tue 21/11/2017

Manchester

Depeche Mode, Manchester Arena review - synth-pop gurus raise the spirits of thousands

For a band as big as Depeche Mode, in a venue as big the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, on a tour as big as their current Spirit tour, it almost doesn’t need saying that the pre-gig atmosphere is buzzing. A major presence on the British music...

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Protomartyr, Deaf Institute, Manchester review - post-punkers shake the room

Four albums in, Detroit’s Protomartyr have built up quite a following over the last five years. From the now-hard-to-find No Passion All Technique to Relatives in Descent, their lauded new album, Protomartyr’s precise post-punk has remained as...

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András Schiff, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – rigour and honesty

Intellectual rigour and emotional honesty are the rewarding qualities in András Schiff’s Bach playing. Virtuosity comes as standard, too. And you get value for your money – his programme all but filled two-and-a-half hours, and he was as completely...

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Hugo Ticciati, Manchester Camerata, Manchester Cathedral review - spirituality, no spooks

Manchester Camerata chose All Hallows’ Eve for a concert of (in some part) "holy" minimalism. Arvo Pärt’s Silouan’s Song began it, and his Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten ended it. They headlined it "Spiritualism and Minimalism", but I think...

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BBCPO, Mena, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - Mahler's Third lovingly realised

Juanjo Mena memorably began his tenure as chief conductor at the BBC Philharmonic with a Mahler symphony (the Second), and chose to enter his seventh and last season with them at the Bridgewater Hall with the Third. It was a testimonial to an era at...

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Bridgewater Hall 21st Birthday review - from voice and guitar to four pianos

Every 21st birthday deserves a party, and the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester celebrated the anniversary of its opening with a weekend of fun and "access" events, ending with a recital by four pianists on its four Steinway pianos – playing them all...

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Safe House, series 2, ITV review - the abduction and captivity show returns

Forget Christopher Eccleston and the Lake District. Two years on, Ed Whitmore’s ready-mix thriller Safe House returns with Stephen Moyer in Merseyside. He plays Tom Brook – not the venerable film critic (Talking Movies is still showing on BBC World...

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The Hitman's Bodyguard - potty-mouthed, turgid waste of talents

No cliché is left unturned in this odd-couple action comedy. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson are the salt ‘n’ pepper rival bad-boys on the run. Cue shoot outs and high-speed vehicle chases through assorted European cities, interspersed with...

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CD: The Fall - New Facts Emerge

Mark E Smith’s wit and the ever-changing, ever-suffering line-up behind him have established The Fall as one of the most seminal post-punk bands in Britain. From their classic 1976 debut Live at the Witch Trials to 2015’s acclaimed Sub-Lingual...

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BambinO / Last And First Men, Manchester International Festival

The Manchester International Festival – a biennale of new creative work – this year has a new artistic director in John McGrath, and there’s no large-scale new opera or prominent "classical" work, it would seem, other than Raymond Yiu’s song cycle,...

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h.Club 100 Awards: Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

The Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester is an irresistible example of the can-do spirit. Less than two years ago the ground floor of a disused mill was being advertised on Gumtree as a storage space. Two actors who had been working as waiters – William...

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Gurrelieder, Hallé, BBCPO, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

It may not have had the symbolism of the Ariana Grande concert just down the road, but in its own way the joint Hallé/BBC Philharmonic performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder said as much about Manchester as the rock jamboree did. It was originally...

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