Saturday 30 May 2015

Blossoms / Vant / Rory Wynne - Manchester Club Academy - 29th May 2015

The inexorable rise of Blossoms continues apace. They're visibly growing before our eyes, turning all that raw promise and potential into something that promises to be truly special and they're taking their audience with them like the Pied Piper as they waltz through the venues of town. The Club Academy is packed to the rafters yet it already feels too small for them. Support was from Vant and Rory Wynne.

Friday 29 May 2015

Lunar - Manchester Zombie Shack - 28th May 2015

Lunar are a new four-piece from Manchester. This show, opening at the Zombie Shack, was their first ever gig - a short sharp burst of six songs weighing in just over 20 minutes - that showed both a love of the urban heroes of their hometown but also shades of great American alternative bands.

Jimi Goodwin - Manchester Roadhouse - 27th May 2015

It's a fitting farewell to the established Manchester venue The Roadhouse that Jimi Goodwin played one of the final gigs here. Part of that other Manchester holy trinity of Elbow, I Am Kloot and Doves, the venue plays a part early in their legend and tonight's show is a charity show for Christies in memory of Steve Lloyd, owner of The Roadhouse until his untimely death a year ago.

Thursday 28 May 2015

Stella Grundy - The Rise And Fall Of A Northern Star

Stella Grundy, former lead singer of Intastella, has forged a successful career in acting since her band broke up at the end of the last century. The Rise And Fall Of A Northern Star is the soundtrack of her latest venture, a one-woman play that she's touring around the UK at present. Stuart Ralston, a big fan back in the day, checks out the album to see if it rekindles his flame.

Wall Market Racketeers - Manchester Night And Day - 26th May 2015

Wall Market Racketeers were one of our tips for 2015 on the back of last year's debut Invisible Ink EP. They're back with a new single Saturnine from a forthcoming EP and to launch it they headlined the Night And Day. We caught up with them to see how they've developed since we last saw them back in August.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Liam Frost - Rawtenstall The Artisan - 24th May 2015

Liam Frost solo gigs are few and far between so when he announced a last minute show in Rawtenstall on Bank Holiday Sunday, plans were rearranged and we made the trip up the M66 to a part of the world we weren't too familiar with and were treated to an hour and a half of highlights from his two albums and the recent Wild Places EP as well as a couple of wonderful off-piste covers.

Track Of The Day : Wall Market Racketeers - Saturnine

Wall Market Racketeers, one of our tips for 2015, are back with a new single Saturnine, the lead track from a forthcoming EP. They launch it with a headline slot at the Night And Day in Manchester tonight.

Monday 25 May 2015

Liam Frost - Stars (live at The Artisan, Rawtenstall 24th May 2015)

Liam Frost played an intimate acoustic show at The Artisan in Rawtenstall on Sunday night. As part of his set, he played a cover of Simply Red's Stars, acoustic and stripped back in a way you'll never heard it before. We committed this to video and you can exclusively watch it below.

The Slow Readers Club - Manchester Night And Day - 23rd May 2015

It's an extremely busy night in Manchester. We can't get along to see all of the bands we want to as there are so many time clashes across town but we hot foot it from a packed Albert Hall (where Ride delivered an extraordinary set to a packed crowd) to a packed Night and Day to catch local heroes and Even The Stars favourites The Slow Readers Club live up to expectations once again.

Sunday 24 May 2015

Ride - Manchester Albert Hall - 23rd May 2015

Ride's return to Manchester was one of the most anticipated gigs of the year. A band whose legend seemed to grow with every year they were away even amongst those too young to have been there first time round. We wiped away a dewy-eyed reminiscence and went to the Albert Hall to see if they could fulfill all those expectations and we weren't disappointed.

Saturday 23 May 2015

James - Scarborough Open Air Theatre - 22nd May 2015

James opened their festival season with a headline slot at Scarborough's Open Air Theatre. Fresh from several weeks recording in a London studio, they debuted a new song and mixed together tracks from last year's La Petite Mort album with a series of their best-known fan favourites.

Friday 22 May 2015

Inspiral Carpets / Dub Sex - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 21st May 2015

Ahead of their performance at this weekend's Gigantic Festival in Manchester, Inspiral Carpets announced two intimate warm-up shows. We caught the train across the Pennines to the best small venue in the world, The Trades Club in Hebden Bridge, to catch the first of them. The recently reformed Dub Sex took up the support slot honours to make it an extra-special evening.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Multiplier - Multiplier EP

The debut release from Manchester's Multiplier shows much potential. Stuart Ralston has a listen.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

The Nightingales - Manchester Kraak Gallery - 18th May 2015

Touring their excellent new album Mind Over Matter, The Nightingales rocked up at Manchester's
intimate Kraak Gallery taking heavily from that and previous album For Fuck's Sake and demonstrated that despite the band's roots being thirty years back, they're very much of the here and now.

The Grand - Incapacitated, Ill-Fated And In Love

Wakefield's The Grand release their debut album Incapacitated, Ill-Fated and In Love ahead of their launch show at Player's Bar in their hometown on Sunday. It's a record full of ambition, a record that demands your time and attention and that gives you something new on every listen.

Tuesday 19 May 2015

David Ford - Manchester Deaf Institute - 17th May 2015

Four guitars, one bass, two sets of drums, one operated remotely by foot pedal, a piano, two electronic drum pads, one tambourine, one shaker and a plethora of loop pedals and electronic gadgetry make up the impressive array of equipment on stage yet it's all operated by one man as David Ford brings his One Man Band tour to the Deaf Institute in Manchester. It's by far his most ambitious set yet, but he pulls it off against the odds, confirming his place as a unique, yet criminally ignored artist.

Ex-Cops - Daggers

Ex Cops - Amalie Bruun and Brian Harding - return with their second LP, Daggers. Stuart Ralston shares his thoughts.

Monday 18 May 2015

Air Cav - Procession

The second album from Manchester's Air Cav is a joy from start to finish. The band seem to keep a low profile but Procession should propel them to the big time. A truly beautiful record that will be at the top end of Stuart Ralston's end of year poll.

Track Of The Day : White Boy - Rock On

Manchester's White Boy release their second single today, it's a cover of David Essex's 1973 hit Rock On. Whilst we're not fans of covers, this is an exception as they've taken the original and put their own glam-rock mark all over it.

Friday 15 May 2015

Sixty Minute Man - The Ten O'Clock Curfew

The Ten O'Clock Curfew is the debut EP by Manchester six-piece Sixty Minute Man. It's a record that's not afraid to puff out its chest and make its presence known, doffing its cap to a series of influences whilst retaining its own personality. It's a bold statement of who they are and where they're from.

Thursday 14 May 2015

Track Of The Day : Tindrumm - Coming Up For Air

Coming Up For Air is the debut release by Manchester-based quartet Tindrumm. Drenched in strings and keyboards with, it's an extremely promising beginning and suggests a band that's not afraid to have big ideas and to commit them to record.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

I Am Kloot / Andy Burrows - Liverpool O2 Academy - 9th May 2015

The last night of the I Am Kloot tour rolled into Liverpool’s O2 Academy accompanied by Andy Burrows.  We made the short journey up the East Lancs to catch a band at the top of their game – raw, loud and menacing but laden with a sense of dark humour prevailing throughout.

Frankie And The Heartstrings - Manchester Night And Day - 11th May 2015

Ahead of the July release of their third album Decency, Frankie And The Heartstrings are on a UK tour to preview tracks from the album as well as revisiting some old favourites after a hiatus where they’ve set up a record shop in their hometown and undergone a line-up change. We caught them at the Night And Day in Manchester.

She Makes War - Karlsruhe Kohi - 9th May 2015

She Makes War is a regular visitor to Germany where she has gained a big fanbase. Our friend Gudrun from Karlsruhe caught her show at the Kohi and reports back for us.

Monday 11 May 2015

The Warlocks / Black Market Karma / Enemies Eyes - Manchester The Roadhouse - 8th May 2015

Suddenly, as it's about to close, The Roadhouse seems to be getting most of the great gigs in town. You can always rely on Interstellar Overdrive to put together a great bill and tonight is no exception as they've brought The Warlocks over from Los Angeles for a short UK tour and paired them with London's Black Market Karma and Manchester's own Enemies Eyes.

The Nightingales - Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter is the latest album by The Nightingales, a record that straddles generations and genres, the sound of a band that has something to say and isn't afraid to say it and say it directly whilst looking you square in the eye.

Sunday 10 May 2015

Track Of The Day : Frankie And The Heartstrings - Save It For Tonight

It's been a while since we've heard from Frankie And The Heartstrings as they've been working on a new album as well as setting up a record shop in their native Sunderland. However, they've recently revealed a new track Save It For Tonight from an album called Decency that is coming out in July and ahead of that they've embarked on a UK tour which calls at the Night And Day in Manchester tomorrow (May 11).

Saturday 9 May 2015

Introducing - Roses Are Blue

This week's tip on Shell Zenner's Amazing Radio show is Roses Are Blue, another happy accidental discovery that the internet springs on you from time to time. The song Sorry - Trying To Tell You is a beautiful haunting track guaranteed to make the hair stand on the back of your neck the minute Rose starts to sing, accompanied only by a solitary, distant sounding piano. When we dug deeper, we found a prolific songwriter with a mine of similarly evocative songs waiting to be discovered. We caught up with Rose to find out a little more about her.

Friday 8 May 2015

Blossoms / Rory Wynne / Liam McClair - Stockport The Bungalow Club - 7th May 2015

The Bungalow Club is the social club attached to Stockport County's Edgeley Park football ground. Stockport is hometown to Blossoms, the best new band in Britain at the moment, and this is the second time they've played here in a matter of months to an adoring hometown crowd. And what's more, tonight's bill also included another young Stockport talent that's going to be on the tips of everyone's tongues very soon as well.

Thursday 7 May 2015

High Hazels / Jordan Allen - Manchester Roadhouse - 6th May 2015

On an exciting trans-pennine double bill, Sheffield's High Hazels made a long overdue return to Manchester to promote their latest single Valencia supported by Bolton's Jordan Allen. We went along to The Roadhouse to catch them and to see one of the last shows there before it closes for good at the end of the month.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Live At Leeds (Part 2) - Vitamin / Misty Miller / Blossoms / Bully / Kid Wave - 2nd May 2015

Yesterday we reviewed the first half of our day at Live At Leeds capturing Polo, Clay, Glacier Pacific, The Vryll Society and Gulf. Today's review covers the final five bands we saw at a festival we'll definitely be back at next year.

Monday 4 May 2015

Serpent Power - Serpent Power

Serpent Power are a new psychedelic super group featuring members of The Coral and The Zutons. Their self-titled debut album is out today. Stuart Ralston gives it a spin.

Live At Leeds (Part 1) - Polo / Clay / Glacier Pacific / The Vryll Society / Gulf - 2nd May 2015

It's our first time at Live At Leeds. The beauty of these urban festivals is that there's always something new to discover as well as catching bands you know and love. We put on our walking shoes and managed to see ten bands. The first five are covered here.

Sunday 3 May 2015

Our Fold / The Eyres / Du Dauphine / MRE - Manchester Night And Day - 1st May 2015

The latest Scruff Of The Neck Records gig at the Night And Day in Manchester followed the fine traditions it has established of pairing together great bands from in and outside Manchester and presenting them on the same bill. Whilst there's bands you know (and love), there's always new ones to discover. We caught ETS favourites Our Fold and Du Dauphine and discovered MRE and The Eyres.

Friday 1 May 2015

Dirty North - Wythenshawe Dub

Dirty North have stumbled around the Manchester underground scene for the past six years. Fusing reggae, rap and old-school rock, they've played the odd incendiary live gig to crowds that get their take on what it's like to grow up on a suburban housing estate. After a series of EPs and mixtapes of tracks they've recorded over the years and their debut Down In The Game, the appropriately titled Wythenshawe Dub is their second album, just as they go on an unspecified hiatus. It's available as a free download although you can (and should) pay what you like for it.