Monday 29 February 2016

Track Of The Day : She Drew The Gun - Poem

Poem is the latest single from She Drew The Gun ahead of the release of their much-anticipated debut album Memories Of The Future in March. The song, from one of top five tips for 2016, is one of the pointed pieces of social and political commentary set to music for years.

Sunday 28 February 2016

Blossoms / The Vryll Society / Viola Beach - Manchester Albert Hall / Sound Control - 27th February 2016

This Albert Hall gig sold out in days when it was first announced last October. Since then, Blossoms have become mainstays of radio playlists with Charlemagne and At Most A Kiss as well as appearing on the BBC Sound of 2016 poll and tonight's gig is the next stepping stone on the way to the country's biggest halls and the top of the charts.

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Track Of The Day - LIINES - Blackout

The end of 2015 saw triumph after triumph for Even The Stars' favourites LIINES. Their single Never There was picked up by John Kennedy at Radio X and made his Hot One Of The Week as well as him making the band one of his tips for 2016, they sold out their single launch at Night And Day and featured on influential sites such as The Quietus and Louder Than War. They've been quiet at the start of 2016, but are back with a new single Blackout and a March tour.

Blossoms - At Most A Kiss EP

At Most A Kiss is the latest step in Blossoms' unstoppable march to the highest echelons of the charts and the biggest halls of the country. Led by a radio-friendly once heard never forgotten hook-laden title track, it's the three tracks - Fourteen, Wretched Face and Misery - that make up the rest of the EP that will delight those who have championed them for so long. Not since The Smiths have we seen a British band so prolific in their output and unerringly consistent in the quality of it.

Monday 22 February 2016

Sam Carson - Manchester Sound Control - 20th February 2016

Lunar are one of the city's most promising young bands and their front man Sam Carson has also been making a name for himself with some solo acoustic performances that have had some compare him with a young Liam Fray. We went along to see him open for The Crookes and Misty Miller at Sound Control on Saturday night and left impressed by a young man with no shortage of confidence and the songs to back it up.

John Bramwell / Matter Of Mind - Manchester Dance House - 20th February 2016

Terry Christian's Mad Manc Night is becoming a regular feature on the Manchester scene with a mix of poets, comedians and musicians coming together for a three hour show that celebrates the culture and diversity of the city's entertainment scene. Saturday saw the latest instalment, of which we caught the start and watched two sets of music that come from different generations - a young Stockport band called Matter Of Mind and one of the city's most recognisable songwriters John Bramwell of I Am Kloot.

Mr Heart - Manchester Star And Garter - 20th February 2016

Given that we loved Salford's Mr Heart's 2012 debut album The Unspeakable Mr Heart, it seems to have been a massive oversight that tonight's gig at The Star And Garter is the first time we've ever seen them. They play a mix of tracks from that album as well as new material in a headline set that's dark and confrontational.

Bentcousin - Bentcousin

Brighton's Bentcousin have been making waves for a while now with their anything goes approach to musical genres. Their debut self-titled album, released last Friday, continues that approach. It's a real pot-pourri of sounds, but somehow they've managed to touch so many bases and still managed to create an endearing and cohesive album.

Friday 19 February 2016

Bluebird Kid Clark - Interview

Bluebird Kid Clark recently released a single Not The One via Scruff Of The Neck Records. Ahead of a mini-tour to support that release we spoke with Dave Fidler from the band to find out why they reformed after a several year absence and to find out what to expect from the shows.

James - London Scala - 18th February 2016

London Scala plays host to the second of James' intimate preview gigs for their forthcoming 14th album Girl At The End Of The World. A set brimming with ten tracks from the album and a few select nuggets from their back catalogue delighted a sweaty and packed venue.

Thursday 18 February 2016

James - Manchester Academy 2 - 17th February 2016

Your favourite band in a tiny venue previewing their unreleased new album for the first time is a special event. James' new album Girl At The End Of The World isn't out until March 18, but tonight's gig at Manchester Academy 2 is the first of two preview shows for the album ahead of its release. Tonight's set features ten of the album's twelve songs as well as some of their favourite songs.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Black Casino And The Ghost - Manchester Ritz - 16th February 2016

We'd been hoping Black Casino And The Ghost would make their way to Manchester for ages, but we'd never expected it would be in a venue like The Ritz and supporting Kula Shaker. However, stranger things have happened so we roll up in the middle of a thousand and a half people wanting to relive a strange phase twenty years ago where made up language ruled the charts to catch them impress a difficult audience with a real mix of high-energy rock and shimmering electronic balladry, always on the edge of explosion or retreat.

Sunflower Bean - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 16th February 2016

New York trio Sunflower Bean released their debut album Human Ceremony only a week and a half ago and tonight's sold out gig at Soup Kitchen is only their second visit to Manchester. Playing a mix of tracks from the album and their debut EP they stunned an expectant audience with an exciting head rush of art school rock and unavoidable hooks.

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Basia Bulat - Good Advice

Good Advice is Canadian Basia Bulat's fourth studio album and her most ambitious and accessible to date. From start to finish it's an upbeat record that showcases a talent that's blossomed over the course of three albums despite not reaching the commerical success they deserved. Hopefully Good Advice will be the point where that changes and she gets recognised as one of the most unique talents around.

Track Of The Day : Naropa - Fame

Naropa are a new five-piece from London. They met studying at Goldsmith's College and describe themselves, quite magnificently, as "Patrons of pie & mash, guitars and crash". Fame is one of the first two songs they've revealed.

Monday 15 February 2016

The Slow Readers Club / Bang Bang Romeo / Katie O'Malley / Ryan Jarvis - Manchester Crafted Festival - 13th February 2016

The Hope Mill Theatre, hidden away at the back of Ancoats, is the setting for the second Crafted Festival, a celebration of beer, food and music - possibly the best three things known to man. In wonderfully intimate surroundings we watched The Slow Readers Club, Bang Bang Romeo, Katie O'Malley and Ryan Jarvis play sets as the beer flowed and all sorts of street food was consumed.

Track Of The Day : The Lucid Dream - Bad Texan

Bad Texan is the first song to be revealed from The Lucid Dream's third album due to be released later this year. It's coming out as the lead track of an EP of the same name on March 11 backed with two BBC session tracks.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Introducing - Scarlet

Tip time again for Even The Stars on Shell Zenner's show on Amazing Radio and this week we've chosen a wonderful solo artist from London called Scarlet (not to be confused with the wonderful band from Liverpool of the same name). Her track X has been gathering rave reviews ahead of its release on her debut Phoenix EP. We had a chat with her to find out a little more about her.

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Suede - Manchester Albert Hall - 9th February 2016

Suede made a triumphant return to Manchester to play a two-part set at a packed full Albert Hall, the first of which was played behind a screen showing the film to their latest album Night Thoughts which was played in order and then after a short interval a run through most of their biggest hit singles.

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Belly Announce Return

It was with some excitement we read the post on Tanya Donelly's Twitter feed that Belly were reforming twenty years after they split up for some UK and US dates later in the year and that new material was on the way. They shone briefly but brightly between 1992 and 1995 and produced in Star and King two of the best albums of that time as well as some of our favourite ever live shows.

Cherry Ghost - Manchester Band On The Wall - 7th February 2016

Tonight's event is a fundraiser for Gracie's Fund which was set up to support a young girl Gracie who is four years old and for the second time in her young life is battling AT/RT which is a rare type of brain tumour. It's brought Simon Aldred, aka Cherry Ghost, out of hiding to perform a one-off show accompanied by Christian Madden on keyboards with all monies raised going to the fund to support treatment and care.

Monday 8 February 2016

The Slow Readers Club / Danny Mahon / Sam Carson - Manchester Sound Control - 7th February 2016

To commemorate the loss of music icon David Bowie in January, Ben Taylor of Sound Control came up with the great idea of an all-day event to commemorate the great man's work as well as to raise funds for Christies with Manchester bands and solo artists taking on the task of covering his songs and putting their own spin on them. As we had other gig commitments later, we only caught the afternoon session, but managed to see Sam Carson of Lunar, a welcome return for Danny Mahon and a four-song set from The Slow Readers Club.

Sunday 7 February 2016

Lanterns On The Lake With The Royal Northern Sinfonia / Ditte Elly - Gateshead Sage - 6th February 2016

There have been some spectacular orchestral collaborations between rock bands and orchestras in the past few years and we made our way to the North East for a very regional take on this as Newcastle’s Lanterns On The Lake teamed up with the Royal Northern Sinfonia chamber orchestra at their home in the stunning Gateshead Sage for an evening the performers and audience won’t forget in a while.

Saturday 6 February 2016

Billy Bibby And The Wry Smiles - Manchester Night And Day - 5th February

This is Billy Bibby And The Wry Smiles' debut Manchester show and it's a packed Night And Day Cafe that greets them for the launch gig of their debut EP Bide Your Time. Already Billy and his band have a set of ten songs that immediately grab you and don't let go until they've charmed their way into your heart.

Friday 5 February 2016

Track Of The Day : James - Nothing But Love

Nothing But Love is the next track to be revealed from James' forthcoming album Girl At The End Of The World, due for release on March 18th.

Billy Bibby - Interview

Billy Bibby And The Wry Smiles are about to embark on a big nationwide tour to support their debut EP Bide Your Time. You may know him as the former guitarist of Catfish And The Bottlemen, but he's branched out on his own and is building an audience and reputation all of his own. We had a chat with him before tonight's opening night at The Night And Day in Manchester.

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Track Of The Day : Bluebird Kid Clark - Not The One

Bluebird Kid Clark were one of Manchester's best kept secrets when releasing three albums between 2006 and 2012. Having taken a four-year hiatus whilst Dave Fidler pursued a solo career, they've been cajoled back into the studio to record new songs for Scruff Of The Neck Records, the first product of which is their new single Not The One.

Tuesday 2 February 2016

Track Of The Day : Montagues & Capulets - Aileen

Aileen is the debut single by Norwich based four-piece Montagues And Capulets. It's a brilliantly crafted pop song that never stands still and isn't quite as sweetness and light as it would appear on first listen.

Monday 1 February 2016

The Slow Readers Club - Manchester The Live Room - 30th January 2016


The Slow Readers Club opened 2016 with a low-key show supporting The Winachi Tribe at one of Manchester's newest venues The Live Room. An eleven-song set was pulled mainly from their breakthrough second album Cavalcade as well as selected highlights from their debut and they left the room singing along to their big anthemic songs and baying for more.

Track Of The Day: Jake Thomas Turnbull - One More Day

One More Day is the latest single from Jake Thomas Turnbull. It's released on February 12, but the North East singer-songwriter has just revealed the accompanying video to the song, his first since upping sticks and moving to London.

Bang Bang Romeo / Fronteers - Manchester Night And Day - 30th January 2016

This Feeling opened its series of Manchester club nights at the Night And Day with a huge six-band bill featuring some of the artists they're tipping to be "Big In 2016." We caught opening act Bang Bang Romeo and closing act Fronteers before and after other gigs spread across town and both acts lived up to expectations.