LIVE PREVIEW: Neighbourhood Festival 2018

As the leaves start to turn and Autumn begins to roll in, Manchester is set to come alive, for Neighbourhood Festival – the multi-venue, live performance spectacular – returns to city centre promenades on Saturday 6th October. For its largest presentation yet, the one-dayer will bring together over 100 performers to take to stages across 13 venues (Manchester’s rosy-cheeked Now Wave venue, YES, is one of the fresh additions featuring on this year’s hosting roster).

Joining festival favourites Everything Everything and Sundara Karma will be a plethora of homegrown and emerging talent, as well as a few burgeoning global stars. As venue-hopping is the name of the game Neighbourhood celebrates the city’s nearest and dearest with the Academy, Albert Hall, Refuge, Revolution, Jimmy’s, O2 Ritz, Gorilla, Night People, Yes, The Bread Shed, Thirsty Scholar and Deaf Institute all offering shelter and entertainment to festival patrons throughout the day.

To assist all prospective attendees, we’ve assembled a simple highlights guide (which includes up-to-date venue information and set times). Spotlighting the international diversity of this year’s line up, we’ve hand-picked a selection of artists that present exciting new sounds and vibrant live promise.


Songwriting prodigy Micah Visser fronts Boniface, a project of personal expression and serious pop savvy. His alternative dreamscapes vastly encompass what youth signifies, it’s the feeling of being alive — a fearless freedom, full of hope but still trying to figure out the bigger picture. Part introvert, part extrovert; his releases to date intertwine both aspects and define an artist of brazen versatility. Boniface’s set is a certain staple in our festival schedule, we can’t say more than that.

Boniface plays Revolution Oxford Road at 6.30pm.

Another Sky

London-living Another Sky create music of fascinating complexity. Their musically intricate and lyrically powerful material is astonishing, especially considering that they only started releasing music earlier in the year. Raising important social commentary, the band translate greater meaning alongside a strident instrumental proficiency. A band making considered moves at an early stage, we have a good feeling about their future.

Another Sky plays Refuge at 4.30pm.


Canadian’s cleopatrick (yes, the lower case lettering is intentional) make rock music that is loud, caustic and you bet, thrilling. Reminding us of the early cuts from Royal Blood, the duo’s heavy duty rock is thick, scrappy and proud with riffs, biting rhythmic progression and crescendoing drums. This showcase offers the perfect chance to catch the band early on and experience catharsis at its most direct and potent.

cleopatrick plays Refuge at 6.30pm.

Fuzzy Sun

Tonally, Fuzzy Sun embody melancholy to the bone but like with most forms of expression, their music is nuanced and cannot be contained to just one setting or outcome. The music is hazy, made for late night listens, but also works for swaying crowds of festival punters, with its gently euphoric synth work pulsing an ebb of intrigue to the fore. Think stomping (sometimes somber) disco hooks submerged in a charismatic relatability and a seductive twist of versatile vocals. A performance sure to take all parties present, on an emotional journey — highly recommended.

Fuzzy Sun plays Deaf Institute at 8pm.


This London duo strut the funkiest of rhythms, combining art-pop elegance with the trend-setting allure of electronica. The project is a collaboration first and foremost, spawned out of a chance meeting at Ealing chess club where its members gravitated to each other’s passion for music. The releases so far open a window to an inventive sound, current and irresistible. With a blossoming catalogue of songs, it’s only sensible to wonder what the live show looks like — and Neighbourhood offers the answer.

APRE plays Deaf Institute at 2pm.

Alex the Astronaut

Sydney-hailing Alex Lynn creates music of habit; music to listen to in the car, in your room, while you walk down the street. It’s a brilliant earthiness of tone that captures attention and warrants endearment, a sound so far from pretension that it would just look blankly and shrug. Alex the Astronaut continues to prosper in Lynn’s native Australia while overseas her star is beginning to rise, this showcase provides an excellent opportunity to catch the songwriting sensation early on.

Alex the Astronaut plays Thirsty Scholar at 5.15pm.


Returning to the festival for a third consecutive appearance, Ireland’s whenyoung offers zig-zaging guitar punch and indelible presence. A simply infectious blend of pop and indie rock, the band’s musicality is dreamy (and not just because of their fondness to cover that Cranberries classic). The three piece have collected a fine resume too, sharing stages with Peace, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to Superfood and The Vaccines, with enthusiasm for their live show continuing to grow whenyoung’s set is an obvious must see.

whenyoung plays Deaf Institute at 7pm.


Welsh exports Trampolene show no signs of slowing down, releasing their long-awaited debut album in 2017 and an album of re-packaged EP cuts in 2018 (for those wanting to catch up on the earlier works but not knowing where to start, this is an excellent companion). Their music recalls the glory days of rock’n’roll, just without the expense account (they’re more earnest than that). Whether a die hard or recently initiated, the band’s music has a little of everything so no one feels left out: guitar-heavy raucousness, introverted ballads, precocious spoken word. An electrifying necessity. 

Trampolene plays Night People at 9.45pm.


Australian talent Cloves has been on our radar for many years, her enthralling pop music is rooted in real emotion and a solid strength of character that remains true to the artist’s uncompromising vision. Soulful balladry, sincere sentiment and visceral voice are essential to Cloves’ humble symphonies; having just released her debut album this is the best time to catch the artist before these intimate gatherings become a tale of the past. With this in mind, her live show promises to be moving and memorable so don’t dally.

Cloves plays Gorilla at 6.30pm.


Meeting in Liverpool but raised in different countries, the members of Her’s bring forth jangle pop of the Eighties with a spry DIY aesthetic and a wistfulness, forlorn and pining. The duo’s chemistry is clear on record but infectious when witnessed in person, having recently unveiled their first album a set from Her’s (we imagine) will be even more appetising than ever before. Expect tuneful bops, deep lyrics and swerving rhythms, it’s all part of the inviting charm of Her’s.

Her’s plays Gorilla 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.

Photo Credit: Anthony Mooney

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.

2 thoughts on “LIVE PREVIEW: Neighbourhood Festival 2018

    1. Hi Helen, the set is 30 minutes long. Most of the acts playing have 30 mins or slightly longer in some cases.

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