Words by Ian Pennington

We’ve reached the year’s middle month which means the festival season begins in earnest imminently. For now, that means Parklife in these parts, but expect plenty more reasons to dust off your wellies and novelty hats over the coming weeks.

Liam Frost has bailed out of his Ruby Lounge show – possibly sensing that frost isn’t the most welcome with summer approaching – so your Monday 1st substitute can be another folky affair. This one’s at the back room of Castle Hotel and adopts the ambiguity-free banner of ‘An Evening of Folk Music’. Holly Lerski tops the bill.

Those into more long-form groove-downs will favour our selection for Tuesday 2nd. Chile-based kosmische rockers Föllakzoid pump out their bassy throbs at Soup Kitchen.

Stay at Soup for a second helping on Wednesday 3rd and you’ll find in peppered with the beats of Shura, serving up a wispy soundscape of 80s-influenced electro pop whispers.

As an alternative direction the same evening, head south to Stockport, where relative newbie Seven Miles Out will open its doors for a free spoken word event. Disgruntled teacher Jess Green is the star attraction, most famous for addressing Michael Gove through verse during his tenure as Education Secretary.

Less political and more sociological, Joe Pug grabs his guitar on Thursday 4th, plugging in a Gullivers for a set of homely tales in his Springsteen-lite tones.

Round a few corners to Whitworth Street West, you’ll find the 60s psych copycats Allah-Las at Gorilla.

June 5th throws a few shout into the cacophony of noise. We’ll start at the recent addition to Manchester’s arts venues, Wonder Inn, where brash anti-pop eccentric Mik Artistik will continue his Ego Trip.

Another positive for fans of free takes place at Fallow Café that night as Carefully Planned announce their 2015 festival line-up. The main thing won’t be happening until October, so for the time being tuck into Tigernaut, Mahogany and more.

PiL bassist and all-round cockney character Jah Wobble returns to Sound Control as option #3.

As mentioned above, the big one over the weekend is Parklife, but there’s no real reason to tell you this, because by this point you’re either the owner of a long-held ticket to the tent-addled incarnation of Warehouse Project in Heaton Park, or not. 

Away from the swathes of Prestwich-bound ravers and in their own little cubbyhole, Hidden Orchestra mount an aural assault of jazz-flecked instrumental attention grabbers at Academy 3 on Saturday 6th.


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