, , ,

Sidetracks And Detours present PASS IT ON weekly walkabout 23 Sunday 22nd October 2023

Sidetracks And Detours



weekly walkabout 23

Sunday 22nd 2023

Hello, and welcome to the varied contents ofd another exciting edition of PASS IT ON. This week we welcome back contributors old and new, with Steve Cooke collecting royalties, and Miuchaekl Higgins waiting for the music to begin before he starts his song and dance about Cecil Sharp and English Folk Music, whilst Alfred Michael takes a look at English Folk Expo and The Manchester Folk Festival. There´s plenty of liv music around and as Dr. Joe Dawson returns to the pages to review a Toad Lance Concert, Fran previews some upcoming highlightsd at The Stoller Hall. There is a major Manchester Music Festival tonight as well, at which we talk a sneak previews, and we even peer ahead into November at live Jazz In Reading, whilst enjoying our Hot Biscuits and listening to jazz on air with Steve Bewick. Ralph Dent remembers the music sharted by Hoagy Carmichael and The Rolling Stones, (really) ! and Peter Pearson look at other musician friends of stage and studio. Finally, our editor Norman Warwick, offers an Island Insight into an exciting viscual artist living on Lanzarote.


all across the arts

Diana: The Untold & Untrue Story preview copy by STEVE COOKE

Live Folk Music

Manchester Folk Music Festival 2023: review by ALFRED MICHAEL

Live Classical Music AT Toad Lance Concerts, Rochdale

Marie King Concert Pianist Extraordinaire

review by DR: JOE DAWSON

Live Classical Music: Highlights At The Stoller Hall preview by FRAN

Live Music at Manchester Musical Festival

VSO Jukebox COLOUR THEORY 22-10-23 by Norman Warwick

Live Jazz at Bishop’s Court Farm

Dorchester on Thames OX10 7HP

 Sunday 5 November 6pm for 7 – 9pm £22

Zoe Francis and the Jim Mullen Quartet
The Great American Songbook preview by  JAZZ ON READING

Jazz On Air

Hot Biscuits served by Steve Bewick

Remembered Music

Hoagy And The Rolling Stone by RALPH DENT

A Reader´s Perspective

All Points Forward

Friends Of  Stage And Studio by PETER PEARSON

Island Insights

Visual Arts with Cometa Xerra

speaking to Norman Warwick

all across the arts

Diana: The Untold & Untrue Story

preview copy by STEVE COOKE

photo 1 Following a sold-out, award-winning run at the Edinburgh Fringe, ‘Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story’ was recently staged at Hope Mill Theatre.

Join Diana in heaven as she shares the untold and untrue tale of her extraordinary life. Combining drag, multimedia, audience interaction, puppetry, and a lot of queer joy – this unique celebration of the people’s princess is as hilarious as it is tasteless.

The latest show from harbingers of theatrical chaos Awkward Productions, is written and performed by Linus Karp and created with support from Arts Council England. The show follows previous productions How To Live A Jellicle Life: Life Lessons From The 2019 Hit Movie Musical ‘Cats’.

WINNER – The Laura Award

RUNNER UP  Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence NOMINATED – OffFest Award at Edinburgh Fringe

Wednesday 04 October – Saturday 07 October: 8.00pm

Live Folk Music

Manchester Folk Music Festival 2023


A moment thousands of us have been eagerly awaiting, having gorged ourselves on drip-feed highlights information throughout the year, came and went in a rush of sound and fury of Music and Dance just a couple of days ago. Manchester Folk Festival kicked off on Thursday 19th October as loyal friends of Folk and its front row dancers gathered en masse for the openbing event of The Manchester Music Festival and the nearby Rochdale Folk Festival.EFE must have been thrilled by such a turn-out.

Whether these folkies were looking for,  trad, indie, rock folk or anything in between, EFE had it it covered at Manchester Folk Festival. With over 60 artists performing over the three days, there were some difficult choices to be made for many fans.. Even before the curtain went up for the opening events festival tickets were4 going fast and many individual shows were already close to selling out.

The Festival´s Late Night Festival Club was not only back by popular request but also served as a platform form, running from 11.00 pm to 1.00 am featuring some of the best rising talent on the folk scene. The Festival Club was seen as a great  way to end a day at the festival.

Each evening a special concert was held in The Smithfield Tavern in the heart of Manchester.(right)

Visitors were also obviously very aware of the free live music available during the evenings at Band On The Wall Bar Stage!

On Thursday 19th October from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm performances were given by Delia Stevens and David Insua Cao and also Chris Cleverley.

The following night saw, from 5 to 7.30 performance by three acts, The Dove And The Dragon, Seamus Ogg and Kirk McElHinny,.

Saturday evening closed the festival at this venue with an ensemble that included  Anna McCluckie, Jon Wilks,  Heather Ferrier, Hannah Scott and George Boomma.

It was just as the Manchester Folk Festival began its 2023 incarnation that we learned thatThe international music convention WOMEX is gearing up to celebrate its 30th edition in Manchester, UK, next year. Set to take place from October 23 to 27, 2024, this marks the debut of WOMEX in Manchester and the third edition in the UK, with its last editions being hosted in Cardiff, Wales, in 2013 and Gateshead/Newcastle in 2005.

Piranha Arts, the owners and producers of WOMEX, based in Berlin, will work closely with Marketing Manchester and the rest of the Manchester event team over the next year to market the event to potential delegates and participants worldwide.

Choosing Manchester as the destination for WOMEX’s 30th edition is a testament to the city’s vibrant cultural heritage and role as a dynamic hub for the global music industry. Manchester’s rich history of innovation, iconic music scene, and passionate community of artists and music enthusiasts make it an ideal host for this milestone event. With its first-ever appearance in Manchester, WOMEX not only celebrates its three decades of existence but also embraces the city’s unique charm, diversity and global significance in the world of music.

Tom Besford, from event delivery partner English Folk Expo, said:
Manchester will be an amazing place to host WOMEX. I’m incredibly excited to welcome the international music industry to our city, and it’s even more brilliant for local audiences to see some of the most spectacular worldwide bands. This really is the best gathering of global music anywhere. I hope music lovers from across the region and beyond embrace this once-in-a-generation event to discover life-changing music.

Alexander Walter, director, WOMEX, shared:
It is wonderful to be in Manchester, marking the 30th anniversary of WOMEX amidst this city’s vibrant cultural boom and diversity. Gathering the global music community in Manchester, alongside friends, collaborators and creative minds from the UK and Ireland and beyond, presents a remarkable opportunity for all. We are all very excited.

This announcement comes in the final weeks leading up to the 29th edition of WOMEX that will be taking place in A Coruna, Galicia, Spain from 25 – 29 October 2023.

article posted by:Gideon Elfgen, Piranha Arts

 Live Classical Music

Toad Lance Concerts, Rochdale

Marie King Concert Pianist Extraordinaire

review by DR: JOE DAWSON

Maria King graduated from the RNCM, followed by study in Paris, before returning to work there as an accompanist for eight years. A keen fund-raiser, she also plays for several charities.

Maria has also honed her gift for entertaining for many years on first class cruise liners with her own show.

The programme brought together all these gifts. Her memory skills alone were enough to put her in the front rank of players.

The sparkle of her introductory piano matched the glitter on her microphone as Maria launched into a breathtaking hour of music and wit with irrepressible energy and fun.

Beautifully played works by Debussy established her classical credentials before Liberace’s hilarious version of Chopsticks pricked the bubble with its fragments of cartoon music and celebrated virtuoso passages.

A Rachmaninov prelude showed her power and phenomenal technique, followed by added vocals in the late Victoria Wood’s riotous ‘Let’s do it.’

Smile by Chaplin left everyone beaming as she closed with a seminal piece, the fantastic Mephisto Waltz by Liszt. Earning the accolade ‘concert pianist extraordinaire’.

The Queen’s Award-winning Toad Lane Concerts are every Wednesday at 12.30pm at the Grade 1 listed church of St Mary in the Baum, Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL16 1DZ. Entrance fee is £6. No refreshments available. Contact 01706 648872 for further information.

Live Classical Music

Highlights At The Stoller Hall

preview by FRAN

Management and staff at The Stoller Hall are  excited to be welcoming wide range of artists to our venue in the near future, from a full orchestra and choral performance of Karl Jenkin’s The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, to  acclaimed string quartet music from the Dudok Quartet and the next instalment of our Rush Hour concert series.

We’re also delighted that all of these shows listed have tickets for £5.50 or less for under 18s and anyone in full time education.


30.10.23, 7.30pm

A performance of string music spanning centuries, as the Dudok Quartet (right) play music by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich in the latest instalment of the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society’s 23/24 season.

04.11.23, 7.30pm

These two ensembles come together for a programme connected by war, joy and peace, including Karl Jenkins’s The Armed Man, plus music by Elgar, Copland and Butterfield.

07.11.23, 6pm

For the latest in our Rush Hour concert series, Ensemble Renard take us around the world with distinctive music from five countries. Escape the commute and enjoy an hour of live music from these new talents.

Live Music at l

VSO Jukebox COLOUR THEORY 22-10-23

by Norman Warwick

Manchester Music Festival is thrilled to partner with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra in presenting Jukebox: Color Theory at Helmholz Fine Art Gallery on October 22, 2023 at 5:30pm.

The Jukebox Fall series showcases the intersection between music and art with works inspired by vivid colors, imagery, and artwork.  The Jukebox Quartet (Brooke Quiggins-Saulnier and Ben Lively, violins, Stefanie Taylor, viola, and John Dunlop, cello) will perform works by Jessie Montgomery, Philip Glass, Benjamin Britten, Javier Alvarez, and more.

Over the duration of the concert, the music will guide and inform a live painting experience with Haitian/Vermont artist Julio Desmont as he creates a new piece of artwork in real-time. Curated and hosted by Matt LaRocca. Following the concert, there will be a reception with savory bites, light refreshments, and a chance to mix and mingle with the musicians, Julio, and Matt.

This concert is produced in partnership with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Helmholz Fine Art

Desmont’s artistic journey began in Haiti in his early childhood observing trogon birds and riding on Taptaps.  Later on, he was inspired by Jean Michel Basquiat, Wassily Kandinsky, and Pablo Picasso whose inspirations went back to Africa – as well as the original American painter, Georgia O’Keefe.

This modernist artist employs deep vibrant colours, lines and shapes that are at times mesmerizing and evokes a quickening in the hearts and body of onlookers akin to a happy experience.

On air sign background

Jazz On Air

Hot Biscuits presented by STEVE BEWICK

Next week Hot Biscuits will be served when we broadcast the long awaited jazz set from Annie Long‘s Quartet at the The Carlton Club, South Manchester.

Annie Annie Long first made her debut in the folk world singing the lyrical songs of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell and accompanying herself on guitar, playing in London colleges and folk clubs.  She then joined a professional cabaret band and toured extensively in Britain and on the continent.  Appearances at that time included the Marbella Hilton in Spain and the Savoy Hotel in London.  At one time she sang in the same band as Annie Lennox and worked with Phil Collins! She also recorded a single with 8-piece jazz/rock band “Ozo” at CBS studios. This was featured on T.V. but was never released because the band split up. She now leads the very popular Annie Long Quartet, delivering jazz stadsards from The Great American Songbook.

Also featured on the programme will be is Tebu Muziki and friends, Congfusionjazz, and Søren Bebe Trio. with their 100,000 listeners on Spotify !

There will be tracks, too, from  from Snuff Smith, Elliot Galvin with Laura Jurd, a musician and composer from Hampshire, United Kingdom. She plays trumpet and synthesizer. She has released albums as a solo artist, and she plays in a jazz quartet named Dinosaur, whose album Together, As One was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2017.

We will close the show with the big sound of Avon Cities Jazz Band. This ensemble was a jazz band from Bristol, England, from 1949 to 2000. The band performed jazz standards such as “Cotton Tail” as well as some of their own songs. One example of their compositions is “African Song” from their album Tempo Fugit, which was released in the 1990s

If this looks good then pass it on and catch me 24/07 at MIXCLOUD.COM

Live Jazz

Bishop’s Court Farm

Dorchester on Thames OX10 7HP

 Sunday 5 November 6pm for 7 – 9pm £22

Zoe Francis and the Jim Mullen Quartet
The Great American Songbook

preview by  JAZZ ON READING

 ‘Zoe Francis communicates a love and understanding of the classic American song with the lightest of touches.’ Dave Gelly – The Observer

Jim Mullen’s soft-toned fluency is always hypnotic.’ – The Guardian

Virtuoso guitarist Jim Mullen is known throughout the jazz world for an unmistakable laid-back Wes Montgomery-esque sound achieved by plucking the strings of his guitar with his thumb rather than a plectrum. Having cut his teeth working with both Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express and the Average White Band, Mullen is a true jazz legend who has a wonderful way of reshaping and re-framing familiar songs so you hear them from a completely fresh perspective.

Together with their superb backing band, Francis and Mullen perform an impeccable selection of 20th century Great American Songbook numbers by legendary writers including Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer and Cole Porter. From iconic classics to lesser-known gems, Francis and Mullen mine a rich seam of sublime heartbreakers – all reinterpreted with fresh new arrangements especially for their critically acclaimed new Midnight Sun show.

Zoe Francis – Vocals
Jim Mullen – Guitar
Gareth Williams – Piano
Steve Watts – Bass

About Jazz in Reading
  Jazz in Reading stages regular events with top-class bands at Reading’s Progress Theatre. See the current programme here
We list jazz events in Reading and the wider area at no charge – simply submit your gig details. We also offer an affordable service to further promote events – such as the one above – by email: details here.

Jazz in Reading, using its extensive contacts in the jazz world, is in an excellent position to help you find the right band for your wedding, party or other special occasion.

Fleur Stevenson
& Pete Billington Quartet

Crowmarsh Jazz

Saturday 28 October

Feleur Stevenspon and Pete Billington present a programme of sparkling arrangements from their award-winning album, For All We Know, , with an evening of music thai intersperses delighteful interpretaionss pf classic repertoire with classic piano trio rendutions of tunes by the great such as Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans.

Playful and light-hearted, yet with a frisson of melancholy, expect songs such asI´ve Got You Under My Skin, When Sunny Gets Blue and Stella By Starlight.

Fleur and Pete are supported by excellent musicians, bassist Ralph Moraka and drummer Simon Price.

Fleur is a relaxed jazz vocalist witha bright voice, good phrasing and the ability to swing at any tempo, says Jazz Journal.

She has a soft and pure velvety tone that make her performance swing effortlessly, adds Jadds Views.

Jazz On Air

Hot Biscuits served by Steve Bewick

Remembered Music

Hoagy And The Rolling Stone by RALPH DENT

With their pre-teen conceit, every generation seems to grow up believing they are they are part of the great generation that invented music:blues, jazz, folk,  rock or pop.  Perhapos that is why we create time frames that can´t sustain. There wasn´t a Cliuff Richard era, or a Beatles era quickly followed by the Sones era. In fact, thesde artists and many, many more bsides, wove in asnd out of existing genres and only a few, only the gfrerat created brand new.

I know, anyway, that ti was my generation that really invented music, out of tikn pqn alley. I know that it was I and other youths of my age, except of course, that they were actually older sho came wrtote The Great American Songbook.  And one of the era´sd great protaganists, surely was never alive at the  same time at The Rolling Stoes; thewy came along much later, and anyway, they thought his work was square didn´t they? Not hip: whatever the hell that means.

Hoagland Howard Carmichael (November 22, 1899 – December 27, 1981 (right) ) was an American musician, composer, songwriter, actor and lawyer. Carmichael was one of the most successful Tin Pan Alley songwriters of the 1930s, and was among the first singer-songwriters in the age of mass media to utilize new communication technologies such as television, electronic microphones, and sound recordings.

Carmichael composed several hundred songs, including 50 that achieved hit record status. He is best known for composing the music for “Stardust“, “Georgia on My Mind” (lyrics by Stuart Gorrell), “The Nearness of You“, and “Heart and Soul” (in collaboration with lyricist Frank Loesser), four of the most-recorded American songs of all time.[2] He also collaborated with lyricist Johnny Mercer on “Lazybones” and “Skylark“. Carmichael’s “Ole Buttermilk Sky” was an Academy Award nominee in 1946, from Canyon Passage, in which he co-starred as a musician riding a mule. “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening“, with lyrics by Mercer, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1951. Carmichael also appeared as a character actor and musical performer in 14 films, hosted three musical-variety radio programs, performed on television, and wrote two autobiographies.

However, having just finished reading Christopher Sandford´s biography of Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, I have been forcefully reminded that of course he and my favourite songwriter, Hoagy Carmichael, lived in the same era, and the same world. 

In fact ¨Keef´ recorded the beautiful song, The Nearness Of You, which Hoagy wrote, on his fisrt sole album. Apparantly the ´walking apothecary´even used to sing itr to his wife every birthday, and Hoagy heard the record and thought the recording was so special that he proposed to the Sone, that might like to record all his back catalogue to help sustain Carmichael´s legacy (although, that, with Old Buttermilk Sky will never wane). Sadly Hoagy died before the idea could be formalised, but who would have thought it? Hoagy Carmichael, forty four years older than the still-Rolling Stone  Keith Richards lived on this earth at the same time, and enjoyed a great mutual admiration.

A Reader´s Perspective

All Points Forward

Friends Of  Stage And Studio by PETER PEARSON

Hope you are feeling a lot better Norm. Its gone from Summer to Winter here in the UK in the space of a few days and we are told a named storm (Stormin´ Norman, maybe?) is on its way tomorrow. This is not a nice place to be for many reasons other than just the weather.

Well done with the Sunday blog to Dee -I didn’t notice too much of a difference or maybe I was too busy lamenting my sacking!

Hope you find the attached is at least in the spirit of your assignment-if maybe not to the letter.

I write this shortly after hearing that Geoff Davies, founder of Liverpool based Probe Records died aged 80 on September 23rd.

When you asked about artists who have appeared with John Stewart in the UK my mind cast back to Sunday 15th October 1989 when John appeared with Hugh Moffatt (left) as support at the Flying Picket in Liverpool-a gig which Geoff Davies promoted.

It was billed as The John Stewart Farewell tour -though it was only really farewell to the extensive touring and John continued to perform on a regular basis in the UK at selective venues as late as 2003.

I went to see John and Hugh later that week at my hometown Manchester venue, Band on the Wall. Quite how the two of them came together I do not know, since Hugh is a Texan based for a long time in Nashville and John was based in California. They did not share record labels.

Geoff Davies also promoted John’s Liverpool gigs at The Haigh Polytechnic, The Irish Centre and Hardman House in the early 90’s. From memory, Geoff Davies had to intervene personally on the night with the owners of all these venues to allow us ticket holders to actually gain admittance. Nothing seemed straightforward with his promotions.

It was clear there was a friendship and musical respect between John and Hugh from the onstage comments and Hugh recently commented on how much he enjoyed that tour.

Flash back to when I first saw John in the UK in 1984 at the New Brighton Floral Hall – a gig recorded for broadcast by BBC Radio Merseyside. John was accompanied by his wife Buffy and Chuck McDermott, with whom he made several albums, (most notably Blondes).

The opening act was a local band, Hank Walters and the Dusty Road Ramblers. Hank just about summed up the situation when he remarked after the opening song ´wow opening for John Stewart. Its all right for you John, I’ve got a day job to go to tomorrow´. Scouse comedy was the backbone of their enjoyable set, that was also recorded for broadcast.

Chuck (right) was hugely influenced by John. After recording a couple of solo albums he turned to a political career but, following John’s death, formed The John Stewart Band with other former Stewart sidemen. They are mostly a tribute band but have recorded several albums.

John seldom played with a support act because his huge catalogue easily supported his 2 to 3 hour live sets. Perhaps his most celebrated UK appearance with a supporting cast was the wrongly billed 4 Texans Tour in 1991 with Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Peter Rowan. Only 2 of them had any Texas history. I went to see them at Romiley Forum near Stockport and they also played The Bloomsbury in London, York and Wolverhampton before decamping to Ireland.

I doubt much rubbed off any of them from the others, though John remarked at Towne’s ability to craft a seamless song whilst not impressed that Townes (left) pushed a shopping trolley on stage in the middle of John’s set (the venue was in the middle of a shopping precinct)

By far the most enjoyable for me was John’s 3rd night at the Turf Dalry in May 2000 when he was joined after a marathon solo set by Buffy and Nick Reynolds (former fellow member of The Kingston Trio) for a finale of mostly Trio songs. I think John learned his stage craft from the Trio, who in the early sixties were on a par with the Beatles in the USA. The Trio documentary, Wherever We May Go, features clips from John’s performances with the Trio on US television. Shows like the Andy Williams show, The Smothers Brothers and many others helped to prepare him for his later solo career.

In that solo career in the early years he was heavily influenced by Fleetwood Macs’ Lindsay Buckingham (right). John’s hit UK single Gold has echoes of Fleetwood Mac. His Bombs Away album features Lindsay Buckingham and they became firm friends. Lindsay credits John’s banjo technique with The Trio for his guitar style of playing. The Kingston Trio Reunion video/dvd features the two of them reprising their album track in a live performance of the Spinning of the World.

Catch it on Youtube to see what I mean.

Island Insights

Visual Arts with Cometa Xerra

speaking to Norman Warwick

logo LEditor´s note.  The following article weas scheduled to have been included in last week´s issue of PASS IT ON, but as we explained to readers at the time , a bug swept our office,  and I don´t mean a computer a bug.  Some sort of infection set in and we immediately realised we would probably have to only publish what was already written. This interesting piece slipped through our net and we sincerely apologise to Cometa, and will look at a way to bring you mucvh fuller detaislof her career to date.

photo micaela It is my pleasure to write an article introducing myslkef to readers of Sidetracks And Detours, about my recent exhibition in club Real Náutico Lanzarote Arrecife..

I would like to introduce myself briefly. My name is Micaela Cometa Xerra (left).

In 2020 I launched my new collection of paintings after a long period of painting as a hobby to escape the hustle and bustle of daily routine.

I studied advertising for 5 years at the University of Palermo. In 2005 I settled in Milan where I worked for Saatchi & Saatchi as an account manager.

After traveling for a couple of years, in 2015 I settled in Lanzarote, where I find daily inspiration for my work.

In the studio right) , my neutral palette conveys organic and modern elements such as lava, aluminium and stone, while its minimal pictorial marks preserve the stories.

My work has produced a variety of series over the years, all with the common thread of providing evocative moments for its viewers.

My works can be found in private and corporate collections and i’m currently represented by:

“Los Colores de La Isla” in the Lanzarote Art Gallery and Lanzarote Airport InternacionalCesar Manriquez; last EXPOs in recent years: NYC art Gallery Nolita 2023, Arte Basel Miami 2022, La Biennale di Genova 2020 and Lacuna Art 2020.

Next exhibition:      Chelsea Fair NYC

                                Art Basel Miami

I am confident that many of your like-minded, arts loving readers would find aspects of my work to enjoy and I would love to start an arts dialogue with them


Mia CX.

Next week our Monday to Friday daily blog will take us down sidetracks and detours to explore what goes on in the minds of me, before we travel back in time to the birth of a great radio station. We are hoping to bump into a Coronation Street star and ask hedr didn´t you used to be somebody ? We look at honours andf tributes recently bestowed on Nanci Griffith and exploire just why she and her work deserved them. Meanwhile we will be planning our route for our next PASS IUT ON weekly walkabout and speaking with Micaela about how we can best keep our readers up to date with her workñ.

SO, we´ll see you round the corner, somewhere along the happy trails.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.