LIVE: KAWEHI – 28/07/2015

Kawehi – THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – “Holy shit, I’m in Manchester!” exclaims Kawehi as she takes to the stage in front of an initially quiet crowd at The Deaf Institute. The tiny American, who hails from Hawaii but is now based in Kansas, already seems quite comfortable addressing the room and gets a rowdy cheer after a brief introduction full of enthusiasm and self deprecation with a loud ‘Hey y’allllllll!’... Read More


Leon Bridges – THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – When he started in music, Leon Bridges admitted that he had not been listening to Sam Cooke ‘too hard’ and only began really digging into soul music, once his first single hit the cult blog ‘Gorilla Vs Bear’. It seems quite ironic then, when the widely-hyped OkayKaya covers Mr Cooke in her support set, after saying ‘Leon Bridges makes her feel like this.’ Although soul may not... Read More


Andrew Jackson Jihad –  THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – In case any of us had forgotten, Andrew Jackson Jihad (AJJ) reminds us that guitars can actually sweat. And bleed. Clean and raucous, friendly furious, the punk-folk band from Arizona turs up as an effective catalyst for teenagers’ rage, as most of the audience tonight is pretty young and passionate for this odd DIY orchestra. Like their support band Hard Girls, the guys from... Read More

LIVE: UGLY DUCKLING – 30/04/2015

Ugly Duckling – THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER –  I love hip-hop shows. I wouldn’t say I go to many, and I don’t have much of a grasp on the current hip-hop scene (how old do I sound?), but whenever an old school hip-hop group is in town, I’ll try to make it to the show. One of my favourite hip-hop groups from way back when is Ugly Duckling, a trio of dudes from California who’ve got such a great sound, with some brilliant rhymes... Read More

LIVE: REN HARVIEU – 25/04/2015

Ren Harvieu – THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – Following an accident resulting in a broken back in 2011 that hindered the full-pelt launch of her career, it seems Ren Harvieu is firmly back on the musical radar and gigging circuit. It’s easy to forget, with her low-key presence and the absence of a second album in recent years, that her debut record Through the Night charted at number five and made an impressive impact on the mainstream... Read More


The Leisure Society – THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – Tonight the Deaf Institute is not the thermal pressure cooker that has become its trademark during its reign as the crown jewel of Manchester’s small music venues. It is more gently packed, still busy, but comfortable. The Leisure Society are repeat visitors themselves, and like so many before them, they spare a word for the great place midway through their set. Also noteworthy is... Read More

LIVE: DUKE GARWOOD – 11/04/2015

Duke Garwood – THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – Sometimes, the choices you take by pure chance really do you well. Duke Garwood gives us an evening of seminal intimacy and peace of mind at Manchester’s Deaf Institute. In fact, this venue seems perfectly suited for him. To be honest, I end up here only because I didn’t manage to get tickets for Seasick Steve, who’s performing at the very same time at another venue in Manchester.... Read More

LIVE: NADINE SHAH – 14/04/2015

Nadine Shah – THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – Due to the typically dismal weather, beer gardens are in short supply in Manchester. On the rare occasion like tonight where the sun still shines gloriously at gone half seven, every flimsy metal table outside a bar is keenly occupied. The smartest amongst those are supping up quickly to get into the inevitable sauna-like conditions of The Deaf Institute because, as usual, it’s host to the... Read More

LIVE: ERRORS – 04/04/2015

Errors – THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – I’m so pleased to be watching Errors. I’ve missed the Scottish ‘post-electro’ band every time they’ve toured for one reason or another, and the only glimpse I’ve had of them live was a couple of songs at the end of a Bestival set in about 2012 that I stumbled upon by accident. All four of their albums are brilliant, morphing from the Mogwai (sorry, it’s almost compulsory to mention... Read More


Du Blonde, the new project of Beth Jeans Houghton, has unveiled the first single from her new album. Black Flag is now available as a free download from her official website, and is taken from her forthcoming album, Welcome Back to Milk, which is released on Mute on May 18.The single, as well as much of the album, was produced by  Bad Seed and Grinderman member Jim Sclavunos, whose previous production credits include The Jim Jones Revue and The... Read More

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