Music in Manchester and the North

Chris Horkan, Music Editor

Why not try some new music for the new year? Whether it’s a residency (or two) in a former mill, an original take on a film soundtrack, or the cream of Manchester’s current music scene coming together for an action-packed all-dayer, our top picks for the weeks and months ahead have it covered. We’ve even thrown in the odd summer festival to start filling up your 2017 calendar…

Here are our top 5 picks

  • 1. Stay Fresh 2


    Stay Fresh 2 at The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 28 January 2017, from £8.00 - Book now

    Following its first outing last autumn, the Deaf Institute’s celebration of new music, Stay Fresh, returns this month. A two-floor, six-hour-long takeover of the venue, the second incarnation features Sun Ra-influenced space rock from Henge (pictured), lo-fi guitar rock from boyfriend-girlfriend duo Luxury Death and a bunch of other local talents. Look out for a second wave of acts, still to be announced.

  • 2. Cosmo Strings: Re-Composed

    Cosmo Strings: Re-Composed

    Cosmo Strings: Re-Composed at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, 9 February 2017, from £12.00 - Book now

    Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is the subject of this concert by the Cosmo Strings ensemble. The group tackles Max Richter’s take on this ubiquitous piece, however, for this evening with a twist. The programme also features ‘re-imaginings’ of pieces by Bach, Ravel, Stockhausen and Kurtág, performed by composer, pianist, band leader and RNCM PhD student Bruno Heinen.

  • 3. Ron Fricke’s Baraka

    Ron Fricke’s Baraka

    Ron Fricke’s Baraka, 10 February 2017, from £14.00 - Book now

    American director Ron Fricke’s non-verbal, non-narrative feature film Baraka is the subject of Video Jam’s latest and possibly most ambitious event to date. The 1992 epic, shot in 25 countries, will be accompanied by a live soundtrack provided by the likes of Flamingods and Manchester’s own O>L>A – with two more of the six musical sections written by RNCM composers Daniel Lim and Eldad Diamant and performed by RNCM students.

  • 4. Dutch Uncles

    Dutch Uncles

    Dutch Uncles at The Dancehouse, Manchester, 15 March 2017, from £12.50 - Book now

    Manchester’s own prog-pop group Dutch Uncles return in 2017 with a new album – the follow-up to 2015’s acclaimed O Shudder. For their hometown launch show, the quartet have chosen Oxford Road’s Dancehouse theatre – an under-used gem of a venue that offers plenty of creative scope. With Dutch Uncles’ music crammed full of ideas and twists, it looks to be an ingenious pairing.

  • 5. The Red Brick Sessions: Ravel, Adès, Strauss & Rebel

    The Red Brick Sessions: Milhaud, Mozart & Ibert
    Image courtesy of BBC Philharmonic

    The Red Brick Sessions: Milhaud, Mozart & Ibert at Peel Hall, Manchester, 27 April 2017, free entry - Visit now

    The BBC Philharmonic’s innovative Red Brick Sessions series returns to the University of Salford’s Peel Hall for its final outing. French Baroque is the subject of this session – with François Couperin the focal point. Orchestrations, arrangements and tributes to Couperin from Thomas Adès, Richard Strauss and Maurice Ravel make up the bulk of the programme, with Jean-Féry Rebel’s 1737 ballet score The Elements rounding off the bill. Bring your phone or tablet to follow synced information about the music.

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