Check, check…eh?


Manchester International Festival. It’s in Manchester? Check. It’s international? Check. It’s a festival? Well I suppose so, but without the pits to piss in (although whether it’s free of scalls selling you oxo-cubes remains to be seen).

All fine so far then. But hang on, what’s this? The tag-line is ‘The world’s first international festival of original, new work‘. Right, ok, let’s check that by a quick look at the roster of some of the artists so far announced:

Lou Reed, Kanye West, PJ Harvey, William Orbit, Beth Orton, Bernard Butler, Happy Mondays and the Fall.

Oh I see Lou Reed will be performing new stuff I guess? Oh he’s performing Berlin for the first time. When was that released then?….1973!!

Ok there are a variety of new commissions, such as the Albarn and arch-Barley Hewlett’s re-working of an ancient Chinese legend Monkey:Journey to the West and a variety of theatre type stuff, but the we look closer and we see hoary Mancs (or ‘iconic’ as they’re labelled on the website) t’Mondays.

Manco-centrism is infectious. Since I’ve been residing in these fine environs it really does rub off. You find yourself in Fopp pawing at the Chameleons back catalogue and thinking Doves are the right end of the Colpl*y spectrum. Yet there really is a blinkered tunnel vision where everything Manc is ok/good/groundbreaking. The organisers of the festival are obviously infected.

And then the mouldy cherry on the green and furry cake…the F*ll. To criticise this lot is sacrilege round these parts, punishable by having to listen to yet another bootleg of them in Frankfurt from 1983 or such like. And BBO will no doubt get flamed for being off-message. But hang on what’s this? There is something original about their performance at the festival (the press release states it’s a one-off show, but they’re playing at Jilly’s Rock World soon I believe):

“The Fall perform a gig to launch ‘Perverted by Language’, a new anthology of short fiction inspired by the band.”

Need I say anything else?

But I will. There’s shit-loads of original Manc music out there. Here’s some:

Boom-Bip Every Trip – Disco Operating System

Buccaneers – Illuminati

 And have a peek at the website for the label Lotta Continua where this lot come from.

About angrybonbon

Both Bars On's Manchester correspondent

Posted on April 3, 2007, in General Stuff. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Arf. I almost feel compelled to prop up the Manc-ocracy – aren’t the Millingtons reading this? My shuffle has just spat out the Fall’s C.R.E.E.P., how apt. I would exempt the Fall because I do think there’s something one-offish about them and I suspect they’re not long for this world… but in other ways i think you’re right. For twenty years Manchester made the rest of the world listen to it, but harping on about the same stuff has probably stifled the city. Let’s face it, knackered cities make the best music – you can have Madchester or Urban Splash, but not both…

  2. You’re right – to be fair Mark * Smith thinks the short stories thing is shit, but it still sums up a lot of what I hate about them.

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