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

Tuesday 5th Dec: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss two topical subjects

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester music reviews

Momus at IABF

Momus @ International Anthony Burgess Foundation

To be reviewed by Dave Porter March 2012

 

Momus – aka Nick Currie – is one of the more interesting characters to have come out of and endured the ‘80s music scene. Never your average pop star, his protean output now encompasses roles as novelist, art critic, gallery tour guide and journalist.

 

A protege of the Scottish Postcard scene – his first band the Happy Family featured members of Josef K – Momus fittingly takes his nominal cue from the Greek god of mockery. He quickly outgrew the jangle of indie pop to carve out an outré career as purveyor of synthesised pop with the sensibilities of Kylie and the lyrical rumblings of Nick Cave.

 

Records titles such as Tender Pervert and The Poison Boyfriend give a hint to his predilections. Despite being signed to Creation Records by fellow Scot Alan McGee, Momus looked unlikely to achieve the pop stardom he craved, but has doggedly pursued an artistic vision which has seen him outflank many of his contemporaries.

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Manchester music reviews

50 Words For Snow by Kate Bush

50 Words For Snow, by Kate Bush

by Denis Joe November 2011

 

I love this time of year: the run-up to Christmas. Whilst some moan about lack of tradition and meaning, and whinge about the ‘consumer’ orgy, I am never less than amazed at the crowds in city centres who put themselves through so much in order to show their family and friends just how much they care. That is something to celebrate. It is a time when people show themselves as caring and unselfish individuals.

 

What I hate about this time of year is the omnipresence of the Christmas pop song, as if the music industry feels that it needs to force people to be happy. The exception is Fairy Tale of New York, a song consistently voted the best Christmas song of all time; it has everything a great Christmas song should have: pathos and sentimentality.

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Manchester music reviews

John Barrowman

John Barrowman at Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Fat Roland November 2011

 

Two mostly-naked male dancers bend over to show the business end of their hot-pants whilst John Barrowman’s septuagenarian parents dress up for a comedy skit on sexual domination.

 

I’m not sure how I got here, but it all seems to make sense. I was expecting a teeth-whitened Torchwood show tune extravaganza, but here, at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on John Barrowman’s 27-date tour to promote his latest album The Best Of John Barrowman, there is so much more going on.

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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 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 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 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
Janáček: 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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Manchester music reviews

Ian McCulloch

Echo and The Bunnymen at Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Jane Turner October 2011

Stop the Press: McCulloch the messiah incites mutiny!

 

Last night I witnessed a reluctant rebellion in the aisles of the Liverpool Philharmonic! The messiah McCulloch with tongue in cheek, rebelliously called on his followers to “fill that aisle” after an earlier comment that he had “never seen so many obedient people sitting down instead of standing up”. As the messiah spoke of “so many regulations that it is now impossible to make a Lancashire sausage” his followers were roused from their seats and took to dancing in the aisles with gusto – an activity not seen around here for years. Hundreds of happy people ignored the anxious gesticulating of the “chuckle brothers” as McCulloch had cheekily nicknamed the “bouncers”, and the people were at last back in their rightful place, on the land that was rightfully theirs and dancing in the aisles instead of wiggling politely from in or behind their seats. In an appeal to the “chuckle brothers” McCulloch declared “these are our people, they’re not doing anything wrong” and with that the party really got started; Echo and The Bunnymen were back in town!

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Manchester music reviews

Ramsbottom Festival

Ramsbottom Festival at the Cricket Club

Reviewed by Helen Nugent September 2011

 

In a country where there are more music festivals than you can shake a stick at, is it folly to launch a new one? The organisers of the new Ramsbottom Festival didn’t think so. And judging by the weekend’s entertainment this boutique event deserves a permanent place in the summer festival fixture list.

 

Before a musician had played a note, the Ramsbottom Festival looked like a promising bet. Who could fail to love a festival which, in addition to a main arena, had a second performance area entitled ‘T’Other Stage’? Added to this was a Beer Tent serving locally-brewed delights (including the fragrantly-floral Ramsbottom Festival Ale) and a range of mouth-watering treats in the Food Village. Kids were also well-catered for in this family-friendly town nestled in the shadow of the West Pennines.

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