Friday before last I was invited, along with a group of Leeds Commonwealth Games medallists, by The Lord Mayor and all at the City Council to a reception at the Civic Hall. There were eight athletes, and we raised a toast to the city's resounding success, which I believe it was claimed stood us in a very healthy position in the medal table by the end.
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.