You may have found it hard to avoid the FA Cup this weekend, particularly as Lincoln City became the first non-league team to reach the quarter-finals in over a century, knocking out team 81 places above them in the process. This week in Manchester, we can expect visits from the usual set of budding musical minnows taking their first steps on the live circuit, alongside performances from the music ladder’s top-tier. Read on for our picks from all those stepping onto the hallowed turf of Manchester’s finest stages over the next seven days…

Monday 20th: The Sandinistas (Soup Kitchen), Neon Waltz (Night & Day)

// Given that’s it’s technically easier for Neon Waltz to play shows in Norway rather than London, you won’t want to miss them on their current UK tour. Elsewhere, Welsh trio The Sandinistas rock up at Soup Kitchen, making great strides on the back of debut single, Ready to Blow.

Tuesday 21st: S U R V I V E (Deaf Institute), Sleigh Bells (Gorilla), Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra (Gullivers), Esben and the Witch (Soup Kitchen)

// Analogue electronic dream S U R V I V E will be hypnotising crowds over at the Deaf Institute, whilst at Gorilla you’ll catch Brooklyn noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells, returning to Europe on a new tour. Newcastle’s answer to Gogol Bordello Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra will be offering their unique mix of blues, swing and country at Gullivers, and Brighton trio Esben and the Witch will be casting spells in the Soup Kitchen basement.

Wednesday 22nd: Me First And The Gimme Gimmes (The Ritz), Thought Forms (Soup Kitchen), Sango (Gorilla), Nick Waterhouse (Deaf Institute)

// Punk rock copycats Me First And The Gimme Gimmes return to the UK after a three year break for an appearance at the Ritz. Thought Forms drop into Soup Kitchen supporting their new album Songs About Drowning. Producer Sango kicks off a European tour at Gorilla, and raw and rhythmic singer-songwriter Nick Waterhouse is currently on a UK tour, stopping off at Deaf Institute.

Thursday 23rd: Rainbrother (Castle Hotel), Pinegrove (Deaf Institute), Amber Run (Academy 2), Sophie Ellis-Bextor (Gorilla), The Chainsmokers (Academy 1)

// Expect indie excellence at the Castle Hotel as Rainbrother take the stage supported by local act Wedding. Pinegrove and Amber Run make an appearance in Manchester this week before returning later in the year for Dot To Dot Festival 2017. Those with a taste for all things pop face the conundrum of whether to head to Gorilla for Sophie Ellis-Bextor, or the Academy for The Chainsmokers

Friday 24th: Man & The Echo (Deaf Institute), Blair Dunlop (Ruby Lounge), Josie Long (Dancehouse Theatre), Home Nightclub – The Reunion (Band On The Wall), Solardo Sessions (Albert Hall)

// Kick off the weekend with Warrington’s Man & The Echo, making the short trip to the Deaf Institute supporting their storming eponymous debut LP. Actor-cum-musician Blair Dunlop takes the stage at The Ruby Lounge whilst comedian Josie Long steps in to the Dancehouse Theatre. 90s throwback Home Nightclub – The Reunion will be providing an evening of the finest club classics, while those with a penchant for house can get their fix at the Albert Hall with Solardo Sessions.

Saturday 25th: The Divine Comedy (Albert Hall), Sum 41 (Academy 1), Sound Control To Major Tom (Sound Control), Elvana (The Ruby Lounge)

// Irish indie pop aristocrat Neil Hannon brings The Divine Comedy back to Manchester following latest release Foreverland, whilst pop punk experts Sum 41 also return to the UK supporting their comeback album 13 Voices. In the week in which Kurt Cobain would have celebrated his 50th birthday, Elvis fronted tribute band Elvana drop in to The Ruby Lounge to pay homage to Seattle’s finest. On the subject of tributes, David Bowie fans can head to Sound Control where local acts will be covering The Thin White Duke’s greatest.

Sunday 26th: Wild Nothing (Deaf Institute), Ryan Hamilton And Friends (Gullivers), Teleman (Gorilla)

// American dream-pop outfit Wild Nothing are performing at Deaf Institute, coming to the end of a UK tour following the release of their third LP Life Of Pause. Join Ryan Hamilton And Friends for an acoustic evening at Gullivers, or perhaps catch some indie intelligence courtesy of Teleman, as they finish off a UK tour a date at Gorilla.


A full listing of this week’s events may be found here.

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