Wednesday, 30 November 2016

A bar where everybody knows your name?... #Manchester #pubs #TheBullsHead #Cheers

There's been a pub on this site since 1786. The Bull's Head near Piccadilly Station used to be a local haunt of mine and I featured it when "...and if a double decker bus crashes into us..." (to quote The Smiths), back on Friday 13th January 2013. 

I was in there with a good friend last week and noticed the endearing slogan while she was at the bar.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Lush to the end... @LushBandTweets @LushFanOfficial

I was among the many who were ecstatic to hear this time last year that Lush were reforming. They've had a successful year with a North American tour and appearances at many European festivals (see YouTube). They restarted things with appearances at the Roundhouse in Camden Town and then, sadly, the band came to an end with a final gig at Manchester Academy last Friday night.

They express the need to return to friends and families. We'd all rather they continued but respect their decision. It was a bonus to get some new music from them this year as well as some incredible performances.

Emma Anderson and Miki Berenyi led the band through a wonderful set, with songs that cascaded form melancholic fluffiness through to anger and passion. Miki dedicated 'Ladykillers' to Trump as he epitomised the misogynist men it was first written about- she joked they would rename it 'Pussygrabbers'. She also joked that her daughter had shown no loyalty by choosing to see Savages at Brixton Academy that night rather than support her mum's final Lush gig.

They sounded as sublime as when I first saw them live at Glastonbury in 1990, where they were on the rise but only had a Saturday lunchtime slot. Thanks Lush, you'll always be up there as one of my favourite ever bands - and this was the best gig of the year for me (and I've been fortunate to see over 80 acts so far, so that's saying something). 

I was swept on a tide of emotion and energy, tripping on the combination of Emma's amazing guitar playing and backing vox and Miki's powerful lyrics of cynicism, anger, loss and human nature. Rarely has a band moved me so much, from hope and lilting happiness to a shared despair of humanity. 25 years on, their music sounds as fresh and powerful as ever.

Linking with Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Monday Mural: Emmeline and Alan @tankpetrol

Two great artworks for Monday Mural. They are by TankPetrol, created on the side of one of the Christmas market stalls in Exchange Square. It'd be great if some of the other city centre Christmas markets commissioned some street artists as well. 

They are, of course, of Emmeline Pankhurst and Alan Turing. Both had strong Manchester connections and were imprisoned and persecuted by ancient 20th Century governments and legislation. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Wild is the wind...

On a walk around Dunham Town, windswept trees with ivy crawling up their trunks.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Weekend Reflections: Pool

A quiet moment for reflection in the gardens at Rivington, designed between 1906 and 1922. Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 25 November 2016

#LeonardCohen - A moving appreciation @ArtOfTeaUK

There was a packed venue and a packed programme, as well as many heartfelt and moving performances, at the cosy and atmospheric The Art of Tea in Didsbury last night. 

It was a Leonard Cohen tribute event, raising funds for Mind. A range of local musicians performed poetry and music by the great man.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Earthlings eat exceptionally well... @earthlingsorganic


After a Sunday stroll at Rivington we drove to nearby Bromley Cross to the wonderful Earthlings juice bar and cafe.(221 Darwen Rd, Bolton BL7 9QG)

It's so much more than just a cafe and juice bar though. It's been open about eight months and serves healthy, mouth-watering food, all of it cruelty-free too. Local comedian Peter Kay was in there last week so even he has been converted. It's my new favourite place to eat and I can't wait to return. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Autumn's magic carpet

Trees between the Lower Rivington Reservoir and at the start of the walk up to Rivington Pike near Bolton. A carpet of yellow and gold leaf fall is starting to outnumber those leaves left on the trees.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Autumn afternoons on the cusp of winter... #OurWorldTuesday #RivingtonPike

We went for a dramatic hike up the pike on Sunday afternoon. Snow from midweek remained on top of Winter Hill and Rivington Pike, while autumn leaves stubbornly hung on, for now, lower down the slopes.  An amazing afternoon - more on that throughout this week's blog posts. Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Monday Mural: Warhol at the Whitworth

I learned a lot at the Andy Warhol exhibition launch Artist Rooms on Friday at The Whitworth Gallery. I hadn't realised he'd been shot and pronounced dead in the late 1960s. No wonder that this was reflected in much of his later work. Plenty of interesting art and some that fits with the Monday Mural theme.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Warhol at the Whitworth

It was great fun to be at the Whitworth Gallery last night for the launch of the Andy Warhol exhibition Artist Rooms. Good to see some friends there too - Rach and Dan, looking to camera.

More on Monday from the exhibition itself.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Abjects Night & Day

Last Saturday night reminded me what I love about the compact, vibrancy of Manchester's city centre. After popping into the Winter Gathering at the old London Road Fire Station (and my first mulled wine of the season, cheers!), we went onto Night & Day to see Abjects, an international female trio that were on my partner's musical radar. 

So much so that he had come armed with a lot of their vinyl to be autographed. One energetic set later we were chatting with Noemi (guitar/vox) Yuki (bass/vox) and Alice (drums).

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Backstage at the People's Assembly @PplsAssemblyMcr

Grace Petrie, Sam Fairbairn and Penny Hicks.

A great gig in aid of the People's Assembly Against Austerity last night. It took place at the Academy 2. Stand Up For The People's Assembly included:  Tom Stade, Attila the Stockbroker, Grace Petrie, Steph Pike, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Jack Carroll, Tiernan Douieb and Matt Abbott.

The Manchester People's Assembly meets monthly and is one of many nationwide groups who are campaigning for a fairer UK. We're a friendly bunch and you don't need to be an expert or have any political experience to get involved. We're united as concerned citizens, driven by unnecessary social injustices, such as those shown in the Ken Loach film I Daniel Blake.  Read more at the website.

Personally, I was privileged to get a back stage role, one of a great team of volunteers ushering the acts on and off of stage (yes, I did buy a ticket as well). Above are backstage views of some of what I saw, plus a front stage shot during the set up.

Monday, 14 November 2016

#MondayMural: The Glamour of #Manchester

In the Palace Hotel, a wonderful new mural from a classic 1920s design, depicting the "Glamour of Manchester"! It's from a book by the National Labour Press, see more about that at a blog post from Chetham's Library a few years back. 

My contribution to this week's Monday Mural.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Weekend Reflections: Morning mist

Water, sunlight, trees = a perfect walk. 
Some mellows thoughts at the end of a heavy week, for Weekend Reflections.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Weekend Reflections: Wobbly in Ancoats

On Monday afternoon I had a break from work to clear my head. I walked around Ancoats in the autumn sunshine and snapped this reflection in a removal van's front window: a wobbly tower and a squat me... Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Skywatch Friday: Somewhere over the Irwell

Salford at 0823 this morning, A great way to start any day, eating breakfast with your partner while watching a double rainbow wax and wane over the River Irwell. One for Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

#CityDailyPhoto Theme Day: Out of Focus

Autumn peaks in Heaton Park... this month's City Daily Photo Theme Day is Out of Focus. It's the intriguing suggestion of Wilf Wang, who runs the Turin Daily Photo blog.

Another photo I took for this was the view on Blackfriars Bridge of the River Irwell, below. Below that is a photo of a London taxi doing a u-turn on The Strand.

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