Next Salon Discussion

First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 5 December 7:00pm start

Tuesday 2nd Jan: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss two topical subjects

Manchester lifestyle reviews
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Manchester lifestyle reviews

My Five New Friends

My Five New Friends by Oliver Braid

At The Royal Standard, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2012

 

There is something very romantic about The Royal Standard. It is not situated in the City but in what used to be a garage workshop just outside of the city, near the waterfront. So it is not easy to find, but it is well worth visiting (and with satnavs and Google maps, it’s easy enough). The organisers have made a great job of putting on this event (my first time at this venue) and show a great deal of enthusiasm for the work.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Liverpool Poetry Cafe

Liverpool Poetry Café

with Pauline Rowe, Clare Kirwan and Dave Jackson

Reviewed by Denis Joe January 2012

 

Attending a poetry event in Liverpool can sometimes seem as if you have gate-crashed some group therapy session or some private fan-club party. In the way that you always see the same old faces on trade union marches these days, so too it is the case with the poetry events. If the person on stage isn’t whinging about how they lost the love of their life, or ranting bile about their hatred for those ‘lowlifes’ from the north of the city then you will get some decent poetry, which is, sadly, lost in the dross.

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Omid Djalili: returns to stand-up

Omid Djalili at Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Fat Roland and Simon Belt January 2012

Firstly, Fat Roland's take on the performance

Omid Djalili’s appearance at the Liverpool Philharmonic did nothing to dispel my belief that stand-up comedy is a bit broken. I once went on a stand-up comedy course in which I was taught to brainstorm, to use the mic, and to find the funny. The course leader used clips of television comedians – think charity balls, gigs in palladiums, Saturday night fodder – as an example of stand-up. But the course leader was wrong to do this as television comedy is not stand-up.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Ian Curtis ©Kevin Cummins

Exemplar: Joy Division by Kevin Cummins

at Manchester Photographic Gallery, Tarrif Street, Manchester

Reviewed by Mark Iddon January

 

33 Years ago, on 06 January 1979, Kevin Cummins spent the day photographing the legendary Manchester Band Joy Division. Many pictures from that snowy day in Manchester feature in this current exhibition alongside photos taken of the band, its members and associated images over a 3 year period from one of their first gigs performing as Warsaw in May 1977 to the memorial stone of the singer, Ian Curtis following his untimely death in May 1980.

 

The exhibition includes around 45 black and white images, on three floors of the gallery, that capture a range of aspects of the band from the intensity of their performances, to relaxed and contemplative stills during rehearsals to the well documented Hulme bridge photo. There are also images of the Factory Club in Hulme and the Russell Club in Manchester where they played early gigs and of an anxious audience queuing outside The Electric Circus.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Ladies and Gents Golf in Derbyshire more on a Par

Ladies & Gents Golf on a Par in Derbyshire?

Review by Marie-Anne McGibbon December 2011

 

I've been playing golf for the last 10 years at a variety of courses across Derbyshire and Cheshire, perhaps more social than competitive for most of it, but great fun none the less. For the last 8 years I've been playing Ladies golf in Derbyshire as a member of New Mills Golf Club just south of Stockport - a very down to earth club owned and managed by its members.

 

Thankfully, golf in Derbyshire more generally tends to keep the funny handshakes and stuffiness often associated with golf to a minimum, so a merger of the Ladies and Gents Golf Unions in Derbyshire comes as no surprise, albeit somewhat overdue.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Gina Czarnecki at the Bluecoat

Gina Czarnecki

at the Bluecoat, Liverpool until 19 February 2012

Reviewed by Denis Joe December 2011

Curator: Sara-Jayne Parsons; Free Entry

 

Britain’s most famous art collector, Charles Saatchi, recently rounded on the contemporary art clique, condemning buyers as ‘vulgar’ and criticised curators as showing "videos, and those incomprehensible post-conceptual installations and photo-text panels, for the approval of their equally insecure and myopic peers". And he may have a point, it does seem that many feted artists today produce art whose only value seems to lie in the shock effect.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Adolphe Valette (1876 – 1942) at The Lowry

Adolphe Valette (1876 – 1942) at The Lowry

on until Sunday 29th January 2012

Reviewed by Dr Charlotte Starkey November 2011

 

Adolphe Valette’s haunting impressions of Manchester and Salford sometimes evoke the response, ‘Oh, they are so dark!’ That is not true of most of them but also not a surprising remark for a few paintings of which it is only partially true. When he painted scenes of Windsor Bridge on the Irwell, 1909, Albert Square, Manchester 1910, India House, Manchester 1912, York Street leading to Charles Street, Manchester 1913, and others, Manchester and Salford were regularly dark, very dark. Engels had described the area close to the River Medlock in 1842 to 1844 (cf. India House, Valette) as one of the worst slums in Manchester.

 

Fog, smog, pea-soupers of an atmosphere which left faces, lungs, clothes and lives filthy, damp and generally pretty dismal enabled Valette to see nocturnes of a ghostly beauty. He is, arguably, one of the first painters to recognise beauty specifically in the commercialised industrial world, certainly to find it in Manchester. In fact, India House is reminiscent of Turner in its use of reflected light and in many of his ‘Manchester/Salford’ paintings Valette’s colours are a complex mix of muted tones and colours, creating highlights and depths for emphasis and perspectives, never simple.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Buy Art Fair

Buy Art Fair

at Spinningfields, Manchester

Reviewed by Emily Pitts October 2011

 

Spinningfields hosted Manchester’s Fourth Buy Art Fair - the North’s answer to London’s Affordable art fair - Original, Affordable, Unmissable, according to the literature. It runs alongside the Manchester Contemporary, the North’s vehicle for critically engaged art.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser on Harold Pinter

at the Manchester Literature Festival

Reviewed by Helen Nugent October 2011

 

It’s not every day one emerges from a cubicle in the ladies’ toilet to find Lady Antonia Fraser waiting to use the facilities. But this is the month of the Manchester Literature Festival and so we must expect the unexpected.

 

Now in its sixth year, the MLF is rightly regarded as a festival heavyweight. As varied and engaging as the better known Cheltenham and Hay literature events, sell-out talks for 2011 have included such literary luminaries as Colm Toibin, Michael Frayn and David Lodge.

 

Last night was the turn of Lady Antonia, noted historian and wife of the late Harold Pinter. Now aged 79, she has lost none of her glamour and charm. Whether reading extracts from her new memoir of life with her dramatist husband or recounting stories about the London glitterati, Lady Antonia enchanted the audience.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Life in the UK at Castlefield Gallery

Life in the UK / Balance of Probabilities

by Didem Ozbek and Osman Bozkurt of PiST, at Castlefield Gallery

Reviewed by Sara Porter and Emma Short October 2011

 

Sara Porter's view...

On first approaching the Castlefield Gallery for the press preview of Life in the UK/ Balance of Probabilities the first thing that struck me was how I hadn’t noticed in my previous visit the blinds in the windows of the gallery, but then it was an atypically sunny day and in a more usually overcast Manchester, they probably hadn’t been needed them last time I was there. As I got closer I realised that this was in fact the first part of Ozbek and Bozkurt’s multi-media exhibition.

 

Life in the UK/ Balance of Probabilities is a debut UK commission of the two Istanbul based artists exhibited at Castlefield Gallery as part of Asia Triennial Manchester 2011. The work is based upon experiences of visa applications and for this purpose the gallery has been converted into a replication of a temporary VISA application centre.

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