LIVE: OWEN PALLETT – 15/07/2014

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - This evening seems somewhat of an exciting evening to be an Owen Pallett fan as he’s playing the first date of a long over due UK tour and today he just been shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, which is Canada’s equivalent of the Mercury. The Ontario based songwriter/ musician composer is over here in support of new LP In Conflict, the second under his own name and fourth overall as he previously went under... Read More

LIVE: BO NINGEN – 12/05/2014

Bo Ningen - DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I’m late getting to the venue tonight – yet another title winners celebration in central Manchester – and only catch the end of the opening set by The Scenes.  First impressions are, there are a lot of them: A six piece crammed on the stage, leaving little room for manoeuvre for their front man, who offers up a string of classic post-punk stage-moves – Think Billy Idol.   Their music is not immediately... Read More

INTERVIEW & REVIEW: THE TWILIGHT SAD – 02/05/2014

The Twilight Sad (photo by Nic Schonfeld) - THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Backstage at The Deaf Institute, The Twilight Sad frontman James Graham leads me to a tiny room containing three bunk beds and room for nothing else. “It is like when you were wee and your pal came to play PlayStation” he says with a smile. Hailing from Glasgow, The Twilight Sad is not your run of the mill rock band. Combining moments of ear-splitting noise with folk-like... Read More

RECORD STORE (SHOP) DAY: WHAT’S ON WHERE

Here’s a bit of a low-down on some of this Saturday’s RSD action in Manchester. INSTORE AT PICCADILLY RECORDS DJ sets: 12pm-1pm: Ben Ward (Sways Records) 1pm-2pm: Eccentronic Research Council ft. Maxine Peake 2pm-3pm: Nev Cottee 3pm-4pm: The Emperor Machine 4pm-5pm: Smoke Fairies Exclusive live performance: 5.30pm-6.00pm: Smoke Fairies COMMON AND PICCADILLY RECORDS PRESENTS THE 3RD ANNUAL RECORD STORE DAY LIVE! Common have teamed up once again... Read More

NEWS: DEAF INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES RECORD STORE DAY PARTY

With bands and record stores around the country revving up to celebrate what is already the seventh Record Store Day in the UK, venues around Manchester are getting set to provide the platform for festivities all around the city. As such, The Deaf Institute has announced its annual Record Store Day Party lineup. Record Store Day Party @ The Deaf Institute For this year, the venue on Grosvenor Street is giving us a bill filled with emerging local talent... Read More

LIVE: THE NOTWIST – 15/03/2014

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - “Ve Are Notvist” are the first words from lead singer Markus Acher, who sports glasses along with a host of other members from the German veteran band. Expectations are diverse tonight , varying from those expecting skull-crashing drums often associated with German bands, to those expecting the glacial calm present on most recent album Close to The Glass, and of course the lush You, The Devil & Me. Opening... Read More

LIVE: JOHN MURRY – 26/02/2014

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Phew! It’s warm in The Deaf Institute again tonight. What’s the deal with that? I was here last week for a gig and was actually quite pleased when a lad carrying a couple of beers overhead through the crowd accidentally tipped half of one down my back. Never has a frosty one felt so good. It did occur to me that night, though, that the crowd seemed rather sleepy in the heat. But for John Murry, raised in the... Read More

LIVE: KESTON COBBLERS’ CLUB – 10/02/2014

- DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER -  Coming out onto stage to open with ‘For, Words’ tonights headliners Keston Cobblers’ Club have attracted a crowd with a good mix of ages, though since this is the Deaf Institute the lower limit is of course 18. The opening song gets the performance off to a good start and before breaking into ‘We Will Heel Your Soles’ as one of the Cobblers, Julia Lowe, invites us all to have a Monday... Read More

LIVE: FANFARLO – 09/02/2014

- DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I’ve been listening to Fanfarlo since their debut album in 2009, so this gig has definitely been a long time coming. The indie/alternative electro-pop band are based in London and was formed by Swedish musician, Simon Balthazar. Throughout the years, Fanfarlo has racked up an impressive discography of three studio albums and one EP. In fact, their latest offering was released a day after this gig. My past week was... Read More

LIVE: FOREST SWORDS – 08/02/2014

- DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - It is typically busy upstairs at The Deaf Institute and with good reason; Forest Swords, aka Matthew Barnes, is in town for a rare headline show. Fresh from supporting Mogwai in Europe, there is a sense of anticipation in the room long before a note is played.  Fortunately, punters don’t have to wait for the headline act for something to nod along to. Hailing from Salford, support act Gnod deliver a brooding and intense... Read More

LIVE: CASS MCCOMBS – 10/01/2014

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I rarely ever mention support acts in a review, but only one man has led me to break that mould – Frank Fairfield. With a barely comprehensible Southern American accent, baggy trousers and a belt buckle which would take Alex Turner’s belt buckle efforts to town, he sits on stage tonight tearing at a violin and stomping his feet Seasick Steve style, making me feel as if I should be dancing around a warm-stove... Read More

MERCHANDISE REVIEW: MetzJumper

There’s a lot of tension in the air:  It’s hard to define, but the sense of expectation this evening has been building for some time, and no-one really knows what to expect.   Before I arrived at the Deaf Institute, I confess I was unaware of MetzJumper, and I’m only at the venue that night to actually see the bands (see separate review). When I first see MetzJumper, the initial reaction is mixed:  I like Jumpers, and grey ones in particular,... Read More

LIVE: STRFKR – 17/11/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - STRFKR and I go way, way back – to my college days, to be exact. ‘Julius’ was one of the many anthems blasting through my car speakers at half six in the morning and four in the evening. The electronic band hails from Portland, Oregon and started off as Joshua Hodges’ solo project. I am nursing a bout of flu, but when has being ill ever stopped me from catching a gig? Putting on a comfy hoodie, I... Read More

LIVE: RADICAL FACE – 10/11/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Radical Face is the pseudonym of musical act Ben Cooper, who hails from Jacksonville, Florida. I’d been listening to him since his 2007 release Ghost, which contains a song (‘Welcome Home, Son’) that most of you have undoubtedly heard while watching a Nikon advert either in the cinema or at home or anywhere else with a TV, really. I leave the confines of my cosy flat and head out into a chilly night. Arriving... Read More

LIVE: GHOSTPOET – 19/10/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - There are three types of gigs: those you wish you hadn’t been to; those that are exactly the same as listening to the album in your front room; and those that blast away your expectations. Ghostpoet at Deaf Institute most definitely falls into the latter category. Speaking of categories, Ghostpoet by his own admission refuses to be pigeon-holed. Yes he’s a hip-hop poet, is often described as an MC, and dabbles... Read More

LIVE: THE GROWLERS – 26/10/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER -  On a dark October evening as Manchester slides into winter, who wouldn’t want to take one last chance to reflect in a Californian sunbeam before it’s too late? There’s a storm warning on the radio, the clocks turn back tonight, and yet all that fills the Deaf Institute air is talk of Orange County beaches and champagne, thanks to garage-surf-psych slackers The Growlers. Tourmates and fellow So-Cal freewheelers... Read More

LIVE: BILL RYDER-JONES – 22/10/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Taking to the stage with a four-man band, who Bill branded as “the most under-rehearsed band on the planet” on his Twitter page just hours before the concert in an unashamed honest use of social media, with no view to ticket sales. This unashamed honesty was soon reflected in his infectious ‘cheeky chappy’ persona, which was clear from the off tonight, making the curtains and bird-themed wallpaper of The... Read More

LIVE: LANTERNS ON THE LAKE – 15/10/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - My introduction to Lanterns On The Lake was a few weeks back, when I reviewed their latest album, Until The Colours Run. I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the tracks and made a mental note to catch them when they play Manchester. So naturally, I was pretty stoked to review their gig at The Deaf Institute. Plus it’s always great to go to a gig armed with a steely certainty that you’d be familiar with almost... Read More

LIVE: DEPTFORD GOTH – 17/10/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Daniel Woolhouse aka Deptford Goth, is a downbeat kinda guy. Cut from the same cloth as Active Child, How To Dress Well and Perfume Genius, he makes what I’ve come to term as ‘mopey RnB’. And lord knows, I like me a bit of mopey RnB. I saw him described as ‘Bon Iver remixed by Jamie xx’ once, and that description is pretty apt. He makes music that talks about longing and not belonging,... Read More

LIVE: LIAM FROST – 4/10/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - OK, cards on the table… I am a Liam Frost fan.   A huge Liam Frost fan.  As huge as he once himself, was, when I saw him play at the opening of the 235 Casino…. Many moons, and many drained bank accounts past.  What he has lost in weight he has only gained in musical achievement and ability.  Truly, in the mind and ears of this scribe, he is the most tuneful thing in this beautiful, rainy city of ours. Liam’s... Read More

LIVE: NO AGE – 10/10/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I am prepared for a No Age show. Or at least I think I am. I have heard about their ferocious live reputation, Dean Spunt and Randy Randall melting the eardrums of everyone in attendance with their incredibly loud drums /guitar combo, sending punters home covered in sweat and with the sound of tinnitus in their delicate ears. How loud can it be though? I’ve seen My Bloody Valentine do their 20 min pure noise... Read More

LIVE: SPACEHOG – 6/10/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER -  Many things were lost in the noise of Britpop and grunge – bands that otherwise would have stood out as special were overlooked in the search for the next Oasis, the next Nirvana. Spacehog are a band who straddled the Atlantic with a toe in each of these scenes, without ever really being in one camp or the other. Although having achieved significant success, including topping the US Billboard Mainstream Rock... Read More

LIVE: SKY LARKIN / BAD GRAMMAR – 30/09/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - “Do you know who the support act are tonight?” “Radstewart.” “ROD STEWART?!” “No, Radstewart.” I can’t pretend I’m not slightly disappointed that the support act for tonight’s gig isn’t Rod Stewart. Sadly he’s headlining arenas in Glasgow for fifty quid this week, not playing the support slot at Manchester’s Deaf Institute. Ah well. I don’t think it would be fair to hold their not being... Read More

LIVE: GIANT DRAG / BAD GRAMMAR – 13/09/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I’ve been wanting to see Manchester based duo, Bad Grammar for quite a while now and somehow it just never happens, so I’m glad to finally make it to the building of their gig.  Upon entrance my attention is immediately diverted to the merchandise stand where I find some rather fetching Bad Grammar tie dyed t-shirts and also some rather beautiful Giant Drag tour posters. I am pleased to note that Bad Grammar... Read More

LIVE: JOHNNY FLYNN – 30/7/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Roughly 4 years ago, I conceived an article extolling the virtues of the burgeoning folk scene. It would focus on 4 bands, namely, in order of quality, Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, Noah and the Whale, Mumford & Sons. It didn’t get written largely because I’m a bit of a flakey bastard, but I can’t help but feel vindicated in my laziness. On the basis of one decent song, Mumford & Sons have... Read More

LIVE: JAGWAR MA – 20/6/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER -  Strange openings: a postponed gig date, no support band and a low-key DJ opus by Jono Ma from far back in the darkness. But these chaps are Aussies mate so they like to do things a little differently. Which is interesting when you consider their inescapable Madchester influences, with cohorts such as The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses ringing clearly in their repertoire. Jagwar Ma’s opening number is the dark... Read More

LIVE: FAIR OHS – 04/6/2013

 - THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER -  It’s always a wonderful feeling when you finish work on a sunny day. I’ve rolled up virtually every item of clothing I’m wearing and I don’t intend on taking off my sunglasses until it’s real dark. My soundtrack to this glorious afternoon? The tropical pop grooves of London based trio Fair Ohs who have been soothing my ears for the past week or so as they’ve just released their... Read More

LIVE: LORD HURON – 23/05/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - The punters inside the city’s most opulent venue tonight are at the more mature end of the gig-going spectrum, and they’re stood in rapt silence at Nataly Dawn. Her short blonde hair is swept forward from left-to-right while she flicks at a decrepit looking guitar which could have been cobbled together from the remains of her granny’s sideboard.  “This one’s about my Grandmother I actually... Read More

LIVE: THE COMPUTERS – 11/05/2013

 - THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER -  I find it hard to be critical of any band that manages to ad-lib ‘Surfin Bird’ into their live set (as part of Rhythm Revue) and so it is with The Computers. I think the term ‘reinvention’ would be a fair description of how they have changed or developed from their Exeter roots as a kind of Manics/punk/indie influenced scallywags. The new album, Love Triangles, Hate Squares sees them jostling... Read More

LIVE: UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA – 06/05/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Rushing over from Salford’s Media City following a live set for Marc Riley’s BBC 6 Music radio show, Unknown Mortal Orchestra appear unsurprisingly hurried as they check their equipment in front of tonight’s sell-out crowd. Frontman and New Zealander Ruban Nielsen apologises for any inconvenience caused… Axel Rose and Bieber, take note. They start with the superb ‘Monki’, a personal... Read More

LIVE: THE LEISURE SOCIETY / KESTON COBBLERS CLUB – 21/04/2013

   - THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - The Leisure Society are an often overlooked, UK folk-indie outfit.  Formed in 2009 and twice Ivor Novello nominated, the band count Brian Eno and Guy Garvey as big followers (not present tonight). The line-up includes the super talented Nick Hemming and band-mates that include members from stellar indie act such as The Miserable Rich and Lightspeed Champion. As tonight’s support, the Keston Cobblers Club hit... Read More

LIVE: CHARLI XCX / YADI – 19/04/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - One of my favourite places to watch a gig in Manchester is The Deaf Institute and it is nice to be back realising it has been a year since my last visit. The venue is fairly small which makes gigs intimate, which I prefer. The walls have parrots on them and there’s a huge disco ball on the ceiling … I mean the facts speak for themselves! Any good gig goer knows that the hidden gems are within the support... Read More

LIVE: KID CONGO AND THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS – 22/03/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Oh what a sexy night. From the moment the first chord reverberates through the dark, expectant air Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds are on a trip to crazy town, and they’re taking no prisoners. Brian Tristan of The Gun Club, The Cramps and The Bad Seeds infamy is a most alluring frontman, with an elegant pencil moustache atop the longest, sleaziest smile you’ve ever seen. He’s sexy and, yes, he... Read More

LIVE: PURE LOVE – 06/02/2013

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - So one of the many things I love about The Deaf Institute and why I think it’s one of Manchester’s best live venues is their conveniently placed seated area. Situated towards the back of the room in tiered blocks, it is perfect for those wanting to sit and enjoy a gig from a distance, or in my case, for those who feel beaten by the day and have little energy left to last a whole gig. It’s fair to say,... Read More

LIVE: ADMIRAL FALLOW / OLYMPIC SWIMMERS – 03/12/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - As the rain howls down outside of The Deaf Institute, the need for some heartfelt Scottish warmth intensifies. Having seen Admiral Fallow upstage many a band earlier in the year as part of the Dot to Dot festival, my expectations are pretty dam high. The 6 piece band from Glasgow evoke memories of sleeping under the stars in the Scottish Highlands and getting drunk off a nice single malt. Extremely hard working and... Read More

LIVE: THE NORTH SEA SCROLLS – 26/11/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - We are here at the Deaf Institute to experience the performance of a peculiar conceptual album and academic lecture with Luke Haines (The Auteurs), Cathal Coughlan (Microdisney and The Fatima Mansions) and narrated by Andrew Mueller. They describe themselves as a “dauntless trio”. The North Sea Scrolls, written by Haines and Coughlan, was premiered at Edinburgh festival in 2011 and has since been released as... Read More

LIVE: THE NEIGHBOURHOOD – 15/11/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - As The Neighbourhood take to the stage they ooze an effortless cool.  The LA five-piece rocketed in popularity after being selected as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World on Radio 1, with their infectious single ‘Sweater Weather’. As a band bathed in anonymity in their beginnings, and with a penchant for drip-feeding songs they have rightfully gathered a steady stream of hype. After a sold out show at... Read More

LIVE: FATHER JOHN MISTY / NO – 23/11/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – Tonight, Father John Misty, supported by No, is a sold-out show at The Deaf Institute, probably my favourite gig venue, and one whose glitter ball seems to have grown each time I visit. Either it’s a trick of the mind or just maybe that mysterious sparkly sphere that ominously watches over us is feeding on any trouble-causers that might be present at shows. Seeing bands that reside in such sunnier Californian... Read More

LIVE: FUCKED UP – 14/11/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Canadian punk rock outfit Fucked Up are more than a force to be reckoned with. Since their formation at the start of the noughties, the Toronto based six piece have released an impressive back catalogue of forward thinking punk rock records, including the award winning ‘The Chemistry Of Common Life’ LP and the epic four part, rock opera that is ‘David Comes To Life’. Tonight is the first date of a mini UK... Read More

LIVE: TY SEGALL – 08/11/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - There are times when it can take until the morning after for all the dust to settle on an evening’s events before you fully recognise how much you enjoyed a gig or not. Some of the times, it can be incredibly useful to mull it over, and writing a review gratefully provides you with that opportunity. Perhaps some of the gentler elements of the performance might only present themselves to you in retrospect, or an... Read More

LIVE: ROLO TOMASSI – 27/10/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Rolo Tomassi are a band that have to be seen to be believed. The Sheffield based quintet have been messing with our heads since the mid-noughties, using hardcore as their base then combining it with every musical genre known to man to become one of the UK’s most eccentric exports. Tonight sees the band in the middle of a long over due headline tour, all in support of their quite brilliant third album ‘Arstera’.... Read More

LIVE: LUCY ROSE – 25/10/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - ‘CDs, T-shirts, Tea, Jam, Tote Bags’ is the list of merchandise on sale at Lucy Rose’s sold out Deaf Institute gig tonight, and it’s clear it’s going to be more of a tea and jam event than it is rock n’ roll as fans file in under the giant disco ball that hangs from the ceiling. Which isn’t to say the fans filling the room aren’t excited to be here, some of them have clearly gone to extraordinary... Read More

LIVE: FOSSIL COLLECTIVE – 13/10/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I’m standing at the back (or the back of the standing area, in front of the steps/seating area) but am drawn to the front when Leeds based FOSSIL COLLECTIVE begin by a strong urge to check out a rather intriguing bass instrument.  It looks, is played and also sounds like the strings you might have on a double bass but it is standing upright on the floor without the body.  I am told that this is an electric double... Read More

LIVE: FRIGHTENED RABBIT – 19/09/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - With a name like Frightened Rabbit, you could be mistaken that this bunch of Glaswegians are all about the self-indulgent, emo vibes; the type you have a good old cry to when your parents don’t understand you or your homework’s dead hard. Frightened Rabbit are helping to fly the flag for big, epic Scottish rock. They formed in 2004 with front man/guitarist Scott Hutchinson and his drummer brother Grant. Bassist... Read More

LIVE: ALLO DARLIN / BUTCHER THE BAR – 07/09/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I really like the Deaf Institute.  To me it’s a nice intimate little venue and I want all its quirky decorations in my house.  Whilst having a drink downstairs I am surprised to hear that this gig has sold 200 tickets already, and that’s not even a sell out.  Apparently there is a 290 capacity for The Deaf Institute.  I can’t really imagine that many people fitting in there but perhaps the Deaf Institute... Read More

LIVE: SAVAGES – 24/07/2012

- The Deaf Institute, Manchester - The blow of missing the first two local Savages gigs this year – in a cage in a bunker in Salford and at Islington Mill in June – has been eased now that I can witness ‘everyones favourite new band’, in my favourite venue. Parma Violets are the main support, I saw them at the 2:54 gig back in April where I described them, pretty much, as a tribute band for The Walkmen. Some similarities... Read More

LIVE: DUKE SPECIAL – 25/05/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Getting into the Deaf Institute a bouncy, pub sing along atmosphere hits me. The upstairs’ room is rammed. There’s a packed turn out for tonight’s gig from a slightly older, dare I say more refined audience. The sing along atmosphere is coming from Duke Special, with band and on an upright piano. Lots of fans are offering plenty of vocal backing support. I’ve been seriously in danger of misunderstanding... Read More

LIVE: SHARON VAN ETTEN – 17/05/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I first heard of Sharon Van Etten though a press-release, back in December. It was one of those moments where it became apparent this artist was going to be a regular feature on my MP3 player for the foreseeable future. Names dropped into that news item such as The Walkmen, Wye Oak and Beirut whet the appetite for the forthcoming album ‘Tramp’, which exceeded all expectations. So then… I guess the... Read More

LIVE: TRAILER TRASH TRACYS – 10/05/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – I haven’t been upstairs at the Deaf Institute before and I’m struck by the glamour of the place.  For some reason it’s really unexpected and I like it!  It’s got big steps going up at the back for sitting on that creates a theatre kind of feel and a little mezzanine floor with big cushioned seats that acts like a kind of ‘box’ viewing area; luxurious! Temple Songs are first up; a seemingly shy all... Read More

LIVE: PERFUME GENIUS / CATE LE BON – 09/05/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - The buzz of a full-bodied Deaf Institute is never anything less than thrilling, but tonight is special. We are blessed with a venerable safe pair of hands to open proceedings – Cate Le Bon is such an established and cherished figure in the national music scene that she actually headlined her own show in this very venue over two years ago. Flying solo tonight, she is confident in her role, and her genteel exchanges... Read More

LIVE: NEDRY – 28/04/2012

Photos: Peter Rea - THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Catching a band for the last gig of a tour is a good idea. They’ve had a chance to perfect their setlist, they know exactly what they’re doing, they’re (I would presume) keen to go out on a high note, and there’s a chance of scooping up some of the remaining merch at  a discount price. Tonight, Nedry are competing with trip-hop legend Tricky, who is running through his classic... Read More

NEWS: DOT TO DOT 2012 – SPECIAL DISCOUNTED TICKETS IN CONJUCTION WITH RECORD STORE DAY

Already well-established as the festival that brings you future stadium-fillers before any other event, Dot To Dot is set to unveil the second wave of acts on this year’s bill. The UK’s only touring festival, Dot To Dot will visit a multitude of venues in Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester this coming Jubilee bank holiday weekend headlined by The Drums and Pulled Apart By Horses and featuring some of the most electrifying up and coming acts currently... Read More

LIVE: 2:54 – 04/04/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - 3rd time lucky. 2:54 have a habit of playing in Manchester when I can’t be there to see them. Their 4 track Scarlet EP has racked up an obscene amount of plays in a relatively short space of time, my only hope is that this lengthy buildup isn’t met with an anti-climax. Parma Violets support, the young looking band have gone for the t-shirts and black suits look. The keyboard player has brought his lamp... Read More

LIVE: THE STRANGE BOYS – 29/03/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - The Deaf Institute is the home to all things band at the moment. I find myself checking their online diary to see who is playing, and then immediately checking them out and sorting out heading to the gig. This last week I discovered Strange Boys, listened to a few songs, which I enjoyed and decided to go and see them. As I arrive into what now feels like a second home, the atmosphere is initially great. Everyone... Read More

LIVE: NEW BUILD – 09/03/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - As I saunter into The Deaf Institute tonight I hear a unique electro sound, and as I make my way to the bar (priorities) I then also hear a familiar voice. When I look up I see Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip on stage filling this evening’s support slot for New Build. I love how his voice accompanies that almost indescribable sound. Shortly after this New Build enter the stage, and to be honest I don’t know what... Read More

Live: Real Estate – 17/02/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Tonight’s sell-out Real Estate gig at the Deaf Institute sees New Jersey, indie-pop darlings, make a welcome return to Manchester following their last No Wave gig at Islington Mill back in October. This evening, is one of just five UK appearances of their nine-date European tour. It’s Friday night, the weekend’s here! Yet, I feel like someone’s dragged me through a shitty field by my nipples, backwards.... Read More

LIVE: FIELD MUSIC / STEALING SHEEP – 19/02/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Sunday has a magical quality. A dignified presence, the end of the week, and a time to reflect and contemplate the mysteries of life.  What better environment to do all this, than The Deaf Institute? You can usually find me on the dance-floor, twirling underneath the sparkling mirrorball… But tonight is Sunday, and so I am on the balcony, overlooking the stage as a buzzing audience proliferates. The majority... Read More

LIVE: CASIOKIDS – 20/01/2012

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER – When a press release came through a few months ago saying that Casiokids were to play a handful of live dates in the UK, I was to say the least, rather giddy. But giddyness was short lived, as I glanced down the list of towns and cities to be visited by our Norwegian friends I found that Manchester was not included. The nearest was Liverpool, and unless driving or staying overnight, attending a gig that finishes... Read More

LIVE: CHERRY GHOST – 11/12/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Cherry Ghost is the moniker of singer songwriter Simon Aldred. After doing the rounds in bands for a number of years he decided to go it solo in 2005. Listening to his latest album “Beneath this Burning Shoreline” comparisons to Stephen Fretwell and Ben Howard can be made. Cherry Ghost’s music isn’t over embellished with production so I wonder if an ‘acoustic night’ is going to... Read More

LIVE: PEAKING LIGHTS – 10/12/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - All the way from a basement in Wisconsin, the duo of Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis finish their brief European tour in Manchester tonight, bringing their very young son Mikko along for the ride. Peaking Lights‘ homemade equipment, jumbled together from random bits of old electrical goods such as alarm clocks, effects pedals, radios and tape decks, has successfully produced the sound that’s been gifted... Read More

LIVE: OMAR SOULEYMAN – 09/12/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - The UK has been treated this year to tours from the full roster of artists on the Sublime Frequencies label. Locally, Group Doueh visited Islington Mill back in May, last week Group Inerane stopped off in Leeds as part of their first European tour, and tonight Omar Souleyman is at The Deaf Institute.  Sublime Frequencies is one of my favourite labels, putting out music, film and recordings of Asia, Africa, and the... Read More

LIVE: ST. VINCENT – 12/11/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Fresh from touring America, appearing on Letterman and releasing their third album ‘Strange Mercy’ through 4AD, St. Vincent are set to face a sell out crowd in Manchester’s cosy Deaf Institute. It’s difficult to move in here, there’s a buzz of real excitement and it looks as though this venue will finally experience a proper light show. Annie Clark admits St.Vincent have “…all... Read More

LIVE: ANE BRUN – 08/11/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Norwegian folkstress Ane Brun is back in the UK to show-off her new album It all Starts With One. This is her forth studio-release, which has reached the top spot across Scandinavia, hooking up with the likes of Joe Gonzalez, Ron Sexsmith and Peter Gabriel on the way. Yeah, she’s a pretty big deal in Norway; winning Grammies and what not. Tonight she’s brought that stardom to the tiny stage at Manchester’s... Read More

LIVE: CASHIER NO.9 – 09/11/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Manchester is Cashier No.9‘s second port of call on their 13 stop tour of the UK. The Belfast band have received rave reviews for their debut album ‘To The Death of Fun’, from myself included (link), and it’s always a pleasure to see a band who’s on the verge of really ‘making it’ in the intimate and plush surrounding of The Deaf Institute. They will be under the watchful... Read More

LIVE: TWIN SISTER – 07/11/2011

Photo: Peter Rea - THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - It seems I’ll be spending half of November at The Deaf Institute, their gig list for this month is right up my street and hopefully, by December, the bar staff will all come to know what I drink. Wot God Forgot have brought together the 3 performers tonight, all of whom have appeared on my musical radar at some point, so turning up early was an easy decision to make. The Louche FC start by... Read More

LIVE: OTHER LIVES & YOUNG GALAXY – 30/10/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Oklahoma five piece Other Lives have arrived in Manchester once more in what frontman Jesse Tabish describes as ‘one of his favourite places to play’. Promoters Now Wave and Hey Manchester have worked together on this one, spoiling the close to capacity crowd with the bonus of an extended support slot from Canadians Young Galaxy. The venue is hot, temperature wise. Any evidence of Halloween has been... Read More

LIVE: GHOSTPOET – 09/10/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Receiving a Mercury Music Prize nomination is one of the biggest and ultimate accolades a UK act can receive. Coventry-born Ghostpoet bestowed the respected roll of honour this year, for his debut album Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam. Even before the nominees were announced, GP was named as The Guardians ‘New Band of The Day’, toured every major festival across the globe and offered support slots for... Read More

LIVE: JOHNNY MARR & THE HEALERS – 04/10/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - “You’re cool!” This adoring yelp erupts mid-crowd of this packed room of the Deaf Institute. Johnny Marr carries on tuning up, having not even plucked note 1 of tonight’s set.  Then he looks up and whispers into the mic: “I know.” And you know what – he is.  He knows.  We know he knows.  He knows we know he knows.  He just exudes cool – it drips like sweat from his pores, makes his shirt stick... Read More

LIVE: BETH JEANS HOUGHTON/STEALING SHEEP – 01/10/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - On a typical early autumn evening (28 degrees, hello?) I wait for my sister outside Sand Bar enjoying a cold pint, almost dreading the prospect of a static folk gig in a warm, crowded club. I know little about Stealing Sheep and Beth Jean Houghton so that is the impression I create in my mind, but decide to approach the gig with an open mind and feel ready to be pleasantly surprised. As we enter the Deaf Institute... Read More

LIVE: CONNAN MOCKASIN – 26/09/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - The musical landscape created by Connan Mockasin is full of childlike innocence and a sense of wide-eyed wonder. It’s a world inhabited by Unicorns, Dolphins and Snats (a snake/rat hybrid in case you were wondering) all pitched against a backdrop of perfectly constructed, off kilter psychedelic pop. You would be forgiven for thinking that this may all sound a little unpalatable but it’s executed with such panache... Read More

LIVE: SPARROW AND THE WORKSHOP – 18/09/11

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I saw Sparrow and The Workshop at The Roadhouse back in May. My enthusiastic review concluded with me wrongly predicting that their return to the city would be greeted by a much larger audience. Unfortunately, the majority of the crowd tonight is comprised of the support bands and staff. The first of two supports, Jo Rose stands alone with his acoustic guitar on the high stage as I enter the venue. The ex Fear Of... Read More

LIVE: WILD NOTHING – 21/08/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Now Wave have built a great reputation in Manchester, their events always appear to provide large crowds and great support acts to supplement their exciting, current and fresh headliners. Tonight is no exception, I’ve regrettably been unable to leave the house earlier due to too much Sunday roast and only catch the last two tunes from ∆. If you type Alt-J on an Apple keyboard you get a ∆. I heard the band... Read More

LIVE: SHONEN KNIFE – 13/08/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Turning up at the Deaf Institute tonight to celebrate their 30th anniversary, Shonen Knife is a musician’s band, in the same way Peter Cook was a comedian’s comedian, loved by connoisseurs and music buffs but managing, relatively, to avoid even the alternative music scene’s radar during their impressive career. Having been lauded by the likes of Kurt Cobain and Thurston Moore in the past, the punk trio has... Read More

LIVE: WASHED OUT – 08/08/11

- DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I found it difficult to tear myself away from the live news coverage, tonight. Watching businesses in London with families living above, being looted and then torched, didn’t really put me in the mood for a gig. But, as they say, the show must go on. Star Slinger has the unenviable task of trying to raise the spirits of a tentative crowd, as a majority of punters at this sold out gig have arrived early to catch his... Read More

LIVE: KARIMA FRANCIS – 09/07/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - My mum said, “You can’t call a venue that”, I tried to explain to her that ‘The Hard of Hearing Institute’ might not have the same ring to it. Grade II listed, I will have you know as well. Nice to get a bit of history into these reviews, so it’s a fully rounded learning experience too. The Deaf Institute is one of the best looking venues in Manchester, it’s cute, it’s kitsch, it’s got... Read More

LIVE REVIEW: Moon Duo – 12/05/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - I’m here tonight in the ever cool surroundings of The Deaf Institute’s music hall on the strength of one single. Is this right or is this wrong? Who knows, but Moon Duo’s last single ‘Mazes’, has been played to death on my walks to and from work and has resulted in me coming along tonight to see if their other offerings can achieve such a high play rate on my MP3 player. Even if I end my night only having... Read More

LIVE: KID CONGO POWERS & THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS – 19/04/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - If you like a bit of garage rock, one man who shouldn’t need any introduction is Kid Congo Powers. Legendary sometime guitar slinger with The Cramps and co-founder with Jeffrey Lee Pierce of The Gun Club, and later six string hombre with Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Kid Congo is garage royalty. There’s a weight of musical history on the shoulders of KC, but in conversation he’s a very modest guy. After I introduce... Read More

LIVE: DUM DUM GIRLS – 31/03/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER –  I didn’t come to the Deaf Institute tonight to review  the support band for Dum Dum Girls, but the music of Mazes is so good I feel compelled to let you know about them. All the songs feel ‘killer, no filler’.  They play with boundless energy and come across as a combination of an edgy version of The Eels, Nirvana and Blink 182. Image wise I think they need guidance as the lead guitarist and the drummer... Read More

LIVE: SLEIGH BELLS – 21/01/2011

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Tonight’s gig is Sold Out with a capital Hype. Bodies jostle for non-existent dancing space, condensation drips from the windows and it takes so long to push your way to the smoking area, it might as well be on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Probably just as well for Tennis that everyone is trapped in the main room like an arty-haircutted Strangeways for cider drinkers. The husband/wife drummer from Denver make... Read More

LIVE: Wild Nothing / Milk Maid / The ABC Club – 08/10/2010

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - The ABC Club come on stage in a haze of pyrotechnics, clad in leopard skin leotards and beckon to the crowd ‘Are you ready to motherfucking rock Manchester?’ Well, actually they don’t at all, but its Monday night in cold, wet and windy Manchester and I need a wakeup call. I probably shouldn’t have come out at all, still shattered from the weekend’s revelry. My mind’s eye has already begun to ponder the... Read More

LIVE: Warpaint – 24/10/2010

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - It’s not quite Halloween yet, but that’s not stopping the lighting crew at the Deaf Institute from making the stage look like London Fog, Jack the Ripper era. Warpaint casually take the stage engulfed by dry ice and sombre green ‘mood’ lighting, prompting singer Emily Kokal to rightfully ask ‘What’s with the Fog Machine?’ Ah those quaint Anglo – American differences. They say TO-MAY-TO we say TO-MAR-TO.... Read More

LIVE: JUNIP – 07/10/2010

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - For those of you who don’t already know, Junip is the new / old band of Jose Gonzalez. Originally formed in 2000 with Tobias Winterkorn (Moog and Keys) and Elias Araya (Drums), however, Junip’s plans for world domination got firmly put on the backburner when Gonzalez’s solo career took off in a rather big way. His unique acoustic reinterpretation of electro band The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’ propelled him... Read More

LIVE: THE STRANGE BOYS – 17/04/2010

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - First off I would like to say that The Deaf Institute is a truly fantastic venue to go and see live music. I’m sure that many of you reading this will already know that of course, but I’m getting it off my chest regardless. The stage is the perfect size with an excellent sound system to back it up. Balcony and stadium style seating plan give it a TARDIS like sense of space unusual for a venue of this capacity... Read More

LIVE: ROLO TOMASSI – 18/01/2010

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Bassless wonders, Waiters, are an utter shambles. It’s conceivable that they all got given their first instruments this Xmas, formed a band, booked a gig, and thought to Hell with the consequences. The frontman somehow has a voice like a baby crying, the drummer impassive as he taps out the most rudimentary of beats while stoically avoiding his cymbals. Despite displaying a complete package of shortcomings, there’s... Read More

LIVE: BROADCAST – 08/12/2009

- Deaf Institute, Manchester - This is my first visit to Manchester’s Deaf Institute, in the heart of studentsville, near The BBC. It’s a beautifully converted grade II listed neo gothic building with 3 floors to function as a café, bar and music hall. I walk into the full to capacity space just as the support act, Moon Wiring Club, is starting his set. The ‘club’, apparently, only contains one man in a smart jacket, hunched over... Read More

LIVE: I AM BLACKBIRD – 30/11/2009

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Even though tonight’s temperature is plummeting quicker than Tiger Woods’ squeaky clean reputation, it’s good to see that the music lovers of Manchester are turning out early and in force. By the time the doors to the upstairs music hall are opened, the queue is stretching down the full length of the stairs, and as I’m here to see the support band tonight, I cheekily and ashamedly have to push to the front... Read More

LIVE: THE ANTLERS – 18/11/2009

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - The indie fashionista are out in full force as Brooklyn based act, The Antlers, roll into Manchester on the back of a wave of hype and critical acclaim for their current album ‘Hospice’. It’s a beautiful and haunting record, which masterfully explores themes of guilt, grief and isolation, with songwriter and frontman Peter Silbermans heartfelt and often fragile vocals perfectly combining with layers of ambient... Read More

LIVE: MOUNTAIN OF ONE – 09/11/2009

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - BY JASON BOARDMAN Sat pondering the Institute of Joy which is the Finglands boneshaker No. 43 on my way to the Deaf Institute on a cold Monday evening in Manchester (not always the healthiest signifier for a gig), surrounded by the inane crackle of students heading to their next installment of Carnage UK, wishing I was deaf and they were dumb. I manage to catch the end of opening act, Plank, who provide ample support... Read More

LIVE: THE SLITS – 12/10/2009

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MACHESTER - Ari Up looked magical, yet slightly kooky as she confidently bounced onto the warmly lit stage. With her eyes blazing beneath a huge shock of dread-locked hair that would make Heather Small weep with envy and wearing figure hugging gold lamé hot pants and tatty bomber jacket, the 50-year-old singer resembled one of those scary bounty hunters from Mad Max. Accompanied by original Slits bass player, Tessa Pollitt and... Read More

LIVE: KITSUNE MAISON PARTY WITH CHEW LIPS / AUTOKRATZ – 17/06/2009

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - To celebrate the seventh instalment of the much acclaimed Kitsune Maison compilation series, this ultra cool label have taken on a month long tour to spread the word. Starting and Paris and ending in Hamburg, it shall cover the U.K, Europe and even as far afield as Japan. Ever since the inception of Kitsune back in 2002, the French musical masterminds behind the label have managed to keep finding the newest names... Read More

LIVE: DUKE SPECIAL – 25/01/2009

- THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER - Sometimes a gig is just a gig, but on other occasions they can be much much more. Tonight’s sold out performance on the top floor of The Deaf Institute is by far, the latter of the two! Before Peter Wilson, A.K.A Duke Special and his percussionist ‘Temperance Society’ Chip Bailey show themselves at around 9.30pm, it would appear that Steptoe and Son have emptied a trailer load of junk onto this miniscule stage. Items... Read More