Saturday 28 February 2015

PINS / The Black Tambourines - Salford Eagle Inn - 27th February 2015

Ahead of the release of their second album in May, PINS hit the road for a short three-date tour, previewing ten songs from the album. We caught up with them in the intimate surroundings of Salford's Eagle Inn where they were supported by Falmouth noise merchants The Black Tambourines.

Friday 27 February 2015

Track Of The Day : Be Calm Honcho - I Love California

San Francisco four-piece Be Calm Honcho released their debut EP Honcho Dreams last June. We found them by chance as their video popped up on You Tube. We loved the track I Love California so much we bought the EP and here's the track that made us fall in love with them.

Thursday 26 February 2015

Track Of The Day 2 : Black Honey - Madonna

We caught Black Honey in Manchester last week and this week they've come up with their new single Madonna, out on April 6. The song bears all their trademark loud guitars and the unique rasping breathless voice of singer Izzy.

Track Of The Day : Coves - Shot To The Wall

Coves' debut album Soft Friday was number 3 in our albums of 2014. Their mix of garage band and electronic riffs and sixties girl-band vocals and harmonies is a surefire winner to our ears. Shot To The Wall is the first track revealed from their forthcoming Spectrum EP and has already won us over.

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Cheatahs - Sunne EP

Their first release since their self titled debut LP, Cheetahs return with a glorious extended player, featuring 4 new songs.

Track Of The Day : Bernard And Edith - Tidal Wave

Bernard and Edith have been around the Manchester live scene for a couple of years now, releasing a single on legendary Salford label Sways. They've now signed to Bella Union and have just revealed the first track from their forthcoming album Jem. Tidal Wave comes accompanied by a strange, but intoxicating moving image video.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Queen Kwong - London various venues - February 2015

Queen Kwong aka Carré Callaway doesn't tour, she attacks and invades. Ably assisted with her pretty heavyweight pedigree band (Wes Borland's other job is playing guitar in Limp Bizkit, Fred Sablan has played with Marilyn Manson (among others) and drummer Hayden Scott also drums with Filter), she just levelled London. Mathew Heath was there to tell us all what happened.

Track Of The Day : Record/Start - Rock From Afar

Rock From Afar (b/w Followay) is the debut single from Brighton-based Manchester ex-pat Record/Start. It's the perfect feel-good anthem with driving guitars and beautiful layered vocals in the chorus that betrays the fact it was recorded in a home studio.

Monday 23 February 2015

Sara Lowes - The Joy Of Waiting

It's been four long years since Sara Lowes' debut Back To Creation. The (perhaps) ironically titled The Joy Of Waiting has been those four years in the making, but is worth every minute of that wait. Beautifully constructed, full of pop sensibilities, divine changes of atmosphere and exquisite control of mood and pace, it's the most complete record we've heard for a long long time.

Spectres - Dying

Hailing from Devon, Spectres present their debut LP, some four years after forming. Another release from the majestic Sonic Cathedral, Dying is everything devotes of the label have come to expect - a love of guitars, of melodies, and of some experimental moments too. Spectres are reminiscent of all the great and influential bands of the 80s. You can hear Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, The Fall and the Mary Chain over the course of the record.

Track Of The Day : Randolph Swain & The Red Lights - Late Night Hot Tub Party

Describing their latest track Late Night Hot Tub Party as "Randolph gets drunk on Nuc-a-Chuck Hop juice and has a late Night Hot Tub Party" is an interesting introduction, but Randolph Swain And The Red Lights' new single is a storming three-minute space rock thriller.

Puppet Rebellion - Watch Me Fall / Claim To Fame

Acclaimed Manchester 5 piece Puppet Rebellion are back with a fantastic new single. Stuart Ralston has a listen.

Sunday 22 February 2015

White Boy - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 21st February 2015

Tonight's sold-out gig at Soup Kitchen is White Boy's live debut. With only one song revealed on the internet, the single Kiss And Run, the crowd are unsure what to expect from this new project headed by Joe, former lead man in The Janice Graham Band. With an album Glitoris due out next month, the sense of anticipation in the room was high, but White Boy more than delivered on people's wildest expectations.

Troubadour - Salford Eagle Inn - 31st January 2015

We caught Troubadour back in October last year at the Whiskey Sessions Unsigned finals and were impressed by them. They've recently released an EP Infinite Expectations and played a launch show at Salford's Eagle Inn. We were otherwise disposed, but Thomas James stepped in and reviewed the evening's events for us.

Saturday 21 February 2015

Dutch Uncles - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 21st February 2015

Ahead of the release of their fourth album Oh Shudder on Monday, Dutch Uncles played an intimate show at Manchester's Soup Kitchen for those who'd ordered the album with Piccadilly Records. With the surprise departure this week of Sped, they had to rearrange their live set up to accommodate as well as playing most of the new tracks to the public for the first time.

Introducing - The Grand

The Grand are a three-piece from Wakefield, Yorkshire. Their sound is however more reminiscent of American bands such as The National and REM. They're about to release their magnificently titled debut album Incapacitated, Ill-Fated And In Love in April.  We've tipped them this week on Shell Zenner's Amazing Radio show with a track from that album - Don't You Hate It When I'm Right.

Black Honey - Manchester Night And Day - 20th February 2015

Black Honey will rip your head off. Don't be suckered in by the sweet looking butter wouldn't melt look on Izzy's face as she climbs on stage. The minute there's a guitar strapped to her back and her bandmates kick in, she's transformed into a wild creature, prowling the stage, eyes fixated somewhere in the distance and only seconds away from letting go a blood-curdling scream.

Friday 20 February 2015

The Jesus And Mary Chain - Edinburgh Corn Exchange - 19th February 2015

Back in November, with our ears still ringing after a triumphant two-night stint at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, we vowed to catch the Mary Chain again. Their Psychocandy tour that took in only London, Glasgow and Manchester was so well received that a second leg was announced. We caught them on the only Scottish date of the tour.

The Sundowners / The Jade Assembly / She Drew The Gun / HAPI - Manchester Night And Day - 19th February 2015


A four-band line-up, each very different in their own right, thrilled a packed Night And Day Cafe. Headliners The Sundowners fought illness, in the form of co-vocalist Fiona losing her voice, and against all the odds demonstrated what a versatile and fabulous live band they are.

Track Of The Day : Black Tooth - John

Ahead of their forthcoming EP, Black Tooth are releasing tracks to Soundcloud. The first preview track is John, a track only finished a week ago, but revealed ahead of the EP launch gig at Gullivers in Manchester on March 21st.

Thursday 19 February 2015

Girlpool - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 18th February 2015

Cleo and Harmony, aka Girlpool, are a two-piece from Philadelphia. Armed with just a guitar and a bass and a set of short, sharp and not so sweet three minute songs, they made their Manchester debut at The Soup Kitchen.

Dave Fidler / Mano McLaughlin - Chorlton Strange Brew - 17th February 2015

Since his sold-out album launch at The Whiskey Jar in October, Dave Fidler's been quiet other than a few support slots on John Bramwell's never ending solo tour, but tonight he's playing an intimate show to celebrate the launch of his new single Taking Over with support from Mano McLaughlin.

Track Of The Day : Torres - Strange Hellos

Strange Hellos is the first taster from Torres' , aka Mackenzie Scott, second album Sprinter which is due out in May.  Recorded in the unlikely setting of Bridport, Dorset, Strange Hellos gives a hat tip to Pixies and Breeders, but is ultimately Mackenzie expelling dark thoughts to the sound of thrashing guitars and drums. It's a phenomenal marker for the album.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Track Of The Day : Hazel Empire - Clouds

Hazel Empire are a Liverpool female three-piece trio that combine their voices beautifully to produce uniquely inventive folk music. We've only heard two songs so far - our Track Of The Day Clouds and the equally delightful Colours - but we can't wait to hear more.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Track Of The Day : Dave Fidler - Taking Over

Even The Stars favourite Dave Fidler releases his new single Taking Over today with a free entry launch show at Strange Brew in Chorlton. The live favourite from last year's debut album I'm Not Here comes backed with a previously unreleased track Life And Times and album track A Song For Nico recorded live at his Manchester album launch.

Monday 16 February 2015

The Lucid Dream - Manchester Roadhouse - 14th February 2015

Ahead of the release of their self-titled second album, The Lucid Dream played a headline show at The Roadhouse showcasing some of the songs from that album as well as their debut Songs Of Lies And Deceit. If anyone thought guitar music was dying, they need to go and see them.

Track Of The Day : Bathymetry - Goblin Fruit

Bathymetry are a three-piece band based somewhere between Manchester and Liverpool. They hail from Warrington, Carlisle and Washington state USA. Their recent free download Goblin Fruit is the pick of their brooding, tuneful yet slightly sinister sparkly tracks. If you're going to see Jesus And Mary Chain in Liverpool tonight, they're supporting.

Saturday 14 February 2015

Jane Weaver / Tender Prey - Manchester Gullivers - 13th February 2015

Last year's Silver Globe album thrust Jane Weaver back into the spotlight. Chosen as album of the year by Piccadilly Records, its psyche undertones and dreamy vocals made her sixth album a surprise hit. We caught her at a rare live show at a packed sold-out Gullivers supported by the excellent Welsh trio Tender Prey.

Friday 13 February 2015

Track Of The Day : Lusts - Temptation

Lusts have been sat in our inbox for a few weeks after our esteemed friends at the Von Pip Express raved about them. We've finally got round to giving them a listen and we love what we here. Lead track from their EP they revealed recently Temptation is our Track Of The Day.

Thursday 12 February 2015

Gaz Coombes - Manchester Gorilla - 11th February 2015

With critical acclaim and a Top 20 chart position ringing in his ears for his second solo album Matador, Gaz Coombes has hit the road in the UK with London foursome F.U.R.S in tow. We caught up with them at Manchester's Gorilla for a hot and sweaty sold-out show.

Track Of The Day : This Is The Kit - Bashed Out

This Is The Kit have been burrowed away with Aaron Dressner of The National working on their third album. Our Track Of The Day Bashed Out is the title track and the first fruits of those sessions with the album due out in April.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

I Love You, Honeybear is Father John Misty's second album, but it will go down as the ex-Fleet Foxes man's masterpiece. It's a record that's beautifully simple and unequivocally timeless in its execution, but which manages to feel and sound exceptionally complex in its construction.

Track Of The Day : Adam Walsh - Around

Adam Walsh is the front man of Velocets, a band we covered in 2014. He's also taking to the acoustic circuit around Manchester this month and has put out a couple of teaser tracks already. One of these is Around and we're rather taken by it.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Black Rivers - Manchester HMV - 8th February 2015

On the eve of the release of their self-titled debut Black Rivers played a short seven-song set in Manchester's HMV as part of the promotional cycle for the record. We went along and were mightily impressed by a set of songs full of the rhythm and craft that made us fall in love with Doves so many years ago.

Track Of The Day : Empire Signal - Turn Myself Around

Manchester's Empire Signal have been threatening big things for a while now, despite only playing the odd gig here and there. They're gearing up for the release of an EP in the near future and a headline show at the Ritz in Manchester on 21st February. Turn Myself Around from that EP is our track of the day.

Monday 9 February 2015

The Sundowners - The Sundowners

The Sundowners' debut album has taken nearly five years to come to fruition, but it's been worth the wait. The eleven tracks are sun-drenched with psychedelic Sixties Haight-Astbury vibes wrapped around beautifully crafted tunes and melodies delivered by the twin-vocal approach of lead vocalists Niamh and Fiona.

Track Of The Day : Misty Miller - Best Friend

Misty Miller has undergone quite a transformation over the past few years. Gone is the slightly twee, a little lightweight sound of tracks like Remember and in its place a loud, brash bold in your face rock goddess. New song Best Friend is a beautiful emotion-wracked track, epic and wrought with feeling in equal proportion.

Sunday 8 February 2015

Elbow - Manchester Apollo - 7th February 2015

Last time we saw Elbow was in the cavernous expanse of the Manchester Arena as they performed tracks from their last three albums. Whilst we love those records, we were less impressed by the lack of earlier material and the showman antics of Guy Garvey. This set of four hometown gigs at the Apollo has been heralded as a return to their roots and a career retrospective. We weren't left disappointed by what we heard and saw.

Friday 6 February 2015

Track Of The Day : Antelopes - It's You

Reminiscent of classic no thrills guitar rock with hints of pop, Antelopes follow up their three EPs to date with the release their new single It's You via Blak Hand Records on February 16th. We love it so we've made it today's Track Of The Day.

Thursday 5 February 2015

Track Of The Day : Findlay - Electric Bones

Findlay was one of our top three tips for 2015. The other two (Blossoms and The Tapestry) have graced us with great singles in January and it's now Findlay's turn to reveal Electric Bones, her first song for over a year and today's Track Of The Day justifies that place in our tip selection.

Wednesday 4 February 2015

The Tapestry - Interview

The Tapestry were one of our top tips for 2015. This Saturday they play their biggest headline date so far at Band On The Wall in Manchester for the launch of their killer new double A-side single Infatuation / Look Out. We had a chat with front man Liam Faherty about the single, the fabulous video to Infatuation and their plans for the show and the rest of 2015.

Track Of The Day : Trampolene - Imagine Something Yesterday

Welsh three-piece Trampolene were one of our tips for 2015. Ahead of the release of their second "pocket album" on March 16th, they've revealed the first track from it - Imagine Something Yesterday, which is today's Track Of The Day.

Tuesday 3 February 2015

The Slow Readers Club Announce New Album Cavalcade

Even The Stars' favourites The Slow Readers Club have announced the release of their second album Cavalcade in April. The album features their their three most recent singles - Forever In Your Debt, Start Again and Don't Mind - and will be released on CD, vinyl and download. They've also announced a number of dates around the release.

Track Of The Day : The Rainkings - In From The Rain

The Rainkings were formed in 1989 when Stephen Holt and Dave Swift left Inspiral Carpets just as they were on the cusp of breaking through. They formed The Rainkings and released a couple of singles before disbanding in 1994. They reformed in 2013 and released a career retrospective. For one week only they've made a new track In From The Rain available on soundcloud and it's our Track Of The Day.