Manchester Punk Festival is days away (there were still tickets at the time of writing) I can’t think of a better way to spend a bank holiday weekend. The festival gives the opportunity to explore Manchester and watch a line up which is basically a who’s who of UK DIY music. With that in mind there are going to be clashes, here are some expert and not so expert recommendations for must-see bands playing over the weekend.

Ben Adsett (not an expert)
The Arteries – The perfect festival band, mature pop punk full of singalong moments. This promises to be a triumphant return.
Above Them – A rare opportunity to see one of the UK’s best melodic punk bands.
Woahnows – They’ve already released the best album of 2019 and they are even better live.
88 Fingers Louie – Seminal melodic punk, you will see a lot of their influence on this line up
Mean Caesar – Stay up late to catch these London gruff punks.
Svalbard – This promises to be a crushingly wonderful dose of hardcore packed with important lyrics.
Fresh – The most infectious hooks of any band on the line up, listen to some of their records and get prepared for a singalong

It’ll be no surprise to anyone that knows me that my recommendations for MPF are Arms Aloft and Calvinball. 2 bands that were seemingly inseparable for many years get a chance to share the stage again with their sing along gruff anthems, driving melodies and excellent live shows. Arms Aloft’s visits to the UK are few and far between nowadays and sooner or later one of Calvinball’s ‘final shows’ will actually be just that, so who knows how many more chances you’ll get to see them!

Well, it will be a really good festival I reckon – I’m very excited for Consumed. Will be the fourth time I’ve seen them since they reformed, but the first time since their new EP came out, which is right up there with their older stuff. Otherwise, looking forward to Authority Zero (always are one of the tighest bands in the world), Goober Patrol (the first time in YEARS), Millie Manders and the Shutup (always a fun watch), Janus Stark (cannot believe they’re playing – I hope they’re playing all the 90s hits), the every lovely and sexy Joe Tilston and his Embers band (that’s him out of Random Hand doing his folk thing), Grand Collapse (it will be my virginity with that band but do like the album) and The Human Project. And also – feel free to join us (Lay It On The Line), 6.10 at the Zombie Shack on Saturday if you like your melodic hardcore. Just saying…

Looking at the band list which is astonishingly HUGE, I instantly need to commend Matilda’s Scoundrels , they blew me away with their manic squashing of punk skank and folky bits when I saw them, also Officer Down are a frenetic ball of normality wrenchers, and Grand Collapse put the angst into bangstorming, which wasn’t a word BUT IT IS NOW cos it’s what they sound like!

We haven’t been to Manchester as a band yet and haven’t actually been a huge amount individually but we’ll likely hit up V Rev diner and then will definitely be trying to catch Martha, Crywank, The Hard Aches, Muncie Girls, Perkie, The Winter Passing and Kermes (all our top recommendations!). Also Kathryn will be playing in Fresh go check them out!

I actually really enjoy coming to Manchester in general, so lots of places I like to revisit when I come here.

Takk is an awesome coffee shop on Tariff Street. Nice place to chill out, and the coffee is incredible. Its also a few steps away from Beatnikz Republic, so you can pop in there for a beer afterwards.

I loved PLY (Lever St) the last time I was here – amazing pizzas and a great selection of craft beer.

Bands I want to check out:
Astpai (Saturday) – the tightest band we’ve ever played with, great friends, and the best songs. One of my favourite bands.
Martha (Saturday) – I don’t get to see Martha much, so excited to catch them again. Last time I saw them in Brighton they absolutely killed it, such a great show and they created an amazing atmosphere around them.
March (Sunday) – Bronx meets Distillers. Ferocious live, and front-person Fleurs vocals are insane.
Werecats (Sunday) – old friends of mine, loved the album they put out last year, and are a totally fun band to see live. worth checking out.
Samiam (Sunday) – obviously.

We’ve been looking forward to playing MPF for some time now, and always schedules didn’t align, this time it has…. Ian is a great guy and the event is awesome… we’re being selfish and looking forward to watching bands on our day (Friday) like our mates in Authority Zero or 88 Fingers Louie who we have shows with soon, and our touring mates Sonic Boom Six plus Eat Dirt, Consumed and King Prawn, and who knows maybe a beer or seven.

The list of bands to see and things to do at MPF is pretty impressive, but if you’re looking for a little direction, these are my tips for MPF enjoyment. Go see Fights and Fires, Incisions, Crooked Little Sons, Fair Do’s, SAMIAM, Bar Stool Preachers and Astpai. Then go and eat at Abdul’s by the Academy. Abdul’s is literally the only way to end a show in Manchester. Listen to Eat Dirt, Eat Abdul’s.

Nervus – If you’re looking for some hook filled punk and slamming choruses then Nervus are really the band you need to see this weekend.

Woahnows – Back with a new record this year, your favourite trio that’s not called Green Day are still playing fun punk with serious undertones about life and being true to yourself.

Martha – One of the UK’s best are releasing a new album this year on BSM. Go see them, have a great time and thank me later.

Svalbard – If you need something crushing after lunch to help you wake up then I highly recommend this lot. Atmospheric and crushing.

Cheerbleederz – Three friends from London making really nice tunes. I don’t know what’s better than that in life. Go what Cheerbleederz and have a nice time, because they’re great.

The Winter Passing – I love this band and I think everyone should love them too. Hard working legends who just want to write and play great tunes. I already know they’re going to be one of the highlights of the weekend for me.

We recommend Burning Flag!

Check out The Penske File, great band from Burlington, ON Canada. 88 Finger Louie is going to rule. I’ll be honest I’m going into this festival not knowing many of the bands but really looking forward to discovering some new music