Wet Wet Wet to host one-off online charity concert

The Scottish band will team up with the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy charity to raise funds.

Concert: Wet Wet Wet to host one-off online charity concert. Chuff Media via Contributed
Concert: Wet Wet Wet to host one-off online charity concert.

Wet Wet Wet have announced plans to host a one-off online concert for charity. 

The Scottish band have been working on new album The Journey while entertaining fans through their ‘Wet Wet Wet from Home’ sessions during lockdown.

The group recently got together in Glasgow to record a full live band set that includes fan favourites such as Temptation, Angel Eyes, Goodnight Girl, Julia Says and Love Is All Around.

‘The Journey Out of Lockdown’ will be streamed on Saturday April 17 and the band are urging fans to make an optional donation to the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy charity when purchasing tickets.

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The organisation is the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK, with centres delivering music therapy across the country.

Band member Tommy Cunningham said: “For live musicians, Covid-19 has all but kidnapped and darkened our stages for the past year. You never realise how much you miss something until it’s not there. 

“When the opportunity arose for Wet Wet Wet to do our only live show in lockdown, it was poignant that it was in tandem with the charity Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy. Doing the job we all love whilst trying to shine some light on them has always been important to us”.

Singer Kevin Simm added: “It’s great just to be able to perform live again even without an audience present – although we would all hugely prefer to see the faces of our fans rather than just video cameras in front of us. 

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“Enjoy the stream and we’re very much hoping that the journey out of lockdown continues so we can see everybody on the road again really soon.”

Tickets for the stream will go on sale 10am Monday March 29 on Ticketmaster.


Compston teams up with Live Aid founder to support students

The pair will share stories from their careers to date at the live online event.

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Compston: Teaming up with Midge Ure.

Line Of Duty star Martin Compston and musician Midge Ure are teaming up for an event to support students driven into hardship by the coronavirus pandemic.

The pair will share stories from their careers to date at the live online event, including speaking about Compston’s portrayal of Ure in the Backstage at Live Aid episode of Sky Arts comedy drama Urban Myths.

On booking, those attending will have the opportunity to put forward a question for the duo.

The event on April 26 is being organised by the GCU Foundation in support of Glasgow Caledonian University’s Common Good Campaign.

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The campaign is raising financial and in-kind support to help students with no access to income or family support, as well as providing guidance, support and mentorship for final year students and new graduates.

Funds raised will help ease financial hardship through student bursaries and provide internship opportunities to boost employability.

Compston and Ure are both honorary graduates of the university.

Speaking ahead of the event, Compston said: “I am looking forward to being back at Glasgow Caledonian University virtually.

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“Midge is just such a likeable guy it’ll be great to chat to him about how our careers have crossed paths, and even better that by doing so we can help to make a difference to students who are struggling right now.”

Ure added: “It’s been a tough time for students. Many have lost jobs, and for many more thinking about what the future holds can feel overwhelming at this time.

“So I am delighted to join forces with Martin to help raise awareness for the campaign that is providing financial assistance as well as practical support for students and new graduates.”

The university’s principal and vice-chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies said “It’s fantastic that Midge and Martin are supporting GCU’s Common Good Campaign to help our students who’ve been hardest hit by the pandemic.

“They are both superstars who are down to earth, great fun and who have real empathy for our students at this time.”

The event runs from 6pm to 7.15pm and tickets are available now at gcu.ac.uk/martinandmidge with a suggested donation of £20, or what you can, in support of the Common Good Campaign.

Tartan Army anthem boosts ‘house built on rock and roll’

The Fratellis add live version of Yes Sir, I can Boogie to their latest album.

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The Fratellis have added Scotland’s new football anthem to their latest album to raise money in memory of a teenager.

Baccara’s 70s classic Yes Sir, I can Boogie was adopted by the Tartan Army after the national side reached Euro 2020.

Now the Scots rockers have recorded a live version in aid of three children’s charities – The Tartan Army Children’s Charity (TACC), Soccer Aid and The Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund.

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Jon Fratelli

Profits from digital downloads of the ‘Boogie Bundle’ version of the Half Drunk Under a Full Moon album will go toward the good causes.

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Eilidh Brown was just 15-years-old when she died from germ cell cancer in 2010 and a trip to see The Fratellis perform seven months later was the first time her grieving family felt able to leave the house.

Lead singer Jon Fratelli told STV News: “We’ve been on board with the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund from the beginning and we’re really happy to be able to do a small thing that helps.”

The band got involved after Eilidh’s dad Gordon sent Jon a letter asking if he would support the memorial fund.

“I just sent him a wee letter and said this is what we’re doing and was there any chance he could help,” Gordon said. “After the gig, we were in Tennent’s bar in Glasgow and ten minutes later he texted me and said ‘I’d be honoured’.”

STV News
Eilidh Brown and her family.
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The Fratellis went on to play a number of charity gigs to raise funds for the soon-to-be-completed Eilidh Brown Holiday home in Stirling, for families of children with cancer.

Gordon believes “the house built on rock and roll” would never have happened without the band’s backing.

Jon explained: “I could feel the heartbreak and the sadness leaping off the page and I could also feel the desire from all of Eilidh’s family to create this new respite home.”

The band have vowed to continue supporting the fund but, in the meantime, they are heading back into the studio to record their version of Yes Sir, I Can Boogie, after being blown away by the response to the Scotland football team favourite.

“We’re going to release it as a single because the reaction has been so positive,” Jon said. “It really did turn out to be the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”


Former Big Brother contestant Nikki Grahame dies aged 38

Grahame appeared on the seventh series of the reality TV show in 2006.

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Nikki Grahame: Former Big Brother star dead at 38.

Reality TV star Nikki Grahame, who rose to fame as a contestant on Big Brother, has died aged 38.

A statement from her representative said: “It is with immeasurable sadness that Nikki Grahame passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April 2021.

“Please respect the privacy of Nikki’s friends and family at this tragic and difficult time.”

Grahame, originally from Northwood in London, appeared on the seventh series of the reality TV show in 2006, and despite finishing fifth became one of its most recognisable characters.

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She subsequently secured her own show, Princess Nikki, won a National Television Award and published two books, the autobiographies Dying To Be Thin and Fragile.

Grahame had recently received treatment for an eating disorder at a specialist clinic following a fundraising campaign organised by friends and fans.

A statement on the Gofundme.com page said: “It is with great sadness, we have to let you know that our dear friend Nikki passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April.

“It breaks our hearts to know that someone who is so precious was taken from us at such a young age. Nikki not only touched the lives of millions of people, but also her friends and family who will miss her immensely.

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“We would like to request privacy at this difficult time, while Nikki’s friends and family process the sad news.

“Full details will be released as and when we know them.”

Prior to finding fame on Big Brother, Grahame, then an aspiring actress, appeared as an extra in the BBC soap opera EastEnders and played a footballer’s wife in Sky One’s Dream Team.

She also appeared as a contestant on ITV dating show Blind Date and competed in the 2004 Miss Hertfordshire pageant.

After entering the Big Brother house dressed as a Playboy bunny, Grahame became known for her temper tantrums and Diary Room histrionics, including an infamous “who is she?” rant.

She formed an unlikely relationship with the show’s eventual winner Pete Bennett, but their romance ended a month after they left the house.

Nikki was evicted on day 58, but went back into the house after the remaining contestants picked her to return. She eventually finished in fifth place.

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After Big Brother, she bagged her own reality show, Princess Nikki, which saw her attempt to keep various jobs.

She also appeared on Celebrity Scissorhands, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and The Weakest Link, and a Channel 4 poll named her the 12th most “written about” person of 2006 in the UK.

Grahame chronicled her battle with anorexia in the book Dying To Be Thin.


The Snuts beat Demi Lovato to number one album spot

The four-piece, from Whitburn in West Lothian, topped the album chart with debut W.L.

OfficialCharts.com/PA Wire via PA Media
The Snuts: The band beat Demi Lovato to the top spot.

Scottish indie-rockers The Snuts have scored a number one with their debut album W.L.

The four-piece, from Whitburn in West Lothian, denied US pop star Demi Lovato the crown after a closely-fought race this week.

Fronted by 26-year-old singer and guitarist Jack Cochrane, The Snuts also become the first Scottish band in 14 years to enter at number one with their debut, since The View’s Hats Off to the Buskers in 2007.

Titled W.L., the album pays tribute to the Whitburn Loopy, the trouble-makers and youths from their hometown, and had been backed in the race for number one by fellow chart-topping Scot Lewis Capaldi.

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The band, who became friends at school, also top this week’s vinyl albums chart and the record store chart.

“This one is for all the fans who have proved that it’s possible to get a band like us to number one,” they said.

“Every copy you bought of this record goes a long way. It’s old school and it’s beautiful. Thanks very much – we love you.”

The Scottish Music Industry Association said: “A huge congratulations to The Snuts for landing a UK number one album with W.L. As the first Scottish band to do so with their debut record since The View’s Hats Off to the Buskers in 2007, this is an incredible achievement; not least at a time of significant challenges industry wide.

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“Their success follows on from Mogwai claiming the number one spot just a few weeks back with As The Love Continues, highlighting the strength, passion and determination from Scotland’s artists and music industry, and signifying an exciting and impactful period of engagement and connection with Scottish music.”

Former child star Lovato settled for the runner-up slot but still claimed her highest-charting record in the UK to date with Dancing with the Devil… The Art of Starting Over, which details her recovery from addiction and abuse.

On the singles chart, Lil Nas X lands a second week at number one with Montero (Call Me By Your Name).


Scottish Opera to stage more than 200 outdoor performances

The pop-up opera will run for four months over the summer and feature shows such as The Pirates of Penzance.

BrianAJackson via IStockPhoto
Opera: Pop-up performances to tour across Scotland in summer.

Scottish Opera will stage more than 200 outdoor performances for around 12,000 people across Scotland as lockdown is eased.

The company will visit around 40 venues from June to September, performing to audiences seated in socially distanced “bubbles”.

The pop-up opera will run for four months and will feature shows such as The Pirates of Penzance, The Gondoliers, The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, and Lolanthe.

The performing group will travel in two specially adapted trailers, starting from June 8.

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The Scottish Opera headquarters in Glasgow will deploy its car park, which was used for a major outdoor production of Puccini’s La Bohème last year, for a new outdoor adaptation of Verdi’s Falstaff.

Scottish Opera’s general director Alex Reedjik said: “I’m delighted that we are preparing to bring live music back to audiences following almost a year without live opera.

“Falstaff will be a love letter to our glorious art form, with over 120 people working together on the production.

“Sir David McVicar offers an amazing vision for our car park as he directs and designs an ingenious show with exquisite 17th century period costumes, promising an evening of comedy, pathos, and pure entertainment.”

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Stuart Stratford, Scottish Opera’s music director, said: ‘I’m so excited that we’re able to offer outdoor, live opera to audiences across Scotland once again, even more so that we have the opportunity to work with Sir David McVicar on Falstaff for what is sure to be a visual and musical feast.

“Sir David’s creativity and passion are immersed in every aspect of the production and his spectacular vision for our car park location will make the audience experience even more visceral and immediate, especially in this outdoor setting.

“As Verdi’s last great work the piece contains all the fabulous searing melodies, raw emotion, and comedy which brings together our incredible world-class cast and orchestra.”


Scots band The Snuts battle Demi Lovato for number one spot

The West Lothian rockers are currently leading the Official Albums Chart race with their debut record, W.L.

Official Charts via Website

By Jenness Mitchell & Polly Bartlett

A Scottish band battling American popstar Demi Lovato for the top spot in the UK albums chart have described it as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.

The Snuts are currently leading the race to number one with W.L.

If the West Lothian indie-rockers hold on to their lead, they will be the first Scottish band in 14 years to top the Official Albums Chart with a debut record since The View in 2007.

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The Snuts’ frontman, Jack Cochrane, 26, told STV News it was a “once in a lifetime chance”.

He added: “This has been our life’s work.

“There’s songs on this record that we wrote when we were 15-years-old. This is a kind of achievement we always wanted to try and work towards.

“We wanted to be able to put guitar music back on the map and hopefully inspire the next generation of young Scottish songwriters and musicians.”

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On Tuesday, The Snuts led the charge with most vinyl and download sales of the week so far.

Lovato – who has the most CD sales of the week so far – was just 1110 sales behind and is on track for her highest-charting album to date in the UK with Dancing with the Devil.

Her previous album, Tell Me You Love Me, peaked at number five in 2019.

Callum Wilson, The Snuts’ bassist, said the band’s battle for number one “shows the power of what core fans can do”.

He added: “See fans that go out there and they buy a vinyl, they buy a record, they buy gig tickets – it really shows that they can kind of go up against these streaming megalodons who just stream millions a day.

“So, I think it’s really inspiring for young bands just to see – if you get that core fanbase, they will always support you.”

The band – Cochrane and Wilson along with guitarist Joe McGillveray and drummer Jordan ‘Joko’ Mackay – have been jamming together since school.

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W.L. refers to Whitburn Loopy – “the troublemakers and the youths” from the band’s hometown – and features numerous themes including mental health struggles and the lasting scars of the country’s damaging drugs culture.

Cochrane said it was great to see the fans enjoying the record.

He added: “How much they’re connecting with the album emotionally is something that’s surprising itself for us.”

When shooting the video for single Somebody Loves You, the band joined forces with the Scottish Refugee Council to showcase some of the stories of those who have been directly helped by the charity.

Wilson described it as ‘humbling’ to see the refugees’ spirit shining through.

He said: “We’re sitting here – everybody was in lockdown, everybody was isolating – but you’re only really a phone call away from friends and family.

“And these people have travelled from one corner of the globe right across, suffered insane hardships and they’re still standing there with a smile on their face to tell their story.

“And I just think that in itself really humbles you and really makes you realise how good you actually do have it.”

If the band take that top spot on Friday, then they will host the “party to end all parties” once it is safe to do so as the fight against coronavirus continues.

Cochrane said the band are “blessed” to have a fanbase that’s got them to this position but joked that waiting to find out is “torture”.

He added: “We kind of started off in pole position, which felt like the worst way we could have started because we’re kind of waiting to have it stolen from us now.

“It’ll be a real achievement for us to take that number one.”


The Snuts debut album on course to top Official Charts

The Scottish band are up against American singer Demi Lovato in a bid to win the top spot.

The Snuts via Twitter
The Snuts: Debut album by Scots band could top official charts this week.

The Snuts could become the first Scottish band to see their debut album go straight to number one in 14 years. 

The Scottish band are up against American singer Demi Lovato in a bid to top the Official Charts with debut album W.L.

On Tuesday, the group from West Lothian were leading the way, racking up the most vinyl and download sales of the week so far.

Just 1110 sales behind at number two is Lovato, who is on track for her highest-charting album to date with Dancing with the Devil.

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Her previous album Tell Me You Love Me peaked at number five in 2019.

If The Snuts are successful, W.L. will become the first debut album by a Scottish band to go to number one since The View in 2007. 

The Snuts have taken to social media to drum up support for their album, with a post featuring frontman Jack Cochrane photoshopped as William Wallace in Braveheart, with the band saying they are ready to “embark in the biggest fight of our lives.”

The Official Charts will be announced on Friday from 7pm.


Guns N’ Roses date switch as show moves back to Glasgow Green

The band's concert was originally planned for 2020, but had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

Guns N' Roses via LiveNation / SNS via SNS Group
The Sweet Child O’ Mine stars will play Glasgow Green on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

Rock legends Guns N’ Roses have rescheduled their Scottish tour date for next summer – and moved back to the original venue.

The Sweet Child O’ Mine stars were due to play at Glasgow Green on June 25 last year but the show was postponed to this summer at Bellahouston Park.

But with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to leave plans for travel and large gatherings in doubt, it has been switched again.

Axl, Slash and the rest of the band will now play at Glasgow Green on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

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All tickets remain valid and will be honoured for the new date.

The LA rockers released a statement which read: “Hey Gunners, unfortunately we need to ask for your patience one more time. Our summer European tour dates will be rescheduled to 2022, but with the added bonus of new shows and special guest Gary Clark Jr.

“Tickets remain valid for all rescheduled dates, so please do hold onto them. We continue to be thankful for your understanding and support during these unprecedented times.

“Light is at the end of the tunnel and we are looking forward to getting back on stage later this year in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and next year in Europe and more.”


Shuggie Bain mural unveiled in city which inspired novel

The artwork inspired by Douglas Stuart's book was revealed on a wall of the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow.

PA Ready via PA Ready
The mural features Shuggie dancing in the street and a quote from the book.

A mural inspired by Douglas Stuart’s Booker Prize winning novel Shuggie Bain has been unveiled in the city where much of the book is set.

The writer said it is “one of the proudest moments of my life” as the artwork was revealed on a wall of the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow.

The Glasgow-born writer became only the second Scottish writer to win the prestigious award for his debut novel Shuggie Bain, which was inspired by his childhood in 1980s Glasgow.

The mural features Shuggie dancing in the street and a quote from the book – “You’ll not remember the city you were too wee, but there’s dancing. All kinds of dancing.”

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The piece was designed and made by the Cobolt Collective, comprising 2015 Glasgow School of Art graduates Erin Bradley-Scott, Chelsea Frew and Kat Loudon.

Stuart, who now lives in New York, said: “It is beyond my wildest dreams to see my words adorning the city that inspired them. Glasgow, and the Barras, are at the very heart of Shuggie Bain.

PA Ready via PA Ready
The artwork was inspired by Douglas Stuart’s Booker Prize winning novel.

“The novel is a portrait of a working-class family from the East End, and their resilient Glaswegian spirit.

“I’m incredibly honoured by the beautiful artwork and lettering the Cobolt Collective and Glasgow School of Art students have created for the Barrowland Ballroom.

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“I hope the mural inspires other weans to dream big with their creativity. It’s definitely one of the proudest moments of my life.”

The 30ft high by 60ft wide mural was commissioned by his UK publisher Picador to mark the novel’s publication in paperback.

It also features “Flourish”, a specially designed typeface created by two final year GSA communication design students, Jack Batchelor and Ellie Bainbridge.

Cobolt Collective said: “Having read Shuggie Bain at the start of this year, we were beyond delighted to be asked to paint a mural to celebrate the powerfully beautiful novel set in our beloved hometown of Glasgow

“The book is rich in vibrant visual stimuli and depicts nostalgic imagery of Glasgow in the 80s that has inspired the content of the piece.”

“Our mural includes the quote, ‘You’ll not remember the city you were too wee, but there’s dancing. All kinds of dancing’- words which come from a section of the book where Agnes is telling her son, Shuggie, about the brilliance and the beauty of Glasgow.”

“The image of Shuggie, which appears in the centre of the mural, is bringing to life the closing lines in the book where the protagonist twirls and dances in the street. The fireworks going off whilst he dances are another reference from the book, and also give a nod to the stars on the iconic Barrowland Ballroom sign (where the mural is painted).

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“This famous Glasgow venue is referenced throughout the book, so to be able to paint it on the side of this building seems wholly fitting, giving Shuggie the centre stage in the city that he so greatly deserves.”

Katie Bowden, of Picador, said: “Shuggie Bain is a novel which has been described by Douglas Stuart as being, in part, a love-letter to Glasgow and we, his UK publisher, wanted to help bring about something lasting that would weave Shuggie Bain into the tapestry of the city, created by artists local to the area.”


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