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'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
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.
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'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'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.
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 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
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 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
Tuesday, 9 May 2017
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
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
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
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
Tuesday, 2 May 2017
Stranger is the lead track from Helen Culver's second EP Tricks Are For Kids which is released on Friday. The song has a glorious uplifting chorus which contrasts to the more downbeat electronic menace of the verses and the breakdown in particular, but that difference makes Stranger stand out from the crowd.
Monday, 1 May 2017
Touring in support of her recent single Like I Used To ahead of the release of her debut album, Siv Jakobsen and her band provided a welcome relief to the bank holiday blues with an intimate delicately constructed set at Gullivers in Manchester. Support came from We Were Strangers, fresh from the release of their own debut album Beneath A Broken Sky.