Art is all about taking risks - about reaching into the dark without knowing what you're going to find. So if the North, the Arts, or the positive combination thereof are abstract clouds on your mind's horizon, I dare you to make them real. Go on. Who knows, you might be pleasantly, shockingly surprised.
Here's the thing though: all of the awkwardness, the distance, the coldness and initial confusion goes out of the window the second they start playing. With a rhythm section that possesses you from the waist down with all of the force of an old Motown outfit, you can't help but be mesmerised by the musicianship on show.
Whilst I've worked in the rail industry for over a decade, I am first and foremost a rail traveller. And although I am currently living in Madrid, I am a regular traveller on the European rail network. So when I first heard about the proposed HS2 high-speed rail plans, one of my first thoughts was "what will this do for me?"
I have seen no better symbol of boundless consumerism than the giant horse statue in the middle of Leeds Trinity shopping centre. It buckles under a sack distended, I imagine, with the dubious harvest of a thousand Chinese factories, the poor beast's hooves scrabbling to stay upright upon its narrow plinth. Quite what the developers were thinking I do not know...