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Sleuth 7/12/2007

Morrissey speaks out – sort of, losing the Phred and massive depression threat lifted on Oxford Road

Published on December 7th 2007.


Sleuth 7/12/2007

Matt and carol
Sleuth was at the launch of Grado, Paul Heathcote’s new Spanish restaurant on York Street. Looks good, menu reads well with a lot more to it than bleeding patatas bravas and albondigas. Sleuth bumped into Matt Nickson, the fine saxophonist whose name adorns Matt and Phred’s Jazz Club on Tib Street. But what was that next to his plate of ham – Christmas hits for buskers? Had Matt fallen on hard times? Had he forgotten all his tunes? “No, I’m just off to a gig at Harvey Nichols and catching up on the classics. Looks a bit funny doesn’t it?”

Matt glossed over
Matt Nickson was on good form. He had the mother of all splits with his business partner Phred, of eponymous club Matt and Phred’s, back in May. Legals, tantrums and all that. It’s getting sorted now but Matt finds perambulations down Tib Street a little odd. “I walk past occasionally,” he told Sleuth, “and still find it strange that I’m barred: barred from the club which bears my own name.”

Losing the thread
Sleuth went to the launch of the John Locke’s re-invented King pub in the Northern Quarter. Bez, Peter Hook and Jimmi Harkishin (Dev in Corrie) were there. On the walls were pics of Tony Wilson, Colin Bell, Anthony Burgess, Elsie Tanner and Ian Brown. The pub’s called the Northern and John Locke’s emphasizing the name with the decor. So Sleuth was a little surprised when he overheard one of the city’s PR/marketing bods say, “So, I wonder what the theme’s supposed to be?”

Don’t worry, be happy
This is Sleuth’s nomination for the most interesting to let sign of the year. Did letting agents Lambert Smith Hampton put it up to reassure staff in the Oxford Road office? It reads ‘To Let New Retail Unit (Samaritans unaffected)’. How nice. Wouldn’t want anybody getting depressed, would we - especially the Samaritans?

Police merge with Salvation Army
Greater Manchester Police want people to vote on whether they like the proposed new police uniforms, see below. Since the Police authorities don’t want to look like police anymore they should be fine. Mostly the Police bosses seem to want their chaps to look like extras in American movies, or even paramilitaries, with baseball caps and all. These uniforms go the other way though. Sleuth rang a policeman friend for his thoughts. “Oh Christ, the bloke looks like a member of the Salvation Army,” he said, “especially with that silly blue band round the hat. Or Percy the Park Keeper.”

Confidential goes Morrissey
Sleuth loved Morrissey’s ravaging of the NME this week, after the latter implied that Morrissey was a racist. In the Guardian blog the singer wrote: ‘Readers have been driven away by a magazine with no insides. The narrow cast of repeated subjects sets off the agony, a mesmerizing mess of very brief and dispassionate articles unable to make thought evolve.” He goes on to mention the ‘relentless stream of "cheers mate, got pissed last night, ha ha" interviews.' Sleuth agrees. So he decided to ask Morrissey what he thought of Confidential. Well a look-a-like Morrissey anyway. Older as well. One who looks a bit like Gordo. This Morrissey said, “Unlike the NME, Manchester Confidential is setting new standards of impartiality, satire and quality of writing. Is that enough, can I put the gladioli down now? Lunch anyone?”

Las Vague-ass
Sleuth is a civilized gent. He can’t abide boxing - that violent, bloody excuse for a sport. Surely it’s the last bastion of legally condoned barbarity? So Sleuth has only one message for Ricky Hatton, before tomorrow’s bout: “Come on Ricky, give that preening, posing jackass, Floyd Mayweather, a right good tonking, would you? One to the belly, one to the chin, knock him out cold, and bloody him up!”

Manchester’s best comedian
Hatton by the way is a very good stand-up comedian as well as a boxer. Here’re some of his reported jokes from an after dinner gig in Oldham.
On his weight problem: “They’ve nicknamed me Ricky Fatton. Mind you I’ve had a lot on my plate lately. This suit I’ve got on I got measured for it the other week. ‘Fuckin’ ‘ell Ricky’, the tailor said, ‘you’re a Mark F.’ I said, ‘What’s a Mark F?’ He says, ‘It’s a size up from a fuckin’ marquee.’”
On his love-life, “I had a girlfriend leave me for a midget once. I never thought anyone would stoop that low.”
About fighting a previous bout in the early hours against Kostya Tszyu at the MEN Arena to get the US TV audience. “All the American press came up to me and said, ‘Ricky, how d’you think you’re going to find it fighting at two in the morning?’ and I said, ‘Every fucker fights at two in the morning in Manchester.’”

Where is James Purnell?
Following James Purnell’s faked photograph 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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22 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Joan of JazzDecember 7th 2007.

High quality journalism as always! Matt split with business partner Phred in May did he - I think you will find that Phred moved on in December 2002 and that Matt, finally, moved on in April of 2007. As for the references to 'legals' and 'tantrums'- the loyal readership deserves to hear more of such 'shennanigans'! Poor lad to be barred from the club baring his name! From memory, he never seemed concerned about the absence of Phred following his departure! Surely not another example of the owners/'writers' of Manchester Confidential publishing a half arsed, half baked and totally incorrect article about a business they apparently have an issue with??Keep it up. We need you to keep putting the boot into those without a forum through which to respond!

eugeneDecember 7th 2007.

Sorry to hijack this, but I need to bring to everyones attention a possible scam going on at the christmas markets:I paid for a pint of lager and a mug of mulled wine, last night handing over a £1 (refundable) deposit for the mug the wine is served in. When I returned for another round, with the same mug, I was charged another £1. When I queried this, advising that I should only pay once, I was told that I would get the £1 when I gave the mug back. I explained I had brought the mug to him, and had paid the £1 deposit already, and the server told me I would get one pound back when I left. I was not happy with this but reluctantly accepted it to avoid causing a scene. After finishing that round, my friend went back for a third round, again taking the same mug, and yes; was charged another £1 deposit. I therefore have been charged £3 deposit for a mug that only requires a £1 deposit. When I left, I was only given £1 back.As I queried this early on in the evening, and made myself very clear, I suspect this is a deliberate attempt to deceive people who are too polite to make a fuss.I have emailed MCC and hope this is taken seriously, as fraudulent behaviour (if this is what it is) being committed outside the town hall, is outrageous.I have suggested MCC investigate, and would like Man Con to do too..cheers

victorDecember 7th 2007.

Certainly not worth mulling over.?

eugeneDecember 7th 2007.

ha ha. keep the cliches coming, the old ones are the best :-)anon- strangely, i did..but you know what it's like when you have had a few hot strawberry wines, and gossiped a bit too much..last thing i wanted to do after getting through the crowds to the bar was to perform swap shop a la cmas markets. but you know, i think i should engage my brain a bit more..

JamesDecember 7th 2007.

Mr Wont be going! you are a halfwit, a fool and an idiot. The markets are one of the best things Manchester does. The families, the office workers love them. They are an entertainment as much as anything else so you best make sure that when any non-British singers or bands come to Manchester you don't go along. And best stop watching American TV series as well. And don't buy any Chinese toys for child relations. Don't foreigners making money in Britain do we? You make me feel ashamed.

Joan of JazzDecember 7th 2007.

Thank you 'Mr Publisher' for alerting the readership to the existence of the 'forum'. However, I think you will find there is a marked difference between the impact created by an item of 'journalism' and that of a comment made in response to said item appearing as a footnote. In fact if that weren't the case your advertisers might not be so inclined to work with your publication. I think the most cursory examinations of earlier posting would reveal that in the search of balanced commentary your readers merely expect that you check your facts and afford relevant parties an equal number of 'column inches' in which to present their position.That said it's rather strange that you failed to notice the general agreement [expressed in previous postings] with your position with respect to Matt and Phred's.Best Wishes

Mark Garner, The PublisherDecember 7th 2007.

"We need you to keep putting the boot into those without a forum through which to respond!” Eh, Joan, correct me if I am talking through my arse (which wouldn't be the first time) but aren't you using a forum supplied by yours truly to respond?

secret squirrelDecember 7th 2007.

Might want to check the facts a bit more on the Matt 'n Phreds story as Phred left the business (after, surprise surprise, a fall out with Matt!) more than three years ago...Ahem..I think you'll find also that Matt hasn't been involved as an owner or director of M&P for many years...Bit of pot and kettle going on me thinks...;-)

BenDecember 7th 2007.

Went in The Northern last night (Friday) after watching Ian Brown at GMex and was impressed.Very nice place.Even the wallpaper continues the Northern theme, see if you can work out who the faces are.

AnonymousDecember 7th 2007.

I was just wondering if the owners/operators/managers of this site ever actually checked the posts submitted and/or considered removing those that are clearly malicious, personal or just plain absurd.

sprouterDecember 7th 2007.

eugene, you're a fool.x

Joan of jazzDecember 7th 2007.

Well Jonathan, if your claims of what 'sleuth's are supposed to be' are indeed correct I humbly suggest that you are over achieving on a prolific basis!Let's face it, everyone knows that Matt and Phred's has 'dive-bombed' spectacularly since the departure of Phred and now Matt. The arriviste from the south [emperor's new clothes maybe] has utterly destroyed the essence of everything that as once good about this wonderful venue. Between him and his 'mouthy art dealer' wife they have mangaged to systematically offend most [if not all] of the hard working and dedicated local 'creatives' upon which the entire 'Northern Quarter' brand was built in the pursuit of their own selfish goals.Well done you!

eugeneDecember 7th 2007.

UPDATE:MCC have rang and apologised profusely, apparenly this doesn't happen very often, or ever- they have never been notified of it. Ok fair enough. They have offered me a refund and goodwill gesture. Assuming it is received, problem rectified.Cheers MCC

Wont be going!December 7th 2007.

Thats what you get for lining foreigners pockets!We arent european and never will be, this is Britain and this is why we should fund our own British Xmas markets instead and support local produce. I wouldnt have left the stall til they gave me my money back, I mean, say they have 1000 customers per day and do this scam with everyone? thats two quid profit on top! its all a complete rip off why else would you drive a lorry through europe to get here? to rip off the daft Brits who pay three quid for a hotdog!

Joan of JazzDecember 7th 2007.

Glad tidings! I have it on good authority that the 'dickhead' owner of Matt and Phred's has not only been dumped by his long-suffering wife (let's hope she takes his beloved dog from him as well) but that, also, he has finally recognised how useless he is and has conceded defeat! Matt and Phred's is up for sale! Please god let there be somebody out there with integrity and a few quid that can get the place back to the way it used to be! Good bye, good riddance and good luck (to Claire obviously)!

not the real sleuthDecember 7th 2007.

so they took you for a mug?

AnonymousDecember 7th 2007.

did you think about giving the mug back, getting your quid and then getting another mug with that £1 . . .and so on?

eugeneDecember 7th 2007.

ps the boycott is still on..up the cmas markets!

Will be goingDecember 7th 2007.

Will 'Won't be going' please provide a list of places he will be going. So the rest of us can avoid them.

Jonathan SchofieldDecember 7th 2007.

Hey I'm the editor of this site and we really have nothing against Matt and Phreds. We love Matt and Phreds and to show how much we're going to come down and eat and drink there until very late sometime very soon. By the way Joan, Sleuth's are supposed to be daft, stupid, wry..occasionally revealing, sometimes half-arsed and half-baked.

ChrisDecember 7th 2007.

Ha ha ha

Mark Garner, The PublisherDecember 7th 2007.

Blimey, that learned me. Can you tell me where this journalist is? I haven't employed one of them for a while, they are all nuisances.

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