Words by Ian Pennington

Sometimes you’re never quite sure whether internet news is parody or not, and the Pope Francis prog rock album is one to add to that growing list. But unless 1st April now happens twice a year, his attempts to rebrand the religion have now added the leftfield to the leftist, and leads seamlessly into another holy release, Bag Thing’s weekly Manchester listings blog.

Time spent worshipping at the altar of the Ritz on Monday 28th will bring GusGus’s music to your ears – the Icelandic minimalist techno heads will be supported by local jive time preachers Age of Glass.

Space bar shirkers Pinkshinyultrablast are already familiar with neighbouring Salford’s centres of godliness, having wowed the pews in St Philip’s Church at Sounds From The Other City. This time the full-fuzz shoegazers perform to a Tuesday 29th Night & Day Café crowd.

Gothic rocking Geordie doomsayer Nadine Shah is looking to convert more of Manchester’s gig-goers by touring her second album, Fast Food, at Gorilla on Wednesday 30th.

Grown in Audenshaw, LoneLady has been warping minds with her latest album, Hinterland, away from the homeland, but returns for a hometown show of brutalist bops the following night, Thursday 1st, again at Gorilla.

The local hip hop congregation has been sliced in half by a pair of Friday 2nd shows. First up, Mouse Outfit vocalist Dr Syntax and DJ Pete Cannon fuse divine powers to lament their ‘Middle Class Problems’ at Sound Control among other witty interplays, while infamous teacher-pupil Don’t Flop rap battler Blizzard takes centre stage at Night & Day Café, away from any poetic pedagogues.

Elsewhere in hip hop that night, US duo Atmosphere seek to prove their longevity with new material, which will be aired at Gorilla.

Fellow US composers Snarky Puppy sing from a jazzier hymnsheet at the Ritz, again on Friday 2nd.

Wythenshawe-born charity radio Reform marks its resurrection on Saturday 3rd at the hallowed TV ground of the Old Granada Studios. Jenna & The Gs and Jonny Dub are among their disciples on the daytime jaunt.

A little later in the day, London folkies Treetop Flyers invite you to take a seat round their Soup Kitchen campfire (NB – there won’t be a campfire, as something like this might happen).

While you can’t stay in the same venue for Banana Hill’s first birthday bash featuring a DJ set by Quantic (which is sold out), another club night option is Rainer Trüby’s techno-fuelled spiritual awakening into the early hours at Joshua Brooks.

We’ll leave you with Alabaster de Plume’s sentiments in his poem ‘Be Nice to People’ (“Be nice to people / I don’t know why / Not in the name of the man in the sky”) – his latest LP of jovial jams launches on Sunday 4th at the blossoming arts centre, Wonder Inn.

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