Falkirk performers head for Italy to make new friends

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An Italian town will roll out the tartan carpet for Falkirk’s depute provost and a group of local performers this weekend.

Nibbiano Val Tidone, in northern Italy, will play host to Councillor John Patrick and a collection of musicians and dancers from the Falkirk area, including popular rock ‘n’ roll beat combo Young Once, for a night of Scottish-themed entertainment on Saturday.

The event, organised by Nibbiano’s local authority, will lead up to the signing of a “pact of friendship” between Nibbiano and Falkirk.

According to the Italians, the pact seeks to “increase mutual acquaintance and open a route that may lead to the sharing of many experiences, knowledge and common values through cultural, recreational, musical and sporting activities”.

Councillor Patrick, who will sign the parchment during Saturday’s celebrations, said it was important to stress the friendship pact did not mean Falkirk, which already has established links with Creteil in France and Odenwald in Germany, was now twinned with Nibbiano.

He added: “This is not a precursor to twinning, that would be something we have to discuss at full council. The Italian people simply want to formalise the community links between the two towns.

“I will be signing the document because Provost Pat Reid is not free to attend that weekend.”

Nibbiano is home to the Allied Group, which counts Grangemouth-based firm Allied International, supplier of pipeline products to the oil and gas sector, among its subsidiary companies.

Peter Duncan, managing director of the Earls Road firm, also sings and plays guitar in Young Once, who will be rocking hard for the people of Nibbiano this weekend.

He said: “The Allied Group has been located in Nibbiano for 10 years and they wanted to mark this in some way. Allied co-president Valter Alberici asked me if our band would mind playing at the event.

“We thought it was just going to be a wee gig but it just got bigger and bigger. The band have now had t-shirts printed for the event.”

As well as Young Once, Peter and pals Brian Watters (guitar/vocals), Paul Serafini (bass/vocals) and Sandy Drysdale (drums/vocals), playing “guitars under the stars” there will be a Scottish pipe band - made up of Falkirk musicians - and traditional Scottish dancers.