Quite astonishingly, come December this blog will be celebrating its fifth birthday. No-one is more surprised by its unexpected longevity than myself, for I am sadly aware that I am somewhat prone to flightiness, and boredom, and sloth, and all the other essential attributes that point firmly to a short attention span and a blog that will flicker very brightly for a couple of months before slinking quietly off to watch television instead.
That said, the blog hasn't exactly turned out as planned, having originally been envisaged as a highly organised, sleek, efficient sort of enterprise, barking succinct yet eloquently pithy comment on a range of highly intellectual cultural events. Patently, this has not happened, and you have instead been presented with a number of incoherently enthusiastic ramblings on topics ranging from food, to drink, to food - passing through an occasional musing on shoes just to ensure a bit of variety. So it is with some relief that I scan my diary and discover that - amongst all the eating and drinking - I am in fact booked in for a couple of events that might just qualify as CULTURE.
Both are at the estimable Lowry, which has long been a favourite venue of mine (and not just because it has helpfully surrounded itself with shops, restaurants and ample parking, although these do of course help). First up is Opera North's production of Carousel, which arrives hot and breathless in Salford on Wednesday 23rd May, fresh from its opening run in Leeds. I've yet to see a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, but following my triumphant conversion to Gilbert & Sullivan last year, I'm pretty sure that Opera North will do a similarly sterling job in widening my musical tastes still further. Full review - including notes on which ice-cream I had at half time and which song I sang along with the most memorably to the delight of cast and audience alike - will follow the event, but you can have a sneaky peek here - it looks great, and Opera North are ALWAYS brilliant.
Staying on a musical theme, I am also looking forward to see Jim White play the Lowry's Quays Theatre on Sunday 10th June. This much-acclaimed American singer-songwriter released his debut album back in 1997, but I am something of a recent convert to his slightly off-beat, country-esque charms. Mojo say of his latest album, Where it Hits You, "once an Americana pioneer but now an elder statesman, White is still showing young pretenders a clean set of Cuban heels ★★★★", while I say: "I listened to this album this morning, the day after a friend of mine won a bottle of tequila at The Yacht Club Bar, and it soothed me, and was nice, and made me feel better, and everything...★★★". You see? I could easily be a music journalist *carefully gets bow and adds another string*, although you could always listen to some of his music here if you feel - quite unreasonably - you need to make your own judgement.
Anyway - that's the culture box ticked for a few weeks; now I'm off to have some crisps...