mon 21/08/2017

Manchester

The Hitman's Bodyguard - potty-mouthed, turgid waste of talents

No cliché is left unturned in this odd-couple action comedy. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson are the salt ‘n’ pepper rival bad-boys on the run. Cue shoot outs and high-speed vehicle chases through assorted European cities, interspersed with...

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CD: The Fall - New Facts Emerge

Mark E Smith’s wit and the ever-changing, ever-suffering line-up behind him have established The Fall as one of the most seminal post-punk bands in Britain. From their classic 1976 debut Live at the Witch Trials to 2015’s acclaimed Sub-Lingual...

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BambinO / Last And First Men, Manchester International Festival

The Manchester International Festival – a biennale of new creative work – this year has a new artistic director in John McGrath, and there’s no large-scale new opera or prominent "classical" work, it would seem, other than Raymond Yiu’s song cycle,...

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h.Club 100 Awards: Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

The Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester is an irresistible example of the can-do spirit. Less than two years ago the ground floor of a disused mill was being advertised on Gumtree as a storage space. Two actors who had been working as waiters – William...

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Gurrelieder, Hallé, BBCPO, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

It may not have had the symbolism of the Ariana Grande concert just down the road, but in its own way the joint Hallé/BBC Philharmonic performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder said as much about Manchester as the rock jamboree did. It was originally...

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Bach Brandenburg Concertos, OAE, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Enlightenment is a wonderful idea, and the members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment who played Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall last night brought the wisdom of today’s period instrument movement to bear...

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Sughayer, Manchester Camerata Soloists, Manchester Cathedral

Two works whose whole significance depends on (unspoken) sacred texts made a stimulating combination for a concert in Manchester Cathedral’s sacred space. Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross – usually heard in its string...

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Stoller Hall Opening, Chetham's School of Music, Manchester

The opening of a new concert hall offers two options for opinionizing: the venue itself – or the performances in it? Review the acoustics – or the music? It has to be a mixture of the two, in the end. Chetham’s School of Music, in Manchester, has...

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Kim, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

The world premiere of a symphony by a British composer – Huw Watkins – was the chief attraction in the latest Hallé programme with Sir Mark Elder at the Bridgewater Hall. The other music on the programme, however, held interest and indeed created a...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Gerry & The Holograms

It’s been suggested that New Order’s “Blue Monday” borrowed from Gerry & The Holograms’ eponymous 1979 A-side. In July 2015, The Guardian ran an article saying “if ‘Blue Monday’ had a starting point, it was ‘Gerry & The Holograms’ by a group...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Buzzcocks

By the time Buzzcocks recorded the 12 tracks heard on Time’s Up, they had played with Sex Pistols twice. They had also shared bills with The Clash, The Damned, Eater, Slaughter & The Dogs, Stinky Toys and The Vibrators. After singer Howard...

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Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, RNCM, Manchester

Manchester Camerata give relatively few old-fashioned concerts these days – I mean the sort that are done in purpose-built concert halls, with a conductor, soloist and conventional orchestra strength – because they’re busy crossing boundaries and...

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