Gareth Icke ‘Beat Up’ Single Review

Gareth Icke ‘Beat Up’ Single Review

By Graham Halsey



Gareth Icke is back with his third single from the enduring second album ‘A Brand New Battle’. In preparation to review the new single I had a thorough listen to said album and it was an intriguing listen.

The son of public speaker David Icke you can hear his fathers influence in his lyrics about freeing yourself from corporate and negative bondage.


‘Beat Up’ is a message song.


Some of you will be put off by that and you shouldn’t be. In terms of pure pop rock ‘Beat Up’ is a melodic masterpiece. The song puts it’s hooks into you from the outset and the upbeat feel with jangly and never overly heavy guitar tones means that although this song is certainly falls within the rock genre, it retains a more wide spread appeal and would not sound out of place on drive time BBC Radio 1.


Given the Ickes relationship with the BBC its heart warming to note that Gareth has already been on the Radio 1 Play list before with his debut solo single only to be removed when Michael Jackson passed away.

I think if ‘Beat Up’ were to gain national radio play this single would easily sail into the Top 10. Sadly however the music industry is a fickle place and Id struggle to see Gareth’s current single getting the attention nationally it deserves. Back when I first began to write music reviews you’d have got a good chance of getting an Independent release into the charts, several indie labels did just that but in these times of X Factor white wash it’s not so easy anymore.


Taken purely on merit ‘Beat Up’ is a fabulous single that deserves to be a hit. Gareth knows how to craft great melodic rock and I for one will be keeping my ears and eyes open for any new releases from this man.

Another thing that appealed to my ‘old guy from the 80s’ sensibilities is that Gareth has elected to include a B Side with this single.


‘Beat Up Live At Wembley’ Arena is a punchy performance of the A Side and im sure the man’s proud to have performed it at Wembley Arena. The single is out on the 16th of December (Monday) and is an iTunes only release (shame I do like vinyl singles myself).

I urge you to put out of your mind any preconceived ideas you might have about Gareth Icke and his music and give the single a whirl because I guarantee that once you have you’ll be heading back to his iTunes store for a listen to the rest of his already impressive solo output.



FAC51 The Hacienda NYE Special

FAC51 The Hacienda are putting on an amazing New Years Eve party at the newly reopened Albert Hall venue in the heart of Manchester.

The line up sees a trio of US DJ legends perform at the event, Frankie Knuckles, Todd Terry and Marshall Jefferson, joined by DJs from FAC 51 including Graeme Park, Tom Wainwright,  Allister Whitehead, 808 State DJs and  more while Happy Monday's Rowetta performs a live PA and Bez brings in the New Year in his own inimitable fashion.


Legendary DJ Graeme Park said ;

FAC51 The Hacienda NYE Special
The Hacienda New Years Eve parties were always the stuff of legend. They were always special, memorable nights and I probably miss them more than any other night. The queue outside was had an electric air of anticipation and atmosphere. Since it closed I don't think I've ever had a New Years Eve that even came close to the hedonistic thrills of New Years Eve at The Hacienda. I'm absolutely thrilled to be involved in this event at The Albert Hall where I'll be playing alongside some of my favourite DJs who have played with me at Hacienda New Years Eve parties before. In fact I'm so excited, I'm getting nervous already. Seriously.


Much loved Happy Mondays backing vocalist Rowetta also spoke about this New Year Event at The Albert Hall ;

FAC51 The Hacienda NYE Special
I’m just so proud that they’ve kept the price affordable, its in Manchester and for this line up, you’d have to pay the same just to see one of those acts and not all of them. With the DJ’s and this venue, if you’ve never experienced The Hacienda before this is a treat, and if you have then its back to the old New Years Eve’s, its going to be an amazing night.


Haçienda – New Years Eve at Albert Hall,Manchester

Tuesday 31st December 2013 / 9pm to 4am

27 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5QR
Tickets £25 First Release / £30 Second Release

Line Up –  Main Room  - Frankie Knuckles, Todd Terry, Marshall Jefferson,GraemePark, Herbie Saccani, Rowetta (Live PA), Chris Crooks on Percussion

 & Bez As Vibe Provider To Bring In The New Year


Downstairs - Hacienda Classics with Allister Whitehead, Tom Wainwright,

808 State Djs, Tricky Disko  / www.fac51theHaç


Ticket Links – See Tickets -


Skiddle - Tickets Available - see for details

Gabrielles Wish Wandering The Streets Reviewed

Review By Michael Oates

Gabrielles Wish Wandering The Streets Reviewed

You’ll have to forgive me I haven't done this reviewing lark for a long time.


I moved from the big smoke in 1990 to Manchester. My reasons were mostly financial as I'd just stopped writing for a national Music Magazine for whom I'd written for under a pseudonym and was falling out of love with the whole music industry. When I arrived in Manchester I thought I'd arrive into a sea of madness I mean, was this not ‘Madchester’ the home of looped baggy beats and wide boy teens?


The latter was true and still is but the music scene as I found it wasn’t quite what I'd been led to think it was. Everyone was really nice and I mean total strangers coming up to me at gigs saying “Hi how are you? ..”.

This just didn’t happen that often in Camden.


So why am I telling you all this I hear you ask? 

Well I’ll tell you. I visited a night spot called The Hacienda. THIS WAS THE PLACE. It was the place I'd been wanting to see spring up in London but it never did. Now by the time I got there the glory days were all but over but there was still a great buzz about the place.

A few years in Manchester and I'd stopped going to that club and got into my new media role as Artist Liaison for a rather large international record label and so my Job often took me away from Manchester and The Hacienda.


On one of my rare weekends home (this would be mid 90s) I went back to The Hacienda and saw a band that I could not describe to you even now.

First I heard film excerpts then some Derek & Clive and all of this going as four very ordinary looking blokes walked to their instruments. The crowed moved closer to the stage. The drummer perched on his stool and then … all hell broke loose. Amps were being flung right left and centre. The Singer sometimes sang a song, sometimes just danced around like a crazed maniac with the widest eyes I've ever seen I can still recall his insane looking face screaming into the microphone …


“If its in tune its all wrong and if it’s all wrong its alright by me”


I never forgot that night and soon after I believe this group, Gabrielles Wish were signed by one of the owners of the Hacienda one Mr Robert Gretton.

I moved away from Manchester but still that night, the sounds, were engrained in my mind, etched if you will almost against my will.


So I was delighted to find out the band still exist and even more delighted to learn that in the 20 years since they never stopped putting out first class music. Which brings me to the new single “Wandering The Streets”. It’s a far cry from the intensity and raw sound they had when I first heard them and for a single, maybe that’s no bad thing.

As a single it works great the hook is there instantly and the song does not out stay it's welcome.


The guitar harmonics are infectious although I can’t help but feel more in the way of lyrics could have enhanced the song but this is a minor quibble.

 ‘Wandering The Streets’ is a punchy melodic post punk romp all under 3 minutes. I loved it and if you enjoy any alternative bands like say, The Fall or The Damned then I think you’ll very much enjoy the work of one of Manchester’s best kept secrets and it’s about time that secret was known to the world. Its being released by Mancunian Record Label ‘Eromeda Records’ on the 16.12.13 via iTunes and if you spend a quid on anything that day, make it this single it’ll have been money wisely spent



Manchester Pride is to distribute £34,000 to local LGBT charities following its events staged in 2013 including the August Bank Holiday Big Weekend.

The amount, which includes 100% of direct donations from the ring-fenced Community Fund, is lower than in previous years. The charity described it as "disappointing" confirming that it has launched a plan to boost future fundraising.

A small decline in ticket sales and a move towards buying one-day rather than full four-day wristbands were the main reasons behind the reduced fundraising.

To counter this trend, which began in 2012, the Board began a programme of measures including reducing costs that delivered savings of over £60,000 in the delivery of Big Weekend event compared to 2011. Vicken Couligian, Chair of Manchester Pride said


As a charity, we exist to campaign for, promote and celebrate LGBT life.

Our Parade, Pride Fringe arts festival and the Big Weekend successfully achieve this but over the last two years, fundraising levels have been disappointing.

That's why we are taking action to boost fundraising next year and beyond. We have a clear plan in place that will provide a bright future for the festival.

Preparations for the 2014 festival have already started. It will take place on August bank holiday in Manchester’s Gay Village.


The three part plan to boost fundraising focuses on:

- Reviewing the existing events to reduce costs significantly without compromising the quality of our events

- Accelerating the introduction of additional fundraising activity throughout the year

- Consulting with all our stakeholders, from the community to the City Council to Village businesses to shape Manchester Pride’s future direction together.

Work has already started and a full financial review is being carried out by one of Manchester Pride’s new trustees with relevant, specialist skills.

Manchester Pride has also launched Supersonic: Mach 2, a fundraising event that will be held underneath the wings of Concorde at Manchester Airport on Friday 11th April.

Other new events are also planned during 2014. The charity has also confirmed that it will hold listening groups from January across a variety of locations including in the City Centre.

It will also launch an online survey that will be promoted when the Supersonic: Mach 2 fundraiser tickets go on sale on 22 November. 




Press release by Geoff Stafford


Protest will hit the city centre offices of Manchester Pride at 12:15 this Monday lunchtime (November 11).

Pride was expected to announce this year's charity figure last Friday, but didn't. It is rumoured to be below £29,000, making it the lowest amount since 1990 when the August event was little more than a jumble sale on the cobbles on Canal Street.

38,000 tickets were sold this year, despite the recession. In 2012 the registered charity had income of £991,656 and announced £52,000 for good causes. But it has since emerged that only £36,100 of that was raised during the financial year and the publicised amount had been topped up out of reserves.

Now concerned members of the public, charity workers, gay village business owners and their staff will stage a protest outside Pride HQ.
Their offices are in the Manchester One building on the corner of Portland Street and Sackville Street. The peaceful action starts at
12:15 and later will move to outside the town hall.

Manchester City Council gave Pride just £11,796 in 2012 and despite boasting that the Big Weekend brings in as much as £22 million of business across the city. In comparison, a recent concert by Alicia Keys received Council funding of £425,000.

Manager of VIA on Canal Street Tony Cooper is also a former Deputy chair of the Village Business Association (VBA). In a public statement this week he writes that he will "remove all my support for Manchester Pride until I see appointments on the board that represent business and the community."

"I have had dialogue with Manchester Pride for several weeks and I have not seen any change in the way they deal with issues and I find myself believing that they do not want to engage with the community at large and certainly not the businesses who support them to the tune of £40-60k every year."

Geoff Stafford the co-founder of the Facebook campaign group "Facts About Manchester Pride" points out that the planned protest isn't tied to any particular group. "This feels like a turning point," he says.

"We've been campaigning for two-and-a-half years, but now Pride has upset a lot of the LGBT community right across the board. From low-paid people who feel excluded by high ticket prices, to gay business owners and charity workers. In the current climate smaller charities in particular depend on this funding.

"We expect many of those people will join in the protest. Personally I think the board of trustees should resign."

This summer, village workers were told they would be prevented from going into the main arena during Pride. Performer Penny Crayon is one who was turned away by security when the area was half empty and caught the moment on video. This caused discontent amongst bar staff who work long hours and try to grab a brief look at the acts during their breaks.

And in another development after a decade of the gay village being fenced off, City Council officials have confirmed in writing that the public has always had a legal right to walk through the streets during Manchester Pride whether they buy a ticket or not.

Businesswoman Julia Grant was a key figure behind the successful and free-to-enter GayFest in both 2000 and 2001. Amounts of £105,716.77 and
£87,666.63 were raised and published accounts show that 75% of this was distributed to the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, BodyPositive NorthWest and George House Trust. The remainder going to smaller charities.

Julia says simply "Manchester Pride and the lack of investment in the village has ripped the heart out of the LGBT community."

The August Bank Holiday event started at the end of the 1980s to produce funds for HIV and AIDS causes. The Village Charity was formed in 1991 and raised £29,291 that year. The figure from the weekend was
£40,000 in 1994 which is equivalent to £64,000 today.

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