Sounds From The Other City

January 15, 2012

A chat with… Work Them

Having started at the end of 2011 at KRAAK Gallery, Work Them has already been featured in the MEN and all sorts of other places. Already hyped as one of the most important nights in Manchester, we decided to ask them down for this years Sounds, and we thought we’d ask John Thorp a little bit about what we can expect when the day finally comes around.

Right John. Tell us everything that we should know about Work Them.

We’re a forward thinking, backwards glimpsing monthly clubnight at Kraak Gallery specialising in exciting alternative and charismatic dance music. Everything from Atlas Sound to Pearson Sound in a hopefully natural progression. We’ve also started booking bands sooner than we’d anticipated, such as London’s excellent patten on February 3rd. We run a blog (, and a series of mixtapes – two so far, both available here

The current mixtape, Seasonal Affective Disco, is an hour or so of music for an optimistic winter’s midweek bus ride home, and the other, Somewhat Essential Mix, is a sort of more party-focused calling card for the club and what we love to play.

What else might ‘festival revellers’ know you from – you DJ at other nights and do other stuff, right?

DJ sets at all your usuals across town occasionally. Fortunately, the crowd at SFTOC come to discover new things, although compared to some of the weird stuff I’ve seen over the years, a DJ set from me should be pretty low priority on that scale.

What was the best thing you saw at SFTOC last year?

Certainly the most memorable thing I saw was David Thomas Broughton, who I wasn’t aware of previously. Hey Manchester! had him on. He’s a folk singer and guitarist who excessively and hypnotically samples himself with loop pedals for his live show. He also likes to go out in the the crowd, uses empty seats as musical instruments and at one point produced a rape alarm which he fashioned into an ambient flute in his mouth. It was really unexpected and stange, and even a little bit threatening in terms of how he ‘worked the space’.

Later on, I watched D/R/U/G/S play a sweaty live set whilst a drunk and enthusiastic transvestite flanked him on a monitor. That’s the sort of thing that you can get away with at Islington Mill.

So what have you got up your sleeve for the big day? Anything people should look out for?

The tentative plan is to host a kind of party within a party late on at the Mill, where I’ll be playing records, hopefully accompanied by a special guest DJ set. Earier in the day we’ll be playing at another stage in the name of ambience, and from previous experience people are usually pretty up for it after 7 hours of boozing, so we’ll probably try and keep it pretty jumping at that point.

As for looking out for things, Vondelpark were almost upstaged last year by a lovable and friendly spaniel running around during their set. It was pretty adorable at the time, but a word of warning to that dog, if I see him trying the same thing with me whilst I’m banging out the new Boddika single or whatever, I will be forced to transmit an uncomfortable high pitched sound that only he or she will hear.

Lastly, give us a video of something that’s really exciting you at the minute:

I really like Molly Nillson. She’s a Swedish pop singer, bedroom/DIY whatever, her new album, History, is her 4th apparently, but I haven’t heard any of her other stuff as of yet. She reminds me of both Beach House and Lykke Li, but she’s lyrically witty and specialises in a a sort of dancefloor melancholy, which is my favourite kind of melancholy.

I’m not a specialist on the local band scene, but I really like Great Waves’ stuff so far, and I hope somebody books them.

Ta, John.

Work Them will be downstairs at The Black Lion with Pop Deviant and friends. The clubnight returns on February 3rd at Kraak with Patten playing. Further information at