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BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton Play The Atkinson, Southport

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton will play The Atkinson, Southport on Friday 6 April.

The first gig of their new album launch tour, the duo can’t wait to play the venue, Ross said: “We absolutely love being on tour, there’s nothing better for us than playing to a live audience. We’re really looking forward to playing The Atkinson and seeing fans old and new there on the 6th April!”

Following on from the success of their debut album ‘Symbiosis’ Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton will release their second album ‘Symbiosis II’ this spring. Winners of the best duo category at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2017 and nominees for the same award in 2018, Ross and Ali have been busy in the studio creating an album full of new and original material.

Packed full of their own compositions, partly commissioned by some of their fans, Ross and Ali have welcomed lots of their fellow friends and musicians to record on this album.

Revolving around skilfully played guitar, cittern, whistles and bagpipes, which are the bedrock of the award-winning duo, the arrangements also include a full string section, the extensive use of synthesisers, drum kit and bodhran. The result is a much bigger sound with more adventurous and epic arrangements.

Ross and Ali met in the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band when they were 12 years old. The boys were guided by one of the most influential pipers in the last 30 years Gordon Duncan. Gordon instilled a great passion in them for playing pipes with other instruments and they have gone on to play in many leading Scottish bands including Treacherous Orchestra, Old Blind Dogs, Salsa Celtica, Dougie Maclean, Shooglenifty, Capercaillie.

Ross Ainslie is one of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians and composers, playing pipes, whistles and cittern. He is renowned for his highly acclaimed solo material, and as a skilled performer and prolific collaborator who performs regularly with bands Treacherous Orchestra (of which he is a founding member), Salsa Celtica, Dougie Maclean, Ali Hutton, Jarlath Henderson, Charlie Mckerron, India Alba and has performed with Kate Rusby, Blue Rose Code, Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtu, Capercaillie, Shooglenifty, Carl Barat, Papon, Karsh Kale, Flook, Breabach, Soumik Datta, Tim Edey, Patsy Reid, Hamish Napier.

Ali Hutton, from Methven in Perthshire, was inspired at the age of 7 to take up the bagpipes and rose through the ranks of the world-famous Vale of Atholl Pipe Band. It was there that he was taught, alongside Ross Ainslie, by the late, great Gordon Duncan. He has since gone on to become a successful multi-instrumentalist on the Scottish music scene. Ali has performed, and worked alongside some of the most respected musicians, and bands on the scene, such as Capercaillie, Dougie Maclean, Carlos Nunez, Deaf Shepherd, Clueless, Steve Forman, Salsa Celtica, and Shooglenifty to name but a few. During his apprentice years as a professional musician he was fortunate enough to become a member of the multi award winning bands Brolum and Back of the Moon. He toured with them for several years across Europe and North America. Ali has also found himself producing some of the most well received Scottish Folk albums in recent years. Ali is currently a member of Treacherous Orchestra, Old Blind Dogs, Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson band, and the new duo, cleverly named, Ross and Ali.

SYMBIOSIS II FEATURES

Ross Ainslie – Highland Pipes, Whistles, Cittern and Banjo
Ali Hutton – Highland Pipes, Whistles, Acoustic and Tenor Guitar Duncan Lyall – Moog and Synth
Martin O’Neill – Bodhran and Drums
Steven Byrnes – Drums
Patsy Reid – All Strings
Gus Sicard – Snare Drum

Produced by Andrea Gobbi, Ali Hutton and Ross Ainslie
Engineered by Andrea Gobbi at GloWorm Recordings and Carrier Waves Mixed by Andrea Gobbi at GloWorm Recordings and Carrier Waves Additional Engineering by Barry Reid and Keir Long
String Arrangements by Patsy Reid
String Recordings by Jamie Pryke
Mastered by Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound Studios
Design and Photos by Somhairle Macdonald.

Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton perform at The Atkinson, Southport on  Friday 6 April at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £14 and are available online at theatkinson.co.uk, by calling 01704 533333 or over the counter during opening hours. 

The Kings of Swing at The Atkinson this Spring

2018 sees King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys celebrate a remarkable 30 years on the road. More than the greatest jump, jive and swing band on the planet, they’ve become an institution and they perform at The Atkinson on Saturday 7 April at 7.30pm.

In their three decades, the band have delivered nearly 6500 performances in 21 countries, played on 36 radio shows and made 73 television appearances, including several on Blue Peter, The Teletubbies, as well as the Paradise Club series [where they were the house band], Challenge Anneka, The Gadget Show and on a prime time National Lottery advertisement – not to mention accompanying John Barrowman in a rendition of I Get A Kick Out Of You on Live And Kicking.

Rough, tough and always rocking, King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys have appeared at festivals, in concert and at clubs throughout the UK and Europe – and they still play the Birmingham Jazz Festival, where they have headlined for an unprecedented 14 years.

The band has also performed alongside B.B. King, Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, Ray Charles, and toured with the actual Blues Brothers Band – the one from the movie.

Along the way, the band have recorded 11 albums for Big Bear Records, all distributed worldwide physically and online.

The band line up as King Pleasure [vocals and baritone saxophone], Boysey Battrum [alto and tenor saxophones], Bullmoose K Shirley [guitars], Mighty Matt Foundling [piano], Shark Van Schtoop [bass], and Gary ‘The Enforcer’ Barber [percussion].

Paul Jones on BBC Radio 2 called them “the hardest act to follow since the parting of The Red Sea”,

King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys comes to The Atkinson on Saturday 7 April  at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15.

For more information about The Atkinson’s programme  join the e-mailing list by visiting theatkinson.co.uk

Ainsdale Beach is one of the best in Britain

It would be foolish to celebrate English Tourism Week and not honour one of the best beaches in our fair isle. 

Ainsdale beach has it all, from a fascinating nature reserve, miles of sculpted dunes and golden sands, it’s a haven for all.

Tourists, horse riders, even kite surfers are often seen during the scorching hot summer months on Ainsdale beach, when sunshine brings with it a hive of activity and relaxation.

The nearby Ainsdale Discovery Centre, situated adjacent to the beach and Ainsdale & Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve, provides local information, a classroom facility, venue for events and free cycle hire.

The beach itself has zones set aside for kite buggy and landboard use while kitesurfing takes place in the sea.

Taking place in spring each year, English Tourism Week campaigns to raise the profile of the industry and celebrate the value and quality of tourism in England.

Sefton is booming with business say local firms

Representatives from Sefton Council visited two local businesses to hear all about their thriving ventures and future growth.

Success stories and plans for expansion were discussed when Sefton Council visited two borough-based businesses.

 Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, was joined by officers from Invest Sefton on guided tours of Churchill Sheds based in Netherton and Jack Hodson Limited – a family-owned business established in 1966 now trading in Aintree.

Churchill Sheds began trading as a partnership in February 2016, and employs 4 staff and casual labour at peak periods. They manufacture purpose-built sheds, industrial barns, office units and workshops for businesses, the hospitality sector and rural producers.

Under the Business Growth Programme InvestSefton has supported with locating and bidding for public contracts, registration on The Chest and Contracts Finder portals, and using the Planning Portal to source work. The business is also being supported with developing a Social Value and Sustainability policy to help with bidding for contracts.

Jack Hodson Ltd is the ‘go to’ national supplier of security-related electronics for police vehicles, and participates in frameworks for the fitting of cameras, lightbars and security measures to marked and unmarked police vehicles. The business works for a number of police regions in the UK in England and Wales, and has won market share from its competitors. The business employs 25 staff, and turnover is £1.5million, which is expected to increase in the coming year creating more jobs, due to contracts won.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “I really enjoy getting out and seeing at first hand how local businesses are thriving and moving forward.

“Churchill Sheds is an excellent example of how a business can expand by constantly looking to develop new products and to consistent high standards. I am delighted that that InvestSefton has been able to assist them with their sales and marketing and their plans to grow the business further.

“The same goes for Jack Hodson Ltd who has recently relocated to Aintree Business Park, Ormskirk Road following more than 30 years in Berry St, Bootle, due to increased workload. The business has been supported by InvestSefton and Sefton@Work for a number of years, and is currently being assisted under the Sefton Business Growth Programme.

“Success stories like these show how Sefton really is open for business.”

Jack Hodson Ltd’s Financial Director, Peter Edward-Hodson and Technical Director, John Hodson, said: “Our recent relocation to larger, bespoke premises has required a major capital investment. However, the benefits achieved will allow us to streamline our operations, and grow our business.”

Ian Williams, Churchill Sheds managing Director, added: ”Our business is going from strength-to-strength, and we have a lot of interest in our workshops and barns. The help provided by InvestSefton has been invaluable.”

Animal shelter team up with food banks in Year of the Volunteer

Formby based Freshfields Animal Rescue are working with volunteers at various Sefton food banks to provide additional support to vulnerable animals.

Food Banks are fulfilling a vital role in today’s society, providing a lifeline for people who are in need of the most immediate and urgent help to care for their families.

Freshfields will be working hand in hand with the teams, donating food to animals whose owners find themselves in desperate circumstances.

Community and Outreach Fundraising Manager Emma Jensen from the Ince Blundell based animal rescue shelter said: ‘We’re happy to support the animals in the families of people who have fallen on hard times, and welcome this relationship with the Food Banks. 

“We will always look to support animals in the community wherever we can. We do have animals brought into the rescue centre simply because their owners can’t afford to feed them, and that is very upsetting. 

“Obviously we want to prevent this situation for the pet, the family and for rescue centres that always struggle to meet demand. 

“The community help us and we’re helping them which is what it’s all about – everyone benefits.”

 

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