Manchester International Festival returns this summer with an exciting and diverse line up and Getintothis’ Matt Yarwood has some hot picks.
Every two years, artists, performers and musicians from across the globe descend on the Cottonopolis for a unique cultural event of celebration and discovery.
The Manchester International Festival, now in its 6th iteration, takes over the rainy city for 18 heady days from June 29 to July 16.
Packing out galleries, theatres, bars and just about every other conceivable space across the city, the festival has a well-earned reputation for attracting a diverse and exiting array of artists, with a particular emphasis on showcasing new and emerging talent.
You could be forgiven for finding such an array of interesting goings on a little overwhelming, but worry not – we’ve rifled through this years high quality programme to pick out just some of the must see live music events to get you started.
LEVELZ, Gorilla, June 29
The festivities get underway in raucous style as Manchester’s multifaceted 14 strong collective LEVELZ bring their chaotic and compelling live show to Gorilla. Effortlessly melding elements of Hip-Hop, Reggae, Dub and Drum and Bass, the outfit are rapidly establishing themselves as one of the city’s must see live acts.
Hookworms, Pavilion Theatre, July 2
Leed’s brilliant psychedelic rock five-piece Hookworms are one of a number of top class bands to visit the city’s beautiful Pavilion Theatre during the festival. With a growing body of critically acclaimed work behind them and a reputation for a thunderous live show, this is an opportunity not to be missed.
Sampha, Albert Hall, July 5
On the back of his critically lauded debut album Process , South London’s R&B innovator Sampha plays the Albert Hall for what will likely be one of the hottest tickets of the festival.
Bonobo, Manchester Cathedral, July 4
Ninja Tune’s consistently excellent electronic maestro Bonobo visits the Manchester’s stunning Cathedral for a one off performance. Showcasing his outstanding 6th feature length offering Migration and backed by a new visual arrangement and live instrumentation, this promises to be a transcendent experience.
The Haxan Cloak, Gorilla, July 7
Purveyor of haunting electro-doom The Haxan Cloak, AKA Bobby Krlic, plays Gorilla as we approach the festivals mid-point. A versatile composer and producer, Krlic has lent his sinister soundscapes to artists as varied as Bjork and sludgecore band The Body, as well as scoring a number of movies. Expect a foreboding but enchanting experience.
Stealing Sheep, Pavilion Theatre, July 8
Glorious scouse electro-pop trio Stealing Sheep visit the Pavilion for a show that’s marks the culmination of their Luna Disco residency at Salford’s Islington Mill. The show incorporates the band’s new material with a multimedia extravaganza of dance, light and wonder.
Portico Quartet, Pavilion Theatre, July 13
London’s shapeshifting, Mercury nominated foursome Portico Quartet visit the Pavilion for a long overdue Manchester show. After a brief but brilliant meander into electronic music (under the moniker Portico), the outfit have returned to their absorbing, cinematic Jazz roots.
Sunn O))), O2 Ritz, July 15
Seattle’s staggeringly heavy drone metal experimenters Sunn O))) will be causing the sprung dancefloor at the Ritz to reverberate like never before as their famed live show lurches into town on July 17. Ever wondered what it would feel like to be temporarily deafened by a band dressed as druids? Look no further my friends.
Spring King, Pavilion Theatre, July 16
The festival’s final day see’s Macclesfield’s highly promising pop-punk four-piece bring the curtain down at the Pavilion with their frenetically paced live show. Offering able support is the brilliantly skewed pop of Norwich’s fantastically named Let’s Eat Grandma – a double header not to be missed.