One of the city’s smallest venues stages a free night of film and music to celebrate a Punk legend.
Temporarily dubbed the Voodoo Cinema Lounge for this very special event, Moston Small Cinema burst into life last autumn when father and son team Sam and Lou Beckett took over a disused miners’ washhouse and turned it into an arts and community centre. Volunteers transformed the building last year and launched the new cinema and art space with a nine-day film festival, part of A Small Cinema, which creates pop-up cinemas around the UK. The Becketts, however, have made the project permanent, and Moston Small Cinema (or to give it its full title, the Miners Community Arts & Music Centre) is now one Manchester’s most unique small venues for the arts.
And it is this venue that hosts a one-off night of rare film and music to celebrate the birthday of the legendary Poison Ivy, the guitarist and singer with US punk band The Cramps. The night promises to be a three-hour extravaganza of film and music. Organisers are staying tight-lipped about the celluloid offerings, only saying that one of them “is so rare that the spetsnaz have had agents looking for it for years”. Rarer still is the fact that the venue has only 80 seats and entry is free, so it’s a case of turn up early, queue and hope you get in (donations towards the cinema’s upkeep are requested).
One film is so rare that “the spetsnaz have had agents looking for it for years”
The Cramps were one of the biggest punk bands to come out of New York in the mid-1970s, part of the scene around the CBGB music club that also spawned Blondie, Television, Mink de Ville and Patti Smith. Drawing on influences ranging from rockabilly to the Stooges, the band had a reputation for wild performances and quickly gained a global cult following. Poison Ivy herself developed a style of guitar-playing that became known as punkabilly – fast, furious and heavy on the feedback. With that in mind, this one-off evening is a chance to get under the skin of one of Punk’s most remarkable protagonists. Unmissable.