David Bowie Blackstar

Words by Ian Pennington

Now that the resurrection of Robot Wars has been announced, we can forget about all our resolutions and bask in the satisfaction that once again there’s a reason to stay in of an evening. But there are also plenty of reasons to head out. This is the 21st century and you have a record button, so use it.

If your daytimes are filled with sights of the four walls of your office, then The Whitworth’s Thursday Lates series is your chance to soak up some sounds in their amply decorated surrounds. This week, Thursday 14th, they’ve invited Gareth Smith (keys) and Elizabeth Preston (cello) to reprise their score of The Winter Fly, an animated short.

A trip to Fallowfield’s Koh Tao on Friday 15th will ring the bells of Johnny Sly, a melodic folk-pop gang from these parts.

If you prefer your ringing to be in your ears for 72 hours after the event, then Slaves’ double whammy at Albert Hall – on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th – is a suitable destination.

From guitars to saxophones, another Saturday 16th option is the latest project of J5’s Chali 2na, whose vocal dexterity leads the Funk Hunters a groovy path.

Sunday 17th sees a now-annual event, with HOME its new, erm, home. The pair of ears behind the much-loved and recognised Dr Who theme music, Delia Derbyshire, is remembered once more across a multimedia programme.

Fast forward to the following weekend at Deaf Institute, Friday 22nd, the pop-rock troubadour Adam French belies his limited years with tales inspired by travels across Africa and beyond.

The same night there’s a talent from closer to home launching his debut LP at Soup Kitchen. Songs For Walter promises dulcet harmonies both in person on the night and on wax to take away.

Seattle is fertile ground for rock bands, one of which is touring the UK as a reminder of their 15 years in the business of crafting delicately poised emo-indie. Minus The Bear is the band in question, and on Saturday 23rd Deaf Institute is their watering hole.

After your dose of rock, we finish with a pair of club nights to keep those toes tapping: Project 13’s latest coup is Lee Gamble, who plugs into the Soup Kitchen decks later on the 23rd, or for the ballad-hunters among you, Ruby Lounge is playing host to Ultimate Anthems’ cornucopia of juicy, aural delights.

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