Dear 3030 reader
Those kids from Oxjam are taking over the Northern Quarter this weekend. Everything interesting and compelling about Manchester’s music scene is going to be crammed into eight venues, spilling out of the doors and onto the surrounding streets of Hilton, Oldham, Tib and Dale. A great snapshot of the odes, laments, clicks, whirrs and beeps that this great rainswept city of ours has inspired over the last three decades has been handpicked and sewn among the Northern Quarter’s most familiar institutions - Ruby and Mint Lounge, The Soup Kitchen, the beloved sweatbox that is the Roadhouse, Common, Dry Bar, The Bay Horse and the destitute chic of the Night and Day Café.
Saturday October the 23rd sees Rachmaninov’s great-nephew George Borowski howling down the Soup Kitchen atop a line-up of Manchester’s new Americana soul sound with the Byrd-like Rook and the Ravens and the melodious I am Blackbird, Damien Maddison and Darren Poyzer with the fantastically monikered Sit Down Gill picking up any slack George leaves behind. The Jameson will be flowing in the Night and Day Café as Ellen and the Escapades' bittersweet musings and French Wives’ songs of celebration and home join a lineup of hopelessly talented young things, with the Jerzey Street and Janice Graham Bands also featuring.
If the pull of country music doesn’t tickle you, then the “dirty filthy electro Pop” of Kids On Bridges, who our own kid Tony Wilson described as having “the mouth of Liverpool and the swagger of Manchester”, are jostling alongside Jon McClure’s Reverend Sound System, fast bridging of the gap between the Happy Mondays and Oasis in the depths of the Roadhouse. Schmoo, No Life and I am Austin can only add to the experience.
The hipster central of Common Bar will be taken over by acts from their very own record label Red Deer Club, with the likes of Stealing Sheep, London based act Loud Like A Lion and Mick Travis amongst others, providing a new-age folk soundtrack for the afternoon. Later on sees an electronic takeover featuring sets from Francis Wooff and Matt Ward (Detroit Public Radio).
To the corral of the Bay Horse take the mournful, insistent and Mancunian Jadid Ensemble, Luciano Gerber and Awad Abusin for the World Music Showcase. And as the night gets deeper and the music gets louder you’ll find Dave Haslam prestidigitating over The Yellow Reunion at the Ruby Lounge (half price for Oxjam wristband holders). Manchester institution Funkademia are letting loose Gareth Brooks and Kid British in the Mint Lounge and a whole host of locally sourced, ethically produced DJs will be found marauding between the venues.
And if that still doesn’t float your boat, then there are still more venues and more artists to bounce between than I have the space to name - checkout the full lineup here (www.oxjammanchester.org). There’ll also be face painting from Manchester's Fancy Pants and spoken word from The Big Issue's "Big Scribble" competition winners at Nexus Art Cafe.
And the cool thing about the whole affair is that the £8 whole pounds (£7 for concessions) of your wristband goes towards the fight against the twin evils of poverty and climate change so that on the Sunday, we can all yawn warmly to the shot of reggae the Dry Bar will be serving up, safe in the knowledge that, whatever else, we have helped. A bit.
Tickets available from Skiddle and all venues featured on the day.
For more information please see: www.facebook.com/oxjammanchester
or follow on Twitter at @OxjamManchester