Tuesday, November 02, 2004

We had a great weekend in Manchester, apart from some nightmare travel arrangements, thanks to Virgin trains, which meant that we were 2 hours late getting home on Sunday evening.

The Magnetic Fields were at their most perky and although this meant we had a playful and comedic set, Orynthia and I both agreed that the taciturn, grumpy, hypochondriac side of Stephin Merritt, which we have been used to seeing, does add a certain fragile beauty to the live experience. It would often seem as though each song could be the last in the set, if they even made it to the end of the song! No such problems at this show though.

We also loved the playful cabaret jazz sound of The Real Tuesday Weld. The live experience is very different to the sound of the albums, but deliciously entertaining. This lot really should be better known than they are; with their knowing, arch lyrics they were the perfect aperitif for the Magnetic Fields.

Other than that we spent lots of time in the wonderful URBIS, marvelled at an extensive exhibition on the work of the fantastic Erich Mendelsohn at CUBE, visited some outstanding new architecture at Salford Quays, namely The Lowry Centre and the amazing Imperial War Museum (a stunning building). Took lots and lots of pictures but managed to delete them from my camera, when attempting to transfer them to the computer! Doh!!!

Last night we had the chance to see the divine Iron & Wine in action for the second time this year. This time support came from the intense and commanding Micah P. Hinson. Once again they drew a packed crowd to intimate surroundings of St Bonn’s, so much so that most of the crowd were not able to see anything of the 3-piece line up. Eventually a murmur of dissatisfaction went around the room and it was agreed that everyone at the front would sit down. This produced an unintentionally humorous moment, our friend John had nipped out of the hall to visit the toilet whilst the audience was still standing. On his return to the room, suddenly everyone was sitting down, as John towered over them trying to work out how he would squeeze between all the newly floored bottoms to get back to our corner of the room. The look of confusion and anguish on his face was very amusing to his unsympathetic friends in the far corner!

Once everyone was sitting down the show became a real treat, the simple understated songs weaved their insidious magic on us all. At the end of the show happy and contented faces were all around. Another top night at St Bonn’s.


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