Manchester Psych Fest / August 30th 2019 / Event preview.
By Nik White (Rock at Night’s UK Northern powerhouse aural goodness fly on the wall)
In a time (and let’s not make any bones about it) where division, uncertainty and mass anxiety seems to have pervaded every crack and crevice of our culture and society it is with a profound sense of relief and joy that we can all, once again, look towards the unifying power of the broad church that is psychedelia in all its wondrous manifestations being unleashed and dispensed to the needful of solace and enlightenment under the auspices of the Manchester Psych Fest 2019. Amen to that brother; and the good news is that this year is set to be even bigger and better than ever before. Even now the line up is swelling as more and more bands are being squeezed into an already weighty running order. (Follow the latest tweets HERE).
So…In an inspired leap of faith in Manchester those good people at Psych Fest central pay the city a very welcome return this August 30th with their most eclectic and downright life affirming event in tow. Now firmly establishing itself as a premium, must do “happening” with an astoundingly diverse and relevant roster of talent spread across three superb venues (The O2 Ritz, Gorilla and Yes) the festival offers much to whet the appetite of salivating fans of all things Psych from across the UK and beyond. Miss this and live to regret it. Oh the deep joy of it all and it’s urban too!! No mud!
Psychedelia; this most intriguing and inventive of artistic genres has come a long way in the last 50 years since it first found oxygen in the embryonic revolutionary zeal of free form experimentation bathed in hazy ad hoc liquid light shows and acid drenched shock and whimsy. With so much breadth to this evergreen cult of musical and theatrical expression you might be tempted to worry that the line up might suffer from a little tunnel vision but don’t fret, you can be sure that the Manchester Psych Fest has comfortably managed to curate and present some of the world’s best exponents of this most giving of genres and cover all eventualities. From racket warriors to space voyeurs (and beyond) and everything in-between it’s all covered. That’s assuming someone brings along their sitar, of course.
Reasons to be cheerful thus far include a headlining appearances from antipodean songstress Courtney Barnett and retro “free your ass and your mind will follow” compatriots Babe Rainbow. For those with more heavy sensibilities fuzz and drone stalwarts The Cult of Dom Keller wade in as do the space rocking riot squad that is Pigs x 7. If it’s all round strangeness and an energy fix that you need then look no further than the Neanderthal Snapped Ankles. Can’t wait, truth be told. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Super cool Tess Parks is set to rekindle the mesmeric garage / Nico vibe, which she is so so capable of pulling off while Temples are also set to turn in their not at all shabby set as are the absurdly off kilter Goat Girl. The list goes on and on.
Yes friends there is much aural goodness afoot this year at Manchester Psych Fest. So as Tim Leary would have insisted; “turn on, tune in and drop out”, why don’t you, if only for one glorious night and embrace the psychedelic alternatives to the pop pap swill that other lesser festivals would cheerfully force feed you. It could just change your life! Peace.
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