The Week in Lighting & Sound
Tuesday, 3 January 2017
Happy New Year - Our normal daily news service will now resume after the Christmas break and we'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all good things for 2017!

Northern Culture - A musical, Humber Bridge, a 14th-Century masterpiece, a circus in a cemetery and the Spiders From Mars will be part of Hull's year as UK City of Culture. The £32m programme will take over streets and venues throughout 2017. Hull will celebrate famous local figures including poet Philip Larkin and director Anthony Minghella. And it will put the spotlight on unsung heroines like 1940s and '50s boxing champion "Battling" Barbara Buttrick and pioneering musician Ethel Leginska.

Hull 2017 director Martin Green said, "Women's stories come through. It has traditionally been a male-dominated city, quite patriarchal. But we have found at every turn new stories about women." Hull City Council leader Councillor Stephen Brady said, "The explosion of culture and regeneration in this city has not been seen since the 1950s."

Vinyl Countdown - Vinyl sales topped three million last year, the highest UK total in 25 years. More than 3.2m records were sold in 2016, a rise of 53% on the previous year, according to the BPI. David Bowie's Blackstar was the most popular album on vinyl, selling more than double the number of copies of 2015's biggest-seller, Adele's 25.

The last time vinyl fared so well in the UK, in 1991, Simply Red's Stars was the year's biggest-selling record. However, vinyl still only accounts for 2.6% of the overall music market - and while it continues to enjoy a resurgence, sales of CDs and downloads are falling rapidly.

Oh Yes It's Back - Pantomime will return to the London Palladium following this season's successful run of Cinderella, with a new production of Dick Whittington planned for Christmas 2017. It will once again be produced by Qdos Entertainment, which this year brought pantomime back to the Palladium following a break of almost 30 years. Qdos Entertainment chairman, Nick Thomas, said, "We've been overwhelmed by the exceptional response that our production of Cinderella has received - the show has broken the box office record for the highest grossing week in the West End."

Hello, Goodbye - The man credited with discovering the Beatles and who became the band's first manager has died at the age of 86. Allan Williams was also the original owner of Liverpool's Jacaranda Club. Williams worked with The Beatles from 1960 to 1961, getting the band gigs in Britain, and in Hamburg where their future development was shaped.

Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Lennon's fellow art school student Stuart Sutcliffe were among Williams's coffee bar customers and they asked if they could play at the club. Initially, he asked them to work on decorating the venue before allowing them on stage. After helping to secure the band gigs at other venues, Williams personally drove the van to take the Beatles to Hamburg in 1960.

But he parted company with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe in 1961. The following January, the band - minus Sutcliffe - signed a five-year contract with Brian Epstein. Williams later co-wrote a memoir called Allan Williams: The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away.

Sunny Afternoon - Ray Davies, frontman with The Kinks, has been knighted for services to the arts. He said, "Initially I felt a mixture of surprise, humility, joy and a bit embarrassed but after thinking about it, I accept this for my family and fans as well as everyone who has inspired me to write."

Farewell & Thanks - David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Maurice White, Sir George Martin, Leonard Cohen, Sir Neville Mariner, Greg Lake, Keith Emerson, Natalie Cole, Glenn Frey, Viola Beach, Prince Buster, Pierre Boulez, Christina Grimmie, Rick Parfitt, Pete Burns, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Black, Phife Dawg, Leon Russell, Billy Paul, Dave Swarbrick, Bobby Vee, Merle Haggard, Paul Kantner, Rod Temperton, Papa Wemba, Bap Kennedy, Sharon Jones. The band plays on...

(Jim Evans)

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