Thursday, 23 March 2017

Top Tens: Emma’s Top Ten Bands To See At Manchester Punk Festival 2017

April 2017 sees the third annual Manchester Punk Festival taking place across three days and many different central Manchester venues. It will be my second MPF (yes, I am gutted that I didn’t go to the very first one – unfortunately I didn’t know it existed at the time) and if my first is anything to go by then MPF 2017 is going to be a good’un.

Here’s my top ten bands that I am most looking forward to seeing at Manchester Punk Festival 2017:

I’ll start with my most obvious choice, King’s Lynn six-piece ska punk party machines – Faintest Idea. I’ve seen them six times over the last year or so and each time they just get better and better and I enjoy myself more and more. It’s impossible to stay still whilst they’re playing hits such as Too Bad, Bull In A China Shop and Circling The Drain. Bring on the dancing, skanking and trying not to get knocked over by someone bigger than me.

Fresh from playing SXSW in the states, Muncie Girls are taking the underground music world by storm. They will be returning to Manchester Punk Festival after playing the very first year, this time with tracks from their debut album to add to their setlist as well as classic tracks such as Car Crash and Revolution Summer. Muncie Girls are actually playing a gig in our town, Bedford, on the Thursday night when we’ll be in Manchester for day one of MPF!

Stöj Snak is the solo project of guitarist Niels Sörensen from Denmark’s Mighty Midgets. Both solo project and band, as TNSrecords favourites, will be making an appearance at MPF this year. I reviewed ScreamerSongwriter for the blog last summer – I really liked it – and can’t wait to finally hear the DIY folk punk songs from it live. I wonder if he’ll bring a kazoo…

This is a band that I discovered thanks to last year’s MPF – and Colin’s playlist of all the MPF 2016 bands! Matilda’s Scoundrels are a folk punk band from the southern seaside town of Hastings, incorporating mandolin, banjo, tin whistle and accordion alongside the more typical punk instruments. We only managed to catch half of their set last year due to clashing with another band but I definitely want to see their whole set this year!

A Great Notion are a three-piece punk rock band from Peterborough. I know of them thanks to their 2011 split with Andrew Cream, although they’re not a band I’ve listened to a great deal and I haven’t seen them live yet. I do however enjoy enough of what I have heard of them to know that I want to catch them at MPF – and hopefully to become a new firm favourite.

Next on my list is another artist that I’ve heard of but not listened to a great deal. Tragical History Tour is the acoustic punk offerings of Derrick Johnston, also known for being the founder of Make-That-A-That Records in Scotland. He has a new album due to be released later this year so we can expect to hear a few songs from that, as well as others from his back catalogue. Also, ‘Tragical History Tour’ is just such a great name.

Making their Manchester debut with their new line-up are CPRW favourites, Ducking Punches. The Norwich band were due to play at last year’s MPF but unfortunately Mr Frank Turner decided he wanted to take them on his European tour which clashed. Since then Sophie, Cal and Serge have sadly left the band but thankfully new members Ryan, bass, and Marcus, guitar, have stepped in. We actually saw the new Ducking Punches back in January and I can safely say that the Manchester audience are in for a treat.

Another band that has had a bit of the line-up change are Great Cynics. With the departure of Iona (who you can still catch at MPF 2017 but with Shit Present – who narrowly missed making this list), Great Cynics have a new bassist on board as well as the addition of a keyboard player. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any form of the band so with their brand new album due out not long before MPF, I am very much looking forward to seeing Great Cynics – and you should be too.

Arguably Durham’s greatest indie pop punk band (well, perhaps tied with ONSIND), Martha will make their Manchester Punk Festival debut this year. I’ve never seen the band live before so I’m looking forward to changing that, plus I really liked last year’s album, Blisters In The Put Of My Heart.

The oldest band on my list – and probably one of the oldest of the whole MPF 2017 line-up too – are The Toasters, third wave ska legends who formed way back in the early 80s (which is long before I was born). Of course, for a band with so many years behind them they also have an extensive back catalogue. A back catalogue that I must admit I haven’t listened to in much depth BUT every time one of their songs comes on, I can’t sit still or keep from smiling. They are definitely going to be great fun.

I can't wait!

This top ten was written by Emma Prew.