Northern Uproar!

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Details of some forthcoming Louder In The Regions appearances in the Great Northern Powerhouse by yours truly + the great (and highly amusing) Jah Wobble + fellow scribes Chris Salewicz, Zoe Howe and more…

PONTEFRACT: The Tap and Barrel, Front Street

Wed 8th March  7.30pm  Jah Wobble in conversation
Click here for tix & info

Wed 12th April  7.30pm  John Osborne: John Peel’s Shed
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Wed 10th May  7.30pm  Barney Hoskyns in conversation
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Wed 21st June  7.30pm  Chris Salewicz in conversation
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Wed 5th July  7.30pm  Zoe Howe in conversation
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Tap-and-Barrel-2

SHEFFIELD: The Ship Inn, Kelham Island

Tues 7th March  7.30pm  Jah Wobble in conversation
Click here for tix & info

Tues 11th April  7.30pm  John Osborne: John Peel’s Shed
Click here for tix & info

Tues 9th May  7.30pm  Barney Hoskyns in conversation
Click here for tix & info

Tues 20th June  7.30pm  Chris Salewicz in conversation
Click here for tix & info

Tues 4th July  7.30pm  Zoe Howe in conversation
Click here for tix & info

The-Ship

YORK: The Woolpack Inn, 6 Fawcett Street

Wed 22nd March  7.30pm  Chris Salewicz in conversation
Click here for tix & info

Wed 26th April  7.30pm  Jah Wobble in conversation
Click here for tix & info

Wed 17th May  7.30pm  Barney Hoskyns in conversation
Click here for tix & info

Wed 14th June   7.30pm  John Osborne: John Peel’s Shed
Click here for tix & info

Wed 12th July  7.30pm  Zoe Howe in conversation
Click here for tix & info

Words in your ears

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A most convivial evening in Islington last night in the company not only of my former MOJO boss Mark Ellen and David “1971” Hepworth but of Tony Fletcher (in the middle, top pic), who talked so infectiously about wicked Wilson Pickett, subject of his great new biography. Both “chat shows” will be available soon in the Word In Your Ear podcast series. Thanks, fellas.

A.A. Gill

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Even in his grimmest hour, Adrian Gill managed to be very funny:

“Someone should write a paper on the euphemistic size comparisons for tumours. There should be an esite, Euphotumours. The images are very masculine: golf balls, cricket balls, bullets, grenades, ruminant testicles. No one ever says, ‘I’ve got a cancer the size of a fairy cake’.” See his final piece in today’s Sunday Times.

I knew Gill only to shake his hand and exchange the occasional pleasantry, but he was as impressive in person as he was on the page. He seemed to be doing okay 10 days ago, so the news yesterday morning felt very sudden and very shocking. The thought of his nine-year-olds losing him two weeks before Christmas is too much to bear.

 

End of the Road gallery

In the Wiltshire drizzle for End of the Road: small-town-talking with Julian Mash; in the big top with Dumbo; listening to Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker with a seated Geoff Travis, book-signing with Travis Elborough; getting (two-toed) slothful with my darling wife Natalie… and harping on about the always exceptional Joanna Newsom.

Laing’s Lonely City

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After seeing Olivia Laing speak impressively at July’s Port Eliot festival, I read her brave and remarkable book about a subject that’s almost taboo in our culture: loneliness.

The Lonely City is a study of alienation and estrangement – but also of art, AIDS, attachment and social media – and I recommend it highly. Laing writes of her own bewildered isolation in Manhattan, takes in the work of Warhol, Hopper and others, and says such interesting things about the terrors of aloneness vs. the joys of solitude. Like most of us I’ve experienced intense loneliness in my life – but also a kind of ecstatic solitude. The Lonely City made me think deeply about all of this.

Laing writes beautifully and with piercing honesty. “What’s so shameful about wanting,” she asks. “Why this need to constantly inhabit peak states, or to be comfortably sealed inside a unit of two?” She’s also brilliant on Facebook, Twitter et al: “I wanted to look and I wanted to be seen, and somehow it was easier to do both via the mediating screen.”

The Lonely City