The Tony Wilson Experience: a 24-hour intelligent conversation live from Manchester

Just been listening to the Tony Wilson Experience, a 24-hour long conversation celebrating the late, great music Tony Wilson, musical Svengali and proud Mancunian. Wilson died of cancer last year and today would have been his 58th birthday. Loads of good people on the bill: John Cooper Clarke, Clint Boon, Irvine Welsh, Paul Morley, Peter Hook et al. You can tune in to the live stream over here.

Update: I’ve been enjoying a curmudgeonly Kevin Cummins bemoan the fate of the rock photographer. Cummings thinks that user-generated content is just a way for newspapers to “get a load of free content”. He’s dismissive of the generation of photographers coming out of sites like Flickr. He said: the newspapers “don’t care about quality. It’s quantity that they want.” He also said that blogs were mostly “just middle class letters pages.”

Even later: It is nearly 1PM and it’s getting really belligerent. The Manc poet John Cooper Clarke is on stage. He just recited his famous haiku:

To convey one’s mood,
in seventeen syllables,
is very diffic…

The intelligence finally ran out about 3am. The Happy Mondays were on a panel and someone in the audience mentioned Stella Grundy, who I assume is Shaun Ryder’s ex-partner from the way he reacted. The guy in the audience was being provocative, but the reaction of the Monday’s, particularly Bez, was somewhat stereotypical. The guy was threatened from the stage (“you are fucking dead”, was the precise quote and worst was said after that) and for a moment I thought that it was all about to kick off. And then, the security intervened and started escorting the bloke out of the venue. Brilliantly, the Mondays then changed their tune and started berating the bouncers to let the man stay in the building. It was all rather touching and probably what Tony would have wanted.

Thankfully, after a sleep, I awake to find the conversation has got much more intelligent again. This is much more like a more belligerent (I keep using that word) version of Radio 4. For the final conversation we’ve got Steven Morris, Peter Saville and physicist Brian Cox discussing the secrets of the universe. He reminded us how important Manchester has been to our understanding of the universe, and that the atomic nucleus had been discovered up on Oxford Road by Ernest Rutherford.

That’s it. The poet Mike Garry has just read his poem Saint Anthony, and there’s talk of another one next year. I hope so. It was really good an pretty intelligent all the way through.