The BBC Radio 6 Music Festival will return to Greater Manchester this March with a massive line-up of musicians performing in our home city.
Set to take over the O2 Victoria Warehouse between Friday 24 and Sunday 26 March, the bill of performers includes Loyle Carner, Christine and the Queens, and Arlo Parks.
They’ll also be joined by the likes of Wu-Lu, Lava La Rue and The Big Moon, not to mention DJ sets across the weekend and a warm-up show at Band on the Wall from BBC Music Introducing Live.
The station’s flagship event will include global premieres of new live shows, music debuts, surprise guests and major collaborations.
The O2 Victoria Warehouse was the site of the first-ever BBC Radio 6 Music Festival back in 2014, and Greater Manchester will now be the event’s permanent home.
Loyle Carner will use the festival to showcase a brand new collaboration with the AMC Gospel Choir on Friday 24 March, while Christine and the Queens will bring the global premiere of his new live show on Saturday 25 March, and Arlo Parks will perform new music with special guests on Sunday 26 March.
DJ sets across the weekend will come from the likes of AFRODEUTSCHE, Erol Alkan, Daniel Avery, Don Letts, Good Future, Hot Chip, Jamz Supernova, Steve Lamacq, Tarzsa, The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess, Yard Act and BBC Introducing DJs, Emily Pilbeam and Phoebe I-H.
The main live shows at O2 Victoria Warehouse are set to be complimented by club nights at Band on the Wall and Victoria Warehouse, themed around 6 Music’s Indie Forever and Rave Forever shows and a Morning After Mix live broadcast on the Sunday at RAMONA.
Highlights from the festival will be broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio Manchester from MediaCityUK in Salford, as well as on BBC Sounds, BBC Four, BBC iPlayer and BBC Music’s YouTube channel.
Loyle Carner says: “Mad. Six years since we last played 6 Music Festival. Feels good to be back. The show’s evolved a lot since back then, lucky to share the stage with some of my musical heroes. Got a few extra voices coming through to lift us up too. See you soon.”
Chris says: “What I will be very eager to share with you for the first time ever will be a glimpse into the second part of the big journey that I started with you guys, with Redcar. Redcar is the first iteration of a very intense musical journey that occupied my two last years. I was heavily inspired by this piece called Angels in America by Tony Kushner when I wrote the music I will unveil to you at that moment. I’m literally so excited to do it that I am for the first time of my life at loss of words in the best way. The follow up of the journey gets into territories that I never explored myself musically before, really. I was a bit obsessed with what rock and roll means today. Very much related to the flesh and to transcendence – to how an incandescent presence inside your own flesh just can transform everything.”
Arlo Parks says: “This is the first time I’ll be introducing my new album in a live setting and I’m so excited. To be surrounded by such innovative, singular artists is a real joy and I genuinely can’t wait for this.”
Wu-Lu says: “I am super excited about playing Manchester again – haven’t been back there in a while! Definitely going to show out, just going to try some new songs and try and do some exclusive stuff! Big shout to 6 Music for showing so much love over the course of our career.”
Lava La Rue says: “The first artist to bring me on a run of shows with them was Christine and the Queens – one of those first shows being in Manchester. It’s going to be exciting joining him on the line up for the 6 Music Festival back in Manny for a full circle moment. I was playing my debut single back on that tour with Chris and now I’ll be playing songs off my debut album at 6 Music Festival.”
The Big Moon says: “We’re so excited to be coming back to Manchester for the 6 Music Festival! Playing Manchester has always been a highlight of our tours, so we’re really excited to be back and this time with a super special surprise.”
Mary Anne Hobbs says: “The most exciting element about the 6 Music Festival is the coming together in a physical space, of our beloved 6 Music listeners, all the crew at the station and artists we love.”
Mark Radcliffe says: “It’s great to welcome the 6 Music festival back to Greater Manchester and particularly exciting that the focus this time will be on new work. It’s all at the Victoria Warehouse. It’s quite dark in there so I have booked an eye test in order to make sure I have the right glasses to see everything.”
Samantha Moy, Head of BBC Radio 6 Music says: “6 Music will be rooted in Salford over time, so we’re bringing the festival back home to Greater Manchester, where it all began, with some incredible performances. You may have seen Arlo Parks, Christine and the Queens and Loyle Carner before, but you won’t have seen them like this before. It promises to be a very special weekend indeed.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “We are delighted to welcome the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival to Manchester. There is a rich musical heritage in Greater Manchester, and a real pride in the independent music scene, and as BBC Radio 6 Music has always supported new and alternative artists, it’s a perfect fit for the festival to have its permanent home in the city for the years to come. There’s so much new Greater Manchester music out there right now that deserves to be heard, which is why we started Artist of the Month with BBC Radio Manchester, and like BBC Radio 6 Music, we want to give emerging talent a platform.”
Full line up for the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival 2023
Friday 24 March, from 6.30pm, O2 Victoria Warehouse
Tarza (DJ set)
Saturday 25 March, from 6.30pm, O2 Victoria Warehouse
Jamz Supernova (DJ set)
Lava La Rue
Christine and the Queens
Sunday 26 March, from 6.30pm, O2 Victoria Warehouse
Don Letts (DJ set)
The Big Moon
Thursday 23 March, from 7.30pm, Band on the Wall
BBC Music Introducing Live at Band on the Wall
Friday 24 March, from 9pm, Band on the Wall
6 Music’s Indie Forever – nothing but solid gold, upbeat indie bangers from 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and guest DJs:
BBC Music Introducing’s Emily Pilbeam (DJ set)
Good Future (DJ set)
Yard Act (DJ set)
Tim Burgess (DJ set)
Saturday 25 March, from 11pm, O2 Victoria Warehouse
6 Music’s Rave Forever – rave classics that listeners know and love with a sprinkling of the finest new club sounds from 6 Music’s AFRODEUTSCHE and guest DJs:
BBC Music Introducing’s Phoebe I-H (DJ set)
Hot Chip (DJ set)
Erol Alkan (DJ set)
Sunday 26 March, from 12pm, Ramona
Morning After Mix – Daniel Avery providing a two hour-long DJ set.
Featured image: BBC
Five Manchester artists we’ve been listening to this month | February 2024
Ay up, you lot. It’s us again, back to give you another list of some of the best new music we’ve been listening to, be it little-known tunes from new and upcoming artists in Greater Manchester or the biggest releases from ever-rising names around the region.
We launched this new monthly series at the start of 2024 and will be serving up suggestions for all you Manc musos regularly throughout the year and beyond, so you best get in on the ground floor so as to as not to miss a single shout.
But let’s not faff about any longer, shall we?
Time to get stuck into five Manchester artists we’ve had on repeat throughout February — and it’s a leap year, so we’ve had an extra day of listening to make our picks.
Manc bands we’ve been listening to over the past month
1. Hello Cosmos
First off, we’ve got Hello Cosmos: a Manchester-based creative consisting of a four-piece at their core and other session musicians like Elara, a wonderful saxophone player and vocalist who is well worth looking into in her own right.
Founded by From The Fields director, Ben Robinson — the events organisers behind Kendal Calling and bluedot — their style is a seriously wild mix of alternative electronic and pop-punk. Think Yard Act if they had more synths, sax, keys, violins and had a Christopher Eccelstone sound-alike on vocals.
Our standout tunes to start with have to be their ‘FUSE’ from their debut Dream Harder, ‘Loud Is Beautiful’ (which pretty much encapsulates the full range of their sound in one track) and ‘Metaverse’ — there’s also a great twist on it by Catu Diosis and that goes for the whole Hard Dirt (Remixed) album too.
We also got to see them live at Stockport’s new Live at St Mary’s gig series and it was quite the experience.
Next up is an instrumental outfit and touring band called OMA, who have played on stage with the likes of American rapper Isaiah Rashad as well as Japanese hip-hop artists and producer Shing02, and they just might be some of the coolest cats on socials right now.
Going more and more viral on TikTok every week with their live takes on hip-hop classics by Dr Dre, Nas, MF DOOM, Lauryn Hill, 2Pac and countless others, we can’t accurately describe just how much we want to be in a room and headbob to their addictive recreations of iconic beats from down the years.
Every clip is an absolute earworm and you simply can’t listen to any of them just once. They don’t have any signature tracks of their own but it only takes one video to get hooked. I mean, honestly, just listen to them — and bonus points if you can figure out where they’re playing:
In at number three, although we couldn’t possibly put this is any particular ranked order, is local indie-pop group Hi Sienna — a bunch of best mates based out of Chorlton who make great stuff and they’re absolutely wonderful.
With every member taking time out of work to make their music dream happen, they sum up their sound perfectly in their tagline: unsigned, unmanaged and unbelievably good. Too right. We also recently had the pleasure of chatting with them as part of the new series of Stream GM’s Spill The Sound.
It’s nothing but positive vibes and non-stop fun listening to these lot and if we had to pick our favourites, they would be ‘Enter Disco’, ‘Be A Man’ and the soon to be released ‘Pickleback’ which we got a cheeky glimpse of over at The Yard recently. It’s a belter.
The penultimate stop on this month’s list is the mighty Maruja, who are bringing both funk and punk roots to their alternative rock scene here in Greater Manchester and we can’t get enough.
Playing White Hotel and New Century this April as their profile keeps growing around the city centre and beyond, we reckon it won’t be long before you see their name everywhere — not that our incredible fandom and heavy bias are getting away with us or anything…
Seriously though, they sound both familiar and unique enough if you’re this kind of stuff and genres that naturally overlap. We’d recommend kicking off with ‘Tao’, arguably their most popular tune ‘The Tinker’ second and then their latest single, ‘The Invisible Man’.
Last but by no means least is Cassia. They’re technically from down the Macclesfield but they’ve been plying their trade here in 0161 since they first began and we just hope they remember us and all our great proving grounds when they well and truly blow up. And trust us, they will.
Mixing tropical and Caribbean sounds with irresistible indie sonics and vocals, we just feel all nice and happy whenever we listen to them – almost as if we were on holiday. We also got to chat with these guys recently too and they were equally delightful.
If it’s your first time listening to them, you can’t go wrong with ‘Right There’, their new tune with KAWALA, ‘Circular Motion’, and a key part of our Summer 2022 soundtrack, ‘Drifting’. So, sooo good.
Featured Image — Cassia/Hello Cosmos (press image)/Hi Sienna (via IG)
StreamGM’s Spill The Sound live music and interview series is back and it’s super nostalgic
Ever miss the old days of proper music telly? We’re talking Freshly Squeezed, Popworld and the T4 days; Kerrang TV and, of course, Top of the Pops. Well, StreamGM’s exclusive online series, Spill The Sound is keeping that throwback format alive and the new season has just arrived.
Spearheaded by the pioneers over at StreamGM and live streaming music platform, Spill The Sound is back for series three of the brilliant live music and talk show series.
Featuring a mix of exclusive sets and laid-back conversations with up-and-coming artists from around Greater Manchester and the North West around new releases, gigs and festival dates as well as local names who just fancy sitting in a bath filled with plastic balls (because why not?), it’s great fun.
Filmed over at StreamGM’s central hub over at The Yard in Cheetham Hill and hosted by TV presenter Louise Schofield, the latest edition of the digital series drops at 7pm on Friday, 29 February.
On a mission to recapture the magic of that oh-so-nostalgic Gen X and Gen Z music programming, StreamGM’s Spill The Sound blends new and unsigned acts alongside established headliners, with the likes of The Lottery Winners, Abbie Ozard, The Covasettes and more having already featured.
The latest season is already shaping up to be a belter, with rising Oldham singer-songwriter Seb Lowe, Macclesfield‘s genre-bending indie band Cassia, fast-growing Liverpool stars Red Rum Club and plenty of others to come, there are some serious names on this year’s roster.
We’re even lucky enough to be getting a few quick behind-the-scenes interviews with some of the artists ourselves in and around their live performances and sit-downs with Louise, so keep your eyes peeled for them too.
It might be a smaller scale approach with live performances strictly down the lens and in front of those lucky few that get to have a sneak peek behind the camera — a.k.a. us lucky lot over at The Manc Audio — but you only have to see the space over at The Yard to see how cool the whole set-up is.
Taking place on a bi-weekly basis (that’s once every two weeks, not twice a week), the quirky bathtub-based interview series isn’t like anything on TV and you can watch it completely free over on the Spill The Sound YouTube channel and StreamGM’s website.
Speaking of which, if you’re yet to tune into one of their live streams or stumble across this groundbreaking and grassroots music for all platform, you can learn more about it HERE.
We’re all about spotlighting new artists trying to make it on our wonderful music scene so it goes without saying that we love what these guys are doing and we’ll keep doing our very best to do the same on our end too.