February sees this year’s avalanche of splendid gigs in the City of Manchester continue, Getintothis’ Steven Doherty is very happy about that.
Thirty days has September, April, June and November, all the rest have 31.
Except January, which seemed to have about 257 this year. But, hurrah, we’ve made it.
Much love at this point to those of you that managed to complete the month of your newly found change of life, whether it be Veganuary or Dry January.
Even more love to those that attempted it, and failed within the first week of the month, you are far more my kind of people.
Whatever your resolutions were for this year, let’s hope it’s all going well. So, it’s February next, and this year it’s a strange one.
There’s an extra day, but seeing as the month also heralds Brexit, it’s debatable whether we would actually want the additional time.
But if it means there’s more time to enjoy the absolute bounty that we are about to receive below, then God bless the leap year.
We’ll be okay people, we have live music.
Carly Rae Jepson: Victoria Warehouse, February 7
Written of as a one-hit wonder, after the massive worldwide success of Call Me Maybe back in 2012 seemed to be not followed up straightaway, Carly Rae Jepson is back bigger than before.
She benefitted from the chatter around her album Emotion in 2015, after which word of mouth from the cool kids took it from being a flop to a critically acclaimed sleeper hit.
She comes to Manchester in support of last year’s record Dedicated, expect some pop magic, the likes of Run Away With Me is up there with anything that the likes of Swift and Perry come up with.
The Zangwills: Manchester Academy 3, February 8
One of the best things about writing this monthly column over last year and a half, has been being able to track the progress of bands by the Manchester venues they play and at the speed and size they increase.
Last time we saw them in these parts, they were comfortably selling out the Deaf Institute, and now they are on the way to selling out on of the Academies.
They have the hooks and words, but feel slightly different to the blander Radio X bunch, they have something a bit stranger about them (in a good way) and a fair bit more substance.
Beak>: Ritz, February 8
Electro pioneer Geoff Barrow brings his band to the Ritz for the last gig of their short tour of UK and Europe, ahead of the release of their forthcoming fourth album.
And it’s not just the Portishead man’s spectral psychedelia that will be out in force tonight, we are also to be treated to a big name support.
Polica, Warm Digits: Gorilla, February 8
A week after the release of their long-awaited new album When We Stay Alive, Minneapolis synth-pop band Polica come to Manchester.
Once described by Bon Iver as “the best band I’ve ever heard“, they have kept us waiting a while to return to these shores with good reason, as in early 2018 as vocalist Channy Leaneagh suffered a debilitating accident, rendering her immobile for months.
Ably supported by the returning, wonderfully infectious Warm Digits, this will be one of those special nights for sure.
An Audience with Joe Talbot, Faux Pas: Bread Shed, February 13
And speaking of special, here comes the master of that particular craft.
Tonight sees him in a different setting as one of the most fascinating frontmen of the current era, Joe Talbot from IDLES (for it is he) is interviewed by the Manchester local legend Clint Boon (Inspiral Carpets).
As well as this, tonight also includes a set from one of Manchester’s best up and comers in the shape of Faux Pas.
What a way to spend Valentine’s Day Eve.
Explosions In The Sky: Albert Hall, February 14
The band responsible for the soundtrack of the greatest US ‘box-set’ show ever, Friday Night Lights (don’t argue, I’m factually correct) and the ideal gift for the loved one in your life.
Celebrating their 20 year anniversary, Texas post-rockers Explosions In The Sky are back in the country bringing with them their almost instrumental soundscapes and what better venue to let them engulf you.
Live, they are a beauty to behold, this will be an all-encompassing experience.
William Doyle: YES, February 20
The artist formerly known as East India Youth is back.
William Doyle has been making music ever since he dropped the EIY moniker back in 2016, but his latest album, last year’s Your Wilderness Revisited should be the record that catapults him back into the public eye.
He’s in the basement at YES as part of a short run of UK dates, sticking his toe back in the water of the mainstream and his captivating mellow form of soundscapes on the album show a new-found self-confident musical journey that we’ve missed since those early days.
Lana Del Rey: Arena, February 26
Playing the biggest venues of her career so far on the back of her sixth and most well received album to date, Norman F***ing Rockwell! Lana Del Rey is back in the UK.
And their may be some new material on offer tonight, she has already confirmed that she is to release a new album this year in the shape of White Hot Forever.
She, alongside Taylor Swift, was responsible for the most solo UK Number One albums by a female artist in the 2010’s (fun fact).
She’s also got a book of poetry and a spoken-word album in the pipeline, so expect some of that new direction as well.
Supergrass: Victoria Warehouse, February 26/27
This month’s highlight for people of a certain era.
They may not be young and run free so much these days, but things seem alright again now for Supergrass.
They’re back from a 9 year hiatus, and the word on the reformation is that they are sounding better live than even in their absolute Britpop heyday.
There may be differing opinions within the band about any new material, but these two nights will be all about the 90’s classics.
As if these two nights could get any better, they have also just announced The Coral as support. Wowzer.
SPQR: Gullivers, February 28
Liverpool’s best keep secret SPQR take their first steps towards branching out and spreading the word on their not inconsiderate talent and potential.
Armed with a set’s worth of classics already, tonight sees them headlining at the Northern Quarter venue.
Having seen them a few times over the last 12 months, they are going from strength to strength every time we see them, and their feisty wonk-pop deserves a bigger audience, hopefully nights like tonight are just the start.
Ladytron: Ritz, February 29
Ladytron ticket-holders have been waiting a long old while for this one, re-arranged as it is from last October.
It’s their first headline Manchester gig in over 10 years, following last year’s self-titled comeback record, the success of which has brought them back into the public consciousness, and entitled them to return to venues as big as this one.
Also going down in February:
Bombay Bicycle Club: Victoria Warehouse, February 3
Hawthorne Heights: Deaf Institute, February 3
Algiers: YES, February 6
Peaness: Soup Kitchen, February 7
Kashmere: Deaf Institute, February 7
Pagans S.O.H: Night And Day, February 8
The Hu: Ritz, February 12
Dry Cleaning: Gullivers, February 12
Tom Walker: Night And Day, February 13
Genaghr: Band On The Wall, February 13
The Murder Capital: Academy, February 14
Saults: Bread Shed, February 15
Ditz: YES, February 17
Paris Youth Foundation: Off The Square, February 20
Girl Ray: YES, February 21
Italia 90: Gullivers, February 21
Saint Phnx: Deaf Institute, February 23
Hotel Lux: YES, February 24
Thumper: Night People, February 27
DJ Shadow: Albert Hall, February 28
Field Music: Dancehouse, February 28
Editors: Apollo, February 29
Deja Vega: Deaf Institute, February 29
Parliamo: Eagle Inn, February 29