This is the first letter from Manchester in 2013. It’s been an incredible year hasn’t it? A really full-on 30 days… Well, after being flooded by December’s ‘end of year’ lists and album countdowns I’ve decided to get my ‘best of 2013’ list in (incredibly) early. So sit back and read with moist eyed nostalgia as we go on a journey through Manchester’s moments to remember in 2013...
Top Moments Of 2013 (so far)…
1) Everything Everything Predict Apocalypse While Building ‘Arc’ ‘Everything Everything’s career arc is set for the stratosphere’, wrote Clash reviewer John Freeman upon the release of the follow up to 2010’s Mercury nominated ‘Man Alive’. ‘Arc’ has since gone on to land in the top five of the UK album charts – the highest new entry of the week. It’s a work of art that suggests we might not see the end of 2013 (knew I was right to make my list early) as apocalyptic imagery and environmental disaster run through its veins. ‘Arc’ sees the Manchester-based four-piece maturing: adding to their debut’s playful framework with lyrics that form a truly emotional connection with their audience. It’s definitely an album of the year, even if we do make it to December.
Read our interview with Everything Everything here. It’s good. http://www.clashmusic.com/features/the-peaks-everything-everything
2) Dutch Uncles Release ‘Out Of Touch In The Wild’
Ok, couldn’t think of a pun involving the title of this record but the Marple-based five-piece definitely deserve our second spot. The part prog part pop band follow up 2011’s ‘Cadenza’ with more time signature wizardry. The sometimes head spinning guitar riffs of their debut are dropped to the background in favour of a Steve Reich inspired orchestral experiment. Strings add warmth and depth while layers of piano and synth merge a modern element to the mix beautifully. It’s quirky, inventive, eccentric and unmissable – just like frontman Duncan Wallis’ dance-moves. Watch him pull shapes in the video below. If you thought Thom Yorke could dance then be stunned. This is next level…
Read our interview with Dutch Uncles here.
3) Brown Brogues Album Launch with Queer’d Science
On January 12th Manchester scene favourites Brown Brogues launched their album ‘Born To Lose’ as part of bi-monthly club night Underachievers Please Try Harder. The night began with Queer’d Science, an angsty electro-punk outfit with some seriously cacophonous, crazy sounds, that when fused together simply work. Screamed vocals, discordant drumming, and heavy blocks of thudding electronics – they’re another in a growing list of exciting progressive bands emerging from the local scene. Punk two piece Brown Brogues tore into the crowd with album material blasting from the speakers, and when we say tore into the crowd we really mean it – their guitarist was dancing among the mob and got his hat nicked in the process…
4) We The Dead Bring The Castle To Life
On Saturday 26th Jan upcoming local act We The Dead played one of their first ever headline shows at The Castle in the city centre. An intimate room ensured a select few got to witness their deadly combination of melodic indie riffs and pounding drums. They’ve already picked up attention from Clash’s Essential Ten, and been buzzed about by other national magazines and 2013 looks set to be an exciting one for them. Support came from another Narwhals, who stunned the room to silence with a violin, acoustic guitar, and the voice of frontman Jacob Cordingley. New to the Manchester scene, Kiera Lawlor, originally from Birmingham also wowed the crowd with material from an upcoming EP.
Download their free EP for free here in the meantime.
5) Manchester Scenewipe Begin ‘Curations’ With Weird Era
Manchester Scenewipe, a brilliant video based website documenting the city’s musical happenings has begun a series of curated gigs at Fuel Café Bar in Withington. Each month a guest curator, be it a label, band, website, or writer, take over the show by putting together a line-up. The first one took place on 18th of Jan and saw Weird Era headlining with another great upcoming act Temple Songs providing the main support at a rammed launch night. Next up Salford label Sways Records – who have Ghost Outfit, Money, and G R E A T W A V E S among the artists they’ve released music from – will be putting things together. Naked On Drugs are set to headline, with Bernard & Edith, and Bloom also on the bill. So that’s the end of our January countdown. Be sure to catch City Reign’s Album launch before we write again, and keep track of what’s going on in MCR via Northern Noise…
Here’s some cool events happening in February…
4th Feb – The History Of Apple Pie & Shinies @ Soup Kitchen
9th Feb – Esben & The Witch plus Temple Songs @ The Bunker
9th & 22nd Feb – Underachievers Please Try Harder @ The Roadhouse
15th Feb – Sways Curations @ Fuel, Withington
21st Feb – Wolf Alice @ Trof Fallowfield
23rd Feb – NN Live: City Reign Album Launch @ The Castle