Monday 30 May 2016

Cabbage - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 29th May 2016

Cabbage are ready to rule the world, but is the world ready for them? The most left-field of potential next big things are only six months into existence, but already they're packing out venues and creating a buzz about them that's almost unprecedented. Their latest sold-out Soup Kitchen show threatened to degenerate into chaos at times and ended with them on stage in adult nappies, but merely confirmed then blew apart everything we already knew.

Sunday 29 May 2016

Heavy On The Magic - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 28th May 2016

Heavy On The Magic are a curious bunch. Formed out of the ashes of political punk band The Minx, they're much more atuned to pop music than their predecessors but without losing any of that witty observation of what's going on around them. They don't fit in any boxes, conform to any pattern, yet they're not weird or inaccessible either and they're becoming a great live band in the process.

Saturday 28 May 2016

Dot To Dot Festival - Manchester various venues - 27th May 2016

Dot To Dot Festival is now a fixture in the late May bank holiday weekend in Manchester. It moved to the Northern Quarter a couple of years ago due to the close vicinity of dozens of great little gig spaces. We trekked round the venues catching some of our favourite bands as well as some new ones avoiding most of the big names.

Thursday 26 May 2016

Dave Fidler / Liam McClair - Manchester Texture - 24th May 2016

One of Manchester's hidden unexpected gems as a gig venue, Texture, played host to a fundraising gig for Gorton's Rushbrook Academy, a primary school situated in area with one of the worst deprivation rates in the country.  Dave Fidler and Liam McClair played solo sets and the school held an auction for signed Elbow memorabilia in order to raise funds for several school projects.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

James - Intimate Rehearsal - 30th April 2016


James warmed up for their fifteen date UK tour with an intimate rehearsal set at Music Bank in Bermondsey in front of a specially invited group of twenty fans. As well as running through the whole of their recent number 2 album Girl At The End Of The World, they included some rarities in the set including one that hadn't been played for seventeen years.

Monday 23 May 2016

The Hipshakes - Snake

Snake is the third album in the twelve year history of Bakewell's The Hipshakes, but also their third album in the last ten months as the band had focused on singles for the first decade of their existence. The thirteen songs on Snake clock in at just over thirty one minutes and it's that brevity that helps make Snake such a fascinating listen - they don't stand on ceremony at all.

Saturday 21 May 2016

James - Birmingham Barclaycard Arena - 20th May 2016

The penultimate night of the Girl At The End Of The World tour saw James reach the National Indoor / Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham.

Friday 20 May 2016

Kate Jackson - British Road Movies

Eight years after the dissolution of The Long Blondes, British Road Movies finally sees the long-awaited return of Kate Jackson to the music scene with an album that's taken that long to come to fruition. It's more than worth the wait though.

Thursday 19 May 2016

She Drew The Gun - Interview

Memories Of The Future is the debut album released by She Drew The Gun earlier this month and looks certain to be near the top when we come to do our end of year polls for 2016. We caught up with Louisa for a quick chat at the end of her recent album promotional tour.

Peter Doherty / The April Rainers / Jack Jones (Trampolene) - Manchester Albert Hall - 17th May 2016

Peter Doherty brought his Eudamonia tour to Manchester's Albert Hall on Tuesday night. Mixing solo material with that of his bands The Libertines and Babyshambles was an interesting contrast in style and pace before an adoring crowd. Support came from The April Rainers and Trampolene's Jack Jones.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Track Of The Day : Sere Trouble - Headphones

Sere Trouble is a well-travelled multi-instrumentalist who has just completed recording her new EP Burning Milk due out soon. Today she releases the lead track from that EP entitled Headphones.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

James / The Slow Readers Club - Hull City Hall - 16th May 2016

As James' Girl At The End Of The World tour enters its third and final week, the band made a long-awaited return to Hull and the resplendent surroundings of City Hall after a nearly quarter of a century absence. The Slow Readers Club supported.

Liam McClair - Castlefields Food And Drink Festival - 15th May 2016

Liam McClair’s appearance at the annual Castlefields Food and Drink Festival was one of the highlights of a rich and diverse musical line-up that celebrates and gives opportunities to some of the best under-the-radar talent in the city at present. With his smooth, highly accessible songwriting craft very much to the fore he charmed an audience enjoying the food, booze and the unusually sunny Manchester weather.

Monday 16 May 2016

John Metcalfe - Manchester Castle Hotel - 15th May 2016

Sometimes random gigs are the best. I’d never heard of John Metcalfe before tonight, my Factory knowledge not stretching enough to know he was a member of Durutti Column but before a packed music room in The Castle, we witnessed a fabulously varied set that mixed electronic trickery with real instruments and the stunning voice of Rosie Doonan to create a thoroughly enthralling show.

Sunday 15 May 2016

James - Leeds First Direct Arena - 14th May 2016

Moving on from the previous night's spectacular Manchester show, James moved across the Pennines to Tim Booth country for a Saturday night show at Leeds' relatively new First Direct Arena.

Saturday 14 May 2016

James / The Slow Readers Club - Manchester Arena - 13th May 2016

Manchester so much to answer for. Manchester is home for James although none of the line-up on stage tonight currently reside in the world's greatest city. It's still their spiritual home though where they formed, where they survived the barren early years, where they wrote their best known songs in the dark satanic mills of Ancoats. The city may have changed unrecognisably since then and James may have died, been reborn and reinvented time and time again, but tonight's show in the Arena felt like a triumphant return of the prodigal son.

Friday 13 May 2016

James / The Slow Readers Club - Llandudno Venue Cymru - 12th May 2016

We're back on the James tour after a few dates off and next stop is Llandudno, a beautiful seaside town on the North Wales coast that seems mostly untainted by the cataclysmic decline of so many similar places. Support came from Manchester's The Slow Readers Club.

Monday 9 May 2016

Rinse - Interview

Stoke's Rinse are a band that have making waves in their hometown for quite some time now and are on the verge of breaking out big time beyond as well. With the recent release of their latest track Taser Party they're broadening their horizons and we spoke to them about it.

Sunday 8 May 2016

James / The Slow Readers Club - London Brixton Academy - 7th May 2016

A sold-out Brixton Academy is one of the most thrilling places to experience a gig. Saturday night and James are in town with their new number 2 album Girl At The End Of The World and Manchester's The Slow Readers Club in tow.

Saturday 7 May 2016

James / The Slow Readers Club - London Kentish Town Forum - 6th May 2016

Night two at Kentish Town Forum meant a new setlist, more surprises and some inspired improvisation from James in front of a fervent sell-out crowd. Still heavy on Girl At The End Of The World but with something for everyone including a couple of resurrected favourites, James left the audience wanting much more. Support came from The Slow Readers Club who are blossoming on these expansive stages.

Thursday 5 May 2016

James / The Slow Readers Club - London Kentish Town Forum - 4th May 2016

James returned to an old hunting ground Kentish Town Forum (aka The Town And Country Club) for the first of two nights there, supported by Manchester's The Slow Readers Club. The set featured the new album Girl At The End Of The World heavily with a few old favourites and a couple of curveballs.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

James / The Slow Readers Club - Southend Cliffs Pavilion - 3rd May 2016

Night two of the Girl At The End Of The World tour sees James and The Slow Readers Club head to the Essex coast and Southend's Cliffs Pavilion. As in the previous night in Bristol, the James set focused heavily on the new album, but as with tradition the order and some of the other songs in the set changed radically from gig to gig.

Tuesday 3 May 2016

James / The Slow Readers Club - Bristol Colston Hall - 2nd May 2016

The opening night of James' UK tour in support of their number 2 album Girl At The End Of The World saw them take to the stage of Bristol's resplendent Colton Hall to perform a set that consisted of all but one of the songs from that record, a couple of surprises and a few (but not all) of their best loved hits). Support came from Manchester's The Slow Readers Club.

Those Handsome Animals - Rant Wildly

Rant Wildly is the new single from London four-piece Those Handsome Animals. Like their previous offering Do Wrong, it's been recorded live to tape with Cribs' debut album produced Ed Deegan. As a result it delivers a massive raw punchy kick to the guts.

Monday 2 May 2016

She Makes War / She Drew The Gun - Salford St Philips Church - 1st May 2016

The holy surroundings of St Philips Church in Salford provided the backdrop for two great sets in surreal circumstances with light shining through the glazed windows at the start of Sounds From The Other City from She Makes War and She Drew The Gun, both on the promotional circuit for their excellent recent albums Direction Of Travel and Memories Of The Future.

Travis - London HMV - 30th April 2016

In support of their new album Everything At Once, Travis played an intimate five-song set up at the top of HMV's flagship store on Oxford St in London before meeting with fans, taking selfies and signing everything and anything. We went along to catch them mix some of their best known classics with some of the new material which they see as the best of their career.

Section 25 - Manchester Factory 251 - 29th April 2016

To celebrate the release of their Record Store live album Alfresco, Section 25 set off on a mini tour of Hebden Bridge, Manchester and London. We caught them at their Factory 251 gig on Friday night.