My talks at Bettakultcha

Bettakultcha is a West Yorkshire phenomenon. Started by marketing genius Richard Michie and speaking expert Ivor Tymchak, it is a night of advert/sponsorship-free presentations on any subject at all, but set to a backdrop of 20 slides at 15 seconds per slide. I’ve had the fortune to speak at three such events. I’m by no means the star of the show, ever, but I think what I have to say is worth hearing! Bettakultcha Leeds V, 2nd November 2010 The first time I spoke was on common mistakes in the English language, and mnemonics for remembering how to fix them. Sadly, the video for this one is forever lost, but I’ve put the slides on Slideshare. Bettakultcha Leeds VIII, 12th April 2011 At this much larger event with an audience of about 200, I spoke...

Review: Mercury Rev play Deserter’s Songs

On Friday night I was fortunate enough to see Mercury Rev performing their 1998 magnum opus Deserter’s Songs at Manchester’s spectacular Bridgewater Hall. The Bridgewater Hall, for the unfamiliar, is a purpose-built concert venue designed for the amazing sound of Manchester’s HallĂ© orchestra. The building’s attention to acoustic detail is extraordinary; so much so that the whole building floats on a foundation of 300 giant springs in order to separate its acoustics from those of the street outside. You can hear the difference: this is the first time I have seen a pop music act play at the venue, and it is possible to discern every note of every instrument as though you are sitting right next to it! The building only has trouble with...