This week sees the Manchester leg of TV game show moniker lending punks The Buzzcocks’ 40th anniversary tour. It’s debatable whether Pete Shelley and the gang ever looked into their crystal plectrums back in the ripe young days of 1976 and foresaw the best part of four decades spent asking punters whether they’ve ‘Ever Fallen In Love?’ – when rocking out in their Bolton bedrooms, most likely not – but the Albert Hall nonetheless will bear witness to a longevity of music performance seldom seen. How many of the current crop of go-getters will still be around to chew on a microphone when they’re putting their teeth in every day? Place your bets…
First roll of the dice goes to the alt-rock distortion peddlers All Them Witches. Double, double toil and trouble at Deaf Institute on Monday 3rd, you’d wager.
The same venue welcomes former Race Horses guitar jockey and current hotly tipped Welshman Meilyr Jones on Tuesday 4th. His knack of reinvention has already seen him diverge from his old bandmates, a stage not yet reached by Young Kato, whose synth-pop is a relatively shorter half-decade and one album old, and adorns Sound Control the same night.
Solitary stage dwellers Beth Orton and Akala might be able to advise Meilyr on his decision to fly solo, having the staying power that sees them back in the city once more, also on Tuesday 4th. The former weaves her folk-tronic webs at Albert Hall, while the latter’s lyrical streams of social consciousness will force an Academy 2 audience to stand up straight.
Just the one tip for Wednesday 5th. The longest band name of the week award goes to Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura, whose show coincides with their conceptual psych rock album, lamenting the celebrity cull that has been 2016. Will they be around for another, or will 2016 devour them for their disobedience?
Dream-pop drifters The Paper Kites could soar to their hearts’ content. Certainly that’s what their Gullivers gig on Thursday 6th will see them doing. Fellow melody making good eggs and local Internet search engine fiends Easter are revived for an album fundraiser at Aatma the same night.
On Friday 7th, Beaty Hearts will be pumping life through every limb in Deaf Institute’s upstairs live room, but will their adrenaline prove a short-lived rush of blood to the head? Stick around for You Dig?‘s unrelentingly funky grooves afterwards ’til 3am.
Saturday 8th’s multi-venue mayhem sees a pair of all-dayers offering platforms to the Buzzcocks of the future. Neighbourhood is the larger of the two, spanning music arenas like Albert Hall, Dog Bowl and Sound Control, while Ladyfest covers a more modest area between Gullivers and Castle Hotel on Oldham Street, but their leg-up for lyrical ladies is just as important for emerging artists.
You can bring the week’s curtain down in the presence of either Wild Beasts (Academy) or Swans (Ritz), both of whom have forged lengthy careers in their chosen niche, hence their roomy venues on Sunday 9th.