Northern Soul

Author: Desmond Bullen

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.

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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.

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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.

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Music Review: Twin Peaks Soundtrack Live, Manchester Camerata, Yes

November 4, 2019 Comments Off on Music Review: Twin Peaks Soundtrack Live, Manchester Camerata, Yes

If ever a television series was to pass across the flat screen looking glass to haunt the reality that watched it, it would be Twin Peaks. Unlike anything else when it was first transmitted, the singular creation of David Lynch and Mark Frost shifted genre and tone, time and place, the everyday and the uncanny. If darkness could bleed through into the daydreams of a homecoming queen, if people could fall out of the world, why might not such a reality slip into this one? Why not especially on All Hallow’s Eve when tradition insists that the doorway between this world and the next is easiest to cross?

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Richard Butler PFurs Credit - Mike Pfeiffer

Review: The Psychedelic Furs, O2 Ritz Manchester

October 20, 2019 Comments Off on Review: The Psychedelic Furs, O2 Ritz Manchester

If the surface of pop is glitter then The Psychedelic Furs are sandpaper, rubbing it up the wrong way.

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Naomi Wood. Image by Rachel Hippolyte

Review: The Forgotten Women of Bauhaus, Naomi Wood, Manchester Literature Festival

October 16, 2019 Comments Off on Review: The Forgotten Women of Bauhaus, Naomi Wood, Manchester Literature Festival

When it comes to novels, there’s an art to research.

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brett anderson

Review: Brett Anderson, Manchester Literature Festival, The Dancehouse

October 14, 2019 Comments Off on Review: Brett Anderson, Manchester Literature Festival, The Dancehouse

Suede doesn’t fit the story.

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Review: Neil Tennant in conversation with Andrew McMillan, Manchester Literature Festival, RNCM

October 11, 2019 Comments Off on Review: Neil Tennant in conversation with Andrew McMillan, Manchester Literature Festival, RNCM

For Neil Tennant, it’s been a pop life. From writing pop into his personality, to writing his personality inextricably into pop, music has been at the heart of his biography.

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Open Music Archive at Castlefield Gallery. Photos Jules Lister. (cc) by-sa 4.0. Courtesy of the artists.

Review: Open Music Archive, Eileen Simpson and Ben White, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

July 29, 2019 Comments Off on Review: Open Music Archive, Eileen Simpson and Ben White, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

It all changed with the gramophone.

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The Disappeared

Book Review: The Disappeared by Amy Lord

June 8, 2019 Comments Off on Book Review: The Disappeared by Amy Lord

As the dominoes continue their haphazard topple in the wake of the EU Referendum, as a blowhard struts vaingloriously in the Oval Office, and as right-wing populism slithers out of its bunker and back into the daylight, it’s difficult to discount the disquieting suspicion that these are dystopian times.

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