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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Dundee United

Dundee United 2 Dumbarton 0: Tangerines move back into play-off position with win over Sons

April 3 2018

Dundee United moved back into a play-off spot with their first win at Tannadice in three months. First-half goals from Paul McMullan and Bilel Mohsni were enough to keep Dumbarton at bay and send the Tangerines up into fourth place, just behind Dunfermline on goal difference and having played two games fewer than the Pars. You had to go back to the January 2 victory over Brechin City to find the last time three points had been claimed on United's home turf so they were more than welcome. McMullan broke the deadlock on the half-hour and Mohsni made it 2-0 in first-half stoppage-time but they could have had more goals while also looking too open at the back at times. Csaba Laszlo's men now travel west to face the Sons again on Saturday and another victory there will do their chances of staying in play-off contention the world of good. It may have been a disappointing finale to the game at Morton on Saturday, losing a last-gasp equaliser, but Laszlo kept the faith with his players by naming an unchanged line-up. The pitch was rain-soaked and heavy but it survived a 6.15 pm inspection by referee Kevin Clancy and it was game on. After a tentative opening five minutes, the ball broke to United's Sam Stanton outside the box and his strike flew wide of the upright. Just seconds later, McMullan found himself bearing down on goal but curled his right-foot shot inches past keeper Scott Gallacher’s far post. With 17 minutes on the clock, the visitors almost sneaked in when Callum Gallagher beat the United offside trap. He was in the clear but, thankfully for the Tangerines, goalie Harry Lewis raced out to reach the ball before him. The same player had another chance three minutes later when he chased another through ball but home defender Mohsni did well to cover. United’s Scott McDonald had his volley deflected over for a corner on 26 minutes then, up at the other end, Dimitrios Froxylias pulled his shot wide for the Sons. The Tangerines needed a goal to boost their fragile confidence and it duly arrived on 30 minutes. McDonald was the architect, threading an excellent pass through to McMullan. The little frontman still had work to do but he gave goalie Gallacher no chance with a low strike. Three minutes later, Dumbarton looked dangerous when Gallagher found room inside the box but he fired the ball straight at Lewis. Four minutes before the break, it should have been 2-0 to United. Captain Willo Flood won possession just inside the Sons’ half and burst upfield. He seemed to have a clear path to goal but decided to play it left to McDonald and the Australian’s floated shot was plucked out of the air by Gallacher. The away team had another opportunity when David Wilson broke forward but Lewis did well once again to snuff out the danger. Up at the other end, Billy King’s swerving shot almost bamboozled Gallacher but the Sons goalie got as hand to it. He was, however, beaten a minute into first-half stoppage-time by a scrappy United goal. Mohsni was the man to poke the ball into the net at the second attempt after he was picked out by a great cross from McMullan. The big Tunisian international seemed to lose possession but battled away to regain it before shooting home from close range. Four minutes after the restart Flood, who was having a decent game, found room inside the Dumbarton box and his low ball across the face of goal just needed to be met by a boot. McMullan then tried his luck from 20 yards but Gallacher got down well to save. The goal efforts kept on coming from the home team and McDonald sent a shot flying over the bar on 55 minutes. On the hour, Stanton squandered a great chance to make it three when he played a one-two then blasted over with the goal at his mercy. The Tangerines, who had brought on Scott Fraser for Matty Smith,  came close again when King's deflected cross almost sneaked past goalie Gallacher. United were on the hunt for another and it almost came on 71 minutes when, after a good, old stramash inside the Dumbarton box, McDonald smashed the ball at Gallacher and the ball spun just past the near post. A King shot from the edge of the box would have burst the net had Gallacher's palms not got in the way, then the Dumbarton goalie did well to hold a strike from sub Craig Slater, who had replaced the injured Stanton. A lovely cutback from King set McMullan up perfectly but, not for the first time, the ball was fired over the Dumbarton bar and that was that. Attendance: 3,620. Dundee United: Lewis, Murdoch, Durnan, McMullan, McDonald (Mikkelsen 88), King, Stanton (Slater 72), Flood, Smith (Fraser 58), Ralston, Mohsni. Subs not used: Deniz, Edjenguele, Robson, Gillespie. Dumbarton: Gallacher, McLaughlin, Dowie, C. Gallagher (Stewart 69), Wilson (G. Gallagher 61), Hutton (Burt 78), Froxylias, Handling, Dick, Stirling, Barr. Subs not used: Ewings, Walsh, Hill, Nisbit. Referee: Kevin Clancy.

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Angus & The Mearns

From Lionel Richie to Gary Barlow…Here are Tayside and Fife’s biggest gigs of 2018 so far

January 30 2018

It's not even the end of January, but already 2018 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years for live music that Courier Country has experienced in a long time. Excitement reached fever pitch on Tuesday morning following a string of huge gig announcements, with music icons including Noel Gallagher and Lionel Richie confirming shows in the region. We've put together a list of the biggest acts heading our way in the coming months. This article will be updated as and when further acts are announced. Lionel Richie US singer Lionel Richie will perform to thousands of fans at McDairmid Park, Perth on June 3. Tickets for the gig will go on sale online at 10am on Friday, February 2. Richie is the biggest star to play the stadium since Elton John more than a decade ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqAvFx3NxUM https://twitter.com/LionelRichie/status/958249678314721280   Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67zX4oiXqqY The former Oasis man will be the headline act at the BBC's Biggest Weekend festival at Scone Palace on May 26. The guitarist and singer-songwriter, who penned some of the most famous songs of the 1990s, will perform with his High Flying Birds band. https://twitter.com/NoelGallagher/status/958254887866916864   Rita Ora Music superstar Rita Ora is another big name added to the Slessor Gardens concert list. She will play at Dundee's waterfront venue on Saturday July 28.   Gary Barlow The Take That frontman is playing two gigs in Tayside this year, one at Perth Concert Hall on April 19 and another at Dundee's Caird Hal on April 20. Tickets for both gigs sold out rapidly.   Status Quo Legendary British rock band Status Quo will be at Scone Palace as the headline act for the 2018 ReWind Festival in July.   Bonnie Tyler, The Boomtown Rats and UB40 These are just a few of the other big name acts returning to Tayside for this year's Rewind Festival.   Simple Minds and The Pretenders Scottish rock bands Simple Minds and The Pretenders will lead the line-up at Dundee's Slessor Gardens on September 9. Steps The pop group are coming to Slessor Gardens on June 22. They will be supported by fellow 90s bands Blue and Aqua.   KT Tunstall The Fife musician is providing support to both Simple Minds and The Pretenders at Slessor Gardens on September 9, and to Gary Barlow at his local gigs in April. Belle and Sebastian The influential Scottish band will play Perth Concert Hall on Friday, March 23.   Eddi Reader The Scots singer will play Perth Concert Hall on February 28. Leo Sayer The pop star will play at Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, on October 9. Suggs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc3AovUZgvo The Ska legend and Madness frontman is playing at Dunfermline's Alhambra Theatre on Wednesday, February 28.   Erasure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x34icYC8zA0 The 1980s synthpop act are playing Dundee's Caird Hall in just a matter of days - on Friday, February 2.   The Proclaimers The Scottish musical legends will play Dundee's Caird Hall on December 15.   Could more great gigs be on the cards for Tayside and Fife? Dundonians were treated to three shows at Slessor Gardens in 2017 from UB40, Little Mix and Olly Murs, so we may well see some more big-name musicians making their way to the city in 2018. And MoFest is yet to announce its 2018 line-up after attracting The Beach Boys last year.   Will Carnival 56 return? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29oN9VBXf_U Despite attracting thousands of music fans and earning several major award nominations, the future of Dundee's new music festival still remains unknown. Festival founder Craig Blyth has left the company that set up the popular event at Camperdown Park last year. However Dundee City Council has granted permission for it to run every year until 2021. In October last year an official festival spokeswoman said there had been “no confirmation” of the festival’s return, adding: “The debrief process is still under way”.   Sir Rod Stewart to Dundee? No, we've not given up on Sir Rod coming to Dundee in 2018! The rocker is partnered with the Liz Hobbs Group, who are behind all of the hugely-successful 2017 Slessor Gardens concerts. Sir Rod came out as the overwhelming favourite in a Courier poll which asked locals who they would most like to see next at the waterfront music venue in 2018. And the Lizz Hobbs Group themselves haven't ruled it out. Sir Rod is not believed to have played in Dundee since the 1970s, despite a number of appearances elsewhere in Scotland.   In this weekend's Courier, we speak to Simple Minds singer-songwriter Jim Kerr.

Perth & Kinross

Perth chefs squared up outside Errol restaurant

January 6 2015

A chef ripped off his top before goading a drinker into a fight on the street. Thomas Hayward challenged Ryan Gallagher to a fight on the pavement outside the Picture House in Errol, where he also worked as a bar manager. Gallagher, 26, had been ejected from the premises after arguing with staff. At Perth Sheriff Court both men admitted conducting themselves in a disorderly manner outside the restaurant on July 19. The pair shouted, swore, engaged in a fight and committed a breach of the peace. Hayward, 37, was on bail at the time of the offence. Depute fiscal Tina Dickie told the court: “The accused Hayward is a bar manager and was working in that capacity at the time of the offence. “Accused Gallagher is known to Mr Hayward as he drinks at the locus. “Mr Gallagher arrived at the locus at about 7pm with a group of friends. They were playing pool and drinking alcohol. “At about 8pm Mr Gallagher became embroiled in an argument with bar staff regarding his bar tab and payment for drinks. “The argument was heated. Mr Gallagher was asked to leave the premises and was escorted by friends. “It would appear that Mr Hayward was observing what went on between Mr Gallacher and the bar staff. “He then made his way to the front of the premises as well. He removed his chef’s jacket, exposing his bare chest, and challenged Mr Gallagher to a fight. “They were seen goading each other. No blows landed but they were seen grappling. Police were called and arrested both accused.” Solicitor Paul Ralph, representing Gallagher, said he wondered if such a fight was an “ancient ritual” used by chefs to settle disputes. He said his client also worked as a chef and was in a position to pay a fine. Billy Somerville, representing Hayward, also said his client was in a position to pay a financial penalty. Sherriff Lindsay Foulis fined Gallagher, of Preston Watson Street, Perth, £450, and imposed a £500 penalty on Hayward, of Gorse Loan, Perth.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Dundee United

Dumbarton 0 Dundee United 2: Men in black victorious thanks to Sam Stanton double

October 28 2017

The men in black may not have saved the planet but they did secure a welcome win for managerless Dundee United. In their first game since Ray McKinnon left the club, the Tangerines - dressed in their change kit of all black - were battling Dumbarton rather than aliens and they thoroughly deserved their victory for a bright, attacking display. Sam Stanton got the ball rolling in under two minutes with an excellent strike from inside the D then the same player made it a double with a low shot on 16 minutes. The visitors dominated the second half as well as the first but couldn't add to their tally. So they stay in fourth spot but, significantly, close the gap on Championship leaders St Mirren, who come to Tannadice next Saturday, to three points. United caretaker coach Laurie Ellis made no fewer than five changes to the team that performed so poorly against Inverness a week earlier. Out went injured duo Fraser Fyvie and Lewis Toshney, while down to the bench dropped William Edjenguele, Paul McMullan and James Keatings. That meant places for Stewart Murdoch, Tam Scobbie, Billy King, Matty Smith and Scott Fraser. The Tangerines took a spectacular early lead – after just one minute and 14 seconds, to be precise. It was a smashing move, finished off by Stanton with a curling left-foot shot from 20 yards after he was teed up by King. On 15 minutes, a freekick from Fraser caused havoc inside the Dumbarton box and, when it just missed the head of Mark Durnan, there was almost an own goal from Andy Dowie. That was a let-off for the Sons but the resultant corner led to Stanton’s and United’s second goal of the game. Fraser was the provider, sending the setpiece straight to Stanton, who shot low squeezed into the net despite home keeper Scott Gallacher getting a hand on the ball. There was a penalty appeal from the home fans on 20 minutes for handball against Durnan but referee Craig Charleston wasn’t interested. On the half-hour, the visitors came close to a third goal when King collected a Fraser pass and cut in from the left before blasting his shot over. Up at the other end, Tannadice goalie Harry Lewis dived to smother a freekick hit by Dumbarton’s Dimitrios Froxylias. Willo Flood then came to United’s rescue when he cut out a dangerous cross at the near post after Durnan had gifted the Sons possession. On 38 minutes, though, it was the Tangerines’ turn to attack again and Murdoch poked the ball just wide after he was picked out by King. Two minutes before the break, United striker Scott McDonald tried his luck with a striker from 20 yards but the strike flew just wide. After the restart, Flood had a shot blocked then, on 54 minutes, Durnan was unlucky to see his header off a Fraser corner fly just past. Three minutes later, the impressive Fraser sent McDonald away into the box and the wee Australian's shot would have made it into the net were it not for the fingertips of keeper Gallacher. The hosts were reduced to 10 men on 63 minutes when Barr was sent packing by ref Charleston. The Dumbarton man, who had been booked 10 minutes earlier for a foul on Fraser, dived to try to win penalty and was rightly shown a second yellow then a red. On 72 minutes, United made a switch, taking off Fraser and replacing him with Keatings, then McMullan came on for Smith with 10 minutes later. United were bossing the second period just as they had done the first and all was missing was a third goal. Sub McMullan beat goalie Gallacher with a cross on 86 minutes but there were no United players waiting to get a touch. In stoppage-time, young Declan Glass came on in place of King for his debut. Given the circumstces, this was a solid and professional display from United and a great day's work from caretaker Ellis and his backroom team.   Dumbarton: Gallacher, McLaughlin, Dowie, Wilson (Roy 81), Stewart (Gallagher 87), Walsh (Morrison 46), Wardrop, Hutton, Hill, Froxylias, Barr. Subs not used: Carswell, Johnston, Prior, Ewings. Dundee  United: Lewis, Murdoch, Scobbie, Durnan, McDonald, Fraser (Keatings 72), King (Glass 90+2), Stanton, Flood, Robson, Smith (McMullan 82). Subs not used: Deniz, N’Koyi, Edjenguele, Allardice. Referee: Craig Charleston.  

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.

Perth & Kinross

Simple Minds added to BBC’s live music extravaganza at Scone Palace

February 2 2018

Simple Minds will play Scone Palace in Perthshire as part of a sensational summer of live music. The Scottish rock icons have been added to BBC Music Biggest Weekend's expanding line-up. The event, on May 25 and 26, will be headlined by former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher and classical music star Nigel Kennedy. The festival is expected to deliver a major economic boost to the area. Simple Minds will play on Saturday, May 26 - the same day as Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. The announcement comes just days after US superstar Lionel Richie revealed plans for a major outdoor concert at Perth's McDiarmid Stadium. Tickets for the June 3 show, Richie's only Scottish date on his upcoming UK tour, go on sale on Friday morning.