Two cultural events to report from a Manchester weekend. First an exhibition of contemporary jewelry at the Dazzle presentation in the Town Hall on Saturday. Busts of august former dignitaries had been moved aside in the Victorian palace to accommodate the display cases of silver and coloured stones which had the ladies of a certain age reaching for their cheque books. There was little for us chaps outside the odd cufflink or two. I quaffed a complimentary glass of something cold and refreshing, listened to the harp player, then hoofed off to check out Waterstones and Fopp.
Next day my friend the jazz critic John White came round for dinner bearing goodies as usual. We played Michel Petrucciani and John Scofield with Edie Harris, whilst he tipped me off about Avid Records who are offering four CDs on two for he price of one - with no postal charge. Fantastic value. This offer is rather like that made by Proper Box, who have obviously got hold of the rights to early recordings by major figures and are rushing out cut price CDs whilst the market for them still exists. It might seem hard for us to contemplate circa 2008, but this format is just as likely to disappear as our old reel-to-reel tapes, vinyl LPs, and cassette tapes. After all, I spend most of my time now listening to online radio – BBC Radio 3 until they start talking, then Spain's Radio Classica, and in the evening Last.fm.