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Sleuth 21/12/2007

Wes Brown opens Hale restaurant and the Dullest PR of the Year Award

Published on December 21st 2007.

Sleuth 21/12/2007

United flavour
Sleuth is getting confused. He was in Amba in Hale and was sure he saw Wes Brown, the Manchester United defender cooking in the kitchen. Then he was at the game at Old Trafford and thought he saw the chef of Amba, Lee Jackson, diving into a crunching tackle. Sleuth is confused. What's going on?

John Locke’s publicity machine seems to be working well. The sturdy Toby jug of Manchester’s food and drink scene was patrolling his new pub, the Northern on Oldham Street, with proprietorial pride the other day. He looked smug: no wonder. The whole of the City Council events team were dining in one part and, the zany event organisers, Ear to the Ground, were getting silly at the bar. That's the sort of attention a three week old business appreciates.

Rock Gods
Sleuth dropped into the Castle pub on Oldham Street this week. He was in the parlour and found a guitar, and being a merry minstrel, struck a few perfect chords. Damien the landlord, who moves around his boozer like the ghost of Christmas past, present and future, appeared on Sleuth’s shoulder and said. “Last person to play that was Stephen Fretwell, last Tuesday at 4am, he’s better than you. Liam Frost had a go too.” Fretwell and Frost are Manchester’s perennial and talented almost-nearly-made-it singer songwriters. Sleuth mused on how privileged they’d feel if they knew Sleuth had tinkered with the same instrument. By the way, the guitar is available for any punter who fancies an afternoon pluck.

Unidentified Flying Artwork
The Castle pub has a very irregular regular called Mark Kennedy. He's Manchester's mosaic man, responsible for the Affleck’s Palace artworks, and also the bizarre, mosaic over the bar in the Castle. This is of Cath the former landlady and is bizarre because her ashes are mixed in with the putty. Sleuth was talking to a friend the other day and she reminded him of an occasion when Mark, bless him, asked her if she wanted “to go UFO hunting at Hollingworth Lake.” Yes our main mosaicist is a UFO chaser. Well, we all need our belief systems.

Clubbed to death
Sleuth loved the ad for the worst nightclub in the world in this week’s Metro. The ad for the Didsbury nightspot, Friday’s, screamed. ‘FESTIVE FUN’, closely followed by, ‘all promotions finish for Christmas after Saturday 8 December’. Sleuth’s going to take another look at the calendar and work that one out.

One of Sleuth’s London correspondents has unearthed this rather remarkable YouTube clip of one of our city’s best known DJs, Luke Unabomber, famous for the Electric Chair night. What on earth is going on here? Click here to view

Horrible noises from Bulgaria
Sleuth worries about an infestation of accordions. A man called Al, who claims to be an opera singer, (he’s also the founder of the Manchester branch of the Dr Karl Kennedy Appreciation Society) spotted four accordions the other day in the short distance between HMV on Market Street and Piccadilly Gardens. He told Sleuth, “These disgusting instruments seem to be striking up unlikely relationships with Eastern Europeans, who have little or no idea of how to play them. They are instruments of torture.” Sleuth calls on Manchester’s comptroller of the city centre, Councillor Pat Karney, to act. It'd be nice if he could put limits on the School of Samba making that racket down at M&S too

Glamorous Manchester
Sleuth's proudest Mancunian moment of the year was learning just a few days ago that we have a number one shop in the land. Is this the busiest Harvey Nichols perhaps? No, the Manchester Arndale’s Aldi is the busiest Aldi in the country. Anybody for reasonably priced oven chips?

Worst PR of the Year Awards
Every day Confidential suffers an endless hail of banal PR. So much so that next year we’re thinking of inaugurating the Worst PR of the Year awards. This will have numerous categories including Most Trivial, Least Effective and so on. We’ll also have the Most Precious PR category. Brazen would have won this year for getting all pathetic when we reviewed Panacea and mentioned that boss Joe Akka was doing bird for beating up a customer. Like a child in a playground Brazen stamped their feet and bleated, “It’s not fair, that’s so history.” Meanwhile the award for the Dullest PR Award goes to an outfit called WardLovatt. This bunch sent Confidential, your friendly online general interest magazine in Manchester, this story with this picture about a minor appointment in a minor company in Birmingham. Brilliant work fellas. Click here to view the utter mediocrity.

Where is James Purnell?
Following James Purnell’s faked photographs at Tameside Hospital, we ask the Culture Secretary and MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, where he’s not been this week.

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

know it all (nearly)December 21st 2007.

Mr Fretwell really hasn't gone very far, it's the bad karma for blowing off the local manager (Tim Mullet) who sweated his heart out for him, as soon as Sony used their usual ****ty bully tactics to cut Tim out. Shame on you Fretwell.

SpawnMeister666December 21st 2007.

I am a regular visitor to Newcastle, due to a certain lovely young lady from New Zealand who is currently residing there, and have been distressed on my most recent visits to find a plethora of accordian players scattered throughout an otherwise very nice city....Whilst I do think there is a definate place for street music, and am a big fan of it when it is done well, I have nothing but dislike for the overweight Albanian women plying their trade with woeful accordian play every time I turn a corner....I can only assume that these women are the rejects from the flourishing sex-trafficking trade that we hear so much about....Well I would like to put forwards a motion, said motion being that if the vile sex-trade can have such a thing as quality control, perhaps we can manage the same with our street musicians.....

MadonnaDecember 21st 2007.

Get into the groove, boy you've got to prove, Your love to me, yeah.Get up on your feet, yeah. Step to the beat. Boy what will it be.Music can be such a revelation, dancing around you feel the sweet sensation. We might be lovers if the rhythm's right. I hope this feeling never ends tonight.I was reading Manchester Confidential and read that comment and just had to display my lyrical wit.

SleuthDecember 21st 2007.

Kid Disco you've got a point there but in terms of household popularity Stephen remains a mystery to most. We wish him luck at Confidential though.

MadonnaDecember 21st 2007.

Get into the groove

Kid DiscoDecember 21st 2007.

Erm, bit off the mark there Sleuth. Stephen Fretwell is signed to Sony and his last album (Magpie) was in the UK Albums Top 75 for 6 weeks, that's hardly "almost-nearly-made-it singer songwriter"

Get into the GrooveDecember 21st 2007.

Sleuth – musical instruments are not infestations; you’ve been spending too much time in restaurants. You normally seem so erudite and appreciative of such a range of activities, but I suppose there has to be a gap in your armoury somewhere, and clearly street music is that gap. Your piece prompted me to be far more generous than usual when I encountered an accordion accompanied by a wonderful soprano sax this afternoon. Loads of people enjoy street music and would be disappointed if it disappeared. I dare you to challenge Danny the Dancer to a dance off – how about the last Saturday before Christmas (that’s tomorrow) @ 3.00 pm outside M & S?

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