LIVE: THE SUBWAYS – 24/03/2015

The Subways - ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - The house lights come down and 3 revolving police lights come on, two blue and one red. The room fills with dramatic introduction music and voices greet us in many different languages. It’s not long before The Subways walk out into the flashing light. They receive an enthusiastic welcome and get straight on with ‘We Don’t Need Money To Have A Good Time’. The excitement has been building... Read More

LIVE: JAWS – 06/03/2015

JAWS - ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - I don’t know if they’ve put something in the water down there, but there seems to have recently been a big influx of exciting new indie bands coming out of Birmingham and smashing it. From big tours to big record deals, big riffs to big hooks, it’s all been going on. Young quartet Jaws are one of these bands that the kids can’t get enough of at the moment, particularly with tonight’s show... Read More

LIVE: TURIN BRAKES – 08/11/2014

T.E. Yates - ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - When my gig buddy and I arrive at the Academy, we are welcomed by a metal storm produced by the SikTh + Idiom gig happening in Academy 2. Like Dante in his Divine Comedy, we ascend to the upper floor, hoping for the heavenly experience normally guaranteed by a Turin Brakes live set. I am struck by the merch desk of T.E. Yates – the second support band for tonight – studded with timely Poppy Appeal-related paraphernalia... Read More

LIVE: THE HOLD STEADY – 07/05/2014

The Hold Steady - ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - The Hold Steady, a five-piece band based in Brooklyn, has brought its rock and roll show to Academy 3 tonight. When tickets first went on sale, I decided to head down to the student union the next working day to pick some up. Mistake. The gig was sold out by then. Having seen the band before in considerably larger venues like Academy 2 and Koko in London, I really should have foreseen that tonight’s gig,... Read More

LIVE: TEXAS IS THE REASON – 03/08/2013 (MANCHESTER) & 04/08/2013 (LONDON)

Journey – An act of travelling from one place to another. The past weekend has been that journey. One that has spanned nearly two decades of waiting, one that has been filled with emotion and one that ended with sheer beauty and happiness. Texas Is The Reason released one album, one EP and two split singles in the mid /late 90s then went their separate ways. Not many people in the venues had the chance to see them before and even more thought... Read More

LIVE: TURBONEGRO – 22/11/2012

- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - Turbonegro must (never) be destroyed! The Turbojunged are out in force this evening in Manchester. The classic Denim jacket emblazoned with the leather cap and the area of fan base below. On the stairs up to Academy three there are Jungeds from Aberdeen, Stoke, Lisbon, Oslo, Lemmington, Madrid and of course Bolton. The main (and only) support comes from Daniel P Carter. An odd choice as a support act as he basically just... Read More


- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - It’s All Hallows’ Evening and folk/blues rock duo, the Two Gallants are in town. There’s a spooky atmosphere in the air tonight, as hoards of young ‘uns line the streets, screeching and clutching each other from the freezing cold. Girls with thick make-up prance around in short, ripped skirts and devil horns. The boys have blood stained shirts, dark eyes and ghoulish stares. Yeah, just another normal, night... Read More

LIVE: DOG IS DEAD – 23/10/2012

- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - Since their formation back in 2008, Nottingham based outfit Dog Is Dead have certainly put the time in with several single/EP releases and a large amount of gigs under their belts. It seems that all of their hard work is paying off though, as the quintet are now signed to Atlantic records and have finally gotten round to creating their much anticipated debut album, ‘All Of Our Favourite Stories’ which was released at... Read More

LIVE: NADA SURF – 14/10/2012

- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - It’s a mostly 30+ crowd in for the opening night of Nada Surf’s European tour, but old habits die hard, and half the early birds are still sat splayed across the Academy 3’s tacky floor by time Ezra Furman makes an appearance. He stands alone at 45º to the mic with just an acoustic guitar at his disposal and face-filling sunglasses protecting his bleary eyes after a marathon 13-hour flight from LA. His... Read More


- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - There are few more cherished moments in a band’s career – the breakthrough song has found a handle on a niche audience, the underground buzz has begun to filter out, the debut album will drop in less than a month. The band rock into town, and play upstairs in the attic of the Student Union to a gaggle of early enthusiasts. The occasion doesn’t disappoint. A somewhat forgettable support set underlines niggling... Read More


Brookyln-based Friends are making some pretty darn good impressions round these parts. Even without an album release, Zane Lowe’s already cottoned on and named their 3rd single release ‘Mind Control’ the ‘Hottest Record in the World’. Plus they bagged a shortlist honour on the BBC’s Sounds of 2012. Since E4 canned the Friends repeats I’m missing my ‘bunch of New York mates have a jolly good time’ hit. So I’m pretty chuffed Samantha... Read More


- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - Disco. It’s a dirty word. People are scared to be associated with it, and I often find myself breaking down the locked doors of people’s closets, and saying, “you don’t have to hide!” Now is the best time for disco, it is a burst of decadence without the calories or the debt. But, I sense a timid crowd at Manchester Academy 3 as the funky-hot AlunaGeorge walk on stage. The London pairing of Aluna Francis on scorching... Read More


- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - In less than two months since a shimmering set in the Night & Day Cafe, We Are Augustines have returned home from their first European tour, galvanised neutrals at South By Southwest and Coachella, delivered headline sets from Hollywood to native New York, and released their debut album, Rise Ye Sunken Ships. Suffice to say, they have an urgency infusing everything they do just now, seemingly terrified that these precious... Read More

LIVE: JOSH KUMRA – 16/04/2012

- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - I have a confession to make, one that I probably shouldn’t tell, but there is a reason behind it. I am late, only about 5 minutes but that’s enough to miss the best bit of the gig. Me and my friend are running up the stairs and I hear the soft, charming voice of Josh Kumra. I’ve said this as I wanted to mention that I love how his voice has carried through the corridors, like a pleasant breeze on a summer’s day and... Read More


Coinciding with today’s release of The Big Pink’s second album ‘Future This’, the eleventh instalment of the 4AD Sessions is now available. Directed by long-term 4AD collaborators Iain and Jane, Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell are joined by live band members, Victoria Smith and Zan Lyons to help bring to life the immersive feel of the band’s music. Recorded at the 3 Mills film complex on Three Mill Island in Bromley-by-Bow,... Read More

LIVE: CAITLIN ROSE – 12/03/2011

- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - Academy 3 Manchester is in alcohol slicked high spirits, though the sort that could end in a drunken sing-song with a ephemeral best friend or spirited scrap outside the men’s toilets, depending entirely on whether somebody steps on your shoes or not. And they’re not sure what to make of the strange American lady with the funny voice. Persistent heckles are emphatically Junior School goading – pinching the girl... Read More


- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - Javelin’s bizarre intro – which I can only describe as ‘cosmic’ – segues straight into the main body of their set, which is stuck somewhere between very chilled and very dancy – with fat beats, floaty synths and falsetto vocals. The slightly everyday-sounding, yet ambitious lyrics mark this apart from a lot of the other twee, retro stuff out there. It’s delightfully low-fi on the one hand, yet the drum machine... Read More

LIVE: ‘A’/THIS CITY – 05/12/2009

- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - It’s difficult to fight indifference, just ask This City frontman, Chris Purr, whose repeated pleas for the audience to edge closer to the stage fall on reluctant ears, and the foolproof clap-your-hand-above-your-head gambit is cruelly greeted with an audible titter. In truth, the Brighton quintet’s happy post-hardcore is ruined by the scrawny singer, his vocal style akin to shouting muffled threats down a phone line... Read More


- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - It’s an intriguing experience going to see a band you’ve never heard of. You’re worried you might hate it, and as a reviewer, you’re duty bound to stay for the whole thing. Well it turns out I had heard of The Answering Machine, I just didn’t know it and I would gladly stay through the whole thing again. There’s a modest crowd of about 100 in The Academy 3, making it about a quarter full mostly with student types... Read More

LIVE: IMELDA MAY – 23/02/2009

- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - When Imelda May takes to any stage, it is hard to see how anybody could possibly see past this vision of beauty that stands before you and concentrate on anything else, but this is soon put aside with the amazing talents that Imelda and her band members individually possess. Dave Priseman – trumpet/flugle horn/percussion, Darrel Higham – Guitar, Al Gare – double bass/bass guitar and Steve Rushton –... Read More

LIVE: THE ONLY ONES – 24/01/2009

- ACADEMY 3, MANCHESTER - Over the past few years, we have seen an abundance of bands reforming. Some have worked and some have not. So there is always an air of anticipation when heading to one of these gigs, and tonight is no exception to this. Slightly later than expected, Peter Perrett and Co take to the stage in this intimate venue. Perrett is now looking rather frail and his choice of past time for the last 30 or so years has certainly taken... Read More