Wednesday, 29 April 2015
This week, The Rainkings released a new EP called Fiveways, their first new material for nearly a quarter of a century. We caught up with front man Stephen Holt for a chat about the recording of the EP and setting up his own label Hear Here to release it.
Bashment is the first track from Manchester's My Igloo with their new line-up. The live favourite has been transformed from a raucous saxophone-led knees-up in something more chilled in its approach and vibe, but something quite special.
Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Bolton's The Jade Assembly launch their new single One Last Time next Monday and precede it with a launch show at their home town's Blind Tiger on Sunday supported by a host of local bands. The single is another example of their bold, heartfelt take on alternative rock and another step up for a band with songs big enough to fill big rooms. We caught up with front man John "Foz" Foster for a chat ahead of the launch.
Tom Hingley continued his never-ending solo tour with a gig at the Greenside Hotel in Leslie. Stuart Ralston went along and witnessed a set mixing songs from his past, his present and future.
Monday, 27 April 2015
It's three long years since Ren Harvieu broke onto the scene with her Top 5 album Through The Night. As we wait patiently for her second album, being crafted with the likes of Bernard Butler and The Magic Numbers' Romeo Stodart, she played a show at Manchester's Deaf Institute, mixing songs from her debut with a few covers and one new song whilst showcasing a new more upbeat dynamic sound with a five-piece band without taking the focus away from her show-stopping voice.
Ruby Tuesday are a two-piece guitar and drums group from Manchester. They recently released a new EP The Devil's Roulette and sold out Kraak Gallery in town. We spoke with guitarist Jimmy McCarthy about their past, the EP and the inevitable (and lazy) comparisons.
Clay headlined the latest This Feeling night at Manchester's Night and Day Cafe. With a strong following back in their hometown of Leeds and a sold-out night at the Leeds version of the popular club night on the Friday evening, we nipped in to check them out and were hugely impressed by their fresh, lively and energetic sound.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
It's been four long years since The Bluetones called it a day with a series of celebratory gigs. They're back again with a series of tour dates in September to celebrate their twentieth anniversary of being a band. We spoke to guitarist Adam Devlin about what they've been up whilst they were away, his highlights and lowlights of the band's career and his burgeoning Twitter following.
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
Sunday nights are always quiet for shows, so you know there's something special happening when Gullivers is sold out in advance. And it's with good reason as we're treated to not just one but two fabulous acts from across the Atlantic. Canadian Jenn Grant opens the evening and is followed by American soon-to-be-superstar Ryley Walker.
Sunday, 19 April 2015
The Slow Readers Club launched their second album Cavalcade with a sold-out show at Manchester Academy 3. Whilst their star has been rising steadily over the past twelve months with a series of singles that have in turn won them more fans with each release, the release of Cavalcade and this sold-out show are hopefully now a stepping stone to bigger things.
Saturday, 18 April 2015
Duke Special has been treading the boards of the country for over a decade now. A unique performer with a back catalogue that travels through his own material, a multitude of covers but also themed releases around theatrical shows, books and orchestral performances, he’s touring the UK in support of his latest album Look Out Machines! with support from the wonderful She Makes War.
Friday, 17 April 2015
Starting their career with a series of sell-out EPs that grabbed them a major label deal and support slots with James and Carter USM, Thousand Yard Stare were one of the most creative indie bands emerging in the early years of the 1990s. They recorded two albums Hands On and Mappamundi before calling it a day. They've recently announced a London date on June 6 to raise funds for a cancer charity.
Thursday, 16 April 2015
To support the release of album of the year contender The Joy Of Waiting, Sara Lowes played an intimate set at Salford's Eagle Inn mixing tracks from the album, her debut Back To Creation and a track inspired by Dylan Thomas. Backed by members of The Earlies and other illuminati of the Manchester scene, her live show matched the grace and vitality of the album.
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
Lone Tree Quartet released their debut album Have Mercy last month, a nine-track album steeped in the finest traditions of folk and country with informed nods to other genres, a genuine music lovers' album for both its makers and its listeners.
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Coves' debut album Soft Friday was number 3 in Even The Stars' albums of 2014. They've followed it up with some exhilarating live shows earlier this year and now release a four-track EP, for free, which includes three new tracks as well as a reworking of album No Ladder. On this basis, Coves retain their ability to thrill with a darker electronic sound and the breathless angelic vocals of Bec Wood.
Monday, 13 April 2015
Some bands come alive in the live environment. I Am Kloot are one of the prime examples of that, the spontaneity of performance, the electric connection between the three original members of the band and their audience and a set of songs that come alive in dark rooms. They've finally got round, fifteen years into their career, to releasing a live album, Hold Back The Night, recorded during a series of shows back in 2013.
It was with some trepidation that we discovered that Razorlight's drummer Andy Burrows was supporting I Am Kloot on their current UK tour as we're not huge fans of Johnny Burrell's troupe. However, we're always open to be surprised and Andy and his band won us over with sweet melancholic tales.
Friday, 10 April 2015
Sara Lowes recently released her second album The Joy Of Waiting, one of Even The Stars' favourite albums of the year so far. Ahead of next week's show at the Eagle Inn in Salford, we caught up with her and talked about the myriad of musical projects she's currently involved in.
It's just under two years since Jess Harwood released her debut EP I'll Find A Way. This week she releases her You & I EP, her first collection of songs since then, and it's a huge progression for the Blackpool singer-songwriter, more than delivering on the promise of that first release.
Thursday, 9 April 2015
Back in the heady days of late 1990s Britpop, one band stood out from the crowd because of the voice of their front man - Andrew Montgomery. Geneva, hampered by the press backlash at the second wave of bands and the financial meltdown of their label Nude, released two stunning albums Further and Weather Underground. Andrew released his debut solo album Ruled By Dreams last year and we caught the final date of his UK tour at The Compass in Chester.
Wednesday, 8 April 2015
I Am Kloot's first two gigs of the year took place in The Netherlands, the first at the Paaspop Festival on the outskirts of S'Hertgenbosch and the second in the more familiar setting of Amsterdam's Melkweg. We caught up with the slimmed-down three-piece I Am Kloot as they started their year off in style.
Tuesday, 7 April 2015
With sold out shows in their hometown and two EPs under their belt, Puppet Rebellion head to Scotland for the first time.
Friday, 3 April 2015
Nelson Can from Copenhagen are on their first UK tour in support of their album Now Is Your Time To Deliver. We caught their debut Manchester show supported by Even The Stars favourites LIINES.
Thursday, 2 April 2015
Bells In The Birches are a Manchester-based folk group about to release their second EP Ordinary Boy. The beauty in their music is in its simplicity, the way acoustic guitars and strings pluck at your heartstrings whilst vocalist Helen tells tales of love and adventure.