At twenty minutes to two, it's a normal, albeit spectacularly sunny Sunday afternoon in Manchester: shoppers, idlers, lunchers. At ten to, the long, straight expanse of Deansgate is suddenly lined with expectant crowds. As the town hall clock strikes, you begin to hear it: the boom of a bassline, the shrilling of brass and wind.
Gradually the slow-moving, bellowing beast moves into focus. This is Manchester international festival's Procession, organised by Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, the man who got the Women's Institute arranging flowers in the Tate and re-created, with historical re-enactment groups, the Battle of Orgreave, the 1984 miners' strike conflict with police.