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Sleuth 12/11/2010

Jason Manford, The Clash, Father Christmas, Hip Hop cheats, Raphael, Michael Browne, Abraham Lincoln, bus drivers

Published on November 15th 2010.

Sleuth 12/11/2010

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.

Jason Manford’s buffet
Sleuth had a splendid time at the Jason Manford gig on Tuesday at the Apollo. The main man was on for two and a half hours: ‘I’m like an all you can eat buffet, not everything’s good but there’s a lot of it,” he quipped at the end. Looking like a plumber going down the pub, Manford even joked about his Twitter flirt problems over the previous week, saying he’d lost 11lbs. Sleuth in the interval mused with his good friend about the first real gig he ever attended aged 16 in 1980 at the Apollo. The place was a fleapit then, everything seemed sticky, but that didn’t matter: Sleuth’s first gig ever was The Clash. Nothing has ever really equalled it in terms of live performances.

First time, cherry breaking concerts
Sleuth’s friend’s first gig was nowhere near as good, it was Wet, Wet, Wet. “I’m being honest,” she said, “I bet most people lie about it.” Sleuth asked round the office for the truth about first gigs. Moyo’s first gig was Robbie Williams at King George’s Hall at Blackburn, Binns was Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine at Middlesbrough Town Hall. Ormesher’s was the Beautiful South and the Lightning Seeds at the Hillsborough Memorial Concert. Crikey. Anybody want to ‘fess what their first time was?

Witty lapdancing larks
Sleuth was passing – yes passing – when he saw this advert for Boutique lap-dancing venue on Lloyd Street. It was for FCNK. Fur coat, no knickers apparently. Given the nature of the business this statement of the obvious made Sleuth laugh.

Sleuth’s man of many parts - of the week
“How are you Santa?” Sleuth asked. “I’m in bits,” said Father Christmas.

Nagasaki mon amour
Sleuth took the Lord Mayor of Manchester and the Mayor of Nagasaki on a tour of the sites relevant to a new Peace and Social Justice trail that the Council has printed (click here). We stopped at the Abraham Lincoln statue in the square of the same name. Sleuth was asked to inform the guests that the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress were leaving at this point to get back to the Town Hall so they could make sure a subsequent reception was ready for the visitors. “They’ve got to do the dusting and the washing up,” Sleuth joshed, “bake some cakes.” The British gently giggled. When the translation hit the Japanese, they bellowed with laughter. They continued to laugh. Sleuth thinks they’re probably still laughing.

Confederate conspiracy
At the Abraham Lincoln statue Sleuth had told the group how Manchester had supported the anti-slavery Union in the American Civil War and Liverpool had supported the Confederacy - hence we were given this statue. As Sleuth finished his tour in Albert Square there was a lorry parked on the cobbles installing Santa on the Town Hall. “Look,” said one of the Japanese. The lorry had a Confederate flag proudly flying from its cab. “Do you think the owner’s from Liverpool?” asked a guest.

Sleuth’s sweetest tweet of the week
This from @ewotherspoon: Sleuth’s mate Eleanor Wotherspoon on Armistice Day, 11 November: ‘My bus driver was wearing his campaign medals this morning. Good on him’. Eleanor didn’t mention which army or which campaign? Sleuth wonders if the driver were German.

Sleuth spurious fact of the week
To quote: ‘those with Jay-Z loving squeezes might want to keep a keen eye on them from now on; a UK dating site has released figures that show hip-hop fans are the most adulterous of all music lovers’. The survey also surprisingly shows that classical music fans are more likely to cheat than dance fans. Sleuth is dubious: are Goth fans more likely to self-amuse? Given that the survey comes from Illicitencounters.com (click here) Sleuth reckons that 100% of their readers are likely to cheat. The crap likelihood of cheating stats in full are: Hip Hop 32%, Rock 28%, Classical 27%, Pop 21% and Dance 17%

Sleuth’s little known fact of the week
Men with hats are more likely to wear condoms then men who don’t wear hats. Bald men are the least likely to wear condoms.

South gets bigger
South nightclub on South King Street is being renovated. Sleuth hears that world-renowned designer Ben Kelly is in charge of the revamp. Kelly did the Hacienda (ever heard of that?) and Dry Bar in Manchester in the eighties and nineties and almost single-handedly created the stripped back, utilitarian look of clubs and bars that was the fashion for a decade. The new South will contain a ‘cage’ for dancing and will also bring a central and previously hidden courtyard in the building into use. It will remain fronted by Clint Boon.

Raphael comes to Rosso
After Rooney’s revelations in Rio’s restaurant we get Raphael. Michael Browne who once painted a version of the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpieces on the arch of Cocotoo restaurant on Whitworth Street West is to do the School of Athens on a wall at the King Street/Spring Gardens venue. He’s going to replace the faces of the famous philosophers with those of well-known Mancs instead. Sleuth had drank about seventeen bottles of wine at lunch over the road in Room: he wondered if he could be the sprawling Diogenes figure in the centre of the picture, as that’s what he felt like right then. The whole scheme is Sleuth’s doing in one respect: he told Nurez, the main owner, many months ago that the existing black and white images of Sinatra, Loren and others was taking a cliché too far.

Rosso blotto
So Sleuth was in Rosso at 3pm with Ruth Allan, Neil Sowerby and Gordo. Four people. They had the cheapest bottle of Italian Amarone wine. Then they had the most expensive decanted for them. Then they finished (themselves) off with the middle expensive Amarone. Subsequently they all fell off their chairs and ended slumped under a counter snoring by five’o’clock. Rio Ferdinand was in as well. But he didn’t get pissed with the gang of four, he just glanced over as he left. Here’s a picture of Neil Sowerby skipping back from the Gents with, in the background, the wall where Browne’s going to paint his Raphael tribute.

Sleuth’s quote of the week
Passing man to Sleuth’s party in the above story. “So this is how Manchester’s last remaining city centre media group spend their Thursday afternoons.” We sort of ignored him, making really important points to each other that none of us can now remember.

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

John HarrisNovember 12th 2010.

My first gig was the Dooleys, in Harrogate, I think around 1979. I don't remember much about it.

Horribly bad choice...November 12th 2010.

First live act I went to see was Peter Andre. If you can say it was live that is. In my defense I was 12!

JohnNovember 12th 2010.

The Stax/Atlantic tour with Sam & Dave at the Odeon on Oxford Road in nineteen sixty something. How good is that?

harryNovember 12th 2010.

Mine was the Clash too, the same gig I suspect. (Feb 80, the 16 Tons tour just after London Calling came out). I was just 14 and was only allowed to go because there was trusted adults going to look after me!

Andrew RevansNovember 12th 2010.

Jethro Tull Free Trade Hall 1972. A friend took me, determined to make me love prog rock. I hated them; smug patronising men playing overblown pretentious crap.

NortherngeezerNovember 12th 2010.

Genesis at the Free Trade Hall, 1972.
An amazing light show, but then i didnt know any better, i was only 17 and a swinging red light bulb in a knocking shop window looked good ;-)

Lucy HineNovember 13th 2010.

Phil Collins - Both Sides Tour - G Mex - 1995, I loved it. I miss the Gmex as a venue, it had more soul than the MEN Arena does.

Arran SummerhillNovember 13th 2010.

Loopylu - i prescribe going to one of the gigs still held at Manchester Central in that case.
Not sure if Pip Collins will be banging the skins any time soon though.

beanficaNovember 13th 2010.

In mitigation i was at school..... it was the Bay City Rollers at Coventry Apollo. Oh the shame..........! By the way, am I the only person who thought Gordo was sound (basing my opinion on his pieces for mancon), and now has shifted their opinion having witnessed the magnificent come dine?!

NortherngeezerNovember 13th 2010.

Only ever been to the M.E.N once........never again, its shyte, too big to have any atmosphere.
Lowry...............one word........'PARKING'!!!!!!!

BillyLiarNovember 14th 2010.

My first gig was the sex pistols at the lesser free trade hall, 4th June 1976

AnonymousNovember 14th 2010.

Dear Sleuth. I don't 'wear' condoms. Do you? I USE them

James KayNovember 15th 2010.

I'm not sure that Boutique is a lap-dancing club... you might just want to check the story!

AgricolaNovember 15th 2010.

Sleuth was talking about wearing them as hats.

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