Words by Ian Pennington

What music do creatures listen to under the sea? It’s a question we’ve all been asking and now there’s an answer. Spoiler alert: it’s not the same singalong carnival as Disney and the like would have you believe. More pertinently, what music do creatures listen to on dry land? We can answer that one over the course of the next few hundred Manchester events preview words.

Before we do, here’s a gentle nod in the direction of our Cosmosis Festival 2016 competition – closing at midday on Friday 11th, so act fast.

Our first wade into the abyss sees a pair of Monday 7th night shows floating to the surface. London-based indie pop songwriter Jake Isaac entertains a Sound Control audience, while former Kayo Dotter Toby Driver‘s slow burning gothic rock engulfs the Castle Hotel.

Back at the Castle Hotel on Tuesday 8th, cross its moat to encounter Louisville songwriter Joan Shelley‘s dulcet Americana tones.

Elsewhere, piano tinkling jazzman Bill Laurance ships his group over the Band on the Wall and Grey Lantern’s first beacon of the year shines on Bella Union signees Promise & the Monster at Soup Kitchen.

Making waves at this week’s Songwriter Sessions are local incarnations of Gershwin, Randy Newman and Bascom Lamar Lunsford – all at the Strangebrew Bar watering hole.

Closer to the city, Manchester’s Wonder Women series continues into its final furlong at Whitworth Art Gallery in line with the Thursday Lates. There’ll be stand-up, DJ sets and a pub quiz, all free of charge.

Soulful OFWGKTA offshoot The Internet have another opportunity to flex their floods of lyrical flow at Academy 2 on Friday 11th.

Or drop anchor at First Chop Brewery for Louis Barabbas‘ solo album launch the same night. You can read more about Gentle Songs of Ceaseless Horror here as the Bedlam Six ringleader kicks out on his own.

James & The Ultrasounds‘ scuzzy blues rawk woke up Friday morning with gritty rhythms a hollering voice in their minds. By the evening, that’ll be the sound of Gullivers.

The aforementioned psych, rock and shoegaze marathon, Cosmosis Festival 2016, is our pick of the weekend. So much so that we’re going to leave Sunday 13th as cooling off time after its full-day Victoria Warehouse wig-out on Saturday 12th.

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