Outdoor shows, candle-lit jazz gigs, boozy all-dayers. Manchester and the North’s live music scene is making up for lost time.
Headlined by Gruff Rhys, Leeds all-dayer This Must Be The Place features some of our favourite artists of the moment, from Jerskin Fendrix to Deathcrash. Over in Manchester, we look forward to catching one of Squid’s biggest ever shows at the majestic Albert Hall. It’ll see the Brighton band celebrate their Top 5 album Bright Green Field, which picks the bones of any number of genres, fusing mismatching limbs into an ungodly hybrid beast.
At Castlefield Bowl, Mike Skinner and the Streets, true originators in British rap music, will be igniting old flames and fanning new ones as part of the Sounds of the City concert series. At The Blues Kitchen, Manchester’s most exciting new venue, German producer Henrik Schwarz will perform with Dutch string ensemble Alma Quartet, uniting the worlds of classical and electronic music. And at Heaton Park, New Order will perform their first hometown show in four years, supported by Hot Chip and Working Men’s Club.
If you feel like checking out what new music is exciting us at the moment, our Spotify playlist is below. We update it regularly, so give it a follow for the latest re-up.
Here are our picks
Manchester Psych Fest, an all-day celebration of alternative music and art, returns in September 2021. Topped by Stereolab, the line-up is super strong and wildly eclectic, ranging from abrasive Irish post-punks Girl Band to Afrobeat/jazz fusion outfit Kokoroko.
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.
My First Protest Song goes online. Round up the family and join Matt Hill for this live-streamed event full of toe-tapping tunes.
Use Hearing Protection tells the story of Factory Records’ formative years from 1978-1982, when the label made waves with its innovative work in music, technology and design.
Leeds Waterfront Festival brings the waterways of the city to life with an eclectic mix of music, performance and art for all the family.
Indie heroes The Cribs will be joined by Everything Everything, Black Honey, The Orielles and The Lounge Society at Halifax’s Piece Hall.
Celebrate the brilliance of 20th century design, fashion, vehicles and entertainment at this award-winning festival set around Morecambe’s famous art deco Midland Hotel.
Positive Vibration 2021 will feature performances from a stellar line-up of the world’s most important and vital reggae artists including General Levy, Hollie Cook, Mad Professor, Gentleman’s Dub Club, The Nextmen, Tippa Irie, The Neville Staple Band, Don Letts, General Roots, Levi Tafari and many more.
Peter Hook & Manchester Camerata perform ‘The Sound Of Joy Division Orchestrated’ this September at the O2 Apollo Manchester.
In their first-ever tour as a duo, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis play The Bridgewater Hall, following the release of their acclaimed album Carnage.