Words by Ian Pennington

Whether or not you’ve had your holiday yet or have one booked, the best place to find entertainment is still within the city’s venues’ walls, where yet again we have a cornucopian serving of live music. Some days may be a little starved, but others offer a varied and abundant platter.

One of this week’s Attractions (ahem) visits on Monday 14th. Elvis Costello brings himself and ‘Oliver’s Army’ to Bridgewater Hall for a solo show.

Tuesday 15th sees three humdingers crammed into one night. The Ritz hosts a rare full band live show for groove meister general Theo Parrish, the song crafter formerly known as Final Fantasy and now known as Owen Pallett takes the Deaf Institute stage and reverb specialists The Cosmic Dead emit their soundwaves from Soup Kitchen’s basement.

All seems fairly quiet on the Wednesday 16th front, but Thursday 17th holds all the aces. Take your pick between rock with The Afghan Whigs at Manchester Cathedral, hip hop with Sugarhill Gang at Gorilla (see the Now Then ticket competition here) or folk with Martin Carthy at Band On The Wall. Or the wild card as reliable as Goran Ivanisevic is Video Jam; the audio-visual smorgasbord returns to Manchester Art Gallery along with the likes of Denis Jones, From the Kites of San Quentin and Money guitarist Charlie Cocksedge.

Debt Records host their annual get together at the Dancehouse on Friday 18th, aptly named Five Years In Debt. The bill includes most of their roster, including the various tones of Walk, Louis Barabbas, Honeyfeet, Ivan Campo, Becca Williams, Snow Apple and Alabaster Deplume.

Elsewhere on Friday there’s a hip hop special at First Chop Brewery. DJ Format will be joined by In The Loop under the arch.

Into the weekend, you’ll find SOS Festival with a short trip up to Radcliffe Civic Hall. This one’s across both Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th, featuring Dragon Force offshoot band I Am I and a gaggle of other head banging rockers.

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