Wednesday 29 December 2021


The folks at SoundOn have asked us to compile a playlist of our tips for 2022, so we've selected 22 of the artists and bands that we think will make their mark over the next twelve months and who we're looking forward to hearing what they do next. We've selected artists and bands that haven't yet released their debut album. We'd love to hear in the comments who you recommend and who you think we've missed.

Thursday 23 December 2021


We've compiled a playlist of forty of our favourite songs of 2021, a mix of singles and album tracks from new and established bands.

Full list - VLURE, Ist Ist, James, Odd Morris, Julia Bardo, Marissa Nadler, Self Esteem, Wolf Alice, Dry Cleaning, Low Hummer, The Slow Readers Club, Stephen Fretwell, LIINES, Lime Garden, wych elm, Soot Sprite, FIKA, Egyptian Blue, Sprints, Proletariat, Blanketman, Rosellas, Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra, Meggie Lennon, talker, Wyldest, Hectorine, Solis, Lanterns On The Lake, Roxanne De Bastion, Blankenberge, English Teacher, Francis Of Delirium, Hates Talking, Grandmas House, James Holt, Thyla, Bleach Lab, The Clockworks and Bullet Girl

Wednesday 22 December 2021


2021 has been a very strong year for albums. Our top three would have topped this list in most of the years that we've being doing this. Our top five features a band about to celebrate its fortieth anniversary with an album that stands up against anything they've ever released, a Manchester band's second album in two years who are hopefully on the brink of bigger things, a rich emotional debut from an Italian songwriter, a long-awaited return after over a decade away from a much-loved singer-songwriter and a ninth solo album from a singer entering her third decade in the business.

Tuesday 21 December 2021


2021 has been a very strong year for albums. Our top three would have topped this list in most of the years that we've being doing this. Today we reveal albums ten to six in our favourite records of the year.

Monday 20 December 2021

Solis - Interview

Solis is likely to be a name familiar to those with their ear to the ground in Manchester over the past few years as she's played a series of impressive support slots for the likes of Blossoms and Ist Ist as well as some showstopping performances at open mic nights around town. With her debut album scheduled in for 2022 and a recent single Sunday acting as a lead-in, we caught up with her for a chat about how she came to be in Manchester, her inspirations and plans.

Sunday 19 December 2021

The Chameleons / Ist Ist / Salvation - Manchester Ritz - 18th December 2021

The Chameleons brought their traditional Christmas shows back to Manchester Ritz after last year's enforced absence with two nights entitled Home Is Where The Heart Is 2021 / Nostalgia 81:21 as a celebration of forty years of the band's existence. We caught the triumphant second night supported by Salvation and Ist Ist as they reminded us just why they're one of the most-loved if underacknowledged bands to come from the city.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Apta - Echoes

Echoes is the third album to be released this year by the prolific Apta - description "one man, many machines, some strings" - following in the footsteps of WF24 - Vignettes and Rainbow Islands. Across eleven tracks we're taken on an atmospheric trip through the thought processes of the creator.

Sunday 12 December 2021

Ist Ist / Proletariat / Oceans On Mars - Manchester Academy 2 - 11th December 2021

Ist Ist’s much-delayed tour in support of last year’s debut album Architecture and subsequently this year’s follow-up The Art Of Lying concluded with their biggest headline show to date, a triumphant twenty one song homecoming at Manchester Academy 2 on Saturday night supported by Oceans On Mars and Proletariat.

Saturday 11 December 2021

Lanterns On The Lake / Wyldest / Hector Gannet - Newcastle The Boiler Shop - 10th December 2021

Lanterns On The Lake played their first hometown headline show for four years on Friday night at The Boiler Shop supported by Wyldest and Hector Gannet. Originally intended as a celebration of the launch of their Spook The Herd album but delayed by eighteen months by the pandemic, with promoter changed in the interim, the night still felt like a triumphant return in front of a loyal attentive audience.

Friday 10 December 2021

Lanterns On The Lake / Wyldest - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 9th December 2021

Lanterns On The Lake resumed their much-postponed tour at Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Thursday night supported by Wyldest, finally able to tour their 2020 album Spook The Herd in the country's finest small venue.

TRACK OF THE DAY : James Holt - The Wedding

Even The Stars favourite James Holt seems to be churning out more songs than Santa’s elves are busily making toys it would appear, and what a gift for our eardrums his new single The Wedding is.

Thursday 9 December 2021

Ist Ist / Paid By Cash - Leeds Hyde Park Book Club - 8th December 2021

Ist Ist continued their long-delayed tour in support of their debut album Architecture and its top 100 follow-up The Art Of Lying with a sold-out show in the intimate basement of Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds supported by Skipton's Paid By Cash with a seventeen song set that showcased both albums as well as selected tracks from their early EPs.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Sisterix - What Will I Wear To The Revolution?

Dublin sister duo Sisterix have released their latest single, What Will I Wear To The Revolution?, a song that captures the contradictions between fighting battles against the system and the expectations placed on people by society and social media to look good at all times.

Wednesday 8 December 2021

The Libertines / Ed Cosens / Trampolene / Dead Freights - Manchester Academy - 6th December 2021

The Libertines' Giddy Up A Ding-Dong Tour rolled into a sold-out and packed to the rafters Manchester Academy on Monday night for an ecstatic celebration of the work of one of the country's most-loved bands playing to an audience of young and old. Support came from Dead Freights, Trampolene and Ed Cosens.

Sunday 5 December 2021

James - London Wembley Arena - 4th December 2021

James concluded their UK tour at Wembley Arena on Saturday night. With a career-spanning set James once again defied those who wish them to be a greatest hits machine with something more cerebral that demands attention yet is ultimately far more rewarding.

Saturday 4 December 2021

James / Happy Mondays - Manchester AO Arena - 3rd December 2021

James and Happy Mondays played triumphant sets at their homecoming show on Friday night at the cavernous AO Arena that both bands made feel intimate and celebratory in different ways. Happy Mondays delivered a set of their most well-known material whilst James played a stunning set that felt like a magical mystery tour through their extraordinary back catalogue.

Friday 3 December 2021

The Red Stains / Pyncher / The Strangerz - Manchester Castle Hotel - 2nd December 2021

The Red Stains played their final show of 2021 at their Jump The Met night at a sold out Castle Hotel in Manchester on Thursday night supported by two other up-and-coming Manchester-based bands Pyncher and The Strangerz on the strongest small venue bill we've seen this year.

Thursday 2 December 2021

Dry Cleaning / Garden Centre - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 1st December 2021

Dry Cleaning continued their short run of intimate shows around the UK with a packed out night at Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Wednesday night featuring songs from their debut album Long Leg that's featured highly on most album of the year polls and from their Sweet Princess and Boundary Road Snacks And Drinks EPs. Support came from a solo slot from Garden Centre.

Wednesday 1 December 2021

James / Happy Mondays - Glasgow Hydro - 30th November 2021

James’ tour in support of their All The Colours Of You album with Happy Mondays rolled into Glasgow on Tuesday night for a show at the Hydro that once again contained a real mix of the old and new with a finale that had the whole floor bouncing out of the cavernous hall.