Why Manchester is a city of Sound AND Vision in music, right now


Grassroots talent has a particular power in Manchester– with the last few weeks and upcoming months suggesting that home-grown talent from this city has the power to impress. The number of live events featuring local bands especially, with a number brought together for Record Store Day 2016 – celebrating a creative culture people have both the chance to listen and look in to. There is not just audio, but a very visual presence to music-making in the city right now, with so many things to share


it’s refreshing to have a live music night which upholds grassroots talent in a great local venue, The Thirsty Scholar, just at the beginning of the ‘university corridor’. Sound>Vision is a monthly live session organised by Manchester-born label Valentine Records and opens the opportunity for you to enjoy raw and interesting musical creativity. Scheduled to take place on the second Thursday of every month from 7pm, it seems SOUND>VISION is a concept here to stay – and April’s event featured intense sets from Some kind Of Illness, Avital Raz and Tom Welsh. May’s S>V is due to feature Valentine’s very own St Lucifer – dark and devious electropop from a group who have had recent successes playing at Fuel in Withington, as well as the Fox and Newt in Leeds. With Giant Planets and Taser Puppets also expected, it’s sure to be an exciting show. Give it a go.

Some Kind of Illness

if their name isn’t already infectious enough, their sound certainly is – it seeps under your skin and into your thoughts. This is mood-moulding music with a strong acoustic element: and certainly a presence in Manchester right now! SKOI are an alternate guitar band made up of brothers Paul and Mark Hinks, forming in Farnworth in 1999. They spent much time busking around Europe, but over the last couple of years it seems that Manchester is where they are making waves: with some particularly exciting news in recent times. In 2015, they released their self-titled EP to much acclaim, available both online and in Piccadilly Records. 2016 has seen them make even more of a presence in the city, signing up to Valentine Records with a new album set for release this year. With keyboardist Tom Welsh also now part of the line-up, there are some exciting times ahead for SKOI – and already on EP number 5 this year. Their most recent, ‘Coldest Part Of The Water’ is truly unique, with haunting vocals held down with a mystical weight, like being immersed in liquid. Magical.

Cabbage is getting hot: supporting The Fall

If you think that cabbage is the soggy staple of school dinners, you might just want to think again. Cabbage also sends out a brilliant post-punk, guitar-groping, socially-savvy sound in the form of five lads from the Manchester area. They got together as a band in Mossley back into 2012, and have risen with their blend of sly satire, social comment and surreal sounds. Lee Broadbent delivers a vocal versatility, whilst Stephen Evans is on bass, Eoghan Clifford and Joe Martin on guitar and Asa Morley with drums. The double-guitar allows for a driving sound which is difficult to tame – and temptingly so. Songs such as ‘Dinner Lady’ and ‘Kevin’ hold a dark creativity to them; from their debut EP ‘Le Chou’ which was released on the 29th January. ‘Kevin’ has not only been featured as ‘Single of The Week’ in several places, but the band has been placed in the midst of raw, socially-raucous Manc music, in their recent stint supporting The Fall at Manchester’s O2 Ritz. As Mark E. Smith mastered the stage complete with rolled-up magazine, glittering eyes and characteristic slurred sound, it seemed to say that Manchester defiance still is very much alive. We love it and expect many more servings – in the form of Cabbage. Catch them at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen on the 29th May!

Even more electro-fuelled, socially-conscious sound is coming to Manchester in the form of BIS-

Manchester is preparing itself for a visit from Scotland’s stand-out, electro-disco-pop trio: the fabulous BIS! They were particularly big back in the 90s, with their raw riot-Grrrl influenced sound; but have continued to be creative, and are ready to treat you at The Deaf Institute on the 27th May. This is a unique opportunity to go along and listen to music which puts two fingers in the face of those who condemn young musicians as ‘dreamers’, as BIS had an average of 18 when they first formed, and are still going. After an absence, the three original members Steven, John and Manda are back with one of their biggest recordings yet ‘Return To Central’. Expect stand-out sound, with support from Big Zero and local group Ill – fuelling music with a social significance. It’s what this place is all about, and that the Manchester-based Ill are supporting these visitors, emphasizes the pride!


All words by Emily Oldfield, who you can find on Twitter as @EmilyvOldfield and visit her website.


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