Words by Ian Pennington
“We come from the land of the ice and snow…” Well, we did last week anyway. Head for the suburbs and hilltops and you’ll still meet with a frosty reception, but in the urban climate it has melted and subsided, not due to increased temperature or sheer inner-city body heat, but ploughed away by the walls of sound emanating from our plethora of music venues, clearing a pathway to our weekly Bag Thing listing picks.
After that intro, there needs to be a worthy first act, so on Monday 2nd you’d fare well at the Castle Hotel, where a new monthly series of folk show begins in the capable hands and voices of Lucy & Virginia.
Albert Hall’s fine run of form continues on Tuesday 3rd with a pair of tune selectors – DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist – operating as the Renegades of Rhythm and spinning Afrika Bambaataa’s vinyl collection.
After burning the soles of your shoes on Tuesday, you may be in the market for a seated affair on Wednesday 4th. One option is a film night hosted by university group Open Media at Academy 2. They’ve got their hands on a copy of the new documentary Still The Enemy Within, a compilation of footage from the 1980s strikes.
Despite playing a run of four shows this week, there’s unlikely to be much Elbow room at the Apollo on Thursday 4th, so perhaps look elsewhere that evening.
The annual Womenfolk tour bus stops at Band on the Wall to allow Kathryn Williams, Maz O’Connor and Georgia Ruth to alight, or at Deaf Institute there’s a chance for some shoegazing from the Jagjaguwar label’s school of guitaring. Viet Cong is their latest band of graduates.
By Friday it’ll be time for some more retrospective hip hop crate digging – this time in memory of oft-referenced beatmaker J Dilla. The aptly named Gorilla club night J Dilla Changed My Life opens its DJ booth to some of Manchester’s most expansive vinylphiles.
Local jazz fans will either be disappointed by their tardiness or already carrying a golden ticket to Matthew Halsall’s headlining show at RNCM on Saturday 7th. The gig, also featuring Mercury-nominated trio GoGo Penguin, sold out last week.
But, never fear! Honeyfeet are here to sate your lust for jazz-influenced grooves, albeit from the bluesy end of the spectrum. They’re playing under the arches at First Chop Brewery.
Back in town at Soup Kitchen, melodic indie throwbacks Whyte Horses will perform their 60s psych-pop to a home crowd.
Onwards to that day recognised as the final gigging opportunity of the week, Sunday 8th, a more ambient psych experience arrives courtesy of rock supergroup Watter. Comprising members of Slint and Grails, you can guarantee they’ll know their way around a fretboard at Deaf Institute.
Elsewhere, Nashville strummer Levi Weaver has found his way across the pond again, this time playing a show at Castle Hotel.