My dear lovers, loiterers, flaneurs, fairies, scoundrels and unclassifiable others
I hope this email finds you in good spirits despite the times. I should know better than to let it get to me but I am feeling sad and angry that I write this on “I love Manchester” Day. As you know loiterers love Manchester passionately EVERY day and I don’t want to be snarky but our home deserves better placemakers than profit making corporations pretending to care; those big red hearts are callous and want your cash, not your cuddles.
The LRM believe shopping is boring; I can think of a million more fun things to do on the streets than consume and a million better and fairer ways to spend cash than on marketing. Surely materialism, advertisements and capitalism are problems not solutions? We can't buy our way to a fairer, more equal place. We undeniably have a lot of problems to deal with but how can shopping tackle inequality? This gorgeous city is too diverse to be encapsulated in a throwaway logo that excludes so many; Manchester is a glorious mess that we should all work to turn into the city of our multiple dreams and not a shiny, shallow brand
To take an alternative view from the narrowminded marketing hype, and to meet some of the most interesting and open minded folk it is my honour to take a stroll with, please come and join The LRM on one of our derives; we will show you the city in a different light. We can’t promise answers but you can be assured of many new questions… All our expeditions on the streets are free (of course; it’s a public space and belongs to us all). Anyone and everyone is welcome.
Drinking in the City September's First Sunday is the first of our collaborations with Manchester Mule. This tour looks at the impact of alcohol on the streets, telling tales of Manchester's lost pubs, prohibition, moral panics, class struggles, casualties, criminals, romantic liaisons and comedy encounters facilitated by booze. It’s no secret I am fascinated by pubs there is a darker side to the romance. Although the walk will be dry it will end in a pub, of course! Starts Sunday September 2nd, 2pm at Piccadilly Gardens. We are looking for memories, myths, anecdotes and facts about your experience of Manchester’s pubs, past and present. These will be woven into the walk so please get in touch if you would like to contribute; we will reward you with a beverage of your choice.
October’s walk will also be a wander with The Mule, focusing on security, freedom fear and fun. We will be exploring what makes us feel safe; what features have been designed into the city to keep us secure and whether the price we pay for this is too high - what are the real threats to Manchester and what limits should be set on freedom? This feels more timely than ever; we need to remember the streets belong to us all and we can make of them what we wish.
Also in September will be a remapped version of The Manchester Modernist Heroines Tour; our ten inspiring women and their secret histories will be transposed to Platt Fields and Rusholme as part of the DIY Feminist Festival. The whole weekend sounds excellent and we are very proud to supporting it https://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=142096775871204 The Modernist Heroines project, The LRM’s partnership with Manchester Modernist Society and Shrieking Violet fanzine can be found here http://www.heroines.manchestermodernistsociety.org/#home
Finally, and rather unpsycho-geographically I’d like to invite you to what promises to be a very special gig. At times like these music, fun and comradeship seems to matter more than ever. I am delighted one of my favourite songwriters Chris Mills from Brooklyn is making a rare visit to Manchester to play an intimate show celebrating ten years of splendid songs at The Britons Protection on Friday September 9th. Support comes from the always excellent Liam Dullaghan and Quiet Loner. There will also be free cake and random delights as you would expect from The LRM. Tickets are just £5 in advance from https://www.wegottickets.com/event/128109 or direct from me if you want to avoid a booking fee – all the money goes to the artists so they can afford to go home! I do hope lots of loiterers will be able to join us as those that have done so before will vouch for the quality of our occasional forays into the entertainment world
With love and golden apples
PS My apologies for the erratic nature of LRM updates in recent months, I shan’t bore you with the details but I have been a tad poorly. Everything is shipshape again now and hopefully the closest we ever get to normal service is now resumed. If you do ever have any questions, comments or ideas for The LRM please do feel free to get in touch; the email address is loiter@hepzombie, twitter is @thelrm or you can call our hotline on 07974929589. That’s also the best way to get hold of advance tickets for the Chris Mills gig