Thursday 31 July 2014

The Struts - Everyone Wants

The Struts combine the pomp and glamour of Queen at their most outrageous with the indie sensibilities of Sultans Of Ping.  The indie snob in us should hate it and on any basis it should be a shambolic mess.  But it's not, it's a thirty-five minute glam-rock stomp that's massive amounts of fun.

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Horsebeach - Horsebeach

Imagine fusing Morrissey and Marr's Smiths debut album era brains together and transporting them forward thirty years to the digital age.  We reckon that it'd sound pretty much like Horsebeach, a truly gripping, beautifully melodic debut album recorded straight to tape in a flat in central Manchester.

Rae Morris - Cold EP Review

We've been a huge fan of Rae Morris for a long time here, reviewing and interviewing her early in her career.  Ahead of her long long-awaited debut album, she's released a new EP Cold.  The lead track is a duet with Fryars and is a huge departure for her.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

The Struts - Manchester HMV - 28th July 2014

When two of your friends of different vintage, of very different musical upbringings and taste, post extremely complimentary comments about a band, your interest is inevitably piqued.  We nipped along to HMV's new store in Manchester Arndale to catch The Struts play a short acoustic show.

Introducing : Hartheim

Welcome To Hartheim is the title of the mysterious band's second song, their follow up to January's Yellow which had the blogging community foaming at the mouth, particularly as there was virtually no information about who they were and what they were about.  Even with the release of this single, we've discovered little else.

Tramlines Festival Crystal Stage - 27th July 2014 - Small Print, Puppet Rebellion, The Slow Readers Club, The Darlingtons

When we discover that two Even The Stars favourites are playing on the same stage at Sheffield's Tramlines Festival, we are incredibly excited and hop over the Pennines on a glorious Sunday morning to catch both of them.  Stuart Ralston was on driving and reviewing duty.

Inspiral Carpets - Manchester Google Offices - 28th July 2014

As gig venues go, this was one of the weirdest, an unassuming ninth floor of a Manchester office block resplendent with Northern Soul and Hacienda doors hosting an evening of Google agency hobnobbing to the soundtrack of Inspiral Carpets.  We sneaked an invite and caught them in an environment we never thought we'd see them.

Monday 28 July 2014

Blackthorn Festival - 26th July 2014 - Reverend And The Makers, The Tapestry, Puppet Rebellion, The Slow Readers Club

Even The Stars made the short trip from Manchester to the suburbs of Stockport for Blackthorn Festival.  Headlined by Reverend And The Makers, the Saturday night also featured a selection of our favourite local bands in a great setting and a contrast to the big rip-off corporate festivals.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Introducing : Prelow

Sometimes you discover music by happy accident.  We hit upon Prelow because their latest song Mistakes Like This came up after a song we'd searched for on Soundcloud.  We immediately wanted to find out more, only to discover they've been quite secretive to date.

Reverend And The Makers - Interview

The renaissance of Reverend and the Makers has been one of the most deserved success stories of the past few years.  Hard-working, hard-gigging and hard-talking their way past corporate bullshit, they've bulldozed into the charts and into the hearts of young and old music fans alike with their no-nonsense no-thrills in-your-face albums @Reverend_Makers and Thirty Two and ecstatic live shows where the audience bounces from start to finish.  Even The Stars spoke to The Reverend himself, aka Jon McClure, ahead of their headline slot at this weekend's Blackthorn Festival.

Sunday 20 July 2014

James - Festival Mares Vivas, Vila Nova da Gaia - 18th July 2014

There's a line in Sometimes, James' most famous song in Portugal, that finishes "endless rain, endless rain" and despite that throughout their two hour set, 25,000 James fans sang and danced their way through an exhilarating, if slightly wet, night.

Saturday 19 July 2014

Introducing - Summer Can't Fall Asleep

Zhongshan, China is a place you've probably never heard of, let alone know anything about.  It's home to a wonderful new band called Summer Can't Fall Asleep. We've had a copy of their debut EP called ZZZ sent to us via Hong Kong and we're rather excited by them and are delighted to present them to the western world.

Friday 18 July 2014

Gulp - Season Sun

There's a bit of a Sonic Cathedral love-in going on at the moment at Even The Stars.  With Season Sun, Gulp have produced the perfect summer record, full of psychedelic sixties harmonies, tinged with electronica, ideal for relaxing on these hot balmy evenings.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Courteeners - London 100 Club - 15th July 2014

It's not often you get the opportunity to watch one of Britain's biggest bands in a 200 capacity venue so we couldn't miss Courteeners at the 100 Club in London exclusively revealing five tracks from their forthcoming album Concrete Love and a bunch of crowd-pleasing favourites.

The Bedroom Hour - Manchester Night And Day - 12th July 2014

Uxbridge 5 piece The Bedroom Hour make the trip north to launch their debut LP at Manchester's legendary Night and Day. Stuart Ralston joined their army of fans for the show.

Honeyblood - Honeyblood

Guitar and drums two-piece Honeyblood finally released their self-titled debut album this week.  It's a joyous mix of infectious hooks and stories of love and hate.  They manage that unique trick of wearing its influences loud and proud but having a definitive identity of their own.

Sunday 13 July 2014

Liam Frost / Badly Drawn Boy - Manchester Roadhouse - 12th July 2014

Tonight's gig was to celebrate the life of Roadhouse co-owner Steve Lloyd who passed away with cancer earlier this year and to raise funds for the Christie Hospital in Manchester.  We caught the top two bands on the bill - Liam Frost and Badly Drawn Boy.

Pixies - Manchester Castlefields - 10th July 2014

We caught indie legends Pixies run through a set of classics and tracks from their comeback album Indie Cindy on a hot summer Manchester evening.

Saturday 12 July 2014

James / Blossoms - Manchester Castlefield Bowl - 11th July 2014

8,000 tickets for this show sold in under half an hour, proof of the pulling power James still have in their hometown.  On a fine summer's evening James delivered a set covering the whole thirty years of their career from early Factory singles to songs from their latest and greatest La Petite Mort.  We were also given a glimpse of Manchester's future with an excellent opening set from Blossoms.

Sunday 6 July 2014

The Vacant Lots - Glasgow ABC - 5th July 2014

At the end of the week that sees the release of their debut LP, Departure,on the Sonic Cathedral label, Stuart Ralston visited his home town to catch up with The Vacant Lots.

Friday 4 July 2014

PINS - Manchester Gorilla - 3rd July 2014

PINS are at that difficult point in a band's career, where their first album has been out a while, they've been playing those songs constantly to an audience that knows and loves them for a couple of years.  It's time for change though, to introduce new material and see how it's received.  They should have no such worries on the basis of tonight.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Hey Manchester Announce Two-Day Festival In Ancoats Churches

We're a little excited by the announcement from Hey Manchester of a two-day festival at Halle St Peters and St Michael's Church in Ancoats, Manchester as we'll have time to nip home between bands.  The line-up for the event on 16-17 August features The Travelling Band headlining on the Saturday and Jesca Hoop on the Sunday as well as a number of favourites we've written about previously.

Wednesday 2 July 2014

The Tea Street Band - The Tea Street Band

It's been a long four-year wait for Liverpool's The Tea Street Band's debut album.  And it's well worth it.  They take that much-maligned and oft-mocked "indie-dance" genre and redefine it with a genuinely exciting and thrilling record.