Music in Manchester and the North

Johnny James, Managing Editor

We head into August with a whole lot of musical goodness to look forward to, from massive indie gigs to inner city electronic festivals.

Perfume Genius has, through the course of six studio albums, proved himself among the most exciting contemporary artist, whether he be making hushed alt-indie, maximalist pop or, as in the case of his latest record Ugly Season, experimental orchestral music. Catch him in the grand surrounds of Manchester Cathedral to see what the fuss is about.

Next it’s indie rock stalwarts The National, who take to Depot Mayfield this August along with their 4AD label mates, Dry Cleaning. It was way back before the pandemic that The National set foot on these shores; this tour will feel a long time coming for a lot of fans. More will be heading down for Dry Cleaning, who’ll be debuting tunes from their anticipated second album.

A change of pace in the form of Repercussion Festival – a “a day to night party of ground-breaking music and art in all its forms” which takes up the full expanse of Depot Mayfield plus surrounding venues. Jamie xx, Little Simz, Fred Again, Jeff Mills… the line-up’s huge.

Katy J Pearson’s debut record Return (2020) saw her snowball from Bristolian newcomer to critically-acclaimed breakthrough star, loved for her magnetic blend of soaring, widescreen melodies and warm, intimate storytelling. Having just dropped a brilliant second album, Sound of the Morning, now’s a great time to catch her live at Gorilla.

Noisy Shoegazers Just Mustard are playing the all-new Band on the Wall this September in support of their dark and dangerous second album, Heart Under, which hones the epic of Disintegration-era Cure during the Bloodiest of Valentines.

What else? Cult favourites The Magnetic Fields, leadings lights of the ’90s American underground Pavement, possibly the greatest living rapper Kendrick Lamar, symphonic punk outfit Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and more.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Perfume Genius at Manchester Cathedral

    Perfume Genius

    Perfume Genius at Manchester Cathedral, Cathedral Quarter, 23 August 2022, from £23.70 - Book now

    From hushed alt-indie to strange, orchestral experimentation via maximalist pop, Perfume Genius has, through the course of six studio albums, proved himself a thrillingly unpredictable artist. His show at Manchester Cathedral is high on our list of August gigs.

  • 2. The National and Dry Cleaning at Depot Mayfield

    The National

    The National and Dry Cleaning at Mayfield Depot, Manchester, 27 August 2022, from £43.45 - Book now

    Indie rock stalwarts The National take to Depot Mayfield this month, joined by their 4AD label mates, Dry Cleaning. A big old twin punch.

  • 3. The Magnetic Fields at O2 Academy Leeds

    via Leeds Inspired

    The Magnetic Fields at O2 Academy Leeds, Manchester, 1 September 2022, from £30.00 - Book now

    The Magnetic Fields have long held cult status within the indie world, their short, sharp songwriting wit undimmed three decades into their career. This summer, Stephin Merritt and co are heading to the UK to perform intimate, orchestral arrangements of songs spanning their discography, from 1999’s classic 69 Love Songs to 2020’s Quickies.

  • 4. Manchester Psych Fest 2022

    Manchester Psych Fest

    Manchester Psych Fest at The Ritz, Manchester, 3 September 2022, from £45 - Book now

    Manchester Psych Fest, the UK’s leading psychedelic music and arts festival, returns this September, and with the second wave of artists now announced, the 9th edition of Psych Fest is set to be the best yet as it takes over Manchester for one day only.

  • 5. Repercussion Festival

    Image by Gary Brown

    Repercussion Festival at Mayfield Depot, Manchester, 10 September 2022, from £49.50 - Book now

    Repercussion Festival returns to Depot Mayfield and surrounding venues, with a massive line-up including Jamie XX and Little Simz.

  • 6. Katy J Pearson at Gorilla

    Katy J Pearson

    Katy J Pearson at Gorilla, Manchester, 22 September 2022, from £14.81 - Book now

    In support of her new Americana-glazed folk rock record, Sound of The Morning, Katy J Pearson is performing at Gorilla on 22 September.

  • 7. Just Mustard at Band on the Wall

    Just Mustard
    Image courtesy of Band on the Wall

    Just Mustard at Band on the Wall, Manchester, 22 September 2022 - Book now

    Noisy Shoegazers Just Mustard are playing the all-new Band on the Wall this September in support of their dark and dangerous second album, Heart Under.

  • 8. Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Manchester Academy

    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    Yannick Grandmont

    Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Manchester Academy, Manchester, 23 September 2022, from £30.25 - Book now

    In 2021, symphonic punk outfit Godspeed You! Black Emperor released one of the best albums of their 27 year career. They’re bringing it to Manchester Academy in September.

  • 9. Manchester Folk Festival 2022

    The Drystones

    Manchester Folk Festival at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 13–15 October 2022, from £13.20 - Book now

    Manchester Folk Festival is back with a huge line-up and a new venue on the books. We take a look at the artists playing at this year’s city-wide festival, from Grace Petrie to Lady Maisery.

  • 10. Pavement at O2 Apollo

    Image by Tarina Westlund.

    Pavement at O2 Apollo, Manchester, 20 October 2022, from £47.30 - Book now

    After more than a decade apart, the seminal indie rockers Pavement are back, and heading to Manchester this October.

  • 11. Kendrick Lamar at AO Arena

    Renell Medrano

    Kendrick Lamar at Manchester Arena, Manchester, 16 November 2022, from £64.50 - Book now

    Following a brilliant fifth album and a masterful headline performance at Glastonbury, Kendrick Lamar is victory lapping the world, calling in at Manchester’s AO Arena on 16 November.

  • 12. BADBADNOTGOOD at Albert Hall

    Jamal Burger

    BADBADNOTGOOD at Albert Hall at Albert Hall, City Centre, 10 December 2022, from £17.50 - Book now

    In support of their expansive 2021 album Talk Memory, BADBADNOTGOOD play their biggest show in Manchester to date, at Albert Hall.

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Lightpool Festival

Taking place during Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display, Lightpool is a celebration of spectacular art works and live, illuminated performance across the iconic town.

David Gibb's Family Jukebox
Families 15 October 2022 1:30 pm, from £11.00

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Silhouette of people standing in front of an exhibit at Manchester Science Festival 2018
Activity 21–30 October 2022,

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Activity 19–20 November 2022, from £40.00

Ghost Hunting at the Former Leeds Union Workhouse

Visage paranormal take those brave enough Ghost Hunting in the former Leeds Union Workhouse, as they try to make contact with the other side.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Wes Anderson comedies, martial arts epics, and radical 70s cinema are just some of the highlights coming to a big screen near you this month.

Exhibitions

From seductively immersive environments to the enduring magic of maps, August does not disappoint with an abundance of exhibitions in Manchester and further afield.

David Gibb's Family Jukebox

Families

We’re over half way through the summer holidays and Manchester is still brimming with summer activities for families.

Author Adam Farrer. Photo by Simon Buckley

Literature

There are online readings and live launches as Manchester and the North welcomes some great writers – and we’re building up to book festival season, so let’s get planning…

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

The new theatre season is nearly here. Liverpool Theatre Festival and the Women in Comedy Festival take top spots in this month’s guide.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North this August.

Tours and Activities

Break out of the old summer routines and try something different with roller skating, kite flying and more in this month’s Tours and Activities guide.