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Best Small Festival | Best Metropolitan Festival
Neighbourhood Festival returned to venues all across Manchester this year and was, once again, a sold-out event. Featuring over 100 different bands from a wide range of genres from all over the world, there was something for everyone at this one-day event. Headlining the festival was electronica/art-rock band, Everything Everything, Sundara Karma and Brighton-based quartet, The Magic Gang, who just the week before had played a sold-out show at The Albert Hall. There were also a few surprise ‘secret’ sets thrown into the mix that were announced the morning of the festival.
The Blinders played a special set in ‘The Pink Room’ at new music venue YES. The band released new album ‘Columbia’, a twisted-dystopian concept album, on the 21st September to huge critical acclaim. For their show, lead singer Thomas Haywood had painted his face to match ‘Columbia’s’ album cover, adopting the persona of Johnny Dream, and immersed himself in the crowd throughout the evening. The crowd loved every second of the gig, creating almost a mini riot in YES. Songs such as ‘Et-tu’ and ‘Brutus’ were outstanding moments, with Thomas/Johnny rounding off the set with a bit of crowd surfing.
Cabbage performed at Manchester’s Dr Martens store in the early evening, before playing a packed out show at The Deaf Institute exclusively for Neighbourhood Festival that night. Radio presenter/music journalist Shell Zenner attended the gig, documenting a few moments of it through her Instagram. There was incredible energy from the band, with Dinner Lady being a stand out song. The crowd absorbed all the amazing vibes, singing along to every song.
Slow Readers Club surprised fans doing a ‘secret’ set at the O2 Ritz, which they shared coverage of all over their social media, including a picture of a full-to-the-brim Ritz that they took at the end of their set. Described as ‘Manchester’s Next Big Band’ by the MEN, Slow Readers Club have just released their third album, ‘Build A Tower’, which has gained them a UK Top 20 chart position.
Sundara Karma played new song ‘Illusions’ for the first time during their set, signalling a start of new music for the band and headliners Everything Everything topped off the sold-out festival with a performance at The Albert Hall, which was caught by an amazing, atmospheric photo taken of the Hall.
Notable performances from the day included sets from upcoming artists such as Lava La Rue and The Big Society. Rap/R&B artist, Lava La Rue, oozed cool vibes and was a refreshing contrast to the mainly indie based line-up. She played YES Basement, and the crowd gave such beautiful reactions to her songs. It was also good to see a new venue host and give one of many young musicians a platform.
Big Society played an afternoon set at The Refuge, which received a good attendance from the crowd. Playing a perfect mixture of catchy tunes with well-crafted harmonies that they executed in every song and adding in a sprinkle of humour from each member, resulted in a fantastic gig for both the band and the crowd. They released their debut single ’17’ earlier this month, which is just the start of a very promising career for Big Society.
Overall, Neighbourhood Festival 2018 was a triumphant success for another year. With a band and genre for everyone, all squeezed into one full-on energy saturated day, it is no wonder that it sold out and became the talk of the city.