Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Duke Spirit / Clever Thing - Manchester Deaf Institute - 16th August 2017


The Duke Spirit's new album Sky Is Mine is released on Friday and this Deaf Institute show, along with a London show, is an intimate preview designed to showcase new songs, of which we get four tonight. Support came from Brighton's Clever Things.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Neon Waltz - Strange Hymns


Neon Waltz's debut album Strange Hymns has been a long time coming, but has been more than worth the wait. The ten-song collection features a number of tracks they've used over the past three years to snare new fans and new ones that possess the same qualities of glorious abandon, fearless optimism and a love of timeless melodies.

The Big Peach / DUSST- Manchester Night And Day Cafe - 15th August 2017


Tuesday night saw the latest of the Night And Day's new band showcases featuring headliners The Big Peach, still able to count the number of gigs they've done on one of their hands yet making a storming first impresssion, and Liverpool troubadours DUSST who delight the audience with their feet-tapping jazz / psyche tunes.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Frank Turner - Interview


Frank Turner plays Manchester Ritz next Thursday night headlining a Street Noise charity concert for Big Issue North, an organisation dedicated to alleviating the homelessness problems of Manchester and other major towns and cities. We caught up with Frank to talk about how he got involved, his memories of Manchester and his plans for his next album.

Track Of The Day : Vukovar - The Clockwork Dance


The Clockwork Dance is the first single from Vukovar's forthcoming album Puritan, due out in October. A dark brutal record with electronic overtones, fittingly released on the Brutalist House label, it's a real statement of intent from the band.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Jordan Allen / The Strawberries - Manchester Jimmy's - 10th August 2017


Jordan Allen returned to Jimmy’s, the scene of last week’s triumphant intimate gig, for a second helping to a packed sweaty enthusiastic crowd with the knowledge that they’re witnessing the relative calm just before the storm as he goes out on his first nationwide tour in the autumn. Support came from Leeds four-piece The Strawberries.

Purple Heart Parade / My Expansive Awareness - Manchester Aatma - 9th August 2017


The twenty-sixth instalment of Astral Elevator’s psyche nights saw the return of prodigal sons Purple Heart Parade and a headline slot from Spain’s My Expansive Awareness in support of their new album Going Nowhere.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Cotton Clouds Festival (PINS / The Coral / The G-O-D / The Blinders / The Whip / TEAR / The Sundowners / Ethan And The Reformation / Darling Club / Stillia / Proletariat) - 12th August 2017


The first Cotton Clouds Festival took place on Saturday in the picturesque setting of Saddleworth Cricket Club in Greenfield. A packed line-up of great bands across three stages, from national names to local up-and-coming bands and a raft of child-friendly activities meant that there was something for almost everyone.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Natalie McCool / The Protagonists - Liverpool Loves, Derby Square - 6th August 2017


Following the cancellation of Hope And Glory Festival, we headed down to Derby Square in the city where the wonderful free event Liverpool Loves was taking place. Before the weather took hold and we went for shelter we witnessed two contrasting but equally brilliant sets from local acts The Protagonists and Natalie McCool.

Blossoms - All Night Long Premiere - Heaton Moor Savoy Cinema - 11th August 2017


All Night Long is a self-made documentary of Blossoms' US tour from front man Tom Ogden. Filmed entirely with a hand-held camera, it documents the life of the five friends in the band on the road through North America in April and May of this year and offers a revealing and often hilarious insight into life on the road. Before the film's first ever public showing, they performed a five-song acoustic set in Heaton Moor's beautiful Savoy Cinema.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Regina Spektor - Liverpool Empire - 7th August 2017


Regina Spektor charmed a packed Liverpool Empire on Monday night with a career-spanning set of songs that demonstrated the eclectic range of both her songs and her voice and confirmed her reputation as one of the most intense intimate performers of her generation.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Vida - Liverpool St George's Hall - 4th August 2017


Vida opened Hope And Glory's "secret" Friday night gig in the resplendent surroundings of Liverpool's St George's Hall. Despite being beset by technical problems and suffering with the hall's natural echo, they make a strong impression on a growing crowd with a half hour set full of the sort of songs that have seen their reputation burgeon during the festival season.

James, Razorlight, The Fratellis, The View, Embrace, Badly Drawn Boy, The Pigeon Detectives, The Membranes, Clay - Liverpool Hope And Glory Festival - 5th August 2017


Given the events that occurred at Hope And Glory on Saturday and the subsequent cancellation of Sunday's festival (documented here), the music almost feels like an aside, but despite the difficult circumstances in some areas of the site, the bands themselves manage to brave on against technical issues, stage times overrunning by up to two and a half hours and curtailed sets to deliver a show for those fans that stayed.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

25 Health And Safety Questions For The Hope And Glory Organisers And Authorities


As the dust settles on the fiasco that was the Hope And Glory Festival in Liverpool at the weekend (our view of Saturday's events can be found here) and customers seek redress for the cancellation of Sunday's events for which they had paid their hard-earned money, there are a number of major health and safety concerns that need addressing.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Here's To Hope And Glory - A Festival Goer's Experience


Saturday witnessed the opening day of the first Hope And Glory festival in the surroundings of Liverpool's St George's Hall. Billed as a family-friendly festival, the 12,000 capacity event turned into nothing of sort as social media became awash with horror stories of refused entry, limited security, appalling facilities, dangerous bottlenecks and other tales of woe.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Jordan Allen / Seven Cities / The Jade Assembly - Manchester Jimmy's - 3rd August 2017



Ahead of the announcement of a big tour to conclude his most successful year to date, Jordan Allen played the first of two intimate Manchester shows at the city's latest happening venue Jimmy's to a hot and sweaty crowd to an enthralled fan base that knew all the words to old favourites and were excited by two new songs being played for the first time.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Kiera Court - Angry Face & Boat Shoes


Kiera Court recently released her debut EP Angry Face & Boat Shoes, three songs that mark out the Essex singer-songwriter as one of the most promising and exciting emerging talents around.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Taylor And The Mason / Izzie Walsh - Manchester Jimmy's - 30th July 2017


To celebrate the launch of their new video for single Midas Touch, Taylor And The Mason threw a Sunday night party at Jimmy's featuring a set from themselves and the stunning Tennessee influenced sounds of Izzie Walsh and her band.

James / Peter Hook And The Light / Milburn / Wild Front - Newcastle Times Square - 29th July 2017


 

James' season of summer shows moved to Newcastle and the city centre Times Square accompanied by Peter Hook And The Light, with whom they performed a special one-off collaboration, Milburn and Wild Front.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Track Of The Day : Taylor And The Mason - Midas Touch


Midas Touch is the new single from Taylor And The Mason, taken from their self-titled debut album. The video for the single was filmed at Manchester's Albert Hall on one DSLR camera by Bill Mohin and edited by Laura Bryant.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Track Of The Day : SKIES - Green


SKIES release their new single Green accompanied by a simple but fun video. The Folkestone two-piece are set to return to the North for a Head For The Hills festival preview show at Bury Met on August 5th before playing the festival itself in Ramsbottom on 15-17th September.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Track Of The Day : The Duke Spirit - In Breath


In Breath is the second single from The Duke Spirit's forthcoming fifth album Sky Is Mine due for release on August 18th as the follow-up to last year's Kin.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

James : Justhipper - The Complete Sire & Blanco Y Negro Recordings 1986-1988


Justhipper is a collection from Cherry Red of the first two James album, Stutter and Strip-Mine, released in 1986 and 1988 respectively after signing from Factory Records. By the release of Strip-Mine, the band were on their uppers, having to do medical experiments to pay for rehearsal time and borrowing £10k to release their own live album One Man Clapping and escaping Sire / Blanco Y Negro's clutches on a legal technicality that the contract had to be renewed in writing six months after the final masters of Strip-Mine were delivered. Justhipper documents the two albums and the associated b-sides from the singles.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott - Manchester HMV - 24th July 2017


To celebrate the launch of their third album Crooked Calypso last Friday, currently sitting at number one in the midweek charts, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott performed a six-song set, split equally between new songs and favourites from The Beautiful South, to a crowd crammed between the CD shelves at Manchester's HMV store.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Control Of The Going - Interview


Control Of The Going are a band that we've covered since their very earliest days as they've grown from a fledgling band into one of Manchester's most powerful live outfits. We spoke to Liam, Ste and Ash as they put the finishing touches to their debut album, due out later this year, and curate their own stage at this year's Blackthorn Festival following the release of their debut 7" single She / Wildflower earlier in the year.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

James - London Kew Gardens - 15th July 2017


James joined Passenger, Razorlight, All Saints and Mary J Blige as headliners of this year’s Kew The Music festival week in the picturesque surroundings of Kew Gardens in London. Despite a sound level that would struggle to fill our living room and an audience that in the most part were more interested in their hampers and protecting their picnic blanket than they were about a rock concert, James refused to compromise and deliver the greatest hits set that the evening’s compere promised.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Mercury Rev / Hazel Wilde (Lanterns On The Lake) - Gateshead Sage - 12th July 2017


As part of the celebration of the 20th birthday of iconic independent label Bella Union, Mercury Rev announced three special dates with the celebrated Royal Northern Sinfonia. We caught their show at Gateshead Sage, home of the Sinfonia, a mix of tracks from across their career with a bit of Disney and Dusty Springfield for good measure. Support came from Hazel Wilde of Lanterns On The Lake playing her first ever solo show and revealing four new songs.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Ride / Spectres - Manchester Ritz - 11th July 2017


Ride released their first album in twenty one years last month in Weather Diaries and announced this one-off Manchester International Festival show at The Ritz. An expectant audience were treated to a set that got the balance between new and old spot on and revealed them to be one of the few bands that have reformed to match, and at points exceed, former glories. Support came from Spectres.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Blossoms / The Coral / Rory Wynne / Touts - Manchester Castlefield Bowl - 8th July 2017



There has always been a sense of inevitability in the last three years that Blossoms' path would this summer lead them to Castlefield Bowl. Having supported both James and The Charlatans here in previous years and a year on from their number one debut album, it's a fitting way to bring to a close the first phase of their journey to be mentioned in the same breath as those aforementioned legends of the local music scene.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

James / The Slow Readers Club - Manchester Castlefield Bowl - 7th July 2017


James made a triumphant return to their hometown of Manchester last night in front of an 8,000 crowd that braved the rain as some of the city's favourite sons ran through a career spanning set full of surprises, reinventions and curveballs as well as some of their best known and best loved songs towards the end of a two-hour set. Support came from Manchester's newest local heroes The Slow Readers Club who won over even more admirers with a forty-five minute set full of the kind of anthems that made the headliners name for them.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

James - Leicester O2 Academy - 5th July 2017


James played Leicester O2 Academy for the first time ever as a warm-up for their summer of festival headlines and, true to form, gave us a set of the weird and wonderful, the new and the old with the odd curveball and some, but not all, of their biggest hits as well as debuting two new songs Busted and Overdose.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Track Of The Day : Carousel Clouds - Invisible Lines


Invisible Lines is the debut single by Carousel Clouds that is released on Friday with a launch gig at Salford's Eagle Inn. It's a beautifully haunting tense song that builds slowly, simmering and then shimmering into glorious life with layered vocals and intricate instrumentation.

Radiohead - Old Trafford Cricket Ground - 4th July 2017


Radiohead's two Manchester Arena shows had been combined into one after the tragic events of May 22nd and moved to Old Trafford Cricket Ground, a very different setting as most of the show was performed before dark and with noise restrictions imposed to protect local residents. Despite this and a set that provided a stern challenge to the attention span of the casual fan, the quality of the musicianship and their unflinching desire to not play by the standard rules of the stadium gig.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Hazel Wilde (Lanterns On The Lake) - Interview


Anyone familiar with the blog will know of our love of Lanterns On The Lake. Their Live With Royal Northern Sinfonia walked away with our album of the year in 2016 and whilst the band are taking a year out to write and record new material, we were excited to discover that their front woman Hazel Wilde is playing a solo set supporting Mercury Rev at Gateshead Sage next Wednesday (12th July). We had a chat with her about that show, new Lanterns material and a possible solo album.