This week there is another fine mix of free events featuring local artists and ticketed shows from international touring acts.
The quality of the musical offer in Macclesfield has been staggeringly high recently and long may it continue.
This is of course due to new live venues appearing on the scene prepared to aim higher and bring in new levels of professional musicians to a town historically used to introspectively keeping itself to itself and watching anything as long as it’s free.
It is more encouraging that Macclesfield music fans are now getting used to the idea that they usually get what they pay for.
It isn’t rocket science, touring acts cost money because usually the tourists are professional and need to earn a living (and touring is nightmarishly expensive and difficult just to break even).
Dedicated live venues have to cover all these costs before they start to cover their own and they provide a different kind of experience.
If you go to Manchester you will have to walk a long way to find a free gig but people still travel there for music, sometimes paying a king’s ransom for the experience plus the ensuing travel costs.
If you can’t be bothered with the logistics of doing a Manchester gig and fancy spending your money on your doorstep then on Friday you can see the return of Steller. Yes, Steller are back again.
For more than a decade this band has boomeranged in and out of existence and each time they re-emerge you want them to stick around because they have always brought something worthy to the table and offered much in the way of quality songwriting. They are at the Wharf, free entry.
Local rocker Robbie Cross chooses the cabin to launch his new album El Diablo, again entry is free. Robbie is going through some interesting changes right now and is writing material like a mad thing.
S2WN has String the Marionette on Friday, free entry. This band is totally new to me.
Saturday is Indie night at the Snowgoose live with Institute of Broken Sound topping off a good-looking four-band bill for a nominal £3.
A conversation revealed Kent Duchaine is playing the Snowgoose café bar this weekend but I don’t know when. Nothing is revealed on the internet so it must be a secret.
On Saturday night the big hitters are in town. A £12 ticket buys a feast of quality at Sutton Scout HQ, which has a rep for ludicrously high quality fundraisers. On this occasion the bill toppers are Scottish Folk legends String Driven Thing.
Folkies need no information on how good they are, you are right in the Fairport Convention/Pentangle class. Underneath is Kirsty Almeida, who arguably could be topping this bill and opening will be a solo performance from George Borowski, who could top any bill. Tickets from Nigel Hamill (if you are lucky) 07870 193131.
Head to head with this is another pearl from Cabin 5150. Four gentlemen from California collectively touring as the Former Members. These guys occupy a lot of space on Wikipedia, having appeared with many seminal bands of rock history and at some of the defining events of rock music.
Three of the four appeared at Monterey Pop ’67, considered by many as the template for all modern music festivals, and then Woodstock. Two of them were with Country Joe and the Fish and the other with Al Kooper’s Blues Project. (Al Kooper was in Bob Dylan’s original electric band and formed Blood Sweat and Tears). The fourth member was the Steve Miller Band’s (The Joker) guitarist.
Since getting together in this unit they have toured the world (again) playing the tunes from their collective histories. Now they are writing new material as well. Being in that room will be like sharing history repeating itself.
Mums and Dads will love it (second time round) and their kids will get a privileged opportunity to see just where some of dad’s record collection came from.
Tickets from Cabin 5150 (Facebook) £10.