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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 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
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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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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Manchester music reviews

Stefano Bollani

Gorgeous Gershwin

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Stefano Bollani piano and Clark Rundell conductor

by Denis Joe July 2011

at Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

 

Overture, Strike up the band!
Gershwin Songs
Piano Improvisation
Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture
Rhapsody in Blue

 

Higuchi: “If only the whole world would listen to Gershwin”
[Wild Life –Shinji Aoyama]

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Manchester music reviews

Lang Lang

Lang Lang

at The Bridgewater Hall

Reviewed by Charlotte Starkey May 2011

 

One sensed that something significant was about to happen at the Bridgewater on Friday, 27th May. Urgent pressing crowds, clutching the tickets no doubt purchased many months previously, moved relentlessly towards the Bridgewater. For once I felt worried for the bemused young revellers, hoping to be legless by midnight, dodging the concert-going aficionados sweeping forward. The Lang Lang phenomenon had hit Manchester. He was last in Manchester ten years ago with the Hallé. On Friday he went solo.

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Manchester music reviews

Kate Marsden - violin

Ensemble of St. Lukes

by Denis Joe May 2011

at Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

 

Alexander Marks violin
Kate Marsden violin
Robert Shepley viola
Gethyn Jones cello


Haydn: String Quartet No.4 in D Major, Op.20
Beethoven: String Quartet No.4 in C minor, Op.18

 

One of the best indicators of a music society’s success is the amount of offshoots that arise from it. The Liverpool Philharmonic Society has had quite a few, but it's not the quantity but the quality of the offspring that matters.

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