A great start to the year album-wise, inevitably leads to a great month of gigs, Getintothis’ Steven Doherty finds out more.
This week sees the fifth anniversary of one of the most memorable Manchester gigs of modern times.
I was sat at home on the Tuesday night, idly watching The Brit Awards 2014, scrolling through Twitter when this suddenly appeared on my timeline.
Prince. Manchester. Now on Sale.
Presuming that he was going to do at least 5 nights at the Arena at the very least, I leisurely clicked on the link. Manchester Academy. £70.
Five years ago, that was a LOT for a gig. Reasoning thankfully took over, this was the only time he was ever going to play a venue like this, hang the expense. Giddy for the next four days, boring workmates with my Prince-related chat.
Now having been to thousands of gigs, they have a knack of blending into one when you look back on them. Not this one. I remember everything about that night, as if it was yesterday.
The pub I went in, the match I watched, the tea I ate. The size of the queue to get in (halfway down Oxford Road), the airport style security where I had to show my passport and be searched.
Getting in the venue eventually, I positioned myself at the left side of the stage. The front row was burly security guards stopping people from taking photos. This was an evening to ingrain on the brain, instead of by photos on Facebook.
8.00. The lights go down. Let’s Go Crazy kicks in with the “Dearly Beloved…” intro. There he is.
11.10 and I’m standing on the platform at Oxford Road station. He’d still been on stage when I left just before 11. He’d done 3 hours. I’m stood waiting for the train, still full of goose-bumps and stupidly grinning to myself at what I had just witnessed.
Once in a lifetime stuff.
Hopefully there will be something as life-changing for you from the goodies below.
The Orb: Band On The Wall, March 9.
The Orb are dance pioneers, described as the ‘Pink Floyd of The Nineties’ due to their, at-the-time unique mix of fuzzy prog-rock and floaty ambience, come to their spiritual home as part of the celebrations commemorating, in the various line-ups, 30 years in the biz.
A greatest hits set, along with the choicest cuts from last year’s 15th studio album No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds, is as good as guaranteed.
Those of a certain vintage will lap it up.
Rory Wynne: Jimmy’s, March 16.
Hailing from the latest musical hotspot of Stockport, singer-songwriter Rory Wynne plays a couple of UK dates in support of his recently released new single Getting Over You, released on Very Clever Records, the label run by another of the Stockport massive, Blossoms.
Previously supporting the likes of The Coral, Pale Waves and the aforementioned Blossoms, his live shows are garnering the praise that his recorded stuff has already received, so catch him in a small venue like Jimmy’s before he becomes another big Greater Manchester player.
Bedouine: Sacred Trinity Church, March 21.
Syrian-born Azniv Korkjian, AKA Bedouine, brings her folk, country-funk to the glorious surroundings of the Sacred Trinity Church.
Last seen in these parts supporting Father John Misty late last year, she will be premiering her new material from the follow-up to her self-titled 2017 debut album ahead, no doubt of some big festival slots this summer.
Music that gigs in churches was made for, this will be something special.
Dirty Laces: Night And Day, March 22.
This is a big night for Manchester’s Dirty Laces, selling out their biggest headline show in their very own city.
They make a big old raucous racket and are fast gaining reputation for rowdy shows in the great tradition of their city’s forefathers, so this will go off big time.
Orchards: Jimmy’s, March 27.
A math-pop quartet from Brighton, Orchards name some of their influences as such musically diverse acts as Dua Lipa, The Wombats and The Mars Volta.
They put this mish-mash together and out comes a Foals/Everything Everything pop thoughtfulness, combining a left-field sentiment with something more Radio 1. This all makes for a fun night out.
They play Jimmy’s as part of their very first headline tour. Catch them before everyone else gets onto them.
Tiny Ruins: Kings Arms, March 28.
Hailing from Auckland, Tiny Ruins are a musical ensemble celebrating their 10th anniversary as an outfit by releasing new album Olympic Girls.
The record is a lovely dollop of acoustic, in parts orchestral, Americana, and over the last 10 years their live shows have become more intense personal experiences.
Another one this month that will reward a respectful crowd with some gorgeousness in return.
Drenge: Ritz, March 29.
Onto something significantly louder. The undisputed gig highlight of the month.
The mighty Drenge are back with a small UK tour in support of their glorious third album Strange Creatures, and they are one band that you can rely on to never disappoint.
The album may show them in a lighter, more pop style, but their live show, if last year’s Liverpool Invisible Wind Factory show (which ended with the band doing their encore in the midst of the crowd) is anything to go by, will still be the barking raucous riff-fest that they have always been.
Also happening this month:
Maribou State: Albert Hall, March 9.
Oddity Road: Bread Shed, March 9.
Drake: Arena, March 10/11.
Picture This: Gorilla, March 22.
Sharon Van Etten: Albert Hall, March 22.
Noname: Academy 2, March 26.
Black Futures: Deaf Institute, March 28.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals: Academy, March 29.
Panic At The Disco: Arena, March 30.