Words by Ian Pennington

If Italy argued in 1981 that Eurovision was old fashioned then what would they make of Take That, Toto, Don McLean all embarking on a golden oldies night this Bank Holiday Monday? Pretty contemporary or even forward-looking for whoever made those remarks back then.

By contrast on the same day, at the newer end of the spectrum, check out the latest act to hold the Mercury trophy aloft, Young Fathers, whose early trips to these part parts included a gig in a canal boat on the Irwell.

On Tuesday 26th, Art Brut orator Eddie Argos brings his new catalogue of spoken word to Gullivers. Expect it to be equally abrasive as his band’s art school punk output.

Solo producer East India Youth’s previous visits to Manchester have seen him in venues like Manchester Art Gallery, but this Wednesday 27th he’ll perform in more regular gigging surrounds – at Deaf Institute.

Causing more of a racket and taking no prisoners over at Sound Control will be Gallows.

Head to Band on the Wall on Thursday 28th for a right old knees up with the Balkan boogie Brummies The Destroyers.

Friday 29th pitches an unlikely clash of sorts. Keeping up Italy’s spirit of 1981 at the Cathedral, The Fall’s Mark E Smith returns, no doubt to a hero’s welcome, while down the road at Islington Mill, there’s the launch of a new comic book, I’ll Be Your Mirror, which illustrates the story of Smith’s early days through the eyes of the band’s co-founder, Una Baines.

Fellow 80s throwbacks Mudhoney will join them in the city, but housed at The Ritz. Or another option arrives at Soup Kitchen, a venue continuing its focus on new music by beckoning in a band the likes of Mudhoney probably influenced, Inheaven.

Into the weekend, Saturday 30th presents an event celebrating all things in print. North West Zine Fest takes place at the under-threat Star & Garter.

On the musical ticket, hip hop’s Homeboy Sandman is on hand to launch the ticket sales for this summer’s Soundwave. This gig’s at Soup Kitchen and the aim is to get to Croatia for the festival.

Finally, we move onto Gullivers, where singer songwriter Miriam Jones will sensitively strum you from Sunday 31st through to June.

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