Wednesday, 22 January 2020

TRACK OF THE DAY 2 : The Slow Readers Club - All I Hear

All I Hear is the first single to be taken from The Slow Readers Club's forthcoming fourth album The Joy Of The Return due out on March 20th with a thirty-date UK and European tour to follow. It's full of the trademark anthemic qualities that they've become renowned for and showcases the band at their confident best as they attempt to replicate the surprise Top 20 success of their previous album Build A Tower.

Smoke Fairies - Darkness Brings The Wonder Home

Darkness Brings The Wonder Home is Smoke Fairies' sixth album, their first since 2014's self-titled fourth album and their Christmas-themed Wild Winter records. It's an evocative descriptive record to mark their comeback, bringing guitars very much to the fore to act as the counterpoint to the often mysterious and dark lyrics that run throughout.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Porridge Radio - Sweet

Sweet is the second track to be taken from London four-piece Porridge Radio's forthcoming second album Every Bad released on March 13 shortly followed by a UK tour.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

TRACK OF THE DAY : Neon Waltz - Thanks For Everything

Neon Waltz return with their first release of 2020, a single called Thanks For Everything, which will be taken from their Huna EP that will be released on vinyl, download and streaming on 27th March to coincide with a ten-date UK tour.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Domiciles / VLURE / The Roques - Dundee Beat Generator - 18th January 2020

Dundee Promoters MAD Sounds put on a superb three band bill, with the DJ spinning some impressive tunes in between. Stuart Ralston made a return to Dundee to catch up with rising local stars The Roques and left being won over by Glasgow's next big things VLURE and an impressive headline set from Domiciles, on the opening night of their tour.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Ren Harvieu - Yes Please

Ren Harvieu has released Yes Please, the second single from her long-awaited Revel In The Drama album due for release via Bella Union on April 3 and announced a UK tour to coincide. Clocking in at five and a half minutes the song perfectly captures Ren's showstopping voice that has won her so many admirers since she released her debut Through The Night.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

John Bramwell / Dave Fidler - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 18th January 2020

John Bramwell opened up what promises to be a busy 2020 for the former I Am Kloot frontman with a sold out intimate seated show at Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Saturday night, mixing I Am Kloot favourites with songs from his solo album Leave Alone The Empty Spaces and its forthcoming follow-up. He was supported by Dave Fidler performing tracks from his two albums I'm Not Here and Songs From Aurora.

Friday, 17 January 2020

TRACK OF THE DAY : Bri - Polite

Polite is the second single from Dublin singer-songwriter Bri, the follow-up to last year's stunning debut Low Supply. Once again it showcases a unique voice that grabs you immediately that delivers lyrics that are both personal but also extremely relatable.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

TRACK OF THE DAY : En Attendant Ana - In / Out

In / Out is the final single from French band En Attendant Ana before the release of their second album Juillet that is released next Friday (January 24) on Trouble In Mind Records. It's a gloriously upbeat indie-pop gem that will feel familiar yet hard to place musically whilst Margaux's accented vocals give it an enticing charm all of its own that will keep you hitting the repeat button on the track.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

TRACK OF THE DAY : Happy Couple - Feel Better

Feel Better is the new single from Brighton-based trio Happy Couple, released on a shared lathe-cut 8" single with Beach Riot and Our Family Dog limited to just fifteen copies and the more conventional download.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

October Drift - Forever Whatever

Forever Whatever might describe the wait for October Drift's long-awaited debut album. Years of relentless touring around the UK and Europe and a series of limited edition singles has won them a growing army of fans as one of the most intense and energetic live bands on the circuit. Forever Whatever attempts to distill their live shows onto wax and chronicle the sheer scale of their sonic ambition.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Car Crash - Them Not Us

Them Not Us is the debut single from Dublin post-punk four-piece Car Crash and is taken from their forthcoming album Blindspots due out in February. It's a caustic put-down of those who live in their echo chambers, incapable of any rational debate of anything and stuck in their own mindset - a damning reflection on what passes for social and political analysis and commentary these days.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Space Monkeys - Interview

Sometimes a band needs to catch a lucky break. Space Monkeys have managed to catch all the unlucky ones across their quarter of a decade as a band with the demise of Factory Records putting an end to their first wave and then Pledge Music almost sinking their comeback album Modern Actions. But it's out in the world, a triumphant call to arms and celebration of love and survival. We caught up with front man Richard McNevin-Duff to find out about their past and present, the inspiration and friends behind the record and their plans for their Valentine's Day Deaf Institute show.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Yuka Tree - Preacher

Preacher is the debut single from hotly-tipped five-piece Yuka Tree out on January 24th. It focuses on the importance of being happy in yourself, refusing to accept the social norms and expectations that are placed upon you and to be your own person.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

The Red Stains - Manchester Peer Hat - 11th January 2020

The Red Stains opened up what promises to be a busy 2020 for the band we included in our tips for the year with an early set at Manchester's Peer Hat, unveiling a new song and delivering a feisty punk set of three minute hit and run punches to the gut.

Friday, 10 January 2020

TRACK OF THE DAY : Amy Naessens - To Be The One You Choose

To Be The One You Choose is the second single from Irish singer Amy Naessens, the long-overdue follow-up to her debut Reasons from back in mid-2018. An intensely powerful vocal adds gravitas and genuine emotion to lyrics about a failing relationship where the other person wasn't as in to her as she was to them.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Last Race Home - Salford Eagle Inn - 21st December 2019

Manchester six piece Last Race Home rounded off the year with a stunning gig in the delightful Eagle Inn. Stuart Ralston joined the party.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

TRACK OF THE DAY : Saults - Proud

Proud is the debut single from four-piece Saults ahead of their debut headline show at Aatma in Manchester this Friday night. The song takes aim at the rise of patriotism in Britain and the pride that people take in being British that is being fuelled by the toxicity of the media with a real sense of anger.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Purple Heart Parade - Desolation Angel EP

Manchester's finest purveyors of psychedelic pop return with their third EP Desolation Angel including recent single Petrichor. Stuart Ralston has a listen and declares it to be their best work yet.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Lanterns On The Lake - Baddies

Baddies is the second single to be taken from Lanterns On The Lake's fourth studio album Spook The Herd that is released via Bella Union in February 2020. The track takes aim at the way the world has become a less friendly and understanding place, how differences are highlighted by those seeking to use them to manipulate people's opinions for their own benefit.

Friday, 3 January 2020

TRACK OF THE DAY : Hannah Lou Clark - Trigger Happy Kisses

Trigger Happy Kisses is Hannah Lou Clark's first single since 2017's The Heart And All Its Sin EP and is accompanied by a simple but very effective video that matches the starkness of the lyrics to the visuals.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Space Monkeys - Modern Actions

Space Monkeys see in the decade with the delayed release of their third album Modern Actions, a record that straddles the band's creation in the days following the end of Madchester and the autumn after the summers of love and a fresher modern sound. It's a record that screams peace and love from the rafters, celebrates life and friendship and people coming together - an antithesis to the malignance that's seeping through society as we enter 2020.

Monday, 30 December 2019

20 FOR 2020 - EVEN THE STARS TIPS - Part Two

Every year we give our predictions as to bands that will make their mark in the following year. Sometimes we're way off the mark, sometimes we're spot on and other times we're a year or even two or three ahead of a band breaking. What really matters though is we think these twenty artists are great - and think you should check them out.

20 FOR 2020 - EVEN THE STARS TIPS - Part One

Every year we give our predictions as to bands that will make their mark in the following year. Sometimes we're way off the mark, sometimes we're spot on and other times we're a year or even two or three ahead of a band breaking. What really matters though is we think these twenty artists are great - and think you should check them out.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Gardenback / The Be Positives / Octopus - Manchester Gullivers - 28th December 2019

Gardenback closed off 2019 with their "office party" as they gave the gig-starved of Manchester a Christmas show to send us off into the new decade. Showcasing new songs as well as old favourites, they were joined by The Be Positives and Octopus.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Jake Fletcher - Manchester Night People - 23rd December 2019

Jake Fletcher launched his self-titled debut album on Monday with a show at Manchester's Night People. Playing most of the album and new material he's already written for its follow-up accompanied by Adrian on keyboards / organ and Ben on drums, he delighted a passionate hometown crowd with a set that demonstrated his many talents.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Dirty Laces / The Slumdogs / Becki Fishwick - Manchester Deaf Institute - 22nd December 2019

Dirty Laces brought a successful year to an end for them with an intimate Sunday night show at The Deaf Institute in Manchester with a selection of old favourites, new material and a couple of surprise covers. They were supported by the return of The Slumdogs after a ten month absence and a short covers set from Becki Fishwick.

Jake Fletcher - Jake Fletcher

Jake Fletcher might not yet be a household name, however his name is known to many across the country. Not just a solo artist, Jake has fronted the bands Gramotones and Cupids, has played guitar for The Specials, has recently had one of his own songs Daltry Street featured on P P Arnold’s most recent album, as well as being employed performing covers and hosting open mic nights across Manchester, Saddleworth and Cheshire. Jake has gained recognition, respect and admiration from some of the most famous and successful musicians in the world, and although many people come and see him play in local pubs each week, his own material as a solo artist has been largely kept hidden away. Until now.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

The Slow Readers Club / Jordan Allen - Glasgow The Garage - 21st December 2019

The Slow Readers Club completed their UK tour and first full year as a full-time band with a packed out Saturday night show at The Garage in Glasgow in front of a raucous crowd ready for a celebration. Support came from Bolton's Jordan Allen.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Loose Articles - Orchid Lounge EP

Loose Articles have arrived out of nowhere with intimate exhilarating live shows of three minute songs that have ripped up the traditional rules of songwriting. Their debut EP Orchid Lounge features four songs that’ll be familar to anyone who’s witnessed those sets - but can they recapture that in the studio?

The Slow Readers Club - Manchester Ritz - 20th December 2019

The Slow Readers Club played their second sell out show at the wonderful Ritz. Stuart Ralston returns to his favourite venue and loved every minute of it.

Friday, 20 December 2019


Today we reveal our four favourite albums of 2019.

The Slow Readers Club / Jordan Allen - Manchester Ritz - 19th December 2019

The first of The Slow Readers Club's two night homecoming at Manchester's Ritz, the scene of one of their many breakthrough performances over the past few years, felt very much like an intimate show, a band stepping down from their natural habitat and delivering a show of passion and intensity that was arena-sized but still connected to their fervent fan base. Support came from Jordan Allen.

Thursday, 19 December 2019


Today we reveal more of our favourite albums of 2019 - from eight to five.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Shadow Show - Shadow Box

Shadow Box is the lead single from Shadow Show's debut album Silhouettes due for release on Valentine's Day next year. The Detroit three-piece describe themselves as "a power trio of a mysterious hue" and combine familiar sounds from underground garage scenes with something that sounds modern and of these difficult times.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Black Limousine / The Ombudsmen / Inflated Tear - Manchester Peer Hat - 18th December 2019

Wednesday night saw a very different trio of bands take over the Peer Hat basement - a rock and roll band, an instrumental trio and a one-off improvised performance by members of several underground bands coming together for one night only.


Today we reveal more of our favourite albums of 2019 - from twelve to nine.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Purple Heart Parade - Petrichor

Purple Heart Parade have revealed Petrichor, the lead track from their Desolation Angel EP that comes out on split purple and orange vinyl in early January. The song both remains true to their past sound, but also shows them broadening their horizons, expanding their minds and those of the listeners with a sound that's more detailed and adventurous than we've heard from them before.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

EVEN THE STARS ALBUMS OF 2019 - 16 to 13

Today we reveal more of our favourite albums of 2019 - from sixteen to thirteen.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Little Sparrow - Sit Down

Little Sparrow's version of James' classic track Sit Down has been recorded with Robin Dewhurst (Josh from Blossoms' father) on piano and long-term musical partner Sarah Dale on cello - and takes the Manchester standard and slows it right down and allows Little Sparrow to showcase her stunning vocals and extract maximum emotional effect from the lyrics.

Monday, 16 December 2019

EVEN THE STARS ALBUMS OF 2019 - 20 to 17

Today we reveal the first set of our favourite albums of 2019 - from twenty to seventeen

TRACK OF THE DAY : Loose Articles - Money For Booze

Money For Booze is Loose Articles' debut single taken from their Orchid Lounge EP that they launched at Aatma in Manchester on Saturday night. An ode to going out for a drink to relieve the boredom and stress of the day to day grind and struggling to find the money to do so, the four-piece capture perfectly in three minutes the life choices you make when you're living on a budget in a world where austerity is king and Boris is the leader.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Courteeners - Manchester Arena - 14th December 2019

Courteeners rounded off 2019 at Manchester Arena on Saturday night with a career-spanning set that also revealed new songs from their More Again Forever album due out next month and a cover of one of Manchester's best loved songs.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

John Bramwell - Manchester The Lions Den - 13th December 2019

John Bramwell took to The Lions Den stage on Friday night for an intimate solo performance to raise funds for Musicians Against Homelessness delighting the crowd with favourites from across his career with I Am Kloot and one brand new song.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Lauren Ruth Ward / Emily Lockett / Emma Cole - Manchester Rose And Monkey - 12th December 2019

Lauren Ruth Ward made her Manchester debut on Thursday night in front of a packed Rose And Monkey crowd that hung on her every word and threatened to drown her out at times by singing along to a set of songs that have made a connection with her audience. Support came from local Emily Lockett and Emma Cole who also was part of Lauren's live band.

TRACK OF THE DAY : VLURE - Desire (Live At Axiom Art)

VLURE might only have been in existence a few months, but their Glasgow shows have built a word of mouth buzz about them that's threatening to become loud enough that you can't ignore them. They've chosen to reveal their first publicly available song and laser focused, it's an impressively bold statement of intent from a band set to take off in 2020 in the way their friends The Murder Capital, who they supported in Glasgow in May, have done this year.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Okandi - Devil I Know

You might recognise Okandi's voice and so you should. Tobias O'Kandi was front man of O. Children who produced two stunning albums - O. Children and Apnea - in the first three years of the decade we're about to leave. Then things went quiet, rumours abounded about where he'd got to including that he'd gone to prison. He's back with the story behind his disappearance from the public eye and a first track Devil I Know that anyone who loved O. Children will fall for and which should have the same impact on newcomers.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : talker - Learning The Feeling

talker's latest single Learning The Feeling is a song about opening yourself up, standing up for yourself and not being afraid of who you are, what you represent and what you feel. It's the follow-up, both chronologically and lyrically, from her previous single Keep Me Safe - and a song that Celeste (talker) describes as "I've never felt so sure about a song."

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Inhaler - Manchester Gorilla - 9th December 2019

Dublin's Inhaler continued their upward trajectory by playing their biggest ever Manchester show on Monday night at a sold out Gorilla. They didn't disappoint as they wowed the audience with a pulsating eleven song set that left the crowd, old and young, breathless yet calling for more.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Post Punk Strikes Back Again 3 (Bragolin / Okandi / Nerves / Ist Ist / Hotel Lux) - Porto Hard Club - 7th December 2019

The third edition of At The Rollercoaster's Post Punk Strikes Back Festival took place in Sala 2 of Porto's impressive Hard Club venue, sat close to the old town of the beautiful Portuguese city. We caught a flight over and got a hotel for less than a return train ticket to Edinburgh cost us the weekend before and spent less than twenty-four hours watching five of the six bands and soaking in as much of the culture as we could.