Anna Meredith at Gorilla

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Gem Harris

Anna Meredith at Gorilla, Manchester 4 February 2020 Tickets from £15 — Book now

Straddling a multitude of genres – contemporary classical, art pop, techno, experimental rock, the list goes on – Anna Meredith’s latest album Fibs is a sheer delight. Her gig at Gorilla will be, too.

A composer, producer and performer of both acoustic and electronic music, Anna Meredith has enjoyed an eclectic and illustrious career thus far. In the classical arena her future-leaning music has been performed at events as prestigious as the Last Night of the Proms and has earned her an MBE from the Queen. In the pop arena, meanwhile, the Scottish artist has won critical and popular acclaim for two gleaming solo albums: 2016’s Varmints and 2019’s Fibs.

Anna’s first foray into the pop world was 2012’s ‘Nautilus’, an imperious, fist-shaking single made of brass fanfares, apocalyptic synth bass and call-to-arms percussion. Four years later (delayed due to a run of paid commissions – fair enough), she released Varmints, an album rooted in obsessively detailed maximalism. Sitting somewhere between Battles and Animal Collective, this synth-heavy record provided a majestic meeting point for space-gazing synth-pop and fidgety, instrumental experimentation.

Fast forward three years and we have the eagerly-anticipated Fibs. Picking up where Varmints left off and then sprinting, wide-eyed, into euphoric new territory, this is a glorious second effort. Wielding the power of her excellent synth and guitar-driven band, Anna – whether by design or not (there are few clues) – has made an album that channels the chaos and instability of modern Britain.

The serotonin-stroking ‘Sawbones’ kicks us off with obsessively rhythmic synth chords and pounding percussion. As with many of the tracks, time signatures twist and keys contort until we arrive at a wholly unpredictable destination. Next is ‘Inhale Exhale’, the album’s standout. Atop rave synths, Anna weaves a lushly-harmonised melody whose wry, hooky lyrics sing to the introvert trapped in an extrovert’s world. Later things get rockier with ‘Limpet’, and poppier with ‘Ribbons’, before ending in blissed-out style with the aptly named ‘Unfurl’.

The album feels thrillingly unwieldy, sometimes even a bit mad, and yet Anna clearly has a very tight rein on these strange musical worlds, making it easy to sink into them. Judging by recent live reviews, the visceral thrills of her music are elevated new heights on stage. It’s been a good few years since Anna last played in Manchester, and her show at Gorilla promises to be a special one. We can’t wait.

Anna Meredith at Gorilla, Manchester 4 February 2020 Tickets from £15 Book now

Where to go near Anna Meredith at Gorilla

Dog Bowl bowling alley and restaurant Manchester.
Bar or Pub
Dog Bowl

A bar and 10-pin bowling alley combined, Dog Bowl is a neon-lit venue that serves up cocktails and Tex-Mex food to go with your time on the lanes.

Bar or Pub
Black Dog Ballroom NWS

Black Dog Ballroom is a three-level bar, club and restaurant complete with roof terrace covered to provide protection during Manchester’s rainy season.

Photo of people going through Cornerhouse's front doors

Cornerhouse on Oxford Street was an independent cinema, gallery, restaurant, bookshop – oh yes, and also a Manchester institution. It has now closed it’s doors, relocated and reinvented itself as HOME.

City Centre
Bar or Pub
The Temple

Originally called The Temple of Convenience owing to its former life as a public toilet block, this is a tiny bar with some of the finest bathroom graffiti in town.

Bar or Pub
The Thirsty Scholar

Friendly pub under a railway arch serving vegetarian and vegan pub food, as well as hosting regular live music.

Palace Theatre Manchester
Palace Theatre

A Manchester landmark for almost 130 years, The Palace Theatre is reopening in early August 2021 with a few small but vital changes to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for all.

City Centre
The Refuge

The Refuge is a restaurant and bar based at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, specialising in bright, exciting small plates.

Bundobust Oxford Road
Bar or Pub
Bundobust Brewery

Launched in 2021, the Bundobust Brewery makes modern beer with their vegetarian and vegan food menu in mind.

City Centre
Bar or Pub
Peveril Of The Peak

Iconic Manchester pub adorned with the sorts of bottle green, yellow and brown Victorian tiles that are a reclamation yard’s dream – this gem of a boozer is named after Sir Walter Scott’s novel of the same name and was a favourite hang-out of Eric Cantona.

Café or Coffee Shop
Burgess Cafe Bar

Small but perfectly-formed café – which also serves as the in-house bookstore, stocking all manner of Burgess-related works, along with recordings of his music. It’s a welcoming space, with huge glass windows making for a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

Rain Bar pub in Manchester
City Centre
Bar or Pub
Rain Bar

This huge three-floor pub, formerly a Victorian warehouse, then an umbrella factory (hence the name), has one of the city centre’s largest beer gardens. The two-tier terrace overlooks the Rochdale canal and what used to be the back of the Hacienda, providing an unusual, historic view of the city.

What's on: Music

DJ Gym at Hatch

Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.

from £269
RNCM Autumn Season

The RNCM’s Autumn Season brings with it an incredibly diverse programme of live music from across the genre spectrum. Here are our highlights.

from £8.50

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Spotlighting global artists who all, in one way or another, break the mould, we preview the best gigs happening this side of Christmas and beyond.