Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Stone Roses - Glasgow Hampden Park - 24th June 2017

"Don't be sad it's over. Be happy that it happened" said Ian Brown half way through the most triumphant, uplifting Roses gig ever. Earlier in the week, it was rumoured the sold out Glasgow stadium show was to be the final show. On stage, in front of a capacity crowd, Brown confirms it.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Stone Roses - Leeds First Direct Arena - 21st June 2017

It's five years since The Stone Roses came back in a fanfare promising a glorious resurrection. What's come in between has been mixed, some stunning performances, some less so in huge outdoor bowls suited more to making money than to confirming their legacy. Tonight though in Leeds' intimate yet cavernous First Direct Arena, they rolled back the years with the best set we've seen them play since they got back together.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Maddy Storm - Manchester Jimmy's - 17th June 2017

Maddy Storm is possibly the stand out talent on the Manchester scene at present. Whilst she's not yet attracting the audiences, as this opening slot at Jimmy's on Saturday night testifies, the jaw-dropping reaction her set gets from the fifty or so assembled crowd tells its own story.

David Ford / Michele Stodart / JP Ruggieri - Manchester Deaf Institute - 18th June 2017

To support the launch of his new EP The Union and ahead of the release of his album Animal Spirits, David Ford teamed up with Michele Stodart and JP Ruggieri for a Hotel Cafe style tour of the UK where each of the three artists performed their own set with the other two as part of their band. With three such talented musicians in rotation, the packed Sunday night Deaf Institute crowd were treated to a full evening of great music, refreshing camaraderie and witty repartee.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Charlatans / The Slow Readers Club - Scarborough Open Air Theatre - 16th June 2017

Fresh from the top five success of their latest album Different Days, The Charlatans headlined Scarborough's Open Air Theatre on Friday night with a career spanning set that also included a liberal dash of the new album. Support came from Manchester's fastest rising unsigned stars The Slow Readers Club who delighted fans old and new with a forty-five minute set.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

David Ford - The Union EP

In the middle of a UK tour, David Ford has released an EP called The Union which is currently only available at the shows he's performing with Michele Stodart and JP Ruggieri. The five-track EP is a taster for his new album Animal Spirit that's due later in the year. It's unmistakably Ford and will delight those that have followed him for close to a decade and a half, but has the potential to win him new admirers.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Ist Ist - Sheffield Rocking Chair - 10th June 2017

As part of their plan to break out of Manchester where they've developed a loyal adoring following for their exhilarating brutal assault on the aural senses, Ist Ist trekked across the Pennines on Saturday night to Sheffield's Rocking Chair armed with a batch of new songs and an uncompromising attitude that sets them apart from pretty much every other band around.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Track Of The Day : Hannah Nicholson - Oliver

Oliver is the first single from Hannah Nicholson's forthcoming debut solo EP, due out in July. A beautifully haunting track that showcases Hannah's emotional expressive voice, it's an impressive introduction to the former Bird To Beast singer's new project.

Arcade Fire - Edinburgh Corn Exchange - 8th June 2017

So often when the biggest bands in the world decide to play small intimate shows they lose the very essence of what makes them special. As Arcade Fire prepare for the release of their fifth album next month, they played a few low-key UK dates ahead of their Isle Of Wight Festival headline slot on Saturday. We made the trip up to Edinburgh to witness them deliver one of the most spectacular live sets we've had the privilege to experience.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

John Bramwell / Dave Fidler - Berlin Kantine Am Berghain - 5th June 2017

We made the two hour trip to Berlin to catch up with John Bramwell and Dave Fidler in the middle of their European tour in the intimate surroundings of East Berlin's Kantine am Berghain, a wonderful small venue very much in the shadow of one of Europe's largest techno clubs. A torrential downpour and the end of a three day rave didn't deter the crowd from coming out to pay respect to two beautiful sets of the most raw and emotional songwriting the UK has to offer.

Depeche Mode - London Stadium - 3rd June 2017

Fulfilling a long term ambition, Stuart Ralston travels to London to finally see a band who were instrumental in igniting his love for music back in the mid 80s – Depeche Mode.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Staves - Manchester Gorilla - 31st May 2017

A packed out sweltering Manchester Gorilla paid host to The Staves' first UK show in over a year. An adoring and respectful crowd watched sisters Emma, Jessica and Camilla perform a career-spanning set of songs to a rapturous response.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott / She Drew The Gun - Warrington Parr Hall - 1st June 2017

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott warmed up for their massive Hull stadium show on Saturday with an intimate warm-up show at Warrington's Parr Hall and a set that straddled Paul's time with The Housemartins and his work with Jacqui in The Beautiful South and as a duo including two tracks from their as yet unreleased third album. Support came from She Drew The Gun.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Charlatans / Blossoms / Cabbage - Manchester Old Trafford - 27th May 2017

Old Trafford on Saturday saw one of the biggest security operations in Manchester's history as 50,000 people descended on the cricket ground for Courteeners' mammoth hometown show. We caught the three support acts - homegrown heroes Cabbage, Blossoms and The Charlatans.

Liam Gallagher - Manchester Ritz - 30th May 2017

Liam Gallagher's first ever solo show sold out in seconds last week and with all proceeds donated to the fund to support the families of those killed and injured in last week's bombing at the Arena, the Ritz was a cauldron of very different emotions; excitement at seeing which Oasis songs he would play, what his new material would sound like and which of the excitable rumours about guest appearances would come true.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Julie Byrne - Manchester Wonder Inn - 25th May 2017

The beautiful seated intimate surroundings of The Wonder Inn provided the perfect setting for Julie Byrne's Manchester show in support of her recent Not Even Happiness album.

Monday, 29 May 2017

The Slow Readers Club / All We Are / SKIES / Cherry Glazerr / PINS / Babe Punch - Nottingham Dot To Dot - 28th May 2017

ROADTRIP!! 12.30 on Sunday afternoon sat in my mum's house in Swinton, just over two hours later picking up a Dot To Dot wristband in Nottingham and watching bands, the best antidote to the attack on our home city and our music loving family last week.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Monday night saw our city change forever. Twenty-two people who had gone to enjoy an Ariane Grande concert at Manchester Arena or to pick up their children were slain by a suicide bomber with scores of others injured. The scenes we'd seen on our TV screens from around the world, the tales from the Bataclan that horrified all of us suddenly became very real, very here as the sound of sirens and helicopters punctured the night air, rumours started to spread and later stories of horror and incredible bravery and compassion emerged.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Hazel English - Manchester Castle Hotel - 22nd May 2017

Hazel English's debut Manchester show to a packed sold-out sweaty Castle Hotel music room was a resounding success. An attentive, respectful audience paid their dues to an eleven-song set culled from her recent Just Give In / Never Going Home double EP plus a cover of The Go Betweens' Streets Of Your Town.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Is Bliss - Manchester Aatma - 21st May 2017

Portsmouth's Is Bliss have been making waves across the country with the release of their two EPs Velvet Dreams and The Honeycomb Explosion and they stopped off in Manchester as part of their tour with Flying Colours for a Sunday night show that had brought a decent crowd in to see what all the fuss was about.

Vida - Manchester Night And Day Cafe - 20th May 2017

Scotland's Vida concluded their This Feeling tour with a headline slot at Manchester's Night and Day Cafe on Saturday night. A band that wears their influences loud and proud on their sleeve, they're smart and accomplished enough though to avoid sounding like a tribute band.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Clay - Manchester Gorilla - 20th May 2017

Clay's biggest headline set to date was a raucous affair at Gorilla as the mainly teenage audience lost themselves in the music for a forty-minute high-energy set that marked Clay down as a band that makes a genuine connection to their audience and gets them dancing and singing along to every word of their big singles.

Matter Of Mind - Manchester Deaf Institute - 20th May 2017

Matter Of Mind's latest live set saw them in the middle slot at the Deaf Institute. Battling with technical difficulties and a broken mic stand that gave up the ghost half way through the set, they delivered a set of new songs and some favourites from their releases to date and showed that they're still developing and growing as a band.

The Slow Readers Club / SKIES - Leeds Belgrave Music Hall - 19th May 2017

All good things must come to an end. But when they do, the key is to go out in style and that's exactly what The Slow Readers Club did at the biggest date of their UK tour at a sold-out weeks in advance Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds to an expectant, boisterous and dedicated audience that left the place ringing to the echo of the now ubiquitous READERS chant. Support, as on the rest of the tour, came from the brilliant Folkestone duo SKIES.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Clay - Interview

Clay are one of the most exciting young bands around, growing their following with each release and without attaching themselves to any scene or trend that's going. They're about to play their biggest dates yet following the release of their latest single Saint including a headline set at Gorilla in Manchester this Saturday. We caught up with front man Joe for a chat.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

SKIES / Deliah - Manchester Dive NQ - 11th May 2017

The latest instalment of the CTRL Club’s free gig nights at Manchester’s Dive NQ bar saw Folkestone duo SKIES make the long trip up North to deliver a frantic, frenzied, exciting set of uplifting electronic anthems supported by Liverpool’s upcoming Deliah.

The Slow Readers Club / SKIES / Denature - Newcastle Think Tank - 13th May 2017

The penultimate night of The Slow Readers Club’s UK tour saw them head to the North East for an intimate sold-out show at Newcastle’s Think Tank. An ecstatically received set of both old and new songs served to confirm the growing belief that they’re going to be a major player nationwide once they’ve hit the festival fields this summer and completed their third album. Support came from Folkestone’s brilliant SKIES and local three-piece Denature.

This Other Kingdom / Déjà Vega / The Valkarys / Muertos / Control Of The Going - Manchester Aatma - 12th May 2017

The twenty-second instalment of Manchester-based promoter Astral Elevator’s psyche nights saw them team up with Wrong Way Records to showcase five bands from their roster from around the UK and Ireland in the intimate setting of Aatma.  As our bug-eyed over-enthusiastic compere repeatedly reminded us, this was five headline bands on one bill.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Carnival Club - Magdalena's Cape EP

Carnival Club's debut five-track EP Magdalena's Cape is one of the most anticipated debut releases of the year so far and delivers on the promise shown in their rampant raucous live performances.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Louis Barabbas - Jocasta : A Musical Tragedy

Jocasta is a double-album that forms the soundtrack to an ambitious musical project that Louis Barrabas undertook as his band The Bedlam Six said their final goodbyes and parted ways. It's been a few years in the making as you'd expect from such a complex undertaking, but the soundtrack is finally seeing the light of day in a complex challenging double album that requires the listener's attention throughout, yet rewards by being one of the few works of its type where the visual performance isn't necessary to fully understand what's going on.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Izzie Walsh - The Curse EP

Izzie Walsh's debut EP The Curse brings a touch of Tennessee Americana and drops it in Manchester.

Track Of The Day : Luckless - So Talk

So Talk is the first new material from Luckless for almost eighteen months. The Berlin-based New Zealander is about to embark on a few dates back home, but has released this song that marks a bit of a change of direction from her 2014 album Vindication Blues.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Lucid Dream / Strange Collective / Pale Rider - Liverpool Shipping Forecast - 6th May 2017

Fresh from the traumatic experience of having all their gear stolen whilst on tour in Paris, The Lucid Dream roared back with a scintillating show at Liverpool's Shipping Forecast on Saturday night to an adoring crowd that helped crowdfund them to carry on. Support came from Strange Collective and Pale Rider.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

John Bramwell / Dave Fidler - Saltburn-By-The-Sea Spa Hotel - 29th April 2017

The performance room of Saltburn's Spa Hotel was the intimate setting for the latest show on John Bramwell's never ending tour of the UK. Overlooking the sea front from atop a cliff, it's the most picturesque and peaceful location for the tour so far and the audience responded with attention whilst the songs were being played and joined in with the between song chat to make it, like any Bramwell show, a unique experience. Support came from Dave Fidler.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Track Of The Day : Dollie Demi - Ruby Lips

Ruby Lips is the latest single from Manchester-based singer-songwriter Dollie Demi. It's a song of many parts - one second provocative pop music, the next minute a rock song with a distinctive riff yet somehow the two distinctive parts fuse together to create something that's full of rebellious attitude and might polarize opinions, but which we think makes her stand out from the crowd and offer something very different.