Sunday 27 June 2021

Jake Hardman - Describe Yourself In 50 Words

Manchester-based musician and songwriter Jake Hardman's debut album is the joyous sound of an open-minded individual who appears to have absorbed the very best of British music from the last forty years and channelled it all into thirteen excellent predominantly upbeat compositions that radiate freshness, talent, intelligence and humour. Andy Sweeney was suitably impressed by Jake's debut - read on to discover why.

Saturday 26 June 2021

Stephen Fretwell - Salford Eagle Inn - 25th June 2021

"Where's Fretwell?" has been a catchphrase in the corners of the internet that remembered the unique charms of the Manchester-via-Scunthorpe songwriter Stephen Fretwell from the middle of the 2000s when he released two much-loved but commercially-ignored albums Magpie and Man On The Roof. After twelve years in the wilderness, he's about to return with a new album Busy Guy - and we were fortunate enough to be in the twenty-five strong socially distanced crowd at Salford Eagle's Inn for just his second comeback show.

Friday 25 June 2021

The Blinders - Manchester Rose And Monkey - 24th June 2021

With their forthcoming July dates falling victim to the latest extension of UK restrictions that seem to apply to music and other arts venues and not a great deal else, The Blinders decided to sate their desire to play live with two last-minute intimate shows at their favourite local boozer The Rose And Monkey in Manchester's Northern Quarter. An hour-long set captured highlights of their two albums to date in the stripped down Lounge Lizard format, which they plan to give a formal release in a few weeks.

Tuesday 22 June 2021

TRACK OF THE DAY : SKIES - It's Not The End Of The World

SKIES return with It's Not The End Of The World, the first product of a series of songs they recorded when they shut themselves away in a cottage during the Winter months to record new material and broadcast their weekday daily live streams at the height of lockdown.

Monday 21 June 2021

John Bramwell / HJM Bradshaw - Manchester Rose And Monkey - 20th June 2021

 John Bramwell brought his socially-distanced tour to the familiar surroundings of the Rose And Monkey's beer garden on Sunday afternoon with a mix of old I Am Kloot favourites and tracks taken from his new Full Harmonic Convergence project. Accompanied by HJM (Harriet) Bradshaw on cello and supported by her own six-song set, John delighted an audience full of familiar faces.

Sunday 20 June 2021

VLURE / Document - Manchester Yes - 19th June 2021

VLURE completed their short tour of England with another sold-out socially-distanced gig in the Pink Room of Yes in Manchester. Once again they delivered a set that blew away those who had an inkling of what to expect as well as those catching them for the first time. Support came from an intense performance by Manchester's own Document, playing their first show for sixteen months.

Friday 18 June 2021

The Red Stains / Sick Ducks - Manchester Aatma - 17th June 2021

The Red Stains made their much-anticipated return to the live stage with their first show in eighteen months at a socially-distanced sold-out show at Aatma on Thursday night supported by Sick Ducks. As unpredictable as ever, they demonstrated that absence had definitely made the audience's hearts grow fonder.

Wednesday 16 June 2021

VLURE / Zee Davine - Birkenhead Future Yard - 15th June 2021

Birkenhead witnessed VLURE's first live show since last spring; a euphoric emotional return to the stage - a band emerging from the cocoon of lockdown and spreading their wings like the most beautiful of creatures.

Sunday 6 June 2021

Shame - Birkenhead Future Yard - 1st June 2021 (2nd show)

Thank you Shame! Tonight we were made to feel alive again. Bringing a mate to his first gig in fifteen months was always going to be emotional but tonight’s show by the raucous outfit Shame at the wonderful, and brand new, three hundred and fifty capacity space Future Yard in Birkenhead confirmed what we already knew - music is good for the soul and live music even more so.

Wednesday 2 June 2021

James - All The Colours Of You

As they approach forty years as a band James are still going strong, selling more gig tickets than at any time in their history and continuing to challenge both themselves and their audience by developing and stretching their sound with each album. Their sixteenth studio album All The Colours Of You asks questions of the world around them, in their line of sight the mutation of the extraordinary times of their last album into social revolution, pandemic and personal loss, unafraid to challenge whilst pushing their playful side to the fore. Weird, but accessible, it's possibly the most accurate snapshot of the real essence of James that they've ever released.