No talking please, I’m listening to the band

    “This is a place for music lovers. If you want to talk to your friends when the bands are on, please use the other bar.” The above sign is plastered prominently on the venue door at The Trades in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, my favourite small venue.  It’s a welcome sign in my opinion;…

Read More

True Faith: Manchester Art Gallery

Joy Division and New Order have had a profound effect on the creative arts, inspiring not only musicians but artists, writers, illustrators and film makers. Their visual legacy is now being documented in a new exhibition opening in Manchester as part of the Manchester International Festival (MIF17). Taking place at Manchester Art Gallery from 30th…

Read More

Amber Arcades review: The Trades and The Finsbury

At the Heavenly Weekender at The Trades in Hebden Bridge back in January, Amber Arcades’ half-hour early evening set was the most engaging of the three days (young Halifax band The Orielles were the other stand-out act). The focal presence on stage is Amber Arcades’ mastermind, the very cool Annelotte De Graaf, vocalist, guitarist, songwriter – her…

Read More

British Sea Power at Shepherd’s Bush Empire

You know you’re at a British Sea Power gig when there’s some slightly weird stuff at the merch stall and the stage is full of foliage.  The band’s new March release Let The Dancers Inherit the Party has had positive reaction from fans – it’s a triumphant, upbeat and playful collection, designed to give us hope in these dark times,…

Read More

News

British Sea Power continue their tour of the UK with latest album Let the Dancers Inherit the Party at The Trades Hebden Bridge. Date: 28th July. They are play at Green Man Festival in August.   If you can’t get away once school has started in September,  On Blackheath in south London might do the trick over…

Read More

Review: Julia Jacklin at The Louisiana

Julia Jacklin stands on stage at The Louisiana in Bristol as motionless as a statue, closes her eyes and manages to hush the entire room. All eyes are upon her as she starts to sing. There is a mesmerising quality to her voice, something about the rich, dreamy swoopiness which suits the Australian’s alt- country indie folk material. Then there’s her ability to…

Read More

Steve Mason Alive! at the Barbican

It doesn’t surprise me that Steve Mason forged a lasting connection with Joe Duddell at Festival No 6. Each year, a selected number of main-stage artists collaborate with Duddell and his ensemble, performing in the tiny Portmeirion Town Hall (queues for these are legendary, as only around 100 get access to the space). From what I’ve heard there isn’t much…

Read More

Independent Venue Week: check out your local

Shake off the flu, ease up on dry January and get out to a gig this week – all in order to support Independent Venue Week, which takes place between Monday 23 – Sunday 29 January. 148 venues around the UK are taking part in IVW this year. The project, which is staged nationally but retains a strong…

Read More

The Orielles added to Heavenly Weekender at The Trades

Great news: young West Yorkshire three-piece The Orielles have just signed to Heavenly recordings. The band – Esme Hand Halford on bass, sister Sidonie on drums and Henry Wade on guitar, are known for their lush garagey sun-drenched sound  – a Californian vibe by way of Halifax (the Califax sound, perhaps). Since the band got together they’ve been gigging…

Read More

Wolf People at Oslo, Hackney

As Festival No 6 in Wales this summer descended into a major mudbath after two days of biblical rainfall, Wolf People took to the stage late afternoon (above). They were captivating and the turmoil of guitars suited the inclement weather, but I decided I’d enjoy them more sometime in the future, in the warmth, with dry clothes….

Read More