The Best Gigs to See in Manchester this May

Featuring Warpaint, Mildlife, George Clinton and Shotty Horroh...

Confidence Man at O2 Ritz
Tuesday 3rd May
Sassy, sexy and full of big bangers, Confidence Man are returning to Manchester this Wednesday! Formed in Brisbane, Queensland the duo first burst onto the scene in 2016 with their unique take on current pop, crafting hilarious, ironic tracks such as ‘Boyfriend’, ‘First Class Bitch’ and ‘Does It Make You Feel Good’ – all an ode to pure fun partying.

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Gustaf at YES
Wednesday 4th May
BBC 6 Music megastars, Gustaf are an art punk five piece from Brooklyn. Their music is reminiscent of the rebel days of downtown New York’s creative scene, with punchy bass lines and distinctive vocals that pair perfectly with the band’s charity shop clad aesthetic.

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Slum Village at The Blues Kitchen
Thursday 5th May
American hip-hop group from Detroit, Slum Village are playing a one-off intimate show at The Blues Kitchen this Thursday! They carried the old-school and soul-filled torch of many genre pioneers during their career, which began in the early 90s. Now just a two-piece, original member T3 and producer Young RJ are guaranteed to deliver all of your favourite joints for a high energy dose of nostalgia.

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Mr Scruff at Band on the Wall
Saturday 7th May
Legendary Manchester DJ Mr Scruff is back at his home away from home on Saturday 12th May. He’ll be rolling up his sleeves to present Keep It Unreal – a six hour session of jazz, hip-hop, soul, funk, disco and deep house and techno, as well as a few surprises that might surprise his diverse roster of fans.

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Warpaint at Albert Hall
Thursday 12th May
5 years after the release of ‘Heads Up’ Warpaint are finally back with a brand new album and a string of UK tour dates. The funk infused four-piece are no stranger to the Albert Hall, having brought their deeply poetic, harmonious music to the venue back in 2015. This time round they’ll be touring new album ‘Radiate Like This’, surely to be warmly welcomed by their loyal Northern fanbase.

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alt-J at O2 Apollo
Friday 13th May
Mercury Prize winners alt-J are back in Manchester this month to tour their new album, The Dream. The bands fourth record is one that doesn’t forget their musical roots, with whirring guitars and dreamlike percussive beats. Combine this with frontman Joe Newman’s hypnotic vocals, the band’s live performance definitely isn’t one to miss.

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Baby Strange at Night & Day Cafe
Sunday 15th May
2022 has already been a big year for Baby Strange, through transcendence to new sounds, new textures and new ideas that offer a gritty glimpse into the bands aesthetic. Their music struts on the outskirts of melancholic punk and early 80s outlandish electronica, and for just £8 a ticket, there’s no excuse to miss this one.

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Michael Kiwanuka at O2 Apollo
Tuesday 17th May
British singer and producer, Michael Kiwanuka is at the Apollo on Tuesday 17th! The Mercury Prize nominee will bring his soulful voice and stripped back acoustic sound to Manchester, drawing big influences from artists such as Curtis Harding and Van Morrison and R&B traditions gained from his Ugandan heritage.

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L.A. Witch at YES
Wednesday 18th May
LA’s garage-rock girl gang have been described as a “mix of forlorn psych folk, lethargic lo-fi blues and boozy garage rock drones steeped in moody, drugged-out surf reverb.” Their live show is also full of raucous fun and infectious ferocity that will make you want to get up and join them on stage.

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Werkha’s Album Launch at Wilson’s Den
Thursday 19th May
Following the launch of his second album last Friday, Werkha aka Tom A. Leah will celebrate the release at a special party at Wilson’s Den in the city where it all began for him. This album is a nod to his musical heritage, featuring jazz influences, electro and dance – and he’ll be performing his set with a full band on Thursday 19th May.

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Porridge Radio at Night and Day Cafe
Friday 20th May
Another album launch in NQ this month, this time from Porridge Radio. The band will be playing a special live show to celebrate the launch of ‘Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky’, which follows 2016’s ‘Rice, Pasta and Other Fillers’ and 2021’s ‘Every Bad’. Their sound is a blend of art-rock, indie-pop and post-punk – taking their music to anthemic new heights.

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TV Smith at The Talleyrand
Friday 20th May
Once part of the iconic punk band, The Adverts – who were at the forefront of London’s punk scene of the 70s – TV Smith is now touring as a solo artist playing legendary songs to reminiscent punks of the past. His intimate show at The Talleyrand will be a celebration of his legacy touching on tracks from The Adverts, alongside some of his solo work.

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Mildlife at The Deaf Institute
Sunday 22nd May
Aussie psych-rockers, Mildlife have spent their career exploring the far corners of Australia’s infamous psychedelic rock scene, which has allowed them to go on to curate astonishing albums, ‘Phase’ and ‘Automatic’. Their music is built upon multi-layered instrumental hooks and electronic melodies that craft a totally soothing listen.

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Kim Gordon at Gorilla
Tuesday 24th May
One of the original members of grunge pioneers, Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon will perform an electric show at Gorilla at the end of the month. Her solo career has veered off in a slightly different direction, but has never forgotten its roots in curiosity and uniqueness.

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Matthew Halsall at YES
Wednesday 25th May
Matthew Halsall’s sound is rooted in Northern culture, but transcends genres such as jazz, electronica and even modern art and architecture, to create something uniquely his own. 2020’s Salute to the Sun was the musician’s first album since 2015 and it explored themes of love, nature and playful musicianship – something you’ll experience at his live show this May.

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The Big Moon at Manchester Academy
Friday 27th May
London-based four piece, The Big Moon are an indie-pop sensation with a string of dance-inducing tracks under their belt. In celebration of 2020’s album, ‘Walking Like We Do’, the band’s most recent record that they never got to tour, they’ll be playing a special live show at Manchester Academy this May!

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George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic at Albert Hall
Friday 27th May
One of the founding godfathers of funk, George Clinton will be live on stage in Manchester this month! The legend behind tracks such as ‘Give Up the Funk’, ‘Flashlight’ and ‘One Nation Under a Groove’, he’ll be joined by some of his original bandmates to groove along with the city’s funk and disco lovers, ready to tear the roof of the sucker!

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Central Cee at Gorilla
Friday 27th May
British rapper Central Cee saw his debut album spend 18 weeks in the top 10, making him one of London’s most exciting emerging artists at the moment. His music has absorbed the sounds of his Dad’s old hip hop collection, but mixed up with his versatile and distinctive delivery.

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Shotty Horroh at Night People
Saturday 28th May
Manchester born and bred, Shotty Horroh will play a homecoming gig at the end of the month. Even though he is now retired from battle rap, he is still considered by many to be the best battler in the UK. His unique blend of chilling word play and sharp free-styling ability make him one of the most internationally respected rappers currently on the scene.

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NBA Leather: Action Bronson, The Alchemist & Earl Sweatshirt
Thursday 30th May
Action Bronson, Earl Sweatshirt, and Boldy James & The Alchemist are teaming up for the ‘NBA Leather World Tour’ 2022, which is an amazing triple bill line-up. Earl Sweatshirt recently announced a new album, SICK!, with Boldy James and The Alchemist also recently releasing their great new album, Bo Jackson. All three rappers have collaborated with each other in the past, and we’re hoping they will do on stage at this show, too!

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