mon 18/12/2017

Manchester

Liam Gallagher, Brighton Centre review - a rip-roaring sing-along

Liam Gallagher is a great rock star. However, he often comes across as not a likeable person. He’s called himself “a cunt” on more than one occasion. But he bleeds inarticulate insouciance and arrogant rage. He doesn’t raise even half a smile...

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Cendrillon, RNCM, Manchester review - magic and spectacle

The Royal Northern College of Music’s production of Massenet’s Cendrillon has a particularly strong professional production team, and it shows. This is one of the most attractively spectacular operas the college has mounted for years.Director Olivia...

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Chineke! Ensemble, RNCM, Manchester review - musical advocacy

The Chineke! Orchestra has won golden opinions for its ground-breaking work and musical achievement, and Manchester caught up to the extent of a visit from the eight-person Chineke! Ensemble to the Royal Northern College of Music. As with the full...

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Capuçon, BBCPO, Mena, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - awesome unity

Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto is a big work in every sense: four movements, plus a solo cadenza before the last one that makes it seem almost like five; a soloist’s role that even David Oistrakh (for whom it was first written) found taxing;...

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Depeche Mode, Manchester Arena review - synth-pop gurus raise the spirits of thousands

For a band as big as Depeche Mode, in a venue as big the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, on a tour as big as their current Spirit tour, it almost doesn’t need saying that the pre-gig atmosphere is buzzing. A major presence on the British music...

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Protomartyr, Deaf Institute, Manchester review - post-punkers shake the room

Four albums in, Detroit’s Protomartyr have built up quite a following over the last five years. From the now-hard-to-find No Passion All Technique to Relatives in Descent, their lauded new album, Protomartyr’s precise post-punk has remained as...

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András Schiff, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – rigour and honesty

Intellectual rigour and emotional honesty are the rewarding qualities in András Schiff’s Bach playing. Virtuosity comes as standard, too. And you get value for your money – his programme all but filled two-and-a-half hours, and he was as completely...

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Hugo Ticciati, Manchester Camerata, Manchester Cathedral review - spirituality, no spooks

Manchester Camerata chose All Hallows’ Eve for a concert of (in some part) "holy" minimalism. Arvo Pärt’s Silouan’s Song began it, and his Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten ended it. They headlined it "Spiritualism and Minimalism", but I think...

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BBCPO, Mena, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - Mahler's Third lovingly realised

Juanjo Mena memorably began his tenure as chief conductor at the BBC Philharmonic with a Mahler symphony (the Second), and chose to enter his seventh and last season with them at the Bridgewater Hall with the Third. It was a testimonial to an era at...

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Bridgewater Hall 21st Birthday review - from voice and guitar to four pianos

Every 21st birthday deserves a party, and the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester celebrated the anniversary of its opening with a weekend of fun and "access" events, ending with a recital by four pianists on its four Steinway pianos – playing them all...

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Safe House, series 2, ITV review - the abduction and captivity show returns

Forget Christopher Eccleston and the Lake District. Two years on, Ed Whitmore’s ready-mix thriller Safe House returns with Stephen Moyer in Merseyside. He plays Tom Brook – not the venerable film critic (Talking Movies is still showing on BBC World...

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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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