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Sleuth 02/10/2009

Cheeky fag gets elbowed, Stuart Maconie baloney, clockwork in the pub, Band on the Wall carpet burns, blue house power and curvy tours

Published on October 2nd 2009.

Sleuth 02/10/2009

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to print. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows.

Seldom smoked gig
Sleuth hears that after Elbow’s triumphant concert on the 18 September at the MEN Arena the boys wanted a little break. So lead singer Guy Garvey plus backstage guest, top poet and broadcaster, Simon Armitage, went for a quiet, sneaky fag in the toilets. They were encouraged in this by Garvey’s seventy odd year-old dad who also went along for the ride. Security found them. Oops. It was a case of “don’t care if you were the headline act tonight, you’re out, rules are rules”. Thus on the band’s last big homecoming gig before they take a well-earned break they were chucked out of their own concert venue. Smoking kills....kills parties as you might say.

Lighter shade of pale
Sleuth was at the re-launch of the Band on the Wall the other week. It’s great to see the veteran venue back on the scene. One part of the refurb caused much discussion. This was the carpet which is pale grey, very pale grey, with designs woven of jack plugs and the like. Very pretty, but pale grey in a gig venue awash with swaying music lushes dropping beer all over it? In an interview the marketing manager Malcolm Duffin on Confidential (click here) explains: “Of course it's going to get worn, and of course beer's going to get spilt on it. It will wear and develop its own unique patina. And let's remember that the last Band on the Wall carpet is now a bit of a collector's item. It's got cigarette butts on it, it's got beer stains and all the rest of it.” So Band on the Wall - Beer on the Carpet, it’s alright if you get a bit shaky folks with the rhythms on stage.

Maconie baloney
Readers of the Guardian weekend magazine a couple of weeks ago could hardly have missed the double-page ad from the grammatically challenged englandsnorthwest campaign, funded by the North West Regional Development Agency, or the northwestregionaldevelopmentagency, as perhaps they ought to call themselves. ‘Written’ by professional northerner Stuart Maconie, the ad was not so much littered with howlers and errors as stuffed with them. Amongst several sillinesses Maconie referred to Alderly Edge, praised Cheetham’s School of Music, and bigged up that well-known Manchester district of Castlefields. Brilliant. Remember this was from local tourism boffins. Can you imagine London Tourist Board telling people about Bookingham Palace, Grenwich and Convents Garden? It simply wouldn’t happen.

Sleuth crappest PR of the week
This was a belter from Sandtex paints this week. After a poll of 3000 people it was found that those living in blue houses are more successful than those living in homes painted any other colour. Sleuth’s favourite fact was that: ‘The average blue homeowner is in a long term relationship, has two children and four really close friends.’ The full breakdown of earnings by house colour is: Blue £38,000, Red £23,500, White £23,400, Magnolia £23,100, Beige £20,800, Orange £20,000, Purple £19,600, Grey £19,000, Yellow £18,500, Brown £18,400, Pink £14,500, Green £13,100. Victoria Jones, spokesperson for Sandtex Paints, has some reassurance for those in blighted shades: “For those of you living in green house colours don’t despair. Although you may not be particularly wealthy, green homeowners still say they are quite happy with life, their family, and their relationships. It is incredible to think,” Victoria continues, “that the colour of your house could have any bearing on how successful you are in your career or at home.” Sleuth agrees: it’s an incredible pile of crap.

Breast foot forward
Sleuth often gets asked to take people on tours of Manchester. This week he got a call: “Hello, I arrange events for a national organisation and we’re looking to do a tour of historic pubs in Manchester,” said a pleasant sounding bod. Sleuth and the person discussed details. “And what organisation are we talking about?” asked Sleuth. “The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons,” came the reply. Sleuth thought about that for a minute, and thought about breast enhancement surgery too: “Ah,” he said smiling, “ so that would BAAPS.” The silence on the end of the phone was followed by: “It’s not the best acronym is it?” Sleuth wonders if there’s a Manchester branch of the organisation: if so is it called MANBAAPS or MANCHESTBAAPS.

It’s always the right time in The Eagle
A couple of weeks ago Sleuth described a visit to The Eagle pub in Salford with two Australian broadcasters (click here). He couldn’t resist going back. Sat in the lounge over a pint of Joey Holt bitter, he realised that he didn’t have his watch on and things were too comfortable. He looked for a clock, found it on the wall. This is the clock picture below. Sleuth read the message, nodded in agreement and got another pint in.

CCTV at the oche
The landlord Jimmy in The Eagle also explained the rather sinister looking camera in the tiny games room which houses the Manchester dart board. “When we have matches on, the teams can’t all fit in the dartboard room so this camera relays the game to the TVs in other rooms so the rest of the teams and locals can watch it live on the screen. Sleuth imagines the scene and the voice-over: “So now we’ll go over live to the...er...room next door as Albert tensely hunches over the oche, darts poised.....”

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KodiOctober 2nd 2009.

The house colour feature: B*ll*cks.My house has been blue for years, and I was always broke. A month ago I painted it green, and in recent weeks my business has really picked up.The Elbow feature: nice way to treat local heroes and all-round nice guy Donald Garvey!

AnonymousOctober 2nd 2009.

Re: Sandtex PR... that's what you get for hiring Connectpoint/Amaze/whatever to do your publicity. Utterly useless. And no, I don't work in PR - they're just rubbish.

JohnOctober 2nd 2009.

Whilst BAAPS is a pretty good acronym, nothing beats Stuart Hall International Travel

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