Words by Ian Pennington

The least grim music-related ‘news’ item I could find from this week’s world of inanities was this piece covering Nicola Sturgeon’s very beige music selections on Desert Island Discs. Step forward the likes of Kate Bush, The Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin, Cilla Black and Duran Duran on the SNP office CD player, none of whom are due in Manchester this week, so we’ll press on with the prime listings of those who are, alongside a few wild stabs at a potential DID celeb who’d pack their tunes.

Monday 16th sees Tom Williams strumming away at the Castle Hotel, an artist who’d perhaps make it onto a desert island with someone like Johnny Vegas, who underneath all the bravado is probably a mellow chap with mellow tastes.

By contrast, surf punk San Diegans Wavves might be spun on the 1990s slacker version of Matthew McConaughey’s beachside turntable when they’re not playing at Sound Control.

Hyperactive indie seafarers Yacht’s show at Night & Day Café might turn the head of a similarly hyperactive DID potential, such as Keith Chegwin or Lenny Henry – possibly sporting a fluorescent Hawaiian shirt for the Tuesday 17th date.

Ex-War On Drugs drawler Kurt Vile’s country-fried rock ditties could pique the interest of any Fast Times At Ridgemont High cast member. Let’s say Jennifer Jason Leigh, for the sake of argument, slouched against a palm tree with the toes of his Wednesday 18th Albert Hall show buzzing through her cranium.

Elsewhere that evening, beatbox covers artist The Petebox would surely be on the ringleader of another raft of boxes, Noel Edmunds. He’s on at Night & Day Café – deal or no deal.

Purely for their name, Mr cool himself Bill Murray would be an advocate of Spectres’ Soup Kitchen show on Thursday 19th. If he turns up wearing his backpack just stop him sucking up the band.

Another graduate of 1980s high school comedies, Milla Jovovich, might appreciate the atmospheric synthetic swirls of Portico adding intensity to her struggles with sci-fi critters she’d no doubt encounter on her desert island. Closer to home, they’re playing Academy 3, also on 19th.

Genre-spanning multi-instrumentalist Nitin Sawhney, who plays Gorilla on Friday 20th, could turn the furrowed brow of someone like Huw Edwards upside down if the Celtic newsreader took flight to pastures sandy with a few of his records under his arm.

Local hip hop folk smiler Gideon Conn launches his new album on Saturday 21st at Wonder Inn – an album any kids’ TV presenter, from Andi Peters to Neil Buchanan should really consider for their records crate. Prepare for a melodious aural art attack.

Finally, your Sunday 22nd – and perhaps that of Diane Abbott should she be into Manchester-based electro pop – could be wrapped up by the single launch show of Faitala at the Castle Hotel.

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