I’m a lucky little sod. Producing and presenting the Silent Radio Show I am privy to loads of new tracks, album previews and bands I ain’t never heard. Also in 2016, made a concerted effort to listen to more stuff that was beyond my usual and have a little dabble, which is why Jessie Glyn and Disclosure almost ended up on the list.

Plus, I tell you what, that Spotify ‘Your Release Radar’ function is bloody superb for discovering. Ah man, technology, I remember when all this were fields…

Here’s what made me happy in 2016…


Public Service Broadcasting – Albert Hall

The opening night of the Manchester Science Festival saw Public Service Broadcasting do something rather bloody special, at one of the most magical venues in the city.

The band played their album ‘The Race for Space’ in it’s entirety with an live choir and the Royal Northern College for Music’s very own Orchestra. Plus, twinkly lights, vintage video projections from old-time space travel, a huge Sputnik replica projecting dancing astronauts and a dancing brass section. PSB put on a darn good show. A feast for the eyes and ears.

Read Denise Tench’s review here

Hope & Social – Gullivers

I bang on about this band from West Yorkshire, a lot.

I first saw Hope & Social live in late 2014, the last time they were in the city. It was in the back room of The Castle and it was packed to it’s sweaty little rafters. With 6+ band members, that includes a brass section and organ, the dapper, blue-blazered band could hardly fit on the teeny weeny stage. By the end of the gig I was absolutely blown away. Their tip-top musical talent, songwriting, banter and anthemic songs had me hooked.

Which is why I couldn’t possibly miss the band’s return to Manchester this Autumn, this time across the road in Gulliver’s. With a little bit more space on the stage, the band delivered the same energy, blinding tracks and top laughs. What tops it off, is that they’re dead nice chaps, which goes far, when there can be some right nobs in this business.

These boys deserve to have a bigger profile outside of the North, they’re hands down one of the best bands in the UK right now.

I’m not one to gush, so trust me.

Listen here to our interview with the band before this gig. Try and spot how many song titles the sneaky buggers manage to squeeze into the chat!

End of The Road Festival – down south

EOTR is a nice festival, it’s full of nice people and scenery. The only fight you’ll see, is when the hummus runs out at the organic falafel van. No-one throws their beer, because it’s £7 a pint craft beer, made from the hoppy tears of virgins. This isn’t Parklife, V or Leeds, there’s not a burly security bloke confiscating your suntan lotion at the gate – if you catch my drift.

Joking aside, EOTR is a magical experience. It’s set in the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens, somewhere near the bottom of England. That is a rough estimate, but considering it took four and half hours to drive there, I think it’s about right.

There’s a enchanted forest that lights up at night, with interactive things to play with and hidden stages. Then, deep into the woods a disco that comes to life when the sun sets.

By day, music, comedy and film. Yes, comedy. The punters here are so lovely, some spend all day watching people make them laugh and don’t bother with the music.

The music is an eclectic alternative mix of country, folk, indie, electronic, americana. This year my highlights were Ezra Furman – who headlined the beautiful garden stage and made hundreds of people dance thier arses off to his encore of Jackie Wilson’s ‘Higher and Higher’; Broken Social Scene – one of my bucket list bands; Anderson East; Dr Dog; Seratones; Sam Bean & Jesca Hoop (see Albums below), plus loads more.

If you’re looking for an extra special festival experience, EOTR is definitely worth the journey.


Bon Iver – 22, A Million

Wait, bear with me, I know what you’re thinking; “this is just so fucking predictable; this album’s made nearly every goddam Top 3 on Silent Radio, does this girl not think for herself?”

Just listen to the bloody thing. It’s mesmerising, purposely glitchy, yet beautiful, a work of art, unhinged and little bit fucked up. It’s immersive, clever and like nothing I’ve ever heard before. It stirs something deep in my loins, that when I listen to it, I don’t know whether to grin my face off or cry my eyes out. It’s just all the feels.

Stand out tracks: 8 (circle) & (OVER S∞∞N)

Whitney – Light Up The Lake

I’m in love with a band called Whitney. It’s one of those albums you whack on when the weathers warm. Maybe you’ve got the Sunday Fear and glup another glass of cool white, whilst dreaming of a dusty road trip somewhere far, far away.

This album became a personal soundtrack to a fucked up 2016. You know the sort of record, where every song is about you; the lyrics – that’s your situation, the melody – that’s your mood. My god, how did they even know?

But beyond all that sentimental clap trap, it has trumpets and that also makes me very happy.

Stand out tracks: Golden Days & No Woman

Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop – Love Letter for Fire

A fucking delight.

Stand out tracks: Every Songbird Says & Valley Clouds


Pit Pony – She Drew The Gun

As discovered through the Silent Radio Show, the song is actually inspired by ponies that went down the pit. Maybe that chimed with my Northern blood.

The Guns then take the ponies as a metaphorical journey, linking their plight to those of modern day, third world workers and inequality that breeds from that.

Away from the deepness, it’s a bloody good song; it has everything you need in a tune- a banging catchy intro, a super, gorgeous strong vocal and a perfect chorus.

The album is pretty spesh too.

“Holda You (I’m Psycho) – White Denim

I have to admit, White Denim have never tickled my wotsit before now. Until this humdinger of a track got my ears all perked up, like a cat who’s heard the rattle of the biscuits.

It’s fast and furious, like a big explosion on the senses. It’s tinged with a late 80’s, early 90’s retro, cock-rock vibe. It’s a corker.

Again, another Brucey Bonus, the album cover has a dude in his pants, with some painfully positioned cacti. The album title ‘Stiff’ might have something to do with that…

Other gems: Astronomy Programmes – Birds of Hell, Don’t Need It – Seratones, Sea Hearts – Honeyblood, Shut Up and Kiss Me – Angel Olsen, Full Moon Reggae Party – Tiger Cats.



Gideon Conn – 5th March 2016

Collectively one of the team’s most favouritist guests on the Silent Radio Show. Personally one my best of 2016.

As you’ve come to know well, my interviews rarely focus on just the music and wild tangents are an inevitable part of the process. We chatted to Gideon about all sorts; from tips (rubbish tips, not musical tips) and his artwork, to breakfasts and air fresheners.

Gideon was a just a pure joy to interview. Listen here

Micah P Hinson with Silent Session – 23rd April 2016

This show was a real fan girl moment for me. Doing the radio show, week in and week out, interviewing bands and what not, becomes almost second nature. It’s like having a chat with your mates (apart from that you’ve researched the shit out of them the night before). But even the most experienced DJ’s, VJ’s or journalists must still get a little excited about interviewing their favourites right? Well I did.

Interviewing a band you revere is difficult; you have ask questions that your listeners would be interested in, not just the ones you as a fan have always wanted to know. It’s much easier to interview someone you know very little or nothing about!

Micah, his lovely wife and baby rocked up to the studio early and stayed for the whole two hour show. He also brought his guitar and did us a live Silent Session too.

What an absolute fucking treat. Listen here

Idles – 10th December 2016

Some bands I interview, make my job as a radio presenter very easy, The Idles were one of them. One of my most enjoyable interviews. They were so bloody funny, I missed out the news at the top of the hour so I could hear them rattle on.

Any bands reading this who are little nervous about doing press interviews, listen to this and take note and also, be honest, don’t be a talking press release or say what you think your label would like to come out of your mouth, have fun with the presenter / journalist  and most of all, don’t be a dick.

My favourite bit is Joe’s Dad calling him during the interview. Listen here 

Also worth a listen-  Mark Morris from the The Bluetones (the first person I’ve interviewed who’s been on the cover of Smash Hits and a proper fangirl moment) and the Vic & Simon Special. Plus of course, all of the shows from last year!

A big thanks to all of the bands and acts that have joined us in our tiny Silent Radio studio or over the phone. Your support means the world to us.

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Co-founder, Producer and Presenter of the weekly Silent Radio show. Part of the Silent family since 2010.Over 10 years experience of working with national, award-winning youth charities and in the creative industries. She’s the former Deputy Director of, Europe’s leading promoter of emerging creative talent. Here she helped secure new creatives secure massive media exposure (BBC R1, 1Xtra…), showcases at mega impressive locations (Downing Street, V&A...) and kudos from the best in the business (Brian Eno, Boiler Room, Peter Saville…).She also flies the flag for women in the media as Director of Manchester’s independent music website Silent Radio and co-Founder, Exec Producer and Presenter of the Silent Radio show on MCR.Live; Further radio includes BBC 5Live, BBC Radio Manchester, plus the odd bit of TV Production Management with international broadcast credits (BBC, ZDF / Arte, Smithsonian…), she also dabbles with playing records to people and her first podcast is currently in pre-production.Bestest gigs: Pulp, Sheffield Arena, ’12 | Micah P Hinson, Sheffield Lantern Theatre, ’12 | Dream Themes, Manchester Star & Garter, ’14 | Patrick Watson, Manchester Gorilla, ’15 | Less Than Jake, Nottingham Rock City, ‘01 | Frightened Rabbit, Manchester Deaf Institute, ’12 | The Decemberists, Manchester Academy, ‘11 | Passion Pit, Manchester Academy 2, ‘09 | Iron and Wine, The Ritz, Manchester, ‘08 | The Verve (with Beck), Wigan Haigh Hall, ‘98 | Take That, Manchester Eastlands Stadium, ‘11 |Worst gig: Fall Out Boy, Manchester Roadhouse ’05 (subject to change)