The only UK festival that goes deep to interrogate the enduring love affair between music and the written word, Louder Than Words, returns to Manchester for a 2018 edition loaded with legends from the world of music, journalism and photography. Opening at the The Principal Hotel, Manchester between Fri 9 and Sun 11 November 2018, guests confirmed to appear include Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark founder, Andy McCluskey, The Wedding Present’s David Gedge, broadcaster, Gemma Cairney and photographers, Sheila Rock and Kevin Cummins.
Renowned raconteur and bassist with Pink Floyd, Guy Pratt performs his one-man show ‘The Inglorious Bassterd’ during the festival, recounting tales of working with everyone from Michael Jackson to Madonna, taking out his bass to demonstrate the basslines he wrote to underpin some of the twentieth century’s greatest hits.
With music writing and publishing providing a window into the world of heroes, authors including Zoë Howe talk about their books, with Howe opening the pages of her Stevie Nicks biography, while Lucy O’Brien talks audiences through her exhaustive Madonna book. One of the UK’s most cherished songwriters, Squeeze’s Chris Difford talks about life in and out of the ‘Cool For Cats’ band and venerated NME photographer, Kevin Cummins opens up the world of one of the most reclusive and controversial artists of the past and present with a selection of his photographs of Morrissey.
Returning to the festival for a second year, punk-icon and accomplice in Sex Pistols’ most outrageous moments, Jordan looks back on life as ‘the original punk’ and journalist and author, Stuart Bailie participates in an ‘in conversation’ session to discuss his book Trouble Songs: The Story of music and Conflict in Northern Ireland since 1968.
Crime novelist Ian Rankin arrives in Manchester to track his life through ten albums and journalist and DJ, Dave Haslam talks about his recent book ‘Sonic Youth Slept on my Floor’. As well as hearing the fascinating stories from the front line of pop, punk, rock, dance and everything else, the Festival offers a unique chance to meet, greet and grab signed copies from personalities they may have only ever seen in concert in an intimate, purposely social setting.
As well as looking back with most significant music personalities of past decades, Louder Than Words also celebrates future voices, with a continuing focus on the role of education in music and journalism, whether that be welcoming back the Slam Poetry workshop team; involving students as volunteers and panellists; arranging workshops on everything from writing and getting published, making music, DJing and music law. The Wilko Johnson Writing Award will make an extremely welcome return, celebrating young music writers under 25 and there is much to be enjoyed on the Festival fringe.