One of Manchester’s coolest festivals, Psych Fest, arrived back for its fifth year with a psychedelic bang. Playing across three of city’s best venues – Soup Kitchen, Night and Day Cafe and Band on the Wall – an awesomely eclectic barrage of bands and DJs packed out each from mid-afternoon to the early hours.
Here are a few of our highlights from the day.
Teleman @ Band on the Wall
Rushing over from N&D to catch the Teleman’s set was not a wasted journey. Band on the Wall was the standout venue of the festival and Teleman brought a fittingly cool close to proceedings with their own unmistakable brand of driving, upbeat indie.
Menace Beach @ Night and Day
Packed tight onto a cosy stage, Menace Beach’s extended line-up absolutely nailed their set. One of the least ostensibly psychedelic acts on offer, Ryan Needham, Liza Violet and co-delivered a refreshingly solid, soaring performance to finish off Night and Day’s live music contribution to festivities in style.TVAM @ Band on the Wall
Again, at Band on the Wall, a mid-afternoon set by TVAM was the mesmerising, hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck-standing-to-attention, full on highlight of the day. Literally, a one-man band, with tracks like Porsche Majeure, the local songwriter and guitar/synth genius is shaping up to be a force to be reckoned with. See TVAM as soon as you can.
Bo Ningen @ Soup Kitchen
Another excellent trip to Manchester for the bonkers Japanese noise punk merchants saw them pack out Soup Kitchen for what turned out to be a relatively subdued set (by their own standards). Building up nicely over their 30-minute slot, this was an opportunity to admire the Bo Ningen’s performance capabilities over their outlandish stagecraft and nobody at Soup Kitchen appeared disappointed.
Mother @ Night and Day
A surprisingly high calibre choice for the first band of the festival. At Night and Day, Mother’s slow-building opening developed into a blues-tinged, driven and nicely off the wall set that oozed musical quality – getting the day off to a very steady start indeed.
Evil Blizzard @ Soup Kitchen
Not for the faint-hearted, Evil Blizzard combine some very odd and, to the more sensitive amongst us, very scary masks, more bass guitars than I could genuinely count from the back of a packed Soup Kitchen, psychedelic keys and chugging, schlock rock riffs. And, weirdly, it sort of works. Sweaty and memorable.
In all, Manchester Psych Fest 2017 was a well-curated and well-delivered treat for the senses. Top quality bands and DJs (and an alarming amount of glitter) set across three of the best Northern Quarter venues is a very promising prospect and Psych Fest 2017 well and truly delivered. More please!
You can view image albums of some of the bands that graced the Manchester Psych Festival stages here courtesy of Charlotte Rudd.