Monday, 11 December 2017
One of the most promising new bands in the country, The Gallerys, made a prompt return to Manchester following a couple of shows in October with a support slot for The King Blues at Club Academy. Playing to a crowd unfamiliar to the three-piece's cheeky brand of indie guitar music that sees all three of them taking on lead vocals during the set, they won over the audience with an ease that suggests that big things may be on the horizon for them in 2018.
With the soft release of his new album Leave Alone The Empty Spaces John Bramwell has been touring the UK and the Netherlands for the past few weeks presenting the songs from it and its follow-up as well as tried and tested I Am Kloot favourites. We caught the train up to the splendid Sage 2 in Gateshead to witness the rejuvenation of one of the country's favourite songwriters.
Average Sex's debut EP Ice Cream is a collection of four songs produced with a refreshing approach to their art. Like their live shows, it's remarkably playful in its approach, particularly lyrically. It doesn't strive for musical perfection, because quite frankly that would be boring. It's the musical equipment of letting someone dig you in the ribs and then tickle your sides, but you don't care because instead of irritating you, you secretly love it and don't want it to stop.
Sunday, 10 December 2017
The Slow Readers Club's triumphant sell out UK tour came to an end in Glasgow last night in the hot, sweaty and celebratory confines of King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, a gig that sold out four months ago with weeks of being announced. It felt like an end of tour celebration and a party at the end of a year where they've capitalised on the success they enjoyed following the James tour in 2016 by filling rooms they'd have only dreamt about two years ago.
Friday, 8 December 2017
Tender is the first song taken from Little Sparrow's new EP Just 3, a collaboration with classical pianist Robin Dewhurst and her first new material since her acclaimed album Wishing Tree. The accompanying video is made up of photographic memories of some of her fans that she sourced through a Facebook request.
Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Having only released their debut LP You Tried earlier this year, Hater’s EP Red Blinders, four new songs, might well have them marked down as prolific. As on the LP, Hater have delivered a set of dreamy upbeat songs that subtly disarm and charm the listener into submission rather than bowl them over with power or volume.
Moulettes returned to Manchester as part of their extensive UK tour supporting their last album Preternatural. The four-piece transformed the concept album into a chameleon-like live set that fused rock and folk and points in between without ever going off piste as the dual vocals and on-stage interaction of Hannah and Raevennan made for a visually as well as aurally exciting hour and a half.
Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Matter Of Mind’s new EP Dead Apologies sees them broadening their horizons on a number of fronts. Featuring a rerecorded version of their single Far Too Wrong and their most recent Stay, it’s their most confident and assured release yet with a sound that’s tailor made for venues much bigger than they’re currently inhabiting.
Monday, 4 December 2017
Sunday, 3 December 2017
Pip Blom returned to Manchester for a final show of the year to build on her and her band's burgeoning reputation as an exciting live band at The Peer Hat on Wednesday night. Support came from another rising star, this time from much closer to home, in Phoebe Green.
The Twang are one of the most maligned bands of the last decade, unfairly dismissed as a lads' band by a sneering music press as the initial hype surrounding their debut album Love It When I Feel Like This subsided. They've continued now for ten years with diminishing returns commercially, but retaining a genuine humility and honesty in their work that often got overlooked. The Ritz was sold out months in advance for this nostalgic look back at that debut and selected highlights of the rest of their career and the audience spent the hour and a half bouncing around to songs that meant, and still mean, something to them. Support came from The Assist and Ivory Wave.
Just over a week after their triumphant Albert Hall sell out show a few hundred metres away, The Slow Readers Club played a seven-song acoustic set that is likely to be more intimate than anything they ever play again. Aaron, Kurtis and Jim treated a crowd packed into Fred Perry's bijou Manchester store to a stripped down performance of favourites from across their two albums as well as recent single Lunatic.
Saturday, 2 December 2017
One of the running topics of conversation amongst our friends group in Manchester is U2. Some hate, some love, without such differences of opinion music would be the sort of bland nonsense that Cowell and his ilk want to push upon us. In the spirit of democracy and free speech, we asked U2 superfan Jason Wynne to give us his views on their new album Songs Of Experience.