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sidetracks & detours present PASS IT ON 57 weekly Sunday supplement 16 6 2024

sidetracks & detours



weekly Sunday supplement 16 6 2024


Hear The Call


all across the arts


following festivals with ALFRED MICHAEL


Canarian Day – Dia de Canarias – May 30th

Nuestra Señora del Carmen – mid to late July

Fiesta de San Gines – 15th-25th August

Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores – September 

Live Jazz


The Crooked Billet, Newlands Lane, Stoke Row RG9 5PU
Arrive between 6.30 – 7.00 pm (pre show dinner);  on stage 8.30pm

preview by Jazz In Reading

Jazz On Air

HOT BISCUITS heated up by Steve Bewick

Remembered music


A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward


Review by out Americana Correspondent Peter Pearson

Island Insights 


historic journalist, a communication leader – Antonio Coll

gathered by Norman Warwick

Come Hear The Call


By Akela

We haven´t quite figured out yet whether PASS IT ON  signifies the end of a week of editions of Sidetracks And Detours or the beginning of another week. So, we´ll tell you what you might have missed last week if you were unable catch up with us over our Monday to Friday free not-for-profit blogs. We set out down the avenues and alleyways before taking diversions to the airport and catching a flight to The Dolly Parton Experience and then got a return flight back to the UK to learn more about Martyn Jackson and  The Northern Chamber Orchestra and finding out why Lowry is the heart and soul of Salford Quays. We looked in at the mythical Jazz Junction and found the talk was all of Freedom, Justice and Hope. We´re not quite sure how it happened but we arrived back at the office with a bag full of books by or about Bing Crosby. That bigger bookshelf we´re building is now half way up the walls all around the room and stands ready to make space for Bing! You will notice that today´s PASS IT ON welcomes a piece from Steve Cooke that takes us all across the arts, as Alfred Michael  follows festivals on Lanzarote. Our live jazz listings today come from Reading and our Hot Biscuits come from Steve Bewick as usual. Ralph Dent tells us all about recorded music circling round That Lucky Old Son and our Americana writer, Peter Pearson reviews The Eagles And The Doobie Brothers giving a concert fit for a king in an arena that isn´t yet perhaps fit for its audience. Our island insights from Lanzarote reflect on the sad death of a journalist who has, for almost sixty years, been one of the island´s most effective agents of change

All Across The Arts


preview by  Steve Cooke

Steve Cooke

The Den is back in Greater Manchester, and this year they’re in Rochdale – the Royal Exchange have announced The FestiDale, named and curated by the Rochdale Ambassadors and Champions.

Hosted by Kingsway Park High School from Thursday 8th August to Sunday 18th August 2024, there’ll be something for everyone in this vibrant, captivating programme in the Royal Exchange’s eco-friendly mobile theatre.

With a pay-what-you-can model, each production, workshop and activity is accessible and open to everyone who wants to go along.

The Rochdale Ambassadors and Champions, who have been working with the Royal Exchange’s Local Exchange programme since 2023, have programmed this festival full of exciting new voices and established names.

The festival aims to connect and provide space to people from all over Rochdale and beyond, creating radical moments of joy and showcasing local artists and opportunities.

One of the most exciting elements of this year’s programme is the headlining production Tales of the Dale, helmed by award-winning theatre and audio directors Nickie Miles-Wildin and Polly Thomas.

Curated with Shahid Iqbal Khan (Love Across The Ages, BBC Radio 4; 10 Nights, Bush Theatre), the team will be collecting hundreds of stories from far and wide across the borough of Rochdale, in community centres, hospices, libraries, sports centres, schools, clubs and other civic spaces.

The tapestry of stories will then be woven together into a live audio experience and performed in the Den over three days, by a company compiled of both professional actors and community members, celebrating the stories of the people of Rochdale and putting them centre stage.

These stories will be collected in person or gathered digitally by submission via the Royal Exchange website, via email or text. If you have a story to tell about Rochdale – its undiscovered gems, your favourite bits, what a day-in-the-life looks like or the places that mean the most to you – check out where and when you can meet the Story Collectors to share your stories in-person, or through the Royal Exchange website: https://www.royalexchange.co.uk/project/rochdale-story-exchange/.

Residents of Rochdale are invited to tell their Story Collectors their story in person on:

Wed 19 June, 2pm-5pm at One Riverside Library

Tues 2 July, 11am-1pm at Middleton Shopping Centre

Tales of the Dale also offers the opportunity for the people of Rochdale to perform, get involved in the creation and execution of the show – and they’d love to invite you to be part of this unique experience.

The Royal Exchange are looking for community members to work alongside professional actors to bring these stories to life – minimal rehearsal is required, where you will learn about stage craft and using a microphone, with the production performed script-in-hand.

This opportunity is open to absolutely anyone in Rochdale over the age of 14 with no performing experience necessary, and the performances would be 15th – 17th August with rehearsal sessions within the weeks before and casting sessions from mid-July 2024.

You can express your interest via a short sign-up form on the website, where you will find all the details and dates once confirmed: https://www.royalexchange.co.uk/project/rochdale-community-performers-call-out/.

The Royal Exchange are also excited to be partnering with several organisations across the festival, without whose generous support this would not be possible – these include Rochdale Development Agency, Culture Coop, Kingsway Park High School and Touchstones (Your Trust), with Bridgewater Hall, Cartwheel Arts, M6 Theatre Company and Skylight Circus all contributing to the programme and its wraparound activity.

And there’s so much more to come, with the complete programme still to be announced – keep an eye on socials for more!

The Den is a key part of the Royal Exchange’s wide-reaching community programme Local Exchange, bringing incredible shared live experiences right to people’s doorsteps.

It aims to develop long-lasting relationships between artists and communities, celebrating local talent and establishing paths to the arts for Greater Manchester residents.

Local Exchange is generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Oglesby Charitable Trust. Full details can be found on the Royal Exchange website:



Canarian Day – Dia de Canarias – May 30th

Nuestra Señora del Carmen – mid to late July

Fiesta de San Gines – 15th-25th August

Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores – September 

by Alfred Michael

May 30th marks the date when the Canaries first gained autonomy from Spain, back in 1983. And now it’s an annual holiday across all of the seven islands in the archipelago.

The fiesta is a celebration of Canarian culture and events are held across the islands. School kids don traditional dress, tuck into local dishes and dance to folklore music. The Canarian flag (white, blue and yellow) flies everywhere and the Cabildo organises fishing, Canarian wrestling and game hunting competitions.

Even the local supermarkets get in on the act with loads of free food and wine tastings. And most hotels mark the event, usually with themed food and folklore celebrations – so everyone has a chance to celebrate the event.

The actual official Saints day of Nuestra Señora del Carmen is 16th July. From this date onwards a variety of events and celebrations are held in various towns around Lanzarote, including Teguise, Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen.

The most impressive aspect of this saint’s day is the maritime procession, when the effigy of Saint Carmen is paraded out of the church and carried through the town, down to the water’s edge. Where a boat festooned with flowers transports the saint out onto the waves. The boat carrying her likeness is surrounded by a flotilla of fishing vessels, as the fishermen make their annual blessing of the sea and pray for a bountiful catch during the coming year.

Both Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen have churches dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Carmen. A repetition which testifies to both towns’ origins as small fishing villages, when many local families survival would have depended on the haul they could bring in from the sea.

The historical significance of the fiesta can be traced back all the way to the maritime town of Haifa in Israel. Which is where the cult of Carmen (or Carmel, as she is known there) began.

Its emergence as a focal point in the Roman Catholic calendar occurred over centuries, but certainly by the eighteenth century, the current style of festival had begun.

An admiral, Antonio Barcélo Pont de la Terra, native of Mallorca introduced a gala amongst his ship’s crew in honour of Carmen. Today on this Balearic island the same commemoration still takes place, in the town of Port d’Andratx.

On the mainland, in areas such as Fuengirola, similar processions occur, with the effigy of Carmen at their centre. Likewise Tenerife also has its own Fiesta of Sra. Del Carmen, except that it is celebrated in September, on the first Sunday of the month. But the same traditions are observed nonetheless.

Fiesta de San Gines – 15th-25th August

This major fiesta is in honour of Arrecife’s patron saint San Gines.

San Gines was formerly the Bishop of Clermont. During the 16th century he was responsible for the construction of a small hermitage, now the Church de San Gines, that ministered to the nearby population of the small inland port area, called El Charco (also known locally as the puddle).

Legend has it that during the 1700’s a portrait of the Bishop appeared, floating on the waters of El Charco. And from that moment on the “porteños” (port dwellers) proclaimed him the Patron Saint of the city.

Whatever the truth of the legend it’s a great excuse for a fiesta. And during the daytime much of the activity is concentrated around the El Charco area itself, where traditional island sports such as Canarian sailing and wrestling are celebrated and a new Miss Lanzarote is elected annually.

The whole event then culminates in an impressive and extremely well attended fireworks display on the main beach promenade next to the Arrecife Gran Hotel on the night of the 25th, usually starting at around 23.30 hrs.

Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores – September 

This fantastic fiesta celebrating the island’s patron saint and marking the point where the flow of lava from yet another volcanic eruption miraculously came to a halt in 1824 just outside the village of Mancha Blanca.

This attracts serious crowds – most in traditional Canarian dress – with many walking on foot to Mancha Blanca from all over the island as a form of pilgrimage. Often accompanied by supermarket trolleys full of ‘refreshments’.

In Mancha Blanca itself the action revolves around the church, where Dolores is paraded – as well as around the huge array of mobile bars and food stalls that spring up especially for the event.


Live Jazz

BUDAPEST CAFÉ ORCHESTRA, The Crooked Billet, Newlands Lane, Stoke Row

preview by Jazz In Reading

“I can imagine it might come as a surprise that an evening of Balkan gypsy jazz mayhem could fill the Crooked Billet to bursting but it wouldn’t to anyone who had previously spent time in the company of the Budapest Café Orchestra.

“We first booked them at the Crooked Billet 15 years ago & they’ve lost none of their energy or showmanship. If anything, more mayhem-ic, still refreshingly unconventional and snappily attired boutique orchestra, offering their steroid blasted spin on manic Eastern European gypsy jazz, folk and classics.

“Christian Garrick serving as the group’s bags of wit master of ceremonies – one of the world’s most celebrated jazz violinists. Kevin Cantlon on double bass, pre-gypsy jazz in those early rock n roll years played with David Bowie. Guitar, Saz, balalaika, clomra. Adrian Zolotuhin a master of strummed strings. Eddie Hessian manages to make the piano accordion cool! Eddie a former accordion world championship winner. He’s accompanied Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras; he’s dead good.

“The Budapest Café Orchestra play a blisteringly barrage of Czardas, East European & Russian Folk tunes that might have come from the Hot Club of Paris via the Orient Express; makes you want to book a holiday up the Balkans” – Paul Clerehugh

Live Jazz at Progress

THE GAZ HUGHES TRIO: Nuclear Bebopalypse Tour

Friday 21st June 7.30 pm

previewed by Jazz in Reading

Gaz Hughes drums

Andrzej Baranek piano

Gavin Barras double bass

The Gaz Hughes Trio: The Nuclear Bebopalypse Tour

Gaz Hughes is a renowned jazz drummer and band leader, who first gained wide public attention as the original drummer in the Matthew Halsall Band. He has played a significant role in the early recordings of the Gondwana label and has been a highlight on the album “On The Go”, which won the Best Jazz Album of the Year at the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards in 2012, and was nominated for the Best Jazz Album MOBO Awards in 2011.

As a sideman, Gaz has performed with an impressive array of jazz artists, both in the UK and internationally, including Scott Hamilton, Harry Allen, Marshal Allen, Greg Abate, Alan Barnes, Bruce Adams, Mark Nightingale, Tony Kofi, Ian Shaw, and many others. Additionally, he has also collaborated with a number of rock and pop artists such as Patti Boulaye, Suzi Quatro, Ray Quinn, Rick Guard and Kristyna Myles.

In 2019, Gaz was voted fifth place in the British Jazz Awards. In 2020, he released his debut album as a band leader, “Plays Art Blakey”, featuring Alan Barnes, Bruce Adams and Dean Masser. The album was met with critical acclaim and was supported by a UK tour and extensive radio play. In May 2022, Gaz released a trio album “Beboperation” which was well received by audiences and critics. Following its success, the trio went back to the studio to record a follow-up album. In February 2023, Gaz released his third album as a band leader, entitled “Beboptical Illusion”, featuring mostly original compositions and representing a new direction for the trio.

The new album, Nuclear Bebopalypse, continues with original numbers inspired by the late 50’s Piano Trio format but with fresh twists. A recent promoter described the music as “Old School Jazz for the 21st Century” – which Gaz says sums up things perfectly.

On 21 June you will experience an exciting drum-led jazz combo with lashings of swing and effortless bebop improvisation. Review comments include:

“Incredible” – Ginger Baker

“An extremely tasteful and swinging straight ahead drummer, Hughes exhibits a no nonsense approach to his playing” – www.jazzviews.net

“They rarely deliver anything less than excellence and today topped just about everything that had preceded it. I feel sad for the squares who weren’t there” – Bebop Spoken Here

On air sign background

Jazz On Air

HOT BISCUITS heated up by Steve Bewick

Join me,Steve Bewick, next week with the The West Coast Jazz Octet, recreating the 1950’s West Coast sound combining cool arrangements and dynamic orchestrations. Also on the show is a recommendation from the KEN COLYER SOCIETY.

Raph Clarkson Music and Equal Spirits are getting some rave reviews, so have a listen.

Julian Costello Quartet will be with us but are already asking `Why`. even though Maja Bugge enjoys the Togetherness of our Hot Biscuits sessions.

Paul Dunmall shares news and stuff playing with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Jazz Department.

We will also have Tom Haines and the Birmingham Jazz Orchestra playing Utopia.

We will also play you a track by the Andrew McCormack Trio from their new CD, Terra FIrma.`

 If this looks good then please like it and PASS IT ON. Join me at www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick 24/07


Remembered Music


by Ralph Dent

“That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)” is a 1949 popular song with music by Beasley Smith and words by Haven Gillespie.

Like “Ol’ Man River”, its lyrics contrast the toil and intense hardship of the singer’s life with the obliviousness of the natural world.

The biggest hit version of the song was by Frankie Laine, a huge name at the time (see fans right) . This recording was released and it first reached the Billboard Best Seller chart on August 19, 1949, and lasted 22 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 1.

Other versions I enjoyed at around that time, which was three years before my lucky young son, now editor of both Sidetracks & Deoutors and Pass It On, was born included  Frank Sinatra released his competing version of the song. It reached the best sellers chart on October 29, 1949 and peaked at No. 16. It was later Included on his The Best of The Columbia Years 1943–1952 album.

I also recall that a recording by Herb Lance which peaked at No. 6 on the Most-Played Juke Box Rhythm & Blues Records chart.

You young spotified play-listers down there might not even know what a juke box was. Well I can tell you that as soon as That Lucky Old Sun was written it was rolling around juke boxes and rambling on radio from the get go, and continues to do so today.

Some of my favourite covers of Lucky Old Sun made before I slipped into Heaven included, versions by artists such as Pat Boone, in 1957 and La Vern Baker. I loved the version by Bobby Darin (left) in 1960 and there was a version by Sam Cooke at around the same time. Ray Charles and Aretha  Franklin recorded versions shortly after that and Tom Jones recorded it Live At The Talk Of The Town in London in 1967. 

They all met with my approval, and that is not easily given.

However, I look down occasionally on to Shangrila Park, because my son still lives down there, and, anyway,  Heaven and Shangrila are not too far apart in distance or  in attitude. The last time I looked I was not wholly surprised to hear my son listening to another good recording made in 1976 that I had somehow overlooked before moving up here into the soundclouds in 2010. I did note that the sound I was hearing from 60a were emanating from my daughter-in-law´s i-pod, whatever the hell that is.

It was a Willie Nelson take on Lucky Old Son, off his 1976 album, The Sound Of Your Mind. I listened to it all the way through and thought this guy had a voice like dripping honey. I don´t recall ever hearing of him when I lived down there. He could go a long way, though.

How Old is he?

A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward


Co-op Live Arena, Manchester 2024– Review by out Americana Correspondent Peter Pearson

My first Eagles gig was 3rd May 1977 at Bingley Hall Stafford – £3-50 per ticket. It was the Hotel California album tour.

Bingley Hall was an exhibition hall, often used for cattle auctions, situated on the site of the Staffordshire County Showground.

We parked up my old VW Beetle on the showground grassy site, no parking charges, joined a short queue, was quickly frisked by security and dashed into the venue. There was no seating downstairs and most started to squat on the floor.

Glancing up, we noticed a balcony and dashed up the stairs to stand right at the front leaning over the rails staring down straight at the stage only about 12 foot below. We were staggered at how note perfect and polished the Eagles were.

We had seen many others but none had matched that level of musical perfection. The place was packed full but entering and exiting was orderly, both in the venue and car park. I am sure we were home well before 1-30am, in spite of the near one and a half hour drive. Since then I have been to every Eagles UK visit, though their next visit was not until the Hell Freezes Over Tour in 1994, owing to their 14 year break-up. That year, in celebration of their return, I went to their stadium gig at Huddersfield FC’s McAlpine Stadium, their Nynex Manchester Arena gig and Wembley Stadium gig. Since then it has been visits to Liverpool, Sheffield and Manchester Arena.

This lengthy preamble is to draw a stark contrast between the pleasurable experience at these venues and that inflicted on us by Co-op Live Arena/Oak View Group (OVG) and Manchester transport.

For the sake of clarity, I should explain that Co-op Group’s involvement in the Arena only extends to naming rights.

Ownership resides with OVG, with some investment from City Group. The owner of OVG is Irving Azoff. Mr Azoff has been the Eagles manager for virtually their whole career. Eagles co-founder, Don Henley, has in the past remarked that he may be Satan, but he is our Satan. He is also a former CEO of Ticketmaster, who have sole ticketing rights at Co-op Live, and former Chairman of Live Nation (concert promoters) who own Ticketmaster. No surprise then that the Eagles Last Goodbye Tour in the UK should be exclusively at the new arena, with a 5 night residency.

Having followed them for all these years and as much as I think Irving Azoff has turned them into a money making machine, I felt compelled to shell out the ridiculously high ticket price (higher than Taylor Swift UK Eras Tour) for what is their final performances on these shores and also take a look at the new arena.

Many will have heard of the arena’s opening problems and lack of consideration to visitors. The teething problems supposedly over, I was looking forward to viewing this fantastic brand new arena, as it was hyped- up to be.

In theory, getting there via tram should be easy. From Manchester Piccadilly it is a 6 minute tram ride straight into the Etihad Campus, which is adjacent to the Arena. However, it soon became evident that the tram system was not set up to cope with the volume. Tram after tram passed by full to the gills. After about 4 tram loads we were able to finally squeeze on to a tram. This was not a good omen for the return journey. Sure enough on exit, around 11-15pm, the queue was in excess of a mile long with wardens advising a 40 minute wait between trams. That explains why the web site mentioned that trams would run for 4 hours after the concert. The tram choice was limited to either Central Manchester, Piccadilly, in one direction, or Ashton in the other. The tram queue for Piccadilly was so long that the front of it was down below on the tram station and it extended about a mile further up above where stewards were marshalling safety barriers to prevent mass chaos down below. It was a chilly June night but fortunately it had stopped raining, otherwise people would have been soaked whilst waiting. The tram service in Manchester closes down before midnight, therefore the four hour extension terminates at central Manchester, where the rest of the service has closed down.

Quite how they propose to handle those occasions when City have a mid-week home evening match that coincides with a concert night, remains to be seen. A potential 70,000,will have to be catered for in an area with totally inadequate transport facilities.

Car parking costs £25 and it has been reported that it takes about an hour to exit the car parks. Taxis are at a premium.

Buses are nowhere to be seen.

Entry to the Arena is via mobile ticket only, which is scanned on entry. That queue was not too bad. The vast inside corridors had no seating and were singularly unattractive, playing host to the merchandise stall and bars selling beer at £9 for a pint.

Entering the arena I was expecting nice seating with reasonable leg room and something special. In fact the only thing to distinguish it from the rival (central Manchester, formerly Nynex and now named AO Arena) was the fact that the spartan seating was accompanied by a cup holder attached to the arm rest which was fixed such that either you might sustain an injury to the groin on attempting to navigate the row or risk upending somebody’s pint. In summary, a major disappointment. We had the next to the most expensive seats, costing an arm and a leg, but they were no better in comfort or view from those at the rival city centre AO arena. If the sound system was supposed to be state of the art, I can’t say that I heard any improvement over the AO Arena, or for that matter, the Liverpool Echo Arena or any other arena I have been to.

Irving Azoff is also the manager of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers (left) and a number of others lined up to visit this new arena.

When tickets went on sale Steely Dan were announced as support. Near to concert date, Steely Dan were replaced with the Doobies.

A lot of Steely fans, including me, were disappointed.

The concert itself was superb and none of the criticism of the transport and venue should detract from this.

The Doobies, with keyboardist/vocalist Michael McDonald (right) prominent, delivered a high energy hour long set. Steely fans received some consolation from McDonald’s renewed presence in the group, as he also frequently moonlights with Steely Dan. The highlight was his vocals on his composition “What a Fool Believes”, a big solo hit for him on the AOR charts and the title of his recent autobiography. The Eagles were celebrating The Long Goodbye after more than 52 years. As Eagles band leader, Don Henley remarked, the Doobies have been going slightly longer. Their set culminated with the excellent  “Listen To The Music”, a big seventies hit for them


The Eagles are one of the very few bands who are able to play loud enough in a large arena setting without it sounding loud.

On one occasion I was miraculously able to obtain a front row floor level seat for their gig at the Manchester Arena. At last I would not have to view the gig through the prism of the large screen but could my ears stand it? Yes they could, those harmonies were ear candy to die for.

Following the death in 2016 of co-founder Glen Frey, Don Henley brought Glen’s accomplished son Deacon Fry into the band and backed that up with recruiting the experienced Americana singer songwriter and guitar virtuoso Vince Gill. Viewers to the recently aired Sky Arts series, Knopfler and Johnson’s Legends, may have noticed him with Emmylou Harris in the last of the series. Henley has form in recruiting top notch Nashville musicians. Vince Gill is revered in Country/Americana circles with a host of albums and awards to his credit together with hosting the CMA awards for more than twelve years.

Henley also recruited Steuart Smith on guitar to replace Don Felder. Stueart Smith played lead guitar for Rodney Crowell prior to that and featured on John Stewart’s “Airdream Believer” album.

The Eagles opened, as usual, with their sublime rendition of Steve Young’s Seven Bridges Road, featuring now 6 part harmony vocals.

With Glen Frey in the band they used to deliver this opener a cappella but since then, and tonight, it was accompanied with acoustic guitars.

At 76, Joe Walsh’s prowess on twin lead guitar with Steuart Smith, has not waned, and his masterpiece, “Life’s Been Good”, never sounded better.

Don Henley, at 77, now has to pick his songs to match what is a very slight decline in his vocal range, nevertheless “Boys Of Summer” was a highlight, though the set contained less of his lead vocals than previously.

Vince Gill and Deacon Frey take lead vocal on those songs on which Glen Frey previously took the lead. So it was Vince on Take It To The Limit and Lyin’ Eyes and Deacon on Peaceful Easy Feeling and Already Gone..

Before Glen Frey’s death the band would always perform without support, deliver a 3 hour concert with a short intermission and introduce the second set with an unplugged acoustic 4 part harmony seated sequence, usually starting with Tequila Sunrise.

Nowadays they go right through with, in this case, a polished note perfect two and a half hour set which delighted the capacity crowd. Unlike their previous farewell tours I do believe this will be their final visit. Next stop are a few dates in Holland, then continuation of the tour in the States.

The journey home, of 10 miles, starting at 11-15pm and ending at,1-30am took the edge off things to some extent.

When the Arena had a well reported false start and ended up shunting Take That to their rival AO Arena in central Manchester, their fans probably got the best of that bargain, though they may not have thought it at the time. I never had any problems with transport to and from that venue. The bombing experience sharpened every venue´s security.

The benefit of its central location means that parking can be dispersed over the city centre and access to the full range of transport is on the doorstep. This new arena has superimposed one transport problem on top of another.

I will not be going back to Co-op Live Arena. Many questioned the economics of having not one but now the two biggest Arenas in the UK based in Manchester. This new arena offers no tangible improvement over the AO Arena, either in its interior and certainly not its accessibility. It seems that not only has there been a rush to open it, with the attendant problems this has caused, but there has been no attention paid to the transport infrastructure to support it. Manchester City F.C. fans have been living with transport problems to and from the area for some time but at least evening matches terminate by 10pm, leaving some time before the tram service closes down. However, when a concert coincides with an evening match there is likely to be chaos all round.

These days the tram network is the only public transport game in town. Bus services have been denuded in favour of the tram service and if this goes down, which it frequently does, or is otherwise not available because it terminates early, then mass evening events can be a nightmare for participants. Perhaps Manchester City Council should have considered this before granting the arena its licence or even planning permission.

It remains to be seen if Manchester can support two giant arenas. With grass root venues closing down by the minute the music industry would be better served by investment in grass roots rather than the creation of more money making monoliths.

Island Insights  


historic journalist, a communication leader Antonio Coll

gathered by Norman Warwick

Jesus Betancort wrote movingly in Lancelot Digital that

It is very difficult to break the news of the death of someone who for many years has been a reference for the editorial group that he left orphaned this Friday.

Today Lanzarote has said its last goodbye to Antonio Coll, businessman, professional journalist, best person and founder of the weekly Lancelot, the seed of what is today one of the most important and influential communication groups in the Canary Islands.

Antonio Coll died this Friday at the age of 71 in his home in Arrecife after fighting bravely and courageously against an illness that finally held the upper hand.

This Saturday Antonio Coll was buried in the San Román cemetery in the capital of Arrecife accompanied by family, friends, relatives and members of the political, business, social and cultural class of an island that has always held him in esteem and that has known how to value the fundamental role it has had in the recent history of Lanzarote.(see funeral procession, left)

Since last Friday at noon, a multitude of people had come to the Alianza Canaria wake, in the Altavista neighborhood of Arrecife, to accompany the family in these difficult moments and show their condolences for the sad loss of one of the most significant figures of Lanzarote journalism.

Antonio Coll’s family has received the affection of a multitude of neighbours, relatives, readers, listeners and viewers of his media and also from the main political and social authorities of the island.

People like the president of the Parliament of the Canary Islands, Astrid Pérez, the senator for the Autonomous Community, Pedro San Ginés, the senator for Lanzarote, Manuel Fajardo, the president of the Cabildo, Oswaldo Betancort, the vice president of the First Institution, Jacobo Medina, the director of the General Administration of the State in Lanzarote, Pedro Viera, the Minister of Culture of the Government of the Canary Islands, Migdalia Machín, the Minister of Welfare of the Cabildo, Marci Acuña, the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Tovar, the regional parliamentarian Cristina Callero, the deputy Marcos Bergáz, the mayor of Arrecife, Yonathan de León, or the first councilors of Tías and Tinajo, José Juan Cruz and Jesús Machín, respectively; in addition to prominent representatives of the island’s business class, such as Miguel Morales from Hormiconsa, Juan Toledo from Renault, Mingo Cabrera from Lanzarote Bus, Franisco Armas, CEO of Horinsa; the former president of the Chamber of Commerce, José Torres; or personalities from culture such as Luis Ibáñez, or from journalism such as the insular director of Communication of the Cabildo, Gloria Artiles, the president of the Press Association of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, Eva Navarro, Faelo Morales from Cadena Ser, José Ramón Sánchez from Canarias 7 or Domingo Rivero from the Biosfera group, wanted to accompany the Coll family and show their condolences in saying goodbye to the journalist and the person.

The Democracy Society has also addressed Jorge Coll to express “our deepest condolences for the death of the journalist and his brother Mr. Antonio Coll González, founder of Lancelot Medios, expressly our condolences to you, your family, friends and colleagues “We are sure that it has left an indelible mark on Lanzarote.”

The Lancelot Medios communication group and Antonio’s family want to publicly thank the numerous expressions of affection from those who have been present in these difficult moments and from those who, without being able to be there, have sent them massive expressions of love and affection.

Antonio Coll’s funeral mass will be celebrated next Friday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Church of San Ginés in Arrecife.

On June 10th Bruno Perera posted that it was With great regret, today I say goodbye to my dear friend Antonio Coll González. A great journalist and leader in the media in the Canary Islands.

Antonio Coll González, born in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, after sailing for a long period with a serious illness, died at the age of 71, leaving an unforgettable legacy in the world of television, press and radio.

With a career of more than forty years in journalism, Antonio Coll González (shown right with Ceasar Manrique) was a reference on the island of Lanzarote and throughout the Canary Islands. As president of the Lancelot Medios Group, he knew how to bring the weekly magazine, television and radio to a high level of quality and professionalism.

His commitment to truth and objectivity made him a renowned journalist, respected by his colleagues and loved by his audience.

Always seeking excellence in his work, Antonio Coll González left an indelible and impeccable mark on all those who had the privilege of reading his articles, sharing his friendship and working with him.

Today, I say goodbye to you, great friend, knowing that you were a great professional and a great person who will be part of quantum life wherever you go.

Rest in peace friend Antonio. Your legacy will endure over time and your memory will remain alive in every word you wrote, in every news you reported and in every smile you gave to your people, your loved ones and your friends.

I will always remember the moments of pleasant conversation we shared when I visited you at Lancelot’s offices. And how you offered me some of his cigars that I kindly smoked while we chatted.

Goodbye dear friend!

Another excellent tribute reminded us that

Antonio Coll tried to live life intensely, there is no doubt about that. That is the memory that comes to mind most strongly when I hear the sad news of his death.

With his death, the last great Lanzarote journalist who developed his activity between two very different eras disappears, that analogical, artisanal and, therefore, intrinsically reflective, in which professionals of race distinguished themselves until well into the 90s, and this one that it absorbs us today, fast, digital, rushed and, therefore, almost impossible to unravel.

Antonio Coll was an old-school journalist who, very soon, was forced to put aside his vocation to focus his efforts on making an autonomous journalistic project a reality, economically viable and capable of paying decent salaries, independent of large economic interests. and the political powers and in defence of the general interest, ultimately, the great desire of every journalist.

With the turn of the decade in the 80s, that desire became an objective necessity every time the island ran wildly into the arms of speculation, a good-looking lady who quickly ate away plots of land, social foundations, minds and souls And, why not say it, because the island aspired to have its own voices, emancipated from the restricted provincial correspondents, newspapers that had very different interests.

That first Lancelot was a great weekly newspaper born from the commitment of Aureliano Montero Gabarrón, Antonio Coll González and Andrés Pallarés Padilla, Moncolpa. They gathered around them a valuable group of enthusiastic collaborators who, defending progress and open to modernity, in view of what was coming upon us, nevertheless raised the flag of the defence of the island’s identifying features: the territory , the landscape and its own cultural values.

From the nineties onwards, almost nothing was the same. Everyone took their own path to places that now there is no point in trying to decipher, but what remains in my memory is that there was a time when the journalism that was done on the island, and for the island, was good journalism, on a local scale, but on a good level and on both sides. Because then there were only two sides.

From Antonio Coll I keep his friendship, his generosity and the many good moments shared in that Lanzarote that we knew was getting out of hand, and, although I search my corners, I cannot find a single episode that generates a shadow of doubt in him. I think that’s what best defines it.

The Lancelot, by then a quarterly glossy magazine was the first publication I bought here on my first holiday in the early two thousands, My wife Dee and I had been here for less than two days on that first holiday and were already talking about how lovely it would be to retire here.

We picked up copies of Lancelot as a souvenir on each following holiday, but it was always much more than a souvenir. Full of colourful pictures and photographs it also contained the history, the culture, the stoicism and the island´s wide-smile welcome to the tourists from all over the world who were coming in increasing numbers.

Lancelot celebrated the volcano range that had brought the island to its knees in the 1730´s.

In the same way as Canadian artists, singers and writers shaped their country, I believe a raft of artists and writers that included Cesar Manrique and writers like Antonio Coll created the truth and myth that is Lanzarote.

As the artisans watched their island and their homes and their way of life burn not one of them, surely, could have envisaged this Lanzarote with its underground theatre, or its timple as a voice, and its cacophony of languages being delivered in ways that somehow allowed each language to exchange views and friendship.

Since finally settling here in 2015 we have been privileged to become good friends with Larry Yaskiel and his wife Liz, both of whom play an important role still at Lancelot. Larry is honorary editor and Liz is the living proof that behind every great man is a great woman.

We know that this will be a sad time for Lancelot´s writers and staff and readers, but we know too that they will continue to embody everything that is wonderful here

These are the people, and those are the attitudes that gave me the confidence to launch my own daily blog Sidetracks & Detours four or five years ago and to launch, last year our Sunday Supplement, PASS IT ON.

We write about the arts from around the world and I have mentioned often how I hear Spanish folk-lore music in the American country and cowboy music I have loved all my life.

In fact, even in today´s edition of PASS IT ON 57,  our ghost-writer Alfred Michael previews festivals still to be celebrated this year on the island.

Lanzarote is still moving forward and still celebrating its past, and I hope Antonio Coll will look down on us and see continued progress.

On Monday 17th June we head off in search of British Pop Culture and find it at home In Manchester. We also  preview Cyndy Lauper´s farewell tour. Rosa Maria Staves, our new classical music correspondent, takes a look back to 2010 and the composers in the North West of the UK who were (and still are) making things happen. We´re looking forward to another visit to jazz junction to meet a pianist and saxophonist before bringing back Sly Stone´s autobiography and an important history of early jazz that both jump on to our bigger bookshelf. So why not have a look  in on us at https://aata.dev/  If you tap that into your search engine of choice you should find plenty to read and enjoy. If that´s the case please feel free to share that link with your like-minded, arts loving friends. You can browse our archives of almost 1,200 free-to-read items and if you would like to share any arts news with us just drop an e mail to normanwarwick55@gmail.com as we would be delighted to publish your news, previews, interviews and reviews and whilst we cannot, as a not for profit enterprise, pay for such contributions we can promise you that that your submission will be fully attributed and accredited.

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