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Getting Groovy | Manchester Psych Fest

Crowd at MPF - photo by Matthew Button

Who are you going to see? What's on next? Did you see...? That was bloody awesome... - This is what you will hear at Manchester Psych Fest. For one day you too can experience the creme-de-la-creme of Alt Psychedelic Rock in different forms, and all on your doorstep. Spread across multiple venues in the City Centre, the festival has evolved to be a hub of true Psych Rock, Soul and Alternative with a hard focus on bringing life into the city. This year we have the amazing opportunity on going down as Acid Rain and experiencing what the festival has to offer in full.

Venues include: Ritz O2, Deaf Institute, YES, RNCM, Albert Hall - thats a lot of venues, we were instantly lured in and with a back-2-back lineup we knew it was going to be a really long day, but all in good spirit colour splattered all over, glitter settling in your lungs and the vibrant buzz of people who were eager to get the party going - we were pumped. Following the crowd we were lead from venue to venue, meeting new people and making fantastic memories , here's our review of this festival.

From Bess Atwell in the Auditorium of RNCM who is a soft soul with beautifully poetic lyrics, her voice filled the chamber as she played songs such as Co-op and Time Comes In Roses which we have wanted to see her play live for some time now. starting off the day right, she lingered in our minds looking back as her performance was thoroughly beautiful to witness.

There were heavier bands playing such as Aussie band Psychedelic Porn Crumpets who were... Insane. These guys have always been on my list since first hearing their music about Five years ago, and with me being a Psychedelic Rock chic with a STRONG passion for all things Prog, I was at the f****n front! They IGNITED the stage, blew us all away and put on a performance that will be engrained in my mind forever. Classics such as Cornflake and Found God In A tomato made me scream and people started a small mosh pit - how British of us. with the adrenaline running, nay, coursing through my veins I ran over to YES bar where another highlight Would soon emerge.

Taking me back to the first month of the pandemic, i personally went insane and to ground me i started exploring different genres of music. Lo and behold I found Tinariwen. if you have never heard of them then you need to get your head out of your arse and click here. They are a collective of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. they fuse cool psychedelia with traditional instruments and language to create what I can only describe as God's gift to the musical connoisseur. Albert Hall was packed to the brim, people sat down in absolute awe, only making a ruckus when they were finished. How respectfully delight. A cheshire smile was plastered across my face as they played songs such as Sastanàqqàm and Toumast Tincha what an amazing experience that was completely mesmerising.

Tinariwen at MPF- Photo by Olivia Kenny

Next up was the brilliant Californian psychedelia band, Sugar Candy Mountain. Three words to describe them? Groovy, ethereal and vibrant. From the outfits to the sound, they are a band with a unique calling card, they bring the magic of the summer of '69 to a modern audience and my lord did they perform. With hots such as 666 and Windows they transformed the pink room into an intimate party with a lot of punch. I would happily see these guys again, and i implore you all to go and listen as they are a MUST for any playlist.

Sugar candy Mountain - MPF

As the sun sets over the Mancunian skyline, people were pouring into Albert Hall for the one and only Kurt Vile. As we clambered up to the rafters, we took our place in front of the large fan - thank god. The lights dimmed, the crowd went silent until the man and his violators jumped on stage and truly transformed the venue into a party. Walkin' On A Pretty Day and Pretty Pimpin literally sent people into a frenzy as they clapped, danced and jumped to his entire set. He gives easy colourful tunes with a straight talking Philly sound that is folk at heart but all-in-all psych-rock, it was truly brilliant to witness.

Kurt Vile at MPF - Photo by Olivia Kenny

Other highlights included Party Dozen at Deaf Institute who are an alt band who throw Neo- Psych tunes coupled with a slick saxophone to send you into submission. Sweat dripping from the ceiling, it was well past midnight and yet the energy never subsided once, very memorable. Then we had post-punk band Black Midi who were a must for many people throughout the entire day. churning out Welcome to Hell and Eat Men Eat were - *Chef's Kiss*

So what do we make of this festival - well, you'll never be bored that's for sure , would we recommend it? Hell yeah! The only thing we would say as a con... Only ONE DAY!??? WHY!


We are super excited for next year, whats the line-up going to be? They will have to pull something epic out of the bag as 2022 lineup was amazing. Its a chance to broaden your musical palate, to absorb new faces, new talent and be transported to an otherworldly place!

See you next year kids 💅


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