FESTIVAL NEWS: Louder Than Words Festival, 9th-11th November, Manchester


The Louder Than Words Festival of music and writing grows louder each year. Now in its sixth edition, this remains the only festival that interrogates that enduring love affair between music and the written word.

This Festival opens on the Friday with Radio 1’s Gemma Cairney, followed by the current bass player with Pink Floyd, Guy Pratt. As hilarious as he is sonorous, Guy will perform his one-man show The Inglorious Bassterd, with tales of working with everyone from Michael Jackson to Madonna. Moving into Saturday and you can take your pick from Zoë Howe talking about her Stevie Nicks biography, or Lucy O’Brien chairing a panel about Madonna as a gay icon. Elsewhere, Chris Difford talks about his life, including Squeeze, Kevin Cummins discusses his photographs of Morrissey, Geoff Travis talks Rough Trade, Jordan looks back on life as the original punk icon with Cathi Unsworth and Stuart Bailie is in conversation about his book Trouble Songs: The Story of music and Conflict in Northern Ireland since 1968. Moving on to Sunday and we have Andy McCluskey overviewing his time with OMD, David Gedge from The Wedding Present is indeed present, Sheila Rock talks over her photography with Rudi Esch (Die Krupps), crime novelist Ian Rankintracks his life through ten albums and Dave Haslam talks about his recent book Sonic Youth Slept on my Floor. And that is merely to scratch the surface, as elsewhere numerous academics and music writers gather for panels, discussions, Q&As, workshops… and even a music quiz!

As well as hearing their stories, the Festival also offers a unique chance to get up close to people often only seen on the stage; in a much more social, conducive atmosphere of the suitably grand Principal Hotel. The hotel recently had a multi-million pound refurb, which includes the bar and restaurant ‘Refuge’, Festival hang-out for 2018, where you are likely to find these musicians, and indeed music writers, catching up and reminiscing.

Since its first incarnation in 2013, audience and contributor numbers have more than doubled, which in turn has only increased the variety of talks, panels and workshops programmed over the weekend. Over those years the festival has welcomed music characters such as Rick Buckler (The Jam), Guy Garvey, Edwyn Collins, Viv Albertine, Woody Woodmansey (The Spiders From Mars), Wolgang Flur (Kraftwerk), Brix Smith (The Fall), Tim Burgess (The Charlatans), Miles Hunt (The Wonderstuff), Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers), Alan McGee (Creation Records) as well as music writers such as Barney Hoskyns and Paul Morley to Manchester, talking all things musical and literary. Attendees come from as far as San Francisco and Moscow to engage in a weekend that includes panels, Q&As and some very special performances from all four corners of the musical world: from club culture to heavy metal; ska to punk.

Expect music… expect conversation… expect laughter… expect things to get loud.

Time: 9th-11th November 2018
Place: The Principal Hotel, Oxford Road, Manchester, M60 7HA
Tickets: Tickets are available via http://louderthanwordsfest.com/tickets/ and are available as weekend passes, day passes, or event tickets, ranging from £6 for an event to £70.66 for a pass to the whole three-day weekend