Friday 23 December 2022

The Lottery Winners / Andrew Cushin / Lois - Manchester Albert Hall - 22nd December 2022

The Lottery Winners played their biggest headline show to date on Thursday night at a sold-out Albert Hall in Manchester that the four-piece had eating out of the palms of their hands. Tears, singalongs and a celebration of an outsider band taking the long road to success made it one of the most heartwarming evenings we've spent at a gig in a long time. Support came from Lois and Andrew Cushin.

Thursday 22 December 2022

TRACK OF THE DAY : The Height - Nowhere

Nowhere is the debut single by teenage Salford trio The Height. It's a wonderfully laid-back song that has plenty of touchpoints in musical history but which still manages the neat trick of sounding fresh and vibrant. It's an impressive first outing from a band that's likely to be heard much more in 2023 and beyond.

Tuesday 20 December 2022


2022 was a year that most of our favourite artists didn't release an album after last year's run of them. So our 2022 list is a little more varied than in previous years and features a lot of artists that go under the radar of most mainstream lists with a couple of exceptions. In this second post, we recall 10 to 6 before revealing our favourite five.

Monday 19 December 2022


2022 was a year that many of our favourite artists didn't release an album after last year's run of them. So our 2022 list is a little more varied than in previous years and features a lot of artists that go under the radar of most mainstream lists with a couple of exceptions. In this first post we count down our favourite ten from 10 to 6

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Blossoms / Brooke Combe - Manchester Apollo - 11th December 2022

Blossoms completed their sold-out four-night residency at Manchester Apollo and their twenty-three date sold out UK and Ireland tour on Sunday night with a hit-packed set that included a special guest appearance by Rick Astley who performed four classics from The Smiths to reprise their shows earlier in the year. Support came from the impressive Brooke Combe who stunned an already packed audience with her showstopping voice.

John Bramwell And The Full Harmonic Convergence / Harriet Bradshaw - Manchester Deaf Institute - 11th December 2022

John Bramwell And The Full Harmonic Convergence warmed up a freezing Sunday afternoon in Manchester with an intimate show in the Deaf Institute that previewed tracks from the forthcoming album The Light Fantastic as well as revisiting classics from his I Am Kloot back catalogue as well as his solo album Leave Alone The Empty Spaces. Accompanied by Dave Fidler, Alan Lowles and Harriet Bradshaw, who earlier performed a short four-song set of her own, he demonstrated that he's writing the best material of his career and looking the happiest up on stage that he ever has.

Sunday 11 December 2022

Blossoms - Manchester Apollo - 10th December 2022

The third night of Blossoms' four gig residency at the Apollo in Manchester always threatened to be overshadowed by the World Cup quarter final between England and France. However, the band lifted the deflated spirits of the audience with an hour and a half set of infectious, glorious songs that lifted the spirits and provided the communion that music provides that nothing else can.

Saturday 10 December 2022

Blossoms - Manchester Apollo - 9th December 2022

Blossoms' run of four consecutive sold out nights at Manchester Apollo continued on Friday with a hit-laden ninety minute set of crowd favourites from across their four albums and featured a guest appearance from Liam Fray of Courteeners.

Friday 9 December 2022

I Like Trains - Manchester Deaf Institute - 7th December 2022

I Like Trains opened up a short UK tour with a packed out show at Manchester's Deaf Institute on Wednesday night. Heavily featuring 2020's excellent Kompromat album and including new single The Spectacle, they delighted their dedicated fanbase with an intense and powerful performance.

Monday 5 December 2022

TRACK OF THE DAY : Ist Ist - Mary In The Black And White Room

Ist Ist have released Mary In The Black And White Room, the second track to be taken from their forthcoming album Protagonists which is due for release in March 2023. A more synth-driven track than the album's opening release Stamp You Out, it will both delight long-term fans of the band and give an insight into the progression of their sound on their third record.

Saturday 3 December 2022

Heartless Bastards - Manchester Low Four Studios - 2nd December 2022

Heartless Bastards brought their delayed UK tour in support of their A Beautiful Life album to Manchester's Low Four Studios on Friday night for a sold out show. Overcoming technical issues that threatened to scupper the whole gig they delivered a powerful rocking performance interspersed with more intimate moments to delight the enthusiastic crowd.

Friday 2 December 2022

TRACK OF THE DAY : Fondabath - Craving

Craving is the second single by Manchester's Fondabath. The follow-up to their debut Where's Your Smile Gone? is a powerful guitar-heavy take on the harm that social media can do and the pressures it puts on people.

Tuesday 29 November 2022

Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott / Billy Bragg - Blackpool Opera House - 28th November 2022

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott brought the third night of their tour in support of their number one album NK-Pop to the resplendent surroundings of Blackpool Opera House on Monday night supported by Billy Bragg. A career-spanning set from Paul's earliest days in The Housemartins right up to tracks from NK Pop delighted an initially reticent seated audience and had the whole building on their feet by the end to celebrate two of music's most enduring characters.

Sunday 20 November 2022

Wet Leg - Manchester Ritz - 19th November 2022

Wet Leg's triumphant year continued on Saturday night with a sold-out-in-seconds show at Manchester's Ritz as part of a triumphant year-end celebration of one of the year's biggest success stories.

Saturday 19 November 2022

Sundowners - Manchester Ditto - 19th November 2022

Sundowners concluded their intimate record store tour in support of their Pulling Back The Night album with an afternoon set at Ditto off Albert Square in Manchester. Performing tracks from the album as well as their two previous offerings as well as a special cover version, Fiona and Niamh delighted an attentive crowd with a set full of songs laced with beautiful harmonies, uplifting songwriting and accompanied by witty in-between song chat about the songs and their creation.

HotKid / The Twisted Dolls / Full Billy / Kyle Toolan - Manchester Retro - 18th November 2022

HotKid opened their first ever UK tour in Manchester on Friday night with a powerful intense set in the basement of Retro bar supported by excellent sets from Manchester's The Twisted Dolls and Preston's Full Billy and solo artist Kyle Toolan. 

Friday 18 November 2022

TRACK OF THE DAY : The Slow Readers Club - Knowledge Freedom Power

The Slow Readers Club return with the first single and title track from their forthcoming sixth studio album Knowledge Freedom Power. Embracing a much more synth-based approach without dispensing with their ability to craft songs with huge anthemic memorable chorus which grab you on first listen and hold you in their spell.

Thursday 17 November 2022

TRACK OF THE DAY : The Murder Capital - Ethel

The Murder Capital have revealed their new single, Ethel, the third track from their forthcoming album Gigi's Recovery. More reminiscent of the style of their debut When I Have Fears than the previous two singles, the powerful track still marks out the new record as a new beginning for a band that has eschewed the album treadmill cycle of many of their contemporaries and taken the time to make a record that reflects their headspace and evolution as a band.

Wednesday 16 November 2022

Sorcha Richardson / Morning Midnight - Manchester Yes Basement - 15th November 2022

Sorcha Richardson returned to Manchester after two and a half years away for an intimate show in the basement of Yes on Tuesday night, featuring primarily songs from her second album Smiling Like An Idiot as well as four tracks from her debut First Prize Bravery and a couple of early singles. Support came from Morning Midnight.

Tuesday 15 November 2022

TRACK OF THE DAY : Luca - Til I Met You

Manchester singer-songwriter has released her first single of the year Til I Met You after a summer of live performances. The single is a gorgeously rich country-tinged string-laden track that showcases Luca's voice from the very first second to the end.

Monday 14 November 2022

The Lottery Winners / Dan Selwood - Mrs Boon's Tea Party - Stockport Bask - 13th November 2022

Mrs Boon's Tea Parties were a Northern Quarter Mancunian institution in the 2000s with bands playing afternoon sets in venues in town accompanied by the sale of tea and cakes baked by Charlie Boon and DJ sets by her husband Clint, of Inspiral Carpets fame. They've been resurrected out of town at Stockport's newest venue Bask so we took our manbag with us and headed to catch sets by Lottery Winners and Dan Selwood and eat cake.

Hey Bulldog / Deathretro - Manchester Peer Hat - 12th November 2022

Hey Bulldog made a long-awaited live return in the basement of the Peer Hat in Manchester on Saturday night. Combining old favourites with a couple of new songs in the middle of the set, they delighted a packed crowd in the sweaty venue that's perfect for their intense powerful rock and roll.

HotKid - Interview

Canadian band HotKid are about to embark on their first-ever UK tour starting at Retro in Manchester on Friday. We caught up with front woman Shiloh for an introduction to the band, their history, their excitement at playing over here for the first time and an insight into the Toronto and Ontario scene that they're part of.

Sunday 13 November 2022

TRACK OF THE DAY : The Short Causeway - Tripping Down The Stairs

The Short Causeway are the latest band to emerge from the vibrant Calder Valley scene with their debut single Tripping Down The Stairs, an urgent unsettling track that refuses to stand still for a second and which is accompanied by a video that heightens the sense of unease of the song.

Saturday 12 November 2022

The Murder Capital - Leeds Oporto - 11th November 2022

The Murder Capital continued their short semi-secret acoustic tour on Friday night with a three-piece seven-song set at Oporto in Leeds. Previewing five songs from their forthcoming album Gigi's Recovery as well as a couple of reinvented old favourites, they delighted an enthusiastic audience privileged to see them at such close quarters before they head to bigger rooms in the new year.

Friday 11 November 2022

Tim Burgess / Dean McMullen / Wax-Tree-Cast - Manchester Gorilla - 10th November 2022

Front man of The Charlatans, head of the listening party and solo artist Tim Burgess brought his Typical Music album tour to Gorilla on Thursday night for a sixteen song set pulled almost exclusively from his solo repertoire. Support came from The Muncie Girls' Dean McMullen and Halifax's Wax-Tree-Cast.

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Harriet Bradshaw / Big Society - Manchester Gullivers - 7th November 2022

Harriet Bradshaw's small tour in support of her self-titled debut album that was released last week called in at Manchester's Castle Hotel for an intimate show on Monday night, performing tracks from the album as well as a special cover. Support came from an acoustic solo slot from Big Society's front man Will.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Ist Ist / The Silver Lines - Birmingham The Rainbow - 4th November 2022

Ist Ist played the second of their short three-date November tour in the basement of The Rainbow in Birmingham on Friday night supported by local four-piece The Silver Lines who gave an impressive account of themselves. Ist Ist previewed eight songs from their third album Protagonists due in March next year combined with a set of crowd favourites from their two previous albums Architecture and The Art Of Lying.

Tuesday 1 November 2022

TRACK OF THE DAY : Clouds And Errors - See You See Me

See You See Me is the debut single by Bolton five-piece Clouds And Errors, one of the most impressive young bands we've seen over the past couple of years and the single delivers on the promise of the rare live shows of theirs that we witnessed back in 2021.

Friday 28 October 2022

Tallies / Hup - Manchester Gullivers - 28th October 2022

Tallies brought their recently-released second album Patina all the way from Toronto in Canada to the ballroom above Gullivers in Manchester on Thursday night for an intimate show supported by the unpredictable and litigious Hup.

Friday 21 October 2022

TRACK OF THE DAY : Ist Ist - Stamp You Out

Ist Ist return with Stamp You Out, the first track from their third album Protagonists that they have also announced today. Already a live favourite, and recollecting the raw energy of their early singles combined with the power and control of their more recent work, the song is a thrilling return for one of Manchester's successful but often overlooked bands.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Thousand Yard Stare - Earthanasia

Slough five piece and Even The Stars favourites Thousand Yard Stare deliver another album - Earthanasia - their fourth from the studio - and it’s everything we have to come expect and love about them. 

Inhaler / Stone - Manchester Academy - 15th October 2022

Inhaler are celebrating the announcement of their second album Cuts And Bruises with a short run of their biggest UK headline shows to date. A sold-out audience packed into an expectant Manchester Academy on Saturday night to witness a band on the ascendancy to much bigger things. Support came from Liverpool's Stone.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Cold Water Swimmers / Urban Theory / Soul Shayka - Manchester Lions Den - 14th October 2022

Cold Water Swimmers headlined their latest DIY-Or-Die night at the Lions Den on Deansgate on Friday night playing their debut album Holiday At The Secret Lake in full followed by a couple of new songs from the follow-up that they're in the process of writing and recording. Support came from Bury's Urban Theory and Liverpool's Soul Shayka.

Saturday 8 October 2022

The Orielles - Manchester Stoller Hall - 7th October 2022

To celebrate the release of their breathtaking third album Tableau, The Orielles performed a special set of tracks taken from the album and a couple of older favourites featuring strings from the Northern Session Collective to a reverential audience in the imposing surroundings of the Stoller Hall in Manchester.

Friday 7 October 2022

Life / Pleasure Centre - Manchester Deaf Institute - 6th October 2022

Life brought their tour for their third album North East Coastal Town to the Deaf Institute on Thursday night, mixing most of the album with a few select older favourites from their first two albums in a passionate exciting performance. Support came from Pleasure Centre.

Sunday 2 October 2022

Neighbourhood Festival (The Murder Capital / Egyptian Blue / Venbee / Tom A Smith / Rianne Downey / The Covasettes / Pastel / Corella / Rosellas) - Manchester Various Venues - 1st October 2022

Neighbourhood Festival returned to venues situated across the Oxford Road corridor in Manchester on Saturday boasting an impressive line-up of up and coming talents. We swerved the biggest venues and names on the bill to catch nine sets by The Murder Capital, Egyptian Blue, Venbee, Tom A Smith, Rianne Downey, The Covasettes, Pastel, Corella and Rosellas.

Friday 30 September 2022

Seb Lowe / Springfield Elementary / The Lanks - Stockport Bask - 29th September 2022

Seb Lowe headed to Stockport's new venue Bask for its first ever full-band show on Thursday night as part of his tour of venues in the south of Greater Manchester. An eleven-song set confirmed the growing belief that he's on his way to much bigger venues in the not too distant future. Support came from Springfield Elementary and The Lanks.

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Ian Brown / Dermo - Edinburgh O2 Academy - 27th September 2022

“Do you like me band?” The third night of the Ian Brown tour rolls into town with the added attraction of a set from former Northside frontman Dermo. Stuart Ralston went along. 

Monday 26 September 2022

The Big Moon / Gently Tender / Arxx - Manchester Academy 2 - 25th September 2022

A pandemic and a pregnancy pushed back The Big Moon's biggest Manchester headline show by two years but finally, ahead of the release of their third album Here Is Everything, Juliette, Celia, Soph and Fern played this sold-out show on Sunday night. Support came from Gently Tender, with a familiar face in the band, and Arxx.

Just Mustard / White Flowers - Glasgow Broadcast - 25th September 2022

Just Mustard brought their mesmerising new album Heart Under to a fanatical sell out crowd at Glasgow’s Broadcast with stellar support from White Flowers. Stuart Ralston was there.

Friday 23 September 2022

The Charlatans - Manchester New Century Hall - 22nd September 2022

As part of the opening celebrations for Manchester's newest old venue New Century Hall, The Charlatans performed their second album Between 10th And 11th in full on Thursday night before finishing with a mini-greatest hits set.

TRACK OF THE DAY : The Murder Capital - A Thousand Lives

The Murder Capital continue their long-awaited return with a new single A Thousand Lives and the announcement of their second album Gigi's Recovery and a UK and European tour for February 2023.

Thursday 22 September 2022

Wyldest / Mui Zyu / Lass - Manchester Gullivers - 21st September 2022

Wyldest brought their third album Feed The Flowers Nightmares to Gullivers ballroom in Manchester on Wednesday night, performing the album in full with support from Mui Zyu and Lass.

Tuesday 20 September 2022

The Slow Readers Club - Interview

We caught up with The Slow Readers Club last week in Liverpool as they prepared for the second night of their current UK tour to talk about being back on the road, the adjustments they've had to make since COVID stopped the momentum of their top ten The Joy Of The Return album and their next record. Today they've announced a UK and European tour for 2023.

Monday 19 September 2022

Ist Ist / Pale Puma - Rotterdam V11 - 18th September 2022

Ist Ist opened their series of sold-out Dutch dates in Rotterdam on Sunday night in the hull of V11 in the port area of Rotterdam in front of an adoring fan base who'd snapped up the tickets for this show in under a minute when they went on sale. Support came from local Dutch act Pale Puma.

Sunday 18 September 2022

Dirty Laces - Manchester Academy 3 - 17th September 2022

Dirty Laces celebrated the release of their new single Midnight Mile on Saturday night at Manchester Academy 3. An hour plus set of old favourites and new material confirmed their transformation from an archetypal Manchester lads band to a much more powerful and compelling sound.

Saturday 17 September 2022

Ash / The Gulps - Manchester Ritz - 15th September 2022

Ash returned to Manchester on Thursday night for what feels like an annual tradition of a gig at The Ritz. Celebrating the reissue of their third album Free All Angels with a show performing the album in full with selected added tracks as an encore and with then-guitarist Charlotte Hatherley guesting on the tour, they delighted a packed crowd with a set full of their usual energy and memorable singalong tracks from one of Britpop's defining bands. Support came from The Gulps.

Friday 16 September 2022

Loose Articles - Chaos EP

2022 has been the year where you can't move around Manchester without seeing Loose Articles somewhere. What's been missing so far is a full release and the Chaos EP has arrived to fill that gap, picking up this year's single releases and more.

Tuesday 13 September 2022

Ist Ist - Interview

Ahead of their debut European tour that starts later this week with sold out shows in Berlin, Amsterdam and two in Rotterdam as well as a return visit to headline Porto's Post Punk Strikes Back Again Festival, we caught up with Ist Ist for a chat about success at home and further afield, their Manchester headline show at The Ritz and other plans for 2023.