Monday 3 December 2012

Elbow - London O2 Arena - 2nd December 2012


The O2, London 

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

It's the final night of their tour before they go off for a well-earned year's break ahead of their next album, but there's no signs of eighteen months on the road supporting their album 'Build A Rocket Boys!' having taken their toll on Elbow tonight.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Danny Mahon - Interview

Danny Mahon, Manchester singer-songwriter, recently went out on tour with Reverend And The Makers.  Described by the Reverend as 'Danny makes music for the people. Proper northern soul. Absolute hero.' Danny took time out before the show in Birmingham to speak to us.

Friday 9 November 2012

I Am Kloot - Preston 53 Degrees - 8th November 2012

I Am Kloot

Preston 53 Degrees

8th November 2012

Kloot have chosen to unveil their new album Let It All In, due in January, with a series of low-key gigs, starting with last night's show at Preston's 53 Degrees.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Frazer King - Interview

Frazer King are an exciting six-piece band from Wythenshawe, Manchester. They are about to release a limited edition 300 only cassette mixtape called Idle Class Debris at Manchester's Night And Day this coming Saturday. We spoke to singer Nathan about the band, their influences, their famous producer and plans for the future.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Michele Stodart - Interview

Michele Stodart, bass player with The Magic Numbers, released her debut solo album, Wide Eyed Crossing, last week on her own label Keepsake Records. The album has a very country and blues feel to it and it features Michele on vocals, guitars, double bass, drums, banjo, xylophones and percussion with guest vocals from Conor O'Brien of Villagers on Invitation To The Blues.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Reverend And The Makers - Interview

Reverend and the Makers have had a successful year in 2012. They came back after a three year hiatus with the album @Reverend_Makers, which reached number 16 in the album charts, and, after a set of smaller shows earlier in the year and festival appearances, are about to embark on a major UK tour. We spoke to the Reverend himself, Jon McClure about this year, the tour and plans for the future.

Friday 5 October 2012

Goy Boy McIlroy - Interview

Goy Boy McIlroy: Black Glove / The Pilgrim (Self Released


Out Now

Goy Boy McIlroy are a very talented blues come rock band from Darlington who put on a unique and spectacular live show. We spoke to them to find out more. 

Thursday 6 September 2012

Joe Duddell - Interview

This Saturday, 8 September, Richard Hawley performs a selection of tracks from across his career with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at the Magna Centre in Rotherham as part of the BBC Philharmonic presents series. The show will be broadcast live on BBC 6 Music from 7pm.

The set has been specially orchestrated for the event by Joe Duddell, whose previous work includes a tour with James and The Orchestra of the Swan, two performances with Elbow and the Halle Orchestra for MIF and a collaboration with Nero and the BBC Philharmonic. We spoke to Joe to find out more about the project and how it came about.

Thursday 9 August 2012

Destiny Calling : Twenty Years Living With James - book review

Destiny Calling: Twenty Years Living with James 

Author: John Ormond 

Publisher: York Books

This soon to be released book about the Manchester band James, "Twenty Years Living with James", is written through the eyes of one of the band's biggest fans and includes thoughts on the their output, gigs, various other stories about the band and more pertinently how the band affected the author's life.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Jess Bryant - Silvern - album review

Jess Bryant: Silvern (Red Deer Club Records


Out Now 

Jess Bryant's debut album Silvern is destined to go down as a hidden gem. Released on vinyl, limited to 300 copies and download only by the wonderful Red Deer Club Records, it's an enchanting piece of work that feels familiar in parts yet defies a firm categorisation.

Thursday 14 June 2012

The Reads - Interview

The Reads are a North-West based six piece featuring Stuart Bennett (Lead vocal, rhythm guitar), Jamie Russell (Lead guitar, harmonica, backing vocals), Marcel Delrue (Keyboards and programming), Chris Goddard (Mandolin, lapsteel, percussion, backing vocals), Clare Goddards (Bass guitar) and Matty Goddard (drums).

Friday 8 June 2012

Savages - London Hoxton Bar And Kitchen - 7th June 2012


London Hoxton Bar And Kitchen

7th June 2012

Best New Band in the UK is a tag that's been thrown around lightly over the years, garnished on bands that aren't even the best new band in their street. So, it's with some cynicism that I headed off to Hoxton Bar And Kitchen to check out Savages.  

Thursday 31 May 2012

Modern Alarms - You Must've Known EP - review

Modern Alarms - You Must've Known EP


Available now

This debut release from Modern Alarms backs up the hype that's been building around them by people in the know in Manchester and the surrounding area.

Saturday 26 May 2012

Milagres - Interview


The Deaf Institute, Manchester

We spoke with New York band Milagres at the Deaf Institute in Manchester ahead of their show in the evening, discussing the history of the band, and the joys of Travelodges.

Monday 21 May 2012

Inspiral Carpets - Norwich Waterfront - 20th May 2012

Inspiral Carpets 

Norwich Waterfront 

20th May 2012

It’s rather fitting to review the last gig of the first phase of the Inspirals’ comeback having reviewed the opening UK night in Sheffield back in March.   Tonight’s show is rescheduled from March, when Clint’s daughter, Luna Bliss, was born three months premature in the middle of their UK tour and sadly passed away earlier this month.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Stefan Melbourne - EP review and interview

Stefan Melbourne is a singer-songwriter from Holmfirth, now resident in Manchester and has just self-released his debut EP “Before The Sun Sets”. The four-track EP stands Stefan out from many of the masses of singer-songwriters through simple, yet wholly expressive, heartfelt emotion through his voice, guitar and female backing vocals rather than attempting any studio trickery.

Saturday 28 April 2012

Littlemores - Interview

Littlemores are a five-piece band from York that are building up quite a buzz in Yorkshire, playing support slots and headline gigs in Leeds and York and recently played their debut London gig at the Dublin Castle. Louder Than War spoke to lead singer Conor Hirons. 

Sunday 22 April 2012

Why Record Store Day Doesn’t Save Independent Music Stores

There’s a bigger hype about Record Store Day today than last year, it’s a growing event in the music calendar, but like Glastonbury, it’s lost the very thing that made it special.   If you want to make independent record stores truly accessible, then having to queue at four in the morning to have even a chance of getting hold of a record by your favourite band, at an exorbitant price, isn’t a selling point for it.

Monday 26 March 2012

David Ford - London Camden Proud Galleries - 25th March 2012

David Ford 

London Camden Proud Galleries 

25th March 2012

This London show is the biggest and last show on David Ford's short UK tour labelled as an intimate solo show that will focus on the many piano based songs that he has written and recorded during his career. It's called in some unusual venues, and tonight it's the turn of the dreadful Proud Galleries.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Keane - Bexhill On Sea De La Warr Pavilion - 9th March 2012


Bexhill-on-Sea, De La Warr Pavilion 

Friday 9th March 2012

Guilty pleasure? You look at the hatred directed at Keane from the indie police and wonder where the venom really comes from. Before making it big, and they were huge, in 2004, Keane did the slogs round the toilet venues of the land, even in the weeks leading up to Hopes And Fears. They released their own records and sold them at gigs, they signed to and released two singles on Fierce Panda, still a bastion of good taste in indie music.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Rae Morris / Stefan Melbourne - London Slaughtered Lamb - 7th March 2012

Rae Morris / Stefan Melbourne 

London, Slaughtered Lamb 

Wednesday 7th March 2012

It's very rare that you hear a voice that stops you in your tracks.

Rae Morris first came to my attention with a performance with award-winning composer Joe Duddell backed with the Halle Orchestra, and the sold-out sign at the Slaughtered Lamb showed that others had been equally enraptured by the voice and intrigued to see her in the flesh on her first headline tour.

Opening the show was Stefan Melbourne, who's building up a reputation in Manchester where's he's based, as a songwriter whose work taps into raw emotions, drawing influences from the likes of Stephen Fretwell as well as American bluegrass.

His set features five songs, including two, How Long Is Always and Place To Hide, which are available to download free on his website, and he starts with a song he's playing for the first time. Whilst his influences are clear, his engaging personality, confessional honest lyrics and distinctive voice ensure he's not another addition to the overflowing pool of male singer-songwriters. The backing vocals, from Chloe Leavers , an excellent singer-songwriter in her own right, add shade and depth in equal measures and the guitars provide the perfect framework for the interaction of the two vocalists. He's certainly a name to keep an eye out for.

And so on to Rae. She plays keyboards on all tracks and doesn't have any other musicians on stage with her. From the minute she starts singing to the last note of the encore, the crowd are absolutely captivated.

Between songs, she's almost embarrassed at the response she's getting, thanking the crowd at every opportunity with a shy nervous giggle and you feel that she doesn't appreciate just how incredible her voice is. More than that, she is already developing a stage persona, showing a sense of humour at her own lack of in between song banter and awkwardness at plugging free downloads on her website, all of this in a broad Lancashire accent you wouldn't normally associate with such a powerful singing voice.

There's a sense of genuine shock that such a fragile looking teenager can possess such power, range and variety, everything that female singers who have sold millions of records have. In a venue that's traditionally marred by chatterers at the back, you can hear a pin drop when she's not singing. 

Coupled with the voice are a set of nine songs that work perfectly with just keyboards and which demonstrate a worldly-wiseness beyond her years. As well as internet favourites Walls, Oldest Of New and Day One, there's a couple of new songs, introduced for this tour as she's headlining for the first time and playing longer set, which show that she's still developing as a songwriter.

Where you can often categorise female solo singers and compare them to their peers, there isn't a real relevant comparison that's valid here for Rae. She's a unique, very special talent. Whilst that doesn't guarantee anything in the music business and record sales are no longer a barometer of quality, she should sell thousands and thousands of records when she gets to finally release these songs.

Don't forget her name, go and get the two free songs from her website and if you're going to the Noah And The Whale and Bombay Bicycle Club tours in April and May, make sure you go and catch her opening for them.

Sunday 4 March 2012

Inspiral Carpets - Sheffield Leadmill - 3rd March 2012

Inspiral Carpets 

Sheffield Leadmill 

March 3rd 2012

Reformations these days are ten a penny, but this was always going to be the most interesting one. Before the days of the big hits such as This Is How It Feels, Dragging Me Down and Saturn 5, Inspiral Carpets were a garage band throwing out two minute punches of organ-driven guitar-heavy songs. They had a different singer, Tom Hingley replacing Stephen Holt in 1989. The early Inspirals legacy was two EPs (Plane Crash and Trainsurfing), a legendary demo tape (Dung 4) and a pile of unreleased material. Forward to 2012, and Holt is back with the band, they're reclaiming their garage roots and, after a couple of shows in South America last year, their first UK gig is at the Sheffield Leadmill.

Monday 13 February 2012

The Miserable Rich - Cologne Stadtgarten Studio 672 - 12th February 2012

The Miserable Rich 

Cologne Stadtgarten Studio 672 

12th February 2012

The Miserable Rich are a curious phenomenon. Having released their third album last year, they're still struggling to make a major breakthrough in the UK despite gathering a loyal but small following, whilst their contemporaries such as The Leisure Society get critical plaudits and festival and prestigious support slots. In contrast, on the Continent, they've built on momentum from their early releases to the extent they can go on a month long tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and, despite the double-digit minus temperatures and the fact it's Sunday evening, come close to filling venues like Studio 672 in Cologne.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Danger USB - The Story Of The Gathering Dust James box set

Danger USB...

The seemingly never-ending saga of “The Gathering Sound”, the career-spanning James box-set

Given the hype over the return of their contemporaries from the “Madchester” era, you would think a record label would be falling over themselves to sell us a career-spanning boxset from James, whose upward career trajectory and roots coincided to give them the dubious pleasure of being placed in that music press box.

It would appear not.