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Sleuth 18/03/2011

Will Smith, Enrique Garvey, E problem at Rice, Jamie’s trainers and the Knowledge – old style

Published on March 21st 2011.

Sleuth 18/03/2011

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.


Will Smith, a first class artiste
Sleuth was at the Lowry Hotel recently. Will Smith was staying there, in town to watch daughter Willow Smith perform with Justin Bieber. He’d been in Ireland before hand and allegedly wanted a first class ticket on the scheduled Aer Lingus flight to come and watch the gig. Aer Lingus didn’t do the big posh section of a plane thing, so – as the story goes – Will, bless him, hired a private jet. Switch, so to speak. Capitalism at work.

Sleuth's optimism of the week
Here are some deckchairs in Spinningfields being blown about in the March wind.

Enrique and Elbow
London PR types are playing fast and easy with Confidential over a review ticket for the Elbow gig next Friday. We tried to point out how immensely important we are in Manchester, as are you, our dear readers, but they're being sniffy. Worst insult was when they said they thought they could get us some Enrique Iglesias tickets instead. Sleuth had to laugh out loud. Then he sent a request to Enrique – that Manchester local hero – to see if he could sing a couple of Elbow covers in his inimitable style. 'One day like this' for instance, featuring his tortured vocals. Might work.

Jamie Oliver black out
Sleuth was walking past Wings today and all the windows were blacked out with heavy curtains. Apparently Jamie Oliver was in there filming an advert. We hope he wasn’t wearing trainers – click here.

Sleuth’s cliché of the year
Sleuth’s going to get seriously annoyed if anybody else says something’s ‘marmite’ over the course of the next month. He’s going to screw his fists into tight balls and scream. Sleuth avoids clichés like the plague.

Sleuth’s priceless ‘Knowledge’
Sleuth has a placement lad, David, investigating the ‘Knowledge’ – the black cab test about the city highways and byways. We’ve had some shocking experiences recently in which people haven't known the location of Harvey Nichols. David approached one old timer on the rank. The fella knew his stuff but said: “Mind you, the city’s changed a lot since I took the test.” “So when was that?” asked young David. “In 1961,” said the man. Maybe the Council needs to re-think the policy of drivers only having to take the Knowledge test once, thinks Sleuth. For example the street pattern of Hulme has changed not once but twice since 1961. Cities change over fifty years, it's a well-known fact.

That effing ‘e’
What’s the hardest word to spell in Manchester? Ann as in St Ann’s Square. The latest outlet to fall victim of too much ‘e’ is Rice, the casual dining place now open on St Ann’s Street.

Sachas Disaster
Sleuth was on a tour of The Avenue in Spinningfields, being shown all the posh shops including Brooks Brothers. The latter are chuffed because they’ve supplied the togs for ‘Mad Men’ - apparently all the Manc execs want to slip into the suits and then, presumably, slip between the sheets with their secretaries and PAs. Meanwhile the PR guy from Brooks Brothers, who’d come up from London, had the very opposite of a smooth, sexy, experience in Manchester. Some fool had put him in Sachas for the night: that’s the grim hotel in the Northern Quarter with the world’s roughest bar, Fridays. It's owned by the same people who own the Britannia Hotel. On the tour of The Avenue our man was showing other folk all his phone pics of the pokey room he'd bedded down in. Sleuth has slept in one of the windowless rooms, aka dark cell, of Sachas. He sympathises.

Laboured Intellectual Sleuth Joke of the Week
Sandinista are opening in Manchester soon. This is a Leeds-based bar group moving on to Old Bank Street, round the corner from St Ann’s Square and Corbieres. Given its called Sandinista, Sleuth was looking to work with them: he suggested a Contra deal. Sadly they rebelled against the idea. Seemed it clashed with the concept. Er. Sleuth will go for a lie down now.

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

Clever jokeMarch 18th 2011.

Sandinista. Contras. Clash. Hey Nicaragus. Got it. Where can I claim my £5

Veg mattersMarch 18th 2011.

Can we mention Marmite as a product though dear Sleuth? I love marmite. My partner doesn't.

Over exposedMarch 18th 2011.

Jamie O is the new Stephen Fry. I'm sick of seeing their faces. Get off TV for a while fellas.

PetardMarch 18th 2011.

Well, obviously St Ann's IS quite difficult to spell. But then it appears Sleuth also has his own spelling trouble in the story directly below--our most infamous hotel is Sacha's NOT Sasha's.

Its a basic rule of the interweb, 'make not thee flame of spelling lest thy be hoisted by thine own petard'

SleuthMarch 18th 2011.

The difference is one was my complete stupidity, whereas the other was an error of ignorance. Changed now. And its Sachas without an apostrophe.

PoorlySketchedChapMarch 18th 2011.

Why don't you just buy a ticket for Elbow, if it's that important to review it?

Andrew RevansMarch 18th 2011.

The reason it's spelt Ann is because the church wasn't named after Saint Anne (mother of Our Lady) but after Lady Ann Bland, who came up with the cash for it. She was an ultra-protestant who disapproved of the dissolute High Church ways of the Collegiate Church (now Cathedral).

Mike HallMarch 18th 2011.

I totally agree with cab drivers not knowing where to go, I recently got one from Hulme to Ducie St; the driver thought it was on Deansgate. I ended up getting out on Aytoun St (after directing him where to go) and walking the rest as he wasn't sure how to navigate the one way system. Shocking (and needless to say a tip wasn't given).

AustinminorMarch 18th 2011.

The issue with anything to do with black cabs is that they're one of the most 'conservative' and militant lobby-groups in the city. Printworks wanted to put in a min-cab office, the Hackney Carriage Association organized a 'drive slow' round the venue so the entire North of the city was snarled up (nomoveNoma)

Every time a hotel complains about cabs just parking outisde, blocking up the roadway, they get the same treatment. No one ever takes them on. That's why they're so scruffy, unhelpful and surly. And probably why the council is seeking to ban cars (and therefore taxis) from the city centre.

Suzanne AckermanMarch 18th 2011.

Enrique is one of the best acts I have seen live ever. I would be going myself but for the fact I'm on holiday.

It may not be your type of music, but i find comments about something you haven't even seen, in poor taste and disrespectful to readers with different opinions.

SleuthMarch 18th 2011.

Suzyblew eh? I love Enrique Iglesias, I have all his albums and keep posters of him in secret places around the house so I always get nice surprises as I mooch about. I have never said a bad word about him.

JohnMarch 19th 2011.

Unfortunately, there is a grammatical error in the article above the "effing e" piece as well as below. It should be "cities" not "city's" in the penultimate line. Better get some more petards for the ManCon office.

BukowskiMarch 19th 2011.

And Sachas does have Friday's bar (think that has an apostrophe), where, according to the website at least, some very attractive women hang out...

SleuthMarch 19th 2011.

Ha, Sleuth is so hoisted on petards he's walking in the air. 'Cities' is right and changed but Fridays is apostrophe free. Nice day isn't it?

Mark MottramMarch 19th 2011.

SuzyBlew has bad grammar too. Commas in the wrong place.

simonbMarch 21st 2011.

I recently got into a black cab outside the Printworks rank. It was about tea time and I need to get to Pollard St, just near the retail park. The driver, who didn't speak such good english, set off. He started to veer away from the Mancunian way and when I asked why he said it was the long way round. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, assuming he meant traffic. But ehn he just kep going further and further away, and evidently had no idea where he was going. I then had to direct him all the way to Ancoats. He seemed to have no knowledge of basic main, never routes, never mind short cuts. If I'd been a first time visitor to the city this would have been a rubbish and costly experience. And possibly scary. This happens all the time. There needs to be a massive crackdown. It's not unreasonable to expect a black cab to know the city centre and be able to understand basic English. I actually find the city centre mini cabs much better informed. Is there a big scam happening amongst the black cab licenses?

simonbMarch 21st 2011.

sorry about all the typos in that last rant...

John HarrisMarch 21st 2011.

A friend of mine recently got into a black cab and got raped. Something is wrong with the licensing system - half the drivers are not the licensed drivers of their vehicles.

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