It’s been a dream of mine for quite some time now, but one that I’ve kept locked up and alone instead of acting upon it. I would absolutely love to run a clubnight – putting on bands, DJing, handing out free cakes and organising a mix CD swap – the thought o it all sends me positively giddy. The truth is though, that I have so little knowledge in the area that it’s embarassing. Do the venues provide the PA? How much should be charged? What if a band doesn’t show up? What if no-one shows up?
What’s more is the competition. Manchester probably has hundreds of aspiring promoters and bookers, all waiting to put on good bands and lose a bit of money, but there’s already a few at the top of their game. Though they’ve been around for a couple of years, 2009 has undoubtedly been the year that Now Wave has blossomed into Manchester’s premier night. It started out as a clubnight playing the best in new music – and unlike Radio 1, they actually meant it. Pretty much giving play time to anything exciting and new that they enjoyed meant that spending a Wednesday at the Deaf Institute would have you listening to a heady mix of everything from Deerhoof to Black Lips to Animal Collective, with absolutely everything inbetween.
The next logical step was to move to putting on gigs, which Now Wave has been doing for quite some time. Whereas the clubnight still carries on strong, it’s putting on shows that garners the most attention. The quality of their picks has never been in question (they put on both Abe Vigoda and Vivian Girls last year), but this year has seen the quantity come with it. If you’ve wanted to see awesome bands in Manchester, then it’s best to follow where they lead. With the Deaf Institute as their home ground, they’ve put on Black Lips (twice), The Strange Boys, HEALTH, Fuck Buttons, No Age, The Drums, The XX, Cold Cave, The Antlers and Deerhoof amongst others so far, with Wavves coming back for a return fixture tomorrow and Battles rounding up the year with one of the biggest events they’ve put on, it seems that things are only on the up for Now Wave. 2010 will see The XX and Four Tet headline Manchester Academy 2 on seperate nights, whilst gigs by Japandroids and Real Estate illustrate their commitment to putting on awesome acts still waiting to reach a wider audience.
If I wasn’t so pleased at the sheer quality that they put on, I think I’d die of envy at what they have managed to acheive already. Not only that, they even let me in to see HEALTH for free when I was incredibly low on funds, so they’re nice people as well as having the best taste in music this side of the pennines. We can only hope that a record label will follow in 2010. It might not be a band or whatever, but they’ve managed to advance the music scene in this city a lot more than most musicians manage. Now Wave has undoubtedly made life in the rainy city a lot more exciting throughout the course of this year.
Seeing as Wavves are playing Now Wave at Deaf Institute tomorrow night, here’s two mp3s from the support acts, Mazes and Spectrals:
Now Wave Website (link)