Monday, 22 November 2010

velvet, corduroy and more: the city is alive!

Dear friends

There is so much happening at the moment please forgive this extra email but I wanted to share some exciting events with you.
The Velvet and Corduroy Club is a salon for wonderful ideas and interesting debate. It opened for the first time last month and fascinating thoughts flowed with the sherry on an intriguing derive of the mind. Thank you so much to everyone who generously shared their wisdom and experiences, it felt like a really special space and I am excited by its potential. Entry is free and open to all and I urge you, if you can, to join us this Thursday, 25th November 6.00-8.30pm at Manchester Modernist Society (MMS) HQ, Chapel Street, Salford (it’s very near Salford Central Station and The Kings Arms).

MMS are also currently hosting Latitude, an exhibition of artists maps. The LRM have always loved creative cartography and this is well worth a visit, as is Cube Open 2010 where Blind Spots by Urban Col(laboratory) is being screened. This is a rather marvelous and insightful film looking at (and dancing in) Piccadilly Gardens. We are delighted at another chance to view the work that was created as part of Get Lost and urge you to go and have a look. I’ve not been to the rest of the show yet so don’t know what other delights there maybe.

Cube is also hosting a wine tasting by our friend dale on Friday 26th, tickets are £7.50 or £10 for two (everything else in this bulletin is FREE) We are not, and never will, be taking advertising or sponsorship but we do like to support our friends so tickets must be bought in advance from a branch of Oddbins – Cooper St in town or various other places.

On Wednesday 24th there is a screening of a documentary looking at the Okasional CafĂ© in its various manifestations, 6.30pm at Earth, Turner Street. I’m not sure who is organising this but perhaps it will provide inspiration on creative resistance to the class war that seems to be brewing. The Mule is a good source of local information on the theme.

The Urbis Research Forum are celebrating Engels birthday a day late but in fine style with a discussion examining how the city is reflected in Engel’s work and how his Mancunian insights continue to be relevant in the 21st century. Its on Monday 29th, 6pm at the Renolds building, Altrincham Street. They are also presenting a series of interactive walks imagining Oxford Road exploring the architectural, literary and audio imaginary of one of Manchester’s busiest streets.

Finally a reminder The LRM are curating an Ancoats Amble in conjunction with MERCi as part of their Future Manchester festival. The guided walk will focus on regeneration, accidental nature, urban wildlife and play – please bring any favourite street games. More details and a full programme here We are meeting 2pm sharp outside the Crown and Kettle, Oldham Road (top of Oldham Street) this Sunday, 28th November.

News on Decembers first Sunday will be with you soon,as well as information on some very exciting january shenanigans. In the meantime please keep warm. I’m all aglow with pride at knowing so many lovely loiterers creating a city full of interesting things

Much love and golden apples
Morag x

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Novembers First Sunday: The dark is rising

My dear friends, lovers and loiterers

It’s no secret The LRM are conducting a long and passionate love affair with Manchester. I must confess however that occasionally I daydream about fleeing to hibernate in a cocoon full of books and records and comfortable treats.

The city is vulgar and horrible; too cold and wet (or hot and sticky). It’s crowded, noisy, full of people talking shit and smelling horrible and behaving in a vexatious manner. Danger, tragedy and moral panics lurk everywhere; traffic, pollution, hoodies (or where they last years baddie?) anger, chaos and dog shit. Advertising pollutes our minds whilst the detritus of consumer culture suffocates and we are crushed by beaurocratic nonsense, planning that puts commerce above community, ugly design, constant surveillance, suspicion and petty restrictions on our civil liberties. My legs ache, my pockets are empty and I fell weary to my bones…

But still I go out walking and gather with my comrades in loitering. Why do I do this? The answer lies in the streets themselves, there is gorgeousness too if you look for it; buddleia grows on the most forlorn building, beauty can be glimpsed around every corner, energy, ideas, creativity makes the atmosphere buzz, stories swirl all around us, and, of course, sous les pave, la plage. Perhaps most inspiring of all are the people to be encountered and I feel truly privileged to have met so many amazing individuals. You just can’t get the same tingle looking out of (or at) the window. I’ll endure the crap for the thrills every time and as i type i get an urge to wander into the arms of the great mass of contradictions that we call home

When we loiter, we are free: that should not be a subversive statement but somehow it feels like it is. I also believe passionately as the divine Ms Smith says ‘the people have the power’ and we can create the Manchester of our wildest dreams; if Hell is a city so too is Shangri La and my only regret is too little time, too much work and wonky legs stop me from walking all day every day.

Please, come and join us re-connecting and re-discovering our city. A stroll in convivial company is a tonic for even the most jaded soul. As well as being fun, and revealing hidden delights, it also helps combat fear and suspicion, such corrosive forces that feel to be increasing exponentially at the moment.

This Sunday, November 7th, we will be gathering from 6.30 at The Britons Protection, Great Bridgewater Street to set out at 7.00pm on a star lit adventure. I am mindful it’s a school night so we will have retired for refreshments by 9pm. Noone is sure quite what form it will take yet but it will see a return to traditional tactics – using an old map, spinning a fish, throwing a dice – that sort of shenanigan.
I asked on twitter (we are @thelrm) what psychogeography meant and our friend Bon said it’s the practice of experiencing space differently. Practicing space so as to reveal its hidden, non-hegemonic, denaturalised qualities. Derives in the dark are great because there is an instant sense of the uncanny and an emphasis on senses beyond sight.

During the day on Sunday I will be in Liverpool supporting The Cake Liberation Front on its debut action at The Bluecoat. With a mission (and name) like that how could I resist? See to find out about the campaign for compassionate and delicious baked goods. Their first Manchester cake swap/scoff/celebration is on Sunday 21st at The Friends Meeting House.

We love it when our friends become successful and the very marvellous Quiet Loner is hosting a special concert on 18th November at Sacred Trinity Salford to celebrate the (very) long awaited arrival of his new long player. I know the mainstream press is full of tosh and corrupt lies but occasionally it speaks the truth and we are delighted Uncut gave Spectrology four stars

The Velvet and Corduroy Club – that fledging salon of wonders for interesting folk – will be convening again on November 25th at MMS HQ Chapel Street Salford (very near Salford Central railway station) The theme will probably be heritage and we daresay sherry and beguiling erudition will be freely flowing once more. More details on this derive of the mind will be forthcoming but suffice to say books are sexy and last month was very pleasurable

The LRM are also hosting an Ancoats Amble with MERCI as part of their week of Earth Rights events. It is scheduled for 2pm on November 28th, meeting outside The Crown and Kettle (on the corner of Great Ancoats Street/ Oldham Road). If anyone fancies helping me curate a guided walk looking at accidental nature, heritage, play and the impact of re/de/regeneration on this most fascinating neighbourhood please do get in touch. There will be marbles and marvels galore.

I hope that some of this makes you want to get away from your computer and out onto the streets, life is there and it is good. As ever if you want more information please email or call 07974929589

With glittery love and light
Morag x