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It was only as I got older (and hopefully mellower...?) that my tastes in reggae music broadened from the rootsier steppers/ rockers beat and ‘eavy ‘eavy discipline styles, to the sweeter Lover’s Rock of which John Holt was the undisputed ruler.....Great voice, great choice of songs with the odd bit of militancy thrown in, a la “Police in Helicopter”...”

It’s 20 years ago this week I left Old Blighty’s shores and my musical dabblings and expeditions have certainly wained over the time, although I still partake whenever needs must or the wind blows in a particular direction. It does surprise me though , looking at these flyers, how much reggae was to the fore back in the day but that’s obviously just how it was at that time. I’ve no idea how things go in Manchester these days. I know the Jungle/ Drum and Bass stuff took off; particular recollection of being in The Phoenix on my first visit back home in ’94 and an M.C. giving a big-up, “’nuff respect to all the gunman in the area”...to a lot of “Bo Bo” fire gunshot in the air gestures, and feeling a tadly bit awkward......Also , went to a few of those Eric Random “One Tree Island” affairs over the time and they were great. When I was back a couple of years ago it seemed “City Life” was no more, so other than just catching up with family and friends, don’t really know how things run....It’s a much bigger city centre now and I’d probably get lost walking round it as much of it I would find unrecognisable. What I have seen of the Northern Quarter and round the Castlefield area is pretty impressive. I was gobsmacked when I saw the Urbis. Nobody warned me so when I saw it for the first time from a mate’s balcony on Bonsall St in Hulme, it was like “what the F@#*s that!” . Don’t think I could have been more taken aback if someone had placed The Great Pyramid of Cheops there! Up till then, with a certain amount of pride, the C.I.S. building had long ruled over all it surveyed. You could even see it from my mam’s backyard ten mile away! Hoping to get back for a visit next year.......Have moments of teensy homesick yearnings doing all this; thankfully doesn’t happen too often. It’s always been my hometown.....Nice to see City doing well....
Right back to the music...as someone put up on the website recently Little Big Band was Rob Grey ,the one man band busker on Market St. I’m sure he earned a quid or two ‘cos he put a smile on many a dial and was good.
Artefact added : 16th November 2010
by dubwise-er
Tony/Longfella Says –
Thanks for this! I was sure Yargo played one Xmas eve - I was there but I'd swear it was at the International 1 - I only went to Int2 a handful of times. Afterwards we went for a hugely ill-advised curry at the infamous Plaza Cafe on Upper Brook St. 2am on Christmas Day morning - not the best of ideas :-/
COMMENT ADDED 14th January 2011
Tony/Longfella Says –
Haha, just googled the plaza and there's a facebook group at www.facebook.com/...

and some more links at www.flickr.com/ph...

You just got a few shreds of mystery meat in a big pile of rice and then your choice of sauce on top. Mild, medium, hot, cremation, Charlie's special, suicide...and so on. Needless to say the place was a riot of utterly rat-arsed students and medical types from the hospital across the road. There's a story online somewhere of a guy being sick so violently after a Plaza that he detached both his retinas!
COMMENT ADDED 14th January 2011
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