Dec 112019
 

Craig Chisholm reviews Airbourne plus support at The Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen, 18th Nov.

Lugs were left ringing after the historic Beach Ballroom was shook to its foundations with a night of ass kickin’, high voltage rock n’ roll.
Headliners Airbourne took their latest tour to Aberdeen with support from Tenessee rockers Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown and up-and-coming Sheffield band Cellar Door Moon Crow.

Cellar Door Moon Crow are the musical anomaly on the night.

They play a rock / rap hybrid that’s reminiscent of the Beastie Boys around the period of ‘Licensed to Ill’ where monster riffs from bands such as AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin were sampled and rapped over to create a template that has endured to this day.

Indeed, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin snippets and samples can be heard throughout Cellar Door Moon Crow’s set along with nods to Neil Young, Frank Sinatra and Steppenwolf. The duo – hirsute brothers Phil and Tom Goodwin – get the crowd going with their eclectic set and seem to win over quite a few of the uninitiated.

Their debut album ‘You Got This’ is available now if you want to check them out.

Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown are a more straight ahead proposition that look to have a few fans in the audience already, judging by the reaction they receive.

The play a boogie-infused style of rock n’ roll that is hard edged and blues based. It’s heavy on incredibly talented guitar theatrics that will appeal to musicians and anyone that appreciates good musicianship.
A couple of the tracks tone down the histrionics and are more subtle, swampy and bluesy. These are the most interesting in my opinion. But the four piece band – including Graham Whitford, son of Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford, on guitar – go down an absolute storm with the audience with whatever style they play.

By the end of the set the drummer is on the barrier, leaning into the crowd, bashing out a rhythm on a drum and the place is going wild.

If the venue is at boiling point by the end of Tyler Bryant’s set then it is overflowing when Airbourne take the stage.

The Australian band are the latest in a long line of hard rockin’, hard drinkin’ bands to emerge from the Antipodes over the years. Their lineage can be traced back through bands such as Rose Tattoo, Cold Chisel and, of course, the mighty AC/DC.

Audience interaction is key to their set – four songs in and lead singer Joel O’Keefe is already in the middle of the crowd, astride a roadies shoulder whilst playing guitar and spraying beer over the adoring throng.

They are a party band and despite it being a Monday night, despite you having work tomorrow you are expected to party with them. Beers are shared with the crowd – albeit thrown to fans on their companion’s shoulders – and the floor of the venue is reduced to a sticky mess as sweat and alcohol drip everywhere.

Airbourne are an entertaining live act – it’s not serious, there are no pretentions and the fans are treated with a friendliness that draws them into the band’s world.

Airbourne Set List: 

Raise the Flag
Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
Burnout the Nitro
Girls in Black
Backseat Boogie
Bottom of the Well
Breakin’ Outta Hell
It’s All for Rock ‘n’ Roll
Boneshaker
Live It Up
Stand Up for Rock ‘n’ Roll

Encore:

Ready to Rock
Runnin’ Wild

Nov 082019
 

Craig Chisholm reviews Happy Mondays/Fat Cops at The Music Hall – 24th Oct.

Madchester legends the Happy Mondays rolled back the years and brought the spirit of baggy and the halcyon days of the Hacienda Club to the Music Hall in an enjoyable and entertaining set.

The evening’s mood was set with an interesting set by support act, Fat Cops.

Their name may not be familiar but some of their faces were – comedian Al Murray was on drums and the guitarist, Bobby Bluebell, is the writer of Scottish pop classic and number 1 hit “Young at Heart” by The Bluebells.

And, just to add to the surreal line up, the keyboard player is originally from Huntly. Oh, and he and happens to be married to Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Fortunately, their music is decent enough to fend off any accusations of a mid-life crises. Their blend of funk, rock, soul and dance music is catchy and memorable.
Tracks such as ‘Rock Star’, ‘Dehydrated’ and ‘Hot Tub’ quickly draw a healthy crowd through from the bar and earn themselves a few new fans in the process.

With the house lights dimmed and thumping dance music playing in the half hour after Fat Cops leave the stage, the atmosphere for Happy Mondays is reaching boiling point by the time Happy Mondays come on.

Bounding to the lip of the stage and engaging in his signature “freaky dancing”, Bez is the undisputed star of the show.

Not quite as svelte as he used to be, he still manages to dance non-stop throughout the set whilst engaging with the crowd – whether posing for photos wearing a bucket hat that has been thrown on stage or reaching up to the balcony to shake hands with punters.

Lead vocalist, Shaun Ryder, is much less animated but still as compelling as ever.

Hidden behind dark sunglasses and a baseball cap he’s a lot more enigmatic. However, his between song banter is casual and relaxed – although he seems to be constantly looking to a video prompter for lyrics and to find out what song is next.
His voice may not be as it once was but he still has that star quality.

The rest of the band, including Shaun’s brother Paul on bass, is tight, with original backing singer Rowetta making up for any slight misgivings in Shaun’s vocals through her powerful performance.

The set list is comprehensive and trawls through the Mondays classic catalogue – ‘Dennis and Lois’, ‘Kinky Afro’, ’24 Hour Party People’ and ‘Loose Fit’ are all given an airing.

Undisputed highlights, however, are ‘Step On’, ‘Hallelujah’ and a banging ‘Wrote for Luck’.

A great performance by a great band who, despite their well-documented years of excess, still have the energy and enthusiasm to get the crowd excited.

Oct 292019
 

Craig Chisholm reviews Gary Numan at The Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen, 27th Sept 2019.

Pop legend Gary Numan made a long overdue visit back to the Granite City to celebrate his (R)Evolution 40th anniversary tour.

It’s been over 35 years since he last played here and his wide-ranging set made up for the missing years by covering material from a vast amount of albums released in that time.

Ranging from his imperial phase 80s synth pop chart hits to the more brutal Nine Inch Nails inspired electro-gothic nihilism; his set provided a fascinating and diverse showcase of his talents.

Where before he seemed slightly withdrawn and deliberately robotic his stage presence has in the intervening years been honed and crafted to the point where is now a full blown rock god, at ease with himself and with his adoring crowd.

On stage he was never still – contorting his body and throwing shapes with his hands, conducting and leading the maelstrom of sound around him.

The choice of songs wide ranging – from the slow burning electro of ‘Absolution’, the industrial ‘sturm und drang’ of ‘Here In the Black’ or the surprising addition of an acoustic guitar to perform ‘My Breathing’ and final track of the night, Tubeway Army’s ‘Jo the Waiter’.

But it’s the big hits that most mainstream music fans will know him for and these are performed with aplomb and to rapturous appreciation by the crowd. His chart topping no.1 hits ‘Cars’ and ‘Are “Friends” Electric’ bring the house down and rightfully so.

Later 21st century period material such as opener ‘My Name is Ruin’ and ‘A Prayer for the Unborn’ receive the same amount of reception from the crowd as classic Numan cuts such as ‘Metal’ from 1979 album ‘The Pleasure Principle’.

At 61 years of age, Numan displayed the energy and commitment of someone half that age.

Here’s hoping that he returns north sooner than another 35 years’ time whilst that energy is still there.

Set list:
My Name Is Ruin
That’s Too Bad
Desire
Films
Metal
Absolution
My Breathing
Down in the Park
The Promise
Cars
Here in the Black
We Are Glass
Call Out the Dogs
A Prayer for the Unborn
Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

Encore:
My Shadow in Vain
It Will End Here
Intruder
Jo the Waiter

Apr 022019
 

Review and photos by Craig Chisholm.

The Men in Black returned to the Beach Ballroom for another triumphant performance, albeit one with a few teething troubles including a couple of false starts and one song being stopped half way through.

But, as lead singer Baz says apologetically “it’s only music, only a band” before pausing and adding:

“Not just any band – it’s the fucking Stranglers.”

And he’s right, it’s not just any band. It’s a legendary, critically acclaimed, punk band that scaled commercial peaks, influenced everyone from punks to Britpoppers and still sells out venues across the world nearly 50 years into their illustrious career.

And, as it’s only the second date of their 2019 tour, then any teething troubles can be as easily forgiven as the exuberance at seeing such a seminal act in front of a sold-out crowd.

Before the self-proclaimed Men in Black take the stage, however, there’s an opportunity to see another classic rock act ply their wares as Britain’s premier Rhythm & Blues act, the mighty Dr Feelgood, open the night’s proceedings.

It’s a very different Dr Feelgood that started in Canvey Island 1971 and became mainstays of the then burgeoning pub rock scene – long gone are original members Wilko Johnson, The Big Figure, John B Sparks and late, enigmatic frontman Lee Brilleaux.

Instead, present members Kevin Morris, PH Mitchell, Steve Walwyn and Robert Kane have been keeping
the band’s name alive as a going concern for a few decades now. 

Between them, they provide a competent, nostalgic and talented run through of some of the band’s finest moments – ‘Down by The Jetty’, ‘Milk and Alcohol’ and
a cover of ‘Route 66’ being stand out songs of their all too brief set.

The Stranglers themselves have a few line up changes over the years too and the only remaining members from their early years are bassist JJ Brunell and keyboard player Dave Greenfield – although drummer Jet Black is still part of the band when recording in the studio but no longer touring due to ill health.

It’s a typically eclectic set from the band that stretches back to their 70s beginnings right up to their most recent releases.

Chart hits such as ‘Golden Brown’, ‘Peaches’, ‘Always the Sun’ and closer ‘No More Heroes’ are well received by the adoring crowd as are fan favourites such as the pile driving ‘(Get a) Grip (On Yourself)’ which, as always, gets the crowd going wild only three songs in.

Humour is never far from the band – whether it’s JJ’s huge grin throughout the set, or lead singer and guitarist Baz Warne’s between song banter.

But the comedy moment of the night surely belongs to their poor guitar roadie, tonight celebrating his 40th birthday and getting the opportunity to dance topless on stage whilst wearing a tutu. Quite a sight, to say the least.

The Stranglers return to the Granite City in October as primary support to Alice Cooper in an eclectic three band bill that includes the surviving members seminal rockers The MC5, celebrating 50 years and billed on the night as The MC50.

It’s sure to be another unmissable night of live music that, one suspects, won’t feature any false song starts, early tour teething troubles and, most importantly, dancing roadies in skirts! Miss it if you dare.

Apr 012017
 

By Fred Wilkinson.

News has reached Aberdeen Voice that younger brother of US President Donald J Trump has bought a popular, iconic cafe located on Aberdeen’s beach front. It is widely rumoured that the Washington Cafe, currently being renovated, is to be renamed ‘The Windmill Views Restaurant’ by new owner Robert Trump.
In order to find out more, I tracked down local shopfitter, Archibald ‘Erchie’ Morrison who has been awarded the contract to refurbish the property. 

I could see Erchie and his colleagues were extremely busy, so Aberdeen Voice is grateful to have been given the time for a chat.

Erchie told me:

“Ah couldna believe it when Ah got the call fae Robert Trump’s agent. Ah thought somebody wis pullin ma leg, and Ah near hung up the phone. But, ken? Bein self employed ye canna jist gie up on gettin jobs – nae as lang as there’s a chunce it could be a genuine offer.

“Onywye, Ah had tae ask if he wis haein a fun wi ma, but nah … the job’s richt enough.”

I asked Erchie how he felt about working for the brother of the controversial US President.

“Ah wisna affa sure” Erchie commented.

“Ah did ask the agent, like in a funnin kind o’ wye, if he thocht eez client wisna aff eez heid buyin a business in Aiberdeen – fit wi a the stooshies we’ve had wi eez brither.

“He jist laughed and tellt ma he wid send ma the paperwork.”

“And that wis that until Ah got a notey fae Robert Trump eezsel. Ah near fell in a heap!”

Robert reached for the top pocket of his boiler suit where the prized letter has taken up permanent residence. Already well fingered, having been eagerly shown off to his family, friends and colleagues, the handwritten letter reads: 

“Dear Erchie.

Thank you for accepting the contract for the refurbishment of my newly acquired property. I look forward to working with you on this project.
My agent indicated to me that you have some concerns, which I’m sure can be addressed.

I am very aware of the ‘stooshies’ you have had to endure on account of my brother Donald’s actions. I trust you will judge our working relationship on my words and my actions, and not those of Donald J. We may share a country of origin, and the same parents, but I assure you, there the similarity ends. Brothers we may be, I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do about that, but we aint peas in a pod.

Only one of us actually loves Scotland and does not need to exploit the good name and memory of our Mom to prove it.
Only one of us gives our employees the correct payment for work carried out, and only one of us thinks Donald J is an asshole.

I trust you can work out which. Come and see me soon … the Glenfiddich’s are on me

Yours,
      Robert Trump.”

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Dec 232016
 

Craig Chisholm reviews Frightened Rabbit At The Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen. Photos by Craig
Chisholm.

On a night when the lights went out at Pittodrie during a Dons game against Motherwell, Frightened Rabbit lit up the nearby stage of The Beach Ballroom as they returned to the city in support of their latest album, 2016’s critically acclaimed ‘Painting of a Panic Attack’.

This tour represents a victory lap of sorts for the band as they celebrate a successful year which featured a Top 20 album and high profile live appearances at Glastonbury, T in The Park and a host of festivals throughout Europe and the US.

In a few days after their Aberdeen and Inverness dates they will play three sold out gigs at Glasgow’s iconic Barrowland Ballroom.

Make no mistake, this may be the last time in a while that you’ll catch them in venues of this size and headlining appearances at the AECC or Hydro beckon for the band.

Opening with the uplifting ‘Get Out’ from ‘Painting of a Panic Attack’, the band career straight into the fire and brimstone of ‘Holy’ and ‘The Modern Leper’ which featured on  2008’s ‘The Midnight Organ
Flight’.

Selkirk born singer Scott Hutchison chats amiably to the ecstatic crowd between songs.

“People always shout “Scotland” to us at our gigs” he notes.

“which is kind of weird, as we’re in Scotland…. Nah, just kidding, it’s only in America.”

Hutchison may have moved to Los Angeles after the bands previous album, ‘Pedestrian Verses’ and its subsequent tour but he and the band remain rooted in their home country musically and emotionally as their lyrics and between song banter attests.

The crowd hang onto his every word and exchange conversation with him as the mood remains happy and warm despite the driving cold wind and rain outside.

Hutchison may be the frontman, original member and main songwriter but the unsung star of the show is behind the drum kit in the shape of his brother, Grant.

Remaining a constant in the band since they were a duo recording the debut album, he is a flurry of careering arms, flying hair, snapped drum sticks and open mouthed expressions of pure emotion.

Part X-Men’s Wolverine, part Animal from The Muppets and, visually at least, part Oliver Reed, the drummer is a captivating sight behind the kit and guaranteed to hold your gaze once you see him.

The 19 song list set-list, lasting almost an hour and a half, is a career spanning set that includes eight tracks from their latest album and the oldest cut played being ‘Be Less Rude’ from their 2006 debut album ‘Sings The Greys’, each song received ecstatically by the partisan crowd and given rapturous applause and the upmost appreciation.

So, where next for Frightened Rabbit after such an amazing year then? Onwards and upwards one must assume – they may be frightened but they are certainly no rabbit in the headlights, frozen to the spot.

More Pics here.

Nov 042016
 

firework123picWith thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

Webcams which have become increasingly popular with the public will stream the fireworks extravaganza at Aberdeen Beach this weekend.
Live images from The Roundhouse, home to Seacroft Marine Consultants, will, weather permitting, show the colourful 20 minute long display, which gets underway at 8pm on Saturday (November 5).

The Seacroft team has repositioned the north webcam (one of four) to allow those unable to attend the popular display to watch it online.

Jennifer Fraser, director at Seacroft, said:

“We get a brilliant view of the fireworks display from our office which we wanted to share with those who might not be able to attend it.

“To do this we have repositioned one of the webcams which has the best vantage point, so weather allowing, people will be able to tune into our website and watch the display from our north webcam.

“We have been delighted with the response we have received from the public about our webcams over the past year and have been thrilled by the number of people that have got in touch and been talking about them.

“We are pleased to be able to utilise them to enable the fireworks display to be enjoyed online and we are all very much looking forward to Saturday.”

Images from Seacroft’s webcams have developed a global following with viewers from as far afield as the United States, Australia and Canada tuning in.

Established in 1995 by Captain Roderick MacSween, the firm has been owned and operated by the founder’s daughter Jennifer Fraser and Michael Cowlam since 2004.

Synonymous with its location, Seacroft has built its reputation in the marine assurance and consultancy sphere – and has expanded its expertise to offer a range of services to clients with maritime interests worldwide.

Specialisms include marine assurance packages, OVID and CMID inspections, marine warranty work, rig move services, International Safety Management audits and dynamic positioning assurance as well as simulator training in ship handling and bridge team management and specialist recovery and rescue assurance services.

The four webcams set up from the firm’s C-listed building focus on Aberdeen Beach and Bay to the north, the harbour entrance and out to sea eastwards, across the harbour navigation channel to Girdleness in a Southerly direction and across the main harbour turning basin to the west of the building.

For further information visit www.seacroftmarine.com and click on ‘Webcams’ to see Seacroft’s view. The fireworks display will be visible from the north webcam.

Photo © Anna Dobos | Dreamstime.com ….123 http://www.dreamstime.com/fireworks-imagefree176819

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May 302014
 

By Bob Smith.Lerwick torpedo tubes by Fred Wilkinson

We wanner’t doon ti the beach
‘Twis jist the ither day
Waves they cam rollin in
An gulls war aat their play
.
Waves they are aa different
Some saftly lap the shore
Ither eens cum rushin in
Wi a crash an affa roar
.
Lis’nin ti the waves some say
Is a pastime aat is fine
Waves slowly creepin ower the sand
Can calm a troubl’t myn
.
Canute fair grew tired o flattery
Fowk said the sea he cwid command
The king set oot ti prove ‘em wrang
An pit his throne amang the sand
.
Gyaang back the mannie roared
Bit the  sea kept rollin in
Canute he proved ye canna rule
The sea or waves therein
Wis aat a pirate ship a spied?
A fyow leagues fae the beach
Wis’t Jack Sparra at the helm
Or yon Blackbeard Edward Teach?
.
Pirates o The Caribbean
His a swashbucklin touch
The Pirates o Nigg Bay
Na – maybe nae sae much
.
A hidna bin at the bottle
Or puffin on “the weed”
Wis the skull an crossbones
On it’s wye ti Peterheid?
.
Crashin waves they brocht me back
An ti reality a took a tig
‘Twis ony a ile supply boatie
On it’s wye oot ti a rig
.
.
.
.
©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2014
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Apr 042014
 

Blackdog Mar14 by Suzanne Kelly (8)By Suzanne Kelly.

While more southerly parts of the UK are currently worrying about Sahara sandstorms, Aberdeenshire has a nice long-running, ongoing mess at Blackdog.
The small community and its scenic beach were, some say, ill-used.

A landfill site, industrial area, marine pollution from offshore all contribute to the current status of a sandy beach which could have been a small paradise.

Reports were written about leaching pollutants, landfill leakages, hydrocarbons and pollutants from naphthalene to benzene which were all detected, and mitigation works undertaken after political wringing of hands.

But is all really well at Blackdog? Not so much.

Aberdeenshire produced and commissioned various reports on what was in the landfill, what was seeping into the beach, and what could be done about it.  Most of these reports can be found on the council’s website – although you’ll find that they don’t allow you to download such reports readily.

Some reports from c. 2009 recommend three or so years’ worth of further pollution monitoring. Aberdeen Voice will be looking into what the shire is doing, if anything, to ensure a full and proper beach clean-up is done.

Blackdog Mar14 by Suzanne Kelly (3)The photos taken on Saturday 29 March show what the area looks like at present, and it’s not exactly enticing.

Sea foam can be discoloured and extremely foamy and/or iridescent; often these types of foamy conditions are simply explained as naturally caused by algae blooms and dead organic matter.

But the real question in such cases is what causes the blooms and what kills phytoplankton and other sea life.

When it comes to the Blackdog area, perhaps the cause is hydrocarbons and other substances from landfill.

Blackdog Mar14 by Suzanne Kelly (7)

No doubt the shire’s environmental team are investigating; updates will follow.

When the area was photographed on Saturday 29 March, there were hardly any signs of wildlife on the shore and dune area. How clean and safe is this beach?

As well as discomforting mounds of foam in browns, greys and greens washing up on the shoreline, there was no shortage of plastic debris.

Blackdog Mar14 by Suzanne Kelly (5)Carrier bags were very much in evidence, a good reminder that plastics need to be disposed of in such a way that they can’t find themselves in the food chain for marine life or bird life.

Animals try to eat plastics, and many die from doing so.

Perhaps Blackdog is better environmentally speaking than it was in the recent past. Still, this area could and should have been a coastal wildlife haven and a recreation area.

It is a highly-polluted beach and artillery range with some worrying looking sea foam, rubbish, and oily streaks.

Ideas for mitigating measure are welcome.

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Jun 072012
 

By Fred Wilkinson.

The Olympic Flame will be carried through Aberdeen City on Monday 11th June, arriving in the City around 6.25pm at Peterculter, and making it’s way to the Castlegate via Milltimber, Cults, Mannofield, Holburn Street and Union Street.

Among the runners will be Scotland Roller Derby international and Aberdeen team captain, Carolyn Mackenzie, who will run with the flame around 6.33pm from a section of the A93 near Coronation Road to the Milltimber Village sign.

Having previously published articles on Europe’s fastest-growing sport, Aberdeen Voice were delighted to hear of Granite City Roller Girls being represented in the ceremony and eager to know how Carolyn was feeling about her involvement.

“I am absolutely thrilled and overjoyed and really looking forward to the event.” announced Carolyn proudly.

 “Part of the reason why my application was successful is the work I do with Aberdeen’s only Roller Derby league – Granite City Roller Girls. We are a nationally competitive league which was established in 2008 and we have been competing since 2010.”

Carolyn was originally nominated through the Diet Coke campaign by an ex-skater, Jenna Hunter, in recognition of her commitment to raising the profile of Roller Derby as a sport, and for her motivational role in the local team. In addition to the captaincy Carolyn also has the role of Head of Training for the team.

Carolyn explains:

“I am always looking for ways to put power into the team and try my best to inspire others to achieve their full potential. I’m forever scouting the internet, watching national and international teams and watching the regional play offs in USA online to keep up to date with the newest strategies.

“I’m also forever trying to persuade coaches from other successful leagues to train with us and trying my best to attend boot camps. On top of this I like to look up to other established full contact sports to see why they have become so successful and trying to do the same for our team and Roller Derby .”

In recognition of her hard work and commitment, Carolyn was one of two Aberdeen skaters selected to compete as part of Team Scotland at the inaugural Roller Derby World Cup in Toronto last December where the Scots finished 11 out of 13.

Carolyn commented:

“The World Cup was an eye-opener as some of the girls who were competing on the USA team have been skating longer than I have been alive! We also beat Brazil and Argentina to secure 11th place, something many Scottish teams can’t boast”

Carolyn will not be alone as she takes her turn carrying the Olympic flame on Monday. Fellow Roller girls are understandably proud of Carolyn’s achievements and are excited at the prospect of cheering her on along the route.

Team-mate  Kirsten Reid told Aberdeen Voice:

“Granite City Roller Girls are immensely proud of Carolyn, one of the privileged to have been selected in this once in a lifetime experience of carrying the Olympic Torch.

“Carolyn is an inspiration to all her family and friends with the achievements she has made in the last year. With all the hard work and dedication to her sport, this is a lovely way for Carolyn to be rewarded. Well Done Carolyn, carry that torch with Pride, you deserve it and we love you.”

Carolyn added:

“A lot of them are coming to line the streets to watch my run which is pretty emotional. We are a tight-knit group, and the team has gone though such a tough time so far in 2012 that it’s so nice to have something positive to do.

“Everyone is really happy for me. Some lucky souls are away on holiday at the time and will be watching me from Spain and USA.”

It has indeed been a tough few months for Roller Derby in Aberdeen. At the moment, GRCG  have no venue locally to compete.

They were housed at the Beach Leisure Centre for over a year, and hosted many national leagues there, competing with teams from as far afield as Leicester.

The first ever Scottish Tournament was held at the BLC back in 2010. However, early this year the BLC refurbished its flooring, and despite no damage having been caused by the skaters, they were informed that we could no longer use the venue.

Having explored many alternatives including schools, colleges and Aberdeen Sports Village, GCRG are still trying desperately to secure a suitable venue in order to continue developing the local league and the sport in general. Carolyn fears that the situation could have a profoundly negative impact on the future of the sport locally.

“The members and volunteers of Granite City Roller Girls have built this sport up from nothing, and being a relatively new and misunderstood sport we have struggled to reach the level that we are at today.

“Roller Derby is a recognised sport and follows rules and infrastructure like any other sport. There are rumours that our governing body the Womens’ Flat Track Derby Association will be creating a European League in the very near future and our aim is to be able to one day compete in it.

“Without the experience that competitive play brings (and the funding that spectator fees generate) there is a very real possibility that the momentum behind the team will cease and the game will keep rolling forward without us. “

Roller Derby is played on an oval track, with a 10 ft clearance zone around it. Adding areas for spectators and team benches the space required for Roller Derby is the equivalent of a double sports hall – 8 badminton courts – 1221m2- circa.13,000 sq.ft.

The existence and availability of such spaces is only part of the problem faced by GCRG, as Carolyn  explained:

“We have been making enquiries into warehouse spaces around Aberdeen, but with Aberdeen being the Oil and Gas Capital of Europe, these spaces all come with a price, and a not-for-profit organisation like ours just cannot compete with Multi-National Companies.

 “Our dream is to have such a space though and we believe it is possible.

“Apart from a warehouse, any venue with wooden or concrete flooring of this size will be suitable. I know there are some schools that have sizeable halls but whether they are as big as we require is a different story.

“As members of Aberdeen Sports Council we have been given some excellent advice on approaching potential new venues which includes talking to schools which is something we are very keen to do.”

If any one has any leads or knows of some way they can help they can contact carolynmackenzie@hotmail.com or use the  www.granitecityrollergirls.org contact form.

Footnote:

Roller Derby is a full contact sport played on quad roller skates – predominantly by women. It is played on an oval track, each team can have 5 players on track at any given time – 4 blockers and 1 jammer.

The jammer wears a star on her head and her role is to score points by passing each blockers hips. The blockers role is to prevent the other team scoring points by physically blocking the jammer and also to assist her own jammer in scoring points by blocking the opposing blockers. It’s one of the few games where offence and defence are played simultaneously.

More about Roller Derby here.

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