Monday 30 April 2018

You Want Fox - Reverse The Curse

Reverse The Curse is the second album from Nottingham's You Want Fox. Filled with tales of love, deception and the subsequent emotions, it's a triumph of the band's independent spirit and their ability to fashion songs from bass and drums that both pack a punch and tender the wounds.

Sunday 29 April 2018

The Slow Readers Club - Leeds Brudenell Social Club - 28th April 2018

Ahead of the release of Build A Tower on Friday, The Slow Readers Club kicked off a UK tour this week, including a sold-out date in the main room of Leeds' famous Brudenell Social Club. Jason Wynne braved the trains across the Pennines to report back on a set that included nine of the album's ten songs, heard by many for the first time.

Ist Ist / Tindrumm - Manchester Deaf Institute - 28th April 2018

Another set of sold out signs greeted Ist Ist’s hometown EP launch at the Deaf Institute. The theatrical music hall setting could have been made for nights like this as the couple of hundred fans, here on the growing word of mouth around a band that eschews colourful videos, “bantz” and the lad culture of so many and relies solely on the power of their music.

Saturday 28 April 2018

High Hazels - Manchester Jimmy's - 27th April 2018

With a new single Days Of No One released a couple of months back, High Hazels made their long-awaited return to Manchester after nearly three years since their last headline show here with a packed out basement show at Jimmy's.

Friday 27 April 2018

Blossoms - Manchester HMV - 27th April 2018

Blossoms celebrated the release of their second album Cool Like You with an intimate stripped-down performance of seven songs from the album plus a requested crowd favourite on the top floor of Manchester's HMV store on Friday evening.


Cold is the latest single to be released from LIINES's debut album Stop / Start which is released next Friday, May 4. It's accompanied by an unsettling video, shot late at night in Manchester's Northern Quarter, featuring multiple Zoe's walking around oblivious to each other.

Trampolene - Manchester Night And Day - 26th April 2018

One of the nation's most unpredictable and underappreciated bands Trampolene returned to the Night And Day for the Manchester leg of their tour. A hot and sweaty crowd were treated to a mix of tracks from their debut album Swansea To Hornsey, a couple of covers and some impromptu old favourites.

Thursday 26 April 2018

TRACK OF THE DAY : Celestial North - Illuminate Yourself

Just a month after her first two songs (Winter Circle and Hey Volva), Celestial North has released a third, and the best yet, in Illuminate Yourself.

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Kashmere - Interview

When I saw that Stockport-based four-piece, Kashmere, were playing a gig in my hometown of Leeds, I didn’t hesitate in going along to see them. Having watched them perform an electric, sell-out show at The Deaf Institute in Manchester just two months prior, I was keen to ask them all about the evident progress they had made in just one year, since I had first come across them playing at popular gig venue Jimmy’s, in The Northern Quarter of the same town.

Peter Hook And The Light - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 24th April 2018

Ahead of their US tour playing the combined Substance albums of both Joy Division and New Order, the latest in the series of retrospective look back concerts from Peter Hook And The Light, led by the unmistakable one of founding fathers of both bands. Two hundred or so packed into the music room of the Trades Club at Hebden Bridge to celebrate some of the most iconic sounds of a generation.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

TRACK OF THE DAY : Gypsyfingers - Half World

Half World is the new single from Gypsyfingers. It's a song that encapsulates a number of styles as it takes the listener on a four and a quarter minute journey through the band's restless creative minds touching on aspects of folk, rock and pop music and it's all set to a video that adds to the mystique of the song as if you're watching a short film rather than a music promo.

Monday 23 April 2018

Lily-Jo - Unstoppable EP

Unstoppable is the new EP from Lily-Jo, the follow-up to last year's Good Enough. The EP has been written in the time she's not touring the world with LZ7 and building her mental health self-help resource The Lily-Jo Project, but many of the themes from the latter shine through brightly in this collection of five songs that are about making yourself feel unstoppable and knocking down the barriers, both internally and externally, that stop you achieving your goals and being happy.

Sunday 22 April 2018

The Big Peach - Interview

Back in September 2017, I was sitting in newly opened vinyl café, Honey Beat, in Altrincham, chatting to my friend Allan about music. He was excitedly recounting anecdotes of his new discovery: Cheshire based five-piece, The Big Peach. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but fast forward to April 2018 and I saw Allan, once again, enthusiastically posting about this band on social media in the run-up to one of our favourite annual festivals: When in Manchester.

Blossoms - Cool Like You

Blossoms return with their second album Cool Like You, less than two years since their self-titled debut spent two weeks at number one in the charts. Recorded over the course of just twenty-two days on breaks from their endless touring schedule, it's drenched in the glorious pop gloss for large parts of the record but yet is more thematically consistent than its predecessor and sounds like a band that's prepared to make another step up.

Ist Ist - Berlin Rosi's - 20th April 2018

Ist Ist played their first show outside the UK with a nine-song set at Berlin's Rosi's club featuring tracks from their Spinning Rooms EP, old singles and a couple of new as-yet-unreleased tracks. Initially curious, the audience was won over as the set progressed.

Friday 20 April 2018

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE : Matter Of Mind - Sanity

We're proud to reveal exclusively the new video for Matter Of Mind's single Sanity. The single was released a couple of weeks back, but the video to accompany their latest track, the first fruits of recording sessions for the follow-up to their Dead Apologies EP is now also available to watch.

TRACK OF THE DAY 2 : Shrine - Blue Weekend

Shrine appeared out of nowhere a month ago with their debut single You're A Stranger. Today, they release their second single Blue Weekend and prove that it was no flash in the plan. A little more subdued than their debut, it's more potent as a result, showing the wide realm of possibilities of this duo as they work on an EP for release in the next few months and prepare for live dates.

TRACK OF THE DAY 1 : Blanketman - The Long Arm Of Entrapment

The Long Arm Of Entrapment is the debut single from new four-piece post-punk band Blanketman. Despite not having released anything yet, they've already grabbed the attention of the likes of Brix Smith and they support her and The Extricated at the Ruby Lounge next Friday.

Thursday 19 April 2018

TRACKS OF THE DAY : Ethan And The Reformation - Fractaline Fantasies / Broken Guitar

When guitarist Mick Mac of Ethan and The Reformation got in touch with me, asking for a single review of his band’s latest release, I didn’t hesitate. Seemingly, having read a recent blogpost I had written, reminiscing about when I met and interviewed him and the rest of his bandmates a year ago, it prompted him to release a single after a period of inactivity. To say I was delighted is an understatement. And of the songs? They’re stunning. Hearing them now, after having heard them performed a year ago, brought back all the memories of the first time I heard them perform live, and the powerful and confident performance they achieved.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Desperate Journalist - Interview

Desperate Journalist have just released a new EP entitled You Get Used To It as a follow-up to last year's Grow Up album. We caught up with bass player Simon as he returned home from a European tour ahead of Friday's headline set at London's Oslo for a chat about the EP, their recording methods and their appeal in Germany and the rest of the continent.

TRACK OF THE DAY : James - Busted

James today revealed Busted, the second track to be taken from their Better Than That EP out on May 18th. Initially previewed in their summer shows in 2017, including Castlefield Bowl in Manchester, the song didn't make the cut for their as-yet-untitled album due later in the year, but deemed too good to be lost.

Tuesday 17 April 2018

The Slow Readers Club - Build A Tower

The Slow Readers Club return with their third album Build A Tower on May 4th. Since the release of their last album their world has been turned upside down, touring with James at the band's request, selling out The Ritz and Albert Hall in Manchester months in advance as well as established venues across the country accompanied by their now customary "READERS" chant that follows them everywhere. Armed with a dedicated fan base, it's time for them to deliver new material for the first time since their star began to rise, and with Build A Tower, they've exceeded even the wildest expectations.

Sapho - Interview

At last year’s When In Manchester festival, I came across a band called Sapho for the very first time. If you saw them on the street, you would just think they were a young group of friends, there’s certainly nothing ostentatious or obvious about them, but on stage, they come alive in very powerful way. Only a simple three-piece, Sapho are school friends from St. Helens, and relatively new on the Rock scene. Having done their very first interview last year, I wanted to catch up with them a year on, to see what was new, what their plans were and how their performance compared to this time last year.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Echo Ladies - Bedroom

Bedroom is the lead track from Swedish trio Echo Ladies' forthcoming album Pink Noise, released through Sonic Cathedral at the start of June. Building on the success of their self-titled debut EP, Matilda, Joar and Mattis return with a gloriously modern-day take on fuzzy shoegaze.

Monday 16 April 2018

When In Manchester Festival (Nimuah / Humbar / Gardenback / Sapho / Bedroom High Club / Cabezudos / Scarlet / The Big Peach / Nova Twins) - Manchester Northern Quarter - 14th April 2018

When In Manchester, one of the country's most exciting and diverse multi-venue urban festivals once again took over the Northern Quarter for the fourth instalment of the event that's now become a fixture on the Manchester music calendar. We caught Nimuah, Humbar, Gardenback, Sapho, Bedroom High Club, Cabezudos, Scarlet, The Big Peach and Nova Twins whilst rueing a list of clashes the length of our arm.

Humbar - Interview

Having done a bit of reading in the music press recently, about the lack of female representation within the music industry, imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to see several bands at this year’s When In Manchester festival featuring female musicians. One band in particular, Humbar of Sheffield, caught my attention for their unique blend of soul, jazz, funk and R & B coupled with sassy, confident female vocals.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Lowes - Here We Are

Lowes hail from Lancaster and have just released their second single Here We Are, the follow up to last year's hypnotic Awake At Night. It's the lead track from their Elements EP that will be released in the next few months.

Sunday 15 April 2018

TRACK OF THE DAY : Finola - Losing Value

Finola has released her new single Losing Value, her first new material since last year's Waterworks EP. One of the stand out tracks from her live shows, it's a deeply personal tale of heartbreak and the aftermath and is played by Finola in the video as she lives out the song.

Saturday 14 April 2018

Hey Bulldog / Déjà Vega / Freakout Honey / Savannah - Manchester Night People - 13th April 2018

Hey Bulldog launched their Al Lupo single with a band-packed evening at Manchester's Night People last night. Supported by Savannah, Freakout Honey and Déjà Vega, they celebrated their latest release with a forty-minute set that allowed them room to play tracks not usually aired and demonstrate why they're one of the most technically proficient bands in town.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Juanita Stein - Forgiver

Forgiver is the lead track from Juanita Stein's forthcoming second album Until The Lights Fade, due for release on August 31st, the follow-up to last year's America, which reached number fifteen on our end of year albums list. This track was written with The Killers' Brandon Flowers whilst they were on tour together last year.

Friday 13 April 2018

October Drift / Jekyll - Manchester Night And Day - 12th April 2018

In between their UK and European dates with Editors, October Drift finished off a short run of shows of their own with a packed out show at the Night And Day Cafe in Manchester on Thursday night with a set including their recent single All Broken Down, some old favourites and a cover of one of the city's favourite sons.

The Big Peach - The Big Peach

The Big Peach have created a stir on the Manchester scene over the past six months with an endless appetite for gigging and for their energetic live shows and ability to craft their influences into something that is unmistakably them. As they prepare to headline this year's When In Manchester Festival, we take a closer listen to their self-titled debut album.

TRACK OF THE DAY : The Maitlands - Few Choice Words

The enigmatic The Maitlands return with a new(ish) line-up and their first single of the year Few Choice Words which is released today. The unmistakable voice of front man Carl Ingram remains though.

Thursday 12 April 2018

TRACK OF THE DAY : Déjà Vega - Eyes Of Steel

Déjà Vega return with a new single and video Eyes Of Steel. Already a live favourite, the song demonstrates the raw power of the band and the video shows the almost demonic nature of front man Jack Fearon's delivery.

Rory Wynne / The Mysterines - Manchester Jimmy's - 10th April 2018

Rory Wynne launched his self-titled debut album which launched at midnight with an intimate show at Jimmy's in Manchester, performing the album in full as well as his What Would Rory Wynne Do? and three other tracks. Support came from the mysterious The Mysterines.

Wednesday 11 April 2018

TRACK BY TRACK : Altar Flowers - Performance EP

Altar Flowers recently released their Performance EP, the first new material since their debut album i.d.s.t and also since some line-up changes. Jay kindly took time out to talk us through the five songs on the EP and tell us a little more about what they're about and how they recorded them.

Gardenback - Interview

Ahead of their appearance at this weekend's When In Manchester, we caught up with one of the more local bands on the bill, Gardenback. They've built a strong reputation with some great live performances as well as a couple of singles over the last year or so. We had a chat about their past, their favourite gigs and their plans for the future.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Average Sex - Ugly Strangers

Ugly Strangers is the first track on Average Sex's debut EP Ice Cream which came out on Tim Burgess's O Genesis label late last year. They've now released a video for the track using home movie footage of their time on the road with The Charlatans last year.

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Arcade Fire - Manchester Arena - 8th April 2018

Arcade Fire brought their Infinite Content tour back to Manchester for an "in the round" performance in the cavernous Manchester Arena. Mixing songs from last year's Everything Now with highlights going all the way back to their debut self-titled EP, they thrilled the crowd with an interactive set, full of the invention and anthemic power that has made them one of the biggest bands in the world.

Hey Bulldog - Interview

With the imminent release of a new single Al Lupo (April 20) and a headline show at Night People in Manchester this Friday (13), we caught up with Hey Bulldog's front man Rob Manton for a chat about the single and the Italian connection, their new material and plans for the rest of the year.

Rory Wynne - Rory Wynne

Rory Wynne’s eponymous debut album is released tomorrow, an eight song hit and run attack that never seemingly pauses for breath. Overflowing with hooks and riffs that’ll pierce your defences and leave you involuntarily humming them, it’s an almost perfect indie-pop statement delivered with a strutting confidence bordering on knowing arrogance.

October Drift - Interview

It's been an exciting few months for October Drift so far in 2018. Apart from the release of their new single All Broken Down, available to buy on May 4th, they've supported Editors on their Violence album preview tour and after a few headline dates of their own this week are then out into Europe for two weeks to support them. We caught up with them for a chat ahead of their Night and Day headline show in Manchester this Thursday.

Monday 9 April 2018

The Wonder Stuff / Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Manchester Ritz - 7th April 2018

With Love From Stourbridge, the joint tour of The Wonder Stuff and Ned's Atomic Dustbin, hit Manchester Ritz on Saturday night. The rotating headline tour saw each band play a twenty-song set of songs that took much of the audience back to their youthful days when the two bands were a permanent fixture in the charts.

The Lucid Dream / Three Dimensional Tanx / Pale Rider - Manchester Band On The Wall - 6th April 2018

The Lucid Dream are one of the country's most challenging bands, operating under the radar with a dedicated fan base and a belligerent self-belief in what they're creating. With a fourth album almost ready to go with a radical evolution of their sound that extends boundaries and broadens the palette of their inspirations into an acid house inspired musical haze. As a preview of what's to come they've played two shows, at Dalston Victoria and their biggest headline show to date at Manchester's Band On The Wall. Support came from Three Dimensional Tanx and Pale Rider.