Thursday, 28 July 2016

Track Of The Day : Ryley Walker - The Roundabout


The Roundabout is the second song to be revealed from Ryley Walker's forthcoming third album Golden Sings That Have Been Sung that is out on August 19th. Accompanied by a video filmed on the fourth of July back in Pilsen in Chicago set as blitzkreig celebrations mark Ryley's favourite time of summer.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Viola Beach - Viola Beach


Viola Beach's debut album should be coming out under very different circumstances. The tragic death of Tomas, Kris, River and Jack as well as their manager Craig in a road accident in Sweden back in February meant that they were never to see that release for themselves. Viola Beach is a compilation of their first two singles, four tracks destined for an EP release and a live BBC session, nine songs that shine a light on what might have been, a precocious talent, still untainted by the quest to sell records and driven by their infectious unbridled joy at making music. It's a record that will make you cry, but will also make your heart beat a little bit faster.

Monday, 25 July 2016

The Slow Readers Club / Puppet Rebellion / Sabella - Sheffield Crystal - 23rd July 2016



One of the great things about the growing trend in urban festivals is the fringe events. Sheffield's Tramlines is no exception; in fact one of the highlights is the three-day celebration of some of the country's finest up and coming bands in Crystal that has become something of a legend. With free entry and ten hours of bands there's no need for a wristband. We caught Sabella, Puppet Rebellion and The Slow Readers Club in the baking heat under its glass roof - three great and very different bands.

Louis Barabbas And Project Fear - Four Songs About Modern Politics


Four Songs About Modern Politics is a concept EP about the current state of politics and recent events in the UK from Mancunian troubadour Louis Barabbas. All proceeds from the rush release will go to Médecins Sans Frontières .

Ethan And The Reformation - Manchester Night And Day - 23rd July 2016


Ethan And The Reformation are a band already making waves in Manchester and beyond with their debut single Hollandia and their soon-to-be-legendary live shows. We caught up with them opening for Little Barrie at the Night And Day on Saturday night on the back of their own recent Soup Kitchen headline.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Belly - London Kentish Town Forum - 21st July 2016


Belly completed their reunion UK tour with a celebratory show at London's Kentish Town Forum. Even tighter and more joyful than the Leeds and Manchester shows earlier in the week, the show was an absolute triumph, a band back together for the very evident love of making music and playing live.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Cupids - Manchester Spaceport X - 20th July 2016


It's a brave man to take on the Manchester weather and Cupids had to reschedule two rooftop acoustic gigs last week because of the downpours and for a while it looked like tonight, the second night of the rescheduled shows, might fall victim to the weather, even as they started. But it held off and we were treated to a magnificent stripped-down set from one of the city's most promising bands.

Monday, 18 July 2016

LIINES - Manchester Night And Day - 15th July 2016


LIINES are a band on the brink of making their mark. Recently signed, they've got big plans for later in the year with the release of their next single Disappear. We caught up with them in the Night And Day as they played a half-hour set which confirmed everything we knew about them and which won over a new set of fans.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Belly - Leeds University Stylus - 16th July 2016


As reunions go, Belly's is probably the least heralded of the plethora of 1990's 4AD acts that reformed, despite them actually getting a better chart position with their debut album Star than any of the more feted acts ever achieved. Tonight's Leeds University shows though that they're the most special of all of them.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Janileigh Cohen / Liam McClair - Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre - 15th July 2016


Once a month the Royal Exchange hosts a special series of arts events under the name of Special FX from 6 to 7pm. The event showcases some of the best local talent and Friday night was no exception as Bolton's talented Janileigh Cohen and the seemingly omnipresent Liam McClair charmed an audience into silence with an hour of fragile emotional folk music of the highest order.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Matter Of Mind - Manchester Night And Day - 13th July 2016


Stockport's Matter Of Mind are a band we're tipping for the top. With an assured three-track EP A State Of Mind under their belt already, they've started to win some admiring glances around Manchester at the moment and on the basis of tonight's passionate set, they're likely to continue to win hearts and minds as they develop still further.

Track Of The Day : Berries - Siren


Siren is the lead track from London three-piece Berries' debut six-track EP Those Funny Things due out on August 19th. It's a fabulously laid-back and loose three and a half minutes with one of those hooks and a guitar solo that packs a killer punch just underneath its surface.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Track Of The Day : Dantevilles - Perfect Place


Dantevilles are one of the hottest properties on the Manchester scene right now and their new single Perfect Place, along with upcoming support slots with Blossoms and tying up with Mrs (Clint) Boon for her tea party, is certain to cement that position.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Track Of The Day : Cabbage - Dinner Lady


Cabbage have been causing quite a storm in Manchester over the last six months. Word of mouth sold out shows which descend into near chaos, nakedness and mini riots with an ever expanding fanbase captivated by their off-the-wall approach to their art. But, as Dinner Lady, the latest song to be taken from their recent debut Chou EP, shows, there's something quite special about them.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Michele Stodart - Salford Eagle Inn - 8th July 2016


To support the launch of her second solo album Pieces, Michele Stodart played two intimate reveal shows in London and Salford this week. We caught up with her in the up-close-and-personal surroundings of Salford's fabulous Eagle Inn to witness a show that drew from Pieces, but also her debut Wide Eyed Crossing, a Neil Young cover and two brand new songs.

Weaves / Methyl Ethel - Manchester Castle - 7th July 2016


Weaves are on their first headline tour on the back of the release of their self-titled debut album and their sold out Manchester show, sold out on word of mouth rather than radio airplay, proved them to be a band with an unstoppable momentum set for bigger rooms than this. Support came from Perth's Methyl Ethel.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Belly - Interview


Belly's return is one of the least-heralded yet most-anticipated returns of the past few years, at least in the Even The Stars household. The four-piece enjoyed significant success in the UK with their number two album Star in 1993 and its follow-up King. They split shortly after and Tanya Donelly pursued a solo career for a number of albums including last year's Swan Song series. Earlier this year, Belly announced a series of UK dates for July and promised new material. We spoke to them ahead of their UK tour which starts in Glasgow on July 15th.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Michele Stodart - Pieces


Pieces is Michele Stodart's second solo album following 2012's Wide-Eyed Crossing. It's a record that trades on a simple intimacy that draws the listener in, sits them down and narrates the stories of the songs to a beautiful longing soundtrack.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Clay - Edinburgh Electric Circus - 1st July 2016


Clay are about to embark on their first big UK headline tour in support of a forthcoming EP.  The hotly-tipped Leeds four-piece brought their energetic show to Edinburgh's Electric Circus on Friday night and with just eight songs left the impression that they're a band very much on the rise.

Friday, 1 July 2016

James / The Sherlocks - Sheffield Botanical Gardens - 30th June 2016


James’ summer season of gigs moved on to Sheffield for the opening night of the Music In The Gardens festival set in the picturesque surroundings of the Botanical Gardens on the outskirts of the city. In pouring rain, James delighted the picnic-toting crowd with a set heavy on recent number 2 album Girl At The End Of The World but with enough, but not all, of their big hits for everyone. Support came from Sheffield’s next big thing The Sherlocks.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Beck / Badly Drawn Boy - Manchester Albert Hall - 29th June 2016


Beck's much-anticipated return to Manchester sold out in minutes when they finally went on sale a few months back and The Albert Hall was rammed to steaming capacity upstairs and down for a set that spanned twenty years of Beck's diverse musical outputs from his breakthrough 1994 single Loser to his critically acclaimed 2014 album Morning Phase. Support came from Manchester's own Badly Drawn Boy.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Sere Trouble - Burning Milk EP


Headphones, the lead track from Sere Trouble's latest EP, was our tip on Shell Zenner's Amazing Radio show a few weeks back. The EP, entitled Burning Milk, has now been released in full and across the five songs Sere demonstrates that she's an artist to be reckoned with.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Comet Is Coming - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 22nd June 2016


The Comet Is Coming are an instrumental trio from hometown planet earth featuring King Shabaka on sax, Danalogue The Conqueror on keys and Betamax Killer on drums. They headlined Soup Kitchen in support of their new album Channel The Spirits.

Monday, 20 June 2016

James - Amsterdam Melkweg - 19th June 2016


James hadn't played in Amsterdam since 1992 on a balmy night across town at the Paradiso, but returned as part of a trio of European dates that also took in Paris and Berlin. In a 500-capacity venue where the band and crowd were almost eyeball to eyeball, James mixed songs from their number 2 album Girl At The End Of The World with some of their biggest hits and favourites from their back catalogue on a truly special night.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

The Longcut - Manchester Ruby Lounge - 17th June 2016


It's ten years since The Longcut unleashed A Call And Response on an unsuspecting and unaware crowd and we've gathered together to pay tribute to a band that refused to make compromises, a trio hell-bent on creating a sonic shit storm that would blow them and you away and take you to another place on a relentless sonic wave.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Augustines - Manchester Fopp - 13th June 2016 / This Is Your Life


Augustines are one of those bands that grip you the moment you first hear them, then take you on a full on passionate, heart warming, soul finding and often tear jerking roller coaster ride that you either refuse to or can't get off. Glenn Wallworth caught their in-store promotional set at Manchester's Fopp on Monday and shared his thoughts with us on their new album This Is Your Life.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

I Am Kloot - London Royal Festival Hall - 13th June 2016


We made the pilgrimage down to London last night to witness I Am Kloot perform their Sky At Night album as well as some selected tracks from their back catalogue with the Millenia Ensemble in the revered surroundings of the Royal Festival Hall.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Control Of The Going / The Jungfraus / The Maitlands - Ashton-Under-Lyne Witchwood - 12th June 2016



Sunday night in Ashton-Under-Lyne isn't where you'd expect to see three great bands on the same bill, but tonight's show demonstrated that there's still life in the suburbs away from the city centre venues that dominate the North West music scene. Tameside's very own Control Of The Going head up a bill with The Jungfraus and The Maitlands.

The Rainkings - Oldham Jackson's Pit - 11th June 2016


With Inspiral Carpets enjoying a well earned break, singer Stephen Holt has conjured up a new Rainkings line-up. After 20 years away and a well received low key warm up show, they return to a hot and sweaty Oldham as part of local businessman - and Oldham music fanatic - Mick Harwood's “Oldham Rocks” night.

Jordan Drinkwater - Manchester Gullivers - 10th June 2016


Jordan Drinkwater celebrated the launch of his new EP Pretty Soon with a packed launch gig at Gullivers in the Northern Quarter on Friday night. Boasting an impressive voice and a set full of songs with challenging and different subject matter, the launch also doubled as the debut of the band that he's put together to accompany him.