Every year we hear the same songs over and over again, so maybe it’s about time we started to get creative with Christmas. We’re looking to get into the Christmas spirit by trying to invoke come creativity in the local people…
…so we’re running a Christmas song competition in collaboration with all.fm!
This is your chance to write your very own Christmas song and have it played on local radio.
- The song can be comical, cynical, melancholy or just pure joyful, but most of all original.
- It could be drum and bass, folk or reggae…whatever you feel!
- Song must be 2-3 minutes long
- Recorded at an audible quality – not necessarily professional!
- Write an original Christmas song
- Tweet the song link to all.fm and m20collective to ensure it gets seen by both organisations – soundcloud links preferable
- If you prefer email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Based on a combination of social media response by the public as well asall.fmand M20 HQ heads – the winner will be decided revealed 16th December
The winner will get the chance to perform their song at all.fm with Fiona Ledgard’s drive time show on 18th December 2015
T’s & C’s
- You must be available between 5-7pm Friday 18th December for the live performance
- Soloists, producers and groups welcome to enter (maximum 4 members for the live performance).
And that’s it so get writing your song, for the chance to play live on radio!
M20 Collective: PARADISE NOW Press release
Daily we live and abide by a set of rules. Rules of law, rules set in place by those who govern us. Rules set in place by each other and society: Rules that go unnoticed, sometimes un-governed and sometimes un-questioned. However what happens when we begin to truly break down these rules? Can we achieve a sense of truly being in today’s society? What happens when we express ourselves outside of the rules? Out with the constraints of right and wrong and articulated through a community of contemporary artists.
In June 2015 M20 Collective submitted an online artist call out with a creative brief formed by one MMU Fine Art scholar. 13 have been chosen to part-take in the PARADISE NOW showcase.
On the 25th September 2015, M20 collective will bring together 13 Artists who have produced a range of pieces from photography collages to installations, international film screenings and illustration. This dialogical exhibition contains a select choice of creativity from Manchester and beyond. Alongside this array of visual provocations, three unique live acts including headliners Ask My Bull, will stimulate your auditory senses with music that plays outside of genre boundaries and overlooks the norms of the dominant music scene.
ARTISTS: Alex Lowther-Harris, Alex Webb,Cerys Thorne, Emily May, Daisy Preece,Joao Merinhos, Gemma Nethercliff, Kyle Cartilidge, Leo Robinson, Natalie Wardle, Ray Martin, James Sanders, Peter Silva and Corin Silva (Remoraflims), Alyxandra Press (Pairodocks films), Sian Leyshon and Vicky Clarke.
Curated by Rachel Ferguson and facilitated by the M20 community leaders Joel White and Yemi Bolatiwa, this evening is set to be an exciting group production; where diverse art forms are brought together to communicate one concept: PARADISE, NOW!
A £3 entry fee give will you access to this collaborative event at an impressive arts venue: The Wonder Inn, 29 Shudehill Manchester M4 2AF. Contact email@example.com for more details.
/ t: @m20collective for further details and follow the progression #PARADISENOW .
We got some inside info on one Manchester’s most exciting collaboration projects, and you know M20 collective are all about collaboration. Kris Extance tells us all about The Sessions of March…
Header image: Jenna and the G’s
What is TSOM to those who are not in the know?
TSOM is a collection of live music & video recording sessions that took place during the month of March 2015. There are roughly 24 artists involved, with around 80 tracks recorded. It is a snapshot of the phenomenally diverse and talented independent creative scene in Manchester. There is huge variety within the sessions ranging from acoustic singer songwriters to gypsy-punk bands to 9-piece dub bands to cosmic dross space adventurers and that is to describe but a few! There are even a few special one-off improvised collaborations and special renditions of existing material involved as well. In essence, it is a collection of music we love that we want the world to see.
Who makes up the TSOM team?
Myself [Kris Extance], as founder/organiser. Audio recording and production was done by WR Audio, which consists of Dan Watkins and Biff Roxby, working alongside the video guys from Midnight Sounds headed by Dan Jones and accompanied by freelance camera man Matthew Jones. We also have Jason Badiozzaman on board, who is helping with social media and post-production organisation.
How did you come up with the idea?
Up until the beginning of this year, I had been involved with a unique music venue for 5 years and was the General Manager for the final 3 of these. The venue’s history is quite unusual, with constantly evolving family of creative individuals working tirelessly to make a place like no other. A place that supported local talent in all its variety, and a place where like-minded creative individuals could meet and enjoy the music and art they loved.
Our ethos was to support local talent and put on eclectic parties like no other venue. It was one of those places where if you didn’t look up what was on you would never know what to expect. To be honest, even if you did look it up you still might not have a clue! It was as grass-roots as you could get, with too many people to mention who were crucial in its set-up and running virtually all artists and musicians. The tag line I used whilst working there was ‘for creative people, by creative people’. Like a lot of independent businesses, we soon realised that in order to make a living for ourselves, we needed to have a balance between what we truly believed in and what would generate income.
We successfully managed to achieve a balance we were happy with, however at one point due to various reasons we suddenly lost a lot of creative control. We felt like our ethos was being compromised, and we had put too much into the venue to just go on and allow this to happen. The difficult decision was made to walk away from the project, taking our ethos and everything we had learned with us. It was at this point the sessions plan was formulated, everyone had put too much into the venue to walk away without doing something special!
I wanted to create a snapshot of why we put so much into the venue and what we most enjoyed about it, the music! I contacted WR Audio, who had become firm friends through working with us at the venue, and Dan Jones had worked in the venue alongside me already. We put together a plan of action and both teams agreed to do this for “mates-rates” despite being professional outfits, just because they believed in the project and why I wanted to do it. The initial team was formed and I organised as many of our favourite acts we had discovered through the venue into a month of recording sessions.
What is the ‘ mantra’ behind it, so to speak?
Respect for independent musicians in all their variety. To help good people, who make good music, for the right reasons; mainly because they love doing it.
Why do you think it is important for the Manchester music scene?
For me, it’s the showcasing of such variety and talent all in one place. It’s why we used to love the venue initially, because it allowed us to put all the local talent we loved in one building. You can find so many amazing scenes in Manchester however; finding something that links all these scenes together is a much harder task. I love going to events where there is something for everyone, and I hope in the sessions this is the case as well. I also think it’s an important way of helping people discover new independent music. You may look to find one thing, but discover something else as entirely.
How have you developed a personal passion for music?
I love how music can make you forget all anxiety and worry. I love that if the right song comes on, especially when performed live, the world ceases to exist and you are in a serene moment of appreciation and awe. The huge diverse nature of music is incredible, and I feel it is one of the most important and beautiful forms of expressions there is. I play bass myself, and have always been in bands since the age of around 15. Although I have never considered myself a musician, it has always been a hobby not a profession. For the last 5 years or so, I have been surrounded by musicians who surpass my playing in every aspect and I’ve become more a music facilitator. I’m able to get to know a huge creative community both on and off stage, which has been – and will continue to be – something special. I have spent all my time trying to help the people who make music I respect and appreciate, because I want to hear more of it and I want more people to hear it too. I have never claimed to be a musical expert, but I know one thing for certain: I love music and my passion for helping music happen has done nothing but grow and grow. Music brings people together, and allows them to communicate through a beautiful universal language and that is important in this day and age more than ever.
How did you manage to recruit all of these musicians to participate?
I am lucky enough to call most of these musicians’ friends who I have got to know throughout the venue over the years. It was simply a case of calling them up and explaining the reason for the project. We were fortunate enough that everyone loved the idea and wanted to support it by taking part. I could not have more respect for all those involved!
Red Eye Hifi LIVE
What does collaboration in music mean to you?
Collaboration in music to me means a world of exciting possibilities of communication through sound. When a person plays their own music, they are expressing themselves and their ideas openly. Collaboration in music is a beautiful moment where people come and express themselves and their ideas together as one. It is a way of bringing people together from any background for a united purpose.
What is the most important outcome for the project?
The most important outcome is that as many people see the music as possible. I hope people discover new music through this project, and it gives some form of exposure to incredibly hard working independent musicians who deserve it. They have made my life so much more enjoyable over the last few years and I want to return the favour.
Noon – ‘I wish I knew how to sing’ live video
Anything else you’d like to tell us about TSOM?
We are also going to try and use this first set of sessions to raise enough money to do a second set of sessions. This will most probably be in the form of a Kickstarter. We didn’t come close to capturing all the artists we wanted to cover in the first round of recording. Due to popular demand by the musicians, we also have a long-term plan to turn this into some form of live event. So please, if you like The Sessions of March and the reasons behind it, then please support us in any way you can as it would mean the world to us.
Follow the journey on facebook: The sessions of march
Interview by Yemi Bolatiwa
M20 Collective are back with another live music event fundraiser in conjunction with some local organisations who are fighting to support the living and housing issues in Manchester. Phil Marzouk, our good will envoy, explains what’s going wrong in our city!
Manchester is a city with a crisis. Last Tuesday, I walked the 0.4 miles between Manchester Piccadilly and Piccadilly Gardens, and passed 7 of the city centre’s 43 estimated rough sleepers. This number is only increasing. Since 2013, the number of people sleeping on Manchester’s streets has risen by 79%. However, these figures are calculated by council officials over one night, simply counting the number of rough sleepers. This is in fact a huge underestimation and doesn’t account for the city’s ‘hidden homeless’: those not found due to taking refuge in air raid shelters and caves or overlooked during the counts. Manchester’s Booth Centre, a day centre where homeless people can get free advice and support, state they currently see around 170 people a week.
However, even in the face of these rising numbers, Manchester City Council refuses to adequately engage with the city’s most vulnerable. Since April 2015, Homeless Rights of Justice Manchester have been setting up camp throughout the city centre in order to raise awareness of this issue and finally get the Council to act justly. The Council’s response was to seek injunctions against the camp rather than establish a dialogue. Due to the intervention of St. Anne’s Church, the camp currently resides safely on Church owned land in St. Anne’s Square, yet the Council pursues an injunction even here.
Blame does not lie solely with the local Council and is indicative of the issues that government cuts are causing for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, with benefits cuts contributing greatly to these rising numbers. In the wake of severe austerity measures in Westminster, Manchester City Council have had to cut their homelessness budget by £2 million right when the crisis is at its worst. Somehow, money is found to install anti homeless spikes within the town centre. Homeless Rights of Justice Manchester were denied legal aid in order to fight the Council’s continuing evictions, which reflects the national cuts of £350 million from the legal aid budget. You need only walk the streets of Manchester to see how the cuts are destroying the lives of those who need help the most.
So it’s time to start taking action. In conjunction with Coffee4Craig,one of Manchester’s leading homeless support charities, we’ll be hosting a fundraiser on the 13th of August at the Castle hotel with live music, a raffle and talks from local charity representatives and housing campaign group Generation Rent. Come down and find out how you can get involved. It’s time to stop letting our nation’s most vulnerable be dehumanised and abandoned.
Join us for the latest chapter of M20COLLECTIVE’s new weekly creative sessions in the Northern Quarter…
It’s thursday again and you know what that means! Back to the Basement.
This week we have an eclectic trio of acts making their first appearances in the depths of Montpelliers. Come and warm your soul as the winter closes in.
A four piece trip hop group based in Manchester that have a distinctive sound influenced by electronic textures, the band fuse hip hop grooves and lush vocals to create and immersive soundscape. They only named their band this week but you may find recordings sneakily leaked onto youtube without a tag. The quality of musicianship and attention to flow is clear. With the experience of The Mouse Outfit and 8 GOLD RINGS drummer Joe Luckin and the raw talent and emotion of singer Caroline Hendry I expect big things for Plume.
Enthralling spoken word and slam poet whose charm and wisdom proceed him. Also a really good bloke who does great work in the community using his knowledge and skills to energise youths.
Gilberto Da Silva
Fresh back from a year in France Gilberto has teamed up with Johannes Samland Bowling the saxophonist from Pareidolia and others to work on material. Building on the soul vibe of his last project The Shaded Arrows Gilberto has progressed his musicality. M20’s answer to Seal, with this new band format we expect Gilberto will be tearing up the Manchester music scene this Winter.
When: Thursday 23rd October, 8pm
Where: Montpelliers Cafebar, 42 Back Turner Street, Manchester M4
How much: £0!
See you in the basement! M20 x
Every Tuesday at Solomon Grundy, M20 Collective hosts its weekly showcase of some of the many, many diverse musical talents in and around M20. This week, all of our acts feature strong female lead vocals, over a backdrop of indie/acoustic/folk/alternative/rock vibes… It’s a chance to discover some of the wonderful creativity, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find your favourite artist you’ve never heard.
Check out the sounds of this week’s acts before you come down:
And did I mention that its £0? We’ll see you Tuesday!
Resident purveryor of all things poetic, Alex Webb, visits – and performs at! – the launch of Fallowfield’s Fallow Cafe’s new live poetry night, Verbose…
On the 17th March, Fallow Café (previously Trof) launched their poetry and prose night, Verbose. I was unsure what to expect as I had not seen anything published about the night online and had only heard about it from someone working at Fallow. However, the night quickly proved that it is here to stay. Attracting a huge audience for a launch night, Verbose was, by all accounts, a success.
An interested audience is the best thing a performer can ask for and, unfortunately, something you have little control over. Luckily, Verbose attracted a vibrant, lively and insightful audience with conversations between performers and the audience being constant. It was a small community united by a common interest: spoken word. There were six performers in total, myself included, each bringing an individual and distinct style. With this came a wide range in performers’ ages and this showed the effect experience has on writing. The older members offered more intelligent, insightful pieces whilst the younger members were equally inspiring as they tried out a variety of styles, evidence of us finding our feet.
The standout performer was a young woman who translated writer’s block into a commentary on an orgasm that just will not come (excuse the pun). I made sure to thank her for her performance after the night and was surprised to find someone come up to me and talk to me about a piece I had done myself. This is testimony to art’s dialogical nature: it is something that demands to be discussed.
The night allowed for repeat performances and what was most interesting, for me, was the change the poets had between their two performances. After getting the nerves out of the way with the first performance everyone was much more relaxed as they took to the microphone again. The second time around my style was much more humorous and I felt ready to perform some of my more blunt, sexual pieces. The night had liberated me. Tonight, I was a spoken word poet.
Despite the pricey drinks, as a venue Fallow is brilliant, the food is excellent and the top floor is a well-decorated and welcoming environment. If you are interested in taking part or even just sitting in the crowd, head on down to Fallow every first and third Monday of the month. Fall into the world of spoken word and the Manchester poets will catch you with open arms.
Like/follow Fallow Café on Facebook and Twitter for updates about the brilliant events that they put on including any future Verbose nights:
– Alex Webb
Alex Webb discusses the rise and rise of spoken word as a poetic form, and introduces us to some key figures doing the speaking rounds on the internet…
For me, spoken word is the original way poetry was meant to be presented. Like I’ve said before, reading a love poem makes you understand the poet’s heartbreak, but hearing it brings the love affair into the room. To deprive yourself of this experience is to hide yourself away from the raw and intricate potential of our language.
Having reviewed Rudy Francisco’s Getting Stitches, I was inspired to write a dummy’s guide to spoken word poetry. Before going further I must note that spoken word is different for everyone, there are a huge variety of performers bringing different kinds of poetry and literature to the table. Finding your style in this relatively unknown genre is just an hour’s YouTube-ing away. For the mean time, however, I’ll introduce you to what can be best described as the political and love spoken word.
Some key names to get used to in this area are Sierra DeMulder, Alex Dang and the previously mentioned Rudy Francisco. These three artists are my main sources of inspiration when the proverbial “muse” has gone away for a few days. Alex Dang’s pieces are so powerful as they come directly from his personal experiences. He writes what he lives and this is a powerful tool in a spoken word artist’s kit. I found Dang through his ‘Times I’ve Been Mistaken for a Girl’, a heart-breaking commentary on gender roles and homophobia. Dang effortlessly gets into your head and makes you sympathise with his story, he is baring his life – and demands that you listen.
On the theme of homophobia, Denice Frohman tackles the same issues from a lesbian’s point of view to much effect in her ‘Dear Straight People’. Whilst I am not a fan of her aggressive tone, Frohman’s powerful voice will make you re-consider your attitudes when she exclaims ‘I don’t like closets, but you made the living room an unshared space/and now I’m feeling like a guest in my own house’. But Frohman is not about telling people off: she speaks in order to discourage people from making ignorant remarks that can upset your gay friends and colleagues without you realising. When you listen to her words you can sense the years of oppression the LGBTQ community has faced and are continuing to make a stand against.
Sierra DeMulder is my personal favourite both in print and on stage, her ‘Paper Dolls’ is one of the most powerful spoken word pieces I have ever heard and offers something similar to Francisco’s ‘Monster’. DeMulder’s works include a variety of political poems that confront the skewed views of a society that does injustice to a lot of communities. In the aforementioned ‘Paper Dolls’, DeMulder evaluates the attitudes we have towards rape victims, noting that “the person who did this to you is broken/not you”. When she states that one in three girls will be sexually harassed in their lifetime, and that she is one of three daughters, you can feel the pain and fear in her voice. Listening to this piece makes clear that rape is something that can happen to anyone, it is everyone’s duty to fight against it. The contrast between DeMulder’s political pieces and her love poetry is shocking, my favourite poem of all time, her ‘Unrequited Love Poem’ will have you ready to cry as she preaches “I dream of you/more often than I don’t/my body is a dead language/and you pronounce/each word perfectly”. Her voice embodies empathy in this piece and, regardless of your relationship status, you become DeMulder in this piece. You wear her experiences as if they are your own and they become realities that most of us do not want to face.
The final spoken word artist, Rudy Francisco, is by far the most talented of those discussed here. Last a few seconds into his videos and you will fall in love with his voice and be ready to spend hours listening to more. Francisco’s ‘Honest’, mentioned in my review of his collection, comes to life on stage and when he says “Dear hands, I know you like writing poetry/but you can’t bring a metaphor to a gun fight” you can see the weakness in his eyes. Francisco challenges a lot of assumptions, both in regards to politics and love and, even if it is just for a second, you will re-evaluate your opinions. In ‘Scars/To the New Boyfriend’, everyone who has been dumped and quickly replaced will hear this piece as gospel as he crawls into your head and captures your feelings perfectly. If you only listen to one poet mentioned here I beg you, make it Francisco. He’ll make you want more.
If you are interested in seeing spoken word in the flesh, check out Manchester’s spoken word talent for yourself and head down to M20’s new Free Verse night every other Thursday. This night is focused on showing off the musically influenced side of spoken word and offers a fresh interpretation of spoken word as a whole.
Overall, spoken word is a beautiful art and has been underappreciated in recent years when it is so readily accessible. If you have read poetry and it has not taken your fancy give it one last chance when it is spoken to a crowd with the artists wearing their hearts on their sleeves. It is a phenomenon you will not want to miss.
Other brilliant spoken word performances and artists worth checking out:
Mike Rosen: ‘When God Happens’
Rachel Wiley: ’10 Honest Thoughts On Being Loved by a Skinny Boy’
Tonya Ingram & Venessa Marco: ‘Khaleesi’.
Alex Dang – ‘Time I’ve Been Mistaken for a Girl’:
Sierra DeMulder – ‘Paper Dolls’:
Rudy Francisco – ‘Honest’:
Denice Frohman – ‘Dear Straight People’:
Mike Rosen – ‘When God Happens’:
Sierra DeMulder – ‘Unrequited Love Poem’: