Of all that is good in Manchester at the minute, the Trof empire seems to be at the core of it. Following from years of substandard venues sticking on average gigs and middling support, the eatery-cum-bar set up seems to have taken a purposely stylised approach to what kind of clientèle it intends to attract through what kind of nights it will allow to be hosted their, the types of art they’ll have exhibited and, crucially, in filtering what bands are allowed to play on their premises. Whilst the Northern Quarter is the home to the original, the most influential in the city’s nightlife is probably the still relatively new Deaf Institute.
Whilst Now Wave is justifiably synonymous with the venue, there are loads of other promoters who use the music hall, and it’s not only been the range of brilliant headline acts that have caught the attention. Indeed, the roster of seemingly endless brilliant supports has been equally instrumental in giving the venue such a strong identity, and a new DIY scene has sprung out of the raft of bands that have been playing the in the opening slots. It’s fitting, then, that the first screening of a documentary about the birth and growth of one of the most influential labels of all time, K records, should be there, as a part of the simply titled ‘D.I.Y. Day’. ‘The shield around the K’ features performances from Beat Happening, Fugazi, Mecca Normal and Fugazi, as well as interviews with pretty much all of the most important acts from the labels roster.
However, in typical fashion, Comfortable on a Tightrope have taken the screening and turned it into a 7 hour long celebration of the current underground music scene. On the bill, there’s the dark garage punk of Prize Pets, Golden Grrls, Human hair, the omnipresent Mazes and headliners Please, which is a ridiculous concentration of talent for a fiver. To top things off, there’s an all day BBQ, Grood Grief is having it’s own stall and the Salford ‘zine Library is bringing down it’s collection for people to have a flick through. Mercifully, it’ll even be finished in time to watch what could potentially be England’s first game in the knock stages. Provided, of course, that they get that far.