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STEVE´S REVIEWS
JULY

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 THEATRE / MUSIC / FOOD / TOUR  


THEATRE

LAST DAY OF TROY – JUNE 2014
When she walks in a room the men smell sex and the women smell war’ – thus it is Helen of Troys (played by Lily Cole) eternal legacy to be known as the face that launched a thousand ships, a 10 year war and thousands of deaths. This is Simon Armitage’s interpretation of Homers Iliad and premiered at The Royal Exchange in Manchester. It is an impressive fete, to manage to retell Homers story of the Trojan War in such a small setting. Although it does feel at times more like a narrative than a play it is still a thrill to watch. We begin with an ageing Zeus, now forgotten and no longer worshipped by man, forced to begging for his living, recounts the story of the war in Troy and the absurdity of its waste of life. Agamemnon has laid the walls of Troy to siege for 10 years. His troops are tired and hungry, arguments are rife amongst his camp. Meanwhile inside the walls of Troy, the Trojans fare no better. Imprisoned within their own city, bitterness and resentment is aimed towards Paris for kidnapping Helen. For such a small setting there is great use of lighting and sound to give an immense feeling to the settings and battles. The ending is no surprise – the story of the Trojan horse is legendary. And in the end, Zeus finishes his story and returns to his begging and the world moves on, a reminder to all that power is given, not taken. The show has now finished in Manchester and can be seen at the Shakespeare Globe in London.

4_STARS

 

 

MUSIC

CHERRY GHOST – HERD RUNNERS (2014)
Bolton born Simon Aldred returns with his third album, Herd Runners. For me Cherry Ghost is one of my favourite all time singers. His first two albums (thirst For Romance (2007) & Beneath this Burning shoreline (2010)) are often tracks that I still listen to on a frequent basis. He is one of those artists who have not enjoyed the chart success that you think they so rightly deserves – what is wrong with kids these days (I’m so old!). But at the same time you still want him to be your best kept secret so you can still go to his gigs in close, personal settings. To me this is an easy review. Everything he writes and sings sounds so heartfelt and serene. The production often brilliant, the voice still has the touch of American country and the lyrics beautiful and industrial. Unfortunately it seems this could be his last album as he packs up his guitar, tired of years of touring and instead turns his attention to songwriting. If his recent US ITunes number one song with Sam Smith is to go by, it looks like a path to greater success he so richly deserves!

5 STARS - Reviews - Eken Magazine

 

FOOD

EL GAUCHO GRILL – LOWRY FOOD FESTIVAL MAY 2014
May saw the return of a food festival hosted at the Lowry centre in Salford. Unfortunately it also saw the return of rain – lots of it. So it was a bit of a wash out which gives me no end of sympathy for vendors tucked up underneath their water bulging canopy’s. However one ray of sunshine amongst the storm was El Gaucho Grill. Street food can be a mixed bag. Sometimes overpriced and overrated sometimes brilliant and offers something new you may never have tried before. These chaps (or ladies in this case) are overwhelmingly in the latter. These guys know how to BBQ. I had the delight of trying out one of their rib eye sandwiches (in a barn/bap if you are a northerner like me) and dressed with chimichuri sauce. No brioche buns, no maple glazed syrup, no sprinklings of fairy dust here. Just simple meat in a bun. And oh my, was it good. The meat, crispy at the edges, smoky and so succulent in the centre, the chimichuri light and delightful. No pictures I’m afraid, I ate it too quick and the camera would have died in the rain. Unfortunately, these guys are southern based so rarely make a venture up north. Stalk them on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Gaucho/349305835081394) to see if they may be rocking up near you sometime soon.

5 STARS - Reviews - Eken Magazine

 

TOUR

CORONATION STREET TOUR – APRIL 2014 to OCTOBER 2014
The world’s longest running Soap Opera, now passing its 50th Anniversary has moved its production site to Media City in Salford but the original set and production centre is still in its original spot and has now thrown open its doors to visitors. So if you are like The Queen or (rather bizarrely) Snoop Dogg then you can visit the hallowed cobbles, pull a pint behind the Rovers Return or take a sneaky peep through Rita’s letterbox (ooh err missus!). The tour also takes you behind the scenes of this famous show. Many of the sets are still in place, props and dressing rooms and of course the famous street which can be explored at your own leisure. I’m not sure if you would go back once you’ve been but I think this is an excellent tour that gives a real opportunity to see how a TV show is put together and who is not interested in that even if you are not a fan of the show. It may be a bit steep in price (£16 for adults) but I went to see a David Bailey exhibit at the Tate in London recently and paid the same price and I know which gave me far more value for my money and it was so much more enjoyable too. Oh, the tour guides alone are worth the price of a ticket, extremely funny and informative, they should have their own show. The tour is initially available until October 2014 and the owners will decide what to do with the set at this point so you might have to be quick if you do not want to miss out!

Review star scores


By Steven Parker

More from Steve:
MINI PARIS GUIDE
JUNE´S REVIEWS
MAY´S REVIEWS

More from Eken in Manchester:

MANCHESTER PART II

MANCHESTER PROFILES:
KILLING KITTEN: JORDIE (coming soon)
> SiKe DJ: MIKE MORGAN (coming soon)
> MANCHESTER PHOTOGRAPHER: WESLEY HARDING
> STEVEN PARKER`S: JULY´S REVIEWS

MANCHESTER PART I

* City Guide of Manchester (swe)
* My Manchester – Katie Popperwell
* Manchester Made by Steven Parker
* Brand Guru Julian Stubbs on Manchester
* 24 HRS in MCR by Steven Parker
* Parking The Bus – Manchester Matchmeny (exclusive reading/swe)
* Eken on Fab Radio International