Saturday, 31 December 2016
Wednesday, 28 December 2016
Tuesday, 27 December 2016
The final moments of The Tapestry's existence as a band are chaotic, shambolic, drunken and magnificent, with a full on stage invasion, equipment being knocked over and out and everyone singing along to Rode Your Luck, one of their finest tracks and a fitting epitaph to a foursome that were at their best in their riotous live shows that should have catapulted them to bigger and better things.
Monday, 26 December 2016
Friday, 23 December 2016
The final five of our top twenty albums of 2016 have all been number one in the various versions of the list that have been written, crumpled up and thrown away, such is the closeness of the five. But here we present our final decision.
Thursday, 22 December 2016
Wednesday, 21 December 2016
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
Our end of year album poll starts with a look at the records we placed at twenty to sixteen in the list. We'll continue our countdown five albums a day until Friday when we reveal our top five.
Every year David Ford puts on a special event called Milk And Cookies in December to raise money for charity. It's no ordinary gig though, as the title suggests people bring milk and cookies to sell for donations, there's auctions, an interval and a selection of his own songs, some covers he's selected and others that are randomly picked from a book by members of the audience. It all sounds like it could go terribly wrong, but it never does thanks to Ford's ability to fashion covers of classic songs, guilty pleasures and some of his own favourites from his home-made looping machines and the most basic of kit.
Friday, 16 December 2016
Back in August, we introduced One-Way Song and they're back with a new song called Dr Spraza Lies which represents a new direction for the project that morphed from a theatre project into a band. Scrapping their early work, including an almost-finished debut album, was a brave move, but if Dr Spraza Lies is anything to go by, their new approach is set to pay dividends.
Thursday, 15 December 2016
Pomona is the first fruits of the sessions that Liam Frost embarked on with The Slowdown Family once they got together earlier this year to perform their debut album Show Me How The Spectres Dance at Manchester's Deaf Institute earlier this year.
Great Beauty is the first single to be released from The Sundowners' forthcoming as-yet-untitled second album. The follow up to 2015's self-titled has been eagerly anticipated for some time now as they've been slowly revealing tracks at their live shows throughout 2016.
Tuesday, 13 December 2016
We don't do previews as a rule, but we'll make an exception for When In Manchester. It's a festival that was the brain child of four young women (Abi, Miriam, Ellen and Nicole) that ran their first successful event at Gullivers and The Castle back in April. Their second festival takes place at The Ruby Lounge on Saturday and promises ten up-and-coming acts across two stages, some of whose profile has already sky-rocketed since they were booked. It could be the last chance to catch some of them in such intimate surroundings and an excellent opportunity to show your support to young promoters taking on the big boys.
Sunday, 11 December 2016
Saturday, 10 December 2016
The third night of James's short December tour rolled into Sheffield on Friday night and continued in the same vein as the previous two, with a set that varied considerably from the previous ones, resurrection of old favourites from the depths of their back catalogue and some of their biggest songs in one triumphant event. Support came from Manchester's The Slow Readers Club who look and sound completely at home on these bigger stages.
Thursday, 8 December 2016
Day two of James' UK mini tour saw them return to Wolverhampton for the first time in nineteen years to the Civic. A set full of surprises and seven setlist changes from the previous night and a band at the peak of their powers in one of the best venues of this size in the country delighted a packed Black Country crowd. Support came from The Slow Readers Club.
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
The brief accompanying Rocketship Forest’s new EP Fingerthief states that the songs “wrestle with the themes of charlatan clairvoyants, alien abduction, riot mentality and pyromania” which was reason enough to have a listen to it and we weren’t disappointed.
James returned to Nottingham Royal Centre to fulfil the gig they had to cancel at the end of their May tour due to Tim Booth's illness to deliver a set full of songs from their number 2 album Girl At The End Of The World as well as highlights from their pre- and post-reformation. Support came from an impressive set from Manchester's The Slow Readers Club who now feel very much at home in these big venues.
Monday, 5 December 2016
Pixies' latest tour in support of their second post-comeback album Head Carrier hit Manchester Apollo on Sunday night. A thirty-four song set covered all bases in their career from Surfer Rosa through to their latest album and left us with one of the most spectacular encores we've witnessed. Support came from the excellent Fews.
Back in September, Liam Frost reunited The Slowdown Family for the tenth anniversary of their debut album Show Me How The Spectres Dance. At the end of the shows he revealed that they were writing new music for a record that they hope to release in 2017. This first show since then revealed a couple of new songs, revisited some old favourites and a little Christmas spirit. Main support came from Baby Brave.
The Maitlands might never worry the scorers in the pop charts, but we suspect they care about that even less than we do. Outsiders on the vibrant live scene in Manchester, they probably also care little about that fact too, happy to play their own merry way around the venues of the city. We caught up with them in the cosy surroundings of Aatma as they headlined the first Atomic Catfight club night.
Sunday, 4 December 2016
2016 has undoubtedly been Blossoms' year. Tipped as the next big thing by pretty much everyone (except us, as they topped our 2015 list), they delivered a number one album which managed the rare feat for a debut of holding on to the spot for a second week as well as constant touring around the UK and further afield. As they top of the year with another sold out UK tour we caught up with their second night at Manchester's Albert Hall for a triumphant homecoming (of sorts, Stopfordians) supported by Inheaven.
Saturday, 3 December 2016
Deep in darkest Salford is The White Hotel, formerly known as The Bunker, an old garage where the pit acts as a bar and acts perform in a cage whilst the audience are in the adjoining one. It's an unusual place to catch a band that's everywhere at the moment - BBC Sound Of 2017, Blossoms and Courteeners supports to name just two, but Cabbage are no ordinary band as they proved with a chaotic performance in the smallest place you're likely to see them for a long time.
Friday, 2 December 2016
Funeral is the second album by Faroese artist Heidrik. It's a magnificent piece of art, delicate in its construction but opulent in its furnishings, easy to immerse yourself in but with depths that reveal themselves with each listen. It's given us food for thought in our already shifting album of the year poll.
Noise is the lead track from Manchester four-piece New Luna's debut EP due out next week. The four-piece have spent their summer honing their craft at festivals across the country in anticipation of their first proper release.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
It's twenty years since The Cure last played Manchester Arena and as they returned to the UK at the end of a year-long world tour expectations were high amongst the 16,000 sold out crowd. The career- spanning set was cut short by Robert Smith's vocal issues but they still delighted with a two hour mix from most of their albums leaving their biggest songs to the end. Support came from Glaswegian heroes The Twilight Sad.
Monday, 28 November 2016
Back in February, Lanterns On The Lake collaborated with the Royal Northern Sinfonia for a one-off show at The Sage in Gateshead. Bella Union have just released a digital version of ten of the songs from one of our favourite shows of the year and it's every little bit as special as we remembered.
Aatma played host to LIINES' hometown launch show for their first physical release, the double A-side single Be Here / Disappear, on Saturday night. A packed crowd was delighted by a forty minute set that left both band and audience gasping for breath.
When I Think Of You is the third track to be revealed by Glasgow's Lucia Fontaine from her forthcoming Best Boy EP which will also include her previous tracks Best Boy and Lose My Mind,
Saturday, 26 November 2016
Divided Kingdom is the fifth in the series of Pocket Albums that Trampolene have released over the past couple of years. As with previous releases there's a huge variety on show from full-on everything turned up rock songs to delicate heartwrenching acoustic tracks and poetry from one of Britain's most underrated bands.
Friday, 25 November 2016
Four bands playing for free on a Thursday night? When it's the calibre of established acts such as October Drift and Larkins playing a venue much smaller than their previous Manchester headline shows, then it's too good to turn down especially when highly tipped local acts Plastic House and Sly Antics are also on the bill.