Manchester Psych Festival Preview

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Palatinate Music exclusively previews the best offerings at Manchester Psych Festival…

It’s glorious that one festival could host the industrial metal prowess of Pigsx7, the electronic-inclined rock of Temples, and the Q Magazine-lauded new wavers Working Men’s Club on one day – and that’s Manchester Psych Fest for you. We look at six acts that offer the best bang for your buck.

Working Men’s Club

It’s time to join the hundreds of gig goers at this club – having already sold out every venue they’ve played at in Manchester (The Castle Hotel, Band On the Wall, YES), Working Men’s Club are a real treat to catch at the festival. Get down early to hear their funky basslines, electro impulses and post-punk vocal delivery.

What to listen to: Bad Blood – It’s the lovechild of Fontaines D.C. and Sundara Karma.

For Fans Of: The Blinders, Bodega, The Horrors

Courtney Barnett

Barnett returned with her second album, “Tell Me How You Really Feel”, last year after her collaboration with Kurt Vile, “Lotta Sea Lice”,  made her a household name among 6Music listeners and pushed her into the alternative charts. Her sophomore record ranges from melancholic acoustic reflection (“Walkin’ On Eggshells”, “City Looks Pretty”) to full garage-rock-harnessed anger on “Nameless Faceless” and “I’m Not Your Mother, I’m not Your Bitch”. It’ll be a true experience to see her in the intimate venues of the festival.

What to listen to: History Eraser – One of Barnett’s earliest tracks, the easy humour and the slick vocal work is simply delicious.

For Fans Of: St. Vincent, Patti Smith, Father John Misty

Courtney Barnett headlines the festival for the first time. Image credit: Eric de Redelijkheid via Wikimedia & Creative Commons.

Witch Fever

Riot-grrrl punks are still out and about, and Witch Fever are one of the best young bands mixing this potion. But, with the addition of Florence-esque vocal prowess, heavy-metal shredding drums and bass, and a good dosage of distortion, these girls become so much more. Prepare your moshing shoes, they’ll be sorely needed.

What to listen to: Daddy Pt.2 – this could be overtly sexual or religious – but what makes this track so good is the vocal performance, truly stunning from lead vocalist Amy.

For Fans Of: Foals, Dream Wife, IDLES.

Penelope Isles

This Brighton-based rock-pop group make the long trip up north to showcase their brilliant debut album, ‘Until the Tide Comes In’, released earlier this year. The album is packed with gorgeous melodies that recline across impeccably crafted instrumentals, flitting and darting down surprising, discordant alleyways. Penelope Isles are sure to be a hit at Psych Fest.

Listen to: Chlorine – a perfect example of the melodic glory that the band always deliver.

For Fans Of: The Flaming Lips, Dinosaur Jr., The Pastels.

Our Girl

Our Girl will be delivering their intense, alluring live show to the typically receptive Psych Fest crowd. Introspective lyrics are jarred against relentless waves of strangely comforting guitar noise, often reaching wild, high-water marks of sound. Coming off the back of a string of festival dates and gigs, the band will be on top form and their set will be a great place to chill out amidst the rest of the madness.  

Listen to: I Really Like It – One of the best songs off their debut ‘Stranger Today’.

For fans of: My Bloody Valentine, The Orielles, PJ Harvey

Acts will take to the stages of the o2 Ritz, Gorilla and YES. Image credit: Mikey via Wikimedia & Creative Commons.

Babe Rainbow

Aussie outfit Babe Rainbow will take Psych Fest by storm. Their eclectic sound cycles between classic 60s psychedelia, disco and lounge, the only constant being the addictive, danceable beats underpinning most of their tracks. Expect loud shirts and even louder hair at one of the must-see sets of the festival. Get down early.

Listen to: Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest – Just for the title alone.

For fans of: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Air, The Doors

Image credit: Manchester Psych Festival

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