Friday 30 June 2017

Track Of The Day : Purple Merlin - East Is West

East Is West is the debut track from the mysterious Purple Merlin. All we have to go on this video for the song and the promise of some forthcoming live dates.

New Order - Manchester Granada Studios - 29th June 2017

The undoubted highlight of the opening night of Manchester International Festival, if not the festival itself, was New Order's collaboration with composer and conductor Joe Duddell, students from the Royal Northern College Of Music and graphic artist Liam Gillick in a reinvention and reimagination of some of the more obscure and lesser-known parts of their substantial back catalogue.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Track Of The Day : Chevron Shawl - Piece Of The Pie

Piece Of The Pie is the debut single from a Manchester super-group of sorts Chevron Shawl as they prepare to launch it with a gig at the Night And Day Cafe next week.

Tuesday 27 June 2017

JP Ruggieri / David Ford - Manchester Castle Hotel - 25th June 2017

Following his tour supporting David Ford and performing as part of his live band, JP Ruggieri stayed on in the UK for a few headline dates of his own, supported by no other than David Ford. His intimate Sunday night gig at The Castle saw him perform a full set of songs he's written over the past twenty years including some from his gig-only debut album and charm a crowd with his humour and the stories he told between songs.

Track Of The Day : Berries - Wild Vow

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know we think Berries are one of the best new bands in the country. Their These Funny Things EP was one of our highlights of last year and their debut Manchester performance at the When In Manchester festival stole the show for us. They're back with their first new material since the EP, a song called Wild Vow

Monday 26 June 2017

Track Of The Day : Saytr Play - Mother's Love

Mother's Love is the debut single from Saytr Play, one of the most hotly-tipped on the Manchester live scene on the basis of some exciting live shows around the city centre's venues over the past few months.

Control Of The Going / The Valkarys / The Goa Express - Todmorden Golden Lion - 23rd June 2017

We took the train up to Todmorden on Friday night to catch one of Control Of The Going's final shows before they gear up for the release of their album later this year. Support came from The Valkarys and locals The Goa Express.

Sunday 25 June 2017

The Stone Roses - Glasgow Hampden Park - 24th June 2017

"Don't be sad it's over. Be happy that it happened" said Ian Brown half way through the most triumphant, uplifting Roses gig ever. Earlier in the week, it was rumoured the sold out Glasgow stadium show was to be the final show. On stage, in front of a capacity crowd, Brown confirms it.

Thursday 22 June 2017

The Stone Roses - Leeds First Direct Arena - 21st June 2017

It's five years since The Stone Roses came back in a fanfare promising a glorious resurrection. What's come in between has been mixed, some stunning performances, some less so in huge outdoor bowls suited more to making money than to confirming their legacy. Tonight though in Leeds' intimate yet cavernous First Direct Arena, they rolled back the years with the best set we've seen them play since they got back together.

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Maddy Storm - Manchester Jimmy's - 17th June 2017

Maddy Storm is possibly the stand out talent on the Manchester scene at present. Whilst she's not yet attracting the audiences, as this opening slot at Jimmy's on Saturday night testifies, the jaw-dropping reaction her set gets from the fifty or so assembled crowd tells its own story.

David Ford / Michele Stodart / JP Ruggieri - Manchester Deaf Institute - 18th June 2017

To support the launch of his new EP The Union and ahead of the release of his album Animal Spirits, David Ford teamed up with Michele Stodart and JP Ruggieri for a Hotel Cafe style tour of the UK where each of the three artists performed their own set with the other two as part of their band. With three such talented musicians in rotation, the packed Sunday night Deaf Institute crowd were treated to a full evening of great music, refreshing camaraderie and witty repartee.

Sunday 18 June 2017

The Charlatans / The Slow Readers Club - Scarborough Open Air Theatre - 16th June 2017

Fresh from the top five success of their latest album Different Days, The Charlatans headlined Scarborough's Open Air Theatre on Friday night with a career spanning set that also included a liberal dash of the new album. Support came from Manchester's fastest rising unsigned stars The Slow Readers Club who delighted fans old and new with a forty-five minute set.

Thursday 15 June 2017

David Ford - The Union EP

In the middle of a UK tour, David Ford has released an EP called The Union which is currently only available at the shows he's performing with Michele Stodart and JP Ruggieri. The five-track EP is a taster for his new album Animal Spirit that's due later in the year. It's unmistakably Ford and will delight those that have followed him for close to a decade and a half, but has the potential to win him new admirers.

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Ist Ist - Sheffield Rocking Chair - 10th June 2017

As part of their plan to break out of Manchester where they've developed a loyal adoring following for their exhilarating brutal assault on the aural senses, Ist Ist trekked across the Pennines on Saturday night to Sheffield's Rocking Chair armed with a batch of new songs and an uncompromising attitude that sets them apart from pretty much every other band around.

Monday 12 June 2017

Track Of The Day : Hannah Nicholson - Oliver

Oliver is the first single from Hannah Nicholson's forthcoming debut solo EP, due out in July. A beautifully haunting track that showcases Hannah's emotional expressive voice, it's an impressive introduction to the former Bird To Beast singer's new project.

Arcade Fire - Edinburgh Corn Exchange - 8th June 2017

So often when the biggest bands in the world decide to play small intimate shows they lose the very essence of what makes them special. As Arcade Fire prepare for the release of their fifth album next month, they played a few low-key UK dates ahead of their Isle Of Wight Festival headline slot on Saturday. We made the trip up to Edinburgh to witness them deliver one of the most spectacular live sets we've had the privilege to experience.

Sunday 11 June 2017

John Bramwell / Dave Fidler - Berlin Kantine Am Berghain - 5th June 2017

We made the two hour trip to Berlin to catch up with John Bramwell and Dave Fidler in the middle of their European tour in the intimate surroundings of East Berlin's Kantine am Berghain, a wonderful small venue very much in the shadow of one of Europe's largest techno clubs. A torrential downpour and the end of a three day rave didn't deter the crowd from coming out to pay respect to two beautiful sets of the most raw and emotional songwriting the UK has to offer.

Depeche Mode - London Stadium - 3rd June 2017

Fulfilling a long term ambition, Stuart Ralston travels to London to finally see a band who were instrumental in igniting his love for music back in the mid 80s – Depeche Mode.

Saturday 3 June 2017

The Staves - Manchester Gorilla - 31st May 2017

A packed out sweltering Manchester Gorilla paid host to The Staves' first UK show in over a year. An adoring and respectful crowd watched sisters Emma, Jessica and Camilla perform a career-spanning set of songs to a rapturous response.

Friday 2 June 2017

Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott / She Drew The Gun - Warrington Parr Hall - 1st June 2017

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott warmed up for their massive Hull stadium show on Saturday with an intimate warm-up show at Warrington's Parr Hall and a set that straddled Paul's time with The Housemartins and his work with Jacqui in The Beautiful South and as a duo including two tracks from their as yet unreleased third album. Support came from She Drew The Gun.