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Friday, December 19, 2014

hard times come again no more


 above, some of my photos from this year.If you dont know their context,you just havnt been paying attention x

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

the floor is made of turf and the walls full of butterflies.....

[view images:] Company: Noise Killer Acoustics Ltd. Address: Unit 7 Parkside Industrial Estate Edge Lane Street Royton, Oldham Manchester OL2 6DS. Contact: Steve Bithell. ".........During the industrial revolution Ancoats had a large Irish emigrant community in which, due to the harsh working conditions and rampant gang violence, life expectancy was just 17 years.
Nowadays the area is being gentrified and an effusive estate agent promises an audience gathered in Cutting Room Square a tour of bespoke apartments.
 But Angel Meadow does not surrender its ghosts lightly and the presentation is interrupted by a blood-splattered character (a ferociously unhinged Caitriona Ennis) who announces that gang violence has broken out again and Eddie is dead.
An attempt to lead the audience to safety results in us being divided into groups and individuals and taken on a nightmarish journey. The physical location of the play is largely irrelevant as it is more a trip through the state of mind of people who have little to lose and are on the verge of losing it anyway.
 Owen Boss superbly captures this lack of hope in his designs and installation. The rooms in a derelict public house are set out so that you might find yourself back in a 19th Century flophouse or illegitimate boxing ring. There is a disturbing surreal atmosphere that eerily demonstrates the futile lives of the inhabitants. The drinks cabinet in the pub is full of litres of bleach, which the characters swig with a life-hating disregard, the head of a butchered pig hangs over the pool table.
Fascinatingly at one point you pass a room n which the floor is made of turf and the walls full of butterflies – perhaps a promise of a better life. Rather than take the lazy way of many promenade productions, and just allow the audience to wander through the set, Louise Lowe's ingenious direction channels them towards particular events and scenes.
The manner in which the audience is divided ensures no two experiences will be the same. It is an intense and intimate event during which you may find yourself eyeball to eyeball with the burning physical presence of Thomas Reilly's deranged tough guy or holding the punching bag for bare knuckles boxer Eric O'Brien. There is also a deeply discomforting chance to share a whiskey with a grieving mother who begs you to take on the role of Sin Eater and allow her late child to ascend to heaven (the soul of the child is superbly represented). A bestial and squalid orgy and a bleak Christmas dinner also feature before the audience re-groups in the aftermath of Eddie's wake....."
What's On Stage:June 13th 2014: Angel Meadow (Ancoats, Manchester)]

Thursday, December 04, 2014

hell on earth

"According to Oxford University Press, Manchester derived its name from Mamucium, the Roman name for the 1st century-settlement and fort. Mamucium itself is a Latinised form of the Celtic meaning "breast-shaped hill".........."[WIKIPEDIA:] Not a lot of people know that.............
A photo here of Danny from Rochdale at the Manchester German Christmas Markets.
The bloke on the  right  of him.?  He looks a bit like George Osborne to me.
Angus Reach, a London-based journalist, visited Manchester in 1849 Observed "the lowest, most filthy, most unhealthy and most wicked locality in Manchester is called, singularly enough, 'Angel-meadow.' 
It is full of cellars and inhabited by prostitutes, their bullies, thieves, cadgers, vagrants, tramps and, in the very worst sties of filth and darkness, by those unhappy wretches the 'low Irish.'"
[REFERENCE:]
Karl Marx described it "Hell On Earth" and it inspired him to write The Communist Manifesto while he lived in the City.
Marx always imagined it would be here,not Russia, that Communism would rise up to heal the world. [Wikipedia:St Michaels and Angel Meadow Park]
 Today mostly all that is left  is a pleasant Park.(think of it as the opposite of that Joni Mitchell song .."they unpaved the parking lot & put up a park......") Its ironic.The Park is Beautiful.It's just the rest of Tory Britain that's turning feral.Hey-hoy.......
But ,underneath the grass are still some cellars inhabited by prostitutes, their bullies, thieves, cadgers, vagrants, tramps & 'low Irish.? I tread gently & listen closely whenever i  travel there.
[above :random images 2008-2013]

 Every year since 2008 myself & assorted Lancashire & Yorkshire friends (many from the Rochdale Turkish Baths,itself now closed & disolved)visit Manchester to see the Christmas German Markets.
Usually we include a visit to The Marble Arch Pub which is on the border of Angel Meadows.
It's one of the few buildings still standing around there.
We go for our 7th year next Wednesday.We start drinking at 2 pm & carry on until around 11pm.
Its strange looking at last year's photos.I look  really healthy (yet a few weeks later I was in hospital with Pneumonia ).
Phil the x-fireman has been to all six,but will miss this year as he's still on the 'Injury List' (incidently , he's doing well & Will be back next year.He comes with me to see the movie "TURNER" before Christmas.We are keeping him in the picture!)
You never know what around the corner or hidden under your feet and noses........obviously .