LIVE: ELBOW – 19/03/2017

– O2 APOLLO, MANCHESTER – Music forms the soundtrack to our lives, the bedrock beats that orientate us through relationships, friendships, heartache, like fluorescent buoys in the sea. An example. I began (re)dating my high schoool sweetheart in early 2006 – around 25 years after the first time – and just around the time the […]

LIVE: RUSSIAN CIRCLES / CLOAKROOM – 20/03/2017

– GORILLA, MANCHESTER – It’s always a good vibe when a band you dig announce a tour with an equally excellent support, so tonight I excitedly make it down nice and early to see Indiana based three piece Cloakroom open up for instrumental mavericks Russian Circles. Cloakroom is a name I’ve heard a lot over […]

LIVE: CLOUD NOTHINGS – 18/03/2017

– DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – Dylan Baldi and his band have one setting: LOUD. That setting is taken to the nth degree tonight at the Deaf Institute, as Cloud Nothings arrive in Manchester to support their stellar new album Life Without Sound (insert joke about my life without sound after this deafening gig etc). This […]

LIVE: GLASS ANIMALS – 18/03/2017

– ALBERT HALL, MANCHESTER – Hysteria might be the only word I know that comes close to describing the atmosphere as Glass Animals walk onto the stage at Manchester’s Albert Hall. The group of girls that tightly pack around me scream for lead singer Dave Bayley – shouts of “Yes Dave!!” will become as familiar […]

LIVE: FACTORY FLOOR – 17/03/2017

– THE WHITE HOTEL, SALFORD – It’s midnight in the salubrious surroundings of The White Hotel (actually an industrial unit in North Manchester, with a trapdoor bar in the floor which is all kinds of amazing), and the packed room is watching people make their final tinkerings with the equipment on stage (actually there is […]

LIVE: HORSEBEACH / KYOTOYA – 17/03/2017

– SACRED TRINITY CHURCH, SALFORD – It’d be easy to pigeonhole Horsebeach into the indie LA beach rock style category (there’s a lot of that knocking about now) but he’s much deeper than that. The new LP, Beauty & Sadness, continues a Horsebeach trend of combining harrowing lyrics and jangly, poppy guitars. Tonight, in Salford’s […]

LIVE: MOON DUO – 16/03/2017

– BAND ON THE WALL, MANCHESTER – Moon Duo obviously realise that their time is now. Their plans for 2017 are to release two halves of a grand, conceptual project: Occult Architecture, Vols. 1 and 2, with each volume representing one half of the Taoist principle of Yin and Yang. Such is the dominance of […]

LIVE: DUTCH UNCLES – 15/03/2017

– THE DANCEHOUSE THEATRE, MANCHESTER – This year marks Dutch Uncles’ ninth as a band, which almost nestles them into the category of indie stalwarts, although they have the energy and enthusiasm of a teenage garage band just starting out and who don’t know any better. Singer Duncan Wallis’ charming and charismatic presence at centre […]

LIVE: LAURA MARLING / ETHAN JONES – 12/03/2017

– ALBERT HALL, MANCHESTER – Before the Albert Hall was one of Manchester’s best loved music venues it used to be a church, and for Laura Marling’s fourth stop on her Semper Femina tour this evening, you can feel that more than ever. Beneath the imposing stained glass church windows, which are allowing a flickering […]

LIVE: WILD CHILD / MAYBE FRANK – 11/03/2017

– DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – Being a relatively new Wild Child listener, I’m hoping for bouncy beats and down-to-earth prosaic lyrics about everyday life, provided by the way of good-humoured derision. The teasing nature of the singing duo of Wild Child is amusing to listen to, but live I’m not entirely sure what I’m in […]