Manchester Gigs of the Month – August 2016

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Sunns (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

Sunns (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

Gloom rock, veteran punk, brasshouse and more head towards Manchester in August and Getintothis’ Matt Yarwood has the picks of the bunch.

It’s been an odd summer.  The mega heatwave has failed to materialise. A Brit won Wimbledon. Against all the odds and logic, the country exited Europe, rapidly followed by the England Football team.

Cameron bailed. Farage bailed. Hodgson Bailed. Corbyn didn’t bail. The pound plummeted, the FTSE index crashed and if the experts are to be believed, full global apocalypse edged that little bit closer.

But don’t let the end of days get you down – The Republic of Mancunia boasts full freedom of movement, a buoyant, tariff-free market and mercifully, enough top drawer live music to get you through the remainder of this strangest of summers… or until Armageddon, depending on which is first. With that air of positivity ringing through your mind, here’s this month’s finest live music offerings in Manchester.

Too Many Zooz (Credit:Artists Facebook page)

Too Many Zooz (Credit:Artists Facebook page)

Too Many Zooz: Band on the Wall, August 2

Band on the Wall promise to get August off to a flyer with the visit of New York’s bright young things Too Many Zooz. Hype around the self-styled ‘brasshouse’ trio has been steadily building since YouTube videos of them busking at Union Square Station went viral back in 2014.

The release of a flurry of EPs via Bandcamp, followed by a knock out showing at last year’s Glastonbury has further fuelled the excitement ahead of the release of this year’s debut LP Subway Gawds. Expect big, upfront, vibrant brass sounds with undertones of hip-hop, dance, jazz and blues.

For more information, click here.

Dictators NYC

Dictators NYC (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

The Dictators NYC: FAC251, August 4

From something new to something, well, really quite old.

The Dictators NYC (formally simply Dictators) formed way back in 1974. Their heady combination of driving rock and roll,barber shop quartet harmonies and brash lyrics (principally covering challenging subject matter such as girls,getting high and takeout foods),seemed to have them set for world domination. Alas,after their maiden release,the thought-provokingly titled (and really quite good) Go Girl Crazy,the band were dropped from their record label and have spent much of the intervening decades in rock music’s wilderness.

Still,they are credited with laying the foundation for the Big Apples’ late 70’s punk explosion and can count Bruce Springsteen among their fan base, so who needs money and fame?

For more information, click here.

Sulk

Sulk (Photo Credit: Takeshi Suga)

Sulk: Night and Day, August 13

As we approach mid-month, Night and Day plays host to London shoegazers and (reluctant) Brit-Pop revivalists Sulk. The venue, a stalwart of Manchester’s live music scene since the early 90s, should prove the ideal platform for the big riffs, soft, dreamy vocals and buckets of swagger that have seen Sulk compared to many of the bands from the city’s ‘Madchester’ heyday.

The bands second effort, No Illusions dropped in April on Perfect Sound Forever.

For more information, click here.

Kevin Morby

Kevin Morby (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

Kevin Morby: The Deaf Institute, August 22

If you’ve not been lucky enough to score a ticket for The Deaf Institute’s now sold out 8th Birthday Party (Everything Everything, Dutch Uncles & Marc Riley), fear not, August provides plenty of other opportunities to enjoy one of the city’s finest small music venues.

Chief among these is the visit of former Woods bassist and The Babies contributor Kevin Morby. The Texan singer-songwriter tours on the back of his third and most accomplished LP, the excellent Singing Saw (Dead Oceans).

Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen provide reference points for Morby’s contemplative and world weary song writing, with wonderfully anchored lush and detailed arrangements. The album bears all the hallmarks of an important songwriter coming of age.

For more information, click here.

Sunns (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

Sunns (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

Suuns: The Soup Kitchen, August 22

Canadian gloom rockers Suuns descend upon the Northern Quarter’s Soup Kitchen following the release of their third album Hold/Still on the consistently excellent Secretly Canadian imprint.

Revered for their stunning live sets, Suuns’ uneasy marriage of sharp, taut post-punk, shot through with distorted, menacing electronica creates a challenging, chaotic, but ultimately exhilarating experience.

For more information, click here.

Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop

Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop: Royal Northern College of Music, August 31

As August and summer draw to a close, the spacious amphitheatres of the RNCM provide a fitting back drop to the collaborative efforts of Sam Beam (he of Iron and Wine fame) and Manchester-based, Californian songstress Jesca Hoop.

The pair’s debut LP, April’s Love Letter for Fire (Sub Pop), is a collection of 13 nostalgic, low key and tender duets, perfectly suited to soundtrack the fading summer sun.

For more information, click here.

Upcoming events to keep an eye on.

PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey

Providing we haven’t formed a break away rogue state by the autumn months, the great live music keeps on coming.

Teenage Fanclub play Gorilla on September 7, Arab Strap play 02 Ritz on October 14, and Jagwar Ma turn up at Academy 2 on October 21.

And there’s more.

Sleaford Mods will be at the Academy on October 27; Frightened Rabbit play the Cathedral on 30 November 30 and Field Music grace the stage at the 02 Ritz on October 29.

Post-punk outfit Merchandise also play The Castle Hotel on November 3 as part of a worldwide tour and on the back of a brand spanking new 4AD album, A Corpse Wired for Sound which drops on September 23. Now a stripped back to three piece core, Merchandise treat this a a new chapter for them, following 2014’s  After the End album.

If that wasn’t enough to set pulses racing in anticipation, enduring uber-talent and national treasure PJ Harvey also returns to Manchester to illuminate the dark chambers of the city’s Victoria Warehouse on November 3.

Watch this space.

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