gig-shots blog – concert photography from mike gatiss
In The City 2008

I have to confess, I love living near Manchester! It’s hard as a Geordie to admit it and Newcastle will always be my first city but the influence Manchester had on the music I grew up listening to has secured it a special place in my heart.

A key factor in that musical influence was the late Tony Wilson and it was he, along with Yvette Livesey, that got the In The City festival off the ground in the early nineties.  Over fifteen years later, In The City is one of the premier showcase events for unsigned bands and this year was no exception.

Billed as Three days of your new favourite bands, you just don’t know it yet, In The City takes over Manchester city centre with the music’s brightest and best debating the future of the industry during the day and fans and industry taking to the streets by night to check out the bands. The standard of the bands playing was higher than ever and I’ve come away with a list of bands I want to see again as long as my arm!

Personal highlights include:-

Alphabet Backwards

Reminiscent of the Levellers but with a more ‘pop’ outlook, and more synth than the Crusties ever threw bricks at, these are a feel good sing-along band you’ll love.

With influences ranging from Talking Heads to Queens of the Stone Age, Baddies put on an adrenaline fuelled performance that ensured they were one of the buzz bands of the festival. You will be hearing more from these guys soon!
Paris Riots

Sounding something like the love-child of early Rolling Stones and The Doors with a hefty dose of Oasis thrown in for good measure, I hadn’t planned to see Paris Riots until I was given a tip from one of Manchester’s best music photographers, Karen McBride.  It will be a huge injustice if these boys aren’t cracking the charts wide open next year.
Soft Toy Emergency

One of the instant highlights on the “In The City Unsigned 2008″ album (available on iTunes), Soft Toy Emergency produce infectious toe-tapping electro-punk tunes that will have the most sedantry among you bouncing around like loons.
Run Toto Run

The perfect soundtrack for a Sunday afternoon bath. Beautiful vocals complemented with a double bass and electronics instead of the usual bass and drum kit. Run Toto Run played their third gig at Glasto, and were getting airplay on Xfm, and BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music within weeks of their inception.

These are just my highlights and I couldn’t get to every band I wanted to see, (note to self: must figure out the two places at once routine before next year’s festival). My advice is head over to iTunes and download the “In The City Unsigned 2008” album. It’ll cost you a few quid for 45 tracks by Your New favourite bands, you just don’t know it yet!

Oh and as a bonus for you lot, I’m in one of the photographs below. First one to tell me (add a comment) which shot and where I am can have a signed and numbered 10″x8″ print of their choice from the In The City set.

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