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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...


Daughter of country legend Johnny Cash to judge Fife art competition

May 24 2016

Johnny Cash’s daughter is to choose her favourite portrait of her late father from a collection drawn by Fifers, with the help of a world-famous artist. Rosanne Cash, herself an award-winning singer songwriter, is to judge an art competition celebrating the musician’s links to the Falkland area. Sculptor David Mach, who is from Fife, is to select the top six pieces to be sent to her. People have been invited to enter their drawings of the legendary country singer for the inaugural annual art competition of Go Glenrothes. The new organisation has been set up to promote Glenrothes and the surrounding area with the aim of creating a vibrant town. Cash traced his roots to Strathmiglo and nearby Falkland, where there are farms and streets named after the clan. Both he and Rosanne have visited the area and Rosanne wrote the song Good Intent, named after the ship that carried the first Cash across the Atlantic in the 17th Century. Rosanne also played at the 2010 Big Tent Festival at Falkland Estate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4coa1ymYbo Go Glenrothes chair Leslie Bain said: “We are delighted that due to some early publicity we caught the attention of Johnny Cash’s daughter Rosanne who has been in touch to give this project her backing and has agreed to judge the top entries which will be sent to her electronically. “We are also delighted to have attracted interest from internationally-renowned artist David Mach.” The competition will be held in Lyon Square, in the Kingdom Shopping Centre, on Friday and Saturday, with Mach to attend on Saturday. It is intended to be one of a series of new events for the area, ahead of Glenrothes’ 70th anniversary in 2018.


Jools Holland and Scouting for Girls among top acts heading to Perthshire this summer

April 8 2014

A wealth of top acts will make their way to Perthshire for a stunning summer of music, drama and dance. Horsecross Arts has unveiled a diverse season of acts and performances for the coming months, including big names such as Jools Holland, Steve Earle, Roseanne Cash and Barbara Dickson. Many will appear on the stage at Perth Concert Hall but a variety of other venues will also host performances, as the organisation copes with the challenges posed by the closure of Perth Theatre. Its Out and About programme continues this week with the A Play, A Pie and a Pint production, Love with a Capital L, which runs at the Birnam Arts Centre until Friday. It will be followed by a number of specially-commissioned plays, including two new works by Peter Arnott and Alan Bissett, which take to the road between June 10 and 28, stopping at venues from Blair Atholl to Kinross. The more traditional surroundings of Perth Concert Hall will host Jools Holland, Alison Moyet, Scouting for Girls, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Milos Karadaglic as the Perth Festival of the Arts takes place in May. The same venue will welcome headliners Steve Earle and Rosanne Cash to the seventh annual Southern Fried Festival of American Roots music in July. A total of 20 of Scotland’s finest folk artists, including Barbara Dickson and Dick Gaughan, will then gather in August for Far, Far from Ypres, which marks 100 years since the outbreak of First World War. The West End musical Fame will hit the stage that same month. Also on the bill in the coming season will be the popular Perth Piano Sundays series, which concludes with concerts by Perth-born Alasdair Beatson, thrilling duettists Simon Crawford-Phillips and Philip Moore, and Denis Kozhukhin. Other classical highlights include a staged performance of Britten’s Albert Herring by St Andrews Opera and two Handel concerts in St John’s Kirk by Ludus Baroque. Meanwhile, the Stars of Strictly Come Dancing, Pasha and Katya, will bring a carnival of music, dance, costumes and sparkles to the concert hall in June. There will also be plenty for youngsters to enjoy courtesy of The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, a busy programme of Join In activities and the Horsecross Youth Arts Festival.


US stars lined up for Perth’s Southern Fried Festival

April 4 2014

Music stars Buffy Sainte-Marie, Steve Earle and Rosanne Cash have been announced as headliners for this year’s Southern Fried Festival in Perth. Other acts confirmed for Scotland’s seventh annual festival of American roots music in Perth Concert Hall and other city centre venues include John Fullbright, Marc Ford and Cedric Watson. Buffy Sainte-Marie has entertained and educated audiences with a dose of Native American reality in the first person since the 1960s and her Universal Soldier became the anthem of the peace movement. She opens this year’s Southern Fried Festival on Friday July 25 in Perth Concert Hall. She is followed on the Saturday by Grammy award-winner Steve Earle, while Johnny Cash’s daughter Rosanne, a multi-million selling artist in her own right, will close the Concert Hall’s festival on Sunday night, July 27. With Perth Theatre closed for redevelopment, the Salutation Hotel has stepped in to host Saturday and Sunday afternoon gigs as well as the Late and Southern Fried gigs. Tickets go on sale on Friday April 18 from Horsecross Arts box office on 01738 621031, or visit www.horsecross.co.uk.


Rosanne Cash to play Big Tent Festival

April 14 2010

The organisers of this year's Big Tent festival in July have secured a major coup with the announcement that Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash is returning to her ancestral home to perform. Rosanne, who has traced the heritage of her family including her father, the late, great Johnny Cash back to the Falkland area, will be playing an intimate and acoustic set with her husband John Leventhal. She has visited the area a number of times and has described her "deep and abiding affection and affinity for this special place." Supportive of the work being done by the Falkland Centre for Stewardship to safeguard and restore the House of Falkland and Falkland Estate, she said she is keen to help the charity as much as she can. "I'm thrilled to visit Fife once again and delighted to perform at the Big Tent Festival," she said. "Falkland is one of the most special places on earth to me, and I look forward to meeting new friends and continuing my ancestral connection." The current steward of Falkland Estate, Ninian Stuart, said, "Rosanne has been a great friend and supporter of the work that we have been undertaking to transform this old estate into a community asset for today and future generations. "Her performance at the Big Tent Festival as part of Celebrating Fife 2010 will see the realisation of a shared dream that we have been discussing for a few years. "I believe this will be a fantastic and moving performance as she reconnects with her Fife and celtic roots, and sings of her ancestors." Paul Bush of EventScotland said the event attracts thousands of people from all over the country, and having an artist like Rosanne Cash demonstrates the growing international appeal of The Big Tent. "The Big Tent is part of Celebrating Fife 2010, a themed year of celebration for the area and one of the many fantastic legacies coming out of Scotland's year of Homecoming. "We look forward to seeing the benefits which will be generated for Fife in the coming year through this fantastic programme of events." Big Tent is billed as Scotland's environmental festival, and it won the greener festival award 2009. It takes place from July 23-25 at Falkland Estate and will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year. For more information visit www.bigtentfestival.co.uk


Fife artists producing A Portrait of Johnny

May 28 2016

A competition challenging budding artists to create portraits of country music superstar Johnny Cash will draw to a close in Glenrothes today. Friday saw the first full day of ‘A Portrait of Johnny’ in the Kingdom Centre, with local artists and participants being encouraged to submit their drawings in Lyon Square between 9am and 5pm. And the event will continue today during the same times, as dozens of people give their own take on the ‘Man in Black’. Once all the entries have been collated they will be sent to Cash’s daughter Rosanne, who has given the event her blessing and will pick an overall winner. The winner of the competition, launched by Go Glenrothes, will receive a prize of £500, with runners-up prizes of £200 and £100 also available. Cash’s Fife roots lie in and around the Falkland area, hence the inspiration for the project.

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


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.

UK & World

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

Girl finds splinter in jelly sweet

August 14 2014

An Angus mother has claimed her daughter was put at risk by a sweet with a stick through it bought from a Dundee supermarket. Roseanne McDermott, 29, of Hunter Road in Arbroath, said her six-year-old daughter Isla found a splinter of wood like a cocktail stick through one of her sweets, which had been purchased from the Asda Milton superstore. Isla was in the back of the car when she found the wood in a packet of Haribo Heart Throbs as they travelled back from visiting family in Glasgow. Mum Roseanne said: “It’s pretty disgusting, I don’t understand how something like that could end up on the shelves of a shop. “We were travelling back at night and the car was dark, so she couldn’t see the bag of sweets. “She felt the stick and gave it to me, which was really lucky. She could easily have choked on it.” A spokesman for Asda confirmed they were looking into the complaint. They said it is an issue with manufacturing rather than the Milton store. A spokeswoman from Haribo UK also confirmed they were making contact with Roseanne, and would be looking to find out how the product became contaminated. She said: “As the UK’s leading gums and jellies brand we pride ourselves on the quality of our products. “We follow a very stringent manufacturing process which every sealed bag follows before being despatched. “We take all customer complaints very seriously. “We have been in contact with the customer directly and have asked that they return the product and packaging to us so we can conduct a thorough investigation.” Roseanne confirmed she is waiting for responses from both Asda and Haribo UK after her initial inquiry. She said: “I have contacted Asda and they replied quickly to my first email. They asked for a picture and the batch number in their reply. I haven’t had any response since then and there’s been no apology.”