Monday, 13 December 2010

Arts, Music & Events Preview, December 2010 (Part Two)

No doubt about it now – the year is fast dwindling away. The events keep on rolling though, and here’s our pick of the remaining bunch for a final preview of 2010.

First of all there’s a week’s worth of live art down in the Soup Kitchen’s basement. Hld Tght is the moniker, and it'll showcase a long list of artists, including one-time Now Then magazine featured artist, Mr Penfold. From Monday 13th ‘til Thursday 16th there’s a chance to see work in progress before the week culminates with music and performance art at their launch event on the evening of Friday 17th.

While on the subject of art, one69a have filled the old Babycakes clothes shop’s disused space on Edge Street (NQ) with a pop-up-artists vibe. Grotto, as it's known, will only be there in the run-up to Xmas, so Yule (sorry...) have to be quick to browse what’s on offer.

There are a few live shows worth your time this week before the inevitable slumber as the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky between 22nd and 25th. Celebrate that one how you will, but warm up with 1960s folk messiahs Pentangle’s guitarist on Thursday 16th as John Renbourn shares the Band on The Wall-promoted stage at greenroom with steel string blues strummer Johnny Dickinson.

Otherwise, in what seem to be predominantly folk-themed options for Thursday, Dan Haywood’s New Hawks embark on the third stop of an album launch mini-tour. Salford’s Sacred Trinity Church is the location and my hunch is that the band / venue combo will be a perfect match. The raconteur – signed to the ever-reliable local Timbreland Recordings – has the storytelling edge of The Decemberists along with occasional hints of homage to Neil Young in sonic structuring.

A third choice is a tongue-in-cheek belter named Swamp Planet Christmas at the Anthony Burgess Foundation. The tagline of Seasonal Stories From Outer Space gives you a clue as to what to expect; literary readings bridging Yoda with Yuletide, tinsel with tangent universes and aliens with angels, such as William Gibson’s Cyber-Claus and Arthur C. Clarke’s The Star.

Next a change of genre for Friday 17th Ruby Lounge where the pop pickers at No Future Club have organised the presence of funky swing rehashers The Correspondents, then on Saturday 18th This City Is Ours kick off their fresh residency at An Outlet with a collection of electronic music slanted tune-selectors and the 2/3rds of From The Kites of San Quentin offshoot, Ord Mantell. The latter is free of charge.

If you can make it over to Wigan without too much hassle (or if you happen to be there in the first place!) then make sure you drop by The Tudor House Hotel on Sunday 19th, where briefly Manchester-based promoters Imploding Acoustic Inevitable have lined up the enviable ensemble of Paddy Steer, Liz Green and John Stammers for the bargain entry price of zero pennies.

As mentioned, there’s a lull for s few days, but Mind On Fire rear their hip-hop heads the soonest as they infiltrate The Nook’s airspace with reggae and ska oriented Sunday Sessions on 26th. They’ve also teamed up with Herbal Sessions, Drum Music and Dub Smugglers for a mammoth NYE party at Dry Bar.

And finally, on a related note, MOF’s brand new label compilation, Great Minds Vol.1, will be available to buy from both those events, as well as Eastern Bloc and Piccadilly Records before being released further afield in the new year. Perfect if you’re after an amalgamation of Arabian flavoured dubstep, uptempo tech-tonics, chilled ambient compositions or classical-flute-meets-hip-hop. Quite a mixture across eight producers.

Words: Ian Pennington

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