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You’re such a lovely audience, we’d like to take you home with us….

14 Sep

IMG_0572

My Salford-Irish heritage sometimes comes across in very subtle ways…

The blog title reveals little except a reference to live performance (which I’ll come to in a bit) and the fact I’m currently listening to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band!

So, where to begin? I’ve been a bit lax in my reports on my personal cultural engagement. Or, if that sounds a bit too pretentious, I could say that I’ve been a bit lazy in reporting what I’ve been up to (in a creative sense)! Either that, or I’ve been too busy. Hmm…no, ‘lazy’ pretty much covers it…

Anyway!

Hic Dragones, who I reported on last April are running another potentially interesting and exciting conference weekend in Manchester. The group are quite enamored with the strange and the bizarre, specializing in small press and conferences concerning the ‘weird, the dark and the strange’ (their words), and have asked for submissions for that weekend, that would be around twenty minutes in length. They want some dark and bizarre fiction apparently, although they usually except non-fiction. I’m strongly toying with the idea of putting myself forward. Speaking in front of a ‘ready made’ crowd would, for me, be more daunting than delivering something at work (a college, as it happens). My Masters dissertation was concerned with the sanitization of the vampire in contemporary Literature and Film, so that could be the basis of a good (much abridged) piece, although not entirely clear how relevant that would be for this event. Incidentally, I may be bold and share the full ‘book’ on here in pdf format. Best that I check the rules and rights of such an action first!

Continue reading

Manchester Monster Convention

13 Apr

Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th April 2012
Sachas Hotel, Tib Street, ManchesterWeekend Tickets: just £10
For more information on this event, and to book tickets, please visit the Hic Dragones website.
Saturday 14th April
Doors open at 10am

Talks (Jefferson Suite)11.00am Before Dawn – a new British horror film set in Yorkshire
Dominic Brunt (Actor/Director) and Neale Myers (Cameraman/Digital Effects Artist) will be showing clips from their new Yorkshire horror movie, Before Dawn, talking about the movie and answering questions12.30pm Q&A with Sam Stone and David J Howe
Sam is the author of the Vampire Gene series, and David has written numerous books on Doctor Who. Both authors will be reading from their work, answering questions and generally talking vampires, monsters and Who.2.00pm Tales from the Crypt: Two Real-Life Vampire Cases
Talk by Geoff Holder, author of Paranormal Glasgow and Paranormal Cumbria, covering the hunt for the Vampire with Iron Teeth, and the infamous case of the Vampire of Croglin Grange.3.30pm In Search of Real Monsters
Talk by Richard Freeman, Zoological Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology

Signings (Washington Suite)

1.20pm Sam Stone and David J Howe
2.50pm Geoff Holder

The Monster Market (Washington Suite)
Stalls will be open from 10am to 5pm

Film Screenings (Jefferson Suite)

From 6pm Monster Movie Triple Bill (sponsored by Grimm Up North)
Island of Lost Souls
Whisperer in the Darkness
Reel Zombies Continue reading

The romance of grime- the vanishing world of cinematic Manchester.

11 Sep

Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie in John Schlesinger's "Billy Liar" (1963)

The modern world puts great emphasis on the rejuvenation of formerly run down areas of our cities. Money and modernity is applied to the problem and old buildings and streets are often cleared out of the way to make room for the new vision. Having been raised in the North West of England I’m aware of the changes that have happened even in my lifetime, going back over thirty years. However, Britain’s celluloid past gives us a glimpse into a romantic world where the streets may have been grimier and the architecture more austere, but combined with the black and white photography of the time, gave us a romantic vision of Lancashire and Manchester. The cobbled streets, spiked iron railings, worn steps and grand athenaeums sometimes still survive; dinosaurs from a lost world. In the timeless world of film, however, this world still remains untouched. As our cityscapes become ever more generic, it’s almost refreshing to watch films from our post-war film boom. Continue reading