Bradford Calling - The UK's City of Culture 2025 is set to have a month-long event to celebrate its "rich and diverse" music scenes. Bradford Music Month in November will see concerts, workshops and other events across the district. Its team, made up of musicians, venue managers and record labels, hopes it will "entertain and engage" a range of communities through music. Promised highlights include a "bassline and bhangra sober rave" and a range of wellbeing-focused music workshops.
Further events are said to include public opera performances, world music showcases and opportunities for local musicians to receive funding and support to put on their own concerts. The full programme is set to be unveiled at the end of September.
The initiative, supported by Bradford Council, Bradford Producing Hub and Arts Council England, is being led by musician Sinead Campbell, QM Records founder Ned Archibong and events manager Gail Simpkins.
Outstanding Contribution - Actor, writer and director Mark Gatiss has won the UK Theatre Awards’ accolade for outstanding contribution to British theatre. Gatiss will be presented with the award at the ceremony for the UK Theatre Awards 2023, which will take place at London’s Guildhall on 8 October.
Gatiss’ directing credits include The Unfriend at Chichester Festival Theatre and The Way Old Friends Do at Birmingham Rep, and his acting credits include The Madness of King George III and his own adaptation of A Christmas Carol at Nottingham Playhouse, Coriolanus at Donmar Warehouse and The Boys in the Band at the Park and Vaudeville theatres in London.
On screen, he is known for starring in The League of Gentlemen and as the co-creator and executive producer of BBC series Sherlock. Gatiss said: “I’m very flattered and delighted to receive this unexpected honour. The theatre holds a very special place in my blackened old heart, and it’s been a delight to have been so thoroughly immersed in it in recent years."
Concrete Crisis - The number of theatres affected by the discovery of potentially dangerous concrete in their infrastructure continues to rise, with the Key Theatre in Peterborough the latest to announce closure. It brings the number of venues that have been forced to close or make partial closures to 11, and comes as the Core Theatre in Solihull - which announced its closure earlier this month - announced it would be remaining shut until the end of November, resulting in further show cancellations.
MTV Awards -Shakira crowdsurfed her way to a lifetime achievement prize at the MTV Video Music Awards, as she performed a career-spanning medley of hits. The Colombian star put on a spectacular show that saw her dance with knives, writhe in a fake cave and play a fiery guitar solo during Objection (Tango). Presenting her award, Wyclef Jean said: "Latin music would not be the global force that it is without Shakira."
Taylor Swift was the night's other big winner, earning nine Moon Man trophies. The star won in all but two of the categories where she was nominated, including the night's biggest award - video of the year - in recognition of the self-directed promo for Anti-Hero. Swift, who is in the middle of the first $1bn stadium tour in history, also took home prizes for song of the year, best pop, best direction, best cinematography and best visual effects, all for Anti-Hero,
Farewell - Label boss and record shop owner Geoff Davies, who worked with some of Liverpool's biggest stars, has died. The 80-year-old co-founded the Probe Records shop in 1971 with his former wife Annie and was considered a driving force of the city's cultural scene. His death, which was announced online by new wave band Deaf School, follows Annie's own two weeks ago.
The couple's record shop, which once saw such musical luminaries as Pete Burns and Julian Cope serving behind the counter, was first located on Clarence Street, off Brownlow Hill, before moving to Button Street, near Mathew Street, in 1976. With the famous Eric's nightclub just around the corner, the shop became a regular haunt of the burgeoning talents of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes. RIP.
(Jim Evans)
19 September 2023

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