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SIDETRACKS AD DETOURS present PASS IT ON weekly walkabout volume 16




weekly walkabout volume 16

Sunday 3rd September 2023

Good morning. If you are ready to join us for our sixteenth weekly walkabout, there is plenty of news for us to talk about as we ramble these sidetracks and detours. We have plenty of .contributors today who would like to share their previews and reviews from all across the arts and theyuh would love you to listen to ther news and Pass It On. We set out this week from Hebden Bridge In the UK to meet a writer from Northern Ireland and take in a Toad Lane Concert in Rochdale  along the way. We cross cross borders to undertake some historical research inm German and Austria and return to the UK to follow Music That´s Going Places, before we settle down to listen to Jazzon air whilst tucking in to a plate of Hot Biscuits, before taking all points forward to that mythical place called American, or country, or folk or rock or singe-writer. From there, we´ll say goodbye and take the Last Boat Home to Lanzarote, to meet The Colombians. You won´t need a passport, though, as all borders are open to all those of us on the  weekly walkabout.


Poetry And Literature

Dara McAnulty – The Young Naturalist


Live  Classical Music



review by DR. JOE DAWSON

Historical Reseach



Jazz forthcoming events

September 2023


Live Jazz In Reading

by Jim Wade

HOT BISCUITS by Steve Bewick



A Reader´s Perspective


How Did We Get here from There asks PETER PEARSON

Live Music Radio Comedy



preview by RALPH DENT

Island Insights


Colombians Residing in Lanzarote celebrate  

Lanzarote: “The longest promenade in the world”

reports from Norman Warwick

Poetry And Literature

Dara McAnulty – The Young Naturalist

REVIEW by Seamus Kelly

Hebden Bridge Town Hall hosted a reading and talk by Dara McAnulty, the youngest ever winner of the Wainwright Prize for nature writing. The prize-winning book “The Diary of a Young Naturalist” documents a year of Dara’s life growing up in Northern Ireland from age 14 to 15. The creative use of language is so good it is hard to imagine it was written by such a young person.

That first book has been followed by two children’s books: “Wild Child” and “A Wild Child’s Book of Birds”. Wild Child has also been shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize. Both books, aimed at young people, are full of beautiful illustrations by Barry Falls, and lots of information, ideas, and inspiration to appeal to the innate naturalist and curiosity within all children. I’m delighted to have these books in my own collection too, as they are full of inspiration and the joy of our natural world, making them attractive for people of any age.

During the evening Dara read selected passages from “The Diary of a Young Naturalist” interspersed with conversation with poet and playwright Amanda Dalton. A quiet and thoughtful delivery, in a soft Northern Irish accent, does not hide Dara’s enthusiasm for nature and his campaigning spirit. He spoke about his childhood, growing up in Northern Ireland in a family which placed a great deal of importance in nature and allowed, or supported, a great deal of freedom to experience the outdoors in all its forms. He also spoke about his own autism and some of the difficulties he had at school, especially with bullying. His last family move to Co. Fermanagh meant a new school where things improved, since which Dara has moved on and just completed his first year studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge University.

This is a young man, still a student, with three published books to his name. He has boundless enthusiasm and a hope that other young people will grow to love our natural world and protect it. You can’t bottle passion, but Dara McAnulty has put his into these books. Every school ought to have copies and make sure they are widely read.

At a time where our environment and climate are changing it is easy, sometimes, to lose faith in the ability of humanity to change. Listening to this young man speaking to an audience, mainly two or three times his age, gives me hop for the future.

As a campaigner, activist, and writer he has become an ambassador for the RSPCA, the RSPB, the iWill campaign and the Jane Goodall institute. Other credits include writing and presenting natural history programmes for BBC television and Radio. In 2023 he became the youngest ever recipient of the British Empire Medal for services to the environment and people with autism spectrum disorder.

I strongly recommend “Diary of a Young Naturalist”, and should you have a chance to see Dara McAnulty take it, I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Live  Classical Music



review by Dr. Joe Dawson

Tim Kennedy (right) was due to accompany popular soprano Angela Rowley but unfortunately, she had to postpone due to illness. It is a mark of Tim’s professionalism that he could produce a varied and captivating solo piano programme at eight o’clock the night before at such short notice.

Tim studied music at Cambridge before being based in Manchester as a piano accompanist, professional singer, vocal coach, and organist. He is a staff repetiteur at the RNCM, accompanies musicians at Manchester University and for auditions for the National Youth Choir. He is the rehearsal pianist to the Tatton Singers and Unlimited Voices and an official festival accompanist. Today he was also a knight in shining armour.

With informative and friendly introductions throughout, Two Arabesques by Debussy and descriptive pieces by Amy Beach soon charmed the audience. Then Melodie ‘Chant du Cygne Mourant’ by Ovenberg, and Room with a View by Yiruma were hugely expressive, conveyed with Tim’s admirable sense of timing and poise from years as a tenor singer. Would that more instrumentalists could phrase like good singers.

Bethena Waltz by Scott Joplin and Closest thing to crazy by Katie Melua were delightful contrasts, and a fun choice finale was a rediscovered Polka from 1900, dedicated to The Bradford Football (Rugby) club. Fancy that!

The vintage 1933 Challen grand piano was certainly put through its paces today.

The Queen’s Award-winning Toad Lane Concerts are every Wednesday at 12.30pm at the Grade 1 listed St Mary in the Baum, Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL16 1DZ. Entrance fee is £6.

Contact 01706 648872 for further information.

Historical Research



1 I recall an old postcard depicting a family on their holidays, loaded down with suitcases and stuck in a road blocked by cattle. It read in German:  Allertages Unterwegs- Underway, or on the road all day. I recalled this in early August when Susan and I began a twelve day holiday in the Alps. We had not been abroad since the Pandemic, and consequently not since Great Britain had formally left the European Union.  We wondered how things would be in the aftermath, and found that in many ways little had changed. We arrived at Munich airport to a marathon walk up and down stairways and round innumerable corners to get to customs and border control. We had to queue up in the ‘Non EU Citizens’ queue but that meant little as we moved forward just as quickly as the EU Citizen’s queue. The customs officer kindly wished us a good holiday and we walked out to retrieve our luggage and board the city centre train.

We had one night in Munich, eight in the Austrian Tyrol and two more nights back in Munich before the flight home.  And there was much to remind us of home, with overly packed trains, late trains and stoppage prone trains. And, like Northern England, many under- attended pub and restaurant venues. The late Pandemic has been a disaster for tourism and life on towns in general.

But while in our refuge in the Oberinntal, or Upper Inn valley, I became aware of our Editor Norman Warwick’s attendance at John Malkovich’s theatrical portrayal of Jack Unterweger, (left) the Austrian serial killer who launched himself on a literary career whilst in prison, and immediately killed again as soon as he was released to report on serial killings. I mused with Norman on the intriguing surname, as well as the coincidental connection of us both (killer and me) with Austria. Jack became the darling of liberal literati until he killed again immediately on release from prison. An unterweger is, for me, someone en route to somewhere. But the convicted killer, who fooled the world into thinking literature had saved him, was really on the way to everyone’s embarrassment and Malkovich’s disillusionment. 

Hence my title – a philosophical, but non violent journey, and musings on past and present. Susan and I have been visiting the village of Pfunds in the Oberinntal and surrounding area for many years and have made friends. 

One friend,  Traudi, recently lost her son to illness at the age of 54, He had been the life and soul of local life, as a late teenage bartender, eventual manager of a ski slope restaurant, And finally as manager of a delicatessen. He was also a keen cyclist with a fresh air wit and charm. He also put up with and helped my rather rusty German. This time, rather than being treated to his locally prepared food and jolly demeanour  we meditated over his grave in the local churchyard yet saw him in spirit on his cycling travels round and about the nostalgic byways of our past. This year I have lost three friends, one of them being cheeky conspiratorialist Thomas Faulkner and the other fellow poet Robin Parker, both of Rochdale. So I have lost two Toms  (or one Tom and one Tomi).

We were fortunate that our landlord for the visit, Heinrich Koehle, picked us up at the local railway station and drove us to the family house. S’Hoamatl (little home in Tyrolean dialect), up the valley. And his wife Renate made us welcome to our temporary apartment, with balcony and wonderful view, on the top floor of their house.  And when it was time to leave eight days later, Herr Koehle drove us the many miles back to the railway station. There was a bus stop outside the house however, and with our tourist ‘Summercard’, we enjoyed free bus travel up and down the valley.  Hence many journeys up mountain roads to many pretty villages, fairy tale castles, covered bridges and pubs. And we had quite a few strolls on forested paths, listening to the distant tinkle of cowbells.

Like our rather poor British summer this year, the mountains of Tyrol were rather cloud- bedecked and prone to light rain showers. The hot, forest fire kindling temperatures of Greece and the Mediterranean had definitely not reached these mountains.  And consequently there seemed less hikers and shoppers out on the village streets.  Yet we stood out for some as pub kellners and shop owners recognised us from former visits. Every morning I used to cross the foot bridge over the River Inn, opposite our house, walk across the fields to the top end of the village, walk back along the central foot and road bridge and return via the local paper shop. The shop proprietress, who has worked there for years, greeted me as normal, practised her English greetings on me, and I reciprocated in turn, the conversation being a strange mixture of both languages.

Fortunately over the years my German has improved enough to read in the Tiroler Zeitung (Tyrolean Times) that Pierre Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada was separating from his wife, that British asylum seeking ‘boat people’ were being put aboard the ill-fated hotel barge, that a new search for The Loch Ness Monster was being undertaken in Loch Ness and that the Ukrainians had damaged a Russian tank landing craft in a surprise strike on a Russian naval base. And of course the usual ongoing debates of life filled the pages:  What to do with refugees, the awful summer weather or ‘Unwetter’ that was putting off tourists, the fears of the common folk over losing cash (Bargeld) to plastic and the ‘cashless society’, ad of course religion, football and politics. Locally the bad weather had flooded some areas and there were landslides. In one village a World War II bomb had detonated with no casualties.

The shock of leaving our quiet village for the return to Munich for our last two nights was stark. Our booked train with our reserved seats (the Zurich to Vienna express) was delayed by thirty minutes    and we had to take a chance with a local train so as to make our connection at Innsbruck. That train (from Italy to Munich) was delayed when we got there and when it finally arrived and got underway again with us in our seats, the German border guards stopped it at Rosenheim and after a complete search of the train, took a dozen people off, possibly two families, reputedly without passports. When the heavily armed, but rather scruffily dressed plain clothes heavies came into our carriage and approached a man to ask for his passport several other folk around us immediately brought theirs out, reminiscent of a scene in the Film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Munich was thronged with passengers pouring out of the railway station and crowding us all the way to our hotel. Indeed, the whole world seemed to be visiting the old town and its famous restaurants and bars. On our crowded train to Salzburg the next day it was almost standing room only and in Salzburg the same endless streams of tourists packed the city centre streets by the River Salzach.  Mozart’s birthplace, the fortress atop the heights, the baroque churches and secular edifices, not to mention the Sound of Music Tours, gave the sun- drenched town a macabre ant-hill like demeanour.

Nevertheless,  while at 3pm we made our way for a not to be forgotten pilgrimage for the opening time for serving in the Augustiner Brewery gardens.  Here, despite the crowds, and the dearth of empty seats or tables, a haven of tranquillity was eventually found.

Our planned 6pm train back to Munich was crammed to the rafters so we waited for the next train, had a pleasant beer at an outside bar in the fresh air and tried again for the 7pm, clinging grimly to two precious end of carriage seats amid the crush all the way to Munich. Yes, that train was delayed by a border guard search as soon as we re-crossed the German border at Freilassing. Back in Munich we viewed the Hans im Gluck burger bar with some meditation on the travails of that rather simple young man in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale trying to get home to his mother after a seven years apprenticeship in another village, divesting himself of all he had earned in the process. We had made it despite all the tribulations of travel and had managed to keep hold of our belongings among the throng of our fellow passengers. What would Hollywood have made of it all? Of Hans, myself and Susan?  And, more importantly, what would John Malkovich, with his disdain of politics and human foibles have thought?

The flight home next day began with an interminable queue through one automated machine to another for passport scanning, luggage weighing and the real human x ray scanning and finding our way to our departure gate and the violent arrest of a passenger by five border guards who were sitting on their prey while handcuffing his hands behind him and, according to his cries, hurting his legs.

As we flew through a cloudless sky, with endless vistas of Bavarian woods and farm fields, lasting all the way to the brown folds of the Derbyshire Peak District, the hectic dramas of travelling slowly faded away into pleasant memories of quiet Alpine villages: our friend, Traudi, our hosts at S’hoamatl, the lady in the Pfunds paper shop, Thomas’s grave and his sister Ursula’s kind hospitality as proprietress of the Vallhalla pub.  And, though, not a heavy metal fan, I mused on the upcoming concert to be held at the pavilion outside her pub, entitled Hell over Valhalla. One of the bands was Blood Meadow and I imagined not only hell but verbal blood pouring from amplified music, not only over the otherwise sleepy village but out onto the very echoing mountain slopes so idealised in Hollywood’s Sound of Music.  But then we landed at Manchester and all musing ceased.

We were home. Or were we? We seemed to have been endlessly ‘unterwegs’.  There was still the endless trek up steps and round corridors to reach customs, a single line for both UK and EU citizens (along with Norway, Switzerland and Iceland ) with no discrimination against our former EU friends.  And not a policeman in sight.

As I mused on our holiday, cup of tea in hand after arriving at our own house, It all seemed like a fairytale, full of the simple horrors and joys of a surreal existence ‘on the road’ like Hans im Gluck, the Brothers Grimm Fairytale, which I mentioned last week. But then I read in my English newspaper That Hollywood, blissfully unaware of Hans im Gluck, or the Higginses,was indeed making something of another Grimm story, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves ,but without the dwarves, or any prince, no white cheeks and no ‘non- consensual  kiss’’.  My fairytale holiday had come to an end with a bump, but at least we had made it home with all our baggage.  

Since returning home, though, I have just finished a draft of an article on the Disney re-make of the 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (or Dwarfs – English can be a minefield too). I doubt Walt would have been pleased. And as for the Brothers Grimm!  Actually I practise my German by re-reading the Grimm tales every year, so have become rather fond of them. There is more to the original 1812 tales than meets the eye and there is already so much feminine influence in them that it is a wonder Hollywood feels the need to ‘alter’ or ‘modernise’. But as the Grimm’s delight in starting off…..’Es war einmal  (Once upon a time….).

Jazz forthcoming 2023


September is almost here and we have a few visitors from America due. The outstanding, Grammy-winning pianist-composer-arranger, Geoffrey Keezer tours with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra at the end of the month and trumpeter Randy Brecker visits Glasgow.

First, though, a reminder that drumming icon Steve Gadd plays with soul-jazz trio Blicher Hemmer Gadd at the Mackintosh Church in Glasgow on Saturday 2nd (their gig on Friday 1st has sold out). They’ll be playing music from their new album, It Will Be Alright, which is released to coincide with the Glasgow gigs. Saxophonist Michael Blicher recently posted a new video here.

Saxophonist Brian Molley’s quartet (left) plays at the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine (Friday 8th), Blackfriars in Glasgow (Saturday 9th) and the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh (Wednesday 20th). They’ll be playing the Brazilian music they brought to the Edinburgh Fringe, which featured some well-known bossa novas and sambas, with imaginative arrangements and terrific soloing, as well as more rarely heard tunes.

Saxophonist Tommy Smith continues to explore his huge repertoire of melodies in solo concerts in Dunfermline Abbey (Sunday 10th) and the Round Church in Bowmore (Saturday 16th). Both concerts are included in festival programmes, Dunfermline’s Outwith event being a general arts festival and the Bowmore gig marking Tommy’s return to Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival, which this year features guests from New York and London as well as Scotland.

Pianist Euan Stevenson and saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski bring their New Focus: The Classical Connection programme to St Mary’s Old Parish Church in Hawick on Friday 15th and the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy on Saturday 16th. At the recent Lichfield Festival the audience loved this meeting of jazz and classical themes and approaches and the festival director commented, “terrific – wonderful players and the programme and various bits of interwoven conversation were perfectly judged.” 

American trumpet legend Randy Brecker opens the new season for Jazz at the Merchants House in Glasgow on Sunday 17th. He’ll be playing the music of his late sibling and frontline partner in the popular Brecker Brothers Band, Michael, alongside saxophonist Tod Dickow and the California-based trio Charged Particles. There are two shows, at 7pm and 9:30pm. It’s a great chance to see and hear someone of this stature in an intimate venue and the musicians he’s touring with are all top class. 

Geoffrey Keezer was just eighteen when he joined Art Blakey’s famous college of jazz knowledge, the Jazz Messengers and he has gone on to become not just one of the greatest pianists of his generation but a composer and arranger of rare skill. You might remember his arrangements of Keith Jarrett’s My Song and John Coltrane’s Dear Lord for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s Celebration and American Adventure albums. He’ll bring more of such magic to SNJO’s The Art of Arranging tour in Glasgow on Friday 29th, Aberdeen on Saturday 30th and Edinburgh on Sunday 1st (October).


Live Jazz Listings

Blue Lamp
Sun 3: Los Acousticos Bandidos & Macswing (2pm)
Thu 21: TAO
Thu 28: Hidden Waves Qrt
Dunfermline Abbey
Sun 10: Tommy Smith solo saxophone

Jazz Bar
Live jazz Monday to Sunday
Wed 20: Brian Molley Qrt

Queen’s Hall
Tue 5: Mario Bondi

Traverse Theatre
Mon 18: Hidden Waves Qrt

Sat 9: Brian Molley Qrt

Glad Cafe
Tue 19: Hidden Waves Qrt

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Fri 29: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with Geoffrey Keezer

Mackintosh Church
Fri 1, Sat 2: Blicher Hemmer Gadd

Old Fruitmarket
Wed 6: Mario Bondi

Beacon Arts Centre
Thu 28: Rachel Lightbody

St Mary’s Old Parish Church Hall
Fri 15: New Focus: The Classical Connection

Harbour Arts Centre
Fri 8: Brian Molley Qrt

Old Kirk
Sat 16: New Focus: The Classical Connection

606 Club
Sat 2: Tom Smith Qnt
Sun 3: Sophie Alloway (1:30pm)
Sat 9: Mornington Lockett with Henry Lowther
Wed 13: Rob Luft Qrt
Thu 14: Sarah Gillespie
Sun 17: Liane Carroll
Tue 26: Rory Ingham
Wed 27: Tom Cawley
Sat 30: Deschanel Gordon
Ronnie Scott’s
Fri 1: Ian Shaw
Wed 6: Claire Martin
Thu 7, Fri 8: Meshell Ndegeocello 
Fri 15, Sat 16: Robben Ford Band
Mon 18: Tim Garland
Tue 19: Uriel Herman
Wed 20: Matt Carmichael
Thu 21: Randy Brecker
Mon 25 – Sat 30: Curtis Stigers 

As always, this list isn’t intended to be comprehensive; other gigs are available.

Live Jazz Forthcoming events

Elaine Delmar – Sings
The Great American Songbook

Bishop’s Court Farm

Dorchester on Thames OX10 7HP   Sunday 17 September
Doors 6pm | Show 7 – 9pm | £22

Elaine Delmar – Sings The Great American Songbook

The first in an exciting series of contemporary jazz evenings at Bishop’s Court Farm

Sunday 17th September 2023
7 – 9pm

Ageless, evergreen singing…as beautiful and talented as ever.” Michael Parkinson

Her style is a mixture of Broadway musical punch and jazz-inflected subtlety.’ John Fordham – The Guardian

Kicking off our Autumn programme of Snug Sessions shows, we are honoured to welcome the legendary multi award winning songstress, Elaine Delmar, who will be making her much-anticipated debut at Bishop’s Court Farm.

In an illustrious career that stretches back to the late Fifties, Delmar has appeared everywhere from the Royal Albert Hall to Ronnie Scott’s and starred in numerous West End and Broadway musicals.

With a velvety voice that can turn on a dime between lovelorn jazz ballads and blues belters, she has established a peerless reputation as one of the most sophisticated singers ever to emerge from these shores. Having released a string of hit albums that attracted unanimous critical acclaim, she has collaborated with a seemingly endless list of jazz icons including Michel Legrand, Benny Carter, Wynton Marsalis and Stéphane Grappelli.

Alongside two of the world’s most respected jazz musicians – virtuoso jazz pianist, Jamie Safir, and bassist, Simon Thorpe – Delmar will be diving into the ageless Great American Songbook on a journey that goes from George & Ira Gershwin and Rodgers & Hart through to Bacharach & David, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

Elaine Delmar – Vocals
Jamie Safir – Piano
Simon Thorpe – Bass Drinks will be available to purchase on the evening.

Doors: 6pm, show 7 – 9pm.

Bishop’s Court Farm, 91 High St, Dorchester on Thames OX10 7HP  Map
Book tickets here – £22


On air sign background

Jazz On Air

HOT BISCUITS made by Steve Bewick

This week´s HOT BISCUITS  jazz broadcast brings another live session from a duo featuring hot guitar and bass from Phil Hartley and Gair Carson at the Saison Jazz club.

Also included in the broadcast is music from Sunda Arc, a duo of  brothers Nick Smart and Jordan Smart (right) , once best known as two-thirds of jazz-influenced minimalists Mammal Hands, Having released.their debut EP ‘Flicker’ in 2018, Sunda Arc have since performed live at AB Brussels, Blue Dot Festival, The Roundhouse, Jazz Café, Reworks Festival, the Royal Albert Hall and Albert Hall, Manchester with GoGo Penguin. Their debut album ‘Tides’, released in 2020, received high praise from numerous tastemaker media including DJ magazine who described their music as “sounding like John Hopkins’ long-lost sibling”.

Sunda Arc channels Nick and Jordan’s love of electronic and dance music, without losing any of their deep musicality. Drawing on techno, electronica, neo-classical and post-rock influences, Sunda Arc compose and perform using both electronic and acoustic instruments, including analogue synthesisers, home-made software patches, piano, saxophones and bass clarinet – all finessed and channelled through their own unique creative strategies. Integrating electronic elements and experimentation with the expressiveness and energy of acoustic instruments and live performance, Sunda Arc’s music is expansive and compelling. “We wanted ‘Night Lands’ to be an exciting listen, deliberately keeping some elements under control and having other elements of the tracks feeling like they were on the edge of tipping over into being pretty chaotic. There was also the idea of generally keeping the drums and bass pretty heavy sounding when they kick in, imaging how they would sound over a big system and then holding back and focusing on melody and texture when they weren’t needed.”

The album ‘Night Lands’ is on the Godwana label.


We will also hear Tim Garland with the John Aram United Underground Orchestra and a progressive Tentet from the early two thousands. I will also introduce Cindy Bradley, a smooth operator, player and arranger on trumpet and Flugelhorn from the USA. We´ll also have Nina Simone with an old favourite of mine. Listen out for The Sam Newbould Quintet, a new favourite of mine also appearing at the Band On The Wall later this month. If this looks good then share the word to tune in anytime at

www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick 24/07

The Perfect Storm On Air

Monster Radio Lanzarote  fm

Celebrating my 6th year on Monster radio Lanzarote I am happy to welcome rock icon Suzi Quatro to The Perfect Storm live on the show this Monday the 4 th September at 5 pm on Monster radio Lanzarote 99.9 fm. Suzi will be choosing the tracks signposting her life (with a few surprises in there) and talking about her career including her latest collaboration with the fabulous KT Tunstall. For a close up into Suzi’s world do tune in Monster radio Lanzarote 99.9 fm or listen via https://mytuner-radio.com/…/monster-radio-lanzarote…/. Or via Monsterradio.es

A Reader´s Perspective


How Did We Get Here From There asks PETER PEARSON

Norman Warwick has a penchant for old jokes, and he told me one in a recent e mail about a tourist in Ireland who stopped and asked the way to some town or other. The Irish resident sucked in his breath and said, ´sure, I wouldn´t set off from here if I were you!´

photo ngdb That led to a conversation between Norm  and I, not about he might get there from here but, instead, about how, in musical terms, we had got here from there. When we swap memories and compare record collections we can tell that in the words of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band we have been, over several decades, never together but close sometimes ! We have taken sidetracks and detours, travelling all across the arts until recently totally unaware of each other, accompanied only by great music to somehow arrive almost simultaneously in these Elysian Fields of whatever we are supposed to call this music we have grown to love.

We have a combined journey time of just about 150 years, and yet here, or thereabouts. we are, still unsure of whether this place is even on a map.

Many readers will know that Norm reckons his love of lyric and rhyme grew whilst he was sitting in the back of his dad´s car as his father drove him to primary school. His dad would apparently sing songs from the Great American Songbook.

In many ways my musical journey mirrors that. My own dad taught himself to play violin and to read music but never pursued it further as a career or hobby once he started a family.

Dad liked all sorts of music from classical to jazz and in particular the big bands that were around during the war and in the fifties.

After my Mum died when I was eleven, and my brother eight, my dad delivered a heavy influence on our musical education. First there was a wind up gramophone (second-hand) courtesy of Mazel Radio, London Road, Manchester and with it two second hand 78’s: Are You Sure, by the Allisons and The Wedding Of The Painted Doll from the 1929 film Broadway Melody. Dad was a big fan of the musicals.

Norman has previously written about a Christmas in the early sixties when his dad bought he and his brother, and his mother a Phillips tape-recorder (mono of course) but when the young Warwicks unwrapped the biggest present under the tree, they pressed a button and realised their dad had recorded two hours of him singing Frank Sinatra songs ac appella.

Whilst we Pearson´s didn’t have two halfpenny’s to rub together either our dad broke the bank and bought a Phillips Tape Recorder(mono of course) and so we started to record all sorts of music from the radio. Thus began an exposure to all sorts of music and audio equipment. Whilst I was too busy playing soccer and listening to music, I never learned to play an instrument.

Meanwhile Dad bought a second hand guitar for my brother and sent him to Johnny Roadhouse (right) for lessons. Soon he formed a group with his pals, brilliantly called The Manchester Evening Blues and they played at dance halls all around the country. Dad would travel with them as a roadie and they would return at all hours in the evening; both having to get up to go to work in the morning to full time jobs.

Finally after a number of failed auditions with record companies my brother opted to go down the plumbing route. Another member of the band, Norman Beaker, continued and made a full time career of it with the Norman Beaker Band. Blues and Jazz fans will be aware that they are still making records.

My brother Paul and I both followed the musical groups of the day. Paul was a fan of the Hollies and further followed Graham Nash down the CSN route. Meanwhile,  I much preferred the vocal harmonies of the Searchers to the Beatles. We no longer had to buy the records because they were played on Pirate Radio and then the BBC and we could tape them on to thoise cd 90´s

Even whilst I was still at school I started going to gigs to see the likes of Del Shannon and Roy Orbison and the various package shows that appeared at places like the Palace Theatre in Manchester.

In the early seventies the cult of the singer-songwriter started to emerge and Noel Edmonds was given a Sunday morning radio 1 slot with Tim Blackmore as his producer. I would tape every show and document the playlists in a book which I still have. Thus began my exposure to, Harry Chapin, Neil Young, and Paul Williams.

I know that Norm and I heard one of Edmonds´programmes in particular, in which the presenter played John Stewart singing a version of his own song Daydream Believer, several months after The Monkees (left) had enjoyed a UK number 2 single with the song. Edmonds spoke inspiringly of the authenticity of songwriters and their role in the music business. It would have been shortly after that we would hear a line from Stewart that said ´maybe some lonesopme picker will find some healing in these songs.´ John Stewart has been a constant in our respective record collections and playlists ever since.

Albums took over from singles so I had to invest in LP’s and audio equipment but I was guided by the playlists. This was despite the fact that record shops, whether national chains or Independent stores, invariably adopted a rigid classification. Pop, Rock, Folk, Country, Jazz, Classical. I always had to ask in which section I might find John Stewart albums. !

A category of artist was emerging, who was predominantly American, that was too country for rock and too rock for country. Years later the term became used as a catch all for these artists and the lines between folk, country and rock became blurred. Were the Eagles country or rock? I found I could embrace the lot based on how it sounded to me.

My brother and I at that time would go together to see the Eagles, CSN, Neil Young and Steely Dan.

Maybe I should just settle for calling it acoustic? But, seriously, are  Steve Earle or Lucinda Williams acoustic? or are they folk or are they country? It is singer songwriter but that genre has never really become record shop parlance.

Fortunately I don’t get too hung up on genres. I enjoy music based on how it sounds to me. I can just as easily be found at a recital of the music of Mahler (right) as at a Dave Alvin gig at Band on the Wall.

So, although our extensive playlists are often oceans apart, Norm and I keep planting flags in new territories for each other.

I know how highly he rate Sarah Jarosz, a musician I figuratively introduced him to only a few weeks ago. He seems to love her music in general, originals and covers, but he also especially loves her version of I Wish It Would Rain, written and recorded by Nanci Griffith.  He calls it ´big, big music´.  So we have looked now at favourite gigs and venues and we have seen how our musical tastes relate but I wonder, if we were able to speak to all the people we know in the Americana camp just how many different musical journeys we all take to arrive at where we finally settle.

Live Music Radio Comedy



preview by RALPH DENT

The last time I spoke to Colin Lever, partner of Norman Warwick as a songwriter and performer in their duo, Lendanear, Colin told me that he is currently seeking business-sponsorship for new development of his latest novel !

Author, musician and educationist Colin Lever (right) has recently been  reading extracts from his new novel ‘Open Mic’, a hilarious tale of one man’s journey round the open mic scene, ‘From pop-up pipers and a tyranny of TV’s to tortured testicles and menopausal magnets.’ Proceeds from Colin’s novel, which is now available to buy on Amazon, will be donated to Comic Relief.

The public reception to his readings planted another creative seed in Colin´s mind. Within a short space of time A pilot radio programme has been written by Colin and a team of colleagues, cast by Colin and broadcast with Colin in a lead role, on a locally funded radio station on Jersey in The Channel Islands, to where Colin and his family retired from Manchester.

Norman and Colin who, for twenty five years and more had been next door neighbours in Rochdale in Greater Manchester, are now both living the good life with Norman having relocated to Lanzarote almost ten years ago now,.after Colin and his family had retired to Jersey The pair have met up again for one or two re-union gigs, with old mates like the great guitarist Steve Roberts and the cool, crowd pleasing Pete Benbow.

Even working so remotely from each other Colin and Norman still pen the odd collaboration, with Para Lara marking a change of their previous folksy direction, with is sunny chorus and Latin rhythms. They have also undertaken he massive task of re-presenting the entire back catalogue of their recordings, and totally renovating their social media sites. Colin re-recorded some of the songs for a new album and re-mastered the rest to create four more albums.

You can find details of all of the above at www.lendanearmusic

Norman, meanwhile supported him in that by launching firstly the Sidetracks And Detours not-for-profit daily blog. This re-shaped the all across the arts pages he used to write in The Rochdale Observer, (now an on line presence managed by his former partner in journalism, Steve Cooke).

Sidetracks And Detours is now four years old and very close to its 1,000th edition. It carries articles and news about all genres of art from around the world, but earlier this year Norm also launched the  PASS IT ON weekly walkabout, of which this is the sixteenth edition !

The songs the duo of Colin Lever and Norman Warwick worked on throughout the seventies and eighties still serve as the bedrock for their work today. Colin´s sit com series has now been fully written, with another five episodes of Open Mic, that he would love to bring to air. However to help him to so so he is appealing to listeners to the You Tube Channel at


Access to this location is free and without commitment and if you could have a listen, and like what you hear you could perhaps recommend your friends to follow you to another link at (20+) Facebook where you will see and hear Colin singing and playing Lendanears plaintiff Last Boat Home.´The song was written just before Lendanear called it a day as a performing group but has become re-contextualised since then. The lyric that Norm wrote of a fictional girl looking, forlornly, out to sea every day waiting for her lover and his fishing ´fleett to return, clearly now belongs to the novel that Norman is writing based on characters who seem to walk through several of their songs in a linear narrative, from a fisherman and miner in conversation at a Scottish pit-head, through Two Thousand Feet and Black Kisses about a mining disaster, and their fishing industry songs like The Boats Will Come Home and Last Boat Home.

Colin, too, has used characters from Lendanear material, as well as real-life characters he and Norm met on the folk-club circuit, much of which has been swallowed hook, line and microphone by the Open Mic fraternity. Many of the characters in Colin´s hilarious but sympatico episodes of Open Mic are older versions of friends, and not-so-much friends, he and Norm knew back then.

Open Mic is a series full of potential, as any of several characters deserve to be more fully developed, They are mostly a slightly disillusioned and motley crew who are nevertheless unafraid to call a shovel a shovel and a government the  material that a shoveller shovels !

So please do what you can to help bring these characters on their competitive Open Mic nights, and we will keep you informed of your combined progress over the next few months.

Island Insights


Colombians Residing in Lanzarote celebrate  

reported by NORMAN WARWICK

An event that brought together “fun, gastronomy, dances, culture, artists, etc.”, with the main objective of “taking advantage to promote Colombian culture”

Last Friday the National Day of Colombia was celebrated at the Sociedad Democracia  de Lanzarote. On the occasion of the event, the spokesman for the island’s Colombian association, Carlos Alférez, in an interview with Radio Lanzarote-Onda Cero  confessed that he was “very pleased and happy to have the opportunity to celebrate this day in this beautiful land as it is Lanzarote”.

And it is that according to the last recorded census, ” some 10,000 Colombians live on the island ,” reported the spokesman. Although it is data “it is not reliable”, since “many people are arriving who are not included in the census yet”, he acknowledges.

He makes it clear that the integration of the group in Lanzarote society is “total”: “We commented on it and it is a reality, wherever I go I find Colombian people in hospitals, shops, etc.”. For this reason, “we are fully integrated, happy and content, as well as grateful to this beautiful land that has received us,”  he explains.

To such an extent that “when the kids are at home they speak with a Colombian accent but with their friends with a Canarian accent,” he acknowledges in relation to the integration they have found on the island. In addition, “there are already second-generation Colombians, born here on the island, who are already professionals and pursuing their careers,” he comments in relation to the opportunities he has offered them. It must be remembered that “foreigners raised here are lucky and have the chance to access the same opportunities as natives here,” she says.

Island Insights

Lanzarote: “The longest promenade in the world”

With 26.63 kilometers, Lanzarote won the record for the longest promenade in the world dethroning La Coruña. The world title, until 2016, was held by the Galician city with more than 13 kilometers of promenade. However, since that same year, another Spanish city began a remodeling of its promenade to get this title and later got it.

With 26.63 kilometers, Lanzarote won the record for the longest promenade in the world dethroning La Coruña. The world title, until 2016, was held by the Galician city with more pass it on logo

than 13 kilometers of promenade. However, since that same year, another Spanish city began a remodelling of its promenade to get this title and later got it.

Unlike La Coruña, Lanzarote did not have any project studied to achieve such a mark. Well, they simply joined the stretches of promenade that already existed in other locations. Because of this, this road goes from Puerto del Carmen to Costa Teguise, passing through the Port of Arrecife and Lanzarote Airport.

two book logo Island Insights

We will be out bright and early on Monday 4th September, walking sidetracks and detours  to gather all the arts related news we can find. We will ask whether it is right that writers should write to right wrongs, and we will therefore reflect on the work of Truman Capote, examining the creative trail started by his short novel Breakfast At Tiffany´s, We will doner, too, why he then undertook a work as gruelling and demanding as In Cold Blood. We also look at three books that paint different portraits of Outlaw country singer wriuter Wayloin Jennings. We also go Looking Beyond The Blues to what´s good and what not. We will be home on Friday to continue building our bigger bookshelf because the publication of Rock On Record is going to need quite some space. When we close our daily not-for-profit blogs on Friday 8th Septemeber. we will take the following day off because there´s football on the telly. We will b e back on Sunday 9th with edition 17 of our Pass It On weekly walkabout. all available at https;//aata.

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