What’s the noble thing to do when a world renowned prize, funded by an arms dealer who is credited with inventing dynamite, is thrust upon a song and dance man whose thinly veiled lyrical messages point to pacifism? Potentially you wouldn’t wear the accolade loud and proud, but in a world where clean-cut footballing pacifist Gary Lineker is lambasted for advocating humanity, maybe Dylan should just embrace the carnage and submit to the backslapping status quo? Aside from playing fast and loose with socially conscious rhetoric, we’re embracing all the thinly veiled musical messages that Manchester’s gigging calendar throws at us over the next seven days.
This week, the Women in Comedy Festival continues apace, welcoming the likes of Jane Postlethwiate (Gullivers, Wed 26th), O&O’s Comedy Duo (Gullivers, Thu 27th) and the curtain-closing Wrap Party (Frog & Bucket, Sun 30th), featuring locally based American Kate McCabe and Bolton mental health campaigner Sophie Willan.
Another combined events bonanza is underway in the form of Manchester Science Festival, whose extensive programme spans many of the city’s venues and municipal spaces (look out for BagThing’s handiwork in the form of their helium balloons flying high). One of those venues is Gorilla, where an affiliated event sees classic (we can say that about 90s films now, right?) natural disaster thriller Twister screened in advance of a Q&A with extreme climate and hurricane experts – all on Monday 24th.
Not to throw in too much of a spoiler, but that one is certainly blowin’ in the wind. If blustery weather gets you all flustered then shelter from the storm tonight in the comfort of Soup Kitchen or Albert Hall for more musically themed vortexes, by Palace Winter and Warpaint, respectively peddling shades of indie rock.
Another homage to 1990s screen memories arrives with Twin Peaks‘ latest visit to the city for a Sound Control show. The Illinoisy quintet have coined the Lynchian moniker to jam out harmonious rock’n’roll boogies like The Rolling Stones, a musical style contrasting with snotty Aussie slacker rockers Dune Rats, who’re thrashing their guitars across town at Soup Kitchen the same night, Tuesday 25th.
Wednesday 26th’s top picks take a turn for the electronic (Judas!), as Honne‘s divine synth work paints a pretty picture in Gorilla and Hyperdub signee Jessy Lanza illuminates Soup Kitchen’s basement with her glitterball glitch and neon R&B.
Thursday 27th, neatly packaged, is the day of the singer-songwriters. North West soul crooner JP Cooper (Academy 2) opts for the smoother tones, while Ezra Furman‘s more flamboyant glam will likely see him dressing just like a woman at The Ritz.
Friday 28th reminder that we’re forever young if we choose to be, not least at Ultimate Power’s Bat Out of Helloween – a power ballad central with inflatable saxophones thrust in the air. Another Hyperdub export, Babyfather, plays at Soup Kitchen earlier in the evening, clearly another wise mind in a young man’s body. Honeyed jazz vocalist and song crafter Jamie Lidell is joined by his Royal Pharaohs at Gorilla, and Telegram‘s message to Night & Day Cafe is that Futureheadian indie rock isn’t knockin’ on heaven’s door just yet.
The man whose surname should surely be ‘Composer’ or ‘Director’ under old-fashioned nominative determinism, John Carpenter, steps out from behind the lens to release his bats and sci-fi beats at Victoria Warehouse on Saturday 29th. Elsewhere, Wooden Shjips set sail on the seas of Gorilla; Craig Charles gets funky with the performing souls at Family Ranks; and Lake District born abstract producer Kowton lights up the nocturnal Soup Kitchen surrounds with twitchy beats out of the Autechre handbook.
All of which brings us to Halloween eve, Sunday 30th. If you’ve not already dusted off your trick or treating threads, then there are two opportunities to sample the combination of Manchester Camerata’s orchestral prowess with Hitchcock’s Psycho – one matinee, the other evening. Another one for film fans is RAD Screenings’ Halloween double-header, matching Casper with Edward Scissorhands, a platter of refreshments and thematic fancy dress. The week’s final treat is a musical show for career voiceover actor and Garth Marenghi weirdo Matt Berry. He’ll dance round with his Maypoles at Academy 2.