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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...

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

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.

Dundee FC

Cowdenbeath 0 Dundee 2: Craig Beattie spearheads Dark Blues title challenge

October 7 2013

Claiming all three points from a place as daunting as Central Park proves that Dundee can class themselves as genuine title contenders, according to Ryan Conroy. The winger put the gloss on what turned out to be a good afternoon’s work as Dundee put struggling Cowdenbeath to the sword, adding a second goal late on following a stunning opener from Craig Beattie. And Conroy insists the manner of the victory shows that the Dark Blues are in it for the long haul. “It’s not the easiest place to come and I think everybody knows that,” he said. “Quite a few people have dropped points at Central Park, they make it hard for you and it’s a tight pitch. But I think it was a good performance from the boys and a win is a great result. “I think you can see with the forward-thinking players, Beattie has come in well and the interchange is good. So we’re enjoying our football just now and I can think you can see the benefits. “We’re picking up points at home but it’s important to pick up points on the road if we’re going to do anything so hopefully that’s us sorted now. I was just delighted to get my goal and that made it a bit more comfortable for us.” Cowden keeper Thomas Flynn was beaten after just five minutes on Saturday but thankfully for him Nicky Riley dragged his shot wide of the keeper’s right-hand post as Dundee started well. The hosts had their first real chance of the game in the 15th minute when great footwork by Stewart outfoxed the visiting defence and gave him room in the area to get a shot away, although Kyle Letheren was down quickly to smother. However, the visitors really should have taken the lead two minutes later and Peter MacDonald will still probably be wondering how they didn’t. A quick break forward sent Riley clear down the left to cross and MacDonald somehow failed to control the ball with the goal at his mercy in the middle. MacDonald was inches away again in 25 minutes with a drive across goal, before a mistake from Gary Irvine sent Kane Hemmings bearing down on goal at the other end. Hemmings’ low effort was parried by Letheren, and Iain Davidson was on hand to mop up. Cowden were coming more into the game at this stage and Marc McKenzie sent an effort across goal from a tight angle in 35 minutes after Hemmings’ cross found him unmarked at the back post. But just as it looked like the teams would go in at the break goal-less, the moment of magic that the game needed came a minute later. Beattie picked up the bouncing ball fully 35 yards out and, spotting Flynn off his line, the former Scotland striker lobbed an unstoppable shot over the despairing keeper to give Dundee the lead. “Craig is very experienced and he’s a bit of a nightmare for defenders,” Conroy continued. “He’s a big strong lad and he’s full of running and that’s him not fully fit. I don’t think many defenders will fancy playing against Craig Beattie and it was a great finish for him.” It was an advantage they took into the interval and the Dark Blues almost doubled it three minutes into the second half through Declan Gallagher, although his header was brilliantly kept out by Flynn on the line. Flynn was called upon again in 56 minutes to claw out a MacDonald header from close range after Conroy’s pinpoint cross, before Riley fired wide of the post eight minutes later as Dundee sought a killer second. The visitors looked well on top at that stage and the Dundee faithful were clearly enjoying their side’s work heading into the game’s final stages. Conroy was sent clear through by a superb MacDonald pass in 67 minutes only to be denied by the onrushing Flynn, before Nat Wedderburn picked up a booking for bringing down Beattie a minute later. There was some controversy 16 minutes from time when McAlister found the net, only to be flagged offside by assistant referee Morag Pirie. It was harsh on the visitors as McAlister looked onside when the ball was played through by Beattie, although Conroy’s position may have influenced her decision. Flynn kept the scoreline at 1-0 again with another superb stop in 78 minutes, this time from Riley who had cut inside after MacDonald had played him in following a mistake from sub Jordan Morton in midfield. There was a big moment for young Wighton in 81 minutes as he came off the bench to make his first senior competitive appearance for the Dark Blues, but that moment was somewhat eclipsed within 60 seconds as Dundee put the game to bed. The ball was played through to Conroy who raced clear and made no mistake by firing across Flynn to seal the points. Sub Steven Doris should have perhaps put some gloss on the scoreline in injury time when Wighton picked him out in the middle, but Flynn again did well to deny the Dundee forward. All in all, it was a decent afternoon for Dundee but another disappointing one for Cowden boss Colin Cameron. “I’m disappointed again because it’s another defeat,” he concluded. “I think it’s plain to see we’re lacking in a bit of confidence, because to be honest I didn’t think there was much between the teams. “The first goal from our point of view was an avoidable goal, and our decision making let us down at times in the second half. We didn’t have lots of opportunities but when they come along we’ve got to be ruthless.”


Dundee band Spare Snare supporting Argentinian lo-fi star Billordo

May 5 2017

There is no language more powerful than the language of music and its ability to cross all cultural and linguistic barriers. So when Dundee’s Spare Snare play support to Argentinian lo-fi star Billordo at Conroy’s Basement on Friday night, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that international boundaries have been overcome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0aOpZSyTnE Spare Snare singer Jan Burnett said: “Diego Billordo contacted us a couple of years ago via social media. He is a fan of ours and releases his own music. “We were pleasantly surprised to hear his stuff was brilliant.  So much so, we covered a track of his, and released it on 7" vinyl. “He tours South America a lot, and is currently doing his first tour of Europe, which inevitably was going to include meeting and playing with us.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZhUnBzTS_4 The artists played together in Glasgow on Thursday night ahead of Friday’s Dundee gig. “We're doing a 30 minute set ourselves. He'll do a set, and then we'll play some songs together,” added Jan. “The venue is deliberately small, we wanted it to be quite an intimate type affair, and we're hoping the Dundee audience give Diego a fantastic welcome.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8NuMHwVyvQ Jan added that the 7" will be available to buy, as well as some choice merchandise. The shows are also being recorded, hopefully for a future release. *Billordo and Spare Snare play Conroy’s Basement, Dundee, 7pm, May 5. www.wearethesnare.com


Suspected intruder found inside Dundee city centre bar

October 3 2013

A suspected intruder was arrested in a Dundee city centre bar this morning. Police were called to Conroy’s in Meadowside after 9am when the man was found by staff inside the premises. Two police vans and a police car were sent to the scene and officers found and apprehended the man.


RockTalk: Kyle Falconer, Joy Orbison and Kashmir Crows

November 4 2016

The View frontman Kyle Falconer is back for two intimate solo shows at Clark’s on Lindsay Street on Monday and Tuesday. The last remaining tickets are £15 from the bar, Groucho’s, Assai Records in Broughty Ferry and eventbrite.com. Falconer also makes it across the Tay to play Rosyth's Brown Bear this coming Saturday (November 5). There’s dynamic rock covers at Clark’s on Lindsay Street tonight from Last Orders.Tomorrow get your dancing shoes on for The Funkin’ Idiots. Both start at 9.30pm with free entry before midnight. Scottish singer-songwriter Findlay Napier is at Pre-Production on Thursday. Mixing folk, roots, indie and traditional, Findlay is one of the most highly-regarded performers and creative forces on the Scottish music scene. Tickets are £10 from the usual outlets. Dundee band Kashmir Crows are champing at the bit as they head to Glasgow tomorrow for the show of their lives. The six-piece are headlining the legendary Barrowland after winning a recent competition and say they are “very, very excited” by the prospect. Lead singer Ian Black says: “All the hard work we’ve put in over the past six months has paid off. “The work ethic in the band is terrific. Ever since I was young I’ve wanted to go to Barrowland but I always said I wouldn’t go till I’ve played there, so to get the chance now and to headline a gig there is amazing. It’s a youth initiative, young bands will be playing all day and then at night it’s an indie showcase. “Our EP launch is on December 9 at Beat Generator Live! in Dundee, it’s called Still Howling at the Sun, and we’re working hard on getting our album finished now. We’re aiming to get that out in time for Christmas.” The band are running buses to Barrowland so check out their Facebook page if you want to join the fun. Unplugged at McDaniels has Cherry Bombz tonight from 9pm then tomorrow it’s The Suburbs at 10pm. Cherry Bombz also play The Pageant in Arbroath tomorrow at 9.30pm then Old Masons Arms in Forfar on Sunday from 3.30pm. Make That A Take presents Glaswegian emotive punk three-piece Frauen at Conroy’s Basement tonight. Support comes from Civil Elegies, Stonethrower and Gone Wishing. Doors open at 7pm and entry is £4. Conroy’s Basement also has American acts Alcoa and Choir Vandals along with Alex Green and Cold Years on Wednesday. Doors open at 7pm and advance tickets are £6 from Groucho’s and ohgodnotanotherwildgoat.bigcartel.com or you can pay on the door. It’s the acoustic session tonight at Number 57 from 9pm. Tomorrow it’s Kenny Martin & Steve Gaughan at 5pm followed by Tripper at 7.30pm. The Junkyard Dogs are in their usual Sunday residency at 7pm. Headway welcomes Joy Orbison to the Reading Rooms tonight for an all night long set. Joy’s brand of garage house has been celebrated for finding a sound that marries elements of house, two-step, jungle, techno and dubstep. Tickets are £15 from Groucho’s and residentadvisor.net and gates open at 11pm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2kC5CoEVvk Tomorrow it’s a sold out show with world renowned DJ Hannah Wants. A child of the garage generation, Hannah was armed with an innate desire and passion to practice the art of DJing from a young age. Gates open at 11pm. Rooms Thursdays has Lockah this week. Lockah’s DJ sets have been known to weave their way from raw African percussion-filled treasures and foot stomping Italo workouts to essential Miami bass bangers and back again. Entry is free before 11pm, £3.50/£5 after and gates open at 10.30pm. Highly rated guitar duo Adam Bulley and Chas Mackenzie (formerly known as Wingin’ It) bring their fiery acoustic live show to Cleish Village Hall in Kinross-shire tonight. Weaving effortlessly between bluegrass, gypsy jazz, folk and pop, their performances capture the imagination and dazzle audiences. Doors open at 7.30pm and it’s bring your own bottle. Entry is £10 on the door for adults, £5 for children. The Bank Bar kicks things off tonight with The Broon Troot Orchestra at around 9.30pm. Tomorrow it’s Lefty & Friends at the same time. Songwriters Sunday is hosted by Gavin McGinty with guest performances by local musicians at 8pm. Dave Webster’s open mic is on Wednesday from 8.30pm.


Dundee man accused of making derogatory comments to police about Glasgow helicopter crash

December 4 2013

A man has appeared in court accused of making derogatory comments to police about last Friday’s helicopter crash in Glasgow. Colin Simpson, 47, of Spey Drive, Dundee, denied making the comments on Monday in Conroy’s Pub, Meadowside, Dundee. He denies assaulting Detective Sergeant Keith Duncan, striking him in the groin, seizing him by the throat and struggling with him, all to his injury, behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, shouting and swearing and threatening police officers with violence, making derogatory and offensive remarks regarding the helicopter crash in Glasgow, and resisting arrest. Sheriff McGowan granted Simpson bail and set a trial date for March 14.

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


Rangers 6 Raith Rovers 1: Poor defending sees Raith hit for six

October 20 2014

Raith Rovers manager Grant Murray blamed individual errors for Saturday’s crushing 6-1 defeat at Ibrox. It was another defensive horror show from the Kirkcaldy side following last week’s 4-3 home defeat to Queen of the South. Raith now have the joint worst defensive record in the Championship alongside Cowdenbeath, with 21 goals conceded in 10 games. Murray was less than happy with the standard of goals lost on Saturday as Rangers punished another sloppy display at the back. “No one likes to lose a game of football, but to lose the way we did was disappointing,” he said. “You don’t get away with the mistakes we made in any game.” Opening the scoring, Lewis McLeod fired a corner into the near post area where Lee McCulloch escaped his marker to head the opener past Ross Laidlaw. Rangers doubled their lead as a quickly taken free-kick caught the Raith defence napping. Kris Boyd was clipped by Laurie Ellis, and as defenders switched off, Boyd took the kick, sending Nicky Law racing into the box to dink the ball beyond Laidlaw. Raith got the goal their forward play deserved as Ryan Conroy’s deep cross was headed back across goal by Mark Stewart and Martin Scott powered a header past Steve Simonsen. Raith were back in the game for all of 90 seconds as more poor defending let Kenny Miller in to score Rangers’ third. From then on the match became a procession towards the Raith goal with Boyd’s tame effort making it four in the 64th minute. Sub Jon Daly grabbed the fifth and sixth goals with close range finishes.