Monday 8 July 2024

James / Johnny Marr / Inspiral Carpets - Lytham Festival - 7th July 2024

James headed to the seaside on Sunday night with Orca 22 orchestra and the Manchester Inspirational Voices Gospel Choir in tow to headline the final night of Lytham Festival supported by Johnny Marr, Inspiral Carpets, The Magic Numbers and The Kairos.

Sunday 30 June 2024

Puressence / Concrete Club / Purple Heart Parade - 29th June 2024

Ten years since their last show Puressence made a triumphant unexpected return on Saturday night with a sold out show at Manchester's Albert Hall. Possibly the most anticipated gig of the year saw the hometown heroes surpass even the most excitable expectations with a career spanning set that reminded everyone why they fell in love with them over the course of a decade and a half and left the question unanswered as to why they weren't much much bigger than they were.

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Placebo - Halifax Piece Hall - 25th June 2024

As the cycle of their last album Never Let Me Go draws to a close, Placebo opened their UK and European dates with an outdoor show in the resplendent surroundings of Halifax’s Piece Hall.

Thursday 20 June 2024

Charm Of Finches / Mia Kelly - Salford The Kings Arms - 19th June 2024

Australian sister duo Charm Of Finches returned to Salford for their third headline show in the Greater Manchester area in a couple of years as part of their extensive UK tour to promote their fourth album Marlinchen In The Snow. They delighted a sold out crowd in the intimate surroundings of The Kings Arms’ upstairs theatre supported by Quebec singer-songwriter Mia Kelly.

Sunday 16 June 2024

James - London O2 Arena - 15th June 2024

James finished their biggest ever UK arena tour with their first ever show at London’s O2 Arena, making the capital’s largest indoor gig space feel intimate with a mix of their greatest hits and tracks from their number one album Yummy.

Saturday 15 June 2024

James - Manchester CO-OP Live - 14th June 2024

James played their biggest ever sold out UK show at Manchester’s newest venue Coop Live on Friday night. Mixing tracks from their number one album Yummy with most of their biggest hits they demonstrated that you can still live and thrive as a band without simply playing the nostalgia card. 

Friday 14 June 2024

TRACK OF THE DAY : Ist Ist - Repercussions

Ist Ist today release Repercussions, the third single to be taken from their forthcoming album Build A Bigger Fire out on September 20th. A powerful track that's already become a live favourite, it deals with the desire to express yourself without fear of consequences. It comes with the announcement of an extensive UK and EU tour visiting countries they've never played as well as a statement headline show in the main room of the Paradiso in Amsterdam.

Thursday 13 June 2024

James - Birmingham Utilita Arena - 12th June 2024

James’ UK tour in support of their number one album Yummy headed to Birmingham’s Utilita Arena on Wednesday night. The most spontaneous and thrilling show so far, imperfectly perfect, delighted a West Midlands crowd with a rich mix of the familiar and not so familar.

Wednesday 12 June 2024

James / Razorlight - Cardiff Utilita Arena - 11th June 2024

After a two-day break James returned to the stage on their Yummy tour in Cardiff's Utilita Arena on Tuesday night with a set still heavy on their recent number one album, a few unexpected twists and turns and with an energy and vitality that resonated with an appreciative Welsh crowd so early in the working week. Support came from an impressive forty-five minute set by Razorlight.

Monday 10 June 2024

Scattered Ashes - All That Is Solid Melts Into Air EP

Recorded in December 2023 at the iconic Darklands Audio studio in Dublin, Scattered Ashes deliver a near perfect EP in All That Is Solid Melts Into Air. The Dan Doherty produced recording showcases the Dublin/Mayo (London based) quartet for what they are and their darker more sinister approach sets them apart from many of their contemporaries. Like many of the bands that release on Galway based Blowtorch Records they are a band of distinction with a bright future ahead of them despite the dark undertones prevalent in many of their songs.

Sunday 9 June 2024

James - Leeds First Direct Arena - 8th June 2024

James’ tour in support of their number one album Yummy rolled into Leeds First Direct Arena on Saturday night. A set of eight tracks taken from the record was mixed with most of their biggest singles and a couple of old friends.

Saturday 8 June 2024

James - Glasgow OVO Hydro - 7th June 2024

James brought their tour to support their number one album to the cavernous space of Glasgow’s Hydro and 12,000 hungry excited Glaswegians. Capturing the mood of the night perfectly with both the performance and setlist they mixed the new and old in just the right measure to get an ecstatic response.

Friday 7 June 2024


LIINES return with their first new material in two years with the previously unheard Holding On. 

Thursday 6 June 2024

James - Newcastle Utilita Arena - 5th June 2024


James continued their UK tour in support of number one album Yummy with their first show in over twenty years at Newcastle's Utilita Arena. Mixing many of their biggest anthems from their 1990s commercial peak with their current number one album Yummy and with Tim Booth getting up close and personal with the audience, they turned an old soulless arena into an intimate space.

Tuesday 4 June 2024

James / Razorlight - Aberdeen P&J Live - 3rd June 2024

James opened their UK arena tour in the North East of Scotland with their first ever visit to the P&J Live arena and their first visit to the city since 2008. Playing a predictably varied set of songs taken from their recent number one album Yummy as well as dipping in and out of forty years plus of hits and with beautiful accompanying visuals and crystal clear sound, they presented a new record they're justifiably proud of in detail alongside some more familiar songs. Support came from Razorlight.

Monday 3 June 2024

The Lovely Eggs / Violet Malice / Loose Articles - Manchester New Century - 1st June 2024

The Lovely Eggs brought their ten-date tour to promote their new album Eggsistentialism to a close with a fast and furious show at New Century Hall in Manchester on Saturday night supported by Violet Malice and Loose Articles.

Sunday 2 June 2024

Dantzic / Sugartung - Manchester Castle Hotel - 30th May 2024

Dantzic and Sugartung, two of Manchester’s newest and most incendiary bands join forces for a sold out show at The Castle Hotel on Oldham Street.

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Bodega / Model/Actriz / Panic Shack / Déjà Vega - Manchester Band On The Wall - 27th May 2024

Bank Holiday Monday saw the second part of Now Wave's mini-festival Bad Dreams at Band On The Wall. Headlined by Bodega, with support from Model/Actriz, Panic Shack, Déjà Vega and DEAF DEAF DEAF, the event deserved a far better turnout than the one that attended as the artists provided a varied and exciting set of performances across from late afternoon into the evening.

Monday 27 May 2024

Inspiral Carpets / Stanleys - Chester The Live Rooms - 25th May 2024

Inspiral Carpets continued their run of intimate live shows around their summer festival appearances with a sold-out show at a hot and sweaty Live Rooms in Chester supported by Stanleys.

Friday 3 May 2024

Rachel Chinouriri - Manchester Academy 3 - 2nd May 2024

Rachel Chinouriri celebrated the imminent launch of her debut album What A Devastating Turn Of Events with an intimate stripped down show at Manchester Academy 3 on Thursday night performing seven songs and answering questions about her career and the record in front of an enthusiastic crowd of her "darlings."

Friday 26 April 2024

TRACK OF THE DAY : Ist Ist - The Kiss

Ist Ist today release their second single of the year and announce their fourth album Light A Bigger Fire for release on September 20th.  Accompanied by a live performance video shot across their four sold-out Dutch shows in March, the song is a bold statement of intent from the band ahead of attempting to better the top 50 chart position of last year's Protagonists.

Thursday 25 April 2024

October Drift - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 24th April 2024

October Drift’s tour in support of their new single Blame The Young, the first fruits of their forthcoming third album, called in at a sold-out Trades Club in Hebden Bridge on Wednesday night.

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Hey Bulldog / The Lotts - Manchester Rose And Monkey - 23rd April 2024

Hey Bulldog and The Lotts were the latest in a series of bands to play The Rose And Monkey's regular Tuesday night £5 Tuesdays event supported by funding from The Arts Council. Two very different bands struck a chord with different sections of the audience in an intimate showcase of what each band are capable of.

Monday 22 April 2024

English Teacher - Manchester Soup - 22nd April 2024

English Teacher concluded their record store / out store tour in support of their Top 10 album This Could Be Texas with a pared down set in the basement of Soup in Manchester in association with Leeds' Crash Records. Performing tracks from the album alongside a brand new song which was an impromptu addition to the setlist, they charmed a packed crowd as well as impressing with the way they adapted the songs to a less full-on performance.

LIINES / Hungry - Manchester Gorilla - 20th April 2024

Saturday night saw LIINES and Hungry, two very different bands but with a common hit them hard philosophy, take to the stage at Gorilla in support of House Of All to impress a packed crowd.

Sunday 21 April 2024

Personal Trainer - Manchester Academy 3 - 20th April 2024

Personal Trainer headlined a sold out sauna-like Academy 3 in Manchester on Saturday night as the 6 Music favourites delivered an upbeat set taken from their debut album Big Love Blanket as well as singles and new material.

Ist Ist / Aerial Salad / Dog Sport - Liverpool Arts Club - 19th April 2024

Ist Ist headed to Liverpool for the penultimate show of their UK and European tour, filling out the loft of the Arts Club supported by Salford upstarts Aerial Salad and local support Dog Sport. Performing tracks from their forthcoming fourth album as well as their three albums to date they reinforced the growing belief that anything that stops their rise is going to come from outside the band's control.

Friday 19 April 2024

Johnny Marr / Gaz Coombes - Nottingham Rock City - 14th April 2024

Johnny Marr has just wrapped up a ten-date tour in support of Spirit Power - a compilation album commemorating a decade since he embarked on his solo career. The tour saw the guitar legend perform at iconic venues across the UK, including Hammersmith Apollo and Glasgow Barrowlands, before culminating at Nottingham’s Rock City. Johnny's career has been interwoven with a multitude of musicians since its inception and he often embarks on tours with them. For his ‘Spirit Power’ tour, he was joined by Supergrass frontman and solo artist, Gaz Coombes.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Vice Vera - Tourist

Tourist is the debut single by Vice Vera, the alter ego of Tamsin Middleton, who'll be known to followers of the Manchester music scene from her days leading Mr Heart as well as being part of both ILL and LIINES. 

Thursday 11 April 2024

James - Yummy

James release their 18th studio album on Friday. Graham McPhail, aka TimBoothLyrics on social media, takes a critical look at the twelve tracks that make up one of the strongest records of their career to date.

Thursday 4 April 2024

James - Pudding

James release their eighteenth studio album Yummy on April 12th. The deluxe edition features another twelve tracks, collectively known as Pudding, which feature outtakes and demos and jams from the sessions. Even in their mostly unfinished state they provide a fascinating insight into the band’s songwriting methods that’s often talked about but rarely made public.

Adrianne Lenker - Bright Future

At only thirty-two and with her main output heading up the prolific Big Thief, Adrianne Lenker has just released her fifth solo album Bright Future. Julia Grantham takes us with her on her own voyage of discovery.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Easter - Manchester Star And Garter - 29th March 2024

Easter launched their album Facsimile Of A Dream on Good Friday appropriately at The Star And Garter. Against a sombre backdrop of the venue's landlord passing away earlier in the day, they delivered a three quarters of an hour set of tracks from the album and their previous work.

Friday 29 March 2024

Greater Manchester Music Commission / The Mill / Night And Day

As a member of the Greater Manchester Music Commission, I've been made aware of an article circulating on The Mill behind a paywall that makes accusations and statements about the Commission and its activity, particularly around the Night And Day debacle. The article has a number of factual inaccuracies and deals with subjects that I feel strongly about to the extent that I feel compelled to give my own personal opinion on this.  These do not represent the views of the wider Commission, even though some members may agree with what I'm about to write

Monday 25 March 2024

Ist Ist / October Drift - Hilversum De Vorstin - 24th March 2024

Ist Ist continued their triumphant European tour, starting the homebound journey at De Vorstin, an impressive and imposing venue in the small sleepy town of Hilversum to a five hundred strong crowd on a Sunday night. Support came from the ever energetic October Drift.

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Inspiral Carpets - Stockport AMP - 18th March 2024

Inspiral Carpets played their smallest show in decades on Monday night with a packed out show at AMP in Stockport as part of its Town Of Culture celebrations. With a set full of most of their back catalogue of hits the intimate hot and sweaty gig was a real throwback to their roots as a garage band that grew up on stages of this size before fame came their way.

Friday 15 March 2024

Happy Mondays / Inspiral Carpets / Stereo MCs - Glasgow Barrowland - 14th March 2024

When Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets announced their tour last year, tickets for the shows were in high demand with some venues selling out instantly, resulting in no fewer than three Glasgow shows. Tonight was the first of those sell out shows. Stuart Ralston ventured home for the evening.

Friday 8 March 2024


IST IST return with a new single, Lost My Shadow, the first fruits of their recent recording sessions for their as-yet-unannounced fourth album.  Featuring many of their trademark characteristics, but with a crisper more direct sounding purpose to it, the song ushers in what promises to be their most successful year to date.

Wednesday 6 March 2024

Neon Waltz - Manchester Castle Hotel - 5th March 2024

Neon Waltz's postponed tour in support of their second album Honey Now finally rolled into Manchester on Tuesday night into a swelteringly hot and sold out Castle Hotel. A fourteen song set pulled from Honey Now as well as old favourites from their debut Strange Hymns and points in between the two records.

Tuesday 5 March 2024

The Last Dinner Party / Rachel Chinouriri - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 4th March 2024

The Last Dinner Party are the name on everyone's lips right now, love or hate them. Fresh from topping the charts with their debut album Prelude To Ecstasy they played what promises to be their smallest full band show for a long time with a War Child gig at Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Monday night supported by Rachel Chinouriri.

The Murder Capital - London Moth Club - 28th February 2024

Make no mistake about it, The Murder Capital’s journey to the very top is getting closer and world domination may just be around the corner if their latest offerings are fully taken onboard by the potential new fan base they may capture when supporting Pearl Jam in the not so distant future.

Friday 1 March 2024

John Bramwell And The Full Harmonic Convergence / Harriet Bradshaw - Manchester Stoller Hall - 29th February 2024

John Bramwell And The Full Harmonic Convergence took to the resplendent stage of The Stoller Hall in Manchester on Thursday night to celebrate the release of John's second solo album The Light Fantastic. The five-piece performed the majority of the album alongside tracks from John's debut Leave Alone The Empty Spaces and a few selected nuggets from his I Am Kloot days to a respectful and engrossed audience. Support came from the Harmonic Convergence's own Harriet Bradshaw with tracks from her debut solo releases.

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Meryl Streek / Scattered Ashes / Marginal Gains - Newcastle Zerox - 19th February 2024

Since moving further up North it’s been noticeable that many bands bypass Newcastle as part of their U.K. tours yet the amazing Wandering Oak managed to pull off somewhat of a coup with a trio of talented artists - Meryl Streek, Scattered Ashes and Marginal Gains - at Newcastle Zerox.

John Bramwell - The Light Fantastic

The Light Fantastic, John Bramwell's second solo album, has been a long time coming. Recorded with his band, The Full Harmonic Convergence, the twelve-song collection is a rich and vibrant addition to John's catalogue of work that is in its fourth decade. Melodic and optimistic, but shot through the battered and bruised lyrical romanticism that has been his calling card, it's a career highpoint that sits alongside his most celebrated work.

Sunday 18 February 2024

The 1975 - Manchester Arena - 17th February 2024

Very few bands divide opinion as much as The 1975 these days. Persuaded to go along by two friends who are devotees to their headline show at the Arena in Manchester eleven years after being completely unimpressed by a nascent version of the band, we went with an open mind...

Saturday 17 February 2024

Smalltown Tigers / Chasing The Fall / The Homecoming - Stockport The Spinning Top - 16th February 2024

Italian trio Smalltown Tigers headed to The Spinning Top in Stockport as part of their UK tour to promote the release of their album Crush On You that came out last week. Blasting through sixteen songs from the album and its predecessor Five Things in less than forty five minutes they demonstrated that they're ready to step up to much bigger stages should the right doors open for them.

Wednesday 7 February 2024

The Last Dinner Party - Manchester HMV - 6th February 2024

The Last Dinner Party are the name on everyone's lips right now. As the five-piece sit atop the midweek charts with their debut album Prelude To Ecstasy, debate rumbles around them. Depleted in number as bassist Georgia is ill, four-fifths of The Last Dinner Party delighted an excited in-store crowd in Manchester Arndale's HMV store with a five-song stripped-back set.

Monday 5 February 2024

Ist Ist / Midnight Gallery - Huddersfield The Parish - 3rd February 2024

Ist Ist completed a triumphant four-date mini-tour for Independent Venue Week at a sold-out Parish in Huddersfield on Saturday night.  Performing tracks from across their three albums, their recent reissue of their debut EPs and showcasing a couple of brand new songs they delighted the growing band of Ist Ist faithful with a show that confirmed their seemingly unstoppable momentum as they enter what promises to be the biggest year for the band yet.

SKIES - Manchester Gullivers - 1st February 2024

SKIES concluded their tour in support of their debut album Is It All In Our Heads? with a show at Gullivers in Manchester on Thursday night performing eight of the eleven tracks from the album as well as a surprise Florence And The Machine cover.

Thursday 1 February 2024

The Miserable Rich - Overcome

It's twelve years since The Miserable Rich's last album Miss You In The Days and in an era where bands make comebacks theirs was one of the most unlikely. It took tragedy, in the shape of the death of front man James de Malplaquet and his wife Sarah's first child and the healing powers of friendship, pizza and beer to get them back together in a room, initially to play a charity fundraiser and then to play around with ideas for new music. Overcome is the product of how those meetings played out, the sound of a band reconnecting with each other, recalling everything special about the band in their first incarnation but now laced with the wisdom of age and experience, new musical discoveries and a sense of purpose that the record needed to be made.