Music in Manchester and the North

Chris Horkan, Music Editor

As the festival season draws to a rainy close now is the time to enjoy your live music experience in more intimate surroundings. Whether it’s an acclaimed classical ensemble in a world-renowned concert hall or that up-and-coming young artist in a packed, sweaty venue, we’ve got your Manchester gig-going plans covered – with a couple of other musical highlights around the region thrown in for good measure…

Here are our top 5 picks

  • 1. The Goon Sax

    The Goon Sax
    Chapter Music

    The Goon Sax, 29 September 2016, from £7.00 - Book now

    Backstreet boozer the Eagle Inn is the unlikely host venue for the Manchester (or Salford, more accurately) debut by Aussie teen sensations the Goon Sax. The Brisbane trio, who make thoughtful indie-pop songs, count the Pastels, Talking Heads, Galaxie 500 and Arthur Russell among their influences – with their excellent debut album likely to end up on multiple end of year lists.

  • 2. Tor Festival 2016

    Tor Festival 2016

    Tor Festival 2016 at Todmorden Unitarian Church, 30 September 2016–1 October 2016, from £3.00 - Book now

    The West Yorkshire town of Todmorden hosts Tor Festival, a one-day music event featuring styles ranging from folk through to drone and psychedelia. This mini-festival takes place in the town’s Unitarian Church – with a warm-up show taking place at the Golden Lion pub the previous night. All in all, it’s great reason to pay a visit to this picturesque Pennine market town.

  • 3. Oxjam Manchester Takeover 2016


    Oxjam Manchester Takeover 2016 at Dulcimer, Chorlton, 30 September 2016–2 October 2016, from £5.00 - Book now

    With weekend wristbands available from as little as a fiver, this event, spanning three days and six venues across Chorlton, is a bargain. Kicking off with a five-strong bill for the launch night, the main event continues throughout Saturday – headed up by local experimental duo O>l>A. Sunday’s closing party, meanwhile, features two exciting talents in Liam McClair and Chloe Foy. And it’s all in the aid of Oxfam.

  • 4. Meilyr Jones

    Meilyr Jones

    Meilyr Jones at The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 4 October 2016, from £9.00 - Book now

    Formerly the frontman of Race Horses, Meilyr Jones has also collaborated with fellow Welsh musical talents Cate Le Bon, Gruff Rhys and Euros Childs, as well as Stealing Sheep. Jones’ recent solo debut, 2013, maintains the same kind of pedigree – packed full of off-beat, witty pop songs. One of the highlights of this year’s Sounds From The Other City festival, he returns to headline the Deaf Institute. Support comes from Warrington’s Man & The Echo – a group themselves on the up.

  • 5. Stars of the Lid

    Stars of the Lid
    Dots & Loops

    Stars of the Lid at Central Methodist Hall, Northern Quarter, 5 October 2016, from £20.00 - Book now

    This is the first Manchester appearance in 10 years by the elusive Stars of the Lid duo. Formed in 1993, the American pair of Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride have enjoyed critical acclaim over the years, without really threatening to break through to mainstream focus. Live, they will be joined here by members of US post-rockers Labradford, as well as a projectionist and a lighting designer. In the already surreal surroundings of Central Methodist Hall, this promises to be an unforgettable show.

Culture Guides

Artist Film Weekender 2016


As always, October brings with it a surplus of scary films timed to coincide with Hallowe’en.

Tim Etchells, Lets Pretend (Large) (2014), installation view, Grundy Art Gallery. Photo: Phill Heywood, courtesy Grundy Art Gallery.


An overview of the current best exhibitions in Manchester and the North might be summed up in the following directive: think differently.

Image courtesy of Wild Rumpus


Autumn is drawing in and half term adventures are on the horizon. Here are our top tips for outdoor and indoor hot tickets to book and do now.

Lemn Sissay at the 8th Black and Asian Writers Conference


From Rising Stars to World Literature, nothing says October in the Rainy City like Manchester Literature Festival. And the region is abuzz with words this month – and, in the case of the South Lakes, words and pictures.

The poster image for Giselle


I don’t think there’s a more enticing time of year to visit the theatre than autumn – when the nights draw in it just feels more exciting to be sat in a theatre seat.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Theatre 28 September 2016–8 October 2016, from £10.00

The Emperor

Tracey Emin and William Blake in Focus
Exhibitions 16 September 2016–3 September 2017, FREE

Tracey Emin and William Blake in Focus

Boris Nzebo Urban Style
Exhibitions 24 June 2016–13 November 2016, FREE

Boris Nzebo Urban Style