The Best Unsigned Gigs Of The Weekend!!!!

Designer Magazine's coverage of ITC has always taken us equal parts off the beaten track as it has covering the main ITC Unsigned bands. That's why when you look through our selections of the best bands of ITC you'll see a number of gigs you may not have considered just yet rather than a who's who list of the bands with the most influential PR companies

PIC: Exorsisters
THE EXORSISTERS - Satans Hollow - 7.20pm
You wouldn't know it to look at any mainstream rock publication, but there is a world that exists outside emo and punk pop. The Exorsisters have faced the wrath of OAP's, chav's and emo fashionistas as they've set on a path of rock'n'roll destruction that's taken them from their hometown of Blackburn around the provinces of the Northwest. In their brief carnage laden career they've attracted fans in the likes of The Buzzcocks, Captain Sensible, Acey Slade (The Murderdolls) and Gidget Gein (The Spooky Kids / Marilyn Manson) and won over a legion of backstage bitches -

LEAVE THE CAPITAL - Dry Bar - 10.40pm
If Doves debut album would have had a few more radio hits they'd have sounded Leave The Capital…. atmospheric melancholic rock -

PIC: Supersonic Winds Of Neptune

SUPERSONIC WINDS OF NEPTUNE - Charlies (Off Princess Street) - 11.30
The Supersonic Winds of Neptune are a rabid collection of gypsies and gangsters from the bad side of town, foraging what they can from post-nuclear fallout interplanetary mining systems to create their unique and sometimes frightening blend of hard rock.80s-infected pop/ambient beautifications/funk/Las Vegas swing metal and tea-influenced Britishness. -

PIC: Ometa

CLUB FANDANGO IN THE CITY - Night & Day - 8pm onwards

Omerta. In their brief career they've already notched up support slots with the likes of Hard-Fi, received copious radio play on XFM and Radio 1 and sold out their debut EP in a matter of hours. What makes Omerta so special is the fact that they take from the same influences as the Killers and The Bravery and then infuse it with a gritty Northern realism with lyrics that can be as cutting as anything Morrissey ever put to paper. Vocalist Aaron Starkie shares some of his mannerisms with the bequiffed one, but he has his own signature move of the ski-bob down to a T. The singles "Everyone Is Frozen" and One Chance" are played to an enraptured audience as the machines turn against them as they deliver what they call an acoustic set. Definitely one's to look out for at this years In The City!!!…..also playing this show are t Vincent and The Villains, 3rd Dan, The Children, Tricky Nixon -

PIC: British Beef
Sam & Me -Pitcher & Piano - 2pm
They played last year on the Akoustik Anarkhy night and this year they're back for a re-run at Warchild Acoustic bash. "Sonic Boomerang" and "The Path" show potential for a great debut album -

Free Repeater - Late Room - 7pm
Designer Magazine first heard of Free Repeater 12 months ago when they're original demo landed in the Designer Magazine offices for coverage during In The City 2004. At the time they didn't make the cut in the ITC Unsigned List, so they went away and built on the bones of the original demos and have recorded their debut EP. What's changed? The likes of "Columbia Bills", "Sucker Punch" and "Count To 10" have a human edge and knack for songwriting which takes them above and beyond the current 80s posturing -

NEW SHAPES - 14 Lloyd Street (Upstairs) - 7.30pm
The New Shapes will never win awards for originality as they could have just fallen off the production line after The Strokes and Razorlight. Where they will win awards in is songwriting as the 2 track single You've Got Me Running Round" and "A Song About A Girl" are the finest songs we've heard all year. As we write this we've played about 20 CDs since we last heard it and we're still humming along to New Shapes. A must see band of ITC!!! -

BRITISH BEEF - 14 Lloyd Street (Upstairs) - 9.15pm
The ban on British Beef is lifted if it tastes as ripe, succulent and downright meaty as this. We were under the impression the band had been signed up to Sony about a year ago following a competition on Radio 1 which saw them named Britains Best Unsigned Rock Band. Ploughing a similar path to Simple Plan and early Green Day their first single "Without Me" was a high-gloss romp through punk pop heaven. Expect them to do a Bush on us and break America first!!!


PIC: Orphan Boy
ORPHAN BOY - Dry Bar - 3pm

Just as people are about to ready to write off Pete Doherty & The Babyshambles as man who squandered his talent away in the smack dens of London along come a band that remind us of everything the Libertines used to be. Orphan Boy sound like Joe Strummer and Jam-era Paul Weller jamming on a tip with a battered guitar that they lifted from a porn shop. The fact that the look like Gonch and Tucker Jenkins from old skool Grange Hill only adds to the fact that Orphan Boy are the only band you should be watching right now. -

PIC: Dear Eskiimo
DEAR ESKIIMO - Islington Mill - 3-6pm (INVITE ONLY)

Dear Eskiimo are the bastard offspring of Outkast, The Sound Of Music, Space, Alisha's Attic and Goldfrapp. The sort of band you'd imagine if Richard X and Brian Higgins got together with Andre 3000 whilst creating a frankensteins monster out of every member of Girls Aloud, who had in turn been fed on a diet of Broadway Musicals. The fact that they actually look as good as they sound makes the whole spectacle even more alluring. Katie, an irresistible lolita straight from the pages of FHM and dressed in a baby doll dress and pink knee high boots. It's the sort of outfit Simon Fuller is preparing for the girls of S Club 8 as soon as they hit 16, but on Katie it's fitting in with the music - the nursery rhyme melodies counteract the darker lyrical twists. Jules, a cheeky chappy cockney who looks like he's straight out of a cheap cable remake of early 80s Jackanory plays guitar and adds a bit of grit to the band. Standing at the back is Sy on decks and samplers, a man who wouldn't be out of place as a extra from a Junior Senior video.

THE TIDES - Walkabout - 4.40pm
The Tides started off as a sensitive acoustic duo whose early gigs got compared to the likes of Turin Brakes and David Gray, by the time they'd expanded into a full band they'd started to have scraps with Mark E Smith of the Fall. The last few months in Manchester have seen them as one of the hottest tickets in town playing with the likes of Puressence, The Chameleon's Mark Burgess and the Inspiral Carpets Tom Hingley. With a set of songs that don't so much drag you by the neck, but slowly lure you in until you can't leave, this years ITC could be the making of them -

PIC: Azure Glow
AZURE GLOW - Satans Hollow - 8pm
Even now when you mention the name Kid Conspiracy it's talked about in hushed tones. They were the band that could and should have made it, but just as the record labels started to catch on you couldn't walk for the plethora of emo bands at the time. It prompted the band to make a re-think and out of the ashes of Kid Conspiracy came a new sound and a new name, Azure Glow.

Their first show, part of Designer Magazine's 6th Birthday celebrations in June, had everything - the tunes, the look, the potential. The one thing they were lacking was the confidence that comes with the experience of knowing your set and pushing the sonics to the limit. This might only be their 2nd gig, but even now Azure Glow are potentially the most perfect rock band this city, nee country, has had in years. -

THE RANDOMS - Walkabout - 8pm
There's something almost comforting about the recognizably sound of just vocals, bass, guitar and drums. This is real urban music made by kids from the streets, venting all of their frustrations into their lyrics and their turbulent adventures into songs that people can acknowledge. A soundtrack to their lives that caters for periods of time when a song you can connect with can make you feel so much better and that you're not the only person in the world feeling lost and alone. All this and more applies to the Randoms whose debut album is produced by Johnny Kettle.

DEAR SUPERSTAR - Jillys Rockworld - 9pm

Within 12 months Dear Superstar will have it all. Their show at In The City in October will see them sign a major label deal, a top 10 single will set it up for the album...oh, and the accusations of selling out that Lostprophets and Funeral For A Friend received after a modicum of success will follow them around everywhere they go. Even here in a half full venue with the staff pouring themselves lethal cocktails of 5 double vodka's and special brew, Dear Superstar look like a band destined for pullout posters in Kerrang and Metal Hammer. Taking emo and post-hardcore as a raw blueprint and then writing songs that can compete with the aforementioned FFAF and My Chemical Romance. "Sunset Suicide" sits between the hedonism of Motley Crue and the nihilism of MCR, "Break Up" recalls Infest era Papa Roach and "Falling Apart" could have easily been off any of Hoobastank's albums. While it's far from original, what sets Dear Superstar apart from the hundreds of bands you'll see up and down the country is the fact that their songs and stage presence dwarf that of most signed bands.

VANLUSTBADER - Walkabout - 9.15pm
Much derided as a Aussie band who make Jet look positively groundbreaking, Vanlustbader take from the Stones, Beatles and every classic rock'n'roll record ever made. Inbetween the unashamed reference points there's a love of 80's breakbeats that sneak through on snippets of "All You People" and "War Of TheWorlds". Give it 12 months and these guys will be huge despite a few anal critics -

PIC: Lucky Soul
THE GHEARS - Bar 38 -7pm
They've supported Snow Patrol, but don't let that put you off, the band have also toured with the much better Brigade and Mooney Suzuki. Taking influences from The Velvet Underground, Spiritualised and My Bloody Valentine they manage to still make life-affirming guitar pop such as "Arrest And Development" and "Easy Flow".

LUCKY SOUL - Squares - 7.30pm
Like Dear Eskiimo last year, Lucky Soul come into ITC with a totally unique sound that can't be stifled by indie elitism or pops bland palette. The Greenwich 5 piece remind us of classic lost Manchester band Snowblind, St Etienne and Sophie Ellis-Bextor's old band The Audience, but most of all they indulge in widescreen Spector sized Motown pop. Their website mentions Dusty Springfield and The Smiths which is just about as heavenly as it gets -

LOOKIN - Bar 38 - 7.45pm
Lookin have been honing their sound for the past few years and support slots with the likes of Icarus Line and No Hope In New Jersey have seen them grow in stature to the point where each show is treated like their own personal playground where they're headlining to eternity. Fronted by the splendidly named Christian D'Acuna and Theo Bowers (no relation to Dane presumably) the band have little in common with fellow Macclesfield bands Marion, The Macc Lads or Joy Division's Ian Curtis. Veering between Muse-esque pomp rock on "Time To Change", commercial pop-punk ala Green Day on "Maybe Tomorrow" and nihilistic anger on "Here We Go Again" the band have recently gained national airplay on Steve Lamacq's 6 Music show, but live shows like this is where they really excel. D'Acuna snarls at one moment and then disarms you with a fragile smile - it's the same schizophrenic twitches that tormented geniuses like Cobain always exhibited. Lookin have got a bright future ahead of them!!

THE CAZALS - Walkabout - 9.15pm
The Cazals fly the flag for the new wave of post-punk. They sing of innocent boys, but have a wicked glint in their eyes which suggest they're far for innocent -

IVORY - 14 Lloyd Street - 10.15pm

Coming on stage dressed in low hung jeans and a harlequin waistcoat that makes him look the camp hip hop version of Jake Scissor Sisters or a white Andre 3000. You can call it indie flavoured rap if you want, but at the end of the day it's just feel good hip hop. "Blaze A Trail" has a riff that sounds like a lo-fi version of Rage's "Killing In The Name Of" complete with female backing vocals that could come straight out of a Misteeq track. Add in the funniest guy in UK hip-hop right now and you got an infectious combination.

.....Manchester So Much To Answer For....

Part of the fun of ITC is checking out the fringe gigs that Manchester's finest promoters are putting on throughout the weekend. Here we recommend the best ITC gigs from TCBLive, High Voltage and V:Man Events

TCBLIVE / CLUB FANDANGO IN THE CITY - Night & Day Cafe - All weekend
Designer Magazine recommends: Omerta, The Children, The Deadbeats, Vib Gyor, Kill The Young, Fear Of Music, The Automatic, Hot Puppies
Also appearing: Keith, Sunshine Underground, Art Brut, Liam Frost, Kokokamino plus much more!!!
Web: /

HIGH VOLTAGE - Music Box - Monday 3rd Oct (Doors 7.30pm)
Designer Magazine recommends: The KBC,redcarsgofaster, Lisa Brown,Former Bullies,Good Shoes,
Dirty Circus
Also appearing: That's your lot....a great bill.High Voltage also team up with Fantastic Plastic on the Sunday night for a gig at the Roadhouse

Designer Magazine recommends: Misty's Big Adventure, New Grafitti, Trap 2, Young Offenders Institute, The White Rose Movement, Protocol
Also appearing: Laruso, Star Fighter Pilot, The Second Floor, Hanky Park,Lyca Sleep

Designer Magazine teamed up with Break In The City this year as one of it's sponsors so most of the Manchester bands you see on these events have been recommended by Designer Magazine. Sadly Designer Magazine favourites the Cardinals have had to pull out of one of the nights cos their drummers broke his arm, but we've still got Manchester action from The Tides, Exoristers, Sam & Me, Former Bullies, Shinobi, Azure Glow, Isobel Heyworth, The Randoms, Twenty Twenty Vision, Sonic Audio (The new Happy Mondays band), Silent Partners and Lookin amongst others!!!

The main Break ITC events are listed below, but for full listings check out their site here

Stylish Riots I
Date: Sun 2nd Oct
Venue: M2
M-Two, Peter Street,
Manchester. M2 3NQ [ map ]
Tel: 0161 839 1112
Price: £5, or delegates are FREE
Running times: 2pm doors, till late
Event: Break ITC: Stylish Riots in association with Filter Mini
2.30 Whiskey Cats, 3.15, The Others 4.00 The Chalets, 4.45 Young Offenders Institute, 5.30 The Long Blondes 6.30 Apartment, 7.15 Special Guests, 8.15 5 Oclock Heroes, 9.00 The Noisettes, 9.45 Moco, 10.30 Mystery Jets

DJs: Stylish Riots, Acoustic Anarky, Fear of Music and special guests

Break ITC + Designer Magazine
Sun 2nd, 7pm, £3
Break ITC
Satans Hollow
101 Princess St, Manchester,
M1 6DD [ map ] 0161 236 1213
delegates free

8 Azure Glow
8.4 Raising Sand
9.2 The Visions
10 Zombina & the skeletones
10.4 Lord Mongo

Stlyish Riots II
Date: Mon 3rd Oct
Venue: M2
M-Two, Peter Street,
Manchester. M2 3NQ [ map ]
Tel: 0161 839 1112
Price: £5, or delegates are FREE
Running times: 6pm doors, till late
Event: Break ITC: Stylish Riots in association with Filter Mini
(6.45 Piney Gir 7.30 The Exports 8.15 The Pedestrians)
(9.00 Louie, 9.45 Maupa, 11.00 Oceansize)

DJs: Stylish Riots, Sean Mclusky and special guests

Artist Rising-Play Music-Designer Magazine
Date: Mon 3rd Oct
Venue: Walkabout
13 Quay st, Manchester
M3 3HN [ map ] 0161 817 4800
Price: FREE
Running times: 6pm doors, till late
Event: Break ITC: Artist Rising in association with Designer Magazine

(8.00 Thai Bride 8.30 Make Good Your Escape, 9.15 Cazals, 10.00 Action Plan,


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