15 Good things happening soon Friday April 2, Lost Language, Kraak. Exhibition of experimental artists working in video, sound and installation. (Runs until April 23)
wannabes Boy or Bison. (twice monthly)
Lan Wei, Chinese Arts Centre. Hong Kong photographer Stanley Lee documents the ‘gold rush’ property boom in China. (Exhibition runs until June 12.)
Saturday 10 and Sunday April 11, Anarcha Feminist gathering, University of Manchester Student Union. Includes workshops and discussions. (see http://afnorth.org/?q=anarchafeminist)
Asparagus Next Left, Star and Garter. Indie disco with baked goods. (monthly)
Loiterers Resistance Movement psychogeographic walk around Manchester. (see w w w. n o w h e r e fest.blogspot.com) (monthly)
Sunday April 11, An Ecofriendly approach to creativity, Noiselab, 2pm. Talk by Manchester activist arts collective Ultimate Holding Company.
Saturday April 17, Cherry Coloured Pop, Abode, Chorlton. Northern Soul and indie pop with guest DJs from Asparagus Next Left. (bi-monthly)
Wednesdays April 14 and 28, Pull Yourself Together, Common. Indiepop night with zines. (twice monthly)
Thursday April 8-Sunday April 10, Reading for Reading’s Sake, Islington Mill. Art and social event based around reading.
Thursday April 15, Moon Unit, Islington Mill. Glaswegian space rock with support from Irma Vep and Tube of Mould.
Friday April 9, Your Mama’s Cookin’, Ruby Lounge. Rock ‘n’ roll night with dance and knitting lessons. (monthly)
Friday April 16, Out of Time (The Light of Day / The Action of the Play), Castlefield Gallery. Exhibition of news images manipulated by David Osbaldestontion exploring the relationship between the gallery and theatre staging (exhibition runs until June 6). Accompanied by a screening of the film Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (Friday April 30).
Sunday April 18, Watery Wastelands of Eastlands, New Manchester Walks. Tour of the canals leading from the city centre out through Ancoats and east Manchester. Other April highlights include The Manchester Guardian (Thursday April 1), Victoria Park (Sunday April 4), Engels and Marx (Tuesday April 13), Angel Meadow (Thursday April 15) and The Hidden Pubs of Manchester (Friday April 30). (see www.newmanchesterwalks.com)
Sunday April 4, Victoria Baths open day. Manchester’s water palace opens with displays and guided tours. (monthly) A Cheap Affair, Islington Mill. Zine fair with art, crafts, music and veggie food. (monthly)
Saturdays April 10 and 24, Underachievers Please Try Harder, Saki Bar, Rusholme. Underachievers indie disco celebrates its 2nd Birthday on April 10 with live bands Dignan Porch, Of Mice and Mental Arithmetic and the debut gig of girl-group
Monday April 19, Manchester Architecture and Design Festival. Events at venues across the city including Gorton Monastery, Victoria Baths and Piccadilly Gardens, plus exhibitions, debates and tours - including guided
tour of the People’s History Museum and Stockport on (April 22 and 24). Manchester Modernist Society launch their map of Manchester’s 20th century architecture. (Festival runs until May 15. See www.madf.co.uk) Wednesday April 21, Victoria Baths Swimming Club, Levenshulme Baths, 7pm. Friends of Victoria Baths swim in another old pool. (monthly) Thursday April 22, Music for four drumkits, Peel Hall, Salford. Drumming project based on Steve Reich and Brian Eno plus video projections. Furthur, Star and Garter. Golden Lab’s alternative disco. (monthly) Friday April 23, Reclaim the Night, starts at Club Academy. March around Manchester to reclaim public space from violence against women with free food, stalls from local groups and placard making plus poetry, live bands, a bicycle dance troupe and Cherryade Records DJs. Thursday April 29, The Towers of Manchester. Tour of three towers. (see www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk for times and booking.)
Things that might be in the next issue: Feminism, recipes, photographs, creative writing, illustration, music, things to make and do and more.
Trams Finglands buses Victoria station Blackpool Rollercoasters French music Electronic music Creative writing Hot cross buns
1 WELCOME TO issue 8 of The
14 Shrieking Violet, which Spicy Vegan Hot Cross Buns
is a public transport special (by accident rather than design). Public transport is a
contentious issue almost all of the letters into the Manchester Evening News seem to be from disgruntled public transport users complaining about a) how unreliable their service is or b) the youth of today, with whom they have to share it. Coincidentally, however, two people happened to send me celebrations of what they see as underpraised aspects of Manchester’s public transport trams and Finglands buses around the time I was planning to write an article about Manchester’s neglected Victoria station. One of my favourite things about Manchester is how well connected it is, for those times when you want to escape, with so many other towns cities to explore within an hour or so by train. It’s also close to other daytrip destinations like the Lake District and Peak District. Now it’s spring, it’s getting towards daytrip season, and April Preston and Dave Robinson visit the classic seaside resort Blackpool. Then there’s megabus, which offers ludicrously cheap outings to destinations around the country (if you have the time to spare, of course, as it’s not the quickest way of getting around) and National Express especially convenient when there’s a £1 sale on. I have to admit I’m biased towards public transport I spent two years trying, and failing, to learn to drive, and I always choose to take public transport rather than fly wherever possible (I once spent two and a half days on a train from Chicago to San Francisco, in a country where using public transport is almost unthinkable to most of its population, sleeping in an upright seat, because I didn’t want to miss the scenery by flying). Of course, there’s nothing in England quite like the route of the California Zephyr, but there are some journeys through Cumbria up
to Scotland, across the moors through the blackened chimneys of old mill towns to Yorkshire, that I enjoy just as much as the destinations themselves, and should be experienced in their own right. Editor: Natalie Bradbury Cover Design: Sophie Wilson (www.flickr.com/photos/37905387@N05) Writers: Natalie Bradbury (www.theshriekingviolets.blogspot.com), April Preston (www.aprilshowersmisc.blogspot.com), Dan Russell, Alessandra Mostyn (www.amostyndesign.com), Alexx O’Shea (www.urbanalternatives.org.uk/forum/weblog.php?w=83), Dave John Robinson (www.freemanculturian.blogspot.com), Adam Faulkner (www.flightofthefalcons.blogspot.com), Michael Cassidy, Rebecca Willmott (www.dollwithbigeyes.blogspot.com) Illustrators: Dan Russell, Alessandra Mostyn Photographers: April Preston (www.aprilshowersmisc.blogspot.com) To tell me what I’ve got wrong/contribute/tell me off for leaving The Shrieking Violet in your cafe/bar/shop/cinema/gallery/library without permission/request back copies, email: Natalie.Rose.Bradbury@googlemail.com
HERE WE have a splendid Easter treat for you and it is vegan! Double fun! :D This is pretty mega easy to make and fun! Grab your ingredients: Makes 12 hot cross buns 350g /12oz strong Suma plain flour/wholemeal if you want it quite heavy 5ml/1 teaspoon ground mixed spice 5ml/1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 5ml/1 teaspoon grated nutmeg 1 teaspoon of ginger 1 sachet easy-blend yeast 25g/1oz caster sugar 75g/3oz currants 25g/1oz mixed peel, chopped (This is a collection of raisins/ orange peel and citrus you can get in a bag named “mixed peel”) grated rind of one lemon 75g/3oz vegan margarine, melted 175ml/6floz (approx) Soya milk, warmed Handy Tip!” My mother always told me an ounce was a tablespoon! :D Crosses 50g/2oz plain flour 25g vegan margarine Water Glaze 25g/1oz brown sugar 30ml water 1 oz golden syrup In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices and melted margarine, yeast, sugar, currants, mixed peel and lemon rind. Make a well in the centre and add the melted margarine and some of the warmed milk. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Knead for 10 minutes to create a firm dough. This is really fun and you should make use of your fingers to stretch and punch and tear the dough to awaken the yeast. Wrap the dough in a damp tea towel/ cling film and store in a warm place, as I am a student and have no heating I left mine in the oven at a heat of 100 C for a few hours. Bread recipes always say that after a few hours the bread will double in size. But it NEVER does. So don’t worry if your bread looks rather exactly the same after a few hours. Once your dough has “doubled” in size, divide into 12 pieces. Place on a greased baking tray and bake your buns at 200 C for 30 minutes. After your buns have cooked, make some crosses by rubbing margarine and flour together and cut to create some thin long strips. Place neatly on top of each bun. To make a sugary glaze heat brown sugar and golden syrup with water in a pan after the sugar has dissolved brush on top of each bun. Enjoy with homemade jam and vegan cream! Delicious!
13 Next Door’s Yard by Michael Cassidy NEXT DOOR’S yard was a mess. It was strewn with an assortment of melancholy parasols that were all broken, forgotten from last summer. They looked like they were stolen from the beer garden of a pub and probably were. Piles of unused red bricks were scattered amid the dust and lichen, and a limp washing line was strung out between a rusted iron post and a tree to which it was nailed. The unruly shrubs poked their noses over the fence into the neighbors’ gardens. The back door was always open, white paint peeling as dogs and little children ran out and inside like a flash of bunting after half past three each afternoon, except when it rained. There was no gate. Instead they had propped up an old cheap desk between the house and the side fence so that the dogs couldn’t escape. Their mother would sit at the top of the four steps into the house and smoke cigarettes while she watched the children with a wistful and grizzled look. From my bedroom window I could only see her profile, as she lowered the cigarette and brought it back to her mouth mechanically. The black guttering leaked down the side of the house and verdant moss grew in its trail, seeming to glow in the glory of rainwater. One of the drainpipes was broken; it leaned perilously at an angle, always seeming on the verge of breaking loose from its bracketing and collapsing into next door. There was a disused satellite dish on the side of the house. Its wires were disconnected and hung loose, like the ripped entrails of mice that a stray tabby cat left indiscriminately around the neighbourhood. I heard her shout a couple of times at the children for picking them up. How many were there – three, six, a dozen? They were calamitous and noisy and full of a boundless happiness that swirled underfoot like little brightly coloured eddies of wind. Their clothes were always covered in food stains. Leaves leapt in their wake and fell to the floor when they were called in for their tea, but the back door always remained open. They mustn’t have had anything worth stealing. At night time when it fell dark the kitchen light came on. If I turned off my light, I could peer from my bedroom window without being perceived in the obscurity. Not a curtain-twitcher, for mine were always open; more a curious barnacle behind my own fortress of bricks and mortar and two layers of glass. Dirty and dusty. I would see her, the mother, leant over the kitchen sink of an evening. Did she really wear pink gloves or is that simply a detail that memory adds to complete the picture, to colour inbetween the lines? Again I would only ever see her from the side-on. To me this woman’s image is forever an old-fashioned profile portrait, like the ones of a vague cousin that people would frame and place on a mantelpiece; except rather than trapped in the sepia of photography, she is veiled in the murky light of a thin window and wispy curls of cigarette smoke. Scores of dirty pots and pans, a looming stainless steel mountain ringed by an undergrowth of crockery and cutlery fauna, surrounded her as she slaved away. Doubled over and scrubbing in the dim unreflected light, an eternity. A man who was as round as a barrel with the beard of a pirate came out into the yard on summer days. Laugher roared ferociously from his rotund belly. I could feel it vibrate the air. I found him terrifying and would duck my head so as not to be seen. But the children, that endless gust of merriment, were unperturbed: they swirled on carelessly as ever, around his legs, into the bushes, in and out of the back door and over the make-shift gate. I could never work out how many there were, for their voices were inseparable. He strode sternly like the giant who searched out Jack, surveying his kingdom of rust and rubble before disappearing without a trace. I think now that that was what they must have been, a couple of pirates in exile from the high seas and greasy galleys. Refugees of some far and exotic ocean, sequestered in a shabby council house: banished to the stillness of cracked concrete and alleyways, an uneasiness without undulation. One day the scabby back door was closed. The only sound I heard was my cup on my table and they were gone.
2 by April Preston
Today we broke onto the piers, Marvelled at roller-coasters, That were no longer there. Empty Pavillions, Hungry pigeons, Short skirts. It was crazy golf Assorted novelty socks. That was the day I paid for you to get a tattoo, This way you would never forget me. It seems cruel then that I left you the following day. For the time being we were tourists, Although, we only came from down the road. A loud gasp at dildos and Princess Diana plates. It could have been a less romantic trip, We could have gone to Margate
12 is forced to the side of the seat with the lateral G-force. It is a real physical test, especially in inclement weather when it’s even more painful. You come oﬀ feeling abused but thankful to the great coaster designers for such a testing time. I reckon with all woodies, this has improved with age, and whilst I love steel coasters and all the inversions and tricks they can oﬀer, I just love the history and non-computerised raw fun of these classics which easily match up to, and often better, the new kids. In the late ‘90s, my world was buzzing around something far more important than the Millennium Bug - “Project 2000”.I got my ﬁrst computer, and the Intenet, at Christmas ’98 and would spend hours on the UK Theme Park Discussion Board reading and posting, speculatively guessing what was rising from the ashes of the old Fun House (sadly burnt down in ’91). No-one had got close to guessing that it was going to be. In contrast to unexciting councils busy getting thrilled by dull white bridges, the world’s best day out decided on the sensory overload of a Viking themed log ﬂume in the dark! Absolute genius! The UK’s most expensive privately-funded Millennium project at £15million, Disney’s ﬁnest Imagineers (great word isn’t it) had been toiling away to bring Orlando-style spectacle to the fairer isles. This ride is exquisitely themed to the last detail and features fantastically spectacular ﬁreballs billowing from burning pirate ships, bolts of lightning, saws the size of trees ﬂying over your head, A TUNNEL OF WATER – that’s right, water fountains somehow squirt in a complete arch to make a tunnel, multiple huge drops with surprises and brilliant haunting dramatic chanting of Norse Gods playing. It’s good to see the park looking after its history so well. Historical Amusement Marker plaques adorn the entrances to many rides, which I love to read whilst queuing to top-up my coasterfax! The Big Dipper, a phrase to many synonymous with “rollercoaster” and dating from the early 20s, has just been given a £1/2million makeover, including a new fountain in its station, echoing its iconic architecture. The park and indeed Europe’s oldest ride is still extremely popular; Sir Hiram Maxim’s Captive Flying Machines dates from 1904 and has a fascinating history as it was built by a pioneer of ﬂight to fund his experiments in constructing and attempting to ﬂy some of the ﬁrst planes. I haven’t even had chance to mention the awesome steel specimens – The Big One, Revolution, Avalanche, InFusion, Steeplechase, not to mention other rides and the Hot Ice show – perhaps there’ll have to be another article! I think it’s safe to say the park will carry on in the great way it has for another 114 years!
Blackpool Pleasure Beach –A Frenetic Kinetic Masterpiece!
by Dave John Robinson
I AM a theme park junkie. I have been to them all round the world and yet the greatest day out to be had is right here in Lancashire – at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. This – remarkably still family owned and run – park has 114 years of thrilling history – a hyper-stimulating frenetic kinetic “museum” of sensory overload. In just 44 acres (less than a tenth of Alton Towers), BPB has countless unique, innovative and world-class rides twisted round each other in fabulously head-choppy-oﬀy ways. Aged 6, I was to develop my thirst for bone-crunching “woodies” (of an innocent nature, please!) or wooden coasters. The Zipper Dipper was my ﬁrst coaster ride, the most diminutive of BPB’s famous ﬁve. Riding it now is odd as it is a real achievement to squeeze my manly *ahem* legs into the tiny car. Another great joint-crusher is the Wild Mouse (often incorrectly called Mouse Trap by non-coaster pedants). This knee-banger consists of cutely monikered (Trixie and Thatcher to name just two!) 2-seater cars, with riders in tandem. The track is very compact and narrow, excitingly enabling cars to almost ﬂy oﬀ as they clatter around tight twisty corners and hit the crests of super steep hills at warp speed. As you queue, you see the track shake in its many unsupported sections and the whole thing feels super unsafe – just what makes a great thrill ride! Scaling up and just as lethal, The Grand National is my favourite rollercoaster in the world. This equine beast should probably be tranquilised for its brazen impertinence. Built in the 30s, this rare racing woodie features a mobius loop design, meaning the 2 mostly parallel tracks mysteriously switch sides at the end on reaching the lovingly refurbished art deco station. The ride’s hiddenfrom-view majesty is only revealed once at the crest of the lift-hill. Once exalted, riders can see the epic scale of track laying peacefully before them. In contrast to many other rides on the beach, this is self contained with nothing else going over or under it, creating a special atmosphere as if to say “this beast needs its own patch”. The ride begins with an exciting double-dip which is the ﬁrst knee-banging, airtime (coaster-geek-speak for weightlessness or zero G-force), body-ascending moment. The cars gather momentum, getting more enraged by the second, resulting in the “canal turn” near the end where the rider
La nouvelle scène française - Part 2 - Les Chanteuses françaises by Adam Faulkner THE RECENT ascension of female vocalists in the U.K, which has spawned the likes of Florence (and the Machine), MIA, and Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes) to name a few, has propelled such artists onto the world stage. The soaring success of these artists has encouraged the study into the offerings of the female vocalists from across the channel to see how they shape up against their British counterparts. The first artiste goes by the name of Emilie Simon, an extremely gifted composer of electronic music. Simon has a unique style of performance due to the combination of a traditional musical education with studio experimentations into the technologies of musical sounds. The use of science and technology is a key element of her musical wondrousness, which includes an awe-inspiring arm controller that allows control in modulating and transforming her live singing voice through a variety of controlled effects. This level of control initiates a fascinating intensity of versatility, by using advancements in technology to exhibit unique sounds, solely created by her. This is demonstrated by her most recent single ‘Dreamland’ from the 2009 album The Big Machine. Camille is a French singer-songwriter who collected the Best Female Vocalist Award at the 2009 Victoires de la Musique. She has a fascinating style, which explores her own personal visions of music and writing after a background in new wave and bossa nova music. Camille’s music clearly exhibits a captivating exploration of the voice after her thread-like 2005 album Le Fil, with only the double bass and keyboard as instrumental accompaniments. Le Fil as well as her 2008 album Music Hole, were both created in collaboration with English producer MaJiKer. The most recent album, Music Hole, displays an exploration of the body on this occasion with fuller backing instrumental accompaniment. The musical resonance leans towards apparent body percussions and tribal sounds after collaborations with the Brazilian band Barbatuques and Sly Johnson of the beat boxing world. The child of the famous French actor/singer Serge Gainsbourg is the next instalment of French vocalism. Charlotte Gainsbourg delivers a multi-talented array of offerings to the world as both an actress and singer. Debut album Charlotte Forever was produced by father Serge at a time when she struggled to ignore the world of cinema. The second instalment of musical recognition came over 20 years later after taking a back-seat to her acting career. The album enlisted the help of some music greats in defining her as an artist and interpreter clearly out of the shadow of her musical family heritage. 5:55 boasts a spell-binding team of composers, lyricists and producers including Jarvis Cocker, the hugely popular French band Air, and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. The result was a dreamy and ambient exhibition of modern musical intimacy and talent.
Electronic Organica IV at the Briton's Protection 19/3/10 by Alexx O’Shea
ELECTRONIC ORGANICA is a regular experimental electronica night run by Pesticide Organica and Fonik. I was a bit late arriving for this gig, when I got there a dense soundscape was all ready unfolding in a jam between Fonik and Pesticide Organica. Most of the stage was taken up by a selection of mysterious boxes of knobs, with the musicians positioned as if they were at the controls of a star ship, generating cosmic blips and drones. A live saxophone glided through the electronic tangle, while being sampled and played back weirdly. There was more saxophone use in the next band - Token Otter - who's line up consisted of electric guitar, laptop and baritone sax. These guys are expert improvisers, and they can sound pretty crazy in full swing! It sounded pretty intense with space bass rumbled from the laptop and Anton's "snap crackle and pop” guitar style. Orfeo 5, a sax and electronics duo, were on last. There were rather a lot of saxophones for an electronica night, but that's no bad thing! They used some interesting vocal samples that provided a counterpoint to the sax. As their piece developed, a groovy beat was brought in with squeals from an air synth - a neat little instrument that's played without being touched. All in all it was a great night for fans of experimental music, my only complaint being that it wasn't as long as previous ones.
5 The Good Life Victoria
by Natalie Bradbury