NME Awards Tour 2015 - THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - The NME awards tour has seen some huge names over the years. From Coldpay to Arctic Monkeys, they’ve had them all. It’s a tour that guarantees a great headliner and some brilliant up and coming bands. However this year, I feel that the NME have divulged into the punk direction a bit too much. The tour just doesn’t seem to have that shimmering appeal it once had. Palma Violets are a good band and... Read More

LIVE: THE CRIBS – 25/02/2015

The Cribs - THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - When I look back on my teen years and the bands I use to adore, it makes me sad to think that those bands are now defunct or still clinging on to fame by releasing the same records. The Cribs are one of the few bands from this period who go from strength to strength with big records, sold out shows and a totally loyal fan base who hang on their every word. Tonight we’re at the Ritz as part of the bands sold... Read More


Public Service Broadcasting have shared a video to accompany their new single, Go! The track is taken from the band’s second album, The Race For Space, which was released on Test Card Recordings this week. The band take samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material, which they fuse around their unique sound. Following touching on themes such as The Blitz and the race to reach the top of Everest, the band... Read More


The Cribs will release their new album and new single on March 23. The Wakefield trio will release Burning For No One from their eagerly anticipated sixth album, For All Our Sisters, through Sonic Blew/Sony Red. The band have also shared the track via YouTube before its release. The album was recorded in the autumn last year, under the guidance of former Cars frontman Ric Ocasek. The single will be available as a limited 7”, b/w a brand new track... Read More


The Cribs have added a Manchester date to their sold out UK tour. The Wakefield three-piece will play The Ritz on Wednesday, February 25, after their previously announced seven date tour completely sold out. The band will release their sixth studio album later this year, with The Cars lead singer Ric Ocasek being named as producer for the record. It will be the follow up to 2012’s In the Belly of the Brazen Bull. Tickets go on sale tomorrow... Read More

LIVE: TEMPLES – 06/12/2014

Temples - THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - 2014 has been quite the year for Kettering rock band Temples. They were a surprise choice for Rough Trade’s album of the year, recipients of public blessing from both Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher while sound tracking a ubiquitous summer Strongbow advert.  Little surprise then their sold out Ritz show has something of a Christmas party feel to it. The crowd is a curious mix of tie-dye shirts and paisley scarfs;... Read More


Temples Temples’ Sun Structures, which is Rough Trade Shops best selling album of the year and one of the best selling vinyl releases of 2014 so far, was initially released in February. The 12-track album, self-produced by the band’s James Bagshaw and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer, has been a massive world-wide success, proving a huge international hit; in Japan the record became a top-3 fixture in the international chart. The start of the year... Read More


London based two-piece Slaves have been previewed their new single, The Hunter. The single will be released through Virgin EMI on January 12. After forming in Kent, Slaves then moved to London and have since performed at Reading and Leeds Festival in 2013 and SXSW last year. The track was previously made Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record of the Week on his BBC Radio 1 show. Slaves have also been added to the NME Awards Tour, which also features Palma... Read More


Death From Above 1979 Reunited rockers Death from Above 1979 will return to Manchester as part of a UK tour next year. Jesse F Keeler and Sebastien Grainger will play The Ritz on Tuesday, February 24 to promote their second album, The Physical World. The gig follows last month’s sold out show at Gorilla, with this website’s reviewer reporting that the tracks from the new album sounded “massive“. The Toronto two-piece have... Read More

LIVE: ROYAL BLOOD – 02/11/2014

Royal Blood - THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - Tonight is a special occasion for Manchester gig-goers. Royal Blood are in town, whose debut album was the fastest selling rock album since ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’, selling over 40,000 copies in its first week. It’s their first headline tour and with their album success, they are here to prove a point that they are as incredible live as they are on record. The crowd are anticipating a magnificent... Read More


Public Service Broadcasting will head to Manchester next year to promote their eagerly anticipated second album. The Race for Space will be released on February 23 next year, and the duo will head out on tour in April and May, including a date at The Ritz on Wednesday, April 29. To launch the album, the band will play two sold-out shows at the National Space Centre in Leicester on February 26 and 27. The band issued a teaser trailer to the album,... Read More


 – THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - The mothership has landed, mo fo’s. Yep, George Clinton – one of the originators of funk music and general interstellar space oddity – is back on the road, taking his message of funk to believers across the lands. From the 1960s, Clinton has created some of low-down seediest and irresistible grooves ever known to mankind… or indeed ravers of any other species of this world or any other. Believing himself... Read More

LIVE: CUT COPY – 15/04/2014

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - Let’s get this out of the way right now: I am a Cut Copy fanboy. I’ve seen them about 5 times live already in various sized venues across the country and beyond; they are a band that hold a very special place in my heart. Their music is one of the guaranteed things that can turn a bad day around for me, just slipping In Ghost Colours on my iPod can melt away even the worst of days. They are a good time band, a... Read More

LIVE: BAND OF SKULLS – 25/03/2014

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - In advance of new album Himalayan‘s release on 31st March, Band Of Skulls are the headline act tonight at the Ritz. As I arrive, support act Coves are already on stage playing their cover of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’. The crowd seem quite underwhelmed by the few songs I witness and the set ends earlier than I was expecting. Around 45 minutes later Band Of Skulls take to the stage and open their set... Read More

Live: Metronomy – 16/03/2014

Metronomy - THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - If Metronomy’s primary lyrical concern is the closed-mindedness of the parochially trapped and entrapping, then music, their music, is the escape route. Even as the protagonists in songs like ‘The Look’ and ‘Corinne’ turn their woes over and over without resolution, the music tears off in a direction that is positively liberating. The synth solo that lights up ‘The Look’... Read More


- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - It’s Sunday night at The Ritz, and a pretty much packed house are eagerly anticipating effortlessly cool American indie rockers We Are Scientists. Then it happens. Out of the speakers blares the distinct 80’s stadium rock styling of soft rock aficionado’s REO Speedwagon, with their smash hit ‘Keep on Loving You’ and out they come – Devilishly handsome best buds Chris Cain and Keith Murray... Read More

LIVE: MIDLAKE: 20/02/2014

MidLake at The RitzPhotography by Nick Poskitt - THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - “I know I haven’t said much, Manchester’, says Midlake frontman Eric Pulido.  And you know what… he hasn’t. We’re a good few tracks into their set at a respectfully packed Ritz and yes, it would be good to hear more from the hirsute bear-like character, newly crowned Daddy Bear to this Texan folksy-come-prog-rock outfit.  And I guess that’s OK.  Not everyone is... Read More

LIVE: JAKE BUGG – 23/02/2014

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - It seems that Jake Bugg is becoming, if not already, a household name. Everyone appears to know at least a couple of his catchy songs, and rightfully so. It is almost still surprising to know that he is about to reach his 20th birthday, and yet his voice and songwriting talent speak such maturity. It’s not a shock that his influences include old greats such as The Beatles and Johnny Cash. Arriving at The Ritz tonight I see... Read More

LIVE: PEACE – 11/12/2013

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - It’s about this time in the musical calendar that everyone starts looking to the New Year; from new bands to new records, everyone’s getting their tips in. This time last year, Brummy-based quartet Peace were one of those tipped for big things with their retro blend of indie and pop and had spent most of the year touring hard and releasing belting singles. Here we are a year on, and they’ve released one of... Read More

LIVE: HAIM – 8/12/2013

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - It was early 2012 when I was introduced to Haim, a three-piece family affair from Los Angeles, California. “You gotta check this out. I’ve been listening to it on repeat.” So sayeth my elder brother as he emailed me a link. The opening bars of ‘Falling’ played through my speakers and I was instantaneously hooked. So I was delighted to receive a ticket in the post promising me some ‘Haim time’. The icing... Read More

LIVE: LOCAL NATIVES – 26/10/2013

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - I missed Local Natives before. I promised myself never again. So imagine my excitement as I stand in The Ritz, proper chuffed with my splendid view of the stage. The only downside is that I am wearing a sweater. Outside, it’s sweater weather. Cold, chilly and icy. But inside, it’s far from that. The only thing cold is a beer in your hand. No matter, no matter, for the lights have gone down, which can only mean one thing.... Read More

LIVE: DAUGHTER – 21/10/2013

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - Daughter – a trio from London are on their first headline tour. Placed arbitrarily in the “Indie rock” camp, they specialise in loud beats and echoey guitars, over which Elena Tonra shares her languid, melancholy vocals. They broke into the industry with a selection of well received EP’s in 2011, leading to their first album release If You Leave in March this year. Comparisons were immediately made with the likes... Read More


- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - It’s a rarity within the contemporary music scene that one can actually escape the world of fashion bands and “rich kid” gigs and actually have the chance to see a band that are genuinely engaging and passionate. Everything Everything are the band to watch when it comes to live music. The eclectic audience revel in the catchy tunes and the atmosphere is soaped in a communal respect and love for a talented band. We arrive... Read More

LIVE: JAMES BLAKE – 20/09/13

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - James Blake. Not to be confused with the James family of bland, Blunt or Morrison. Blake is a producer and musician of incredible skill and flair. He crafts his songs from a rich array of sounds and electronic production techniques; with nods to bass, dub step, hip hop, R&B and soul. His sounds lurch from one genre to the next. When Bon Iver and Burial are uttered together in his list of influences, you can see why it’s... Read More

LIVE: JOHN GRANT – 14/05/2013

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER -  **WARNING** This review will be two things: 1) quite gushing, and 2) a bit sweary. Please do read on if you are comfortable with both those things. This is because tonight the magnificent John Grant is in town, and this gig is very, very special indeed.  In fact, I’d go so far to say as it’s the best thing I’ve seen this year, it really is that good. The ex-Czars man now has two incredible albums behind... Read More


- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - There is an undeniable feeling of heaviness in the air tonight at The Ritz as San Francisco alternative rock trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are about to begin a sold out gig in Manchester in promotion of their seventh studio album Specter At The Feast.  At best, the new record has been a bare-all emotional effort for the band after the sudden loss of producer and sound engineer Michael Been, lead singer for the 1980’s... Read More

LIVE: REEL BIG FISH – 27/02/2013

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - “A little faith goes a long way” It only seems like 5 minutes since Reel Big Fish played Manchester. They are a band that tours and tours and tours yet still entertain, changing their set list to suit, yet still providing a night of smiles, skankin’ and high quality musical entertainment. The Ritz is an ideal venue, the disco ball is still there from the years where the bouncy dance floor let the jumping feel like... Read More

LIVE: DINOSAUR JR – 01/02/2013

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - There’s something metaphorical about the thirty-something Gen X-er, bearded but with his long hair cut off in favour of something more employment-friendly who shows up at a concert wearing his faded Dukes Devils, baggy t-shirt just about hiding a muffin-top and a hairy belly. Despite all that, I don’t care – that’s how I roll, and I like wearing all that stuff just as much as I did back in the day. Dinosaur... Read More

LIVE: BAND OF SKULLS – 05/12/2012

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - Southampton based trio Band of Skulls sure have come a long way since their formation back in 2004. They created quite an underground buzz with their 2009 debut ‘Baby Darling Doll Face Honey’ in all its sassy rock ‘n’ roll glory, touring up and down the country quietly building an army of fans. Fast forward a few years and the band are rounding up what has been an excellent 2012 for them having hit the big rooms with... Read More


- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - So Adam Ant is back – still or, again- this time with his band The Good, The Mad and the Lovely Posse. In his heyday, Ant – real name Stuart Goddard- was a very subversive kind of pop star, a British “pop glam-tinged” star. He began by riding that (new) wave of post punk in the late 70’s with Adam and the Ants; his glamour and flair for performance staying with him throughout his various solo forays with alternative... Read More

Live: Beach House – 31/10/2012

- The Ritz, Manchester - It’s hard to say why some shows work and others do not. Rewind two years and Beach House, a previously unknown (to me anyway) Cocteau Twins-esque act hailing from Baltimore steal my heart in Manchester Cathedral. The setting, the sound and the light show gel completely, and the band, riding the crest of a wave of critical success, submerges the audience in the ecstasy that such a moment in time represents. It remains... Read More


- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - Drinking my first beer of the night, I thought of my chumbuttlies with whom I would soon be road-tripping to the gig, singing nursery rhymes and drinking from stolen pint glasses as we went. On the road, we joyfully reminisce about the Ritz of our whipper-snapper days and had a rather scintillating debate about the relative merits of the old versus the new incarnations of what is now officially known as the ‘Dog Dog... Read More

LIVE: DJANGO DJANGO – 23/10/2012

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - The night is brisk and the age range trickling into the Ritz are almost as many balding heads in number as there are sprouting ones, at least at first. Django Django are following up the release of their long awaited, self-titled album, with a UK tour. The second night of which is taking place at Manchester’s near-grandiose Ritz.  GULP open the ambience with a slow, slightly melancholic set. Next up is Egyptian Hip-Hop,... Read More

LIVE: LITTLE COMETS – 16/10/2012

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - It’s fair to say that the Little Comets aren’t so little anymore. Since the release of their sprightly debut album ‘In Search Of Elusive Little Comets’, the Newcastle based outfit have been flying up festival bills and packing out bigger rooms on every tour, so it comes as no surprise that tonight finds them headlining one of Manchester’s larger music venues, The Ritz as part of their biggest UK tour to date! Our... Read More


- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - The Ritz seems like a wholly appropriate venue for tonight’s gig by Ren Harvieu. The Grade II-listed building’s art deco features, red velvety curtains, glitter ball and sweeping horseshoe balcony are a suitable setting for a singer whose cinematic songs hark back to an era of iconic Brill Building pop stars and evoke romantic images of 1960s dance hall glamour. I hear earlier in the day that some tickets are available... Read More


Brooklyn’s We Are Augustines have released a live video of Philadelphia (The City of Brotherly Love) this week following successful appearances at both Reading and Leeds Festivals playing in front of packed audiences. The video was recorded at The Neptune in Seattle this year, one of their favourite venues on the gig circuit since they started touring. The track will be released as a Double A-Side single that also features ‘Book of James’ on... Read More

LIVE: GRIMES – 30/08/2012

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - On arrival at the Ritz, I‘m quite puzzled by the apparent appeal of the ‘Vagina Rings’ on sale at the merch desk – replicas of Grimes’ very own lady parts [“one size fits all” but it’s a bit tight for me, natch!]. I feel a little bit uncomfortable just browsing, to be quite honest – which is probably the idea. Grimes has a background in art, and getting a reaction is what art seems to be all about nowadays. First... Read More


First Aid Kit are fresh from a European tour with Jack White and to continue their inexorable rise in 2012, they are releasing album highlight ‘Wolf’ on 17th September (Wichita). They will then head back to the UK for their biggest headline dates thus far, calling at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 20th November. Added to this, The Lion’s Roar (album) will be lavishly re-packaged for release on 17th September with bountiful bonus material including... Read More


- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - Dangerous, unhinged and unpredictable are all words I would have at one time used to describe The Brian Jonestown Massacre. An opinion I had formed after hearing numerous fan’s accounts of the band’s on tour antics and more so after watching the 2004 documentary ‘Dig’, which until now was my only experience of the band live. So as I arrive at the packed out HMV Ritz in anticipation to see one of my favourite bands... Read More

LIVE: BEST COAST – 17/06/2012

THE HMZ RITZ, MANCHESTER Now Wave gigs regularly promise plenty of bands and no fillers, as with tonight’s quadruple bill. The thankfully renovated Ritz is starting to get a little sticky underfoot again, due to spilt beer. At £4.35 for a pint of Guinness, I’m not wasting a drop. Psychedelic dark punk pop rock band Pins kick things off. The local, hotly tipped all girl band look and sound great up there, growing in stage presence it seems,... Read More

LIVE: FEAR OF MEN – 17/06/2012

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - I had the pleasure of catching Brighton based outfit Fear of Men as part of the wonderful Sounds From The Other City Festival which took place in Salford last month, and it was their simplistic indie pop melodies that won over my heart and have refused to leave my head since!  So, hence why I’m here this evening to witness the quartet play one of Manchester’s bigger venues, The Ritz, supporting everyone’s favourite... Read More


- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - Heading to The Ritz on a damp Tuesday night makes me wonder if strappy wedges and a gust sensitive skirt are a good combo. The weather isn’t dampening the spirits of folks up for a piece of the recently touted Michael Kiwanuka appearing tonight. This one is an eagerly anticipated gig. He’s a spark on the horizon for British soul acts. Already getting glowing comparisons to Bill Withers and Otis Reading. Michael’s... Read More


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

THE XFM New Music Award – 08/02/2012

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - There’s been a flurry of excitement around Ren Harvieu on the radio. Touted as the Salford lass with the big voice, she’s getting plenty of attention with her new single ‘Through the Night.’ We get into The Ritz at 8, and as I’m trying to get 2 pints poured our XFM host announces Ren’s arrival on stage. Hang on, shouldn’t she be headling? Our tickets read All the Young, Dry the River,... Read More

LIVE: MURKAGE – 04/02/2012

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - Yes it’s cold, yes it’s snowing and yes, you could be easily convinced to stay in. Or so you’d say on other nights. Personally, I’ve been looking forward to witnessing the guys that are on tonight for quite some time now. Having grown out of their, now notorious, Monday Murkage club night into a full-blown category 5 hurricane-quartet, the guys from Manchester have already had their debut single ‘Paperweight’ called... Read More

LIVE: NEW MODEL ARMY – 15/12/2011

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - I like gigs at the Ritz in Manchester. They’re more like events, the ones you should have been at. They are the ones your mates talk about in the pub while you look glumly into your beer. It must be something to do with the history of the place. It’s one of the oldest venues in Manchester, and, one of the few that is pretty much unchanged and still with the bouncy dancefloor. New Model army have played a few gigs in Manchester... Read More

LIVE: THE DRUMS – 10/12/2011

- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - So here I am at the Manchester Ritz and while I’m not a die hard fan, I’ll confess right now to have a bit of a liking for The Drums and so as it turns out, there were a number of surprises in store. It hit me immediately how much this band’s shtick is influenced by The Smiths. Its there in the music but within 10 seconds I’d clocked it from frontman, Jonathan Pierce’s swirling. A charismatic front man with compelling... Read More


- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER - First thing’s thirst.  How much? Four-twenty for a bleedin’ pint?  The Ritz has come a long way (it thinks) from its sticky floors and pound-a-pint student days.  Now that HMV has got its grubby paws on the place. Perhaps the stricken, shrinking giant is making its last desperate grasp for our cash.  It’s obviously not playing the long game.  But then, we will pay the prices…  It is looking a lot better, too.... Read More


- HMV RITZ, MANCHESTER - With night organisers Hit & Run proclaiming that they refuse to be “pigeon-holed and categorised”, tonight’s headliners Submotion Orchestra offer a diverse enough spectrum of influences to uphold their ethos. The Monday ‘Quality Bass Music’ night, now in it’s 5th year, has moved on from it’s Mint Lounge residency to spend this new academic year at the refurbished and more spacious... Read More


- THE RITZ, MANCHESTER – Ooh blimey, I’m not sure which stings the most, the fumes of fresh paint in my eyes, or the £4.20 I’ve just handed over for a pint. But tonight one of these two things is very out of the ordinary, and it’s not being charged London bar prices in a northern venue, unfortunately this seems to be common practice lately. Yes my friends the strange fact is I’m in The Ritz and there is the aroma of paint. Not only is there... Read More


- THE RITZ BALLROOM, MANCHESTER - It’s Thursday night. It’s November and it’s The Ritz. Technicians potter about on the stage. Pow! They’re not techies – its the band with attention grabbing start! It’s a welcome sucker punch, and they slide effortlessly into the first number before we can recover. Looks like its going to be one to remember. This is exactly the kind of tactic a support band needs to employ as the meagre numbers of souls... Read More


- THE RITZ BALLROOM, MANCHESTER - No, not a euphemism for a trouser trump, the name of this band actually refers to a section of the novel White Noise by Don DeLillo. And as such, it underpins the literary intent of the band, and specifically singer Mikel Jollett, himself a writer who was in the process of writing a novel when he discovered what he had were songs, rather than fiction. And that’s important, especially to someone who pours over lyrics... Read More