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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester music reviews

Cry Baby at Helium Records

Cry Baby - EP & Album

Reviewed by Yvonne Cawley September 2012

 

I’m not quite sure what is going on at the moment, but there seems to be a definite 60s revival in the air. Now maybe I am a little bit more sensitive to this having, just hosted a 60s themed Murder Mystery Party (which was well ‘groovy’ by the way) with the fantastic music of the time helping to set the mood. What with the current Sainsbury’s advert with the ‘Hey, Hey, we’re the Monkees’ track and, on my recent trip to Primark, being hit with the abundance of black and white mod style clothing plus lots of psychedelic prints and short pink and blue bobbed wigs, I wondered if I was perhaps missing something.

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Manchester book reviews

Killing Daniel by Sarah Dobbs

Killing Daniel by Sarah Dobbs

To be reviewed by Yvonne Cawley January 2013

 

In Manchester Fleur is drifting through life haunted by her murdered boyfriend Daniel. In Japan Chinatsu is trying to escape a passionless marriage to Yugi Hamogoshi, a man with a secret who won't let her go. Fleur and Chinatsu used to be schoolfriends. Fleur and Chinatsu had a bond. Fleur and Chinatsu had dreams. This is the story of what happens before they can be together again. A cross-cultural thriller like no other, Sarah Dobbs' KILLING DANIEL exposes the secret lives of contrasting people with unflinching insight and lyrical prose. This is a cross-cultural thriller like no other.

 
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Manchester music reviews

Red BaraatRed Baraat at The Bridgewater Hall

Reviewed by Emma Short September 2012

 

The Bridgewater Hall played host to Sunny Jain and his 8 piece Brooklyn based collective Red Baraat on their debut UK tour as part of the London 2012 Festival. Supported by the Asian Arts Agency whose vision is to mainstream high quality Asian arts in the UK increasing cultural diversity in the creative industries, they hit the hall with force. A veritable explosion of the North Indian Bhangra rhythm, funk, salsa, go-go hip hop style syncopation and audience call and response, within a strong grounding of jazz, brought their fusion flavour alive to the eagerly awaiting audience.

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Manchester music reviews

Linda Chatterton

Concert: Linda Chatterton and Matt McCright

at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Reviewed by Denis Joe August 2012

 

The prospect of two musicians of the calibre of Chatterton (Flute) and McCright (Piano) presenting a programme of rarely heard pieces, as well as a world premiere of a work by Ailís Ní Ríain, would excite any music lover.

 

Linda Chatterton has been awarded prizes and grants from such institutions as The McKnight Artist Fellowship, The Jerome Foundation and The American Composers Forum. She has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and is a member of the contemporary music group, Ensemble 61. Five of her recordings are available on CD; the latest, the critically acclaimed Diverse Voices – American Music for Flute, includes the first recording of Edie Hill’s This Floating World.

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Manchester book reviews

The Swerve by Julith Jedamus

The Swerve by Julith Jedamus

Publisher: Carcanet Press, 80 pages

Reviewed by Denis Joe August 2012

 

There are those who think that that as long as you can write then you can compose poems. Novelists and other prose writers have turned their hand to poetry on many occasions - Raymond Carver and Jorge Luis Borges are two of the most successful - but on the whole, prose writers don’t really hack it as poets. James Joyce’s Pomes Penyeach is among some of the worst poetry ever published, for example.

Julith Jedamus’s previous publication was the novel The Book of Loss, and Swerve is her debut collection of poetry. I first came across one of her poems when it featured in The New York Times, in May 2011. The Drowning of Drenthe, which appears in this collection, is a wonderful poem that takes us from the physical journey and age, through nine tercets. Some of the rhyming may strike some as clichéd (‘The linseed mill with icy arms,/The whitewashed churches purged of charms’) but I think that Jedamus shows a great deal of artistry. The simplicity gives us a sense of wonderment, almost child-like. There is a nursery rhyme feel to the poem. The final stanza - the denouement – seems to confirm a feeling of awe:

The past is new, the future old;
Who can say now what rhymes are told
In this drowned world?

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Manchester food reviews

The Bishopsgate Table Table, GMEX

The Bishopsgate Table Table, GMEX

Lower Moseley Street, Manchester

Reviewed by Simon Belt August 2012

 

Ever since I posted Helen Nugent's review of the Table Table pub restaurant near the GMEX in Manchester back in March, I've been meaning to pop in and see for myself if it really was as she described. You see, Table Table is a brand of Whitbread, and as I'm of a certain age, I associate Whitbread with their great Trophy Bitter adverts from the 70's.

 

I used the official opening (by the Lord Mayor of Manchester) of their redesigned bar area, to live up to the ethos of the Manchester Salon, and try and capture something of what's new and happening with city centre pub restaurants, and Whitbread's Table Table brand. Whitbread's beer producing days may be over, but their business acumen does give the distinct impression of being head and body above the rest - as those adverts used to pun home.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Gargantua by Carl Grose

Gargantua by Carl Grose

presented by norfox, directed by Rosie Stuart and Josh Azouz

Reviewed by Simon Belt August 2012

 

The norfox Young People’s Theatre Company is the Library Theatre’s resident theatre company for young people aged between 15-18, designed to give them valuable experience in developing their skills in a professional theatre environment. As the Library Theatre is in-between homes, this performance was hosted at the Manchester Metropolitan University’s Capitol Theatre, a performance space for students on their acting courses within the Faculty of Art and Design.

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Manchester book reviews

Sit Down! Listen to This! by Bill Sykes

Sit Down! Listen to This!

The Roger Eagle story by Bill Sykes, published by Empire

Reviewed by Charlotte Starkey August 2012

 

Sit Down! Listen to This! by Bill Sykes is a fascinating book for many reasons. It is mesmeric for those born during the Second World War or thereabouts and who remember The Twisted Wheel in both its venues in Manchester and/or Eric’s in Liverpool and for those who know ‘Northern Soul’ and its origins. It is a compilation of interviews, reminiscences with some of the friends and acquaintances of Roger Eagle, and with Roger Eagle’s own account in interview. It tells a story of the music clubs of Manchester and Liverpool for well-nigh thirty years until Roger Eagle’s death in 1999 at the age of fifty six. Specifically it is a story about Roger Eagle himself, placing him at the centre of the key musical developments in Manchester and Liverpool from the 60s to the late 80s: his amazing record collection, his influential contacts with musicians from Britain and America, the clubs in which he worked, which he came to run.

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Manchester music reviews

Manchester Jazz Festival Radio

Manchester Jazz Festival 2012

Some reflections by Charlotte Starkey July 2012

 

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible, is music.” (Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays, 1931)

If you find a note tonight that sounds good, play the same damn note every night.” (Count Basie - recalled by Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, trumpeter in Count Basie’s Orchestra)

 

In a key policy for urban renewal UNESCO defined a vision for humanising the city at the turn of the millennium, placing the individual at the centre of public policy and realising opportunities for cooperative action in the urban space (Brigitte Colin, Unesco’s Vision for Humanising the City – 14th June 1996). Whilst she was a specialist in Unesco’s involvement in the Arabian region, the vocabulary occurs frequently in discussions of urban regeneration globally: ‘inclusiveness’, cosmopolitanism, cultural access, the significance of the ‘informal spaces’ within the city environment – those spaces, events and situations where the initiatives arise from individual and group aspirations, rather than through recognised official and semi-official regulated social, political, educational and/or cultural formal arrangements.

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Manchester book reviews

Plague Lands and other poems by Fawzi Karim

Plague Lands and other poems by Fawzi Karim

Versions by Anthony Howell after translations by Abbas Kadhim

Publisher: Carcanet Press, 160 pages

Reviewed by Denis Joe July 2012

 

Poetry does not deal with history but with myth . . . A poet has to neglect historical time and go beyond it.
[Fawzi Karim]

 

A few years ago I came across a handful of Fawzi Karim’s poems which had been translated into English by Saadi Simawe and Melissa Brown (in Banipal No 19, 2006) and Michael Glover (in The International Literary Quarterly, May 2009). I was immediately struck by the voice of the poems. There was no attempt at protest but the works captured a feeling of a world being torn apart, much more so than Owen or Sassoon or even the works of the early Modernists. So this first collection in English of Karim’s poetry is most welcome.

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