If you thought a Manchester summer was a washout in terms of gigs as well as weather, well you’d only be right about one of those things. Never mind the torrential rain, that just means gigs and clubs are even more enjoyable. A heat wave and a writhing crowd do not make the best bedfellows anyway. Far from a mere smattering of gigs, our Manchester gig guide for August features an absolute deluge.
Read on for our guide to the best gigs and club nights in Manchester this August.
Pusha T at The Ritz
Wednesday 2 August
American rapper Pusha T is bessie mates with Pharrell, Kanye and Kelis and has had public fall outs with Consequence, Lil Wayne and Drake just in case you are thinking about taking sides. His band Clipse had a massive hit with the song Grindin back in the day and he has since had a successful solo career, appearing as a special guest on tons of massive artists’ tracks along the way. He hustles into The Ritz in Manchester this August.
Westfalia and Roundhouse at Band On The Wall
Thursday 3 August
Westfalia first shot to fame on X factor Italia but their sound has since developed into a more mature type of cheese. Named after a VW camper van, this freewheeling Italian band brings all kinds of worldly flavours to its musical mix. The vocal gymnastics of self styled wandering hippy lead singer Vincenzo Destradis bring to mind a bit of retro 90s R&B or hip hop while the band’s jazzy-tinged electronic sounds ebb and flow beneath. Good one for a date night.
Smiths Disco at The Star and Garter
Friday 4 August
There’s a club if you want to go, you could meet someone who really loves you. This legendary club night in cult Manchester pub The Star And Garter has been going for almost 30 years, making it one of the longest running club nights in Manchester. The monthly event is dedicated to all things The Smiths so even if you haven’t got a stitch to wear, you should go out to it on this Friday night in August. If you’ve never been to the Star and Garter but like a bit of telly, you might recognise it as the pub in hit comedy show Joe Gilgun’s Brassic. Need more reasons to chose this as your club night in August? Well frankly, Mr Shankly, venues like the S&G are really struggling at the mo, they really appreciate your custom. It’s £5 on the door, no advance tickets, just head down.
Syfta, Queen Cult, Retroview and Forgetting The Future at Aatma
Friday 4 August
One of the great things about Manchester is that you get the chance every week to catch bands in their infancy that will one day be massive. Everyone’s heard stories about seeing Joy Division, Oasis, The Sex Pistols and so on play to a small crowd in a Manchester venue. Just cos a bands’s not massive (yet) it doesn’t mean they’re not great. So in the spirit of discovering the next big thing, why not head down to Aatma to check out a bunch of northern bands including the anthemic indie of Widnes lads Syfta and fizzy rage of queer pop-punks Queen Cult from Macclesfield?
Original Pirate Material club night at Deaf Institute
Friday 4 August
Geezers need excitement so head down to this club night at Deaf. DJs will be playing tracks from cult album Original Pirate Material by The Streets alongside legendary artists from the same rough genre including Mike Skinner’s solo bits, loads of UK garage and electronica classics. At times like these, you’ve just got to stay positive, yeah?
SK1 and Before I Die Presents: L’art Des Sélections at YES
Saturday 5 August
Achingly cool Stockport record shop SK1 returns to the roof terrace of the three storey indie palace that is YES for a night of eclectic vinyl DJing. This free entry Saturday event starts at 4pm so it’s the perfect hangover cure of an afternoon.
Beenie Man at Albert Hall
Friday 11 August
Legendary Jamaican reggae DJ Beenie Man is heading to Albert Hall for a sold out show this August. He’ll be bringing hits from across his multi-decade career from albums including the mid-nineties born Blessed through to 2016’s Unstoppable.
Slowhandclap, Funeralcare, Tommy Ball and The Cutter at YES
Saturday 12 August
Catchy pop songs are great and everything but sometimes, you just want to melt your face with some noise. Manchester band Slowhandclap sound a bit like The Melvins with Mark E Smith on vocals and for some people, that should be enough to get you clicking that ‘buy tickets’ button post haste. Support comes from the chirpy sounding Funeralcare plus Tommy Ball and The Cutter.
All Hail Hyena, India Arkin and Scapegrace at Gullivers
Saturday 12 August
Quirky Preston indie pop band All Hail Hyena have a sound that sits somewhere between the intensity of Futureheads and the more psychedelic end of The Beatles. They’re bringing their day glo faceprint and pogoing politico-pop to their gig at Gullivers NQ in August. Support comes from India Arkin and Scapegrace.
Spin Klass at 33 Oldham Street
Saturday 12 August
Fresh from the release of their Feral Bop EP, Manchester’s own Spin Klass return with a headline show at 33 Oldham Street. Guy Garvey is among the fans of these guys and their fun approach to indie rock. Their sound has hints of Sparks and XTC while maintaining a Mancunian charm via singer Chris’s Tim Burgess-like drawl. There’s an after party at Night and Day for this one too.
The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, Cultdreams and The Empty Page at Night and Day
Tuesday 15 August
The World Is a Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid to Die are an American post rock band whose sound sits somewhere in the space between Explosions In The Sky and Fucked Up. They’re bringing their emotive, epic sounds to Night & Day in August with support from lo-fi Leeds noise-gaze trio Cultdreams and Manchester’s own anxious indie grungers The Empty Page.
Say Less! A-Level results party at Deaf Institute
A-Level results are imminent in August and, even though they won’t make or break your life story, it can feel like it at the time. Whether you’re smashing straight As or have flunked out completely, the only way to mark the occasion is to get (responsibly) leathered and have a dance. Cue this multi floor party at Deaf with drinks offers, cheap entry and DJs spinning hip hop, RnB, drum and bass, UK garage and tech. Tickets are £4 and it looks likely to sell out so get on it.
Biohazard and Raging Speedhorn at Club Academy
Wednesday 16 August
If you like nothing more than bulldozing yourself around a moshpit like a deranged rhino in combat shorts, this one’s for you. Fronted by the legendary Billy Graziadei, Biohazard were the kings of the NYHC scene back in the day and are still bringing it to stages worldwide 30 odd years later. Support comes from UK circle pit starters Raging Speedhorn. You’ll have a crick in your neck the next day but it’ll be worth it. It’s how it is y’all, it’s how it is.
Brekky Boy and Paltin at Band On The Wall
Thursday 17 August
Australian electronic jazz band Brekky Boy will be bringing their sweeping, ambient sounds to Band On The Wall this August. Nominated for a Montreux Jazz Award the band have made a name for themselves as trailblazers in the Australian instrumental music scene. Support comes from Romanian-born, Manchester-based pianist and composer, Liviu Gheorghe AKA Paltin. Expect to drift away on a blissful wave of hypnosis at this one.
Girls, Gays, and Theys alternative club night ft Alyx Holcombe DJ SET at Night & Day
Friday 18 August
Winning the award for the most 2023 name for an event everrr, Girls, Gays, and Theys is a touring alternative club night bringing women, non binary and trans people to the front. Expect rock, metal, emo, pop and everything in between spun by people from a non-cis-male demographic including special guest for Manchester, Alyx Holcombe from BBC Radio 1 and Kerrang! Radio. All flavours of human are welcome to join the party, cis men too (you’re just not on the decks this time, luv).
Rave nights with DJ Ssag at Revolution
Saturday 19 August
DJ Ssag and DJ Lei bring a night of afrobeat, ampiano, dancehall, afro-house and R&B to party bar Revolution. If you’re unsure about this one, maybe the promise of a complimentary glass of Prosecco and canapés will swing it. Not bad for a five quid entry fee.
Easy Star All Stars
Tuesday 22 August
US reggae group Easy Star All-Stars are known for their reggae versions of popular music albums such as Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Wall and Radiohead’s OK Computer. Their latest release is a rendition of David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars which features guest appearances from Macy Gray, Steel Pulse, and Living Colour’s Vernon Reid amongst others. This show should appeal to fans of reggae, indie and classic rock alike.
Cory Hanson at YES
Wednesday 23 August
One time member of Californian psych band Wand, Cory Hanson has carved a solo niche for his personal brand of weird folk with its hints of The Flaming Lips and Elliott Smith. He will be bringing an armful of whimsical songs from across his solo career included his critically acclaimed 2021 Pale Horse Rider album and his last release Western Cum (yes, you read that right) to the stage at YES Manchester this August.
Testify Gospel Choir perform Beyonce at Blues Kitchen
Thursday 25 August
Ever fancied hearing Crazy In Love as sung by an actual gospel choir? Well now you can, as The Testify Gospel Choir celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Queen Bey’s Dangerously in Love at Blues Kitchen in August. They’ll be hollering big tracks from the seminal album and digging into the inimitable star’s back catalogue of bangers for this night of beautifully crunchy harmonies. Amen to that.
Friday 25 – Sunday 27 August
Heading back to the pretty hills of Etherow Country Park in Compstall, Moovin Festival takes place over the August bank holiday weekend. Big names at this massive festival include Goldie, Big Daddy Kane, Groove Armada, Stanton Warriors, Todd Terry and Children of Zeus. Best get as much shut eye as possible before the weekend cos you’re going to need your energy for this one.
Friday 25 – Monday 28 August
If your a party person, an LGBTQ+ person or even just an ally who wants to sink a few pints and cheer on the parade floats, Manchester Pride (AKA Gay Xmas) is a big date for your calendar. This year, Pride – which we must never forget began as a protest kickstarted by a Black, trans woman – has gone back to the heart of things with more of a focus on community, diversity and inclusivity. Among the who’s who of drag artists elbowing for room on the main village party stage, you’ll still find your fair share of cheesy popsters including Natasha Bedingfield, Jake Shears and Lisa Scott-Lee. Everybody: FIVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT!
High Hoops Pride Weekend at the White Hotel
Sunday 27 August
If you’re looking for a less cheesy, more edgy, 2023 Pride event then you could do a lot worse than head to the White Hotel for the High Hoops Pride party. The self-styled “queer run, late night sweat fest” welcomes Aussie trance and DnB DJ Roza Terenzi, Canadian DJ and electronic musician D Tiffany and HI-NRG, house and techno from Northern Ireland’s Cormac to the decks for this one.
The Aces at Manchester Academy
Monday 28 August
The Aces are made up of sisters Cristal and Alisa Ramirez and their mates Katie Henderson and McKenna Petty who all grew up together in Provo, Utah, as part of the Mormon church. New album I’ve Loved You For So Long explores that formative experience and its ensuing mental health struggles. In spite of the heavy subject matter, the saccharine 80s pop influenced music hits somewhere between Belinda Carlisle and a lighter shade of Pale Waves.
Jesse Jo Stark at Deaf Institute
Monday 28 August
LA-born Jesse Jo Stark recorded her debut EP Down Your Drain with help from Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones but the results are not what you might expect from that namecheck. While there’s a touch of 70s rock in her lilting sound, the results are more Mazzy Star than Johnny Rotten. Nonetheless her upcoming debut DOOMED takes influence from the more macabre side of life so this gig should appeal to everyone from Cramps tee wearing punks to Lana Del Ray stans.
Chris Farren at YES
Wednesday 30 August
Chris Farren is perhaps best known as the frontperson of Florida emo band Fake Problems who managed to tour with everyone from The Gaslight Anthem to The Dillinger Escape Plan in their less than 10 year career. Chris has since carved himself a solo career for his tongue in cheek power pop which lands somewhere between Taylor Swift, Weezer and Aztec Camera.
Be Your Own Pet at Deaf Institute
Monday 31 August
Nashville’s Be Your Own Pet burst onto the indie rock scene in the early 2000s with their eponymous debut. A fire that burnt bright and burnt out soon afterwards, the band got back together in 2021 after over 10 years out of the game. Their third album Mommy is set for release in August 2023 and they’re hitting the Deaf Institute for a Manchester gig to celebrate.