An evening that began with a nondescript egg and tomato baguette, but ended with bachanalian scenes at a lock-in. What on earth happened in between? Aside from indie celeb spots of Huw Stephens (not Huw Edwards, as Ben Answering Machine pointed out) and Bez, the closing night of Manchester's new music festival was characterised by meandering between venues, following up tips from passers-by and the Buzz Chart on In The City's own trusty iPhone app. Here are our highlights:
Manchester scenester extraordinaire Pierre Hall's group offer up laconic sunshine pop with the kind of oohs and lahs that could make you fall in love.
The best late 70s/early 80s guitar riffs you never heard, stripped of their dated vocals and put in a blender with post rock stylings. The video above is not to be skipped - the build up is too good. Gathering plaudits from a performance on Marc Riley's 6Music show earlier this year, you have to catch them live.
The Bewitched Hands
Despite one member looking exactly like the rapist from This Is England '86 (not his fault - the series almost definitely has less cultural resonance in their native France) The Bewitched Hands offer up sweet harmony-soaked indie, forming another fleck of foam on the wave being driven by Sufjan Stevens and, more recently, Freelance Whales. Full-on male/female harmonies and tonnes of reverb without any saccharine annoyances? Yes please. Debut album out on the 23rd.
Dance craze kicking off @ Youthless. Craig Marchington is to blame. #inthecity
Put that video and that tweet together and you get a good impression of what went on at Umbro. Manic dancing and shouting only ceased for long enough to say "how the fuck is he getting his bass to do that?!" before the pure energy the band were radiating took over again. Drummer/vocalist Alex Klimovitsky even made an impressive effort to climb on the flimsy looking pipes that run along the ceiling, making this the gig that we were still talking about as we left the pub at 6am.
Only popped into the refurbished Band On The Wall briefly, but it was enough to decide that Yuck are lovely. Just lovely.
The night didn't actually end with LA hipsters Kisses, but White Ring's screaming-and-VNV-Nation-esque deathtrance was too depressing at the time, and is too depressing now. So we're ending with the penultimate band instead.