Friday 3 May 2024

Rachel Chinouriri - Manchester Academy 3 - 2nd May 2024

Rachel Chinouriri celebrated the imminent launch of her debut album What A Devastating Turn Of Events with an intimate stripped down show at Manchester Academy 3 on Thursday night performing seven songs and answering questions about her career and the record in front of an enthusiastic crowd of her "darlings."

Friday 26 April 2024

TRACK OF THE DAY : Ist Ist - The Kiss

Ist Ist today release their second single of the year and announce their fourth album Light A Bigger Fire for release on September 20th.  Accompanied by a live performance video shot across their four sold-out Dutch shows in March, the song is a bold statement of intent from the band ahead of attempting to better the top 50 chart position of last year's Protagonists.

Thursday 25 April 2024

October Drift - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 24th April 2024

October Drift’s tour in support of their new single Blame The Young, the first fruits of their forthcoming third album, called in at a sold-out Trades Club in Hebden Bridge on Wednesday night.

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Hey Bulldog / The Lotts - Manchester Rose And Monkey - 23rd April 2024

Hey Bulldog and The Lotts were the latest in a series of bands to play The Rose And Monkey's regular Tuesday night £5 Tuesdays event supported by funding from The Arts Council. Two very different bands struck a chord with different sections of the audience in an intimate showcase of what each band are capable of.

Monday 22 April 2024

English Teacher - Manchester Soup - 22nd April 2024

English Teacher concluded their record store / out store tour in support of their Top 10 album This Could Be Texas with a pared down set in the basement of Soup in Manchester in association with Leeds' Crash Records. Performing tracks from the album alongside a brand new song which was an impromptu addition to the setlist, they charmed a packed crowd as well as impressing with the way they adapted the songs to a less full-on performance.

LIINES / Hungry - Manchester Gorilla - 20th April 2024

Saturday night saw LIINES and Hungry, two very different bands but with a common hit them hard philosophy, take to the stage at Gorilla in support of House Of All to impress a packed crowd.

Sunday 21 April 2024

Personal Trainer - Manchester Academy 3 - 20th April 2024

Personal Trainer headlined a sold out sauna-like Academy 3 in Manchester on Saturday night as the 6 Music favourites delivered an upbeat set taken from their debut album Big Love Blanket as well as singles and new material.

Ist Ist / Aerial Salad / Dog Sport - Liverpool Arts Club - 19th April 2024

Ist Ist headed to Liverpool for the penultimate show of their UK and European tour, filling out the loft of the Arts Club supported by Salford upstarts Aerial Salad and local support Dog Sport. Performing tracks from their forthcoming fourth album as well as their three albums to date they reinforced the growing belief that anything that stops their rise is going to come from outside the band's control.

Friday 19 April 2024

Johnny Marr / Gaz Coombes - Nottingham Rock City - 14th April 2024

Johnny Marr has just wrapped up a ten-date tour in support of Spirit Power - a compilation album commemorating a decade since he embarked on his solo career. The tour saw the guitar legend perform at iconic venues across the UK, including Hammersmith Apollo and Glasgow Barrowlands, before culminating at Nottingham’s Rock City. Johnny's career has been interwoven with a multitude of musicians since its inception and he often embarks on tours with them. For his ‘Spirit Power’ tour, he was joined by Supergrass frontman and solo artist, Gaz Coombes.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Vice Vera - Tourist

Tourist is the debut single by Vice Vera, the alter ego of Tamsin Middleton, who'll be known to followers of the Manchester music scene from her days leading Mr Heart as well as being part of both ILL and LIINES. 

Thursday 11 April 2024

James - Yummy

James release their 18th studio album on Friday. Graham McPhail, aka TimBoothLyrics on social media, takes a critical look at the twelve tracks that make up one of the strongest records of their career to date.

Thursday 4 April 2024

James - Pudding

James release their eighteenth studio album Yummy on April 12th. The deluxe edition features another twelve tracks, collectively known as Pudding, which feature outtakes and demos and jams from the sessions. Even in their mostly unfinished state they provide a fascinating insight into the band’s songwriting methods that’s often talked about but rarely made public.

Adrianne Lenker - Bright Future

At only thirty-two and with her main output heading up the prolific Big Thief, Adrianne Lenker has just released her fifth solo album Bright Future. Julia Grantham takes us with her on her own voyage of discovery.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Easter - Manchester Star And Garter - 29th March 2024

Easter launched their album Facsimile Of A Dream on Good Friday appropriately at The Star And Garter. Against a sombre backdrop of the venue's landlord passing away earlier in the day, they delivered a three quarters of an hour set of tracks from the album and their previous work.

Friday 29 March 2024

Greater Manchester Music Commission / The Mill / Night And Day

As a member of the Greater Manchester Music Commission, I've been made aware of an article circulating on The Mill behind a paywall that makes accusations and statements about the Commission and its activity, particularly around the Night And Day debacle. The article has a number of factual inaccuracies and deals with subjects that I feel strongly about to the extent that I feel compelled to give my own personal opinion on this.  These do not represent the views of the wider Commission, even though some members may agree with what I'm about to write

Monday 25 March 2024

Ist Ist / October Drift - Hilversum De Vorstin - 24th March 2024

Ist Ist continued their triumphant European tour, starting the homebound journey at De Vorstin, an impressive and imposing venue in the small sleepy town of Hilversum to a five hundred strong crowd on a Sunday night. Support came from the ever energetic October Drift.

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Inspiral Carpets - Stockport AMP - 18th March 2024

Inspiral Carpets played their smallest show in decades on Monday night with a packed out show at AMP in Stockport as part of its Town Of Culture celebrations. With a set full of most of their back catalogue of hits the intimate hot and sweaty gig was a real throwback to their roots as a garage band that grew up on stages of this size before fame came their way.

Friday 15 March 2024

Happy Mondays / Inspiral Carpets / Stereo MCs - Glasgow Barrowland - 14th March 2024

When Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets announced their tour last year, tickets for the shows were in high demand with some venues selling out instantly, resulting in no fewer than three Glasgow shows. Tonight was the first of those sell out shows. Stuart Ralston ventured home for the evening.

Friday 8 March 2024


IST IST return with a new single, Lost My Shadow, the first fruits of their recent recording sessions for their as-yet-unannounced fourth album.  Featuring many of their trademark characteristics, but with a crisper more direct sounding purpose to it, the song ushers in what promises to be their most successful year to date.

Wednesday 6 March 2024

Neon Waltz - Manchester Castle Hotel - 5th March 2024

Neon Waltz's postponed tour in support of their second album Honey Now finally rolled into Manchester on Tuesday night into a swelteringly hot and sold out Castle Hotel. A fourteen song set pulled from Honey Now as well as old favourites from their debut Strange Hymns and points in between the two records.

Tuesday 5 March 2024

The Last Dinner Party / Rachel Chinouriri - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 4th March 2024

The Last Dinner Party are the name on everyone's lips right now, love or hate them. Fresh from topping the charts with their debut album Prelude To Ecstasy they played what promises to be their smallest full band show for a long time with a War Child gig at Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Monday night supported by Rachel Chinouriri.

The Murder Capital - London Moth Club - 28th February 2024

Make no mistake about it, The Murder Capital’s journey to the very top is getting closer and world domination may just be around the corner if their latest offerings are fully taken onboard by the potential new fan base they may capture when supporting Pearl Jam in the not so distant future.

Friday 1 March 2024

John Bramwell And The Full Harmonic Convergence / Harriet Bradshaw - Manchester Stoller Hall - 29th February 2024

John Bramwell And The Full Harmonic Convergence took to the resplendent stage of The Stoller Hall in Manchester on Thursday night to celebrate the release of John's second solo album The Light Fantastic. The five-piece performed the majority of the album alongside tracks from John's debut Leave Alone The Empty Spaces and a few selected nuggets from his I Am Kloot days to a respectful and engrossed audience. Support came from the Harmonic Convergence's own Harriet Bradshaw with tracks from her debut solo releases.

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Meryl Streek / Scattered Ashes / Marginal Gains - Newcastle Zerox - 19th February 2024

Since moving further up North it’s been noticeable that many bands bypass Newcastle as part of their U.K. tours yet the amazing Wandering Oak managed to pull off somewhat of a coup with a trio of talented artists - Meryl Streek, Scattered Ashes and Marginal Gains - at Newcastle Zerox.

John Bramwell - The Light Fantastic

The Light Fantastic, John Bramwell's second solo album, has been a long time coming. Recorded with his band, The Full Harmonic Convergence, the twelve-song collection is a rich and vibrant addition to John's catalogue of work that is in its fourth decade. Melodic and optimistic, but shot through the battered and bruised lyrical romanticism that has been his calling card, it's a career highpoint that sits alongside his most celebrated work.

Sunday 18 February 2024

The 1975 - Manchester Arena - 17th February 2024

Very few bands divide opinion as much as The 1975 these days. Persuaded to go along by two friends who are devotees to their headline show at the Arena in Manchester eleven years after being completely unimpressed by a nascent version of the band, we went with an open mind...

Saturday 17 February 2024

Smalltown Tigers / Chasing The Fall / The Homecoming - Stockport The Spinning Top - 16th February 2024

Italian trio Smalltown Tigers headed to The Spinning Top in Stockport as part of their UK tour to promote the release of their album Crush On You that came out last week. Blasting through sixteen songs from the album and its predecessor Five Things in less than forty five minutes they demonstrated that they're ready to step up to much bigger stages should the right doors open for them.

Wednesday 7 February 2024

The Last Dinner Party - Manchester HMV - 6th February 2024

The Last Dinner Party are the name on everyone's lips right now. As the five-piece sit atop the midweek charts with their debut album Prelude To Ecstasy, debate rumbles around them. Depleted in number as bassist Georgia is ill, four-fifths of The Last Dinner Party delighted an excited in-store crowd in Manchester Arndale's HMV store with a five-song stripped-back set.

Monday 5 February 2024

Ist Ist / Midnight Gallery - Huddersfield The Parish - 3rd February 2024

Ist Ist completed a triumphant four-date mini-tour for Independent Venue Week at a sold-out Parish in Huddersfield on Saturday night.  Performing tracks from across their three albums, their recent reissue of their debut EPs and showcasing a couple of brand new songs they delighted the growing band of Ist Ist faithful with a show that confirmed their seemingly unstoppable momentum as they enter what promises to be the biggest year for the band yet.

SKIES - Manchester Gullivers - 1st February 2024

SKIES concluded their tour in support of their debut album Is It All In Our Heads? with a show at Gullivers in Manchester on Thursday night performing eight of the eleven tracks from the album as well as a surprise Florence And The Machine cover.

Thursday 1 February 2024

The Miserable Rich - Overcome

It's twelve years since The Miserable Rich's last album Miss You In The Days and in an era where bands make comebacks theirs was one of the most unlikely. It took tragedy, in the shape of the death of front man James de Malplaquet and his wife Sarah's first child and the healing powers of friendship, pizza and beer to get them back together in a room, initially to play a charity fundraiser and then to play around with ideas for new music. Overcome is the product of how those meetings played out, the sound of a band reconnecting with each other, recalling everything special about the band in their first incarnation but now laced with the wisdom of age and experience, new musical discoveries and a sense of purpose that the record needed to be made.

Ist Ist / Midnight Gallery - Preston The Ferret - 31st January 2024

Ist Ist opened 2024 that promises to be their biggest and busiest year to date with a sold-out show at Preston's The Ferret as part of this year's Independent Venue Week celebrations. Mixing songs from across their three albums with tracks taken from their first two EPs that have just been reissued in one package as Everything Is Spinning Now as well as two tracks fresh from their recording sessions from album four. Support came from new Manchester-based band Midnight Gallery.

TRACK OF THE DAY : John Bramwell - A World Full Of Flowers

John Bramwell has released A World Full Of Flowers, the first track to be taken from his very long-awaited second solo album The Light Fantastic. 

Monday 29 January 2024

LIINES - Manchester New Century Hall - 26th January 2024

LIINES made their long-awaited and much-anticipated comeback on Friday night with a support slot with Ladytron at New Century Hall. Performing old favourites from their debut album Stop / Start as well as a bunch of new songs, they delighted those who'd scrambled for tickets after the recent announcement as well as winning over new fans from the Ladytron fan base.

Saturday 20 January 2024

The Lottery Winners / Reverend And The Makers / Dirty Blonde - Manchester Apollo - 19th January 2024

The Lottery Winners' unstoppable rise through the Manchester music venues continued on Friday night as they headlined a sold-out Apollo in front of an adoring audience who filled the room with love for a band of underdogs who've battled and earned their way to this bucket list venue for any aspiring band to come from the Manchester area. Support came from a surprise set from three of Reverend And The Makers and local newcomers Dirty Blonde.

Monday 15 January 2024

TRACK OF THE DAY : James - Is This Love

James return with Is This Love, the opening track from their 18th studio album Yummy that is set for release on April 12th. A string-laden track, it muses on all aspects of the universal search for love and peace of mind.