A Carefully Planned Festival - Manchester 15th and 16th October....
I should be finishing off album reviews, updating gig pages and thinking up insightful interview questions, but I've been wanting to write about the 'Carefully Planned Festival' all week, for the very simple reason that it looks totally fantastic and that those that run it clearly do so because they completely love what they do and deserve every bit of support we can muster. This is the 6th Carefully Planned Festival, although interestingly if you read the pre-history of how the event was set up, key organiser Matthew Boycott-Garnett started putting on gigs back in 2007 because Danish band Marvins Revolt were looking for somewhere to play in the UK - similar to us organising our first gig last year simply because Sara Forslund wanted to come over from Sweden to play UK gigs.
This years event takes place over an amazing 8 venues in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, including our favourite NMR venue, the Castle Hotel, and features over 150 bands across the weekend, with the aim to showcase a line -up that represents a 'snapshot of the UK's underground music scene'. This line-up is simply the richest source of interesting and varied music I've come across in a long time, and I've spent way too much time this week already reading up and listening to artists I've not come across before.
Of course our 'excuse' for writing about is that there is Nordic representation, with 'Baby In Vain' from Denmark and Jacques Labouchere from Sweden both performing, but there are other artists we've written about on here such as the brilliant Jo Rose and Peaness from Chester.
So if you're based in the North West please do what you can to get to the festival, you can find more details at:
I've tried to resist the temptation to write my own selections of whom I would like to see as the organisers have done that themselves on their website and you should definitely read their views not mine - these guys have way more knowledge than me, but I will vaguely wave you all in the direction of a few artists that I like simply to brighten up the page with something other than my words:
Revere - Saturday, Gullivers Main Room
I've liked this band for a long long time, and I frequently listen to 'Hey! Selim' from a few years back in particular. This band take on so many different influences, from progressive to post rock to chamber, and the wide range of instruments used makes this really rich, interesting listening.
Baby In Vain - Sunday, Soup Kitchen
We've mentioned 'Baby In Vain' a few times in NMR, and the Danish band I think will be a pretty spectacular hit on the Sunday evening. They released an EP entitled 'For the Kids' earlier this year, and they have just released a video of 'The Urge'.
The Last Dinosaur - Sunday, The Castle Hotel
This is music to get utterly lost in, beautiful instrumental sections and clever melodies, and such a range of sounds too. Their album 'Hooray! For Happiness' is just so good, and for those nice Nordic readers who sometimes ask me which UK bands they should listen to, I can hardly make a better recommendation than these guys. Sadly I'm pretty sure I wont be there on the Sunday afternoon when they're playing....
Jacques Labouchere - Saturday, Gullivers Downstairs
Canadian born Swedish resident Jacques Labouchere has a lovely songwriting style and I really like his album 'Bi-polar Baby Strollers', although I suspect a new album is probably fully written by now. A huge list of live shows behind him, he's also playing a series of UK dates in October, starting on the 10th October at The Fiddlers Elbow - check his website at www.jacqueslabouchere.com for further details.
Jo Rose - Sunday, Gullivers Downstairs
We did a brief review of Jo Rose when he supported Siv Jakobsen at the Castle Hotel earlier this year, and his debut album 'Spurs' is an amazing debut. On stage he is so easy to watch, charming, funny and effortlessly natural in his performance.