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Weirdstone Of Brisingamen

The title still impresses me. I must have read Alan Garner’s first novel (published 1960) in the late seventies, by which time I was already a Tolkien/C.S.Lewis veteran….

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Princemania!

I couldn’t afford or justify a £70+ ticket to see Prince last week but I didn’t want to ignore his visitation either… so here’s my friend’s account of…

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What is Common Knowledge?

Ex-Manchester journalist Jon Ronson wrote The Men Who Stare At Goats… That should ring a bell, because the film of the book stars George Clooney, and even if…

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Carmel 1984

In January 1984, the second issue of City Life proclaimed the four great hopes of the Manchester music scene to be Carmel, The Smiths, The Fall and New…

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Domestically Challenged

This month Word Of Warning flags up a series of small-scale performances called Domestic staged in an obscure local arts venue, Cooper House. “Sounds familiar” I thought when…

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How Deep Is Your Love?

Barry Gibb visited my kids’ primary school yesterday… Oswald Road in Chorlton. He’s an ex-pupil. I’ve got 3 kids at the school but I only heard about the…

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S.O.S. Style

Breakout has got to be one of the most perfect pop records to come out of Manchester… but because Swing Out Sister didn’t gig, I had no idea…

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Manchester International Festival

Manchester International Festival (MIF) is like a bluebottle which lands on a cow’s head and poos before buzzing off across the field. The cow (the city) may have…

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The Smiths 1983

The Smiths meant a great deal to me in 1983 for some reason… But what were they on about? What were they telling us thirty years ago? ‘This…

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Avian Cull

The Tamworth Estate tower blocks lie within the borough of Trafford, even though they share the east side of Chorlton Road (B5218) with Manchester’s Hulme, M15. Their ‘brutalist’…

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Feeling Sheepish

I bought this ticket on a friend’s recommendation in 2012, but have since realised that I don’t like Alt-J. Not only is their sound very contrived, but their…

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Sankey Sump

When Sankey Soap opened in the mid-90s there was general excitement about this brave new venue popping up in Ancoats’ industrial hinterland. I was really impressed with the…