Music

Music in Manchester and the North

Chris Horkan, Music Editor

Things get decidedly folky in Manchester this winter, as the likes of LauJesca HoopThe Unthanks and Eliza Carthy visit the city’s concert halls and former Wesleyan chapels over the coming months. If classical is more your bag, we’re well served by Manchester Collective, Manchester Camerata and the BBC Philharmonic, whose current seasons are in full flow. And, already thinking ahead to festival season, we suggest booking early for Sounds From The Other City and Festival No.6. Read on for these recommendations and more…

Here are our picks

  • 1. Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2017

    Nikel by Markus Sepperer

    Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2017 at Huddersfield Town Hall, 17–26 November 2017, from £9 - Book now

    The UK’s largest international festival of new and experimental music returns for its 40th edition. Featuring the music of Kraftwerk and Lou Reed, as well as countless exclusives and premieres from composers and ensembles from throughout the world, 2017 promises to be the festival’s biggest and most adventurous outing to date.

  • 2. Emily Barker and Pete Roe at Band on the Wall

    Image courtesy of Band on the Wall

    Emily Barker and Pete Roe at Band on the Wall, Manchester, 24 November 2017, from £14.50 - Book now

    Australian singer-songwriter Emily Barker stops off at Band on the Wall with her brand new solo album, Sweet Kind of Blue. The folk and country musician tries her hand as a soul chanteuse for the record, which tells a love story between Barker and Memphis.

  • 3. Lau: Decade (the best of 2007 – 2017) at the RNCM

    Lau

    Lau: Decade (the best of 2007 – 2017) at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, 24 November 2017, from £18.50 - Book now

    One of the country’s most outstanding folk groups celebrates a decade of success with their first retrospective album and a corresponding tour. It’s your chance to experience the dynamic trio’s fan-favourites at their most breath-taking.

  • 4. Jesca Hoop at The Stoller Hall

    Jesca Hoop

    Jesca Hoop at The Stoller Hall, 28 November 2017, from £15.00 - Book now

    Following last year’s collaborative record with Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam, Jesca Hoop has signed to Sub Pop Records to release her latest solo album, Memories Are Now. Chetham’s Stoller Hall should provide an ideal space to experience her breath-taking, intimate country-folk music.

  • 5. Jane Weaver at The Ritz

    Jane Weaver

    Jane Weaver at The Ritz, Manchester, 30 November 2017, from £13.50 - Book now

    Psychedelic singer-songwriter and guitarist Jane Weaver plays a hometown show in support of recent album, Modern Kosmology. With a bill that also features She Drew The Gun and Pictish Trail performing live, plus DJs, it promises to be an action-packed evening at The Ritz.

  • 6. Manchester Collective: The End of Time at the Stoller Hall

    Manchester Collective: The End of Time at The Stoller Hall, 2 December 2017, from £12.00 - Book now

    Manchester Collective’s latest outing focuses on Messiaen’s harrowing masterpiece, Quartet for the End of Time, which was composed during the French composers time in a Nazi POW camp. Hear it performed, alongside works by Ravel and Stravinsky, in the Stoller Hall – the city’s brand new, high-spec concert hall.

  • 7. The Unthanks: Orchestral with Army of Generals at The Stoller Hall

    The Unthanks – Orchestral with Army of Generals at The Stoller Hall, 8 December 2017, from £25.00 - Book now

    Catch the Mercury Prize-nominated Tynesiders as they explore the symphonic possibilities of their folk songs, with the help of chamber orchestra Army of Generals, conducted by maverick Charles Hazlewood. An earlier performance on the same evening has already sold out – so book early.

  • 8. RNCM Autumn Season

    Portico Quartet courtesy of RNCM

    RNCM Autumn Season at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, 4 October–11 December 2017, free entry - Visit now

    Where else, over two months, offers highlights such as legendary German chanteuse, post-apocalyptic drumming, a symphony orchestra, cutting-edge jazz, a live film soundtrack and a festive opera production? Add to this the New Music North West Festival, debuting over 20 works in just six days, and the RNCM’s Autumn Season has something to suit all musical tastes.

  • 9. Haiku Salut: Christmas Lamp Show at St Michael’s

    Haiku Salut

    Haiku Salut: Christmas Lamp Show at St Michael's, Ancoats, 14 December 2017, from £10.00 - Book now

    Two years after they brought their acclaimed lamp show to the neighbouring Hallé St Peters, Derbyshire instrumental trio Haiku Salut return for a special Christmas outing at St Michael’s.

  • 10. Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band at the RNCM

    Image courtesy of Band on the Wall

    Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, 20 December 2017, from £18.00 - Book now

    Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band visit Manchester to perform songs from their acclaimed album Big Machine. The folk collective’s latest outing is their most ambitious and adventurous output to date, featuring collaborations with the likes of Damien Dempsey and Teddy Thompson as they tackle both contemporary and traditional songs.

  • 11. Baked A La Ska: ‘Ska of Wonder’ Christmas Party 2017 at Band on the Wall

    Image courtesy of Band on the Wall

    Baked A La Ska: ‘Ska of Wonder’ Christmas Party at Band on the Wall, Manchester, 21 December 2017, from £14.50 - Find Out More

    Manchester collective Baked A La Ska return to Band on the Wall for their annual Christmas special, ‘Ska of Wonder’. Featuring three singers, plus keyboards, harmonica and rhythm section, the band will be celebrating Christmas with a unique ska twist.

  • 12. Jeff Tweedy at Albert Hall

    Jeff Tweedy

    Jeff Tweedy at Albert Hall, City Centre, 1 February 2018, from £28.50 - Book now

    Two-time Grammy Award winner Jeff Tweedy performs ‘re-imaginings’ of songs through throughout his career, with Wilco, Golden Smog and Loose Fur, to mark the beginning of his retrospective series, the Loft Acoustic Sessions.

  • 13. Nils Frahm at Albert Hall

    Nils Frahm at Albert Hall, City Centre, 28 February 2018, from £25.00 - Book now

    German pianist, composer and producer Nils Frahm returns to Albert Hall three years after his last visit. Since then, he has established an innovative annual Piano Day project, and produced film and game soundtracks that have raised his profile even further. Don’t miss out on this much-anticipated return to the live arena.

  • 14. BBC Philharmonic 2017/18 Concert Season

    BBC Philharmonic

    BBC Philharmonic 2017/18 Concert Season at The Bridgewater Hall, City Centre, 24 September 2017–9 June 2018 - Visit now

    Millions of listeners enjoy BBC Philharmonic concerts on Radio 3, recorded or broadcast live from the outstanding acoustic of The Bridgewater Hall, making this orchestra one of the most widely heard in the country.

  • 15. Manchester Camerata 2017/18 Season

    Manchester Camerata 2017/18 Season at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 9 September 2017–31 May 2018, from £15.00 - Book now

    Manchester Camerata – ‘probably Britain’s most adventurous orchestra’ – returns for a new season, featuring exciting programming in a diverse range of venues. From its intimate UpClose series, which visits HOME and Manchester Cathedral this autumn, via its now-traditional Festive Happening at Albert Hall, through to concerts at the Stoller Hall and RNCM in the new year, the Camerata’s 2017/18 season is equal parts ambitious and adventurous.

  • 16. Sounds From The Other City 2018 in Salford

    A billboard and people sitting on the pavement
    Sounds From the Other City 2015. Photo: Mike Hughes.

    Sounds From the Other City 2018 at Islington Mill, Chapel Street, 6 May 2018, from £27.75 - Book now

    SFTOC is a true highlight of the Manchester music calendar, as it goes strength to strength in celebrating new music and performances – as well as some of Salford’s lesser-spotted venues. Early bird tickets have already gone – and the event is almost always a completely sell out – so book early.

  • 17. Festival No.6 2018 at Portmeirion

    Festival No 6 2018 at Portmeirion, 6–9 September 2018, from £120.00 - Book now

    The picturesque Italiante village of Portmeirion is a fitting home for Festival No.6, which is as aesthetically pleasing as it it is a pleasure to the ears.

Culture Guides

Theatre

With a diverse offering of shows, we’ve got the guide to Manchester and the North’s festive theatre scene all wrapped up.

Cinema

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

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.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

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Cinema 17–30 November 2017, from £5.00

Good Time at HOME

Childrens 16 November–20 December 2017, FREE

Chester Christmas Market 2017

Cinema 17–23 November 2017, from £5.00

Thelma at HOME

Childrens 11 November 2017–13 January 2018, from £13.50 - 20

Dick Whittington at Oldham Coliseum