The Disco Biscuits Announce Two Nights In Asheville

first_imgDisco Biscuits Upcoming 2018 Tour DatesAPR 19, 2018 – The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PAAPR 20, 2018 – The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PAAPR 21, 2018 – The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PAMAY 18, 2018 – Salvage Station – Asheville, NCMAY 19, 2018 – Salvage Station – Asheville, NCMAY 24, 2018 – Ogden Theatre – Denver, COMAY 25, 2018 – Ogden Theatre – Denver, COMAY 26, 2018 – Ogden Theatre – Denver, COMAY 27, 2018 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, COJUL 12, 2018 – JUL 14, 2018 – Camp Bisco – Scranton, PAView All Tour Dates Today, the Disco Biscuits have announced a two-night run at Salvage Station in Asheville, North Carolina on May 18th and 19th. This pair of shows will mark the group’s first performances in the Southern city since 10/30/10, when their Halloween run came through Thomas Wolfe Auditorium during Moogfest. The Biscuits’ upcoming Asheville shows come ahead of the group’s highly anticipated Bisco Inferno run in Colorado from May 24th to 27th, which will see the jamtronica juggernauts perform three nights at Denver’s Ogden Theatre ahead of their annual headlining performance at the iconic outdoor venue, Red Rocks Amphitheatre.Fans interested in attending the Biscuits’ upcoming Salvage Station run in Asheville, North Carolina, on May 18th and 19th can request tickets starting today via BiscoTix, with the request period closing on Wednesday, April 11th, at 4 p.m. (EST). Random selection of lottery winners will begin on Wednesday, April 11th, at 5 p.m. (EST). The public on sale for tickets will begin on Friday, April 16th, at noon (EST).You can head over to the Disco Biscuits’ website for more information about their upcoming touring schedule here, or check out the dates listed below.last_img read more

Bob Weir, Sammy Hagar, Guy Fieri, & More Celebrate Taj Mahal’s Birthday In San Fran [Video]

first_img[Video: Sammy Hagar][H/T Rolling Stone] On Tuesday night, a number of high-profile musicians gathered at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium for the fifth-annual Acoustic-4-A-Cure benefit concert, which benefitted the pediatric cancer program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. The sold-out concert, which also doubled as a 76th birthday party for Taj Mahal, focused on a special collaborative super jam led by Taj Mahal, Bob Weir, and Sammy Hagar, and saw a surprise appearance from famed producer and bassist Don Was.During Bob Weir’s acoustic set, the iconic Grateful Dead guitarist offered up a take on “Only A River”, a number off his 2016 solo album, Blue Mountain, as well as “Easy Answers”, a relatively rare collaboration between Bob Weir and Robert Hunter, which was debuted by the Dead in ’93 and performed less than 50 times between then and June of ’95. Weir’s acoustic set also saw the Grateful Dead guitarist invite out REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin for the fan-favorite “Friend Of The Devil”.During the night, the show served as an informal reunion for the members of Chickenfoot for the first time since May of 2016. Chickenfoot is an outfit featuring Hagar, his former Van Halen bandmate Michael Anthony, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, and famed rock guitarist Joe Satriani. During Chickenfoot’s truncated four-song set at Acoustic-4-A-Cure, the band laid out renditions of “Big Foot”, Sexy Little Thing”, “Something Going Wrong”, and “Oh Yeah”.Given that the show fell two days before Taj Mahal’s 76th birthday, during the concert, celebrity chef Guy Fieri took all the attendees to flavor town, providing the beloved blues singer and his musical companions at the show with a custom-made cake. During Taj Mahal’s set, the singer and guitarist performed beloved numbers like “Corrina” and “Fishin’ Blues”.While the various artists got the chance to perform brief sets of a few songs, the pinnacle of Tuesday’s Acoustic-4-A-Cure concert was its all-star jam, which saw the many big musical names come together. You can watch a recently released pro-shot video of Hagar, Taj Mahal, Weir, Was, Cronin, Satriani, Smith, Anthony, and Vic Johnson perform Otis Redding’s classic “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” below.last_img read more

Barnett leads the ABA

first_img Barnett leads the ABA October 1, 2001 Regular News One of Martha Barnett’s first acts as president of the ABA was to issue a national call for action for America’s lawyers to support a moratorium on executions. She used her bully pulpit to declare the current American system of capital punishment “absolutely unacceptable,” and she urged Congress to pass legislation that will “help ensure that the system of capital punishment in this country is administered fairly and equitably and minimizes the risk that innocent people are not executed.” “I thought people would be angry with me,” Barnett admitted in an interview, recalling one newspaper editorial that said it was as though she had painted a bull’s-eye on her forehead and dared people to shoot. Instead, she ended up sparking a national debate that has been constructive and illuminating. A lot of things came together at the right time to elevate the debate on unfairness in carrying out the death penalty, including headline-grabbing research at Columbia University law school and scientific advances in DNA testing that support claims of wrongly convicted death row inmates. Dozens of states considered moratorium proposals, following the lead of Illinois Gov. George Ryan who said: “I cannot support a system which.. . has proven to be so fraught with error and has come so close to the ultimate nightmare: the state’s taking an innocent life.” Legislation has been enacted in Florida prohibiting the execution of the mentally retarded, including the promise from Gov. Jeb Bush: “I will never sign a death warrant for an individual who is mentally retarded.” And three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court (Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sandra Day O’Connor) have raised questions about the death penalty. Even Justice O’Connor, a long-time supporter of the death penalty, said, “The system may well be allowing some innocent defendants to be executed,” and that legal representation in capital cases has “too often been inadequate.” The ABA sponsored a death penalty conference last October at the Carter Center in Atlanta, bringing many perspectives together in search of a fairer system. “As lawyers, we know that the system is broken,” Barnett said. “What is needed now is action.” She gives the example of 30 inmates on Alabama’s death row waiting for the critical review called habeas corpus. But they do not have lawyers, and after Oct. 1 their chances for review will be forever lost. “The eyes of nations around the world are on us, and history will surely judge us on how we deal with this issue,” Barnett said. That notion was driven home when she attended an ABA meeting in Paris last year. The head of the Paris bar was passionately giving his remarks in French, to lawyers gathered from more than 60 countries. “I got caught up in the pageantry and cadence, not understanding a word,” Barnett recalled. “Then he pauses and looks straight at me in the front row and begins to speak in English: ‘The French love the Americans. You gave us back our liberty, and for that we will be eternally grateful. We look to you for leadership on civil issues. Because of this strong bond, we feel we need to tell you about something which belies this bond: You must abolish capital punishment.’ “I just sat there startled,” Barnett said. “He didn’t know that the ABA had made the death penalty a priority. That day I realized a lot of things: how right we were for me to try to use my opportunity as president of the ABA to rachet this up in the public’s attention. The eyes of the world were on the USA on this issue in ways I never understood before. If we are to be the leaders of the free world, then lawyers who are involved in fairness and civil rights must speak on this issue. In that moment, I knew it was the right thing to do.” • An unexpected agenda cropped up regarding the ABA’s role in evaluating judicial candidates after the current Bush Administration decided to no longer use the ABA to vet the professional qualifications of potential federal judges. “It was widely reported that the ABA was ‘kicked out of the process,’” Barnett said. “That is not the way I see it.. . I believe we built bridges and made new friends.. . . But in the end, agree or disagree, it was the President’s call.” Barnett, along with other ABA officers, met with White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Attorney General John Ashcroft about the federal judicial selection process. They had what Barnett described as a “detailed and constructive discussion” about the ABA’s historical role in providing advice to each of the last nine administrations on the professional qualifications of federal judicial candidates prior to their nomination. While the Bush Administration officials said they would continue to use the ABA, a decision had not been made on whether it will continue to give the ABA names of candidates before they are made public, even though the ABA stressed this long-standing practice was essential to the confidential process in evaluating the candidates. “I have a firm belief that that process was ultimately beneficial for the American Bar to go through because it forced us to explain to the administration and to educate the public and to remind the Senate what we did and did not do,” Barnett said. “Our role is not to nominate or eliminate anybody from federal judicial appointment, but to have a peer review of professional qualifications and integrity and competence and judicial temperament.” In the end, Barnett said, she believed the discussion helped strengthen the role of the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, not weaken it. They heard not only from both Senate Republicans and Democrats that they wanted the information, but from the nonlawyer public, as well. “It validated our position in the eyes of the American people and in the Senate,” Barnett said. “Despite the rhetoric, our Standing Committee has not missed a beat and continues to provide its same valuable service. The only difference now is that it is advisory first and foremost to the United States Senate and to the public. Perhaps, this is what it always should have been. Strength often comes from adversity, and that is what happened here. We used this opportunity to educate the Senate about our peer review process. I believe that the ABA’s role has never been stronger.” • Another issue involving federal judges was working closely with the Federal Bar Association and Chief Justice William Rehnquist regarding the erosion of pay for federal judges. An ABA and FBA joint report completed during Barnett’s tenure documented that inflation has eroded the real income for federal judges, who received only three of the past eight recommended cost-of-living adjustments, resulting in a 13.4-percent decline in real income since 1993. At the same time, private-sector salaries of top lawyers have risen dramatically. “It’s had a huge impact. We did a study that documented the fact that judges are leaving the bench early, and it is affecting the quality of people who offer themselves for federal judgeships,” Barnett said. “We’re still getting wonderful people, but more and more, it’s chilling the willingness of 40- and 50-year-old lawyers to leave lucrative practices for a cut in pay. We’re asking our federal judges to take a major cut in pay, and calling them to public service. But for the last decade, we’re saying, ‘the way, your real buying power in salaries is declining.’” At a minimum, Barnett said, federal judges should be awarded cost-of-living raises, and she argues they should be awarded back pay. “I’ve spent a lot of time working with the Federal Bar to lobby for this. If lawyers can’t speak up for this, who can?” • Barnett said her conference on women at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, called “What a Difference a Difference Makes,” was a “smashing success.” “We want to continue to raise consciousness,” Barnett said. “The challenge for the profession in the next decade is to take a not-family-friendly profession and help our lawyers – both men and women, though it affects women more – to help people find a way to balance the demands of the profession and the demands of family life in more constructive ways. We are losing people in the profession when they can’t do that.” When Barnett closed her remarks to the House of Delegates in Chicago, she reeled in a story about her mother, who was the fisherman in the family, devoted to catching large-mouthed bass. “Like every fisherman, Mama was always after the ‘big one.’ Just the thought that this might be the day lured her back to the lake time and time again,” Barnett said. “I don’t think she ever caught that fish, but she always had the hope that someday, maybe someday, she would. “If Mama was here today, I think she would say, ‘Martha, Baby Girl, look at you. You really did it. You went and caught the Big One!’ “And she would be right. Being president of the ABA is really a big one. Now, mindful that it might never get better than this, I will just take my symbolic fishing pole and tackle box and go home. But, before I do, I want to say that for one shining moment in my life, I have had the opportunity to be the voice of the lawyers of America and to bask in your reflected glory. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the privilege.”center_img Barnett leads the ABAlast_img read more

New City HQ for Close Bros

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Greens promised referendum on personal cannabis use – Ardern wants national discussion

first_imgStuff 20 October 2017Family First Comment: “Conservative lobby group Family First was already preparing to rail against the prospect of a referendum. National director Bob McCoskrie said it would be running a “nope to dope” campaign.”Incoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will work with her Cabinet and take advice before holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis.She said her Executive would decide when the referendum went ahead and was personally open to the discussion. Ardern said there was a need to balance overly harsh criminal sentencing with the drug’s capability to cause harm.Conservative lobby group Family First was already preparing to rail against the prospect of a referendum. National director Bob McCoskrie said it would be running a “nope to dope” campaign.“Legalising marijuana and the rise of Big Marijuana is the wrong path if we care about public health, public safety, and about our young people.There are too many health risks including the effect of marijuana on cognitive ability, cardiac function and psychosis,” he said.READ MORE: referendum: What it could mean for stonersNZ Herald 20 October 2017A public referendum on legalising cannabis for personal use will be held by the 2020 election as part of the agreement between the Green and Labour parties.Legalising cannabis has been a key policy for the Green Party for the past 20 years.But what changes will Kiwis be voting on when it comes to the cannabis referendum?Legalise cannabis for personal use:According to The Green Party, its drug law reform policy indicates that it aims to make cannabis legal for personal use, including possession and cultivation of the drug.However, it is unclear whether selling cannabis would be legalised.Age restriction on cannabis use:The Greens have made it clear there a legal age limit for personal use of cannabis will need to be introduced, although the age is yet to be set or agreed upon.Driving under the influence of cannabis:The current law around driving under the influence of cannabis will be replaced with one that is based on cannabinoid levels that correlates with impairment.Similar to alcohol breath testing, drivers cannot get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle if they are over the legalised limit of cannabinoid levels.Legalising medical cannabisThe Greens want to remove penalties for anyone with a terminal illness, chronic or debilitating conditions who grows, possesses and uses cannabis products for therapeutic purposes as long as they have the support of authorised medical practitioner.Make licensed medical cannabis products more accessible:The proposed policy would look to accelerate the process by which medical cannabis products are licensed. The move would direct MedSafe to consider the use of category-based classes common compositions of medical cannabis products.They want to lower the barriers for manufacturers to submit new cannabis products for funding to Pharmac so that evidence can be quickly gathered and distributed if approved.Before racing ahead with the referendum, they want to assess evidence from overseas jurisdictions where legal cannabis is sold to determine the best model for New Zealand.“While waiting for broader law change for cannabis, remove penalties for any person with a terminal illness, chronic or debilitating condition to cultivate, possess or use cannabis and/or cannabis products for therapeutic purposes, with the support of a registered medical practitioner”, the policy said.READ MORE: read more

Southern Oklahoma says OK to IMCA Modifieds

first_imgARDMORE, Okla. – Nine dates for IMCA Modifieds are on the 2018 schedule at Southern Oklahoma Speedway.The division runs both nights of Southern Oklahoma’s season-opening IMCA Weekend Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10.Friday night events will also be held April 20, May 18, June 1 and 15, July 20, Aug. 17 and Sept. 14.IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Jet Racing Central Region or Razor Chassis South Central Region, Allstar Performance State and track points will be awarded all nine nights. The track champion earns bonus points applicable toward national and regional standings.“We’ve been a Modified track since Day One and I’ve been approached for years by IMCA drivers who wanted to race here,” said promoter John Webb. “I’m a Modified driver myself and I’m glad we can give these guys a place to race. I can promise them that we’ll give them a good track to race on.”IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars following the Sprint Series of Oklahoma, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and IMCA Southern SportMods also travel to Ardmore for the big March lidlifter.Sanctioned Stock Cars and Southern SportMods run Saturdays at Southern Oklahoma through Sept. 15. Sprint series events are also scheduled Fridays April 20, May 18, June 15, July 20, Aug. 17 and Sept. 14.“We’ve run Fridays once a month for the last two years,” explained Webb. “RaceSaver Sprint Cars have been very popular here.”last_img read more

MBB : FINALLY FAB: Melo becomes difference-maker against SJU to propel Orange to Big East semifinals

first_img Published on March 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm NEW YORK –– Selected the Big East’s Preseason Rookie of the Year in this very venue five months ago, Fab Melo was expected to walk the walk. He was supposed to strut just like this at Madison Square Garden in March. Head higher than anyone else’s, chest out.And after a tumultuous rookie regular season, Melo was finally the hero Thursday. In No. 11 Syracuse’s gritty 79-73 win over No. 17 St. John’s in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament, Melo displayed a confident cadence after every big play he made, walking tall between possessions.Knowing he can play this well on this stage allows his teammates, such as Kris Joseph and Rick Jackson, to believe SU (26-6) can now take the next step with the NCAA Tournament approaching. And knowing he has the complete backing and confidence of his veteran teammates means the world to Melo.‘Now the players are starting to trust me,’ he said.In a back-and-forth quarterfinal, fourth-seeded SU defeated fifth-seeded St. John’s (21-11) thanks to crucial late-game plays from Melo. They were unexpected acts of maturity from the first-year player, as he finished with 12 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the field. He also provided a cog in the middle of the SU zone after a first half during which St. John’s big men bullied the middle of the Orange zone and led 37-32 at halftime.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut paramount, in the moments that mattered, Melo became that hero the Big East’s head coaches predicted he would be back in October.‘Couldn’t ask for anything else out of him,’ said Melo’s partner down low, the senior forward Jackson. ‘I’m happy for him. I think he works hard. People criticize him and want him to be something they want him to do. But as a big guy, it takes a lot of work to just come in and be a big threat.’The quarterfinal win propels the Orange into a semifinal matchup Friday at 7 p.m. against No. 9 seeded Connecticut. The Huskies knocked off top-seeded Pittsburgh in Thursday’s opener. SU defeated then-No. 6 Connecticut 66-58 in Hartford, Conn., on Feb. 2.But on Thursday, the glory was all Melo’s. For the maligned freshman that struggled to run up and down the court with the SU transition offense all year, this was vindication after a lost regular season. Throughout the game, Melo exhibited the moxie to score. One of his staunchest critics and loyal supporters, SU head coach Jim Boeheim, spoke highly of the plays Melo made late.‘Those were not easy plays,’ Boeheim said. ‘He ducked under the one, and the other one he caught and finished. I mean, he made a couple of really good offensive plays out there.’The end of the game was Melo’s best stretch. With SU trailing by one at the 3:41 mark of the second half, Melo found himself in the middle of the Red Storm matchup zone. He wafted in the middle of the zone late in the shot clock, unexpectedly received the ball, and hit Jackson wide open down low for a bucket to give SU a 68-67 lead.‘Fab went high and he was looking around, looking around,’ Jackson said. ‘I just went box to box and he just found me.’Fifteen seconds later, Melo drew an offensive foul on Justin Brownlee. He once again walked tall ahead of everyone else the other way.And with two minutes left – fresh out of a timeout– Melo sealed an SJU defender, corralled a pass, and hit the game-clinching layup. SU then held a 74-70 lead with 32 seconds left thanks to another mature play from Melo, this time on an up-and-under pump-fake layup. Moments later, Melo jetted up the court again. Only this time, sprinting. Having just sealed the game by playing ball-pressure defense on a Dwight Hardy 3-point attempt, the 7-footer bounded toward the SU student section, screaming in elation. His brother in arms – fellow freshman center Baye Moussa Keita – pounded his chest from the sidelines in salute. Another freshman, Dion Waiters, pounded Melo’s chest to congratulate him.Why not? After the turmoil of his rookie season, Melo had his first coronation in the same place he was lauded when the Big East season began in late October.‘People had big expectations for me, but I had my expectations,’ Melo said. ‘I knew I wouldn’t come here and be one and done, and everybody was saying that. I have only been playing basketball for five years. I knew, coming here, it would be hard to adjust. I just have to take my time to play my game.’[email protected] Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Syracuse forces 23 turnovers in 89-79 win over Boston College

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ With 25 seconds left and Boston College trying to cut Syracuse’s lead into two possessions, BC guard Makayla Dickens saw an open teammate streaking to the hoop. The Eagles would’ve had a wide-open layup, but Dickens’ bounce pass skipped out of bounds. That play was one of the Eagles’ 23 turnovers — seven more than SU forces on average — which SU turned into 22 points. Syracuse’s new-look lineups and active guards in the press led to its 89-79 win over the Eagles (12-10, 5-6) Thursday night in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The Orange (11-11, 5-6 Atlantic Coast) led the entire game after a quick 1-0 deficit and Teisha Hyman, starting in place of a sick Gabrielle Cooper, tied her career-high with 16 points to go along with point guard Kiara Lewis’s 23. Entering Thursday’s matchup, Syracuse had lost three of its past four games and struggled to score early throughout the month of January and into February. Prior to playing the Eagles, SU had hit 20 first-quarter points just twice in that span. Seven, 10, and 11-point performances in first-quarters dug holes for the Orange. But against Boston College, Syracuse used a new starting lineup and unusual five-player combinations to build an 11-3 lead halfway through the first. Along with Hyman — typically used in the sixth-man role — graduate transfers Brooke Alexander, Whisper Fisher and Elemy Colome played more minutes than usual. And their experience paid off. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith 2:56 remaining in the first, Colome grabbed a steal by midcourt and skipped an over-the-head bounce pass to Alexander in the corner for a 3-pointer. Later, Alexander drove along the baseline and found Fisher by the free-throw line for a short jumper. The Orange’s 22 first-quarter points were the most since Jan. 2 against Florida State, and they entered the second frame leading by five. On the first play of the second quarter, the trio continued to contribute. Colome caught an entry pass on the block before finding Fisher on the other block with a quick touch-pass for an easy layup. Later in the quarter, the usual starters — and Hyman — returned. Sophomore guard Emily Engstler blocked a Boston College jumper from the outside, collected the rebound and pushed the pace. As she crossed half-court, Engstler (nine points, 10 rebounds, five assists) found junior Digna Strautmane with a cross-court pass for a transition 3. A minute into the second half, Syracuse extended its lead to 14 with an Engstler 3 off two offensive rebounds. Hyman kept SU in front by taking a steal at half-court in for an and-1 layup on the fastbreak. Even though Boston College won the third quarter, 27-23, SU forced seven turnovers and scored 10 points off them. The Orange would force eight more in the final frame, controlling the game’s pace. With 3:48 remaining, Engstler gathered the ball at the top of the key and found Hyman on a backdoor cut for a reverse finish. The bucket put SU up 10. Another Hyman score kept BC at bay, and the Eagles would never get within two possessions of SU again. Comments Published on February 6, 2020 at 9:37 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmermanlast_img read more

McDowell finishes 3rd at RSM Classic

first_imgThe Portrush man carded a 3-under par final round of 67 to end the weekend on 15-under. However, a flawless round of 64 saw Kevin Kisner claim a six-shot victory from Kevin Chappell on 22-under.last_img

Manchester United legend Giggs turns 40

first_imgTwenty-five years ago TV cameras didn”™t capture every moment of significant football action but we should be thankful ITV sent a crew to Anfield to film the final of the Granada Schools Cup in 1988.For the record, Salford beat Blackburn 3-2 with a winning goal coming in extra time at the Kop end. It was the second successive year that Blackburn had lost in the final but in the dressing rooms and indeed the boardroom that night nobody really talked about that.Instead they talked about Ryan Wilson, the 14-year-old who had won the game for Salford. He didn”™t score but his leggy, direct running provided the assists for each of his team”™s goals.“Had our scouts known about him, we would definitely have tried to sign him,’ said Liverpool chief scout Ron Yeats, who presented the trophies that night.Young Wilson, of course, was the teenage footballer who was to become known as Ryan Giggs. Wilson was his father”™s name, Giggs his mother”™s maiden name.If you watch footage of that night at Anfield, Giggs is instantly recognisable. The upright gait, the way he seems to glide over heavy turf, the unwillingness to fall over. A brief post-match interview is amusingly characteristic, too. ‘I was supposed to play for United under-15s tonight but I wanted to play here as the pitch is better,’ he says with a glint of mischief in his eye.Giggs was always a bit of a comic, a dressing-room mimic. He still is. He was always a natural, easy footballer, too. Some players look as though they work hard in thrall of their art. Giggs never had to.Today he is 40 years old. Still he plays on and we should all be thankful. The Welshman is a link to the past, not only in the way that he plays but the simple, uncomplicated way that he has always viewed his career.He could have left United on a number of occasions. Italy always attracted him. Fundamentally, though, he never really wanted to.I am not fortunate enough to say that I saw him play regularly at the start. Those who did were never in doubt. ‘His was a God-given talent,’ was the succinct summation of the great United youth coach Eric Harrison.Happily, though, I have watched him closely over the last 13 years, principally with United but also, for a time, with the Wales national team. It sounds simplistic, but he hasn”™t changed much. His football has morphed, of course, as time took away his searing pace, but little else has.There is no point pretending that revelations about his private life didn”™t surprise everybody when they emerged in 2011.Briefly the skies above him darkened. Some suggested that his hair greyed overnight.He snarled at me in the interview area after the Champions League final of that year ”“ upset at my newspaper”™s coverage of the scandal ”“ and I wondered if that signalled the end of a working relationship. At the start of the following season, though, our paths crossed in a corridor at Goodison Park and a smile and nod of the head indicated that perhaps all would be well.That, in many ways, has been the essence of Giggs, as a player and a person. Uncomplicated and remarkably real for a bloke who has spent 25 years in an industry designed for fakery.Several years ago, for example, when Giggs was suffering at the hands of a Stretford End that believed his time was up ”“ proof that it wasn”™t all easy street for Giggs at Old Trafford ”“ one journalist wrote a piece suggesting he deserved better.The very next day, Giggs called him. ‘I just wanted to say thanks,’ he said.Proof, then, that some footballers do hear the murmurings from the terraces and, indeed, that some haven”™t lost their grip on their manners. Giggs will play his share of games this season. United”™s manager David Moyes continues to need his dexterity, his experience and his calm. It will be on the coaching fields that we will grow used to him over the years, though, and he will be valuable, there, too. He has always been an easy communicator.A career that started as a substitute in a game against Everton in March 1991 has not brought Giggs everything he desired.He never played for Wales at a major tournament and the night Mark Hughes”™ team lost at home to Russia in Cardiff in a Euro 2004 play-off second leg will perhaps always stay with him. He missed an open goal that night, too. Further proof that he was always human.Few will ever touch us the same way, though. It has always been hard not to like him. Even the great patriarch Sir Alex Ferguson couldn”™t stay angry with him for long.Having received a mouthful from Giggs during a game at Watford back in 2006, Ferguson delivered a typically unflinching appraisal of his team”™s performance in the dressing rooms at Vicarage Road. As he went to march out of the room, though, his features softened as he turned to Giggs and said with a smile: ‘And you… don”™t ever speak to your grandad like that again!’last_img read more