Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Mise-en-scene’ Category

PTDC0003I booked today off work in order to make a pilgrimage to the Working Class Movement Library, along with David Wilkinson, to see Dave Randall talk about his book Sound System: The Political Power Of Music at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford.

Whilst walking through Piccadilly, I was struck by a piece of street art on the pavement that a Canadian visitor had left.

PTDC0001

I was particularly struck by the nod to Alphonse Mucha and Art Nouveau, as it’s a new development in post Arena bombing murals/artwork, one that I found equally as striking as the recently encountered Stockport Worker Bee.

Market Street was busy, as always, in the clammy heat and I weaved and dodged my way through the usual blend of surreal street theatre and miss-en-scene. This included a middle aged man in a police costume with a boom box who, despite not seeming to be doing anything, had drawn a crowd of curious teenagers. There was also an Ed Sheeran style singer/songwriter who had attracted a very enthusiastic man with a huge rucksack, who was doing a variation of the Bez dance.

At the WCML, Dave Randall was introduced by the excellent Maxine Peake, and quickly proved to be a very engaging and confident (in the best sense) speaker. He clearly has a wide range of knowledge about the whole area of music, politics and protest to draw upon and is coming at it from the point of view of a musician and activist, rather than an academic. He has a global approach and his talk touched on the history of Carnival in Tobego and Trinidad as well as the protest music of the Arab Spring, I was also pleased to discover that his historical approach runs over centuries rather than decades, meaning he is looking far beyond the well trod Woody Guthrie – The Clash – The End path. I like the fact that he’s not just talking about how protest movements have used music, or how the dispossessed have used music, he’s also talking about propaganda and how the state has co opted and used music.

The Q&A went well and he got some interesting questions from the audience, covering a number of angles from ‘Can music without lyrics be political?’ via a series of debates around jazz, songs sung today at protests that have travelled from one protest area to another (Anonymous to Anti-Fracking via ‘We Are The 99%’. ‘Build a Bonfire’, ‘Whose Strets? Our Streets!’ and the imaginative recent use of the Benny Hill theme to see off the EDL were not mentioned) all sorts. I think the WCML audience can be a tough crowd sometimes, but they seemed won over by Dave, and he seemed equally enthused by the audience, so the energy was really good.

He got mobbed for books afterwards, which is always a good sign.

After tea and biscuits, it was time to venture back through the increasingly sultry Salford streets into muggy Manchester to get the bus back to Stockport.

 

Read Full Post »

PTDC0002

Located just past the junction of Belmont Way and Wellington Road North. Once again, my camera is displaying completely the wrong date on it.

 

Read Full Post »

It’s occurred to me this week that, while the Manchester worker bee has become much more widely known in the past month, many people may not be familiar with the history of the bee.

I did consider writing a blog post about it, but I figured it was highly likely that such a post would have already been written and that it would just be a case of looking for the right one.

In a nice surprise, I found the perfect piece courtesy of friend of Too Late For Cake, Natalie Bradbury, writing for Creative Tourist on this occasion. The piece (published in early 2013) provides you with an overall history of Manchester’s civic bond with the bee, but doesn’t touch on the cultural side such as Elbow’s song ‘Lost Worker Bee’, (which was, after all, not released until 2015) or the worker bee tattoos, which were very definitely A Thing even before the Arena bombing in May. (A casual trawl of tattoo parlour Instagrams in the Manchester area will back this up.) In the wake of the bombing, street art has started to appear, featuring the bees, and you can see pictures of some of these pieces here.

Transport For Greater Manchester meanwhile, in a very touching video, have unveiled The Spirit Of Manchester, a dignified and thoughtful response to the Arena bombing.

Read Full Post »

PTDC0001I spotted this poster up on the barriers erected around the building work going on opposite Manchester Apollo on Stockport Road.

I actually took it at 25 past 7, not 25 past 6, but I haven’t adjusted the time on my camera yet for British Summertime.

 

Read Full Post »

To play puddle roulette, you will need:

  1. A road, ideally quite a long one, that is prone to epic puddles when it’s raining. It needs to be a pretty busy road as well.
  2. A clear goal and sense of purpose that you are Going On A Journey
  3. A whimsical sense of imagination

The number of players isn’t massively important. Two is probably the ideal number, but you can play it with more and you can play it on your own if your sense of imagination is strong enough as you will meet people on The Journey who are also playing the game, and this will help keep you in the zone.

The aim of puddle roulette is to get from the beginning of your journey to the end of your journey without getting wet. The sense of jeopardy comes from having to get past lots of epic puddles without being splashed by passing cars. For this reason, the puddles really do have to be truly epic puddles. That is, deep ones and, also, long ones.

You can spot people playing puddle roulette because they will be the ones hovering uncertainly on the pavement next to the start of an epic puddle, keeping a keen eye on the cars heading down the road towards them. Is that car turning off? Is it going to slow down or drive round the epic puddle, or will it drive through the puddle at high speed causing a veritable tsunami of water about five foot high?

Then, decision time. To walk or not to walk.

Sometimes you set off confident that there are no cars coming and suddenly one will appear from nowhere and come bearing down on you. You can speed up as you are going past the epic puddle, or run, or throw yourself off the pavement down a path or against a wall.

The jeopardy is greater if you aren’t dressed for the weather. But, even if you have a head to toe waterproof on, you can still play because if you get caught up in it enough you’ll forget that you have the waterproof on.

As I was playing puddle roulette today, I heard an indignant voice behind me proclaim, loudly, “It’s only water!”

I thought for a minute or two that he was talking to me, then I realised he had someone with them.

I think she was playing puddle roulette and he wasn’t.

Read Full Post »

Item 1: A car driving down the A6 at dinnertime with about a third of a fir tree sticking out of the passenger window

Item 2: About 5 seconds later, noticing that the hairdresser opposite was cutting hair while wearing full Santa fig.

Read Full Post »

Going past the Apollo to get the bus home from work tonight, we were greeted with the following message from their announcements screen:

SATURN 5 XMAS #1

A very Mancunian Christmas indeed

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »