Words by Ian Pennington

The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted that we’re entering this post-bank holiday weekend partway in, but I’m sure whatever we’d suggest for the Monday it would have fallen a distant second to stewing in your SFTOC festival hangover.

If you started the week searching for your regular gigs preview blog, then we’d advise switching targets to the Sugar Man. And we’ve found him. Rodriguez will be right here in Manchester on Tuesday 5th, strumming at the Apollo.

An easier search arrives on Wednesday 6th from down the road. Spring Kings are the indie punk noiseniks who’ve recently sprouted roots from this city’s fertile musical compost. Now Wave hand them a headlining slot at Gullivers.

You’ll have to turn to the returns queue for one of Albert Hall’s main attractions this week, Super Furry Animals on Thursday 7th, but keep your chin up because there’ll be more luck at Soup Kitchen in the form of Happyness, the London-based trio whose nuggets of joy arrive via the fuzzy tones of 90s US college rock.

Due north, Seun represents the Kuti musical dynasty’s latest trip to play at Band on the Wall. He’ll be playing sax with his backing band of former Fela collaborators, Egypt 80, also political activists who’re an apt presence on UK election polling day.

Still got David Dimbleby’s strained excitement ringing in your ears on Friday 8th, as political puppets pass the post all across the land? There are plenty of ear canal cleansing numbers being staged across town – The Warlocks are one, at the Roadhouse. Or Aussie post-rockers Siinai’s melodies offer a less abrasive remedy at Soup Kitchen.

Now that your ears have been cleansed of political rhetoric, it’s back to the music. Local indie evergreens Onions launch their second LP at Gullivers on Saturday 9th, entitled Shame of the Nation.

Which neatly brings us back to politics, and if the ballot papers stack up against your own selection once more then you may seek to alleviate that shame by reminding yourself that social misery can lead to creative backlash. One such backlash is the industrial music wave of the 80s, alluded to in the Manchester premiere of a new documentary being screened at Band on the Wall, Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay.

By Sunday 10th you’ll be saying no way to political analogies and Norway to music. Oslo quartet Katzenjammer could wash away any post-election blues with their chipper folky lilts.

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