A Tempting Ten: Dot to Dot Manchester 2018 Festival Preview

I always know summer has finally arrived when it’s time to plan the forthcoming Dot to Dot festival in Manchester during the Spring Bank Holiday. In time honoured tradition the Dot to Dot party starts at around 3 in the afternoon with choices spread across around 20 venues.

Grab your wristband, slip on your comfy but oh so stylish shoes and join me.


Why not start your Dot to Dot festival experience with those local atmospheric, electro gloom boys IST IST? These guys have dark to spare and remind me of the likes of Joy Division and Editors. They will be doing their best to get you brooding and glowering at the Mint Lounge at 16:00. It’s a quality experience.

Carnival Club

I recently reviewed Carnival Club’s fuzzy, dirty and banging EP Nomads and Crooks and top tune Sin City, and if you want a more banging start to your day I tip you go to Band on the Wall early doors at 16:15 to check out that live buzz. My betting is that even this early these boys can make the walls drip with sweat, particularly as it’s a home gig for these Manc based lads.

The Regrettes

Hmm, risk missing a chance to hear some sassy cool California women with the style of a punkish Kate Nash? There will be no Regrettes here (sorry). Catch this promising lively band, The Regrettes at Gorilla at 17:45 aye.

The Snuts

With nice crisp guitars and a knack of building up a tune, those lively and easily accessible Scottish guys The Snuts will always please. It’s a chance to hit one of my favourite Manchester venues Night and Day too – The Snuts are on at 18:45.

Peach Pit  

Like your music jangly, West Coast and distinctly cool and laid back? Those lo fi Peach Pit guys are coming over from Vancouver for Dot to Dot and they are playing the wonderful Gorilla at 19:45.


If you like that rather energetic and expressive US punk pop sound of the likes of Blink 182, but with a darker edge, then London based Dead! may well punch you in the gut. I’ve been looking forward to catching this band and here’s a good chance as they are in the atmospheric attic Aatma at 20:15.

Puppet Theory

It’s time for another spell with some banging tunes with the criminally underrated Manchester men Puppet Theory. These guys are slow burners, but I’m thinking 2018 will see a real breakthrough for this imaginative band. Catch them at the Scruff of the Neck arranged stage at Kosmonaut at 21:00.

Elephant Trees

I can never resist writing about my admiration for Martha Phillips and the Elephant Trees at any opportunity. No I’m not in their pay nor am I related. Grab a listen to why I’m so excited by this band with what promises to be the voice of the evening backed by lush tight guitar; just enjoy the vibe at 21:30 at Gullivers Lounge.

Fizzy Blood

A band that hugely impressed me at Live at Leeds for their youthful fun, sheer noise and exuberance was our local Leeds crew Fizzy Blood. Check out their ability to get everyone bouncing off the walls at the small and intimate Aatma at 22:15. You will get to tell your friends about the time you saw them small when they are doing big things at Glasto in a few years. Trust me.

Giant Rooks

These tuneful and sing-along Germans Giant Rooks are much better known in their homeland, but their well received and raved about short UK spring tour left me regretting I didn’t venture through the dark cold weather to see them. It’s going to be a gut wrenching decision as they clash with Fizzy Blood when they play at the second Scruff of the Neck stage at 22:30 at Dive NQ.

Want to share your live Dot to Dot experiences? Get in touch with H2N Editor Adam; he’s on the lookout for new music contributors….

Chris R


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