Monday, 28 August 2017

The Lucid Dream - Manchester Castle Hotel - 26th August 2017

Back in March, The Lucid Dream were on a European tour when their van was broken into in Paris and all their equipment stolen. A Crowdfunder appeal raised over £10k to replace it and to say thank you, the band played two free gigs recently, the second of which was at The Castle Hotel in Manchester on Saturday night. As a special treat they revealed three new songs from their fourth album that they're in the process of recording.

Franz Ferdinand / Harmonie London / Jerry Williams / The Slow Readers Club / Bella Estelle - Victorious Festival - 27th August 2017

Festivals are often a voyage of discovery. You turn up with a set schedule and that goes out of the window as you wander round the site, grab a beer and catch whatever grabs your ear as you go past. We went to Victorious Festival in Southsea for the first time on Sunday, watched a couple of old favourites and also discovered some fantastic unsigned talent.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Frank Turner / Felix Hagan And The Family / Our Fold - Manchester Ritz - 24th August 2017

Gig 2088 for Frank Turner was a sold-out fundraiser at Manchester's Ritz for Big Issue North's Street Noise project. A more intimate show than Frank's used to playing in the UK was played mostly acoustically other than a guest-filled encore and covered most periods of Frank's career under his own name. Support came from Felix Hogan And The Family and Our Fold.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Cleargreen - Stargazed

Today Cleargreen release their debut single Stargazed. The Manchester four-piece are looking to build on a summer of festival appearances and support slots with their first recorded output and a big headline show in October to launch it.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

The Mock Turtles - Turtle Soup (Expanded Edition)

First released in 1990 on legendary local label Imaginary, Turtle Soup, the debut album from Middleton’s Mock Turtles featuring early versions of their major label hits Can You Dig It? and And Then She Smiles, gets a welcome re-release on the ever popular Cherry Red label. Stuart Ralston falls in love with them all over again.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Asia Fields - Goodbye Frank

Goodbye Frank is a collection of recordings from Asia Fields, one of the long lost bands of the "Madchester" period as the Northern summer of love of 1989 went national over the following eighteen months. Whilst the band continued for many years this compilation is the first time most of their activity has been documented.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Matter Of Mind - Stay

Matter Of Mind have revealed the video for their new single Stay which comes from their forthcoming EP Dead Apologies.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Big Peach - The Big Peach EP

The Big Peach's self-titled EP is one of the most promising and exciting debut releases we've heard for a long time. A very back to basics approach gives the five songs a freshness and an endearing infectious energy that often gets lost by bands striving for supposed perfection rather than making genuine honest connections.

TRACK OF THE DAY : The Regrettes - Seashore

Seashore is the explicit single from The Regrettes' debut album Feel Your Feelings Fool! ahead of UK tour dates in September and October with SWMRS.

Monday, 21 August 2017

The Maitlands / The Jungfraus / RedRooms - Manchester War Of The Outer Spheres - 19th August 2017

War Of The Outer Spheres was a multi-venue festival across The Peer Hat and Aatma in Manchester's Northern Quarter. Double-bookings led to a chaotic evening that merely added to the fun of watching bands and not knowing who they were. We caught The Maitlands, The Jungfraus and RedRooms amidst that madness.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Rews - Shine

Rews' new single Shine, the follow-up to Miss You In The Dark, is the second song to be released from their debut album Pyro that's released on November 3rd.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Berries - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 19th August 2017

Berries made their return to Manchester following a successful well-received set at April's When In Manchester Festival for an opening slot at Proletariat's sold out Soup Kitchen show. With tracks from their debut Those Funny Things EP and, crucially, a set of new songs that should see the light of day in the not too distant future, they demonstrated that they're one of the most exciting new bands around.

Ist Ist - Leeds Milo - 18th August 2017

Ist Ist made the trip across the Pennines on Friday night for their first ever show in Leeds as they prepare for their biggest shows to date headlining the second stage at Ramsbottom Festival in September and Manchester Gorilla in October as well as their debut London show next month. In an intimate bar venue set by a window where passers by peered curiously in, they delivered a set that still packed the punch and raw power that's helped them make their name.

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.