The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 27 August 2019
Motown Gold - Stevie Wonder's Superstition has topped the chart of the most popular Motown tracks of all time in the UK. The 1972 single beat classics by the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and the Temptations. The list of the top 100 Motown tracks was compiled by the Official Chart Company based on all time downloads and streams.
"I am proud to have been chosen at the top of such an incredibly talented group of artists," said Wonder. Overall the singer-songwriter legend had the most songs on the list with 20. His next most popular track was Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours), which came in at five.
The Empire Strikes Back - A new campaign group has been set up to bring the at risk Garston Empire in Liverpool back into use as an entertainment venue. The building has been disused for 10 years and was placed on the Theatres Trust Theatres at Risk Register in 2009 due to threat of demolition. Having opened in 1915, the Garston Empire operated as a theatre for three years before becoming a cinema. Its last use was as a bingo hall, which ended when it closed in 2009.
Now, a group of local residents, led by businessman Tony Murray, hope to see the building “returned to its glory days” as a theatre and multi-use entertainment venue. The venue has an estimated capacity of 1,000. Murray, who has previously worked as a bingo-caller at Hackney Empire in London, said: “The idea just came to me in a flash one day. I know that they have turned the Hackney Empire into a roaring success and I thought we could do the same thing, if not better, with the Garston Empire. I put a post on Facebook and I’ve been overwhelmed with support. It has just taken off like a rocket.”
The campaign group, called the Friends of Garston Empire, is currently in negotiations with the owner of the theatre, Andrew Sail, to secure ownership or a lease of the premises. Claire Appleby, architecture adviser at the Theatres Trust, said: “The Garston Empire is a rare surviving example of its kind - a ‘fleapit’ theatre built in largely working-class areas and designed to accommodate both variety theatre and silent film.”
Overwhelmed - Ariana Grande told fans she was "overwhelmed" and "so nervous" as she was welcomed back to Manchester for the first time since the 2017 terror attack and subsequent benefit concert. The crowd chanted her name during her set at Manchester Pride on Sunday. Armed police patrolled outside the event, which came two years after a suicide bomber killed 22 people after her concert at Manchester Arena. "Manchester holds a very special place in my heart," she said.
MTV Awards - Taylor Swift and Missy Elliot dominated the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) as activism past and present was honoured. Swift scooped the music video of the year award for her gay pride anthem You Need To Calm Down, and took her co-producer Todrick Hall onstage with her to collect the gong.
Hall said: "If you're a young child that's out there watching this show who is different, who feels misunderstood, we've never needed you more than now to share your art, share your stories, share your truth with the world no matter what you identify as, who you identify as, who you love, this is such a beautiful place."
Missy Elliot's 20 year career was also honoured at the VMAs as she won the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award.
(Jim Evans)
27 August 2019

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