Manchester Gigs of the Month – November 2016

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PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey

Despite the distinct possibilty of the world ending before the end of November, Getintothis’ Matt Yarwood has still picked the cream of Manchester’s gigs of the month for you.

November looks set to be an important month.

The four yearly pantomime of spin and scandal that is the U.S Presidential Election concludes with possibility that the new leader of the free world will be a gun mad, short tempered xenophobe with two thirds of a fox stapled to his head.

Rather worryingly, along with swanky new digs and a fully pimped private jet, the new occupant of the Oval Office can also count access to a stockpile of some 7,000 plus nuclear warheads amongst the perks of the job. Just as well potential incumbents emotionally balanced then heh?

Thankfully, should the worst happen, the threat of total nuclear annihilation is not the only thing visiting the grey streets of Manchester from across the pond during the twilight of the year.

The cottonopolis welcomes Old Skool Hip-Hop pioneers, exuberant R&B song-smiths and purveyors of brass infused indie rock brilliance, as well the best musical talent from here in Blighty and much further afield.

So whilst you-know-who is constructing a 200ft wall around the U.S and thumbing through their new set of launch codes, you can enjoy more thrills and spills than the average campaign trail, but without the omnipresent threat of inappropriate touching.

DJ Shadow

DJ Shadow (Credit: Artist’s Facebook Page)

DJ Shadow, Old Granada Studios, November 2

The beginning of the month presents a unique opportunity to see DJ Shadow, one of Hip-Hops most important artists, play one of the cities most recognisable buildings – the box shaped, brutalist monstrosity that is the former Granada television studios.  June’s The Mountain Will Fall (Mass Appeal) comes some twenty years after his ground breaking debut Entroducing’ and sees Josh Davies continue to evolve his sound.

Davies’ live show has similarly developed, shifting from the simple turntable arrangements that accompanied Entroducing’s sample driven production, to a more elaborate and involving live set up, now encompassing enormous visual arrangements that reflect the broader and more ambitious song structures.

PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

PJ Harvey, Victoria Warehouse, November 3

A mere 24 hours later, across the city, another Manchester landmark plays host to another longstanding and influential artist as genre straddling mega talent and all round national treasure Polly Jean Harvey graces the warren like confines of the Victoria Warehouse.

This year’s The Hope Six Demolition Project (Island), Harvey’s ninth studio album, is a raucous, challenging and thrilling addition to a staggering back catalogue that already boasts a hand-full of stone cold classics.  Harvey’s live shows, now showcasing material curated from a quarter of a century of endeavour are no less revered.

This is a rare opportunity to see an artist at the peak of her powers. 

Whitney

Whitney (Credit: Artist’s Facebook page)

Whitney, Gorilla, November 8

It appears Chicago’s Whitney are rapidly establishing themselves as everyone’s new favourite band.  There are 10 very good reasons for this wrapped up in the bands debut LP, this summer’s outstanding Light upon the Lake (Secretly Canadian), which looks set to justifiably trouble countless best of year lists over the coming months.

Expect lush, sun bleached indie rock compositions, punctuated by uplifting trumpet and earnest narrative delivered by front-man Julien Ehrlich’s fragile falsetto.

Large Professor & Diamond D

Large Professor & Diamond D (Credit: Artists Facebook pages)

Large Professor vs Diamond D, The Whiskey Jar, November 10

Fancy lounging out in a warn leather sofa, sipping a well-crafted Old Fashion and listening to an eclectic mix of hip-hop drawn from the last four decades?

Well who wouldn’t and luckily for you that is exactly what the Northern Quarter’s speak easy inspired Whiskey Jar has lined up when Hip–Hop stalwarts Large Professor and Diamond D drop by on the November 10.

Though now clocking up a combined age of 89, like all good whiskies, our two protagonist are aged to perfection, bringing forth a rich blend of Hip-Hop and breaks, with notes of R&B, Soul and Funk, rounded off by a late, blurry-eyed finish. Cheers.

 Julia Holter

Julia Holter (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

Julia Holter, Manchester Cathedral, November 15

Even in a month characterised by artists being paired with some of the city’s most unique backdrops, it’s hard to think of a venue and artist more becoming of one another than the grand and spacious surroundings of Manchester Cathedral playing host to the ethereal and intricate art pop of Julia Holter.

Her latest full length, Have You in My Wilderness (Domino) was one of 2015’s stand out releases and saw Holter establish a more tightly focused and accessible approach to song writing, without sacrificing the sophistication and complexity that have made her previous three efforts such captivating and enduring listens.

The same venue has another stand out event on the November 30 when they have pleasure of hosting Scottish rockers Frightened Rabbit, who tour on the back of this year’s Aaron Dessner produced Painting of a Panic Attack (Atlantic).

Mutual Benefit

Mutual Benefit (Credit: Artist’s Facebook page)

Mutual Benefit, Gullivers, November 22

As the month shuffles towards conclusion, Austin’s lo-fi folk outfit Mutual Benefit cram themselves onto the stage at Oldham Street’s Gullivers to showcase May’s rather lovely Skip A Sinking Stone’(Mom + Pop).

The charming and intimate Victorian era boozer should prove the ideal surrounding for the bands cleverly structured orchestral folk and in particular, main man Jordan Lee’s sincere and reflective vocal.

How To Dress Well

How To Dress Well (Credit: Artist’s Facebook page)

How to Dress Well, Band on the Wall, November 24

The pick of a typically strong month at Band on the Wall sees How To Dress Well, aka singer-songwriter Tom Krell, visit following the release of his forth full length effort, September’s Care (Weird World).

Stylistically, the album marks a notable departure from the reflective and angst ridden R&B of earlier albums, instead wrapping Krell’s rich and accomplished vocal in bolder and more exuberant electronic arrangements.

A note to Malian desert blues enthusiasts, you might want to visit the same venue earlier in the month to catch the outstanding Tinariwen, who rock up to deliver one of their famously vibrant shows on the November 6.

XAM Duo (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

XAM Duo (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

The Early Years and XAM Duo, Aatma, November 25

We round of a stellar month of live music at stripped out back ally venue Aatma, which plays host to Sonic Cathedral label mates The Early Years and XAM Duo.  The former return from a decade long break from recording with II, a dark and sumptuous neo-krautrock blast which should resonate beautifully within the venue’s tight, shadowy interior.

XAM Duo, a musical vehicle for Hookworms Matthew Benn and Christopher Duffin of Deadfall, release their highly anticipated eponymous debut on November 4.  Expect psychedelic electronica, anchored by metronomic drum beats and shot through with driving synths.

As December rolls around, more top drawer music finds its way to our fair city; hip-hoppers Talib Kweli and Mouse Outfit, melodic London rockers Gengahr, Dublin noise rockers Girl Band and local heroes Blossoms are just some of the artists to grace the cities stages before the year is through. Global nuclear conflict notwithstanding, you know where to come.

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