BBC’s music industry springboard Sound Of 2017 was announced in the early hours of the morning, many of whom have cut their teeth with gigs in Manchester over the past year. The list, which considers the votes of 170 industry trendsetters, includes Manchester-based alt-rockers Cabbage, who trade in satirical social commentaries, alongside the likes of Anderson .Paak, The Japanese House and Rag N Bone Man. Its detractors say it’s a major label love-in and a self-fulfilling prophecy, since all the mooted songsmiths will have weighty marketing budgets and A&R reps at Sony Music are hardly likely to overlook the young upstarts they’ve been backing with company dough, albeit they’re not allowed to vote directly for those with whom they have a commercial relationship. But I’m sure such a critique won’t bother the heads behind Keane, Jessie J, Corinne Bailey Rae, Adele et al. Whether it’s industry backslapping or a harmless leg-up, expect to see possibles for 2018’s shortlist en route to stardom each week among our Manchester live show picks.
No strangers to the BBC in recent years, thanks to featuring on Adam Curtis’s last two iPlayer documentaries, formerly-Manchester-based electronica warlocks worriedaboutsatan are set to launch their third LP at Castle Hotel on Monday 28th (read our interview with them here). Elsewhere the upbeat Malian funksters BKO Quintet land at Sound Control.
Another Manchester export making waves is the folk-pop The Slow Show. They’re back in native climes to tingle the spines off punters at Gorilla.
Danish 6 Music mainstay Agnes Obel would have been a prime candidate for BBC’s Sound Of list back in the day had it not been for its Britain-centric outlook. Her rise has trodden different pathways, and this week all roads lead to Albert Hall on Wednesday 30th. Scaling down to the sweatier rock pit of Night & Day Cafe, Wednesday also sees Black Mountain side project Sewage Farm peddling anthemic pop-rock.
Named after a violent uprising yet conversely ambient in their synthetic stories, The Boxer Rebellion‘s fifth album gets an airing at Gorilla as December creeps in on Thursday 1st. Over in the Northern Quarter’s Castle Hotel pub, the billed Animal Noise isn’t quite an homage to David Attenborough’s Planet Earth, but instead a dose of bass heavy, soul-voiced rock throbs.
Liam Frost’s Slowdown Family hit the heights of local notoriety a decade ago now, returning to the limelight at Gorilla on Friday 2nd. Honeyblood are at the start of that journey, playing Deaf Institute en route to sharing the fruits of their new album, Babes Never Die. Stay in the venue for a monthly shot of soul in the hips to shake the night away with You Dig?, or split those sides at the Dancehouse in the company of Norris & Parker‘s sketch comedy double act.
Speaking of double acts, the post-punk bard of Salford, Dr John Cooper Clarke, is flexing the dulcet bile in his vocal chords to team up with Hugh Cornwell, of Stranglers fame. Catch their Handsome Family soundalikes at The Ritz on Saturday 3rd. Now a few days into December, it’s safe to think about Xmas in earnest, so an apt time to head to Chorlton’s Dulcimer for an anti-Xmas Krampusnacht grotesque. Jazzy sonic jousters Clout Grappling play live on a bill promising ‘bangers, floor fillers and weird-evil stuff’.
Finally for this week, it’s The Julie Ruin, whose shouty riot grrl riffs are another chance to wear out the soles on your shoes with animated jives at Gorilla.