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Showing posts from February, 2015

Bradford Goes Independent....

Bradford city centre has not had the best of times in recent years. The debacle with the old Broadway shopping area - whilst a grim place in itself - being demolished and subsequent delays in planning permission for redevelopment being granted meant the city centre had for years a massive hole in it. Add to that the closure of major local employers like Empire Stores and it is not surprising that the city had an air of depression and decline. However, things are now looking up. The new Westfield development is taking shape and close by there are further signs for optimism. I took a trip to the so-called Independent Quarter the other day to visit the recently-opened Bradford Brewery pub on Westgate, thanks to a friend of mine who works close by letting me know when it was opening. Whilst the beers are currently being brewed in Baildon, the plan is that imminently brewing will take place on site, thereby bringing brewing back to the heart of the city for the first time in more than 50

Lost In The Dream: The War on Drugs at Albert Hall, Manchester

When I was a student I used to head off to Peter Street in Manchester on a regular basis for gigs. In those days the venue was the Free Trade Hall and there I saw a wide range of artists ranging from Queen to Blondie, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to Television and the Boomtown Rats to - ahem - Bob Seger. Some great memories, sadly the venerable old venue now lives on as a swanky hotel. Last night I returned to Peter Street, this time to the Albert Hall, just across the road, a former Grade 2 methodist chapel now being lovingly restored by the people behind local bar Trof. It features a fantastic horseshoe-shaped hall complete with organ pipes, upper circle, and high ceilings on the first floor, which makes for a splendid venue in which to hold concerts. And downstairs, I was delighted to discover that on the bar they were selling Marble Manchester Bitter! If you missed reading the title the reason for my visit was to see American indie band The War on Drugs. I saw them about 3