Music in Manchester and the North

Johnny James, Music Editor

In this month’s music guide, you’ll find some of the most creative and forward-thinking artists that 2019 has to offer. Top of the list is GAIKA, whose magnetic blend of gothic dancehall and industrial electronics will bring the fire to YES. Similarly nuanced, Max Cooper’s latest IDM-meets-classical album will be presented with immersive 270 visuals at Gorilla. The darkly enchanting music of Adriaan de Roover, meanwhile, finds an intriguing home at Chorlton’s Barbecue as part of Novus, a new night by First Light Records. And over at The Peer Hat, Werkha tops the bill of Foot Therapy’s latest fundraiser, Love To the World. Oh, and we just had to shout about the huge line-up at Sounds From The Other City, which features unhinged math-rockers Black Midi, Belgian punks Cocaine Piss, and laid-back rap maestro Barney Artist.

That’s not all we’ve got in our sights, though. Scroll down for much more, including the latest word on both Manchester Jazz Festival and Birmingham’s Supersonic Festival, as well as the lowdown on turntablist Shiva Feshareki’s exciting performance at Sheffield’s Chamber Music Festival. We’ve also selected five top picks from the RNCM Summer Season 2019, which features some real treasures this year.

Here are our picks

More in Music

bbc philharmonic 2018 2019 season at the bridgewater hall manchester
Music 29 September 2018–15 June 2019,

BBC Philharmonic 2018/19 Concert Season

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.

Music 11 October 2018–22 May 2019,

The Hallé 2018-19 Season

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’.

Music 30 January–31 December 2019, from £19.62

Striking Gold Piano Series at The Stoller Hall

This year-long celebration of outstanding pianists marks Chetham’s School of Music’s golden jubilee year.

Music 30 January–5 July 2019, from £3

The Stoller Hall Spring Season

It looks like 2019 is going to be a great year for The Stoller Hall, with some wonderful concerts coming up in its Spring Season.

Music 25 April 2019, from £12.5

Sibelius | Tippett | Stravinsky at The Bridgewater Hall

Steven Osborne made the definitive recording of Tippett’s masterpiece several years ago – and tonight, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, he joins the BBC Philharmonic to perform it live. Also on the programme, two symphonies by 20th-century pioneers: Sibelius’s brilliant Sixth, and a vital work written by Stravinsky ‘to the glory of God’.

Festivals 2–12 May 2019, from £00.00

Leeds International Festival 2019

Leeds International Festival, the UK’s leading metropolitan festival of new ideas and innovation, is back for its second year, this time featuring more than 45 events over 11 days.

Families 2 May 2019, FREE

My First Protest Song at People’s History Museum

Throughout history people have used songs to help express their ideas. Join singer/songwriter Matt Hill (Quiet Loner) for this multi-sensory workshop full of toe tapping tunes from times of change. M

Music 2 May 2019, from £12.5

James MacMillan | Britten | Tippett at The Bridgewater Hall

Either side of Sophie Bevan’s performance, conducted by English National Opera’s Music Director Martyn Brabbins, two epic fourth symphonies by great Britons, each a single movement: James MacMillan’s kaleidoscopic masterpiece, premiered at the 2015 BBC Proms to huge acclaim, and Michael Tippett’s punch-packing odyssey from birth through life to our inevitable end.

Activity 4 May 2019, from £60.5

Both Sides Now with Gwenno

Applications are now open for an opportunity to collaborate with songwriter and vocalist Gwenno. Emerging female musicians from Merseyside and the Wirral will have the chance to work collaboratively, writing new music to be performed at Sound City Festival.

Culture Guides


MIF make a big announcement, Women, Organise! at HOME and we highlight some festivals across the region.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the north


Not an exhibition but a narrow, soot-stained Georgian terrace earns its place at the top of our list this month.

Fashion Fun at the Science and Industry Museum


Nature-inspired outdoor literary larks, scientific shenanigans and a giant mechanical baby larger than a double decker bus. It’s all here.

Sheri Benning


There’s a real international feel to our poetry and prose scene as we head summerwards – from Saskatchewan to South Africa, guest readers have you covered.

Theatre in Manchester


Our picks of the hugely impressive MIF19 line-up feature in our guide this month, alongside innovative binaural performance and world premiere literary adaptations.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Discover the best food and drink that the North has to offer in our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and beyond.

Tours and Activities

As spring emerges we highlight tours from Manchester’s heritage sites, with a mixture of well known civic treasures as well as some hidden gems.

Things to do right now

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