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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...


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.


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.


Mercury Music Prize: late surge towards King Creosote

September 6 2011

Crail musician Kenny Anderson has put the shivers up the bookies after the odds on him to win tonight's Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize tumbled. Kenny, who performs as King Creosote, has seen his odds slashed from 40/1 to 16/1 after punters backed him to be this year's dark horse and gallop off with the £20,000 first prize. King Creosote is among 12 acts shortlisted for his collaboration with producer Jon Hopkins on their album Diamond Mine. PJ Harvey is the red-hot 6/4 favourite to win the prize with William Hill, who have seen four-figure bets staked on the 2001 winner. However the gamble that has the bookies worried has been on Kenny and Jon. William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: "The judges have produced a number of surprise winners in recent years Anthony & The Johnsons and Speech Debelle to name a few. "Over the weekend we have seen significant gambles on King Creosote and Jon Hopkins, who our punters think could be the dark horse this year." Kenny formerly fronted Fife bands the Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra and Khartoum Heroes and is also a member of Scottish collective The Burns Unit. He formed Fence Records to record and release his own material from his East Neuk base, which has yielded around 40 albums. Kenny is also the spearhead for The Fence Collective, a group of other local musicians and their associates, which includes KT Tunstall, The Beta Band and James Yorkston. The full odds are: 6/4 PJ Harvey, 5/1 James Blake, 6/1 Adele; 7/1 Anna Calvi, 7/1 Metronomy, 8/1 Ghostpoet, 16/1 Katy B, 16/1 Everything Everything, 16/1 King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, 33/1 Elbow, 40/1 Tinie Tempah, 50/1 Gwilym Simcock.


King Creosote still painting the fence

July 12 2010

Kenny Anderson stage name King Creosote achieved renown for being the man who set up a record label in his living room. Fifteen years on, Jack McKeown finds Fence Records is still going strong, representing around 15 artists and now has an 'office' in a run-down tenement building in Cellardyke. Over the years Kenny had fun coming up with inventive and off-the-wall names for his albums and bands. His album Bombshell was originally to be called Israeli Handspan "after the name of the sailor in a book," but was changed for fear it could be misread as comment on the situation in the Middle East. Originally from St Andrews, Kenny (43) went to Madras College. "I did music at Madras," he said. "But back then it was all about classical or orchestral music. I was into Adam and the Ants, the Jam, and Two Tone. "I look at the guys I went to school with now and they've all got big houses and cars, and here I am still getting around the East Neuk by bike, but I'm quite happy with where I am." Kenny's dad Billy was an accordion player and his brothers Ian and Gordon are also musicians who have collaborated with Kenny on albums, and they've performed numerous live shows together. He went to Edinburgh University in 1989 where he studied electronics and electrical engineering.Busking around EuropeAfter finishing university, Kenny and his friend Bruce Bell busked their way around Europe. "We were making good money and just kept travelling and playing in Germany, France, Holland. Then we returned to Scotland for the winter." They returned to Europe the following summer for another busking tour, but by the end Kenny was beginning to long for change. He returned to Scotland and began touring up and down the east coast. He played at Glastonbury in 1992 and opened the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen. He then got an agent and made an album, the 39 Stephs but again, ennui set in. "I'd been touring the east coast for a few years by this point, and I was still doing the same shows to the same crowds." In a bid to shake the feeling he took to Europe again then spent a winter back in St Andrews before forming the Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra. "KT Tunstall was with us for a while. She was just a young girl, but even back then I could tell she was destined for great things. "She was charismatic and had an amazing energy. Everyone in the room stopped talking when she walked in." Kenny set up Fence Records from his living room in 1995. "I got myself a four-track then later an eight-track and started making albums," he said.Illegal downloadingLike many non-chart-topping musicians, he's angry at the state of the record industry and young people's preference for illegally downloading music. "I've had people come up to me at gigs and say 'I illegally downloaded all your albums, but I liked them so much I bought a ticket to see you'. As if that makes up for getting all the music I've worked so hard on for free." He added, "All you're going to end up with is a musical landscape of X Factor winners and other mass-produced bands. Traditional singer-songwriters are going to die out. "People don't get to know music as well any more, either. I used to save up, buy an album and listen to that album to death. I knew every word of every song. "Now people download music faster than they can listen to it." King Creosote will be headlining the first night of The Big Tent Festival in Falkland on July 23-25. For further information and tickets visit www.bigtentfestival.co.uk or telephone 01337 858838. Photo used under Creative Commons Licence, courtesy of Flickr user dinkydarko.


King Creosote to play live at DCA’s From Scotland with Love showing

July 23 2014

Fife musician King Creosote will perform songs from his acclaimed From Scotland with Love documentary soundtrack following a screening of the film in Dundee next month. The film, which is made entirely of Scottish archive footage, will be shown at Dundee Contemporary Arts on Saturday August 30. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Virginia Heath and composer Kenny Anderson, better known as King Creosote. Heath researched the footage over several months in the National Library of Scotland’s Scottish Screen Archive. The soundtrack was written and recorded last autumn. https://www.youtube.com/embed/ASL8BdlRq50?rel=0 A special screening of the film with a live performance of the entire soundtrack will take place in Glasgow later this month as part of the Commonwealth Games celebrations. The Dundee event takes place at DCA on August 30 at 8.30pm. More information can be found here.

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


Tourism body’s East Neuk confusion

February 16 2015

The UK’s national tourism body has admitted trying to promote Pittenweem as a holiday destination - by using a picture of Crail. VisitBritain’s Twitter feed posted a picture of Crail along with the message “Visit Pittenweem, just one town on the Fife Coastal Path which stretches for 117 miles” on Sunday. The organisation, the national tourism body for Great Britain, has more than 280,000 followers on Twitter and its message confusing the two fishing villages was retweeted dozens of times. Crail is famous for its views over the harbour and was used as a location for the Robert Duvall movie A Shot at Glory, which also starred former Rangers manager Ally McCoist and Oscar-hopeful Michael Keaton. It is home to Fence Collective founder and singer-songwriter King Creosote. Pittenweem, home to the only remaining working harbour in the East Neuk, also has musical connections: Rolling Stones co-founder Ian Stewart was originally from the village. It is famous for its annual arts festival, which takes place in August each year. East Neuk and Landward SNP councillor John Docherty said: “Each community in the East Neuk is very individual.” A spokesman for VisitBritain said: “Unfortunately one of the images of Crail in our online image library was tagged incorrectly by the photographer as being part of a Pittenweem photo shoot. “We apologise for the mix-up and as soon as we were made aware of the issue we amended the caption and have re-published the image in question.”


Scottish talent set for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay party

October 8 2013

A host of Scottish bands are to perform at this year's Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations. Mercury Prize nominees Django Django, Chvrches, The Rezillos and King Creosote are among the acts to play at the 21st annual street party in the capital. Organisers expect about 80,000 people to attend the event. The acts announced so far will perform on the Waverley Stage, with further performers set to be announced when the full programme is published next month. Councillor Steve Cardownie said: 'Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party is renowned the world over as being the place to be at New Year and I'm delighted that this year we have such a strong contingent of Scottish artists who are going to help kick off 2014 with a bang." Previous headliners include Simple Minds, Primal Scream, Biffy Clyro and Blondie. The party traditionally ends with a performance of Auld Lang Syne and midnight fireworks from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle. Pete Irvine, director of Edinburgh's Hogmanay, said: "Scotland's big year starts here and what better way to launch ourselves into the New Year than with a showcase of Scotland's musical talent here in the home of Hogmanay. "Edinburgh's Hogmanay will once again be the best New Year party on the planet this year with a strong Scottish flavour - whether you're from Scotland or much further afield, come and join us to welcome 2014."

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.