Sunday, July 16, 2006


The adventures of Langworthy based artist, Trystram Menhinick, have taken him to the States and back to Salford again to put together his first solo show… Interview by Joe Parkinson.

Did you ever think you’d be a successful painter ?

“I grew up thinking I was never going to amount to anything except a factory life, I was actually told that by a teacher in my high school. The thing painting has given me is the knowledge that I’m very good at what I do and nothing anyone can say will take that away from me. In a sense that feeling and that ability to express myself and just the knowledge that I managed to get past that predetermined end gives me an immense feeling of liberation”.

How do you think coming from Salford influences your work?

“Being from Salford it’s inevitable that everything I experienced growing up is going to permeate every element of my work. In LA, people are really openly expressive about everything they do. The culture we grew up with here is much less so. The more important things that go on in our personal relationships go unspoken rather than the American approach where they want a deep and meaningful conversation about anything they can think of. People who grew up in Salford or with a similar psychology of environment are much more likely to pick up on the feeling I put into the work when I was doing it”.

How did you start painting?

“I was waiting for my friend in a coffee shop in LA, bored and doodling on paper. A guy I didn’t know stood watching what I was doing, left and came back with a starter set of oil paints and a pallet. So I bought a couple of $6 canvases and started painting. It was a way to pass the time ‘cos I was living in a burned out van. The Californian mentality being what it is, they will encourage you to do pursue anything totally irrespective of ability. It was that pointless encouragement that got me through the first five years of being utterly crap”.

Are you going to have an exhibition any time soon?

“I’ve been asked to get enough work together for a solo show but it’s going to be a year before I’ll have enough to cover the walls of a gallery with paintings because I’ve had to sell them all to pay the bills.“

You can see Trystram Menhinick’s paintings at



Fairies, knights, wizards and King Arthur feature in the latest film from the REELmcr team that brought the hilarious community movie Fameless to the big screen and snide DVD market last year…

So King Arthur’s there in his summer home at Ordsall Hall when he receives news that the frivolous Sir Lancelot (Stephen Bowden) has wounded the elderly Sir Gallahad in a mock battle, and shows no remorse for his churlish actions. Lancelot is put into confinement to have time to mull over his disrespect for his elders and the serious repercussions this could have on his bloodline.

Enter Merlin (Umar Ahmed) and the Sprites who weave their magic and transport Lancelot and his faithful yet long suffering Squire (David Wroe) into present day Salford, Whit Lane to be precise, where they meet up with ancestors Larry Lancelot (Graham Cooper) and his dysfunctional family.

Wife, Linda (Rachel Morrison) has left, sick of being his doormat, and the kids have no respect for anyone - Luke’s (John O’Neil) out bothering the old un’s playing bowls, and Lisa’s (Stacey Harcourt) egging Father Milo (John Barrett) on his way to daily worship. Meanwhile, lovely Lilly (Emma Williams) performs in a modern day all female version of the Knights of the Roundtable.

Sir Lancelot and the Squire have a day to put everything right or the hamlet of Salford will be lost forever.

The film, A Knight In Salford, is a beautifully crafted comedy written by Chris Green with a heart and soul brought by the residents of Charlestown and Lower Kersal.

“These films in Salford just get better and better” says Jacqui Carroll of REELmcr “The standard of acting and the comic timing in A Knight In Salford is fantastic – all the leads are non actors and no-one could tell.”

For 13 year old David Wroe, who plays Sir Lancelot’s Squire, making his first film was a top experience.

“We had a real laugh” he says “There are some really funny moments in it, particularly when myself and Sir Lancelot arrive in the future and don’t understand all the new Salford lingo.”

A Knight In Salford premieres at The Lyric Theatre at The Lowry on Tues October 3rd 7:00pm and will be the biggest community film premiere the city has ever seen – everyone in Salford is invited. To get a free ticket phone 0161 226 4487


In The World According To Liam Lovelle, Salford becomes a dream setting for a personal nightmare...

Top band, Gomez, have donated a tune for the soundtrack. Cops and Open Doors actor, John Henshaw, gave his time for nothing. And state-of-the-art steady cam equipment developed in Salford and later used in The Da Vinci Code movie and the tv hit, Lost, was employed for the first time on the shoot of this short film with a tiny budget. The World According To Liam Lovelle has cred before it’s even been screened.

Set in the posh bit of the city, the mini movie revolves around a day in the life of Liam Lovelle, a 27 year old hotel night cleaner who gets made redundant. After eight years of loyal service he returns to his empty flat to contemplate his future and how it will affect his dream of meeting a partner. But the change in Liam’s life goes further than the loss of his job – the break up of his daily routine begins to break him. His dreams turn to nightmares.

“Liam has aspergers syndrome, which is on the spectrum of autism” says actor Lewis Marsh, who plays Liam in the film “It’s not autism itself but has many of the elements that make up autism, like communication difficulties, social interaction problems and trouble with imagination – imagining what may happen and imagining how to deal with change.”

All of which made Liam a challenging role for Lewis, who began acting, playing another Liam, in Granada’s Children’s Ward, while still a pupil at Walkden High. Since then he’s worked with the National Youth Theatre and over the last three years has done loads of film and theatre productions, after leaving his full time job as a teacher. Lewis got the role of Liam while reading the book, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, which is centred around aspergers syndrome and became the inspiration for the film.

“I loved the book and loved the main character, and it gave me the idea to go away and write The World According To Liam Lovelle” says Simon Powell of Looking Glass Films who scripted and made the film.

“We linked in with Aspirations, the local aspergers syndrome drop-in centre, and spent a whole year researching the subject and asking about the character to make it authentic” he adds “We got the script into a final draft and went looking for help to make it.”

The help came from all over, including top actor John Henshaw, who plays a clairvoyant, and that track from Gomez, as one of the band member’s mums teaches kid who have the syndrome. The final twenty minute film both draws attention to the plight of those who have aspergers and makes for some wildly dramatic moments. Even before it’s premiered there’s talk of developing it into a full feature film.

The World According To Liam Lovelle premieres at the Red Cinema in August and will be shown again at the Salford Film Festival in November. For tickets contact info@fridaynightfilms

For its next production Friday Night Films is working in East Salford and any residents who want to be involved can contact Simon Powell at the same e-mail address.


You could say that Seedley Road had never seen anything like it, as a sixty foot fountain of water squirted up into the sky and all the kids began to party. But it had. Seedley and Langworthy are apparently hotspots for liberating fire hydrants, the things that fire engines plug into to get water for hoses. This particular hydrant was let off for the shooting of a REEL Salford film, FH2O. And the filming became a community event.

“We let the hydrant off and suddenly about sixty kids turned up all wanting to be in the film” says Rachel Morrison of REEL Salford “We had parents making butties for the firemen. Everyone joined in.”

FH2O was being made to draw attention to the dangers of letting hydrants off, both for those who mess about with them and for those whose houses are burning down. The film, devised through workshops, draws together different stories of people affected by hydrant hacking and aims to get a powerful message across.

“If this doesn’t stop the practice nothing will because we’ve made it with the kids who actually do it” says Rachel “They take the keys off the fire engines, hide them at home and then go out and turn them on. The water pressure in the area drops and everyone is affected. Like, in the film I’m washing my hair and the water just dries up which is a nuisance but it can be a lot more dangerous than that.

“Having said that we’ve done it with humour “she adds “Like there’s a scene where the kids have let the hydrants off and two of the characters drive their car through to get it washed. But it’s also very serious as well. There’s a guy called Frank in it and he’s got no front teeth because the fire hydrant cap blew off and knocked them out.”

The whole film is narrated by a girl called Jo, played by 13 year old Gemma Dunn who also appeared in REEL Salford’s debut live show, Salford:The Musical. Like the other residents who took part in the film she’s seen the hydrants go off in the area.

“People are always setting them off just for a laugh and it stops people getting water for the things they need” she says “My character gets stuck in a burning house and the firemen have no water to put it out.”

After its premiere in September, FH2O - written by Rachel Morrison and Cat Birney in collaboration with Stella Grundy, who also directs - is to be shown by firemen in schools nationwide to spread the message further. It’s also being shown at the Salford Film Festival in November.


In November the famous, infamous, incredible Salford Film Festival is back for its 4th year and is looking for films to include in its three day programme…short films, feature films, community made films, documentaries, tv programmes, films made on mobile phones, art and music videos…just about anything with a Salford connection.

The Salford Film Festival is unique in that it is a free community based event, drawing thousands of people and world wide publicity. It’s backed by all the City’s megastars – from Christopher Eccleston to Albert Finney to Mike Leigh and Sir Ben Kingsley. Last year its patron was Tony Warren, creator of Coronation Street. If you know of anything that should be included get in touch with the Salford Film Festival now.

Contact Alison Surtees at Creative Industries In Salford (CRIIS) – 01204 862998 or

*Salford Film Festival is also on the look out for sponsors. If you’ve got a business that wants major movie-related exposure get in touch too.


From Salford to Japan, from Funkadelic to The Stones, here’s a band that’s going places. Dave McManus gets Jealous…. Photo by Lyndsey Winnington

Another swagger, another attitude, another group who embody the soul of our city in their easy arrogance…`I’m from Salford’ worn as a badge and almost a challenge…

I meet Jason Edge, lead singer of Jealous, on a fine Saturday afternoon in Man United’s Red Café. This is a man who had a ball placed at his feet by his dad as a child and wanted nothing more than to play for ‘Salford Rovers’ - sorry Manchester United. Being sensible he realised he wasn’t good enough and took up his other love, the guitar…Now his band are looking to take on the world.

“All through my life I’ve always been lucky enough to have two things to rely on” says Jason “my team and my music.”

Jason and his band - Andy B (lead Guitar), Keith Whitehead (bass) and Craig Barry (drums) – have just finished making their new album, Sonic Candy, at HQ Studios near Strangeways. On it, there’s no long intricate lyrics, just truth and honest guitar/vocals, red hot rhythm section, bass and drums. Listen to ’Lover’ and you hear your mates rocking out somewhere. But it’s rock raked through with the fertilizer of a zillion music genres…

“If you’re going to get to grips with rock and roll you have to get to grips with its rootsiest past, so my head is influenced by black music like Curtis Mayfield, Parliament and Funkadelic, as well as T-Rex, The Stones and The Who” says Jason “We might be four white blokes standing on stage but we don’t sound like some Hard-Fi type indie band. We’re not of that breed.”

As if to prove the point, Jason and Keith lived in Japan for a while, took on more inspiration, did some acoustic gigs and brought out a white label of the ballad, Isolation, featured on the new album.

“We got a wonderful reaction, learned a lot and now we’ve got our own market in Japan which we can re-visit when the time is right” says Jason “We’re ambitious. Very ambitious.”

Wherever Jealous travel the only two things in life you never need a translator for is kicking a football and getting out your guitar. If the former love didn’t work out to the max, the latter is looking well promising…

Sonic Candy by Jealous is out in September on Manchester Records and will be available in CD and downloadable formats. Check the website for further details of the album and a series of acoustic gigs and


Salford’s only world champion boxer, Steve Foster, had no intention of following in his `Viking’ dad’s footsteps. Whatever happened ? James Marshall gets the blow by blow account. Photos by Lyndsey Winnington

Steve Foster’s eyes suddenly burn as he recalls the night in the ring when he showed his true potential, knocking out Livinson Ruiz in the tenth round to gain the vacant WBU Featherweight title. He’s re-living it and you wouldn’t want to be in punching distance of him in this mood. That’s what makes him World Champion...

“He was twitching on the floor looking up at me” Steve remembers “I thought `I hope he’s alright’…But he would have done the same to me in that position. That’s boxing.”

He comes back to the present and his psyche switches back to the friendly Salford bloke who’s recently become a dad. Steve’s at the gym in Moss Side where he’s just finished training - push ups, press ups, skipping for what seemed like an age and banging the living daylights out of a punch bag.

The bandages are still on his fists and sweat drips off him as he recalls growing up in Whit Lane and not being into boxing like his legendary dad, Steve `The Viking’ Foster.

“I didn’t start boxing until I left school” he says “One of my mates, Darren Cleary, who’s just turned pro, was boxing and said come to the gym with us.”

Steve was against the idea at first because he was more into rugby and lifting weights but Darren persuaded him to try the noble art and he discovered his natural talent for the sport.

“I started sparring with people and getting the better of them…they had all been going for a few years and I had only been going for a couple months so I thought `I’m having a bit of this’” he explains “Then I won the novice titles and the ABA’s two years running.”

Junior Viking then went from strength to strength under the guidance of Britain’s top promoter, Frank Warren, and eventually turned professional in 2001. Since then he’s had over twenty undefeated fights, including stopping the English champ, then the British champ, and, last year, the World Champion. The latest of Steve’s 13 knockouts came at the beginning of July when he floored Federick Bonafai in Cardiff on the same bill as Amir Khan and Matt Skelton.

He’s the latest in a long line of Salfordians to put the city on the boxing map. But like Steve’s many conquests in the ring, his childhood home on the Whit Lane estate is now earmarked for demolition.

“I’m gutted because it’s where I was brought up” he says “I still have good memories of down there, hanging about the maisonettes dropping down off the wall. I remember one time Coronation Street got filmed in the Lowry pub. All the Corrie stars were there. When growing up you remember things like that.”

Steve went to St Sebastian’s primary school, then Pope John Paul, before moving to Swinton when he was 12. His dad wanted a better life for the family but he found it difficult at the start to settle into his new school because it was a completely different culture to Whit Lane. Even now he keeps in touch with old mates and has a fondness for the place.

”Everybody knows each other and there’s a lot of respect within that community” he explains “Whereas recently I was walking home with my girlfriend who had three weeks to go to giving birth and these young lads were giving us grief.”

Maybe they didn’t quite know who they were abusing but he had to turn the other cheek. Since then Steve’s girlfriend, Sade, has given birth to a boy, Kai, and maybe the Foster boxing dynasty is set to continue. Steve certainly feels unaffected by the burden left on his shoulders by his legendary dad.

“I don’t think about things like that” he argues “My dad had one of the best followings from a community that I’ve seen in boxing. Ricky Hatton has a lot of support but everyone comes from all over to watch him. My dad’s support was all mainly Salford. Most of the lads who watched him come and watch me now.”

With this massive support following him and his naturally ability Steve is surely going to emulate Salfordian boxing greats like Jack ‘kid’ Doyle, Arthur Chambers, Tommy Brown and, of course, The Viking himself.

Morris, the trainer who got The Viking into shape, looms large around the Moss Side gym today, putting Steve through his paces and making sure he prepares fully for fights. Under this expert guidance Steve Foster, approaching 26 and fast losing the `junior’ tag, is moving up the boxing ladder. There’s a fight against the other world number one, Scott Harrison, in the pipeline. And the sky’s the limit for the lad from Whit Lane.