There's a lot going on at this year's In The City festival, which kicks off in Manchester this Sunday (October 5) and runs to Tuesday (October 7). Bands are only one part of it, of course: panels and keynote speeches featuring the likes of Andrew Loog-Oldham, Alan McGee, Jarvis Cocker, Peter Hook and DiS' very own Sean Adams - amongst many others - promise to entertain and inform during the days, but it's to the evenings that we turn our attention here. After all, with the pedigree of uncovering the likes of Coldplay, Muse, The Darkness, etc In The City is one of the places where new bands break in this country. Here are our hot tips...
It's a known fact that DiS loves Grammatics. That's why we're putting them on at our Tuesday night showcase (7pm, the Night & Day, be there). But you should love them too, if you don't already, because they're one of most forward thinking young bands we've got on these shores. Theirs is ambitious, complicated pop music that deserves to be heard - think Cursive, Arcade Fire and Foals all stuck in a melting pot. And with a magnificent debut album set to drop early next year, this promises to be one of ITC's genuine 'I was there' moments.
It'd be fair to say Eugene McGuinness is DiS' acoustic singer-songwriter of choice. As mini album The Early Learnings Of... and, more recently, his self-titled debut LP have proved, McGuinness has a knack of twisting the mundane and the ordinary into something interesting, surreal and toe-tapping. His way with a melody is unquestionable, too. Few debut singles arrived last year finer than 'Monsters Under The Bed', but there's tunes aplenty besides in his already enviable canon. Whether he's playing solo (as he did for us in Sheffield a couple of weeks ago) or with band, rest assured you won't want to be missing this.
Purveyors of experimental post-rock that remains firmly on the right side of wanky (an all-too-rare feat, that), Leeds-based Vessels released one of the DiScover albums of the year in the shape of White Fields And Open Devices a couple of months ago. On-record forays into such disparate areas as folk and metal promises to make their ITC performance one of the more varied, and undoubtedly one of the best for closing your eyes and nodding away to.
Kill It Kid
Here's a bit of an ITC curveball. Kill It Kid first came to our attention a while ago, and theirs is a sound you don't forget it in a hurry. A bit like Wild Beasts, they're sure to be an act who divide opinion but, with their seemingly illegitimate marriage of the blues and gypsy-folk, they're certainly one who'll make you sit up and listen, even if you don't like what you hear. We do: boy/girl dual vocals, violins, slide-guitar and a smattering of operatics are, of course, among the finer things in life.
Little Boots is Victoria Hesketh, once of Northern indie could-have-beens Dead Disco. Since then she's successfully undergone something of an electro-pop makeover, and with two killer singles ('Meddle' and 'Stuck On Repeat') in the bag already, the Hot Chip boys on speed dial for production assistance and a host of top DJs queuing up to remix her stuff, 2009 looks set to be the year Little Boots storms the charts. The plethora of YouTube videos showing her covering pop classics (and her own tunes) with just a piano for company suggest there's much more going on here than cutting edge production in a currently fashionable genre.
These New Puritans - Myspace
Tubelord - Myspace
Baddies - Myspace
A.Human - Myspace
To The Bones - Myspace
Find more information on the official ITC website
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