ITC Manchester 2007 –
Official Fringe Unsigned Showcase

October 20-22nd

The Sports Café Quay Street Manchester

Manchester hosts one of the world’s cutting edge music and industry new talent events. Like all good festivals, “In The City”, now attracts its very own fringe. One which caught our eye was FMS Promotions takeover of Sports Cafe, where for the three nights the venue hosted a celebration of independent music featuring the likes of Rosalita, The Tides, 9FoldPunch, James Page, GK & The Renegades, Linda's Nephew, The MoonJets, Self Service, M101, Sellotape, China White, These Satellite Towns and touring from the USA., Vandaveer and These United States.

Off the beaten path we went in search of something new, refreshing and original. Over the three nights we were not disappointed. Saturday we battled the rugby fanatics to catch Mancunian pop outfit "Tides", combining pop riffs with a unique anthemic vocal style. The night ended as hotly tipped “Rosalita” takes the stage. These guys impressed, tight, rhythmic, refreshing charm with a unique synth pop hook, their song “Manga” Girl was a pop gem.

Highlights of Sunday saw “GK and the Renegades” deliver a blistering set of SKA rhythm wrapped in rousing Liverpool beat. The song of the weekend was their truly catchy “Girls from Birkenhead”, a rare find! The night ends with a thumping performance of marshal fuelled glam Punk from Cambridge outfit 9FoldPunch.

Monday night we witnessed the folk electric sounds of “Vandaveer”, imagine being on the East Coast of the USA in July 1965, Just as Dylan was throwing away his acoustic for the charms of electric folk. One to watch! As Monday drew to end a young four piece sixties, retro pounding melodic beat fills the venue, the “MoonJets" hit the stage, ITC delegates get excited, girls dance, these guys were good.

The sports cafe is not renowned for live music but for three nights transformed itself to a intimate yet impressive stage for local, national and international talent to catch the eye of the industry. Big dreams often start small and from these performances, hard work and an ounce of luck perhaps one of these bands may break out from the fringe to go all the way.

Willy Russell about this review on our message boards here!