Thursday, 23 April 2009

Manc shit.

Now if like me you grew up in Leicester, (although this is probably true of all East-Midlands cities) then you’ve been conditioned since birth to be a pessimist.
Pessimistic to a point whereby you become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. 
Check my e.g.
“Yu wanna go to this thing tonight?”
“Dunno its gunna be shit.”
“Yeah it’ll be shit, we should still go though eh.’
“Alright but I bet it’s shit.”

See now I’ve personally been both people in that conversation on a number of occasions, and guess what, the nights were always shit. Mostly due to the fact that we went there on a downbeat expecting it to be shit. When we where there we maintained this over idea of shitness and projected it out into the hive-mind and surrounding idea-space.
Perhaps the funniest thing about these occasions is the strangely proud way we talk about the evening after we’ve left, “See, I told you it’d be shit.”

Well anyway
I’ve been away from all that this week. Living and working in Manchester (formally Gunchester).
Tell you what, I liked it a lot.

I was working in this castle thing pictured below. Contact theatre (link)

I’m working with Nikka D from Virus syndicate; we’re at the very early stages of building something really good so look out for more info.

I was staying in Hulme with My friends Frisco and Robert.

I was staying in Hulme with my friends Frisco and Robert.

Robert’s Rad as fuck. Check him out Saturday evening. Badman.

I met him through Frisco, he does stuff like me eh, we met in 2006 when we we’re both working with da-yute-dem on a residential poetry project in Warwick then again as residents of the process06 festival in Manchester. We get on eh.

You might have seen him last Friday talking about gun culture in Manchester on the One Show.

Did you know Nobody’s been killed by a gun in Manchester for the last year. Big progress for the city.
Frisco used to be involved with Gang culture and still lives in what’s considered to be a pretty rough area 5 minutes walk from Contact. The attitude of optimism from every person I met around that area was over whelming.
The creative scene that’s centred at Contact Theatre and the surrounding areas is amazing
. So many talented people supporting each other and creating a scene that supports them in return.
Also in Manchester when people go out they go out to have a good time. Because of this they have a good time when they’re out. Simple init. Much better than the attitude I was conditioned to have.

On Friday night I went out with my new “good time” attitude. I got to have a look at the other side of Manchester’s coin. More specifically I went to see my friend Nicola who’s been working in Korea for the last year and a half.
She was visiting some people she’d been there with who’d moved back here now. I’d spoken to Nicola and found out that she was actually staying less than 2 miles from where I was, so like 5 mins in a taxi. As I hung up the phone to her I started to dial the taxi I relayed the information of my location/destination to the operative on the other end of the line hung up the phone and prepared to wait the 5 minutes he’d stated the taxi would take. 50 minutes and multiple phone calls later I’m still stood waiting on a street corner in one of Manchester’s less salubrious areas still waiting for this joker.
When he finally rocks up and I give him the address he asks me if I know how to get there. I told him I ain’t from here but he’s a taxi driver and if he don’t know then his Sat-Nav probably does. He then types the postcode and selects the street and off we go. This part of the journey takes but 8/9 minutes and the when we pull over the meter says like £4.60.
He’s like “this is it?”
I’m like “is it?”
He’s like “is it?”
I’m like “what?”

I read him the address from my text message inbox and we look at the street sign. Turns out this isn’t it.
I get my friend back on the phone and she puts her friend on who gets me to put the taxi man on to direct him. He takes the phone puts it to his ear and smiles while she explains the way. He nods and passes me the phone back without saying a word. I thank the friend and hang up. Then we sit for a minute until I realise he has not listened to anything she said.
I’m like “eh mate, let me see yu sat-nav”
By the time I’d directed him there, the meter said £10.80 I give him between £3-£5 and told him he could shut the fuck off.
Nicola and her friends took me to Canal Street to the cheesiest mainstream clubs playing all the worst music from your past. I stood awkwardly at the side watching as they became locked into a strange transcendental state where they performed the obligatory movement sequences assigned to songs like the Macarena and Saturday night dance.
I left them in the early morning and took a taxi back that cost me a fiver.
Saturday Morning was Manny Meanball with the Hulme globetrotters.

Check how Ghetto the court we played at is.
That’s Ty he’s going to the NCAA next year to play for real. He proper owned the rest of us yu get me.
After that I went into town with Robert to have a look at TK Maxx and the bespoke tailors.
Manchester Centre’s got some crazy architecture. Look at these things.

I think I’m back in Manchester in July and I’m excited at the possibilities that that might hold.

I might even start going out,

But don’t hold yu breath,
Cos it’ll probably still be shit.

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