Words by Ian Pennington
In this week’s tenuous intro link to our regular Manchester gigs preview column, I’ll direct you to the ‘news’ that tea cosy model and Badly Drawn strummer Damon Gough was saved by music. The following words will likewise offer some musical salvation, for one week at least.
One man with a track record of onstage outbursts to rival Gough’s is Anton Newcombe of the Dig! documentary protagonists The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Shorn of his usual comrades, Monday 13th is the Manchester date on his tour with Mazzy Star sound-alike Tess Parks to play their duets at Ruby Lounge.
Last week we mentioned the Festival Square running as part of MIF. If you’ve not sampled it already (and even if you have), Tuesday 14th is your opportunity to see what the fuss is about. Uncommon stringed instruments are the order of the day – Jali Nyonkoling Kuyateh will showcase kora skills learned in his native Gambia at lunchtime, before local harpist Rachael Gladwin settles into the evening slot from 5.30pm.
Fans of covers nights are catered for on Wednesday 15th at Chorlton’s Strangebrew bar. Local folk raconteur Mathew Gray gathers his Awful Truth band plus a few friends to re-imagine some of their favourite songs from Carole King’s 1971 album, Tapestry.
Music as salvation can seem a little self-centred for an artist like Badly Drawn Boy, but for Femi Kuti, whose father Fela is synonymous with both music and activism in Nigeria, music channels broader messages of hope and change. He and his Positive Force band play at Band on the Wall on Thursday 16th.
Across town that night at the Liars Club, flexible live hip hop collective The Mouse Outfit perform with a selection of their MCs.
As with most during the summer, this weekend throws a few festivals in our direction. One local two-dayer, split across three musical sessions is the Beer ‘n’ Blues Weekend at Band on the Wall. Launching on Friday 17th evening with James Hunter, the ale-addled knees-up continues all day on Saturday 18th with Walk in the afternoon and the Cadillac Kings that evening.
Out of town, there’s Fell Foot Sound nestled in the trees next to Lake Windermere all weekend. Expect a psych, rock and folk staple, with The Lovely Eggs and The Wave Pictures topping the bill.
Closer to home, and still on Friday 17th, Four Tet’s headlining slot as part of the 10×10 MIF and Warehouse Project decade-long reminisce is at Mayfield Depot.
Back in the lower capacity venues on Saturday 18th, the Castle Hotel’s back room sweat pit hosts Evans The Death, who lead the line on a night of headbanging grunge.
All of which brings us to Sunday 19th, and yet another stroppy rock star, whose music has probably saved many – from sitting in silence, at least. I’m talking about Sun Kil Moon, who takes time out from his volume related barney with War On Drugs and goading journalists to play a show at RNCM.