Bearded’s Guide To… Manchester

The next instalment of our guide to what's going on in a town near you. This week Samuel Breen tells us what's going down in Manchester.

Posted on Feb 9th, 2011 in Features and Interviews, Vieka / By Samuel Breen
Vieka Like your neglected allotment, February's thin on the ground I'm afraid. However that isn't to say there aren't some real treats for you hungry rabbits. In truth there's some rich pickings including early bloomers.

Like the local rhubarb, Manchester's best fruit is frequently the late growers. Phrases like 'showcase' or 'up and coming' are best avoided as they often go with pull quotes like 'the next…' and 'the best since…' But fear not as 2011 sees the return of outlets for ripe musicians. No Future Club (Saturday 19 February at The Ruby Lounge) promises to be (there I go again) a suitable replacement for the sorely missed Fiction/Non-Fiction. Overseen by Ciaran Cullen (of Wotgodforgot fame) it will feature The Yossarians and Vieka.


February is always a good time to cultivate Jerusalem artichokes and/or underground Rhythm&Blues groups from Whalley Range. Here are some words from the lovely Nick Mitchell talking about his latest project with Kate Armitage (of Hotpants Romance fame).

"It's just a bunch of sounds, designed to please the eardrums and the dance receptors. I think people can listen to it without reading this interview and realise for themselves that it's not as simple as it sounds. The invention is in what you don't hear; the removal of complication; the directness of movement.

We just finished a couple of new songs and the vibe is getting more intense and aggressive, I think. I think there'll be a few more straight-up rock'n'roll songs to come as well, as Kate's hankering for some Buddy Holly moments. The idea is to get an LP out sometime around summer. Ideally in time for the Europe tour we're doing with Turn To Crime (aka Derek Stanton who used to be in Awesome Color, one of my favourite bands of the past few years)."
Thanks Nick.


Onto releases and the most high profile outing this month comes from XXXY. There's loads of excitement surrounding You Always Start It / Ordinary Things but like a traditionalist farmer, "It's a bit too new fangled for my liking... It's not that I'm against two-step or whatever, but all that hipster dance music is as bad as the pharmaceuticals they're necking," as grumpy farmer McDowner would have it. And to be honest, I'm going to agree with him on this one.


Now for best in show...

New Manchester promotions bloke Henry Tadros, a.k.a MIE Music, has the brilliant Neil Campbell & Mick Flower (Monday 21 February at Islington Mill) to serenade you with exquisite guitar melodies. If you're anything like me you will have messed up Valentines Day due to crippling neurosis and a series of foolish mistakes. In light of my own failings I've already got this date down as 'relationship salvage night'. Although be warned, headlining act Our Love Will Destroy The World isn't exactly chocolate box music. Think of it as a noisy, "FUCK!"