Words by Ian Pennington
It’s that time of year again. Wide-eyed freshers descend on the city like excitable cartoon ants pouring from the colony onto a freshly harvestable patch, shattering the grey, Lowrian drudgery of mid-summer clouds and bringing with them an Indian summer. As a result, local promoters step up and book in an array of musical delights.
Starting on Monday 15th, Antwerp Mansion leads the way with a launch party featuring local percussion clan, Djembeklan.
White Manna’s psychedelic stoner rock will be channelling into Soup Kitchen punters’ ears on Tuesday 16th, before the floodgates open for the week’s shows.
Staying at Soup for one more night, there’s a wordier, catchier rhythmic vibe in the form of The Burning Hell on Wednesday 17th. Across town at Gorilla is a synthetic sea of sound emanating from Sohn’s sample pads and vocodings. Or head down Oxford Road to Deaf Institute for a blast from indie rock’s past. Chicago’s Owls should be a hoot.
Thursday 18th offers less by way of choice but just as much by way of quality. Azealia Banks turns up the volume at Academy 1 to unleash her Harlem born rap.
They’re like sardines on Friday 19th though; four gigs to select from. Top of the pile is the first of two nights for post-buzz band Alt-J at Apollo Theatre. You’ll be lucky to snaffle a ticket though – they’ve been scarce for some time.
From Alt-J’s squeaky clean tones to Honeyblood’s reverberating lo-fi guitars, the Scotch lasses may be considered foreign nationals by the time they land for this Soup Kitchen show. On the other side of the OutHouse MCR murals, Kraak is hosting a mellower, more 60s pop artist by the name of Kevin Morby.
Finally for Friday, up on Swan Street at Band on the Wall there’s a show being staged as the culmination of a week-long residency programme led by DJ Yoda. All the musicians who’ve taken part will join the mash-up producer onstage.
Saturday 20th is an all-day affairs on two counts. First up, make the short trip down the A6 to Stockport, whose new arts hub venue Seven Miles Out is the location for the third and final expansion event curated by Now Then magazine. It’s all free to attend and includes a poetry workshop hosted by Word Life, a talk by electronic musician and Mr Scruff collaborator, Denis Jones, and a live performance by local folky Liz Green.
Back in the Northern Quarter, MCR Scenewipe are set to straddle two venues across Stevenson Square for their All Killer All Dayer. Visit Soup Kitchen and/or Kraak to catch the likes of Brown Brogues, Sex Hands, Horrid, The Hipshakes and the expertly named Dave of Mutilation.
You’re still looking for more? In that case, Sunday 21st still has a gem in store for you. David Thomas Broughton performs with an engaging eccentricity as standard, but that must be multiplied when he’s fronting a vocal ensemble in a climbing centre converted from a church. There’s either that, or runaway to Deaf Institute to see everyone’s favourite Corr sibling, Sharon, keeping her career alive by ditching the family baggage and performing a solo show.