As if you needed telling – but Manchester doesn’t half know how to put on a good show! Just 24 hours after an incident had the city on lockdown, our favourite event of the year NBHD Festival once again took over Manchester for a day of rock ‘n roll with over 100 bands across 15 of the best city centre music venues!


Now into its fourth year, this was the best yet with some outstanding performances. Punters made their way from 1 gig to the next on an unusually dry October Saturday. The energy was transposed from the stage to the streets with positive vibes flowing throughout the city! Starting with Dirty Laces at The Bread Shed and culminating in a pulsating set from Miles Kane at Manchester Academy.


In a crowded venue The Bread Shed (previously known as The Zoo) played host to Manchester’s Dirty Laces. A well-drilled machine of a band with lead singer Charlie Jordan sounding almost like a young Liam Gallagher. He has all the swagger you want in a frontman and proved his worth even more so matching Mick Jagger’s vocals on a cover of The Rolling Stones’ classic hit Gimme Shelter. Female vocals were provided by Becki Fishwick with a special guest appearance.

Dirty Laces. Photo by Niall Lea.


With a hop, a skip and a jump we went on to Revolution, The Thirsty Scholar and The Zombie Shack to catch chunks of sets from Heavy Rapids, Conchúr White and Vaughan, respectively.

All this via a trip to Hatch Mcr for lunch. When in Rome, and all that…

Heavy Rapids at Revolution.

Heavy Rapids were great, full of energy – and it coincided with happy hour on cocktails! Conchúr White was forgettable (but maybe that was a result of the afternoon cocktails?). Vaughan was really good, one to look out for. Quite a spiritual performance but one of his first shows as a solo artist, apparently.


Our favourite new band Inhaler, with Bono’s son Elijah on lead vocals, were a particular highlight of a packed day. And we were packed in like sardines at YES, a still relatively new but intimate city centre venue next door to The Lass O’ Gowrie on Charles Street. Inside the Pink Room (first floor of YES) we were joined in the crowd by Manchester music royalty in the shape of Courteeners’ drummer Michael Campbell alongside Blossoms’ Tom Ogden and Joe Donovan. And we took the opportunity to grab an exclusive photo of the drummers in conversation. From 2 of Manchester’s greatest bands of the past decade:

After catching the last song of punk band Witch Fever, you could feel the anticipation in the room. Inhaler’s unofficial photographer and director of the music promo for My Honest Face, Anais Gallagher (Noel’s daughter if you didnt already know) was also in attendance, along with Saytr Play’s lead man Fred Farrell ahead of playing an evening slot at The Bread Shed (more on that later). Inhaler did not fail to delight! Naturally there will be comparisons but whether you’re a fan of U2 or not, this band can play – and they have the songs to back it up. You just have to hear it to believe just how similar Elijah Hewson’s vocal’s are to his father’s. It’s almost enchanting.

Watch our exclusive footage from the gig and see for yourself:


Back to The Bread Shed for The Reytons for which a younger crowd was absolutely rocking, you could hear them from streets away as you approached. And the aforementioned Saytr Play admittedly deserved a bigger crowd for what was a quality set. Farrell is a frontman for the ages with his eccentric dress sense and dramatic poise with a microphone in his hand.

A quick sit down drink and we were on the move again, our 5th different venue of the day as we popped into Academy 2 for German outfit Giant Rooks. Lead by multi-instrumentalist Frederik Rabe, we’d heard good things from their show at Deaf Institute last year and they did their reputation no harm here.

But by this time most people were heading for the headliners…

Photo by Jack Kirwin.


We finished things off in the same fashion as we had started, with an exhilarating live show – we’d opted for Miles Kane. The crowd hailed him as a working class hero, rightly so with big tunes such as Killing the Joke and Come Closer sounding epic inside Manchester Academy. To his credit, he commanded the stage just as convincingly as when we saw him last; alongside Alex Turner as part of The Last Shadow Puppets.

He’s got a decent setlist these days and must be one of the hardest working musicians in the industry at the moment. He definitely gave his all to Manchester.

Photo by Anthony Mooney.

And he finished with a flourish and the big tune Inhaler – which turned out to be the word of the day.

Read our exclusive interview with The Blinders’ Thomas Haywood, who played at the Albert Hall at this year’s festival: THOMAS HAYWOOD, THE BLINDERS: THE INTERVIEW

Also playing at NBHD Festival 2019 were Skinny Living with a set at Deaf Institute. We interviewed the band earlier this year: SKINNY LIVING: THE INVERVIEW