Music

Preview: new music at Sounds from the Other City

Julia Coulton
Posted
sounds from the other city

Salford’s festival of new music returns to the other city on Bank Holiday Sunday– we highlight what’s on.

Salford  may be the “other city” in question here, so often sitting in Manchester’s mightier musical shadow, but its Sounds from the Other City festival is arguably one of Greater Manchester’s finest. Now in its ninth year it remains a proper May Day Bank Holiday knees-up, a celebration of new music that uses some of the better and lesser-known spaces in and around Chapel Street. SFTOC is the brainchild of Islington Mill’s Maurice and Mark Carlin (Maurice is also an artist; we profiled him in February); the brothers set up the festival as a means of working both with independent promoters and such venues as St Phillip’s and Sacred Trinity churches, Islington Mill and the King’s Arms. More unusual spaces get a look-in too (a gig on a railway platform, anyone?) and the line-up is never anything less than eclectic: expect around 60 acts across 11 different venues, and expect too to come across future big names (previous festivals have featured the likes of the Ting Tings, Marina and the Diamonds and The Whip).

60 acts across 11, eclectic stages: from Deptford Goth to Warp Records’ Robert Gordon

With a broad range of musical genres (folk, dance, indie, country, rock, and some that go beyond standard labelling), everyone will have their own picks. For organiser Rivca Burns, must-see acts include  singer/producer of the moment Deptford Goth at St Philips Church – currently mentioned in the same breath as James Blake and XX – and Hiss Golden Messenger, who plays a fusion of country and soul, and has already featured in the Guardian’s New Band of the Day slot, playing in Salford at the tiny, 50-capacity New Oxford.

Mark Carlin’s top acts are House artist Robert Gordon, one of the original founders of Warp Records, here at the Faktion stage at the Old Pint Pot; and also the arty stuff programmed alongside the music, the art installations, people dressed in costumes and other quirky touches that make SFTOC that much more than a standard new music event. As for me, I’ll be hanging out at the Hey Manchester! Americana and folk stage at Islington Mill, but might also be seen catching Nashville guitarist William Tyler at the New Oxford. Whatever takes your musical fancy, you can’t argue with the ticket price: a May Day’s worth of live music and an after-show party to boot for just £18. There’s no better way to spend the Bank Holiday, surely?

Culture Guides

Theatre

Politics both personal and global make this month’s theatre guide, all backed up by the reassuring presence of Sherlock Holmes.

Exhibitions

Can you imagine what Armageddon smells like? Want to learn how to grow your own hormones? Read on for this month’s top pick of exhibitions.

Families

Adventure and light are where it’s at. Chester Zoo is transformed into a magical sorting office, there’s detective heaven at the Secret Seven and we preview some alternative things to do and see this winter holiday.

Nicholas Royle. Credit Zoe McLean

Literature

Some fantastic live lit offerings, including the 13th Chorlton Book Festival, avant-garde regular Peter Barlow’s Cigarette showcasing some Forward Prize-winning work, Bad Language v Lit Up, Verbose and Evidently, and the annual glittering Manchester Prize Gala.

Music

Manchester continues to serve up musical delights throughout its concert halls, dance halls, pub function rooms and former Wesleyan chapels. Highlights over the coming months include Thundercat, British Sea Power, Jesca Hoop and The Unthanks.

Cinema

Featuring animation, fairy tales and festive cheer. Cosy up with some first-class cinema this winter.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts