Words by Ian Pennington

This is the week that says, “Welcome to November – a month packed with the live music shows that couldn’t quite be squeezed into October”. It’s a busy period for sure, so we’re all spoilt for choice. First, though, there’s the small issue of the novelty spooks and Halloween-themed parties customary for the passing of October. Saturday 2nd sees the picks: Antwerp Mansion’s fancy dress effort has been a sell-out over the past few years, and this year they have the cream of the local musical talent performing, with Walk, The Age of Glass, Extra Love and The Family Wolves all hallow for the night.

Elsewhere, there’s the Illuminaughty ghoul fest at Manchester Academy. They’ve devised a “four-floor musical maze” across the whole Student Union building and even have an outdoor marquee, plus an after-party down the road at Satan’s Hollow. And if you happen to be going to the Four Tet and Caribou curated Warehouse Project, then lucky you.

Of the touring bands, the imperious Nick Cave returns to Manchester’s shores with his Bad Seeds for a show at the Apollo. You may lament the passing of one gravel-voiced doomsayer in Lou Reed, but Cave is a more-then-worthy understudy, already having amassed his own repertoire recounting tales of demons – whether personal or societal. Add to that the fact that Cave has in the past repeated Reed’s ‘Sunday Morning’ vocals for an even-mellower cover version of the Velvet Underground dark lullaby and the gig becomes all the more relevant given yesterday’s news. Expect a few pertinent words of grief from Cave and perhaps a respectful cover on the night. 

Talking of long-time performers, Band On The Wall has invited another this week: the instrumental psych-rockers Ozric Tentacles. If you’ve not encountered one of their 30 albums released since the mid-80s, expect psytrance, prog and space rock that colours outside the lines on Tuesday 29th.

There are a couple of Soup Kitchen gigs worth dropping in for – Allo Darlin’ come with the Hey! Manchester promotional seal of quality on Tuesday 29th, and John Wizards on Friday 1st exists in the gap betweentechno and Afrobeat having signed with the open-minded musos Planet Mu. 

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