Album Review: Louise Havell Shooting With Lives

With Kate Bush back in the spotlight following the viral success of Running Up That Hill following its Stranger Things placement, it is fair to say that the music world is probably on the look out for a 'new' Kate Bush. Well, they aren't going to have to look for too long given the quality of the debut…

Tom Grennan - Back In The Right Place

The rain was tipping it down, the main act of the evening has a bad ankle, and it was still daylight. Not really the ideal situation for Tom Grennan to make his live debut at the Piece Hall in Halifax. Surprisingly, though with all the odds against him, he pulled it off buoyed up with raw enthusiasm and boundless energy. Whilst most of the performers appearing at the summer run of concerts at the Piece Hall have been of a…

Classical Music Album: Revoiced - Corvus Consort Ferio Saxophone Quartet

Revoiced Corvus Consort Ferio Saxophone Quartet Schütz Ich weiß dass mein Erlöser lebt; Das Word ward Fleisch; Selig sind die Toten; Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit; Gabrieli O salutaris hostia; O magnum mysterium; JS BachZion hört die Wächter singen; Nun ich weiß du wirst mir stillen; Jesus bleibet meine Freude; Weil du mein Gott und Vater bist; Park Miserere after Allegri; Johann Michael Bach Herr, ich warte auf dein Heil;Ich weiß dass mein Erlöser lebt; James MacMillan Christus vincit;

Poem Of The Week:Owdham Footbo' By Ammon Wrigley (1861-1946)

Owdham Footbo’ It’s run an’ jump an’ hop an’ skip, An’ sheawt hooray, an’ hip, hip, hip, It’s singin’ songs an’ eytin tripe, An’ suppin’ pints at single swipe, An’ brass for th’ wife to buy a hat, An’ th’ childer brass for this an’ that, An’ beauncin’ gaily op an’ deawn, Yo’ connut find a merrier teawn, When Owdham’s won. Aw lost mi brass, awm crabbed an’ croat, Aw lifted th’ cat eawt wi’ mi boot, Awr ne’er as mad i’ o mi life, Cleautin’ th’ kids an’ cursin’ th’…

Pete Tong And The Heritage Orchestra Shine With The Ibiza Classics

As legendary DJ Pete Tong brought the Heritage Orchestra to the Piece Hall in Halifax it seemed that there could not be a more appropriate place to perform some of the biggest dance tunes of the genre, albeit in a classical style and setting. The early nineties were a fruitful period for dance music. Listening to Pete Tong’s Friday night dance show on Radio One was an important start to any clubbers weekend. The majority of his “Essential New Tunes”…

Chasing Clouds - To See The World Through Poets’ Eyes

It is now one year since I wrote a blog entry about the possibility of setting up a web-based poetry bank to help plug a publication gap for poets who write for children. In August 2021, there followed an announcement through an article in the Yorkshire Times that the inaugural launch of The Dirigible Balloon(the DB) was taking place with poems from a dozen wonderful poets (the original Dirigible crew), free-to-view, on a site safe for a young audience and clear…

Let’s Rock - The Retro Festival Celebrates The Music Of The Eighties In Fine Style

Whilst the Eighties were a period of questionable clothing - shoulder pads, day-glo colours, bad haircuts and ra-ra skirts - nonetheless the music gave us one of the best decades in the history of popular music. Thankfully most of the acts from that era are still active - and still sounding good. As the annual Let’s Rock Festival returning to Temple Newsam in Leeds the occasion was not just about hearing all those classic songs but the style and the fashion. Fans…

Interview With Brooke Law

Singer songwriter Brooke Law recently released her new song We All Need Saving within Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May 2022), writing about how our mental health was affected during the pandemic lockdown. As she starts to build towards live shows, we caught up with her to find out what inspired her to write the release. Hi Brooke, first of all, how are you? I’m really good thank you, so excited to be playing festivals soon! We are loving We All Need Saving,

Interview with Hatari

Hatari are best known for bringing their anti-capitalist BDSM techno punk rock to the Eurovision stage in 2019. The Iceland representatives were firm fan favourites in the build-up to the contest and finished in a respectable 10th place. Since then they have released their debut album, Neyslutrans, and continued to build on their solid fanbase. While their UK tour got postponed due to Covid, they finally arrive on these shores next month. We caught up with the one of the

The Best And The Absolute Worst: The Dressmaker’s Secret By Lorna Cook

It’s true that war inspires the best and the absolute worst in people; brave heroism is juxtaposed with cruel atrocity on a regular basis. Inspired by information which has come to light in the last decade, The Dressmaker’s Secret tells the story of Coco Chanel’s war, as seen through the eyes of her assistant. While the details of Mademoiselle Chanel’s activities in Paris at the time of the Occupation are as accurate as documentation can make them, the assistant is…

Poem Of The Week: The Wireless By Jean Stevens

The wireless Kathleen Ferrier on the wireless. It’s my father’s way of getting close. I hold my breath to listen. When he mended a puncture on my bike or hammered nails into the sledge he made for me or when his calloused fingers wrestled with the tiny furniture of the doll’s house I keep to this day he’d be humming a song and I’d remember the lyrics that went with the music knowing that darling and love had to be said by someone else for a man of so few words. Without resorting to stereotype in…

Bradford Based Fortress Films Announced As Finalist In Deutsche Bank Awards For Creative Entrepreneurs

The Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs (DBACE), in collaboration with MeWe360, announce this year’s finalists for the annual awards programme that aims to uncover the UK’s brightest young entrepreneurs aged 18-30 years who are driving positive social impact through creative enterprise. Awarded to five entrepreneurs every year, DBACE helps young visionaries bring their ideas to life. The creative leaders announced today now have an opportunity to win a collective prize fund of £60,000, plus a £100,000 value of bespoke…

Burned By Light: Dovetailing - Gathered Notes

Never underestimate the simple pleasure of contemplative quiet. Several visitors to Dovetailing - a collaboration of artwork, installation, music and word, which was exhibited at the Quaker Meeting House of Farfield near Addingham in the Summer of 2021- were moved to feelings of ‘calm and wellbeing’. Their thoughts, some of which are now collected in an impressive anthology of responses to the exhibition, indirectly corroborate the themes explored. Picking up suggestion as if on the breeze, one such gives a…

Download Festival Welcomes Home The Rock Community

Every June thousands of rock music fans gather at Castle Donington for what is unquestionably the rock event of the year - the Download Festival. Held over three days alongside the famous racing track the festival attracts the biggest names in rock music. The rock community reunited at the first full-scale Download Festival in three years, the crowds embraced one another and lost themselves in a celebration of everything which makes the culture so special. The festival is one of the…

Diana Ross Reigns Supreme In Northern Return

Fresh from her headline appearance at the Queens Jubilee Platinum concert Diana Ross made a welcome return to the north for an all too rare concert at the Leeds Arena. Of course there were no wellingtons in sight as the acclaimed Motown singer wore a selection of glittering dresses that matched the sheer sovereign power of her show. Backed by a fourteen piece band Ross opened up the show appropriately enough with I’m Coming Out. Her fans instantly jumped out of…

The Rolling Stones Return To The North - Could This Be The Last Time?

“Hello Liverpool, hello Merseyside” exclaimed an excited Mick Jagger as the Rolling Stones Sixty tour arrived at Anfield. The stadium is used to hosting champions and for one night only in Liverpool there could not have been a better place to witness the group who have championed popular music for the last sixty years. As images of Charlie Watts were shown on the video screen the group and the fans paid tribute to the drummer who was the backbeat of the…

Night Swimming:Towards A General Theory Of Love By Clare Shaw

A paradox lies at the heart of Clare Shaw’s shattering new collection: striving, almost childlike, to order love in an anxiety of intractable images, her disclosure of unease is counter-intuitively strident. For performance is one of Shaw’s strongest suits and the banging of a resounding drum is a sincere means of attempting to negotiate a passage towards self-understanding. It works to great effect here. The mantraic repetitions of her poems ache to be declaimed, yet the earnest iteration of words and…

Farewell Mr Bond – Your Time Is Up

Bradford was honoured last night as one of the few cities given the chance to say a final farewell to the magnificent ‘James Bond’ orchestra, as its players prepare to hang up their boots after 18 years paying homage to the likes of John Barry, Paul McCartney and Don Black. Bond movies have an army of followers and, last night, ‘Bondites’ turned out in number at St George’s Hall for another appearance by Q The Music, a 13-piece orchestra whose primary…

Poem of the Week: 'Together' By Robert Gibson

Together flax jute cotton wire willow wool raffia grass bamboo even a ripped newspaper’s weasel words may be twined braided or knotted woven into a common bond warp and weft synergy from vibrant difference As if to illustrate a sense of natural overlap and complementarity, Robert Gibson’s fine poem of condensed, serpentine power is rendered entirely without punctuation. The space between the gifts of nature is filled with the promise of enterprise, of creativity, of something even greater than intrinsic individual value, so that we are minded to…

Classical Music Album: Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin

This CD, telling the tale of the emotional difficulties of a young journeyman Miller’s infatuation with the miller maid, her acquiescence and subsequent rejection of him for a glamorous huntsman and his suicide in the millstream, completes Gerald Finley and Julius Drake’s survey of the great Schubert song cycles. Richard Wigmore’s informative and…

A Mesmerising Riot Act

Our roving theatre reviewers Emilie Moon and Claire Haddleton had a riotous time in the STUDIO at York Theatre Royal Alexis Gregory’s Riot Act was nothing short of outstanding. We were lucky enough to catch this show in the intimate Studio theatre at the York Theatre Royal, sitting just metres from the actor himself. The stage was bare except for one chair with two changes of clothes on it, a spotlight and Alexis. We had absolutely no idea what to…

Crimson Soil: Only Killers And Thieves By Paul Howarth

Sometimes a book comes my way which, under normal circumstances, I would not look at twice but which I am persuaded to read for other reasons. This is one such, the debut novel of Paul Howarth, and it is very different from my usual reading matter, falling as it does into the broad genre of the Western. It did not, however, disappoint. Set in 1885, it is a brutal description of a brutal life and brings into sharp focus the harshness…

The Different Sides Of LP On Tour

Unless you are a fan you might never have heard of the artist simply known as LP. Until a few years ago her name was a new one to me. Laura Pergolizzi was born to Italian parents in America, before her breakthrough hit Lost On You the singer had written songs for Cher, Celine Dion and Backstreet Boys, amongst others. Despite her small frame Pergolizzi possesses a vast vocal range - an almost miraculously powerful voice from such a diminutive figure. Arriving…

Review: Voices of Craven's Summer Jubilee Concert in Skipton

The moment at which all other considerations melted away, towards the end of Saturday night’s shimmering concert at Skipton Town Hall, was pivotal: collectively bearing the symbolic weight of a blue and yellow national flag, the ladies of the Voices of Craven joined with their male colleagues to deliver an emotionally-charged rendering of a Prayer for Ukraine. Immediately preceded by an exquisitely apposite, slow tempo version of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, the moment spoke of the wider…

Interview With Michael McKell As We Will Rock You Comes To The North

Queen and Ben Elton’s smash hit musical We Will Rock You is back for 2022 to celebrate its 20th anniversary with a new tour that arrives in the north. The worldwide smash hit musical arrives at Stockton Globe from Monday 6th June until Saturday 11th June before visiting Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester. Directed by Ben Elton, the musical has seen unprecedented success in theatres and arenas all around the world since it first premiered in London 20 years ago at the…

Opera North’s Parsifal: An Achievement Of Considerable Grandeur

Whether an opera lover or not, you probably have an opinion about Richard Wagner. Wasn’t he the favourite composer of Adolf Hitler? Yes he was. Wasn’t he that paranoid anti-Semite? Yes he was. Didn’t critics in his own time describe his music as ‘immoral’, ‘poisonous’ and ‘degenerate’? Yes they did. However, wasn’t he also one of the greatest musical theorists of the European tradition? Yes he was. Didn’t he design and build his own theatre for the staging of his works, one that still…

The Script - Rewrite The Hits Live

I was never really a fan of The Script until my partner recommended that I should see them at least once. When I eventually got around to attending one of their concerts I could see what the attraction was: good melodic songs all presented with an Irish charm. The Irish superstars are currently on their 'Greatest Hits' tour appropriately entitled Tales from The Script which arrived at Sheffield Arena. There is a twist to the tale here - some of the…

Jubilee Poem Of The Week: 'The Patriarchs - An Elegy' By Simon Armitage

The Patriarchs – An Elegy The weather in the window this morning is snow, unseasonal singular flakes, a slow winter’s final shiver. On such an occasion to presume to eulogise one man is to pipe up for a whole generation – that crew whose survival was always the stuff of minor miracle, who came ashore in orange-crate coracles, fought ingenious wars, finagled triumphs at sea with flaming decoy boats, and side-stepped torpedoes. Husbands to duty, they unrolled their plans across billiard tables and vehicle bonnets, regrouped at breakfast. What their secrets were was…

Liam Gallagher In Fine Homecoming Return

If you had to name the last big band to come out of Britain in the last twenty years or so then Oasis would definitely be one to spring to mind. The Manchester group provided the soundtrack for a generation whist even today their music resonates with a younger audience - as witnessed at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester - when Liam Gallagher made a memorable homecoming return. With Gallagher being an avid Manchester City fan the natural location for him…

Fantastically Great Women WHO Changed The World

Whilst this is a show that everyone would enjoy whatever their background, age or gender, this show should be a ‘must see’ on every school curriculum. ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World’ shadows an eleven-year-old Jade, who fears she has been forgotten about and has been left behind whilst on her school trip to a local gallery. Jade takes refuge in the Gallery of Greatness where she is unwittingly drawn into a series of exciting adventures each led by…