Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Strutting with teenage rock and roll arrogance and self-confidence of the musical equivalent of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rory Wynne surprisingly dropped his new EP last Friday. Entitled What Would Rory Wynne Do, his first proper release for over a year is a statement of intent, a statement of a young man who's aiming for the very top and sees no reason why he shouldn't get there. All four songs are strong enough to be lead tracks in their own right, but each different in their own right following in the footsteps of fellow Stopfordians Blossoms who rediscovered the art of the EP.
Monday, 27 February 2017
Matter Of Mind / The K's / James Holt / Lunar / Stillia / Altar Flowers / Kevill - Manchester Sound Control To Major Tom - 25th February 2017
The death of David Bowie last year prompted Sound Control to run an all-dayer with bands performing covers of their favourite tracks of his plus some of their own. The event was such a success that they decided to recreate it this year with a new set of bands in the venue loft and DJs in the middle bar. We caught Matter Of Mind, The K's, James Holt, Lunar, Stillia, Kevill and Altar Flowers.
Sunday, 26 February 2017
The Blinders are one of the most talked about bands on the unsigned scene at the moment, an excited word of mouth wave rising around them fuelled by the patronage of the likes of Cabbage and This Feeling. They're on a nationwide tour at the moment and we caught the first of two sold out shows at Manchester's newest venue Jimmy's with Saytr Play and Carnival Club supporting.
Friday, 24 February 2017
Back in 2015, there was much excitement at Even The Stars as we discovered a band we loved when we were young had regrouped for a one off show. The band were held in such esteem that we clocked up over 1000 miles between us to go and see them. We were blown away by them as musically they hadn't aged in the slightest. Drawing heavily from their debut album Hands On, Thousand Yard Stare were themselves overwhelmed by the adulation of the packed,sweaty Borderline crowd that they continued their adventure, recording a new album and subsequently touring the country to great acclaim,winning over new fans in the process. Today incredibly marks 25 years since Hands On was released.
Thursday, 23 February 2017
Last year we caught a young five-piece Crossfire and were immediately impressed. They went quiet until we got an email telling us that they'd changed their name to Cosmo Calling and were starting afresh. The first product of that is their debut single On The Wire, a song that delivers on the latent promise they display at that gig at the Night And The Day. The single is out officially on March 3, but we've given it its first radio play as our tip on Shell Zenner's Amazing Radio show.
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Less a month after their triumphant Night And Day headliner, Dream Wife returned to Manchester to Gorilla to support Sleigh Bells. An eight song set confirmed that they're one of the most exciting new bands around.
Esben And The Witch returned to Manchester last night for a sold out show at Soup Kitchen in support of their album Older Terrors that was released at the back end of 2016. Four records in, they're still as dark and enthralling as ever, refusing to play by convention and creating pieces of music that often defy the definition of song.
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Nothing says graveyard shift like the opening slot on a Monday night in a small venue. But not when you're Déjà Vega.
After a quiet year in 2016 spent recording their debut album which should form a large part of tonight's setlist, Neon Waltz made their long-awaited return to Manchester.
Sunday, 19 February 2017
Saturday, 18 February 2017
As he prepares for the release of his fourth solo album Look Up and summer shows with The Bluetones, we caught Mark Morriss on his never-ending solo tour of the UK with the first of two nights at the intimate Fred's Ale House in Levenshulme where he mixed solo tracks with The Bluetones classics and a few covers for good measure along with his usual fun and games joking with the audience. Support came from local youngster Andrew Knight.
Rews' debut headline tour hit The Castle in Manchester on Thursday night accompanied by Maddy Storm and Kieran Dobson. The highly-tipped duo more than justified the growing excitement around them in a thrilling forty-five minutes whilst both support acts won over new fans with great sets.
Friday, 17 February 2017
Rough Draft is the lead track off a forthcoming EP from New York based Sarah Solovay since 2012's Superhuman. Having built up a growing reputation with that EP and its predecessor Gone, Sarah took time out to go to college and live life with the intention of returning to music with life experiences to write and sing about and Rough Draft is a pretty stunning comeback.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Iceland's Fufanu came to Manchester for the opening night of their UK tour in support of their recent second album Sports and entertained a Valentine's Night crowd with a high-energy enthusiastic performance and a natural charm that won over our hearts and minds. Support came from the impressive Pines.
Neon Waltz are back after what seemed like a quiet 2016 for a band that was on the lips of many music lovers as we went into the year. They're about to embark on a three-week UK tour including a show at Manchester's Night And Day so we had a word with them to discover just what they'd been up to and to get exciting news about their plans for 2017.
Monday, 13 February 2017
For a quiet Sunday night's entertainment we headed out to the Cheshire suburbs for a night with Dave Fidler at Poynton's Acoustic Lounge, a beautifully set up venue to cater for the music lovers out of town. Supported by brothers Rob on bass and Andy on cajon drum box, he played three sets of songs from his debut solo album I'm Not Here as well as a series of songs from the follow-up that he's in the process of recording and some covers to sate those in the audience that wanted to hear something they knew.
Sunday, 12 February 2017
The Lucid Dream's hometown gig at The Source Collective sold out in minutes and felt like a coming together of kindred spirits from across the land to celebrate a band like no other. They made the eighty minutes they were on stage feel like a lifetime lost in a magical musical world of their making.
Saturday, 11 February 2017
On the day tickets for their headline show at The Ritz went on sale, Cabbage made the short journey up the East Lancs to play in a much more intimate venue in the basement of Liverpool's EBGB's, a venue ill-suited to the furore and chaos of their live set these days.
Friday, 10 February 2017
Living La Vida Bolton is Jordan Allen's first release of 2017 as he prepares for his assault on the concert halls of the land starting with a support slot with The Sherlocks this month. The three songs on the EP are the moment where a boy becomes a man and his band step up and make their mark. All proceeds from the EP will be donated to The Brain Tumour Charity in memory of Jordan's Dad, Kevin, and his biggest fan.
Faux Pas came highly recommended to us by a good friend in Sheffield so we ventured out to Dive NQ for the latest instalment of the CTRL Club night to catch their debut Manchester show and we weren't disappointed by an energetic set from a band early in their career but one that's already brimming with confidence and armed with a set of big bold anthemic songs that holds them in good stead for the future.
After a period of relative radio silence from Lunar as they wrestle with line-up changes and recruiting a new drummer, lead singer Sam and guitarist Luke ventured out for an acoustic set opening for Howie Payne on Wednesday night in The Castle. Showcasing a couple of new songs as well as some of the songs that have made their name as one of the most exciting new bands in town, they demonstrated that there's another side to their craft with a well-received half-hour show.
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
The latest in the series of CTRL club nights at Dive in Manchester's Northern Quarter saw one of our tips for 2017 Urban Theory team up with blog regulars Mayflower for a night of free music.
St Helens four-piece Stillia have just released their debut single Let Me In after selling out its launch night at Manchester's newest venue Jimmy's in just a few days. They've teamed up with Jonny Vegas who has directed their forthcoming video for the song too.
Monday, 6 February 2017
After what seems like an eternity, Embers are back and their new single Signs reveals that they've not lost any of the graceful power that had us salivating at the prospect of what they could achieve when they launched their debut single Part Of The Echoes back in 2013. Declaring on their Facebook page "We're going to hang around this time too. Promise."
This Ruby Lounge show was Carnival Club's first ever headline show, but from the response they got from a packed crowd and the confident assured performance they gave that had a moshpit going wild from the very start, you wouldn't have been able to tell. As early as February they've already justified their spot in our Tips For 2017 and we suspect the rest of the year will get bigger and better. Support came from Crimsons and Kieran Dobson.
Thursday night saw fellow Manchester blog Music Is My Radar put on their latest night at Aatma. One of our favourites and most-written about bands Déjà Vega headlined the event with an hour-long set of old favourites and some new material that they've been busy away writing in the past few months.
Saturday, 4 February 2017
Thursday, 2 February 2017
The Head And The Heart returned to Manchester in support of their album Signs Of Light that came out at the back end of last year and delighted a packed Manchester crowd with songs from that album and their self-titled 2011 debut and 2013's Let's Be Still as well as a Tom Petty cover. Support came from Teesside's fellow six-piece Cattle & Cane who are readying the release of their second album Mirrors.