Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Cure / The Twilight Sad - Manchester Arena - 29th 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

Lanterns On The Lake - Live With Royal Northern Sinfonia

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.

LIINES - Manchester Aatma - 26th November 2016

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.

Track Of The Day : Lucia Fontaine - When I Think Of You

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

Trampolene - Divided Kingdom (Pocket Album Five)

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.

Cabbage - Terrorist Synthesizer EP

Terrorist Synthesizer is the final in a trilogy of Cabbage EPs, released one a month over the past three, that will make up their Young, Dumb And Full Of... record that's coming out in January.

Friday, 25 November 2016

October Drift / Larkins / Plastic House / Sly Antics - Manchester Dive NQ - 24th 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.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Weyes Blood - Manchester Castle Hotel - 23rd November 2016

With the critical success of recent album Front Row Seat To Earth still ringing in her ears, Natalie Mering brought Weyes Blood to a packed out sweltering Castle music room in Manchester for a ten song set that focused heavily on that record but also gave a glimpse of her previous work.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Craig Douglas Gill - A Tribute

Craig Douglas Gill was drummer in Inspiral Carpets, but he was much more than that. He was a father and husband first, a friend second and a musician and music lover third. His death on Sunday at the age of 44 leaves a massive hole in the lives of all three of those worlds. In the absence of being able to do anything else meaningful, we'd like to pay tribute to an incredible drummer, a dry witted, intelligent and humorous man that we feel privileged to have been able to call a friend.

Track Of The Day : High Hazels - Joined At The Lip

Joined At The Lip is the first product of High Hazels' recording sessions for their second album which will be preceded by a new EP next year, their first material in eighteen months since their Valencia single was taken from their self-titled debut. It's unmistakably them from the very first second, but it feels like a massive progression in both sound and ambition.

Spaceheads - Laughing Water

Spaceheads have augmented themselves to a trio for their new album Laughing Water, inviting Vincent Bertholet on double bass to join their trumpet and drums duo to record an album that's been eleven years in the making. It bears all the hallmarks of Spaceheads previous albums but the addition of Bertholet brings different nuances to the record which at points feels like they're making a commercial grab whilst at others sees them retreat further into delicate jazz-tinged improvisations that were captured at the moment of creation never to be repeated in that way.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Fairchild / Young Monarch / Carnival Club - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 19th November 2016

This is Fairchild's last gig for a while in their adopted hometown of Manchester as they move onto pastures new. Soup Kitchen is packed to the point it's almost impossible to move, but two hundred or so answer the call of dance that Fairchild's big 80s tinged rock sends so clearly from the stage. Support came from two of the most impressive bands on the local scene at the moment - Young Monarch and Carnival Club.

Track Of The Day : John Bramwell - Leave Alone The Empty Spaces

Leave Alone The Empty Spaces is the title track from John Bramwell's forthcoming debut solo album. He's released a video of the song being performed recently at Manchester's Royal Northern College Of Music.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Lunar - Manchester Night And Day Cafe - 19th November 2016

One of Manchester's fastest rising bands Lunar headlined the latest This Feeling club night at the Night And Day Cafe on Saturday night to a packed crowd of their ever-expanding fan base and those curious to see what all the fuss is about. A seven-song set crammed full of singles present and future kept the hot and sweaty room dancing and wanting more.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

The Slow Readers Club / Puppet Rebellion / Larkins - Manchester Ritz - 18th November 2016

Selling out the Ritz two months in advance is no mean feat for an established touring band with major label support. The list of well-known artists that have experienced chart success without a Sold Out next to their name on the Ritz's posters is testament to what The Slow Readers Club achieved in doing just that. Fifteen hundred people crammed into the hallowed space to witness an unsigned band powered by their own pockets and their own hard work and masses of love alone deliver a night that people will talk about for years to come. Support came from Puppet Rebellion and Larkins.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Reverend And The Makers - Manchester Gorilla - 17th November 2016

Across the road from Gorilla, Reverend And The Makers have a habit of making the legendary bouncy dancefloor resemble a trampoline from start to finish of their customary tour stop off. Tonight is a different beast altogether though as they embark on an acoustic tour that strips back some of their best known songs as well as some of their favourites to their bare bones. It doesn't stop Gorilla heaving, sweating and at times drowning them out in a room full of love and adoration.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Track Of The Day : Dutch Uncles - Big Balloon

One of the country's most under-rated bands Dutch Uncles have announced details of their fifth album Big Balloon to be released via Memphis Industries on February 17th. They've also revealed the rather striking title track which heralds a return to the more guitar based sounds of their earlier records.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Ryley Walker / Itasca - Manchester Piccadilly Records / Ruby Lounge - 14th November 2016

Ryley Walker is a unique character in the music industry, a man with an immense talent that refuses to play by any rules other than his own, which tend to be to do whatever the hell he likes. He returned to Manchester on Monday night for his fourth show in the last eighteen months, each one different in set up, in band mates and in style. Plugged in this time round with a band of four brothers in tow, he proceeded to play an hour and forty five minute set with just eight songs to an absolutely captivated audience. He was supported by Kayla Cohen who performs under the name Itasca. Prior to the show he rocked up at Piccadilly Records with just an acoustic guitar and proceeded to play four songs with no amplification.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Luckless / Thomas And The Empty Orchestra / Katie O'Malley - Manchester Gullivers - 12th November 2016

Luckless, aka Ivy Rossiter, hit Manchester for the first time since her 2015 performance at A Carefully Planned Festival on Saturday night, playing an intimate show in the lounge room at Gullivers. We caught up her playing songs from her last album Vindication Blues as well as songs from her next record, hopefully due out in 2017. Support came from Sheffield's Thomas And The Empty Orchestra and Katie O'Malley.

Kristin Hersh - Manchester Palace Hotel / Gorilla - 12th/13th November 2016

Kristin Hersh is in the middle of a rare UK tour to support the release of her new book and double CD entitled Wyatt At The Coyote Palace. We caught her in conversation with John Robb and performing a short acoustic set at the Louder Than Words Festival at Manchester's Palace Hotel on Saturday afternoon before Sunday's sold out show round the corner at Gorilla.

Track Of The Day : She Makes War - Stargazing

Stargazing is the latest single from She Makes War's album Direction Of Travel released to coincide with her upcoming UK tour. The video is set around Clifton Suspension Bridge and Troopers Hill in Bristol and sees her space-obsessed character seek ways of leaving the planet.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

John Bramwell / Dave Fidler - Manchester Royal Northern College Of Music - 10th November 2016

Ahead of the Spring 2017 release of his debut solo album Leave Alone The Empty Spaces, John Bramwell has embarked on two preview shows, the first at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music. Accompanied by a pianist, cellist, guitarists and a pedal steel player, he revealed eight songs from the album as well as working his way through the beloved I Am Kloot back catalogue to a rapturous reception from a sold out crowd. Support came from Dave Fidler.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Dave Fidler - Manchester Night And Day - 9th November 2016

Fresh from the studio where he's been writing and recording songs for his second album and follow up to 2014's I'm Not Here, Dave Fidler played a well-received set at Manchester's Night And Day.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Local Natives - Manchester Academy 2 - 8th November 2016

With the release of their third album Sunlit Youth, Local Natives made their return to Manchester for the first time in three years. With a set that mixed songs from the album with those from its predecessor Hummingbird and their celebrated debut Gorilla Manor, they performed an exhilirating infectious hour and a half set that touched all bases and left the crowd dancing and singing along to both old and new.

Julia Jacklin - Manchester Gorilla - 8th November 2016

Julia Jacklin has been one of the discoveries of 2016. Her debut album Don't Let The Kids Win is a soul bearing stirring record that lays emotions and feelings bare. We caught Julia's first ever Manchester show supporting Whitney at Gorilla to see how the songs translated to the live environment.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Saytr Play / The Blinders - Manchester Sound Control - 6th September 2016

Clint Boon's inaugural Set2Go podcast saw eleven great acts grace the stage over two floors at Sound Control on Sunday night. The two final acts Saytr Play and The Blinders rounded off the evening upstairs in the loft, two very different bands that thrilled a crowd at the end of a long day of great music.

Luckless - Interview

Luckless, aka Ivy Rossiter, is a New Zealand artist currently residing in Berlin. To date she's released two albums, a self-titled debut and 2014's Vindication Blues. Touring constantly, she's returning to the UK this week for a series of shows including a return to Manchester, where she plays Gullivers on Saturday, just over a year after she stunned a packed basement at Cord as part of A Carefully Planned Festival.  We caught up with Ivy about her recollections of that and her plans for new material.

Monday, 7 November 2016

The Slow Readers Club - Dublin Whelan's - 5th November 2016

The Slow Readers Club have been making their mark across the Irish Sea in Dublin. Following on from a sold out show at The Workmens Club earlier in the year on word of mouth and support from local station TXFM, they returned to pack out the much bigger legendary Whelan's on Saturday night. We got the guinness in and watched a stunning performance including the first play of a new song Lunatic from the writing sessions for their third album.

Friday, 4 November 2016

She Makes War - Manchester Deaf Institute - 3rd November 2016

She Makes War is opening up for The Wave Pictures on their current UK tour. A long time favourite of Even The Stars, whether playing solo or with her band, she charmed a static Manchester audience with songs from her recent album Direction Of Travel, a couple of old favourites and two great new songs from her fourth album due next year.

Cabbage - Necroflat In The Palace

Just a month after their Uber Capitalist Death Trade EP was released, Cabbage are back with four more songs that take a journey into the mysterious world of their minds where they touch on subjects like Savile's relationship with the royal family and the Blairs and comparing the North / South divide to the one in Korea. It's every bit as wild, weird and wonderful as its predecessor.