Words by Ian Pennington

This will be a listings week of two halves (given a little artistic licence on the exact division of seven days).

The first half begins on Monday 9th with Tara Jane O’Neil at the Castle Hotel. She specialises in slow burning laments composed using an abstract musical toolkit and will be supported by Veí, a one man electronic orchestra now back from a year-long hiatus.

For something a little more trad mainstream in the country-fried accordion-toting mould on Tuesday 10th, try The Felice Brothers who’re entertaining at Gorilla.

My pick for Wednesday 11th is sold out, so lucky you if you have tickets to see Wye Oak at Soup Kitchen.

On Thursday 12th I can find slim pickings, potentially due to the start of the week’s second half disturbing the scheduling: the World Cup opener. Still, the world doesn’t all revolve around football, certainly not The Pierce’s world, who’re due to perform their rhythmic rock at Club Academy.

Or for another non-football option, head to Common for an event to signal the launch of Tusk Journal, which has been brewing for a while with the aim of featuring their pick of North West’s independent culture.

While many of Manchester’s bars and venues will succumb to football fever over the next month, there is still a healthy enough share of live music to fill your ears. Which continues on Friday 13th (not the film) with theatrical ensemble The M’goo Project at Club Academy and kraut throwbacks Fujiya & Miyagi at Deaf Institute.

For a Friday clubnight, head to Sankeys for Part One of its closing party. (Yes, it did only just re-open recently…)

Into the weekend, look no further than a jazz double header at Band On The Wall, programmed by local label Gondwana Records. First up on Saturday 14th they’re staging Mercury Records recommended (albeit not nominated) GoGo Penguin, who’ll be supported by label mates Mammal Hands. Then on Sunday 15th trumpeting label boss Matthew Halsall, fresh from appearing on Mr Scruff’s latest LP, will be joined by his Gondwana Orchestra

Okay, I’ll modify that, maybe you can look a little further than those two. More specifically to the First Chop Brewery, where YBAs are launching their long awaited debut album. Weird Era and Horrid are tasked with the support slots.

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