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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester music reviews

No Thyself by Magazine

No Thyself, Wire-Sound CD

by Denis Joe November 2011

 

Stop! When you cease to amaze me. (“Stuck”)

Punk began in 1976 - its initial location was London but with the release of The Buzzcocks EP, Spiral Scratch the focus moved to Manchester. A movement quickly sprung up that featured the likes of The Fall, The Drones, Warsaw (aka Joy Division), Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds, Slaughter and the Dogs and pop-poet, John Cooper Clarke.

 

The Manchester scene of the late 70s produced some of the greatest pop of that (or any) decade, and thankfully for me, many of these groups played in Birmingham or Wolverhampton. For pure magical, unashamed pop music there was the Buzzcocks. Howard Devoto left the band in 1977 and Pete Shelley took over as singer/lyricist, producing such gems as Orgasm Addict, What Do I Get?, I Don’t Mind and Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn’t Have Fallen In Love With? For chin-strokers and other pseuds there were The Fall and Joy Division.

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Manchester film reviews

The Ides of March

The Ides of March

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan October 2011

 

'Ryan Gosling in yet another star confirming performance'

 

George Clooney – as director and co-writer – has produced yet another intelligent film, a dark political drama with a great cast working at the top of their games.

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Manchester music reviews

Kate Marsden - violin

Ensemble of St. Luke’s

at Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Denis Joe October 2011

Aled Smith Czárdás (world premiere) & Shostakovich String Quartet No.8

Alexander Marks (violin), Kate Marsden (violin), Robert Shepley (viola), Gethyn Jones (cello)

 

The audience for this lunchtime concert were treated to a bonus from the Ensemble of St. Luke’s, as they performed Mozart String Quartet in C major, K. 157 (I. Allegro, II. Andante, III. Presto). Composed in 1773, when Mozart was around 17 years old, it is a beautiful piece that has its roots in folk music, particularly East European. The Presto seems to have borrowed from Czárdás, a traditional Hungarian folk dance (the name derived from csárda old Hungarian term for tavern). It originated in Hungary and was popularized by Roma music bands in Hungary and neighbouring lands. The music of the Quartet is lively, full of youthful energy, amd there is none of the romanticising of traditional music that became the hallmark of the later Romantics. The Quartet sounds as if it was composed simply for the pure joy of the music and nothing more.

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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 film reviews

We need to talk about Kevin

We need to talk about Kevin

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan October 2011

 

Reading Lionel Shriver's novel and now viewing this thought provoking film, I feel compelled to declare an interest, that like the author I am not a parent and I have always wondered about the central question of 'Kevin'; how does a woman raise a son?

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Manchester music reviews

Tindersticks

Tindersticks at Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Emma Short October 2011

 

The formation of Music Beyond Mainstream in 2001, a consortium of 12 leading concert halls in the UK, has allowed major pieces of work in music to be seen by audiences throughout the country. By encouraging the touring of innovative folk, jazz, world, roots and left field music and initiating performances like their 36th project Tindersticks at the Liverpool Philharmonic, music lovers nationwide are able to experience that which at one time would have only been accessible to audiences in London.
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Manchester music reviews

The Straits

The Straits at Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Simon Belt October 2011


The Straits were formed by former members Dire Straits Alan Clark, Phil Palmer and Chris White, after a few fun and feeler gigs in the summer of 2011 - to play the band’s much loved catalogue of great songs to a loyal and new audience alike. After huge success with albums including Making Movies and Brothers in Arms, in a career that saw them sell 120 million albums worldwide, recieve three BRIT Awards, four Grammys and two MTV Music Awards, it's unthinkable that such a huge musical impact could be just left alone.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Good by C P Taylor

GOOD by C P Taylor

Performed at Royal Exchange Theatre

Directed by Polly Findlay and designed by James Cotterill

Reviewed by Jane Turner October 2011

 

It’s a strange mixed-up fantasy, but if you fancy seeing Hitler in plus-fours and arrive at the gates of Auschwitz in a flash of light as the curtain falls feeling tense, disorientated, bewildered and yet somehow gripped, “Good” might be just right for you. I may have had a sense of humour biopsy but I think it would be “good” if history was portrayed more accurately.

 

I found it a little difficult to settle in my seat; I was un-comfortable, not because of the fine upholstery, but bothered by the four letter-word of the title – Good. A bit subjective to begin with and even more so when tackling the consequences of German Fascism. Good/evil, black/white? Most of us know that things are never that clear cut or straightforward. Who and what is good or evil, and who decides is the rather complex question taken up by CP Taylor, the author of this story.

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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 music reviews

David Soar (Leporello) i statue Nuccia Focile (Donna Elvira) in Don Giovanni by WNO Photo: Richard H Smtih

Welsh National Opera at Liverpool Empire

by Denis Joe October 2011

Mozart: Don Giovanni
Rossini: The Barber of Seville
Janá?ek: Katya Kabanova

 

Sadly, the Welsh National Opera only visit Liverpool for one season in a year, and is one of the highlights of the year. Opera in Britain is really strong with regional companies such as Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Scottish Opera consistently produce seasons of the highest quality, bringing neglected works to the public. Opera has had a reputation for being an elitist art form, but since the late 1980s, when I first started to go to see live opera, it was not unusual to see young people in jeans and t-shirts in the audience. The idea that the entrance fee is prohibitive is also a myth as it is no more expensive than a football match and far cheaper than going to see a band at some local stadium.

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