Fingering Bishops and saucy wenches

It’s nearly Beer Festival time again. I may try to do some more custom beer posters again, as in 2004 and last year. My Bishop’s Finger poster was so “offensive” it had to be ripped down (and done again, because I’m not going to be censored). I wonder what the muppet who complained would have to say about the lusty wench ad campaign currently being run for the beer?

via Fleshbot (NSFW)

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Burn baby burn

After the A1GP we went to Exchange Square to see some more of the Sky festival, and were greeted by a pall of black smoke on the skyline behind Darth Vader and the stormtroopers.

An HGV had exploded in Salford and it and a building were ablaze. We spent a long time in Next waiting for their customer service to get their act together and by the time we left the smoke was no longer there.

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Jazz festival in the rain

Jazz festival in the rain
Jazz festival in the rain,
originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

There are two free outdoor music festivals on in manchester today. One’s over by Urbis, an indie band affair that was asked to stop for half an hour so it didn’t spoil a wedding, and the jazz festival on Albert Square.
I left the indie festival when I realised most of the crowd were less than half my age- young enough, basically, to be my children. I headed across town to the one sponsored by the coffee company. Now I’m surrounded by people my age and their children and feel just as out of place.
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Blackburn Arts in the Park

As promised, photos from Blackburn’s Arts in the Park festival-

The first band we saw who were worthy of the name (there was a dire cover versions duo on the main stage when we arrived) were Story One. There should definitely be more fiddles in indie music. Their new album is being released online on 1st August. Well worth checking out.

Next up were Polytechnic who, I’m afraid, didn’t impress.

Tom Hingley and the Lovers, one of the three bands we came to see for nostalgia reasons. After an excellent opening with Saturn 5 they went on to play a great set of mostly Inspiral Carpets classics.

As noted earlier, there should definitely be more fiddles in indie music. When they’re played by Erica Nockalls- 9th and 10th legs of the Groove Machine- even the most guitar centred indie boy would agree. An excellent set of Wonderstuff nostalgia. I started out quite close to the front and edged ever closer as the area behind me became a drunken mosh pit. I spotted two young boys right by the barrier, one of them only just able to see over it, with no-one around to protect them. I did my best, but ended up being unable to resist one of the surges and the smaller kid got pushed against the barrier and burst his nose. Security helped me lift them over to safety after that, but I feel bad I couldn’t protect them better.

Finally, the headliners, the Lightning Seeds. I’ve always liked their music but for some reason not got round to buying any of their albums. Despite the songs beiong more laid back the mosh pit seemed to have grown. This may just have been an impression formed by being on the side of it, and able to see the chaos, rather than in front of it this time.

Apart from the idiots who kept trying to crush children, this was an excellent (and free, I like free) gig. There’ll be another one next year, so look out for that.

On Amazon-
Story One
Tom Hingley
Lightning Seeds

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Chorlton Arts Festival

FRIDAY 19 – SUNDAY 28 MAY 2006

Welcome to the 5th Chorlton Arts Festival. This year brings the biggest programme to date, with over 80 performances, in over 40 different venues, over 8 days. There is everything you could wish for: dance, drama, music, poetry, film, art exhibitions, the arts in schools programme, and the annual arts trail on the meadows of Chorlton Ees.

via Why Did I Go Wrong

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Garden of Delights

(Originally posted to the Spinneyworld blog, transferred here for posterity.)

Spinneyworld Garden of Delights photos on Flickr

All Flickr photos with the Garden of Delights tag

Spinneyhead gallery for June, with Garden of Delights pictures

According to the organisers– “The Garden of Delights is a ‘weekend-long pleasure garden for the 21st century!’ that takes place every summer at the start of June. It attracts thousands of families, students and young singles to Platt Fields Park in South Manchester for a highly enjoyable mix of visual installations, entertainment and natural surroundings. The overall atmosphere generated is one of inclusiveness, multi-culturalism, healthy eating/drinking, fresh air and non-stop delights. Our slogan for the event is “all ages, all cultures, all weekend”.”

I went to last year’s, and you can see the pictures in the June 2004 gallery, along with a load of shots from the Cow Parade. If all goes to plan there will be a Garden of Delights every year until 2010, which will mark the centenary of Platt Fields Park. I’m seriously thinking about putting something together for next year’s show.


Wired on the Found Footage Festival.

The show includes everything from bad elementary-school talent shows to rednecks skinning catfish alive. There are bad corporate training films and graphic penis-pump instructional videos. “They get the best reaction from people,” admitted co-curator Joe Pickett. “It never fails to deliver.”

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The hell with cows, everyone should have a scarecrow festival!

After further exploration of Dovedale was rained off (we got as far as Reynard’s cave)

we headed back to check out some of the other delights on offer in the Peak District. I have to admit, the scarecrow festival wasn’t appealing at first, but we went anyway. The village of Alstonefield had 30+ scarecrows scattered around doing day to day (and occasionally surreal) things.

I think Damian and I have been to seven counties this weekend. I have a few photos from the phonecam, but I’ll upload those later with explanations of their silliness.

(Worzel Gummidge series 1)

Cool as Kim Deal

The Move festival yesterday, in the rain. I got there by a convoluted route, involving a lift out to Eccles New Road and hopping off the tram to catch a shot of The Mirrorcow.

I met my sister at the tram station. Security were asking everyone with glass bottles to get rid of them. I had the brainwave of dumping two bottles of Stella into my water bottle and donating the other two to security. But it turned out we weren’t supposed to bring any alcohol in. It’s all part of a scheme to fleece the punters by selling them overpriced booze once they’re inside the festival. I downed the two bottles I’d opened and tithed the other two to the good natured but confused bloke who’d stopped us.

That much beer that quickly made me a bit fuzzy for a while. Thankfully Jo and I had both planned to avoid the expensive food stalls and there was quiche, chocolate brownies, cold mega-veg roast and jasmine tea to keep us going. We bagsied seats in the stands and kept them until the pixies set.

First up were the 22-20s. Raucous indie- guitar stuff, which I’m always a sucker for. Very good. They released a single- Shot Your Gun at the end of last month.

Second set was The Stands. Folksy tinged stuff. Not as good as 22-20s. Album- All Years Leaving.

Tim Booth has a very distinctive voice and his current music is a progression from his days in James. Good stuff. He still dances like he’s pissing on the middle rail, though. New album, Bone, released last month. (The Best of James is worth a listen as well.

Goldfrapp. Perspex guitars, theremins and a singer so high pitched windows must have been shattering for a mile around. Strict Machine is their most recent single, Black Cherry the album.

I’ve seen Frank Black a couple of times, but this was the first time I’d seen Pixies and was the main reason I bought a ticket. Absolutely awesome. The rain started coming down hard for the last two songs, but that made the atmosphere better, if anything. Wave of Mutilation is the recent best of. Last Splash by The Breeders and Frank Black for an idea of what Frank ‘n Kim have been doing in the meantime.

Stereophonics were going to be a disappointment after the might of one of the most important bands ever. They make a nice enough noise, and have done some songs I really like. They just weren’t good enough to hang around in the heavy drizzle for the whole set. A couple of good songs then we left to avoid the mad charge for the Metro. Best Stereophonics album is their first one, Word Gets Around, where they document small town Welsh life, which is so much like small town Cumbrian life that it holds a special place in my heart.

All in all, a great day and well worth the money. Sunshine would have been nice, but rain was so much more Mancunian.

(Cool as Kim Deal, Dandy Warhols)


Use your mobile to find out about local history. You can also upload your own memories of the places involved. I think I’ll go to the Starbucks in the Corn Exchange and send a message about shopping there pre-bomb.

(area)code is part of the Futuresonic festival. I’m not an electronica afficianado, but I think I’ll have to go along to a few events.