LIVE: SPRING KING (ALBUM LAUNCH) – 10/06/2016

Spring King – Tell Me If You Like To – BAND ON THE WALL, MANCHESTER – I’m not letting the first-world trauma of an apparent loss of 36GB of music in a file-transfer debacle half an hour ago diminish my anticipation as I make the trip over to Band on the Wall to see Spring King. Live music’s where it’s at anyway, I tell myself. The thunderstorms of earlier have mercifully abated, and on arrival at the café/bar area I see that some... Read More

LIVE: GRIMES – 12/03/2016

Grimes – ACADEMY 1, MANCHESTER – Plastic leotards and leatherette tutus. Glitter covered everything and pastel faux fur. Neon faces and blown-out bedroom tattoos. The internet has vomited all over Manchester’s Academy and it’s beautiful. Every spectral colour is represented across a sea of semi-permanently dyed armpits and space-bun topped heads, and as I wade deeper into the crowd it becomes more and more difficult to focus on any... Read More

LIVE: PALEHOUND – 01/03/2016

Palehound – GULLIVER’S, MANCHESTER – Palehound is the alias of Ellen Kempner – an unflinching female guitarist and singer unafraid to lay bare her insecurities and imperfections through her music. Tonight is both a strange and special night for Ellen and her band, special as it is their first ever show in the UK, strange as their album is yet to come out in the UK – it was released in America last August but only gets... Read More

LIVE: SAVAGES – 22/02/2016

Savages – Photo by Francesca Nottola – ALBERT HALL, MANCHESTER – The chances of being bored at a Savages gig are small, but when we arrive at the Albert Hall and situate ourselves in the upper echelons we’d be forgiven for thinking we’re at a Daniel O’Donnell concert. Shining out through the gloom are lots of little lights with people staring transfixed at their portals of communication, not because Savages have lost all their... Read More

LIVE: SUNFLOWER BEAN – 16/02/2016

Sunflower Bean  – SOUP KITCHEN, MANCHESTER – “Keep the music going for a second?” asks Julia Cumming of the sound man, as the rest of the Brooklyn hailing trio, seemingly consisting of a young Frank Zappa and Bob Dylan circa 1967, race to the stage of Manchester’s Soup Kitchen to perform an impromptu half-cover of Parquet Courts’ detached poster-track ‘Stoned and Starving’. The band feed in and out of the New Yorkers’ post-punk... Read More

LIVE: KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD – 15/02/2016

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – GORILLA, MANCHESTER –The Melbourne-based band share this moment with us at Gorilla, starting off the night with a rapturous applause from the crowd. From the get-go, it’s a complete sensory overload and as all seven members of the band pick up their instruments, within seconds we are treated to ‘Robot Stop’, a new track that weaves its way into 2014’s flute-fuelled ‘Hot... Read More

LIVE: FLOATING POINTS – 12/02/2016

Floating Points  – THE RITZ, MANCHESTER – It’s been a long time coming, but Mancunian Sam Shepherd’s debut album Elaenia was certainly worth the wait. After releasing a string of outstanding DJ friendly EP’s and singles, since 2009, we’re finally able to immerse ourselves in a long player that ebbs and flows from danceable bloops and bleeps, to jazz infused sonic experimentation, and chilled-out vibes. Understandably,... Read More

LIVE: THE BABE RAINBOW – 02/11/2015

The Babe Rainbow photo by Peter Rea – FALLOW CAFE, MANCHESTER – Trips to this small converted terraced house in the heart of Studentsville are becoming quite a regular occurrence for me. They continue to host a production line of talented and fresh new bands, a lot of whom are locally based. It’s a cold and dark foggy night, like one you’d see in old adaptations of Sherlock Holmes novels. Australian psychedelic 60’s... Read More

LIVE: OUGHT – 02/09/2015

Ought – THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – Well summer’s over, the tent is packed away and the sun cream remains unused. Don’t shed a tear though, because dark nights drawing near ushers in months of fantastic gigs. Two days into September and we’re already under way, another stellar line up from prolific promoters Now Wave. Headliners Ought formed in the thriving DIY arts community of Montreal. Despite signing to Constellations –... Read More

LIVE: DAN DEACON – 17/06/2015

Dan Deacon – FAT OUT’S BURROW, SALFORD – This is not your average Wednesday night. A grown man stands above us, wearing khaki shorts, a schoolboy-like shirt and red socks pulled up to his knees. Soon, this man would hold a level of control over us. He would direct us, manipulate us and frankly embarrass us. His name is Dan Deacon and his live show is like no other. The sound is deafening, the lights blinding and the body odour stomach-curdling.... Read More

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