September sees the old and new come out to play in Manchester and Getintothis’ Steven Doherty brings us the best of both worlds.
To paraphrase one of the great singles of 1989, not to put a finer point on it, but this month I’ve got a bee in my bonnet.
Is there a better feeling than discovering a new pre-gig pub?
Similar to having your own favourite football ground drinking establishment (Bernie May’s on County Road for all your pre-match alcohol needs), it has to pass a certain amount of tests.
There’s the easiness of always getting a seat, has to be a head-spinning choice of beers and just somewhere that feels comfortable.
So this is what I’d thought I’d found at this place in Liverpool city centre.
It’s not as easy as it looks, the finding of a great pub in town, they all seem to have some sort of quirk, just one thing that would stop it becoming your new home.
This one didn’t though.
It was within staggering distance to all our favourite venues, and even had a lovely looking selection of food, with vegetarian options aplenty.
What a bonus, who doesn’t love a pre-gig scran.
So, what could possibly go wrong, I hear you ask?
And then we saw it.
On top of the bar is a squirrel.
Whatever your views on taxidermy, it can be argued that it is a vehicle to allow the animal to somehow live on and is remembered in some way, a kind of noble tribute.
Or in this case, maybe not.
This poor once-living creature has ignominiously had what looks like a beer bottle shoved in its mouth.
It’s an absolute abomination.
The poor thing now has no dignity, it’s such a classless, pointless, crass thing to do, an uncaring gesture, it’s so ugly.
So, this week’s intro is just a plea to Brewdog Liverpool to remove this monstrosity. I say Liverpool, I’m not sure whether it’s just there, or it’s a nationwide thing.
But please, show some respect.
Onto this month’s happenings.
Johnny Marr: Albert Hall, September 4/5
Everyone’s favourite guitarist Johnny Marr is back in the hometown, finishing off his year-long tour promoting his last solo album Call The Comet.
With a set full of old Smiths songs, now sung by the only member you would actually want to see live, this promises to be a hands in the air epic.
Sure to be a sell-out, be quick to this one.
Adwaith: Yes, September 5
The Carmarthen trio bring their stylish pop sensibilities to Yes, supported by their fellow country-folk, Welsh Language Album of the Year winners Mellt and Papur Wal.
This is a Welsh language gig, as part of a Welsh government backed plan which will hopefully see more bands given opportunities to play better venues more often outside of Wales (this short tour also takes in London and Glasgow).
Adwaith’s new single Hey! is an absolute corker, and follows on from the success of last year’s debut album Melyn.
This will be a special night.
Flaming Lips: Academy, September 6
You know already what this will consist of.
Wacky Wayne in his hamster ball.
They are playing their seminal album The Soft Bulletin in full, as well as all of the hits.
It’s a rare one in such a relatively small venue compared to the ones they have been filling of late, so a chance to see them up close, if that’s your thing.
The Zangwills: Deaf Institute, September 6
Relatively new kids on the block The Zangwills headline the gorgeous Deaf Institute on their biggest Manchester date thus far.
Getintothis’ encountered them earlier in the year tearing up Sound City at lunchtime, not the easiest thing to do, so it’s a wholehearted recommendation from us.
It’s sold out already, so if you got in early, well done.
Pixies: Apollo, September 18
Expect a couple of hours of glorious hit after hit.
Not known for their audience interaction, this will be a relentless noisefest from the legendary Pixies.
The nightmare-to-get-to Apollo seems to be becoming a bit of a regular home for them (yeah, play somewhere different), and there’ll be the choicest cuts from their very recently released album Beneath The Eyrie to enjoy.
Thumper: Yes, September 22
Here’s a name you may not yet be familiar with.
Thumper are another band coming straight outta Dublin, a frenetic joy that are starting to build a big reputation at home after a few years in existence.
It’s a rare mainland gig for them, so turn up, make them welcome and show them some love for their rickety sonic melodies.
Stay Fresh Fest: Deaf Institute, September 28
It wouldn’t be a monthly gig guide without an all-dayer, so here’s this month’s selection.
It starts at 4-ish, it’s only 4 quid to get in, and if you’re early enough to the party, it’s only 2 quid a pint.
If that sentence doesn’t get you there, nothing will.
Also going on this month:
Avalanche Party: Band On The Wall, September 6
Tallies: Gullivers, September 11
Love Fame Tragedy: Gorilla, September 12
Eels: Albert Hall, September 15
Zuzu: Jimmy’s, September 16
Modern Nature: Yes, September 17
The Leisure Society: Night And Day, September 17
Working Men’s Club: Yes, September 19
Orlando Weeks: Deaf Institute, September 22
Natalie McCool, Abbie Ozard: Jimmy’s, September 25
Plastic Mermaids: Yes, September 26
Wilco: Albert Hall, September 27
No Hot Ashes: Ritz, September 27
Goldie: Gorilla, September 27
Miss June: Yes, September 29