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Rook starsjoin forces to fight the les

YOUNG POP STARS have been sharing their experiences of depression to help launch a nation-wide Samaritans campaign intended to highlight the growing problem of suicide among the under 245.

Recent figures show that two people commit suicide every day in the 15—24- year-old group, while the number of attempted suicides among young males has increased by 118% over the last ten years.

Leigh Kenny, front-man of Leeds- based Bedlam Ago Go, together with Radiohead drummer Phil Selway are lending their weight to the Come Up campaign which was launched in London.

Selway - a Samaritans volunteer for eleven years discussed his work for

the charity, while Kenny shared his experiences of mental health problems and performed his band’s new single Asylum.

The poignant single is adapted from a letter Kenny wrote to his mother on being admitted to a psychiatric hospital after a break-down when he was 22.

‘A lot of people seek comfort through drugs or drink or just lock themselves away when they’re going through a shit time,’ he said. 'They need to know it’s okay to have feelings and to talk about them.’

The band will publish the Samaritans’ telephone number on the covers of the single and their forthcoming debut album Estate Style Entertainment.

Samaritans spokeswoman Lisa Colyer said they were delighted to have the

Leigh Kenny: mental health ordeal

musicians on board. 'A lot of young peOple are embarrassed talking about their feelings so they get to the point where they feel they have no option

but suicide.’

She is hopeful that their involvement will help the campaign reach the relevant audience.

Bedlam Ago Go's raw, gritty material with track titles like Paranoid and

Heroin is inspired by real life experiences of the band’s four members.

Kenny is hoping that rather than wallowing in their experiences, they can use them to give hope and reassurance to others. 'I just hope to help the Samaritans prevent more people taking their lives,’ he said. 'If I'd heard what I’m coming out with now perhaps I’d have been alright.’

(Claire Prentice)

Both Asylum and Estate Style Entertainment are released on $2 records/Friendly Fire Communications on 6 July.

Glasgow’s top - for a break in Edinburgh!

THERE WERE RED faces at a national newspaper this week after readers were given the chance to visit the Edinburgh Festival but told to stay in Glasgow.

A supplement in The Guardian offers its predominantly English readership a long weekend break to enjoy the Edinburgh Festival.

However, ’to keep costs as low as possible’ the four-day break is based in Glasgow.

Recommending Glasgow itself as ’a great place for a weekend break’, the break costs £249 per person, including four star accommodation and return flights from Stansted airport.

Ed Coventry, the rueful Managing Director of Travel Editions, who put together the package for The Guardian, admitted the problems come down to money.

‘In my fifteen years experience in the travel industry, Edinburgh during the Festival is the most difficult booking period in the world. It’s pure economics, I'm afraid,’ he said.

However, Nancy McLardie, of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourist Board, said the city would be more than happy to accommodate southern visitors who took up the offer.

‘We are delighted that Glasgow is being called upon to provide another dimension to the Edinburgh Festival as well as extending our celebrated warm and friendly welcome to Edinburgh Festival goers,’ she gloated.

Sadly the word from the promoters is that the Glasgow package is not selling well. Nevertheless, in this case at least, it seems as if Glasgow smirks better. (Gabe Stewart)

Attacks spark fall out over genetic foods

SCOTTISH SCIENTISTS SAY research into the safety and uses of genetically modified (GM) food is being disrupted by acts of vandalism and negative press coverage.

However they are blaming multinational food companies not campaign groups such as Fife Earth First, which has been linked with attacks on experimental crops.

Julie Graham, senior research scientist at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) at Invergowrie near Dundee, said multinationals such as Monsanto, which has patented a pesticide resistant variant of soya, had mishandled the introduction of GM foods.

'At the end of the day the consumer is going to lose out on

this technology,’ she warned. ’Monsanto have put the situation back because it has been so badly handled.’

Public concern has seen Prince Charles step into the debate, while so-called ’eco-warriors’, have torn up experimental crops and cut giant ’X’s in fields near Aberdeen, Penicuik and in Fife.

'These attacks will delay risk assessment studies,’ Graham complained. ’But it may not be a bad thing if scientists are prompted to come out and explain what they are doing.’

SCRI research could reduce the threat from pests to fruit crops, she explained, and she denied that the institute was crossing strawberry plants with genetic material from fish, despite reports to the contrary.

However Matthew Herbert, of Fife Earth First, who is acting as a spokesman for those targeting trial crops insisted modified straw- berries were being grown at SCRI and could be a target.

He refused to accept that the attackers were vandals, saying: ’If you want vandals you need to look in a few corporate boardrooms. We are defending the planet.’

A spokesman for Monsanto denied that their current advert- ising campaign was ’damage limit- ation'.

’When we supply information we are accused of having suspicious motives,‘ he said. ’We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. But Monsanto want both sides of the argument to get a full airing.’ (Stephen Naysmith)

Scots talent highlighted at Book Festival

THE FIFTEENTH EDINBURGH book festival programme has been launched with the strongest ever representation from Scottish authors.

Irvine Welsh will be promoting his new novel Filth, while other local heroes include Alasdair Gray, Iain Banks, Janice Galloway, Ian Rankin and Candia McWilliam.

Themes this year include Women In Crime, Nuts And Bolts masterclasses and for the first time Gay And Lesbian Writers are given their own strand.

US writers including James Ellroy, Joyce Carol Oates, Elaine Showalter and Edmund White will appear, tying in with celebrations of Edinburgh's US links the US consulate in the city is 200 years old.

Bruce Robinson, writer/director of Withnai/ And I will give a talk for wannabe screenwriters on the art of

Bruce Robinson: advice for wannabes

writing for film while the aptly named Adrianne Blue is one of the contributors to a session on literary erotica.

The festival will also stray out of Charlotte Square for the first time, with events at the Royal Botanic Gardens and theatrical adaptations of the works of Louis De Bernieres and Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Edinburgh University Old College Quad.

In her first year as director of the Edinburgh Book Festival, Faith Liddell said she hoped her debut programme could help people look at the world through new eyes.

However she added: ’The Festival has its serious side but it is also a haven at the heart of the festival city where you can sprawl at your ease on the grass among the tents.’ (Stephen Naysmith)

The Edinburgh Book Festival Programme can be ordered on 0897 500010 at a cost of £1 a minute - which covers post and packaging.

25 Jun—9 Jul 1998 THE LIST 23