After three months of action-packed, adrenalin-filled roller derby, this weekend sees the Auld Reekie Roller Girls, Edinburgh’s roller derby league, make history with their very first Home Season Championship Final.
The event – starting at 5pm on Saturday 28 April 2012 at Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Sports Centre – will be a double header featuring all of ARRG’s home teams and special guests from Glasgow Roller Derby, the Hell’s Belles. The action will begin with a runners-up game between the Cherry Bombers and GRD’s Hells Belles, prefacing the main event at 7:30pm when the undefeated Leithal Weapons tee off against the plucky underdogs, The Skatefast Club.
An ARRG spokeswoman said:-”The run up to the final has been electric, with great atmosphere from the crowd and serious determination from the girls on track. Every team has been skating fast, hitting hard and battling till the final whistle to ensure that they had a shot at the title. Now the final is upon us, and we will see The Skatefast Club pitted against the Leithal Weapons for the ever-desired championship title. Everyone is playing to win and both teams are sure to be pulling out their best moves and tactics – it’s definitely not to be missed! Whether you have seen roller derby before or if it’s your first ever game, this is the perfect time to come along and support ARRG for an evening of guaranteed fun and an excellent Saturday evening of entertainment! You won’t be disappointed! “
Skatefast captain Mallory Powers seemed mighty focused when she told us:-”I couldn’t be prouder of my team for making it to the home season final! All of our hard training and focus has really been paying off and we are more than ready for Saturday’s bout. Needless to say, we’ll be the most stylish bunch of misfits on track, and we have the skills to match. Those Seagulls better look out, as we plan to exercise a little bit of pest control. “
The Leithal Weapons are similarly prepared, with Leithal’s captain, Alma Geddon, weighing in on the final as follows:-“Though we have played a consistent season, this doesn’t mean we are heading in to the final relaxed. We are prepared to fight hard for a title that we plan to earn!”
Don’t miss the finale of ARRG’s biggest and best (and first) home season!
What is modern roller derby? Roller derby is an all-female sport that involves teams competing on an oval track in a series of ‘jams’ – two minute periods that see teams of five players each battling to score points. During each jam, one player on each team is designated as the ‘jammer’ who scores a point for every member of the opposing team she passes.
The sport requires a punishing array of agile and athletic skills, from zig-zag blocking moves to body slams to all-out speed-skating. To perfect these manoeuvres, skaters commit to several hours of practice every week, paying for gear and practice space out of their own pockets.
While it has its roots in sports-entertainment-style exhibition bouts going back as far as the 1930s, modern roller derby has reinvigorated the game with a grass-roots DIY ethos that puts the passion for athleticism front-and-centre. The trend finally reached Edinburgh in 2008, when a small group of women founded ARRG.
The Edinburgh league now averages at over 80 skaters, and is run purely on the volunteer efforts of its members. Auld Reekie Roller Girls recently became full member of the Womens Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).
Photo Brian Anderson
PRIDE SCOTIA ANNOUNCES ITS PLANS FOR A MARCH IN EDINBURGH
Pride Scotia has announced plans for Scotland’s National LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) Pride which will take place in Edinburgh on Saturday 30 June 2012.
The Pride March will assemble from Noon outside the City Chambers in the High Street where the Council will be flying the Rainbow Flag. After speeches, the march will move off down the Royal Mile where it will be joined by floats on the high profile route past the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace before passing a number of popular LGBT venues and finishing up at the Omni Centre.
On arrival, there will be further speeches and a full programme of entertainment from 2pm as well as the usual Health and Community Fair which will be held in the Omni Centre itself.
The Order of Perpetual Indulgence will be hosting an unlicensed Tea Dance in Mood from 2-5pm with free tea, cake and sandwiches – this event is suitable for folk of all ages – especially those who enjoy music of the 20′s and 30′s!
Pride Scotia hopes soon to be announcing further additions to the programme on their website: www.pride-scotia.org and on Facebook: Pride Scotia
Cycling is becoming more popular as a means of transport, and as a way of keeping fit. Cycling on our city streets has been discussed at both council and government level over the last few months.
Gordon Mackenzie is currently Transport Convenor for The City of Edinburgh Council, who recently agreed to spend a minimum of 5% of the Transport budget on cycling, and separately agreed that £9m would be invested in cycling, walking and safer streets.
The Edinburgh Reporter talked to him about the ways that the council might improve the city cycling experience. Mackenzie is himself a cyclist. He said:-” I use my bike mainly as a means of transport. I don’t use it as a means of exercise alone. My children keep me fit, and they’re pretty good fun (when they’re behaving!) I particularly like to use the off-road network in North Edinburgh, either the old railway lines or the path along the Water of Leith.”
And how will cycling be improved in the city if he is in charge of the Transport portfolio in the next council administration? He offered up the relevant parts of the LibDem Manifesto with his own comments on each point by way of explanation.
Manifesto:- “Building on our investment in cycling, the highest in Scotland, and our road safety measures such as mobile speed signs and 20mph zones, increase the percentage of transport spend allocated to cycling to a minimum of 5% in 2012/13 and increase by 1% annually.”
Mackenzie:- “This commitment backs up the funding we provided in this year’s Council budget. In summary a significant proportion of the funding will be used to accelerate the completion of the Active Travel Action Plan cycling components, increase the funding for promoting cycling, properly maintaining the cycle network, bringing in a cycle leasing scheme and providing cycle training for P6 children.”
Manifesto:- Use Edinburgh’s Streets Ahead Partnership as a starting point for a ‘Streets Ahead Plus’ scheme that will use trained local volunteers to identify potential road safety problems (speeding, hazardous parking at schools, misuse of cycling and pedestrian areas) to be addressed by targeting those responsible and raising awareness.
Mackenzie: – “‘Streets Ahead Plus’ is based on the award winning Community Speedwatch schemes already operating across many parts of the UK. Feedback on the introduction of the 20mph pilot in south Edinburgh and the awareness campaign on Advanced Stop Boxes has been generally positive. However many people have commented that they would like to see more action to reinforce these measures including enforcement. Streets Ahead Plus will support the implementation of these and other road safety measures. Local volunteers would be trained and equiped to identify and record specific road safety problems; speeding, stopping in Advanced Stop Boxes, jumping red lights etc.
Details of the offence; registration number, location, time, etc, would be passed on to the Streets Ahead Partnership to follow up as appropriate e.g. via a warning letter or home visit. The purpose and benefit of the scheme would include, mobilising community support for road safety and providing a more visible presence on the street, thereby deterring the offending behaviour. Additionally, identifying the offenders will assist the Streets Ahead Partnership to target those individuals for awareness raising and /or enforcement action. The Fife pilot has shown that speeds dropped as a result of this approach, it has been hailed as a success by the Police and is now being extended to other areas of Fife.”
Manifesto :- Accelerate the Active Travel Action Plan, improve the maintenance of the existing cycle network, target safety issues and reaffirm our commitment to the goals set out in the Charter of Brussels.
Mackenzie:- ”Details of the sort of projects which are being planned are provided in the appendix to the manifesto. It’s not the complete list but will hopefully give your readers some indication of projects which are proposed for their area or routes they use.”
Manifesto:- ‘Roll out cycle training to all P6 children in Edinburgh’s schools’
Mackenzie:-”The additional funding being provided as part of the Cycling budget will enable us to fund paid trainers where necessary. If The Scottish Government contibutes to the initiative Council funds will be freed up for use in other cycling projects.”
Manifesto:- ‘Work with NHS, education, voluntary and private sectors to promote cycling to work or study’
Mackenzie:- “Funding of c£100,000 a year, from the Council budget, has been earmarked for this initiative along with whatever contributions are available from external funders and sponsors. A proposal has already been agreed by Council, and we expect the project to go out to tender towards the end of the summer.”
Manifesto:-’Introduce more 20mph limits where there is support from local residents’
Mackenzie:-”We believe that there is considerable potential to replicate the current pilot in other parts of the city and will also explore the inclusion of busier roads and local shopping areas as has already happened on part of Causewayside.”
Manifesto:- ‘To trial bikes on Trams within 6 months of operational service’
Mackenzie:- “We believe there is little risk in bring the trial period forward by 6 months.”
Manifesto:- ‘To strengthen the “Edinburgh Road Works Ahead” agreement to reduce the disruption caused by roadworks. We will invest in better traffic modelling, better signage and better warning to road and footway users; press the Roads Commissioner to improve the way utilities works are managed and inspected; and lobby the Scottish Government to introduce “lane charges” to compensate for disruption and to encourage speedier completions.
Mackenzie:- “As well as causing disruption to journeys, roadworks can often present a particular hazard for cyclists with narrow lanes and drivers confused by unfamiliar diversions. Getting roadworks completed more quickly, with better planning and signage will reduce the disruption and the likelihood of accidents.”
Manifesto:- Deliver on the Jan Gehl recommendations for the city centre, creating new welcoming spaces for residents and visitors; and report on potential temporary traffic schemes by the end of 2012 with a report on permanent schemes by the middle of 2015.
Mackenzie :- “This will provide the opportunity to investigate the feasibillity and desirability of an east -west cycle route through the city centre on a trial basis before implementing the preferred schemes in the second half of the Council.”
Manifesto:- Recognising the importance of building on our progress in maintaining good condition roads and pavements for all users, commit to reducing the percentage of roads and pavements in need of repair over the next five years.
Manifesto – Aware of the inherited backlog of repairs from the previous administration and of the damage wrought by two extreme winters, use the extra £3m in the 2012-13 budget to fix over a third of the city’s potholes with our award-winning “Right First Time” scheme, using materials and processes to make more permanent repairs. Over the next four years, we will invest additional funds to ensure that all potholes are fixed permanently wherever possible.
Mackenzie:- “Better road surfaces are a benefit to all road users but perhaps more to cyclists who are at greater risk if a pothole causes a fall or or sudden change of direction.”
Manifesto – Unless there is compelling evidence that voluntary actions will deliver the traffic air pollution reductions required to improve air quality in the next three years, to promote Low Emission Zone(s) and target the highest polluting older buses and lorries.
Mackenzie :- “Pollution affects everyone living in or using the busier streets in Edinburgh and cyclists are no exception. Improving air quality will make cycling an even healthier way to travel around Edinburgh.
Our previous article about the launch of the LibDem manifesto has a copy of the manifesto in full.
Council meeting – Portobello CC – Bras – Hendersons – QR
The last meeting of the full council in its current form will be held today, and one of the final decisions the councillors will make is about football. In exactly one week’s time the election will take place when it is widely expected that at least one third of the councillors will change. The election count is taking place at Meadowbank on Friday 4 May and we will be bringing you minute by minute coverage by way of liveblog on the day.
Councillor Donald Wilson has lodged a motion for consideration at the meeting about the Hearts v Hibs final of the Scottish Cup. The wording is as follows:-
- the success of both Hibernian and Hearts Football clubs in reaching the Scottish cup final to face each other for the first time since 1896
- that the only time the final has been held outside Glasgow was in 1896 when both clubs last met in the final of the Scottish Cup
Council therefore instructs the Chief Executive to work with officers and representatives of both clubs to seek a meeting with the SFA with a view to holding the Scottish cup final at Murrayfield.
Moved Councillor Donald Wilson
Seconded Councillor Gordon Munro
We have a comprehensive guide to all council candidates with a click through to an individual profile on each one which you can access here.
Portobello Community Council is holding an emergency meeting tonight at Portobello Community Centre, Adelphi Grove. Of course this is related to the matter of the new Portobello High School, PPAG’s appeal which is to be heard next month and the role of the community council in all of this. The council has taken advice from the Council’s legal department about the need for its impartiality in the matter.
The chair, John Stewart, has written:-”This meeting will allow PCC to listen to the views of the public and those who signed the petition. Points 2 and 3 of the petition can be discussed but PCC will not vote on these points for the reasons of neutrality … PCC will however note the views expressed by the public on all three points and pass these views on to the Council.
PCC has also been advised that matters pertaining to the Court of Session appeal, such as the issue of common good land, cannot be discussed, as anyone making such comments might be deemed to be in contempt of court.
Points 2 and 3 of this petition for a Special Meeting request PCC to take sides. A community council should not support the views of one section of the community over the views of another.”
A charity event with a difference is taking place tonight at The Haven 9 Anchorfield. Might only be for girls however…There will be a bra collection tonight from 7-9pm at the cafe.
Henderson’s of Edinburgh have been awarded The List magazine’s prestigious Judges’ Special Award in recognition of the restaurant’s contribution to the Scottish vegetarian dining scene over the last 50 years. The presentation took place at The List Eating & Drinking Guide Hitlist Party at The Scottish National Gallery on Tuesday night.
Henderson’s Shop first opened on Hanover Street in the Spring of 1962, providing an outlet for the produce of Janet and Mac Henderson’s East Lothian farm. The legendary vegetarian Restaurant followed early in 1963 and quickly became an Edinburgh institution. Since then Henderson’s has expanded to include the Bistro on Thistle Street, an organic bakery, a gallery and Henderson’s Cafe at St. John’s Church on Princes St.
Janet and Mac were inspirational restaurateurs and among the first to champion the benefits of cooking and eating healthy, local, seasonal food. They soon gained an international reputation for cutting edge vegetarian cuisine and the business remains true to their founding philosophy. Henderson’s serves delicious, wholesome food, using the best and freshest ingredients, all at affordable prices.
Donald Reid, Food & Drink editor of The List said: “This is an award not just for the business as it is today, but for what has existed for half a century and its many contributors over the years”.
Barrie Henderson, Operations Manager of Henderson’s and grandson of Janet and Mac said: “We are delighted to accept this award that recognises the hard work and creativity of all Henderson’s employees over the last 50 years. We look forward to celebrating this landmark anniversary next year and will be hosting many exciting events to welcome new Henderson’s customers and to thank all of our wonderful regulars who have made it the success that it is.”
Catherine Henderson, Henderson’s Partner and daughter of the founders said: “Janet and Mac would have been so pleased to see how the business has thrived and continues to promote the benefits of healthy eating, seasonality and organics – the principles at the root of their passion that began to flourish when Henderson’s arrived onto Scotland’s foodie scene 50 years ago.”
Later this year Henderson’s will reveal plans for celebrations running throughout 2013 that will mark the 50th anniversary of the restaurant opening. Next year will also see the 100th anniversary of Janet Henderson’s birth and the business she founded will celebrate her remarkable contribution to vegetarian cooking.
Henderson’s of Edinburgh
94 Hanover Street EH2 1DR
0131 225 2131
Businesses in Queensferry will decide on June 22 whether they want to sign up for an initiative which will help boost local businesses and may lead to a further half a million pounds of investment in the town.
A large number of businesses in the town have registered their interest in becoming the Queensferry Business Improvement District (BID):
Malcolm Brown, Scotmid Cooperative, said: -“Scotmid fully supports the BID. Our store in Alloa is already reaping the benefits of the BID there. It would be great to see Queensferry take advantage of this scheme too. We want to give back to our community and improve local businesses, and we know the BID is the best way to do that.”
Ballot papers will be distributed from May 10 for members to register their vote on whether they want to move ahead with the initiative which will enable businesses to take vital steps to improve the prosperity of the town.
The results of the ballot will be announced on the 22nd June so the businesses have a 6 week voting period from 10th May – 21st June to decide.
The business case to vote for the BID is being launched tomorrow 26 April 2012 at the Boat House restaurant, to which all businesses in the proposed BID area have been invited.
The Queensferry BID project is being led by Project Manager Diane Brown of Queensferry Ambition. She said:- “The BID isn’t about replacing local authority funded services, it’s about delivering new projects. That’s projects and services specifically chosen by businesses in the area to tackle the issues affecting the town but businesses only have one chance to say yes to this unique opportunity”
Over 100 one-to-one consultations with businesses have been carried out with 250 questionnaires issued to businesses for their views of the town, and to ask if in principal they would support a BID.
The City of Edinburgh Council have shown their support for the BID. Councillor Tom Buchanan, Convener of the Economic Development Committee, said: ”The Queensferry BID is a great opportunity for businesses to collaborate and influence the future of the town. With the Council and the business community working together we can achieve what would be impossible to do alone.”
Feedback was requested about the type of projects they would like the Queensferry BID to deliver and of the responses collected, the majority felt a BID was a positive way forward for Queensferry.
If local businesses vote yes to becoming a BID, Queensferry will be able to increase the profile of the town with a targeted marketing campaign, help businesses with staff recruitment and retention, increase footfall, consumer spend and create a more attractive and vibrant environment for businesses and employees.
Okay, today’s launch of the Edinburgh International Magic Festival (as reported elsewhere) might not exactly have lived up to its hype, and it might have left many a bit bewildered. How to convince your audience that you’ve made a bus disappear when you don’t really show that the bus is there in the first place?
But more importantly, this year’s festival is now fully revealed, and builds on last year’s success with an expanded programme – more events, more performers (30 of them, from eight countries), and more for kids to get involved in, at venues all over the city.
The Magic School for 7 to 10-year-olds is now a five-day event, allowing kids the chance to get in-depth knowledge on levitating their friends and making objects disappear. And for anyone who just wants a taster, there are one-off Magic School sessions too.
Older budding magicians (aged 11 to 14) have their own event in Javier Jarquin’s Street Magic Masterclass which promises to reveal the secrets of card tricks and close-up sleight of hand.
Children are also welcome at the opening-night Magic and Variety Gala Show at the Lyceum Theatre, which showcases illusion, clowning, Chinese tricks and black art magic with performers from Ukraine, France, Germany, Italy alongside Scotland’s Drew McAdam and Vox Motus theatre company.
Elsewhere, individual magicians demonstrate their talents, including return visits from close-up experts Lewis Barlow and Michael Neto, and comedy magic from Colin McLeod, Gavin Oattes and festival artistic director Kevin McMahon, among many others.
McMahon said: ‘I’m often asked how the Magic Festival fits in with Edinburgh’s other arts festivals. Magic is the art of the impossible, and it demonstrates the the human soul has the capability to rise above the forces of nature and flourish. It is the artistic example that any impossible challenge can be overcome.’
See this year’s Edinburgh International Magic Festival events for yourself at www.magicfest.co.uk.
Photos by Thomas Haywood
MSP welcomes progress on Princes Mall
Edinburgh Central MSP Marco Biagi has today welcomed the news that the Scottish Government is considering changes to the Waverley Market site in the Long Leases Bill, which would currently resolved in its transfer from public ownership to private hands for a trivial sum estimated at 40p. The site is owned by The City of Edinburgh Council and leased to Sir David Murray’s property company for a peppercorn rent. We wrote about the council’s own involvement in this in January.
Commenting on the Scottish Government announcement, Mr Biagi said,
“I am glad that after speaking to the government in person on two occasions, and raising concerns formally in writing with the Minister,the Government now intends to re-examine the question of the Princes Mall. Improvements to bills like this as anomalies emerge, are a natural part of the parliamentary process.
“The Long Leases Bill is intended to abolish the last remnants of feudalism on large estates, not give away public assets because of deals signed in the 1980s.
“The bill has also thrown up the issue of how accurate each local authority’s register of common good land is. I hope this is an issue we can return to in Holyrood.”
Alongside the impressive line-up of talented chefs who will grace the stage at this Saturday’s FEAST 2012, the student-led food festival will see the inclusion of a Booze Boutique as well as a select range of local food producers.
FEAST 2012, the student-led food festival run by Jewel & Esk College (JEC) and Queen Margaret University (QMU), will provide food festival goers with the chance to taste-test a delightful range of quality wines, whiskies, gins, ciders and beers at its Booze Boutique.
Experts from Inverarity Vaults will provide tutor-led tastings of its specialist wines and whiskies while Spencerfield, the producers of Edinburgh Gin, will have tastings of its speciality drink, Raspberry Gin. The award winning Cairngorm Brewery will bring samples of its bottled and cask beers, while East Lothian producer Belhaven will offer a thirst quenching selection of Thistly Cross ciders, as well as its recently developed fruit ice, which due to its surprising nutritional properties, can be counted as one of your ‘five a day’!
The event, which will take place on Saturday 28 April 2012, is supported by some of Scotland’s finest chefs including Tony Borthwick from the Plumed Horse and Neil Forbes from Café St Honoré, who will conduct live cooking demonstrations throughout the day. In addition, the presence of this year’s Booze Boutique is sure to be a winner, with visitors having the opportunity to sample a selection of some of Scotland’s finest drinks.
Ron McGilp, Curriculum Development Manager at Jewel & Esk College, said: “FEAST 2012 is a celebration of Scottish regional food. It offers an exciting mix of chef demonstrations, regional tasting menus, tutor-led drinks tasting sessions and the opportunity to meet local food producers and sample their products. We have everything from Peelham Farm’s rare breed pork and lamb to Findlay’s haggis, and from Supernature rape seed oil to cupcakes and sushi. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the diversity and quality of producers in Scotland and to experience their produce first hand.”
Ron concluded: “At just £12 per adult ticket (£5 for students) FEAST 2012 provides excellent value for money. The price of the ticket provides access to chef demonstrations and the producer tasting sessions, as well as the chance to sample more than 20 regional dishes which will be prepared and presented by our chef and student teams throughout the day.”
The event will take place from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 28th April 2012 at Jewel & Esk College, 24 Milton Road East, Edinburgh, EH15 2PP. Tickets are priced at £12 (all adults) / £5 (concession available for students and children under 16 years of age only) / children under 5 years go free.
Tickets are available to purchase from the Club and eh15 restaurant at Jewel & Esk College, 24 Milton Road East, Edinburgh, EH12 8RG E: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 344 7373 or 344 7344, or from The Finance Department, Queen Margaret University, Queen Margaret University Drive, Musselburgh, EH21 6UU or on-line. Tickets can also be bought on the day at the event.
The overhaul of the former Burns Bothy on South St Andrew Street, Edinburgh, just off world-famous Princes Street, involved a near-total strip-out and reinvention of the premises as KFC’s flagship outlet in the city at a cost of £250,000.
The project was carried out by Pacific Building, who managed to deliver the completed works in just seven weeks and on budget, despite having to cope with numerous logistical obstacles.
Aside from Edinburgh’s ongoing tram works, the site of the city’s fifth KFC was extremely tight and in a busy location, all of which posed problems to Pacific, who have an enviable reputation as a company who can deliver complex projects in “live” public areas to tight deadlines and with minimal disruption to neighbouring trade.
Pacific, who employ 32 people at their head office in Hillington, on the outskirts of Glasgow, also had to roll out KFC’s UK Framework design concept, under which high-end fixtures, fittings and mood lighting are utilised in a way that may not normally be associated with fast-food outlets.
This presents a more upmarket image for customers and, KFC believe, allows them to compete better with the plethora of other food and drink retailers on the high street.
The contract was the last and most important one of four – with a total value of £430,000 – that KFC entrusted to Pacific, who recently announced a 30 per cent increase in annual turnover to £9.7million, and who are well on their way to a fifth successive year of growth.
The other three restaurants upgraded, at a cost of £60,000 each, are in the Irish Republic – in Athlone, Kilkenny and Cork.
Pacific managing director Brian Gallacher said: “South St Andrew Street was a tough challenge but, as with our other contracts, we came through with flying colours – on time, on budget and with minimal disruption to nearby trade.
“Originally, the building was in a dreadful state – it was a bomb site. The fit-out we carried out was as close as you can get to a rebuild without it actually being one.
“Now, it looks absolutely superb. The result is striking because of the ‘designer’ feel to the restaurant and because of the extremely high quality of the fittings. I am proud of our achievement, not least because the general location, close as it is to the iconic Princes Street, has been improved as a result of our endeavours.”
Pacific are continuing to work their way through a bulging order book of contracts with big-name clients for 2012 that will add to the successes they enjoyed in 2011 through a raft of major projects for McDonald’s, Greggs, Gleneagles Hotel, BAA and Bupa.
Hype is a beautiful thing. It’s that magical quality that can transform you from pulling pints to downing champagne in a matter of mere months. With the stroke of a few pens bands are made or broken.
And Edinburgh’s very own Nina Nesbitt has spades of it. Catapulted from a Youtube treasure to supporting Ed Sheeran and Example at massive UK shows at the end of last year, she has definitely caught the attention of many a commentator. The part-time model has received widespread press coverage with rumours that she and a certain Mr Sheeran are now dating.
This perfect storm of publicity culminated in The Apple Tree EP charting in iTunes Top 20 on pre-orders alone (at time of writing she was up to 7th, Adele – yes, Adele – was 14th). So, is this all smoke and mirrors, or is there really substance behind the 17 year-old’s undoubted style ?
I’d like to think there is. The EP’s eponymous opener sounds like the best of KT Tunstall with added edge. Its simple acoustics and backing make way for an ethereal and catchy chorus that proves almost impossible to not tap along with. ‘Seesaw’ follows a similar path of light and shade, with Nina’a voice sounding as at home in these recordings as it did on her early Youtube videos.
‘Hold On’ changes the pace, with the piano-driven number coming to life in perfect time with a forlorn and heartfelt chorus. The song contains a sincerity that is all to lacking in ‘pop’ music today (apologies for sounding like I want National Service reinstated), singing of a love from a distance that really strikes a chord.
Penultimate track ‘Only Love’ fares less well, though once it hits it stride it still has its redeeming features. Wouldn’t be out of place on a Saturday afternoon at T In The Park.
And 14 short minutes after the first janglings, you find yourself at closer ‘Make Me Fall’. Again led by diminutive piano, Nina’s glorious voice is given the perfect showcase as she pleads for someone to ignite her love. Ultimately the song departs on a note of hope as she declares “So I’ll keep running into the rain/Heart first, head second/I’m away”.
The Apple Tree leaves an endearing feeling even for a natural cynic like myself. Bright and breezy, it’s what popular music should sound like. It seems preposterous to think that a 17 year-old could conjure up these heartfelt songs whilst also possessing a voice with the splendour to do them justice. It is a shame that some may deride her efforts as that of ‘Miss Sheeran’ without giving it worthy consideration. But they do so at their own peril. Her genuine excitement on Twitter to the EP’s success helps prove she is not playing at popstar, with an army of ‘Nesbians’ already flocking to her cause. This strong EP is great – following it up with an accomplished debut album will launch her into Marling and Goulding territory.
Nina Nesbitt plays Electric Circus on Saturday 28 April 2012. Limited tickets still available.