LA’s COLLEEN GREEN toured around the US earlier this year with UPSET (Ali Koehler, Patty Schemel, Rachel Gagliardi and Lauren Freeman), and is now back in the UK, promoting her third album I Want To Grow Up. We last saw her on tour with EMA last year, and tonight she’s headlining Gulliver’s, to a nicely busy crowd for a Tuesday night in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, trusty sunglasses and drum machine at the ready.
At this year’s LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY, we took the opportunity to shoot backstage portraits of London-based electropop band NINA. We’ve been tracking the band since we first met at the same festival last year, working with them on their north UK dates towards the end of the year, after which they ventured on a US tour with ERASURE. This year, they’ve already featured their My Mistake track on a Mercedes-Benz TV advert, and are working on their album while doing some shows in their adopted home city and Europe. Continue reading LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2015 – NINA photo shoot
We were blown away by Natalie Findlay et al aka FINDLAY at last year’s LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY, and this year we’re geared up for another Findlay explosion. Catching her this time on the Cargo Stage as part of the new festival layout on the chilly docks, we were prepared for this show to be less intimate though no less spellbinding than the incredible Zanzibar experience last year. Continue reading LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2015 – FINDLAY
Glasgow-based band HONEYBLOOD have been racking up praise for their catchy grunge-pop tracks and killer gigs, while clinging on to a DIY approach. I’ve been keeping an eye on them for a while and finally had the chance to see them live at this year’s LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2015. I was expecting them to be good live, but wasn’t prepared for just how impressive they would be and how brilliantly written their tracks are. The word has certainly been getting around, as their well attended set at the Baltic Stage on a chilly Sunday afternoon proved. Continue reading LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2015 – HONEYBLOOD
London-based electropop band NINA warmed everyone up on the chilly Sunday of LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2015. We’ve been tracking the band since we met fortuitously at LSC last year, and worked with them on their north UK dates towards the end of last year, after which they ventured on a US tour with the inimitable ERASURE. This year, they’ve already featured their My Mistake track on a Mercedes-Benz TV advert, and are working on their album while doing some shows in their adopted home city and Europe. We were delighted to catch them again in Liverpool, this time on the Cavern Stage of the new dock-based layout. Continue reading LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2015 – NINA
LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2015 snuck up upon us as we gathered ourselves for another eclectic lineup of acts, local and international. Relocated onto the docks, the festival has lost its small-town feature, tossing that out for a more mainstream affair, much to the chagrin of many a journo and punter. Along with the relocation came bitingly chilly winds and so out with the winter gear… indeed, not the ideal time of year for an outdoor dock-centric festival in the north of England, but hey, we were prepared to take it on and give it a chance. Continue reading LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2015 – ALL WE ARE
KATHLEEN HANNA is a much-loved iconic singer and performer. Despite cancellations last year due to ill health, her new band THE JULIE RUIN were determined to get over to the UK and here they were in the flesh, finally at Leeds. Knowing that the London show would be absolutely flooded with fans, we made a point of seeing them ahead at the more intimate and (in my humble opinion) atmospheric venue of The Brudenell Social Club. Continue reading THE JULIE RUIN finally let loose in Leeds and London
Here in the UK, we’ve had a great 2015 so far, bearing witness to brilliant touring bands, some established, some breaking through big, including WARPAINT, SLEATER-KINNEY, COURTNEY BARNETT, SCREAMING FEMALES and KARIN PARK, and in a matter of hours, we’ll soon be catching up with Tokyo’s coolest avant-garde synth band GROUP A who are right now embarking on their first ever Europe mini-tour. At the same time, we’re desperate to see ex-HOLE drummer Patty Schemel’s new band UPSET with lead vocals by ex-BEST COAST / VIVIAN GIRLS’ Ali Koehler who have been touring the US with the fabulously chilled COLLEEN GREEN Continue reading Queens of Cool: WARPAINT, SLEATER-KINNEY, COURTNEY BARNETT, SCREAMING FEMALES, KARIN PARK, GROUP A, COLLEEN GREEN, UPSET, THE JULIE RUIN
The Hi-Fi in Brisbane’s West End was absolutely packed to the rafters with eager fans for COURTNEY BARNETT’s headlining show as tickets were snapped up well in advance for her Australia tour promoting latest album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Courtney had also originally planned on doing a little in-store performance at Jet Black Cat Records – the response on Facebook was so overwhelming they had to resort to a lotto system, but in the end 50 lucky people were able to attend a less crowded show earlier in the day. Continue reading COURTNEY BARNETT in Brisbane
It’s been a good few years since New Jersey’s very own SCREAMING FEMALES have been in the UK. We last saw them tearing up Manchester in 2011 when album Castle Talk was doing the rounds. 4 years on, they’re touring new record Rose Mountain, a more subdued affair and a reminder that this band are ever evolving. With world-class lead singer-guitarist Marissa Paternoster having suffered prolonged illness, forcing a much-needed touring break, it’s been a bumpy road of late for the trio, but they’re now back on track, traveling the globe, spreading their trademark high energy and warmth.
It’s hard to believe that it will soon be 20 years since PLACEBO first released their eponymous debut album. In celebration, the band are on the road again and here are some of our photos taken at their packed Manchester Apollo show in March. Continue reading Celebrating 20 years with Brian Molko and PLACEBO
ENTER SHIKARI blew the roof off Liverpool’s Camp & Furnace after recently smashing stages in Japan. Here are some stellar photos of Rou, Chris, Rory and Rob performing to a buzzing Liverpool crowd. One of the most down-to-earth, talented, passionate bands around, Enter Shikari as always kept the fans on their toes throughout, girls and boys alike crowd-surfing their way to the front, rolling into the photo pit one after another. The fellas topped off their blistering stage show with an exclusive DJ set at the afterparty. Continue reading ENTER SHIKARI tame Liverpool after Tokyo
TAYLOR MOMSEN is back in the UK with her band THE PRETTY RECKLESS, this time on their Going To Hell headline tour off the back of their stunning second album of the same title. Continue reading THE PRETTY RECKLESS smash Manchester on headline UK tour
WHITE LUNG is an exciting band and now they’re in Manchester. The Canadian four-piece, with a lead singer who now lives in LA, were recently signed by Domino and are blasting stages around the UK. They’ve curiously slipped under the radar in this country, but I’ve been tracking them for a while and have been enjoying their new album Deep Fantasy, a rollercoaster of killer punk-rock-with-a-nod-to-grunge tracks. They’re getting a reputation not only for being great value live but also for their no-nonsense lyrics, singer Mish Way enthusiastically talking to journalists about her inspiration behind the songs and her thoughts on, well, pretty much everything Continue reading WHITE LUNG show us the Way: in Manchester
I’ve been hearing rave reviews of one-woman show THE RISE AND FALL OF A NORTHERN STAR from music friends and colleagues, and so I was delighted when I managed to catch the very last show of 2014 at The Lantern Theatre in Liverpool. For those who aren’t familiar with this extraordinary performance piece, it’s all the work of STELLA GRUNDY, actress and lead singer of ‘90s Manchester band INTASTELLA. Through her doomed protagonist Tracy Star, a budding singer seeking fame and fortune outside of her dreary urban existence, we are transported back into Manchester’s drug-filled ‘Madchester’ heyday, drawn into the magical yet corrupt world that dared to call itself the music industry. Continue reading THE RISE AND FALL OF A NOTHERN STAR: Stella Grundy closes 2014 with a bang
I saw SHERYL CROW perform in Tokyo back in 2002. The (14,000 plus capacity) arena was far too big for Crow and her band, several stands shut down for the occasion, and they simply disappeared into the onstage abyss that night. I was disappointed because, at the end of the day, she’s an incredibly talented singer, writer and guitarist, a number of her tracks epitomising hit music of the ’90s, and a key figure in the Lilith Fair movement, so you want to be able to watch her close up and hear every sound. 12 years on, the much smaller Manchester Ritz provides a more suitable location for the multi Grammy Award-winning genre-crossing artist Continue reading SHERYL CROW and RED SKY JULY steam up Manchester