Bearded’s Guide To… Manchester

Samuel Breen takes a look over what's going down in Manchester over the coming month...

Posted on May 11th, 2011 in Features and Interviews, FutureEverything / By Samuel Breen
FutureEverything It's festival season. That's right, the hippies are in town. Already? Yeah, depressingly, already. You can smell them with their stinking dreadlocks, you can hear them with their obnoxious gabba, you can avoid them with your credit cards. There's already been one festival this month, squeezed into last weekend and stretched out along Chapel Street. It's fair to say Sounds From The Other City was about as good as we're going to get for a long time. However we're not done yet. There's more.

FutureEverything Festival takes centre stage this month with a host of amazing performances and because it's like festival season and stuff I've previewed FutureEverything in a language we can all understand:

"Yeah, righteous dude. Like, these brothers, not like Black brothers but like brothers brothers (know what I mean bro'?) are going to totally blow your mind. They're so righteous and anti Western media they're like Islamic Dudes, dude. And there's like…like these African dudes who like to rock out with major riffs - totally trippy. Man, and these babes right? Yeah, Scout and Erika, they are like totally righteous babes. On Saturday Martyn and Kyle are going to be about and they make this totally gnarly music. Also on Thursday this old dude called Steve is visiting. Yeah I know he's an old dude, but he's cool. I heard he's a pro surfer."

Here are the dates proper:

Wed 11th May: Group Doueh & Brothers Unconnected at Islington Mill, Salford
Thur 12th May: Steve Reich + RNCM Chamber Ensemble at RNCM
Fri 13th May: Scout Niblett + EMA + SUUNS at Islington Mill, Salford
Sat 14th May: Martyn/ Daedelus/ Kyle Hall at Jabez Clegg

There's another festival in the name of Eurocultured but the line-up isn't anywhere near as good and barely deserves a mention because there's going to be someone so off their box in the middle of the day dancing on a table to Mathias Tanzmann that I'll only regret not including it.

At the tail end of the month there's another festival, bloody hell, more! Yeah, more and Glastonbury hasn't even been on the telly yet. Dot-to-Dot returns. I'm not going to lie, I barely know a name on the bill, and the ones I do know are all rubbish.

It's worth taking a moment to thank Scott O'Neill who set up Pineapple Folk 4 years ago and who has since then changed Manchester's music scene for the better. He has hosted some memorable performances from Jason Molina at the Green Rooms to Wu Tang Clan at the Apollo. Future Everything looks to be his last piece of independent work before he settles with DHP, a Nottingham based promotions company (who run Dot-to-Dot, incidentally).. He's still sticking around town, but without his independence, Manchester is going to be a lesser place. Another departure is Henry Trados who has been promoting amazing shows for just over a year now. He has made Manchester a great place to live and he'll be a greatly missed. P.S. he's not dead, just off to London. And before he goes, surprise surprise, he's putting on a one day festival with Stephan Mathieu, BJ Nilsen, Simon Scott and TSU. It's Saturday 7th at Kraak. The event starts at 2pm.

On to more bad news now, Friends Of Mine festival is NOW IN CHESHIRE. That's right. There's a PROPER festival near Manchester with camping and cow shit, and everything we city folk spend most of the year trying to avoid. Don't get me wrong, any festival hosting Factory Floor and The Fall must be doing something right, but there's more worth avoiding here than seeing.

Sick of Festivals yet? I certainly am.


Here's a pleasant change. Moscow Radio are free thinking Manchester musicians. A couple of weeks ago they played a mind blowing multimedia show at Sacred Trinity church. I asked for an interview with them but all they sent was this:

"A Breakthrough in Modern Musical Mechanics!!

Moscow Radio exists merely as a creative platform upon which anyone with an inclination can extrapolate their imaginative desires. A place for Permanent Cultural Vibrations, for the wild and ephemeral. Action must not be a reaction but a creation.

So you agree with MR!

You want to join MR!

You may submit your Moscow Radio in any medium you wish.

Please refer to to fully understand our concerns and determine your ability to fully participate in our undertaking."

What a strange bunch.


So onto releases, well release. There's only one release you need this month and that's the first instalment of Intrigue & Stuff by Stockport's own Leyland Kirby (who incidentally now lives in Berlin - a point I'm more than willing to ignore). Anyway it's out on History Always Favours The Winners and you can get it on vinyl or mp3. If you don't know him maybe you will recognise some of his aliases: The Caretaker, Notorious P.I.G., V/Vm, vvMike Read and The Edgeley Musher, amongst others. Anyhow, his music is quite brilliant and Volume 1 is no exception.