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Rock & Roll, Art & Rain…

July 18, 2011

Sunday 17th July. You’d sort of think that being in the middle of summer, the sun might be shining. You might think that you might be able to enjoy a balmy summer’s evening. Hmmm… We’re talking Didsbury. There are many things that are wonderful about Didsbury, but guaranteed sunny weather isn’t one of them. So, a Sunday evening when it’s raining cats and dogs, could potentially be a bit of a downer. But not Sunday 17th July. You see, we went with friends to Queenston Arthouse – a gallery in a beautiful West Didsbury Victorian villa. It’s still a little bit of a secret – but not sure how given the quality of the artwork that’s been exhibited over the summer, and the musicians who’ve come along and played a bit of a set in the living room.

The weekend just gone was the turn of Danny Cawley, a born and bred Mancunian abstract artist. In his own words :

My work is all about colour, depth, texture and emotion. I want my paintings to breathe, I want them to dance, I want them to shout out loud. I use various paints and materials to create the depth texture and colour. I use aerosol spray, and I use varnishes and dyes, gloss, acrylics and lots of water. I paint to music, always. Mainly rock and roll. The combination of music, coffee and solitude enables me to convert the energy into my work. I enjoy the process as much as the result, I don’t follow any rules. Just my own…Enjoy…

Danny Cawley. Queenston Arthouse, West Didsbury

Danny Cawley. Queenston Arthouse, West Didsbury

Danny Cawley. Queenston Arthouse, West Didsbury

Danny Cawley. Queenston Arthouse, West Didsbury

So, as Danny says himself, he likes to paint to music. So very fitting that accompanying his exhibition, as it was coming to a close, were two amazing acts. Now, we’ve blown away at Queenston before – just before Christmas, John Bramwell did a “surprise” acoustic set at another exhibition – amazing. And yet again, we were blown away. First up were Jo and Adam from The Travelling Band – if you’ve never heard this band before (either as a full set or with individuals), where have you been? Raw and passionate and unbelieveably talented. Forgive the quality of the video, ignore the first 2 or 3 seconds  – and then, as Danny Cawley says, “Enjoy…”

Jo Dudderidge, The Travelling Band

Jo Dudderidge, The Travelling Band

Adam, The Travelling Band, Queenston Arthouse

Adam, The Travelling Band, Queenston Arthouse

Jo & Adam, The Travelling Band, West Didsbury

Jo & Adam, The Travelling Band, West Didsbury

So, The Travelling Band on their own would probably be enough. But next up was the “secret” guest – Badly Drawn Boy. Although Damon Gough is a pretty well known face around South Manchester – as well as being our headliner at CavFest – it’s a bit different seeing him in a West Didsbury living room…

Badly Drawn Boy, Queenston ArtHouse, West Didsbury

Badly Drawn Boy, Queenston ArtHouse, West Didsbury

Badly Drawn Boy, Queenston ArtHouse, West Didsbury

Badly Drawn Boy, Queenston ArtHouse, West Didsbury

So, it’s a West Didsbury Sunday summer’s  night. It’s wet. It’s cold. It’s pretty foul outside actually. But inside, there’s a lovely night going on. And even more special that Badly Drawn Boy played “You Were Right”. As girls always are…


Big  thanks to the lovely Laura (and Talullah) as ever, for hosting the event, and Alison & Charlie, Mike & Amanda, Snidge, Clint, Debbie & Kelda.

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