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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...

Travel

Dream autumn trips to Washington DC

July 25 2016

Home to The White House, a worldwide symbol of America, Washington DC is a cultural powerhouse and the political seat of the USA. As well as its place in history and the setting of many a good film, day-to-day decisions that influence the lives of every American are made here. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is probably the most important address in the district. This is the official residence of the President of the Unites States and who wouldn’t fancy a few selfies with the White House in the background? Washington DC is also a pretty cool destination for a US city break and there’s some decent prices around with talkholiday at the moment. You could bring that American dream to life this year and head off for a lovely autumn trip across the pond! Here are seven great things to do in Washington DC: - 1. The US Capital/Capitol Hill Seat of the House of Representatives and the Senate 2. National Air & Space Museum Exciting attraction which houses a collection of historical air and spacecraft. 3. White House Visitor Centre Nearby attraction offering interactive exhibits on past presidents and the White House itself. 4. National Museum of American History Fascinating insight into the political and cultural history of the USA. You can even see the original ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz! 5. News museum A must see. Fascinating exhibition of iconic events and how they were reported. Relive the stories as they come to life in this thrilling experience. 6. International Spy Museum Espionage museum for James Bond wannabes 7. Shop Til You Drop Downtown DC is the place for some serious retail therapy. Check out Citycentre DC for all the big brands and designer shops. Here are some great travel ideas and prices to get you started on planning your big adventure to the US capital: 14 Night Flight & Hotel Package Holiday To Washington DC From £828pp Cheap Flights From Edinburgh To Washington DC From Only £392 Best Rate Guarantee On Hotels In Washington DC From Only £53pn Discover Five Centuries Of News History At The News Museum From £16pp Explore The Largest Display Of International Espionage Artifacts From £16pp Washington DC Two Day Grand Tour From Only £82pp

Angus & The Mearns

Plan B for Bon Scott memorial for Kirriemuir

June 13 2013

Efforts to build a memorial to a hard-rocking Angus icon have not been derailed, according to organisers. The campaign to fund a statue of former Kirriemuir resident and AC/DC singer Bon Scott stumbled at a late stage despite having technically raised enough. DD8 Music has now arranged an alternative fundraising method to allow fans to drive the idea forward. Organiser Graham Galloway said plan B is already in earnest to raise the statue’s £38,000 price tag after the online Kickstarter failed to raise £50,000. “We have opened a PayPal account where people can donate directly to the statue and have already raised £5,879,” he said. “The fact the main costs of the statue were covered in only 30 days (of the Kickstarter), means we know we can definitely do it.” The group have commissioned sculptor John McKenna to create the piece, which will see Bon Scott stand proud in the town with a microphone and bagpipes. Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott sang for AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980 aged 33. Kirrie now hosts Bon Fest in his honour, drawing thousands of visitors every year. John McKenna’s previous works include the Jock Stein memorial outside Celtic Park. Kickstarter opened to UK initiatives this year and the “crowdfunding” site allows members to speculatively donate to creative causes. Tiers of donation often relate to increasing rewards as a project reaches its target. The initial £50,000 target included card transaction processing fees and the fee Kickstarter charges to host the effort. Now, fundraising will go directly through PayPal. Mr Galloway added: “We need £38,000 for the statue and will calculate the costs of the rewards as pledges come in and will update the costs and the running total every day. “As soon as we hit £13,000, our artist John McKenna will start work on the statue. He will then be paid in two other equal instalments as the rest of the money comes in.” Mr McKenna said the commission is a “great honour” as Bon Scott was an icon from his teenage years. “I’m of that age group now that you could call old rockers,” he said. “The work I do is public artwork in the truest sense. It’s not an indulgence on my part but is there for the people to enjoy. “I was obviously an AC/DC fan when I was younger and it will be a great thing for me to do.” Scott became part of one of music’s biggest success stories after joining Glasgow-born brothers Angus and Malcolm Young in AC/DC. BonFest has been organised by DD8 Music every year since 2006.

Angus & The Mearns

Angus band thunderstruck by AC/DC invite

June 19 2015

Carnoustie band Gleadhraich will perform for AC/DC fans before the Aussie rockers perform at Hampden. The band, who were Angus Cultural Ambassadors for 2014, will headline the pre and after-party at Glasgow’s Record Factory. The show before and after AC/DC’s Scottish leg of their Rock or Bust world tour on June 28 will be in aid of the campaign to raise money for a statue of Bon Scott in Kirriemuir. The singer, who died in 1980, was born in Forfar and lived in Kirriemuir for five years before moving to Melbourne, Australia. The campaign to erect a life-size bronze memorial statue, like the one in Melbourne, is being run by Kirriemuir-based community group DD8 Music and needs another £15,000 to reach its target. Gleadhraich recorded their first EP in DD8’s studio in January last year and frontman Craig Weir said the band was pleased to be involved. He said: “We’re delighted to be playing the official pre-party and helping the campaign to recognise an Angus music legend. “We’ve played BonFest several times and last year we supported Chris Slade from AC/DC there. “It will be great to warm up the Hampden Park crowd for these rock legends. We’re going to throw a few AC/DC classics into our set for them. “The Rock Or Bust World tour has been a real success so far and I’m sure Glasgow will be no different.” The Glasgow gig will mark AC/DC’s first time in the UK and Ireland since their Black Ice world tour in 2009. The legends are celebrating the recent release of Rock Or Bust their first album without guitarist Malcolm Young who is taking a break due to illness. Gleadhraich’s pre and after-party shows will also feature DJ sets from Danger Ross and Ian McAdam, a barbecue in the beer garden and transport to and from Hampden for the AC/DC gig. Tickets are still available for the party on the Gleadhraich website at gleadhraich.comFor more information about the Bon Scott statue campaign and to make a donation, go to dd8music.com.

Angus & The Mearns

AC/DC salute Bon Scott statue campaign

May 15 2013

Rock giants AC/DC have backed the Angus bid to create a statue in honour of the band’s Angus-born former frontman. In a “fantastic” boost for Kirriemuir’s DD8 Music community group, the legendary outfit’s official website had highlighted the online campaign to raise £50,000 in just a month for the creation of permanent town memorial to baker’s boy Bon Scott. Just 10 days after its official launch at Kirrie’s annual BonFest celebration of the band and its famous Angus son, a kickstarter funding drive has generated almost £12,500 in pledges. The kickstarter internet scheme has been used to fund art, design, and technology projects and with a worldwide fan base which has helped AC/DC rack up a phenomenal 200 million global album sales, DD8 music are hopeful rockers in every corner of the globe will back the Bon bid. “AC/DC don’t just put anything up on their website so to have a link up on their page to the Bon Scott statue campaign is just huge,” said Graham Galloway of the group’s presence on the www.acdc.com website. “The reaction since we launched the statue campaign at BonFest has been amazing and it’s a large amount of money we’re trying to gather in a pretty short time, but AC/DC has such a huge fan base that if we can get the message out to as many people we could reach the target with small donations from a lot of people,” Graham added. Italian act Boun Scotch recreated the AC/DC hit Long Way To The Top for a video shot around the streets of the Angus town during this year’s BonFest and Graham said that clip seemed to have been viewed “everywhere except for Greenland and Mongolia.” https://www.youtube.com/embed/lZwjuT0H1R0?list=PLC2F04DAAC3FF6A18 DD8 Music and Bon Scott statue campaign pages on social media sites including Facebook have also been flooded with comments from AC/DC fans worldwide. Scots sculptor John McKenna has been commissioned to create the artwork, and although the final design of the statue has been chosen the aim is to keep it secret until the official unveiling hopefully at BonFest 2014. Scott, who died in London in 1980, aged just 33, is already honoured in a Kirrie street name and with an engraved stone slab in the town’s Cumberland Close alongside those of other famous Kirriemarians.

Angus & The Mearns

Tayside and Fife dodges Arctic blast which brought chaos to Scottish roads

December 1 2017

Tayside and Fife dodged a blast of Arctic weather which brought chaos to roads across Scotland yesterday. The mercury dropped to as low as -4.6C in parts of the country with several inches of snow landing across the north-east, closing schools and causing a spate of crashes. The coldest place in the UK was Benson, Oxfordshire, where conditions plunged to -5.3C , while Roxburghshire was the chilliest location north of the border at -4.6C. Locally, Leuchars dropped to 0.9C. Flurries of the white stuff reached the Angus Glens, Kirriemuir and briefly as far south as Arbroath, Forfar and Broughty Ferry. However residents in Dundee and Perth avoided the worst of the weather. Slopes at Glenshee Ski Centre continued to fill in nicely with the resort taking to social media to announce the possibility of its Sunnyside run opening on a limited basis on Friday "if the wind dies down". Temperatures in Courier Country were expected to plummet to freezing this morning, with locals warned of the likelihood of ice on roads and pathways. Lying snow was expected to cause the mercury to drop to -8C, or possibly lower in Scotland's most remote areas. A Met Office yellow warning for snow and ice was put in place for Tayside and Grampian at 11am yesterday and will remain enforced until 10am today, with parts of Perthshire, Angus and the Mearns likely to be affected. Met Office spokeswoman Emma Sharples said Courier Country would remain "dry but cold" throughout Friday, with temperatures due to get slightly warmer across the weekend. She said: "It will be cold and frosty overnight (into Friday) with maybe some ice. Across the weekend it becomes less cold, temperatures are on the rise. "Maximum temperatures (for Tayside) were about 2C - 3C on Thursday. The max on Friday might be 4C maybe 5C, and throughout the course of the weekend 8C or 9C. "Snow lying on Thursday night could mean it ends up being cold for some places. I think some areas across Scotland could be -8C, maybe a bit colder. Over snow flats you don't get any warmth coming up from the ground, you lose that benefit." She added that an "airflow coming off the Atlantic" would cause spells of rain across Courier Country come Saturday. Ms Sharples said: "There could be outbreaks of rain throughout the course of Saturday, enough to make things damp and a bit grey for a time. That frontal system clears away southwards. "Sunday is probably mostly dry with breaks developing. That is how we start next week really, with things perhaps turning cold again."

Angus & The Mearns

Bon Nol metal fans want AC/DC number 1 for Christmas

November 9 2013

The UK charts could be left “Thunderstruck” this Christmas if a campaign to get AC/DC to No 1 is successful. Fans of the legendary rock band have launched a bid to travel not on the Highway to Hell, but to the top of the festive charts to mark the group’s 40th anniversary. Bon Scott, AC/DC’s original frontman, spent his early years in Angus before moving to Australia. The singer is fondly remembered in the county and this link is reinforced every year in Kirriemuir, where thousands flock to take part in Bon Fest, organised by community group DD8 Music. AC/DC has never had a UK top 10 hit but almost 20,000 people have already “liked” the campaign, Highway to Hell for Christmas No.1, on Facebook in a matter of just two days. The page owners declined to reveal their identity but are thought to be from Angus. They say they have been amazed at the initial response. Speaking to The Courier, the secretive fans behind the campaign said: “AC/DC are an institution that transcends generations. “There are pensioners into them and there are school kids into them. It doesn’t matter what age you are, AC/DC are just one of the greatest rock n’ roll bands this planet has ever seen. “At the time of writing, our campaign has been going exactly 24 hours. At 2pm on November 7 we had one member, now we have over 17,000 members. “It’s astonishing, but just shows the sheer affection for the band and perhaps even good music in general.” The race for an alternative Christmas No 1 took hold in 2009 when American rap/rock group Rage Against the Machine beat X Factor winner Joe McElderry to the top spot. The group behind the AC/DC page added: “Anyone who is interested in getting involved should jointhe page or follow @ACDCxmas on Twitter and download the track from December 15.”

Angus & The Mearns

AC/DC fans descend on Kirriemuir for Bonfest

May 2 2015

AC/DC fans from across the globe got the party started last night as they poured into Kirriemuir to pay homage to the town’s rock star son Bon Scott. The Wee Red Town came to life against a backdrop of Harley-Davidson engines as the popular annual Bonfest got under way with performances from Rocker, Snappin’ Turtles and Sonnet 65. Bonfest has been organised by local group DD8 Music every year since 2006 and the festivities continue today with Rocker jumping on board a lorry to recreate the video for AC/DC’s It’s a Long Way to the Top. Pubs in Kirriemuir will be hosting live music today and tomorrow but the highlight of the festival will be AC/DC UK headlining tonight’s sold-out town hall gig, with support from Emerald Sunday and the Amorettes. Today will also see a street market pop up from 11am, with a barbecue, Bonfest beers brewed by Kirrie Ales, face painting and family fun, including the Karen Laird School of Dance dancing to AC/DC tracks from 3.30pm. Fans will also flock to the Gateway to the Glens Museum’s free exhibition. It features items belonging to Neil McDonald, who has the biggest AC/DC collection in the UK. Bonfest committee chairman John Crawford said the festival has come a long way since it started off as a Saturday afternoon with a few local bands. John believes Bon Scott is the greatest rock frontman of all time. He said: “I still love AC/DC but, in my opinion, they are two different bands. “I firmly believe that the best albums they made were of the Bon era Powerage, High Voltage and Let There Be Rock were all just pure 70s rock.” Infamous as a hard-living, headline-grabbing star of stage and studio, Scott commanded the adoration and attention of millions. He died in 1980 aged just 33, leaving a hole in rock music but Bonfest keeps his spirit alive in Angus. With brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, Ronald Bon Scott forged AC/DC’s reputation as one of the world’s greatest rock bands. Fans continue to honour his contribution to the AC/DC success story 34 years after his premature death and flood Kirrie for a three-day event that has seen most local accommodation sold out for months.

Angus & The Mearns

Bon Scott joins icons at Kirriemuir gallery

April 30 2016

Scottish rock legend Bon Scott joined a “pantheon” of stars including Keith Richards, Bob Dylan — and Oor Wullie — at an Angus art exhibition. Kirriemuir’s 10th annual celebration of Bon and AC/DC, Bonfest, kicked off in rebellious style with a host of bands on Friday night. A permanent tribute to the former frontman, who died tragically in 1980 as the global phenomenon was just beginning, will be unveiled in his home town this afternoon. And the rock icon has now been immortalised as a piece of pop art. Artist Robert McSpadyen was approached to frame Bon in technicolour screen print, a format he has used to encapsulate the essence of stars such as Lee Marvin, Ava Gardner and Shirley MacLaine. Mr McSpadyen, 43, is a member of Glasgow Print Studio and creates prints which reflect his own pop cultural and cinematic preoccupations and obsessions. A selection of his work is now on display alongside Bon at the town’s Bank Street Gallery, and sales of Bon prints will support the work of DD8 Music, the music-driven youth project behind Bonfest. “I work in screen printing, as that suits the style of the characters I like – brash and bold,” he said. “I stick to working with the influences I have, and Bon fits in with that whole pantheon of rock and roll legends. “Bon and the Young brothers (musicians Angus, Malcolm and producer George) were all from Scotland before they emigrated to Australia, and so were a big part of what you could call Scotland’s biggest band. “It’s only fitting that there’s a statue getting unveiled here.” Gallery owner Susie Clark said she is “delighted” to host a first-of-its-kind artwork. “Robert is building a shrine to a deeply personal pantheon of the late 20th century's sharpest icons,” she said. The Bank Street Gallery exhibition runs until June 10. This year’s Bonfest sees the evening gigs played in a big top on the town’s south side. Last night’s headline band was the all-female quintet BACK:N:BLACK, supported by Reddog, and The Ruckus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDOeDSlvn_U This followed a day of live music around the town’s pubs and a re-enactment of the AC/DC video Long Way to the Top by German band Bon: The AC/DC Show on the back of a vintage vehicle. Today, the statue of Bon will be officially unveiled in Bellies Brae at 1pm by special guests Mark Evans, Mary Renshaw, Tony Currenti and Bob Richards. BON The AC/DC Show is tonight’s featured act, supported by Ferus Cane and The Smokin' Bugler Band. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIVtTi0_5QI Mark Evans played bass on four Bon-era albums and will give a talk and Q&A about his time in the band at 1pm tomorrow in Kirriemuir Town Hall. Former AC/DC drummer Tony Currenti will play tomorrow night, performing the entirety of the High Voltage album with Pure/DC. Mary Renshaw will also appear and discuss her book about Bon, entitled Live Wire.

Angus & The Mearns

Kirrie statue campaigners try to capitalise on AC/DC fever

November 18 2013

A campaign to get rock giants AC/DC to top the Christmas charts could boost the bid to create a statue of the band’s former frontman in Angus. The DD8 Music community group in Kirriemuir has so far raised £19,000 for the creation of a permanent £50,000 memorial to Bon Scott, who is one of the town’s most famous sons. However, the group now hopes to get a final push from the huge army of worldwide fans who have signed up to the campaign to get the band to Christmas number one. The Facebook campaign aiming to get one of AC/DC’s most iconic hits the 1979 single Highway to Hell to the top of the festive charts gained the support of more than 122,000 people in a week. And bookmakers have now slashed its odds to reach the top spot. DD8 Music has now put a plea on the Christmas campaign’s Facebook page to ask fans to also donate to the statue bid, as well as downloading the track. The group said: “It would be great if our campaign could get some support too. We’re currently fundraising to get a statue of Bon put up in his home town. “We’ve raised £19,000 so far but need another £30,000 to make it happen. If all 120,000 people on this page gave us just 25p we could hit our target tonight. “Come on folks, how amazing would it be if this Christmas we not only got an AC/DC number one but also a permanent memorial to the singer who took them to the top? “Bloody amazing, that’s how much! Please share this with all your AC/DC friends and help by donating anything you can.” DD8 Music has commissioned sculptor John McKenna to create the piece, which would see Bon Scott stand proud in the town with a microphone and bagpipes. Mr McKenna’s previous work includes the Jock Stein memorial outside Celtic Park. Scott, who died in London in 1980, aged just 33, is already honoured in a Kirriemuir street name and with an engraved stone slab in the town’s Cumberland Close, alongside those of other famous Kirriemarians. Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott sang for AC/DC from 1974 until his death. He became part of one of music’s biggest success stories after joining Glasgow-born brothers Angus and Malcolm Young in the band. Kirriemuir now hosts BonFest in his honour, drawing thousands of visitors every year. BonFest has been organised by DD8 Music since 2006.

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