Manchester Gigs of the Month – February 2016

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Rat Boy. Pic by Michelle Roberts.

Rat Boy. Pic by Michelle Roberts.

Roll up, roll up, the travelling gig circus is back in town as Manchester plays host to indie veterans, folk superstars and a very special all-dayer, as Getintothis’ James Sullivan takes you through February’s highlights.

If not exactly yet sprung, Spring is at least poking its dew-sodden head above the parapet. Which means the hibernation is over, and the gig circuit is well and truly back in motion.

To celebrate, Manchester’s venues and promoters are doing a pretty decent job at draining any money you’ve clawed back post-Christmas. What could be more romantic, for example, than spending the first hour of Valentine’s Day listening to nothing but Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine – as is on offer at a special DJ night at the Ruby Lounge this month.

Such is the strength of the gigs on offer this February, that little nu-metal nugget didn’t make it into the top five. Think of it as a bonus offering for this introduction. Like at the start of Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavoured Water when Fred Durst says “Who is in the house? Limp Bizkit is in the house”.

He is no longer allowed in the house. But check out who is – it’s Getintothis’ top gigs to see in Manchester this February.

Drenge

Drenge

1. NME Awards Tour: Manchester Academy, February 6

A slightly odd air surrounds this year’s NME Tour. After years of avoiding the issue, surely now even the magazine itself has to admit it’s in trouble. Becoming a free publication could yet work out, but one thing that they absolutely need to do is climb back on to the pulse of the UK music scene.

With that in mind, please welcome Bloc Party to the NME Awards Tour.

To be fair, they do at least have something to prove after a 50% lineup change and their first new record in four years. They’ll do well to keep the attention of the crowd following grunge darlings Drenge and Jamie Tsuccessor Rat Boy though.

Even the opening act, grime MC Bugzy Malone, has the advantage of a hometown crowd in Manchester. Changing of the guard? Or heroes’ welcome?

For more information, click here.

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

2. Julia Holter: Gorilla, February 16

Before Christmas, Piccadilly Records placed Julia Holter’s fourth record Have You in my Wilderness at the number one spot of their Album of the Year countdown.

It’s typically spot on, as it marks the point where the Californian’s sense of experimentation and baroque arrangements meet her beautiful pop melodies.

Ambient, compelling and the hottest ticket in town.

For more information, click here.

Erol Alkan

Erol Alkan

3. Erol Alkan: Soup Kitchen, February 19

Erol Alkan has been a remixer of songs, maker of tastes, doer of things, fingers-in-pies man for many years. His legendary club night Trash in London may be no more, but you can still catch him on 6 Music spinning the stuff he likes.

He’s worked with the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Klaxons, Hot Chip, Tame Impala and Metronomy, before putting his first solo record out in 2013.

Also the founder of London-based Phantasy Records, his all-night DJ set at the Soup Kitchen is liable to throw up the best in electronica and brand new remixes.

For more information, click here.

Real Lies

Real Lies

4. “Now” Wave All Dayer: White Hotel Salford, February 20

Now Wave are consistently responsible for many of the best gigs in the city. So their celebratory “Now” All Dayer is ensured to have impeccable taste.

They’re hosting live bands from 4pm to 11pm, with DJs until late, and have cherry-picked some of their favourite acts to play.

Indie-electronic trio Real Lies headline, with Britpop-referencing The Big Moon and dissonant noise-punks Show Me the Body. And there’s bound to be more.

For more information, click here.

Flowers

Flowers

5. Flowers: Fallow Cafe, February 25

Cocteau Twins meets 80s C86 comes to Manchester in the form of Flowers. First album Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do caused a stir back in 2013, produced by Bernard Butler and showcasing singer Rachel Kennedy‘s heartstopping vocals.

The band formed in part due to guitar/synth player Sam Ayres’ advert for a singer to play music like ‘Madonna through a broken tape machine’. The relatively long wait for a follow-up is less important than it might be thanks to the timeless power of scratchy, perfectly-formed pop music.

Second album Everybody’s Dying to Meet You is about to hit the shelves and they’re heading for the Fallow Cafe. For more information, click here.

Ryley Walker

Ryley Walker

6. Ryley Walker and Danny Thompson + Lee Southall: Band on the Wall, February 28

The following description alone for folk superstars Ryley Walker and Danny Walker should be enough to tempt you in.

Walker is in his twenties, plays guitar like Bert Jansch and sings like Tim Buckley. Thompson is a legendary double-bassist who has played with both Jansch (in Pentangle) and Buckley, as well as with Nick Drake, John Martyn and many others.

They’re on tour together for the second half of February, and the Manchester date sees them in the glistening confines of Band on the Wall. And if that’s not enough, able support comes from Coral guitarist Lee Southall.

For more info, click here.

 

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