LIVE: Off The Record – Manchester 04.11.16

Six venues across Manchester’s North Quarter showcased exciting new talent last Friday for music event Off The Record, a collaboration between the organisers of Bluedot, Sound City and Kendal Calling.

Earlier in the day, the Methodist Central hosted a series of talks with a wide range of speakers from the industry, chatting about their experiences and aiming to inspire those looking to get started, whether it be promoting, management, blogging or photography.

The evening was all about discovery, with 30 artists (yet to release a debut album) tipped for bright futures by the Off the Record curators.


XamVolo kick off proceeding at the Nigh t& Day Café. It’s still early in the evening and the venue slowly begins to fill, with the audience standing back and taking in Sam Folorunsho’s smooth soulful voice. An excellent warm up to the night ahead.



Round the corner in the Soup Kitchen, Strong Asian Mothers are in fun relaxed mood as they run through their sound check… “Treat the snare like a roast potato, it’s vital” is an analogy I am not too familiar with! When we are underway, the London trio’s catchy electronic, synth tunes go down a treat with the crowd.



It’s all very cosy in the back room at The Castle, as Brighton five piece Marthagunn take to the tiny stage. Opening with an acapella track which instantly draws the audience in, there is a feeling that we are going to see something special, and they definitely did not disappoint with an excellent set, with front woman, Abi Woodman’s lush vocals standing out.



The bands are now coming thick and fast… Dashing across the road to Gullivers, The Pearl Harts are already in full flow, their pounding drums and heavy guitar enticing me up the stairs to the stage… London duo Kirsty and Sara delivering a full on raw performance that was totally compelling to watch.



Back to the Soup Kitchen for headliners NGOD… The Bradford five-piece delivered a highly enjoyable set of infectious guitar riffs mixed with frontman Sam Augustine’s excellent vocals



Hidden in the back streets of Stephenson Square, AATMA play hosts to probably my favourite set of the evening by the Nova Twins, a late recommendation and addition to my list. Amy Love and Georgia South’s high energy set, full of attitude and ladened with dirty guitar/bass riffs, grabbed my attention right away. Great stuff.


Having missed them at a couple of festivals over the summer, I was glad to finally see REWs close the Night & Day with their headline set. The London two-piece – Shauna Tohill and Collette Williams – clearly enjoy themselves on stage with recent catchy singles ‘Shake Shake’ and ‘Miss You In The Dark’ highlights of an enjoyable set.

Excellent, informative talks by day, an evening of band discovery by night… The first Off the Record event can be considered a success.

See you next year.

Words & Images:
Jon Mo