Gig Review: Lennon Stella at the SWG3

Lennon Stella performing at SWG3 in Glasgow Credit: Erin Kirsop

Lennon Stella made her first appearance on Scottish soil at the intimate SWG3 in Glasgow, performing in her first solo European tour.

Lennon has come a long way since her days as a teenager on the American TV show Nashville. Against all odds, Lennon has chosen to step away from her country music roots, instead dipping into the indie-pop genre.

Performing songs off her debut album, as well as new songs yet to be released, the show was a fantastic mix of music. Despite being her first appearance in Glasgow, the fans were with her all the way, singing along with every lyric.

Her support act, JP Saxe, was also widely popular with the crowd both during his opening gig and when he joined Lennon on stage to sing their co-written song ‘Golf on TV’.

In just under two hours, Lennon played covers, as well as throwing original tracks throughout her discography into the mix, each proving to be an absolute delight.

With more songs in the making, I and the rest of her fans sit tightly for another tour announcement. Until next time, Lennon.

“It’s an honest portrayal of Scottish people ” – Our Ladies director speaks to EN4 News

Stop what you’re doing, grab your girlies and get ready to be hit by a wave of nostalgia.

For the first time in forever, there is a film based in Scotland, about Scottish culture that isn’t “Trainspotting”… no, it’s not “Trainspotting 2” either.

Broxburn born film director, Michael Caton-Jones, has stepped out of Hollywood film-making to step back into the culture he is more than familiar with and presents us with “Our Ladies”.

Based on Alan Warner’s novel “The Sopranos”, set in the year 1996, “Our Ladies” follows a group of Catholic schoolgirls from the Scottish Highlands who go on a trip to Edinburgh for a choir competition.

Focusing less on singing and more on boys and booze, the film is a coming-of-age for these six young Scottish ladies.

Credit: Sigma Films

Speaking exclusively to EN4News, Caton-Jones said that he felt he was the only one who could do it justice: “It was the first time I had ever read anything that was accurate and honest about the way I had grown up and I felt at that time. There weren’t many directors with my background.”

He first secured the rights to adapt Warner’s book 20 years ago as what was initially going to be a side project.

It has taken the director years to find financial backing to be able to make the film, with many places not getting the hype about a female-led film until recently.

“I found other people’s perceptions [of the characters] the strangest thing. ‘Oh, you can’t let them behave like that!’ Well, how can’t you?

“I remember my big sister and her pals, I thought they were great fun. I grew up in Scotland, with Scottish women and I don’t find them wallflowers, I find them equals.”

The actresses in the film are largely unknown.

Eve Austin, Tallulah Greive, Abigail Lawrie, Rona Morison, Marli Sui and Sally Messham star in the film and each have roots here in Scotland.

“What I was trying to do was make an honest portrayal of the way people are” (Credit: Sigma Films)

The director told EN4 News that he didn’t feel he could stuff this film full of recognisable faces: “The advantages of having a cast that nobody recognises is that it looks like a completely fresh view of the world, because you’re delighted that you’re finding these people and believing them.”

This is not the first time Caton-Jones has picked an undiscovered actor for a role.

In 1993, he cast the little-known Leonardo DiCaprio in his first film, “This Boy’s Life” and was thanked by DiCaprio in his Oscar acceptance speech for giving him his first role.

As someone who comes from “a very working-class background”, the film-maker feels it can be difficult to get opportunities, especially here in Scotland.

“I find there is a lot of talent in Scotland, but I don’t feel that there are a lot of ways of channelling that.

“I’m a nice working-class boy, and very few of them come through in the film industry.”

As a coming-of-age film, set and filmed entirely in Scotland, “Our Ladies” is one of the first of its kind in the film industry.

It has been hailed as a “must-see” by leading British film magazine, Sight and Sound, after its world premiere in London last year.

It is due to make its Scottish debut at Glasgow Film Festival at the end of this month.

“What I was trying to do was make an honest portrayal of the way people are and the way they behave and because I’m Scottish, I know these people intimately,” he said, “The things that happen to these girls could happen to anybody, anywhere in the world and it’s the universality of that that you’re trying to create.”

“Our Ladies” will be released across the UK on March 6 this year.

Fountainbridge garage forced to close due to ongoing sewage flooding


A Fountainbridge business has been forced to temporarily close its doors after being flooded with raw sewage water.

Angle Park Auto centre on Lower Gilmore place was flooded after heavy rain on Wednesday night caused a blocked drain to overflow into the garage.

Owner Kamran Jahan, 42 said the problem started two weeks ago and Scottish water promised him that the drain would be repaired as a matter of urgency. Representatives from Scottish Water have attended the scene to drain the blockage but the change in weather this week has caused the problem to escalate leaving the businessman no choice but to temporarily close the garage.

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He told EN4 News: “It’s been bad for my business.

“We’ve lost business and I’ve had to send customers away because we can’t do MOT tests. My staff can’t work because the tools are air tools, air hoses which have all been affected by the sewer water.”

The pit was completely submerged with water (Credit: Kamran Jahan)

Mr Jahan has said the garage will need professionally cleaned (Credit: Kamran Jahan)

Mr Jahan is unhappy with the way Scottish water have dealt with the problem.

“We were supposed to have a meeting this morning to try and find out what the problem is, but still nothing has been sorted.”

A Scottish Water spokeswoman said: “We are aware of an issue with the sewer network in the Lower Gilmore Place area.

“We have identified a collapsed sewer two metres underground which has led to some flooding and will carry out a repair as soon as possible.

“We are liaising closely with local customers to keep them updated and apologise for any inconvenience.”

Mr Jahan is hoping that the repair can be made soon to stop the problem reoccurring.

“The main thing is getting the problem solved because if it rains again, like it is supposed to this weekend, it’s just going to happen again,” he added.

Edinburgh woman who became youngest female to ski solo to the South Pole shares her story


The youngest female in the world to ski solo to the South Pole returned to her hometown of Edinburgh this week, and has told EN4 News about the decision to attempt the gruelling expedition on her own.

At 29 years old, Mollie Hughes became the youngest ever female to successfully travel from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole with no support or resupply.

Mollie Hughes on her journey across Antarctica to the South Pole (credit: Mollie Hughes)

The original plan was to reach the South Pole by New Year’s Day but the trip was almost derailed due to severe weather. She faced headwinds of more than 55knots, temperatures of -45C and an eight-day whiteout, but still managed to push forward and claim her second world record.

Mollie posted the news on Twitter after having reached the Geographic South Pole on Friday the 10 January, saying: “After 58.5 days of skiing I am standing at the Geographic South Pole as the youngest woman EVER to ski solo from the coast of Antarctica to the Pole.”

Having began the journey on Wednesday 13 November, she travelled 702miles in 58.5 days. Dragging all of her food with her on a sled weighing 105kg, she skied alone for between 10 to 12 hours a day, 650 hours in total.

EN4 News spoke with Mollie about her trip and she told us that she never considered taking support, it was always planned to be a solo trip.

“On Everest and when you’re climbing you really need to have a team around you for safety and for motivation. I’d always had amazing teams, amazing guides on Everest and in the Himalayas but I thought in Antarctica, I really wanted to test myself and to see if I could cope on my own.”

To sustain her energy levels, Mollie consumed around 4,500cal per day, more than twice the daily amount for a woman. Despite this, she lost around 15kg during her expedition.

As well as the obvious physical demands, we asked what her biggest challenges were during her expedition.

“Psychologically, being solo was hard. You’ve got to be so confident in each decision you make. There’s no one to cheer you up, no one to tell you tomorrow is going to be a bit better, no one to give you a hug. Learning to cope with all that was hard, but I got there.”

After recuperating at a camp in the South Pole, she spent a few days resting in southern Chile before receiving a hero’s welcome from her friends, family and sponsors back in her hometown.

Taking the world record from previous holder, Vilborg Gissuradottir from Iceland, who completed the challenge in 2013 when she was 32, Mollie now has two world records to her name.

In 2017 she achieved her first record as the world’s youngest person to have successfully climbed both the North and South sides of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, at just 26 years old.

“It was probably a good year and a half before I started thinking, ‘what’s next?’” Mollie told us. She said it took her a long time to decide to take on a challenge of this scale after her second victory on Everest.

“I knew a lot of people who had been to Antarctica and the continent just really intrigued me. Travelling from the coast all the way to the pole is probably one of the best ways to see the whole of the continent.”

When she isn’t undertaking record breaking expeditions, the Edinburgh-based mountaineer puts her energy into motivational speaking and of course, climbing.

Mollie fell in love with the mountains at the age of 17 after she joined a school expedition to climb Mount Kenya. For the rest of her time in education, Mollie would save up as much money as she could in the year and then spend it all on an expedition over the summer.

“[The school expedition] opened my eyes to seeing the world. The first few years were more about travelling and climbing at first and as the big trips kind of came into it, it was more about pushing myself a little bit and working out ways to inspire other people as well.”

Mollie has been delivering motivational speeches to schools and corporate events since her first Everest expedition in 2012 and is planning to deliver an array of speaking engagements about her most recent feat now she has returned.

Her first talk will be given exclusively to Cancer Research UK, the charity that she raises funds for, in Glasgow on 30 January.

Credit: Mollie Hughes

Mollie Hughes in the South Pole after completing her expedition (credit: Mollie Hughes)

It’s only been a matter of days since her feet landed on home ground, but Mollie is already planning things she wants to do in the future.

“I plan to do a lot more motivational speaking and share this story with people all around the world, especially young people and young girls. I want to set up a business that takes young girls on adventures, write books, so many things.”

It’s no wonder she has yet to plan another adventure of this scale, but Mollie plans to inspire many as she conquers the world, one record at a time.

Edinburgh councillor explains why Christmas trees remain on streets three weeks after Christmas

An Edinburgh Councillor has said that the city’s Christmas tree collection issues will continue unless a new system is put in place.

As more and more people opt to display natural Christmas trees as the centrepiece of their home, the struggle for adequate collection increases.

Stripped bare of their twinkling lights and baubles and left on the concrete, the city has become a graveyard of Christmas trees in the weeks after the festive season.

(Credit: EN4 News)

Green Councillor for Edinburgh City Centre, Claire Miller, said that the council have yet to come up with a solution.

“The reason we don’t have something better in place is budget, resources and because it is expensive to employ extra people to go out and collect [abandoned trees] across the whole city in a very short time window,” Miller told EN4 News.

According to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA), eight million real Christmas trees are sold in Britain each year, more than half a million are purchased in Scotland alone.

City residents have taken to social media to highlight the issue, and mourn the Christmas trees past.

According to Zero Waste Scotland, most Scottish councils offer recycling or compost services to ease the struggle of discarding the trees that aren’t put in our attic for years to come.

The City of Edinburgh Council have written a guide to easily recycling your own Christmas trees with most Household Waste Recycling Centres open seven days a week.

Miller said that she puts her Christmas tree into her garden bin and explained that the trees collected often have the same fate. “They’re used in a really sustainable way. I think what we need to be doing is making sure that all those trees are used for those kinds of purposes and that they are recycled.”

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I’m a Celebrity Round-Up: Caitlyn Jenner, Ian Wright and other stars tackle Australian jungle

It’s the time of year when it begins to feel like Christmas is on its way. And what gets us more in the Christmas spirit than watching a number of celebrities tackle critter-filled tasks in the middle of the Australian Jungle.

We are almost a week in and things are already heating up. Between radio DJs Roman Kemp and Adele Roberts tiffing over Adele’s luxury item – a photo of Jane McDonald, of course – and the entire British public already rooting for Caitlyn Jenner to be crowned Queen of the Jungle, it appears to be a very entertaining cast.

We saw the split-up of the group on the first day after they went into pairs to complete tasks which would place them into Snake Rock, the dreaded ‘rough’ camp, and the main camp where they would receive an evening of jungle luxury, well, beds and food.

I'm a Celeb

Image by ITV

Caitlyn Jenner, Ian Wright, James Haskell, Jaqueline Jossa, Andrew Maxwell and Kate Garraway had the misfortune of spending the first night in Snake Rock eating the small portions of beans and rice.

It took just a few hours for Caitlyn to spill the beans on her life as a Jenner and living with the Kardashians. She is already proving to be a fan favourite and fellow campmate Jaqueline Jossa is no exception. As admitted on the first night of the show, she is the Kardashians’ biggest fan and is just as excited as the rest of us to see what stories Caitlyn will tell over the next 3 weeks.

Adele Robertson, Nadine Coyle, Roman Kemp and Myles Stephenson spent their night in the main camp, taking in their new surroundings.

Fans have taken to twitter to demand I’m a Celeb provide subtitles for the Northern Irish Girl’s Aloud member, Nadine Coyle. Though her accent is thick, we all heard her admit she doesn’t actually know any of the lyrics to the iconic Girls Aloud songs on last nights episode.

I'm a Celebrity

Image by ITV

This is the first year the producers have banned eating live insects since facing a lot of backlash the last few seasons, but that doesn’t mean to say that the trials are any less gruesome. So far there have been three of the famous Bush Tucker Trials, Caitlyn and Kate were voted to do the first trial. Arguably one of the less horrid trials the show has seen, the pair had to drop five balls each into a bucket whilst lying in perspex boxes high in the air filled with, of course, multiple critters.

Snake Rock took on the helmet challenge, where each camp mate’s hamlet was filled with different critters and in true I’m a Celeb style, suspiciously matched to the camp mates’ fears.

The two camps were reunited on Tuesday night after spending a couple of nights apart.

And last night, Roman and Adele took on the Just Desserts eating challenge, where Roman’s dad took to twitter to admit he was voting for his son to eat some form of balls. No such luck for Martin Kemp, but he did have to eat a bull’s penis.

Tonight we will see the introduction of two new camp mates, Coronation Street star Andy Whyment and former EastEnders actor Cliff ‘Minty’ Parisi, added into the mix as the next stage commences.

The Edinburgh trans remembrance vigil

Many people braved the cold last night to come together outside of the Scottish Parliament to pay respects at the annual International Trans Day of Remembrance vigil. On the 20th of November each year, members of the trans community and their allies hold candlelight vigils to commemorate those who have died as a result of transphobic attacks.

The event was hosted by The Scottish Trans Alliance, LGBT Youth Scotland, Stonewall Scotland and many other non-profit LGBTQ+ charities and support groups.

There are approximately 200,000 – 500,000 people who identify as trans in Britain, but there is no way to get an exact figure. Many of these people have been subject to abuse and violence simply because of their gender identity. As I stood among many members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies tonight, the pain and emotion was evident.

Standing hand in hand, surrounded by candles, we bowed our heads to remember those who have died because of hatred towards the community. Across the UK, the number of transgender hate crimes have risen by 81% in the last year, 92 crimes in Scotland alone.

Image by Erin Kirsop

According to a Stonewall survey published by the Government Equalities Office, 41% of trans men and trans women said they had experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the past 12 months.

Trans is a general term for those whose gender is different from that assigned to them at birth. For example, a trans woman is someone who transitioned from a man to woman, often taking life-changing steps to change their gender permanently. It wasn’t until 2002 that the UK government was held directly accountable for the lack of protection for the community, and judges ruled that they should issue new birth certificates to reflect their gender identity – this also enabled their marriage to an individual of the opposite gender. But there is still an ongoing battle for the trans and LGBTQ+ community for more rights.

67% of trans people say that they have avoided being open about their gender identity for fear of a negative reaction from others. You only have to take one look at social media to understand why they may think that.

With the Government struggling to make much progress in trans rights and the increase in hate towards the trans and LGBTQ+ community, events like not only show respect but raise awareness of the struggle. We are almost one month away from a new decade, a time to make a change. A time to stand up and make a difference, for those who had the chance taken away from them.

Scottish fashion detox now conquering America

Image by Erin Kirsop

On the 18th of February 2019, I scrolled through Instagram, as I always do and came across a sponsored post.

“Fashion Detox Challenge, 10 weeks, no new clothes, last day to sign up!”

Whether it was my newfound interest in slow-fashion or my empty purse begging me not to spend another penny on yet another jumper, I’m not sure but I, along with around 30 other brave souls, signed up. I didn’t realise it would take me on such a life-altering journey.

The Fashion Detox Challenge was set up by ex-fashion designer and Glasgow Caledonian University PhD student Emma Kidd as part of her research into ‘Transitions in Clothing Consumption’ after witnessing first-hand, as a fashion designer in South East Asia, the social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry, also known as ‘fast-fashion’.

The challenge itself is designed to be as inclusive and supportive as possible with a voluntary forum to post about your journey as you go and to gain support from your fellow detoxers. Laugh all you want, but as a recovering shopaholic, this feature was key to my perseverance. Alongside 70% of the UK, I would quite often buy one new item of clothing per week and like the rest of the UK, my clothes would last me an average of 2 and half years. Who am I kidding, mines were lucky to last me 2 and a half months.

This isn’t uncommon – once you begin to pull yourself away from the clutch the fashion industry has on you, the fog begins to clear and the trance you’ve been in since the day your mum stopped buying your clothes slowly begins to break.

The UK Fashion Industry is worth £26 billion and employs over 800,000 people, making it the largest creative industry in the UK according to the British Council. In 2018, we as a country spent £58.4 million on clothes alone, and yet people are shocked to find that it is the second most polluting industry in the world, right behind the oil and coal industry. But why do we spend so much on clothes if it is so damaging to our planet, not to mention our bank accounts?

Well, because we’re told to. In my 10 weeks of detoxing, I unsubscribed from 28 promotional mailing lists, unfollowed 32 fast-fashion accounts on social media and avoided fast-fashion stores like they were my ex after a bad break-up.

The lengths I and everyone else had to go to just to avoid the pull of the fast-fashion trance speaks volumes. People are beginning to wake up from their hypnotic shopping habits and because of challenges like The Fashion Detox Challenge; it’s becoming so much more than taking control of our spending.

The New York Times recently mentioned Emma and her challenge in their article ‘How to Buy Clothes That Are Built to Last’ and since then, Emma has seen a massive increase in sign-ups from all across the globe. She said;

“I’m blown away by all the interest and support that we have received since being mentioned in the NYTimes! We had thousands of website hits and well over 100 new Fashion Detoxers sign-up from all over the world in just 48hours – from as far away as Hawaii and Australia!”

Asking her how she feels now her small Glasgow-based challenge, that was only ever planned to be a one-time thing, is now being done across the Atlantic:

“For me this response shows just how ready people are to review their shopping habits, and it expresses the growing number of people who are becoming fed-up with being collectively encouraged to mindlessly buy more and more ‘stuff’. I think this international interest reveals the scale of issues we face in relation to over-consumption, however, it also shows the potential for human-scale global change!”

With hundreds of people now taking part, Emma’s research project has far surpassed any expectations. People around the world now meticulously sifting through their wardrobes in an effort to dress themselves in the morning for the next 10 weeks are most likely unaware of the impact they are having to the environment through the small act of simply re-wearing instead of buying. With websites and apps like ‘Depop’ and ‘Re:Loved’, second-hand shopping is no longer something your Granny does in the local charity store, but a way of keeping clothes out of landfills as well as putting money in your pocket.

An article by The Guardian  claims that clothing has been the fastest growing waste stream in the UK over the past 10 years with a predicted 235 million items expected to have ended up in landfills in 2017. I am glad to announce that that number is slowly in decline with more people consciously donating their clothes as opposed to binning them like they have in previous years.

A Fashion Detox participant, Maggie Huminiecka, who took part in the first Fashion Detox Challenge said that 10 weeks without shopping has had a lasting effect on her shopping habits in an interview with The Nine.

“Before the challenge, I was buying online without even really realising. I had so many clothes, I didn’t need them, I didn’t wear them and I didn’t enjoy them. It became a habit.”

So clearly giving up buying new clothes helps more than just your wallet, now the only question that is left to ask is; what will I waste my money on now?

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