Yes, the summer sun is receding, but don’t dismay – you have an Autumn brimming with live music to look forward to! In the guide below we pick out the best gigs and concerts happening in Manchester and beyond. Here’s a taste:
We look forward to a truly exciting season of classical music from the Hallé, whose 2018-19 Season is filled with music that pinpoints vital moments in our cultural history. Including Janáček’s The Glagolitic Mass, these programmes are packed full of landmark pieces. Added to this, The Hallé at Christmas is enough to coax the Christmas spirit out of even the most po-faced scrooge! It includes film screenings of seasonal classics like The Snowman (accompanied live by the Hallé), as well as joyous festive celebrations like the Hallé Christmas Extravaganza!
On the more future-leaning side of classical music, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival returns this November, with a typically daring programme of events.
As for jazz, a new wave of genre-melding artists are breathing new vitality into the scene, and some of the best of these are heading our way this autumn. Manchester can look forward to Gogo Penguin, Kamaal Williams, Mammal Hands (supported by STUFF.), as well as Mercury Prize nominees Sons of Kemet.
On the cinematic side of things, John Carpenter casts a dark cloud over the same venue a few days later. David Byrne, meanwhile, will bring an altogether more joyous affair to the city with his amazing American Utopia show at the arena.
For the electronically inclined, Daniel Avery is curating a Warehouse Project event which showcases the best of the electronic underground. And if disco’s your thing, look no further than Parcels, who will light up Manchester’s Academy 2.
There’s more. Keep scrolling.
Here are our picks
Working in conjunction with The Lowry, the Drift_MCR project (Test Card, VAM and Meraki Collective) is commissioning a series of performance-based artworks from local artists. Considering how great their last event was at The Great Northern Warehouse, this is definitely one for the diary.
Indulge in a long weekend packed with amazing gigs in great venues. Get involved in singing, songwriting and craft workshops. Grab your friends and dance a ceilidh. This festival is a chance to discover exciting bands, create something you’re proud of, relax with friends and make new connections.
This first solo outing in five years by Manchester-based experimental pop musician Jane Weaver promises a uniquely atmospheric audiovisual take on the music from her two highly acclaimed recent albums, The Silver Globe and Modern Kosmology, in one of the city’s most unusual venues.
Featuring American musicians Phosphorescent and BC Camplight, In Good Company is a new event taking place at Liverpool’s Grand Central Hall. With both acts joined by their bands – and more artists still to be announced – this promises to be an unusual and exciting use of this special venue.
To celebrate Manchester promoter Now Wave’s 10th anniversary, Canadian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Mac DeMarco plays Trafford Park’s huge Victoria Warehouse. The full line-up is to be announced.
Modern and contemporary music specialist The Ligeti Quartet presents a one-off concert in Sheffield, featuring two of the 20th Century’s masterpieces: Steve Reich’s Grammy Award-winning Different Trains and George Crumb’s iconic Black Angels. With a diverse programme of works by John Adams, John Zorn and Tanya Tagaq completing the programme, this looks set to be an exciting and unique evening at The Leadmill.
A wonderful concert featuring some of Richard Wagner and Sergei Prokofiev’s most original works. All before the concept of ‘originality’ is turned its head, with Ravel’s incredible arrangement of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, as well as a brand new response from RNCM composer Aaron Breeze.
Parcels are one of the most downright fun bands around at the moment. Fusing funk, disco and pop, they sound like an amalgamation of The Beach Boys and Chic. With a debut album just around the corner, now is the time to indulge in the hip swinging joy of one of their live shows.
Performing works by Bach, John Carpenter, and extracts from ‘A Clockwork Orange’, The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble will dazzle an RNCM audience with the possibilities of the analogue synthesiser.
With characteristic effortless, Kamaal Williams’ trippy musical visions will weave a Manchester audience in and out of broken beat, hip hop, funk and drum and bass. Don’t miss your chance to watch the young virtuoso do his thing.
Equal parts a musician and a poet, Ana Silvera draws from her own eventful life as well as from folklore and myth. At the Manchester Jewish Museum she will be performing her stunning album Oracle in its entirety.
Combining jazz, electronica, classical, north Indian, folk and ambient styles, Mammal Hands make achingly powerful music whose ebbs and flows take you on a deeply immersive and cathartic journey.
Featuring five performances in the atmospheric Mayfield Depot, ‘Special Edition’ boasts Swedish experimental pop artist Fever Ray, Bonobo (and friends), Manchester grime artist Bugzy Malone and Northern Irish electronic duo Bicep. Presented by Manchester International Festival and The Warehouse Project, the series is overseen by BBC 6 Music DJ Mary Anne Hobbs, with lighting design by Stuart Bailes.
Sefiroth are an international collective of musicians who explore and re-imagine traditional Sephardic (Judeo-Spanish) repertoire with a contemporary aesthetic. At the Manchester Jewish Museum they will be performing a brand new show: Adio Kerida (‘Farewell, Beloved’).
For his third and latest album, electronic musician and DJ James Holden has recruited a band – The Animal Spirits – to supplement his custom-made modular synths with brass, woodwind and percussion. Experience the record live and in-the-round at the Royal Exchange theatre.
The Stoller Hall Autumn/Winter season, 6 July 2018–31 December 2019, from £6 - Book now
Manchester’s newest concert hall continues to push boundaries with its upcoming Autumn/Winter season – from a brand new audiovisual work to celebrate 100 years of votes for women to a one-off staging of a dark adaptation of A Christmas Carol, via a visit by the world-renowned Gould Trio and a year-long series celebrating outstanding pianists who studied at Chetham’s.
The RNCM Autumn Season is a showcase of originality, wherein a spotlight is shined on musical innovators from across the world.
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.
We look forward to a truly exciting season of concerts from the Hallé, whose 2018-19 is filled with music that pinpoints vital moments in our cultural history, from Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ to Janáček’s ‘The Glagolitic Mass’.
Meet a real-life cyborg, immerse yourself in a black hole or one of 120 other events in 11 days … yes Manchester Science Festival is back.
PRiSM presents ‘The Music of the Primes’, a truly illuminating event from which you will gain an insight into the fascinating and often surprising links between music and maths. Don’t fear if it’s been a while since you’ve practiced your equations – you don’t need to be Pythagoras to take something interesting away from the evening!
A brand new musical show for families and children from our favourite family singer songwriter David Gibb and Grammy nominee Brady Rymer.
Taking place during Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display, Lightpool is a celebration of spectacular art works and live, illuminated performance across the iconic town.
For the latest celluloid adventure at RNCm, Darius Battiwalla improvises on the piano in order to add an extra dimension to Harold Lloyd and co’s comic escapades.
Starring the inimitable Harold Lloyd, ‘Safety Last!’ features one of the most enduring images in all of cinema. With a live improvised piano score and an additional screening of Buster Keaton’s short ‘One Week’, this is going to be a real treat!
More spoken word nights are emerging to join our favourite regulars, there are lots of launches and one-offs and workshops and conferences and even walking tours, and tickets are selling like hot cakes for Manchester Literature Festival, the Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival and Chester Literature Festival.