Tonight’s Team GB athletes parade will take over Manchester’s streets from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, bringing sporting excellence through dedication back into the spotlight. Music always finds a way to tie into training regimes, from headphones pumping big beats in joggers’ ears to the emotive heart-string-tuggers, whether in victory or defeat. This week’s glorious internet find is a table tennis table that syncs you up with a soundsystem. Using sensors on paddles and reliant on rhythmic shot patterns, Ping Pong FM is a sort of sporting karaoke, replacing beats with bats and vocal chords with net cords. If that’s not in your usual ballpark, just head to your selection of Manchester’s gigs taking place this week and have a good ol’ jive.
The first volley of vocals arrives on Monday 17th via musician-cum-activist Michael Franti, whose well-meaning lyrics look at USA today and encourage positive social change. You can join his team at Academy 2, or verbalise your own storylines at First Draft MCR, a free poetry night at Castle Hotel.
On Tuesday 18th, Norwegian noise maker Jenny Hval and The Undercover Hippy match up, serving their songs back-to-back on a Northern Quarter block – the former from Spear Street’s Soup Kitchen, the latter from Oldham Street’s Night & Day Cafe.
Back in Soup on Wednesday 19th, the funk-peddling alt-rockers De Staat touch down in the city on their headlining tour fresh from supporting Muse earlier in 2016. At the other end of the volume spectrum, folky Tom Brosseau straps on his acoustic guitar at Salford’s Eagle Inn, while down in the southern student stronghold, Martha Ffion educates Fallowfield’s campus about her dulcet ditties. Back on the spoken word field, viral wordsmith Hollie McNish co-headlines Gorilla with fellow London-based author Salena Godden, which is part of Manchester Literature Festival’s programme this month.
The popular Women In Comedy Festival 2016 kicks off its extensive series of events with a Launch Night Gala at the Frog & Bucket on Thursday 20th. Angela Barnes headlines the launch, but there are plenty more funions to sink your teeth into across the city’s venues for the remainder of October.
It’s been over five years since Gil Scott-Heron passed, but his gem-addled material has been mined many a time, by fans like Jamie XX, My Morning Jacket and Rihanna. Jazz and soul singer Charenee Wade‘s live band are making their mark with their flowing arrangements in tribute to the influential poet and cultural spokesperson, calling at Band on the Wall. That’s on Thursday 20th, as is Lamb vocalist Lou Rhodes‘ trip to Deaf Institute in her solo folky guise.
Friday 21st sees a trio of podium contenders: Islington Mill hosts hardcore act Mums as their album launches with aplomb and reverb; electronic indie queen elect, Channy Leaneagh, fronts her Poliça force at The Ritz; and Houston instrumental harmonisers Khruangbin channel their Thai funk and cinematic hippy psychedelics into Deaf Institute ears.
Staying on track, the weekend begins in earnest with Now Wave’s Second All-Dayer at the White Hotel, featuring Pumarosa, Let’s Eat Grandma and a further few electronic indie rock hot tips. The day continues with a matinee edition of a Making A Murderer-themed conversation with Dean Strang and Jerry Buting. The pair reprise the event in the evening, both sittings at RNCM. Efterklang’s melodic anomaly Peter Broderick also gives a rendition of his creative edge – to a St Michael’s church congregation.
And for the final lunge over the finishing line, take your pick between drone cosmonauts Scattered Purgatory‘s Soup Kitchen show and a live-comedy hybrid routine by Peep Show’s Super Hans, aka Matt King, at Gorilla.