Star Wars

Words by Ian Pennington

An even-numbered year is nearly upon us once more, so your chances of tingling those brain nerves meant for music in 2015 are becoming fewer. So let us stimulate your auditory cortex with a special nod to NYE 2015. The final countdown manifests in many ways, whether bar-based socialising, club crooning, dancefloor shape throwing or anthemic singalong debauchery. Manchester’s music listings for 31st December offers a taste of them all.

Starting with the latter, Ultimate Power’s balladeering extravaganza at The Ritz must be high on your list. Regulars who know their Europe from their Boston and their Chicago will have an inflatable saxophone-addled ball.

Staying in 80s anthems territory, Scary Monsters crank up the heartstring-tugging synth settings on Zoo’s soundsystem with Bowie to Numan to The Human League to Duran Duran.

Speaking of Duran Duran, we succinctly segue onto Deaf Institute’s dancefloor, where the Girls On Film DJs rub shoulder pads with Higher Ground and Goo, together mashing Motown, Britpop and 80s electro.

If it’s indie you’re after, then treble your chances of hearing gutsy guitars at Sound Control, where the Remake Remodel psychedelic spinners join forces with 60s grooves fanatics Howling Rhythm.

With A-Ha to the Baha Men ringing in our ears, we dive down from the cheese board into a pool of Absolute Sh**e at Ruby Lounge. Billed tongue-in-cheek as the ‘worst NYE of your life guaranteed’, they’re specialising in the one-hit wonders and flashes in the pan we hate to love.

From achingly uncool to achingly cool, Islington Mill’s Epicurean avant-garde knows no bounds of joy, seeing this year into next under the banner of Superstar Funhouse.

Out of town at Fuel, the Withington café bar serves up a cerebral smattering of post-ironic karaoke jiving entitled Pop Bastard.

Back up to pastures grand, the twin Alberts, Schloss and Hall, inhabit the modernised Grade II-listed amphitheatre with a tossup between cabaret (downstairs at Schloss) or dancehall and electronic courtesy of Black Butter Records’ David Rodigan and Rudimental (upstairs in the Hall).

Now we’re living life at a higher bpm, let’s swing over to Gorilla, where the Covert and Exploit DJs reprise their technicolour tech-house crossover beat-mongering at the hands of Dennis Ferrer and Josh Butler.

Warehouse Project’s tickets have been sold out since September, but if you’re going then you can look forward to MK, Hannah Wants and plenty more.

More? Soup Kitchen releases the funk maestros at You Dig?, Night & Day Café tethers the indie-punk lo-fires Pins for a live set and Mr Scruff relocates to the Old Granada Studios to Keep It Unreal.

Phew. After all that, we’ll need a rest. See you once you’ve got your breath back in 2016.

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