Northern Soul

Author: Desmond Bullen

common people front cover

Common People: Breaking the Class Ceiling in UK Publishing

June 3, 2020 Comments Off on Common People: Breaking the Class Ceiling in UK Publishing

If there’s one thing the pandemic has brought home, it’s the importance of the uncelebrated.

Share Button
Read the full story..

John Constable, Dedham Church and Vale, Suffolk, 1800, pen, ink and watercolour, courtesy the Whitworth, The University of Manchester

Review: Utopias, The Whitworth, Manchester

March 2, 2020 Comments Off on Review: Utopias, The Whitworth, Manchester

For a time it seemed that Utopia had lost its currency.

Share Button
Read the full story..

Eimear McBride

Review: Eimear McBride, Martin Harris Centre, Manchester

February 27, 2020 Comments Off on Review: Eimear McBride, Martin Harris Centre, Manchester

The novels of Eimear McBride, you might say, begin where she once was – enduring the loss of a brother to a brain tumour, studying drama in London.

Share Button
Read the full story..

Theatre Review: Quality Street, The Lowry, Salford

February 27, 2020 Comments Off on Theatre Review: Quality Street, The Lowry, Salford

For most people these days, J.M. Barrie’s name is linked entirely with his brainchild, a figure ambiguous enough to change with the shifting emphases of popular culture – Peter Pan, the child who never grew up.

Share Button
Read the full story..

Melting Point by Baret Magarian

Book Review: Melting Point by Baret Magarian

February 20, 2020 Comments Off on Book Review: Melting Point by Baret Magarian

In the normal course of things, the brevity of the short story can ensure that even the most elegant of constructions, the most cathartic of conclusions, can fade from the memory.

Share Button
Read the full story..

Yelena Popova, Keepsafe (I and II), 2019 Image: Reece Straw. Courtesy of Division of Labour and l’étrangère’

Review: The Scholar Stones Project, Yelena Popova, Holden Gallery, MMU

February 15, 2020 Comments Off on Review: The Scholar Stones Project, Yelena Popova, Holden Gallery, MMU

In order to leave its mark, art need not explode with the ferocity of the fission that catalyses both nuclear reactor and bomb.

Share Button
Read the full story..

Sanitary Street later Anita Street 1898

Exhibition Review: 100 Years of Council Housing, Manchester Central Library

January 15, 2020 Comments Off on Exhibition Review: 100 Years of Council Housing, Manchester Central Library

Manchester, a city which likes to tell itself it has always led the laggards elsewhere, was building municipal housing long before the introduction of the Addison Act in 1919.

Share Button
Read the full story..

The complex

Book Review: The Complex by Michael Walters

November 30, 2019 Comments Off on Book Review: The Complex by Michael Walters

It was Philip K. Dick, burning amphetamines and racing for deadlines, who first staked out the paranoiac territory of fiction where rabbit holes lead to competing realities, a frontier colonised further by the likes of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror. Dick, however, had a parallel career, one more down to earth in all senses of that phrase, in which the dramas were firmly rooted in the incontestable every day.

Share Button
Read the full story..

04 understated-pete-shelley

Review: Understated – Celebrating the Creativity of Pete Shelley, The Turnpike, Leigh

November 26, 2019 Comments Off on Review: Understated – Celebrating the Creativity of Pete Shelley, The Turnpike, Leigh

It does him proud.

Share Button
Read the full story..

Music Review: Shakespears Sister, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

November 16, 2019 Comments Off on Music Review: Shakespears Sister, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

There’s always been something of the magpie about Siobhan Fahey, a pop star with a fan’s fascination for pop.

Share Button
Read the full story..