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Children of the Atom.jpg, originally uploaded by tangerinedream.

This is a review from my companion at the gig

“I’ve been obsessed with Adam Green since purchasing the Moldy Peaches debut album and doing what seems to be that rarest of things, since I’ve grown out of my teens, falling head over heels in love with it.

As an ex riot grrl (apart from still loving wearing nighties as daywear and silly hairclips) have never really liked male singers.
However there is something about Adam. He is admittedly rather fine looking and his rich timbre is at odds with his pretty indie boy looks. As someone who prefers music to melodically drift over my head, thinking them as more of a carrier of the tunes rather than anything vital in themselves, both his songs and lyrics mesmerise me, there is not one without the other and there is rarely a time when his songs do not accompany me on my daily absolutions. This is not good as I work in a nursery and absent-mindedly sing hideously catchy couplets about ketamine and death.

Anyway, in a bland mediocre age of uniform singers singing forgettable songs about nothing, thank fuck for Adam Green.
He comes onstage looking like Big Bird in a slightly satanic looking top with white tassels and white jeans. He stumbles, looks befuddledly arrogant, slurs, smiles, trips then bursts into glorious rich classical numbers with tunes that transcend boundaries, style and images-songs which only last two minutes and have lyrics about fucking girls with no legs, but sung so so sweetly, that haunt and hum. I watch the bouncers eyes widen as they listen and their mouths drop. Everyone around me is terribly excited at the thought that he might be on drugs. ‘He is so fucking fucked; they murmur in admiration.
He goes through the whole repertoire of his five solo albums, each song greeted with devotion and sung along to although there are a few people who have come to the gig due to hearing him and his ex Moldy Peaches band member Kimya Dawson on the Juno soundtrack.
He dives around the stage, his only words, mumbling about haggis but it is clear that he is a star. His fellow band members help him out when he seems to forget where he is, starting songs and improvising, sometimes looking like annoyed parents when he swans off, staggering on his skinny legs waving his arms and still somehow remaining impossibly elegant and glorious. How did such a glorious voice and such a foul mouth end up in this mid twenties American who looks like a member of the Killers?
Proof that if there is a god, he has a sense of humour.
Frank Sinatra, Curtis Mayfield and Mick Jagger are channelled through this slight swaying figure-I want a wee but am transfixed, cannot take my eyes of him-I imagine it would be the same seeing a disjointed Kurt Cobain in some seedy club in Seattle but Adam suits this venue-a deconsecrated church, rich and lavish yet seedy and gloriously wrong with its selection of two hundred whiskeys and plush leather sofas where people once prayed.
Adam at the pulpit, breaks into glorious song, stumbles, forgets and beams. And he is absolved as yet another song rolls forth in all its glory. Rich, orchestral and magnificent, yet lyrics delving into the seediest of mines. He is one of those rare artists where every song is a classic, no filler, all killer as they say. I cannot even remember which particular ones he sang as every song he has ever recorded is so fully burned onto my membrane, each one following me as I walk to work, brush my teeth and go to sleep that I cannot distinguish reality from memory. I just stand in a vodka haze, watching a legend perform before me, knowing I witnessing something so very very fucking special.”

Tamar Newton

apologies for teh crap live pictures

I’ll be absolutely honest – I don’t really get Adam Green. This was really a gig I went to with someone else rather than for myself so it puts me in a slightly odd situation reviewing it. I can’t say a lot of his work clicks with me, maybe I’m just some sort of hideous inner prude or something, but just as I find myself starting to warm to his his laconicly rich foot tapping easy listening stylings he says something about monkey’s cocks or conjures odd visions of group sex that almost invariably seems to alienate me. I dunno, maybe he’s too young and good looking cos I’ve always liked a bit of Arab Strap and the like, but maybe Aidan’s beardy drunk growl is somehow less threatening to my alpha male inner me. Perhaps. Maybe not. Who cares anyway? It could be that he is just spewing utter jumbles of words but the devotion of his fans tonight suggests there is some kind of inner sense to all this that I just can’t fathom. Eleonor was great though and Mr Green was suitably glassy eyed so, yeah – all in all, more interesting than not. I couldn’t stop thinking ‘Mick Jagger’ though.

Support act Noah and the Whale were more my cup of tea, carefully constructed songs with glockenspiel and folkish twinges, sometimes louder, sometimes not. The other support act I forgot completely so I guessing he didn’t change my life. Unless his act consisted of a memory washing exercise in which case I’m very impressed.

Glasgow itself was great – I’d been only once before and it disapeared into a bit of a blur, this time I was determined to have a good wander round and get a feel for another city. Engaging in what I could pretentiously term ‘neo-situationist urban landscape mapping’ (strolling about with a camera) revealed a really interesting place, I’ll admit we never really strayed from the West End but I loved the tall sandstone buildings and the grubby glamour of the area. It’s not Knightsbridge but that’s the point. Good pubs were plentiful, record shops abounded and I’ve not eaten so well in ages. I also noted to myself how few ‘urban splash’ style developments there were in comparison to say Manchester or Liverpool.

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Ultimately, it was a good place to waste some time pleasurably – A city with loads to do but without the horribly combatative, pretentious edge of some other places of its size. The one disapointment to me was, even though I climbed a quite big hill in Partick, I couldn’t see the Thistle’s football ground from the top. Sad times as I believe da yoot would say.

Good places to go and do stuff/eat things/get pished

Tchaiovna – Have a brew in an alarmingly tumbledown place by the river. Probably not advisable for anyone who has an aversion to hippy stuff. Lovely tea though.

Grassroots Veggie Cafe – This was probably the best veggie place I’ve ever been too. I’d have happily sat in here all day, ordering food every couple of hours. Well recomended.

Naked Soup – It’s soup. What more can I really say? – It’s cheap, healthy and pretty nice inside. Don’t go to subway – go here instead.

The Halt Bar – Friendly staff and a load of good nights and lots of live music.

Oran Mor A really good venue with nice pub upstairs and allsorts of stuff going on.

Yesterday I went to Leeds – I took a few photo’s which on the whole didn’t come out as excitingly as I’d hoped, but anyhows, here they are anyway.

The market is lovely – A real old fashioned proper northern market building, it’s been really well looked after as well.

I was impressed by the ornate dragons. I wonder why dragons though? I don’t know that much about Leeds but I wasn’t aware of dragons being part of it’s iconography.

Flowers at the market

West Riding House, which for some reason I quite liked in an imposing bleak functional kind of way.

Obligatory busker shot.

Fountain in front of a big building on a vast square that when it snowed was quite reminiscant of Moscow but also wierdly empty all day. It was the nicest bit of leeds that we walked through but no-one was there. Odd.

Gold clock on aforementioned big building. I liked this. I bet it’s not real gold though. Cynic that I am.

Rubbish picture of the snow. It was too cold to alter my shutter speed so I only got crap pictures of the snow, though I assured my southern travveling companion that it does of course, always snow in Yorkshire.

The bottom bit of the building is a coffee rebublic or something, but the top bit looked stunning in a red brick against blue sky kind of way. So I took a picture of it. Here it is. I like red brick.

Quite liked this – It’s actually the back of poundland, but looks suitably moody and interesting with a bit of light tweaking.

So there we go – I was a bit disapointed with Leeds really, it’s been years since I’ve been and it’s been hyped up by the sunday papers and style supplements but it felt a bit bleak and windy and seemed to lack a cultural heart to it – there are some cracking record shops and stuff but it’s all spread about from what I could see. The northern quarter in Manchester or somewhere like that is far more contained and thus no matter when you go it feels like something is going on, whereas, for an outsider like me, I didn’t really get much of a vibe from Leeds.

We did nip in Harvey Nicks – which made me feel physically ill and I couldn’t help thinking that maybe Leeds has the most shoe shops in the whole world. As a city, it seemed like a good place to go if you want a credit card splurge and to live out some kind of horrible Sex and the City style shopping fantasy but if you are after something more, well, interesting then I don’t know if you’d find it.

    Please don’t read me as slagging the place off – If I am missing out on somewhere great then let me know!

– use the comment box to tell me and next time I go, i’ll have a better time.

A reminder that we do a mean podcast – featuring all the above: click the pic for more details and/or subscribe below.

Sorted.

The Carnival rolled into town on the back of strong feeling about protecting Lancaster from developers who propose to destroy green space and replace the unique feel of the city with more identikit big business shopping opportunities. Some of the notable causes today included opposition to the proposed Heysham ‘link road,’ protest against the almost unthinkably bizzare idea to put car-parking on the green space outside the priory and of course, the old favourite, the hideously dull, destructive and devestatingly disruptive Centros Miller proposal.

Visit the homepages of some of the various campaigns below and see the Carnival site for more info.

Carnival of Culture Homepage
It’s Our City – Opposing the Centros Miller Development
The homepage of Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe – central to the fight against the Heysham link road.

The day started on the carpark near to the old brewery site, central to the proposed redevelopment – in the background of the 1st picture is one of the beautiful old industrial buildings at stake.

Sound system on a bike. I want one of these for Christmas please.

Banners were hoisted, flags, whistle and shakey things given out and to the beat of samba drums, off the procession went – almost straight onto the ring road, past some bemused, but also many enthusiastic and supportive shoppers and drivers. I didn’t see any negative attitudes all day towards the banners or costumes, which suggests that the people of Lancaster are broadly supportive of the causes at the heart of this event.

First stop was Dalton Square, where, outside the town hall, the assets of Lancaster were auctioned off – Happily the winning bidder for three of the lots was ‘the people of Lancaster’ (hurray!), triumphing over ‘big business’ (boo!!!) but we were reminded that there was still much to play for and that as the links at the top of this page and on the carnival site show – there is much to oppose and fight for.

The turnout was excellent and colourful.



Big business bid for ‘the heart of Lancaster’ and Castle Hill (kudos by the way to the fella who presented this – excellent job in the humble opinion of this website)


The police must have enjoyed the play, because they video taped the whole thing – presumably to watch again later in the warmth of the police station and share a range of critical perspectives on the action.

Samba drums in Dalton Square – At this point the drums left us and it was off again, up onto the ring road and back through town towards the Priory.

Arriving at the priory there was music playing and more banners – It’s almost inconceivable that anyone could wish to concrete over such a unique and well used spot. The views from this place are stunning and the green spaces of Lancaster are a huge part of what makes it special – as an outsider myself, I love this place, partly because of the positives it has over many other places I have lived and I find it almost defies belief that anyone, let alone a church organisation (well, maybe that’s not such a big suprise) should seek to defile what must be one of the loveliest city centre sites in Britain.

Lets just imagine the thought process of those in favour of the scheme…

“I love our city especially Castle Hill – 800 yr old castle, historic priory, beautiful view, open space,, trees, long grass, birds singing, peace and quiet, cycle track, path down to riverside – it’s a lovely spot isn’t it…”
“Yes it is all of those things and more, a unique and irreplacable community resource …. but you know what?”
“What?”
“It would be much better for everyone if we concreted over a big lump of it so a few people didn’t have to walk about 150 yards on one day of the week”
“Yes, you’re so right – Let’s do that then”

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When we arrived at the Priory entertainment came from lovely folky, eastern European flavoured music – possibly members of Balkanic Eruption? (let me know if you know…)

There was kite flying, with mixed results…

Then back of into to town again…

… heading to the skatepark for more drumming

The police also enjoyed the samba drumming and presumably wanted to record that to make the night of playviewing a double bill, though why they felt it quite necasary to record the skaters who happened to be at the park (some of whom were as young as 11 or 12) I don’t quite know. Perhaps they are planning to learn to skateboard as part of a new style of rapid response technique?

It was back to the start and mo’ singing mo’ dancing mo’ blowin’ whistles before the world and his dog (on a string, ho ho) headed to the pub for a post walk pint and to watch a reet good band… I only saw one of the acts at the Gregson Centre…

… because I went to see what was going on at the Park Hotel. It was a UV light treat with some lovely music and decent DJs and made a nice change to be honest from the regular Lancaster pub fayre. So well done them, and a huge well done to all involved in organising the Carnival – A great fun, exciting and educational day – more of the same next year please!

North of Lancaster you can take a path up to Caton, via Halton and Crook O’ Lune – You have to go under the brutal 60’s archetecture of the motorway bridge.

The graffiti was of varying quality but some of was great! – These were my two favourite pieces, though a third really interesting one had been partially paainted over with the slogan ‘this belongs on a canvas’ scrawled over it. Sad.

I’m a sucker for a bit of dereliction – sadly the light was horrific as I tried to get this in a bit more detail but never the less it’s another building that probably won’t be here this time next year.

Another building that could have been demolished but wasn’t is the remains of Halton station – 43 years since a train passed here though.

On the way back we diverted via the pleasingly frozen Lancaster canal

One of my favourite things about living here is the view of the castle from all around

but god knows why this is here and how did they get it out of the window? – The RSPCA should be informed!