Northern Soul

Author: Kevin Bourke

MJF

Manchester Jazz Festival

July 27, 2013 Comments Off on Manchester Jazz Festival

With the 24:7 Theatre Festival winding down this weekend and Manchester International Festival a fond memory, what’s a bereft festival fan to do? Why, check out the daddy of Manchester festivals, that’s what.

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Bruce Springsteen

Firing On All Cylinders: The Boss Delivers

July 26, 2013 Comments Off on Firing On All Cylinders: The Boss Delivers

“It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive” is a phrase from Bruce Springsteen‘s song Badlands that, for various reasons, has been haunting me lately.

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New Dawn Fades – The Story of Joy Division

July 16, 2013 Comments Off on New Dawn Fades – The Story of Joy Division

There’s more than a little irony in the fact that a subsequent generation seems to be just as fascinated by the ‘romantic’ early death of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis as he himself was with the likes of Jim Morrison.

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The Machine

July 13, 2013 Comments Off on The Machine

As Salford-born Josie Rourke, director of this Manchester International Festival drama, observes “A play about chess sounds almost terrifyingly dull.

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THE OLD WOMAN rehearsals 02 credit Lucie Jansch

The Old Woman

July 6, 2013 Comments Off on The Old Woman

Now this is what makes the Manchester International Festival cool. Let a visionary director loose on an obviously wild and crazy, but absolutely dazzling, idea, with defiantly large-scale production values and determined support.

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Before Midnight at The Cornerhouse, Manchester

June 23, 2013 Comments Off on Before Midnight at The Cornerhouse, Manchester

Just about the closest cinematic parallel to Richard Linklater’s ongoing story of Jesse and Celine, as chronicled at roughly nine-year intervals in Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and now Before Midnight, is the late Francois Truffaut’s wonderful Antoine Doinel series.

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Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt and Martin Simpson at The Apollo, Manchester

June 16, 2013 Comments Off on Bonnie Raitt and Martin Simpson at The Apollo, Manchester

Typical. You wait ages for a sassy redhead to strut her stuff in town, then two show up at once. But a discerning audience eschewed the attractions of Rihanna at the Arena to celebrate the, shall we say a tad more mature, virtues of Bonnie Raitt and her seasoned band at the Apollo.

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Bonnie Raitt

Making Music in the Slipstream

June 12, 2013 Comments Off on Making Music in the Slipstream

When Bonnie Raitt launched her career in the late 60s, she took her lead not from flash-in-the-pan chart-botherers but from the blues and folk greats she would see on the Boston club circuit, people like Muddy Waters, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker and, a particular favourite of hers, Sippie Wallace.

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Kan

Kan at Band on the Wall, Manchester

May 22, 2013 Comments Off on Kan at Band on the Wall, Manchester

You know how sometimes you go to a show and you can just feel that this is somehow a tipping point for the performers? Well, there was a definite air of “event” about Kan’s triumphant show at Band On The Wall, and not just because the likes of Becky Unthank and Mike Harding were in the audience.

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PRIMOS

Instituto Cervantes, Manchester

May 16, 2013 Comments Off on Instituto Cervantes, Manchester

Outside of Cornerhouse’s commendable Viva! season for a couple of weeks every year, and the occasional output of international stars like Almodovar, there’s generally very little chance to see even the best and most popular Spanish films in Manchester.

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