Words by Ian Pennington

As we wind down to the end of August, so too does the relative lack of gigging options close to home. From September – next week – we’ll be swimming in live music listings. In fact, I’m going to print them out, cut them up and dig out my swimming shorts, unused as they have been for most of the past few months.

Steering back on course from that wayward tangent, the Bank Holiday Monday comedown means we’re accelerating into this week a few corners after the starting grid, on Tuesday 26th, when The Ruby Lounge welcomes reverb harnessing sound clerics Acid Mothers Temple to stretch the sonic capacity of your mind.

Tripping out from Manchester’s walls, your first free gig of the week is the Superstar Destroyer Records showcase at Kings Arms. They’ve invited Alpha Male Tea party, Bad Grammar and Cleft along to pound any summer cobwebs away in the name of math and post rock. That’s on Wednesday 27th.

On Thursday 28th take your pick between two artists whose first co-ordinates made on the popular music map were in those distant days of the early 2000s. Get Cape Wear Cape Fly is due for another Night & Day Café show, while Sound Control plays host to screaming bluesy rockers, Black Lips.

Friday 29th weighs heavy on the options list front, with MF Doom purportedly topping a bill at Victoria Warehouse under the banner of Burn Out Festival. There’s no guarantee that he’ll show up though, given his track record.

A safer bet for seeing the musical acts who’re scheduled is the Wales-based Audio Farm Festival. Its Manchester roots lie with both the promoters and its array of performers, including The Age of Glass, Silverclub and the Harlequin Dynamite. Last year’s event went down a treat and, although they’ve tightened it up a little and increased the entry price this time around, it’s likely to be another good’n – stretching from Friday to Sunday.

Finally for Friday, keep it small and local down at Fuel in Withington with a DIY rock showcase featuring Bell Peppers and Hipshakes and promoted by Hot Sketch. That one’s free in as well.

Fans of Canadian 70s psych throwbacks Black Mountain should direct their gazes towards Roadhouse on Saturday 30th and offshoot band Pink Mountaintops, who’re missing the key vocal point of Amber Webber but remain as groovy as you’d expect.

For those not about to rock quite so hard, check out folkstress Emily Barker’s new project, Vena Portae, at the Castle Hotel.

And wave goodbye to August on Sunday 31st with a less musical option. The Laughing Cows comedy troupe are performing at the Frog & Bucket.

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