This weekend’s live pick from Team Freshnet’s Manchester correspondent – Tom Williams & The Boat- The Deaf Institute (Friday 8th June)
In my recent years of putting together Manchester gig guides I’ve found that June is always rather light on live music events. The reason for this? Well more than likely everyone is gearing up for the summer of music festivals. I’ve even heard on occasion that some acts have it written into the contract of playing these events that they’re not allowed to play any gigs in nearby towns and cities in the run up. In Manchester this weekend we do have one of these two day outdoor festivals happening. Parklife Weekender just outside the city centre really does have some great acts playing, especially on the Saturday (which I unfortunately can’t attend due to a couple of good friends getting married, so see you on Saturday Mike and Shell). Django Django, Alt-J, D/R/U/G/S and many more including headliners The Flaming Lips will all be there, but if you fancy something a little smaller and more intimate then I’ve picked out Tom Williams & The Boat playing at The Deaf Institute for you.
Formed back in 2007, Tom Williams & The Boat met in a local music venue in Tunbridge Wells. It wasn’t long before the group began to attract the attention of Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens, whilst also playing Radio 1’s Big Weekend and recording sessions for Radio 1 with Huw Stephens. Tom Williams & The Boat also played Glastonbury via the festivals own ‘Emerging Talent Competition’ and Latitude on the Lake Stage. They self-released their debut album ‘Too Slow’ in February 2011, on the ‘Wireboat Recordings’ label which received extensive radio support from the BBC introducing network and BBC 6 music on its release.
In the recent PRS Top 100 UK Music Venues list there are indeed some of Manchester’s favourite venues, but for some reason my pick of the weekend’s small gigs is happening at a place strangely omitted from the list. The Deaf Institute is indeed a great venue and the only gripe I’ve ever heard from anyone is the bar prices, on the flip side of that everyone’s first reaction to the 260 capacity music hall gig space is “Wow”, and rightly so. It really does have to be a destination for any music lover visiting Manchester.