Words by Ian Pennington
Aside from the fervent tones of carol singers or the unpredictable schedules of Market Street busking performances, there’s not a great amount of live music listings across Manchester at this time of year. ‘So why write a blog?’ I hear you wonder out loud. Well, the one day of the year guaranteed to be even madder than mad Friday is nearing, so we wanted to pick out your best bets for going out on the big curtain closer of 2014, New Year’s Eve.
In prime position are the heavy hitters at Band on the Wall and Islington Mill. The former sees top pop picker Floating Points joining Mr Scruff to fill the leftfield venue with jazz and soul.
The latter overflows into neighbouring Regents Warehouse to accommodate all manner of musical and artistic sideshows. Ninja Tune producer The Bug is the name atop to flyer. He’ll be performing with microphone-wielding rhyme sayer Flowdan.
Albert Hall has lured in an array of big names under headliner Annie Mac. Her regular line-up cohorts Hannah Want and Redlight join her, while Manchester tune selectors Rich Reason, Jonny Dub and Now Wave are among those providing the night’s soundtrack.
Of the straight-up club nights with resident DJs spinning all your favourites, Deaf Institute’s three-floor Extravaganza pitches a trio of ear ticklers in the shape of Girls on Film, Higher Ground and Electric Jug.
On the dub, bass and jungle ticket, The Ram is hosting a line-up picked by Riddim Culture promising the likes of Biome, Hybrid Minds and Red Eye Hi-Fi.
Warehouse Project’s two-day endurance test might take you into 1st January as well, but both NYE and NYD are sold out, so you’d have to remortgage your house to get in. For your festive fix of Store Street, there are still tickets for the Hacienda-clad Boxing Day sound furnishings, featuring David Morales and Marshall Jefferson.
The latter pops up again on NYE at Gorilla for a re-run of his Chicago house selections. Hoya:Hoya’s Eliphino supports on the night.
Speaking of Hoya (so good they named it twice), their Xmas special will be worth a look on Saturday 27th – the residents will be joined by Kutmah.
But back on the 31st, we’ll head down to the musical delicatessen that is Ultimate Power next. Their cheese-filled ballad fest is another billed as an extravaganza – they’re on at The Ritz.
Smaller in scale, but not in heart, Fuel Café’s regular Scenewipe NYE this year sees Pixies karaoke maestro Dave of Mutilation heading up a night of lo-fi crowd pleasers under the banner of New Year’s Dave. Among the support bands is The Hipshakes disguised for the night as The Ramones.
Also on the live music front, Night & Day Café’s NYE Party offers its stage to the Stockport psych-rock quintet, Blossoms.
Wherever you go, have a goodn and we’ll see you in 2015.