Thursday, 25 August 2016

Track Of The Day : Ist Ist - Night's Arm

Ist Ist release Night's Arm on Friday ahead of a headline show at Manchester's Soup Kitchen on Saturday night. Armed with a dark menacing black and white video that matches the mood of the song, Ist Ist make a sound that's harder and more raw than anyone else in town at the moment.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Rifles - Manchester HMV - 23rd August 2016

The Rifles' new double album Big Life is their first in two and a half years and as part of the promotional cycle for it, Joel and Luke played a short seven-song acoustic set at Manchester's HMV store on Tuesday night.

Ed Harcourt - Furnaces

Furnaces is Ed Harcourt's seventh album of a career that started at the turn of the century with a Mercury Prize nominated debut. It's an album steeped in intellect and both political and social commentary and bold cinematic instrumentation and production. It cares not one jot for commercial appeal, jumps from theme to theme and style to style throughout, but still retains a continuity of purpose that makes it possibly his finest record to date.

Monday, 22 August 2016

The Maitlands - Manchester Gullivers - 19th August 2016

The Maitlands are another band waving the flag for the old guard in Manchester at the moment, proof that you don't have to be eighteen, photogenic and have great hair to make great music. The room's impressively busy for an unsigned night even though it's just past eight o'clock to see them run through seven strangely chaotic and brilliant songs before front man Carl hugs everyone and heads off to the bar.

Urban Theory - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 20th August 2016

Before heading down to the Arena for Morrissey we popped into Soup Kitchen to see Urban Theory for the first time. The Bury four-piece were our Track Of The Day a few months back, but since then they've undergone a line-up change and this is their first Manchester gig with the new set-up. We leave massively impressed by a band that manages not just to sound very tight and together, but one with that something extra that's needed to stand out from the mass of four/five boys with guitars in Manchester at present.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Morrissey - Manchester Arena - 20th August 2016

It was a gig that many thought they wouldn't see again, a gig that many fear we won't see again if all the rumours are true about Morrissey's health, but 16,000 of us from far and wide packed into the cavernous arena to pay homage to Steven Patrick and in true inimitable Morrissey style he didn't play by the rules and delivered a set full of curveballs, direct and indirect messages and left us streaming out with a smile on our faces by finishing by one of his best-known and most-loved songs.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Feed The Kid / Saytr Play / The Hotspur Press - Manchester Spaceport - 19th August 2016

Relying on the Manchester weather is always a risky business, so the day's downpours meant that B33's Rooftop party was moved down two floors into an open space in the same building. We caught Feed The Kid and new signings Saytr Play and The Hotspur Press play short sets to a growing crowd.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Cupids - Manchester Dr Martens Store - 18th August 2016

As part of Dr Martens' Stand For Something campaign they partner up with bands and recently they've linked up with Cupids cumulating in a hot and sweltering in-store set last night in their Market Street store. Ever adaptable, Cupids performed amongst the boots and shirts to a crowd that had packed in from the street to catch them in another unusual setting.

Ryley Walker - Golden Sings That Have Been Sung

Golden Sings That Have Been Sung is Ryley Walker's third album following the underground successes of debut All Kinds Of You and last year's follow-up Primrose Green. It's an album that captures, as much as can be, the essence and spirit of Ryley's intense and thrilling live shows. The press release describes it as a coming of age, we'd go further and describe it as his masterpiece.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

EXCLUSIVE : The Winachi Tribe - Time For Love (Mark Pistel Remix)

We're proud to exclusively reveal the new video from The Winachi Tribe.  Time For Love (Mark Pistel Remix) is a film that captures a mad twenty-four hours on the road as the band travelled from Aberdeen to Manchester concluding in a wild show at Manchester's Live Room. Travelling with them was Manchester film maker Shari Denson who captured the chaos and the band's back to basics DIY approach.

Track Of The Day : Be Calm Honcho - Bad Man

Bad Man is the second song to come out of Be Calm Honcho's recording sessions for their second album, the follow-up to 2014's excellent Honcho Dreams.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Delamere - Delamere

Delamere have been making a name for themselves in the past two years with their own brand of shiny guitar anthems playing to an increasing fan base. Their debut album consolidates that position with four of their singles and six other tracks which remain true to those ingredients that have drawn those people in whilst avoiding the pitfalls of repeating the same trick over and over.

Morgan Delt / Ethan And The Reformation / Dusst - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 16th August 2016

Ahead of the release of his second album Phase Zero next week, Sub Pop's Morgan Delt is touring Europe and we caught up with his set at Manchester's Soup Kitchen with support coming from local rising stars Ethan And The Reformation and Liverpool's Dusst.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Trampolene - The Gangway EP (Pocket Album Four)

Trampolene's The Gangway EP is subtitled Pocket Album Four and continues their fine tradition of periodically releasing five tracks ahead of recording their debut album. Like its predecessors it's a heady and wild mix of rock and roll that deals both in subtleties and foot to the floor amplification with poetry and an ambitious take on a cover, this time The Cure's Friday I'm In Love, to boot.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Pop Up Festival - Sale King's Ransom - 14th August 2016 (Fliiis / Control Of The Going / Cultures / I Set The Sea On Fire / Happy Daggers / Glass Peaks / Altar Flowers / Mayflower / Louie Louie)

Sunday saw the second day of Scruff Of The Neck's Pop Up Festival located at the King's Ransom in Sale. We spent the afternoon and early evening watching nine great bands from both Manchester and further afield that have performed for the label this year on the outdoor stage by the picturesque setting of the canal.

Floral - Manchester Aatma - 14th August 2016

Floral are an American duo specialising in instrumental math-rock, just guitars and drums and no trickery involved. They've just kicked off a UK tour and we caught them late on a Sunday night at AATMA where they demonstrated on many fronts why less is something more.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Liam Frost - Rawtenstall Artisan - 11th August 2016

It's ten years since Liam Frost and The Slowdown Family released their debut album Show Me How The Spectres Dance, destined to go down as one of the greatest lost albums of all time, its claims to greatness done immeasurable damage by the fascination of the southern music industry with the concept of Britpop and the demise of a record label that hadn't the means to support it. Ten years on, Liam's reforming the band to perform two sold-out shows at Manchester's Deaf Institute in early September and he warmed up with a solo show at the intimate Artisan in Rawtenstall.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

False Advertising / The Nouvelles / The Rogue Network / The Bad Trips - Manchester Castle - 5th August 2016

Friday night saw a mammoth five band line-up at The Castle in Manchester for End Of The Trail Records. We caught four of them, a varied bunch of styles featuring False Advertising, The Nouvelles, The Rogue Network and The Bad Trips.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Why Manchester Welcomes But Doesn't Necessarily Need Another Music Festival

UPDATED 10/8 Added response from Andy Smith to clarify that what he believes is needed is the conference element of the event and details of some additional local festivals.

The Off The Record Music Festival has been launched with a fanfare today. Curated by big name musicians such as Guy Garvey and Tim Burgess as well as big names in radio such as X Radio's Clint Boon and John Kennedy, it's giving thirty acts a massive shop window for their talents and an exposure that will help them significantly as they strive for their big break. We applaud the intentions of the organisers but we take issue with some of their claims.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Clay - Manchester Night And Day - 6th August 2016

Clay brought their Heaven EP tour to the Night And Day on Saturday night and left a boisterous hot audience trailing in their wake.

Blossoms / Dantevilles - Manchester Gorilla - 7th August 2016


As part of the celebrations of the release of their self-titled debut album, Blossoms booked two shows at Manchester Gorilla to play the new record to their fans. Tickets sold out in seconds as they did for the Academy show next month, and the venue witnessed two packed to the rafters sweaty shows that probably bade farewell to venues of the this size given the ever increasing fanbase they're collecting. Support came from Manchester's own Dantevilles, who are making their claim to be the next of the city's bands to break through.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Blossoms - Stockport HMV and Manchester HMV - 5th August 2016


To celebrate the launch of their self-titled debut album Blossoms are embarking on a week-long tour of the nation's record stores to promote it and play a short acoustic set. We caught up on Day 1 in their hometown of Stockport, (not so) fresh from their launch show at the Plaza just hours earlier and later in the day in the Manchester Arndale store.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Blossoms / Dantevilles - Stockport Plaza - 5th August 2016

A midnight album launch in their home town of Stockport where all of Blossoms come from, where they were born just up the A6 in Stepping Hill, just past the pub on the corner that gave them their name and whose Welcome To signs now state Home Of Blossoms is pretty much the perfect way to send your debut record out into the world. A feverishly expectant home town crowd were treated to the album being played in order with four songs being played to a live audience for the very first time. It was the dream homecoming that the band had planned for over a year for the release.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Ryley Walker - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 2nd August 2016

Ahead of the release of his third album Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, Ryley Walker took to the road accompanied by his Norwegian pals Stolle on drums and Julius on bass. In the country's most unique venue we witnessed a performance by one of the world's most unique performers.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds / Puppet Rebellion / Riding The Low / Space Monkeys / Danny Mahon - Kendal Calling various stages - 31st July 2016

Sunday was the final day of Kendal Calling. Stuart Ralston toured the site and reports back from sets ranging to Noel Gallagher on the main stage to an impromptu set by Danny Mahon in a field, catching up with Puppet Rebellion, Space Monkeys and Riding The Low on the way and a sad tale of a lack of mashed potato to go with his pie.

The Slow Readers Club - Kendal Calling Calling Out Stage - 30th July 2016

Long term ambition of the band fulfilled and another crowd won over, The Slow Readers Club take Kendal Calling by storm.

New York Tourists - Kendal Calling Woodlands Stage - 29th July 2016

The sun was out, the crowd was ready, the stage was nestled in a picturesque forest. This really was a magical combination that just needed a band who could draw it together and create something memorable. And The New York Tourists did just that!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Track Of The Day : Heavy Heart - Fruitfly

Heavy Heart's latest single Fruitfly is part of a series of songs that they're revealing one a month, Wedding Present style, through 2016, with the presumed intention of releasing an album at the end of the year.

Blossoms - Blossoms

Blossoms' debut album has been one of the most anticipated release of 2016. A series of singles through 2015 and 2016 has whet the appetite and turned them into the band most likely to be the next big breakthrough and their self-titled debut is served with the role of cementing that position and winning the hearts and minds of many more. Laced with those singles and backed with a set of songs that show off a more diverse side to their work, Blossoms have delivered what is likely to be regarded as the best debut album of the year.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Dantevilles - Manchester Castle Hotel - 30th July 2016

Dantevilles started off the biggest week of their career to date with their own packed-to-the-rafters show in the music room of Manchester's Castle Hotel. Their seven-song set pulled no punches but packed plenty of them as they tipped the room from boiling point into the chaotic meltdown of a stage invasion at the end.