Amazing Grace at HOME

Ben Williams, Managing Editor
HOME

Amazing Grace at HOME Manchester, Manchester 9 — 30 May 2019 Tickets from £5.50 — Book now

In January 1972, Aretha Franklin made her legendary album Amazing Grace with the Southern California Community Choir and Reverend James Cleveland in the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Providing ample evidence of the charisma of this soul icon who died in August 2018, this accompanying concert film also celebrates human dignity and a longing for freedom and justice.

Originally filmed by Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack (Three Days of the Condor, Jeremiah Johnson), the film was supposed to be released alongside the acclaimed double-platinum-selling album recording of the same concert. However, Pollack had never filmed a live concert before and was unable to sync the audio to the visuals in the editing suite, eventually leading to the released being abandoned. He continued to tinker with the footage and audio until his death in 2008, but to no avail.

In steps former A&R man Alan Elliott who, after receiving Pollack’s blessing before he passed, took on the project – even going as far as mortgaging his home to buy the footage from Warner Brothers. Several more twists and turns later, and with the help of some advances in film technology, the end result is stunning.

Now one of the most highly regarded live recordings has the film it deserves. There are of course the limitations you might expect, but the unpolished edges and ‘found footage’ feel makes for an altogether more authentic experience.

Of course Aretha Franklin is the star of the show (though Reverend James Cleveland also takes a decent chunk of limelight too), but what makes this film so essential is what it captures of the time and place via the faces of the people in the room and on the stage.

Probably the best concert film since 2006’s Neil Young: Heart of Gold and well worth seeing on the big screen.

Amazing Grace at HOME Manchester, Manchester 9 — 30 May 2019 Tickets from £5.50 Book now

What's on at HOME Manchester

Where to go near Amazing Grace at HOME

Manchester
Restaurant
Indian Tiffin Room, Manchester

Indian Tiffin Room is a restaurant specialising in Indian street food, with branches in Cheadle and Manchester. This is the information for the Manchester venue.

The Ritz Manchester live music venue
Manchester
Music venue
The Ritz

The Ritz was originally a dance hall, built in 1928, has hosted The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and The Smiths and is still going strong as a gig venue now.

Homeground
Manchester
Event venue
Homeground

Homeground is HOME’s brand new outdoor venue, providing an open-air space for theatre, food, film, music, comedy and more.

Manchester
Café or Coffee Shop
Burgess Cafe Bar
at IABF

Small but perfectly-formed café – which also serves as the in-house bookstore, stocking all manner of Burgess-related works, along with recordings of his music. It’s a welcoming space, with huge glass windows making for a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

Rain Bar pub in Manchester
City Centre
Bar or Pub
Rain Bar

This huge three-floor pub, formerly a Victorian warehouse, then an umbrella factory (hence the name), has one of the city centre’s largest beer gardens. The two-tier terrace overlooks the Rochdale canal and what used to be the back of the Hacienda, providing an unusual, historic view of the city.

Manchester
Bar or Pub
The Briton’s Protection

Standing on the corner of a junction opposite The Bridgewater Hall, The Briton’s Protection is Manchester’s oldest pub. It has occupied the same spot since 1795, going under the equally patriotic name The Ancient Britain.

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