When In Manchester

14 April
Various Venues

When in Manchester, the sun always shines. Or at least it did for this event of the same name.

Deploying experience gained from involvement with A Carefully Planned Festivals gone by, WiM’s organisers picked four Northern Quarter venues for its fourth year, between them playing host to a range of musicians. Similarly to ACPF, it’s less about indie-type locals ruminating about how to break free, more a diverse collection of nationwide artists and musical styles.

There aren't many bands who boast originating from the home of the tubular bandage, and fewer still from outside Oldham who will know where they mean, but Gardenback state this with pride - or perhaps defiance. The three-piece have a fiery stage presence and some gloriously noisy songs that sit alongside other more trance-y, spaced out affairs. They play both to and with the crowd – you won’t have been to many gigs where a male blow-up doll crowd-surfs over a hen party’s heads while they down shots. Thanks, Katherine.

Over at the Castle, LUCIA squeezed from the front room through to the stage with an air of brooding intensity. Each had a unique dress style, with the bassist wrapped in a red boiler suit doesn’t look happy about it. He vented his frustration via his instrument, crouching over a monitor to wring out as much noise as possible. In the meantime, the guitarist stirred equal amounts of aggression, whilst centre-stage Glaswegian Lucia Fontaine commanded attentions. Having invited the audience closer to the stage, she then blasted them with a mix of scuzzy noise and sing-along lines, before crouching amongst them. Although at first intimidated, they soon applauded the four-piece. Keep an ear out for them.

Elsewhere, Nadia Sheikh and her three musical accomplices delivered a series of melodious earworms, Brooklin brought more soulful sounds to a near-capacity Castle crowd, and vocalist Jamie Heawood’s warm voice seeped across a swaying room lifted by dulcet trombone.

Even Ryan Jarvis acknowledged his lyrics can be a bit depressing, despite his warm personality. It’s that paradox that runs through tales like at least if you are going to get dumped, it’s nice to know your ex has kindly packed your bags and ordered a taxi.

Ged Camera

Photos by Ged Camera.