I’m on at the Apollo on Ardwick Green on Saturday night with Dr John Cooper Clarke, Luke Wright and Simon Day.
I was born 10 minutes walk from Ardwick Green. I went to Shakespeare Street Nursery, my Auntie Maureen had a grocers shop on Chaucer Street and we lived two hundred yards from where Elizabeth Gaskell welcomed guests like Charles Dickens and The Brontes.
My family ran the Plymouth Grove Hotel for over 50 years and my Mam, sisters and brothers all worked behind the bar. i met Bob Greaves there once, pushing over the “pile of pennies” – it was the closest thing we got to glamour.
The first Sunday League team i played for, Medlock Rangers played at Medlock school in Ardwick and my Nana and Grandad lived on Pedley Walk. My Godfather, Jack runs the Apsely Cottage round the back of the Apollo and some of my earliest years were spent round and about the crofts and bombed out houses of Ardwick and Ancoats.
Hindley and Brady spent a lot of time in and out of Ardwick but don’t let that put you off it’s a great place.
We used to go to ardwick sports centre from school to play 5 a side and we hung around the back doors of the Apollo trying to sneak into gigs and sometimes me and my mate mark would go to St. Gregory’s for our dinner, Marks Mum was the dinner lady. Ardwick, Born and Bred….ish.
So, Saturday night at the Apollo is very special for me. It’s across the road from where we used to get our school uniform, across the road from my doctors, across the road from the first Kwik Save I ever encountered and across the road from anything i could ever have imagined happening to me as a kid.
Luke Wright’s on as well – I’ve travelled with him supporting Johnny Clarke for 4 years now and it’s a pleasure to share the stage with the man – If you’ve not heard any of his poetry before have a quick mooch at this, one of my personal favourite of his – The Toll.
The Toll https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_oaL4QLD1o&t=13
Simon Day is on as well – I love the guy – I love his characters and in Geoffrey Allerton he’s created an amazingly great shit poet – have a mooch at his poem England https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lMexzk3TA8
Something else i love about Simon Day. He loves Manchester. He’s spent loads of time here working with the likes of Steve Coogan, John Thompson and Caroline Aherne making the Fast Show. In his brilliant autobiography this is what he said about Mancs
“Why does Manchester produce so many gifted people? Compare it to Liverpool or Leeds or London for that matter and in terms of music and Comedy, the Mancunians are like Ancient Greeks”
Oh, Dr John Cooper Clarke is on as well and he’s the business.
I believe there’s still a few tickets to be had so come on down and listen to some poetry. What else you going to do on a Saturday night? Watch the Voice? Sack that, come and listen a voice………….or four