Gigs - Theatre - Cinema - Book Signings - Comedy

(Pic: The Boy Majors - Book now for Night & Day on June 5th)
....BOOK NOW....

* Alabama 3 play Manchester Academy 2 on 21st September - one of the best live acts around in the past 10 years so make sure you're there
* Underrated and undervalued, Maximo Park can still play venues the size of The Apollo on 6th October
* The Fray are total shite but Pete Yorn supports them on November 1st at The Apollo and he's well worth the entrance fee alone
* Slaughter & The Dogs play Academy 3 on 2nd November...will Mozzer be there to watch one of his old favourite punk band
* Once a band for geeks and the meek, The Proclaimers career has been given a boost by Peter Kay and Comic Relief. They play Manchester Apollo on 2nd November
* We saw Mika at Preston One Big Weekend and although his songs are great as a performer he's a 2nd rate Jake Shears. He plays the Apollo on 19th November
* Babyshambles will struggle to fill the Arena so expect this to be cancelled or a half full show. He plays manchester on 22nd November

* Kings Of Leon play Manchester Central (G Mex) on December 9th which is probably much better than Snow Patrol playing there but not really up there with Mozzer

All Tickets from


If you were to believe what you read in the Manchester Music Press you'd think that Manchester's borders ended at the trendy district of Chorlton and that any further out of the city centre was devoid of Culture. Take your mind back just a few years and you'll find that Joy Division used to play gigs in Altrincham, Doves came from Timperley or that members of the Smiths and Oasis have all lived in South Manchester at one point

Designer Magazine and Bar Amp plan to add to that rich cultural history with the launch of Club Designer Magazine each Thursday Night where we'll be providing Free Gigs from the best of Manchester's Unsigned scene. In the first 6 months of Bar Amp opening the likes of Proud Mary have played rammed gigs there and up and coming bands such as The Words and Red Sea have gone on to play high profile support slots at venues such as Academy 2.

Get to Bar Amp each Thursday for 8pm to see at least 3 bands each week for free....or before 8pm if you want to take advantage of some great drinks offers (and trust us this is quality bottled beer - not the dodgy stuff you get in other venues) and then stay to the early hours as after the bands DJs play the finest in alternative music till 2am.  So free music, cheap beer - what you waiting for - check the listings below!!!

This months highlights include The Vortex on March 1st and Harrington on March 15th but every week is a blast

For up to date listings click here

All Ages Events are all the rage in London at the moment, but Manchester is quickly catching on with a number of events for the summer aimed specifically at Under 18s. Perhaps the one thats been attracting most attention is the Ultimate All Ages Gig @ Bar Amp which has received national coverage in the Telegraph and Independent On Sunday already. Headlined by local Manchester punk band El Policia who last played a soldout event at Bar Amp and are attracting major label attention from the likes of Columbia Records with support from Little Engine, Kid 4077 (debut solo show from Nile Marr) and The Sidelines close to 200 tickets have been sold already with more just been released as the organisers have upgraded to a bigger room at Amp

To be safe buy advance tickets here or alternatively pick up some of those extra tickets on the door on the day

Burnt to the Ground (Burn Baby Burn, Disco Inferno),is an impromptu live music event in the Northern Quarter’s Stevenson Square – Manchester’s positive reaction to the devastation of the Dale Street fire.

Manchester events agency, Ear the to the Ground, is helping to organise the 5000 capacity street party which features Manchester’s creative talent at its finest – combining music and art to bring the community together to dance in the face of adversity.

More than just a music event, Burnt to the Ground will provide a collective space for creatives and businesses in the Northern Quarter to trade, perform and generally show off the diversity of their talents. Dj’s will play from fire engines with live acts on a purpose built, fire themed stage in the heart of the Northern Quarter. In addition there will also be a strong presence from the fire brigade who will have two crews and two engines within the arena.

As demonstrated by this event, Manchester’s Northern Quarter houses the core of the city’s creative industry; the businesses that ensure that Manchester is firmly on the map as one of the most important cultural hubs in the UK.

Steve Smith, Director of Ear to the Ground, one of the businesses affected by the fire and organiser of the Burnt to the Ground comments: “Our insurance covers the damage but the cost to the company in terms of disruption is massive. We just thought the best response was to do what this city does best. Have a party.”

All proceeds from the event will be given directly to charity and distributed among local businesses that have suffered.. One of the recipients will be the Manchester Fire Service that dispatched more than 120 fire fighters to fight the blaze

Artists confirmed so far include Polytechnic, Arthur Brown, Mr Scruff and many more

Our geography's always been shit. Really f**king shit. But rock music always seemed it make it easier than the average GCSE exam by having that rule that all great modern rock bands should come from Wales. Lostprophets. Check. Funeral For A Friend. Check. Bullet For My Valentine. Check. Thanks to Gallows they've messed up that theory by actually coming from Hertfordshire, which we're sure is an equally interesting place as Lowestoft was to the Darkness, but this time the rock music is a very different beast with no scenester haircuts allowed and the moment a melody shows it face it gets beaten into Black metal submission. 

Gallows play Manchester Virgin Megastore in the Arndale at 5.30pm and as always its a wristband event so look instore for details

Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten - Temple once again proves his mettle at (punk) rock docs with this biography of The Clash's legendary frontman. Combining an amazing range of archival footage, sound recordings and photos with offbeat interviews with Bono, Scorsese, Johnny Depp, John Cusack and most of the other members of The Clash, this is a fond and illuminating tribute to a passionate musician and influential activist. Watch this at the Cornerhouse in Manchester but note its only on show for 3 days

Of the last Maximo Park show in Manchester we said "Paul Smith has lost none of energy in the band's brief hiatus and matched the pace of the new material throughout the set, though this energy perhaps hides the fact that much of the new material is bordering on unremarkable". Its perhaps true but at an instore at Manchester's Virgin Megastore you get the chance to witness the band in action for free before they play the Apollo later this year

The Holloways are one of those bands that have been cruelly overlooked by the media in the last few months. Sure they may get a paragraph or short review here and there, but the band are really deserving of more than just an afterthought. "Generator", one of those classic singles has been re-released and to celebrate they stop off at HMV on Market Street for an instore performance and signing. Make sure you're there early as the show starts off at 5pm

Morrissey once called them spare parts of a lawnmover, but Designer Magazine thinks they were pretty damn essential to the Smith. Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke come together at HMV Manchester to sign copies of the the DVD Movie "Inside The Smiths" which for once rather than speculation from outsides actually gives an inside account of one of Manchesters favourite bands. The signing starts at 5pm

The Manchester Megamela is probably one of the most vibrant festivals this city has, so go down to Platt Fields in Rusholme for a weekend of fun. A celebration of Asian arts and culture with music, entertainment and performances from locally and internationally renowned artists, food and fashion, stalls and much more.



Designer Magazine has selected our recommended gigs for the month. For full gig listings and ticket purchases check out for availability

Manchester Academy 2/3 (University) / Club Academy
Rick Witter & The Dukes (1st June), Karima Francis (3rd) The Sounds (10th), Kula Shaker (12th), Hadouken (13th), Jack Penate (28th), The Hold Steady (5th July), The Cardinals (14th), John Power (20th),

Manchester Apollo
Motley Crue (12th June), Wu Tang (6th July),

Beyonce (7th June), Simon Webbe (9th), Scissor Sisters (30th July)

Dry Bar
Star 27 (14th June), Dirty Soul Club (28th), Band(ism) (14th July)

Night & Day Manchester
Designer Magazine 8th Birthday Party ft The Boy Majors / Carlis Star / Giddy / Federal Drugs Administration (5th June), The Maple State / The Ting Tings (7th), Neils Children (18th), Designer Magazine 8th Birthday Party part deux ft King Henry / Mr Fang / Harrington / The Drake Equation (19th), Grim Northern Social (27th), The Paris Riots / Future Pilot (3rd July), Spoons (17th) Lethal Bizzle (23rd)

The Roadhouse Manchester
Kids In Glass Houses (21st June), Under The Influence Of Giants (22nd)

(Pic: The Otters)

Each night in Manchester there's a great selection of unsigned bands playing venues such as Night & Day or The Roadhouse or being promoted by the likes of High Voltage, Blowout, VMan Events or our own Designer Magazine monthly nights. How do you decide which ones to go to? The Designer Magazine unsigned band spotlight which gives you the bands in a quick spurt of name, venue and who they sound like so you can click and listen away

Kid 4077 @ Bar Amp - June 1st
Manchester has seen many bands that have had the media fawning over them before they've got out of the starting blocks, The Ting Tings (mentioned below) being a prime example. Few however have had the sort of attention that Kid 4077 have attracted with full page spreads in both The Telegraph and Independent on Sunday, airplay on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs and patronage from the likes of Paolo Nutini and members of Paul Wellers band.

Once a band effort, this debut solo show of Nile Marr, marks a step forward for Kid 4077 where goes on a solo troubadour route. The gig is part of an all ages show with headliners El Policia already attracting label attention from the likes of Columbia and Epitaph...along with Little Engine and The Sidelines both of who are regulars and firm faves on the Manchester scene this is a not to be missed gig

THE BOY MAJORS @ Night & Day - June 5th
Like El Policia, The Boy Majors are one of a number of bands in South Manchester that are currently attracting attention from a number of labels. Its easy to see why. The debut Boy Majors gig Clint Boon booked them in immediately for a session on XFM, their last gig for Designer Magazine saw 400 people rammed in the venue with a hundred more queueing outside, a debut gig in London saw 3 of the major labels watch them play to another packed out audience of 200 people and later in the year Danny McNamara's booked them for his Aftershow gigs at Sankeys Soap.

With support from the hotly tipped Carlis Star this is perhaps the hottest ticket in town right now so make sure you buy early to avoid disappointment

THE TING TINGS @ Night & Day - June 7th
In truth Designer Magazine is a little bemused about the whole Ting Tings media scrum at the moment. Not because they dont deserve it, cos there one of the few bands in Manchester that genuinely deserve the buzz about them, but more for the fact that those who ignored Katie and Jules' previous band Dear Eskiimo are now having to do a U-Turn and pretend they really did love Eskiimo afterall.

Cool electro shimmery pop is the order of the day and with Switchflicker Records behind them (the same people who brough us Chloe Poem's "The Queen Sucks Nazi Cock") this debut release will keep a cult status before they inevitably sign to a major and as predicted become international stars.

Even though The Maple State (another band that people ignored before having to pretend they liked all along) are the headliners at this gig you imagine a large number of people will be there for the support act

THE OTTERS - June 28th @ Bar Amp
Intense and dramatic no wave punk rock from Welwyn Garden City, featuring Mark Astronaut of semi legendary anarcho punk outfit The Astronauts. People love Otters- they're cute, cuddly and friendly, but The Otters are the antithesis of our cute furry friend. The Otters live gigs are unmissable; a fusion of chaos, violence, dancing, sing-a-long songs, noise, fluffy hair, furious drumming, thumping basslines, shredding guitar riffs, singing, screaming, and raw power. Juxtaposing dark tales of modern day suburbia with real, honest music that refuses to be pigeonholed,

The Otters continue to leap from strength to strength, supporting the likes of up and comers such as The Holloways, The Chalets, Stuffy & The Fuses, as well as earlier bands such as P.A.I.N and Clayson & The Argonauts. Dubbed as the 'anti Orson' and 'everything that's right about music', The Otters don't exist to be cool, to get laid, to get drunk, to be famous or to conform to order; The Otters exist to challenge all that. Join in or f*ck off

RYAN LAMEY - July 1st @ Centro
Just as we were getting bored of male singer-songwriters in Manchester along comes Ryan Lamey who single handedly makes the careers of Stephen Fretwell and Liam Frost pretty redundant. Born and raised in Canada he only recently moved over to Manchester (he calls himself a Mancunadian) his style is reminiscent of Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley only filtered through a huge pop filter. We're hoping that Ryan will duet with Karima Francis for a few tracks as these two really are the only singer songwriters you should be listening to at the moment

Comedy Store -
Contact Theatre -
Cornerhouse Cinema -
Dancehouse -
Frog & Bucket -
High Voltage -
The Lowry -
MCR City Council Ents -
Night & Day Cafe -
The Roadhouse -
The Royal Exchange -
Vman Events -

Listing Information

Each month Designer Magazine selects what we consider to be the cream of the crop in the world of music, theatre, comedy, cinema and the arts. This is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of every event in the City, but an editorial selection of the monthly highlights.

If you wish your event to considered for the column please contact our editor by the 25th of the month prior to the event, although note that last minute events can be added on occasions. If you are an unsigned band / relatively unknown comedian or artist please try and submit a showreel or demo CD to the postal address below as it helps to decide which listings to include etc

Alex McCann
C/o Designer Magazine
8 Northway
WA14 1NN



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