Kate Bush suffers backlash after backing Theresa May

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Kate Bush: Before the Dawn Album cover. Source: Amazon.co.uk

In an interview with Canadian current affairs publication, Maclean’s Magazine, the iconic British singer-songwriter, Kate Bush, expressed her admiration for the UK Prime Minister. In the process, Bush has angered much of her fan-base.

When asked in the interview whether “the fear [of women in power] is stronger than ever” in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the US Presidential election, Bush spoke approvingly of UK leader Theresa May.

She said:

“We have a female prime minister here in the UK. I actually really like her and think she’s wonderful. I think it’s the best thing that’s happened to us in a long time. She’s a very intelligent woman but I don’t see much to fear. I will say it is great to have a woman in charge of the country. She’s very sensible and I think that’s a good thing at this point in time.”

[Read more…]

Imagine Dragons announce work on new album and release song

imagine-dragons-levitate

Imagine Dragons have announced they are working on their third album.

The ‘Radioactive’ hit-makers left a message to their fans on their Facebook page.

The message also provided a clip with the band’s new song for upcoming Sci-Fi blockbuster, Passengers starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence.

 

Listen to the full version of Levitatehere. 

Read about Passengers in our list of film previews.

The Weeknd- Starboy

 

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The Weeknd’s Starboy front cover

 

With its immediate chart success, use of artistic music videos, and a recent single cover already making BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, The Weeknd’s latest album Starboy seems to have made a huge impression on the music industry.

Released on Friday, the R&B singer’s third studio album,  immediately catapulted to the number one spot in charts spanning 80 countries. [Read more…]

Top 5 ideas for Christmas gifts when you’re on a budget

Currently experiencing the yearly panic attack because you’re still trying to figure out what to give your loved ones for Christmas? We’ve got some tips for you that will also protect your wallet!

  1. Give something that’s already been loved

Thrift shops offer a great variety of gifts that will make your loved ones happy. The best thing about it: The unique items have already been loved by their previous owners and can now make someone new happy. Plus: By buying gifts at thrift shops, you usually support a good cause as well. And, of course, bargains, bargains, bargains!

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  1. Home baked goods are the essence of Christmas, so get yourself some nice little cookie boxes (e.g. from Amazon) and start baking! Or why not try Allrecipes’ formula for the perfect ‘cinnamon stars’?

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  1. Help your loved ones take a break from reality

Books are always a great gift. What could be nicer than a quick escape into a fictional world – where all the Christmas panic can be forgotten quickly and easily?Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 17.16.36.png

Find these at Waterstones and Urban Outfitters.

 

  1. Remind them of you even after Christmas is over

Give your dearest something that will remind them of you long after Christmas is over – be they very fancy disco cups, their new favourite pyjamas, some warmth from you in form of a very special hot water bottle, or the tape dispenser they always dreamt of…

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Find these at Urban Outfitters, H&M, Primark, and New Look

 

  1. And of course, you can always go for the classics

Some things never get old! Classics, such as cozy socks, shower gel sets, calendars, or Santa Claus in all possible shapes are always a safe bet.

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Find these at Primark, The Body Shop, H&M, Superdrug, and Waterstones

And now, happy shopping everyone!

 

 

Top 5 things to do this week

Photo credit: Andrew Hamilton

Photo credit: Andrew Hamilton

 

I’m sorry to disappoint, but we’re looking at yet another week of freezing weather… Since it always helps to have a reason to leave the house, here’s our top 5 things to do in Edinburgh this week: [Read more…]

Film review: Allied

 

Picture credit: IMDb

Picture credit: IMDb

The stars of Allied, Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, are preposterously beautiful people. It’s not fair, to be honest.

Place these two actors in any scene, and their presence can be somewhat show-stealing.

Not so in director Robert Zemeckis’ Allied, a film that from the start has a decidedly old-fashioned feel – in the best possible way. Both Pitt and Cotillard are classic movie stars, of a kind that is too rare these days. The movie itself has a somewhat timeless aura to it, often feeling as though Allied could have been filmed at any time over the past 60 years, apart from the odd modern flourish that Zemeckis brings to the screen. [Read more…]

Father John Misty releases new, highly political song

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Photograph taken by Bruce (Flickr)

By Nadine Schwizer

Father John Misty released a new song this morning via soundcloud.

“Holy Hell” is another politically charged hymn by the American singer/songwriter (also see “Real Love Baby”, “This Is America”, and “Trump’s Pilot”, which he released earlier this year).

Whereas the new song lacks in musical originality and might be considered one of many piano ballads out there, it certainly does not when it comes to its lyrics.

Recognizing that “the future ain’t looking so bright…” and lamenting about the United States’ current political situation at first, Father John Misty ends the song stating “But all my friends, yeah, I’m talking to you. The world won’t end unless we want it to. There’s no one in control. And it’s our life to choose.”

The song thus shows a neat transition from complaining about what recently happened to finally, in the end, reassuring that the current situation does not have to be the very end.

“Holy Hell” is certainly a song worth listening to, even if it’s just for its critical, topical lyrics.

 

 

Beach Boys will surf at Scottish music festival

By Pau Llosa and Nadine Schwizer

 

Photo credit: Louise Palanker

Photo credit: Louise Palanker

 

The Beach Boys have been announced as the closing act for the next Montrose Music Festival.

After more than half a century on the stage, the iconic Californian band will be playing their signature tunes to the festival audience on Sunday, 28 May.

For its 10th anniversary, the Montrose Music Festival chose to bring The Beach Boys’ ‘good vibrations’ and an assortment of their legendary pop songs to Scotland’s trademark beach resort.

In an official statement, singer and co-founding member Mike Love said: “It is great that 50 years plus we are still in a position to be touring and sharing our music with fans around the world.”

“We’re really looking forward to performing outdoors in Montrose, and being part of this popular festival.”

“It’s going to be a great night.”

The festival’s organisers are ecstatic about having the pop legends from the 60s lined up as well. David Paton, Chairman of the Montrose Music Festival, said:  “We’re delighted that The Beach Boys are joining us for a special Sunday night show to bring our tenth annual live music festival to a close.”

“The Beach Boys are renowned as one of the biggest selling bands of all time, and we just can’t believe that they’re joining us for MoFest 2017. This is a really exciting time for MoFest and we promise an exceptional festival.”

Tickets for the show go on sale at 09:00 a.m. on Friday 25 November.

Kylie Minogue Drops a New Xmas Song into Our Stockings

by Stuart Mackenzie

The Australian music sensation is back, and just in time to spread more holiday cheer. However, this friendly neighbour isn’t singing the traditional carols. Ms Minogue debuted her brand new track ‘At Christmas’ on BBC Radio 2 this morning.

The cheerful tune kicks off with a keyboard-riff, not dissimilar to The Foundations’ ‘Build Me Up, Buttercup’, and accompanying sleigh bells. It’s not long before the ‘Can’t Get You out of My Head’ hit-maker chimes in with lyrics taking you through all four seasons.

She leads us into a chorus of musical cheer juxtaposed with winter blue words that fits right onto our playlist of classic Christmas pop songs.

The jingle may not be ‘Santa Baby’ but there’s a good chance Kylie will once again be the star at the top of this year’s Christmas charts.

Listen to ‘At Christmas’ here:

 

Primal Scream live review – Usher Hall 22/11/2016

by Eoghan Scott

Photo credit: Phil Guest

Photo credit: Phil Guest

 

In a month that has brought about the election of Apprentice-star Donald J. Trump as President of the United States, and a year that has seen the UK vote to leave the EU, sometimes you just need the comfort of knowing that some things never change.

That’s not to say Bobby Gillespie and Co. have ever been content just to keep things the way they are. Over the course of 11 albums and almost three decades, the Glaswegian band has been defined by a willingness to reach out and experiment with new and exciting sounds. Even so, it’s just nice to think that Primal Scream will always be Primal Scream, regardless of what new or exciting sounds they choose to explore.

Monday night in Usher Hall saw the legendary Scottish band amongst a home crowd, so anticipation was high. [Read more…]

Things to do in Edinburgh: Our Top Five Picks

Stuck in the capital this week with nothing to do?

Follow our guide to find the best events Edinburgh has to offer.

5. Cinderella – Australian Ballet

STARRING: Leanne Stojmenov, Kevin Jackson, Ako Kondo

Released: 23rd November

cinderella

Picture Credit: The Australian Ballet

The classic fairy-tale returns in beautiful ballet form. If you can’t catch it on stage, you can watch it at your local cinema.

The award-winning, critically acclaimed production, created by Alexei Ratmansky, one of the world’s most sought after choreographers, puts a twist on the story of Cinderella, her wicked step-mother and sisters and of course the glass slipper.

After sell-out seasons in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide the show makes its way to London, and various Vue cinemas, including Edinburgh. Be sure not to miss the ball.

4. Book Week Scotland

book-week

Scotland’s Book Week

Book Week Scotland, beginning yesterday (Monday 21st) and is running until Sunday 27th November, is a week-long event organised by the Scottish Book Trust that aims to celebrate reading and writing amongst the young and the old alike.

Featuring talks and events across the country, speakers like Tony Robinson and Val McDermid will be appearing to discuss their work and love of literature face to face with readers. For any lover of books, this one is not to be missed!

3. Edinburgh Christmas Market

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Edinburgh Christmas Market began this week with Sunday’s Light Night which officially launched Christmas in Edinburgh.

From Five Guys Named Moe on the West End stage to the European Christmas Market in Princes Street Gardens.

Get yourself in the Christmas mood and visit the event website for more information.

2. Ghost The Musical starts run at Edinburgh Playhouse

Ghost the musical starts its six day run tonight at Edinburgh Playhouse.

playhouse

Ghost starts it’s run at Edinburgh Playhouse

Produced by Bill Kenwright, the musical presents a re-imagined, unchained version of the classic film.

Sarah Harding, the Girls Aloud singer and actress, makes her stage debut as Molly, opposite Hollyoaks star Rhys Ashworth as ‘Sam’.

The musical is based on the Academy Award winning movie and starred the late Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.

The plot sees Sam tragically murdered in front of his girlfriend, Molly. Sam finds himself trapped between this world and the next. Assisted by a psychic Sam attempts to communicate with Molly and protect her from imminent danger.

With such a popular film to live up to, fans have been promised the iconic scene in which Molly sculpts a pot to the Righteous Brother’s Unchained Melody will also feature in the musical version.

Ghost The Musical premieres tonight at the Edinburgh Playhouse at 7.30pm and runs till Saturday and then tours to Nottingham.

1. The Heavy

Good news for all Edinburgh-based fans of indie rock, as ‘The Heavy’ are playing at Liquid Room tonight.

The band from Bath will be presenting their new Album ‘Hurt & The Merciless’, which is in line with what makes The Heavy’s style so unique: powerful arrangements, rough guitar sounds and, of course, Kelvin Swaby’s haunting voice – all topped up with drums that promise to make an audience go wild.

Tickets are available online

 

Kanye West hospitalized for exhaustion

Kanye West with his wife Kim Kardashian

Kanye West with his wife Kim Kardashian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kanye West has been admitted to hospital in Los Angeles yesterday.

According to sources, he is currently being treated for exhaustion.

West’s hospitalisation today follows recent reports of  ‘bizarre’ behaviour at his concert in Sacremento.

After playing three songs, West embarked on an unscripted rant criticising former best friend Jay-z and wife Beyonce.

Yesterday, Live Nation announced that West’s Saint Pablo Tour would be cancelled.

It is understood police were called to allegations of a disturbance before deeming the incident a medial emergency.

The rapper is said to be suffering from ‘severe sleep deprivation’

Edinburgh’s Christmas Market delivers and delights

by Noemi Distefano

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Edinburgh’s Christmas Market has opened to the public this weekend.

The market, one of the most popular Christmas celebrations in the UK, will run for six weeks until the 7th January.

Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens will be transformed into a veritable winter wonderland by a rich array fairground attractions, lights, buskers, artists and street-chefs.

The market has grown its reputation as one of Europe’s largest Christmas attractions.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said to Edinburgh Evening News, “Edinburgh’s Christmas promises to wow once again, and the Christmas Market alongside with the Street of Light is a spectacular and mesmerising addition to what is already a brilliant line-up.”

Around 900,000 unique visitors from all over Europe are expected to fill St. Andrews Square in the coming weeks.

Hundreds of chefs and artisans are expected to open their shutters, offering nibbles, trinkets and a more magical Christmas experience.

 

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

 

Shopkeeper Judies, owner of ChristmasWorld, sells traditional German wooden ornaments. She said, “Me and my brother have been here in Edinburgh for the Christmas markets even before they became a huge event.  This is our fifteenth year in this street, and I wouldn’t like to be anywhere else.”

Norwegian shopkeeper Kari Ittervel claims that she comes to Edinburgh just for the market. A resident of Amsterdam, she flies over for just two months a year to sell her handmade pottery.

“I’ve been here for two years now, I was in London’s Christmas Market before, but it’s not even a tenth as nice as in Edinburgh’s. One day I heard that there was a beautiful market here and I resolved: ‘let’s make Edinburgh’s ladies happy with my items!’”

“The markets are amazing. Beautiful people, beautiful city, it’s just fantastic!”

It’s not just the shopkeepers who love the atmosphere. Jasmine – a tourist from Newcastle – said, “I came a long way from Newcastle, just because I think the Christmas markets are great. They bring a bit of European culture to the cities in the UK.”

“I think it is really nice, the smell is nice in the air, the sites and there are really a lot of lights and we are looking forward to go around, it is a great thing.”

The experience is certainly rich – families peer into the Gardens from the terrace of the Scottish National Gallery as the smell of burned wood and the sound of buskers fill the air.

 

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

 

The Edinburgh Christmas Market will stay vibrant with music, sounds, sights and smells until early 2017.

Tickets are right now available at www.edinburghschristmas.com

Top Gear on Steroids: The Grand Tour Review

grand-tour-pic

The Grand Tour starring Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.

The Grand Tour opens with a woeful scene as Jeremy Clarkson makes his way to a London Airport. News reports are conveniently edited together with the grey British weather in an attempt to create a sense of misery regarding the BBC’s decision to drop Clarkson and his band of merry men.

As Clarkson finds himself in LA, he switches from the modest black cab to an extravagant Mustang. Much of the episode is spent giving the middle finger to his former employer and this switch from gloom to sunshine, whilst being serenaded by the dulcet tones of Hothouse Flowers, serves as overkill.

This opening sequence alone is said to have cost over three million pounds to produce and while overly lavish, does set a tone for the new series.

A story of three middle class, white, British men freed from the shackles of the BBC and free to be as racist, sexist and politically incoherent as they like. The three men drive off into the sunset and are joined by armies of fans on a variety of vehicles in the open desert.

[Read more…]

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ already celebrating great success

by Nadine Schwizer

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Source: Warner Brothers

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ premiered worldwide last weekend to the delight of Potter Heads.

The Harry Potter spin-off that is set in 1920s New York has already had huge box office success, taking a total of £15.3m over the weekend. The film has enjoyed the most profitable UK box office opening weekend of the year.

The film, written by JK Rowling, is set 70 years before the tales of Harry Potter and follows another English wizard and ‘Magizoologist’, namely Newt Scamander and his fantastic suitcase as they meander around New York City.

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ wonderfully merges two dimensions, bringing together the nostalgia of the 1920s and the world of magic. Both these dimensions and the various beasts and creatures are brought to life through stunning digital effects.

The quirky yet strong cast created memorable scenes. Especially Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne brought his unique and captivating charm onscreen, which perfectly matched the nerdy character of Newt. However, the characters themselves seemed to lack in depth a little bit.

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ is the first of a five-part series circling around the dark wizard Grindelwald – a name that is likely to ring bells among Harry Potter fans.

While there was only a minor focus on Grindelwald in this film, the ambiguous ending suggests the audience will be seeing more of him in the next four films.

In true Potter style, audiences have been left craving more.

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is out in cinemas now.

Stu’s Spotify Specials

Stuart shares his Spotify picks

Music buff Stuart Mackenzie shares his top musical picks with edinburghnapiernews.com

 

  1. Bruno Mars- Chunky

With the new album’s release on Friday, the Hawaiian harmoniser is out with yet another funky single that is sure to get you grooving. Following suit from the previous jams such as, ‘24K Magic’ and ‘Versace on the Floor’, the new song indulges us into a romanticised old-skool aura with classic R&B sounds. The only thing that mattered back then was the size of your girls’ backside. Opening with a short synth-solo, we are instantly greeted by the classic Mars voice and a nostalgic, Rapper’s Delight-esque bassline. As the tune increases in party-rhythm, we are led into a chorus melody not dissimilar from past-hit Treasure. The song may not make it to party-anthem territory, but it is definitely one to tap your toes and cruise with your crew to.

  1. John Mayer- Love on the Weekend

Mayer the Player has been toying with his social media followers all week with the repeated announcement of this song dropping. This single is the first we’ve heard of the mega-guitarist since his acclaimed stab at Country in 2013 (not counting his cover of Beyonce’s ‘XO). The ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’ singer is back to his usual ways with his new single, well almost. The drum-tempo and guitar-strumming sounds like classic Mayer, however his vocal melody and production have remnants of his Country-exploration. Mixing the two genres is far from a bad thing as the romance song is a tranquil piece that reminds you that after 15 years of making music, Mayer has still got it. His seventh album is definitely one to look out for.

[Read more…]

23rd Edition of the Italian Film Festival

by Giulia Maccagli and Koldo Sandoval

edinburgh_filmhouse_home_of_the_edinburgh_international_film_festival_620_414_80_s

The 23rd edition of the Italian Film Festival comes at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh, this year.

The Festival, running from the 4th until the 17th of March, has venues in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and Inverness.

At the Festival, there is the best of the “cinema italiano”, currently on a high with the global and awarded success of Paolo Sorrentino, “Youth”.

Alongside established directors’ names, such as Sergio Castellitto, Cristina Comencini, and Gabriele Salvatores, there are also new film directors, as Edoardo Falcone and Laura Bispuri.

The Festival will see on its screen renown Italian  actors, as Valeria Golino, Elio Germano, and Jasmine Trinca.

This year the Festival has a special focus on Luchino Visconti, an Italian theater, opera, cinema director, and screen-writer, in the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his death.

The 23rd edition of the Italian Film Festival is also welcomed by the Italian Government’s new support to the film industry with an investment of £300 million a year.

 

Record Visitor Numbers For Scottish Tourist Hotspots

Scotland has seen a 5.5% increase in visitor numbers in 2015, with Edinburgh Castle leading the surge of major attractions.

The castle has overtaken the National Museum of Scotland as the country’s leading tourist hub for the first time, with over 1.5 million visitors, according to figures released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA).

The National Museum was also the UK’s most popular museum outside of London, and Scotland’s most popular free attraction.

For the first time, the National Galleries of Scotland welcomed a combined total of more than 2.1 million visitors – thought to be a result of The Amazing World of M.C. Escher and Artist Rooms: Roy Lichtenstein exhibitions, with a 35% and 47% rise respectively.

Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens saw a 10% increase, which they credited to their Lights programme in the winter months.

Glasgow’s nine civic museums continue to be a draw for citizens and visitors to the city alike, with almost 4 million recorded visits – up 5% on 2014. The city’s Riverside Museum has seen a year on year rise since it opened in 2011.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum also saw a rise of 12.4%.

Tourism bosses have attributed the Scottish success to the current weakness of the pound to the euro and dollar, in making UK attractions more popular.

Bernard Donoghue, Director of ALVA, commented: “2015 continued to be a record year mainly due to our members continuing to show how diverse the UK is to both domestic and overseas visitors.

“More people visited Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland, the National Gallery of Scotland, the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, combined, than visited Jamaica, Barbados and Cuba.

“More people visited Stirling Castle, Kelvingrove, the Riverside Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Glasgow, combined, than visited New Zealand. Together more people visited these 9 Scottish attractions than visited Australia and New Zealand combined.”

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at Historic Environment Scotland, also praised the findings.

“It’s great to see Edinburgh Castle at the top of the table in Scotland after another record breaking year for the castle.

“We’ve seen particular growth in online and travel trade at the castle in 2015, and following a refresh of the castle website towards the end of the year I’m sure this will continue.”

Edinburgh voted world’s fourth most beautiful city

Edinburgh_from_Calton_Hill_with_Dugald_Stewart_Monument_3

A view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill

 

By Anthie Parisi & Giulia Maccagli

Edinburgh has been voted the fourth most beautiful city in the world, coming just behind the renown European cities of Paris, Florence, and Rome.

The Scottish capital was ranked fourth in a Rough Guide poll of its readers.

The Rough Guide said of the city: “It’s famed for its excellent annual festival, but there is more to Edinburgh than great comedy and arts – and according to our readers, it’s beauty.”

 

 

 

Culture, architecture, nature (Arthur’s seat, S. Giles Cathedral and the Castle, just to name some) blend together making Edinburgh a magical city to visit or live in.

Unusual Christmas Markets on Sunday

By Ari Brynjolfsson.

Three ‘quirky’ Christmas markets will open this Sunday (13th December) in Edinburgh, according to events magazine Time Out.

In addition to the regular festive market, Edinburgh Printmakers will have a Christmas Market at their shop on Union Street, near Leith Walk.

The half-centennial fine art shop will offer a  variety of jewellery in addition to prints, books and textiles from local artisans.

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, Britain’s largest vintage fair, will host their Christmas Market in the Assembly Rooms on George Street.

In addition to vintage fashion, they also offer accessories, menswear, home wares and beauty products.

A spokesperson from the vintage shop said: ‘We’re going all out, bringing even more affordable vintage traders from our troupe to get you stocked-up with vintage. Traders will be showcasing some of their best new season stock.’

The Summerhall Christmas Market, to be set up near The Meadows, has promised more stalls than ever before.

In addition to gifts and treats, there will be food from guest vendors, traditional mulled wine from the venue’s bar and Zoom club activities for children. The Summerhall Singers will provide live entertainment with festive songs.

 

 

West Lothian welcome Small Business Saturday

West Lothian Council are encouraging residents to spend their money locally tomorrow as part of a campaign to support independent retailers.

Small Business Saturday is a UK non-commercial campaign which aims to promote local businesses and encourage shoppers to spend their money on the first Saturday in December.

The Council hope that the focus on independent firms will benefit business owners in the town centres of Armadale, Bathgate, Broxburn and Uphall, as well as Linlithgow and Whitburn.

Stuart McKinnon, Senior Public Affairs Advisor for the Federation of Small Business in Scotland said: “We know that independent businesses are part of the recipe for success in Scottish towns and communities.

“Especially in rural and remote Scotland, small firms create jobs and opportunities.

“Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for local people to support local business with the pounds in their pockets.”

Harry Ferguson, owner of Broxburn Bargain Centre welcomes the imitative, but said that his business is consistently supported by the community. He said: “Truthfully I don’t know much about Small Business Saturday, we’ve got an MP coming to fill us in about it but anything to support small independent business is a great idea.

“We need all the help we can get in this day and age. We have been here for 65 years so we have a lot of repeat customers.

“They look in the big retailers and they come back to us.”

Small Business Saturday will coincide with other events taking place across West Lothian that highlight independent, local businesses and their place in the community.

Whitburn’s Christmas Cracker event will be held at the Community Education Centre on Manse Road. It will include events for children and a festive market for gifts, food and drink. There will be a Santa Parade making its way to Whitburn Cross and the Civic Space for the Christmas lights finale.

Broxburn and Uphall’s Advent Fayre will take place this Saturday. There will be a Santa’s Grotto and market followed by the switching on of the Christmas lights at Broxburn Library.

Executive councillor for development and transport, Cathy Muldoon, said: “West Lothian is home to a number of truly unique and traditional towns and villages, many of which host a wide variety of small, high quality, specialist retailers, business services and stores.

“Small Business Saturday on 5 December is the perfect opportunity for local residents to show their support for such firms, which play a vital role in their communities and ensure our town and village centres remain vibrant places to visit, shop, work, live and be entertained in.

“The small boutiques and shops in West Lothian can lend a helping hand when it comes to picking that perfect unique gift for someone special, whilst local butchers and delicatessens can help create a great tasting, traditional Christmas lunch or dinner, as well as providing tasty nibbles and treats throughout those long, cold and wintry months.”

Last year’s Small Business Saturday saw 16.5 million people shop locally, spending a total of £504 million.

 

Adverse Weather Causes Cancellation of Botanic Lights Show

Paloma Ferreira

The Edinburgh Botanic Lights Show was cancelled this week for safety reasons, due to the forecast wind gusts of over 40mph.

Edinburgh’s second Botanic Garden Light show promised an event bigger and brighter than last year.

The award-winning show includes new design features, exhibitions, public interaction using new app technology and 3D projections generating hypnotic spectacles throughout the gardens, highlighting some of the Botanic’s oldest buildings.

The organisers have dubbed this year’s event as “unforgettable”.

The invitation entices visitors reading: “As darkness descends, follow a magical trail of light through the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

“Take a path illuminated by fantastic effects and experience the unfamiliar sights and sounds of the Garden after dark.”

Clair McKenzie, who composed the soundtrack accompanying the light show, said: “It makes complete sense to synchronise sound, light and nature with the cycle of seasonal transformations, to me the four are intimately linked.”

Artist Grant Anderson said: “Seasons of Colour Botanic Lights 2015, for me, was a really important project, I wanted the show to be bigger and brighter.

“I wanted to create something that at the heart of the design really concentrated on the landscape itself.”

The Botanic Lights Show has been open for the duration of this month and attendees have been raving about the show.

Visitor Erika Winblad said: “My brain is in sensory overload, it may be wet and cold but what an amazing event.”

Since this is an outdoor event, this week’s severe wind and rain has caused the show to be cancelled with some late notice.

Visitor Anna Goodwin said: “Turned up tonight to be told it was cancelled with my three kids. Didn’t check my emails. Took an hour to get there and back as live on other side of town and it was rush hour traffic. Was gutted. Not sure if I’ll be able to attend another night. Missed it last year too.”

The Box Office of the Botanic Lights show stated that they will be contacting attendees to offer them the chance to attend on another night.

New dates will be added to the calendar to make up for the cancelled shows.

 

 

 

Basque Country restaurant named the best in the world

Meliá-Hotels-International-se-asocia-con-Martín-Berasategui-para-llevar-la-Cocina-de-Autor-a-su-nuevo-hotel-Paradisus-Playa-del-Carmen-México2.jpg

A Spanish restaurant has been named the best in the world in an online poll.

TripAdvisor users named Martin Berasategui’s restaurant in the Basque Country as the world’s best.

The three Michelin star restaurant is located in the small town of Lasarte-Oria a few kilometres to the South of San Sebastian.

Speaking after receiving his award, Mr Berasategui said: “This is my best gift than I can receive in my 40 years anniversary as a chef.

“I’m very grateful to my clients, caring them is the secret of my success.”

This year’s awards recognised the category of Basque cuisine. The awards are based on the millions of reviews the site receives from travellers worldwide over a 12-month period.

Berasategui embodies the best of Spanish gastronomy.

The interior is a beautifully stylish and understated, with immaculate table linen and settings and two log fires in elegant antique fireplaces.

“The presentation of the dishes is exquisite, tending to works of art, and beautifully prepared and cooked,” said a regular customer.

Most of the customers choose the tasting menu that includes 14 dishes and costs almost 200 euros.

The menu includes special dishes such as suckling lamb chop with Parmesan whey, fritter and asparagus with citrus dressing,  and egg resting on a liquid herb salad and dewlap carpaccio.

There are eight restaurants with three Michelin stars in Spain – four of them in Basque Country.

Basque’s cuisine is, renowned as the best in the world and this latest award confirms that Basque Country is one of the best touristic destinations for gastronomy lovers.

The Trip Advisor Top 10 Travelers’ Choice Restaurants in the World:

  • 1. Martin Berasategui – Lasarte, Spain
  • 2. Europea – Montreal, Canada
  • 3. Maison Lameloise – Chagny, France
  • 4. Adam’s – Birmingham, England
  • 5. Restaurant Sat Bains – Nottingham, England
  • 6. Geranium – Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 7. PIC – Valence, France
  • 8. NARISAWA – Minato, Japan
  • 9. Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons – Great Milton, England
  • 10. Epicure – Paris, France

3 Michelin Stars in Spain: Akelarre (Donostia), Arzak (Donostia), Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Bizkaia), DiverXO (Madrid), El Celler de Can Roca (Girona), Martín Berasategui (Lasarte, Gipuzkoa), Quique Dacosta (Denia, Alicante) y Sant Pau (Sant Pol de Mar, Barcelona).

Creative Scotland defends using National Lottery proceeds to fund arts

By Philip Askew

Creative Scotland, the public body that subsides arts across the country, has defended the use of money raised through the National Lottery, calling it an “ideal” method of funding.

The academic Robert Hewison recently slammed government austerity measures as “anti-culture”, leading to a decline of interest and funding in art across the UK.

He specifically criticized increasing reliance on the National Lottery as a “funder of first and last resort”, saying it was “dangerous to run the country’s culture on a game of chance”.

Recent government statistics have shown that the number of adults engaging with the arts even once a year has increased by only 0.5 percent since 2005.

But Ian Stevenson, Creative Scotland’s director of finance, said Mr Hewison’s comments reveal “a lack of understanding of basic maths”.

He said: “The lottery is a game of chance as far as people buying a ticket are concerned, but it is very dependable as a source of income. It goes up in weeks with a large jackpot then returns to a steady base level in other weeks. Which means that the money raised for good causes, and therefore the money available for the arts, is in fact steady.

“Why can’t the arts be run on Lottery proceeds? It’s the ideal way to fund the arts – no one is forced to pay for them, and everyone who buys a ticket pays a little towards them.”

Creative Scotland inherited the role of the Scottish Arts Council in 2010.

Its stated objectives are to “promote an understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the arts and culture” and to “support and develop talent and excellence” across Scotland.

In October the organisation revealed it was suffering from a “funding crisis” due to being vastly over-subscribed, but has since assured applicants that money will be available to “most if not all” subscribers.

Other sponsors of Creative Scotland include the arts charities Made in Scotland and the National Youth Arts Fund.

Edinburgh ranked as the second-best student city in UK

Edinburgh has been ranked as the UK’s second-best student city this year despite the rising demand for cheaper student accommodation. The news was published by the new edition of QS ranking.

With a relatively small population compared to many of the cities in the index, the Scottish capital has a fairly large student community proportionate to its overall size. This means that it scores especially high in the “student mix” category of the index.

Notably, 38% of students at ranked universities in Edinburgh are international, lending an incredibly diverse and inclusive atmosphere for overseas students.

Carlotta Lombatto, an Italian student based in Edinburgh said:

“One of the main reasons I chose to study in Edinburgh was to improve my English level. I thought about studying in London but it is a very expensive city and I couldn’t afford living there. In Edinburgh you can find a lot of part time jobs and it’s easier to pay your fees.

“Maybe the most complicated thing in Edinburgh for an international student is renting a flat. Prices are excessive and there are so many people looking for the same thing. The deposit is very high and student accommodation is expensive.”

Manel Escuder, an international student from Spain, said: “Edinburgh is an amazing city for studying, and it is impossible not to be inspired. There are a lot of cultural events and conferences. It is a very artistic city.

“The racial diversity it’s surprisingly high. You can go to the supermarket and see so many people from different places and everybody can live together.They respect each other.”

University ranking, the mixture of international students, quality of life, rate of use and affordability in terms of standard of living are the five categories included in the criteria.

Ben Sowter, head of research at QS said: “QS Best Students Cities provides a complementary tool with respect to the specific rankings of university students.

“After all, the college experience is influenced by the place and especially by the presence of international students”.

To be included in the ranking, every city must have a population of more than 250,000 and must hold at least two educational institutions that are within the QS World University rankings. There are 116 cities in the world that qualify, but only 50 have been classified.

In Edinburgh, the two institutions ranked by QS are the University of Edinburgh, which is currently 17th in the world, and Heriot- Watt-University.

 

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