SLUG – Deaf Institute, Manchester – 31/10/15


It was a real treat to see Slug play an amazing show of 2 sets to help celebrate Halloween. The gig was one of the highlights of a beautiful Manchester day that felt like summer and had me ‘enjoying myself’ for 16hrs straight – the short version being: 9am – Breakfast at my mums; 11.30-3pm – The Independent Salford Beer Festival; 4-7pm – Rugby world cup final at a bar in the Northern Quarter; 8-10.30pm – Watching Slug at the Deaf Institute; 11-3.30am – Rachel’s 40th Birthday bash at the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show………….The long version goes like this…….


Even before the start of the fun, I could just tell it was going to be a special day – took my mum to Morrison’s and found myself dancing in the frozen food section when they played ‘Bad Moon Rising’ by Creedence followed by the Cure’s ‘A Forest’. Was helping her to get to grips with her iPad so showed her the page for the Independent Salford Beer Festival at St Sebastioan Centre in Broughton that I was going to for the afternoon session.  “Your dad went to St Sebastians School” but there’s no ‘Earl Street’ where they were brought up any more.


The Independent Salford Beer Festival is in its second year and is run by Beers Manchester Blogger Jim who I’ve known since secondary school. A compulsive gigger (we saw Joy Division together in 1980) and music buff, he also manages to find the time to put on a cracking beer festival.


Met up with loads of old school friends Spud+Sue, Mike+Gerry, Jeff, Jazzy, Poz, Mike+Jo and was very happy to see George the Architect down from Scotland again. I got chatting to him last year because he had an Andy White T-shirt on. He and his misses had come last time as they had tickets to see Johnny Marr in Manchester and had been looking for something to do in the afternoon. This year there was no gig but they came anyway for the beer! Sleaford Mods on the T-shirt this time – I’d like one of the Revolution Brewery T-shirts Jim had with a message for those who talk at gigs on the back……


It was a shame to leave early but I had to meet up with Rachels crowd – it was her 40th birthday celebration and they’d gathered in ‘Montpelier bar’ in the Northern Quarter to watch the Rugby – what a fab game. Managed to meet up with my nephew Sam who’s at Uni there as well as all the gang.


Next I was off to meet Jeff at the Deaf Institute to see ‘SLUG‘ who had impressed him so much the last time he saw them, that he cited it his gig of the year.


No sailor suits this time but suitably dressed for Halloween, their first set was pretty much all of their ‘Ripe’ LP with a cover of the Residents ‘Perfect Love‘ from the Commercial LP thrown in. They were so up for it and the crowd responded massively. Had a chat with Marc Riley about Iceland in the interval (like you do). We were slightly suprised to see him there as he’d said on his show that he was off to see Joanna Newsom instead, but I can’t see how she could’ve been any better than these guys – what a show!


I must admit that apart from John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ the majority of the horror soundtracks that they did in the second half were new to me – but they sounded amazing. Gloriously dark and intense with heavy guitar riffs – superb. There was even a bit of ‘Rocky Horror’ style shown in their dress sense……with his mums pearls……I think they enjoyed it as much as we did….their LP now lives on the shelf between The Slits and The Smiths….


We went next to The Band On The Wall to meet up with Rachel’s 40th birthday posse at the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show. There was a band on ‘Nick Pride & The Pimptones’ but we only caught the end of their energetic set as we’d popped in the pub next door to meet up with Simon and Grace first.


The rest of the night was a blur of dancing and chatting and laughing with friends who – like everyone says at my age – I just don’t see often enough. 16 hours of fun fun fun – let’s do it again!!!


Bob the Chiropodist




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