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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...


Award-winning Tayside song writer Eddie Cairney immortalises Queensferry Crossing in tune

October 25 2017

An award-winning Tayside song writer who immortalised the 50th anniversary of the Tay Road Bridge in music last year has released an EP which pays tribute to the newly opened Queensferry Crossing over the Forth. Perth-born Eddie Cairney, 65, who now lives in Arbroath, has released an album called ‘Sketches o' the QC’ which includes songs dedicated to the “isolated” workers who were employed during construction and contrasts the old Forth Road Bridge to the new crossing with its wind shields designed to keep traffic flowing during storms. Eddie, who delayed the release of the album due to family illness and bereavement, said: “It's just another quirky album like I did for the Tay Road Bridge. https://youtu.be/Z6BblA_Zev4 “As you can probably imagine, how do you write six songs about a bridge? “I usually end up using a process of creative journalism. I get a few facts or even just a single fact and then I let my imagination take over. “With each album early on in the writing process I draw a blank and think there's nothing here I can write about but there's always something to write about. “You just have to hang around long enough and it comes eventually. https://youtu.be/a9NyQAFjDsY “I just took threads from here and there. I was going to call the album The Queensferry Crossing but thought that was a bit boring so I went for Sketches o' the Q.C. “It introduces a bit of ambiguity. If you Google the name you get lots of drawings of court scenes!” Eddie was inspired to write Columba Cannon after reading an article about the general foreman for the foundations and towers. https://youtu.be/y_y1y8oV7vo Eddie said: “It was the name that got me and that gave me the first line of the song "He is a bridge builder wi a missionary zeal" Has to be with a name like Columba!” Fishnet bridge was set in a meditative light, describing the bridge as a “thing of beauty that looks like a big fish net glistening high above the Forth but it is a symbolic fishnet with the song taking the form of an imaginary conversation with the bridge.” https://youtu.be/dJgsl2WQ5G0   “Midday starvation came from an article which highlighted the isolation of the workers working high up on the bridge,” he added. https://youtu.be/Dme-bfCXHRI “If you forget your piece you've had it and you starve for there's no nipping round to the corner shop for a pie. The article also said that a local pizza delivery firm regularly delivered a pallet load of warm pizzas to the bridge so that was "midday salvation"! Meanwhile, The boys frae the cheese is a play on words. https://youtu.be/phtQ2-Xx1I0 He added: “I read an article that said The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) could have acted sooner and avoided the costly closure of the bridge at the end of 2015.” Eddie is no stranger to music and song influenced by Dundee and wider Scottish history. In 2015 he featured in The Courier for his efforts to put the complete works of Robert Burns to music. With a piano style influenced by Albert Ammons, Champion Jack Dupree and Memphis Slim, and a song-writing style influenced by Matt McGinn, Michael Marra and Randy Newman, the former Perth High School pupil, who wrote the 1984 New Zealand Olympic anthem, has organised a number of projects over the years including the McGonagall Centenary Festival  for Dundee City Council in 2002. Last year’s Tay Road Bridge album included a tribute to 19th century poet William Topas McGonagall and also honoured Hugh Pincott – the first member of the public to cross the Tay Road Bridge in 1966. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y51tixl9GEs Thanks to The Courier, he also became one of the first to cross the Queensferry Crossing  when it opened to the public in the early hours of August 30.

Motoring news

Audi showcases raft of new cars

June 29 2016

Audi threw everything it had at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, with no fewer than nine upcoming models making their UK debuts. One of the most interesting – and affordable – was the new Q2. Audi’s smallest crossover yet, it’ll sit underneath the Q3, Q5 and big ole Q7. It will be available as a front wheel drive or with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system. Under the skin there’s a choice of three TFSI petrol and three TDI diesels, with Audi’s 1.0 litre three-cylinder petrol offering 114bhp, the 1.4 litre four-cylinder sitting below the 187bhp 2,.0 litre TFSI. Diesel options are the 1.6 litre TDI with 114bhp and a pair of 2.0 litre TDIs with 148bhp or 187bhp. It goes on sale later this summer with a starting price expected to be in the region of £20,000. At the other end of the price scale is the R8 V10 Spyder. The 553bhp supercar comes a year after the second generation coupe R8 was released. Audi reckons the new Spyder is 50 per cent stiffer than the last Spyder, and its canvas roof stows beneath a massive rear deck, able to open or close at speeds up to 31mph in 20 seconds. Fuel economy “improves” to just over 24mpg thanks to a new coasting function that idles the engine when it’s not needed. Expect it to cost around £130,000. In between those two extremes are a plethora of other upcoming Audis, including the new S5 Coupe, and the Audi TT RS which first revealed a year ago is hardly new but apparently it had never been seen in the UK before. A couple of Q7s were also at Goodwood, including the Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid, which returns a claimed 156mpg, and the SQ7 – a diesel with 429bhp. There was also the refreshed A3 range. Audi’s upmarket Golf rival has been given a styling refresh along with a few new engine options. Following a trend for downsizing, there’s a 1.0 litre three -cylinder petrol unit, while a powerful 2.0 petrol engine also joins the range.

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.

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

Perth & Kinross

Culinary dimension added to Perth Show

July 28 2016

For more than 150 years Perth Show has been a popular, once a year meeting point for the people of the city and the farming community. The show - now the third largest of its type in Scotland – remains as always a showcase for champion livestock but this year holds a much wider appeal for visitors. To be held on Friday and Saturday August 5 and 6 on the South Inch, throughout the two days, trade stands, sideshows, entertainment, activities, music and parades all add to the vibrancy of the show along with a new culinary direction. “For the first time, Perth Show is set to feature a cookery theatre and food and drink marquee,” said show secretary Neil Forbes. “This will bring a new and popular dimension to the visitor attraction. “Perth Show 2016 is also delighted to welcome Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) - a major food festival, celebrating the very best in local produce and culinary talent. “Organised by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the two-day festival will run as part of the show and feature celebrity and local chefs, demonstrations and tastings, book signings, food and drink related trade stands, fun-filled activities for ‘kitchen kids’ and a large dining area and pop-up restaurants in a double celebration of food and farming.” Heading the celebrity chef line-up are television favourite Rosemary Shrager (Friday) and spice king Tony Singh (Saturday), backed by a host of talented local chefs including Graeme Pallister (63 Tay Street) and Grant MacNicol (Fonab Castle). The cookery theatre, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, will also stage a fun cookery challenge between students from Perth College and the ladies of the SWI. A range of pop-up restaurants featuring taster dishes from some of the area’s best known eating places will allow visitors to sample local produce as they relax in the show’s new POAP dining area. “We’re trying to create a wide and varied programme of entertainment,” said Mr Forbes. “Late afternoon on Friday will see the It’s A Knockout  challenge with teams from businesses throughout Perth and Perthshire competing against each other. “And the first day’s programme will end with a beer, wine and spirit festival where teams can celebrate their achievements and visitors can sample a wide range of locally produced drinks.” This year will also see the reintroduction of showjumping at Perth Show on the Saturday afternoon.


Big Tent Festival diary

July 27 2010

It is less than 10 miles from Balado and has also expanded to become a three-day festival where wellies are a must. But that's about where the similarity ends between the Big Tent held on Falkland Estate in Fife at the weekend, and T in the Park, held just down the road at Kinross a fortnight ago. Whereas T has always been first and foremost about the music with something of a self-conscious 'green makeover' in recent years, the Big Tent Festival now in its fifth year has always been an environmental festival with the good music something of an added bonus. Launched in 2005 as a community response to the G8 summit at Gleneagles, Big Tent is Fife's biggest festival and has grown in reputation year on year, winning awards and widespread acclaim along the way. One national newspaper hailed it as 'one of Britain's best family days out' while another listed it among the top 10 folk festivals in the UK. Last year the Big Tent was named Greener Festival Award winners. The festival kept up that tradition at the weekend, offering a unique blend of music, intelligent debate about green issues as well as locally sourced and affordable food. A family friendly affair with under-12s getting in free, the Big Tent champions the local but is also consistently multi-national, with performers, exhibitors and fans from all over the world. But in this the Fife Year of Culture, how apt that there was a focus on Fife's finest musicians and bands led by King Creosote, aka Anstruther-based Kenny Anderson, who headlined the main stage on Friday night. Add to that an array of local food producers showcasing their wares, and what a recipe for success. But perhaps the biggest coup of the weekend was booking Sunday headliner Rosanne Cash. Not only is the daughter of the late 'Man in Black' Johnny Cash one of America's pre-eminent singer-songwriters, her family has historic links to Fife. All that, and the unique setting in the shadow of the Lomond hills, make The Big Tent special and surely unrivalled anywhere else in the country. This was my fourth visit to the Big Tent and our weekend went something like this:Saturday, July 2410am The family and I leave home in Cupar to make the 12-mile trip to Falkland. This year we've borrowed a 'Bongo' camper van, so between my tent and the vehicle, we're looking forward to camping in relative comfort. 10.30am Arrive at campsite where we've managed to wangle a space in the staff car park. Disappointed that we unavoidably missed King Creosote last night, but better late than never. Most people have been here since Friday night so already busy. Park up Bongo. I find a space in a field 200m away to set up my tent. Campsite is sprinkled with people strumming guitars, playing accordions or cooking. The East Lomond makes a stunning backdrop as ever. 11.30am Make our way to main festival site. Big Tent 2010 has moved since last year. Still on Falkland Estate, it's simply moved a field away due to construction of a football pitch on the old site. First impressions? The usual eclectic array of stalls and tents including the 'children's zone' and 'body soul zone' seem much more spread out with some only accessible via a climb up a steep hill. The main stage looks good though with the geography creating a natural ampitheatre. Noon It's lunchtime, so find a secluded spot to eat our packed lunch under a tree. The family friendly nature of this festival means that our four-year-old and one-year-old can clamber about in safety. A few rogue wasps are about though, so on permanent guard. 1.30pm Our wander through the site takes us to 'A Place Apart' the unfinished Memorial Chapel on Falkland Estate where we listen to the Mediterranean inspired music of Quixote. The acoustic five-piece have been inspired by the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. "Imagine you are in the south of Spain," the singer grins with one eye on the overcast skies. Here, in contrast to the stonework of the building, traditional artwork by Collessie-based American artist Marianna Lines gives an atmospheric feel. 2pm With both offspring asleep in the double buggy, we decide this is the perfect time to sample a pint of organic ale from the Black Isle Brewery beer tent. Judging by the number of parents including a few familiar faces from the Cupar area making a similar manoeuvre, decide with tongue in cheek that we should set up a new online forum 'ParentswithPints.com' to give 'Mums.Net' a run for its money. In stark contrast to past experiences on a much bigger scale at T in the Park, there's not a drunk Glaswegian in sight and no flying pint pots. It's an incredibly civilised affair and actually quite nice to have smaller (10,000 or so) crowds. No escaping the queues for the chemical toilets though. 3pm Spot King Creosote, aka Kenny Anderson, eating at the edge of the beer tent. He's deep in conversation with Fife Council leader Peter Grant. 4-5pm Spread out a rug not far from the main stage to enjoy 'Brazil. Brazil.' Funnily enough this lot are from Brazil. It's an energetic, mesmerising performance featuring song and dance. Would be well worth checking them out when they appear at the Edinburgh Festival next month. 5.30pm It had to happen eventually, but the rain starts tipping it down. Cue a hasty retreat to the Bongo for some beans on toast. 6.30pm The rain doesn't last and underfoot conditions are bearing up well in the campsite. Elsewhere though it's getting a bit muddy, but that's what the wellies are for. 6.45pm Take a wander into Falkland village to stretch the legs. Others are doing likewise. We know the area well, but for visitors from further afield, this is their first visit and people seem impressed. 8.15pm Back on site, fill a hole in stomach with a delicious buffalo burger from the Auchtertool-based Puddledub herd. Recall an interview I once did with the young farmer and herd owner Steven Mitchell. Also recall a time when a few years ago, whilst out for a walk in the Auchtertool area, inadvertently found myself in the same field as the buffalo herd. Sample some free organic chocolate. Mmm... 8.30pm Bump into old acquintance, artist Marianna Lines. She's eating in one of the food tents. 8.35pm Find a couple of spare seats on the hillside overlooking the main stage. It's the perfect vantage point to take in the Celtic counds of Session A9. There's a great atmosphere with folk jigging away in front of the stage. Loads of families still around and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. 9pm For one man though, clearly the worse for wear, it's all too much as he falls off his seat into the mud several times but amazingly still manages to keep his pint and cigarette intact. Paramedics are also called with a teenage girl seemingly the worse for wear a short distance away. But she doesn't seem as bad as first thought and the medics soon back off. 10.15pm The end. It's been a great day. Time to retire to the campsite. 10.30pm The tent nearest mine has a scrawled sign outside saying: "Claudia wants to have Herbert's babies.'. Hopefully not tonight my dear, I chuckle. Some of us need to sleep.Sunday, July 257am Didn't sleep too well and it was nothing to do with Claudia wanting to have Herbert's babies. The lumpy field was the main cause. There's been a bit of rain overnight but it's fresh and breezy as I re-emerge from the tent to that stunning Lomonds view. 7.30am Chemical toilets ... always an experience. 10am Cleared up and organised, we head into Falkland village again. Leaving Falkland Estate, two young staff members with boxes strawberries ask, "How did you travel here today?" Tempted to say we towed our Bongo behind a gas guzzling 4x4, we tell them we are relatively local and have been camping. Our reward for not killing the planet overnight? A punnet of local strawberries. 10.30am Buy coffee and egg rolls from a bakery in the village a fraction of the festival prices being charged up the road. Dawns on me afterwards that perhaps I should've got into the spirit of the festival and asked if the eggs were organic free range and the coffee Fairtrade. But didn't cross my mind. The need for sustenance was greater. Park ourselves on a bench to consume. 10.35am Get chatting to a local worthy who had been standing outside the bakery. He presumes we have come from afar and seems genuinely surprised when we tell him we've come just down the road from Cupar. As several of the free shuttle buses arrive, he reveals that some locals have been using the free service to do their shopping in Glenrothes. The man also infers that he met Johnny Cash when he visited Falkland to trace his family tree in the 1980s. He tells us he hopes to be introduced to Rosanne Cash before she headlines the festival later in the day. "If you know anyone who doesn't have a ticket, tell them there's plenty of places to sneak in if they go up the Leslie road," he calls after us. 11.40am Stopping to let a three-litre Audi get past at the entrance to Falkland Estate, different staff ask us where we've travelled from today. We tell them we've just walked from the village. Cue more free strawberries! 11.50am Back on site, check out the 'Wood Zone'. Here there are remarkable demonstrations including willow basket weaving, a mobile foundry, broom making and carvings. Children are also having fun with a giant hand carved wooden xylophone. Look at some leaflets on installing wind turbines and solar power for the home. Great in theory, but question how cost effective it would actually be. 1.30pm In the Head Zone, WWF director Richard Dixon is giving a talk on "UN big business or local action: Who's Going to Save the Planet?" But decide to head for Pillars Cafe where we arrive just in time to hear the end of Brazil! Brazil!'s latest set on the main stage. Enjoy a bean burger. Very nice. The sun is breaking through now and its getting hotter. 2.45pm Listen to some of Aberfeldy on stage. Decide to curtail and go for a walk in the beautiful woods of Maspie Den. A central part of the Big Tent concept is 'stewardship' looking after local environment and heritage for future generations. Here in Maspie Den, much of this work is evident with a well maintained network of footpaths following the course of the Maspie Burn back up the hill. With fine views over the Howe of Fife, there's also an abundance of wild raspberries growing on the higher slopes there for the picking. 5.30pm Buy a venison burger produced by Fletchers of Auchtermuchty. Try not to think about the 'Bambi' stories that have been running in The Courier recently. Tastes good though. 6.30pm Introduced by event compere Phil Kay, Ninian Crichton Stuart, steward of Falkland Estate, appears on the main stage to welcome tonight's headliner Rosanne Cash. He talks about the meeting that took place between his father and Johnny Cash at a New York airport in the early 1980s, revealing that they both had Falkland roots. Falkland is the Cash' ancestral home (names surviving today include the local farm Cash Feus). It's a place Rosanne has visited several times and which her dad held in high affection. A key message from The Big Tent is about the importance of 'preserving our local place in the world', Ninian says. 'Rosanne understands that.' 6.35pm Arriving on stage to thunderous applause, Rosanne declares that she has "come home" and is "ecstatic" to be here. I'm minded of the time I interviewed Rosanne for The Courier in Falkland shortly before her father died. She was very emotional that day and is clearly moved to be on stage today. She plays a one-hour acoustic set with her husband John Leventhal. It's one of only two UK dates she is playing on her current tour. The new festival lay out is ideal. 8pm We head home after a throughly enjoyable weekend that Fife can be proud of.


Citizen T plan to clean up T in the Park

June 11 2010

A campign has been launched by the organisers of T in the Park to reduce the amount of rubbish left by revellers. Last year debris and tents were left littering the Balado venue two weeks after the festival ended €” this has led to the Citizen T initiative, which calls for festival-goers to make several small changes. Ticket-holders are asked to ensure they dispose of litter responsibly, take home their tent and look out for their friends. Festival organisers are encouraging people to sign up to their campaign, as well as spread the word among friends and fellow revellers. An area on the campsite will be set up for those fully committed to living the Citizen T dream, with further details yet to be announced. A number of other incentives will also be in place on the Kinross-shire site, including branded bin bags and lorries and a series of challenges and rewards. Event manager Colin Roger, of DF Concerts, said, "The T in the Park crowd is known for being one of the best-spirited and most passionate in the world and, with Citizen T we're hoping to capture that amazing energy and give music fans the power to make a difference in some of the areas where we know that they would like to see change, such as litter and tent re-use. "The festival is renowned for its organisation and beautiful site but there's always room for improvement and we strive every year to make that happen." He added, "There is only so much we can do as event organisers, however, and this is where Citizen T comes in, particularly around areas where individual action has a huge impact, such as putting rubbish in the bin and looking out for your neighbours on the campsite. "Litter and abandoned tents on site are ongoing issues and Citizen T is all about inspiring individual action and empowering music fans to make positive decisions around these matters." The festival has already been commended by Perth and Kinross Council for being "one of the best ever in terms of organisation" and the organisers were praised for recognising that there was a problem with litter. To join Citizen T at next month's festival, participants just have to sign a special wall and get a yellow hand-stamp. For more information visit www.tinthepark.co.uk.


Big Tent Festival opens under sunny skies

July 24 2010

Music fans poured into Falkland Estate as beautiful weather greeted the start of the three-day Big Tent Festival on Friday. Around 10,000 people are expected to flock to the environment and music festival over the weekend and those eager to enjoy the party were entertained by a musical line-up on Friday night, headlined by local favourite King Creosote. The fifth event was opened by Gambian campaigner Adelaide Sosseh, Falkland Centre for Stewardship transitional steward Neil Anderson and Scotland's climate change minister Stewart Stevenson. Adelaide, co-chairwoman of the Global Call To Action Against Poverty, is due to speak at the festival today with Malcolm Fleming of Oxfam Scotland. Mr Stevenson said that the family-friendly festival brings people from across Scotland together to discuss making society greener. He said, "The Big Tent festival is not only a fantastic forum for that debate, but it is also a chance for everyone involved to really enjoy themselves sampling all the festival has to offer. "We will only reach Scotland's world leading climate change targets if we work together -- and events like these are a really important way to make that happen." Big Tent was conceived in response to the G8 Summit in Gleneagles in 2005 and Mr Anderson likened it to "education by stealth." He said, "It's a green festival with music as opposed to a music festival with a green wash. "People come and walk around and see things and slowly absorb some of the information." The festival is a flagship event of Fife's Year of Culture and Mr Anderson said, "In terms of the local economy, we are putting in a lot of money. Hopefully people will come and see Fife, think what a wonderful place it is and come back." One of this year's highlights is sure to be Sunday's performance by Rosanne Cash. As well as the music, this year's extended site features a host of stalls and tents offering entertainment, foods and goods, with a strong emphasis on local produce. For full details, see www.bigtentfestival.co.uk.