Thursday, 22 March 2018

Courteeners - Blackburn King George's Hall - 21st March 2018

It's ten years since Courteeners released their debut album St Jude. In that time they've fought against the sneering of the London-centric music press that's either derided or ignored them in the main part and succeeded to the point where they sold out fifty thousand tickets for Old Trafford Cricket Ground last summer. To celebrate the anniversary they've announced two huge shows at Royal Albert Hall in London and Manchester Arena as well as an re-recorded acoustic Unwired version of the album. Ahead of all that though, they headed to Blackburn for an intimate by their standards warm-up show.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Trampolene - Hard Times For Dreamers

It might only be six months since Trampolene released their debut album Swansea To Hornsey, but one of the hardest working bands in the country are back with their new single Hard Times For Dreamers ahead of an extensive UK tour.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Fuzzy Sun - Want Love EP

Fuzzy Sun’s Want Love is the debut release on Blossoms’ Very Clever Records and was produced by the band. And whilst that fact might claim some of the headlines, the four songs on the EP stand out in their own right, gloriously summery in their outlook, tinged with sixties-leaning melodies and harmonies.

Lily Allen - Manchester Gorilla - 20th March 2018

Lily Allen played her first show in over three years in the intimate setting of Manchester's Gorilla club, revealing twelve songs from her forthcoming album No Shame and five old favourites in front of an ecstatic supportive crowd.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Section 25 - Floating Sun

Floating Sun is the first single from Section 25's forthcoming album Elektra, their first since 2013's Dark Light. Stepping away from the electronic sound that characterised that album, Floating Sun is a dreamy, wistful understated song that burrows its way into your affections almost subconsciously, with Beth's vocals disarming the listener and it leaves us curious as to how the album will play itself out.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Wyvern Lingo - Manchester Castle - 18th March 2018

With a number three album back home in their native Ireland in their back pocket, Wyvern Lingo are in the middle of their debut UK headline tour, packing out The Castle Hotel in Manchester on a cold Sunday night. An hour and a half set compromising of most of that self-titled debut as well as tracks from their The Widow Knows and Letter To Willow EPs and three covers as well showed a huge diversity to their sound as they shared lead vocal responsibilities.

John Bramwell / Dave Fidler - St Helens Citadel - 16th March 2018

John Bramwell brought his Leave Alone The Empty Spaces album tour to the intimacy of St Helens Citadel on Friday night. A set that mixed classics from his I Am Kloot back catalogue with songs from both his new album and the second one he's in the process of recording delighted an attentive and appreciative crowd. Support came from Dave Fidler, who also took the opportunity to debut some new songs.

Jack Oliver Monty - Manchester Night And Day - 17th March 2018

Jack Oliver Monty might be best known for his role playing in both Maddy Storm's band and in Ethan And The Reformation. However, what people might not know is that he writes and performs his own material. We caught up with him at a rare solo outing at Manchester's Night And Day Cafe on Saturday night for a seven-song set.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Morgan - Hells Paradise

Hells Paradise is the third release from London singer / songwriter Morgan. A brooding shimmering electronic backing gives her voice the space to breathe and take centre stage as she sings about battling demons and coming out the other side.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Carnival Club - Manchester Bread Shed - 17th March 2018

Carnival Club's biggest Manchester show to date saw them headline The Bread Shed and run through tracks from their two EPs to date - Magdalena's Cape and the recently released Nomads And Crooks. As the night finished with what seemed like half the crowd on the shoulders of their mates during the encore of House Of Cards, they left with the celebratory cheers of the audience ringing in their ears.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Introducing - Lanterns On The Lake

Lanterns On The Lake have been announced as the support for James' Better Than This tour in May. We take a look at the North East band's career which spans three studio albums, numerous EPs and the most beautiful live album we've ever heard.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

TRACK OF THE DAY : Rory Wynne - Friends

Friends is the first track from Rory Wynne's self-titled debut LP released on April 11th. His first new material for a year, Friends was first played on John Kennedy's show on Radio X earlier this evening and is the opening track from the album and it sees Rory reminiscing about a relationship.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Queen Kwong - One Lung

One Lung is the second track to be taken from Queen Kwong's upcoming second album Love Me To Death which is released on April 13th. Like her debut album Get A Witness, it promises to be a very powerful, raw record, but One Lung feels more focused in its attention than the improvised feel of its predecessor.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Ist Ist - Spinning Rooms EP

After a series of limited edition and download singles and a homemade live album, Ist Ist finally release their first official physical product, the Spinning Rooms EP, four songs and an interlude that capture the band at a point in their development from a loud raucous three-piece with two minute sonic assaults to something more controlled, but even more powerful for their ability to lock aim and target with their music.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Shrine - You’re A Stranger

Shrine are a mysterious duo from Salford, known only as I and J on their social media platforms, who've just released their first song You're A Stranger. It's a song with many influences, hints of R&B and glorious shimmering electro-pop topped off with an expressive lead vocal with more than enough originality to dismiss lazy comparisons with other more established female lead singers.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Wyvern Lingo - Interview

Wyvern Lingo released their self-titled debut album a couple of weeks back which reached number three in the Irish charts. The Irish trio are over in the UK for a tour starting this week. We caught up with Karen, Saoirse and Caoimhe before they set off to find out more about them, their album and the upcoming dates.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Purple Heart Parade - A Minute's Silence At Weatherfield County

With new material due soon on a new label (AC30), Manchester's Purple Heart Parade remind us of their past with a new download only compilation EP, with three previously available tracks getting their first digital release and a live track included too.

Gengahr - Manchester Fopp - 10th March 2018

To celebrate the release of their second album Where Wildness Grows, Gengahr made their way to Manchester's Fopp store for an intimate stripped-back in-store set.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Stereophonics - Manchester Arena - 9th March 2018

Stereophonics have become a national institution over the past twenty-odd years, these arena tours accompanying each of their now ten albums. A sold-out expectant Manchester Arena crowd were treated to a set that got the mix of old and new favourites just right across a massive twenty-seven song set.

TRACK OF THE DAY : The Slow Readers Club - You Opened Up My Heart

You Opened Up My Heart is the new single from The Slow Readers Club taken from their third album Build A Tower due out on May 4th. Already a live favourite after being previewed on their tour last Winter, it's the song that's set to catapult them further into the conscience of the record-buying public.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Vulpynes - Vulpynes EP

Vulpynes hail from Dublin and the two-piece have released their feroxious self-titled debut EP that seeks to capture the energy of Maeve Molly on vocals and guitar and Kaz on drums. Across four tracks that never take their foot off the accelerator they leave us under no illusion as to their intent or way of working.

Sailing Stones - Manchester Gullivers - 8th March 2018

Sailing Stones is the new project of Jenny Lindfors and she’s on tour to support the release of debut EP She’s A Rose. She called in for an intimate seated gig in the ballroom at Gullivers in Manchester to preview the EP as well as roadtest new songs that will get recorded in April.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Celestial North - Winter Circle

Winter Circle is the second of two singles released by Manchester's Celestial North this week. Following the release of Hey, Völva! earlier in the week, Winter Circle showcases Victoria Wood's dream-like vocals that float eloquently across the three minutes of the song.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The Lovely Eggs - Huddersfield Vinyl Tap - 6th March 2018

The Lovely Eggs celebrated the launch of Record Store Day 2018, including their very own “egg” version of their recent album This Is Eggland, with an instore at Huddersfield’s Vinyl Tap.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

TRACK OF THE DAY : Pale Rider - I Run On Rain

Pale Rider might only have played a handful of shows to date, but they've already got a burgeoning reputation in their base of Liverpool and beyond. Their debut single I Run On Rain is the only thing they've put out to date and now they've released an accompanying video.

Hookworms - Microshift

Much lauded Leeds five-piece return after a lengthy absence and deliver their third, and strongest LP to date. Stuart Ralston has a listen.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Musicians Against Homelessness Launch 2018 Campaign with Exclusive Version Of James’ Sit Down

Musicians Against Homelessness have launched their 2018 campaign with a beautiful version of James’ Sit Down recorded by the band with a string quartet conducted by Joe Duddell at Manchester’s Albert Hall last December.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Rews / SKIES / Ravellas - Salford Eagle Inn - 3rd March 2018

Rews returned to (Greater) Manchester a year on from their Castle gig that had those in attendance spellbound by the infectious energy and ferocious noise created by the two-piece for a show at Salford's Eagle Inn on Saturday night. Support came from Kent's finest SKIES and Wigan's Ravellas.

TRACK OF THE DAY : October Drift - All Broken Down

October Drift return ahead of an April tour and some dates supporting Editors this week with a new single All Broken Down.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

LIINES / Lynchs - Manchester Night People - 2nd March 2018

LIINES returned to Manchester triumphantly following the announcement of the release of their debut album Stop Start on May 4 with a sold-out show at Night People. A fast furious set of eleven songs from the album plus a couple of new ones sent the adrenaline flowing from the stage to the audience and back again. Support came from Lynchs.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Faux Pas - Manchester Jimmy's - 1st March 2018

York's Faux Pas have spent much of the last eighteen months touring round the UK incessantly, but it's been a while since they played Manchester, so we didn't pass up the opportunity to catch a band that are taking the organic route to success by getting out on the road and doing the hard miles and using their most potent weapon - their music - to best effect.

Blossoms Announce New Single I Can't Stand It and Album Cool Like You .... And The Truth About That Video

Despite rumours of them splitting up, fuelled by a video we posted on twitter the other week as well as numerous other events, Blossoms have announced the release of a new single I Can’t Stand It, the lead track from Cool Like You, the follow-up to 2016's self-titled debut that spent two weeks at number one out on April 27. They’ve also announced a series of shows to councide with the album release.

Bleek Noir - The Garden De Sade EP

The Garden Of Sade is the second EP from Bleek Noir, a journey through the dark, twisted creative mind of one man, six songs that could you imagine soundtracking an improvised theatre piece.

Neon Waltz / Rosborough - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 1st March 2018

Neon Waltz's Strange Hymns albums was one of the highlights of 2017 and on the back of it, they're currently near the end of a UK tour in support of it and the Bring Me To Light EP that came from the same sessions. We caught their show at Manchester's Soup Kitchen where they battled with sound issues but ultimately emerged triumphant.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Ist Ist - Preacher's Warning

Ist Ist return with Preacher's Warning, the lead track from their Spinning Rooms EP and a mysterious video with some characters that those who know Even The Stars might recognise.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

The Slow Readers Club Announce Build A Tower Album And Tour

The Slow Readers Club have announced details of their third album, Build A Tower, scheduled for release on May 4th via Modern Sky. Deluxe bundles also include a live album recorded with Joe Duddell and a string quarter at Festival No 6 last September.  They've also announced a tour for April and May including a special homecoming show at Manchester Cathedral on album release date.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Ryley Walker - Telluride Speed

Telluride Speed is the lead track from Ryley Walker's upcoming fourth album Deafman Glance, due for release on May 18th. Featuring his distinctive voice and loose jamming style, it's unmistakably Ryley, but feels like a progression from his 2016 album Golden Sings That Have Been Sung.