Words by Ian Pennington

Back on a full week after last week’s four-day-only stretch for the banks, you can feel the roar of this summer’s festival circuit in the near distance as the venue gigs are cut back a touch. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read on for some gems within Manchester’s walls this week.

Let’s begin on Monday 2nd at Deaf Institute for Jill and Kate, whose dulcet country tones will see that infamous patterned wallpaper shimmering in appreciation.

Local folk/hip hop crossover artist Gideon Conn will be at Gullivers on Tuesday 3rd in support of his sometime collaborator, Haze, whose EP will be launched on the night.

This one’s been brewing for a while now. See if the Kate Bush comparisons are true when Shield Patterns headline their album launch show at Soup Kitchen on Wednesday 4th.

To paraphrase an off-season reference to Jose Mourinho, there’s some fixture congestion on Thursday 5th. Little Crackd Rabbit Records’ PJ Philipson will bring experimental alt-folk ambiance to Salford’s Sacred Trinity Church, while The Phantom Band keep their amplifier tones cleaner at Deaf Institute.

A third option for that night is Macclesfield-based hip hop producer Mecca:83, who headlines a label showcase for Endless City at the Kraak venue.

Friday 6th is an evening for reverberating guitars with a pair of hefty soundwallers vying for attention. The local ticket is Douga, whose album catapults through the First Chop Brewery archway venue.

The touring band of that ilk is Sun Araw, who’re lined up to blow the cobwebs away from Kraak’s crannies.

I mentioned festivals earlier, and those of you who seized a Parklife ticket before it sold out will get a taste of those vibes across the weekend of Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th, albeit without the camping. If you’re not familiar, it’s an outdoor replica of the Warehouse Project’s winter line-ups. If you’re not familiar with the Warehouse Projects then you can’t have been paying much attention to these preview blogs, or if you’re not a fan of the Warehouse Project, then you might prefer this fringe event on Parklife’s former home, Platt Fields Park. It’s called Pondlife and here’s the info.

There a shed loads of Parklife Afterparties in the offing, but turn your head towards the 15th anniversary of Mr Scruff’s Keep It Unreal album instead. That’s at Band on the Wall. Or at Soup Kitchen they have Nicolas Jaar comrade Jacques Greene in the basement for the night.

If you didn’t land a Parklife ticket then there’s the square root of nothing lined up for Sunday 8th, so I’m afraid I’ll have to leave you hanging in anticipation of next week’s blog…

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