• Real Junk Food Project Fuels Simon Buckley's Not Quite Light Weekend

Real Junk Food Project Fuels Simon Buckley's Not Quite Light Weekend

28 March 2016 by Neil Sowerby

IT has been illuminating to see Simon Buckley, one of Manchester’s best photographers, return from Southern exile with a fresh and restless eye for the city he loves.

The result of his pre-dawn raids with camera on the Northern Quarter’s mean streets is there for all to see in his Not Quite Light project. It has spawned this weekend (April 1-30) an exhibition and a mini-festival, the Not Quite Light Weekend, which charts the history and social evolution of the city and even includes food – TOM pricks its nostrils – from Mary-Ellen McTague, newly appointed head chef at the Real Junk Food Project (you read it here first).

The ex-Aumbry chef and Great British Menu participant will be serving dishes using what raw materials are available on the day, from 6pm-8pm on Saturday April 2 at charity night DoNation at Redbank Co bar, in Archway 22 on Redbank, from 5.30pm. Money raised goes to Manchester’s homeless support group Lifeshare and Real Junk Food. Entry is free in exchange for food and clothing donations.

Live music comes from Violet Society and Mirk Over The Irk (who mix Jewish and Irish traditional music), there’s poetry from Manchester Broadside Ballads’ Jennifer Reid, and a DJ set from Pasta Paul until 1am.

Simon’s exhibition From Old Mill To The End Of Empire, at The Hive, on Lever Street, is shown as a looped slideshow in the windows, viewable 24 hours a day. Eternal Nu Romantic Simon says: "Dawn is my very own Manchester wardrobe to Narnia, and each day I step through the back of it into a different world. Once the street lights pop off, the magic spell is broken.”

Angel Meadow (pictured above), where 40,000 people are buried, is the focus of Sunday’s Breakfast With The Dead, when artists, historians and musicians come together to debate the remarkable past of the area and current regeneration. For full details of the weekend visit this link