Autumn’s a fine old time for gigs in Manchester and the North, with pretty much every music venue pushing a packed calendar. From otherworldly folk to life-affirming soul, here are our top picks for October onwards.
New this month, Beth Orton heads to RNCM in support of her first album in six years, Weather Alive – the culmination of 30 years spent shapeshifting between folk, trip hop and brooding experimentalism.
At New Century, it’s R&B/soul trio Gabriels – a real discovery. Featuring the soaring, once-in-a-generation vocals of gospel singer Jacob Lusk and the smouldering production of Ryan Hope and Ari Balouzian, theirs is a sound of an era, and yet future facing.
A very different flavour in the form of Sigur Rós. Ahead of their first studio album in nearly a decade, the Icelandic post rock stars bring their rapturous and romantic, dramatic and alien music to the O2 Apollo.
Another change of pace – celebrating 30 years of their seminal album It’s a Shame About Ray, Boston band The Lemonheads will play the album in full at The Ritz. The sun-kissed nostalgia we crave as the chill sets in.
Then, unusually for this section, an exhibition. A world premiere at that. The Science and Industry Museum presents Turn It Up: The Power of Music – an interactive experience exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us, and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share.
What else? Alabaster de Plume and Rioghnach Connolly come together to perform a one-off show at Band on the Wall. Grandbrothers bring their electronic take on prepared piano to the same venue. Leading lights of the ’90s American underground Pavement play in Manchester for the first time in a decade, and quite possibly the greatest living rapper, Kendrick Lamar, stops by on his victory lap around the world.
Here are our picks
Beth Orton’s first album in six years is up there with her very best. After 30 years spent shapeshifting between folk, trip hop and brooding experimentalism, Weather Alive is the ethereal and moving sound of one of the UK’s longstanding finest songwriters and musicians, who clearly has so much more still to give.
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.
Prepare to get hands-on at the Museum of Science and Industry’s new major exhibition exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share.
The Stoller Hall has taken Sound of Nature as its new programming strand for 2022, with the aim of connecting audiences with nature through music.
Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.
Set in the wake of the punk revolution of 1970s Manchester, this timely revival tells the story of the four ordinary lads who came together to create one of the most significant bands of all time.
With a soulful musical score and a jaw-droppingly talented cast, this moving musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer-prize-winning novel should definitely be on your radar.
Following their award-winning album of songs by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Elizabeth Llewellyn and Simon Lepper perform for RNCM’s 50th celebrations.
Taking place during Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display, Lightpool is a celebration of spectacular art works and live, illuminated performance across the iconic town.
Experience musical delight for families with children of all ages at David Gibb’s Family Jukebox, part of the Manchester Folk Festival.
Dress up in your creepiest costumes and get chills down your spine at the RNCM Young Explorers: Halloween Spooktacular on 16 October, featuring live orchestral music and lots of spooky delights!
Expect another action-packed programme of inspiring, entertaining and playful experiences as Manchester Science Festival returns, with interactive online events, thought-provoking talks and eye-opening exhibitions.