Words by Ian Pennington
With August drawing to a close, we’re nearing the end of festival season and racing on towards another packed autumn of city venue gigs. This coming weekend’s bank holiday extension is acting as a chance to stretch your gigging legs ahead of daily musical exercise with kinetic energy flowing through your veins. So don’t sit on your hands and wallow about the supposed death of clubbing – get out and join the fun.
Unsurprisingly, Monday 24th isn’t exactly turning its volume up to 11, but that’s not to say it isn’t shaking some cobwebs down from the ceiling. Alt-rock weirdos Deerhoof’s show at Gorilla is a strong push out of the starting blocks as is Stones Throw Records’ Peanut Butter Wolf’s headlining slot at Sound Control.
FFS, the provocatively acronymed ‘super-group’ merging Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, continue their tour run on Tuesday 25th. Albert Hall is sold out, so you’ll be looking for returns if that’s piqued your interest.
Often it’s the chance meetings in music that harness the most interesting results. An openness to collaboration brought Suhail Yusuf Khan and James Yorkston together backstage – and then immediately onstage – at one Edinburgh festival in 2013, and it’s testament to taking that initial risk that they’re due to arrive in Manchester on Wednesday 26th for a show at Ruby Lounge along with Lamb’s bassist, Jon Thorne, as Yorkston Thorne Khan.
Don’t let the lactic acid hit by Thursday 27th. There’s plenty more distance to travel, starting with another collaboration at Islington Mill, facilitated by the Samarbeta crew. Sonic sound artist Sam Weaver joins visual artist Rachel Goodyear to lead an array of instrumenteers on a merry dance through their improvised compositions.
Friday 28th lifts the bar further and offers a range of options. Wave Pictures play the first show of a two-night stint at the Eagle Inn, but both are sold out, so you’d be wiser to look further south to Levenshulme’s Klondyke Club, where Levy Beer Fête seeks to hydrate the thirsty with their water-based beverages. Their three-day stay sees a fine field of pop pickers as well as live performances from Twisted Tubes, Louis Barabbas and more.
For a more intensive workout for the entire weekend, take your dancing shoes down to Etherow Country Park near Romily in Stockport for the first instalment of Moovin Festival, featuring renowned local jive-facilitators such as Luke Unabomber, Ruf Dug and Breaksjunkie, with Hacienda mainstay Marshall Jefferson the star attraction.
Closer to the centre again, but still in the suburbs, the doors of Whalley Range’s bar parade will be open all day on Saturday 29th, letting loose the sounds of the Whalley Deranged One-Dayer, featuring the solo Zeppelin guitar whizz The Bear Around Your Neck and plenty more.
Sticking with the all-dayer theme, Night & Day Café have got in on the act by booking several indie rockers for their Night & All Dayer on Sunday 30th, starring Sulk.
Crossing the finishing line that evening is The Cyclist, another on Stones Throw who can handle bars of varied electronic tempos. Keep the wheels turning at Soup Kitchen through the night.