Sunday, 30 November 2014

Nothing - Leeds Brudenell, November 24th 2014

Despite never previously being enamoured with the Brudenell's games room as a live music venue, it took a night of shoegaze worship for the poor relation to the main room to finally come into its own. The compact, intimate space acted as the perfect backdrop for the post-grunge soundscapes served up by two leading lights in the current wave of bands whose musical lineage seems to stop dead at Nevermind.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

A Tribute to Alexis Gotts - RIP.



Through the sheer power and raw emotion music brings, you can often sense an overwhelming connection with a band. One that runs way deeper than simply just being a fan of their music. Like you're part of the same world, reacting against the same things you detest, or finding joy in the areas (music or otherwise) where others simply don't. Perhaps you've never met or may never meet this band personally, yet you know they share the same values you do, find pleasures in the same bands you do. You know they are doing there thing for the love, passion and paralleled reasons that daily motivate yourself. 

Sounds Of Sputnik ' New Born'


Muscovite Roman Kalitkin, aka Sounds of Sputnik is one man who clearly benefited from Perestroika during his formative years as a sea of previously frowned upon Western music headed east, waking up his sleepy Russian hometown of Rostov-on-Don. His appetite whetted, developing a taste for that classic British indie guitar sound of the shoegaze era (recently recreated by Real Estate in such fine fashion), he needed no further encouragement, spending the next couple of decades in an assortment of bands before setting up on his own, adopting a moniker that pays homage to one of his motherland’s finest hours.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Cancer Bats 'Arsenic In The Year Of The Snake'


(Free with Pre Order of 'Searching For Zero')

Canadian hardcore punksters Cancer Bats band are back with album number five ‘Searching for Zero,’ promised for a spring release with a supporting tour as the band enters its second decade of noise creation. Ahead of that ‘Arsenic….’ serves as the teaser track, available free if you pre-order the long player and will surely whet the appetite of ‘Bats fans. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Jack White - Leeds First Direct Arena, November 17th 2014


Before we begin to unravel this two hour extravaganza by Jack White, let's take time to applaud the first guy we see on stage this evening.  Ten minutes or so before the band appear, a gentleman from the Detroit mans' crew addresses the crowd to politely ask them to refrain from watching the whole show through their smartphones. Evidently, some still need major surgery to detach them from the damn things, but the majority adhere to the plee and it's a better experience for all concerned.  If only this was mandatory at every live event.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Wharfe Bank Brewery - Tap Takeover at Mr Foleys, Leeds, November 13th


Wharfe Bank Brewery has recently assembled a new team to build on the company’s success and prepare for the future. Steve Crump the head brewer works alongside Tyler Kiley, a craft brew specialist, to create innovative beers. Also new to Wharfe Bank are Leigh Linley, probably better known for his beer writing (including the award-winning Great Yorkshire Beer books) who has joined the brewery as general manager, and Mark Evans joins the brewery as sales manager having worked previously with Copper Dragon, Thwaites, Timothy Taylor and Vaux Breweries. This all under Managing director, Martin Kellaway, who set up the brewery in 2010.

Public Access TV - The Wardrobe, Leeds. Review & Interview



It’s a very damp Saturday evening in November with the sound of fireworks in the night air almost palpable. In order to stave off early signs of Seasonal Affected Disorder, tonight I’m at The Wardrobe to check out and chat with the Big Apple’s next great musical hope Public Access TV. The stateside quartet (recently bulked up from their original three piece with the recruitment of Max Peebles) are currently this side of the pond for a short tour playing a combination of gigs, mainly supporting a similarly hot UK prospect, Liverpool’s Circa Waves, plus a couple of headline shows for good measure in London then finishing across the channel in Paris. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Example - Nottingham Rock City. November 7th 2014


London-born and ex Star Wars prop-maker, Elliot Gleave aka Example returned to Nottingham after a near two year absence in a night that perhaps spoke greater volumes than he perhaps intended. His last show, a sell out Capital FM Arena show, this time around was a near sold-out show at Rock City, which whilst a venue steeped in history, arguably maps the electronic artist’s slight fall.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Mariachi El Bronx (III)


They say good things come in threes; by the sound of Los Angeles rock band The Bronx’ latest release, three’s certainly a charm. MariachiEl Bronx III stands as the third traditional Mariachi album from the LA-born punk outfit, and it comes with all of the gusto, and none of the shortcomings. By shortcomings I refer to any rumours that claim a punk band can’t play folk – The Bronx have well and truly stamped out such frivolous assertions.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Slaves - York Fibbers - November 10th 2014


Slaves. Not 'The Slaves'. Not 'Slaves UK' or 'We Are Slaves' even. Short and to the point. Every bit like their songs, live and loud in York tonight. They've got their throw-away 2 minute garage-punk songs by the scruff. Throwing them out at rapid pace to the Fibbers crowd who for a post bonfire, gloomy November Sunday night are far from shy of showing the Tunbridge Wells two-some they're appreciation.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Jo Mango - Transformuration


Jo Mango started out as a Glaswegian folktronica quartet, only for the moniker to be appropriated by the lead singer and primary songwriter in the group, whose output has been sporadic to put it mildly. Transformuration is the 3rd release from the multi-instrumentalist, many moons since her debut recording, perhaps taking a leaf out of her occasional collaborator Vashti Bunyan’s book that less is most definitely more. Throw in further meetings of minds with well-known experimentalists Devendra Banhart and David Byrne and it starts to paint a picture of someone not afraid to take her time getting things right on her own terms….either that or she likes to spend time between albums taking trips to Vega.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Zola Jesus - Leeds Belgrave Music Hall - October 30th 2014


Tonight’s gig was at the now well established Leeds music venue Belgrave Music Hall. Headliner Zola Jesus was an act I was intrigued to see live having followed her career on and off over the years since 2010’s Stridulum II. I hadn’t actually heard any of the new album so I was going into the gig with no preconceived idea of what to expect.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Nick Mulvey - Nottingham Rescue Rooms - October 31st 2014


Flanked by a suitably frightful pumpkin entourage, Nick Mulvey provided Nottingham’s intimate Rescue Rooms no Friday night Halloween frights but rather, placed a further marker down as to his growing stature as a pioneer of an acoustic sound bursting with rhythm, texture and an utterly unrelenting melodic soundscape.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sunset Sons - Leeds Oporto - October 28th 2014


Oporto is yet another small Leeds venue with ideas above its station yet still manages to pull it off, playing host to a number of stellar gigs, featuring mainly acts on an upward curve. Tonight it’s the turn of surf dudes Sunset Sons, a trio of Brits and an Australian whose paths first crossed at a bar in Hossegor down in the south-west of France. Since that fateful meeting, they’ve traded-in a little wave time for the rock and roll lifestyle, a self-promoted debut ‘Le Surfing’ EP making the Top Ten on the iTunes rock chart earlier in the year.