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Sleuth 04/12/2009

Replacement for B of the Bang, travel Saville intercity, Band on the Wall hole truth and Mick Hucknall goes fishing

Published on December 3rd 2009.


Sleuth 04/12/2009

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.

Replacement for B of the Bang
This was a message and a picture for Sleuth from one of our readers. 'I was in one of the conferencing suites at the City of Manchester Stadium today and noticed this (picture below). I believe it's a proposal for a grand piece of public sculpture in the area, maybe on the junction of Ashton New Road and Alan Turing Way. I think it might look great although the engineering will have to be good to make sure it doesn't become dangerous.' Sleuth would like to see this idea worked up by New East Manchester, the quango out that way. It could make a really good landmark.

Flying designer
Sleuth loves Peter Saville's new Christmas wrapping paper. He thinks that the graphic designer is worth every penny of his £120k fee as the city's creative director - despite criticism that such an amount would better be spent on someone who doesn't live in the capital city. Anyway it was very good to see Peter attending the Manchester Music Debate at the Museum of Science and Industry chaired by Stephen Morris (of New Order). This turned out to a very appropriate place to hold the event. The museum has a magnificent collection of locomotives, and Peter, bless him, had to leave the debate early. He had to catch a train back to London.

In the City
On another musical note, but related, is the news that Manchester music convention, In the City, will ring the changes next time around with a new general manager being recruited in January. Yvette Livesey, the boss of the event, told Sleuth: “I want next year to be even better than 2009, which I feel went very well. We’ll be looking to employ a new general manager in January and we very much want to take the event forward. We’ve always been a seeding ground for people within in the music industry and we hope next year will be no exception.” Sleuth thinks Peter Saville should apply, he could schmooze the music industry types on his way up from London on the train. And on the way back down later that same day.

Manchester Unicity
A Sleuth spy tells of a big blunder at the 60th anniversary dinner of the Official Supporters club of Manchester City. Chairman Garry Cook, a former Nike boss, speaking at the event used the occasion to honour a famous City player who hails from Germany. Cook said: "I’d like to welcome Uwe Rosler into the Manchester United Hall of Fame.” Jeers and boos followed. Honestly football fans. Such a trivial little error as well.

Hard-wired kids
Here are two kids, Ralph and Oliver, who Sleuth took to the launch of Da Vinci, the Genius exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry. They were bored and found a bit of hardware to play on. “Ah how sweet,” said a dear old lady spotting them, “look at the two boys no doubt finding out about all the wonderful machines in the buildings and all the lovely science.” She went over with a friend for a closer look. The boys were giggling and didn't see them, but they had worked out that they could email each other from the machines. “Oh my word,” said the old lady and looked away quickly as she read the screens. On Oliver's they said, 'Ralph is a retard'. On Ralph's it said, 'Oliver is fat and smells.'

Sleuth's pictures of the week
Sleuth attended the launch of the Band on the Wall new artwork this week. It's brilliant – literally. The piece is a graphic equaliser (called EQ) which dances to the music being played in the venue. Here are the splendid pictures taken by Joel Fildes of the CEO, Gavin Sharp, playing the saxophone as the big switch-on took place. The work by Michael Trainor and Lee Donnelly, has 16,000 LED lights and uses half a kilometre of wiring. Very cute. Very clever.

Band on the Wall blues
Sleuth hears that the original plans for the launch of the Band on the Wall artwork were spoiled by British Gas. A band was supposed to play outside the venue under the inspired graphic equaliser design. But a couple of days before the event the boys in the hi-vis jackets arrived, started digging and wouldn't stop. Sleuth thinks this sort of works. When not responding to the music from the auditorium, EQ (the name of the piece) will jig about to the ambient sounds of Manchester. It should be lively when that pneumatic drill fires up.

Sleuth gets mystified
This story is also up elsewhere on Confidential, but Sleuth thought he needed to give it extra coverage. The new square planned for Salford over the river from Manchester Cathedral will have features which can produce 'mist'. As Nick Putnam of Salford Urban Regeneration told Confidential, “Both the beacons and the fountains can emit mist. This will be in the form of a fine water vapour released at high pressure . In hot weather it'll work particularly well. We have made the decision not to call the effect fog though,” he said with a laugh. Sleuth isn't sure about this. More mist for Salford, more water vapour. Sleuth wonders if they've thought this through properly.

Mick Hucknall and other red deer
Sleuth is intrigued by Simply Red musicians Mick Hucknall and Christopher De Margary's clash with a neighbour over fishing and shooting rights on adjoining estates in Co Donegal. Mancunian Hucknall famous for his Labour party support is just about the best champagne socialist around. Sleuth's favourite part of all this though comes via Judge John O’Hagan. He's quoted in the Irish Times thus: 'He said the case had “been simmering” since 2005. He added: “It’s likely to take years to sort it out.” The judge adjourned the hearing for 15 minutes to allow the feuding parties an opportunity to “sort it out.”' Does anybody else spot a fundamental inconsistency here?

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

smittyDecember 3rd 2009.

Thank you for the proper use of the word "literally". The abuse of this word, particularly by overexcited TV presenters on daytime telly, makes my blood boil.

ShanklonDecember 3rd 2009.

That anonymous is funny. Why don't people think before they rant? Trevor, you're right, anonymous, leapt fully formed from his mother's womb, an unimaginative, tight-arsed sourpuss. The Band on the Wall stuff looks amazing by the way. I'll nip up and check it out.

Chris StevensDecember 3rd 2009.

I think I'd like to see more rain in Salford rather than mist. We really don't get enough.

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2009.

At least with Peter Saville we're investing in the UK, particularly when big business a few streets away, namely Urban Splash, has it's hand in the public till again, despite it turns out being partly owned by an offshore trust...naughty naughty

Racy RonDecember 3rd 2009.

Problem is Citizen that we won't have as many days to enjoy Bordeaux effects here will we. No the other ranter's right, the Band on the Wall neon is a better idea. They could have had a proper bit of fun from that couldn't they? Probably cost less as well.

Trevor JamesDecember 3rd 2009.

Anonymous, you clearly have never had children or ever been one. They call each other names.

citizenandrewDecember 3rd 2009.

there's a very good example of a water feature that gives off mist in Bordeaux. It looks stunning there.

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2009.

' a retard' eh what lovely boys

James DaviesDecember 3rd 2009.

That Band on the Wall piece looks astonishingly good.

Jimmy SavilleDecember 3rd 2009.

Only 120k a year for Pete extremely reasonable! Worth every penny. He's extremely grateful as its the only work he's got now.

DaveDecember 3rd 2009.

The contrast between the new BotW feature and what that quango in Salford has just dreamed up to spend their public funds on, is startling.

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