Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Wednesday 10th - Saturday 13th July
As the nation is gripped with World Cup Fever, Henmania and the interpersonal relationships of the Big Brother contestants you could be forgiven for thinking that music is the last thing on people's minds. But fear not as SJM Concerts in conjunction with Virgin Trains has brought us Manchester's biggest music festival Move...and incidentally Manchester's only festival this year following the council pulling backing for the annual Castlefield shindig in August.
Wednesday sees Bowie's first gig in Manchester since the legendary Manchester Academy Show a few years back and will be the first chance fans get to hear the "Heathen" album in the live arena. Still trying to come to terms with the fact that he's a modern man in a world that refuses to change in any significant way the album sees a return to form and word reaches us that Bowie will be playing a few old classics while leaving his drum & bass period in Room 101. With backing from Bowie soundalikes Suede, The Divine Comedy in their first appearance since Neil Hannon went solo, psychedelic indie kids Electric Soft Parade and the band which shaped the sound of Oasis, The Real People - Move starts off as it means to go on.
Manchester has always had a thriving rock scene the Thursday provides a end of term party for the Nu-Metallers and a touch of Nu-Punk for the adults amongst us. Highlight of the day are surprisingly not headliners Green Day, who played a tiresome set at the Leeds Festival last year, but the events opening band Hoobastank. We didn't make it down to their support slot with Incubus earlier in the year but their self titled major label debut was a refreshing take on the nu-metal scene and as we said - the best band out of America in recent years. The rest of the days line-up is a hit and miss affair with the depressing Emo rockers Rival Schools appearing alongside No Doubt, Less Than Jake and always ones for a laugh the Cheeky Monkeys that are A.
Veterans come out on Wednesday on a bill which includes Paul Weller, Ian Brown, Joe Strummer, Shed 7 and Haven. Weller is back on a nostalgia trip playing Jam songs and showing the Libertines how its really done, while Ian Brown still can't sing but has Aziz on guitar and songwriting duties so worth seeing for that point alone. Joe Strummer is still more relevant that any Clash rip-off from the Manic Street Preachers and as everyone knows the Clash were always better than the Pistols. If that isn't enough there's also Shed 7 delivering some of your favourite 90's hits and keeping it bang up to date Manchester Via Cornwall style are Haven.
Ending it with 24 Hour Party People New Order who probably won't be playing World In Motion after England got knocked rather predictably out of the World Cup. But its only a minor loss when they'll be playing choice cuts from the Joy Division catalogue alongside modern New Order classic like "Regret". If you're not one for the nostalgia trip then we have Doves - fresh from hitting number 1 in the album charts, being well on their way to breaking it over in the States and give them a few years and they'll be selling this venue out in their own right. SWR sees the return of Shaun William Ryder after spending the past 12 months in Australia recording his debut solo album - expect plenty of Happy Mondays and Black Grape tracks thrown in for good measure. Personally we think that Elbow and Alfie are better suited to indoor venues, but still we see how they go down with the unsuspecting audience.
What more could you ask for? Well, the fact you can go home each night to the comfort of your own bed is a bonus and with the Metrolink Service literally taking you to the doorstep of Old Trafford Cricket Ground it sure beats hanging around with a bunch of hippies in a field.