LIVE PREVIEW: Manchester Psych Fest 2018

Returning for its sixth year, it is once again the turn of Manchester Psych Fest to sway musical attentions in the direction of the dizzying colour-culture of the Manchester psychedelic scene.

Exhibiting both local and international art pop and indie rock alongside a selection of local fine artists, the day festival is set to purvey all the energy and idiosyncrasies of the alternative… there’s little wonder psych acts always have the best record sleeves.

On 1st September the festival will be more of a must-see than ever before, building on 2017’s success with over half of the lineup all-female or female-led, as it extends venues to Band On The Wall, Soup Kitchen, Night and Day Café, and new addition, The Peer Hat.


Glasgow duo, Honeyblood headline the festival with their attacking fusion of slackened grunge and digital pop. Laying an ostensibly playful pop over biting riff-driven weight, Honeyblood’s recent music discusses the innocence and intensity of youth.

Recommended listen: ‘Sea Hearts’

The Wytches

The Wytches are a Peterborough quartet that captures all the blues-coloured metal of their Midlands rock heritage. Slow paced and grizzly, their music is a woozy darkness of under-tempo sways.

Recommended listen: ‘Gravedweller’


A band to drag you from the ground to the clouds, London quintet, Toy will bring their DIY sensibilities and extra-terrestrial pop-rock to the industrial North’s arty corner at Manchester Psych Fest. The band revisit the space of early Pink Floyd, while recognising the realities of ’90s guitar rock.

Recommended listen: ‘Another Dimension’

Josefin Öhrn

Swedish sensation, Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation will cause stirs with their dreamy brand of soft rock, combining the rolling ambience of The War On Drugs with the 21st century fuzz of Wolf Alice. Based in London, the 2017 SKAP Sweden Composer of the Year is one of the festival’s most highly-anticipated acts.

Recommended listen: ‘Rushing Through My Mind’

The Asteroid No. 4

Holding the fort for the American side of the genre, northern Californians The Asteroid No. 4 will doubtlessly represent the US’s roots in psychedelic music, as they flag carry for psych-legends The 13th Floor Elevators and The Byrds with their psychedelic typicality.

Recommended listen: ‘Wicked Wire’

She Drew The Gun

North-western native, She Drew The Gun is possibly the festival’s most high-profile act of locality. The Wirral psych-pop solo artist furthers the festival’s focus on not only female artists but contemporary sounds, as she purveys 21st century digitalism with timeless artistry.

Recommended listen: ‘Resister’


Leeds art-pop trio Caro will continue their sonic pursuits of chaos-capture and surrealist statements at Manchester Psych Fest. Caro tell tales of characters bizarre, while their music leans and sways against rhythmic rejection.

Recommended listen: ‘Closet Lunatic’

Slow Knife

An act true to the alternative, Slow Knife fire out a music erratic and unstopped, fusing jazz and punk through a science fiction filter to create a bass-driven creature that would make Jez Kerr and A Certain Ratio grin.

Recommended listen: ‘Nuke The Moon’

Baba Naga

Another act of riff-led aggression, Baba Naga are baggy and blunt in their tripping and boot-cut psych rock. All heavy and jolting, expect a welcome and whining transportation to the Old School.

Recommended listen: ‘Osku Til Osku’


Track-rolling and travelled, London quartet Creatures catch coastal comment alongside cinematic style. Lit up like Americana rock ‘n’ roller, Creatures are a four to champion the West Coast ’60s.

Recommended listen: ‘Goldeneye’ 

Manchester Psych Fest returns on Saturday 1st September, tickets are priced at £25+bf – more information on the event can be found here.

Featured image credit: Jane Bowyer

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