As spring gives way to summer and flowers are in bloom, Getintothis’ Mark Rowley chooses his pick of the bunch of Manchester gigs for June.
The projected weather forecast for early June is sunshine, clouds and light winds, which sounds about as good as we can hope for as we pack our picnic blankets, sun cream and shades, and head out to make the most of live music in the open air.
There are outdoor gigs aplenty with the onset of festival season. The Rolling Stones bring their brand of dinosaur rock to the Etihad, and The Foo Fighters do likewise. Jay-Z and Beyonce entertain the masses at the same venue, whilst Nile Rodgers and Chic head to the smaller and more homely, Castlefield Bowl.
The most appealing of the outdoor music events (at least for under 25’s), takes place in Heaton Park on the second weekend in June. There’s some top acts performing at this year’s Parklife Festival weekender, including Sampha, Iamddb., Earl Sweatshirt and Kelela, along with notable DJ sets from Lauren Lo Sung and Or:la.You won’t need a blanket for this one, unless it’s to keep you warm.
Whilst there doesn’t seem to be as much going on as usual, there’s still a fair bit to get stuck into, read on for our recommendations:
Bipolar Sunshine: Band on the Wall, June 6
Adio Marchant, aka Bipolar Sunshine performs a one-off, home-town show at Band on the Wall. With three EPs (including new release, Imaginarium) and a number of single releases making up his releases to date, Bipolar Sunshine is currently working on a debut album.
The most likely reason he returns to the live stage for this June date is to perform songs from the new EP, and to test out new material from the forthcoming album.
Whatever, you’d be wise to get along to such an intimate venue and enjoy the soulful vibe from this talented singer-songwriter.
Witch Fever, The Slumdogs, Saintts: The Peer Hat, June 8
Still not seen Witch Fever? Then, here’s your chance! After putting in a frenetic, jaw-dropping performance at the recent O2 Ritz all-dayer (curated by Cabbage) a couple of weeks ago, everyone is talking about Witch Fever and the hype is not misplaced.
The band’s most recent single, Toothless, released in April 2018, is a glorious blast of heavy punk grunge, with forceful, uncompromising vocals and reverb-laden guitar riffs that could curl a band like Black Sabbath into a frightened, submissive ball.
Support here is provided by Leeds alt-rock quartet, The Slum Dogs and psych blues three-piece, Saintts from Doncaster.
Drahla: (photo credit: artist’s Facebook page)
Drahla, Hey Bulldog, Treeboy & Arc: The Castle Hotel, June 14
Leeds-based post-punk, art rock trio, Drahla, through numerous blistering live performances, (including support slots with the likes of Parquet Courts, Buzzcocks and The Cribs), have steadily developed a fan-base and reputation which last year saw them sign to Brooklyn label, Captured Tracks.
Check out the band’s Third Article EP from the back end of 2017 (produced by Hookworms’ MJ) if you haven’t done already.
Promoted by Strange Days, and including Leeds noise-punk four-piece, Treeboy & Arc, plus Manchester psych rockers, Hey Bulldog as support, expect this was to be a very packed and sweaty affair.
Dámì Sule (photo credit: artist’s Facebook page)
Dámì Sule: Zombie Shack, June 21
Manchester-based poet and alternative hip-hop and R&B artist, Dámì Sule plays a hometown headline show in the Zombie Shack on New Wakefield Street.
Promoting his debut 2018 album, Rough Canvas, Sule has a lo-fi, laid back style in which he shoots from the hip pertinent political references and observations about being a young, black African in Britain.
There’s a stripped-back Jazzmatazz feel to his music and a confidence that suggests a bright future for this rising star.
LA Witch, Afghan Sand Gang: Soup Kitchen, June 27
The slacker-style, bluesy-rock trio from Los Angeles, LA Witch are back in the UK following a successful tour promoting last year’s self-titled debut album last autumn, (including a stand-out performance at Liverpool Psych Fest 2017). Full of insouciant attitude, East Coast nasal drawl and jangling, grungey riffs, LA Witch have both the look and the sound to match.
Playing only a handful of UK dates as part of an extensive European tour, Manchester Soup Kitchen can count itself lucky to be host to the witches from LA; and doubly-fortunate to have Mossley magnificents, Afghan Sand Gang on the bill also.
Gardenback, Carnation: Soup Kitchen, June 30
Oldham psych-garage rock trio, Gardenback have been steadily building up a head of steam of late and their hard work has paid off with various festivals (such as Kendal Calling, Dot To Dot, etc.) coming knocking for their services.
Named after a vegetation-sprouting David Lynch character that was subsequently binned, (but whose script was later used for the Lynch classic movie, Eraserhead), Gardenback play their most prestigious headline show to date at the Northern Quarter’s Soup Kitchen.
The show marks the official launch of the band’s latest single, Health & Wellbeing, and is part of a short nationwide tour to promote it. Gardenback will be supported on the night by local indie rock trio, Carnation.
And if that wasn’t enough, here’s the rest that Manchester has to offer this month:
Dantevilles: Soup Kitchen, June 1
Loma: Gullivers, June 3
Hayes & Y, Deja Vega, Haarm, Tonica, (Free Vibes/DJ Shell Zenner): Band on the Wall, June 7
Beach Skulls: The Peer Hat, June 9
Ghostface Killah: Manchester Academy, June 14
ILL (album launch), Mold, Glove: Deaf Institute, June 16
Darcie, New Luna, Floral Scene, Original Design (Free Vibes/DJ Shell Zenner): Band on the Wall, June 22
Future Sounds ft. The Parrots, The Blinders,Sports Team, Yassassin (plus more): Salford White Hotel, June 23