PIE (Promote Inform Educate) Radio

29 October
Stage and Radio

So Sound Control is being yuppified - converted to student housing - and the Carefully Planned event is no more. Thankfully, the musical news isn't all bad. Over at Stage and Radio on Port Street, formerly Cuba, there is the ideal way to spend a Sunday. On the last Sunday of the month from about 1pm, a radio show is presented from the bar area, the format of which is a mishmash of live artists, interviews and recorded sounds, all held together by Jo Lowes.

Normally about five or six artists use a 30-minute slot to present their musical catalogue, including a cover song as requested by the organisers. The usual format of the event allows a more slimmed-down, acoustic type of set, which in the case the self-proclaimed, “Loud, noisy outfit,” False Advertising can be a rewarding challenge. Those who have seen Jen Hingley lead False Advertising at a full band gig will understand just how much self-restraint must be exerted for her to sit on a chair for 30 minutes.

A feeling of organised chaos can emanate during proceedings as Jo tries to work out how far away the artistes are from the venue and whether they will make it in time, but sure enough Denis Ferrige did. Ferrige represented about one fifth of Last Race Home, but generated enough interest to make people want to see and hear the full line-up.

With similar proportions, three members of Moods attempted, effectively, to reproduce their brass, drums and clarinet elements normally generated by a ten-person or so collective, by using a laptop. The venue soon filled with vibrant, punchy beats overlaid with lyrics scathing of the current social and political scenes.

Bonhomie seeps out throughout the proceedings with a lot of performers having previously met each other, so it seems natural for Ferrige to take a seat next to another performer, Daz McKenna and chip in with some harmonica assistance.

Liam McClair has been a regular on the Manchester music circuit for a while now, as has Chris Flynn. Whilst both may be singer/songwriters, they have contrasting styles, equally effective in their own right, one with smooth tones; the other with gruffer, more powerful approach to storytelling.

The crowd flowed and ebbed during proceedings, but was always supportive.

Ged Camera

Background image of Moods by Ged Camera.
Inset image of False Advertising by Ged Camera.

A Carefully Planned Farewell

21 October
Various Venues

Is it the end of an era or an opening for others to take advantage? Ahh, give Brexit a miss, will you? The Carefully Planned series of events technically came to an end over the weekend of 21-22 October. I say technically, because the main protagonist, Matthew, may have been still either relaxing or recovering for a few days after that.

Byfyn was listed as the last act of the occasion to take the stage over at Aatma, which was also the location of the after-party. Ellie Isherwood, around whom the trio are anchored, conjured up soft vocals that floated over lifting and upbeat electronic creations, leading to people stumbling around in a well-intentioned but ultimately humorous manner akin to a bunch of drunken zombies. The CP climax was as diverse and entertaining as any of the previous five events and the torrential rain didn’t restrict anyone from venturing between the Castle, Gullivers or Aatma.

Similarly, the performers were as varied in their musical prowess as other occasions. We had the regular duo of Sarah Morrey and Ben Eckersley, ably supported by Rick. Using guitar, cello and clarinet respectively, subtle and sensuous sounds were delivered in an appreciative hush. Using the moniker of Captives on the Carousel, they somehow managed to make noiseniks Einsturzende Neubauten appealing with their unrecognisable rewiring of their song, ‘The Garden’.

That contrasted with the equally well received, tunefully noisy display from another trio, Mums, who played upstairs at Gullivers. They may have uttered, “You're not supposed to enjoy this,” but many present appeared to do just that.

Even though one band withdrew, Matt was able to find a quality substitute in the form of Marauder, who entertained with sharp, angular rhythms.

Whatever, a wonderful series of occasions that promoted music from all points east, west, north and south has doffed its cap and said its farewells, so thanks Matt and your loyal bunch of helpers. In a manner similar to those offered by Akoustik Anarkhy at the Gardens Hotel, or even the all-dayers organised by Jay Taylor at Night & Day Cafe, they’ve been gloriously messy, full of spontaneity, but primarily purveyors of good music.

The venues aren’t of Glasto proportions, but they did have decent loos. I've never seen anyone leaving a CP event without a smile. Or was that just me? So, with the sad news that Sound Control will shortly close, it’s over to Sounds From the Other City, and similar, to keep this brilliant amalgam of musical reinvention and tradition moving. I have no fears.

Ged Camera

Inset image of Mums by Ged Camera.