^^^Click up there to download your very own copy…
I present to you a book that I published (printed and photocopied) about 12 years ago in Rwanda. It was beautifully written and illustrated by a very good friend of mine, Patrick Longstaff, and edited by myself and my student (and teacher) Jean-Baptiste Ndikubwimana.
It was the first ever English-Kinyarwanda phrase/grammar book ever printed, and still is as far as I know. It was designed to help incoming VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) volunteers grapple the linguistic quirks of the national language of the Land of a Thousand Hills.
Soon bootleg copies were being passed around local church missions, charity organisations and the UN.
Due to popular demand, I decided to publish it on-line for the first time after digging out a dusty old copy from the attic and scannning it for your downloading pleasure.
Feel free to distribute this to all who are interested.
Murakoze cyane cyane na mugende n’amahoro.
Once in a while, when out and about listening to live music, your ears prick up when you hear something new, different and exciting. Recently, the Same Faces have burst onto the scene and driven a shot in the arm to Aberdeen’s already vibrant music scene.
Formed from the still burning flames of much loved rock covers band, ByHookorByKrook, the Same Faces have had years of experience performing together but have all of the fresh energy of a brand new live act. Writing all new material gathered from their years of playing and listening to the music they love, they are inspired by artists as legendary as AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana. The songs, along with the band, gel very easily, being tight and full of catchy riffs, rhythmic power and cosmic thump. With a new EP, In It For The Money, and a very popular live gig and album launch at the prestigious Aberdeen venue, The Lemon Tree, the Same Faces have already made a massive impact.
Front man Charlie Munro believes in what he sings and is a fan of his own songs, not because of a huge ego but because he is passionate about what he does, stemming from a deep appreciation of that style of music. Very straight talking and with a disarming lack of pretension, Charlie saves all the bluster and bravado for the stage where his powerfully screaming yet melodic voice provides a forceful face to songs already full of strength and no-nonsense vigour. This is demonstrated in War, the first track of their debut EP where Charlie’s cries of “This is war!” leave you waiting for the artillery to fire and the tanks to start rolling for real. He strides the stage with ultimate confidence but none of the drama, interacting with the crowd and making the band heard.
Guitarist Gordon Leith adds meaty riffs and classic solos that feel an integral part of the songs, sweated out from years of hard graft over a guitar and amp. With the awesome chunkiness of Gibson generated chords and beefy licks, he works the strings to the advantage of the overall dynamic of the group while clearly enjoying the ride himself. His big influence of Zeppelin shines through and he does Jimmy Page proud with the way he handles the weighty guitar parts, as can be heard in spades on War and Better Quit Now.
Bassist Neil McDonald is one of those rare four string specialists who can keep up with the guitarist and drummer in equal measure. His booming basslines manage to boost the guitar parts as well as enhance the thump of the kick drum. Neil is adept at fingerstyle bass playing which is hard enough in a soft jazz trio let alone a storming rock foursome. Neil is a solid member of the crew, acting as the cement holding the songs together while providing a melody much more ear catching than the usual plodding bass notoriety you see in other well established bands.
Drummer Tunk Reid takes the art of percussion and imposes it on you with split-second timing, ear-shattering volume and hair-raising precision. Tunk is a drummer that every band would dream of having as he provides a huge solid base for the weighty songs to play on. He is also skilled in the sort of stop-start drumming that gives a lot of the Same Faces songs their character, being more than just a drum machine but a real musician contributing to the overall soul of the music.
Their sensational live performance at the Lemon Tree and in studio sessions during an interview, prove that they are a force to be reckoned with locally, nationally and potentially internationally. As Charlie said:
“We don’t want to play to the opening of an envelope…. We want every gig to be an event.”
The Same Faces certainly were an event on that night and are a huge event themselves, making a big difference to the listening public and the state of modern rock music.
Click –>here<– for the Same Faces website
Click –>here <– to join the Same Faces on samefacebook
When strolling the well known streets of your home town, it’s easy to forget the beauty and magic of your surroundings. The daily trudge with head down, facing the biting wind, your mind focuses on the next port of call. With his latest exhibition, promising young photographer Gary Stewart reminds us of the beauty and depth of our forgotten urban landscapes.
The stunning images, mostly of Aberdeen street scenes, are interspersed with those of Venice, a seemingly unlikely thematic bedfellow of his home town. The presence of Venetian ramshackle grandeur is comparable to the tattered archways and shaded alleys of Aberdeen city centre. Through the eyes of Gary and his adept gauging of perspective we see the long trails of calles and wynds side by side, taking us on a journey through our own memories while dreaming of distant shores. He reminds us though that we have our own Venice right here which should be appreciated just as fervently. The absence of canals in Aberdeen are matched by their being unseen in Gary’s snapshots of the former Italian city state.
Within each frame stands a lone figure or couple, mainly with heads down and unaware of either the camera or the encapsulating splendour of the architecture. The seemingly isolated individuals are tiny in comparison to the buildings, which display imposing majesty and rock sure reliability. The dark figures are thrown into stark contrast against the brightness of the looming walls, and imperceptibly move as if to escape the narrow grip of the streets or tunnels.
The leitmotif of these thirty wonderful photographs should not be the places themselves but what they inspire us to redress: we should hold our heads up, face into the wind and admire the beauty and immensity that is omnipresent, following us wherever we go.
To contact Gary about purchasing framed or unframed prints of these works, email: