We’re fast approaching the end of 2016, a set of 12 months that could be branded the year of rock’n’roll death, usurping 27, the age of rock’n’roll death in popular music overthinking and superstition. Sharon Jones this week joined the heady workload of music section obituary writers the world over. Writing his own obituary this week was Kanye West, who took the opportunity of his latest tour to turn panto villain by revealing his current political colours to a predominantly non-partisan congregation, as well as raving about a barney with Jay Z and Beyoncé at the top table of mainstream hip hop, reportedly playing only three actual songs. Although pantomime season is upon us, our sermons aren’t as dramatic. Instead, read on for musicians playing their songs across Manchester this week.
Kings Arms hosts an artist whose recent video for ‘Let Me Be Your Girl’ sees How I Met You Mother’s Allison Janney clowning around while fittingly exploring the masks and faces we wear to hide our true selves, something Kanye has discarded. We’re talking about Rachael Yamagata on Monday 21st.
Mutual Benefit won’t be pinning their beliefs to their melodic chests at Gullivers on Tuesday 22nd, feeding their audience a warm glow of ethereal folk rather than incendiary diatribes. Similarly, Lewis Del Mar‘s creatively woven song structures lend more to the music than an overarching narrative.
There’s undoubtedly sexual politics at play in lighting up post-coitus, but the laconic Cigarettes After Sex invite you to lose yourself in shoegazy dream-pop, even if the Deaf Institute-bound band’s sentiment questions, “What does it mean, if I tell you to go fuck yourself?” Find out the answer on Wednesday 23rd.
Hollie McNish is no stranger to telling bigots to go fuck themselves, a much appreciated approach judging by her viral video stats on topics from immigration to breastfeeding hypocrisy. She headlines the latest Bang Said The Gun spoken word showcase at Dancehouse on Thursday 24th. Someone tell Guy Garvey: his favourite modern folky Jesca Hoop is at Deaf Institute and prog rock evergreens Gong chime the right chords at Gorilla the same night.
Friday 25th taps into the back catalogue of a famous victim of the aforementioned ‘age of rock’n’roll death’, Amy Winehouse. Her seminal Back To Black album gets the tribute treatment by The Awful Truth’s Wonder Inn invitees, starring Lucy & Virginia. Another throwback band, but still alive and kicking, is The Orb. They revisit their past 25 years from 1991’s debut album to this year’s Chill Out World at Academy 2. This week’s wildcard award (aside from Kanye) goes to Mancunian Horror Story at Ruby Lounge – a darkly themed club night that’s must for fans of the similarly named Netflix serial, American Horror Story.
From The Orb to Autechre, it’s like 90s electronica never went away. The latter headline Old Granada Studios on Saturday 26th, while across town that evening the psychedelic rock of Whyte Horses gallops into the Dancehouse Theatre.