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Spotlight On: Manchester

Posted on Friday 12th August 2016 at 12:00

Jimi Arundell

Written by
Jimi Arundell

Manchester. The city of industry, canals and football has a well-earned reputation for being the origin of fantastic music. Having already been known for their rowdy Victorian music halls in the past, the city was also quick to respond to with its own version of punk following the Sex Pistols playing at the Lesser Free Trade Hall on 4th June, 1976. This northern re-interpretation was less stylised than the London Teddy Boy bands of London in their designer suits taking a harder edge as typified by Slaughter & The Dogs and Buzzcocks who played support.

Also in attendance of the infamous Sex Pistols gig were the vanguards of the new musical movement of post punk. The soon-to-be members of Joy Division, Mark E. Smith of The Fall and visionary producer Martin Hannett would harness the energy of punk but shed the nihilism in favour of sonic experimentation and modernist aesthetic design that would produce a sharp futuristic sound that would come to define the genre and inform the upcoming dance music revolution.

Spearheaded by New Order who changed their name and direction following the loss of their singer and lyricist Ian Curtis, Manchester began to discover the use of samplers and synthesizers and give rise to dance music. Propagated by self-appointed spokesman Tony Wilson through his essential Factory Records label, dance music would find a home in his nightclub The Haçienda which would develop and diversify into acid house and rave.

As the Nineties approached, the city gave birth to a sound with which the name of the city has become synonymous. Fusing the indie guitars pioneered by other local legends The Smiths with the recent progress created by dance music, bands like The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays created the psychedelic baggy “Manchester Sound”. This created the musical landscape that led to the rise of mainstream indie groups such as The Charlatans and Oasis.

Today Manchester still reigns as a cultural epicentre for the entire world being a leader in art, design and can boast of such important music venues as Gorilla, Soup Kitchen, Albert Hall and The Deaf Institute. The city also plays host for a fine array of upcoming gigs.


Miracle Legion

The influence of Miracle Legion cannot be underestimated. The college rock band were direct influences upon such mighty names as R.E.M. and Radiohead. The New Haven band have returned from retirement to play at The Deaf Institute on Thursday 18th of August.

Click HERE for your Miracle Legion tickets.


Kevin Morby

With his singing drawl and catchy riffs, Kevin Morby oozes effortless cool. Also the front of New York band The Babies, Morby has released three solo albums since 2013 including his latest entitled Singing Saw.

Join him when plays at The Deaf Institute on Monday 22nd of August.

Click HERE for your Kevin Morby tickets.



Kiran Leonard

Local lad Kiran Leonard is a fine purveyor of distortion driven alternative rock. Sharp technical riffs give rise to satisfyingly loud overdriven choruses. Go get his second album Grapefruit if you haven’t already.

See him headline The Deaf Institute on Thursday 25th of August.

Click Here for your Kiran Leonard tickets.




Art rock band Merchandise suit the Manchester spirit of experimentation perfectly. The Floridian psychedelic noise junkies are signed to essential indie label 4AD and are poised to launch new album A Corpse Wired For Sound.

Their must see gig takes place at The Castle Hotel on Thursday 3rd of November.

Click HERE for your Merchandise tickets.


Ryley Walker

Much like Manchester, Chicago is a major industrial city with a rich musical traditional that is predominantly steeped in blues. Ryley Walker found a home in the Chicago independent music scene where his blues rock came to the fore.

Be sure to get down to Ruby Lounge on Monday 14th of November to see him play.

Click HERE for your Ryley Walker tickets.



Beans On Toast

Jay McAllister AKA Beans On Toast is a familiar face on the festival scene. His off the cuff storytelling style has resonated with listening audiences the world over and earned him a well-deserved reputation of an antifolk hero.

Tickets are available for his show at Gorilla on Saturday 26th of November.

Click HERE for your Beans On Toast tickets.


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