Words by Ian Pennington
Getting drenched on your way to a summer gig is all part of the experience, right? Right. So let’s don those anoraks and eye up this selection of shows heading Manchester’s way over the next seven days.
Leading the pack with a Monday 4th appearance at Club Academy, there’s a show for US metal heads Converge.
Turning the volume down from 11 to nearer four or five, Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison saunters up to Soup Kitchen on Tuesday 5th. He’ll perform as Owl John, his solo project.
Post punk Danes Lower bring with them a genre very familiar to Manchester, intoning in not dissimilar terseness and reverberating stringed instruments to Mr Mark E Smith. Oldham Street’s Castle Hotel is their destination on Wednesday 6th.
The big one for this long weekend – beginning on Thursday 7th – is over the Pennines and a little further away in Skipton. Beacons festival again boasts a mammoth line-up of current trailblazers and buzz bands, from Darkside to Daphni, Action Bronson to Jon Hopkins. Expect excruciating timetabling clashes amid its array of attractions, which is one of those criticisms that can only arise from cramming so many must-sees onto a bill.
If the idea of spending next weekend in a series of tents and under Yorkshire skies leaves a taste of homesickness, then closer to home at Band On The Wall you’ll find the reggae covers band Easy Star All-Stars, whose remakes of Radiohead, Pink Floyd and The Beatles are occasionally even better than the originals.
Depending on where you’re based, Friday 8th might see you opt for Fallowfield’s Fallow Café, where the Golden Egg hip hop label and club night gathers its usual picks from Manchester’s burgeoning scene.
Or if you’re more inclined towards the Northern Quarter then Soup Kitchen has gone all giddy with the imminence of its fourth birthday party – Floating Points headlines a show that’s free to enter before midnight.
Ticking over to Sunday 10th, the second RAD film afternoon sees another pair of classic 80s flicks screened at Gorilla: both Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and their Bogus Journey. Spoiler alert: they’re better than Wayne’s World.
Also on Sunday there’s a charity show at Antwerp Mansion, where a who’s who of local folk and blues artists are assembling to raise money for the Medical Aid for Palestinians collection. Honeyfeet, Liz Green, Walk, Paddy Steer and Avital Raz are all on board.
Finally, some good news for fans of independent music. Rormix is a new music video platform – they operate along similar lines to VEVO by grouping together videos, but focusing specifically on independents (something VEVO overlooks), offering you further listening recommendations based your past listening habits and so fuelling your endless pursuit of new sounds. They’re also based right here in Manchester (as well as being online, of course).