Blog Archives

Urban Grime

During my short walk to work, as I edge round the corner into Thomas Street, I’m quite often greeted by a sunrise that almost deserves an applause.  Its always on my “to do” list to force myself out of bed on a weekend and be out early with my camera to capture the Northern Quarter in such a great early morning light.  This weekend….. I got up, emerged from my flat to a sky that resembled a dishcloth.  Then it started to snow on me.  Undeterred I wandered the streets anyway and took a few pics as the mist gradually descended, some things aren’t just meant to happen eh?  Typically I walked to work the next day and was greeted by a sunrise that could win awards…….

Enough of the moaning, the grim morning and deserted Northern Quarter streets were thoroughly enjoyable so I snapped away merrily trying to capture what I’ve titled here as the Urban Grime.  This area is scattered with bars filled with patrons sporting poetic beards and colourful tattoos, oozing a “vintage” vibe which clearly justifies adding £1 to the price of a beer, but alongside that are many abandoned buildings and dubious looking structures, each giving a hint of a time gone by.   Here is a bit of “Urban Grime” without a trendy bar in sight.  As I uploaded I soon realised I seem to have become obsessed with pictures of doors, no doubt behind each lies a wealth of stories and history.

To accompany the pics here is an quick improvised piece using an arpeggio and drum beat from my keyboard, but connected to my new analogue “Microbrute”.  This had the cool effect of the arpeggio triggering the minbrute which meant I could concentrate on warping the sounds throughout.  Press record, one hand on keys and the other twiddling dials and it was recorded.  A couple of edits to pan parts of the synth track and that was that.  Maybe a bit repetitive, but it all turned out rather dark and nasty.  Great.

EDIT Doorway2

An intriguing doorway on Thomas Street

EDIT Short Street

Suspiciously lurking in Short Street.

EDIT Doorway

Go on. Phone them.

EDIT Brixton

This shop is clearly mistaken as to where exactly they have set up their business

EDIT Back Turner

“We’ve been building something”.  Have you? Where?

EDIT Street Fog

Bleak

EDIT Thomas

Grime at its finest.

EDIT Tentacles

Mighty tentacles.

 

 

 

Photos and (unusually) a landscape painting!

It feels like I haven’t used my camera in a while, but I have been occasionally wandering the streets so here are a few pics.  The last image is my watercolour painting debut!  I’m new to painting and have followed a guide from a book – this was my first effort at “going it alone” and using the techniques I’ve learnt.  I’ve set up a new drawing/painting area on the blog and you can see it HERE.

Marching

Marketing genius, this multi-coloured band wandered the streets gathering the drunken masses liked the pied piper and led them straight to the door of Matt and Phreds where they were playing that night.

Scooter

Their other bike was a Harley I’m sure.

shoes

A great shop window display.

Copperas

The urban jungle looming.

Back Turner

Back Turner Street 

Derwent Water

Watercolour of Derwent Water

Wandering the streets

An all photography post here.  I went on a beginners photography course the other day and whilst I’d previously picked up quite a bit from the net and magazines, it was good to have someone drumming the main principles of photography into you, balancing exposure, shutter speed and ISO.  We got ejected into the centre of Manchester during lunchtime to try out our new-found skills so here are a few I took.  I’ve taken a lot of “stills” over the last few months so I focused on capturing people this time….

drummer

This live drumming enchanted the little girl (and me) ……

Girl

Fantastic hair – this young lady was facing the other way and spun round as I took the photo.  I think she caught me!

Outdoor

Al fresco dining and al fresco living …….

Sax

Sax in the Northern Quarter

Nightlife

Back to how it used to be, just throwing up a couple of quick snippets and pictures!  These were recorded a while ago whilst trying to learn how to use the audio recorder on my Korg Kross and I’d forgotten I’d even recorded anything.  Just messing around, one take, one track after the other.

Nightlife1

Nightlife2

I’ve been following a blog by SliceofLondonLife who’s photos I really enjoy taken on the streets of London.  Most of his/her (? the beauty of the internet!) shots are capturing a moment never to be repeated.  I find that very appealing so I wandered round the local streets and took a few quick pics.  I found myself a bit self conscious though pointing cameras at random strangers, so most of the shots ended up blurred or didn’t quite capture what I was after because I was rushing – lesson learnt for future trips! But here are a couple of them:

NQ1 for WP

The Northern Quarter warming up early Saturday evening

NQ2 for WP

Beermoth, quality beers, and a nice silhouette….

Heaton Skyline for WP

City View from Heaton Park

I’ve also joined Soundcloud, which seems to actually generate a few random hits! Check it out HERE

 

Wine Tasting is Time Wasting

I walk past a sign every day which advertises “Wine Tasting”.  For some reason I cannot help but read it as “time wasting”, although I’m sure the people inside may think differently.  Inevitably, I walk past and then end up beer tasting instead.  A slight tangent, because this is not the subject of the thread.  I took a Sunday afternoon stroll around Manchester camera in hand and took a few snaps, I didn’t manage to get the epic streetscapes I wanted, but instead a few bits of street art caught my eye.  So here they are.

Snowdon

Here cometh the truth.

Speakers2

iPod and Dr Dre Beats? Pah! You need a proper speaker system (inside Trof)

The Corn Exchange

Looking up towards Selfridges – the blue sky representing the winners of the local derby that day 🙂

This and That

The lunchtime curry canteen I’m assured I have to try (closed!)

Graffiti2

In the quest for research, I had to google “D7606” and it seems its the artist that did this.  Check out their Flickr page HERE fantastic stuff.  Interestingly, the Snowdon picture features on the same page with the “signature” telephone boxes, but on the photo I took yesterday they seem to have been removed!?  Its a conspiracy!

Graffiti1

More street art.

Ramona

Completely out of style with the rest of these, I just wanted a pic of Ramona enjoyed her courgette after their epic day of transportation here.  Fish in a barrel… indeed it was.  Taking pictures of fish is difficult!

Loads to learn on photography – I seem to notice all my mistakes when its too late and I’m back home on the computer, but I’ve hoped to capture a bit of the vibe around here.  Hopefully much more to come.

 

The NQ

Here’s a quick mess around dedicated to my new home, the Northern Quarter in Manchester.  As with most Bucket of Tentacles uploads, I try and get a basic couple of bits down and then just improv over to top.  Dedicated to perfection….. I think not sar!  A bit of an experiment with programming drums and the Novation Mininova.

The NQ

Ridelow

I can’t wait to have a good wander round the city with my camera in hand, but the quick pic from my phone will have to do for the moment.  There is some fantastic street art around here, and lots of buildings full of character……

Next few tasks ahead are find myself a new piano teacher (why do so many not respond?!), record a few new piano pieces and then move into a warped next phase of BoT!  And of course, get Viktoria up here with me 🙂