Yes I know I am in some ways comparing chalk and cheese size-wise but I’ve seen live music at both venues in the past few weeks and Playhouse2 knocks spots off my Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall experience. I blogged about the live music I ‘endured’ at the Phil’ a while back and here’s a link to that posting:-
I suppose you could say that the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall is a medium sized venue for music these days, certainly nowhere near as large as the arena venues that have sprung up in recent times. My guess though is that the Phil’ are copying the way the arenas are run with booze being available most of the time and the toilets doing a roaring trade so to speak; it all seems about making money rather then quality music I would suggest.
Now turn to Playhouse2 in Shaw near Rochdale, a small venue, run by volunteers, refreshments only available before the show and at the interval. Sensible ticket prices, an audience that could hold their water, decent beer on tap and a great atmosphere. The act? The Snake Davis Band, high quality musicians playing jazz R&B and soul tunes.
I’m done with larger venues where drinking is the major activity, where you can’t see the act and where you treated like a credit card walking into the venue to be relieved of as much of your money as possible. Live music is a great experience but it is being ruined by booze and money making I’m sad to say. Give me Playhouse2 type venues any day.
Here’s what the Snake Davis Band is all about:-
I have posted previously about Playhouse 2, a small but perfectly formed theatre in Shaw between Oldham and Rochdale. It’s just off the M62 and takes about and hour to get there from our Lydiate home.
We have taken to going there quite often to see plays and last night Keith Page and I went to see a performance of the Snake Davis Band during their ‘Classic Sax Solos’ tour. He has a new album out of that very name and I was pleased to pick up an autographed copy of it.
Here’s a You Tube video of Snake:-
Snake was the saxophonist of M People and he is probably one of the greatest exponents of the saxophone in the UK. He plays a wide variety of music but mainly it is soul, pop and jazz related. Last night’s performance was tremendous. Here are a few shots of it:-
Click on the photos to enlarge them
And not only did we have a great night out (they serve real ale at the bar!) but I met my old friend Pete Grubb who I used to work with in my trade union officer days for PCS. Pete lives close to Playhouse 2 and he is in effect their official photographer as the walls of the bar area are covered in shots he has taken of live performances at this gem of a theatre.
The first photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
t – @Playhouse2Shaw
f – P2Shaw
Remember that great soul group M People with Heather Small on vocals? Well Snake Davis was their saxophone player who has long had his own band.
Keith, my Lydiate chum and I have been to see this band many times across the north of England and last night we went to the Playhouse2 in Shaw near Rochdale to see them once again.
These are quality musicians who thrive on playing jazz/soul music live and a packed theatre saw and heard a great performance.
Playhouse2 is a great small venue for plays and concerts and we have now gone over there quite a few times with more visits planned. It is run by volunteers, is friendly, welcoming and simply a delightful place to go for a night out.
The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
I posted a while ago about a visit to this great little theatre (to see Snake Davis in concert on that occasion) in Shaw, just next to Rochdale where I lived as a boy.
This time Sheila and I together with a couple of friends went to see a play called Disposing of the body.
A good evening it was too with quality acting using minimalist props and scenery. The photo below shows what I mean by minimalist.
We will of course be going back to this lovely little theatre.
Saturday night saw old chum Keith and I travel over to Shaw, just across the M62 from Rochdale where I lived as a child for a few years. Our visit was to a great little threatre called Playhouse 2 which is run by a charitable trust. We have been before, indeed both visits have been to see Snake Davis, former saxaphone player with M People. His concert this time was with a new venture/group called Snake Strings i.e. Snake and 4 talented classically trained string musicians.
A good night was had at this delightful little threatre run by volunteers and which we came across quite by chance a couple of years ago whilst trawling for a reasonably local venue to see the Snake Davis Band. This little gem of a voluntary enterprise is well worth a visit aand the folks running it are so freindly.