Designer Magazine Preview

As with our What's On In Manchester listings, we've chosen to feature what we feel is the best of the In The City Live Events (NB: For ITC Unsigned check out our full Unsigned Preview). This is by no way a complete list of what's happening so for full listings check out the In The City site at

Friday 12th
The Strap Ons,  Wry,  Phoenix Down,  Street Regal + Super 8s
Gullivers Upstairs, Oldham St
7.30pm-11pm - £3, Delegates Free

Anyone who's anyone in Manchester will have seen The Straps Ons rip apart any stage they step foot on. With bass player Ilana moving to London shortly after this gig it's going to be a temporary farewell for the band who along with Jackie O have blown away the cobwebs of the Nu-Acoustic scene and gave birth to something we can truly get excited about. Backed up by Wry, who we've backed as the band to make it in this years Unsigned Showcases (more info in Unsigned section), and Street Regal who Bob Geldof described as "The best live band I've seen since the Sex Pistols". Phoenix Down and Super 8's also play.

TBA Launch Party : Nazarites, Double V + DJ sets from Guigsy (ex Oasis) and special guests
The Late Room, Peter St
7.30pm-2am - £5, Delegates Free.
We all know that Bonehead is doing the Dogs with ex-Smiths drummer Mike Joyce so it will be interesting to see what Guigsy's reggae band the Nazarites will sound like. So far only a handful of gigs have been played and a guest appearance on the last Cornershop album is the only thing people would have heard nationally. It could be amazing? Guigsy could fall flat on his face? The only things for sure is that it'll be better than listening to Oasis again.

Bugged Out  present: WALL OF SOUND TENTH BIRTHDAY PARTY in association with DJ Magazine
SANKEYS SOAP, BEEHIVE MILL : Jacques Lu Cont, Miles Hollway & Elliot Eastwick, Themroc (Dj set) Mark Jones
9pm - 4am - £7, Free to delegates
There was a time when Wall Of Sound was an essential label. Nowadays you don't get the same buzz about receiving a Wall Of Sound releases, but the prospect of a rare appearance from Jacques Lu Cont on the decks is well worth the entrance fee. Finally after touring the world with Madonna he's back with a new Zoot Woman record and his DJ sets are phenomenal. The one club event you shouldn't miss.tonight

Twisted Nerve Presents Aidan Smith, Toolshed and Very Special Twisted Nerve Guest
Bridgewater Hall - Doors: 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.50/£14.50 No Booking Fee (0161 907 9000)

The secret has been officially let out the bag now, but when you hear the word very Special Twisted Nerve Guest you were never going to shout out Andy Votel or Mum & Dad were you. The man in the hat Damon Gough will be premiering tracks from his new album which is rumoured to return to his lo-fi roots and the ethos of Twisted Nerve. For us he still hasn't beaten his work on the About A Boy album which in terms of cohesive well written songs was a joy to behold. Also tonight is a chance to catch Aiden Smith, the new golden boy of Twisted Nerve, as well as Toolshed which feature no less than four drum kits, five guitarists, a brass section, string section and amazing visual backdrop.

An Early Evening with Aziz + Denise Johnson + Leon Maya
Late Room, Peter Street
Doors: 6pm - Tickets: £5 on door
We saw the early stages of Aziz and Dalbir Singh at the Band On The Wall this time last year and were blown away by the sounds that came out of Aziz's guitar. Now with the time to develop and truly find their own sound it will be interesting to see just how many guitar effects he can stack up in one song. Denise Johnson and Leon Maya are people we haven't seen solo as yet, but reports tend to suggest that Denise's vocals are stronger than ever and benefiting from a simple acoustic set-up and of course Leon's shaken off the Northern Uproar tag after all these years.

The Live Review Black Swans, Luxor, Wry
The Printworks
Free Entry - 2pm -4.30pm
If you didn't get the chance to check out Wry on the Friday night then this Saturday afternoon gig is essential. (More info in ITC Unsigned preview)

Sankeys Soap, Beehive Mill, Ancoats
Possibly the club event of the weekend with the live appearance of Fanny Pack. Expect to hear their single "Camel Toe" which sounds like Daphne & Celeste coked up in a whorehouse. Also Peaches who at the very least will attempt to shock if not actually have that many tunes to her name. New Order on the decks should also throw up some interesting choices and Arthur Baker will hopefully throw in a few tracks from his long awaited solo album which features the likes of Tim Wheeler from Ash and Alabama 3 amongst other.

Nightmares On Wax, Un-cut, Bonobo, Alice Russell,
Bridgewater Hall
Doors: 7.30pm - Tickets: £9.50, £12.50, £14.50 No Booking Fee (0161 907 9000)
We don't get Nightmares On Wax, but we love Manc soul trio Un-Cut so it might be worth taking the cheap seats and checking them out. One of the best Manchester bands for years and disproving the theory that the only bands Manchester can compete on is guitar gods. Jenna G is a natural frontwoman and earlier in the day she'll be MC-ing on the Key 103 Stage in Stevenson Square.

Key In The City
Stevenson Square - Northern Quarter
Free - 1pm onwards
Alfie, Haven, Puressence, Longview, The Stands, The Rainband, Jenna G, Kinesis, Manchine Gun Fellatio on one stage for free...what more do we have to say? The latter band Machine Gun Fellatio are the band that Tony Wilson is tipping for big things and coming from Australia you're not going see them everyday so make the effort to get down early. After all once the Rainband come on you can make that sharp exist to the nearest bar.

October Motorcrash
Methodist Hall
Free Entry
October Crash are one of our tips for the top in the Unsigned Showcases. For more info check out the Unsigned preview

An essential night of 5 powerful & exceptional bands (in association with Cargo & Demo City):
Hardrock Café, Withy Grove - Doors 7pm
The Crimea return with a new single a year after Designer Magazine backed them ITC Unsigned 2002. The other bands The Slides, Texas Fence, The Bad Place and The Whyte Seeds we can't vouch for so maybe pop in last minute for the Crimea's headline set

Shoplifter Records ITC Showcase
Attic, Oxford Road
Were under the impression that one album does not maketh a great producer, but Gordon Raphael (The Strokes) set's out to prove us wrong with the launch of his independent label Shoplifter Records. We've only heard the Liverpool based band Without Walls so far and were quietly impressed if not blown away. Headlined by NYC's Regina Spector the event also sees Miss Machine, Kill Kenada and Raphael's own blues rock combo play. According to the bands tour dates the Stokes are free on that day - could we see the band head over to offer their support.

ITC Live showcase with extra special guest….
Prague V, Canal Street - 8pm
As soon as we know you'll know - any rumours post them on the message board

SJM and Magic Wand presents STEPHEN FRETWELL & His Band + Guests
Band On The Wall, Swan St
£5 adv plus booking fee; doors open 7.30pm
Stephen Fretwell has been tipped for major crossover success for the past 18 months, but the right deal hasn't come through for him yet and he seems content to play regular sell out shows in Manchester to a devoted audience. Tonight he's supported by Isobel Heyworth whose demo blew us away. If you like songs presented in their most simplistic way then tonight is one of those occasions where you can just relax after the previous nights exuberance. Buy tickets in advance though as this gig will sell out.

In The City 2003 : t  w  e  l  v  e  - Manchester's New Music Festival.
Jabez Clegg (opp Manchester Academy)
4pm-12.30am.  Info: 0161-272-8612
12 bands of widely different genre's. The standout bands look set to be The ID who seem to piss everyone off with their endless plugs and Hilton who used to have Badly Drawn Boy as their frontman..Make, Emmet, Redmond, SWF and Poor Boy Music also appear.

Life Cafe, Peter Street
7pm till Late - £4 / Delegates Free
Ram are fronted by ex-Monaco frontman Pottsy and while they have a strong set of pop songs it's hard to imagine where they fit into the music scene 2003 or indeed 2004.

Frog & Bucket, Oldham Street
7pm - Late - £3
Earl, Pioneers and the Parma Violets have all made their mark in Manchester over the past 12 months, but it's the appearance of Elbow's Guy Garvey that promises to be the real highlight. With a few beers, an acoustic were likely to see Guy offer a collection of old favourites, new songs in an acoustic setting and no doubt the odd cover version or two. Clint Boon also DJ's so expect a wicked aftershow.

Storm Music presents The A.M., Adom and David Wrench
Life Café, Peter Street
£5 adv/door - 0161 832 1111
New York's The A.M are fronted by Jeff Buckley's former guitarist Michael Tighe and this gig is their European debut.

Band On The Wall
10pm - Free
The impact of the Darkness at last years event has not yet fully been realised, but maybe Payola could be the band to convince us that rock is finally back. The sound of  The Darkness fronted by Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam is essentially what the band excell it, but it may just be enough for those people convinced that the Darkness are one big joke. With a track record that includes support slots with Audioslave playing to 7500 people a documentary made about the band in Ireland that reached up to 5 million viewers it seems that Payola's rise is only a matter of time.

Sofa, 106 Princess Street
9PM – 2AM - £3/£4 on the door
In truth this is going to be better than the official ITC Closing Party which is why you'll more than likely find us listening to the latest bootleg mix of Destiny's Child "Bootylicious" Vs Stevie Wonders "Superstition" than some overly credible mix from James Holroyd at the official bash. Bootlegs, B*stard pop and mash-ups are the order of the day and it's about time Manchester had something like this.

Alex McCann

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Friday 12th - 14th panels, workshops, live performances, A&R demo reviews, club nights..

Break In The City (September 12-14) will be one of the biggest opportunities for new talent to learn about the music industry and demonstrate their skills to the country’s best record labels. The event is scheduled to have over 30 talks, workshops, and seminars by key music industry figures. The event takes place at Urbis and over 70 live performances by the UK’s freshest talent will be playing live at The Band Agencys’ club nights and the Live Review held in The Printworks.