The Blinders – Deaf Instistute, Manchester 3-2-18

I may have been a bit quiet on the gig scene of late, but when I heard that The Blinders were headlining Deaf Institute a few months ago, it was a date I couldn’t miss after being blown away from their set at Blackthorn Music Festival in July 2017. There is something a little special, and a little bit dangerous about this Doncaster/Manchester band, and it’s something that has no limits as to how far it can soar. Continue reading

Ian McNabb – ‘Star Smile Strong’ Album Review

Ian McNabb, perhaps one of the most underrated and gifted musicians in Britain, returns with new album, ‘Star Smile Strong’, a twelve-song feast of eclectic songwriting which serves as a lesson to any aspiring artist. McNabb is a prominent force on a range of cool sounding guitars throughout the album, but the variety of instruments used in the backing adds real dynamism to each and every track. It’s no surprise that McNabb enlisted the help of former Icicle Works members, as well as musicians he’s trusted for over a decade to help produce ‘Star Smile Strong’, and it’s that familiarity with his band mates that harnesses chemistry and musicianship, creating the sort of magic that only comes when talent, experience and trust collide. Continue reading

Matt Fryers – ‘Raw’ EP Review

If ever a singer/songwriter was deserving of a physical release to reflect his efforts and immense talent, then Matt Fryers is that artist. Having been on the circuit for many years, playing a series of gigs in and around Manchester and beyond, and collaborating with artists on tracks in Europe, the time has come for Matt to put on record a few of his own songs that have mesmerised gig goers wherever he plays. Continue reading

Whiskey Myers – Ruby Lounge 2016

It may have only been a Monday night, but all guns were blazing inside The Ruby Lounge, Manchester as two phenomenal bands took to the stage to remind us that blues rock is very much a brand of music that refuses to be left in the past by its former masters. Headline Texan act Whiskey Myers were embarking on a European Tour promoting recent new album ‘Mud’, and Broken Witt Rebels were showing exactly why they were deserving of such a coveted support slot. Continue reading

Beth Hart – Bridgwater Hall, Manchester 2016

Fusing elements of blues, rock, soul and jazz into her own thought provoking style of song writing, the scintillating Beth Hart is an accomplished artist who just seems to be pushing the boundaries of peaking. In seventeen years she has claimed numerous awards, released thirteen albums (including live ones), and has collaborated with some big names in the industry. The show at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester was one that mirrored her ever changing and diverse image. An older, appreciative crowd at an all seated affair made for a gig a little more sophisticated from the norm. Continue reading

DMA’s @ The Ritz 2016

With a swagger and gusto reminiscent of past indie idols, DMA’s rocked into Manchester at a packed and rowdy Ritz to demonstrate why they are being hailed as one of the upcoming shining lights of the indie rock n roll scene. Their metamorphic rise is testament to just how talented these lads are. It was only last year they played Night n Day in Manchester before moving onto The Ruby Lounge in early 2016, in conjunction with their debut full length album release, so to now be playing The Ritz is a phenomenal yet deserved achievement. Key festival slots and tours across America and Australia fill in the gaps, showing just how highly rated they are on a global scale. Continue reading

Rival Sons @ Gorilla – 2014

ROCK N ROLL AIN’T DEAD

Whilst the majority of the world’s attention was firmly focussed on the events in Sao Paulo for the opening ceremony of the World Cup, 700 or so rock rebels were involved in a ceremony of their own…..the celebration of the renewed belief that rock n roll is far from dead and is very much alive…..Hallelujah!!! After taking the number one spot in the US and UK rock album chart with their new album, ‘Great Western Valkyrie’, Rival Sons’ European tour just seems to be going from strength to strength as they continue to attain the deserved accolades that may just shift the emphasis of commercial attention back in favour of rock n roll. Continue reading

Fleetwood Mac – Manchester Arena 2013

‘YOU’LL NEVER BREAK THE CHAIN’

If you were to ask anyone who grew up in the late 1970s and 1980s the question, ‘What was it your parents listened to when you were a kid?’ The answer is more often than not met with, ‘Fleetwood Mac!’ With that in mind it’s hardly surprising to see a complete array of age ranges litter the walkways at Manchester Arena as the music that influenced our parents, inspired the generations that followed. Continue reading

Barclay James Harvest – The Ritz, Manchester

A VOICE TO MAKE YOU CRY

In terms of the UK, ‘Barclay James Harvest’ are possibly the most underrated and best band many people have never heard of. By rights I shouldn’t even know who they are judging by my age, but they are an outstanding, awe inspiring 70s/80s prog rock band from Saddleworth, Oldham, who’ve played a huge part in my musical upbringing having been astutely aware of them for the past twenty five years or so. Continue reading