First up are the literally fantastic Coraline. Rae’s ethereal, witty and alluring songs have as much in common with Angela Carter and the Brothers Grimm as with any of the multiple genres they effortlessly hopscotch between. ‘Oz’ from the new EP is a funny, spiralling retell of The Wizard of Oz. Having gone to London to give the music a new audience, a record contract has deservedly come their way. To celebrate the release of The Little Freedoms EP the band are having a series of launches and a Northern fix can be had at either The Met, Bury on September 26 or, very excitingly, at the Deaf Institute right here in town on October 9. I have been wowed in concert several times, highly recommended.
Next up is photographer Ranulph Redlin. Red has just added to an accomplished portfolio with an excellent series entitled Sex, Fries and Battered Hake, a visual tale of a modern mermaid sunk in moral corruption. Sexy urban magic realism and colours you can eat. Keep your eyes peeled round Manchester for forthcoming exhibitions of his work.
Finally, if like me you think Ed Harcourt is our greatest living songwriter, we might just have found a successor in Manchester-based Ben McGarvey. Start by listening to the brilliant ‘Disjointed’ then ‘Too Busy Framing’ from the LP of the same name, then just give in.