Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Duke Special (LIVE REVIEW) Leeds Brudenell Social Club, April 21st 2015

The visit of this uniquely celt-vaudevillie artist means for the first time in all my visits to Brudenell the place is filled with rows of seats……and each and every one has an expectant bottom perched upon it. It must be the best part of a decade since Mr Wilson, aka Duke Special caused quite a stir with his first proper album ‘Songs of the Deep Forest’, generating a stack of TV performances for the dreadlocked Ulsterman as he built a cult following of loyal converts over the following handful of albums. Critical acclaim arrived in abundance although that never quite translated into units shifted.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Girl Friend 'Arrive Alone, Leave Alone' (EP REVIEW) & INTERVIEW

This five track EP is the latest offering from Manc synth-pop outfit Girl Friend. Less than a year since their inception they're already creating a stir, with outlets from Line of Best Fit to the Guardian awarding them early accolades for their modern take on 80s electropop. Arrive Alone, Leave Alone builds on the absurdly videoed Stop, included here, and musing on the perils of love Chemical Romance, streamed late last year.

Norland Beers (Halifax) & A Community Owned Pub (Hebden Bridge)

At the recent launch of Norland Beers new ale ‘Showcase’ in The Fox and Goose at Hebden Bridge, my taste buds were treated to a proper beer. This is a rich ruby coloured ale with lots of flavour and reminiscent of the ales of yesteryear. In a beer world packed full of ultra-hoppy IPAs and APAs it is refreshing to find a really drinkable ale that showcases British hops to give a deeply satisfying flavour.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Therapy? (LIVE REVIEW) Leeds Brudenell Social Club, April 19th 2015

A long long time ago, before the Internet gave a home to every man and his blog, I kept a little blue book of listings of gigs I attended. I still have it, the writing is appaling, and every now and again I look through it (several years worth of gigs) to remind me of those early days. I am going back twenty odd years by the way. In my little diary of sweaty nights in flea pit venues, Therapy? appear frequently, more often than not underlined and next to the word Leeds

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

White Arrows (ALBUM REVIEW) 'In Bardo'

On sophomore album ‘In Bardo, LA’s psychotropical exports White Arrows weave their way through the current indie-rock crop chiefly by following their own divinely psychedelic path. Swirling songs which should sound dangerously familiar around the listener’s brain, the record is a completely unexpected treat. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Triptick (III). Three Studies Of Beers (Runaway Brewery Edition)

As my fellow beer writer Rowan rightly put it, the Mancunian beer scene is booming. Following on from this appreciation of beer from across the Pennines, and as part of our ongoing triptych series, I picked up Runaway Brewery's core range from Tall Boys beer market, and here's what I thought. 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Balthazar (LIVE REVIEW) Leeds Belgrave Music Hall - April 7th 2015

Belgian quintet Balthazar were due to kick-off their 30-odd date European tour in Leeds before an extra date was added for the previous day in Brighton. Singer Jinte reveals the band have never played Leeds before, perhaps an explanation of the surprisingly thin crowd. 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Meanwhile, In Manchester: Breweries

An insight into who's brewing what over on the other side of The Pennines...

Over in the North West, something's brewing. Manchester has always been home to a decent pint, but these days the beer scene is booming. There are now over 60 breweries in Manchester*, a good two thirds of which have started up in the last five or six years, with roughly half of those newcomers opening in 2014 alone. From old-school cask Bitter and American-inspired IPA to keg-conditioned, heavily-hopped Sour Pale Ale and citrus-infused Gose, the brewers of Manchester are following their own individual paths and, in doing so, creating a rich tapestry of tradition, innovation, and collaboration. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

A West Coast Amber ale by THE BEAK BREWERY - LEEDS.

Celebrating Leeds collaborators Tall Boys Beer Market and Welcome Skate Shop on an exhibition by Reece Leung

The independent scene in Leeds has grown rapidly in recent years, you only need to look at the line up for the upcoming Leeds Indie Food Festival to be blown away by the wide spectrum of places out there, so many people taking a chance, setting out on their own and doing what they love.