Things get decidedly folky in Manchester this winter, as the likes of Lau, Jesca Hoop, The 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.