Friday, December 19, 2014

hard times come again no more

5th Annual Benefit For New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness 1989 . Live at the Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana; September 13, 1989. (WXPN Philadephia):Ry Cooder "Hard Times Come Again No More "(with Aaron Neville) 

 Given that the USA cannot & will not look after it's own people, i fear for Cubans.
Can the US really be friends with anybody and still leave them be in peace?
 Cuba was doing ok without the States.(apart from the embargo)
 No doubt lots of glossy new brothels and casinos are now its future?
I went to Habana,Cuba in 1997 .Here are my photos.
Wonderful Country.Wonderful People.Wonderful Politics.Never trust the U.S.A. Amigos .

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.'"
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 .

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ringo was a fascist too.

stolen with thanks from:

Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Campaign

I was part of about 21people+ drums +VAT who picketed this gig .
about 6 people who  had brought big noisy drums to the protest and were hammering away as Martha's fans  walked in.The Walk of Shame.)
At  one point ,one young drummer near me got most irate."that bloke just said 'you drummers are all fascists!'How can drumming be fascist??.That's not TRUE.Drumming isnt fascist is it...." (being most putout about how the two could possibly be equated) .
I said to him,wanting to console ,"Never mind,Ringo was probably a facist to"
.He gave me a strange look.turned away,and resumed  his drumming ........
No doubt the subtilty was lost in the excitement .
What on Earth am I banging on about this week.............

sneaks.jpg (368×421)
the artist enters The Trades by the fire escape........[photo via /]
Now,to be fair, I am told many artists leave & enter this way (its where the stage is).But its an arresting image,non?For whatever reason Canadian singer Martha Wainwright did not want to engage the pickets on Wednesday night in Hebden Bridge.
Neither has she (as far as I know) talked about her position to any media or public during her current troubled tour of the British Isles .
She can talk to the Jerusalem Post but not The Hebden Bridge Times. Those drums kind of fill the silence she left behind her.
.Well [here] is some background.And here is her wikipedia page: Martha Wainwright 
She brought Bad Vibes to Hippy Central ..........
The socialist Hebden Bridge Trades Club has always been a strong supporter & fund raiser on behalf of Palestine. It was embarrassing for both the club & the community as a whole that this happening.
Prior to the gig it  caused a lot of debate among folk.Some wanted her banned & a raising of funds to buy out her contract.
Others won the day with the compromise i outline below.
Personally I think it was about right.Martha was allowed to sing.I was allowed to protest her visit to Israel.The Trades raised some more money for a good cause.

She was booked in good faith by the club before all the anger started about her Israeli visit. Had they cancelled, issues about "Breach of Contract" would have arisen,
As a compromise, The club  printed these leaflets,hung a giant Palestine flag above the front door and they promised to  donate all  profits to   Medical Aid for Palestine.
In the end the figures broke down as followed:
20 protesters & Me & Drums +VAT outside
20 tickets returned prior to the gig.
The original standing capacity of 190 was changed to a seating plan of 150  (all bums on seats)+ 20 standing.
5 nutcase Zionists who travelled over especially from Manchester to just shout at me for wear a Pro-Palestine Badge
[& a special mention to my West Indian friend Richard from Halifax.He's a boxer & a fighter who wandered along with his new partner .he was oblivious to what was going on (they were just out on the piss to celebrate some good news) but he unknowingly  saved me from any further earbashing from the Zionists.They kinda took one look at him and found some others to educate..........]
Finally....a strange personal twist for me was the fact that in 1978 i took this photo in Liverpool of her late Mum Kate McGarrigle

Thursday, November 20, 2014

the hangman is a doctor's son.He's kept a list of those that die....

I am the tin woodsman, hunting a heart. I'm the scarecrow, please deliver my brain. I'm the crocodile who swallowed the pocket watch. I haven't learned as much as I imagined I would by now. But I do believe we pass in and out of this world like a song on the wind. And that most of what we see and do in this life is grossly out of tune, behind or ahead of the beat. But there are moments. You've known them. A kiss in a parked car. A melody in the dark. A meeting of eyes. A babe come in a thunderstorm.............[read more]
Some photos I took of Simone Felice at The Hebden Bridge Trades Club 19th November 2014 [here}

Thursday, November 13, 2014

all the noise that was made from the shallower end......

"Cancer drugs may be cut from NHS" [today's Guardian]
It's 3 years tomorrow that Jackie Leven died of cancer.. here was my post i wrote on the day he died.

"The song is about four different people, all who suffered or have suffered cancer. The last verse of the song is directly about my last meeting with Jackie Leven.......
 ......I can’t say that I knew him very well but the last verse of the four in my song, is all about a time I supported him at The Hebden Bridge Trades Club, a venue Jackie played regularly.
 I played badly that night and had just broken up with a long term lover that day. So I was in a shocking mood and went to the bar and had too much to drink, drowning my sorrows whilst watching Jackie play his set (which was magnificent).
Afterwards we got talking about things and in my drunken arrogance I told him ‘that he didn’t need any luck’ and I implied to him that he’d got it made with his talent and his following. (I was feeling very sorry for myself!)
He of course stopped me dead and picking up his guitar case told me ‘we all need luck son!’ and left the venue. It was the last time I saw him, about a year later he was dead........." Gareth Scott
[n.b. i too was at the same gig & took these photos.]

Friday, November 07, 2014

there is no flamenco tonight

Me & Cath went to hear the Great American novelist James Ellroy give a talk in Manchester's Dancehouse Theatre'
Earlier the same day (5th Nov) we visited The Sensory War  at Manchester Art Gallery......
 This post's title refers to a notice that was  blue-tac'd onto the front door of the Dance Theater, telling the evenings students that (because James was in town)'flamenco' was off the menu for the night.......!
I was surprised how many people turned up.500+ souls on a wet  cold neon -lit evening....And the art nouveau-noirish decor of the Dancehouse  compounded  the effect  of it all........

(one of several audio clips i recorded in manchester)

Me & Martin & Ken & Bob & Noj & Jim #1 & Jim #2 & John & Tony T. went to Eastern Spice in Hebden Bridge for a meal 6th Nov .(see photos) 

James Ellroy interview: LA Confidential author on promoting books and settling scores {INDEPENDENT}

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.

Somewhere further on down the line,Me & Cath see Simone Felice at The Hebden Bridge Trades Club on the 19th November.[as i write this 2nd Nov you may still be able to pick up a few tickets for the gig here ?]
this is justabout near perfect...
I went into Manchester today with Martin,Jim & Tony T.
 Here are some photos
In the photos below,you may glimpse on several occassions, a couple dancing .
They are not quite as old as the elderly singers.but are they .rehearsing or anticipating?
they danced so beautifully i was spell bound.....
Most of these photos were shot in The Hare& Hounds pub on Shude Hill in Manchester.
(Me & Cath had met Don & Margaret there a few months ago briefly before going onto a gig.It intrigued me then).
I remembered the elderly singers & suggested to the lads we might visit tonight. We had intended only a swift drink then onto the trendy Northern Quarter.....But ,instead we stayed all night.Something quite magical about sitting with these 80 year olds having a ball! We stayed the rest of the night.....

brian wilson singing buddy holly's 'listen to me'.
The next few weeks are quite busy in ebenchshire........
I went up to see Phil the X-Fireman at his house in Siddal.(i see him most weeks)
 He is ok.He has  of course lost a lot of weight (maybe cos he hasnt been drinking for 8 weeks?!)
His 7 week Chemo & Radiotheraphy course in Leeds is now over (no 'results' for a while yet,he reckons) He Sends Everybody His Love.
He drives down to Hebden Bridge on Wednesday 12 Nov to meet me to see  the film 1971
.Its about a British Squaddie in Northern Ireland in 1971, the same year Phil himself was fighting there.It will be interesting to gather  what he thinks about it.
This coming  Wednesday,Me & Cathy go to Manchester's Dancehouse Theatre to watch/listen to a talk from James Ellory (LA CONFIDENTIAL etc).Expect some images & audio?
The day after that , me ,Comrade Ken,Bob,Nodje,Jim#2 ,John.Jim#1 ,Martin & Phil #2 meet for a curry at Eastern Spice in Hebden Bridge.

Friday, October 17, 2014

On The Roman Road

This is a Sepia Saturday post.

Carlisle is a fine fine border city.
Did you know?The Romans never got to Scotland,only as far as Carlisle.Beyond there lies monsters (even makes UKIP scared!)
 Cath & me today moved like Romans.
We took a train journey on the beautiful Settle~Carlisle Line & spent 5 hours in this border city .
We had a Turkish Bath:a Meal:A Museum & A Castle ! Much Joy. Dig my photographs here.....

Because I lived & worked in the East End of London,I have always had a soft spot for the place.
I look at sepia photographs of the Old East End &  feel exiled twofold. Once by 'place':(i now live in The North of England) And once by 'time' .
The 50s& 60s are gone forever i guess?
This week, I first saw these 17 sepia photos ,any one would have fitted the bill.Here is just one example at random. click here to view the rest of David Hoffman's extraordinary exhibition of the Sepia Roman Road 
( This week's prompt asks for " Street traders, roadside artisans, menders, cobblers, tools-of-the-trade...")

Hey Kids!Click ,put on your headphones & listen to some classic Sepia Audio!
Go On ! You know you want to!
Here is Phil Ochs Live in New York; December 15, 1965.Singing "Joe Hill"
its funny,the copyright police have finally found me! They would not let me put a direct link here.!You will have to leave this page to listen to this illegal Phil Ochs recording.It may be "sepia", but its still dangerous!Hurray!

Friday, October 10, 2014

living legends..forever!

Jeff Buckley:Live ; October 11, 1992: Corpus Christi Carol (acapella) (Benjamin Britten) The carol was written in 1504
"One recent interpretation is that it was composed about the execution of Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII, whose badge was a falcon...."{wikipedia}
[n.b. the footbally-challenged might need to know that  West Ham's ground in London's East End is known as "The Boleyn Ground" because ,in those wacky olden-days,she used to go a-hunting there......]

This image was taken in Manchester this week at The National Football Museum   
A Get-Well Present from me to Phil the x-fireman.
Phil is in his 6th week of Chemo & radiotheraphy for throat cancer.
Like me,Phil is a massive West Ham United fan.
On the mug are illustrated Martin Peters,Geof Hurst & Bobby Moore.It reads "Living Legends:Forever"
Phil's mouth is always very dry.He is always wanting fluids.This is practical.
 Phil finishes his treatment in a week's time.I'm hoping eventually he might want/be able to visit the Museum with me once he has more spare time (his NHS treatment takes up 5 full days a week at the moment)The mueum is right next door to Victoria Railway station.Not a long walk for him.
 Phil said last week that all he seems to do at the moment is "sleep & take drugs".I cheered him up (i think) by telling him he was turning into Ken  Before my very eyes........
Dexy's Midnight Runners:Live at Haarlem, The Netherlands; October 27, 1982.
June 18th in Hebden Bridge.Phil,Me,Ken .taken just prior to Phil's news..........