The constantly buzzing Salford Music Festival wazzes up a few notches today, beginning at 2pm with the brilliant Graffiti Picnic in Ordsall (see here), which is followed by the free Salford Hip-Hoperative open mic night with DJs and Mcees spanning two generations, spitting their stuff to the background projections of the finest examples from the Graffiti Wall.
There's a huge line-up of Salford's top mic-marauders including the legendary DJ, toaster, singer, mixer and founder of DUB57 and Salford Hip Hop night, Markus De Rawkus.
Joining Markus are old skool hip hop star Mickey Redvenom; battle rapper and Misfits maestro Briggzy; top house and hip hop DJ Meza; soulful Afro MC Screwmaster Gee; punk emo poet Intoxikie; Siren Sounds' dub DJ Jan Bull; the bad MC Explicit; soul singer Gemma Kirk; rap battlers Wilson and Coops; the put-a-party-on-anywhere-any-time-any-place Martini Silky DJs; and anti-fascist punk rap collective Class Actions.
"The Crescent is very special to me because of the connection with Marx and Engels and what could honour their memory more than playing a free gig for the people at the very pub they drank in" says Aslan AK, Class Actions' front man.
MC and poet, Intoxikie, sums up the spirit of the night… "My poetry and music is inspired by many things both light and dark…Nowadays when I write songs I like to show that there is a way out of the negativity that we experience."
Meanwhile event organiser Markus De Rawkus sums up the vibe of a free day of hip-hop and urban culture…
"This is a celebration of Salford hip creatives against all the odds, flying the flag of hip hop peace for Salford and all neighbouring boroughs" he says "The event gives both artists and fans a chance to mingle, shake hands, mc together, paint together and stay positive together."
The Salford Hip-Hoperative plus Siren Sounds night begins at 7pm at The Crescent, goes on until late and is free entry.
Elsewhere there's a mini-Cumbrian singer songwriter invasion, as Rita Baugh plays The White Horse in Eccles, and Sean Moore plays The Black Lion.
Rita, originally from Holland and now living in the Lake District, is a singer songwriter who will be appearing on Stage One tonight at the Eccles Old Road venue at around 8:30pm with percussionist Ben Steel.
"I'm going to be doing around eight songs, mostly original as I've been been writing songs since I was little" she says "But I might do one cover so that people will know one song – I'm just learning Everybody Wants To Be A Cat from the Aristocats so that might be a good one."
Although she's been writing songs for years, Rita's only just started exploring the circuit outside of Cumbria, and has recorded a single Snow In Spring with Ken Stringfellow, who used to be in the Posies.
"I've never been to Salford" she says "I just applied for the Salford Music Festival and was really chuffed to be accepted."
Check out some of Rita's mellifluous tunes on Soundcloud (click here) and then pop down to the White Horse and get a taste of the Lakes and more.
Also playing Stage One (6:30pm-9pm) are John Mackie, Shauna Mackin, Purge, Otalgia, and Inca Babies. While Stage Two (1pm-9pm) hosts The Calamities, The Jar Family, The Logicals, La Godiva, Kim Jennett, Caleidra, Red Stars and Girl Peculiar.
The Cumbrian theme continues with Sean Moore playing Stage One at The Black Lion on Chapel Street around 8:30pm.
Sean, from Kendal, has been building up a bit of a name for himself after winning, what he describes as `the Cumbrian version of Britain's Got Talent' and has got some really top videos pulling in fans on YouTube, including one that has already been picked up for the Comedy Central.
He's a singer songwriter but the videos make him stand out, especially when he's playing standing in a river with 1000 rubber ducks floating by, or in another one covered in dog poo after a misunderstanding over a telly…
"I don't want them to be miserable, if they're nothing else, they're entertaining" he explains "The next video is about the end of the world with zombies and stuff, and normally it would be quite depressing but I've got no time for depression - I work five days a week, I get enough of that as it is! If I'm doing music I'll make it as fun as I can."
Sean's measure of his local stardom is that he got kicked out of the shopping centre in Kendal when he was making an early video – and has now been asked to do a gig there.
"It seem s to have gone better and better" he says, particularly when he was just playing songs in his bedroom until his mate and fiancé forced him to enter the Cumbrian talent contest. Now the big lights of Salford loom…
"I can't wait for this one" Sean says "This is the one I'm looking forward to by a mile…"
Check out Sean Moore's videos (click here) and acoustic catchy tunes and then head down to The Black Lion tonight. Joining Sean on Stage One (7:30-11pm) are Barry Lawton, Sophie and My Lyrical Mind. Meanwhile, on Stage Two (8pm-after midnight) catch poet Meriel Malone, More Trees Please, Dislocation Dance, Trojan Horse, Matt Duncan, Jon Dasilva and Ally Kidd Cameron.
Full details of all the other gigs are at www.salfordmusicfestival.co.uk