Words by Ian Pennington

I’ve not thought of a witty or irreverent intro to lead into this week’s Bag Thing gig picks preview, so let’s just press on to the important stuff.

Tonight, Monday 25th, at the Roadhouse you’ll find Dead Meadow, whose extensive back catalogue of scuzzed up psyche rock has twice been used on the Baltimore-based TV series The Wire. Not unfamiliar with prolonged solos or wah-wah pedals.

For a less tinnitus-inducing affair, the rent-a-gob political activist and radio-friendly raconteur Billy Bragg will entertain a seated audience at the Bridgewater Hall with his folky tales and astute asides. His Tooth And Nail Tour will continue through Manchester on Tuesday 26th.

But he’s not the only musician vying for your attention that night. There’s the Gold Panda show at Gorilla, the Night & Day Café’s 22nd birthday celebration headed up by Rae Morris, or a show endorsed by another member of the Bag Thing team, Alec: Palma Violets at The Ritz.

For the jazz fans out there, the week won’t pass you by – Leaf Label signees and cherry-picked super group Melt Yourself Down have marked down Wednesday 27th to play their raucous jives at Deaf Institute, led by Shabaka Hutchings’ virtuoso sax.

Surely the only band to have written a song about zorbing (that niche activity of running down a hillside inside a big inflatable ball), Stornoway will also be entertaining a crowd in the M postcode that night. They’re on at The Ritz.

For Thursday 28th, look no further than another cracker in the opening run at Albert Hall (excluding its MIF trial shows earlier this year). US rockers Slint will be keenly welcomed to the stunningly designed 2,000 capacity hall that had previously been wasted under Brannigans ownership.

With the weekend beckoning by Friday 29th, so does your proclivity towards dancing, and who better to facilitate those vibes than Basement Jaxx? The duo is stopping in at the Apollo Theatre that night.

For some reason, Saturday 30th has been deemed the night of the covers bands with The Complete Stone Roses, The Doors Alive and Rammlied all seeing imitation as the sincerest form of flattery. So November draws to a close with copycats ringing in its ears – they’re on at Academy 2, Academy 3 and Ruby Lounge, respectively.

Then kicking off December on Sunday 1st, we have the Hyperdub signee Jessy Lanza paying a visit to Soup Kitchen to perform tunes from her recent debut of dubby minimalism.

How’s that for an eclectic week of music?  But, wait, you’ve got no new threads to wear at all those gigs? Problem solved – check out Gray Scale Clothing here, here and here.

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