Apr 222013
 

The Woodend Barn, Banchory, presents an evening of captivating contemporary culture at on 25th April.  David Officer tells Aberdeen Voice.

We’ve got two things to be incredibly excited about this week.

First, we have an innovative art installation entitled #Unravel utilising 7″ records, social media, acoustic instruments and storytelling, and secondly, we have a new company in residence – the wonderful physical theatre group Company of Wolves.

Both of these exciting events will combine on the 25th April when we have the opening for #Unravel starting at 5.30 p.m. in the gallery and then a sharing for the Company of Wolves production of Invisible Empire at 7.30 p.m. in the main hall.

These events are free to attend and we’d love as many of you as possible to come along.

#Unravel

#Unravel has been created by Edinburgh based arts-collective/experimental pop band FOUND and Glasgow musician and author Aidan Moffat.  Both artists are signed to the legendary Glasgow record label Chemikal Underground and spent a year working together on the #Unravel exhibition.

Aidan had to write 10 short stories, each sound-tracked by 160 new compositions created by FOUND.

The exhibition is controlled by 7” records which trigger acoustic instruments around the room to soundtrack the story told by the narrator on the record.  It’s not the first time FOUND have done innovative things with records – in 2011 they released a chocolate record that could be played on a record player and was completely edible.

FOUND – the members of which include Ziggy Campbell, Kev Sim, Tommy Perman and Simon Kirby – also created Cybraphon, the world’s first autonomous emotional robot band.  The music it plays changes depending on its mood which is set by mentions on social media and the internet.

The artists have carried some of this innovation into #Unravel, with the music developing depending on the time of day, what’s being said about the exhibition on the internet, the size of the audience and the local weather.

This reflects how a real narrator would change the telling of a story to suit its audience, as tales would evolve with circumstance and even memories would distort and warp depending on influence from elsewhere.

The preview is in the Gallery at 5.30 p.m. on 25th April, after which the exhibition runs from 30th April to 8th June.

The Gallery is open from 12 noon to 4.00 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday.

Company of Wolves: Invisible Empire

Using voice and text, movement and song, Invisible Empire traces the psychological progression from conformity and alienation to extreme acts of resistance.

This performance is a live interrogation of our conflicting tendencies to conform and to rebel; to justify our actions by any means necessary; to lose ourselves in the morass of modern life; and –sometimes – to stand firm and resist.

Commenting on Invisible Empire: Work-in-Progress at the 2012 SURGE Festival 2012, theatre critic Joyce McMillan described it as:

“… promising and contemporary, using deep resonances of choral music…

 “The atmosphere is clear, adult, humorous yet serious; and the sound is simply sensational.”

The sharing takes place in the Main Hall at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday 25th April.

Jul 192012
 

Aberdeen Voice’s Suzanne Kelly reports back from Willows on last Saturday’s Sandi Thom concert and with an update on Willow’s inhabitants.

The weather changed every hour last Saturday, mostly from heavy rain to light rain – but that didn’t deter crowds of animal lovers from heading to Willows Animal Sanctuary to hear Sandi Thom.

Morgan, age 11, visited her favourites including Snowy the goat, and cats Fluffball, Fred and Frankie.

Fred likes to climb on people, and so too does Fluffball (as I later found out: having bent down to tie a shoelace, I became a perch).

The cats were in their finest form, all wanting lots of attention:Arthur,  the cat who had been found in waste ground living in a paint can; Ella, the three legged cat (Paul Rodger’s wife Cynthia is particularly fond of this sweet-tempered feline); Bailey (a fluffy Bailey’s Irish Cream coloured cat) and the rest.

Two new arrival cats were in cages awaiting trips to the vet.  Their owner had been caught in the act of dumping them at Willow’s entrance recently.  Willows staff and I discussed the alarming rate in people abandoning their animals and in particular the kittens left near Mrs Murray’s Home – in a box sealed with cling film.

It was only a miracle they were found before they died from dehydration and suffocation.

What some people are thinking these days defies description.

We need places like Willows, New Arc and Mrs Murray’s to be sure – but we also need to make people aware that when they abandon animals, they are not only causing a great deal of suffering (emotionally physically) to a formerly-loved pet – they are breaking the law.

Thankfully there are also the kind of people who support Willows and other animal shelters, and today’s crowds were an amazing bunch of generous, animal-loving, caring people.

Sarah Norris told me she’d first come when she heard of Paul Rodger’s visit, and has been five times since.   Although she and her family live nearby, they were not aware that Willows welcomes visitors until then.

Mr Norris said:

 “the benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy should be publicised and much better funded.”

 Many people of all ages have benefited from interacting with animals at Willows.  He continued:

“Paul Rodgers, Cynthia Rodgers and Sandi Thom have done very well to raise awareness – if not for them, we might not have visited.”

I knew Sandi Thom would be doing an acoustic set in a barn; I had not expected it to be literally packed to the rafters.

People were seated and standing, and a group of peacocks were on the barn’s beams.

The animals seemed to be listening in –  a black cat was seated quietly in one of the paying seats, watching and listening to Sandi intently.  Being there in this atmosphere was quite an experience.

Sandi later told me that she hadn’t done anything acoustic of this nature before, which surprised me as it had come off perfectly.  There were familiar hits of hers, covers, and material from a forthcoming album.

“I enjoyed myself; it was my first acoustic public performance, and it was a nice break for me.  Playing up close and personal like that reminded me of the meanings of the songs.” 

She brought up the new patrons,

“I was glad I could invite Paul and Cynthia to be patrons; their kinship with animals is amazing and genuine.”

Sandi was soon off to tour all the other resident animals, and spent a good deal of time with the 18 hand gelding McGill which she’s adopted.   We were guided by Willows staff as well as several cats which followed us for more petting; they were greatly enjoying the attention.

Many of the cats here are unsuitable for family adoption for a variety of reasons; Willows was their last chance.  In fact many of the animals here were abandoned or confiscated, and  they would have been put to sleep by local authorities if not for finding a home here.

This is true of the newest arrival – a beautiful, tiny Shetland pony foal.  Its mare and two other Shetlands were abandoned and were due to be put down but Willows said they would take them.  So the pregnant mare has a new-born foal and a new life.

Clearly all of this takes a great deal of money – there are over 300 animals (‘all creatures great and small’ as Paul Rodgers put it on his last visit).  There is no government funding for any of our regional shelters – and they rely on our support.

Willows has several raffles on the go, animal adoption schemes, and a programme of upcoming events (details http://www.willowsanimals.com/ and on facebook via the ‘Help Save Willows Animal Sanctuary’ page.

I finally braved the reptile house – and was pleasantly surprised by a selection of beautiful reptiles and amphibians.  Many people had bought such pets thinking they would be easy to care for – most are not, and so they wind up at places like Willows (if they are lucky).  The Giubarelli family were enjoying these creatures and their visit.

Before it’s time to leave there is just time for another tour around the animals, then it’s time to say goodbye to Kate, Jenny and all the volunteers.  It’s been a brilliant day despite the weather, and everyone heads home happily, as the cats settle down for a rest, and the staff finally get a rest as well.  Until next time.

Jul 062012
 

Willows Animal Sanctuary is pleased to announce that Sandi Thom will perform an unplugged show at the sanctuary’s open day on 15 July. There will be a raffle, tombola and refreshments. Signed photos of Sandi will be available to supporters making a £15 donation.  

Willows is also delighted to announce the birth of Free Spirit, the first foal to be born at the charity in twelve years.
Free Spirit was born to Carly, a rescued native Shetland mare who was part of a welfare case on the islands. She was one of three animals found abandoned, starving, covered in lice and other parasites.

Once they were seized by the authorities, Willows was asked to help to save the ponies. Free Spirit is our symbol of hope for the future. We have named him after Free, Paul Rodgers’ band.

We want to thank everyone who has helped Willows in its recent difficult time. The support has been wonderful. We are not out of the woods but we have various funding potentials on the horizon. Our patrons Paul Rodgers and his wife Cynthia are supporting a raffle to help raise money with twelve unique prizes including a guitar and tambourine signed by Paul.

Our other patron Sandi Thom’s fundraising gig at Willows on 15 July will be an opportunity to meet her and get her autograph. Tickets are available from Willows.

We are looking forward to a more positive future with the help of the fantastic public. On behalf of everyone at Willows, thank you!

Willows is open as a Visit Scotland attraction each Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 11.30am-5pm with last admission at 4.15pm.

Sandi Thom
Live and unplugged at Willows Animal Sanctuary
Sunday 15 July
Doors open 1pm
Tickets £12 in advance, £15 on the door and £18 seated.

Available from Willows Animal Sanctuary
01771 653112
email kate@willowsanimals.com

 

Jun 142012
 

Willows Animal Sanctuary announced two new patrons – Paul Rodgers and his wife Cynthia Kereluk.  The couple were at Willows answering questions, visiting the animals, even playing a few acoustic bars of Bad Company Songs last week.  Would the voice behind Bad Company, Free and The Firm be at home on an Aberdeenshire farm?  Yes, and then some, as Aberdeen Voice’s Suzanne Kelly found out.

When I last spoke to Paul Rodgers it was for a split second while backstage when The Firm – Jimmy Page, Tony Franklin, Chris Slade and Paul Rodgers – were on tour in America, playing massive arenas and Madison Square Garden… I was a very lucky girl indeed.

When I saw him next, he was petting a cat at Willows, comparatively in the middle of nowhere.  Willows had just celebrated its twelfth anniversary, and in these troubled times is financially stretched.

The Rodgers’ have been supporting Willows and adopting animals there for some time, but what more could Paul and Cynthia do?   And how in the world did they find out about Willows to begin with?

Well, they had to be genuine animal lovers, there is no other way they’d wind up in this part of the world.  The press conference started and Paul launched straight into the subject:-

He jokes about finding Willows.

“I thought we were on our way to Sweden, and Cynthia persuaded me this was a shortcut.” 

Cynthia explains in a little more detail

“We were on our way to Sweden where Paul was going to perform with Sandi Thom. She told us about Willows before, and we wanted to see it.”

Paul continues

“This past Christmas we decided to give our nieces and nephews sponsored animals as presents.  I think half of them are still wondering where their gift is.”

The couple sponsored a dozen or more animals for life last year around Christmas time, which was when I recall first seeing their names linked to Willows.

Cynthia continues

“We spoke with Jenny about fundraising. We wanted to help, and we’ve come up with a few ideas.  No one wants to see it shut.”

 ‘Two wounded creatures’ as Cynthia put it, had found each other and helped each other

The ideas they launched include an international raffle to celebrate the twelve years of Willows’ operations – the top prizes include an acoustic guitar played and signed by Paul, a painted tambourine, other autographed presents, and two mystery gifts.

There will also be an online charity shop (donations needed) and the plan is to raise Willow’s profile, particularly in Edinburgh and Glasgow.  Raffle tickets are on sale now, available online at http://www.willowsanimals.com/

Paul added

“I have a huge respect… I am amazed that they take in horses, donkeys, stick insects– ‘all creatures great and small.’”

Cynthia then brought up the importance of Willows to people.  She retold one particular story -there are dozens – about the animal assisted therapy Willows offers, and how it has changed, if not saved lives.  The story concerns a young boy who was anorexic, a rare but increasing problem for young men, who was involved with Willows therapy.

One day he arrived unexpectedly, just after Willows had accepted a very badly treated horse.  This particular creature had a fractured pelvis, yet its owners were trying to ride it.  The horse became understandably more and more ‘of a diva’ and when it was sent to Willows, the fracture was discovered.  By then the horse had little time or trust for people.

The horse was still in an upset state, and was in a field on its own.  Willows staff could see the young boy was going up to the horse and they were quite concerned as the boy didn’t know the horse’s sad story or condition.  Well, somehow the horse and the boy got along famously from the first minute they met.

‘Two wounded creatures’ as Cynthia put it, had found each other and helped each other.  The horse improved, and so did the boy, who is now living a happy, stable life.

 Cynthia has just been describing a cat they had, which had been hit by several cars in a horrible accident

The story of a little girl in a wheelchair was told; she was in a crowd visiting the sanctuary, and was having problems seeing what was going on.  A horse named Ninja put its head onto her lap and gently nuzzled her.  These may seem like little things to you and me, but for people who have problems, such little things can make an entire world of difference.  This is not sentiment, it is fact.

“There are over 300 animals here, and there’s a story for each one” Paul says, “and there’s a book in it.”  This thought gives me some ideas, we will see.

The Rodgers and Willows staff explain that the government does not give them grants any longer, due to the economic crisis and budget cuts.  They have had to be self-funding for the past year and a half.  Not exactly a great position when you are a last-chance sanctuary for so many unwanted wild, domestic and farm animals.

“The lives of animals are not something you can walk away from” Paul says, and that’s how I feel myself.

Before the press call got going, I had started to ask if the Rodgers had any pets.  I thought I misheard them, because I thought I heard ‘thirty-six cats’; (I put this down to my listening to too much loud music over the years).

“We had thirty-six cats at one point” Paul says – they were all rescued animals.

Cynthia has just been describing a cat they had, which had been hit by several cars in a horrible accident. This poor pet needed help with all of its needs, and it sounded to me like it wound up with the right people.  There is chez Rodgers, a Shepherd crossbreed which weighs 91 pounds, and currently they are down a mere eight cats. Somehow through all this it emerges that Cynthia is allergic to cats – my sympathies indeed, as I am too, despite having two rescue cats myself.

“We have had some interesting trips to Mexico” Rodgers says.

His experiences in Mexico are far from any rock star cliché – they go there and bring back abandoned cats.  They describe going back through US customs with several cats at a time, and because it is standard Food & Drug Administration procedure, they have to declare that the cats ‘are not for human consumption’.  Such are the workings of governments.   

“All of our friends have two cats now – we meet them at the airport and they just take the cats then.”

Well, you can’t say they’re not cat lovers.

The press call then takes a tour through Willows to visit the various animals, something I’d been greatly looking forward to doing again. I was on the lookout for some old favourites of mine.   Sandi Thom has adopted a giant, 18 hands high horse named McGill, who’s out in a pasture. We visit Arthur the cat, found living on waste ground in an empty paint can, the lovely three-legged Elly, and a host of other creatures, all warmly greeted by the Rodgers.

I ask Cynthia for a comment on what I see as being one of the biggest problems at present – people abandoning animals.  She has this to say:-

“People fall on hard times.  Reach out for help; don’t be embarrassed.  But you need to treat living things as you would like to be treated: pet ownership is a lifelong commitment.  There are those who will come behind and help.”

And on that note I leave her, tending to Arthur the cat that needs some medicine.   If you can come behind and help Willows, then please get in touch.

Coda:  Look out for Paul Rodgers performing with an orchestra works from his career.  Also look out for a Sandi Thom concert at Willows in July.
http://www.paulrodgers.com/news.html

 

Feb 212012
 

With an armful of flyers promoting various pro ‘Retain Union Terrace Gardens’ groups, Aberdeen Voice’s Suzanne Kelly headed to the first of two ‘pizza parties’ thrown by the secretive ‘Vote For The City Gardens Project’ group.   Suzanne was  unable to give away more than four flyers – because less than a half dozen students turned  up to hear the pro CGP message.

If the promise of free food to students isn’t enough to lure more than 5 or 6 people, things are looking bleak for the VFTCGP, and bleaker still for PR agency, BIG Partnership.
VftCGP, on their official Facebook page, announced last week there would be two ‘free pizza!’ events thrown for students; a free pizza dinner was theirs and all they had to do was show up to hear a pro-City Garden Project lecturer – Paul Robertson.
At first most FB readers assumed this was a spoof thrown by the ‘Retain UTG’ groups – but no, this was actually someone’s idea of a vote-winner.

We all know the proverb about the incompetent who can’t even arrange a drinking session in a brewery; but I was unprepared for what must be the biggest non-event in history.

The Facebook invitations simply read:

“Free Pizza And Information Night! Come join us for free pizza and a chat with Paul Robertson about the City Garden Project on Monday 20th February, between 6pm and 7pm at the RGU: Union”.

Thinking back to my RGU course days, I thought a.  how insulted I would be at someone blatantly trying to buy my opinion – with pizza no less, and b.  how often I could have found a free meal very handy indeed.  This event would be packed.  The invites were also sent to staff and students.  I thought of a massive collective of outsiders and RGU students and staff competing for quickly-disappearing ‘American Hots’ and ‘Hawaiians’ before a slick presentation from BIG.

BIG must be making a huge amount of money from the referendum – it is doing some if not all of the official City Gardens Project group’s PR, as well as work for the ‘Vote for the City Gardens Project’ group.  This last group, VftCGP is allowed to spend and write whatever it wants without any external controls.

They were behind the A3 glossy colour brochure filled with ‘concept’ drawings in lurid pastel colours (or ‘vibrant and dynamic’ colours – depending on your outlook); these brochures were delivered not only to city voters, but also to shire non-voters.   Perhaps this was the first sign of many mistakes and gaffes to come?

I arrived late; it was 5:50pm.  Had I missed the free pizza? 

Would I get through the crowds?  Would I be admitted?  I went to the RGU Union reception desk, and was told the event was really only for RGU students.

“How many are already signed in?”  I asked.

“You’re the first one.”  came the reply.

It was explained that I needed to be signed in by a RGU Union member.  A tumbleweed rolled by.

Eventually a man arrived who explained he’d received the invitation which said nothing about it being only for students.  Is it possible that BIG didn’t get all the little details right – like who should be allowed in?  It seemed so.  The reception desk got in touch with someone – presumably the organisers and we were allowed to attend the event.  It was almost 6pm.

  A sea of empty chairs and a few sofas greeted our eyes.  We were the first two arrivals.

My friend and I went to the designated area.  The song by The Specials, ‘Ghost Town’ went through my mind.  Two students played pool further off.  A man tended the food/drink area. Three BIG PR  professionals (who looked like students to me) were fumbling with a screen, a laptop and a projector.

There was me and my new friend, who if possible was even more against the concept of building ramps over UTG than I was.

A sea of empty chairs and a few sofas greeted our eyes.  We were the first two arrivals. We sat in the back of 8 or 9 rows; the chairs of which had all been covered with a copy of The Granite Web newspaper, and a fetching postcard of the concept drawing captioned “Wish You Were Here?”.  It crossed my mind the organisers must have wished people were here, too.   But no one was.

My new friend explained to me his position against the CGP.  He had attended a meeting in the days of the consultation; Sir Ian Wood had addressed a group of Health & Social Sciences faculty and staff at the Garthdee campus.  My friend said:-

“I was there all that time ago, and Sir Ian Wood told a group of about 24 of us that if the consultation showed that people didn’t want the gardens developed, then he would walk away.  He walked away all right – and came back.” 

My new friend was not happy.

“I know people have their own opinions about what should happen to Union Terrace Gardens,” he said; “but I object to PR people muddying the waters.  Instead of corporate BS we need facts and honest debate.”

It was approximately 10 minutes after 6.  It was three people fumbling with technology, and my friend and I at the back.  Had any PR professionals come over to introduce themselves?  Welcome us?  Offer out any pizza?  No.

But what was this?  Two male students showed up.  They looked at eachother, then at the empty seats.  They sat in the front row.  As they didn’t seem to have been made welcome by the professional BIG team, I wandered over.

“I can’t buy you any pizza,” I explained; “and I can’t afford any print or radio commercials.  However, I’d like to offer you some literature just so you can see the other side to the coin.”

“I’m a social work student, and I’m not in favour of this plan.” one of them said.  He spoke about money, and seemed to know quite a bit about this nebulous scheme.

They took my literature.  One of the PR bods – a woman with dark hair, watched this little exchange between the student and I, and looked for all the world as if cold water had been poured on her.  It  kind of had.

It was 6.15 now.  There had been no welcome to the visitors.  There was no presentation ready to roll. 

There was a Lady Gaga video playing over the pool table which made as much architectural sense as the Granite Web newspapers thay lay unread and unwanted on the empty chairs.  And – there was no pizza.

What was that?  Three more people had arrived.  I repeated the procedure and gave them flyers too.  It seemed that was all they were going to get.

“Does anyone know how to work presentations?” one of the BIG  crew asked.  Answer came there none.

My friend admitted to me he knew all the ins and outs, as did I.  But by now things were getting poignant, and moved by pity for the fumbling threesome, I simply had to leave.

I made my farewells to my new friend, who promised to call me if anything exciting happened, if the numbers swelled, or if the pizza showed up.  I do not expect to hear from him.

“I went to that fly-through thing at the art gallery.  I really don’t know what decade they were trying to capture.”

I thanked him and headed off.  Just as I turned to leave, it seemed the three-man crew managed to power up the projector.  A yawn of excitement emanated from the four or five remaining hungry students.  Perhaps I’ve missed the public relations event of the year.  Well, there is always tomorrow at Aberdeen University at 6.30 pm.  Then again, I think I’l lbe washing my hair.

As I turned to leave, more than 15 minutes after the advertised start time, I think one of the three began to speak.  The film ‘Withnail and I’ came to mind.  At  the end of this film the unequalled Richard E Grant gives a rendition of Hamlet’s famed soliliquoy to a collection of animals at the Regents’ Park zoo.  He is brilliant, but there was no one there to appreciate his message.

Poor BIG.  Poor paying clients of BIG.  Richard E might have had no audience, but at least he had something important, heartfelt and honest to say.

Picture Credit: Renee Slater

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 032012
 

With thanks to  Jenny and Kate at Willows

Willows Animal Sanctuary  invite you to come along to an open day on 18 February from 12 noon to 4.00 pm.

Willows Patron Sandi Thom will arrive around 1pm, and autographed photos will be for sale with all profits going to Willows. Lush Aberdeen have generously donated a collection of treats to be raffled off.
There will be baked goods, ferrets and many more of the great variety of creatures that live at Willows will be on show – farm, domestic and wild animals are all given a shelter, and no healthy animal is ever put down.

In addition, legendary singer Paul Rodgers, founding member and songwriter from Free and Bad Company and member of The Firm; and his wife Cynthia sponsored 13 of Willows Animals for Christmas.

Paul said:-

“We heard the unusual story about the piglet Babe and her great escape and dug a little deeper to find that all of the animals were in need of sponsoring.”

Paul has also donated 100 copies of his latest DVD “Live in Montreux Paul Rodgers and Friends” featuring appearances from Queen’s Brian May, Journey’s Neal Schon, Jason Bonham and others.

Signed copies of Paul’s DVD are available at £25 from Willows online shop.  Details of Willows at http://www.willowsanimals.com/ and DVD details/order form at http://shopatwillows.com/shop/catalog/search?shop_param , so even if you can’t make it to Willows on the 18th, you can still get a signed DVD.

Willows Animal Sanctuary is the largest sanctuary in Aberdeenshire and will try to help any animal in distress. We operate a strict no kill policy and only euthanise an animal on veterinary advice.

We look after over 300 animals including around 60 horses, ponies and donkeys, approximately 60 cats and dogs and many reptiles as well as over 100 farm animals and birds.

We are totally dependent on donations, legacies and grants from benevolent organizations to keep the sanctuary running.

We are entirely funded by public support and receive no government funding. Unlike larger charities we have no reserves of money and are desperately short of funds. We specialise in helping elderly or more vulnerable animals that have already been refused help by well known large national charities, but we can only continue to help needy animals with your support!

The Animal Assisted Therapy Unit at Willows

Willows helps many vulnerable people with its animal assisted therapy programme. The concept of allowing rescued animals to help vulnerable people on the road back to health is very innovative and has been independently evaluated and shown to be highly beneficial.The therapeutic placements and corporate team building days include equine management, animal husbandry, therapeutic music sessions, drama, bushcraft and mediaeval re-enactment  Please contact us if you would like more details.

Willows Animal Sanctuary is situated on the road between New Pitsligo and Strichen (B9093)

 

Dec 082011
 

Aberdeen Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament invite you to enjoy with us an evening of 

Poetry and Song for a Peaceful World

 

.
Friday 9th December,

Quaker Meeting House,

98 Crown Street,

Aberdeen


Performers include:
Gerard Rochford, Kirsty Potts, Dave Davies, Lorna Grant, Bob Smith, Hilda Meers

Little-known originals and world famous poets will be represented, with new contributors welcome.

  • Also Open Mic
  • Admission Free
  • All Welcome

Complimentary mulled wine and mince pies provided

Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start

For more info contact Sally at: sally@hjke.org

 

Oct 112011
 

Hercules Moments launch a second free Aberdeen music sampler; Eoin Smith and Russell Thom tell Aberdeen Voice all about it.

Two students from the North East of Scotland are set to release their second compilation of top Aberdeen music, free of charge.

Following the release of a similar compilation in 2010, Eoin Smith and Russell Thom, both 20, founders of music site Hercules Moments, are set to build upon their previous success with 12 brand new tracks from some of Aberdeen’s finest bands.

‘Hercules Moments: Vol. 2’, the ingeniously titled sampler, will be released as a free download on www.herculesmoments.co.uk  on the 28th of October, in a variety of formats.

To celebrate the release, Hercules Moments will be holding a launch party in Café Drummond, situated on Aberdeen’s Belmont Street,  on the 28th, which will feature three of the fantastic acts that  appear on the sampler: Katerwaul, Carson Wells and Mark Riley, frontman of Glassman, who will be performing a very special acoustic solo set.

Boasting a wealth of talent, the sampler includes established acts The Xcerts and The Little Kicks, alongside newer acts like Min Diesel, Foxhunting and Seas, Starry. The line-up is completed by local favourites The Deportees, The Shakedown Project, Turning 13 and Outbox.

“We were overwhelmed by the positive reaction we received  after last year’s sampler,”

 began Eoin, an English student at the University of Aberdeen,

 “so there was really no question as to whether we would release  a  second one. We have an even more diverse range of talent this year, and everyone involved is really very excited to get it out there for people to hear.”

Russell, an Engineering student at the University of Aberdeen, added:

 “It all sounds really fantastic this year. We were lucky to get award-winning local producer Iain Macpherson to look over the tracks, which has made the whole thing fit together really well. I am a big fan of a lot of his work – most recently Steven Milne’s solo album and The Deportees’ new  single – and I know he has loads of other exciting stuff coming up too.”

It was in March 2009 that then-school pupils Eoin and Russell launched Hercules Moments: a blog dedicated to writing about the music they loved to listen to. After two years of hard work, they have accomplished more than they ever dreamed of.  As Eoin elaborates:

“Since founding Hercules Moments, we have been able to work with some of the most exciting recording artists from across the globe, including Rufus Wainwright, Supertramp and Weezer, as well as a whole host of new and rising talent,”

  Russell concludes:

“In the past year we have been nominated for a variety of awards – both locally and nationally – and the website has grown to incorporate submissions from a variety of talented contributors. It’s nice to be recognised for the work we have put into the website and we are very proud of what we have achieved so far.”

“The sampler really is an awesome mix of tracks and best of all it’s free! If you ever wanted an introduction to a selection of the best music in Aberdeen, then this is your chance to hear it,”

Aberdeen Voice are grateful to Eoin and Russell for their story, and wish them all the very best of luck with all future projects.