Category Archives: Music Criticism

The Hollies – Two Lads From Ordsall

In 1948, a six year old boy from Broughton, by the name of Harold Allan Clarke, walked into Mr Burke’s class at Ordsall Board School. The only spare seat in the room was positioned next to a certain Graham William Nash. It was the beginning of a friendship that was a significant part of the 1960s golden era of pop music and a friendship that lasts to this day.

Embedded image permalink
Graham Nash in 1956 at Aberystwyth Summer camp with Salford Lads Club (Photo courtesy of Salford Lads Club)

Both lads bonded over their love of singing, membership of Salford Lads’ Club and a mutual love of Manchester United. In October 2013, Graham Nash told this writer in his hybrid Salfordian/Californian accent that “there’s only one team in Manchester man and that’s United”. In his autobiography, Nash elaborated on the effects of the Munich air crash, which occurred days after his 16th birthday: “The Busby Babes were my team. They were our local pride. My Dad had taken me to dozens of their matches and one of their most celebrated players, Eddie Colman, went to my school. It was impossible for me to digest.” Continue reading The Hollies – Two Lads From Ordsall

A Contemporary Critique Of The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

An indecipherable clutter of chatter, combined with the sound of string and horned musical instruments being tuned up, give an ominous atmospheric intro to what we’re about to hear.  It only last ten seconds but seems to last longer. Out of nowhere the music begins and before we realise what’s going on, we are being informed that ‘It was twenty years ago today, that Sgt Pepper taught the band to play’. Coming into the chorus, we hear what in my opinion are the best harmonies the Beatles ever did (and I include “This boy’, “Yes it is” and “Because” in that comparison).  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) was conceived to give the Beatles an alter ego and escape the constraints of the mass popularity that kept them in a tight box during their earlier years. This new phase of The Beatles career would see them grow their hair to the length they wished, not wear the matching clothes that they had been doing until then and create a more individual profile for the members of the band instead of the tight knit collective that had been the case prior. This was the coming time of a sometimes glorious, free spirited indiscipline which lasted until the folly of Apple Corp reared its head a couple of years later.

With the introduction of ‘The one and only Billy Shears’. Continue reading A Contemporary Critique Of The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

When Hell Freezes Over – Never Say Never…

Every so often, speculation about the potential reformation of now recognised seminal Manchester group, The Smiths, rears its head. Whilst there is absolutely no doubt that bass player Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce would be amenable to a reunion, the likelihood of this happening, in my opinion, is unlikely but as we are to discover over the course of this article, one should never say never.

In October 2011, The Smiths’ Mancunian compatriots, The Stone Roses announced Continue reading When Hell Freezes Over – Never Say Never…

The Resurrection – Stone Roses, Heaton Park Manchester, June 29/30th 2012

On Friday night as Primal Scream were rousing through Country Girl, I saw approximately thirty coppers running frantically through the disabled section to the rear of the bar which was next to where the wheelchair platform was. Over the previous five minutes, I’d seen a few people gently walking back to their places in the field with crates of orange breezers and packs of small plastic bottles of white wine. Word went round that the bar had been stormed by disgruntled punters who’d been getting crushed in the queue. Having been in that same queue about half an hour earlier, I wasn’t that surprised that it had happened, you wouldn’t have been able to get a cigarette paper in between the seething crush of humanity. People were being swayed from side to front with no control over their movement. Getting away from the bar without spilling any drink was akin to walking a tightrope with a ball and chain.

Primal Scream perform Movin’ On Up at Heaton Park on Friday night

Primal Scream were excellent and I was pleasantly surprised. Continue reading The Resurrection – Stone Roses, Heaton Park Manchester, June 29/30th 2012