Apologies for a lack of recent posts. Time to reintroduce ourselves!

For those who know me, you will know that the last few months have been proper hectic, and I would like to apologise for neglecting my blog so much. 

My aim is to blog on a regular basis but in the meantime I thought it might be with introducing myself and my site...

It's been a couple of years in the making, but CoolManchester.com is properly back! For those who remember the original site, it was an open forum for people to discuss anything and everything. 

Things haven't changed much in that respect, but with the growing popularity of social networking sites, there really wasn't much of a reason to go to an open forum so this time around the site will be much more blogging based. 

For those who don't know me or are new to the site I'm not no sure how I would introduce myself on here, all I can say is when you read my blogs you should get an idea about the type of person I am 

So here I am, I hope you enjoy what I say but at the same time I hope people challenge what I say too. Everybody talks rubbish from time to time....My twitter ID is bluejovanka but friends call me Matthew. If you've worked out what my user id means, you've probably guessed that I'm a huge Doctor Who fan! Those of you who have seem my tweets though probably didn’t need to work out my username to guess....

The reason I have started blogging is because sometimes I need to rant or rave about something and a lot of the time 140 characters isn't enough to fully express my opinion (trust me when I say I have lots of those!!!)

But this is also a site you too, feel free to use the blogging facility to talk about anything and everything you wish, it doesn't even have to be Manchester based :)

- See more at: http://www.coolmanchester.com/index.php/CM/introduce-yourself/welcome-back-to-coolmanchester-com#sthash.uIIMq12l.dpuf

Do you shop locally?

I'm afraid to say that we do it in fits and spurts rather than continuosly.

We have an excellent local butcher, and the meat we get from there far exceeds the quality of meat you get from a "normal" supermarket. So why don't we shop there more often? Unfortnately, like most people, it's just more convenient to shop in one place, at times that suit my working hours. But, that is a poor excuse.

As it currently stands, I would only be able to go to our local shops at the weekend. The butcher, is only open on a Saturday, which narrows down when I can get there. At the end of the week, the last thing I want to do it go shopping, but, I want to change that. Even if I can only get some to last me a couple of days, some sausages, some chicken, maybe a piece of meat to have in the evening, it would help my local economy.

A good friend of ours, Tom from Toms-Travels, recently posted about trying to spend more locally, and I hope to do the same, and invite you to do the same.

What is a local shop?
Simply, if you can find a shop in more than one town/city, then it isn't local.

Starting in November, I am going to try and buy in independant stores and support my local businesses. Even if I can only get a couple of days of food from there, I am doing my part.

The sign here may be American, but the idea is the same. If we all spend just a little more locally, we can stop our local businesses disappearing as they seem to be more and more nowadays.

So, do you shop locally? If not, how come? Is it the same reasons I have already said here, or something else? If you do, what is your favourite thing about local shopping?

The Village Bakers Great Village BakeOff Sunday 17th August 2014

No Soggy Bottoms at the Great Village Bake Off


The Annual Village Bakers ‘Great Village Bakers’ returns to Manchester’s Pride Fringe Festival on Sunday 17th August where Bakers will be working hard to drizzle that lemon and firming those buns to create a baking competition like no other.  The Village Bakers love to encourage new bakers and therefore all abilities and ages are welcome to participate no matter how skilled they are.


The format of the bake off is as easy as pie: sweet or savoury. Bake whatever you like, no limits (as long as you can fit it through the door), register online at the link below and turn up to the Molly House 1pm on Sunday 17th August. Entry costs £5 per entry with all proceeds going to Manchester Pride which helps local charities and community organisations.


The ‘Great Village Bake Off’ judging panel will be led by the wonderful and amazingly talented Howard Middleton (finalist in 2013 BBC Great British Bake Off) who added

“I’m delighted to be part of this year’s Great Village Bake Off. It promises to be great fun and a fab fund raiser. Hopefully we’ll make it through the event without any baking puns and innuendo. Oh, who am I kidding? Come along and let me judge your buns!” 

With such a talented judge at the helm Kevin Sargent Chair of Village Bakers added 

“Village Bakers are proud to be hosting The Great Village Bake Off  in its second year at the Manchester Pride Fringe Festival. This is a real opportunity to bring the LGBT community together to share a slice of cake with new and old friends. We are also extremely pleased to have Howard Middleton the BBC Great British Bake Off Finalist on hand to be checking for soggy bottoms!!”


The Great Village Bake Off aims to bring the LGBT community together during the Manchester Pride season, and this has been possible with the support of Key Sponsors Queen of Cakes and The Molly House. 


Paul Duffy, Manager of The Molly House explained that “The Molly House is delighted once again to support The Great Village Bake Off which is a showcase for The Village Bakers, a hugely popular community and social group. I cannot wait to sample more ingenious baking creations at this year’s event!”


The Village Bakers LGBT social group aims to Bake it! Bring it! and Share it! in Manchester’s Gay Village and was inspired by the Great British Bake Off. A true sign of its success and popularity is its current nomination for ‘community group/organisation of the year’ in the Lesbian and Gay Foundations Homo Hero Awards 2014, with community at the heart of everything they do, they are sure win this award. 


The awards are an initiative promoted by the Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) to acknowledge heroes within the LGBT community including businesses, volunteers, community groups & role models to name a few. 


The groups chairman and founder, Kevin Sargent has also been nominated for ‘volunteer of the year’ which reflects the impact the group has had in such short space of time. 


The success of this group doesn’t stop there with The Molly House the groups baking home also being nominated as Best LGBT Venue in the Homo Hero Awards, with all that cake on offer how could they fail to impress.


So grab your rolling pin, prove that bread, and squeeze your buns the village bakers are looking forward to judging your entry!  Enter online at the address below and come along with your tasty entry at the Molly House, Richmond Street, Manchester on 17th August 1pm


Ticket details: tickets available at www.greatvillagebakeoff2014.eventbrite.co.uk

Price: £5 individual entry (+ 95p booking fee)

No charge for spectators

Check out Village Bakers on facebook: www.facebook.com/villagebakers

Twitter: @villagebakers 

E-mail: villagebakersmanchester@gmail.com

Venue address: The Molly House, Richmond Street, Manchester, M1 3NB

Event Date: 17th August, Time: 1pm


Homo Heroes: https://www.lgf.org.uk/surveys


The Molly House: Richmond Street, Manchester http://www.themollyhouse.com/ 

CoolManchester Interviews Kevin Clark

CoolManchester Interviews Kevin Clark


For about 3 years now young drummer Kevin Clark appears to have worked his way up the ladder of the Mancunian Music Scene and so far so good.

Described as perhaps one of the best young drummers around

and having worked with one or two legends we though a chat was a little overdue…



Q – Hello Kevin can you tell us a little bit about how you first became a drummer?

A – It was all accidental! I've always loved music and instruments from a very early age and looking back at my old school reports I used to have a penchant for percussion and anything rhythmical. I was bought one of those little 4 pieceArgoskits when I was about 3/4 and loved to play along to Paul Weller, Stone Roses and Spin Doctors. Skip forward to year 9 of school and I was just a kid who happened to hang around with the school band. Their drummer at the time couldn't actually play and I thought "I'm sure I can do that". The lads in the band asked me to jump on and have a go and I was hooked ever since.

Q – What bands excited you as you were growing up and developing your playing style?

A - I was hugely inspired by the 90s Manchester scene with bands like Stone Roses, Oasis, Happy Mondays but I have to say I had quite an eclectic taste even as a kid. Listening to stuff from Kula Shaker to Mike Oldfield, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, The Jam, Sex Pistols, The Charlatans even Slipknot for those insane drum fills! I was never more happy than when I was sifting through my parents (and grandparents) record collections as a kid and discovering odd stuff like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and EMF.


Q – What was your first band called and what are your memories of that period in your life?

A – First band was called 'Slythe' and I have the fondest memories of them! We were likeManchester's answer to Nirvana but with more spots and a fear of needles. We played for an hour every day before school and spent every lunch time in the practice room just jamming songs. I credit my discipline to this era.


Q – So from what we gather you’ve worked with The Chemeleonsvox, Gabrielle’s Wish, Dub Sex and Gareth Icke. If all THAT weren’t enough you have a new band called 'To Kill A Circus.' Tell us a little about each band and why you worked/working with them?

A – Well funnily enough 'To Kill A Circus' are the same guys who I started this journey with 10 years ago. After we finished school we all went our separate ways but still played individually. Then last September we all basically said "Why aren't we still making music together?". That's all it took for us to get back in a room and I'm proud to say the spark we once had is still well and truly alive and actually stronger than ever! We now have an albums worth of material written and are just about to release our debut EP along with some dates across theUK.

The reason for me playing for bands such as The Chameleons, Gabrielle's Wish & Dub Sex is because they are all well respected Manchester bands who have built a legacy and for me to be asked to come and be a part of each of them was little short of an honour.

Playing for Gareth Icke was also a pleasure and gave me a chance to really dig in to the pop/rock vibe and just keep things pinned down rhythmically whilst also putting on a good show.

Q – Any heroes in terms of drummers you look up to and admire?

A – Yeah, loads! haha I suppose my first 'hero' would be Steve White of Paul Weller/The Who/Oasis. I saw him play inOldhamin 2004 and I'd never seen such a talented musician in person before! Couple this with the fact that he played on some of the soundtracks to my childhood and you'll see why this was such a big event for me.

I was lucky enough some years later to have a private lesson with him and we jammed for 2 hours above a shop inStockport. Not often you get to jam with one of your idols like that.

Other influences I'd like to mention are Dave Grohl, Tre Cool, Dave Elitch, Buddy Rich, Jojo Mayer, Mike Johnston, John Theodore, Benny Greb and the INSANE Tony Royster Jr. Also id like to give Bo Walsh a mention he’s someone I look up to aLOT.

His work with Gabrielles Wish and Peter Hook was sheer class.

Q – And finally, what advise would you give to young musicians starting out in what is certainly at times a difficult industry?


A – My advice is first of all enjoy what you do and make sure you're in this for the right reasons! If you're thinking "Yeah I'll just be a musician and make loads of money" then it's time to go back home and think about getting into the banking industry.

Music is not just a way to get rich or famous, music is something that lives within you, that flows through your veins and occupies your brain 24/7. You have to live for music and truly love what you do whether it's playing in a Russian Polka band in the corner of a pub to 3 people and a dog or playing stadiums around the world as part of a huge band. If you don't love to just play and be immersed within the music then this isn't for you.

Lastly, just keep going and say yes to opportunities! You never know what lies around the corner in this game!

 Q - Thanks for you time Kevin pleasure speaking with you, any links you want to include for people to check you out?

 A - Yeah of course! Bare with me though as I've been a busy boy recently.

My new band 'To Kill A Circus:



Dub Sex: 



Gabrielle's Wish:



Gareth Icke:


And lastly, just a band that I want people to check out! They're incredible and I will be working with them on a co-headliner show later this year.




Kevin Clark Kit List –



Tama Superstar Hyperdrive 6 piece (Birch) in Sugar White Tama SLP G-Maple 13x7 Snare Tama Superstar 14x5.5 Snares x2 (Sugar White & Midnight Blue)


Zildjian; 22" K Dark Ride 18" K Custom Crash 18" A Custom Medium Crash 18" Stagg Medium Brilliant Crash (turned upside down and used as china) 13" A Custom Mastersounds hi-hats 8" A Custom Splash

Skins: Either Coated Controlled Sound or Controlled Sound X on all snares with clear Diplomats as resonants. Clear Emperors for Toms with Clear Ambassador resonants. Powerstroke 4 on batter side of kick with Ebony resonant.


All stands Tama Roadpro Drum stool - Tama Ergo Rider 1st Chair Tama Powerglide twin bass drum pedal


Roland SPD-SX Sampler 2 X Roland BT-1 Trigger Pads Ultimate Ears 11 Pro Custom In-Ear Monitors


Vic Firth American Classic Extreme 5B wood tip




Gabrielles Wish - Stand Together

Gabrielles Wish  Stand Together 

Single Review By Paul Ripley
A fusion of hypnotic beats, catchy melodies, surreal arrangements and a Jah Wobble feel to the bass-lines, Gabrielles Wish new single Stand together has obvious references to the Madchester Era with one eye on the future. Whether this more commercial offering from one of Manchester's foremost cult bands will open the doors to new fans I am not too sure, however if it means that the band will get more recognition for their undoubted talents then stand together Brother and Sister 
Paul Ripley The Ripman Show Fab Radio International
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