Gig Guide Special: In The City, 5th-7th October 2008

Manchester’s annual In The City festival rolls around again this weekend and as usual there is an absolutely huge number of gigs going on in the city centre between Sunday and Tuesday. Most of them are free showcases for unsigned acts and small indie labels but there’s a fair few more recognisable acts playing as well. You won’t be able to wander around the Northern Quarter without being in earshot of a bunch of earnest teens in skinny jeans singing for their supper. And what about those dates? I’m sure that previous ITC’s took in the whole weekend. Three days of late nights and early mornings for those of us with jobs is not going to be easy.

As far as line-ups go you’re spoilt for choice and an afternoon of trawling MySpace to narrow down the options is highly recommended. We’ll probably start at the Night & Day on Sunday afternoon for the Switchflicker showcase headlined by the excellent Magic Arm, although at the same time at Fopp Records there’s a Heavenly showcase including acoustic sets from The Magic Numbers’ Romeo Stodart, Cherry Ghost and Edwyn Collins, all of whom will be making their way to the Deaf Institute for a presumably more electric showcase in the evening.

Also on Sunday night there’s a Fierce Panda showcase at the Night & Day with The Spinto Band headlining and Laymar and The All New Adventures of Us also on the bill, XFM put on The Beep Seals and Gideon Conn at the Ruby Lounge and at South the NME have Eugene McGuinness and Detroit Social Club.

Gideon Conn turns up again at Urban Outfitters early on Monday evening where there is also an exhibition of his artwork and “free drinks”. On Monday night the Hell Yeah promotion at the Academy 3 looks interesting with The Bottomfeeders, Silverclub and The Sister Of Transistors playing. On the same night The ABC Club, who were ace when we saw them supporting ¡Forward, Russia! earlier in the year, play the Chicago Rock Café in support of Johnny Foreigner, the band they replaced on the bill that night.

On Tuesday The Red Deer Club take over Piccadilly Records where they’re putting on Sophie’s Pigeons, Down The Tiny Steps and Sara Lowes, while Drowned In Sound have the likes of Grammatics and These New Puritans at the Night & Day. On the same night Manc guitar legend Vini Reilly brings his Durutti Column to the Ruby Lounge, Wiley headlines the Channel M night at Moho Live and Twisted Wheel and It’s A Buffalo play the BBC Introducing showcase at the Deaf Institute.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, really. Check out the In The City website for the full line-up and make sure you also look at the list of fringe gigs on the site, which is almost as exhausting as the main event. Acts include Simon Connor, among others, on Sunday afternoon at The Bay Horse, Air Cav at Joshua Brooks on Sunday night, The Star Fighter Pilot at The Attic on Tuesday night and, also on Tuesday, Light Syndicate and The Bangs at the Retro Bar.


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