This week we write with a pair of cultural news items in mind: David Brent’s epilogue to his Office middle-management heyday, Life on the Road, is just over a week from release, and the tragically killed Viola Beach boys sit in the #1 spot in the album charts for a posthumous LP. Both raise questions about whether you should let sleeping dogs lie and how far a creative lifespan extends. Perhaps the latter’s recorded output is more justifiable to their memory than churning out half-finished or discarded song drafts by deceased musical demigods, but the irony of their popularity surge can’t be lost on the likes of Vincent van Gogh, who similarly achieved most success after meeting their makers. On the other hand, part of the success of Ricky Gervais’ cringe factory, The Office, was that he only produced a couple of series and a few Xmas specials, keeping the audience wanting. The wisdom of resurrecting Brent remains to be seen. His midlife crisis and revival as a touring musician isn’t dissimilar from those living out their dreams by plying their trade on Manchester’s cultural calendar – albeit mostly with more realism than the perennial 39-year-old chilled-out entertainer.
With Monday a rest day during the packed weekends of the summer, we’re moving straight to Tuesday 9th, when Leeds-born electronica duo worriedaboutsatan are due to showcase their devilishly gripping soundscapes, fed through The Castle Hotel’s intimate purgatory.
Over the road at Gullivers there’s a riot kicking off courtesy of punk rock growlers Mischief Brew.
The Songwriters Circle is an opportunity to catch up with the exploits of some of Manchester’s finest up-and-coming tunesmiths, from RUNAH to Robbie Cavanagh. It’s at The Castle Hotel on Thursday 11th, you may well hear their voices on larger stages in the future.
My Chemical Romance affiliates Death Spells have a date with Club Academy on Friday 12th, no doubt unleashing their inventive ‘digital hardcore’ into the ears of willing listeners. In another continuation of a veteran outfit, Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella Lwin is on tour again in her 50th year. Find out whether she still wants candy at The Ruby Lounge.
Another birth-year of note is Deaf Institute‘s. Now seamlessly knitted with Manchester’s social fabric, the venue is laying on a party for a full eight years of live music on Grosvenor Street. Expect anything and everything from the vast catalogues of Agent J (hip hop), You Dig? (funk/soul/disco), Girls on Film (80s pop), So Flute (jazzy house), Piccadilly Records and more. It’s even free entry if you sign up online in advance.
We’ll leave you this week with a selection of Saturday 13th’s many options:
…let’s hope the weather holds for the all-day annual Caribbean Carnival on Alexandra Park…
…Soup Kitchen hosts a return for the introspective outpourings of Chicago crooner Willis Earl Beal…
…Zimbabwean afro-fusionists and dancefloor fillers Mokoomba breathe life into Band on the Wall…
…and another dance floor likely to fill up is Night & Day Cafe’s Antics club night where hotly tipped Spring King ditch the guitars for a night behind the decks and cockney psych slingers Sulk perform live.