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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...

Fife

Fife artists up for Scottish Album of the Year

May 15 2014

Two celebrated Fife artists have made it on to the Scottish Music Industry Association’s longlist for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award. Kid Canaveral from St Andrews and Beat Band co-founder Steve Mason, originally from Fife but now living in London, have made it on to the list alongside the likes of Edwyn Collins and former T in the Park headliners Biffy Clyro. Kid Canaveral said: “Given the quality of the albums that have been nominated in the past, we are delighted to be selected this year. Taps aff!” Steve Mason said: “Having never won an award for any music I have made, it’s a great privilege to be considered for the SAY Award. “It would be amazing if the only award I ever won for music came from the country of my birth.” The list shows the abundance of music released between January and December 2013. See more at www.smia.org.uk.

Fife

Sound of the times in Newport

March 24 2017

Newport’s very own home-grown show Newport Sound returns on Friday March 24 with special guests Kid Canaveral, Randolph’s Leap and poet Lindsay Macgregor. The event, which has sold out several times in recent years, takes place at the Rio Community Centre, Newport-on-Tay, from 7.30pm. Following sell-out shows featuring King Creosote, Spare Snare, Jonnie Common, RM Hubbert and Rick Redbeard, this is also a special night for organiser, host and musician Dominic Venditozzi, as his band Sonny Carntyne release their new e.p., ‘Saltstraumen’. Dominic said: “We’re always really excited about the gig and have a different line up whenever we play live, so we have a set of old and new material. “It’ll be great seeing as many friends of the show and new faces as possible to make it a success. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKn-Th9IANQ “Besides us, Kid Canaveral are great fun and uplifting to see live so I can’t wait for that as well as Lindsay and Adam from Randolph’s Leap. “We’re lucky to have such a strong line up in a wee village.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LARTvQoaGEc Newport Sound has gone from strength-to-strength since its inception as an acoustic gig in a Newport café to an event sought out by leading alternative artists from around Scotland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfYo5ZeQGsU Advance tickets are £10.50, available through Paypal using the email address newportsoundtickets@gmail.com, from the Rio itself or Groucho’s Records, Dundee. Tickets can be purchased on the door but advance tickets are non-refundable. BYOB

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.

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

Music

Review: King Creosote, at Dundee Doghouse

November 4 2011

North Fife's own Kenny Anderson brought a surprisingly muscular set of songs to the Doghouse in Dundee on Thursday. King Creosote played a fresh batch of tunes at a very well attended venue in support of recent albums That Might Be It, Darling and the Mercury-nominated Jon Hopkins collaboration Diamond Mine. Anderson's recent decision to release vinyl-only albums at live shows may have made it harder for a newcomer to get into the music, but any accusations of wilful difficulty on his part were disarmed by what some would consider a straight-ahead, pop-oriented setlist. There were a couple of newer cuts from Darling, such as the pulsing and rhythmic Doubles Underneath. Twinges of folk, bluegrass and lo-fi remained in older songs, such as No Way She Exists and Cowardly Custard, but the tight eight-piece performance gave them added punch. The bass sound was crisp, pulling together the airier acoustic guitar and djembe very well. St Andrews/Edinburgh four-piece Kid Canaveral opened with a confident and proficient run-through of a short recording career to date. You Only Went Out To Get Drunk summed up the strengths of their performance: quirky, harmonic and with authentic vocals. There were echoes of Victoria by The Fall, which is never a bad thing. Left and Right is a delightful female vocal number, which in another life could have graced a Vaselines or San Lorenzo single. A strange handover of sorts saw KC and KC combine to form KC Squared for a few Creosote numbers before Anderson brought his own band on. I can't say Canaveral's poppier leanings suited the material but the clash made for an interesting change. John Taylor's Month Away, one of the year's stand-out songs and a beautifully sombre number, became a soaring arena standard, the likes of which Snow Patrol would be proud.

Music

King Creosote comes to The Doghouse

November 3 2011

Ahead of his concert tonight at The Doghouse, King Creosote tells Rocktalk of his "surreal" night at the Mercury Prize awards. It's one of those occasions" you think it's never likely to happen but when it does it doesn't really come as a huge surprise. That's how it felt when Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote, was nominated for this year's Mercury Prize for the wonderful Diamond Mine album, his collaboration with Jon Hopkins. One of Rocktalk's biggest pals, Kenny has been around the Scottish music scene for donkey's years and, although in the past dozen or so years his flame has been burning ever brighter across the UK, he would be the first to admit King Creosote isn't exactly a household name in radioville. Let's face it, despite his record company Fence Records being heralded throughout the world of music for the amazing material produced through its multitude of co-operative artists, there aren't many folk outwith the industry itself who would ever know anything about the East Neuk's hidden musical gems. So it's no surprise that Kenny himself says he was worried on the night of the Mercury Prize that he and his compadre Hopkins would be ''found out''! ''It was quite a surreal day,'' he said. ''I'd never really attended a thing like that. I didn't know it was as scripted as that not in terms of what you had to say but when things were happening. You had to be there at this time and do this at that time, and this happens then, until we were let off the leash after the announcement. ''I did feel out of place not only because it's something I've never really taken part in or strived for, it's never been on the horizon, all the red carpet thing with the paparazzi shouting out your name and things. ''I felt like I had stepped into someone else's life. There was that feeling all day that we would get found out at the last minute; somebody would come up and say 'you're not what we thought you were and that's disappointing'." Kenny admits he and Jon had gone down to the sparkling event fully expecting not to win it, but as the day went on they began to get worried they might actually be in with a chance of snatching the fabled prize. ''We never expected to win it, but something happened that weekend before. It was really quite surprising but all that betting beforehand and William Hills cutting the odds on us gave us a bit of a buzz that something might happen,'' he said. ''There was a sense on the day that something was happening and they might just give it to us you know we might be in with a shout, without ever expecting to win it. ''There was a feeling that the judges might just go under the radar, so when PJ was announced as the winner the room was like a burst ball. There was a definite anti-climax about the whole thing because it was PJ from the start, and it felt like a bit of a fait accompli. ''We weren't even daring to think about winning it but the good old KC fans still say: 'You were robbed'." Since the nomination and a string of successful US dates, King Creosote is set to bring it all back home with his biggest Scottish tour in years, which brings him to The Doghouse tonight (November 3) along with the brilliant Fence Records signings Kid Canaveral. The Fence boss has also just completed a brand-new King Creosote album, and it's this he's set to premiere on this tour. Entitled That Might Well Be It, Darling, the new KC long-player is due for release on Domino Records in spring 2012. The follow-up to 2009's Flick the Vs, it's a gorgeous and often surprising long-player that features some of Kenny's most rock 'n' roll, and most devastating, songs to date along with an 11-minute magnum opus hooked around a wine glass drone and a dreamy keyboard cameo from a bygone Iron Maiden associate. ''We've been playing eight new songs on the tour as well as bringing back some old KC favourites. It's been going really well. KC fans have been rallying round the cause and we've had some great support from 6Music and people are now joining the dots between (his first band) The Skhuibi Dubh Orchestra and us now. ''It's been three years or so since we played The Doghouse and tickets are going well so we're all looking forward to it.'' If the gig offers Dundee fans the chance to hear some of these new King Creosote songs first hand along with favourites, rarities and re-workings from Diamond Mine, then so too does it promise a raucous opportunity to see Edinburgh's indie-pop champions Kid Canaveral. They are fast becoming one of the country's best-loved live bands, as testified by their euphoric shows at this year's SXSW industry showcase in Texas, and on the BBC Introducing stage at T in the Park. And their alt-rock charms are equally rampant on record their debut album, Shouting at Wildlife, was Avalanche Records' best-selling album of 2010. King Creosote and Kid Canaveral will each play full separate sets, and will then combine forces for excessive on-stage rock 'n' roll thrills, tonight at the Doghouse. Tickets are available from Groucho's or at the venue.

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.

Rocktalk

Dundee band kicking up a Stoor at Jockrock 20th anniversary celebration in Glasgow

October 20 2017

Dundee quartet Stoor are taking part in the 20th anniversary Jockrock which takes place in Glasgow on October 20. Scottish’s longest-running indie music website Jockrock.org celebrates two decades since it crept onto the web (and into print) with a show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1GHIaynMtA Ballboy, Mitchell Museum, Stoor and David MacGregor (of Kid Canaveral) will perform at Stereo. It’s an early gig, doors at 7pm, with the throng able to retire across the road for DJs including Jim Gellatly spinning the finest moments in Scottish indie rock from the past 20 years until the wee sma’ hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlh5w7mWgUc The Jockrock indie music website appeared on the web sometime around late 1996 - the exact date unknown - initially as a collection of reviews shared through the nascent internet, compiled into a short-lived paper fanzine and followed by a radio show  before adding on its notorious but vital forum and finally coming to rest at its domain jockrock.org. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vJdBr7hs1k As for Stoor, they formed from the fumes of the original West Port bar in Dundee and distilled from earlier Dundee punk/New Wave bands, have been a presence on the Scottish music scene since the 1990s. The nuclear core of the band (Scott Mckinlay, drums; Stef Murray, bass and vocals; Ross Matheson, guitar) fused over their love of punk, film and TV themes and the Kinks to name but three influences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZM8oNX8M3s Over the years other members have come and gone with the present fourth member being Davie Youngblood on guitar. *Stoor, Jockrock, Stereo Café Bar, Glasgow, October 20 www.stereocafebar.com

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