Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Hi there, wow, it’s been a very long time since I’ve updated this blog, blogger wasn’t letting me log in for ages and then I just got distracted by other things and kept forgetting to update it. A lot has happened since I last posted, lots of Cherryade stuff, more PHD stuff and, of course, making it to the semi-finals of University Challenge before being knocked out by eventual victors Emmanuel College (well done to them, incredibly worthy winners!) Then, of course, there’s been endless gigs and Indie Tracks 2010, it’s been a really amazing year so far! I have a lot coming up this month, beginning with appearing on Mastermind on BBC Two at 8pm on Friday (3rd September) or for up to a week later on Iplayer.

I really got the quiz bug after Uni Challenge so when the chance to appear on Mastermind was offered I jumped at it! My specialist subject will be Belle & Sebastian. I will write more about the match and my thoughts on taking part in Mastermind after it’s been broadcast, hope you enjoy watching it in the meantime!

Will try not to leave such a big gap before posting next time!

Rach Cherryade xx

Monday, 29 March 2010

University Challenge semi-final

Hi Cherryaders!

So, after nearly 9 months and 35 matches we're reaching the very end of what has, even if I do say so myself, been an incredibly exciting series of University Challenge. 28 teams have gradually been whittled down to 3, with St Johns College Oxford having beaten the excellent Imperial College London in the first of two semi-finals last week and this week Manchester (that's us) do battle with the amazing Emmanuel College Cambridge to see who will be joining them in next weeks final and whose Uni Challenge dream will be over! Tune into BBC Two at 8pm tonight to find out!

Lots of love,
Rach x

Friday, 5 March 2010

Pussywhipped 2 at Taurus Bar on Canal Street tomorrow

Hi Cherryaders, just a quick heads up about an incredibly exciting gig happening tomorrow (Saturday 6th March) at Taurus Bar on Canal Street. Following its amazing debut back in December last year Pussywhipped is back with a fabulous night of punk, electro, riot grrrl and weird musical goodness to kick Canal Street up its disco dolly backside!

Bands are as follows -

CANDY PANIC ATTACK - Cherryade Records finest punk-poppers play a rare Manchester show, coming up from London to give us their sweetie-throwing, pop-punk, riot grrrl flavoured pop. Do not miss!

WILL AND RICK - the strangest duo you will find. Expect leather outfits, saw-playing, theramins and songs about hotdog men and old ladies who give blow jobs.

PETE BENTHAM AND THE DINNER LADIES - Liverpool 3-piece, politically and lyrically perfect. Bouncy punkers with dinner lady outfits and a whole lot of (good) attitude.

SALTYLIPS - You mean you live in Manchester and you haven't seen them perform yet? Queer boy-girl filthy electro performance duo. Truly outrageous and jaw-droppingly entertaining. Expect outfit changes a-go-go and retro electro dancing.

All this and of course, riot grrrl and punk DJing from our favourite TRASH-O-RAMA folks and queer punker STE MCCABE. Dancing until 2am

Four quid entry and of course another free raffle full of musical prizes galore.

Grrrls, boys, punks, queers, everyone - this is YOUR Canal Street night. Dance, sweat, and show 'em what gay culture is really about, yeeeeaaaah!

Hope to see you all there! Plus, if you're still craving more dancing after this then head along to You Me Dancing at Night and Day, a brand new club night our friends from Pull Yourself Together are putting on along with a little help from the wonderful Under Achievers and Asparagus Next Left djs!

Lots of love,
Rach and Adam Cherryade xx

Monday, 1 March 2010

Our last University Challenge quarter final match tonight

Hi Cherryaders,

Just a quick note to say that our final University Challenge quarter final match is on BBC Two at 8pm tonight (March 1st) and for a week after on Iplayer. It's our very last chance to make it into the semi finals and we'll be facing the Edinburgh team who beat the excellent Jesus College Oxford in last Monday's nail-biting match so they are fearsome competition!

I will eventually get round to finishing my accounts of round 2's match against KCL and our first 2 quarter finals against St. Andrews Uni and St. John's College Oxford, promise!

Apologies for the total lack of activity on this blog recently, things have been very busy round here but still had time to fit in some great nights out at Under Achievers, brilliant gigs from Los Campesinos!, This Many Boyfriends, Lovely Eggs, Everybody's in the French Resistance Now, Town Bike and many others plus a spot of djing at the brilliant new Chorleton girlpop night, Cherry Coloured Pop, run by the brilliant Kev and Linda, it'll be on every two months at Abode Bar in Chorleton, you should definitely go! Also, rumours about Cafe Saki closing are innacurate (though since they were printed in the Manchester Evening News that's hardly surprising, yes, I'm still bitter!) which means that Under Achievers will be staying in its natural home and continuing to delight Manchester's most discerning indie kids on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month for the forseeable future, hooray!

Plans for this week: little UC party at Cherryade Towers tonight, Fuel quiz (as always!) tomorrow, Rose Melburg (legendary indiepop superstar, has been in more awesome bands than you could shake a prittstick at, Softies, Go Sailor, Tiger Trap) playing in Sheffield with some genuine home-grown legends, Plouf!, Then, Saturday March 6th sees the return of Manchester's newest and most exciting queer grrrl night, Pussywhipped, run by one of our favourite people in the world, the incredibly talented and incredibly nice Ste Mccabe, performances come from Cherryade's own Candy Panic Attack (a very rare visit from the London trio), Manchester's own Salty Lips and the marvellous Will and Rick who I can't wait to see as I've heard great things! Should be a great week!

Take care,
Love Rach Cherryade xx

Thursday, 4 February 2010

My thoughts on the Manchester Evening News article...

Hi Cherryaders!

Hope you all enjoyed Monday's super-tense UC match, St. Johns are a wonderful and genuinely friendly and likeable team and there was no shame in losing to them. We do get another chance to make the semi finals as we play an as yet undecided opponent on March 1st.

Those of you lucky enough not to have encountered me in the last couple of days will not have had to hear my (largely unprintable) thoughts on the article which appeared in Tuesday's Manchester Evening News and today's South Manchester Reporter but I wanted to state, on the record, that I do not endorse either the tone or content of this article, that I found the tone patronising, that the article ignored and misrepresented everything I told the journalist, that the article was pitched to us as being about the whole team and consequently we were all interviewed (though you wouldn't know it from reading it) but ultimately they had misled us as the eventual article was totally different and that the general standard of writing was appalling. Had I known that this was the type of article they were after I would certainly have refused to participate.

Ok, rant over, just wanted it to be clear where I stood!

I hate being grumpy but this has really annoyed me, sure I'll have forgotten about it soon though!

Take care,
Love Rach Cherryade xx

Sunday, 31 January 2010

University Challenge second quarter final match

Hi Cherryaders, January has been a bit of a blur, which accounts for the lack of posts! PHD work has been taking up lots of timeas has the preparations for my first GTA work. I start teaching two classes of English lit under-graduates tomorrow, exciting but scary too! We've still had time for nights out, will write about that as well as accounts of our last two Uni Challenge matches as soon as I have time!

So, our next University Challenge match is on tomorrow. For those of you who missed it, we won our first quarter final against the excellent St. Andrews' team by a score of 195 to their 50. However, due to the change in the quarter final stage of the competition this year, we're not yet through to the semi finals as we have to win one more match.

So, please tune in tomorrow (Monday 1st February) to watch us take on the formidable St. Johns College Oxford (who beat Girton College Cambridge 280 to 55 in their first quarter final) at 8pm on BBC Two and for a week after on Iplayer.

If we win we're straight through to the final, if we lose we play one more quarter final match to try and get through.

Hope you can join us!
Take care,
Rach Cherryade xxxx

Monday, 11 January 2010

University Challenge: quarter final match against St. Andrews

A little last minute I know but tonight sees our first quarter final match against the formidable St. Andrews team! It'll be on BBC Two at 8pm!

This year's University Challenge is going to be a bit different in that the quarter finals are operating on a best of three basis, which means, if we win tonight we'll still have to win another match to get through to the hallowed semi finals and if we lose then we still have another chance to get through, either way it means you'll see us on your screens at least twice more!

Hope you can tune in,
Love Rach Cherryade xxx

Sunday, 10 January 2010

2009: The review

Hi Cherryaders, I know we’re well into the new year now and that Christmas is sadly becoming a hazy memory (though, hey, only 348 days till next Christmas, the countdown has begun!), so thought I’d do a very quick review of the year that was 2009. Before I start, I know this is hardly original, but isn’t the snow great? It’s been really fluffy round here and when Adam and I returned from the Fuel quiz on Tuesday we built midnight snowmen (which are still standing I’m proud to say!), what could be more lovely! Plus, despite treacherous ice on the streets of Rusholme we made it to Under Achievers last night and had a wonderful night catching up with everyone, having a dance and seeing the fabulous This Many Boyfriends perform, first proper night out of the new year and what a way to start the ball rolling!

Anyway, 2009? What was all that about then?

Well, my PHD was my priority I got a lot of writing and research done and continued to realise just what a great decision returning to uni has been, I’ve learned a lot and done some fascinating research and interviews and hope my writing has improved. My thesis is really starting to take shape.

Cherryade didn’t take up much time this year but it was a landmark year for us with some utterly amazing releases, including the truly astonishing debut album by The Lovely Eggs and the very long awaited debut album by The Bobby McGee’s, plus brilliant singles by Fever Fever and Kids Love Lies, a fabulous sophomore album by Ste Mccabe and of course volume 5 of a Very Cherry Christmas, bigger and better than ever! It really has been a perfect year for Cherryade!

Some great nights out were had in 2009, gigs and club nights in abundance, and when I’d had my hip done I was able to go back to some serious dancing! Hooray! Nights out were made all the better by the presence of our fabulous friends, we’re very lucky!

July saw our regular trip to the best festival in the world ever, Indie Tracks, a wonderful time was had as always, three days of superb music and company, only problem was I was due to have my hip replacement done 4 days later so I was having to take it a bit easy, move slowly and sit down lots but still had a great time! Later in the year we did our first Minehead ATP which was fun, I’m going to post a belated review soon.

In May I auditioned for, and was surprised to be offered, a place on the Manchester uni University Challenge team. Our first 2 matches, against Royal Veterinary and Kings College London respectively, were broadcast in July and December and I’m delighted to say we won both! Our next match is on Monday 11th January (first quarter final match) and is against St. Andrews. I’ve written extensively about the experience elsewhere in this blog so won’t repeat myself, a review of our second round match should be ready shortly!

I was in a play in March which the Manchester University Women’s rights group, The Riveters, were putting on, it was a modern re-interpretation of the ancient Greek play Lisistrata and was lots of fun! I’m not an actor by any stretch of the imagination but I am a proud member of the Riveters and so was delighted to be involved in such a great project! Feminist theatre rules!

Probably the biggest thing that happened to me in 2009 was that I had a total hip replacement at the beginning of August. I had spent a lot of time planning for what would happen afterwards, I wasn’t sure how much uni work I’d be able to do or how long it would be before I could go out, the surgeon told me to expect to be on crutches for 12 weeks and everyone was stressing what a big operation it was. I was terrified as I’ve never had major surgery before, but a quarter of a century of rheumatoid arthritis (I’ve had it since I was born) was making it impossible to get about without being in severe pain. I can’t say that the hospital bit was fun cause I just couldn’t wait to get home, but once I was home the change was amazing, the excruciating pain had totally gone and I felt great, I was off the crutches after a record 5 weeks and even while on them I managed to attend eas many gigs and club nights as usual and even made it to the Pride march, plus we did lots of museums and galleries and made a few trips to see my parents in St. Annes. In fact, we had a great summer, despite the crutches! Adam had taken leave from work so we got to spend lots of time together, go on lots of outings and do some much needed filing in the office! Plus, I got absolutely loads of work done, an incredibly productive month and a bit! Basically, though I was really worried about it beforehand I’m so happy I had it done as it’s made life so much easier and I’m much better than before and can go out dancing again and can thankfully walk longer distances again! Would highly recommend it (if you need it of course!)

2010 is shaping to be an amazing year too with lots of exciting research planned for my PHD, some exciting Cherryade releases in the pipeline and loads more!

Happy new year everyone!
Rach Cherryade xxx

Monday, 4 January 2010

Ghost of Christmas Past


Well, I’d meant to post about Christmas sooner but have been really snowed under (no pun intended) with work when not immersed in the festivities. Anyway, I’ve just taken the big Christmas tree down which makes me sad (though the two little trees stay up all year round along with some of my favourite Christmas ornaments like the Christmas Disney Princesses, the Santa ice cream van, the Santa ornaments whose stomaches somewhat disturbingly open to reveal a Christmas scene, a small bucket of plastic candy canes and lollipops and some realistic plastic sweets I bought for the tree but which looked so good I put them in a bowl in the lounge and hoping Adam Cherryade doesn’t try to eat them!)

Anyway, now the decorations are gone it’s a good time to look back over Christmas.

Christmas was, as usual, a delight. Adam and I spent Christmas with my mum and dad in St. Annes. Christmas week was great fun. My parents had invited some of their friends round on Monday to watch our second round University Challenge match against Kings College London (we won by the way, will post about it soon!) which was surprisingly fun and, in contrast, we went to see the Chuckle Brothers in panto the next day which was lots of fun! Wednesday was spent trying to get all the Christmas food shopping done with my parents which was quite an experience, partly because my parents are the worst shoppers in the world and kept having embarrassingly loud debates about what to buy and my dad kept complaining to staff about everything and partly because strangers kept coming up to me and saying they’d seen me on University Challenge, which is a bit odd, it kept happening after the first time I was on too, didn’t realised so many people watched it! Anyway, we finally got everything for Christmas dinner and that evening Adam Cherryade arrived, he’d had to work until the 23rd but once he’d arrived we were all set up for Christmas which was going to be a nice quiet day with just the four of us. Unfortunately first we had to spend Christmas Eve doing the last of our shopping and delivering presents. Braving Blackpool town centre on Christmas Eve is not much fun. It’s mostly full of pound shops and shops full of things nobody would ever want so trying to buy presents was proving impossible, it’s much cheaper than Manchester but much less impressive, suffice to say Adam Cherryade was close to a nervous breakdown by the time we’d finished, got spotted by more people who’d seen UC too, starting to feel really famous but also incredibly embarrassed! Anyway, after the stress of shopping we had a nice time delivering presents to Aunty Elsie and then to my old friend Rebekah who was also back from Cheltenham to spend Christmas with her family. It was lovely to see her and catch up with her and her family were all there too which was nice. We eventually got home and spent a lovely restful evening watching some great tv.

Had a nice lie-in on Christmas Day before getting up and tackling the important act of present opening. Got some lovely presents this year, new dresses, cds, a DVD of a Muppets Christas Carol to replace my VHS copy, lots of Hello Kitty paraphanalia including plates, a little tin case, a make up bag and throw, a jammy dodger necklace, jam jar and slice of toast necklace, ice cream necklace and a big fruit flan hair clip and lots of other goodies! Adam and mum and dad seemed happy with their presents too, I’d got Adam some clothes and DVDs and we’d bought my mum a black sequined parka.

It was then time to ready ourselves for Christmas dinner, it was mostly ready, mum had cooked the turkey the day before so once we’d got the veg on the go and put the sausages wrapped in bacon in the oven it was pretty much done. We did the usual round of phone calls to family members abroad then watched the queen’s speech before dinner was finally dished up and we tucked in. It was delicious as usual but we were so stuffed after the main course that we only managed a bit of the Christmas pudding, what a shame! The rest of the afternoon was spent dozing in front of the tv before spending the evening dozing in front of the tv, a lovely quiet and peaceful new years day, perfect!

Boxing Day was considerably less peaceful as my uncle Steven and Aunty Jackie, my Aunty Joyce and my cousin Katie and her husband Steven all came to visit for the day, it was lovely to see them all as I haven’t seen them since Katie’s wedding in May.

Sunday was our last day in St. Annes. It had been lovely to spend some time with mum and dad as it’s very rare that we get the chance to go and spend any time with them. We headed back to Manchester to see Adam’s parents before they left for Scotland for new year. We spent a nice evening with them had dinner and exchanged more presents. Got some fantastic presents including a Hello Kitty glitter lamp, 3 Hello Kitty beanie toys, a set of Strawberry Shortcake glasses, a money box in the shape of a strawberry cream cake with a picture of Strawberry Shortcake on it, a money box in the shape of a slice of cake, a trinket box in the shape of a cupcake, a miniature cake stand with tiny cupcakes hainging from it, 2 mugs with cupcakes on, Disney Princess duvet set and a Barbie bath mat (notice a theme? They all fit in beautifully in Cherryade Towers)

Afterwards we finally returned to Cherryade Towers (laden down with bags!) It was so lovely to be back, I’d really missed it! The next few days were very quiet. Nobody was back yet so we put all our new things away and I got lots of work done. New year’s eve was brilliant. We’d been invited to a party at Chorlton where our friends Dave and Kirsty (from Manchester’s premier club night Under Achievers Please Try Harder) were djing, but then we got a text from Beck asking if we wanted to go round to theirs as they were having a party. We only intended to go round for a bit but had such a lovely time that we decided not to treck over to Chorlton in the freezing cold. It was lovely to see Beck and Gaz’s new house and to catch up with Vic and Soph and the all-night games of sing star were a lot of fun, was great to celebrate the new year with babycham, like the old days! Great way to see in the new decade!

New year’s day was very peaceful as was the rest of the weekend. Normal service has resumed now. Adam’s back at work, I’m busy with uni work and nights out resume this weekend, January is always a quiet month though. Sad Christmas is over but sure 2010 is going to be brilliant! Will do a little post about my highlights of 2010 soon!

Our first University Challenge quarter final match against the excellent St. Andrews team is on on Monday (11th Jan) on BBC Two at 8pm.

Happy new year everyone and hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
Rach Cherryade xx