The best gigs and club nights in Manchester this February 

Including Kerri Chandler at New Century, Dry Cleaning at Albert Hall and a multi-sensory rave at the Derby Brewery Arms.

By Emma Davidson | January 24th '23

Image: Hot Chip / @hredcliffe

February, the second month of the calendar year that’s usually filled with more hope and optimism than its predecessor. The Dry January fad has finally fizzled out, with some finishing more accomplished than others, and most having managed to wriggle their way out of any post Christmas debt, which can only mean more money for gigs. 

February is jam-packed with shows, club nights and performances, with the likes of Hot Chip making their long-awaited return to the city. Alongside this, house music royalty Kerri Chandler touches down in New Century as pop queen Caroline Polacheck celebrates the release of her eagerly awaited EP Welcome To My Island, across the pond at Albert Hall. 

Read on for our round-up of the best gigs and club nights in Manchester this February.

Image: M(h)aol

M(h)aol at YES

Wednesday 1 February
Irish intersectional feminist quintet M(h)aol emit post-punk sounds that evoke a sense of reflection. Their gritty music is influenced by the band’s own personal lives, exploring queerness, social change, and purpose through defiant tracks. The band are joined by friends Sprints and Thus Love for a co-headline performance on the night.

Hot Chip at Depot Mayfield

Friday 3 February
To celebrate 2022’s ‘Freakout/Release’ Hot Chip are back armed with some friends for a massive show at Mayfield Depot. Joined by Todd Terje, Sofia Kourtesis, Yuné Pinku, Mona Yim and Tarzsa the band are finally making their eagerly awaited, post-pandemic return to Manchester.

Image: Nile Marr

Nile Marr at Night & Day Cafe

Friday 3 February
Following on from his 2020 debut album ‘Are You Happy Now?’, Manchester’s Nile Marr returns with new, sophomore LP ‘Lonely Hearts Killers’. To celebrate the release, he will play a homecoming show at Oldham Street’s iconic Night & Day Cafe this month, alongside some special guests.

Ghost Car at Big Hands

Saturday 4 February
Ghost Car, the London-based international punk quartet, use their platform and riff-heavy bangers to rage against political injustices, as their ferocious vocals attack patriarchal inequality, homophobia, racism and toxic relationships. They’ll be joined by the punchy punk tones of The Strangerz at Oxford Road institution, Big Hands.

YAANG at Band on the Wall

Wednesday 8 January
Salford-born electro trio YAANG are returning to Band on the Wall with their chaotic, unpredictable live show. The band made their mark playing alongside Manchester greats including New Order and 808 State, with their music bearing a striking resemblance to the defiant Acid House genre. They’ll be joined by post-punk outfit Nara and DIY feminist punk twins The Strangerz. 

Image: @genki_arata

Violent Magic Orchestra at YES

Thursday 9 February
Combining the dark elements of techno and drum n bass, Violent Magic Orchestra are a sight to behold live. The band comprises Pete Swanson (ex-Yellow Swans) and French composer Paul Régumbeau, who work intently to craft intense, bass heavy music that doesn’t shy away from the odd Heavy Metal sequence where necessary. An experience everyone should have at least once.

Mogwai at Albert Hall

Thursday 9th February
Manchester’s iconic former Wesleyan church, Albert Hall is celebrating 10 years in February with a performance from Scottish post rockers Mogwai. The band will bash out hits from their from 2021 number one record, As The Love Continues, as well as classics from their innovative career. After selling out their show on Friday 10, this is a newly added date due to popular demand.

Image: New Century

Kerri Chandler at New Century

Friday 10 February
A visionary of house and one of the earliest pioneers of the 90s acid sound, Kerri Chandler extends his arm back to Manchester once again for a party at New Century. His selections are never anything but melodic, drenched in distinctive, glistening piano that’s always met with unstoppable energy from the crowd.

Jedi Mind Tricks at The Ritz

Friday 10 February
One of the most recognisable faces of the hip-hop underground, Jedi Mind Tricks’ frontman Vinnie Paz returns to the stage with his seventh solo album. Backed by Esoteric (Czarface, Army of the Pharoahs) and Braun Dapper behind the turntables, get ready for a solid dose of timeless classics, new music and special guests Immortal Technique and R.A. the Rugged Man.

Japanese Television at YES

Friday 10 February
Japanese Television epitomise everything interesting about the surf rock genre – silly clothes, glasses that resemble TV screens and enough hair to carpet a living room. The London four-piece incorporate hypnotic psychedelia into their music, as well as garage rock, sci-fi, and everything in-between, which makes its transition seamlessly to the live stage. 

Image: Derby Brewery Arms

club.adhd – The Multi Sensory Rave at The Derby Brewery Arms

Saturday 11th February
This is the first ever multi-sensory rave taking place at the Derby Brewery Arms, complete with a line-up of selectors offering up a bit of everything from across the dance music spectrum. Dancers can expect a day full of surprises, as well as 12 hours of music and a random hat on entry that’s yours to keep forever.

Caroline Polacheck at Albert Hall

Wednesday 15 February
Two years after taking the pop music world by storm with Pang – her dazzling head-trip of an album – Caroline Polachek has now returned with her infectious, anticipated EP, Welcome To My Island. Complete with her romantically captivating vocals, 2023 is set to be another big year for this pop icon.

Image: @jessdrews

Enter Shikari at New Century

Thursday 16 February
To celebrate the release of new album ‘A Kiss For The Whole World’, Enter Shikari are playing some special album release dates across the UK, landing in Manchester at the newly renovated New Century Hall. Shooting to fame with their unique take on alt rock with hits such as ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’ in 2007, the band have continued to ride the wave of electronic influenced modern-day rock ever since. 

The Murder Capital at Albert Hall

Thursday 16 February
Angsty Irish boot-stomping post-punk, that’s The Murder Capital pretty much summed up. Hailing from Dublin, the band’s second album ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ is set to be released at the end of January, so expect their show at the Albert Hall to be an ode to tracks old and new.

Whippin’ Label Party at Joshua Brooks

Friday 17 February
Mason Collective’s label Whippin’ is back for a basement party at Joshua Brooks with special guest DJs Melé and Toby Simpson. Creating euphoric high-octane dance music inspired by his love of Brazilian beats Melé takes over the decks alongside Toby, who will share his pick of rare and self-produced electronic grooves.

Image: The Empty Page

The Empty Page at FC United of Manchester

Saturday 18 February
A punk gig in a footy club? You better believe it. Alt-punk duo, The Empty Page’s most recent single ‘Dry Ice’ celebrates everything exhilarating about sweaty gigs and euphoric club culture. Fronted by powerhouse Kel Page, the band’s live gigs celebrate the ethos of 90s DIY grunge with Kel’s stage presence also giving a nod to the avant-garde fashion derived from the basements of 1970s Britain. Tickets are available on the door.

The Orchids at The Talleyrand

Saturday 18 February
The enigmatic five-piece The Orchids formed in Glasgow, and have released a catalogue of catchy pop songs of their generation since the three founder members grew up and started the band way back in 1986. Their first six singles and three albums were met with widespread critical acclaim outside of the UK, with the band finally garnering praise on home soil since the early 90s. This is set to be an intimate show not to be missed.

Hotel Lux at The Deaf Institute

Sunday 19 February
South London-based Hotel Lux were sold as the ‘next indie band making waves everywhere’ by NME in 2017, and six years later with the addition of a few new members, they’ve created a bold identity that’s distinctively their own. Drawing influence from the likes of Ian Dury, The Stranglers, and Dr Feelgood, the band blend funky bass with poignant lyricism and chaotic guitars. 

Image: The Gulps

The Gulps at The Castle Hotel

Sunday 19 February
Camden-based band The Gulps are fronted by La Rioja born singer Harry and his Basque punk guitarist Charlie Green who chased their obsession of British punk to land a proud place in the scene itself. The band merges classic punk riffs with traditional rock n roll, 60’s psychedelia, and the pop snarls of bands like The Strokes, which is fitting for a venue like Northern Quarter’s Castle Hotel. 

Loviet at Gullivers

Monday 21 February
Euphoric alt-indie pop, Canada-born Loviet lands herself in the heart of the city this February performing her unforgiving, heart-on-sleeve anthems. The singer’s music explores retro pop-rock that’s infectious and easy to dance to, a project that came together during the constraints of the pandemic. Her latest single ‘January’ is a 90s throwback anthem, reminiscent of the tones of early Courtney Love.

Image: Express Office Portico

Express Office Portico at The Eagle

Wednesday 22 February
Manchester quartet Express Office Portico are producing glittering synth pop hits, gaining momentum in all of the right corners of the country. Since forming back in 2020, the band have caught the attention of BBC Introducing Midlands, and performed at esteemed venues across the UK including Nottingham’s Bodega, Rock City, and The Lexington in London. 

Dry Cleaning at Albert Hall

Friday 24 February
Dry Cleaning’s bold and expansive back catalogue of work is loaded with melodic hooks and satirically relatable humour, something that’s given the band an entirely unique stamp on the ‘post-punk’ genre. Newest album Stumpwork is explorative and optimistic – much needed going into 2023. 

Rossko at The Loft

Friday 24 February
Taking over the booth for a mammoth six-hour party, selector and collector Rossko is back at The Loft with his wealth of knowledge behind the decks. Exploring some of the very best genres, including; garage, techno, minimal and house, the DJ is known for crossing boundaries on the dance floor, capturing true artistry in his mixing and leaving a mark on each club he visits. 

Image: Low Island

Low Island at YES

Friday 24 February
With the ability to craft power ballads that are uniquely electronic, Low Island have put their own spin on music that was inherently made for parties. Completely free-spirited, it encompasses jazz and indie, as well as elements of classical and dance, for a live show that blurs the lines between club night and traditional gig. 

Whitney at New Century

Friday 24 February
Music for indie boys, Whitney lean on falsetto hooks and dreamy keyboards to bring folk-pop music brimming with enjoyment. Taking to New Century’s sprung dance floor, expect hazy pop hits from frontman and drummer Julien Ehrlich, and his bromance buddy fellow musician, Max Kakacek.

Duvet at The Castle Hotel

Saturday 25 February
With a vision to showcase the best new bands and artists in Manchester, Sabotage MCR brings this incredible line-up to The Castle Hotel at the end of February. Joined by Duvet, a hazy post-punk band packed with catchy riffs and exuberant vocals, alongside Hank and Umarells, the gig will celebrate the youthful angst brewing at the core of the local scene. 

Loyle Carner at Victoria Warehouse

Saturday 25 February
Bringing his latest honest album hugo, Loyle Carner confronts both personal woes and political hardship, reaching deeper beneath than ever before. With Mercury and Brits nominations, as well as NME Awards, the singer has had a meteoric rise to the top, and will be taking the stage by storm with his electrifying new material. This event has sold out, but keep your eye on Twickets for any resale tickets.