Who and what are your favourite acts, bands and events?
Help us to find and celebrate our region's finest talents...
Salford is bursting at the seams with talent and it is time to bang the drum and give our creatives, comics and characters some due praise. To celebrate the amazing Salford scene we have decided to hand out some awards to our talented residents.
Not only that, we'd like to catch up with those responsible for keeping us entertained and give them our thanks, and a feature in the Salford Star. More importantly, we'd like you to help us select the winners.
While we endeavour to get along to as many events as possible, we admit that there will be a few bands, performers, plays and regular nights that we have yet to discover. That's why we'd like you to help us compile a shortlist.
Music - do you know a great local musician or band currently performing or releasing material?
In the last twelve months alone, we have featured a wide variety of musicians, from Mike Sweeney's legendary Salford Jets to Little Hulton's unpredictable and unrivalled brain-pop act Patchwork Rattlebag. The Moods also came up on our radar when we went along to The Band on the Wall to watch their hip-hop, brass band poetic social commentary (trust me, you need to see them).
Salford Music Festival delivered a great event that included a bill as good as any you're likely to find anywhere, with the folksy alt-rock of Una Baines' Poppycock and JD Meatyard performed like a man possessed. Another act that blew us away were Manalishi, it was a genuine bolt from the blue when four young lads arrived with a host of grungy-psychedelic tunes.
The Sandells released one hell of an opening statement with their debut album. Also, Factory Acts and Four Candles have been active on the circuit and continue to receive rave reviews. Of course, Shinny proved to be a real force of nature and went all-in and pushed for a Christmas number one single. Hooky is still touring and DJing, while Happy Mondays and New Order are still out there.
Feel free to message us to support one of these acts, but we'd also love your input if you are aware of an incredible act currently releasing material or playing great music live.
Performance - have you been to a show and been blown away by a top poet/comedian or performer?
One of Salford's most celebrated sons is John Cooper Clarke, and his legacy is more than evident throughout the city. It seems that Salford is the vibrant hotbed when it comes to spoken word. We've had the pleasure of interviewing some of the best in the business. Catching a few words with the immensely popular J.B Barrington was a real coup, and Saboteur Award winner Dominic Berry shared his thoughts with the Salford Star before his gig at The Eagle.
The amazing Kieren King is another blossoming Salford talent; this summer, he headed off to perform two storming sets at Glastonbury. Also, worthy of note are Joy France, who recently popped up on TV adverts, and Chris Bowles who debuted a sell-out show at The Fringe. In terms of comedy we witnessed Tom Lawrinson and heard his bizarre, hilarious musings on what it means to be an anti-sexist, while a definite highlight was Broughton's Gordon Zola fusing comedy and spoken word at Write Out Loud.
All of the above would be worthy winners of our performer of the year, but again we'd like your opinions.
Regular Night Out - do you go to a great regular folk night, open-mic evening or poetry slam?
Some of our best nights out have come from visiting regular events in the city. The Worst Comedy Night in Salford is a top night for circuit stalwarts and fledgling comics alike. It turned out to be a helpful environment for all participants and was at its very best when the comics gently mocked each other for obvious or misjudged punch lines.
Evidently is a revelation with two great headliners and an open-mic that offers two minutes of support and stage-time to anyone brave enough to recite. The Folk Night at The Star Inn proved to be a popular article and is real a beacon for musicians, singers and poets from all over the North West. We also attended Language Exchange at The Salford Arms; it was a timely reminder of what makes the city so great. Residents from far and wide met up for a friendly chat, a pint and free grub (what's not to like?).
Acoustic nights are becoming increasingly popular, with Daniel Clarke holding events and The Salford Arms starting a night, too. There's also the popular Jazz Night at the Deli Lama.
If you want to show you support for one of these suggestions or sing the praises of another, just get in touch or put up a comment.
Shows and Theatre - did you see a great show at one of our top alternative venues?
We have recently focused on some top class GM Fringe events, Salford Belles by Jack Noble received positive reviews and the Salford Pals were celebrated in From Heaven to Hell by Danny Clifford. Colourquest by Alan Keogh delivered the perfect fantasy, family play. Thorn (Tim Keogh) was a must for fans of Morrissey and David Bowie and Rosie Fleeshman's Narcissist in the Mirror was a real triumph.
Away from the fringe, Joe O'Byrne's incredible; horror masterclass, The Haunting of Blaine Manor, made us jump out of our Kings Arms seats. One of our most prolific playwrights, Mike Heath, gave a debut to Avoidance; it proved to be brilliantly subtle and managed to echo the stifled ambience of Hedda Gabler. Other notable shows included the brilliant Angel of the House by Alex Keelan, prison drama Barred by Dean Stalham and the Salford riots piece, When Both Sides Surrender (Scott Devon).
There really are too many to mention, so your votes and recommendations are more than welcome.
We are looking to add new names to our shortlist to celebrate the diverse and wonderful scene. Message us or comment, and help us to select the winners and celebrate our Salford Stars. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org , message us via the Salford Star Facebook page or suggest names and titles via our comments box below
The shortlist will be announced during the autumn, with winners announced before Christmas.
Words by Salford Star Live Entertainments Editor Ian Leslie