Hello, good evening, and remain indoors! As I write this, both Illinois and Britain are still under lockdown. And Illinois recently had its lockdown deadline extended to the end of the month. So, naturally, like many, I'm still waiting for the day when I can move freely about the country. One of those many is Rick Astley. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ To this … [Read more...] about Rick Astley to play a free concert for NHS, Primary Care, and Emergency workers
North West England
I generally have one rule when traveling in Britain, if there is a ruin near me, I will stop at the ruin. I love ruins. And Britain is full of them. Brougham Castle (pronounced 'Broom') is one of the finest Castle ruins I've ever been to. Situated in the heart of Cumbria, next to a river, Brougham Castle is a quintessential Medieval castle ruin. The site is currently owned and … [Read more...] about Through the Lens: Brougham Castle in the Lake District
Muncaster Castle was my third destination on my final day exploring the Lake District. I’ve previously written about my visit to the Ravenglass & Eskdale railway which you can read here. I will be writing about going through the Hardknott Pass in an upcoming issue of the Anglotopia Magazine. By the time I arrived at Muncaster Castle, I was, to say the least exhausted. But … [Read more...] about Exploring Cumbria: A Visit to Muncaster Castle
Anyone who's seen the movie Big remembers the scene where a young boy has a strange encounter with a fortune telling machine which grants him the wish to turn into Tom Hanks become big, despite not even being plugged in. Now, it looks like Ian Brown, frontman of the Stone Roses, can do the same for visitors of the Piccadilly Record Shop in Manchester. You may well ask one … [Read more...] about Ian Brown of the Stone Roses can grant your wishes
I hope you enjoyed the March 2019 recommendations as I've got plenty more ideas for April. There's so much to see and do, we hope you can incorporate some of these into your upcoming trips (or plan for next year)! This month moves us properly into spring so nature is bringing us more colourful flowers and those well known 'April showers' will keep them well watered. Easter … [Read more...] about What’s On Around Britain in April 2019 – Easter Celebrations, St George’s Day, Queen’s Birthday, Flower and Garden Shows and More!
The story of Factory Records and the Haçienda never ceases to amaze me. The movie 24 Hour Party People is a good primer of the basic facts of the whole story, (and my review points out how many of the bizarre things in that film actually happened.) A small record label based out of Manchester develops a huge following, and from the beginning, it proves to be a highly eccentric … [Read more...] about Famous Factory Records Fanzine collected, released in book form.
I did not really pay attention to the story of Threatin at first, especially since I hadn't heard of them, and, as far as the NME article names said, they were just a band whose tour of Europe failed spectacularly, and I didn't think that was too newsworthy, but then, I looked a bit further into it, and I think there's plenty to talk about, because Jah knows Metalsucks have … [Read more...] about Threatin: how an L.A. metal band broke the world with their tour of the UK
Paul McCartney's publicity campaign for his new album Egypt Station seems to have an unusual focus on his hometown of Liverpool. On June 9, he filmed a segment for Carpool Karaoke with James Corden, driving around his old hometown, the segment culminating in him setting up for a concert in the Philharmonic Dining Rooms, where he premiered "Come on to … [Read more...] about Paul McCartney possibly filming a music video in Liverpool
We all know "Strawberry Fields Forever," from the ethereal Mellotron opening to the creepy bit at the end where John says "cranberry sauce" and everything in between, so let's listen to it one more time (and finally, the video is officially up, and in Blu-Ray quality, yet): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtUH9z_Oey8 However, what do we know about the real Strawberry … [Read more...] about Strawberry Field to open to the public (and you can help!)
In one of the few good things that he did (though some would argue against even this), King John formed the borough of Liverpool with letters patent in 1207. Not a big place through much of its history, the city really took off beginning in the 17th Century when it became a center for trade and has remained that way for much of its history. Outside of the United Kingdom, most … [Read more...] about Top Ten Britain: Top 10 Things to See and Do in Liverpool
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2PYyvGFHD8 Well, it's been a while since I've done a film review, hasn't it? Certain things that previously consumed a bit of my time have since been completed, and now, I found the time to rewatch an old favourite of mine: Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People. To bring people up to speed, it's the story of Factory Records, a famous … [Read more...] about One Anglophile’s Take on 24 Hour Party People
Editor's Note: There's tons of great British stuff on YouTube these days, and when I came across this great channel making videos about Lancashire, I knew I had to invite them to do a guest post. I'll let them introduce themselves - their videos are well produced and fascinating. Great Britain may be small, but it still has secret corners and places which are overlooked. … [Read more...] about Guest Post: LuneTube Invites You to Explore North Lancashire in New Video Series
Well, as I'm sure I mentioned before, Liam Gallagher recently unveiled the first single for his solo album As You Were. It's called "Wall of Glass" and it's actually pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdJc7-ZEuT0 Clearly, it's not quite as excellent as some of Oasis' early works, but given that A) that was over 20 years ago, and B) Liam didn't actually write … [Read more...] about Liam Gallagher finishes his solo album, wishes Noel made it to One Love Manchester
When I did my post on Ariana Grande's plans to return to Manchester for a benefit concert to help rebuild Manchester after what happened the last time she came to town, one commenter stated that it didn't seem right that people in Manchester should have to pay to see a morale booster for their own town (a complaint that strikes me as kind of odd, since nothing struck me as … [Read more...] about See Ariana Grande’s “One Love Manchester” benefit concert
In commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of Hot Fuzz, (honestly, it's as good a reason as any at this point), here are some more true stories of British crime gone horribly weird. The Case of the Fraudulent Fiddler Bethan Doci was a woman who had it all, holidays in five-star Cancun resorts, a villa in Spain, and a career as a concert violinist. And she decided the perfect … [Read more...] about Britain’s Least Wanted XVII
Since Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is A) celebrating its 50th Anniversary this June 1, and B) the greatest album ever made by popular acclamation, it should stand to reason that there will be a lot of celebrations, from artists coming together to perform the album in full, to many a humble Beatles fan re-listening to the album. However, The Beatles will be doing a … [Read more...] about Sgt. Pepper-Themed Pop-Up Shop to pop up in Liverpool
In the rush to look for weird British news stories, I figured it would be best to take on these two stories, both of which could have been Britain's Least Wanted features if A) They were a little less tangential in their crime angle and B) They weren't so meaty on their own. The Great War Between the Cricketers and the Model Airplane Enthusiasts Let it be known that there is … [Read more...] about Weird Britain Double Feature: The Great Planer-Cricketer War, and Rashomon in New Cross
As I write this, Halloween is slipping by fast. And, odds are, in Britain, it's already gone. But we can all keep the spirit in our hearts by reading these spooky tales of strangeness from Britain. Woman reads news, finds out she's dead. It's certainly a startling opening line, to quote Brendan Gleeson. But, sure enough, when Candace Haines of Birmingham browsed Daily Records … [Read more...] about Paranormal Britain 2016: The Black Monk of Pontefract and the Clown Wars.
For reasons not entirely clear to me, I wound up taking a long break from researching Weird Britain. I don't know why, except that I wound up forgetting to do it for a couple weeks and, as the weeks piled up, I decided it would take too long for me to go through it all, but, on Sunday, I managed to pull it off. What inspired this turn of events? Well, I found this … [Read more...] about Britain’s Least Wanted XVI: The Grand Return!
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the first issue of the Anglotopia magazine. Subscribe today to receive the next issue of our magazine and read about British History, Culture and Travel all in one place. Pre-order the next issue now before it sells out! Over the next few weeks we will be sharing many of the great features that premiered in the magazine … [Read more...] about Anglotopia Magazine: Great British Buildings – Manchester Town Hall
In commemoration of... Well, there hasn't been much in the way of news on British crime series in the past few weeks. I've started watching four separate critically-acclaimed crime series recently, but none have any connection with Britain. I could commemorate my opening of a recently discovered safe deposit box in my Dad's name and call it a "safecracking escapade," but Dad … [Read more...] about Britain’s Least Wanted XV
In honour of the release of Sherlock's new Christmas special, and my actually finding the time to search through two months of weird news stories, I bring tidings of new tales of the sort of crimes people don't often see on television. The Case of the Pram-Pushing Parent. It's always fascinating to find stories about crimes that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. I'm sure … [Read more...] about Britain’s Least Wanted XIV: The long-awaited return of stories from the dregs of British crime.
When I started doing this column, the only exposure I had to British Hip-Hop was Ali G's godawful attempts at rap and The Kersal Massive. But now, in the three years since I started, I've found out that Britain's actually had a fairly long tradition of hip-hop, starting with Malcolm McLaren's 1982 single "Buffalo Gals." Of course, the rap there was from American import The … [Read more...] about Man records rap song as a tribute to the women of Liverpool
There are three general locales that seem to keep popping up in these Weird Britain stories: London (which makes sense since the general London area contains one-eighth of the population of the entire UK), Scotland (given the long-standing rivalry between Scotland and England, it's interesting that the rivalry that once led to Longshanks killing William Wallace has sublimated … [Read more...] about It’s Weird Oop North: Weird tales from the North of England
77 Barton Street in Macclesfield has recently been put on sale for £115,000. According to its rightmove page, it is a "Superb character cottage" in a "Convenient location" with "Two Double Bedrooms and Reception Rooms, a "Newly fitted kitchen", a "Well appointed bathroom", and a "Shared courtyard garden." I would not mention it if not for one thing: it is the last home of Joy … [Read more...] about The Campaign to buy Ian Curtis’ house and turn it into a museum