Thursday, 11 September 2008

Manchester - Urban Dance Moves festival. “Dance or we’ll stab you”

USA, Amsterdam, Greece and Italy. Our little cherry on the summer tour is Manchester. Swap the red wine with a can of white lightning, from women without bras to men without teeth. It’s good to be home.

We ate at a Thai curry house. The menu was curious; nothing milder than molten lava and included starters such as “Golden Sacks” and “Pastry Purse”. I had a sweet and sour.

Manchester by day: International dance-athon, hundreds of people gathering on the green to watch dancers get heat stroke. The friendliest audience yet.

Manchester by night: National drink-athon, flashing lights, flashing knickers, fish and chips. Stag doo, Hen night, fistfight. Man trying to retrieve his car Hud caps from the drunk who stole them. Shout, Shout, mega, mega!

I spent a night and a day here. I think I’ll come back.

The performances were…raw. The one speaker we had gave us as much bass as a wasp’s fart, and through two pairs of socks our feet were blistered from the sun-baked dance floor. The audience were completely surrounding and right up against the stage. During one crossing to the side, a kid tapped my knee to tell me I’m doing well.

After the final show, we were rushed to get the train. As I ran to the trailer, a wall of a tattooed man put a tattooed hand on my shoulder. “Where you just in that?” titling his head towards the stage. I nodded, best not to lie especially while still holding the flag from the performance. ”That was brilliant mate, well done” and shook my hand. Brilliant! Not to judge too hastily, but I don’t think this guy had a Sadler’s Wells season ticket. He was oblivious to dance and genuinely grateful. Before he shook my hand I thought he was about to eat me, but that was the typical niceness of the Manchester experience. Well-done lads, well done Hof (you clever old stick) and thanks Collette for looking after us.

High Point – Canal Street. Drinkey Drinkey.
Low Point – The smell of my own flesh cooking during the show.

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