Words by Ian Pennington

According to the algorithms of life, your gigging path through the next seven days will have already been determined by your past behaviour traits. Indeed, if you’re reading this then maybe it’ll highlight a whole new direction for you musically – but you were always going to meet this juncture, right?

The first one, tonight, could bring into question your willpower. Can you bare to sit through Noel Gallagher’s cantankerous middle-aged rocker act at the Arena?

The second week of Sick! Festival is underway with its considered collation of minds talking, acting or riffing on topics associated with mental health and society. On Tuesday 10th, you’ll find a panel discussion entitled ‘Why Be Normal?’, which neatly ties back into that intro on algorithms and fate.

Depending how you’d like to spend your pennies, there are two shouts for Wednesday 11th. Brighter Sound Wall of Sounds residency alumni The Unthanks return with a big show at the Ritz after a three-year absence from the city’s venues.

The thrifty among you might prefer the free entry Beta showcase at the Castle, featuring Flesh, Cold Ocean Lines and Trojan Horse.

Film night on Thursday 12th, so says Grimm Up North, whose Stephen King series continues with 1979 horror Salem’s Lot at the Dancehouse.

If you’re feeling more energetic then shake a leg at Band on the Wall, where Spoek Mathambo performs his ‘township tech’, in the same unwaveringly upbeat style as the likes of MIA and Rainbow Arabia.

Continuing to ride the feel-good wave through to Friday 13th, but with a more psychedelic twist, Flamingods are back for round two at Soup Kitchen, having bewitched a Kraak crowd last summer.

A not too dissimilar option in insatiable grooving motors into Night & Day Café that evening. Scouse krautrockers Clinic are offering an alternative.

A little later, stroll round the corner to Whiskey Jar for some jazz, funk and soul dug from the crates of Matthew Halsall. The Gondwana Records lynchpin heads up the latest Flyin’ Easy Soul Club jive.

Back on a psychedelic slant on Saturday 14th, Antwerp Mansion plays host to the 2015 instalment of Cosmosis, a day-long glut of reverberation through the guitars of Dead Meadow, The Black Ryders and umpteen others.

While one promotional ethic is in its infancy, another bids farewell. Carefully Planned have billed their latest all-dayer at the Castle as their last (but don’t rule out the temptation of a return). Catch regular favourites such as dbh, Tekla and Onions.

A third shout for your Saturday: Ladyfest MCR arrives a week too late for International Women’s Day itself, but why restrict the sentiment to one day anyway? The plan is for a night of Manchester-based women artists to raise funds for Manchester Women’s Aid.

Returning record spinners Keys Money Lipstick are also on the fundraising hunt this weekend. Their re-emergence at Star & Garter is in name of saving the Piccadilly pub’s skin, which has been struck by the regenerative arm of the council’s planned train station expansion.

Seeing out the week, Deaf Institute turns its ears to indie pop janglers Raglans on Sunday 15th.

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