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On Friday evening we attended a concert with friends.

All I knew beforehand was that it would be candlelit; in The Minster and that the main attraction was John Grant. I had three personal responses to that knowledge:
_1) “Brrr, it’s going to be cold”,
_2) “The Minster? – Does Halifax have a Minster?” and
_3) “Who?”

I can set the first response aside straight away and say ‘yes, it was cold, but it got warmer as the night went by and as more and more people packed the aisles’.

Halifax does have a Minster, something that could easily pass you by if you didn’t know. It’s a 12th Century beauty down at the bottom of town, way below and behind the railway station. I vaguely remember seeing it in a previous life, before my children came along, as I used to pass it on my way to meet my wife at the Rowntree Mackintosh plant that used to be down there. It is a building worthy of closer inspection and you have to wonder why such expense would be spent on such an edifice at this part of town and if there was a receptive population centre there all of that time ago.

Anyway, in a truly modern way, the Minster now hosts concerts. I suspect that not all of these attract audiences the size of Fridays.

The church was packed.

http://www.doghouseuk.com/content/view/51/110/

http://www.halifaxminster.org.uk/index.php/events

The concert began with Kathryn Edwards on her guitar, with supporting Cello by Sinead Fletcher.

I enjoyed the girl’s performance, it reminded me of some early Melanie (Safka) performances. Unusual too, to hear Kathryn’s guttural Lancashire accent creeping through from time to time. See her Blogger page: http://iamkathrynedwards.blogspot.com/

John Grant has an amazing voice. I’d never heard of him, but I had (vaguely) heard of his former band – The Czars. He began by apologising for the fact that all of his songs are pretty downbeat and all contain swearwords too. He apologized again because “this is such a beautiful place” (blowing smoke up the bottoms of all the Halifax residents) and a church to boot! I’m not a word-listening-music-lover and prefer to hear the voice as just another ‘sound’ – so it was occasionally jarring to have John pick up his synthesizer and play that. It was awful. I spent much of the concert looking around and admiring the church along with John’s voice. Oh, and having a couple of beers – Godhouse Ale!

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the evening and have since downloaded the Queen of Denmark by John Grant from iTunes.

Hear (and buy) Katheryn Edwards music at:  http://www.myspace.com/kathrynedwards

Here they all are:

Shows John Grant, Kathryn and Sinead (with unidentified child). All rights belong to Kathryn - the photo is on her Instagram page

Links:

http://halifaxminster.org.uk/index.php/events/details/533-john-grant-in-concert

http://www.creativecalderdale.co.uk/Latest-News/john-grant-at-halifax-minster?flag=1

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