Friday, 12 October 2018


London born singer Azim will be crying Freedom when he comes to Paisley on October 18. 
Azim, who has recently been working with Scots songwriter and producer John McLaughlin  will play the  Bungalow music venue after releasing his new single Freedom on October 12.
Azim who offer up a mix of tracks based on conflict and tension can’t wait to play the Bungalow venue. 
  Having learned the acoustic guitar after Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens made his comeback he has always strived to reflect the reality of London life, encompassing religious or socio-political opposites, or the epic odyssey of a migrant father fleeing war
He said: “Theres so much to being much out there to draw upon, especially since we had Brexit and TrumpI dont want to hide from any of it.”
Azim, who cites his influences as Richard AshcroftNoel Gallagher and Jimmy Hendrixexplained: ”My song Freedom is a depiction of modern life in a big city. My music is my freedom and if people want to go their own way freedom belongs in their hands.”
“I know how important the word Freedom is in Scotland so I’d love people to come along to the night and embrace it.”


FROZEN singer and former X Factor Star Saara Aalto is a secret Outlander and Sam Heughan fan.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the uber talented singer ahead of her opening tour gig at The Poetry Club SWG3.
She told me: “I love the Outlander book series so much and read it ten years ago and fell in love with Scotland because of the book.  When I first went into X Factor I was at the Edinburgh auditions and that moment changed my life so Scotland has special place in my heart. The first time I came to Glasgow was with the X Factor tour but last year when I did Glasgow Pride I came here with my fiancée and we made a road trip and hired a car and my girlfriend drove.  We tried to find  Culloden Battlefield and some others places from Outlander like the castle and I would have loved to meet Sam Heughan.” 
Saara who was also asking after singers Emily Middlemas and Ryan Lawrie as well as Caitlyn Vanbeck during our convo was looking forward to showing off her classical and acoustic side as well as performing her big showgirl numbers. 


Boaby the Barman may be no more but Still Game’s Gavin Mitchell is still numb.
He said: “It’s not sunk in if I’m honest. We finished a few weeks ago and then I got the lurgy.” 
I met the lovely Gav at the 35th anniversary celebrations for STV’s famed detective series Taggart. 
Seamore Neighbourhood Cinema had taken over Maryhill Community Central Hall for the occasion and Gav was in esteemed company alongside show creators - writer Glenn Chandler and producer Robert Love. 
Gav told  me: “I actually appeared three times, in three roles on the show, as a barman of course and then a pathologist Robin Carlisle Forbes who was actually kind of posh, and then as a gangster kind of businessman which was a brilliant storyline. 
He added jokingly: “He was nice but a bit like me, so er, don’t cross me or I’ll break your nose with a pool cue.”
As we sat watching the first ever episode of Taggart - then a three part mini series called Killer in 1983 - it struck me just how brilliant it was - and how timeless the writing still is. Only the dodgy patterned wallpaper was a bit out of date. 
Gav said: “Robert and Glenn both created Taggart, so to be with the creators thirty five years on in Maryhill in the community Central halls is phenomenal. To be in Jim Taggarts stomping ground, in his hood with his creators is refined company indeeed. It’s a bit like being with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and I’m the Ronnie Wood of the company. I’ll always be the newbie.”


Two Scots Italian Restaurants have beaten their English counterparts by being nominated for the Italian food Oscars. 
Glasgow’s own Oro restaurant in Kilmarnock Road joins Edinburgh’s Locanda De Gusti in being nominated for a trophy at the Melius Ristorante awards -rewarding the top 100 restaurants outside of Italy. 
And while Scotland has two nominations, England only has one - in the form of restaurant Beck at Brown’s in London. 
Scots chef Domenico Crolla said: “Every time I’ve competed in the U.K. for the past ten years Scotland has always done better than England whether it’s a pizza or restaurant contest. Scotland has always beaten England.”
Domenico reckons Scots restaurants are better rated because they are owner run.  
He said: “We have a culture of owner run restaurants here including Indian, Chinese and Italian which are all operated by the owners who offer an authentic experience. 
Other restaurants from Dubai and China are one the list so to be on the same list as them is quite an honour.”
Domenico can’t wait to represent Scotland when he visits Rome on October 29 for the awards ceremony. 
He said: “I don’t have the legs for a kilt but I’m looking forward to it. All the restaurants are of a high standard and it’s going to be close competition.”

Sunday, 30 September 2018


Glasgow’s businessmen and women raised over £9000 for the victims of Kerala floods. 
One hundred people including the Indian Consul General and MPs Anas Anwar and Martyn Day turned up to a special charity dinner at Glasgow’s Dakhin restaurant who donated the venue, food and staff for free on the night. 
Business PG Paper also sponsored the event as well as the new owners of TriBeCa restaurant. 
The funds will be used to help with the infrastructure and rebuilding homes in Kerala for those who were devastated by the damage. 
Indian Consul General Anju Ranjan from Edinburgh said: “I was shattered to see the loss of property and people following the flood in Kerala. More than five hundred people were killed and more than thirty five thousand people rescued and more than two million people were put in camps. It is very sad. Scotland and India have a shared history and the spices from Kerala like cardamom and pepper came over to Scotland after Scots went over there to work on the rubber plantations.”
As well as funds, the Council General is keen to hear from anyone who can help with infrastructure in Kerala.
She explained: “There is no weather forecasting system in place like we have here and the children need help with education too.”
MP for Linlithgow Martyn Day who was in Kerala when the disaster struck also spoke of his experience visiting the worst hit areas.  


IF you like Vodka, Coffee and Fine Food then you need to book into a very special Birthday Party on Thursday October 4.   
Luxury brand Belvedere Vodka has teamed up with the ever stylish Citizen Hotel in Glasgow for an exclusive birthday celebration - and it lasts for the whole of October.
The has always gone wild for  Belvedere and we love the stylish bottle that glows in the dark. 
 This time round Belvedere is bringing the iconic cocktail – the espresso martini – to The Citizen on St Vincent Place in the heart of Glasgow as part of an exclusive month-long ‘pop-up with a coffee twist’.
The city centre pop-up – a Scottish exclusive - will provide style and substance for a retail therapy recharge as well as for purveyors of fine gastronomy and vodka connoisseurs. 

Belvedere in Italian translates to ‘beautiful to see’ and the cocktails on offer this month are exactly that.  The Citizen’s mixologist Matteo Clerici has curated three other very special coffee-inspired cocktails that offer new twists on the classics - The Cold Brew Gimlet, The Chocomint Martini and finally a Don Cortez, which adds a subtle nod to Belvedere’s Polish roots. 
On Thursday October 4 there’s a party marking the first birthday of The Citizen and we’ll be there to try it all out. 
The history of The Citizen as the home of one of Glasgow’s first newspapers is legendary, the Grade A1 listed building it is set within – Scotland’s first red sandstone - is iconic, and its inspired gastronomy is unashamedly Scottish. Add to this an ambience that is chic and fun and the birthday party promises to be an unmissable occasion.
Guests will ascend into the striking building, and through to the Editor’s Suite – a stylishly restored homage to the venue’s heritage when in 1889 it was the headquarters of The Evening Citizen newspaper. 
On arrival into The Editor’s Suite, flashbulbs will pop and, for one night only, disco will reign supreme with a very special DJ set from Billy Woods of famed club night Supermax. Party goers will toast the occasion with the connoisseur’s cocktail of choice - the Belvedere espresso martini - as well as pairing canapés and birthday cake.

Tickets to attend the party are now available through this link or by calling 0141 222 2909

They cost £25 per person and include 3 Belvedere cocktails, canapés andbirthday cake.

Izzy Cameron of Moët Hennessy said: "The Espresso Martini is one of the most popular cocktails in the UK, with the coffee and spirit world growing closer together in their purity and quality. We are excited to be collaborating with The Citizen who are blending the natural character of Belvedere vodka with quality ingredients to showcase five unique coffee cocktails."
 Tony Conetta, Co-owner of The Citizen added: One year ago, after an extensive restoration, we opened the doors to what is one of Glasgow’s most impressive buildings with an equally iconic history. Now, as we celebrate our first birthday, and in the spirit of The Citizen’s pioneering legacy, we are thrilled to be partnering with our friends at Belvedere for this unmissable party and unique month-long pop-up.” 

Friday, 28 September 2018


SHE was going to Walk on By, but Dionne Warwick stopped in her tracks as she was serenaded by a group of teenagers outside her Scots hotel.
The singing legend had performed at Glasgow’s Armadillo and was making her way back into the Blythswood hotel when she was treated to the impromptu performance.
Three young members of five piece Scots pop band G Side had wanted to meet her so decided to give her a rendition of her famous hit Heartbreaker in a bid of grab her attention - and it worked.
Dionne who was with her granddaughter at the gig listened intently to the singing trio before thanking them with a bow of the head and stepping inside the door.
Her granddaughter told me afterwards: “That was awesome.”
Earlier in the day Dionne had become emotional when she was shown pictures of Whitney Houston by one of her Scots fans.