BELOW you'll find ten of the best gigs and concerts in and around Manchester throughout January and February. Not your bag? Well then how about the Top 10 Exhibitions or Top 10 Theatre & Comedy?
WEISSLICH VOL.9 | The Wonder Inn | Friday 13 January
Founded in 2014, Weisslich is one of several composer-led ensembles - including the recently-established Manchester Collective - aiming to bring classical music to a contemporary audience, through innovative concert series that offer something different. Weisslich host the UK premiere of New York’s ensemble Pamplemousse for an evening of brand new experimental music and performance; accompanied by artists such as Miami-based maverick Robert Blatt. Expect ‘everything from trashy pop culture to highbrow academic music.’
The Wonder Inn, 29 Shudehill, M4 2AF (7.30pm; tickets from £5 at eventbrite.co.uk or £8-10 on the door).
TIM BURGESS | The Met | Friday 13 January
It might be an unlucky day but there’s nothing unfortunate about this gig, which sees The Charlatans’ frontman and Hacienda regular take to the newly-refurbished Bury Met for a DJ set in the Derby Hall. He of the blonde pudding bowl will be playing favourite tunes from a lively career which has seen him collaborate with The Chemical Brothers and work with band members spanning The Stone Roses to The Libertines and New Order.
The Met, Market Street, Bury, BL9 0BW (8pm; tickets £10 at themet.ticketsolve.com).
COWTOWN | Soup Kitchen | 20 January
In acknowledgment of that common January symptom, the ailing bank account, Soup Kitchen are kindly hosting a gig with Leeds’ alternative indie rock band Cowtown - and it’s completely free of charge. Cowtown will be joined by pop trio Peaness and four-piece Kyotoya. Soup Kitchen will also be one of the venues taking part in Independent Venue Week, which takes place later this month across the Northern Quarter.
Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, M1 1DF (7pm; free).
CUTE OWL | Gullivers | Saturday 21 January
The experimental movement continues with an intimate festival of grassroots live music organised by Cute Owl Promotions - including the likes of: Tangerinecat, a ‘powerful post-electric-industrial duo’ from Ukraine; Cynthia’s Periscope, ‘confessional synth pop’; and Code: Marla vs Spire Cranes, a ‘hybrid of dubstep, trap and post-rock using traditional rock instruments and modern electronic gadgetry’. Well, they did call it ‘eclectic.’
Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, M4 1LW (6.30pm; tickets £4 at skiddle.com).
BLACK SABBATH | Manchester Arena | Sunday 22 January
Black Sabbath will open their final ever UK tour at Manchester Arena so this isn’t one to be missed if you’re a fan of ‘the greatest metal band of all time’ (MTV). Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler will be performing hits like Black Sabbath, Paranoid and Master of Reality - with support from American rock band Rival Sons.
Manchester Arena, Victoria Station, Hunts Bank, M3 1AR (6pm; tickets from £60 at eventim.co.uk).
KATE NASH | Gorilla | Tuesday 7 February
Brit award-winner Kate Nash will be at Gorilla at February, performing hits like Do-Wah-Doo and Foundations. A founding director of the Featured Artists Coalition, Nash also uses her influence to platform to inspire teenage girls to make music - owing to the shortage of female artists in the UK - and campaigned against the arrest of Russian feminist band Pussy Riot. Collaborations include Lethal Bizzle, Willow Smith and Watsky.
Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street, M1 5WW (7-11pm; tickets £15.40 at gorilla.seetickets.com).
DRAKE | Manchester Arena | 11-12 February
Following his successful Summer Sixteen tour across the United States, Drake will be meeting Manchester as part of his ‘Boy Meets World’ tour. As the first artist to break 1 billion streams on Apple Music with latest album Views, also holding the most one hits on Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop chart, the Grammy-award winning rapper looks set to continue his record-breaking roll, with seven dates already added to his latest tour owing to popular demand.
Manchester Arena, Victoria Station, Hunts Bank, M3 1AR (7.30pm; tickets from £55 at eventim.co.uk).
SLØTFACE | The Castle Hotel | Monday 13 February
Originally called Slutface, this Norwegian post-punk band had to change their name to a more, er, commercially-friendly moniker due to what the group termed ‘social media censorship.’ But it hasn’t slowed them down music-wise, after meeting critical acclaim for latest EP Empire Records, announcing a new tour and appearances at festivals from Eurosonic to SXSW and The Great Escape. Catch them while they’re still relatively undiscovered.
The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, M4 1LE (7.30pm; free first come first served when liking the musicinbeta Facebook page or £5.50 tickets at ticketline.co.uk).
SIGALA | O2 Ritz | Tuesday 14 February
We’re rarely more in need of some feel-good tuneage than in winter - fortunate, then, that Bruce Fielder aka Sigala (main image) is bringing his summery tracks to O2 Ritz following a sell-out debut live tour. After first single Easy Love went platinum, breaking Ministry of Sound’s pre-order record, Sigala continued with a string of hit follow-up singles including Sweet Lovin’ and Say You Do: cementing him as one of the decade’s most successful dance producers.
O2 Ritz, Whitworth Street West, M15NQ (7pm; tickets £18 at ticketweb.co.uk).
LEANN RIMES | Bridgewater Hall | Monday 20 February
As the youngest-ever Grammy award winner, scooping ‘best new artist’ at fourteen, Leann Rimes- perhaps best known for Coyote Ugly soundtrack Can’t Fight the Moonlight - celebrates two successful decades in country pop with the release of latest album Remnants. She’ll be at the Bridgewater Hall performing from an extensive back catalogue spanning over 37 million record sales worldwide.
Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, M2 3WS (7pm; tickets from £29.50 at tickets.bridgewater-hall.co.uk).