HOME Comforts – live performance returns on 13 October

It’s been a cruel cruel spring and summer for us all but you don’t need my take on all that’s going on, (if you do, I’ll create a bespoke ‘my take’ just for you – brace yourself…).

I’ve missed the arts, the thrill of live theatre, music, performance, just life in general playing out without constant (but necessary) mention of the C word (the one I don’t have a closeted fondness for).

But as we all mask up and get ready for the winter ahead, there are occasional rays of sunshine breaking through and things that remind us of a life currently on pause but will and even is beginning to exist again.

And so to HOME Mcr who are welcoming their first live event to the theatre since March.

Part of Black History Month, this one-off special event on October 13, will see acclaimed poetry and spoken word collective Young Identity launching their new book, Working from HOME (so many levels of aptness at play here), with an evening of emceeing, poetry and performance.

Young Identity

Having worked with the likes of Lemn Sissay, Saul Williams, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Kae Tempest, Young Identity are HOME‘s resident artists and the book showcases their creative responses to work performed at HOME across three of their artforms – theatre, film and visual arts.

Since reopening in September, HOME‘s 500-seat Theatre 1 has been reduced to a capacity of just 120 to allow for social distancing, but despite this, tickets will be priced at just £10 to ensure that as many as people as possible have the best opportunity to return to the theatre.

Director and CEO, Dave Moutrey said

Much has changed since we closed in March, but we must do all we can to bridge the potential growth in social inequality as a result to this pandemic.

Copies of Young Identity‘s book will also be on sale at the vent, and tickets which include the purchase price of the book will also be available.

For more information and to purchase tickets, head to https://homemcr.org/production/working-from-home/

To read more about the Empty Seats campaign at HOME, here.

Music: Denise Johnson’s final gift with posthumous release of debut album, Where Does it Go

The world of music, in particular our own very special part of that world, here in Manchester, was recently rocked and hugely saddened by the news that hugely acclaimed, simply stunning, vocalist, Denise Johnson, had passed away.

Best known for the two albums she recorded and toured with Primal scream in the 90s, Screamadelica and Give Out But Don’t Give Up, Denise’s work with other greats such as New Order, Johnny Marr, The Charlatans, Michael Hutchence, 808 State, Electronic, Bernard Butler, Ian Brown, The Waterboys and A Certain Ratio, certainly ensures a legacy that will keep her in the hearts of music lovers both in Manchester and indeed the world.

However, Denise leaves one further gift with the bittersweet news that her debut album, Where Does it Go will be posthumously released on Friday 2 October.

Pic – Danny Bird

Featuring just Denise’s vocals accompanied by Manchester-based guitarist, Thomas ‘Twem’ Twemlow, the mostly acoustic album provides the perfect platform for listeners to experience once again her stunning voice.

Pic – Tony Woolliscroft

With the exception of lead track, Steal Me Easy, co-written by Denise and former collaborator, French guitarist Fabian Lefrancois, the recording of the album is completely live and untouched by studio tricks or computer wizadry.

Pic – Danny Bird

First meeting Denise in 2003 when she sang on a couple of his tracks, guitarist and, indeed, album producer Twem says,

Denise got back in touch a few years after we’d first worked together, asking if I’d play acoustic guitar for her. We set about doing our own version of her favourite songs from various Manchester acts. One of the first she asked me to play was True Faith: my first thought was ‘how the hell can I make an electronic track work on acoustic?’ But, to be honest, when you’ve got someone like Denise singing, you can make anything work.

Recorded in Ancoats at Hope Mill Recording Studios, one of the songs that Denise wanted to include on the album is her version of Ellie Greenwich’s Sunshine After the Rain, performed by Denise in her role as Mary, in the BBC’s incredible live staging of The Manchester Passion, back in 2006. Denise had cited this event as one of the highlights of her career, for the simple reason that she knew it had made her mother incredibly proud.

Tim Burgess will be featuring the album on Monday 5 October (9 pm UK time) on Tim’s Twitter Listening Party with producer Twem and you can find the full tracklisting below:

  • True Faith (New Order)
  • I’m Not In Love (10CC)
  • Nothing You Can Do (Denise Johnson)
  • Evangeline (Cherry Ghost)
  • Sunshine After The Rain (Ellie Greenwich)
  • Well I Wonder (The Smiths)
  • Steal Me Easy(Denise Johnson / Fabien Lefrançois)

In addition, Denise also features on the new A Certain Ratio album, which comes out a week before her own, on Friday 25 September.

Out Friday 2 October, Where Does it Go.

Thank you Denise Johnson.

Pic – Danny Bird

Physical formats: Limited vinyl & CD will only be available from Piccadilly Records: https://www.piccadillyrecords.com/counter/product.php?pid=134933

Radio track WAV: Steal Me Easy https://we.tl/t-yhQDDaBbWo

Digital/Streaming: on all platforms  https://cdbaby.lnk.to/WhereDoesItGo

Tim’s Twitter Listening Party: Tim Burgess is featuring the album on Monday 5 October (9 pm UK time)

Tracklisting:

  • True Faith (New Order)
  • I’m Not In Love (10CC)
  • Nothing You Can Do (Denise Johnson)
  • Evangeline (Cherry Ghost)
  • Sunshine After The Rain (Ellie Greenwich)
  • Well I Wonder (The Smiths)
  • Steal Me Easy (Denise Johnson / Fabien Lefrançois)


Film Review: Tenet

This was my first visit to the cinema in months and since lockdown.

As it was a sole visit in a reviewing capacity, it mattered not that I was socially distanced.

Other measures taken were a groovy one way system and hand sanitiser stations.

Elbows flailing to their hearts content, I settled down (extra points for the reclining chairs in screen 1 of the Vue Cinema at The Lowry).

Now.

The facemask.

It was going to take a special kind of film to distract me from the facemask. At 150 minutes, this was going to be a whole lot of facemask.

Up for the challenge was Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, a palindromic promise of international action, espionage and time-travel. But not as you know it…

credit: Melinda Sue Gordon, Warner Bros

Read my full review of Tenet on my sister blog What the Projectionist Saw –

https://whattheprojectionistsaw.wordpress.com/2020/08/25/review-tenet/

On general release in cinemas across Greater Manchester from Wednesday 26 August including

Vue: Manchester Quayside Cinema