Words by Ian Pennington

This week we have fires, folk, sages, dirtbags and cruisers to push under your nose, all making their own noises as we round up the best of the next seven days in Manchester gigs.

Monday 13th might be unlucky if you hold onto numerical superstitions, but not if you stride along Oldham Street to The Castle Hotel, where Jezebel Music is presenting an evening of local folkies – Stockport’s Rachel Hillary in top billing.

Cranking up the distortion from zero to eleven, Left Lane Cruisers turn their casual highway drive into a ear-stinging, gut-grabbing musical onslaught at a venue which didn’t recently beef up its soundsystem (legally speaking), Night & Day Café on Tuesday 14th.

Headlining Academy 1 on Wednesday 15th, you’ll encounter prog metal ambienteers Opeth, while upstairs in Academy 3 another relative golden oldie, Wheatus, entertains a brand new generation of Teenage Dirtbags.

Out in the suburbs, Chorlton’s Strange Brew bar hosts a gig for the new project by electronic producer Paul Green and vocalist Gionvanna Alampo, named Metaphysical Human.

Thursday 16th beckons in the start of a three-day festival of folk music at the Met in Bury. Named Homegrown, it features Nizlopi, Spiro, Bella Hardy, Show of Hands and plenty more.

If you’re in the market for something a little more modern in terms of production, then Hundred Waters offer ample layers of keys and samples-led electronic pop at Deaf Institute.

Stepping up yet another gear on the same night, hip hop / spoken word crossover artist Sage Francis brings the former style to Gorilla, no doubt intertwining the latter as part of his lesson in incisive elocution.

Onwards to Friday 17th, when, with the weekend in sight, Withered Hand return for a show at Kraak. The Fence Collective associates’ 2014 record, News Gods, will have sunk in by now and here’s another opportunity to catch them live.

And it’s birthday time for the Coded Rhythm clan. They’re celebrating in style with a clubnight promising both Nightmares On Wax and Onra manning the Gorilla decks.

The Carefully Planned multi-venue festival returns to the Northern Quarter for a fourth two-dayer on both Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th. Your wristband earns you access to a multitude of music spanning several hours – our picks include Walk, Jo Rose, Songs For Walter and That Fucking Tank, but treating it as a blank canvas and stumbling in on your new favourite band is often the best plan here. There are 120-odd vying for that accolade, after all.

If that’s not your bag then try these options on Saturday: there’s a live set for instrumental polymath Peter Broderick at the Roadhouse, or stay up a little later at Twenty Twenty Tw0 for Mind On Fire’s swansong as a local promoter, label, DJing collective and live band after 10 years ablaze.

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