Words by Ian Pennington

As the jangly festive tones of the winter break disappear beyond the horizon, it’s well and truly back to work, school and routine by now. School being the most fitting for the two hip hop history lessons taking place this week – the first of which takes place tonight, Monday 27th, at Band On The Wall, welcoming rappers, preachers and teachers alike in the form of DJs and MCs involved with Manchester’s recent resurgence in the genre.

Thursday 30th sees the second lesson, this at the Roadhouse as the setting for the annual J Dilla Changed My Life event, which is staged as a night in tribute to the pioneering producer and all proceeds are going to the J-Dilla Foundation and Lupus UK.

Staying with a hip hop slant, From Another Place celebrates promoting its 30th show by taming the hardcore punk rap trio Speaks to unleash their music in the Bay Horse basement.

Also that night, the hotly tipped synth soundscapist East India Youth is being ushered to perform at Gullivers by Grey Lantern and Now Wave, and back at Band On The Wall there’s a showcase of a trio of the finest folky talents at Womenfolk.

With the Whitworth Art Gallery still closed for building work and refurbishment (including an extension to accommodate a new live performance space), they’ve taken their After Hours series on a Pub Crawl, starting with the recently established First Chop Brewery in Salford, where local blues and jazz troupe Honeyfeet will perform on Friday 31st.

If you’re not keen to sample that hoppy aroma, there’s a toss up between two lo-fi shows down Wilmslow Road, with The Bell Peppers blitzing Fuel Café on Manchester Scenewipe’s regular slot and Algiers shaking down Fallow Café with their selection of steady modern blues rock.

Saturday 1st February is nostalgia night on a couple of counts, whether it’s radio-friendly Scotch indie-pop with Del Amitri at the Apollo or revisiting that mosh pit of pent-up adolescent angst with a double header featuring Killswitch Engage and Trivium at Manchester Academy 1.

Rolling in further below the radar, folk pop rockers The Wave Pictures are likely to fill out the Deaf Institute, so book your ticket soon and get down early for Ivan Campo’s supporting ditties. Or, finally, it’s time again for Mr Scruff’s monthly teabags and jazz jive at Band On The Wall.

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