We hit up A Carefully Planned Festival #5 in Manchester last weekend, an event, now in its fifth year, which champions emerging live talent in swathes throughout the city’s vibrant Northern Quarter. With over 150 acts divulging their music to demographically diverse audiences across eight intimate venues, the festival captures everything that is great about the underground music scene. The close-knit Manchester music community continues to thrive and welcomed musicians who had travelled from all four corners of the globe, bringing an assorted array of sounds to the North West. Here’s our top picks from the weekend, all worth checking out…
A Sudden Burst of Colour
Glaswegian quartet A Sudden Burst of Colour, brought an unearthly clash of pure, instrumental noise to Gulliver’s bar. The half an hour set filled the tiny upstairs room with whirring guitars, wicked drum beats and rhythmic bass – an amalgamation of dream-like vibrations which entwined into something astutely exceptional. This distinctive, fresh-faced outfit mesmerised throughout, producing sounds which inevitably excel in a live setting. Described by Carefully Planned curators as energetic, ambient rock, these boys have definitely got something different to offer.
Listen to: EP ‘Reborn’
Compared to the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Fugazi and Pixies, Kagoule are a grungy, noise-fuelled 3-piece from Nottingham, whose cult following is fast growing. Pulling in one of the biggest crowds of the weekend, their set showcased a catalogue of relentlessly impressive music, which bares the characteristics of a band beyond their years. If you’re looking for infectious, brash, rapturous rock that simply refuses to stagnate in its progression, this act fits the bill. Perhaps one of the most musically accomplished acts of the weekend, Kagoule are ready to make a name for themselves.
Listen to: LP ‘Urth’
Following on from Kagoule at the Soup Kitchen, was peppy four-piece Marsicans. With a sound born from the alt/indie/dirty-pop scene that is currently thriving in the UK, the band’s best qualities were clear to see and hear throughout a tight, palatable show. These lads showed awesome enthusiasm as they reeled off some really vibrant music in a contagious, animated fashion. Guitar riffs a plenty and a brilliant on-stage chemistry is what to expect when seeing this band. Stand-out tracks include ‘Gone in a Second’ and ‘Terrapin’.
Listen to: EP ‘The Chivalry’
Solo New Zealander with her trusty guitar, Luckless, brought inimitable, beautifully moody reverberations to Carefully Planned. With personality and a strong air of passion in her performance, Luckless lit up Cord bar’s basement, with what the artist herself describes as a ‘melancholy and neuroses abound’ nature – music which clutches at the soul. Receiving a great reception despite playing one of the earliest Saturday sets, the audience took to a woman who was willing to interact with onlookers and put a story to every song. A refined mixture of indie-folk and alt-rock would best describe this music.
Listen to: LP ‘Vindication Blues’