Daily archives: July 20, 2007

Spinneyworld RIP

You may have guessed by all the preceding republished posts that something is going on. It hasn’t been taken down yet, but the old Spinneyworld blog is about to die. The domain will, hopefully, become the Spinneyhead store.

The international blogging thing is fun, I just want to bring it into Spinneyhead itself. I shall be inviting all the former members of Spinneyworld to become Spinneyhead bloggers as soon as I can. The terms will be the same, post about what you like, as often as you like, but a bias towards what’s going on in your area would be most appreciated. The invitation goes out to others as well. If you’d be interested in taking part in an international blog please drop me a line and I’ll add you to the Spinneyhead roster.

Stick 'em up punks, it's the Oldham Festival

Oldham Festival
Oldham Festival,
originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

It’s not every Sunday you can go to an old mill town and watch one of the coolest bands in the world do a live set outside Woolworths.

I’ve lived in Manchester for a long time but this was the first time I’d been out to Oldham. Various of the landmarks (well, businesses who advertise, anyway) were familiar from Revolution 96.2. We arrived a few hours before the gig, to check out the events of the Festival. The (nearly) naked Australian chef was amusing, briefly, and the Village Disco a bit worrying, but I got the sense everything was winding down before the show.

Huey claimed to have been at his sister’s wedding on Saturday, hence the slightly late start, and paused two thirds of the way through the set to say his hangover had finally gone. Despite self censoring at the end of the first song he didn’t hold back as they worked through the Criminals’ expletive filled back catalogue. An excellent show, made a little weird by ending at half past six. I got some shots on the SLR during “Scooby Snacks” which will look good if they come out. I need to finish the roll of film ASAP to find out.

After some great luck just catching the train back to Manchester we headed to the Eurocultured Festival off Oxford Road. Here we listened to a bit of Czech hip-hop and watched graffiti artists at work.

You learn something new every day. Yesterday I discovered that the chip was invented in Oldham. There’s a local pie called a Rag pudding, which consists of suet wrapped around mince, a bit stodgy and definitely in need of gravy to moisten it. Winston Churchill was MP for Oldham from 1900 to 1904.

I’d like to quickly mention Jazz Jamaica, who played a supporting set of Junior Walker covers and had people dancing in the square.

All Flickr photos tagged Oldham Festival

All Flickr photos tagged Eurocultured

Jazz Jamaica’s latest album- Motor City Roots

Music by the Fun Lovin’ Criminals.

Oldham in Wikipedia.

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 29/05/06 by Ian

Technorati tag: , , , ,

Manchester Passion

manchester passion
manchester passion,
originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

More pictures to follow.

Update Ickle has some pictures. He was standing a few feet away from me and some of the shots have got my video camera in them. I’ll try to edit together something tomorrow.

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 14/04/06 by Ian

Technorati tag: , , , ,

I didn't know Steph could play bass!

Steph aka Matt Tones, m(atw) bassist

I’ve been wanting to go and see a gig for months now and, after weeks of checking ticketmaster for bands coming to Cambridge with no joy, I decided to be original and go check out a local band last night at the Portland Arms. The crowd were small but the venue was smaller- possibly a double garage sized room- so the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed.

First up was The Hope– a fast, slick and entertaining punk band straight from the Green Day/Sex Pistols mould. The lead singer has a voice that works well with the material and an accent when announcing songs that can only be described as classic punk. While I would go and see this band again if they were performing nearby, I’m not sure if I’ll buy the album as they have a style that needs to be played live and it’s hard to capture this in the studio.

Next came Papa Shango and their dancing gorilla. The band started well and put on a good stage show, but a lack of variety in the music (sex, sex, sex) left me wondering what time it was and they didn’t have the slick performance of The Hope. The highlight of the band was the young guitarist who pulled of some great riffs and gave the music a bit more depth. It might be good to see them again sometime as their stage show would probably do better with a bigger crowd- worth a listen if you see them performing nearby.

The headline act was Me Against The World and the reason for coming along following downloads from their website. The band are influenced by a wide range of great performers (The Wildhearts, Nirvana, Billy Bragg, Pearl Jam & The Police) and the result is a style of their own that I really enjoyed. The performance was slick with all of the members fully involved and even the Muesli joke during a tuning break got a good reception. I’m going to be buying this CD as soon as it comes out- all good music shops from April(ish)- and may try and see them again before they make it into the mainstream as £4 was a bargain.

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 16/02/06 by Duncan

Collectormania Manchester

Collectormania Manchester
Collectormania Manchester,
originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

We know some total Collectormania maniacs and, with this first visit to Manchester, we thought we should check it out.

I couldn’t bring myself to pay for any autographs, though we did strain for a glimpse of Michael Shanks and Chris Judge (should have whipped the camera out and tested the zoom capacity). If I were feeling richer, and there was any space whatsoever in the flat, I could have gone completely mad in the aisles of figures, comics and dvds. In the end all I bought was the graphic novel of Brodie’s Law, just because the artist was on the stall being all enthusiastic.

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 12/02/06 by Ian

Technorati tag: , , ,

Manchester European Markets

manchester's european markets
manchester’s european markets,
originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

Now for more than just christmas. I love these markets, but then, unlike some, i think we should be more european.

Yesterday i spent ten pounds on salami and today we sampled such joys as the quark ball, a chunk of gingerbread with a jam centre, coated in sugar to give it a crispy shell.

The market is on until some time in december and we’ll be sampling foods from it all that time.

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 19/11/05 by Ian

Technorati tag: ,

Bon Appetit!

Anyone for Czech food?

I went out yesterday to a Czech restaurant in Neos Kosmos. Outside, you think you are entering some sort of warehouse. On the inside it looks a bit like a British pub, with wooden panelling and dim lighting. However, the comparison ends there. O Kalos Stratiotis Svejk (Good Soldier Svejk) turned out to be a superb restaurant, with excellent food, a range of choices on the menu and a nice selection of wines.

We tried a traditional salad and main course – fantastic! A king couldn’t have eaten better. The portions were enormous – so much so that I couldn’t finish the main course, unusually for me. The meat was tender and perfectly cooked. Plus, there were these unusual pieces of a kind of thick, almost suety bread to dip in the sauce. Very filling. One thing I noticed was that a lot of the salads seemed to contain nuts – maybe that’s a feature of Czech life? Perhaps there are lots of nut trees there.

It makes a nice change from all the typical Greek tavernas around here. Nice though they are, it’s good to have a bit of variety, and Svejk was just the ticket!

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 04/11/05 by Millie


Today is “Ochi” (no) Day in Greece

This is the day when the Greeks celebrate their resistance against fascism during the Second World War. It’s a bank holiday (Greece seems to have far more of these than other countries!) and anyone interested can go and watch the parade.

There is a parade in each town, or in the case of Athens, a major parade in the centre in Syntagma Square, and lots of other, smaller parades in local areas. It consists of schoolchildren dressed either in school uniform or traditional costumes marching down the street to the applause of the crowd. I went to the main parade at Syntagma Square, and although the school uniforms were rather boring, I must admit that the traditional costumes were interesting to see. There was quite a variety, with different regions of Greece represented. Another highlight of the parade was the young children, members of local cub and brownie groups. They didn’t march so much as amble along, waving Greek flags and smiling brightly at the crowd.

After the parade, we went for a walk through Plaka – more on Plaka to come another time – which was quite crowded, as people were enjoying the hot weather (it’s still like summer here) and taking advantage of the day off to go out for lunch.

An interesting experience. I don’t know any other countries where they dress children up in school uniforms and just watch them march down the street in order to celebrate a national holiday. And this happens twice a year in Greece!

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 28/10/05 by Millie

lg action sports championship

lg action sports championship
lg action sports championship,
originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

It’s very hard to take action shots with my phone. I don’t understand how people can be interested in a sport as static and dull as football when there’s stuff like this around. Even when there are no competition runs on people are pulling stunts just to keep their legs warmed up. The street course is buzzing with plank pushers skating for the simple joy of it.

The skate vert competition is being led by chris gentry as we enter the final round.

Posted to Spinneyworld 22/10/05 by Ian

Technorati tag: ,

Rotterdam in under 2 hours

Rotterdam is an unusual City as almost everything is new. I mentioned this to someone later in the day and they explained that the Germans bombed it heavily so few old buildings survived. There are a few remaining but they are squeezed in between modern high rise offices and flats creating an interesting mix of old and new.

My first stop of the day was the tourist information for a map then on to see the church on Binnenrotte. I took several photos here showing the church, some very Dutch buildings and a view looking back over the city. The thing that really struck me was the the amount of building work going on across the skyline as every road seemed to have a crane or 2 working away.

No time to stop so I headed on towards the Maritime museum. This looked interesting and had boats behind that could be visited, but no time for that today. While there I stumbled across a small but very attractive museum building hidden in the shadow of 3 skyscrapers. Photos were taken and I moved on again.

I headed west from here via the back roads. Wish I had more time as there were some interesting non-chain shops to browse. I then reached the park near “Club Vibes” (76 on my map) and took photos of the park and, yet again, the skyscrapers were in the background. Time was fast running out by now, so I dashed off and headed to my meeting.

Overall, it was an interesting tour and I would like to come back. There seems to be enough here for a long weekend though the lack of history caused by WWII might mean a week is too long. The night life looks good (the Wok restaurant on Coolsingel is worth a visit) and interesting shops are waiting to be discovered.


Originally posted to Spinneyworld 20/10/05 by Duncan

Back from the Brink!

On Sunday I attended a volleyball match between two first division (Alpha Ethniki) teams – Panellinios and Orestiada.

At the start, the Panellinios fans were celebrating, as the green-shirted guest team, Orestiada, appeared to be half asleep, and Panellinios chalked up point after point, soon leading two sets to nil.

However, after their lacklustre start, Orestiada appeared to wake up, and the next set was fast paced, an exciting game, won clearly by the greens. This brought loud cheers from their fans, who were in the minority in the stands, as Orestiada is a small town far to the north. Despite their small numbers, however, Orestiada’s supporters were by far the most vocal, and perhaps it was thanks to them that their team managed to take the third set and start off with a seven-point lead in the fourth.

The fourth was a tough set, with both teams giving it all they’d got. But, Orestiada held firm and maintained their lead to the end, evening up the score, 2-2.

The tie-break set started with Orestiada going into the lead, but there was soon a moment of tension as Panellinios overtook them. However, feeling demoralised at having been unable to keep their two-set lead, Panellinios did not perform well in the last set, and the green team soon left them far behind to take the match, 2-3. Loud cheering and clapping erupted from their group of fans.

Despite the sleepy start, the game developed well, and Orestiada’s return from disaster was impressively fought and played. All in all, a great match.

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 18/10/05 by Millie

Anybody know which train for Schiphol Airport?

I really like Holland and, as Austin Powers would say, the freaky deaky Dutch. I got off the plane yesterday at Schiphol and was convinced I must be in the UK and I have yet to find someone who can’t speak English. The trains and taxis have, up untill now, been cheap + reliable as they speed through mile after mile of flat but scenic countryside.


I got up early this morning and checked my PDA told the same time as BBC News. All fine so I set an alarm to remind me when I should head for my meeting with the bank and went to tour Rotterdam. At 10.45 I arrived for my 10.00 meeting and realised I had spent the morning in the wrong timezone (damn the cable tv). However, excuses were made so all fine so far.

After my meeting, I headed for the station to discover there had been an accident and my train was going nowhere. After much confusion, the freaky deaky Dutch came to the rescue and got me on a train to Schipol Airport via Utrecht.

I have, however, missed my plane home so once I finish writing, I’m going to have to spend 3 hours in a Dutch bar at the shareholder’s expense. On the whole, Holland is great- the people are friendy and the train service extremely reliable. If you can’t speak any other languages but want some culture, I’d thouroughly recommend.
(I’ll post details of my Rotterdam tour later this week)

Originally posted 14/10/05 by Duncan

Manchester Food Festival

Manchester Food Festival
Manchester Food Festival,
originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

It’s Manchester Food Festival this week. Friday saw a selection of local and specialist food suppliers selling on St Anne’s Square and the usual farmers’ market on Piccadilly. It was all too much for me and I spent twenty pounds on food of various sorts.
I’m going to be posting Food Festival Specials to Digest as I cook meals with my purchases.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 09/10/05 by Ian

Technorati tag: , , ,

Manchester Farmers Markets

originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

The Manchester Farmers Market is nowhere near as large and impressive as the one in Ashton, but it has become aregular part of my food buying routine.

The country comes to Piccadilly Gardens on the second and fourth Friday and Saturday of the month. Last time I put together a breakfast of bacon and Chouriac from this stall, this time I was very decadent and picked up two large sirloin steaks from Savin Hill Farm. Cooked so they were still purple most of the way through they were gorgeous with fresh spinach, tomatoes and ciabatta.

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 25/09/05 by Ian

Technorati tag: , ,

Book Worm

Dionisiou Areopagitou, the pedestrian walkway below the Acropolis, usually a popular place to go for a stroll, is currently taken up by the Book Fair. This is a fairly regular event, and one I particularly like.

I’m not sure if it is just my imagination, but it appeared to be more extensive than last time. However, it could simply be that some of the individual stalls were larger.

Of course, there were all the usual choices of best sellers and new releases, as well as a range of other books on display. One stall sold exclusively maps (it makes you wonder how they manage to turn a profit, or at least make it worth their while – do people really buy that many maps??), while another was obviously sponsored by the Communist Party.

Lots for the kids, plenty of colourful children’s books and some for teenagers on school-related topics (poor things!). There was even a stall selling a few selected titles in foreign languages, mainly English, which I don’t remember having been there last time.

Anyway, the Book Fair always seems to do well, and this time is no exception – I admit I succumbed to temptation myself – with all the books on display it was hard to resist!

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 21/09/05 by Millie

Cultural Festival

Yesterday, as part of the Dafni Cultural Festival, there was a concert held in Dafni Square. A great setting for the event, the Square is quite green, with a lot of trees, and is usually a popular place to go for a drink. The concert was free and consequently well attended. It started out with a young performer who sang in a Western European style, to the accompaniment of traditional Greek instruments. A combination that worked very well and was certainly popular with the audience.

This was followed by the Corfu Choir, who sang more traditional Greek songs, well known to everyone there. The singing was good quality and the only hitch was a small problem that developed with one of the microphones, but this was quickly sorted out.

Special mention should be made of the local singer, born and bred in Dafni. For an amateur performer, I thought she sang very well, and her repertoire had a mix of styles, not simply sticking to one theme.

All in all, the event was a great success, a thoroughly enjoyable (and free!) evening out.

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 20/09/05 by Millie

Time Team

Time Team 4
Time Team 4,
originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

Cult Archaeology program Time Team visited Manchester this week to excavate Arkwright-Simpson’s Mill. On the 21st floor of the nearby CIS tower I was only a few feet away from a window affording a good view of all the activity.

Manchester Region Industrial Archaeology Society were there giving out leaflets with a potted history of the site on them. I think there’s going to be a site visit some time early next month, though I don’t know what there will be to see as the holes were all filled in afterwards.

At present the official Time Team page at Channel Four has no information on when the show might be airing. When it does I may have to ask someone to record it to their PC so I can watch it.

I took a few phonecam shots, from my vantage point and ground level, over the three days. You can see the Flickr gallery here.

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 18/09/05 by Ian

Technorati tag: , ,

My virgin post

Time to make my appearance on the spinneyworld stage in Athens. Everyone is still in holiday mood over here, which is fair enough, given the weather. To continue the holiday feeling, there’s a beach volleyball tournament going on here, and yesterday the Greek women’s team got through to play for the bronze medal, instantly shooting up to the status of national heroes. Gold and bronze medal matches are to be held today – and we already know that gold and silver will both go to Brazil, as the match is between two teams from that same country. Kali epitychia, as they say here, to Greece…

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 03/09/05 by Millie

pride 74

originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

A whole 83 Pride related photos have now been uploaded to Flickr. One hell of a weekend, and we only saw a little bit of it.

I swear the Lord Mayor’s Parade is nowhere near as long as the Pride one. The only real disappointment was the indie room at Poptastic on Saturday night. If you’re going to convert a big car park into a multi room venue then you really ought to invest in some huge drapes to act as baffles between the rooms.

Originally posted to Spinneyworld 29/08/05 by Ian

Technorati tag: , ,