Rep for the late jazz night session. "The Gardyne Theatre remains our core venue with its great acoustics, comfortable seating and easy parking but this year we’re presenting more activities in the city centre with the aim to grow the festival further in the years to come. "It¹s really amazing we can get two exclusive UK performances by major American acts, only appearing in Dundee. "Nikki Hill is one of the great rockabilly roots singers of our time and Aaron Diehl is the absolute wunderkind of Broadway Swing and Classic Jazz piano. “I hope people have an amazing time, enjoying top musicians at a reasonable price, and go away feeling more knowledgeable about jazz’s different genres." Tickets for shows range from £5 to £15 and are available to buy from www.jazzdundee.co.uk/programme.

Perth & Kinross

Peaky Blinders threat could wipe out Perth barber shop

April 17 2018

A Perthshire barber is facing legal action from a TV production company over his plans to re-brand as the Peaky Blinders. Will Robertson, who owns and runs Sweeney Todd on South Street, received a legal writ from the makers of the hit TV show over his plans to use the name. The writ sent to Mr Robertson by Chiever Brand Protection on behalf of Caryn Mandabach claims he is trying to "free-ride" on the reputation of the TV show under the English law of 'passing off'. The TV show is based on the Victorian-era gang who terrorised the English West Midlands between 1890 and 1910. It has spawned a sub-culture among youths who adorn flat-caps and high-fade hair-styles similar to central character Tommy Shelby, played by Irish actor Cillian Murphy. Mr Robertson, who has also created his own Peaky Blinders-branded hair gel for the re-launch, with 20,000 of them ordered, said he is worried about the financial costs the action may have on his business. https://www.facebook.com/sweeneytoddperth/photos/a.847024052063764.1073741829.728254243940746/1244507335648765/?type=3&permPage=1 He said: "There are other businesses that use the name, such as a new bar in Liverpool, so I don't really understand it. "They're a production company and we're a barber shop. How can they say we would be infringing? "I can only assume they are looking at moving into merchandise too. "The thing is, it's a generic name. "It has been about for years so I don't know how they can claim to own it." He added: "My granddad was nicknamed Peaky Blinder so that's where we got the idea. "I don't know if we are able to take on such a big company. "If you lose in court you could be looking at paying half a million pounds." The writ sent by Endemol Shine Group states: "Given the success of the Peaky Blinders television series, it seems that with the registration and (future) use of the name Peaky Blinders you are attempting to free-ride on the reputation of the television show. "Additionally, the connection between Peaky Blinders and razor blades and...the distinct haircut of the lead character could create a connection with grooming. "By using and/or registering the name PEAKY BLINDERS you will likely mislead the public into believing that your goods and services are Mandabach’s. "We request you to reconsider your position, withdraw UK trademark application PEAKY BLINDERS, and agree that you will not use this mark or marks similar to the PEAKY BLINDERS name, now and in the future." Mr Robertson has now launched a Gofundme page seeking help with potential legal costs.