REVOLUTION: PUSSY RIOT COMMEMORATION FESTIVAL – Manchester

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SHATTERJAPAN presents this special non-profit festival of music and performance spread over 2 days at KRAAK venue, right in the heart of Manchester’s über-trendy Northern Quarter. Artists from various parts of the UK and beyond are working together at no fee to bring you this special event to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of the sentencing of Pussy Riot and to celebrate the power of freedom of expression. * Any profit will go direct to Pussy Riot through THE VOICE PROJECT and donations are encouraged.

On 21 February 2012, members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot performed a “punk prayer” in a Moscow church for which three of them (Nadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova, Maria “Masha” Alyokhina and Yekaterina “Katya” Samutsevich) were arrested, detained for over 5 months and eventually sentenced on 17 August 2012 to 2 years imprisonment. Although Katya was subsequently released on a technicality, Nadya and Masha were moved to separate and remote penal colonies with restricted access to their young children and legal team. Appeals to release the two women have failed, and concerns rise as to the health and fate of the women, Masha having recently undergone a hunger strike. Other Pussy Riot members are campaigning for the women’s release, with the support of local and international activists, politicians and artists.

SUNDAY 18 AUGUST

SOPHIE DELILA: Sophie is the Sunday 18 August headliner. The high-energy London-based French performer boasts a successful music career, having performed as a member of French electro pop collective Nouvelle Vague, collaborated with the likes of Plan B and Nouvelle Star (French Pop Idol) winner Christophe Willem, and written for Duffy, and now she’s on the verge of releasing her third solo album. Expect a bit of jazz, funk, electro, pop and disco and get your dance shoes on!

WITCH HUNT: This Leeds-based duo of Louisa Osborn and Chris Mulligan have been gathering buzz with their recent standout sets at Liverpool Sound City and Live at Leeds, and are now due to impress at Sheffield’s Tramlines festival. Self-produced track and second single “Crawl” is hauntingly beautiful, with Louisa’s angelic voice melding with swirling guitars and sinister lyrics. Think black magic, dreamlike and captivating – if you like lilting guitar sounds that wash over you with sensuality, this is the band for you. In Chris’ own words: “We’re a bit like the Dead Weather, The Kills, PJ Harvey and Queens of the Stone Age put together” – YES.

ROUGHNECK RIOT: This stunning 6-piece from Warrington have everything a great band needs. Their contemporary hardcore folk-punk sound will blow the stage as they “generate a steam-rolling wall of melodic noise that hits you like a right hook” (R2/Rock’n’Reel Magazine). Often compared to The Pogues and The Levellers, with a dash of The Clash and Johnny Cash, not only will they blow your musical socks off, but they’ll put a smile on your face and fill the venue with the kind of powerful raw energy that the north of England is famous for.

DIE HEXEN: Elusive Manchester-based artist D. Lucille Campbell and Sophie Gug collaborate to bring hauntingly minimal gothic-electronic textures and hypnotic layered vocals channelling tales of solitude, death, lost love and vengeance. A phantasmagoria of images and sounds, their performances draw audiences into a realm of howling planets and celestial mysticism. Having supported the likes of Molly Nilsson and Savages, this ambitious duo must be seen to be believed.

MINUTE TAKER: Manchester-based songwriter/producer Ben McGarvey’s 2008 debut solo album “Too Busy Framing” was described by Manchester Evening News as “bursting with beautiful acoustic melodies and hooks” while follow-up “Last Things” (released April 2013) adopted a more expansive approach, drawing comparisons to James Blake, Bat For Lashes, Grimes, Björk and Thom Yorke – “a beautiful collection of electronic-orientated pop songs” (Notion).

ECHO BOOM GENERATION: This London-based energetic rock trio is fronted by Kate Nash’s lead guitarist Linda Buratto. Classic rock meets grunge with EBG, named after those born in the 80s and 90s – passionate daydreamers witnessing an era where technology makes anything possible while challenges increase. Get ready to headbang along with Linda, Abbe-Lee and Callum.

HOOKER: With previous comparisons to Sleater Kinney, Siouxsie and the Banshees, PJ Harvey and Joy Division, this Manchester post-punk trio have an impressive CV, having supported Interpol, Television, The Slits, Le Tigre, The Gossip, Katastrophy Wife and Uh Uh Her. Lead singer Zoe McVeigh’s powerful vocals are supported by fierce drums from Leila O’Sullivan and solid bass notes from Steph Angel.

ILL: This Manchester five-piece band are roaring to go. With a strong feminist ethic, ILL have been known to indulge in the use of metal cod pieces, the sawing of nail clad limbs, bandaged bodies and explosive vocals to punch their messages home. With a mix of structured and spontaneous compositions, they’re taking no prisoners at this event. “ILL have a harsh Faust flavour that borders on the industrial… great music with a wayward edge. And yes, you can still dance to it.” (Cath Aubergine)

CIRQUE DU MANC MISTRESSES: This Manchester all-girl neo-burlesque and circus performance troupe are The Cirque du Manc’s sexy circus sideshow escapees. Getting you hot under the collar, these saucy stocking-clad vixens push the boundaries of burlesque performance, their bold fire performances featuring in music videos. With acts ranging from cheesecake burlesque to dark & dirty dubstep striptease, think beautiful and bizarre, weird and wonderful, surreal, fetishistic, kinky and daring!

BLACKEYE (DJ SET): Led by the enigmatic Chloe Little, this London band creates the perfect punk pop infusion, soundtracking tales of love and independence with boisterous guitar riffs and energetic drums, with a definite nod to great British bands of the 90s and the Queen of Punk herself, Siouxsie Sioux. One of the most exciting new bands in the UK, they have an EP planned for release in September.

MONDAY 19 AUGUST

PRINCESS CENTURY (AKA MAYA POSTEPSKI OF AUSTRA/TRUST): Maya is Monday’s 19 AUG headliner. Flying in specially to make her UK live debut at the event, the Toronto artist’s latest solo album Lossless (released April 2013) was inspired by the Charles Manson murders, lending a distinct intensity and creepiness to its dark synth vibes: “There are many things woven into the record that also have to do with my private life, the craziness of all the events of the last 2 years… I subconsciously attempted to reach into spaces I was working on myself by flirting with the Manson themes, using them as a veil.” .” In addition to having recently co-produced/written TRUST’s debut album “TRST,” Maya is currently playing to sellout crowds around the world as drummer for six-piece electro band AUSTRA.

DEATH RATTLE: Inspiring comparisons to The Knife, Sleigh Bells, Depeche Mode, Fever Ray, Massive Attack, Portishead and NIN, this London girl/boy electro-gloom-pop duo released their latest EP “Fortress” in April 2013, widely impressing music critics. Having already gained major praise from the likes of John Kennedy (XFM), Tom Robinson (BBC Radio 6 Music) and Amazing Radio, Helen and Chris Hamilton are well on their way to smashing the industry with their heavily stylized sounds and look. Enjoy and appreciate.

LETTERS TO FIESTA: Fronted by Anna-Louisa Etherington, whose vocals have been compared to the likes of Kate Bush with shades of Karen O, this Manchester four-piece electro-pop band are justifiably gathering buzz in the city. Their sounds are, in short, beautiful, inspiring and ethereal: “electro-pop with streams of hysteria running through its veins.” (Guardian)

FACTORY ACTS: This Manchester post-punk dark-electro duo exist at the edge of the analogue-digital divide, sometimes dreaming, always dancing. They are SoS (aka Susan) on vocals/synth/gadgets and MD (aka Matt) on drum/bass section. Supporting the likes of GHXST, Severin, Humanizer and Ste McCabe, they plan to record their debut EP in the late summer of 2013. Passionate about the Pussy Riot cause, Factory Acts are also DJing on the Sunday 18.

TRIPHAZARD: The impressive stage presence and sharp talent of this Liverpool-based electro-pop trio has been getting many a tongue wagging back in their home city and beyond. Having already shared the stage with Alphabeat, Bastille, Franz Ferdinand and Nite Jewel, this band are fast developing into something of a live synth explosion phenomenon.

Andy Von Pip

ANDY VON PIP - Founder, editor, writer, reviewer, photographer and all-round good guy at the VPME.com. House photographer for The Academy Music Group, Zuma Press, Event Magazine and Rex Features worldwide. You can check out his photography at Andy Von Pip Photography Has been new music tipster on BBC6 Music, Amazing Radio, and DJ on Strangeways Radio (USA.) Can currently be heard on IWFM Radio. His radio work has been described as sounding like Ian McCulloch on ketamine fused with Ringo Starr. New music tipster on Amazing Radio, moderator for BBC 6 Music DJ Tom Robinson's Fresh on the Net, former member of "BBC's Sound Of" panel. Written and photographic work has appeared in The Quietus, Music Week, Record Of The Day, The Guardian, GIITV, The Sabotage Times, Bido Lito, The Skinny, Louder Than War. Media partner and curator for Liverpool Sound City.

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