Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Amber Arcades - Belgrave, Leeds, October 9th 2018 (LIVE REVIEW)


With a fine new record under the belt, Amber Arcades are back on the road promoting the hell out of European Heartbreak all over the UK before some live dates in their native Holland; tonight’s Belgrave show also boasting a pretty handy undercard. 

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Three Trapped Tigers - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, October 7th 2018 (LIVE REVIEW)


Ten years ago Simon Morley, then at Full Time Hobby records, decided to set-up on his own after witnessing Three Trapped Tigers’ debut gig, his then paymasters perhaps unsurprisingly, somewhat reluctant to sign the band so soon after getting together, despite Morley’s recommendation. 

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Amber Arcades 'European Heartbreak' (ALBUM REVIEW)


Boasting the perfect title for the upcoming political party conference season, Annelotte de Graaf’s second release finds the Dutch chanteuse in wistful and pensive mood, whilst creating a retro yet contemporary sound oozing sophisticated European chic; something we will be able to remember with varying degrees of fondness depending on point of view, when we’re all tucking into boiled beef and carrots this time next year. 

Monday, 10 September 2018

Low 'Double Negative' (ALBUM REVIEW)



Celebrating their silver anniversary, Minnesota based Low show no signs of slowing down as the band heads into its Autumn years, their latest release ‘Double Negative’ making it a dozen long players since their inception back in 1993, the husband and wife duo of Alan Sparhawk (guitar, vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums, vocals) still managing to balance family life with creating and promoting their unique blend of woozy drone.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Sunflower Bean – Hebden Bridge Trades Club , 28th August (LIVE REVIEW)


Honing that pure pop sound whilst also being able to rock out when the mood takes you is perhaps more difficult that it first seems. Many bands over the years have tried do have a foot planted in both camps with differing degrees of success. Queen for instance, are best remembered as a hard rock band but their best work is full of sublime pop moments, whereas when they rocked out, a lot of their subtlety and nuance got blasted to hell.  

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

IDLES 'Joy as an Act of Resistance' (ALBUM REVIEW)



One of the most endearing things about IDLES when they cannoned into the collective consciousness with chaotic and utterly brilliant debut album Brutalism was the unashamed Tory-bashing in raucous ode to the working class ‘Mother’. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

BC Camplight 'Deportation Blues' (ALBUM REVIEW)


Can art truly be separated from its artist? A fascinating question, debated by many and one to which there is likely no final answer,  but you would struggle to slide a Rizla between American singer-songwriter BC Camplight and his latest record, the all too aptly-titled Deportation Blues.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

White Denim 'Performance' (ALBUM REVIEW)


Despite White Denim’s head honcho James Petralli claiming his band simply purvey “interesting up-tempo rock and roll”, every record preceding latest release ‘Performance’ has always drawn on a broad swathe of contemporary musical styles, the Texas quartet keeping the listener guessing at every turn.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Deaf Wish 'Lithium Zion' (ALBUM REVIEW)


Album number five from Australian noise-monsters Deaf Wish is upon us, and its a full-scale thunderstorm from down under(storm). The Melbourne four-piece stepped into a proper studio (Head Gap Recording in Melbourne) for the first time to record Lithium Zion, their second release on Sub Pop Records, but their acidic take on homebrew punk rock remains firmly to the left of the pH scale. 

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Austel 'Unfold' (EP review)


Wistful electronica treads a path fraught with danger, with pompous self-indulgence looming to the left and a sheer drop into waves of boring nothingness to the right. Fortunately it’s a path Austel could walk with her eyes closed and still make it to the promised land at the end where total sonic immersion is offset by sincere lyrics. 

Monday, 23 July 2018

'The New Wave' Whitelock's & The Turk's Head annual beer festival - Leeds (PREVIEW)


'CELEBRATING THE NEW WAVE OF UK BREWERS AND FIRM FAVOURITES PRODUCING MODERN, PROGRESSIVE BEERS'

THURSDAY 26 JULY – SUNDAY 29 JULY 2018


Leeds - a city at the very forefront of craft beer in the UK has another mouthwatering event coming your way this weekend. Whitelock's and The Turk's Head are back to host their fourth annual beer festival, this year celebrating ‘The New Wave’ of UK brewers, "by showcasing the firm favourites who are producing modern, progressive beers". 

Friday, 13 July 2018

Oh Sees - o2 Academy Leeds, July 11th 2018



San Fransico's (Thee) Oh Sees must have surely seen just about everything in their twenty-plus album career spanning the same amount of years, perhaps until tonight. Scheduled to appear as soon as England's world cup semi final with Croatia is over, we're already late into the evening by the time John Dwyer and co can hurridly plug in and tune up. 'It's been a hell of a day... dig in' he encourages us as they rip into Orc album's opener 'The Static God'. 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Asylums 'Alien Human Emotions' (ALBUM REVIEW)


On their not-so-difficult second album Alien Human Emotions Essex boys Asylums tackle topics far more meaty than their sunshine hooks and glistening melodies seem to suggest. Kicking on from debut Killer Brain Waves, the band ramp up the E-numbers on a record with more hooks than a fisherman’s kitbag.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Laura Veirs - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds June 3rd 2018 (LIVE REVIEW)


Tonight’s warm up act for Laura Veirs is fronted by Jay Brown, a female London based singer songwriter sharing her turbulent past with tonight’s growing Brudenell crowd, rapidly warming to her delicate self-penned tunes. Since coming out, an act seemingly at odds with her devoutly Christian family's values, Jay has focussed her attention to her music, the subsequent material collectively attributed the Amaroun moniker. 

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Long Division Festival, Wakefield - 2nd June 2018 (LIVE REVIEW)


Long Division 2018 headline act Billy Bragg is clearly making up for lost time. The Bard of Barking, author and socialist agitator recently turned sixty, confessing to the packed Saturday night Cathedral crowd that it’s the first time he’s ever performed in Wakefield, somewhat surprising for someone with about a million gigs under his belt.  

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Swervedriver - Hebden Bridge Trades Club, May 14th 2018 (LIVE REVIEW)


We know time has not been particularly kind to the Britpop era but the shoegaze scene immediately preceding the Cool Britannia nonsense is enjoying something of a renaissance. Tonight, Oxford based Swervedriver, once shoehorned into this ‘Scene that Celebrates Itself’ genre, kicked-off a new European tour following a sizeable North American trek last autumn, the quartet returning with a handful of spring UK dates celebrating the 25th anniversary of their seminal release ’Mescal Head’. Indeed, the album is to be played in full tonight, preceded by every track from their debut long player ‘Raise’ in what is basically a set of two halves. 

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Big Ups 'Two Parts Together' (ALBUM REVIEW)


Brooklyn rabble-rousers Big Ups return with their storming third album Two Parts Together – a fitting title given that the record is one part crystal clear waters, one part tsunami-scale tidal wave.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Gomez - Leeds 02 Academy, April 29th (LIVE REVIEW)


The first thing you notice about the 2018 live incarnation of Gomez is that lead singer Ben Ottewell finally boasts an appearance catching up with his oak aged Mississippi delta growl; seemingly so out of place two decades ago on the then fresh faced 21-year-old, who sang like he’d been brought up in a New Orleans brothel drinking moonshine instead of breast milk. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Gomez , Leeds O2 Academy – 29th April (LIVE PREVIEW)


Can it really be 20 years since the chaotic swamp fuzz of the Gomez debut album ‘Bring It On’ took the UK by storm, songs including ‘78 Stone Wobble’, ‘Whippin’ Piccadilly’ and ‘Get Myself Arrested’ helping garner its creators a Mercury Prize for their troubles? 

Monday, 16 April 2018

Long Division Festival, Wakefield, June 2nd 2018 (PREVIEW)


Wakefield’s leading arts fanzine Rhubarb Bomb, created Long Division back in 2011, the city’s own take on the multi-venue city centre all-day music festival that’s become increasingly popular in the last decade. 

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Big & The Fat 'Fruit/Crack Crack' (DOUBLE A-SIDE SINGLE REVIEW)


Electronic garage Londoners Big & The Fat half swagger and half shuffle onto We Can Do It Records with the mesmerisingly tense new double A-side ‘Fruit’/’Crack Crack’.

There is something bizarre, even gratifyingly uncomfortable, about both tracks, which stomp ever onwards with the steady regularity of a pendulum while ramping up a certain sense of uneasiness which never really resolves itself. The tracks are the musical equivalent of eating four grapefruits in one sitting with no sugar, bitter as anything but also delicious, nourishing and distinctly moreish.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Laura Veirs 'The Lookout' (ALBUM REVIEW)


The well-worn adage that a country’s political situation is inversely proportional to its musical output still appears to ring true, in this case, the bewitching release by veteran North American punk turned troubadour Laura Veirs.  

Monday, 2 April 2018

Maff 'Melaniña' (EP REVIEW)


Emerging from the swirling mists and forbidding fogs in the DMZ between shoegaze and grunge, Chilean outfit Maff reach for their bricks and mortar to build another stunning wall of sound on new ep 'Melaniña'. Inspired by frontman Ricardo Gomez’s first child Augusta, the ep title combines the word ‘melanin’ with ‘niña’ – Spanish for little girl – to pay tribute to the fact that Augusta is slightly albino.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Simply Saucer 'Cyborgs Revisited' (ALBUM RE-RELEASE REVIEW)


The story behind this album is arguably redolent of the ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ tale. Canadian cult garage band Simply Saucer had emerged from the Rust Belt punk scene of the early 1970s, following in the wake of Stooges, MC5 and Alice Cooper, whilst also absorbing influences from such varied sources as b-movie sci-fi shtick, early krautrock and British psychedelia.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Beer x Music III : Moonraker x Dinosaur Jr


Beer: Moonraker 'Zam Bone' 8% DIPA
A beer couldn't smell anymore like a Jelly Babies on the pour if it tried and then sat in the glass it smells sweet, zesty and green. Now this looks a hop yogurt! Citra and Simoe work as a marriage made in heaven. 

Thursday, 15 February 2018

I AM HILL 'Give It A Rest' (ALBUM REVIEW)


Sometimes haunting, sometimes uplifting, always intoxicating, the new album  from Canadian singer/songwriter/producer/creative iamhill is a heady after-dark soundtrack to life under streetlights as much as under shooting stars.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Ought 'Room Inside The World' (ALBUM REVIEW)


Yet another Canadian band appear on the Plus One horizon, this time it’s Ought, a post-punk, post-rock quartet of interlopers whose paths happened to meet in a communal rehearsal space in Montreal. After gelling, they signed to local indie label Constellation, the band’s first two records creating approving murmurs in all the right places, yet the 9-track ‘Room inside the World’ finds Tim Darcy (voice, guitars) Matt May (keys) Ben Sideworthy (bass) and Tim Keen (drums) heading south of the border to Merge Records, recording sessions taking place in Brooklyn. With Gallic producer Nicolas Verne (The War on Drugs) installed at the controls, the Big Apple setting clearly helped shape the post-industrial dystopian indie sound, with bags of introspection thrown in for good measure.

Monday, 12 February 2018

The Go! Team - Leeds Wardrobe, February 10th

Credit: Annick Wolfers

One of the most welcome returns to the 2018 music scene must be cosmopolitan co-operative The Go! Team; their fifth long player, the kaleidoscopic and urbane ‘Semicircle’ providing a welcome ray of sunshine in these chilly times. With lead single ‘Mayday’ cartwheeling onto many radio playlists including 6music, the deserved praise has resulted in a slew of their current tour dates selling out fast, including tonight’s Wardrobe appearance by all accounts.


Sunday, 11 February 2018

Funeral Shakes 'Self titled' (ALBUM REVIEW)


The debut album from Funeral Shakes is a raucous and anthemic race through the sort of heart-stopping, sweaty punk rock that launched a thousand garage bands (followed by a thousand noise complaints). And this lot have serious pedigree – members of Gallows (drummer Lee Barratt) and Nervus (guitarist/vocalist Em Foster) join founders and former Smoking Hearts Calvin Roffey (bass/vocals) and Simon Barker (guitar) for a new project straight out of Watford.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Beer x Music II : Verdant x Ty Segall


Beer: Verdant 'Putty' 8% DIPA. 
I can't believe the only time I tried this was a sample at Hop City that I dont recall the flavour of. The hops used are Mosaic, Galaxy and Azacca so pretty much 3 of my favourites; surely onto a winner.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

The Weather Station - Leeds Brudenell Social Club, January 25th 2018 (LIVE REVIEW)


A couple of years ago I happened across the beguiling Canadian folk chanteuse Tamara Lindeman at Headrow House, performing alone under her soubriquet The Weather Station in her opening slot for fellow Ontarian Basia Bulat. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Beer x Music I : Lervig/Boneyard x God Damn


Beer : Lervig/Boneyard 'West Coast Dank' IPA 7.1%
Very dank aroma with passionfruit and mango. The look is a little oily. Tastes of a sopping jungle floor with bitterness to wilt a mighty oak. A slight onion note and a little tropics but Jesus Christ it's so...damn...bitter! I've not had one so bitter in ages.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

The Go! Team 'Semicircle' (ALBUM REVIEW)


Experimental south coast collective The Go! Team have always pushed the auditory boundaries throughout their innovative decade-plus long existence, a Mercury nomination for their 2005 debut long player Thunder Lightning Strike bears testament to that.