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Just announced: Duke Special, 16th October.

Duke Special

16 October / 19:30 / More InfoOn sale from: 24th April 2015 at 09:00

Dynamic, musically ambitious & bracingly eccentric, with his inimitable style and lush musicality, Duke Special is once heard, never forgotten.

New album ‘Look Out Machines!’ sees Duke exploring new musical ground with collaborators including Iain Archer, Phil Wilkinson and Gary Clark, and heralds the return of an artist back at the very top of his game. A major difference between his recent output and this album is that, for the most part, Duke has placed himself in the first-person with these songs. ‘Look Out Machines!’ is an epic album from a unique artist. It’s a grand gesture of a record that displays a rare and timeless quality and speaks with a refined eloquence.

Those who know Duke Special for the platinum album ‘Songs From The Deep Forest’, and the hit song ‘Freewheel’, will be pleasantly surprised by the cultural breadth of his work. His immense creative talents have seen him involved in projects as diverse as writing the theme tune for the Irish Sesame Street to writing the music for and appearing in Deborah Warner’s critically acclaimed 2009 production of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ at London’s National Theatre.

On stage Duke exhibits natural warmth and charisma, a brilliant writer and fearless performer.

Just announced: Band on the Mall Winner's Gig – Blank Cheque, 14th May.

Band on the Mall Winner's Gig – Blank Cheque

14 May / 19:30 / More Info / Free Entry

We teamed up with Manchester Arndale to find emerging student bands in Greater Manchester. Judges, CEO of Band on the Wall, Gavin Sharp, Tim Thomas from Blueprint Studios and Nathan Sudders from The Whip whittled down the entries to just two over a series of stages, and the winner was voted for by students attending a live final at Manchester Arndale Centre.

The winner was Blank Cheque. The Stockport 4-piece play a mixture of ska, indie, reggae and site a wide range of influences, from the Arctic Monkeys to jazz greats like Charlie Parker.

As part of the prize they will enjoy four days studio time at Blueprint Studios as well as hosting this special event - their very own show at Band on the Wall.

Artist Focus: Cymande

In the world of funk, soul and rare groove, there are a great many incredible albums by obscure collectives that have become ‘must haves’ for music collectors. Cymande’s self-titled debut is no exception; released in 1972 on Janus records (a subsidiary of Chess records), and containing a most intriguing blend of West Indian and African rhythms, soul, funk and reggae, the group formed a signature sound. The album’s instantly recognizable sleeve saw it become a collectors item during the rare groove scene of the ‘90s, where many of these fine albums were at a premium, and since then interest in the band, and their brief career grew.

What sets Cymande apart from the many ‘70s funk and soul outfits is that they can still play as well as they ever did, and now fully reformed, are writing and recording new material to add to their impressive three 1970’s collection. They packed out Band on the Wall last Autumn, and return on Saturday 23rd May, now even more in tune with each other and the music. They’re a sure favourite for fans of the writing styles of Curtis Mayfield and Gil Scott-Heron, and the grooves of The Headhunters and Ras Michael.

As good a proof as any that Cymande are funk legends is the extent to which they have been sampled by hip hop beat makers. Their track ‘The Message’ has been sampled by Masta AceThe Coup and Ruthless Rap Assassins among others, take a listen to it below.

Cymande - The Message

 

Just announced: Soul Garden ft. Giles Thorpe, Warren Johnson & Tiny G, 27th June.

Soul Garden ft. Giles Thorpe, Warren Johnson & Tiny G

27 June / 23:00 / More Info / Tickets on sale soon

Soul Garden is Manchester’s most glamorous monthly soul night for those who like to dress up and party to the newer soul & reggae sounds from artists like: Kenny Thomas, Angie Stone, Eric Roberson, Vesta Williams, Anthony Hamilton, Jennifer Hudson, Donnell Jones, Mary J Blige, Pharrell, Miguel, Usher, Taurus Riley, Busy Signal, Lady Saw, Alaine and many more.

Soul Garden host DJ Giles Thorpe (GTI) and some of the UK’s best guest DJs take the controls on a mission to keep party goers from across UK dancing. Expect an eclectic mix of modern soul, contemporary R&B, a splash of reggae and a sprinkle of soul classics.

Giles Thorpe’s mixes and playlists can be found on: FacebookYou Tube and Mix Cloud

Just announced: Music Connex Live showcase ft. Carol Riddick, Maryanne Ito, Carmen Hendricks, Tristan, SuCh + DJ Colin Curtis, 27th June.

Music Connex Live showcase

ft. Carol Riddick, Maryanne Ito, Carmen Hendricks, Tristan, SuCh + DJ Colin Curtis

27 June / 19:00 / More Info / Buy Tickets

The MusicConnex Live Soul City Tour showcases the best independent soul talent from across the globe.

Exclusively from the US
: Carol RiddickMaryanne Ito & Such.

Carol Riddick, a performer whose musical catalogue already includes distinguished artists such as Anthony Hamilton, Will Downing, Kindred the Family Soul and Will Smith & Jazzy Jeff. Having graced stages worldwide, winning admirers with her extraordinary voice and presence, this singer-songwriter is widely regarded for her vocal dexterity, mesmerising performances and genuinely warm personality.

Maryanne Ito effortlessly combines soul, jazz, R&B and hip hop to create her own unique sound. She has already been likened to some of souls heavy hitters by industry insiders, including the amazing Jill Scott and Erykah Badu.

Such is a soul singer who writes simple songs about complex things - loss, love, family, life, friendship and hardship. She connects with audiences emotionally with her clear and soulful voice. Such has featured on numerous UK soul charts, as well as achieving regular airplay on many U.S. radio stations. 

Exclusively from Australia
: Carmen Hendricks

Carmen Hendricks brings a unique blend of soul & jazz with a Latin infusion, her debut album ‘Timing’ showcases Hendricks’ rich vocal talents.

Having already written and performed with artists from across the globe and performed worldwide, including support slots with both Kanye West and Kelly Rowland, Carmen is fully focused on her own fans cementing her place on the international stage.

Exclusively From Holland: Tristan

Tristan have long been mainstays of the Netherlands’ music scene. Last year their album 'Full Power' made waves right across Europe. The set was a great mix of contemporary grooves garnished with flavours from soul’s garlanded past and was chosen by Jazz FM as an ‘Album Of The Week’.

Funky rhythm guitars, Hammonds, Fender Rhodes and synths, plus a rhythm section that has been playing together for decades combine to create feel good vintage Acid Jazz and give singer Evelyn Kallansee the solid ground to make her vocals shine. 

DJ support comes from Colin Curtis & JM.

One the greats of British DJing, Colin Curtis has been involved in every phase of its development from northern soul right through to house. He was resident at Blackpool Mecca with Ian Levine in its halcyon period and then went on to run Rafters and Berlin in Manchester.

JM has had the great honour of working with a huge variety of artists from global stars to those just starting out; similarly with a wide variety of DJs who have played at the literally 1000s of club nights he has run over the years. It is quicker to list those he has not worked with than those he has.

He hosts the Mi-Soul.com Friday night show 9pm-11pm.

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