Words by Ian Pennington

If the ripeness of live music’s pickings was a tepid shade of grey at times before Easter, you can see a u-turn in fortunes as we leave the bank holiday weekend behind. The crème de la crème of gigs from near and far have renewed life and are appearing in Manchester’s venues very soon.

Predictably, we’ll start this renaissance tonight, Monday 6th, with a trio of shows vying for very different attentions. Chillwave trailblazer turned psych-pop composer Toro Y Moi plugs in at Sound Control.

Jezebel Music’s Castle Hotel folky showcase continues with Rebekah Joy et al, while at the other end of the venue size scale, former correctional officer and drug kingpin moniker poaching rap cliché Rick Ross tackles an Academy 1 crowd.

Swinging swiftly into Tuesday 7th, when no doubt you’ll still be on a sugar high from your egg bounty, we’re pointing in the direction of Oldham Street. At one end, Gullivers is hosting the Galaxie 500 twosome Damon & Naomi for a night of saccharine shoegaze.

At the other, cartoon voiced songwriter Jessica Pratt visits Night & Day Café from LA.

From songwriting standards to genuinely avant-garde contemporary classical on Wednesday 8th, Laura Moody, one quarter of the Elysian Quartet, will be brewing her cello-made stringed manipulations at Takk Café.

Elsewhere that night, theatrical crooners Hartheim are hometown headliners at Soup Kitchen. Akranes and Wilderness Hymnal are on warming up duty.

There’s no relenting after hump day. Grimm Up North’s Stephen King season has delivered some gems to the Dancehouse screen recently, and next up for them is the self-descriptive Creepshow (1982) on Thursday 9th.

Such horror flicks might evoke fear and loathing of all things supernatural, but Thomas Truax admits to ‘Feelin’ Bad For Dracula’. Delve deeper into his sympathetic wordplay at Gullivers – his first trip to Manchester’s shores in three years.

A third option that night has no viable continuation of the horror movie theme, unless you can describe dbh’s finger-picked gems as scarily good. This show is to launch his album at Lloyd’s in Chorlton.

Everyone’s at Everything Everything on Friday – every ticket has been allocated, so we’re told. Your other options for Friday 10th include the melodic soft rock of Tigercats at Castle Hotel, or a hop skip and a jump across Oldham Street to Gullivers, where Steven James Adams’ chirpy ditties will be ringing through the upstairs room.

The search engine unfriendly local indie synth-wielders Girl Friend lure you towards Ruby Lounge for a Saturday 11th date.

Two-timing double daters may have heads turned by Herman Dune’s Black Yaya, who has selected Soup Kitchen to get ‘Under Your Skin’, as the song goes.

You’ll be burned out by Sunday, right? It’s slim-pickings that day, but if you need one more musical fix, then we can serve up a couple of also-rans in the shape of smug One Show fodder The Shires at Academy 3 or decibel raising metallic racket Tombs at Roadhouse. In the mood for a jive-friendly seated show? Try Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club at Bridgewater Hall.

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