Words by Ian Pennington

Monday morning might not feel like it justifies this statement, but this week is about to launch with a hefty dose of musical virtuosity before, needless to say, continuing in much the same vein. There’s no edging back to life after a heavy weekend for Smog singer and guitarist Bill Callahan, whose show at the Ritz tonight, 3rd February, matches up against the marginally more upbeat alt-folkies The Deep Dark Woods, who’re on at Gullivers.

Picking up the tempo and tearing you away from that emotive introspection, alt hip hop label Anticon signees Young Fathers are marked on Deaf Institute’s calendar for Tuesday 4th. From Wednesday 5th through to Sunday 9th, Manc indie rockers Twisted Wheel are setting up camp at Kraak with a residency that’s sold out for all but the Wednesday show, so act quickly.

From the raucous to the subtle in the space of a day, soul jiver Natalie Williams fills the Band on the Wall with the misty jazz lounge shimmer of a Fast Show sketch on Thursday 6th. Elsewhere, the RNCM plays host to a Kraftwerk tribute night, as the Icebreaker event series reels in ambient composer J Peter Schwalm for a trip down the Autobahn.

Speaking of Autobahns, fellow German motorway enthusiasts with 1980s vocal strains, aptly named Autobahn, are in pole position for a Classic Slum promoted show at Fallow Café (formerly Trof) on Friday 7th, supported by local vowel-haters LVLS (pronounced Loveless).

Also that night there’s another residency in town, as Foals park up in Ardwick for two nights at the Apollo. Or across town in another ornate venue setting, the Apparat / Modeselektor amalgam Moderat rolls into Albert Hall.

And if the week’s been a heavy one, then head to Club Academy where YouTube video editing comedian Cassetteboy aims to turn those frowns upside down in a live setting.

Drawing into the weekend, take your pick from the Saturday night entertainment. Early birds can catch varying shades of electronic worms produced by either the minimal Forest Swords at Deaf Institute or the synth-wave enforcer Poliça at The Ritz.

Then for the night owls you have Pearson Sound (aka Ramadanman) on the Soup Kitchen basement decks all night, or the more overtly theatrical will be at home at Academy 2 for the second instalment of Illuminaughty’s Masked Ball.

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