Following the recent announcement of Manchester Psych Fest’s expanded 2017 line-up, here is a full rundown of everything you need to know about the artists appearing at this year’s festival.
Taking place across three Manchester venues – Band on the Wall, Night & Day Café and Soup Kitchen, this year’s Manchester Psych Fest is the largest to date, with art installations, trippy visuals and for the first time, a selection of local, independent food stalls, all taking over Manchester’s Northern Quarter on Saturday 2nd September. The music on offer represents a cross-section of the modern psychedelic and indie rock landscape: from the angular art-rock of Teleman to the exotic, drawn-out grooves of Flamingods, it’s a real feast for the senses! Get acquainted with the acts topping this year’s bill as well as the diverse mix of artists, DJs and additional attractions giving this year’s festival it’s signature sound and aesthetic below and pick up tickets here.
London-based quartet Teleman sold out their last Manchester show and with their eclectic taste and compositional dexterity, treat audiences to a blinding show described as being ‘at times…80s Haçienda, at others…60s Krautrock’. Their latest record Brilliant Sanity slots into a cycle of Anglo-German music and cultural exchange that can be traced back to the early ‘70s and to artists Bowie and Eno, Kraftwerk, Fehlfarben and OMD, but it also shimmers with modern production value and indie-rock sensibility. Tracks like Strange Combination demonstrate their feeling for groove, taste for retro synths and mastery of the hook.
Like renowned elder statesman Michael Chapman, the late Bert Jansch and Nick Drake, Walker is a master of the acoustic guitar and his lyrical imagery and penchant for alternative tunings help carry his music off into psychedelic regions. A Chicago-native with ties to the city’s jazz and indie scenes, he keeps himself busy with a number of collaborations and his latest solo record Golden Sings That Have Been Sung was critically acclaimed, being called ‘a damn good listen’ by Exclaim.
Originating from across Japan, London-based Bo Ningen weave elements of the industrial into their acerbic brand of psych-rock. From the chunky riffs of Sabbath or Blue Cheer to the uncompromising grit of Throbbing Gristle or Bauhaus – all sorts of touchstones can be suggested for their high-octane sound. Live, the group are a completely different animal, as their KEXP session testifies.
Flamingods represent the Middle-Eastern portion of this year’s festival. Hailing from Bahrain, with roots laid in the English capital, the five-piece were Guardian’s new band of the week in July 2014 and have since flawed fans with a slew of percussion-rich, funky and psychedelic recorded work. Self-proclaimed ‘cross-cultural magpies’, there are sounds from several continents in their music and as such, the intrepid explorer on the quest for enlightenment in their video for Mixed Blessings, might be considered a fitting metaphor for the band themselves, as they explore galaxies of sound.
Next to Flamingods, The Telescopes are relative veterans of the game, having released their debut record Taste in 1989. Under the direction of leader Stephen Lawrie, they’ve explored many sonic avenues since their inception: sounds that might be labeled as shoegaze, avant garde and psychedelic rock, and in doing so have earned the respect of many experimental music fans. The psychedelic images captured by NoiseArt at a 2016 San Francisco show, which you can view alongside a conversation with Lawrie here, are a fine visual representation of the band and hint toward the psychedelic visual identity of the festival. The Telescopes’ latest album As Light Returns, released this week, is a thick and hazy affair through which the band mightily emerges.
Groups from Manchester and Liverpool, London and Newcastle round off a diverse live line-up and Electric Jug, Beat Chic and Bleached DJs keep the vibes continual across all three venues. An array of food stalls and art installations line the Northern Quarter for the festival and trippy visual treats enhance the immersive live experience. Two Memphis Industries favourites in Menace Beach and Warm Digits are representative of the cutting edge talent on offer at the festival, with groups young and established giving the bill it’s flare and diversity.