Words by Ian Pennington

From earthquakes to tour bus shootings, the world is a dangerous place for the touring artist at the moment. For the next week, at least, here’s our selection of those who’ll be seeking safe refuge in Manchester’s live music venues.

There’s ample shelter in the cosy climes of Verbose, upstairs at Fallow Café. The spoken word Monday residency continues tonight, combining with the launch of the third issue of the Confingo arts magazine.

Gradually picking up the tempo as we reach Tuesday 28th, sometime This Is The Kit collaborator Rozi Plain headlines the Castle Hotel, while at Deaf Institute Skinny Lister dust off their accordion and dancing shoes for a Pogues-esque folky knees-up.

The rise and rise of Public Service Broadcast’s radio archiving samples sees them filling a sold out show at The Ritz, so for those of you without a ticket, Diane Cluck offers an alternative of vocally dextrous ditties at the Eagle Inn.

Time for a film by Thursday 30th and Grimm Up North have obliged with another in their Stephen King season at Dancehouse. This one’s Pet Sematary, a tellingly 80s chiller to give anyone second thoughts about keeping animals at home.

If you’re a fan of pets and don’t want that to change, then a scare-free zone will be Takk Coffee House, where Deep Dark Woodsman Ryan Boldt is due to plug in his acoustic guitar, or a little later on – with a rearranged show that’ll be 9pm entry at Academy 1 – the imperious electronic sound splicer Flying Lotus will show what all the fuss is about.

The weekend is packed with festivals. To start with, the three-day antifascist social at Moston Miners’ Community Centre, 0161, runs from Friday 1st May, but there are plenty of other individual shows taking place that evening.

Try, for example, local songwriter Cavan Moran’s set at the soon-to-close Roadhouse, or The Hipshakes’ punk peddling album launch jive at Fallow Café.

My top pick for Friday has to be the fuzzy electronic progressivism on show at Islington Mill, in the form of Gum Takes Tooth. More cowbell than you can shake your vocoder at.

Saturday 2nd carries two more festivals in its musical rucksack. Shebeen in the Green Quarter combines Grub’s foodie selections with stages hosted by the likes of Sham Bodie, So Flute and Hey! Manchester, while Columns seeks to complement the Cathedral’s ornate features with musicians shelved under the chillwave tag by music bloggers the world over.

Sunday 3rd is a no-brainer. The regular bank holiday Sunday destination for the past umpteen years has been Sounds From The Other City along Chapel Street, and long may that continue.

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