Monday, 22 July 2019

James - Buffalo Canalside - 18th July 2019


James' long US tour with the Psychedelic Furs rolled into Buffalo last Friday night, the band's first performance in the city for twenty-five years. IKWIHF covered the show for us, noting the band's appeal to a younger audience who connected to the newer songs from Living In Extraordinary Times and the message in those songs.

EXCLUSIVE : Granfalloon - Elephant


Granfalloon's latest single The Elephant is a taster from their forthcoming second album. We're delighted to be asked to do the online reveal for the single after it was previewed on BBC Introducing last weekend.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

The Murder Capital / Roxy Girls - Sunderland Independent - 20th July 2019


The Murder Capital continued their seemingly endless tour with a Saturday night debut in Sunderland at the Independent, one of those wonderful small venues that's fighting against the odds in towns and cities off the usual circuit, supported by local heroes Roxy Girls.

Friday, 19 July 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Liam Frost - The Slow Knife


The Slow Knife is the second single to be taken from Liam Frost's Latchkey Kid album that gets a full release on September 13.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

EXCLUSIVE : Control Of The Going - Reflection


With front man Liam Hart moving to the USA last year, it looked like things had come to a close for Control Of The Going. But before he departed, the latest incarnation of the band recorded an EP entitled Reflections that they plan to release next month. We're delighted to be able to reveal the (almost) title track of the EP entitled Reflection.

LIINES / Sink Ya Teeth - Manchester Albert Square - 17th July 2019


The final night of four curated events by Dave Haslam in the tent in Albert Square for Manchester International Festival saw local heroines Liines take to the stage alongside Norwich's Sink Ya Teeth to delight a packed crowd that had braved the Mancunian rain.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

The Blinders / Witch Fever / The Pagans SOH - Manchester Albert Square - 16th July 2019


The Blinders headlined night three of live music curated by Dave Haslam in Festival Square as part of Manchester International Festival. Mixing in new material with tracks from their debut album Columbia, they set the tent bouncing more than has seen before ably supported by Witch Fever and Pagans SOH.

GHUM / Aufbau Principle - Manchester Castle Hotel - 15th July 2019


A warm evening outside always turn the intimate music room of The Castle Hotel into a sweatbox and tonight was no exception as first Glasgow's Aufbau Principle and then headliners GHUM battled against the heat to deliver two exciting and very contrasting sets to a packed crowd.

Joanna Sternberg - Then I Try Some More


Then I Try Some More is Joanna Sternberg's debut album. It's a remarkable record in many senses - rather than its lowest of lo-fi recording methods hampering the songs and their message, it simply makes them feel even starker, more affecting as they weave their way through many of the darker aspects of the human condition and emotions across just nine songs and twenty-six minutes. It's an album that could change and save lives, the message more important than the songs individually.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Working Men's Club - Manchester Albert Square - 15th July 2019


Working Men's Club opened up the first of three nights of some of the best independent talent in the North West curated by Dave Haslam that puts the Manchester (and surrounding areas) into the Manchester International Festival. A half-hour set in a packed tent felt like it was a turning point for the band as they celebrated the release of their second single Teeth today.

James - Toronto Rebel - 5th July 2019


James opened their North American tour with The Psychedelic Furs on a steamy night in Toronto. Our friend IKWIHF was there to report back on their long-awaited return.

The Empty Page - Interview


The Empty Page's new single He's Very Good At Swimming tackles the subject of how society views the victims of rape and other forms of sexual assault and some of the high-profile cases where the accused was dealt with leniently despite their guilt because of their social standing. We caught up with them to talk about the single, the message behind it and to find out a little more about the band and their plans.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Stealing Sheep - Manchester Albert Square - 13th July 2019


For those of us not interested in the artistic extravagance of most of MIF's program, the tent in Albert Square is something of a haven with free live music on offer to complement the very un-Mancunian sunny weather. Saturday night saw Stealing Sheep bring their colourful live show for an hour performance that was as much a theatrical performance as it was a gig.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : The Murder Capital - Don't Cling To Life


Don't Cling To Life is only the third track to be released by Dublin's The Murder Capital, but is certain to increase the hype around the band as they prepare for the release of their debut album When I Have Fears, due for release on August 16 in the midst of a gruelling touring  schedule.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Danny Mahon - Interview


Most Mancunians with their ear to the ground will know of Danny Mahon. For years he's played to packed out venues, picked up some impressive support slots and written songs that capture the spirit and the ups and downs of living in our home town. He's been quiet for a couple of years but is coming back with a headline show later this month and a set of new songs in tow. We caught up with him for a chat to find out more.

TRACK OF THE DAY : LYZA - Regret


LYZA has recently her latest single release Regret with a video filmed in Manchester's Victoria Baths, accompanying a heartfelt and painfully honest reflection over a past relationship.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Vukovar - Interview


On their Facebook page, which you sense is a reluctant nod to mainstream communication, Vukovar describe themselves as "from the Brutalist wastelands in the North of England. Ultra-Realism. Depravity. Monotony. Concrete. Hedonism. Silence. Vukovar are idealists, voyeurs and totalitarians." As they release Cremator, their seventh album in four years, we try to get behind the mystery....

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

MarthaGunn - Interview


MarthaGunn featured in our top tips for 2018 and promptly disappeared. They've returned though in 2019 with two singles - Saint Cecilia and Love And Emotion. We caught up with them for a chat about their name, what they did in 2018, the two singles and their plans for the future.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Liam Frost - Didsbury St James Church - 28th June 2019


Didsbury Arts Festival welcomed Liam Frost for an intimate solo show in the hallowed surroundings of St James Church on Friday night. A career-spanning set and no shortage of funny and poignant between song anecdotes left the attentive crowd transfixed and appreciative of one of the Manchester's finest ever songwriters.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Space Monkeys - Submarine


Submarine is the first track to be released from Space Monkeys' forthcoming album, their first recorded material for twenty years. With a video recorded by a friend called Cobbie who was inspired to make his first ever music video on hearing about the band's troubles with the collapse of Pledge Music.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Nev Cottee - River's Edge


Nev Cottee's fourth album River's Edge is released this Friday, the follow-up to 2017's Broken Flowers. River's Edge is a wonderfully intimate album, soft and gentle in its approach with an intimacy that will draw the listener in and intoxicate them with his rough yet comforting voice as he sings about love and loss and the spaces in between, cementing his place in the hearts of those that have been fortunate to cross the path of one of the most underrated and underappreciated songwriters of this decade.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Weavers Wave - Sweet


Sweet is the debut single by Rossendale psych-folk-dreampop trio that combine the vocal talents of Mary-Joanna Coogan and Megan Thomas with the guitar of Tim Page to create a wonderfully evocative first release.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Stereolab - Glasgow SWG3 - 22nd June 2019


We've been looking forward to the return of Stereolab for some time now. Back in 2009, they announced a hiatus; it was never a split. Tonight sees the first Glasgow show in a long time and it exceeded our expectations. Long term admirer Stuart Ralston heads home for the weekend and reports back.

Cabbage / Afghan Sand Gang / Thomas Haywood (The Blinders) - Manchester Night And Day - 24th June 2019


Three of the most exciting bands on the Manchester scene came together on a hot sweltering night to raise funds for the family of Liam Smith who passed away recently in Australia. Cabbage and Afghan Sand Gang both paid heartfelt tributes to their friend during the course of the night.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Duck - R*ck St*r


R*ck St*r is the first product of Sheffield-based trio Duck's recording sessions for their second album due out in the summer. The song takes aim at and calls out men in the industry who proclaim to have a sensitive side as a mask of their true intentions.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Egyptian Blue - Collateral Damage EP


Egyptian Blue, the Brighton-based quartet, have been making a name for themselves the past few months touring with The Murder Capital and releasing three singles - Contain It, Collateral and To Be Felt. They've now released their four-track debut EP featuring those three singles and one new track so we check out if they can convert the intensity of those live shows to record.

EXCLUSIVE - TRACK OF THE DAY - Valetta - My Life is Better Than Your Life


Ever looked at social media and laughed at those desperate for a bit of attention with a post that draws attention to them, but rather than the intended outcome, you just end up feeling sorry for them. Valetta's track My Life Is Better Than Your Life takes a look at that new phenomenon of people looking for digital validation from people they may have never met.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Blossoms / The Coral / Cabbage / The Blinders / Fuzzy Sun - Stockport Edgeley Park - 22nd June 2019


To play the football stadium in your hometown has to be one of the crowning achievements for any band growing up. Blossoms achieved that on Saturday night with a 15,000 gig at Stockport County's Edgeley Park, which sold out in hours, testament to the rise of a band who got their name from a pub just the other side of the railway lines from the proud imposing over a century old ground.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Ist Ist / Sylvette / Fears - Manchester Yes - 20th June 2019


In the middle of writing and recording their debut album, Ist Ist took time out to play a low-key show in the Pink Room of Manchester’s Yes, revealing five as-yet-unreleased songs alongside old favourites from their two EPs and a couple of early singles. Support came from Sheffield’s Fears and Manchester’s own Sylvette.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE : Cold Water Swimmers - Burn Your Idols


Cold Water Swimmers return with their second single Burn Your Idols, the follow-up to their debut Summer Breeze / I'll Be Your Witness and we're delighted to be able to exclusively reveal the video that accompanies the single.

Coby Fletcher / Anya - Manchester Rose And Monkey - 14th May 2019


Whatever happened to The Gramotones, Cupids and Darling Club? Well, one of them, Coby Fletcher is striking out on his own, having recently revealed a vitriol-laced commentary on the state of modern politics called Power Never Changes. Julia Grantham caught up with him at an intimate solo set at Manchester's newest music venue The Rose And Monkey Hotel.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Red Light Effect / The Any Numbers / Dan Cere - Manchester Peer Hat - 14th June 2019


Red Light Effect headlined The Peer Hat on Friday night supported by The Any Numbers and Dan Cere, giving us a night three very different acts that approach their art from different directions yet each delivering it with sincerity and belief.

TRACK OF THE DAY : High Hazels - Slow Dancers


Sheffield's High Hazels return with Slow Dancers taken from their forthcoming album Days Of No One, the long-awaited follow-up to their 2014 self-titled debut.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Courteeners / James - Manchester Heaton Park - 15th June 2019


"50,000 people in our back yard" was how Liam Fray described Courteeners' homecoming of sorts at Heaton Park on Saturday night. As the clouds that had threatened a mudbath dissipated and the air filled with the choking smell of a thousand or more flares, they cemented their place amongst the giants of the city's rich musical history, as the band of this generation.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Edits - Burn


Edits return with Burn, their first single of the year, after Liv and Chris decamped back to their hometown of Northwich from Manchester. Self-produced like their previous releases, it shows the duo adding an heavier edge to their sound from last year's Re-Surface EP and standalone single Cold.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Narcissus - Burning Candles


Narcissus were a band tipped for big things in the mid-noughties however the collapse of their publishing deal during the recording of the debut album led to a parting of ways. But as a wise man once said, time is a great healer and 2019 see the release of double A side single Burning Candles / Flashing Blue Lights on new Manchester label 42’s Records. Ste Ackley has a listen to see if the wait has been worth the while.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

The Twilight Sad - Belfast Empire Music Hall - 7th June 2019


Belfast was the location for an emotionally charged Friday night which saw The Twilight Sad playing the Belfast Empire ahead of their support slot with The Cure the following day at Malahide Castle in Dublin. Jason Wynne made the short trip across the Irish Sea to witness another cathartic evening.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Hey Bulldog - California


Hey Bulldog return with their first single of the year California ahead of a double A-side 7" single release later in the summer and their long-awaited debut album sometime in the winter.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Dave Haslam - Interview


As part of the Manchester International Festival celebrations in July, Dave Haslam has been asked to curate four nights of free live music at the festival hub outside the Town Hall in Albert Square. He's chosen Horace Andy, The Orielles, Working Men's Club, The Blinders, Witch Fever, The Pagans SOH, LIINES, and Sink Ya Teeth as part of an exciting diverse line-up. We caught up with Dave for a chat about how he curated the line up and why he's so excited about the acts he's picked.

Little Sparrow - Interview / Corner Of The Room Video Exclusive


Corner Of The Room is the new single from Little Sparrow and we're delighted to be able to give an exclusive sneak peek at the video for the single which was premiered by 6 Music's Chris Hawkins last week ahead of its release this Friday. We caught up with Katie (aka Little Sparrow) for a quick chat about the single, the spooky video, the follow-up to her debut album Wishing Tree and live plans.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Venus - Sour


Sour is the second single from Leeds-based quintet Venus, the follow-up to their debut Deranged and one that is sure to enhance their already growing reputation as a band with something to say and that are unafraid to ruffle feathers and create a commotion in doing so.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Richard Hawley - Manchester HMV - 10th June 2019


To coincide with the release of his Top 3 album Further, Richard Hawley has been playing a series of acoustic in-stores to promote the album. Monday night saw Manchester's turn and the surreal sight of an artist who sold out the Albert Hall almost immediately play in a brightly lit room surrounded by CD shelves.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Celestial North - Olympic Skies


Olympic Skies is the fourth song to be released by the mysterious Celestial North. The single follows on from the previous three - Winter Circle, Illuminate Yourself and The Land The Sea The Human Race - in creating an intoxicating soundscape that draws the listener in and takes them on a journey through a song rich in ideas and changes in direction.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

David Ford - Darwen Library Theatre - 7th June 2019


The last night of David Ford's solo stripped-back tour took him to Darwen's Library Theatre for a two-part set that both acted as a retrospective on his career to date as well as a fascinating insight into the stories behind the songs, his songwriting processes and events that shaped him both as a musician and a person.

Friday, 7 June 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Bri - Low Supply


Low Supply is the debut single from Dublin-based Bri, a revelatory journey of escaping from a toxic relationship. It's an intriguing and intoxicating crossover between a number of musical styles with Bri's stunning voice taking centre stage as she comes to terms with the decisions she's made.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY 2 : Barratt - Into Your Arms


Into Your Arms is the second single from Stockport singer-songwriter Barratt, who recently signed to Seven Miles Out Records, the label that was set-up by the owners of the now sadly departed venue in the town. Rich in the promise shown by his debut single Home, Into Your Arms showcases again his ability to craft songs with both emotional depth and lift.

TRACK OF THE DAY 1 : Possible Humans - Aspiring To Be A Bloke


Aspiring To Be A Bloke is the lead single from Possible Humans' debut album Everybody Split which sees a worldwide release on August 2 via Chicago's Trouble In Mind.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Lewis Fieldhouse / LYZA - Manchester Gullivers - 5th June 2019


In the process of writing his second album, Lewis Fieldhouse made the journey up from his adopted London home to the lounge of Gullivers to roadtest new material as well as play tracks from his 2016 debut album Theodor Washington And The Central Valley ably supported by Manchester's own LYZA who is preparing the release of her new single Regret.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Diving Station - Film


Film is the new single from Manchester four-piece Diving Station, their first new material of the year following last year's second EP Feather Mouth. Standing out by use of the harp, played by lead singer Anna, the band have been making waves in the city over the past couple of years, yet this release seems set to step things up a notch further.