Here's a quick summary of the gigs we're most looking forward to next year (so far!)...
Soul II Soul at Manchester Academy
Saturday 29th January
I’ll be here, right on the front row, trying to catch the eye of Jazzy B so that we could reminisce about the time we chatted for 3 minutes in the backstage area of Parklife. He’ll definitely remember me of course and not just think of me as some mental super fan.
Roy Ayers at The Blues Kitchen
Sunday 16th January
Roy Ayers will be bringing his funk-fuelled stage show to no other than Manchester’s Blues Kitchen next year, for a show-stopping danceathon to cure those January blues. The 81-year-old jazz legend pioneered the jazz-funk period of the 70s, which saw him release outstanding, soulful tunes including timeless classic, Everybody Loves the Sunshine, and with a career spanning 6 whole decades, his music is truly loved worldwide. Unbelievably, there are still tickets available for this show, which you can buy by following the link below.
Kurupt FM at Manchester Academy
Thursday 3rd February
The ‘People Just Do Nothing’ lads might have conquered Japan, but they’re still pretty small time over here, and they’ll do well to fill Manchester Academy this Feb. I’m only kidding – this will be a massive one – so make sure you get your tickets sorted ASAP.
Dave at AO Arena
Thursday 24th February
2021’s Parklife headliner is coming back to Manchester in 2022, hitting up the AO Arena in February. He must have thoroughly enjoyed himself here then – he most likely had a Bada Bing and a pint of Boddies and just HAD to come back.
GZA at The Ritz
Thursday 24th February
Wu-Tang Clan legend GZA will be heading to the Ritz in February 2022 and it’s going to be a massive celebration of the crew’s impact on hip-hop culture over the last 3 decades, but also the 25th anniversary of his seminal album ‘Liquid Swords’.
Dry Cleaning at Manchester Academy
Friday 26th February
One of the most exciting bands to come out of the past few years, Dry Cleaning will play Manchester’s Academy in late February 2022. Fronted by Janis Joplin-esque Florence Shaw, the band are a post-punk delight, with Shaw’s comedic, haunting narration sitting delightfully over bass driven tracks such as ‘Scratchcard Lanyard’ and ‘Strong Feelings’.
Cate Le Bon at Albert Hall
Thursday 10th March
Welsh musician and producer, Cate Le Bon has been a firm favourite of mine ever since her early enigmatic album ‘Me Oh My’. Since then, she has gone onto tour and work with artists including John Grant, St Vincent and Tim Presley. She returns to Manchester next year to tour her sixth studio album, Pompeii, which will be released on February 4th. “Pompeii was written and recorded in a quagmire of unease. Solo. In a time warp. In a house I had a life in 15 years ago,” Le Bon recalled in a statement. “I grappled with existence, resignation and faith. I felt culpable for the mess but it smacked hard of the collective guilt imposed by religion and original sin.”
Yves Tumor at YES
Thursday 10th March
Absolute master musician, Sean Bowie, more commonly known as Yves Tumor will be bringing their chaotically edgy beats to YES’ Pink Room in March 2022. The American musician and producer burst onto the scene back in 2015, and has been providing us with gorgeous hip-hop-pop-rock infused music ever since, with 2021’s EP release ‘The Asymptotical World’ giving a gorgeous glimpse into Tumor’s locked down creative mind. We’re absolutely dying to hear tracks such as ‘Jackie’ belted out live in the Pink Room next March!
Stormzy at AO Arena
Saturday 19th March
From unknown YouTube sensation to headlining Glastonbury, Stormzy’s rise to the upper echelons of the British rap and grime scene has been an interesting one, and he’s now playing huge arenas all over the world. It’s Manchester’s turn to host him on a Saturday in March at the AO.
Imarhan at YES
Desert funk-rock quintet, Imarhan are the type of band you’d struggle to play on Guitar Hero because of their unbelievably fast fret work. The Algerian band started their career back in 2006 and have grown to create masterful music that doesn’t forget its roots, giving nod to tradition through the unique sounds at the forefront of its craft. Dry guitar riffs, pop melodies and pan-African rhythms are prominent throughout, creating a unique live show that we’re dying to see up close!
Goldfrapp at Albert Hall
Friday 8th April
Goldfrapp are BACK! Did they actually ever go anywhere though? Nah, not really – they’ve always been knocking about banging out the psychedelic disco hits – and they’ve been doing it a lot longer than most. Will and Alison will be hitting up Albert Hall in April for what is sure to be a top show.
Dua Lipa at AO Arena
Friday 15th April
The truly international superstar, probably the most famous singer in the world at the moment – well, she’ll be hitting up the AO Arena this April with what is probably set to be a rather rowdy and busy evening filled with some right bangers.
Craig David at AO Arena
Saturday 23rd April
Craig David will be coming to the AO Arena on a Saturday in April, so it’s only safe to assume that he’ll have been taking some girl out for a drink, making love to her and then chilling for the rest of the week before stepping on stage.
Obongjayar at Band on the Wall
Wednesday 27th April
Obongjayar’s vibrating, exhilarating music is a totally refreshing listen. He celebrates black culture through his lyrics, whilst also navigating issues of racial politics, identity and belonging. His vocal delivery is an instrument of its own that goes from soulful melodies to rough, aggressiveness often juxtaposing his music, deep-rooted in Afrobeat and early electronica. Obongjayar recently collaborated with Little Simz, too, on song ‘Point and Kill’, in which his vocals make the track a stand-out favourite of her album, ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’.
Blondie at AO Arena
Sunday 1st May
Debbie Harry and the lads will be heading to the AO Arena this May for what should be a massive gig of epic proportions. Featuring all of their greatest hits, this could be the last ever time you get to catch them live – so make sure you don’t miss ’em.
George Clinton at Albert Hall
Friday 17th May
The King of Funk is returning to Manchester this May, although I’m positive I went to his last ever Manchester gig a few years back at the Academy. He’ll be hitting up Albert Hall this time, presumably with all of his Parliament lot and plenty of that legendary funkadelia.
Mildlife at Gorilla
Sunday 22nd May
Aussie psych-rockers Mildlife’s show at Gorilla is definitely one not to miss in 2022. The band 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’. The music is built upon multi-layered instrumental hooks that leave you spaced-out, drifting off to open parts of your mind you may never even knew existed.
Years & Years at AO Arena
Saturday 28th May
After a massive year in 2021 with the runaway success of It’s A Sin, Years & Years’ Ollie Alexander will be returning to the singing with what’s set to be a huge gig at the AO Arena in May. He’s a top lad and he puts on a great show – so this will be a (very) good one indeed!
Diana Ross at AO Arena
Tuesday 14th June
Notorious diva, leader of the Supremes and the owner of the biggest hair in showbiz, Diana Ross will be taking to the stage of the AO Arena this year and let me tell you – it’s probably going to be the last time she ever comes down our way – so don’t miss out.
TLC at Albert Hall
Wednesday 15th June
Girl power pioneers TLC will make their triumphant return to Manchester in June next year with a date at the Albert Hall. We all love belting out classic karaoke hits ‘No Scrubs’ and ‘Waterfalls’ in our favourite boozers at 1am, but next June we’ll all get the chance to hear these timeless tracks sung live by no other than Rozonda Thomas and Tionne Watkins themselves!
Snailmail at O2 Ritz
Thursday 23rd June
Snailmail aka Lindsey Jordan is back after a difficult period between the release of 2018s ‘Lush’ and 2021s ‘Valentine’, as the singer struggled with addiction and, in November 2020, spent 45 days in Rehab. Valentine is an honest recount of her experiences becoming a nationally celebrated indie rockstar and all of the problems that it subsequently brought. Her eagerly awaited live return will hopefully be full of slow guitar melodies and beautifully matched vocals that sit on top of glittering synth pop sounds, everything we know and love about her music.
Primal Scream at Castlefield Bowl
Saturday 9th July
It’s a bit mind-boggling that Primal Scream aren’t actually from Manchester, int it?! The Glasgow rockers really do encompass everything great about the 90s acid-house scene of the city, with their 1991 album,‘Screamadelica’ almost a gospel bible round here. They’ll be bringing it to Castlefield Bowl next year, in FULL for a big nostalgic party of timeless classics from ‘Movin On Up’ to ‘Loaded’. Grab yer maracas and middle parting, we’re off to the 90s!
HAIM at Victoria Warehouse
Sunday 17th July
Everybody’s favourite sisters, Alana, Este and Danielle are heading to Manchester armed with their effortlessly cool music next July. Ever since their debut album appeared back in 2013, the women have created a community of loyal fans desperate to be in their gang. The multi-talented musicians have moulded the guitar sounds of Hendrix with empowering pop melodies, creating music that’s expressive and full of fun, with a live show to match.
Snoop Dogg at AO Arena
Thursday 1st September
Of course this is going to be amazing. If he can actually get into the country, Snoop Dog (or Lion or whatever) will be playing to a packed out crowd at the AO Arena in September. What a geezer, and what a list of bangers he will be performing.
Yard Act at O2 Ritz
Friday 25th November
Leeds alt rockers Yard Act have been a massive hit since Steve Lamacq first span their debut single ‘Dark Days’ back in early 2021. Their bleakly ironic lyrics are at the centre of their music as vocalist James Smith recites scarily relatable tales of working class life and difficult run ins with the collective arrogance of some older folk, with ‘if you don’t challenge me on anything, you’ll find I’m actually very nice’, being a hilariously poignant lyric. They’re a band that found success in lockdown, and haven’t stopped selling out their tours since restrictions lifted, so be quick on this one folks!