NEW: Best arts and culture blog.

Creative Tourist

Manchester is particularly rich in art and culture blogs. It has its own Blog Awards. Many of the city’s bloggers have gone on to secure book deals and publishing success (Jenn Ashworth, Chris Killen and Emily Morris among them). And this fair website is also a blog. So what better way to celebrate all that ‘blogging goodness’ than to highlight, every fortnight, our favourite blog?

First up: Fat Roland on Electronica: ‘building momentum like a fat man surfing down a drainpipe’

Why do we like it? For the writing, mainly. For knowledge of its subject matter, for another: this is a blogger who writes passionately and in informed detail about electronica, without straying into hyperbole or hype. We also like it because it won two awards at this year’s Manchester Blog Awards – if we see a bandwagon, we do like to jump on it. Oh yes, and it’s very funny. Fat Roland is the alter-ego of the Mancunian journalist-turned-blogger Ian Carrington (‘a name outed by the Guardian in 2009,’ he says). A bookshop manager by day, Fats also DJs in ‘bleepy music in bars, produces and presents community radio, performs comedy talks and even helps lead a church based at Nexus Art Café’.

About the blog. ‘I formed my writing style on the South Manchester Reporter, interviewing everyone from burgled pensioners to the Back Street Boys. I’ve now been DJing for 12 years and blogging for six, although I spin a lot more yarns than discs these days. My blog has been building momentum like a fat man surfing down a drainpipe, although it still falls between the two stools of stupidity and serious music analysis (one post on Autechre has had thousands of hits, but then I’ll lose them all by saying stupid things about James Blunt). At the 2010 Manchester Blog Awards, my blog bagged the Best Writing gong and was joint winner of the Blog Of The Year award. Bolstered by my double win, I’ve started peddling weird horror stories for any website that’ll have me.’

Favourite thing about Manchester. ‘I could rave about Manchester’s music or the architecture, but it is Nexus Art Cafe that twangs a special string in my heart. I recently performed my comedy lecture The Gospel According To Aphex Twin there. I was involved with the cafe at its inception and I remember standing in that basement when it was all paint pots and rubble. Things are so busy and vibrant now: I feel like a proud grandfather watching from the corner, dribbling onto my shawl as the youngsters dash about and be fabulous.

Read more about Fat Roland here. Image (top): courtesy Helen Power of Love Levenshulme. Delve deep into the Manchester blogosphere at The Manchizzle or the Manchester Blog Awards – both run by Kate Feld (our deputy editor when not on maternity leave). If you’d like to submit your blog for our perusal, do so via our contact form.

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