Buster Bloodvessel From Bad Manners

In the early eighties Bad Manners regularly appeared in the singles chart and whilst many of their contemporaries in the Ska and Reggae movement were seen to be more serious and credible, Bad Manners still provided the soundtrack for a generation with a brand of music that was influenced by touches of jazz and even old-style music hall. Were Bad Manners an overnight success? Many people think we were – but that was not the case. We started in 1975…

Scouting For Girls - The Group With The Golden Songs

Scouting for Girls is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary and, playing in front of a sold out Leeds o2 Academy, the band appeared on stage accompanied by the James Bond theme, as a prelude to the first song of the night: I Wish I Was James Bond. This led to bass player Greg Churchouse to declare: “We don’t want you to talk, Mr Bond, we want you to dance”. Much like Christmas, Scouting For Girls’ music is comforting and joyful with…

Classical Music: Matthew Kaner Chamber Music

Mathew Kaner is a talented composer as this…

Silver Screen Weekly - What's Coming Up At The Cinema - From Friday 2 December

Our film critic and media correspondent has been looking and trawling the new releases. Here's what you can see on the big screen this week! From Friday 2nd December Violent Night (15) David Harbour (Stranger Things, Hellboy, Black Widow) is Santa Claus, only this St. Nick isn’t so jolly, especially when a group of mercenaries (led by John Leguizamo) have taken a family hostage, with a little girl who is on his nice list, urging Santa into action. These baddies will be getting…

Classical Music: Tchaikovsky Symphony 5

There are a plethora of recordings of Tchaikovsky’s fifth and, therefore, obviously an abundance of interpretations. We all have our favourite recording and can pinpoint why our chosen disc is the preferred option. The LSO has delivered yet another recording to add to the catalogues and it certainly has much to commend it: superb, committed playing from all…

Albums: Other Worlds - The Pretty Reckless

This new album from The Pretty Reckless includes acoustic renditions of some of the band’s own favourites featuring special…

Poem Of The Week: Barmbrack By Dean Browne

Barmbrack Mother of God, two houseflies were making love on what must have been their honeymoon. My grandmother struck them with a dishcloth. The dirty fuckers, she said, sweeping them into her open palm like currants falling from the barmbrack loaf at the heart of which lay a golden ring. The affront of the grandmother figure in Barmbrack is a gentle infusion of humour in a vignette whose celebratory tone does for the thought of a freshly-baked fruit loaf what William Carlos Williams did for the irresistible allure of…

Status Quo - ‘Out Out Quoing’

Status Quo is going ‘Out Out Quoing’ which marks the band’s long-overdue return to the live circuit according to our music features writer who spoke with Francis Rossi. Why did you decide to re-record some of your old tracks? What we were trying to do was inject them with that feeling and vibe we get when playing live; I was very pleased with the results. The record company then asked why we didn’t use them on an album. I am…

After Sylvia: Poems And Essays In Celebration Of Sylvia Plath

Observing the plaids and pleats of the contents of Sylvia Plath’s closet at Bonham’s auction sale room, academic Gail Crowther is struck by the potency of these ‘objects of the dead’, invested with an inextricable link to the ‘biography of the owner’. The ‘symbolic continuity’ they confer can only, she notes, be a shadow of that given up by a manuscript or a collection of poems, but they do introduce us to a kind of intimacy with the interior life…

Anthology Of Short Stories With A Connection To Lancashire To Be Launched

Next week, 12,000 copies of a new book 'Lancashire Stories' will be distributed for free across the county. Printed with help from UCLan Publishing, the book will be given away at libraries, museums and Lancashire Archives. An exclusive eBook version will also be available on BorrowBox, with five additional stories - after Lancashire Day on Sunday (Nov 27) Lancashire County Council commissioned 17 talented, professional authors to write 'Lancashire Stories', which delves into the area's people, places, heritage and mythology. Starting from Tuesday, (November…

Silver Screen Weekly - What's Coming Up At The Cinema - From Friday 25 November

Our film critic and media correspondent has been looking and trawling the new releases. Here's what you can see on the big screen this week! From Friday 25th November Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical (PG) Based on the revered children’s book by Roald Dahl, and adapted from Matthew Warchus, Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin’s acclaimed stage musical, Matthew Warchus’ cinema version of Matilda The Musical stars Alisha Weir as the resilient little girl with extraordinary abilities, who faces turmoil at home from…

A Different World: Swan Song By Robert Edric

Like tuning in to a familiar television series, there is something comforting about reading a series of books involving the same principal characters. You get to know them, to discover their foibles and traits and they become familiar, almost friends. So, it was with a degree of pleasurable anticipation that I picked up the third in the Song Cycle Quartet and met up once more with PI Leo Rivers and his news agency pals, Sunny and Yvonne. Having said how familiar…

After Sylvia: Poems And Essays In Celebration Of Sylvia Plath

Observing the plaids and pleats of the contents of Sylvia Plath’s closet at Bonham’s auction sale room, academic Gail Crowther is struck by the potency of these ‘objects of the dead’, invested with an inextricable link to the ‘biography of the owner’. The ‘symbolic continuity’ they confer can only, she notes, be a shadow of that given up by a manuscript or a collection of poems, but they do introduce us to a kind of intimacy with the interior life…

Making Dreams Come True - Westlife Head North

If newcomer Lyra had been nervous about supporting Westlife on their current arena tour it did not show. The Irish singer gave an assured and confident performance opening up the concert at the Leeds Arena. Her vocals remained strong throughout her short set with her voice at times recalling Enya as she performed in front of a surprisingly full arena. Tracks such as Rising Up and Waiting For you – the latter her best song, contrasted with the…

Books: Unseen Ayckbourn By Simon Murgatroyd

Sir Alan Ayckbourn, is arguably the country’s greatest living playwright. He is certainly the most prolific - and the majority of his plays received their premiere in Scarborough. Originally, this was in the Library Theatre, the first professional in-the-round company, which he joined in 1957 as an actor and stage manager, and from 1996 in the Stephen Joseph Theatre (SJT). ... is a marvellous miscellany of Ayckbourn’s out-takes, paths not taken, reappraisals and rejections. Both a scholarly work of reference and…

Biff Byford From Saxon Chats About Tours And Carpe Diem The Album

Yorkshire Heavy Rock band Saxon is returning to the north on the Seize The Day Tour which has already seen incredible success in Europe. Ahead of the concerts our Music Features Writer spoke to frontman Biff Byford about the tour and new album. The new album Carpe Diem has received some very good reviews, were you surprised? We all were – the band has been on a roll for the last ten years which has resulted in enthusiastic feedback. We are…

Poem Of The Week Children's Special: Head In The Clouds By Charlie Bown

Head in the Clouds Teacher says, Get your head out, Right out, Out of the clouds. Nothing good can come From having a head Stuck in the clouds, He says. Before I take my head Out of the clouds I look around, Around at the clouds. And I see magicians Explorers Adventurers Artists And dancers. I see movers And makers Singers Wakers Dreaming. In the clouds I see mysteries for solving Stories for telling Challenges for taking Lives for saving Questions for wondering And my head In the clouds, Exactly where it belongs. I think we’ve all been there; those unavoidable occasions so mind-bogglingly boring that the only escape is to…

Classical Music: Poulenc

This album is dedicated to the memory of conductor Bramwell Tovey, who died in July shortly after making the recording. It stands as a wonderful testament to his memory as the BBC…

Classical Music: A Golden Cello Decade

The sound of a cello either on…

Albums: Fantasy Caravan Dream

Hadi Assoum (Lead Guitars & Piano), Radi El Zouhby (Lead Vocals &Guitars), Rami El Zouhby (Bass Guitars) & Oleksandr Banashko (Drums) are Caravan Dream, a four piece rock band formed back in 2019 in Qatar. Having joined forces as a cover band, they started experimenting with their own musical scribblings and have landed just three years later at their debut album, Fantasy. More of…

Silver Screen Weekly - What's Coming Up At The Cinema - From Friday 18 November

Our film critic and media correspondent has been looking and trawling the new releases. Here's what you can see on the big screen this week! Armageddon Time (15) From director James Gray (The Lost City of Z and Ad Astra), this ‘80s set coming of age drama is part inspired by Gray’s own childhood. The film looks at a young Jewish-American boy who befriends a rebellious African-American classmate, as he struggles to measure up to family expectations and the privileged unjust world…

HMS Pinafore At York's Theatre Royal

I have tried over the years not to like Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, disparaged as they often are with the prefix "light", but they have a sneaky way of creeping into your subconscious and popping out in unfocussed moments. So it was as I was driving home from York Opera's production of HMS Pinafore at York's Theatre Royal. Between moments of trying to see the A59 on a disgustingly rainy night I caught myself humming "I am the Captain of…

Spike - Celebrating The Genius Of The Goon Show

When the Goon Show arrived on BBC radio in 1951 it was a breath of fresh air after all the variety shows that had gone before. Suddenly three young rebels had arrived on the scene to shake things up. Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe introduced listeners to a crazy and often madcap world with sound effects and a satire that was unheard of. Spike, the latest touring play from Private Eye editor Ian Hislop and co-writer Nick Newman shine a…

Poem Of The Week: Colden Valley By Ken Smith (1938-2003)

Colden Valley North I’m convinced of it: childhood’s over, in the narrow valleys in the mist the frost is silver in the veins and edge of leaves, and last year’s briars coppered into stone. Then more stone dragged to quarter fields in which the miserable lives of beasts in winter whiten into breath. The valley pulls – poor pasture, poorer footage, water falling. And all its children gone through millyards into stone they chiselled.Billy, Emma, Jack, and gave their dates and shut the ground in work and prayer. Or they are almost…

Albums: Revolver By The Beatles 2022 Remaster

Revolver by the Beatles 2020 Remaster Disc: 1 Taxman; Eleanor Rigby; I'm Only Sleeping; Love You To; Here, There and Everywhere; Yellow Submarine; She Said She Said; Good Day Sunshine; And Your Bird Can Sing; For No One; Doctor Robert; I Want to Tell You; Got to Get You Into My Life; Tomorrow Never Knows; Disc: 2 Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 1); Tomorrow Never Knows (Mono Mix RM 11); Got to Get You Into My Life (First Version) (Take 5); Got to Get

Deep In The Shadowlands: The Damascene Moment By Malcolm Hollingdrake

Living in Harrogate as I do, a number of people have mentioned the Harrogate Crime Series to me but as the books were only available on Kindle at first - not my preferred medium - I did not immediately enter the world of DCI Cyril Bennett and DI David Owen. Now regularly published in hard copy, I can sit and enjoy their investigations. This is the twelfth in the series and it seems Harrogate is as dangerous a place to…

Jools Holland Brings A Cavalcade Of Song And Dance To The North

“I heard that they once wanted to knock this place down” said an astonished Jools Holland as he appeared on stage at Sheffield City Hall with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. Describing the historic venue as “one of the best concert halls we play in” the keyboardist and singer was in his element throughout the concert – I have never seen him so animated and exuberant appearing genuinely pleased to be performing in one of Yorkshire’s finest concert halls. A…

Hits Radio Live - Showcasing The Best In Pop

If you want to know where pop music currently sits then Hits Radio Live is as good a place to start as any. The radio station hosts two bi-annual concerts every year showcasing the artists that they tend to favour. Held at the Manchester Arena in front of 15,000 fans the night showed the best and in some cases worst aspects of the pop world. After a sabbatical from performing on stage due to a knee injury Olly Murs gave an exuberant…

Kaiser Chiefs Triumph With Homecoming Concert

Your home football team has fought back in a tough game, it is a Saturday night and your band is playing in front of a sell out home crowd - all the pieces had been correctly put in place for Kaiser Chiefs to triumph at Leeds Arena. Any worries that the concert at Leeds Arena would suffer from the same fate as a previous gig when Ricky Wilson had not been at his best, forgetting the words to the songs and…

Classical Music: Caritas - Music Of Love, Hope, Charity, And Consolation

Caritas Music of love, hope, charity, and consolation Gjeilo Ubi caritas; Schubert Litanei D. 343; Bingham The Sleeping Soul; Tavener Song for Athene; Lowry arr Scott How can I keep from singing; Rutter God be in my head; Ireland Greater love hath no man; Burgon Nunc dimitis; Elgar Nimrod; Harris Faire is the heaven; Finzi Lo the full final sacrifice; Walford Davies Blessed are the pure in heart; Blatchly For the fallen; Purcell Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts. Hymns:…