LIVE PREVIEW: Neighbourhood Festival 2017

Manchester’s inaugural music one-dayer returns Saturday 7th October for another dose of its multi-venue spectacular. Taking place in over 10 of the city’s best venues for an eclectic pick-and-mix of live entertainment, Neighbourhood Festival celebrates up-and-coming talent and offers a chance for fans to catch indie rock’s premier artists up, close and personal. With a billing that boasts over 100 performers and a host of exciting one-off appearances happening in amongst those, this year’s festival certainly tips the scale further towards ‘annual pilgrimage’ territory.

We would advise all attendees to make a loose plan before heading out but as with most things in life, the best experiences sometimes arrive unplanned. So if you’re in doubt, don’t worry, we have pulled together a list (which you’ll find below) of our favourite picks from the line-up.

Haunt the Woods

Cornwall’s Haunt the Woods make their second venture up North this year, this time to debut their Manchester festival appearance. The career progression of Haunt the Woods has been a meaningful one; recent times has seen the band take their resolute harmonious folk and turn further outwards, now languid and luscious Radiohead attributes find significance over Half Moon Run spun sentiment.

Haunt the Woods play Sound Control Basement at 5pm.

Stereo Honey

Fast-rising Londoners Stereo Honey return to Manchester for another metropolitan festival, this time though, it will be even more special. With a bunch of new material under their belts and a fantastic live show, Stereo Honey have all the prowess to take dexterous indie and pop hooks to unbelievable heights. Save us a place at the front, we’ll be grooving all day long.

Stereo Honey plays Factory at 4.15pm.

Team Picture

Top-ranking Leeds six-piece Team Picture make their first appearance at Neighbourhood Festival this year, for a set that will undoubtedly expand minds and loosen those limbs. We’ve followed this band throughout their releases so far, and one factor that always remains, is their virtuosity to the cause – both recorded and live formations of Team Picture are a joy to listen and to watch. We can’t wait for the show.

Team Picture plays Underdog at 1.30pm.

Phoebe Green

Cultivating her blossoming sound and style at local music college BIMM, Manchester-based Phoebe Green is one of the main attractions on this year’s billing. As far as raw talent goes, Green’s ’02:00 AM’ EP is as organic as they come. Complete with a bedroom aesthetic, lyrics that tell of needling insecurity and the enduring bonds we share with one another, simple chord progressions and emotively-alert articulations; Green proves her smarts and leaves us wondering what will come next.

Phoebe Green plays Underdog at 3.30pm.

Joel Baker

Three years after his last stop-off in the city, soulful singer-songwriter Joel Baker plans his return. With a newly-reformed set list and fresh material behind him, Baker will be dispatching lyrical flow and personal narratives tune after tune. Tracks like ‘Story’ and ‘Bag of Dreams,’ of course, make up our must-hear list. This is one reunion we wouldn’t miss for the world.

Joel Baker plays Revolution Oxford Road at 8.15pm.

October Drift

As the Somerset four-piece’s only tour stop-off in Manchester, it is even more vital to attend this set than anything else. Don’t let the rustic acoustics of the attached live footage disconcert you into thinking that October Drift make kindly demure music, because this is far from the truth. Much less do the gentle guitars evoke the ferocity of the actual live show, expect ever-tightening rhythms and fuzz-heavy dissonance. Their shows are loud and action-packed, and will unequivocally induct you into the band’s world.

October Drift plays Sound Control Main Room at 3pm.

The Vryll Society

Liverpool psych-rockers The Vryll Society teeter on-the-cusp of major success, their latest single ‘Shadow of a Wave’ etches a fine pop edge to their luminous cosmics. Their set is highly likely to be a priority for many, as they never fail to bring a stunning live show, and like everyone else we’re always in search of a band who will provide good tuneage and tight musical ability. The Vryll Society is such a band.

The Vryll Society plays Sound Control Basement at 7pm.

River Matthews

Ever the wonderful wordsmith, River Matthews is sure to set the fireworks a’going and the sunshine a’streaming when he makes his Neighbourhood Festival debut. The Woking troubadour made BBC Radio 2 playlist with his latest single, he’s toured with Rag’N’Bone Man and is setting off on tour this November for a headliner that will top everything he’s done so far; if you’re not convinced yet, then the music will have to do the talking. Good times are a given, poetic narratives will endure, and River Matthews’ talent will shine through. A must.

River Matthews plays Thirsty Scholar at 6pm.


Innovative indie and unorthodox time signatures make Caro a hot prospect to watch every time they roll into town. As their catalogue grows evermore interesting with each new release, we can’t help but think that the Leeds trio is heading for bigger and bigger stages. Catch them now whilst we can still cite them as ‘up and coming’.

Caro plays Deaf Institute at 1.30pm.

Billy Lockett

Piano-man Billy Lockett has been stirring a fever of emotion for many years now, we’ve watched in awe as he has penned some of the most beautiful melodies and precious lyrics. Even the team at Made in Chelsea approved, securing Lockett as a musical guest to perform the elegiac ‘Burn it Down’. Heart-wrenching pop is certain when Lockett performs this October, but it’s his entrancing vocals that leave us in bated breath.

Billy Lockett plays Deaf Institute at 7.30pm.

Tickets for Neighbourhood Festival are priced at £30 (+ bf). For ticket availability and the full list of acts performing on the day, head to their Website.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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