Thursday, 5 December 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Smoke Fairies - Elevator

Elevator is the lead track from Smoke Fairies' forthcoming album Darkness Brings The Wonders Home, the duo's first full studio album since 2014's self-titled record.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Amy Studt / Natalie McCool / Audrey's Dance - Manchester Castle Hotel - 3rd December 2019

Amy Studt recently released Happiest Girl In The World, her first album for eleven years, an album that diarised the last decade of her life with explicit clarity around her bipolar condition, broken relationships, near-death experiences and losing and finding love. She's brought the record out on tour and called in at Manchester's Castle Hotel for an intimate and revelatory performance supported by Natalie McCool and Audrey's Dance.

Monday, 2 December 2019

SOCIALIST SUNDAY : The Blinders / Cabbage / Scuttlers / The Rhythm Method / Space Monkeys / The Pagans S.O.H. / Cold Water Swimmers - Manchester Ritz - 1st December 2019

Socialist Sunday was dreamt up, planned and delivered within just three weeks as a means of trying to encourage young people to get engaged in the political debate ahead of the December 12th election and specifically to champion the Labour Party. Headlined by The Blinders, as part of their For The Many tour with the same purpose, Manchester's Ritz played host to a thousand or so people to listen to nine hours of bands and speeches on Sunday.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

The Twilight Sad - Edinburgh Usher Hall - 30th November 2019

The Twilight Sad completed their UK and European tour with their biggest ever headline show to date at Edinburgh's Usher Hall on Saturday night. a triumphant end to a year when their album It Won/t Be Like This All The Time opened new doors for them and saw them belatedly get the recognition and success that they've long deserved.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

The Ninth Wave - Edinburgh Assai - 29th November 2019

The Ninth Wave completed a run of in-stores to promote their debut album Infancy in Edinburgh's Assai Records on Friday night. A seven song set featured six tracks from the record as well as an as-yet-unreleased track.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : The Maitlands - Flotsam and Jetsam

Flotsam and Jetsam is the new single from the surprisingly prolific The Maitlands, another track to add to their impressive 2019 output. Clocking it at less than three minutes, the song features the charismatic vocals of their lead singer Carl Ingram over a track full of jagged guitars that refuse to stand still for more than a few seconds.

Monday, 25 November 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Hannah Ashcroft - Landfire

Landfire is the long-awaited debut single from Hannah Ashcroft, her first new material since her 2016 EP The Quiet Kind. The song pulls on some of her experience travelling, working and busking across the UK, Europe and Australia in the intervening years.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

The Twilight Sad / Man Of Moon - Manchester Ritz - 24th November 2019

On the back of the success of their album It Won/t Be Like This All The Time, The Twilight Sad have returned from a huge European tour to play three of the biggest headline gigs of their career so far. Sunday night and an early start saw them successfully move from their two sold-out gigs across the road at Gorilla to this legendary venue.

Little Strange - Manchester Castle Hotel - 23rd November 2019

Little Strange headlined a packed out Castle Hotel music room in Manchester on Saturday night. The six-piece trade in a mix of psychedelic and traditional rock and roll sounds and won over an audience with a forty-minute set that appealed to both their die-hard fans and those like us watching them for the first time with no prior knowledge of them.

Friday, 22 November 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY 2 : Neon Waltz - All In Good Time

Neon Waltz return with a new single All In Good Time, recorded live with the full band at Freswick Castle in Scotland during their recent recording sessions ahead of their forthcoming UK tour and the release of a new EP early in 2020.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Cayley Thomas - Midnight Hours

Midnight Hours is the lead track from Edmonton-based Cayley Thomas's debut album How Else Can I Tell You? due for release in May 2020, a song about dark lonely nights lying awake unable to sleep delivered with a rich soulful and emotive voice that accentuates the warmth of the song.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Fontaines D.C. - Manchester Ritz - 19th November 2019

Fontaines D.C. kicked off their sold-out UK tour at Manchester Ritz on Tuesday night, a show that sold out six months in advance on the back of their debut album Dogrel which is sure to top many of the end of year lists and had touts outside desperately scrabbling for any rare spare tickets that might appear.

Granfalloon - Interview

Granfalloon recently released their second album RGB. We caught up with Richard for a chat about the inspiration for the songs on the record, the unusual sounds used in the recording, transferring the songs from recorded form to the live environment and plans for the future.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Basia Bulat - Your Girl

Your Girl is the lead track from Basia Bulat's forthcoming album Are You In Love? due out on March 27 next year, her first album since 2016's Good Advice.

Monday, 18 November 2019

The Murder Capital - Bern ISC Club - 17th November 2019

We were in the Swiss capital of Bern on a wet and freezing cold Sunday night to watch the most important band in the world right now complete their month-long hectic European tour in style.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Rews - Birdsong

Birdsong is the first new material from Rews since the departure of drummer Collette earlier this year and the release of their debut album Pyro back in 2018. It retains the high-energy of the debut with Shauna at the helm and is accompanied by a live performance video.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

The Murder Capital / Horse, I'm Virus - Lausanne Le Romandie - 16th November 2019

The Murder Capital played their first ever Swiss show and their penultimate date on their mammoth UK and European tour at Lausanne's Le Romandie on Saturday. As incendiary as ever despite the toll of being constantly on the road, the band fired up an initially respectful and reticent crowd into a frenzied moshpit by the end. Support came from the intense local duo Horse I'm Virus.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

SKIES / Lightscape - Manchester Jimmy's - 13th November 2019

SKIES opened their tour in support of recent single Born Yesterday in the basement of Jimmy's in Manchester on Wednesday night with an energetic twelve-song set supported by Norwich's Lightscape.

Monday, 11 November 2019

The Dolly Shakes - The Dolly Shakes EP

The Dolly Shakes approach to their art is very much a DIY one. Their debut EP, recorded in the bedroom of two of the band’s flat, comes with a handwritten thank you card and a photocopied lyric booklet.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Urban Theory / TEEFF / Hurray For Tuesday - Manchester Off The Square - 9th November 2019

Urban Theory headlined one of Manchester's newest venues Off The Square on Saturday night supported by TEEFF and Hurray For Tuesday, showcasing their new line up and a new set.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

John Bramwell And The Full Harmonic Convergence / Dave Fidler - Manchester Ritz - 7th November 2019

John Bramwell brought his Full Harmonic Convergence to Manchester Ritz on Thursday night for the second of two special shows to reveal tracks from his second album due next year sometime as well as old favourites from his I Am Kloot catalogue and his Leave Alone The Empty Spaces debut.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Urban Theory - Interview

Urban Theory released their first single of 2019 Living The Dream But Discussing The Nightmare after a break which saw line-up changes and a refocusing of the band. After a recent successful support with Jordan Allen at Gorilla, they headline their own show at Off The Square in Manchester this Saturday (November 9). We caught up with Alex to chat about everything that's gone on and their plans after the show.

The 99 Degree - Interview

The 99 Degree have a busy weekend ahead, releasing their new mini-album EL MONSTRUO as well as playing a headline date at Retro Bar on Saturday. We caught up with guitarist Phil Turner about the songs on it, the simple yet striking video for recent single Flatline, how they got their name and their plans for 2020.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Odd Morris - Lilac Leaves

Lilac Leaves is Odd Morris's second single, the follow up to What Might Be. Like most of the bands emerging from the Dublin scene, the only common thread is geography - Lilac Leaves is a powerful slow-burner that's reflective in its subject matter.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

M-40 / INEGO / Ash Palmer / The Last Clouds - Manchester Night And Day - 6th November 2019

Wednesday night saw the launch of a new music promotion company called After All at the Night And Day with four very different sets from M-40, INEGO, Ash Palmer and The Last Clouds.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Lanterns On The Lake - Every Atom

Lanterns On The Lake return with a new single Every Atom, their first new studio material since 2015's Beings and the lead track from their fourth album Spook The Herd that is released via Bella Union in February 2020.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

The Red Stains / Careering / Alex Rave And The Sceptical - Didsbury Railway Inn - 1st November 2019

Friday night saw the latest instalment of Deco Records' residency at The Railway in Didsbury that brings alternative sounds to one of Manchester's more affluent suburbs. Headlined by The Red Stains, we also caught sets by Alex Rave And The Sceptical and Careering.

Déjà Vega - Manchester Academy 3 - 1st November 2019

Déjà Vega took time out from selling out ever increasing in size venues across Manchester to support Honeyblood at Academy 3 on Friday night. A typically energetic set won over a number of new followers despite technical problems that almost curtailed the set - but across the course of half an hour, they showed just why they're one of the hottest live properties in town right now.

The Blinders - Manchester Pretty Green - 1st November 2019

The Blinders played an intimate early evening stripped down set at Pretty Green's Manchester store to a crowd of competition winners and guests - revealing some of the songs they've just finished recording as part of their second album as well as some old favourites.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Hello Cosmos / LIINES / Granfalloon - Manchester Soup Kitchen - 31st October 2019

Hello Cosmos launched their Let Love Be The Island Upon Which We Stand EP with a Thursday night gig in the basement of Manchester's Soup Kitchen supported by local heroes LIINES and Granfalloon.

Lunar Sounds - Interview

Lunar Sounds returned recently with their new single Reputation, the follow-up to last year's The Void EP. We caught up with them to find out more about how they got together, their unusual live set-up, the message in their songs and their plans for the future.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

She Drew The Gun / Peaness / Natalie McCool - Manchester Academy 2 - 30th October 2019

She Drew The Gun's UK tour called in at a close-to-capacity Manchester Academy 2 on Wednesday night for an inspirational show pulling from both the Memories Of Another Future and Revolution Of Mind albums as well as new material. Support came from Peaness and Natalie McCool.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

The Red Stains - Manchester Retro - 26th October 2019

Intrigued by their on-line presence and the scratchy demo they'd posted on their Soundcloud, we caught up with The Red Stains playing the Deco Records Halloween event at Retro on Saturday teatime.

Jordan Allen / Scuttlers / Urban Theory - Manchester Gorilla - 26th October 2019

Jordan Allen's big comeback gig and biggest ever headline show to date at Manchester Gorilla sold out a couple of months in advance. The anticipation in the room was intense before he and his new band delivered a breathless fifty-minute set that never paused for breath and left both Jordan and his loyal crowd exhausted by the end. Support came from Urban Theory and Scuttlers.

James Holt - Manchester HMV - 26th October 2019

James Holt played the latest of HMV’s Live And Local showcases in their Manchester Arndale store on Saturday afternoon.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Happy Mondays - The Early EP's

Salford legends Happy Mondays have just embarked on a massive greatest hits tour. To celebrate, they are reissuing their first four 12" singles as a box set. Long term Mondays and Factory fan Stuart Ralston takes a look back at some classic and often overlooked tracks.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Berries - Lies

Berries return with their new single Lies, the title track and the second to be taken for their forthcoming second EP.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

The Twilight Sad - Leeds Brudenell Social Club - 22nd October 2019

The Twilight Sad returned to one of our, and their, favourite venues for the second night of their current U.K. and European tour producing a breathtaking, cathartic experience that left the crowd on their knees.

Ren Harvieu / Pat Dam Smyth - Manchester Deaf Institute - 22nd October 2019

Ren Harvieu recently announced her return and her long-awaited second album after a seven year gap from her debut. To showcase the record she announced two low-key shows starting with this one at the Deaf Institute in Manchester where she revealed eight more new songs, one that's so new it isn't even on the record as well as a selection of old favourites to a besotted audience.  Support came from Pat Dam Smyth.

TRACK OF THE DAY : His Father's Voice - In The Shade

In The Shade is the follow-up to Limerick four-piece His Father's Voice's debut EP Context And Perspective that was released earlier this year. Coupled with b-side Close that shows a different side to the band, In The Shade is warm, rich and accessible despite the disdain being shown to the song's villain.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

TRACK OF THE DAY : Slow Riot - G.A.D.

Limerick's Slow Riot were once tipped to be the next big thing to emerge from Ireland. Sadly they've now split, but they are about to release what would have been their debut album and have previewed it with a single called G.A.D.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Déjà Vega - Interview

Déjà Vega have been one of our favourite live bands for a long time yet for some reason never seemed to make the step up that a lot of lesser bands were. That's all started to change recently as they're selling out increasingly bigger shows in Manchester and travelling much further afield. We caught up with them to talk about their recently released debut album, their writing and recording processes and their exciting plans for 2020.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Magazines - Tough

Tough is Dublin four-piece Magazines' debut single set for release on November 1st, an impressive opening from a band that's been around less than a year on the Dublin scene.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

The Murder Capital / Happy Couple - Manchester Yes - 18th October 2019

The Murder Capital brought an end to their sold-out headline tour to promote their debut album When I Have Fears with a sold-out show at Manchester Yes supported by Brighton-based trio Happy Couple.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Fever - Jungle Man

Jungle Man is the extremely promising debut single from Hull four-piece Fever released via Blossoms' Very Clever Records label, a perfect two minute crossover indie-pop single that recalls many of their recognisable influences but which feels thoroughly contemporary and immediately an ear worm.

Friday, 18 October 2019

David Ford / Abe Partridge - Kendal Brewery Arts Centre - 17th October 2019

David Ford brought his latest one man tour to the intimate setting of Kendal Brewery Arts Centre on Thursday night for a career spanning set with his latest invention allowing him to loop multiple instruments and build songs from the ground up.  Support came from American singer-songwriter Abe Partridge, who was full of interesting stories and rich emotional songs.

The Wha - Interview

The Wha might only have released two singles, but they're already signed to star-maker indie label Chess Club and making enough noise to be considered the next in line of bands to come from the fertile Irish music scene and make their name in the UK. We caught up with them for a chat about their roots, the expectation that's been placed upon them and plans into next year.

TRACK OF THE DAY : Kaze - Crying Diamonds

Crying Diamonds is the latest in a series of live performance videos by Kaze. Labelled as "No make up, no edits, some off singing and some tears" it's a raw emotional performance, the sound of just a piano and a voice.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

The Lottery Winners - Interview

With their self-titled long-awaited debut album set for release in March 2020 and their biggest ever headline show just announced for Manchester's iconic Ritz venue, things are finally falling into place for The Lottery Winners, one of the most-loved and enduring bands in the North West. We caught up with Thom to talk about the album, new single and video Hawaii, playing The Ritz and what it means to finally get the break they deserve.

The Murder Capital / Happy Couple - Glasgow King Tut's Wah Wah Hut - 16th October 2019

The Murder Capital juggernaut rolled into Glasgow on Wednesday night for a sold-out show at a steaming hot King Tut's Wah Wah Hut with Happy Couple in tow.