Music in Manchester and the North

Johnny James, Managing Editor

We’re now well into gig season and it’s proving to be a special one; artists, buzzing to be back on the road, are giving it their all, and crowds, equally thrilled, are properly going for it.

This month, we’ve got our eyes on electronica producer Rival Consoles and his live A/V show at RNCM. The first Erased Tapes signee was last seen live on stage with 17 players of the London Contemporary Orchestra for a sold-out orchestral performance at the Southbank Centre in January 2020. Now, he’s taking his excellent album Articulation on the road, accompanied by live visuals and a shape-shifting light show.

Also new this month, musical raconteur Baxter Dury is bringing his wry stories of life among the well-heeled yet poorly behaved to The Ritz. He’ll be supported by Audiobooks, from whom you can expect a head-spinning blast of freewheeling, freak-pop genius.

You can also read about Soccer96 at YES. The analogue synth/drum duo, who also make up two thirds of Mercury nominated band The Comet Is Coming, make fiery astral jazz cuts that take influence from everyone from Boards of Canada to Squarepusher. On stage, they play everything completely live, with no laptops, sequencers or software of any kind. It’s a recipe for live electronic music that’s truly exciting, impulsive, dangerous.

Over at YES, we’re looking forward to catching Nottingham’s Do Nothing performing tunes from their excellent sophomore EP Glueland. Equal parts taut post-punk and off-beat new wave, the quartet are one of the most exciting bands on the scene on the moment, snapping at the heels of the likes of Squid and Black Country, New Road.

At The Stoller Hall, meanwhile, hypnotic jazz trio Mammal Hands will finally air their fourth album, Captured Spirits, whose ebbs and flows will take you on a deeply cathartic journey.

And at The Blues Kitchen — Manchester’s new kid on the block — you can catch German producer Henrik Schwarz uniting the worlds of electronic and classical music with Dutch string ensemble, Alma Quartet.

Dig into all this and more below.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Baxter Dury at The Ritz

    Baxter Dury

    Baxter Dury at The Ritz, Manchester, 4 November 2021, from £20.40 - Book now

    Musical raconteur Baxter Dury is bringing his unique, character-driven songs to The Ritz, supported by the freak-pop genius of Audiobooks.

  • 2. Fat Out Fest 2021

    AJA x BORA.

    Fat Out Fest at The White Hotel, Salford, 29–31 October 2021, from £11 - Book now

    This October welcomes the long-awaited live return of Fat Out Fest, bringing all the noise, queer energy and mayhem to Salford over Halloween weekend.

  • 3. Kelly Lee Owens

    Kim Hiorthøy

    Kelly Lee Owens at The Ritz, Manchester, 30 November 2021, from £21.25 - Book now

    Touring her critically acclaimed second album, Inner Song, Kelly Lee Owen unleashes her own vocals and brooding electronics on the follow-up to 2017’s much-lauded, self-titled debut.

  • 4. Anika at YES

    Anika
    Sven gutjahr

    Anika at YES, Manchester, 6 December 2021, from £14.00 - Book now

    Anika – a founding member of Exploded View – is performing at YES in support of Changes, her first solo album in over a decade.

  • 5. Black Midi at The Ritz

    Black Midi
    Anthrox Studio

    Black Midi at The Ritz, Manchester, 8 November 2021, from £17.75 - Book now

    Fresh from the release of their hellacious second album Cavalcade, Svengalis of the avant-rock scene Black Midi are performing at The Ritz.

  • 6. Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum

    Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at Science and Industry Museum, Castlefield, Until 3 January 2022, from £6 - Book now

    An exhibition tracking Factory Records’ formative years from 1978-1982, when the label made waves with its innovative work in music, technology and design.

  • 7. Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2021

    Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, 18–22 November 2021 - Book now

    Huddersfield plays host to a reunion of artists and audiences in venues ranging from immense concert halls to intimate gallery spaces – a unique opportunity to catch the cutting edge of contemporary classical music being performed in West Yorkshire.

  • 8. Viagra Boys at Albert Hall

    Fredrik Bengtssson

    Viagra Boys at Albert Hall, City Centre, 8 May 2022, from £19.25 - Book now

    Stockholm-based post punk band Viagra Boys’s new album Welfare Jazz sees them further explore the grubby underbelly of society, championing the world’s underdogs while taking aim at subjects like toxic masculinity and misogyny.

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