Sep 062018
 

Review and photographs by Dod Morrison.

P.I.L hadn’t played Aberdeen since the mid 80s, so this was a highly anticipated gig. The gig sold out about a week after it was announced.

The shows starts off with “Warrior” and the crowd gets excited to see a punk legend.

He now has a book in front of him to read the lyrics and doesn’t move around so much, but still pulls silly faces and grimaces as he puts heart and soul into each song.

This was a no nonsense show, no rants ( well a wee one when he asks the lights to be turned down a bit ) , no banter, just a song after song.

There is a lull in the crowd when a few new songs are played but once the hits are played. 

“Flowers of Romance” and “This is not a Love Song” perk the crowd up again, but it is “Public Image” that really gets the crowd in a frenzy and singing along..

I think the crowd may have been mostly PIL fans but I felt there was quite a few who were just there to see John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten in their home town.

Here some comments from people on the night.

Margo McCombie:

“Transported back to my youth. Last time I saw PIL was in the Capitol over 30 years ago.”

Jeff Bruce: 

“Debut PIL gig for me, wasn’t disappointed!, great sound and visuals!”

Paul Reid:

“3rd PIL gig, once again pure class. No nonsense, we we’re treated to pure PIL.”

Gary:

“From the moment I walked in and saw the backdrop I felt the hairs rise. Memories of The Capitol and bouncing down the front. This was to be a nostalgic experience for so many.

“From the second the band emerged I felt a sense that something special was about to be witnessed. John Lydon’s presence on stage is mesmerising and his voice intoxicating. A tour not to be missed by any Lydon fan. Feeling blessed, still smiling.”

Hen:

“Absolute stotter of a gig , I’ve seen them a heap of times but last nights rendition of Flowers of Romance was the best I’ve heard them do it, got me duncin like a neep!”

Micheal Foreman:

“Great gig same as Hen I’ve seen them loads, great gig, loads of new versions of the classics with Lydon ad libbing throughout.

“He said at rebellion he used the music stand cos he couldn’t remember the lyrics. Maybe he should have consulted his lyrics before writing them down. Great show though didn’t disappoint.”

Billy Aitken:

“No Lydon psycho-drama – just let the music do the talking which is always a good move. Lu is the dude like.”

Donna Bruce: 

“The Public Image gig last night was fantastic with some old favourites and some new gems and I have not seen a gig so well attended at the Assembly. Cracking night.”

Sep 022017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Jasmine Ltd.

Aberdeen businesses have reported a significant boost in trade over the weekend following large crowds in the city centre for Celebrate Aberdeen and the Great Aberdeen Run.
Business organisation Aberdeen Inspired has been in touch with traders to assess the impact of the two events – with initial feedback highlighting that some saw an increase of more than 30 percent increase in sales compared to a normal weekend.

Thousands of people spent time in the heart of the city as part of the Celebrate Aberdeen parade and musical performances over Saturday and Sunday as well as the Great Aberdeen Run.

Julie Haig, owner of Haigs Food Hall, said:

“Sunday was really special and to see Union Street geared up for such a great running event was fantastic. The buzz it created in the city was amazing.

“The sense of community spirit I felt over the weekend makes me proud to be an Aberdonian. We saw a significant increase in footfall over the weekend and we would like to thank the people of Aberdeen for coming out and supporting these wonderful events.”

Union Street McDonald’s franchise owner, Craig Duncan, added:

“Sales at breakfast were more than double what we would expect on a normal Sunday and overall for the day there was an increase of more than 30 percent. It’s great to see these big events come to our city and hopefully we’ll see more in the future.”

Craig Willox, owner of Books and Beans, also saw a significant increase in trade which was also boosted by the substantial number of people who visited the Belmont Street Market.

He said:

“This was the busiest weekend of the year for us so far. The Belmont Street Market on Saturday was even bigger than the one in July and looked even better attended. We also had a queue of people waiting outside before we even opened before the Great Aberdeen Run.”

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, praised the work of everyone who worked to deliver Celebrate Aberdeen and the Great Aberdeen Run

He said:

“To see the thousands of runners and well-wishers descend on our city over the weekend was very pleasing indeed and we are very proud to have worked with Aberdeen City Council and the other key partners to help deliver Celebrate Aberdeen and the Great Aberdeen Run over the weekend.

“This success clearly demonstrates the growing ambition we have for this city and we look forward to welcoming even more runners, from the city, region and beyond, for next year’s event as it establishes itself nationally as a ‘must attend’ event on the circuit.

“Of course, an acid test for my organisation is business feedback and the initial soundings from many of the retailers in the city centre has been very encouraging indeed.

“We’re now looking to the opening night of the Aberdeen Comedy Festival on Thursday, October 5, with this event being the third largest of its kind in the country, after proving hugely popular last year.

“We again look to the north-east public to come out in force to enjoy this great offering, as well as reach out to those from further afield, as the festival also establishes itself as another event that people will travel to the city to be part of.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. More information about Aberdeen Inspired is available at: www.aberdeeninspired.com

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Aug 202017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

North-east artists have been adding their own splash of colour to Aberdeen city centre as part of an annual project to promote arts and culture. Aberdeen Inspired’s Summer of Art programme is already in full swing this year with a range of creative projects being held across the city centre, including the Painted Doors project.

The project will see artists work on decorative paintings on doors of local businesses, shops and other premises on Langstane Place, Windmill Brae and around Aberdeen Market until the end of the month.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“The Summer of Art programme is about working in partnership with local artists to make art accessible to all, as well as being a fantastic way to utilise and brighten the city centre.

“Our Painted Doors project is underway again following a very successful debut last year. Several new doors have already been completed and there are more in the pipeline to be completed before the end of August.”

As part of Summer of Art, plans are also being developed for the city centres first outdoor creative space which will allow artists to use a wall in the near Aberdeen Market at the East Green, as a canvass to create their own colourful murals following the successful Nuart Aberdeen Festival earlier this year.

Mary Butterworth, Summer of Art Curator, said:

“It has been an amazing year for art and culture in Aberdeen, it’s been a joy to see it all so well received by the public and the creative community is buzzing. 

“Last year’s Summer of Art was a catalyst for change in the city and I was proud to curate the Painted Doors project with Aberdeen Inspired. The project recognised our city’s artists and put stunning artworks on the street for the public to enjoy. Public appetite for street art is overwhelming and this was demonstrated by the success of Nuart Aberdeen.

“Aberdeen’s own creativity, sometimes overlooked, has always been here but now we can see it every day, in our doorways and on our streets.

“This year we’re adding new doors and artists to the Painted Doors line up, building upon the foundation we laid last year. Seeing art and all forms of creativity and culture on the streets is a vital part of the energy and atmosphere of any city. 

“We have worked hard on creating some new initiatives for this year’s Summer of Art, including developing plans for a creative space, to inspire the public to get involved and unleash more of that local creative energy.”

Aberdeen Inspired is also now reviewing applications for its Grass Roots fund which was launched to support the delivery of local and independent creative arts projects and interventions in the city centre over the summer.

The programme aims to cultivate and support ideas and talent in Aberdeen whilst enriching the heart of the city with street and visual arts as well as music and drama this summer. Applications were sought from individuals and groups for grants in three categories: up to £500; up to £2,000; and more than £2,000.

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. More information about Aberdeen Inspired is available at www.aberdeeninspired.com

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Jul 142017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

Organisers of Celebrate Aberdeen have welcomed a sponsorship boost from a leading oil and gas company as they aim to hold their largest ever event in the city this year.
Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd have provided £8,500 in sponsorship for the summer extravaganza which features Union Street mile running races, a third sector parade and musical performances across the city centre.

Nexen joins existing sponsors CNR International (UK) Ltd, as well as event partners, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Inspired, who help to fund the annual event which was first held in 2011, and media partner Northsound Radio.

As well as local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups, musicians and city sports groups have been invited to take part in the event which will be held on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27, alongside the inaugural Great Aberdeen Run.

More than 140 local groups have signed up to ensure their place in the celebratory parade since the date of the event was announced earlier this year.

Ray Riddoch, Nexen’s Managing Director UK & Sr. VP Europe, said:

“Giving back to the communities where we live and work is deeply rooted in Nexen’s values and we are very excited about our partnership with Celebrate Aberdeen. Our investment in the event reflects the importance Nexen places on supporting the third sector and the excellent work they do. 

“Celebrate Aberdeen is a fantastic example of collaboration between charities, the local community and business and embodies Nexen’s cultural belief of ‘win together.’ We are looking forward to a fantastic weekend and to the most successful Celebrate Aberdeen to date.” 

Morven Mackenzie, the leading force behind Celebrate Aberdeen, added:

“We’re delighted to welcome Nexen to the Celebrate Aberdeen family and look forward to working with them in the lead up to our event this summer which will be the biggest and best yet.

“We rely on support from organisations like Nexen and CNR International, as well as our key partners Aberdeen Inspired, Aberdeen City Council and Northsound Radio, to make the event happen and I’d like to thank them for all of their fantastic support.

“As well as the parading organisations, we also look forward to welcoming performers from across the city who would like to take part. This year we are keen to hear from musicians, singers, bands and dancers, all of whom can all play a part in the weekend’s activities.”

More information about the Celebrate Aberdeen weekend can be found at: www.celebrateaberdeen.org

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Jun 162017
 

By Suzanne Kelly.

An open art exhibition in any other city in the UK is likely to be a laid-back affair in terms of censorship and over-regulation.

It is likely to attract people who are interested in art practice, ideas and would go without a hitch.

Organiser Jean Paul Baptiste simply wanted to allow artists who are outside the established Aberdeen arts hierarchy a chance to show.

Aberdeen ArtCentre & Theatre Gallery was the selected venue, and all went well – at first.

The gallery decided that exhibiting sculpture in an area where a lift used by people with mobility issues was an impossibility.

This decision came after the show started. The fact that all around the world it is possible to have both disability access and sculpture co-exist was lost on the administration.

Then members of the public (how many I would like to know for openers) made a complaint about some of the artwork. So great was the trauma for the complainers they complained to the gallery and the city council. Perhaps they’ve written to the PM – we should be told.

So, this being Aberdeen, the thing to do was to cover the work up temporarily – not to justify the artistic merits of the work which are blatantly obvious to anyone with or without an arts background.

Who were these anonymous offended people who thought their own opinion was more important than the rest of the public, the artwork and the show? Please do come forward, if you’re out there. Aberdeen Voice will allow you space to explain why you wanted to ban artwork.

The gallery said:

“This is a joint message from the Operations Manager of the Arts Centre, George, and Baptiste, the curator of the exhibition. 

“First, let us thank you for your interest. The current exhibition has been most exciting for the artists and the venue. We had an immensely successful launch night, where the art provoked discussion, reaction and a good time for those who attended.  

“We understand that you have gotten in touch regarding some matters that have been raised around the exhibition itself and are looking for comment. 

“Concerning a couple of the works being removed from the floor space, this was the result of an error in communication. The Centre hosts events in the Gallery where the exhibition is and uses it to access the lift when the exhibition is closed.

“Though sculptures were practicable for the night of the launch, they were not practicable on a daily basis, at all times, as multiple events can run through the course of one day. This could mean damage to the sculptures themselves, and could impact on health and safety. The fact that standing sculptures were going to be present was not ascertained clearly, and next time there will simply be better planning. 

“Please see this link for a virtual tour of the opening night. We hope it captures for you the essence of the evening, and the current exhibition. http://virtualtoursaberdeen.co.uk/tours/art-2017/index.html”

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Mar 102017
 

Organisers of Celebrate Aberdeen are aiming to hold their largest ever parade in the city this year and are urging a range of new groups to sign up for the weekend event. With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

As well as local third sector organisations, social enterprises and voluntary groups, musicians and city sports groups have been invited to take part in the event which will be held on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27, alongside the Great Aberdeen Run.

More than 70 third sector organisations have already ensured their place in the celebratory parade since the date was announced last month, but organisers are urging others to ensure they don’t miss their chance to take part.

The parade was first held in 2011 and has brought together more than 3,500 people from 130 diverse third sector organisations for each event in recent years. The cut off-date for third sector registration is Friday, April 28.

Morven Mackenzie, director of event management company 46 Degrees, and the leading force behind Celebrate Aberdeen, said:

“Preparations are well underway for this year’s event already which we hope will be the biggest and best yet. To ensure that it is, we need as many third sector groups, sports groups and musicians as possible, so I would urge them all to sign up soon.

“The organisations that are on board already are truly remarkable in the work they carry out, and being able to offer them an opportunity to celebrate and gather support is great. We are delighted to have another parade this year as well as a range of activities and performances throughout the weekend, which will be fun for all the family.”

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, councillor George Adam, said:

“Celebrate Aberdeen is a fantastic event, which provides an excellent platform for local third sector organisations and clubs to be seen and to promote their work in a carnival atmosphere. 

“The city has many third sector organisations, which provide first-rate services because of the dedication of their volunteers. With the event being held alongside the Great Aberdeen Run the whole Celebrate Aberdeen weekend is guaranteed to be entertaining, informative and fun so I would encourage organisations to sign up as soon as possible.”

Third sector organisations wishing to take part in the Celebrate Aberdeen weekend can sign-up at: www.celebrateaberdeen.org

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Feb 242017
 

With thanks to Martin Ford.

Aberdeenshire Council should not hand public money to billionaire Donald Trump to reduce his tax bill.

That is the view of Aberdeenshire Green candidate Richard Openshaw (pictured), who is standing in the West Garioch ward at the Council election on 4 May.

Mr Openshaw is concerned because, following rates revaluation, Aberdeenshire Council has set aside up to £3 million for a business rates transitional relief scheme, and the ‘hospitality sector’ has been identified as particularly in need of assistance.

Although he no longer administers it, President Trump, self-proclaimed billionaire, has retained ownership of Trump International Golf Links and the associated hotel at Menie, a business that could potentially receive some of this relief .

“I strongly support the proposal for a business rates transitional relief scheme for Aberdeenshire,” said Mr Openshaw.

“There is certainly a need for a scheme of this kind. But the Council must target its help towards those genuinely in need, the cases where the revaluation is resulting in hardship.

“It would surely be completely inappropriate for Aberdeenshire Council to distribute public money to Mr Trump, who certainly doesn’t need or deserve it,” said Mr Openshaw.

No details of Aberdeenshire’s rates relief scheme are yet available so it is not known what criteria will be used to decide the distribution of funds, nor which Aberdeenshire businesses might benefit. Council officers are working up proposals to put before the full council meeting on 9 March.

“Whatever scheme Aberdeenshire comes up with, the Council should not be helping out Mr Trump with his tax bill,” Mr Openshaw said.

“I do not believe public money should be used to subsidise a billionaire, especially given that paying business rates is one of the very few economic benefits the UK has ever got from Mr Trump.”

Mr Trump’s dislike of paying taxes is well known. During a presidential campaign debate with his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton in September 2016, he claimed that not paying federal taxes “makes me smart”. Indeed, Mr Trump does not pay corporation tax on his businesses in Scotland.

“Very few people would see Mr Trump as a deserving recipient of public money from Aberdeenshire Council,” said Aberdeenshire Green councillor Martin Ford.

The Sunday Herald newspaper reported its view that Mr Trump is unlikely to benefit from the rates relief scheme which it says Aberdeenshire Council is designing to target assistance to small businesses.

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Dec 232016
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

Leading north-east transport operator Whytes Coaches will celebrate 50 years in business next year as it makes a long-awaited return to the tours market.
Staff at the Newmachar-based company are putting the finishing touches to a new tour brochure which will be rolled out in the New Year when bookings open for 2017.

The company came under new management earlier this year and is getting its tours business back on the road after a three-year break from the market.

The management team comprising Andrew Urquhart, David Campbell and Jason Carrison, who have between them have been with the company for 30 years, took control of the company in April and were keen to get back in to the tours sector to further diversify the business from coach hire and driver training.

The new tour guide will offer trips across the UK in 2017 and will run from the end of March to the first week of October. Thereafter, a winter programme of Christmas market visits and New Year tours will be available.

Mr Urquhart, who is a grandson of company founders Bill and Nora Whyte, is the driving force behind the company’s decision to re-enter the tours market.

He said:

“We’re very keen to get back in to the coach tours market and are looking forward to an exciting year as the company celebrates 50 years in business.

“The current economic climate and the value of the pound following the Brexit vote are making foreign holidays less attractive to people so we hope to tap in to what should be a buoyant ‘staycation’ market for 2017 as people opt for UK holidays.

“Coach tours have always been popular with north-east residents and we anticipate significant interest from across the region in our exciting tour programme.”

Customers from across the north-east will be able to take advantage of Whytes’ feeder service which provides collection from across the region as the coaches leave from Newmachar.

Once the coaches are on the road south bound pickups will also be available from Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth.

For more information about Whytes Coaches, please visit: www.whytes.co.uk

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Aug 262016
 

With thanks to Kenneth Hutchison, Parliamentary Assistant to Dr. Eilidh Whiteford.

StagecoachPlaxton

BANFF & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has spoken following further meetings with Stagecoach managers and bus manufacturers Plaxton regarding the accessibility of the buses serving the Buchan area.
Back in May, Dr Whiteford put forward complaints and suggestions on behalf of constituents with mobility impairments, less agility, and those travelling with small children.

Representatives from Plaxton showcased design proposals which will attempt to resolve the majority of access related issues by refitting the internal stairs to ensure they are less steep and of a more uniform height and depth.

Further proposals include increasing the provision of handrails, more push bells and improved stair lighting. Once the designs are finalised Stagecoach hopes to have the improved fleet on the Buchan route early in the new year.

Speaking afterwards, Dr Whiteford said:

“I very much welcome the significant movement from Stagecoach which represents real progress. I hope that feedback from bus users, once these improvement s are implemented, will be positive.

It will make a big difference to those with mobility impairments and those travelling small children and make the buses safer for all passengers travelling on this rural route. I would pay tribute to Councillor Jim Ingram who has lobbied consistently for these improvements and thank Stagecoach and the manufacturers for listening to the voices of bus users in Buchan.”

East Aberdeenshire MSP Gillian Martin added:

“I’m encouraged to see that Stagecoach have taken on some of the comments on the new buses from our constituents, many of whom rely on the bus service as their only means of transport.

What I would like to see is consultation with users and disability lobbying groups at the design stage in future, and I was glad to hear today that Stagecoach and the representatives from Plaxton acknowledged that this was something they would seriously consider”

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Jul 082016
 

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

Hilltop_Piano_Bristol 2009A leading business organisation is bringing art to life in the Granite City and it could be found in unexpected places.

From doors in Aberdeen city centre becoming a canvas for local artists, to decorated pianos and fun Oor Wullie characters, there will be a rich variety of culture on offer under Aberdeen Inspired’s Summer of Art theme.

The organisation is hoping to enthuse the north-east public and make art accessible to all with a range of fun projects under the banner.

Summer of Art kicked off with the appearance of 10 colourfully decorated Oor Wullie sculptures, which are currently on display at Marischal College until Sunday (July 10).  Organised by The Archie Foundation, DC Thompson and Wild In Art, the mini touring version of the Bucket Trail will, like its bigger version in Dundee, raise money for the charity.

Soon after the Oor Wullies have travelled on to their next destination local artists will descend upon the city centre to do some decorating with a difference as they transform a number of sites.

From mid-July guest artists will work on decorative paintings on doors of local businesses, shops and other premises with the aim of brightening up the city centre and creating living art. Locations for the painted doors will start at Langstane Place and Windmill Brae and progress to The Green and Correction Wynd. The full trail will be announced in due course.

This Aberdeen Inspired project will be followed in August by the installation of the Play Me, I’m Yours piano trail, a global sensation which has reached more than 10 million people worldwide.

The brainchild of British artist Luke Jerram, it has seen more than 1,500 pianos installed in 50 cities across the globe, all bearing the message “Play Me, I’m Yours”.

From August 2 to August 21 imaginatively decorated pianos will be placed in a variety of prominent city centre locations ranging from the Castlegate and Union Plaza to the Courtyard at the Academy, with the aim of encouraging people to interact with each-other and express themselves.

The next weekend (Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28) the arches at Union Terrace Gardens will host a Street Art festival. Led by urban and street art artist Karl Porter and up to ten artists, each participant will be given an arch to canvass their art onto, leaving a vibrant, varied and creative colourful space.

Gary Craig, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“Summer of Art is about community engagement and making art accessible to all, as well as being a fantastic way to utilise and brighten up spaces in the city centre.

“It is also a prelude to welcoming Nuart, an international contemporary street and urban art festival made famous in Norway. Everyone at Aberdeen Inspired has been working hard to make these projects a reality and we are looking forward to seeing them come to life in the city centre in coming months.

“We have also been delighted to team up with The Archie Foundation to include the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail under this banner and it has been fantastic to see the great reaction from the public to the sculptures already.

“Local artists have been planning their artworks for some time now for our painted doors project and are excited to start working on them later this month. This alongside the Play Me, I’m Yours installation and Street Art festival will add vibrant and fun splashes of colour, as well as offering both visitors and locals the chance to try their hand at tickling the ivories.

“The level of engagement it has brought amongst people in other cities is amazing and something we hope to recreate here.

“There was a tremendous response to our appeal for pianos and after being inspected by Gordon Bell of Gordon Bell Pianos, who has kindly offered his musical expertise, all accepted donations are now at North East Scotland College where they will be decorated by students. We can’t wait to show off their handiwork and give people the opportunity to play them as part of Summer of Art.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute. Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. Further information on the work of Aberdeen Inspired is available at www.aberdeeninspired.com.

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