From Manchester to Montana Roja

Norman Warwick is


We reach a quite significant number of readers through these sidetracks and detours daily blogs, and that becomes a very significant number when we add to it the readership figures available to us through my weekly column in Lanzarote Information, What really helps us to grow our readership, though, is the exchange of news and views this synergy of like-minded operations.

These certainly include the  all across the arts section that is published twice weekly in The Rochdale Observer and in editorialised form on the pages in  (Rochdale) Style magazine. In following sidetracks & detours to gather, news, interviews, previews and reviews from the global arts scene is our aim, so that our words might help increase audience attendance figures, and be of benefit to both established and aspirant artists and their audiences. We know, too, that with our pages also available on-line we stretch our hinterland far wider than the localities our offices are based in.

We have pockets of readers who are unlikely to be able to attend local UK events but who, for a variety of reasons, are nevertheless keenly interested in what we report. For instance we know, too, that our reports are occasionally picked up by bloggers and writers in some unlikely places, who share them with their readerships  in the same way as we share the words of Steve Cooke at all across the arts or Steve Bewick at Hot Biscuits jazz mix-sound.

I worked with both Steves for several years in the UK. Bewick (right) and I presented a weekly community radio programme for Crescent Radio. We called the programme all across the arts, as it was effectively a radio version of the pages of that title that Cooke and I ran in The Rochdale Observer, Heywood Advertiser and Middleton Guardian editions of The Manchester Evening News Media Group. 

Since I retired here to Lanzarote Mr. Cooke (left) has continued to regularly allude on his pages to the great arts scene in Rochdale, referencing new and emerging names as well continuing to feature established aata friends like Seamus Kelly, Eileen Earnshaw, Robin Parker and Katie Haigh as examples of the effectiveness of artists working with the community.

Last year I launched a brief weekly reference point on my Sidetracks And Detours blog that serves as a preview of each week´s Hot Biscuits jazz programme.

Because I know people all over world can log into Mr. Bewick´s show, I also included an interview with the presneter in my weekly column at Lanzarote Information, knowing that readers on the island can now pick up Steve´s mix-cloud presentations.

In fact, I even recently reproducEd  Mr.Cooke´s aata piece on Steve Bewick and his work in both Sidetracks And Detours and Lanzarote Information.

I guess it is in part due to the fact that we once worked so closely together in what was effectively a close-knit synergy that that we allow each other such laissez faire access to the work we each produce now, but I think that for the most part that there is a Venn diagram on which the shaded part, (representing  people who are readers of all across the arts in the MEN Media Group, edited by Steve , and listeners to Hot Biscuits jazz radio programme on mix cloud, presented by Steve Bewick and those who tap into my daily blog at Sidetracks And Detours and subscribe to Lanzarote Information where they read my weekly column) is growing exponentially.

My on-line blog travels around the world as these things do, and Sidetracks has deep pockets of readers in Canada, USA, South Korea, Vietnam and New Zealand, and because of a visit to Israel, undertaken by Steve Bewick in search of the country´s jazz outlets, we have now picked up readers from that region of the world, too. my blog, Sidetracks And Detours, is crammed full of stories of my favourite Americana songwriters and last week I included a report on a concert between one of Steve Cooke´s favourite jazz artists, Wynton Marsalis, and one my own singer-writers, Willie Nelson (right)

I have also appeared a few times on Monster Radio fm, (left) which broadcasts all across Europe from its island studio and I was a guest artist at this year´s Lanzarote Poetry Festival.

Because Miguel at Lanzarote Information gave me the platform to review that event I have received an e mail from a reader based in the UK who wrote recently asking me for details of this year´s event as soon as we have them The write is a poet and writer living in the UK, and who is coming over here in April for a two week holiday and would like to know of here are any poetry taking place. As soon as we can find that information we will share it here with all our readers and it will then be shared with all our correspondents´ like minded, arts loving friends. That´s how we all grow: daily blogs, subscriber newsletters, newspaper columns, radio programmes and by sharing all of that with everyone !

Of course it is true that Lanzarote and Rochdale are very similar in their square mileage and their indigenous populations, and I am delighted to note that Rochdale and the island enjoy a very similar arts scene in both quality and quantity.

In fact I have recently attended five major concerts as part of the 39th Annual Canary Islands´ International Jazz Festival, hearing the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra playing in the ´theatre in the caves´ designed and created by Cesar Manrique, the late Lanzarote artist.

I have shared previews, news, interviews and reviews of those concerts in both Sidetracks and Detours and in Lanzarote Information. At the same time, though, I have been delighted to print Graham Marshall´s reviews of the current classical music season being presented by Rochdale Music Society

Before I left Rochdale for a quieter life I used to urge my fellow Touchstones Writing Group members to intend what they write for light years of travel.

And now there are retired British people in Lanzarote who know a little bit more about the Lanzarote arts scene as well as about the poetry of Rochdale based artists like Seamus Kelly and Eileen Earnshaw, the jazz tales of Steve Bewick and the wonderful work Katie Haigh and her friends produce on the Sign Along With Us venture. These are fine examples of the artists who keep Rochdale alive with a good Vibe of arts activities.

The truth is that simply by talking and enthusing about the arts we, (whether artists or simply arts admirers), all benefit: growing our audiences, establishing networks and support schemes and finding far more subjects to spark our creativity.

You will occasionally find any of the above artists  not only mentioned in or contributing to our daily Sidetracks And Detours blog but having their own columns in our new Sunda supplement, the Pass It On Weekly Walkabout

So we have been pleased to recently launch our Pass It On Weekly Walkabout supplement.

Our Jazz section includes articles on Live Jazz listings and reviews from Jim Wade and Trevor Bannister at Jazz In Reading (right) and from from Ribble Valley Jazz And Blues Festival,

Rob Adams with his Music That´s Going Places, all the way from Northern Scotland to London.

Jenny Bray (left) , an artist Steve Bewick has  featured on his show and who has also graced these pages is keeping us updated with her own jazz career.

I´m also very proud of the fact that respected jazz artists in America, such as Karla Harris and Joe Alterman even correspond with us  and occasionally contribute news of live gigs, tour dates etc., and if you haven´t yet listened to their Moon To Gold album (near left) you´re missing a sound that belongs with the best that jazz has to offer.

Art and Culture is addressed by Michael Higgins (right), historian of his parish, sometimes going Off The Rails and sometimes going  watching the Morris Dancing or following the Rush-Bearing.

add claudie photo Visual arts are covered by The Adsubian Gallery in Spain, The Lanzarote Art Gallery Arts Space, and our friend Claudie, an incredibly eclectic independent artist here on the island.

The classical music scene (and performances by The Rochdale Light Orchestra) is covered by Scholar, composer and musical director Graham Marshall (left) . We also take newsletters from Manchester Music Fesival, Music In Porstmouth and similar events.

English Folk Expo (EFE) not only allow us to share their news so that can continue to grow the folk scene in the uk, with its traditional and conemporaty musicians, but they also share with us news ofh the global swap shops they set up exchange trips between artists from different countries, which will see a band from Seoul playing live in Manchester later this year, and by the most amazing coincidence my son, who has lived in Seoul for 22 years, knowns one of the band members. Andrew Warwick also sends us occasional articles over about what´s going on South Korea on the arts scene.

We have friends in Vietnam, and in Tel Aviv who report on the jazz scene over there for us.

And somewhere out ther oin the waves we have The North Sea String Quartet, and their mated the North Sea Jazz Quartet who update us with tour guides and ablum release dates.

Meanwhile, the man we call our Routemaster General, Peter Pearson, writes his all points forward column (right) to keep our management and staff following happy trails, and he will be a great source of knowledge to our new Americana and country music correspondent, Ralph Dent

Norman Warwick (left) , like Peter, a massive John Stewart fan, offers Island Insights from Lanzarote  reporting live music, dance and folk lore, exhibitions, readings, cinema and anything to do with the island life of Lanzarote.

We´re all really just a bunch of mates skimming stones across the water, or building bridges, or creating conversation.

So please pass it on. 


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.