Words by Ian Pennington

This week’s shows are as electric as the nation’s skies a few days ago.

At the moment Manchester Jazz Festival is ongoing with plenty of options in both paid and free entry shows every day until Sunday 27th. More on that later…

Elsewhere, on Monday 21st you’ll find Memphis bluesman Booker T Jones at Band On The Wall – the one venue in the city that’s continues a regular live programme over the summer months.

If you’ve read the interview with Tycho in the latest edition of Now Then magazine, then your interest may have been piqued for their Gorilla show on Tuesday 22nd.

Back at Band On The Wall on Wednesday 23rd, Nat Birchall’s Quintet will take the stage, or across town at Oxford Road’s Dancehouse Theatre there’s a rare show for Jon Ronson’s Oh Blimey Big Band in light of the recent fictional biopic, Frank.

Fast forward 24 hours to Thursday 24th and head to Gullivers for a free indie rock showcase featuring Peanut Gallery, The Magic Room Band and Sways Records’ Black Lung. Or there’s another freebie to draw your attention to – this time at the aforementioned Jazz Festival, where St Ann’s Church hosts Scouse avant-garders Ex Easter Island Head.

This Friday and Saturday are packed with events. Starting with the former, take your pick between the chromosomes of singer songwriters. Sound Control hosts an EP launch for JP Cooper in the male corner, while for female vocal tones visit Salford’s First Chop Brewery for Jane Weaver’s album launch.

On Saturday 26th, Now Then magazine is staging the second show of its summer series, this time taking place in the new Small Cinema space at the Miners Community Arts and Music Centre in Moston. It’s a free-entry daytime event with Mind On Fire hosting a DJing workshop from 2pm, before beatboxer and vocal sculptor Jason Singh performs his original soundtrack to Drifters, a 1929 silent documentary film by John Grierson depicting the impact of new technologies on the fishing industry.

Second of Saturday is an evening show for local folky Kiran Leonard at Gullivers.

Finally for Saturday, fans of covers bands should head north of the city to St Mary’s Park in Prestwich, where the likes of Knotslip and Guns Or Roses will live by the theory of imitation being the highest form of flattery at Festwich. That one concludes on Sunday 27th.

And finally for the week, there’s one for Patrick Swayze fans at Gorilla on Sunday 27th from 4pm. The RAD films group – an offshoot from Grimm Up North – has selected Road House and Point Break for your viewing pleasure.

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