Us Mancunians pride ourselves on the city’s rich musical heritage. From The Smiths to The Stone Roses, an education in Manchester’s cultural history is a right of passage for many. And in 2018, the scene is as vibrant as it’s ever been. As Johnny Marr and The Children of Zeus enjoy sold out shows this month, we reveal our top picks from the rest of Manchester’s music community.

Manchester duo, Children of Zeus, enjoy a sold out home show at Band On The Wall this month. Photo: Dan Medhurst

Royal Northern College of Music Students

Dates: 4 & 18 November  –  Venue: Whitworth Art gallery  –  Further details: click here

Sunday Concerts at the Whitworth featuring students of the Royal Northern College of Music each performance will start at 3pm and last around 45 minutes. Past concerts have included classical flamenco guitar to contemporary flute. There really is something for all tastes and ages. Entry is free.


Dates: 8 November  –  Venue: Soup Kitchen  –  Further details: click here

Skeltr come at the audience with sumptuous, technically prolific saxophone solos alongside mysterious samples, synths and loopers for a heart-wrenching and thoughtful cascade of modern and technical soulful funk. Support comes from DJ Glue70.

Top Deck

Dates: 9 November  –  Venue: Fuel Café Bar  –  Further details: click here

Come down to Fuel for a boogie to the amazing Top Deck, with support from the super talented Hugo Robbins Quartet. After the live music, there will be Funk n soul DJs until 2am.

All proceeds will be going directly towards grassroots refugee and asylum seeker communities and support networks in Manchester, as well as to the refugee camps in Calais and Dunkirk.

No Talk

Dates: 9 November  –  Venue: HIVE  –  Further details: click here

A trio of some of Manchester’s finest emerging rock outfits. Headliners No Talk blend a mix of Pixies-style rock with virtuosic guitar playing and are supported by the alluringly introverted sounds of art-rocker Paige Kennedy.

The Breath

Dates: 13 November  –  Venue: Deaf Institute  –  Further details: click here

Born out of Manchester’s fertile music scene The Breath mix Irish folk influences with mesmerizing guitar riffs, anthemic themes and powerful hooks.

The Breath. Photo: Chris Horkan


Dates: 16 November  –  Venue: The Met, Bury  –  Further details: click here

Tipped by the Manchester Evening News to be the city’s next arena act, perhaps there won’t be many more chances to see Larkins perform in as an intimate setting as The Met in Bury.

Manchester Collective (performing Pierrot Lunaire)

Dates: 16 November  –  Venue: RNCM  –  Further details: click here

Pierrot Lunaire is one of the most controversial and polarising pieces of music ever written. It’s a nasty piece of work: 21 songs about madness, death, sex, dreams, and trauma. The script is surreal and unsettling, and the music is wild, beautiful, and strange.

Witch Fever

Dates: 16 November  –  Venue: HIVE  –  Further details: click here

“Imagine the Slits meet Black Sabbath partying with Pussy Riot in Kim Gordon’s angry neighbour’s basement. Drunk. Witch Fever are wonderful.” – Dave Haslam

All proceeds will be going to Maggie’s, a charity that “provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends” in centres across the UK.

Witch Fever playing live in London with their usual cathartic energy. Photo: Derek Bremner

Fightback Manchester

Dates: 16 to 30 November  –  Venue: Various  –  Further details: click here

The Music Venue Trust presents Fightback Manchester!  A 2-week celebration of Manchester’s vital grassroots music venues, with 150 shows over 16+ venues. Fightback Manchester is a new autumn campaign that will encourage audiences to visit their local grassroots music venue and promote Manchester’s emerging and existing musical talent.

Fightback Manchester. Image: Music Venue Trust

Between the Beats Festival

Dates: 24 November  –  Venue: Old Abbey Tap House  –  Further details: click here

Between The Beats is an all day festival for Manchester’s local & creative community. Featuring performances from Manchester locals such as Kid Katharsis and NoSpace plus freestyle rap battles, stand-up comedy, dance, local stalls, art gallery, workshops and raffle.

MSC Big Band

Dates: 30 November  –  Venue: Band on the Wall  –  Further details: click here

After the last sell-out show at Band on the Wall, MSC Big Band’s 26-piece line up returns with a new setlist of current bangers and your favourite classics. Joining them at this party will be Manchester’s very own Sofie K with all your warm-up world/jazz/hip-hop needs.

gig guide
MSC playing to a packed out audience at Band On The Wall in September. Photo: Kristian Lam-Clark


Eddie Toomer McAlpine

If you would like an upcoming gig in Manchester to appear in our future guides, email the details to:

Feature image credit: Derek Bremner


Share this article

  • Eddie Toomer-McAlpine

    Eddie is from Manchester and will be starting an MA Multimedia Journalism course this year at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has a background in music, poetry and theatre and is interested in how the arts can help to strengthen our communities. Eddie also likes to read and write about local working class history and natural science.

Reader Interactions


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *