06-05-2012 • 1 Comment

SFTOC Paradox

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Sounds From the Other City festival is a one day celebration of new music and performance, uniting the cream of the national and international scene with some of the city’s finest independent promotors, collectives and club nights. Mind on Fire Collective, Now Wave, Faktion, Comfortable on a Tightrope and Hey! Manchester are amongst the  brave bunch hosting stages at this year’s extravaganza which takes over Chapel Street from 3pm to midnight on Sunday, May 6th.


Paradox is a night of poetry and music, held every month in- FUEL, Withington, its always free and there is always a flower. But for those of you that think that poetry and writing is a fey old business, this night might teach you a lesson or two, as Paradox mixes its words with its mixers to hedonistic effect.

Previous outings at SFTOC in 2010 and 2011 have seen some properly memorable moments, including one of the last outings for the much missed Frank Sidebottom as well as a spoken word set from Aidan Moffat nestling up to the monstrous sounds of Wode. It’s said well structured sentences should list in threes and we’re more than happy to abide by that rule by inviting Paradox along to the party again this year.


+ D A N I E L   L A N D   &   T H E   M O D E R N   P A I N T E R S



With their hotly anticipated second album set to drop in May, we’re excited to have Daniel Land & the Modern Painters play a homecoming show for Paradox this year. Having built a wide fan base after the success of the debut album ‘Love Songs For The Chemical Generation’, released on Sonic Cathedral in 2007, the stage is set for an excellent 2012 for the band.


Citing influences such as “rainy Saturday mornings, Scott Walker, the paintings of Mark Rothko, driving around Exmoor with my father, the novels ofa and Edmund White, Jane Siberry, winter walks on deserted beaches, comfortable silences and glamorous one-night-stands”, their ambitions are grand, and they have the soundscapes to match. Comparisons with shoe-gaze heavyweightsSlowdiveCocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine are well fitting, yet the sheer beauty of Land’s voice and craft means the songs shine through amid the walls of reverb.


“A magnificent, magical and monolithic slice of shoegaze beauty. Sounds like Slowdive reimagined by Phil Spector.” NME


guardian review

+ E A S T E R



This spring Easter release their long awaited debut album Innocence Man on Manchester experimental label White Box Recordings. Three years on from self-released EP Hob Talk, the album presents a far more intense and accomplished take on their upright shoe-gaze rock. Having gained a crushing rhythm section and wailing axe-man, Easter have spent the intervening years establishing a formidable live reputation, and all of that intensity has been captured on an enthralling debut.

Though steeped in indie rock, Innocence Man sees Easter use their palate freely with folk, free-rock, and at the blistering peak of ‘Holy Island’, even metal influences. Despite its indulgence in the esoteric, Innocence Man has a strange familiarity, with cryptic lyrical images and tripped-out instrumental passages working together to render the shit and corruption of modern life into solid gold.

The title may profess naiveté but with Innocence Man Easter have made a mature, accomplished record that can only come of experience.


+ B U T C H E R   T H E   B A R



Butcher The Bar is the stage name for Joel Nicholson from Rotherham, UK. He makes folk-pop songs using his guitars and a number of instruments bought from flea markets and car boot sales.

Signed to Morr Music (Múm, Amiina, The Go Find, Telekinesis) Joel makes subtle pop songs that are somewhat reminiscent of label-mates Seabear, but also of indie-pop greats such as The Lucksmiths. His second album, For Each a Future Tethered, was released in June 2011, and earned him enthusiastic reviews from the press calling him the new Elliot Smith. The band topped off a great 2011 with a European tour and string of dates supporting Death Cab For Cutie.


+ G R E E T I N G S



Wythenshawe has been a source of prodigious talent in recent years with Frazer King, Dirty North and Janice Graham Band all shaking up the Manchester scene with a diverse range of rarely explored influences such as doo wop, dub and jazz. Emerging from those same backstreets are Greetings, with a mix of skiffle blues, post-punk and greek party music. Well travelled front man Alex Solo sounds like he’s gargled his share of battery acid, and as such draws comparisons with the soulful huskiness of Tom Waits. After playing some storming shows for Stroke Club at Gullivers last year, Greetings are very much their own entity and look set to shake things up even further when their debut EP drops this year.


+ S U T T R E E



Named after the main character of Cormac McCarthy’s sprawling eponymous novel, Suttree plough a rich vein of dusty folk and bluegrass music, searching for a connection to a lost world of American culture. Having spent much of his time in the States over the last few years, songwriter Sam Schlict is working very much within a tradition he’s experienced firsthand. Like Gillian Welch or British folk master Martin Simpson, with intricate guitar playing and a wonderful voice that belies his years, Suttree manage to make this beautiful sound entirely relevant to our troubled modern times.


+ S E A M E N



Manchester four-piece playing songs from forthcoming EP ahhh sea men! They started late last year with a playful approach to tracks and their instruments. A dolly mixture of noise, surf-pop and trip-rock: lyrically ridiculous with a romantic bent. We’ve only heard a few snapshots but we can’t wait to see them live.

+ F R A Z E R   K I N G


Frazer King are a Manchester six piece well known for being caustic, vital and free from the allurement of passing trends. Their music has been described as ”unclassifiable”. Their debut EP was produced by Jim Noir and led to a Marc Riley and Steve Lamacq (6 Music) and Jon Kennedy / Gideon Coe (XFM) sessions


a wonderful soundtrack to a Freudian nightmare” Stool Pigeon

+ T O M   J E N K S




Tom Jenks has two collections, A Priori and *, published by if p then q. His work has appeared in a range of digital and print publications including Department magazine, onedit, Cleaves, Blackbox Manifold and the 18s anthology. He organises the avant objects imprint zimZalla and co-organises The Other Room reading series and website .

Gnomes, a collaboration with Chris McCabe, was published by The Red Ceilings Press in 2011.

+ C H R I S   M C C A B E



Chris McCabe was born in Liverpool in 1977. His poetry collections are The Hutton Inquiry (which The Guardian reviewed as “an impressively inventive survey of the uses of English in the early 21st century”), Zeppelins and, most recently, THE RESTRUCTURE. He has recorded a CD with The Poetry Archive and written a play Shad Thames, Broken Wharf, which was performed at the London Word Festival and subsequently published by Penned in the Margins in 2010. He works as a Librarian at The Poetry Library, London, and often tutors for The Poetry School.


The lower case lightness of Tom Raworth and the northern comic realism of Simon Armitage”  The Guardian


As well as performing individual sets, Chris and Tom Jenks will also perform a collaborative piece, see the following clip for a taster:

+ S O C R A T E S   A D A M S   F L O U R O U


Socrates Adams was born in 1984. He lives in Manchester. His first novel, Everything’s Fine, was published by Transmission Print in January 2012. He blogs at www.chickenandpies.blogspot.com.


A reading from his book is available here: http://t.co/rn0vcHNO

+ N E I L   C A M P B E L L



Neil Campbell has two collections of short stories, Broken Doll, and Pictures from Hopper, published by Salt, and two poetry chapbooks, Birds, and Bugsworth Diary, published by Knives, Forks and Spoons. Recent stories in the anthology, Murmurations, and on Ink, Sweat and Tears. Also has three stories due for publication in Tears in the Fence, one in Eunoia Review and another in the Best British Short Stories 2012. From Manchester, now lives in Northumberland.

salt publishing

+ S T E P H E N   W A D D I C O R



In the Paradox tradition of encouraging musicians to step away from the confines of the traditional band set up and read their lyrics aloud as poetry, Monster Island front man Stephen Waddicor will be performing a rare spoken word set. Known for his politically astute lyrics, and having drawn comparisons with Mark E Smith and John Cooper Clarke, this is not to be missed.


this is the view from provincial lancashire, informed and equipped with razor sharp wit” Pigeon Post

+ R A P I D   P I G



Formed in April 2000, Manchester antagonists Rapid Pig have been terrorising, delighting and baffling listeners ever since. Their list of raw materials range from folk to metal, from prog to punk and from funk to honest-to-goodness R’n’R. These myriad influences are not merely set uncomfortably one after another in a linear fashion, rather somehow stacked vertically. The resultant blend is characteristically tweaked with spiky rhythms, elliptical arrangements and often startling dynamic shifts. Results have been described variously as ‘apocalyptic’ and ‘I-don’t-know-what-it-is-but-I-like-it.’ The only parameters set by themselves have been to be different yet accessible.


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