Between the 13th – 15th of October, Manchester plays host to the annual In the City festival. This year, it’s relocating to the Northern Quarter, and looks set to play host to it’#s most exciting line-up in years, giving both the industry professionals and the normal gig goers a chance to get involved with it’s unique mix of exciting concerts and engaging keynote speakers. Wristbands are currently priced at £29, which gets you access to some of the most exciting shows the city will see this year. If you’re not quite sure who to see yet, here’s some help:
If making good music is a gift, Spectral’s Louis is consummately divine. It’s been a while since the Yorkshireman’s laid back jams first made ripples on the hype blogs, and it’s only got more exciting since then. A sound stolen from 50’s beach rock and warped beyond all definition, it’s like the soundtrack to a really good dream, off-kilter, jaunty and utterly arresting.
Though the composition is a solo enterprise, live Spectrals are transformed into a 4 piece and have put on shows to enraptured audiences in support slots and grimey basements across the country. A series of 7″ singles, cassettes and splits have followed on some of the most prestogious labels around, with everyone from Moshi Moshi to Slumberland getting in on the act. Debut album ‘Bad Penny’ is due out later in the year, and if the current crop of mp3 circulationg are anything to go by, it should be dominating end of year lists come December.
What sets Spectrals apart from their peers isn’t only the fact that they make consistently exciting songs, it’s that they do so whilst testing the limits of pop music and remaining accessible without losing any dignity. It’s a logic-defying combination, and but the reverb drenched riffs of warm, slightly distorted lyrics are so difficult not to love that it barely even matters. Not quite surf-rock and miles away from lo-fi, all this needs is the NME to slap a false genre on it and you’ve got the definitive sound of 2011, whether Louis likes it or not.
Spectrals – Rot with Me[download via mbv]