May 242017
 

Review and Photographs by Dod Morrison.

Iron Maiden were formed in 1975 by bassist and songwriter Steve Harris.

They’ve released 38 albums including 16 studio albums, 11 live albums, 4 EPs, and 7 compilations – probably making them the world’s most famous heavy metal band.

The band were returning to Aberdeen after a five year gap as part of their ‘The Book Of Souls’ tour.

Released in 2015, this was the band’s sixteenth studio album as well as their first double studio album and at 92 minutes, their longest to date. It also contained the band’s longest track, ‘Empire of the Clouds’ at a staggering 18 minutes.

The album was actually recorded in 2014 but the launch was delayed to allow Bruce to recover from the removal of a cancerous tumour on his tongue.

The album was a commercial success reaching number 1 in 24 countries. They started the tour in February 2016 and it will go through until July 2017.

When Iron Maiden come to town it’s not just to play a gig, it’s an EVENT!

They are known for  their extravagant stage shows which usually feature a huge Eddie The Head (the band mascot). Eddie is a perennial part of Maiden, appearing on all the covers of their albums, and he appears in the live shows in various guises.

Unfortunately, a pending dispute about ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ song credits means that the fan’s favourite song (and my own favourite) had been removed from the current The Book Of Souls tour set list.

The Book Of Souls tour came to Aberdeen where the faithful filled the AECC and prepared to worship. The stage was made to look like an Inca style lost city. A half rectangle shaped wall surrounded and contained the stage with several braziers along its length and moving backdrops, flanked by pyramids on either side.

After a rousing version of ‘Doctor, Doctor’ by UFO was played to get the crowd going, the set commenced with Bruce Dickinson standing on the wall above and behind the drum kit.

Bruce inhaled the vapours from a cauldron on a pedestal as the first chapter of Book of Souls plays.

He then launched into a magnificent, energetic rendition of ‘If Eternity Should Fail’.

Flames erupted from the braziers along the city walls as Bruce dashed across them from side to side. Beneath him Nicko McBrain was drumming up a storm on his impressive and very shiny drum kit.

In front of him guitarists Janick Gers, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith covered the stage, adopting the usual foot on monitor poses.

Janick used the furthest forward set of speakers as a seat, and also enjoyed giving it the odd kick just to show it who’s boss.

Of course, amid all of this, the iconic figure of Steve Harris strode across the stage brandishing his bass.

As the set progressed the huge backdrops behind the band changed to reflect each new song.

Bruce also changed costumes to suit the songs.

At one point he sported a gorilla mask and brandished bananas at the other band members! For ‘Power Slave’ he wore a leather mask, which must have been incredibly sweaty on the warm May night, but it didn’t slow him down at all.

He charged across the city walls above and behind the rest of the band.

As all of this unfolded before our eyes, our ears were treated to a very well chosen set list which covered the entire career of this magnificent band. They played oldies such as ‘Wrathchild’ and ‘Iron Maiden’.

During a magnificent version of ‘The Trooper’ Dickinson was clad in a red ‘Trooper’ jacket and he charged along the walls brandishing a huge Union flag.

At one point he amusingly draped it over Janick Gers as he played his guitar below. It was hard to discern how much ‘playing’ Janick actually did as he spent a lot of time throwing his guitar around on its strap, dancing with it.

We were treated to ‘Fear Of The Dark’ and then on to current masterpieces from the ‘Book of Souls’ album, including a blistering rendition of ‘Speed Of Light’ during which the crowd sang impressively along with the chorus.

It was a well chosen, well thought out set list.

You didn’t want to look away even for a second in case you missed something spectacular, such as the huge sporadic flames that erupted from the braziers along the city walls, or the massive inflatable Eddie figure that floated up from behind the set.

During ‘Book Of Souls’  a giant Eddie figure appeared on stage and ‘attacked’ the band.

Janick ran through its legs, then when Eddie tried to chop him with his axe he responded by hitting Eddie between the legs with his guitar.

Eddie then moved on to attack Dickinson who fought back and pulled out Eddie’s heart. Bruce squeezed the blood from it before throwing it into the crowd – most entertaining!!

At the end of the song Bruce said “this isn’t something you see every night, the stage on fire” – and it was! There was a flame about 2 feet high burning up on the top of the set! The band carried on regardless whilst the fire was put out.

The main set finished with ‘Iron Maiden’ before an encore of ‘Number Of The Beast’ (which involved the appearance of a huge inflatable Satan figure), ‘Wasted Years’ and ‘Blood Brothers’.

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May 122017
 

With thanks to Aberdeen Community Energy (ACE).

Donside Hydro is a community built hydro scheme, on the river Don adjacent to the site of Donside Papermill, where there is now an urban village.
It is Scotland’s first urban community hydro scheme (most others are situated in isolated parts of the
country).

In 2013 Local residents formed a resident’s association, now called Donside Village Community SCIO (DVC), and from this association, ACEnergy (a not for profit, community benefit society) was formed.

For anyone interested in visiting Scotland’s first Urban Community Hydro Scheme, a tour is being conducted on Thursday May 18 ( details below).

ACEnergy (whose 5 directors all live in the village and are members of the DVC, bar one) went on to create the £1.2 million Donside Hydro Scheme, which has been successfully funded through share and bond offers.

The scheme has won a number of awards since operations began last September, including the best Community Project at the Scottish Green Energy awards in December.

Whilst the turbine is fully operational, and we have been producing electricity since 21st Sept 2016 and are meeting all projected targets, the landscaping is ongoing and there is still a bit of work to be done. We have just finished planting over 500 trees on our newly created island and further landscaping will take place over the next year. This will include the building of a bridge across to the island, and ensuring that as much of the area as possible is wheelchair accessible.

Profits from the scheme will be given to the share holders and bond holders, who have helped to finance the scheme, but a percentage of the profits will be returned to the community association, and this will be used to further develop the area and create a lovely public amenity for all who come to this part of the Don. However, this will not happen until the first full year of production at the earliest.

The DVC is working with the Scottish Government’s Scottish Land Fund to purchase the land surrounding the Donside Hydro. The aim is deliver a park for locals and visitors of all ages to play, explore, recreate and educate.

We are at stage 2 of our application and it is progressing well. However, the Scottish Land Fund are unable to fully finance any land purchases and can only give us 90% of the value of the land. We are not yet in a position to access any funds from the electricity production, as stated above, so this means we will have to find the remaining monies ourselves.

We are currently fund raising at every opportunity to raise the necessary cash (e.g. all profits from our Spring Fayre has gone toward the land purchase, people from the village are running the 10k to raise money etc).

We are also seeking alternative ways of funding and have started to charge for seminars and tours, where it is reasonable to do so, whilst keeping in mind our desire to make the hydro as accessible as possible to all. Therefore we are asking groups who ‘have a budget’ to make a set fee. For those that do not we are asking individuals who attend to make a donation in order for us to be able to purchase the land and develop it for all.

The bottom line is, we want people to be able to come and see the hydro and hear our story. We do not want money to be a prohibitive factor, but we want to be able to purchase the land!

We look forward to seeing you soon……

Visit the first Urban Community Hydro Scheme!

On Thursday 18th May at 7pm please join Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum on their visit to the first urban community hydro scheme which is a 100Kw Archimedes screw by the banks of the River Don by Tillydrone, Aberdeen. Come and find out how this scheme works and environmental issues that need to considered in such schemes.

The visit is free but donations to the scheme are most welcome.

Please book a place on this tour by telephoning or texting 07799658209 as limited spaces and to organise lift sharing opportunities.

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Jan 272017
 

With thanks to James Soars Media Services. 

“An epidemic is sweeping the world: an epidemic of loneliness. Never before have we, the supremely social mammal, been so isolated. The results are devastating: a collapse of common purpose, the replacement of civic life with a fug of consumerism, insecurity and alienation. We cannot carry on like this.” – George Monbiot

So how do we respond to this trend towards social breakdown?

Breaking The Spell of Loneliness is a remarkable collaboration between writer George Monbiot and musician Ewan McLennan.

They launched their project because they believe that nothing has greater potential to unite and delight than music. They seek to use the music to open up the issue of loneliness, and their performances to help address it.

The project began with an article that the journalist George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian, about the age of loneliness. The article went viral, and several publishers asked him to write books about it. But George had a different idea.

He approached Ewan McLennan – a musician whose work he greatly admired – and proposed a collaboration. Together they would write an album, a mixture of ballads and anthems, some sad, some stirring, whose aim was to try to break the spell that appears to have been cast upon us; the spell of separation.

It would touch upon issues as varied as our relationship with nature, our capacity for altruism and co-operation, the politics that lie behind loneliness, and the ways people are together overcoming this social scourge.

Around the time of the album’s release George and Ewan will perform a small number of special concerts. George will narrate the show, describe the ideas behind the songs, and encourage members of the audience to engage with each other, both then and beyond the concert. Ewan will sing the songs and perform the music that has emerged from this innovative collaboration.

Tour dates:

2 February Eden Court, Inverness
3 February Celtic Connections, Glasgow
4 February The Reid Concert Hall, Edinburgh
5 February The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
8 February MAC, Birmingham
11 February Aberystwyth Arts Centre

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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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Mar 242016
 

GrampianTransportMuseumImage1With thanks to Martyn Smith, Marketing & Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum

Next of Kin, an exhibition created by National Museums Scotland, opens on 2nd April at the Grampian Transport Museum.

It presents a picture of Scotland during the First World War through treasured objects from official and private sources, passed to close relatives and down through generations.

The exhibition was previously shown at the National War Museum in Edinburgh Castle, and Grampian Transport Museum will be the fifth of nine touring venues around Scotland.

It is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government. Each of the host venues will be adding material from their own collections to tell local stories which reflect the themes of the exhibition.

Next of Kin will tell the stories of those directly involved in the Great War, including Colonel Frank Fleming. Colonel Fleming was taken prisoner, and his experiences will now be brought to life with a number of personal effects, including his officer’s pass to leave the prisoner of war camp for recreational purposes. Colonel Fleming’s cell wall calendar will also be displayed – prisoners were denied all information including what the date was, so he kept his own record.

Canadian Lieutenant James Humphrey’s story will also be told for the first time; Lieutenant Humphrey was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and was wounded in action. While recovering in hospital he met his future wife when invited by her parents to their home for Christmas. The Next of Kin exhibition will include items belonging to Humphreys, including his wounded man’s kit label. Invalided out and very nearly losing his right arm, he was sent back to a London hospital – just one of tens of thousands of injured soldiers.

The exhibition will be supported with further displays including a Foster Wellington traction engine, affectionately known as Olive, which was originally commissioned by the War Department. The museum’s 1914 Sentinel Steam Waggon, used by local carrier Alexander Runcie, was new at the outbreak of war and helped to provide a much needed morale boost.

Runcie utilised the Sentinel to provide excursions for local groups of children.

A horse-drawn Aberdeen tram will also be decorated in the period style, harking back to the days when such vehicles were used as recruitment vehicles.

Goliath, a 10hp McLaren Traction engine, will also be on display for the season, having been used to pull heavy guns on the Western Front. Goliath would go on to become a Showman’s Road Locomotive, before being preserved by an enthusiast from Aberdeenshire.

Grampian Transport Museum Curator Mike Ward said:

“The First World War had a profound influence on Aberdeenshire. The depopulation of the Cabrach was partly due to the rush of young men to volunteer in 1914, thinking it would be a great adventure together and that they would be home by Christmas. The war memorials testify to the losses suffered by local families, in some cases three sons from one family.

“This is a sensitive subject and the museum is keen to take a look at what happened in our locality on the home front. There are many very sad stories but also some of great relief as ‘missing in action’ became ‘taken prisoner’.”

Stuart Allan of National Museums Scotland said:

“The First World War separated millions of people worldwide from their families and homes. The impact of the conflict was felt by families and communities in every part of Scotland as individuals served in the war in different ways. For those who experienced the conflict, keeping objects was a way of remembering this extraordinary period in their lives, or coping with the absence and loss of their loved ones.

“We look forward to touring the exhibition and bringing these stories from the National collection to people across the country and we particularly look forward to the stories which our partners will tell alongside ours.”

The material on loan from National Museums Scotland looks in detail at eight individual stories which both typify and illustrate the wider themes and impact of the War on servicemen and women and their families back home in Scotland. Objects include postcards and letters, photographs, medals and memorial plaques.

Examples include;

  • Two autograph books in which Nurse Florence Mellor collected drawings, watercolours, verses, jokes and messages from the wounded soldiers in her care at Craiglockhart War Hospital.
  • The pocket New Testament which Private James Scouller was carrying the day he died at Cambrai in 1917, returned to his family by a German soldier on the eve of the Second World War.
  • Drawings and postcards by Henry (Harry) Hubbard, an architectural draughtsman in Glasgow who contracted illnesses so severe that he ended up spending 16 months in hospital.
  • The last letter home from George Buchanan, Seaforth Highlanders, a railway plate-layer from Bathgate who was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Loos, along with his memorial plaque and service medals.
  • The shell fragment which wounded Private William Dick. He kept the fragment after it was removed from his leg, but later died from the wound.

As the exhibition tours, the host venues will develop additional content using their own objects and stories related to their respective local areas. The results of these additional contributions will be captured and preserved in the exhibition displays and a digital app interactive.

Learning activities exploring the exhibition themes will take place at each venue. School and community groups will be able to interact with a bespoke handling collection made up of original and replica objects. There will also be an associated training programme to develop new skills among the participating organisations.

The tour starts in Dumfries and then the exhibition travels to Rozelle House Galleries (Ayr), Hawick Museum, Low Parks Museum (Hamilton), Grampian Transport Museum (Alford), Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Perth Museum and Art Gallery and the Black Watch Castle and Museum and Orkney Museum.

The full list of partner organisations and touring venues can be found here: http://www.nms.ac.uk/nextofkin

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, the Head of HLF in Scotland, Lucy Casot said:

“The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has invested more than £60million in projects – large and small – that are marking this global Centenary. 

“With our grants, we are enabling communities like those involved in the Next of Kin exhibition to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

Next Of Kin Exhibition
2nd April 2016
Grampian Transport Museum, Alford.

Oct 012015
 
Marc Davis 3feat

Top amateur Aberdeen snooker player Marc Davis is seeking a sponsor.

With thanks to Esther Green, Tricker PR.

An Aberdeen snooker player is seeking to break into the big time – but fears that without sponsorship he may never achieve his dream.

Marc Davis (27) is ranked 17th in the amateur Order of Merit and has represented his country in international tournaments.

That’s despite working full time, with family commitments and not currently having the backing of a sponsor to help support his attendance at snooker events.

Marc says that not having a sponsor to back him is seriously impeding his chance to progress.

He feels he has a lot more to offer and with more time to devote to practise, and being able to take part in more tournaments, he could develop and grow as a player – and put Aberdeen on the snooker sporting map.

Having funding to compete in the World Snooker European Tour, qualifying schools and open events would be a dream come true for Marc.

He says:

“Last season I finished 17th on the amateur Order of Merit rankings and I was the highest placed Scottish player ahead of Eden Sherav and Rhys Clark, who turned pro in the summer, and Scottish champion Dylan Craig.

“I beat some full-time players including the world number 70 which I think shows I have the ability to compete against the best players.”

The father-of-two works full time as a customer services manager in Aberdeen. Holding down a full time job to cover living expenses means that Marc doesn’t have the flexibility – or the funds – to travel to most of the national and European snooker events.

Marc says he’s not alone in finding it hard to secure sponsorship, adding that it is and it is tough for sportspeople in all disciplines to gain backing to allow them to train, develop and grow their talent.

He recognises that the current slump in the oil industry means that are less sponsorship deals being made available but points out that sporting achievement can derive wider benefits for an area.

He cites golfer Paul Lawrie as being a tremendous ambassador for sport in the North-east, showing what sporting success can bring.

Through the Paul Lawrie Foundation, the 1999 Open champion works to encourage and develop young talent.

Marc says:

“It’s my ambition to compete at the highest level of snooker and I believe that, with sponsorship support, I can do this.

“It would be amazing to get three year sponsorship but any support would be extremely welcome.

“Lacking sponsorship is holding me back from doing better things and it’s quite incredible how well I do in tournaments considering I don’t practice as much so go to events less prepared than others yet still get results.

“I’ve worked hard for 15 years to get to this standard and I just want to be able to compete and achieve my very best.”

Marc would love to hear from anyone interested in discussing sponsorship opportunities and can be contacted at marcdavissnooker@googlemail.com or 077602 46618.

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May 222015
 

PAUL LAWRIE & HARVEY SMITH004With thanks to Dave Macdermid.

Local organisation h-events has been appointed as the exclusive official hospitality agent for the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play which will take place at Murcar Links this summer.

The prestigious European Tour event takes place between Thursday 30th July and Sunday 2nd August and, with a prize fund of €1 million, will feature 64 leading players on The Race to Dubai in a straight knockout match play contest.

Open winner Paul commented:

“h-events has been successfully delivering excellent hospitality and entertainment packages to the business community of Aberdeen and the north east of Scotland for many years. I’m delighted to have them as an Official Sales Partner of the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play because of their knowledge and experience of the marketplace.”

Harvey Smith, Managing Director at h-events, added:

“We are really pleased to be playing our part in what we believe will be a great event. Aberdeen is fast becoming an aspirational golfing destination and Paul Lawrie, ably supported by Saltire Energy, has done a brilliant job in attracting another major European Tour event to the Granite City.

“Following on from the very successful Scottish Open last year, the short stretch of North Sea courses from Royal Aberdeen to Murcar and on to Trump International ensures that Aberdeen and the north east of Scotland boasts some of the best courses anywhere in the United Kingdom.”

Further information and corporate enquiries can be made by telephoning 01330 826514 or by emailing joy@h-events.co.uk. www.h-events.co.uk .

Event website: www.paullawriematchplay.com
Facebook: Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play
Twitter: @PLMatchplay

 

Feb 122015
 

eofe_hammersmith_tomleishman-2__large (1)With thanks to Jenny Entwistle, Chuff Media.

Black Country 5-piece EofE are coming to play Aberdeen Downstairs on 23rd February, supporting UK metallers Glamour of the Kill. The tour will be in support of their brand new single ‘Stars In Hollywood’ (out 09/03) which is currently on the Kerrang! Radio and XFM playlists.

Last year, the band supported both McBusted and The Vamps on their mammouth UK tours, culminating 2014 with their own headline tour which resulted in them selling out their hometown date at Birmingham Institute.

Following the unveiling of their debut track ‘Bridges’ in November, EofE, continue to leave their mark with the release of the band’s first official single, ‘Stars In Hollywood’, due March 9th.

With their ever-growing army of devoted supporters, ‘Stars In Hollywood’ is a second helping of scintillating pop rock from EofE, sending out a real statement of intent. The song lyrically explores the theme of determination and hope, with aspirations of eventually leaving their hometown, moving on to bigger things and rising to the top.

‘Stars In Hollywood’ is the next chapter of the EofE story, placing the band firmly alongside the likes of fellow UK rockers You Me At Six and Mallory Knox .

“EofE are going to be the next big thing” – Sophie K (Team Rock Radio)

Tour Dates:

23rd February – Aberdeen, Downstairs 

24th February – Glasgow, Audio

25th February – Newcastle, Think Tank

26th February – Manchester, Sound Control

27th February – York, Fibbers

28th February – London, Underworld

1st March – Bristol, The Exchange

3rd March – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms

4th March – Stoke, Sugarmill

5th March – Nuneaton, Queens Hall

6th March – Nottingham, Rock City Basement

7th March – Gloucester, Guildhall

8th March – Milton Keynes, Crauford Arms

Sep 012013
 

With his Martin Stephenson-produced album Working Man’s Dream (Pictish Pop Records) on release and its Easter Ross blue collar honesty being well-received by critics, Davy Cowan was kind enough to take time off from creativity and promo to talk to Voice’s David Innes.

Davy Cowan 168a‘Home’ sounds very questing and personal. Can you enlighten us a little?

“It’s more about a feeling or a kind of longing for something familiar rather than an actual place. My father passed away two years ago and  it made me think a lot about life in general, about the meaning of life, our reason for being here and what purpose we have as people. I think it’s about an ongoing search, about finding your roots and spiritual identity.”

So, is ‘Town That I Love’ about Dingwall or Invergordon, or is it one of these ‘everyman’ songs about returning home?

“I suppose this song was inspired by all the different and colourful characters that seem to exist in every town. It looks at all the day-to-day things that go on – doing the shopping, avoiding the traffic warden and dodging the gossip from the local fishwives. So yes, it’s about where I come from and live, but I suppose it’s relevant to most people’s home town. It’s much the same everywhere, I imagine.”

The Yobs was your first band. Very punk! Do those no-frills influences and that youthful energy still find their way into your songs?

“I like to think so. I still feel as passionate today when I find a hook, a lyric or a riff on the guitar as I did the first time I saw Stiff Little Fingers play at the Ice Rink in Inverness back in the early 80’s.

“It’s the whole spirit that punk rock created that made it so exciting, I think it was a natural progression from artists way before that, like Willie Nelson, Neil  Young, Bob Marley, Dylan and Bowie. You can hear it in their music – they all had that same energy and drive. Punk was the catalyst that made everyone feel they could be part of something special, whether or not you could play an instrument.”

Your Celtic band Coinneach seems to have been a big part of your life. What are your favourite memories from touring with them?

Davy Cowan 168b“The old Ford Transit mini bus which we converted into our own little tour bus….catching the overnight ferry from Newcastle to Holland.

“We toured all over Holland, Germany, France and Belgium, had some amazing experiences, we saw some beautiful places and met all kinds of weird and wonderful people, forging some great friendships and alliances with people, most of which are still ongoing today. 

“We really did have some magical mystery tours in those days!

“Our last gig back in 2004, at the Hogmanay party in Union Street Aberdeen with Hue & Cry and Deacon Blue, playing to around 4000 revellers is something I’ll never forget. It was a great way to bring that whole band chapter of our lives to a momentous conclusion.”

Tell me about working with Martin Stephenson – what did he get out of you as a producer that you might not have expected from yourself?

“Martin has this uncanny knack of getting the best out of you anyway. He seems to feed directly into the creative stream and encourages the artistic side to emerge from a song. He put me through my paces vocally. I think that if you’re used to playing in loud environments over the years you tend to shout over the top of the noise to have your voice heard.

“Martin helped me find my true voice from deeper within, almost like re-learning my whole singing technique. I really think I would have struggled to find that if it wasn’t for Mr Stephenson.”

When can the NE public expect to see you play live here?

“It’s been a while since I played the NE. I’m thinking about doing a series of busking tours around major UK cities to promote Working Man’s Dream. My idea is to busk outside major venues in each city, for example The Royal Albert Hall in London, The Royal Concert Hall,  Glasgow and of course The Music Hall Aberdeen! The idea is to take the music to the people on the street.

“I’ll be outside the Music Hall in Aberdeen at 3pm this Tuesday (3 September) for a trial run!”

You have the choice of all the leading musicians, alive or not, to back you for a one-off gig – who will be in the Davy Cowan Fantasy Big Band?

“Oh now, that’s a difficult one.

“OK, this might sound a bit disjointed but here goes.

“Keith Moon on drums, Lee Rocker from The Stray Cats on upright bass, Jools on piano, Hank Williams  and Emmylou Harris on backing vocals, Martin Stephenson on the washboard, Joe Strummer on rhythm guitar, Nigel Kennedy on fiddle and Gerry Jablonski on lead guitar. Oh, and not to forget Old Lizzie from The Gellions in Inverness on percussion. How does that sound?

“But I suppose for just now I’ll just keep plugging away on my solo mission and as long as I can keep writing and keep enjoying the music, I can’t think of any better way of spending the rest my working life. Onwards and upwards!”

Thanks to Davy for his input and to Donna and Mr Martin G Stephenson himself for their assistance.

Accompanying the promo copy of Working Man’s Dream was a most unusual and welcome personal letter from the head Daintee himself, outlining his vision for his Barbaraville label/collective in which he reveals, that he’s created the label ‘…to try to help support artists who I feel should be heard beyond the village’. Music to these ears. Go buddy go!

The Boat To Bolivia tour gig at The Venue in 1986 will live long in the memory of anyone who was there. Respect, Martin.

We have a review copy of Working Man’s Dream and a review is imminent.

If you’re in the city centre on Tuesday afternoon, pop along to hear Davy and to offer him encouragement.

www.davycowan.com
www.daintees.co.uk/barbaraville

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Aug 232013
 

Dogstar Theatre’s new production, The Baroness,  starring Roberta Taylor and directed by Matthew Zajac, is opening on Stornoway at the end of the month. As part of the Scottish tour the production will be performing at Alford, Findhorn and Gordonstoun School. With thanks to Liz Smith.

Roberta Taylor as Karen Blixen in The Baroness.

Roberta Taylor as Karen Blixen in The Baroness.

Dogstar’s autumn production, the UK premiere of The Baroness by Thor Bjorn Krebs, translated by Kim Dambaek, opens at An Lanntair, Stornoway, on Saturday 31 August following a preview on Friday 30 August.

The tour finishes at the Traverse, Edinburgh, on Saturday 28 September.

Roberta Taylor, one of Britain’s most talented actresses plays The
Baroness, and is joined by Ewan Donald as Thorkild Bjørnvig and Romana  Abercromby as Benedicte Jensen.

The play is directed by Dogstar’s Co-Artistic Director Matthew Zajac with music composed by Aidan O’Rourke.

In 1948, Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) the celebrated writer of Out of Africa, was 62 when she met the recently married and successful 29 year young poet and writer Thorkild Bjørnvig. The two shared a powerful and intimate friendship, their pact, which lasted 6 years, before falling apart.

The play charts the course of this relationship and also the relationship of a third character, Benedicte Jensen, to Bjornvig and Blixen.  Benedicte was the wife of Bjornvig’s patron and publisher.

The Baroness premiered to rave reviews at the Folketeatret in Copenhagen in 2011 and was nominated as play of the year in the 2012 Danish Theatre Awards. Full of tension and poetry, with three tremendous acting roles, the play is inspired by anecdotes, letters and books by and about both Blixen and Bjørnvig.

Roberta Taylor is best known for her long-running roles in Eastenders and The Bill.  She is also a best-selling author with her memoir, Too Many Mothers having sold over quarter of a million copies.  Roberta was a leading member of Glasgow Citizens Theatre for 20 years under Giles Havergal, Philip Prowse and Robert David MacDonald.

Aidan O’Rourke, is one of Scotland’s most exciting composers and musicians and a member of the amazing trio LAU, three times winner of the BBC2 Folk Awards Band of the Year. Recently Ewan Donald toured Scotland with Right Lines’ production of Be Silent or Be Killed.

The production has been designed by Catherine Deverell with lighting design by Kate Bonney. Supported by the Hugh Fraser Foundation www.dogstartheatre.co.uk

Listings Information

An Lanntair, Stornoway
Friday 30 & Saturday 31 August 8.00pm
Box Office 01851 708480 www.lanntair.com
Preview Friday 30 8.00pm

Strathpeffer Pavilion
Tuesday 3 September 8.00pm
Tickets WeGotTickets.com/strathpefferpavilion
TicketWeb.co.uk
June’s Card Shop Dingwall & Pavilion 01947 420124 & 0844 771000
www.strathpefferpavilion.org

Macphail Theatre, Mill Street. Ullapool
Wednesday 4 September 7.30pm
Box Office 01854 613336 www.macphailcentre.co.uk

Lyth Arts Centre
Thursday 5 September 8.00pm
Tickets: 01955 641434 www.lytharts.org.uk

Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute
Saturday 7 September 7.30pm
Doors open 7.00pm
Tickets 01700 503877 www.mountstuart.com

Tower Mill, Heart of Hawick
Tuesday 10 September 7.30pm
Box Office 01450 360688 www.heartofhawick.co.uk 

CatStrand, New Galloway
Wednesday 11 September 7.30pm
Box Office 01644 420374 www.catstrand.com 

The Buccleuch Centre, Langholm
Thursday 12 September 7.30pm
Box Office 013873 81196 www.buccleuchcentre.com

Birnam Arts
Friday 13 September 8.00pm
Box Office 01350 727674 www.birnamarts.com

Tullynessle & Forbes Hall by Alford
Saturday 14 September 7.30pm
Tickets: Alford Bistro 019755 63154 www.tullynessieandforbeshall.co.uk

Resolis Memorial Hall
Tuesday 17 September 8.00pm
Tickets 01381 610204 www.resoliscommunityarts.org.uk

Universal Hall, Findhorn
Wednesday 18 September 7.30pm
Tickets: Phoenix Stores 01309 690110 www.wegotickets.com/UniversalHall

Ogstoun Theatre, Gordonstoun School
Thursday 19 June 8.00pm

Eden Court, Inverness
Friday 20 & Saturday 21 September
Box Office 01463 234234 www.eden-court.co.uk

Druimfin, Tobermory, Isle of Mull
Tuesday 24 September 7.30pm
Box Office 01688 302828 www.mulltheatre.com

Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern
Wednesday 25 September 7.30pm
Tickets 01852 500746 www.craignishvillagehall.org.uk

Eastgate Theate, Peebles
Thursday 26 September 7.30pm
Box Office 01721 725777 www.eastgatearts.com

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Friday 27 & Saturday 28 September, 7.30pm
Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED
Box Office 0131 228 1404 www.traverse.co.uk