Manchester Neighbourhood Festival 2018 – Preview

I don’t quite know how the organisers could do this, but a goodly number of the bands I was hoping to catch at this year’s festival are all playing at around 3-4 pm. My buttered toast has landed on the floor buttered side down this year. Thank god there’s still plenty of orange juice and nutella smeared croissants to go around.

12:00 – 14:00

For we small indie artist lovers, the early bird catches the worm and there are some great choices on offer for opening up the festival. I think I’d be slung out of the H2N writer’s roster if I didn’t highlight that the wonderful Oddity Road have an early start at 13:30 at the Bread Shed. It would be the best way to waken up your senses with these lively Sheffield lads.

The perennial Hull guys The Hubbards also up with the dawn even earlier at 12:30 at Refuge, so they could fit in nicely for a very early start. The Hubbards have produced an impressive string of likable singles this year and will give a bright and breezy early start.

Alternatively despite the slightly dodgy venue (The Revolution), I’m rather taken with the thought of a 12:30 start with the banging full on sound boogie of Rory Wynne  before sweeping across to the YES basement at 1:30 to catch those Southend lads Asylums  who will not disappoint with their strong brand of art rock.

14:00 – 16:00

If you are in the Yes Basement around this time, it will be the crime of the festival not to catch the jaunty and heavily tipped Calva Louise and their jaunty bubble rock performing at 14:30.

In talking about heavily rated, the riotous Skinner Brothers  who feel like a mix of the Libertines and The Streets will be flashing loads of promise at the Yes Pink Room at 15:00 and it might then be a 4 minute half mile dash as I’m irrestibly drawn to some old favourites Sheafs at 15:30 at the Bread Shed. Sheafs are a band to my shame that I’ve not seen since the beginning of the year; Sheffield Steel who are just so good live.

I’m personally favouring Sheafs over another live favourite Kashmere (15:30 at the Refuse) only because I’ve seen Kashmere comparatively recently. It’s one of the horrendus clashes of this festival.

16:00 – 18:00

Another advantage to being at the Bread Shed for Sheafs is that it is then a short stroll to one of my personal must-see’s Stereo Honey  at the Deaf Institute at 16:00 who just never ever get tired, and if it’s not too crowded (yeah right) a quick scoot back to the Bread Shed for the magnificently weird Husky Loops,  before a return visit to the Deaf Institute for The Pale Whites  at 17:00. This is a magnificently elegant bit of planning, even if I say so myself.

The only downside to my couple of hours in south Manchester is that I’m ignoring the power of catching smooth KAWALA at Night People at 16:45 and the chance of missing “The Very Special Guests” at The Ritz at 16:30 or the very tempting combination of The Snuts at 16:30 and Bolton’s Jordan Allen at 17:30 at Gorilla.

18:00 and onwards

Canadian feller Boniface back up at Revolution at 18:30 sounds really temping as I’ll probably be in the mood for some quality indie pop by that point of the day. Who knows there may be a vodka shot or two with my name on it by then too. If I’m after something more lively then the incredibly talented Cleopatrick  at the Refuge at the same time will suit so well. In a spot of cruel scheduling, the most excellent Sea Girls are also playing the same time at the Bread Shed.

I’m sure I’m not alone in being something of a butterfly by this time fluttering from random venue to venue in the hunt for beautiful musical nectar, and I’m thinking a wander down to Night People will catch the soaring sweet York based guys The Howl and the Hum  at 19:45. From here, it will be worth gathering the energy for a rock finish at The Revolution for Sauce at 21:30.

Alternatively for this time slot is those bouncing Bedford guys The Scruff  at Jimmies at 18:00 which would set you up nicely for the fuzzy shoegaze magnificence of Glasgow’s Alligator at 19:00 before another H2N favourite Bang Bang Romeo at 20:15, which could make for a slightly lazy but perfectly beautiful couple of hours.

Chris R



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